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This is one of our updated lists, so if you don’t feel you have viewed enough possible options for gore, then be sure to check out the original article below.
Now, gore, as defined upon typing it into Google, is “blood that has been shed, especially as a result of violence”. This list sticks very close to that definition, so prepare yourself as this list will go into some of the most graphic, disturbing, and bloody shows ever made. One of the best aspects about anime is that you can visualize brutal murders in ways that live action is unable to. There’s a certain freedom with being able to explicitly draw exactly how the person is cut, how the blood will splatter, and how the musculature will show.
10. Berserk (2016)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul. 2016 – Sep. 2016
Berserk follows Guts on his journey for revenge. In this sequel to the 1997 anime, Guts is the hellish black swordsman, who after being branded, has picked up the giant husk of iron sword known as the Dragonslayer in order to take down the Apostles and get his revenge. However, each and every day he is hounded by demons and none of the apostles are easy targets. So it’s really a question of will he survive till the end?
Much like its predecessor the 2016 Berserk embodies a terrifying dark fantasy world. How does it do this? Well, it throws in a lot of gore and brutality in order to show everyone that this is not the fantasy they would want to ever live in. We have Guts literally splitting people in half with his sword each episode, people being torn apart by demons frequently, and scenes of torture on a semi-frequent basis. Blood is spilled and lapped up at a rather disturbing level in this anime.
9. Corpse Party
- Episodes: 4
- Aired: Jul. 2013
Corpse Party follows nine high school students as they are transported to an alternate dimension of their school. This alternate is the home of a pretty sadistic ghost, who had been murdered on the grounds years ago, when it was still an elementary school. Now this ghost happily puts its victims through terrifying mazes and different levels of torture. So the question is if any of these nine students will make it out alive?
Corpse Party’s school theme may or may not help with the absolute terror it throws in your face. Perhaps to some, the animation is just too round and soft to be taken seriously, despite people’s eyes being gouged out. Then again, maybe the fact that these terrible and gruesome acts, like having your tongue cut out, are happening to kids actually makes it worse. It really depends on your viewing preference. Nonetheless, blood is shed and anyone who isn’t a blood fiend will find a lot of the scenes tough to swallow.
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan. 2012 – Mar. 2012
Another sends us to the eerie environment of Class 3-3 at Yomiyama North, the exact classroom that Kouichi Sakakibara is transferring into. His first impression of the place is rather off putting as everyone seems to be in a gloom and there’s a particular girl with an eyepatch that no one else seems to notice. The girl’s name is Mei Misaki, and when her and Kouichi get to talking they decide it’s time to figure out why this class seems so haunted.
The creators at P.A. Works definitely enjoy finding interesting ways to kill people. They also must enjoy drawing such scenes as Another is simply a series of extremely brutal and specific deaths, all of which will make you cringe. There’s a moment where a girl takes a tumble down a set of stairs to have her neck impaled by the pointed end of her umbrella. We also have heads getting smashed on concrete, boat accidents, intentional stabbings and so much more. Basically, you’ll watch this and you won’t know what to do as going outside is clearly not an option yet anymore, but staying still isn’t too safe either.
- Episodes: 5
- Aired: Mar. 1994 – Jul. 1994
Genocyber throws viewers into a dystopian future where massive corporations are fighting for complete control of the world. One corporation, The Kuryu Group, has found The Genocyber, a cybernetic and psychic weapon that will most likely allow them to come out on top. One problem, the Genocyber cannot be contained and basically starts destroying everything.
[SPOILER] Essentially no one you meet at the beginning survives to the end. That’s the degree of death that occurs in this anime. Not only is the kill count extremely high, but it’s depictions are downright terrifying, and considering the time period, ahead of their time as well. Heads with only a string of skin attaching it to the rest of the body, bodies gutted, kids ripped apart, and so much more are on display. There’s even one moment where you watch a brain getting crushed inside its own skull, and it’s in live-action footage. The only reason why this show isn’t number one is that the actual production values were quite subpar, with okay audio and an extremely confusing story.
6. Highschool of the Dead
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul. 2010 – Sep. 2010
The dead have risen and have essentially taken over society at large in Japan. However, Takashi and his ex-best friend’s girlfriend, Rei, have yet to fall. The same goes for several other female students that the two team up with in order to search for family members and discover the cause of the outbreak. However, will they be strong enough to properly take on horde after horde of the undead?
