25 Best Violent Anime With Great Storylines

Violent Anime
When it comes to violence, Attack On Titan never pulls its punches. That’s what makes it an amazing anime!

25 Best Violent Anime With Great Storylines 

25. Pet Shops Of Horror

"Count D" is the mysterious caretaker of a pet shop in Los Angeles Chinatown. Each of D's rare pets, which all have strangely humanoid appearances, comes with a contract with three major points. These points differ for each animal sold (although each animal's contract includes not showing it to anyone) and breaking this contract usually results in dire (and sometimes disturbing) consequences for the buyer, for which the pet shop claims no liability.

Individual chapters of Pet Shop of Horrors are often based on these consequences and are each written as a stand-alone story, usually introducing one or more new characters in each chapter. With the exception of the main characters and their families, it is rare for a character to carry over to a later chapter, providing the series with a very episodic nature.

The detective Leon Orcot is used to tie the chapters together into an ongoing plot, usually in the form of a subplot within each chapter. Initially, he suspects D of malicious criminal activity and using the pet shop as a front for drug trafficking. As the series progresses, he learns more about the pet shop and D himself, entering into a strange friendship of sorts with D as he works to uncover the truth.

This anime was particularly interesting to me because of the way it’s set up anthology style. Plus, the aspect of using the term “pet shop” for something less than a place for cuddly animals really caught my attention. The stories are great, the characters really well developed and written, and I generally enjoyed the uniqueness of the concept. Definitely, a future anime to check out.

What We Love About Pet Shop of Horrors 

  • The anime has an interesting and unique premise, with a fresh, original story befalling our main character. Not only that, but there still manages to be great messages behind them despite the context.
  • Pet Shop of Horrors didn’t have a huge budget, and it seemed as if the world was against it. Nope. It triumphed over hardship and overall, made for a critically acclaimed anime.
  • The structure of the anime itself as an anthology makes it very attractive for viewers. It’s easy to jump in at any point and not get too lost, which means it even better.

24. Highschool Of The Dead

Highschool of the Dead is set in present-day Japan, beginning as the world is struck by a deadly pandemic that turns humans into zombies, euphemistically referred to by the main characters as "Them." The story follows a group of high school students and the school's nurse as they deal with the worldwide catastrophic event known as the "Outbreak". As the cast tries to survive the zombie apocalypse, they must also face the additional threats of societal collapse, in the form of dangerous fellow survivors, and the possible decay of their own moral codes. Starting from high school, the students escape into town where they must deal with a corrupt teacher and his students. They check their homes for survivors and pick up a little girl and a dog. Later, they hold up at a mall, travel through a police station, and eventually make their way to an elementary school that is supposedly a safe zone.

This anime may be a little risqué when it comes to the visuals, but it has tons of heart, and that’s what drew me in. I also generally like well-written zombie apocalypse stories, and Highschool of the Dead really drives home that desire for me. Also, a mostly all-female cast is always something to be appreciated, and it created a more interesting dynamic for me versus had they been males. I didn’t think the violence was more than I could handle, so I genuinely enjoyed it.

What We Love About Highschool of the Dead 

  • It goes beyond your typical zombie apocalypse storyline. The plot is stronger and moves beyond most zombie stereotypes, and it succeeds for the majority of the time.
  • Highschool is often accused of having surface-level characters, but they aren’t that shallow. While it takes some getting used to, each character is unique in their own right and isn’t completely one dimensional.
  • Talk about one of the best soundtracks for an anime. The music fits very well, helps to drive the plot, and is overall very adventurous in terms of taste.

23. Erased

The story follows Satoru Fujinuma, a young man living in Chiba who somehow possesses an ability known as "Revival", which sends him back in time moments before a life-threatening incident, enabling him to prevent it from happening again. When his mother is murdered by an unknown assailant in his own home, Satoru's ability suddenly sends him back eighteen years into the past.

Now an elementary schooler in Hokkaido again, Satoru has given the opportunity to not only save his mother but also prevent a kidnapping incident that took the lives of three of his childhood friends: two classmates and one young girl studying at a different school nearby.

This show is the most introspective out of the bunch, and really focuses on the important time has on acts of violence. I find that pretty refreshing when it comes to most of these shows, as this one feels different in that way. The fact that there aren’t any loose ties in the story, other than the ones they implement for the plot, displays a strong team of writers that know how to write a significantly violent anime and still have a really strong story.

