Though gore anime is a controversial genre, fans are fascinated by the brutality, violence, and (un)expected bloodshed. However, the use of graphic violence is not always for entertainment purposes; animators often use it as a tool to further show a dark storyline. While there are a lot of popular gore anime shows here are some that you definitely need to watch.
Based on Sui Ishida’s dark fantasy manga of the same name, Tokyo Ghoul follows shy college student Ken Kaneki whose life takes a grisly turn when his date turns him into a ghoul — a carnivorous creature that can only feed on humans and other ghouls. Now, Kaneki must hide his identity as a half-ghoul/half-human and try to live a normal life.
Aside from its stunning visuals and gripping storyline, Tokyo Ghoul features ghouls eating and battling each other, which, therefore, leads to a lot of blood. The anime also includes some intense physical and psychological torture that are much worse than getting your arm ripped off.
Gantz tells the story of two high school students who die after rescuing a beggar from a train. However, instead of going to heaven or hell, they land in an apartment with a black sphere in the center. Rather than continuing with their normal lives, the sphere, known as GANTZ, forces the pair to play an alien-hunting “game” of unprecedented danger and horror.
One of the most controversial entries in this list is the ’90s mecha horror anime Genocyber. Despite the fact that gore anime was popular in the ’80s and ’90s, Genocyber did something that many might consider taboo. While many people would frown upon children getting killed on screen, Genocyber ignored this and featured some kids getting blown up. Spread across five episodes, the original video animation follows a new weapon that sets out to destroy anything and anyone.
Corpse Party: Tortured Souls
Warning Corpse Party is not for the faint-hearted unless you’re a fan of mystery, horror, and eye-gouging.
While Genocyber started the trend of killing children on screen, Corpse Party pushes the boundaries even further and includes psychological torture as well. Staying at school after dark was not a good idea for nine students and their teacher. After performing a ritual for good luck, the group is transported to an alternate dimension with vengeful ghosts of the past. Now they have to work together to escape or perish with these evil spirits.
Blood-C is Production I.G’s second anime series related to the Blood franchise, the first being Blood+. Like in the other series, Blood-C follows high school student Saya Kisaragi. However, Saya is not your typical student as she fends off monsters who try to devour her village. But, there is a much darker secret behind her peaceful village, and it’s up to Saya to find out the truth in a town where nothing is as it seems.
While the first few episodes might be uneventful, it all climaxes with magnificent gut-spewing bloodshed galore.
Prison is a horrible place to be, especially when you’re innocent. But what’s even worse is when you’re innocent and are forced to battle to the death for the entertainment of others. Ganta Igarashi is sentenced to death for murdering all his classmates, except he didn’t commit the crime. With the justice system failing him, he’s sent to the privately run prison Deadman Wonderland. There, he discovers that he’s a Deadman, a person that can control his or her blood freely. To survive, he must battle other Deadmen and win, as losing means saying goodbye to a piece of you.
Shigurui: Death Frenzy
Taking place at the beginning of the Edo Era, the Feudal Lord Tokugawa Tadanaga holds a fighting tournament. However, unlike other duels, this will be fought with real steel Japanese swords rather than bokken (wooden swords). The story revolves around the first match between the one-armed swordsman Fujiki Gennosuke and the blind samurai Irako Seigen, as both men are disciples of Iwamoto Kogan — Japan’s greatest swordsman. In short, the anime deals with the circumstances that led the two to participate in Tokugawa’s tournament.
Fans of the samurai and gore genre should put Shigurui at the top of their must-see list as the series explores and realistically adapts the samurai era.
Attack on Titan
As humans face extinction at the hand, or rather, mouth, of cannibalistic giant monsters, known as Titans, a select few step forward to defend humanity. However, their bravery is very short-lived when they see the real terrifying horror that a Titan conveys. From flying limbs, blood spatter, and the regurgitation of a human carcass, Attack on Titan, doesn’t hold back on the gore fest.
What’s most commonly associated with vampires? Blood. And tons of it gets splattered around in the ultimate battle between humans and Nazi bloodsuckers. Oh, and you’ve got some impaled bodies in the mix too.
While the rest of the world believes that the second world war has ended, it quietly continues in the dark. The Hellsing Organization, a secret institution that protects Britain from monsters, must defend the Commonwealth from an old enemy. And the only way to fight is with a beast of their own, Alucard.
In a not-too-distant future on the planet Mars, six crew members are ready for their mission. However, their mission does not go as planned when giant mutated humanoid cockroaches devour them. But not before sending a transmission back to Earth. Now, humanity is planning another mission with the sole purpose of exterminating these giant humanoid pests.
While there are many gore anime out there, no other series has received as much censorship during its first episodes than Terra Formars. When the series first aired in Japan and online streams, it was censored to the point that it became distracting, and above all, annoying. Though the sight of bashed-in heads may seem ordinary to gore fans, others might consider it traumatizing. Due to its heavy censorship, Terra Formars has become a must-see gore anime.
A version of this article was previously published on August 26, 2016.