Yes, Highschool of the Dead is an ecchi, and is quite ridiculous from time to time. However, the fanservice in this show is twofold as it’s perfect for the hormonally charged as well as afficianados of gore and horror. First there’s the way humans get bitten into and torn apart by zombies. It’s on par with any zombie flick on the big screen. Even more epic is the way that our team of survivors plows through the masses of undead. Saeko Busujima, the badass president of the Kendo Club, and Kouta Hirano, an otaku with a love for guns, in particular ravage these ungodly forces in spectacular fashion. It’s bloody mayhem in these halls with arms and heads and entire bodies being torn through.
5. Deadman Wonderland
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr. 2011 – Jul. 2011
Ganta Igarashi is ready to start off a new year at school. He has his friends and he’s really interested in this one girl, who actually talks to him, and he seems happy. Then his entire classroom is blown to bits, and as the sole survivor, he is suspected of the crime. Well, people clearly have something against the boy as his trial is completely set against him, with fake video evidence included, and Ganta is sentenced to the prison Deadman Wonderland.
When everyone’s superpower in the show is based off the way they are able to control blood, you’re bound to be in for bloody treat. They essentially need to cut themselves or be cut to use their blood in the first place, so things get gory really quickly. However, this battle aspect of the show wasn’t even required to earn the show its spot. That first explosion in the classroom with the bodies torn up to shreds was enough to shock most. Then it’s only added to with the fake video of Ganta playing with the dead bodies and the very first gauntlet where people are being sliced in half, speared to death, and incinerated. If Ganta had just stayed in the normal part of this terrifying prison, then it still would have been a show full of hacked limbs
4. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (When They Cry)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr. 2006 – Sep. 2006
In 2006, Studio Deen released Higurashi no Naku Koro ni to haunt many unsuspecting anime viewers. It seems simple and plain enough as it follows Keiichi Maebara as he moves to a small village and becomes friends with several girls from his school. However, things begin to shift as Keiichi starts learning about murders and other terrifying events that are in connection with the village’s patron god, Oyashiro.
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni was and still is a masterpiece to gore aficionados. Why? Simple, the blood of each individual was not ripped from the body because of an all out fist brawl/swordfight/gun showdown. No. Psychological games were played every step of the way leading to intense moments of torture and pain. When one character kills herself off by repeatedly impaling her own neck on a knife, you’ve hit gory gold. When a character is crucified and stabbed to death, then you’re just swimming in a pool of blood. Similar to Corpse Party, its only possible drawback is its animation styling.
3. Elfen Lied
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jul. 2004 – Oct. 2004
There’s a group of supernatural humans, who are referred to as Diclonius, that can control deadly, invisible telekinetic hands. One human with such powers called Lucy gets captured by the government and becomes the victim of inhumane experimentation. One day she breaks out, but sustains a head injury causing her personality to split. Thus, it’s in a state of child-like innocence she runs into two college students, who take her in. Little do they know about the other half of her personality or about the government groups searching for her.
Elfen Lied is one of those shows you probably watched, hearing that it was a classic, and then found yourself shocked to see body parts being torn off. The telekinetic hands of Lucy are insanely dangerous, and we get a full display of their gruesome power early on. First episode, she’s trying to escape and when the guards finally have her cornered she takes an unassuming assistant hostage. She then proceeds to rip off the assistant’s head and annihilates the group of guards. There aren’t as many moments with as much blood smatter afterwards, however, there are a ton of cringe worthy moments as Lucy dissects certain people and we get a nice view of bone and muscle.
2. Hellsing Ultimate
- Episodes: 10
- Aired: Oct. 2006 – Dec. 2012
In Britain exists the Hellsing Organization, an extremely ancient group that has been secretly protecting Britain from the monsters of the night. How do they fight monsters such as vampires? Well, they happen to have one, the first vampire ever actually, fighting for them. The vampire’s name is Alucard and he is hell incarnated. However, a group of Nazi vampires would like to vie for that accolade, and so Hellsing Ultimate begins.
If there was ever a show that captured the idea of let the bodies hit the floor, it’s Hellsing Ultimate. They literally have moments where Nazi vampires are marching with humans impaled on bayonets. It also has insane amounts of blood spatter on a constant basis. That should be expected when most of the vampires don the shark mouth style and basically can rip neck opens with ease. Though the Nazi vampires do kill a lot of people, brutality still goes to Alucard, our protagonist. He is absolutely unforgiving and literally tears people apart when he sets loose. Episode by episode, there’s a certain Tarantino quality to it.
