Angels have always been a theme in anime that, while not extremely common, has still had regular appearances every year. These angels range from schoolgirls to warriors, men and women, love interests to murderers. Angels are apparently quite versatile! What they do have in common is usually an "angelic" appearance, with features like wings, halos, and an attractive face. They also typically have some sort of God-figure over them, though not always as we will soon explore further.
Dark angels share these qualities as well, and are what we will focus on with our article the Top Ten Dark Angel Anime. Dark angels can come in many forms. Sometimes, they do indeed have black wings, dark hair, and dark clothing. Sometimes though it is their intentions or character that is dark - maybe they are killers, or merciless warriors, despite having pure white wings. Our list will include many different kinds of dark Angels from across anime genres, so hopefully there will be something to fit your interest whatever it may be!
10. Sousei no Aquarion (Aquarion)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr. 2005 – Sep. 2005
12,000 years ago, the Shadow Angels attacked the world to destroy and harvest all life there but thankfully went dormant. Of course, they can't stay that way though or we would hardly have an anime! Indeed, the Shadow Angels have awakened again thanks to an event called the Holy Genesis, and the only way to fight them is through a robotic weapon called an Aquarion. Aquarions can only be piloted by three people who can combine their hearts, bodies, and souls into one - an understandably rare ability. Sousei no Aquarion follows Apollo, a boy whose friend is taken by the Shadow Angels and thus decides to be a pilot. His skill is great, but will it be enough to defeat the Shadow Angels?
If you like both science fiction and dark angels, Sousei no Aquarion was made for you. The Shadow Angels are obviously our dark angels for this pick on the list, and they are certainly dark - after all, their goal is to harvest all of humanity for their use! And they still want to do it and have the power to accomplish that goal even after 12,000 years of hibernation. The Shadow Angels are a force to be reckoned with and the most powerful and dangerous dark angels on our list. If you're looking for action and adventure that includes dark angels, look no further than Sousei no Aquarion!
9. Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan (Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan)
- Episodes: 4
- Aired: Mar. 2005 – Sep. 2005
Someday, Sakura Kusakabe will invent immortality with the sole motivation of keeping women from aging beyond 12-years old. This future does not please God, and so He decides to stop it before it happens. In Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan, God sends his angel Dokuro to kill young Sakura before he can create his invention. Sakura believes there must be some way to spare him, though, but he mustn't be allowed to create immortality! Desperately, she has to keep him busy so that he won't have the time to invent it.
Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan is the most light-hearted anime on our list of the Top Ten Dark Angel Anime. So you may wonder why it has made our dark angel list, and that answer is Dokuro. She is indeed an angel, but a dark angel? Sure, she might not have the outward appearance of one, but her sole purpose from God is to kill someone! And she does succeed - more than once actually, she accidentally kills Sakura with her bat! She can revive him but the point is that she does do it, and Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan is actually very violent, not to mention it's an ecchi. Good little angels aren't sent by God to murder people, and no matter Dokuro's "good" intentions of keeping Sakura alive - at the end of the day, she's a bad girl and a dark angel.
8. Sora no Otoshimono (Heaven’s Lost Property)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Oct. 2009 – Dec. 2009
Sora no Otoshimono begins with the discovery of a floating world that defies scientific explanation, dubbed simply The New World. When Tomoki Sakurai's strange dreams of an angel seem to be connected somehow to this New World, he and his friend Eishirou Sugata start the New World Discovery Club to learn more. The same day they start the club, though, a mysterious girl falls from the sky and begins to refer to Tomoki as "Master." What will the New World Discovery Club learn about this floating anomaly, and the angeloids that are beginning to appear on Earth?
Sora no Otoshimono is another twist on the typical interpretation of what an angel is. This time, they are celestial creatures from a strange new world, but that world is symbolic of Heaven by being a land floating in the sky. When Nymph arrives, she is a fallen one of these creatures that are dubbed an "angeloid," and that is why she falls into our list of dark angels. Nymph doesn't fit into the stereotypical definition of a holy angel but is something else entirely. Sora no Otoshimono is an ecchi, so Nymph is not exactly innocent. If a new and unique story with a different interpretation of what makes a dark angel appeals to you, check out Sora no Otoshimono and see if it's what you're looking for!
