What's the Most Brutal Anime You've Seen?

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Mild spoilers may be included. Hopefully individual posters will be kind enough to warn you more specifically.

I'm not much in to anime, as a rule. I mean, I don't have any problem with it. I just don't watch it; it's not something that often crosses my mind. I did watch a little bit of it when I was younger, though, and lately I've been on a nostalgia trip, so I've been going back to check out some of those old series.

Last night, I was watching an episode of Dragonball Z. Currently, I'm working my way through the Freiza arc. When I got to the moment when he first transforms, and impales Krillin with his horn, I thought: 'I don't remember any other moments in this series being quite so brutal.' Then, nearer the end of the episode, Freiza takes down Gohan, and stands there with his foot on Gohan's head, pushing on it, and you can hear a kind of crunching noise underneath the dialogue. At this point, I thought: 'yeah, this is definitely quite brutal. I feel like if I was still a kid, this episode might have upset me a little bit.'

Hence my questions, Escapists: what is the most brutal anime you've seen? Could be an entire series, or maybe just one episode of an otherwise not-quite-so-brutal series.

As a bonus question: I know that some anime series aren't really intended for a younger audience. So you can split your answer into two: what is the most brutal anime you've seen, period, and what is the most brutal anime you've seen that's more intended for a younger audience?

Also, as a bonus bonus, keep in mind that I may, at some point, find some of these answers sound interesting, and decide I want to check them out, so try to make sure their not absolutely horrible, in addition to being brutal. :p

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.

It pretty much takes the cake when it comes to brutal violence. Elfen Lied would also come close to the top.

The violence you've seen in DBZ (even the unfiltered Japanese originals) isn't anywhere near the above two lol.

I never really got the point of the ultra-violent animes, though anime was never my thing in the first place.

I have a sort of knee jerk reaction against those who call it "mature" though.

The thing with anime is that I can never take the violence seriously. It's either soo over the top that I can't help but laugh, or it is so understated and tame that it might as well not be there. It lacks a visceral punch, and it always looks like tomato juice to me.

Rurouini Kenshin (AKA "Samurai X") was pretty violent when I used to watch it but I'm sure there're more violent anime out there. The lasting effect of ultra-violence may be because I was so little, I may be magnifying it by today's standards.

Aaron Sylvester:
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.

It pretty much takes the cake when it comes to brutal violence. Elfen Lied would also come close to the top.

The violence you've seen in DBZ (even the unfiltered Japanese originals) isn't anywhere near the above two lol.

Well it has to be Higu-FUCK. NINJAS EVERYWHERE

Fine my second pick would be... Hmm I liked School Days. There's no proper violence until pretty much the last second if I remember correctly but it's really well led up to and stuff. You can see it coming but the main characters make about 50 wrong decisions each and it ends up in a complete mess. It's pretty much watching a romance centric trainwreck. A trainwreck that could have been stopped if any ONE person stopped and did something logical.

Oh fuck, can I trawl in the Nostalgia Brigade and recommend Dokuro Chan. That was hilarious.

I'm going to say Code Geass because it's my favourite anime ever and if Lulu shooting his own brother in the face in cold blood isn't brutal then I don't know what is. Lack of actual blood on screen doesn't equal non-violence ya know.

Jayemsal:
I never really got the point of the ultra-violent animes, though anime was never my thing in the first place.

I have a sort of knee jerk reaction against those who call it "mature" though.

Eh, there's the silly kind of violence like Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro Chan (Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro) which will pretty much make you confused wondering how or why they are trying to combine bad humor and 10 gallons of blood every minute.

Then there's the more "mature" sort of violence like Berserk, a pretty long-standing anime with a huge fanbase.

Soviet Heavy:
The thing with anime is that I can never take the violence seriously. It's either soo over the top that I can't help but laugh, or it is so understated and tame that it might as well not be there. It lacks a visceral punch, and it always looks like tomato juice to me.