1. Terra Formars
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Sep. 2014 – Dec. 2014
Akari Hizamaru will go to hell and back to save his childhood friend. Well his version of hell is Mars and he goes there to fight cockroach-like monsters, which might be connected to the virus that plagues his friend.
From the very beginning Terra Formars promises a lot of gore. The series starts with Akari in a cage fight against a bear, which he soundly defeats due to the release of his supernatural powers. Immediately, we’re getting all the close ups and the bloodshed that define this terrifying experience. However, all of that doubles upon landing on Mars. In reality, it’s reminiscent of the 1997 movie Starship Troopers, but with a lot more moments of cringe. There are flashes of skeletal frames as heads with the spine attached get ripped out. In the end, heads roll on a considerable basis in this show and they always use special affects at the right moment to make the kill feel visceral.
An honorable mention must be given to Blood-C, as it really does have a lot of gory moments. People are speared, people are split in half as ungodly forces pull their legs off, and in general people get brutally stabbed through the face. It can get really terrifying. Now, to explain a little about this list. Since, the last previous list below covered more of the earlier ventures into the world of blood of violence, this list tries to mainly give credit to the shows still keeping such brutality alive. There are definitely certain angles and killing methods that have survived through the ages, and these shows do add a little extra flair to the whole process.
Gore noun [ mass noun ]
blood that has been shed, especially as a result of violence:
No matter if we’re talking about movies, manga or anime, violence and gore are, along with sex, probably the most controversial subject matter to date. While some people get disgusted by flying intestines, dismembered limbs, liters of blood, or the general nihilism of such series; others are fascinated by the brutality and sheer excess seen in such flicks.
It isn’t always about the violence though, as some would argue that graphic violence is a necessary tool to tell stories of darker nature. This list is an attempt at combining some gore-for-gore’s-sake exploitation anime where violence is just one of many elements.
Without further ado, here’s our picks for the Top 10 Goriest Anime!
(Is it necessary to mention that these series are not for the faint of heart, and that viewer discretion is advised? Maybe not.)
- Episodes: 5
- Aired: Mar 1994 – Jul 1995
Kicking of the list is one of the more controversial entries. There’s an unspoken rule in anime, or film in general, that children shouldn’t die on screen. Genocyber politely gives such conventions the middle finger, and has several child characters murdered, brains, guts, and all. Even though you might argue that it’s sci-fi storyline doesn’t quite hold up, it has an interesting mix of Cronenberg-esque body horror, real film footage, and classic gore making it a worthwhile watch.
9. Devilman: Tanjou-hen (Devilman: The Bird)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Nov 1987
The Devilman franchise has been up and running ever since the 70’s, but it wasn’t before the late 80’s that it started getting violent and consequently, according to some people, more interesting. Devilman is a fantasy/horror blend where humanity is threatened by an demon invasion, and it’s up to the two friends, Ryo and Akira, through creating the eponymous Devilman, the only creature capable of beating demons.
8. Hadashi no Gen (Barefoot Gen)
- Episodes: 1:Movie
- Aired: Jul 1983
Don’t let this movie’s PG-13 rating fool you, if you by any chance you happened to watch this as a child, chances are you are still plagued with nightmares of those half-dead zombie-like humans walking towards you from the rubble of a town devastated by the atomic bomb. This movie shows the brutality of war, and, if watched together with the equally disturbing Grave of the Fireflies, you’ll turn into a hard-core pacifist for sure. If you’re looking for fun, brainless (no pun intended) gore, don’t watch this, please.
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Apr 2004 – Jun 2004
What more than aliens, sex and gore could you possibly want? Gantz is a cult-classic about two high school friends that save a Hobo and end up dying. They find themselves in the absurd situation of being commanded by a god-like black ball to kill aliens for points. Sounds wacky, but there's more to this series than meets the eye: The plot has some interesting twists and turns, as well as an analysis of the darker sides of modern society.
6. Hokuto no Ken (Fist of the Northern Star)
- Episodes: 109
- Aired: Oct 1984 – Mar 1987
Somehow, post-apocalyptic series like Hokuto no Ken are never set in a specific year, instead using the ridiculous "199X", which probably seemed like a good idea at the time. Even though the 90’s gave us abominations such as Aron Carter and the combo white pants + white blazers, we should probably be happy that it didn’t turn out like this anime predicted: In a world where a nuclear disaster has turned society into a lawless mess, one man with a sense of justice and biceps twice the size of his head takes on a seemingly endless stream of mutants, as he defends his clan Hokuto Shinken against the evil Nanto Seiken, whose leaders have kidnapped his fiancee Yulia.