What We Love About Erased 

  • Despite being a popular and sometimes overused plot device, Erased utilizes the writing concept of a time loop in order to play with their main character’s head and to help give him a personality. It doesn’t let stereotyping get in the way.
  • Even though Erased is a violent anime, it isn’t violent enough to lose the attention of its audience when it comes to grasping the true message of the show. If anything, the violence compliments it well.
  • Erased will always be incredibly exciting. Just as you feel things are getting so slow to the point where they might not pick up again, they always do here. A great story habit.

22. Freezing

2065, Earth is in the middle of a war with extra-dimensional aliens called Nova. The military develops and trains Pandoras, girls who are able to use special genetic tissue called Stigmata to manifest superhuman fighting skills and weapons. Supporting the Pandoras are male partners called Limiters, who use special "freezing" powers to limit their opponent's mobility.

One of these limiters is Kazuya Aoi, whose late sister was a Pandora. While attending West Genetics Academy in Japan, Kazuya meets Satellizer el Bridget, a powerful Pandora, nicknamed the Untouchable Queen, for her ruthless personality and her intense aphephobia. Despite warnings from his schoolmates to keep away from Satellizer, Kazuya befriends her and asks to be her Limiter. After helping her through several fights against school rivals of varying ranks and classes, Satellizer agrees to partner with him, although she soon encounters a rival in romance named Rana Linchen, who thinks Kazuya is her soulmate. Their rivalry is put aside when the Novas attack their school using Pandoras under their control to access the school's underground lab.

Sometimes it feels as if each episode ends on a cliffhanger, which I love. The female characters are all portrayed as strong warriors, and there isn’t anything too sexualized about them other than a few key moments. The lore of the world is extremely fascinating, and the particular set up of this post-apocalyptic world was done extremely well with its semantics. The character designs are also incredibly unique, and nothing feels like a carbon copy of one standing next to it.

What We Love About Freezing 

  • The story has a heart. Amidst the fighting and arguing when it comes to protecting the world, as well as the blood, it never loses its original message. This is especially impressive in violent anime.
  • Vibrant and colorful characters also help set the stage for a great story. Despite not seeming so at first, everyone is genuinely likable, and you want to cheer them on in terms of survival.
  • Freezing itself is based on a manga, and the overall adaptation is stellar and very well done. Not many shows can pull off doing justice to their source material while still being unique, so Freezing must be perceived that way. 

21. When They Cry

Umineko no Naku Koro ni takes place on the island of Rokkenjima, owned by the immensely wealthy Ushiromiya family. As customary per year, the entire family is gathering on the island for a conference that discusses the current financial situations of each respective person. Because of the family head's poor health, this year involves the topic of the head of the family's inheritance and how it will be distributed.

However, the family is unaware that the distribution of his wealth is the least of Ushiromiya Kinzou's (family head) concerns for this year's family conference. After being told that his end was approaching by his longtime friend and physician, Kinzou is desperate to meet his life's true love one last time: the Golden Witch, Beatrice. Having immersed himself in black magic for many of the later years in his life, Kinzou instigates a ceremony to revive his beloved upon his family's arrival on Rokkenjima. Soon after, a violent typhoon traps the family on the island and a string of mysterious murders commence, forcing the eighteen people on the island to fight for their lives in a deadly struggle between fantasy and reality.

I was skeptical about this show going in, but it seems I had no reason to be overall. It has great action, a great plot, great characters, and overall an amazing world. The visuals are remarkable and deserve all kinds of praise from the anime community. I loved this show and you definitely will so give it a shot.

What We Love About When They Cry 

  • The characters are amazing. Kinzou has a good soul all in all, despite being totally lovesick, and his fellow cast bounces well off of him in terms of their dynamic, story, and overall design.
  • The voice acting is superior. This cast was chosen extremely well, and each and every emotion can be felt from the depths of the actor’s voice. They truly gave these characters their animated personalities and did so extremely well.
  • The visuals are stunning, even for violence. Things move fast, fluidly, and with an unnatural grace. And each time magic is used, the animated work on the part of the artists proves to be even more impressive with each moment. 

20. Junji Ito

In the light of day and in the dead of night, mysterious horrors await in the darkest shadows of every corner. They are unexplainable, inescapable, and undefeatable. Be prepared, or you may become their next victim.

Sit back in terror as traumatizing tales of unparalleled terror unfold. Tales, such as that of a cursed jade carving that opens holes all over its victims' bodies; deep nightmares that span decades; an attractive spirit at a misty crossroad that grants cursed advice; and a slug that grows inside a girl's mouth. Tread carefully, for the horrifying supernatural tales of the Itou Junji: Collection is not for the faint of heart.

