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What are some dark anime to watch or to NOT watch?

What are some dark anime to watch or to NOT watch?

What are some dark anime to watch or not to watch?

Dark anime often explore mature themes, complex characters, and intense storylines. However, the level of darkness or suitability can be subjective and depend on individual preferences. Here are some anime series with dark themes that you might find intriguing, but it’s important to note that viewer discretion is advised, and some of these series may contain explicit content, violence, or mature themes:

Recommended Dark Anime:

  1. “Death Note”: A psychological thriller where a high school student discovers a notebook that allows him to kill anyone by writing their name in it.
  2. “Tokyo Ghoul”: Follows the story of Kaneki, a young man turned into a half-ghoul after a chance encounter with one of these flesh-eating creatures.
  3. “Parasyte -the maxim-“: Explores the invasion of Earth by parasitic aliens and the battles between humans and these alien creatures.
  4. “Berserk”: A dark fantasy series following the mercenary Guts as he battles through a brutal and violent world.
  5. “Attack on Titan” (Shingeki no Kyojin): Set in a world where humanity is on the brink of extinction due to giant humanoid creatures known as Titans.
  6. “Steins;Gate”: While it starts slow, this sci-fi anime takes a dark turn with its time-travel elements, exploring the consequences of altering the past.
  7. “Elfen Lied”: Known for its graphic violence, this series involves mutated humans with telekinetic powers and their impact on society.
  8. “Monster”: A psychological thriller that explores the consequences of a doctor’s decision to save a young boy, leading to a series of dark events.

Anime to Approach with Caution:

  1. “Higurashi When They Cry” (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni): A horror-mystery series with a time-looping narrative and intense scenes.
  2. “Another”: A supernatural horror series set in a high school with a mysterious curse.
  3. “Corpse Party: Tortured Souls”: Based on a horror video game, this OVA involves a group of students trapped in a cursed elementary school.
  4. “Gantz”: Known for its violence and mature themes, this series involves individuals brought back to life to participate in a deadly game.
  5. “Mirai Nikki” (Future Diary): A psychological thriller that involves a survival game with characters possessing future diaries.

Before watching any anime series, it’s recommended to check the content rating, reviews, and viewer advisories to ensure that the content aligns with your preferences and comfort level. Keep in mind that dark themes and explicit content are common in this genre.

TW/ pedophilia, rape, drugs.

  1. Happy Sugar Life. Yes, it does sound like a kid’s magical girl anime if you don’t know what it is, but actually, it’s an anime about this pink-haired girl (who I believe is over the age of 18) falling in love with a child and will kill anybody who gets in the way of her love.
What are some dark anime to watch or to NOT watch

2. Boku No Pico. I had to do this. But, the wiki states.

An effeminate boy named Pico works at his grandfather’s cafe during the summer, hoping to make some friends. He soon meets a man named Tamotsu “Mokkun,” who s3duc3s him, believing him to be a girl. Later, at Mokkun’s house, Pico asks Mokkun what he thinks of him, but he doesn’t respond. Pico runs away and cuts his hair. Mokkun searches for him, and the two reconcile at the end of the episode.

But, as a fun bonus, I’ll add a manga to spice it up.

3. Metamorphosis. Saki, who has just entered high school, meets Hayato, who drugs and rapes her. Soon, she becomes addicted to drugs, causing her life to worsen.

Also, sorry if my answer seems very rude, like I’m trying to play down these things. I don’t know how to improve the writing without going into too many details but know I’m not trying to act like these are just trivial topics.

What are some dark anime to watch or not to watch?

Kei Nagai Torture

kei nagai torture

I am showing these images because the anime mentioned above is judged by just a couple of extremely violent scenes in a few of its episodes, and people start thinking that these types of anime are not for faint-hearted people. Still, the real fact is that most of these anime are watched by the masses, including children and old guys.

I am not saying that these anime are not gory or even kids and older adults should watch, but today’s generation is mentally strong enough to handle such extremely violent scenes. After much trash talk, I would mention the anime, which is too extreme for even strong-hearted people to forget about the faint-hearted one.

