On the night after the school’s cultural festival, eight students and their teacher gather to say goodbye to a friend that is moving to another school. While it was a fun time of telling scary stories, they decide to perform a ritual that will assure that they are together forever. However, what they don’t realize is that their school is build atop an elementary school where a series of gruesome murders took place many years before. After doing their spell, the groups finds themselves transported to another dimension where they are trapped inside the old elementary school building that is now home to only corpses and vengeful ghosts.
Although only a short OVA based on a manga that was based on a video game, Corpse Party is notorious for its gore content. In fact, the blood and guts is so plentiful that is makes up for flat characters and a somewhat flimsy plot. Yet, if you like horror, mystery, and slippery noodle intestines, these anime recommendations might be right up your alley.
For Fans of Copious Gore
Higurashi: When They Cry
Keiichi Maebara just moved from Tokyo with his family to the small town of Hinamizawa in the summer 1983. As the town is so small, school children of all ages are lumped into one class. There he becomes fast friends with four girls where he spends his days after school idly playing games. However, as the town’s annual festival approaches, he learns about a series of murders, disappearances, and other mysteries that surround it. When he confronts his friends, he finds them mysteriously tight-lipped.
While Corpse Party doesn’t go to great lengths to maintain the guise (mostly because it is called “Corpse Party”), both shows start off very cheerful and moe. However, in Corpse Party you know things are going to go downhill very quickly while Higurashi maintains a slower, superior burn. However, once each series gets going, there is gore and horrible deaths enough to make your skin crawl.
Lucy is a special breed of human known as a Diclonius, sporting a pair of small horns and telekinetic powers. All her life she has been held captive in a government facility. However, after staging a bloody break out one night, she is hit in the head and sent tumbling over a cliff. Washing up on shore with amnesia, she is taken in by some college students who are about to be pulled into the bloody world of government conspiracy.
It’s not every day that you find a series where limb fly every other episode. While Elfen Lied is longer and thus it doesn’t seem like there is as much blood spray and limbs flying, it can match Corpse Party blow for blow while also having a better tale to tell. You got your murderous little moe girls and people breaking to the point of insanity in both, but the key difference is Elfen Lied isn’t about ghosts.
After being abandoned by their abusive parents, siblings Yume and Utsutsu are left alone in the world to fend for themselves. However, after following a herd of red butterflies, Yume becomes infected with a new cannibalistic virus, Pupa. Her brother Utsutsu is only half-infected, gaining miraculous restorative powers. Will Utsutsu be able to protect his little sister and protect the world from her new hunger?
Yes, Pupa is about gory cannibalism, but we believe that the biggest similarity between these two is that they are hurt by their short length. Corpse Party only has a few episodes and Pupa only has a few minutes per episode. Neither pulls their story off very well in their allotted time, but they make up for it with guts. Literal guts, not metaphorical courage.
For Fans of School Murders
Hope’s Peak Academy is a prestigious school that accepts only the most talented students. In order to become accepted to the school, a student must excel in an area in order to bear a special title. In one particular year, only fifteen students are accepted. However, upon stepping onto the campus, one such student, Super High School-Level Luck student Makoto Naegi collapses. When he awakens, he finds himself and his classmates sealed in the school and told by resident bear and principal Monokuma that if they want to escape, they must kill a classmate and get away with it.
Both Corpse Party and Danganronpa start off extremely similar. You have your characters, they go to the school, something happens,and they then wake up completely sealed in that school. However, while Danganronpa starts a murder game, Corpse Party puts the characters at the mercy of ghosts. Throughout each series, you watch as the characters try to unravel the mystery to varying results.
Ever since 1972, class 3-3 in Yomiyama North Middle School has had a strange tradition of pretending that one of their students did not exist. When Kouichi Sakakubara transfers into the class, he finds himself drawn to a girl that no one seems to notice. Not paying heed to the warnings of his classmates, all hell is about to break loose.
Although the characters in Another are not trapped in a school, they are in the same class. Both series follow a mystery that cursed the school due to a tragic incident that happened years ago and the student are faced with one path – solve it or die. Another has the time to flesh out its characters while also having a flair for blood, but it does also have some story failing similar to Corpse Party.
Yuki Takeya is in love with school life. She loves it so much that she joined the School Living Club with three other girls, their supervising teacher, and the club dog Taroumaru. This club makes the most of living at school. However, Yuki’s blissful school life is all a delusion. The real purpose of the School Living Club is to prevent Yuki’s fragile reality from shattering. In reality, these girls are surviving the zombie apocalypse by barricading themselves within the school.
School Live is more zombies than ghosts, but what it has similar to Corpse Party is that it is hidden under a thick moe mask. Both series can be cute at times, but Corpse Party is mostly just horror. You also get to see the psychological effects of being in such situations as well, though better displayed in School Live. While School Live doesn’t have as much graphic gore, it hurts you in other ways.
For Fans of Supernatural Mystery
The fifteen-year-old Megumi Shimizu dreamed of leaving her small country town behind for the big city, but those dreams died when she did. It was her murder that kicked off a summer of blood and terror in this small town where a city boy and a country doctor try to stop the epidemic of death happening around them.
Corpse Party moves at a fast pace because it has to. Shiki doesn’t have to and thus it can take its time with things. Of course, this has some failings as a few parts can be kind of boring. However, both shows have a person or small group of people trying to solve the supernatural mystery that plagues their surroundings. Though not as graphic, Shiki has its fair share of gore too.
Umineko: When They Cry
Rokkenjima is an island owned by the wealthy Ushiromiya family. As is the custom, once a year the family gathers on the island to discuss financial matters. However, this year, because of the poor health of the family’s head, they are to discuss a successor. Things go south as soon as a violent typhoon hits the island, trapping them there, but things turn dire when a string of mysterious murders begin.
Not to be confused with the aforementioned Higurashi, the stand alone series that is Umineko is still as notoriously violent as Higurashi, but more similar to Corpse Party. In it, a family is trapped in a mansion where a number of suspiciously supernatural murders are occurring. Like in Corpse Party, it is unravel the mystery or die.
High school freshman Mai Taniyama likes to spend her free time telling ghost stories with friends. One day she hears a ghost story about the cursed old school building. Overcome by curiosity, she decides to check it out. After peeking in the window, she spots a camera. After a twist of fate, she ends up breaking the camera and injuring an unknown man. It turns out that both belonged to the young Kazuya Shibuya, a paranormal investigator and high school senior. In order to pay him back, he forced her to become his assistant for his paranormal investigation company.
If you are a gore hound, Ghost Hunt will disappoint. There is very little gore, but like Corpse Party, it is all about dealing with ghosts. The characters in Ghost Hunt end up in dangerous supernatural situations and need to solve the mysteries to escape, but unlike Corpse Party, death is not common.
Going by pure gore, there are plenty of other great anime series like Corpse Party out there. However, if you think it is a travesty that one is not on the list, let us know in the comments section below.