Anime streaming service Crunchyroll knows it’s October…ish…which means spooky season is finally here! Thankfully, for those willing to brave having ads in their videos, some of the best supernatural and horror anime of all time are available for free. Hellsing, Hell’s Paradise, Tokyo Ghoul, and Blue Exorcist are just a fraction of the 20 series free for the month of October.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the free series for October:
Hell’s Paradise is one of the newest anime on the list, launching on Crunchyroll back in April, but it immediately made an impact on anime fans. Gabimaru is an immortal assassin who wants to die until he’s given a meaning to live by Sagiri, a gifted executioner. Granted, that meaning is “invade Hell to find the elixir of life,” but in the process, he hopes to be reunited with the love of his life.
Sure, there’s a high body count with buckets of blood and a little body horror for good measure, but Hell’s Paradise is really about the enduring power of love. It’s a sweet message wrapped up in a gorgeously animated mature package.
The dark Tokyo Ghoul is one of the best-selling manga of all time, so it’s no surprise that the anime adaptation is also incredibly popular. Humanity is forced to live alongside ghouls, beings that eat people, and, as a result, have supernatural powers. Ken Kaneki becomes a half-Ghoul after surviving an encounter with one, forcing him to live a life as part of a secret organization and hide his true nature from his human friends.
If you find yourself enjoying the series (and you likely will), Crunchyroll even offers the live-action version. With four seasons and 50 episodes, it will be a while before you get to the end of Tokyo Ghoul, but once you do, you will have witnessed one of the best anime ever made.
Both versions of Hellsing, the original and the later Hellsing Ultimate, are free to stream on Crunchyroll. Though each series lacks the emotional depth of Hell’s Paradise and Tokyo Ghoul, they make up for it with some of the best action scenes in anime. Alucard (it’s Dracula spelled backward) is one of the most iconic characters in anime, and he does have a striking look, made even better thanks to the silky smooth animation.
Integra Fairbook Hellsing leads an organization protecting England from supernatural forces, with Alucard as their secret weapon. Hellsing came first, but Hellsing Ultimate is closer to the manga, though really, each is short enough (13 and 10 episodes respectively), that they can both be binged during the month.
Out of all the free anime on Crunchyroll we’re highlighting, Blue Exorcist has the grandest plot: to kill Satan. Rin Okumara learns he and his brother are the sons of Satan and resolves to destroy the Lord of Lies, King of the realm of Gehenna. Demons can cross over from Gehenna to Assiah (the plane where Earth resides) through possession, which means the only solution is exorcism.
Featuring great fight scenes, and more biblical references than nearly any other anime in existence, Blue Exorcist was a hit, even earning a sequel season, Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga, and a third arriving next year, Blue Exorcist: Shimane Illuminati Saga. Both seasons are available for free on Crunchyroll.