And that anime is

Elfen Lied

elfen lied

It is one of the anime I thought I would never re-watch in my entire life; when I was watching it, I was thinking about one thing: When I was completing this anime. I never dropped this anime because I had heard a lot of praise for it.

I am not saying that this anime was not good, but the violence, nudity, and bloodshed were extreme; even the storyline and emotions were too extreme. After the end of this anime, I was shaken to the core, and I felt like crying.

The story mainly revolves around the new species named Diclonious and the deadly experimentation carried on to their body.

And here are some of its violent scenes.

What are some dark anime to watch or to NOT watch
What are some dark anime to watch or to NOT watch

I think that’s more than enough …….

Those people even now think I am just kidding, so watch the first 7 minutes of the first episode of Elfen Lied, and you will get my point.

So there should be no doubt that Elfen Lied is one of the anime not for the faint-hearted people.

I think that’s more than enough …….

Those people even now think I am just kidding, so watch the first 7 minutes of the first episode of Elfen Lied, and you will get my point.

So there should be no doubt that Elfen Lied is one of the anime not for the faint-hearted people.

What is the hardest anime to watch?

  1. Redo Of Healer
redo of healer

Now, I’m not talking about me here, but in general, Redo Of Healer is the first anime to have so many daring themes in such a short series. Berserk did it differently, and it was stretched over a long period.

Goblin Slayer did it, but that was mostly just the first episode.

Happy Sugar Life is admittedly “hard” to watch when you grasp what’s going on and how messed up the world is, but the writing for the series (for me) is good and doesn’t overly sell itself.

It’s written with purpose. But REDO OF HEALER throws everything out the window and starts from a blank slate of its own rules. With no fucks given.

redo of healer

The famous episode 2 makes my point loud and clear. It commits the worst sin ever seen of any anime and does it in a way where the MC feels good about it (because it’s out of a deep-rooted vengeance).

Even the censored version is extreme. It’s fair play, given Keyaru beforehand is raped, abused, enslaved, drugged, and treated in the worst way a human could ever be treated. So, doing the same thing (while wrong) makes sense.

But that doesn’t make the anime any harder to watch. And despite what happens in episode 2, more sick, twisted, and extremely dark scenes play out multiple times right to the end of the first season.

The anime is revenge on steroids.

Most anime only portray barbaric scenes (if that) for a few episodes and never to this extreme level. But Redo Of Healer? It’s a beast of its own. For that reason, it will never be forgotten. Regardless of what side of the fence you’re on.

What are some dark anime to watch or to NOT watch

What are some anime that look cute and friendly and innocent but are dark, twisted, or weird?

Oh boy, I have a lot….


At first glance, it looks like a cute, girly anime. It is partially true since the main characters are four girls enjoying a happy school life. Then, the anime reveals that one of our MCs, Yuki, is mentally unstable caused by the ongoing zombie apocalypse.

school live

Magical Girl Raising Project

One day, an app invites Koyuki to become a magical girl. Sweet! What middle school girl doesn’t want to become a magical girl? Of course, she answers yes. Koyuki is introduced to more magical girls, and they get to know each other. Then they have to kill each other.

magical girl raising project

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

It is another magical girl show. Man, what’s with these magical girls… As usual, girls get powers and fight off evil. After Mami gets killed, the show is revealed to be a show not for kids. (Contains elements of murder, mental disorder, insanity).

What are some dark anime to watch or to NOT watch


A group of friends meets the transfer student and wants him to join their group. Letters from the future describe what their futures are going to be like… after the transfer student commits suicide. Pretty dark.


Happy Sugar Life

I feel like a broken record always naming Happy Sugar Life. But it’s true! Satou and Shio live together and Satou has to overcome obstacles that try to separate the two. I’ll be blunt. Satou was actually the one that kidnaps Shio and goes as far as to kill her ‘best friend’. Yikes.

happy sugar life

Made in Abyss

Two kids think it’s a good idea to explore the wild because they’re curious. There’s a reason why adults in this anime forbid children from going down an abyss by themselves. It’s because it’s literally death…


Moral of the story: It’s always the pink haired ones to watch out for.