Main character Kenshiro’s adventures will quench your thirst for blood, martial arts, and cheesy dialogue, as well as alienating you from your friends as you find yourself imitating the catchiest special movie in anime history: ATATATATATATATAT!
5. Elfen Lied
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jul 2004 – Oct 2004
Disturbing, heartbreaking, clever, shocking, exhausting are all adjectives that could be used to describe this emotional rollercoaster. This fan-favorite tells the story of a girl called Lucy, or, actually she’s a Diclonuis, which is a human-like mutant that has invisible tentacle-like arms that slashes through human flesh easier than the sharpest sushi knife you’ll ever find on the fish market in Tokyo.
Being extremely dangerous to humans, the Diclonius has been subject to gruesome military experiments. Lucy, however, manages to pull of an bloody spectacular escape from her captors, and, as she wakes up on a shore in a small city, she befriends local kids Kouta and Yuka. Her troubles are far from over, though, as she has to deal with the military, other, hostile Diclonius, as well as battling her own demons.
4. Hellsing OVA (Hellsing Ultimate)
- Episodes: 10
- Aired: Feb 2006 – Dec 2012
If you’ve done your horror homework, you’ll recognize the name Hellsing for sure. The Hellsing Organization was founded by the original Abraham Van Helsing, and aims to protect Britain and the queen from everything unholy. Alucard, after being defeated by Hellsing in Bram Stoker’s original story, joins forces with the organization to battle beasts, and as they discover a viscous plot by a Neo-nazi group with ties to the Vatican, and thus a gory, bloody and brutal battle ensues – expect heads, hands, feet flying towards you from every direction as The Hellsing Organization clashes with evil vampires.
3. Choujin Densetsu Urotsukidouji (Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend)
- Episodes: 3
- Aired: Jan 1987 – Apr 1989
As we all know, violence and sex goes hand in hand, and this is definitely true for this erotic horror anime. Again we have demons, humans and half-demons clashing, rather violently, but this time it’s more brutal, more excessive and, more entertaining. Sure, it definitely borders exploitation both in terms of sex and violence, but, this might be just what you would want on a boring, eventless Wednesday evening.
Do you need proof of it’s notoriety? Let’s just say that this anime pretty much invented tentacle rape, which by the way is a perfect example of how uniting graphic violence, gore and sex can make a disgusting, disturbing and strangely satisfying movie experience.
2. Mr. Arashi’s Amazing Freak Show
- Episodes: 1:Movie
- Aired: May 1992
This 1992 movie is based on a graphic novel by Maruo Suehiro, one of the masters of the ero-guro genre. Maruo’s manga were inspired by so-called Muzan-e, early modern Japanese woodcut prints featuring gruesome violence, and the influence of this style is also evident in the movie’s animation style (hand-drawn by the director).
The psychedelic, bizarre and crude visuals might be unlike anything you’ve ever seen before, and the plot as well. It tells the story of a young girl named Midori who, after getting abused and enslaved, meets a short, strange, and mysterious magician who helps her start over again. Might sound cute, and at times it is actually quite beautiful, but then, suddenly, a cute puppy is crushed under a shoe and boiled for dinner.
1. Juubee Ninpuuchou (Ninja Scroll)
- Episodes: 1:Movie
- Aired: Jun 1993
As you’ve probably noticed, this list has featured a lot of late 80’s/early 90’s animation, because this was the definitive peak of the genre. It’s not hard to understand why – there’s just something about that hand-drawn blood, they just don’t make ‘em like that anymore! (nostalgic sigh)
There is one anime that stands out though, and to any fan of anime graphic nature, this pick shouldn’t come as any surprise. Ninja Scroll blends realism, fantasy, history, horror, violence and sex into one potent mixture that will leave you screaming for more after the movie’s ninety-four minutes have passed.
This story of a vagabond ninja that get’s involved with all kind of devilish forces after rescuing a mysterious woman has it all: style, animation, soundtrack and characters. This is the pinnacle of the genre, but also so much more – it’s an anime classic up there with Akira or Ghost in the Shell.
This concludes our list of recommendations for some of the goriest anime out there, giving you a pretty good idea of what you should keep at a long, long distance away from your present or future children.