You need to check out Tenjho Tenge lol. Plot-wise it's pretty feeble and it's got the typical shit that comes with juvenile anime, but when it comes to visceral beat-em-ups I can't think of an anime that packs a better punch (no pun intended hur hur).

Kids are stronger than you think.

Everyone underestimates kids.

I'd say Elfen Lied.

Aaron Sylvester:

Jayemsal:
I never really got the point of the ultra-violent animes, though anime was never my thing in the first place.

I have a sort of knee jerk reaction against those who call it "mature" though.

Eh, there's the silly kind of violence like Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro Chan (Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro) which will pretty much make you confused wondering how or why they are trying to combine bad humor and 10 gallons of blood every minute.

Then there's the more "mature" sort of violence like Berserk, a pretty long-standing anime with a huge fanbase.

Soviet Heavy:
The thing with anime is that I can never take the violence seriously. It's either soo over the top that I can't help but laugh, or it is so understated and tame that it might as well not be there. It lacks a visceral punch, and it always looks like tomato juice to me.

You need to check out Tenjho Tenge lol. Plot-wise it's pretty feeble and it's got the typical shit that comes with juvenile anime, but when it comes to visceral beat-em-ups I can't think of an anime that packs a better punch (no pun intended hur hur).

Do the characters have any weight to them? Or do they turn into paper craft humans when they get punched or shot? The problem is I don't feel the impact. Punches and bullets fly through people like wet tissue paper so often.

3X3 Eyes

The protagonist is just an average guy who gets turned immortal by this 3-eyed witch/demon/goddess to serve as her bodyguard, and lets just say that his immortality gets tested to the extreme. The guy gets shot, crushed, impaled, decapitated, sliced up, and run over, among other things.

Also, Ninja Scroll was some good hearty violence.

I don't consider any sort of anime connoisseur, but I have seen a fair amount.

The most brutal Anime I recall seeing is Blue Gender.

Although I've seen a lot of violent animes, they tend to approach violence with the same sort of glee and amusement as Kill Bill does. Nothing really wrong with that, but it makes it so the violence lacks a sense of severity and brutality.

Blue Gender however, manages to sustain a real sense of brutality with it's violence. Thinking back to all the stuff that happens in this series, a lot of horrifying shit goes down.

Elfen Lied is pretty high up there too.

Soviet Heavy:
Do the characters have any weight to them? Or do they turn into paper craft humans when they get punched or shot? The problem is I don't feel the impact. Punches and bullets fly through people like wet tissue paper so often.

Hmm...I see what you're asking. Can't think of any anime where someone throws an huge punch and the other guy doesn't go flying off. Even Hajime no Ippo (probably the best boxing anime you'll ever find) has a bit of dramatization thrown in.

Brutal?

Neon Genesis Evangelion is quite emotionally brutal... but in terms of actual violence? Texhnolyze is absolutely brutal as hell, the actual anime starts with the main character having an arm and leg being sliced off.

I've seen a lot of violent anime (Berserk, Ruroni Kenshin, Elfen Leid, etc.). I can't say I've seen an anime that seems to take a more visceral pleasure in it's few violent scenes than Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne.

Elfen Lied was my first, but only because it really strives to be so.

Before Higurashi I would count Deadman Wonderland as the 2nd most brutal from the ones that I've seen.

Oh and recently I saw Shiki. The fact that I love violent and horror anime, yet this is the only one I had to pause just to calm down (there is some violence in really small spaces that made me feel claustrophobic) really says something.

Honorable mention to Mirai Nikki that introduced me to psychological violent anime.

Hellsing Ultimate.

Insanely violent from beginning to end. Just for reference, there's one scene with a Nazi Vampire eating a baby.

Soviet Heavy:
The thing with anime is that I can never take the violence seriously. It's either soo over the top that I can't help but laugh, or it is so understated and tame that it might as well not be there. It lacks a visceral punch, and it always looks like tomato juice to me.

Who kept leaving the sprinklers on during the fight scenes in Kill Bill?