What are some of the most inappropriate anime for children?

School Days. The plot is this one dude who confesses to his crush with the help of his friend (best friend, I believe). The crush accepts the boy’s love and decides to start a relationship. But then, the friend develops a crush on the dude. Seems pretty normal. 

Well, it’s far from normal. The boy takes advantage of both (sexual intercourse), and more girls join his harem. The ending, which I will not spoil, will shock you greatly.

Redo Of Healer. It’s a hentai, except it’s not a hentai. This one dude, a healer with hero status, got violated (raped by both men and women). Since he couldn’t use healing magic because he could see the torture someone underwent when healing, they decided to drug him every time he needed to heal. 

When he realizes that heal magic is hax, he pretends to be drugged in the final battle against a female demon lord (he gained drug resistance because he got drugged for four years. 4 FUCKING YEARS!!!). 

Friends, he stole the Philosopher’s Stone when he killed the demon lord and used healing to rewind time to 4 years ago. He regains his memories and gets revenge by raping every girl he thought contributed to his suffering. He does fuck some of his companions, but I won’t spoil them anymore.

What are some dark anime to watch or to NOT watch?

What anime is not safe for children?

Elfen Lied

What are some dark anime to watch or to NOT watch

Drawing by: Nana from Elfen Lied

What are some dark anime to watch or to NOT watch

This anime is extremely violent. There’s no debating it.

The last picture is from the beginning of the first episode.

Throughout this horror series, there’s themes that involve:

  1. Child abuse.
  2. Rape.
  3. Obscene violence.
  4. And STRONG language (especially in the Dub)

Making it NOT safe for children…

School Days

What are some dark anime to watch or to NOT watch

Looks like a “happy” anime, right? Don’t be fooled. This anime is gruesome, wicked, obscene and violent.

Themes running throughout this short series:

  1. Cheating in a relationship.
  2. Disrespect.
  3. Sickening violence.
  4. Revenge.
  5. Etc.

Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends

What are some dark anime to watch or to NOT watch

Seems like a chilled school series, right? Even though there’s truth to that, what follows is:

  1. Ecchi content.
  2. Sexual-ish scenes.
  3. Strong language and sexual references.
  4. And even bullying to some extent.

It’s pretty extreme for a school anime.

A Sisters All You Need

What are some dark anime to watch or to NOT watch

No matter what you do – AVOID AT ALL COSTS.

It involves INCEST, and things of that nature.

Other anime not safe for children:

  1. Jormungand.
  2. Black Lagoon.
  3. Psycho Pass
  4. Boku No Pico
  5. Taboo Tattoo.
  6. Akame Ga Kill.
  7. Another.
  8. Higurashi: When They Cry.
  9. Shiki.
  10. Food Wars (too Ecchi)

What are some dark anime to watch or to NOT watch?

What are some quality dark anime?

Rightfully pointed out already by others, some common names pop up. Tokyo Ghoul, Death Note, FMA, FMA Brotherhood, Akame ga Kill, Mirai Nikki, Psycho Pass. Most of these are famous and worth watching. 

I found Death Note and FMA amazing, and they’re on my favorite anime list. But another relatively underrated anime is Welcome to the NHK. It’s a dark comedy-based anime, and it’s just brilliant. The Monogatari series is another dark comedy-based anime. The monologues and fast-paced rants of the protagonist are flawless.

I’ll tell you what: If you like dark stories, anime is a great place to look. They have a ton of great options out there. Anime knows how to do dark, and it’s one of their strengths. People here have already mentioned some great options that I would stand behind. 

Death Note, Death Parade, Higurashi no Naka Koro Ni, and Future Diaries are all ones I have particularly enjoyed. Full Metal Alchemist is brilliant and can be dark, although I think of it more as a drama with dark elements.

What are some dark anime to watch or to NOT watch?

I will add to the list by throwing out a lesser-discussed option that I feel is underrated—Clamp’s X 1999.

It’s a weird little supernatural, occultist anime about the battle for the fate of the earth between two different groups of humans with supernatural abilities. It’s similar to the Fate animes.

