Cute and Creepy Autumn Anime for Book Lovers

I love horror, but sometimes I crave a little sweetness mixed in with my scary stories. If you too enjoy some cuddles with your creep-outs here are a few anime titles that you may enjoy!

To help match you up with the best media on the sweet vs scary scale I have rated them using creepy cupcakes. 

Cute and Creepy Autumn Anime poster


Cupcake rating: super creepy

spooky cupcake rating school live



school live poster

The school-live club members have dedicated themselves to living at their high school full time. Yuki Takeya, Kurumi Ebisuzawa, Yuri Wakasa, and Miki Naoki sleep in one of the classrooms and use another as a kitchen/dining room. Yuki Takeya, one of the oldest girls in the club, is a total flake so the other members usually end up taking care of her. Is there something important that Yuki is missing?

Warning: this series starts off all cuteness and sunshine, but it takes a sharp turn into horror and heart wrenching sadness. Be prepared for blood and violence liberally mixed in with adorable school shenanigans.

Love this series? You will also love…

I Love Him to Pieces (My Boyfriend Is a Monster #1) by Evonne Tsang, Illustrated by Janina Görrissen (Graphic Novel)

A perfect fit for fans of the Kurumi Ebisuzawa character (and her shovel) this graphic novel also features a strong female lead with creative survival skills in an atypical zombie apocalypse story.

Fracture by Megan Miranda

A fast read with a paranormal twist, this book is full of intense relationships and the same sense of seeping dread as the mid-season episodes of School-LIVE!

Hometown rebuilding: Folktales from Japan

Cupcake rating: mostly cute and occasionally creepy

spooky cupcake rating folktails



folktales from japan poster

Each twenty five minute episode covers three folktales and they range from adorable talking vegetables to ghost stories. Two tales from the series on the spookier end are “You There, Grandpa?” about a man haunted by his dead wife, and “The Cursed Blade that Sank into the Swamp” is about a sword that slaughters everyone around it.

This series is a great chance to see Japanese folklore retold by modern artists using a variety of animation styles and the two voice actors do a marvelous job with the multitude of characters they each play. It is great to watch in small snippets.

Love this series? You will also love…

Skeleton Man by Joseph Bruchac

A chilling, modern interpretation of a Mohawk legend, Skeleton Man and its sequel The Return of Skeleton Man are written by Bruchac, of the Abenaki tribe. The first book is a short but thrilling story about missing parents and listening to dreams.

Mercury by Hope Larson (Graphic Novel)

This graphic novel is a powerful tale about magic, family, and betrayal. The distinctive art style, multiple timelines and ghost story elements in this work make it a good match for fans of Folktales from Japan.

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Cupcake rating: mostly cute, but witches?

spooky cupcake rating kiki



kiki poster

Part of a witch’s right of passage is leaving home after they turn thirteen. The witch must prove her self sufficiency by living on her own for a full year. Kiki has to leave home but the only skill she has is flying on her broomstick, so she starts a delivery service!  In addition to the bright and lovely Kiki you will get to know a reclusive artist, an aviation obsessed schoolboy, and Kiki’s adorable cat sidekick Jiji.

All of the Studio Ghibli works are beautifully animated and full of lovely characters and fueled by the power of friendship. If you have never seen a movie by Hayao Miyazaki, feel free to start with this title. This movie is the cutest thing on this list, possibly the cutest thing ever filmed.

Love this series? You will also love…

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (Book two in this series is coming out Fall 2016!)

Like Kiki, Sunny is an engaging and bright young witch who is looking for her place in the world. The author does a fabulous job of weaving Nigerian culture into a genre dominated by eurocentric magic systems, but the book is as much about building friendships and dealing with change as it about saving the world.

The Circle of Magic series by Tamora Pierce (Sandry’s Book is the first volume)

Like Kiki’s Delivery Service, this title has plenty of suspense but never really trips the line into scary. This is a long running series that eventually goes beyond magical school story-lines, and the first books are centered on a diverse quartet of young magic users banding together to cope with their growing powers. They will fill you with feels.


— Jennifer Billingsley, currently reading Gotham Academy, Vol. 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, and Karl Kerschl.