In the bowels of the Metal Hills, through the halls the Iron Forge Passage, and across The Sea of Poseidon's Tormented Mind lies an anime known only to the bravest of adventures. And those who reach this place shall never see the light of the sun goddess again. For deep in this cave of pure agony stands a desolate computer streaming site. On the screen is a choice which will destroy the minds of mere mortal men. "Dub or Sub" the computer screen will say. Not matter your choice, you will not survive the most brutal of animes. For it truly unbearable, and it is known only as.... Lucky Star.

Baccano! has a scene where a kid gets his hand pushed onto a railway, while on a train.

Deadman Wonderland.

I only saw one episode, and never really watch anime.
I remember a little girl wielding a giant whip sword while describing the way she was torturing a man, which was by cutting off as small of chunks of meat as she possibly could, before eventually slicing off both his arms.
"If I'm good enough, I might be able to cut you about 5000 times!"

Captcha: corned beef
I am now hungry.

The ones I can think of are Elfin Lied, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Deadman Wonderland, and though it is not always brutal, Kara no Kyoukai has some really heavy moments.

As physical violence goes, Higurashi is quite a good one. Very violent. Elfin Lied too.

I think the most violent though was Mnemosyne. That had some of the craziest crap I've ever seen. Hell, I think the first episode has an extremely long and bloody drawn out S&M scene between an immortal woman, piercings (which later get ripped out) and a cyborg. Also rape. Not pretty and even had me taken back at some points.

I've never watched the show, but the Gantz manga is pretty nasty. Lots of people getting ripped up and exploded by aliens. Anime-wise, though, I haven't watched all that much ultra-violent stuff. Gurren Lagann and FLCL got pretty emotionally brutal, though.

ThingWhatSqueaks:
I've seen a lot of violent anime (Berserk, Ruroni Kenshin, Elfen Leid, etc.). I can't say I've seen an anime that seems to take a more visceral pleasure in it's few violent scenes than Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne.

I'm glad I'm not the only one to have seen this, and to be recalled as the more violent. A lot of my friends have no idea what this anime is about. I'm tempted to tell them to watch it, but morally I'm conflicted.

image

Well, theres Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Elfen Lied and Claymore sit at what i deem to be most brutal.

I should also count Neon Genesis Evangelion, which is brutal in more ways than just the violent aspect. Especially End of Evangelion.

Speaking of which ive also been hearing the same of Rebiuld of Evangelion, though im not watching it until all 4 movies are out and... available to me.

MD Geist was pretty gruesome stuff both for its time and otherwise. Make whatever points for its quality or lack of the same that you might wish, but given that it plays its explicit violence perfectly straight (though almost to the point of violence porn) it's still pretty visceral given the general horrific nature of most of the main characters.

Hellsing Ultimate seems to be quite gory with vampires killing modifed Nazi soldiers and those soldiers bombing and murdering all of Britain and then the Vatican army doing the same just leads to one massive cluster fuck of gore and carnage.

There's also Beserk and Afro samurai along with Evangelion.

First thing to come to mind is Blood-C (Although it's a pretty bad anime). Maybe not the most violent anime I've seen but it's certainly up there. It's the only entry in the Blood series that definitely lives up to its name. It's the most violent anime to come out in recent years, probably more brutal than Elfin Lied, in my opinion (or at least better animated), but what do you expect from the director of Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan and Another, which are also up there.

Then there's Shigurui: Death Frenzy, which is like an anime equidistant of Ichi the Killer. Kara no Kyoukai certainly has its moments. People seem to underplay how violent Baccano! really is. Kite and Mezzo Forte, both being hentai, basically, can get away with more, which leads to some crazy entertaining gunfights. End of Evangelion is probably the only anime to make me feel uncomfortable. The violence in Hellsing Ultimate is so ridiculous that it's hard to even get disturbed by it. I've seen a bit of Mnemosyne, but that's up there, too.

And meh, I guess Higurashi is pretty violent, too. I've seen worse, as mentioned above.