Clamp’s art is always very beautiful, and I love their character designs, even if I only sometimes like their stories. The characterizations are also very deep and original. You don’t find any of these characters to be one-dimensional or cliche. 

They’re all a little good and evil; they switch sides sometimes, and you feel bad for almost everyone. Not one of these characters is normal or acts like a normal person would, and I love that.

Also, the conflicts that everyone faces are fascinating and tragic.

I, for one, had a particular investment in the characters Sorata and Arashi. At a young age, Sorata has been told that he’s going to die protecting a woman he loves, and almost as soon as he meets Arashi, he happily proclaims she’s the one he’s going to die for. 

Her response to this nonsense is shock, of course, but that is quickly replaced with irritation, and she proceeds to spend a lot of time annoyed with him before eventually softening over time.

What are some dark anime to watch or to NOT watch?

Anyway, I love the dynamic. Not many characters are as happy-go-lucky in the face of constant death and destruction as Sorata is, and not many characters are as stoic and impassive towards a person who has vowed to die protecting them as Arashi is. 

It makes for compelling, interesting drama! And the fun part is that the story isn’t really about them. Their story is just one of many mini-plots throughout the series.

Just… don’t get attached to any particular character. Chances are they’re going to die in a very brutal manner. This anime certainly earns the dark title, and the manga is even darker. 

Interesting fact… on several occasions, the manga had to be put on hiatus because certain events in the storyline mirrored current deaths or crimes that had taken place in Japan. 

It was deemed insensitive for Clamp to continue the story because the content was so upsetting. Unfortunately, the original manga never was finished because, at one point, it went on hiatus and never returned. 

Still, the anime completes the storyline in a fairly satisfying way and true to the source material. I still wonder if Clamp would have ended things differently and wish I could have heard their original plan for the story.

What are some dark anime to watch or to NOT watch?

The X anime has a TV series and a movie. I’d recommend the series first. The movie is a different interpretation of the story that I liked. Still, it could be better and more faithful to the original material since the story was only about halfway written when the movie was done.

X is a bit of an older anime that came out before the turn of the century, but I tend to like the older stuff and try to throw out kudos for it when I can since it doesn’t seem to get as much attention as it should anymore. I’d also like to recommend Serial Experiments Lain and Paranoia Agent

These are also older, complex, dark thriller animes that I don’t understand well enough to give justice to. They’re both very thought-provoking, although confusing. Check out any of those three animes, and you’ll find something to your tastes!

What disturbing anime will you never watch again?


Look deep into almost any anime. You can find a deeper meaning to the story, the animation, the songs, etc., as almost all anime are made by adults, thus making any anime a relatively mature anime if you dig deep enough.

However, that said, here are some anime that are both mature and dark

  1. Perfect Blue– is an anime that perfectly tackles depression and stress endured by celebrities.
  2. Death Note is a mature anime about themes of social justice that no immature person can ever begin to understand. It has such deep characters and an intricate story; it’s almost perfect.
  3. Devilman Crybaby– The “D” stands for “dark,” a perfect 10-episode Netflix anime series by the brilliant director Masaaki Yuasa.
  4. Dororo– This anime can be enjoyed by a wider variety of audiences, but consider its darkness and maturity. Touching upon the topic, “Is sacrificing one human life for the benefit of the rest of the group worth it?” from beginning to end, I can’t find a more engaging anime.
  5. Death Parade– This anime is nothing but dark and mature. I haven’t once laughed in any of the episodes. Each episode explores a different but somehow similar mature themes. It’s the only anime I can think of that should keep pumping out episodes because the cycle of life and death will never change, even though it already had a perfect ending.
  6. Code Geass may be lacking in the maturity part, but it is one of the darker anime I have watched. This TV’s 2 season anime surprised everyone in 2006, similar to Death Note, also an anime in this list.

This list is enough for you. Avoid binge-watching these anime; think about what they discussed in each episode before moving on to the next. I know it will be hard, given how engaging each of these is, but at least try 🙂

I’m curious if anyone else still remembers and appreciates these shows as much as I do! Please give me a shout-out in the comments.

Happy anime hunting!