7. Haibane Renmei
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Oct. 2002 – Dec. 2002
Grie is a mysterious town. For starters, it's surrounded by massive walls. Secondly, while most of the town seems to have normal people in it, on the outskirts sits the Old Home. In this building reside the Haibane, creatures with a human appearance but also grey wings and halos. Rakka is one of these Haibane, living with very little memories of her past and a lot of rules. And the number one rule? Do not touch the walls, and don't try to go beyond them, not until her Day or Flight. And thus Rakka spends her days in Haibane Renmei preparing for that day alongside her fellow Haibane, because to fail means to be labeled as Sin-bound.
Haibane Renmei is not a typical angel story, without concepts of Heaven and Hell, but rather with angels - in this anime, called Haibane - living alongside humans. But there is still something mysterious going on about the Haibane, and where they came from and what they are doing. Not even the Haibane themselves seem to know the answer. It's a dark story, with the threat of becoming sin-bound very real for all the Haibane, and that is why Haibane Renmei makes it onto our list of the Top 10 Dark Angel anime. They may not have full black wings, but Haibane is far from being blessed creatures of God....
6. Tenshi Kinryouku (Angel Sanctuary)
- Episodes: 3
- Aired: May 2000 – Aug. 2000
Setsuna Mudo is in a difficult position in Tenshi Kinryouku. As if it wasn't hard enough to be a first-year university student, he has to deal with the daily struggle of being in love with the sister he sees only once a month. And on top of that, it seems that he is in the middle of a struggle between angels and demons! When angels appear to him, they say he is their reincarnated leader. And when the demons appear, they say he was the leader in a war against God. Just what is true and what isn't - and most importantly, who really is Setsuna Mudo?
Tenshi Kinryouku is a story of a war between Heaven and Hell, and between angels and demons. Poor Setsuna is stuck in the middle, being pulled both directions at the same time. In a story of war, no angel can remain pure, peaceful, and innocent - rather, you see a more aggressive, passionate, and even violent angel. And these are the angels we see in Tenshi Kinryouku, angels that are desperate to get their hands on Setsuna. That is what lands them on our list of the Top 10 Dark Angel Anime! And as for whom Setsuna himself is, you'll just have to watch and see for yourself!
5. Saint Beast: Seijuu Kourin-hen
- Episodes: 6
- Aired: May 2003 – Jun. 2003
Long ago, God cast two angels named Kirin no Yuda and Houou no Ruka into Hell. Now, in Saint Beast: Seijuu Kourin-hen, that seal had been broken! The two fallen angels have decided to get their revenge against God by destroying Heaven itself - if they can't live there, then no one can. As they begin their vengeful strike, all the guardian angels that resided on Earth begin to disappear without explanation. The Saint Beasts are called to find the missing guardian angels, and to figure out what is causing all of the mysterious problems!
Kirin no Yuda and Houou no Ruka are both fallen angels, cast out of Heaven by God and forced to live in Hell. And when they do finally get out, what they do with their freedom is destroy their old home in retaliation. If that doesn't make the two of them dark angels, nothing will. Thus Saint Beast: Seijuu Kourin-hen is a solid choice for our Top Ten Dark Angel Anime list. The dark angels are the most traditional meaning of the title, with angels that have fallen from Heaven and have the scorn of God upon them. The fact that these two are able to then seek revenge for what was done to them just makes them all the darker, and Saint Beast: Seijuu Kourin-hen all the more interesting.
4. Ayashi no Ceres (Ceres, Celestial Legend)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Apr. 2000 – Sep. 2000
Long ago, Ceres was a tennyo, or celestial being, who was trapped on Earth and forced to marry a human man. Their children were thus of mixed blood, and the beginning of a line of mixed blood descendants - the Mikage family. Fast-forward to the present, and Aya Mikage, Aya had a higher than normal concentration of tennyo blood, and it had given her the power to become Ceres herself and destroy the Mikage family for what her husband did to her! Aya's grandfather recognises her power though and tries to kill her. But aside from dealing with her grandfather, Aya is just trying to control her transformations and keep Ceres at bay...