These are genuinely terrifying stories, but extremely well written. I watch these myself every Halloween. The characters are human to the point of being typical horror figures, but that is what the show is about. Each story is more terrifying than the last, and each story has amazingly detailed and grotesque animation. It truly tells a terrifying tale in the best way possible.

What We Love About Junji Ito 

  • Another anthology series, Junji Ito is so intriguingly well written that you can start just about anywhere in the show and it won’t matter. The show makes up for that structure with intense stories and frightening characters. 
  • Speaking of characters, we only see certain individuals for an episode or two before they’re violently snuffed out. But that doesn’t make them underdeveloped or poorly written. In fact, it makes them the opposite. 
  • Junji Ito is a master of body horror and uses this mastery to its visual advantage. After all, this factor makes it one of the best in this particular genre of anime.

19. Another

In 1972, Misaki, a popular student of Yomiyama North Middle School's class 3-3, suddenly died partway through the school year. Devastated by the loss, the students and teacher behaved like Misaki was still alive, leading to a strange presence in the graduation photo. In Spring 1998, Kōichi Sakakibara transfers into Yomiyama's class 3-3, where he meets Mei Misaki, a quiet student whom their classmates and teacher seemingly ignore. The class is soon caught up in a strange phenomenon, in which students and their relatives begin to die in often gruesome ways. Realizing that these deaths are related to the "Misaki of 1972", a yearly calamity that has struck almost every class 3-3 since 1972, Kōichi and Mei seek to figure out how to stop it before it kills any more of their classmates or them.

I enjoyed this anime because I felt like I was on a roller coaster from start to finish. I never knew what was coming next, and the characters were constantly shifting and changing with the fast-paced plot. This also helped to really emphasize the violent part of it, as when violence comes with fast-paced storytelling, it tends to hit harder. I found the characters really likable, and I thought the voice cast did a fantastic job with the story and characters they were given to work with.

What We Love About Another 

  • The plot is definitely its strongest asset, and you find yourself not being able to look away from the mystery and violence of it all. Some arguing that the pacing is off, but I’d disagree, especially considering that the story itself is so enrapturing.
  • The character designs are amazing. No one character is a carbon copy of another, not even the background characters. They all have incredibly unique looks, and that’s a clear sign of creators who were passionate and cared about what they were doing.
  • The overall violence doesn’t take away from the stunning visuals of the world created, and it doesn’t ruin the beauty of the original set designs. They mesh and flow extremely well together.

18. Ghost Hunt

While at school, Taniyama Mai and her friends like to exchange ghost stories. Apparently, there is an abandoned school building on their campus that is the center of many ghost stories. During the story, they are interrupted by a mysterious male figure. The person turns out to be Shibuya Kazuya, a 17-year-old who is president of the Shibuya Psychic Research Company. He was called by the principal to investigate the stories surrounding the abandoned school building.

The next day, on the way to school, Mai passes the school building in question. While examining a strange camera she spotted inside, she gets surprised by Kazuya's assistant. Unknowingly interfering with the investigation, Mai breaks the camera and Kazuya's assistant gets injured.

Kazuya forcefully hires Mai in order to pay for the camera and replace his injured assistant. From that point on, Mai begins to learn about the paranormal world and the profession of ghost hunting.

I liked Ghost Hunt because I did find parts of it funny. Especially in the beginning, the arguing everyone did on how to best exorcise the ghost they were hunting reminded me of a bunch of children on a stakeout. Of course, things get extremely creepy and dark from there, which I also enjoy, but the humor seems to be a nice touch. Also, Mai isn’t a damsel in distress by any means, and I think that adds to the charming personality that is her character.

What We Love About Ghost Hunt 

  • Despite everything else going on, the show itself still manages to be quite funny. Mai definitely steals the show each time with her no-nonsense attitude, and that brings on the comedy.
  • Ghost Hunt has a great episode debut when it comes to introducing the characters and conflict. Using different methods of exorcism as a conflict catalyst really brought the characters together for the first time, and ultimately led to some well-timed introductions and dialogue. 
  • Ghost Hunt does a terrific job of keeping its mystery throughout the series. There are clearly secrets among the characters themselves, but Ghost Hunt is clever at keeping them hidden until the exact moment where they are meant to appear.

