Often overlapping with the genres of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, supernatural anime and manga have an emphasis on such elements as magic and monsters that appear in the real world (rather than another world like an isekai), and thus are not part of the norm (not in any sense normal). Plots usually have far more of a mystery and suspense mix rather than action and adventure.

What I especially like about supernatural fiction is how authors and animators go about recreating real-world folklore and urban legends. Vampires & werewolves, ghosts and oni, demons and witches, et cetera are only a few examples of supernatural creatures that have pre-existed in real world folklore. Its really interesting how much attention to detail is put into the appearance of some of these creatures. 

For example, many have heard of Bram Stoker’s Dracula,  an 1850s classic novel that really started the crazy-obsessive vampire trend, that spawned hundreds of Dracula/vampire appearances in movies and films. But did you know that Bram Stoker didn’t come up with vampires (seriously what the f*ck?!)? After traveling to Ireland and hearing folklore from a Jewish gypsy, he became obsessed with the origin of vampires and Romanian/Transylvanian folklore that he did extensive research before creating the character known as Dracula, a seemingly invincible monster that has the traits of vampires from several word of mouth stories, all packed into one character. From burning in sunlight and having the heart as a weak-point, the need to suck blood, the ability to fade into mist and shapeshift into other creatures, sleep in coffins, et cetera, he had it all. 

Dracula is just one example of how folklore can become something seemingly timeless. The weird tales of H.P. Lovecraft and his cosmic monsters such as Cthulhu and Dagon are a whole other discussion for another time. Junji Ito is another example of a manga artist and author that really knew how to make the supernatural horrifying. But not all supernatural has to be scary. Take Mob Psycho 100 for example, a fun anime/manga about a teen who has telekinetic powers and can move objects and exorcise bad spirits; its not scary, but it has elements that aren’t normal from everyday life.

If you’re thirsty for more information on what supernatural is, wikipedia has a number of pages.

I personally think supernatural and mystery go hand in hand, as they often overlap, but that’s not to say they’re the same genre. No, supernatural is so often mysterious but not analyzed and attempted to be solved like mysteries are. Mysteries often involve a situation involving clues, a suspect or catalyst that has to be solved.

Supernatural Titles I've Reviewed

List of Supernatural Titles and My Recommendations

Wikipedia’s List

My Recommendations:

  • Re:ZERO: Starting Life In Another World
  • Jijutsu Kaisen
  • Dororo
  • Kizumonogatari (and the entire Monogatari series)
  • Mob Psycho 100
  • Tsugumomo
  • Demon Slayer
  • Higarashi: When They Cry
  • Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun