Manga Recommendations

Anime’s top 10 gross but compelling series, as chosen by fans

Masturbation, cannibalism, and more make appearances in decades-spanning list of landmark anime.

Earlier this month, we chuckled through a list of the 10 funniest anime franchises. But anime has the power to elicit screams as well as laughter, and so today let’s shift our gaze to the darker side of the spectrum with a selection of the medium’s more grotesque works.

Survey website Goo Ranking has just compiled a list of the 10 most grotesque anime. However, this wasn’t just an exercise in cataloging the most disgusting guro manga adaptations or the most offensive hentai series. The twist was that respondents were asked to vote for “anime that are frighteningly gross, but which you still want to watch.”

Let’s take a look at the top 10 choices out of the 3,485 responses.

10. Devilman (79 votes)

Manga artist Go Nagai has been pushing the boundaries of allowable sex and violence in entertainment media since the 1960s, but Devilman remains his signature work. Since the franchise’s beginning in 1972, it’s been remade multiple times in anime format, but generally involves a protagonist who struggles with losing his humanity as he gains superpowers as a devil-like creature that battles other supernatural entities in bloody fights to the death.

9. School Days (81 votes)

For most of its first half, School Days feels like a run-of-the-mill high school tale in which an everyday guy, named Makoto, gradually amasses a roster of romantic prospects. But things take a dark turn as Makoto’s dance card fills to bursting, and the resulting deceptions and jealousy culminate in one of the most unnerving anime camera angles ever, as we see a character deliver a monologue from the perspective of being inside a sliced-open uterus.

8. Gantz (100 votes)

As a story following high schoolers who, after dying, are brought back to life and forced to assassinate aliens, Gantz offers plenty of opportunities for disturbingly visceral violence.

7. Fist of the North Star (136 votes)

Kenshiro, the hero of this post-apocalyptic martial arts tale, seems partially modeled after Bruce Lee, what with his sharp, shrill war cries. But while Lee was famous for the one-inch punch, Kenshiro is known for his mastery of the 100 Crack Fist of the North Star technique, in which the repeated pressure point strikes cause his adversary to literally explode in a shower of blood and guts.

6. Psycho-Pass (142 votes)

The primary plot-driving technology of Psycho-Pass is the Sibyl system, which allows the authorities to predict and preemptively punish individuals they believe have high likelihoods of committing crimes. The anime’s primary people-exploding technology, though, is the Dominator, a high-tech pistol that’s capable of causing perpetrators to rupture from the inside when shot.

5. Neon Genesis Evangelion (155 votes)

Imagery to make viewers feel squeamish is never in short supply in the Eva franchise, but these votes were specifically for the theatrical features, where you can see biomachines messily eating each other and a lovingly drawn closeup of main character Shinji’s hand after he’s just rubbed one out to deal with his abundance of teenage sexual energy and existential angst.

4. Puella Magi Madoka Magica (161 votes)

Much like School Days, Madoka Magica starts out seeming pretty innocuous. The surprisingly high production values and dark tone of the music, though, should be a tip-off that this magical girl show has something intended for a more adult audience up its sleeve, such as middle schoolers getting decapitated.

3. Higurashi When They Cry (271 votes)

Yet another selection that falls into the “not as innocent as it seems” category, Higurashi could have been a soothing, laid-back story about a city boy moving to the countryside and making new friends as he adjusts to the slow-paced local lifestyle. Instead, it’s a series about systematic homicide in an agrarian community (so there’s always a saw around in case you’re in sudden need of a murder weapon).

2. Tokyo Ghoul (351 votes)

A series that delves into the nitty gritty about daily life as an undead Tokyoite who has to feed on human flesh to survive? Yep, that sounds like it fits the bill for this list. Tokyo Ghoul even manages to make real food seem disgusting.

1. Attack on Titan (497 votes)

While it may not be the absolute grossest series around, it’s hard to top the biggest anime hit of the last decade in the combined categories of “gross” and “but I still want to watch it.” The Attack on Titan anime shows main character Eren’s mom get eaten in its very first episode, but that’s far from the last time the series’ giant monsters are seen snacking on-screen. The animators’ delight in depicting the Titans’ saliva and teeth as they partake makes things all the more grotesque, but also all the more compelling as we watch our heroes struggle against such stomach-turning adversaries.

Source: Goo Ranking via Jin
Top image: YouTube/youngjump

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