In Ayashi no Ceres, the tennyo are our angels - and because Ceres is a fallen one, stuck on Earth and with a desire for blood and vengeance, she is our dark angel. Aya frequently transforms into Ceres, giving that dark angel a lot of screen time as well. The question in Ayashi no Ceres is whether or not Aya will fall into being a dark angel herself! Will she destroy the family and have all that blood on her hands? Or will she maintain her humanity? That question is what puts Ayashi no Ceres so high on our list of the Top 10 Dark Angel Anime!
3. Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Oct. 2010 – Dec. 2010
Panty and Stocking are two angels that have been kicked out of Heaven - and for good reason. Panty is obsessed with sex and Stocking with sweets, and both of them have extremely foul mouths not befitting for angels. However, they have been given a second chance; if they can destroy enough ghosts and collect enough Heaven Coins, they can earn their way back into Heaven! But in the meantime, alongside all the ghost fighting on Earth, that doesn't mean the two sisters and their friend Garterbelt aren't gonna have a great time!
Panty and Stocking are nothing less than dark angels. Indeed they did use to be creatures residing in Heaven, but with their interests and attitudes they didn't stand a chance of staying there. Stocking had the more typical dark angel design with dark clothes and hair, whereas Panty is blond, but they are both bad, bad girls. If your idea of a dark angel is an angel with questionable morals, seedy hobbies, and a sailor's mouth well. You have found your dark angels in Panty and Stocking. We couldn’t make a list of the Top 10 Dark Angel anime without including Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt!
2. Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis (Rage of Bahamut: Genesis)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct. 2014 – Dec. 2014
Bahamut was once a great dragon who nearly destroyed the entire world but was finally imprisoned by gods and demons that were forced to work together to take him down. In order to keep Bahamut secure, they agreed to split the two keys up between them to ensure he would never be free to unleash destruction again. This is where the story of Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis begins, while following a casual, amoral bounty hunter named Favaro Leone. Favaro's carefree lifestyle is changed forever when he finds himself cursed with a demon's tail by a mysterious woman named Amira, who will only help him if he helps her first. And before everything is finished, he finds himself swept up in a war between gods and demons - with the threat of Bahamut right at the centre.
With gods and demons living amongst people in the land of Mistarcia, it's not hard to find where the dark angels come into play. Amira herself is technically a demon, but Azazel and Gabriel are both arguably dark angels. Azazel has the appearance of one, with dark hair and black wings, and even horns, alongside a malicious personality. Gabriel is painted like a more typical angel with white wings and blond hair, but his destructive force and attitude show the reality that he isn't as pure as he may pretend to be. And those are just the main two - there are plenty of others serving as side characters in this war between demons and gods as well. With angels as front line warriors, you won't be disappointed with Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis.
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr. 2003 – Sep. 2003
Daisuke Niwa seems like an average 14-year old boy - maybe even below average, to be brutally honest. However, there is far more to him than meets the eye. It turns out that his mother had planned from before even his birth that Daisuke would become a master art thief, and he finds himself unable to escape his destiny. Whenever he thinks about his classmate Risa Harada, who he had a crush on, he transforms into Dark Mousy. Dark Mousy is a renowned phantom thief, and Daisuke finds himself becoming this thief more and more often while struggling to maintain his relationships and any semblance of a normal life.
While Daisuke may not be a dark angel, Dark Mousy is designed like one. In this form, he wears all black and has a set of large black wings, and his long purple hair completes the look. You may not immediately connect "art thief" and "angel" together, but it works in D.N.Angel as Daisuke takes us on a very unique ride. If you like the dark angel design and don't care so much about a typical angel-based plot line, D.N.Angel is a great alternative. The story is very intriguing and surprising, and the anime is famous for a good reason.
Dark angels come in many forms, but all of them are still dark angels none-the-less! We have seen thieves, murderers, seductresses, victims, and more all on our list of the Top Ten Dark Angel Anime. Some of the stories are funny, some are tragic, some romantic, and others violent. You can find dark angels in such a wide variety of anime that if you are curious about them, you are likely to find some in whatever your genre of choice is! How lucky for everyone.
Did we forget your favourite dark angel? Think these should have been in a different order? Or do you just want to share your love for dark angels? Please leave a comment below!