17. 91 Days

As a child living in the town of Lawless, Angelo Lagusa has witnessed a tragedy: his parents and younger brother have been mercilessly slaughtered by the Vanetti mafia family. Losing everything he holds dear, he leaves both his name and hometown behind, adopting the new identity of Avilio Bruno.

Seven years later, Avilio finally has his chance for revenge when he receives a mysterious letter prompting him to return to Lawless. Obliging, he soon encounters the Vanetti don's son, Nero, and seeks to befriend him using the skills he has quietly honed for years.

Set during the Prohibition era, 91 Days tells the story of Avilio's dark, bloodstained path to vengeance, as he slowly ends each of the men involved in the killing of his family.

91 Days was a weird start for me in terms of anime. I’ve reviewed period pieces before, but not one like this. Avilio had my attention the entire time, and for once I felt like I was watching an anime where someone’s revenge wasn’t totally founded on a false claim or premise. Avilio also isn’t defined by his revenge, he has other personality traits, which I love. Overall, great anime and a great story.

What We Love About 91 Days 

  • When it comes to tales of cold-blooded revenge in anime, 91 Days takes the cake for one of the best. Character motives feel grounded and somewhat reasonable, and each revenge plot overall only helps you to better understand said characters and the world they’re living in. 
  • 91 Days always makes sure that the story behind a character’s desire for vengeance not only makes sense but is good. And truthfully, it one hundred percent delivers beyond a few gunfights.
  • Once it has been one hundred years since a particular time period has taken place, any type of media that becomes associated with that time period is called a “Period Piece.” Prohibition was almost a century ago, so 91 days can be considered a pseudo period piece, making it even more interesting considering that the term “Period Piece” isn’t usually associated with violence. 

16. Shiki

Fifteen-year-old Megumi Shimizu dreamed of a glamorous life in the big city; however, her unexpected death in the quiet village of Sotoba marks the beginning of what appears to be a ferocious epidemic that turns the hot summer into a season of blood and terror. A young doctor named Toshio Ozaki begins to doubt the nature of the disease and comes to understand that to discover the truth, he must abandon his humanity. Meanwhile, Natsuno Yuuki, an antisocial youth from the city, is haunted by the sudden death of Megumi and must realize the pain of friendship in the face of his own tragedy. Toshio and Natsuno form an unlikely pair as they work together to save Sotoba before it transforms into a ghost town of vampires.

Shiki goes beyond the average vampire story. It tells the tragic tale of survival in a world where one cannot easily distinguish between good and evil. Abandoned by God, the Shiki, as the vampires call themselves, have only their will to live as they clash with the fear of the paranoid/unbelieving villagers. Shiki explores the boundary that separates the man from the monster.

Shiki’s study on psychosis was what really got me to enjoy the show. I thought that the way almost everyone behaved like an anti-hero was interesting since we usually don’t have that. The art and animation, despite being gory, made me love it. So many parts of the show I didn’t see coming, so I couldn’t help but end up liking it. In the end, great vampire anime to go check out.

What We Love About Shiki 

  • Shiki is a great anime when it comes to the study of the psychosis of humanity, something a little surprising. It truly focuses on what exactly is happening inside the minds of its characters, and it does it all incredibly well.
  • The scenery, in general, is incredibly bright and colorful, something unexpected and a little off-putting. But this works, as it makes the danger even more unassuming than it already was. It’s still eerie, violent, and downright creepy in some moments.
  • The story doesn’t feel forced, gimmicky, or overused, despite being a vampire story that can have pretty typical plot points. I’d call it a great show to watch overall.

15. Hellsing Ultimate 

There exist creatures of darkness and evil that plague the night, devouring any human unfortunate enough to be caught in their grasp. On the other side is Hellsing, an organization dedicated to destroying these supernatural forces that threaten the very existence of humanity. At its head is Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, who commands a powerful military and spends her life fighting the undead.

Integra's vast army, however, pales in comparison with her ultimate weapon: the vampire Alucard, who works against his own kind as an exterminator for Hellsing. With his new vampire servant, Seras Victoria, at his side, Alucard must battle not only monsters but all those who stand to oppose Hellsing, be they in the guise of good or evil.

In a battle for mankind's survival, Hellsing Ultimate proves that appearances are not all they may seem, and sometimes the greatest weapon can come in the form of one's worst nightmare.

Another vampire anime that I actually found better than Shiki. I thought the animation was cleaner, I thought the characters had a bit more depth, and I simply liked the premise more. After all, Van Helsing always was the ultimate vampire slayer and nemesis. I always thought the story had more substance, and that when there was violence, it was a lot cleaner. Overall, another great vampire anime for you.