As for your bonuses, I can't really think or any besides maybe DBZ, but that's aimed more at teens than kids. Some of Studio Ghibli's films can get a bit bloody, I guess.

Talaris:
Elfen Lied was my first, but only because it really strives to be so.

Before Higurashi I would count Deadman Wonderland as the 2nd most brutal from the ones that I've seen.

Oh and recently I saw Shiki. The fact that I love violent and horror anime, yet this is the only one I had to pause just to calm down (there is some violence in really small spaces that made me feel claustrophobic) really says something.

Honorable mention to Mirai Nikki that introduced me to psychological violent anime.

Actually I was just about to mention Mirai Nikki. I distinctly remember some "holy fuck" violence, as well as just plain messed up violence

Best of the 3:

ThingWhatSqueaks:
I've seen a lot of violent anime (Berserk, Ruroni Kenshin, Elfen Leid, etc.). I can't say I've seen an anime that seems to take a more visceral pleasure in it's few violent scenes than Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne.

I'm glad I'm not the only one to have seen this, and to be recalled as the more violent. A lot of my friends have no idea what this anime is about. I'm tempted to tell them to watch it, but morally I'm conflicted.

image

It takes some degree of discretion with regards to who gets recommended Rin and who doesn't. It just isn't for everyone. I also think it's only so-so as an anime. I feel that it could have stood to be a few episodes longer. Say 8-12 episodes long.

ThingWhatSqueaks:

Best of the 3:

ThingWhatSqueaks:
I've seen a lot of violent anime (Berserk, Ruroni Kenshin, Elfen Leid, etc.). I can't say I've seen an anime that seems to take a more visceral pleasure in it's few violent scenes than Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne.

I'm glad I'm not the only one to have seen this, and to be recalled as the more violent. A lot of my friends have no idea what this anime is about. I'm tempted to tell them to watch it, but morally I'm conflicted.

image

It takes some degree of discretion with regards to who gets recommended Rin and who doesn't. It just isn't for everyone. I also think it's only so-so as an anime. I feel that it could have stood to be a few episodes longer. Say 8-12 episodes long.

Me and my friends throw all kinds of weird crap around all the time. Though that's usually shock videos.

The anime was, ok I guess. Some of it looked amazing, and some it also looked rather cheap. As for length I thought it was ok, but it was a while ago since I've seen this so maybe it could have done to have been a bit longer, but I can't remember all that much of it.

Might be down to Elfen Lied and Rouroni Kenshin OVA (Samurai X). Elfen Lied may be MORE violent strictly speaking, but I think that the weight of the violence in Kenshin is greater. Elfen Lied is a bit to gratuitous.

Okay, if you will permit a TOTAL tangent, I just realized that personality wise, Kenshin (At least TV series Kenshin) is basically Feudal Japanese version of The Doctor. Badass, while purposefully non lethal. Dark past. Capable of being pushed to extremes. Weird identity crisis in how he refers to himself. Last of his kind. I mean...it kind of works, right?...right?!

Fruits Basket anyone? Man, that shit is BRUUUTAAAAAAL!

But seriously, that Hellsing is so bad I couldn't even watch it, and I mean that in a moral sense. Let's just kill all of the police officers, OK wow, turning it off and crying in bed now.

I'm a guy who hates anime death in general and LOL-Death jokes in kids shows.

Berserk or Elfen Lied... cant really decide

Aaron Sylvester:
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.

It pretty much takes the cake when it comes to brutal violence. Elfen Lied would also come close to the top.

The violence you've seen in DBZ (even the unfiltered Japanese originals) isn't anywhere near the above two lol.

Well that's what I mean. I don't ever recall DBZ being particularly brutal, which is probably why that episode struck me as so odd. It felt really out of place.

Anyway, it seems this Elfin (Elfen?) Lied gets the popular vote so far, but this...

Talaris:
The fact that I love violent and horror anime...

... I found rather intriguing. Horror anime, you say? I never would have assumed a cartoon could do horror. (If any of you were tempted to face palm at this particular comment, let me remind you that anime is not my thing).

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