While Guillermo Del Toro is recognized as a horror director, the essence of his best work is not simply horrible. Del Toro’s best stories are also darkly humorous, introspective, and as bizarre as all. It’s no wonder Del Toro himself is a huge anime fan, having spoken of his love for Urasawa Y Junji Ito, among others. Is even shared his manga shelves and merchandise collection online.

RELATED: King of the Monsters: Guillermo Del Toro’s Creatures, Ranked

For fans of Del Toro’s body of work, what defines an anime as clearly Del Toro is difficult to understand. Del Toro can openly admire Ghibli movies, but most fans aren’t likely to compare Totoro to Faun from the start. Including some well-known favorites, these animes have grown out of imaginations as dark and ingenious as Del Toro’s.

10 The Ancient Wizard’s Bride and the Shape of Water Explore the Idea of ​​Falling in Love with Monsters

the shape of water and the ancient mage bride

Human-monster romances are nothing new in literature. Women in storybooks, in particular, have often been drawn into the arms of beasts. This trope, seen in everything from Beauty and the Beast to King kongIt has often been problematic to establish women as helpless or to romanticize Stockholm syndrome. Even so, from time to time a series manages to subvert this cliché. single enough to make it empowering.

RELATED: 10 Anime To See If You Love The Ancient Wizard’s Bride

In The shape of water, the deaf protagonist finds comfort in another creature who cannot communicate like most people. In The Ancient Wizard’s Bride, the protagonist is orphaned and is bought by the skeletal magician, Elias, who helps her learn to value herself as a person. When monstrosity is used to humanize characters, it can be an invaluable storytelling tool.

9 The maxim achieves what mimicry could not in the Parasyte genre

del toro mimic and parasyte: the maximum

Guillermo Del Toro has produced and directed many masterpieces, but Imitate it is not one of them. The future horror film from 1997 tells the story of mutant cockroaches that turn into an intelligent race of monsters that live in the sewers of Manhattan. While the core concept of monsters beginning to mimic human life is solid fodder for horror, the delivery is more ridiculous than terrifying.

But in Parasyte: the maximum, these topics are captured effectively with much greater success. Alien parasites infect and take over the nervous systems of their hosts, making them indiscernible from the people they have replaced. Comparing the two shows that execution is really key.

8 Dorohedoro is Hellboy’s deranged cousin

Hellboy Dorohedoro

Del Toro’s critics sometimes seem to forget one of his greatest attributes as a filmmaker: Del Toro’s films are often extremely funny, as wild and exciting as they are bizarre. His action horror films are not without hints of his trademark fantasy that have helped him build a cult fan base. Hellboy II It comes to mind as a film that brilliantly balances elements of fantasy, superhero action, horror, and genuine humor in a real art context.

RELATED: 10 Scary Anime About Body Horror

Dorohedoro It seems like a show that Del Toro would enjoy immensely. So bombastic, weird, dark, and fantastic, this anime about mutants versus wizards in a parallel city slum feels like a close relative.

7 The orphanage and the promised neverland have Peter Pan in common

the promised neverland and the orphanage

Peter Pan it has had a deeper impact on storytelling than most other literary works, and it’s no wonder. The idea of ​​eternal childhood is both seductive and terrifying, and it’s hard to tell if Neverland would be a dream or a nightmare. Although Del Toro did not direct The orphanage, produced the beautiful Spanish horror film about a woman who returns to the orphanage she grew up in only to have her only son disappear into the house.

In The promised neverland, the orphans realize they are being raised as sustenance for the monsters, and their home is the furthest thing from a utopia. In both stories, the houses are literally and figuratively haunted by truly dark secrets, and the protagonists must delve into mysteries to save themselves and their loved ones.

6 Pacific Rim is more fun but less interesting than Evangelion

pacific edge and evangelion

Clearly influenced by Kaiju movies like Godzilla, Pacific Rim It received a lot of publicity before its release in 2013. And while the film fell short of expectations in many respects, many appreciated the sense of adventure and homage to Japanese mecha. Del Toro has said that he has never seen Evangelion but you are familiar with the designs. NGEAlthough far from the first mecha anime, it was one of the first shounen series to subvert the genre and incorporate deep existentialism into a story apparently about giant fighting robots.

Del Toro is no stranger to looking at the darkness within all of us, and it is one more shame about that attribute, which appears so prominently in Neon Genesis Evangelion, I did not do it in Pacific Rim.

5 The Devils Backbone shares the same horrible vibes as Junji Ito’s works

del toro and junji ito the devil's backbone

Junji Ito is another creator whose works are on the shelves at Del Toro, and it’s no wonder. There are few horror authors in the world who have made the impact that the Uzumaki author has, and while his manga adaptations have often been lackluster and disappointing, the source material is still heartbreaking.

RELATED: 10 Junji Ito Stories That Still Haunt Our Nightmares

The characters in Junji Ito’s works are often humans who have made a big mistake, and many of his illustrations, strongly defined by body horror, keep readers awake at night. Del Toro’s Acclaimed Gothic Horror Movie The devil’s spine, set in an orphanage during the Spanish Civil War, it is equally populated by ghosts and truly monstrous humans.

4 Pan’s Labyrinth and Monster show that the worst monsters are humans

bull and urasawa characters

The real horror is the others, a fact that both Naoki Urasawa and Guillermo Del Toro know very well. While Urasawa’s list of impressive works is long, Del Toro has spoken of his admiration for Monster. In Monster, a doctor saves a boy who grows up to be a murderous sociopath.

At Del Toro’s The Pan’s Labyrinth, Fauno and Pale Man are not the real villains. Instead, Ofelia’s new stepfather, Captain Vidal, is one of the most evil men ever depicted on screen. Del Toro has spoken of his fondness for monsters, and along with his empathic portrayals, human monsters are always the least understanding.

3 Mononoke and Crimson Peak explore cutting-edge horror

mononoke crimson peak

While the theme of horror movies and anime is often gruesome, the aesthetic doesn’t have to be. Del Toro’s eye for cinematography and costume has often made his works remarkably beautiful. In Crimson peak, a luscious gothic background enhances a ghost story.

In Mononoke, the art house’s address and vibrant colors accentuate a series of deeply haunting stories. Such beauty can even enhance the horror because it puts the audience off guard.

two Miyazaki and Del Toro know that the magical realms are hidden within our world as seen in Pan’s labyrinth and Spirited Away.

Pan's labyrinth of the bull made disappear

Miyazaki and Del Toro are considered film authors. Like Miyazaki, Del Toro’s stories focus on the invisible worlds just below the surface of our own. In Made disappear A young girl stumbles upon a magical world after following her parents through a tunnel.

In The Pan’s Labyrinth, a hollow tree leads to an ancient nature god as well. Both Miyazaki and Del Toro are adept at creating alternate worlds that feel almost tangibly real, filled with magic, childlike wonders, and fear. It’s no wonder Del Toro has shelves in his library dedicated to Studio Ghibli movies.

1 Akira was formative for Del Toro

akira and bull shelves

Very few sci-fi fans are immune to the timeless allure of Akira. The legacy of the post-apocalyptic film remains untouchable and is considered one of the greatest animated achievements of all time. Guillermo’s shelves (pictured above) display his Akira collection, complete with a statue of Tetsuo.

For years, rumors of a Akira the live action has not paid off and for good reason. Some movies should be left alone, but if someone could Akira Justice, it could just be Guillermo Del Toro.

NEXT: 5 Studio Ghibli Movies That Aged Well (& 5 That Aged Poorly)

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