What We Love About Hellsing Ultimate 

  • With Hellsing Ultimate, the storyline makes the violence seem all the more intriguing and oddly entertaining, making you not want to look away. This anime is a good example of how a good story does not have to be a byproduct of violence and vice versa. Overall, it does incredibly well story-wise.
  • The characters have been accused of being dull, but Alucard is so well written that he can’t possibly help but steal the show. The same also goes for his assistant, Seras Victoria. Very well written and very authentic in terms of personality. 
  • One of the few vampire animes with a vampire protagonist that isn’t either a side character or a hero, Hellsing Ultimate utilizes Alucard well as their signature anti-hero. He fits the world they built, and also stands out from other vampire protagonists.

14. Elfen Lied

Lucy is a special breed of human referred to as "Diclonius," born with a short pair of horns and invisible telekinetic hands that lands her as a victim of inhumane scientific experimentation by the government. However, once circumstances present her an opportunity to escape, Lucy, corrupted by the confinement and torture, unleashes a torrent of bloodshed as she escapes her captors.

During her breakout, she receives a crippling head injury that leaves her with a split personality: someone with the mentality of a harmless child possessing limited speech capacity. In this state of instability, she stumbles upon two college students, Kouta and his cousin Yuka, who unknowingly take an injured fugitive into their care, unaware of her murderous tendencies. This act of kindness will change their lives, as they soon find themselves dragged into the shadowy world of government secrecy and conspiracy.

Elfen Lied being as conceptually challenging as it was caught me off guard, but it was quite the welcome surprise overall. I always felt for Lucy and was happy when she came across Kouta and Yuka, or whenever she happened to not have everything go wrong for her for once. I loved the world-building, and Lucy’s overall design had me not being able to take my eyes off of her for one second. You should totally check out Elfen Lied!

What We Love About Elfen Lied 

  • Elfen Lied’s plotline isn’t just extreme in terms of violence, but it’s extreme in terms of ideas. Exploring themes such as abuse, social alienation, the value of one’s soul, and revenge, its intensity doesn’t stop at the visuals. Elfen Lied definitely has deep motifs to explore.
  • The animation is exquisite. Everything is fluid, detailed, and overall very tasteful. The colors mesh well with each other, and nothing feels out of place in terms of design or anything else for that matter.
  • Despite being incredibly graphic, the story itself remains engaging and quite pleasing to the audience in terms of the plot they got. It makes a lot of bold choices, and the series does well with that overall.

13. Gleipnir

Shuuichi Kagaya is what one would consider an average high school student, but sometimes, he turns into a monster. He doesn't know how or why he got his abilities, only that he would prefer no one knows about them. One night, he finds a building ablaze with a girl trapped inside. Deciding to save her, he transforms and carries her to safety, but accidentally drops his phone.

The next day, the girl he saved—Claire Aoki—finds him and confronts him about his monster identity. She even goes so far as to push him off the school roof to prove her theory after Shuuichi denies her allegations. Desperate to save himself, he transforms, and Claire snaps a picture in order to blackmail him into telling her everything he knows about monsters, which, ironically, isn't much.

As it turns out, Claire has a secret of her own: she has been searching for her sister, who also became a monster. She enlists Shuuichi's help to track her down, but they aren't the only ones searching for answers.

What We Love About Gleipnir 

  • Gleipnir is edgy, dark, and inventive. It’s new and strange. The violence is well balanced with the plot, and every character feels as if they were made with the best type of care and consistency.
  • Shuuichi may be a complete jerk, but his unconventional chemistry with Claire makes the show. Not to say anything of romance, but you can still have significant chemistry between the two main characters, and this worked out well between them.
  • The visuals are something dark and crazy, a great sight to behold. They work well with every type of moment and every type of character in the said moment. What is most impressive is the character designs. They’re exceptionally amazing in terms of anime.

12. Angels Of Death

13-year-old Rachel "Ray" Gardner is taken to a hospital for counseling after murdering her parents, but the catch is she forgot about it. However, she wakes up to find herself on basement Floor B7 instead with no memories apart from her name and the reason she came to the hospital. A series of mysterious broadcasts and scribbled messages on the wall set the scene as a game where each participant is designated a floor of their own, and anyone who trespasses on another participant's floor has the chance to be killed.

Ray, ignorant of the details, is almost killed by serial killer Isaac "Zack" Foster, the owner of Floor B6, and captured by Daniel "Danny" Dickens, the owner of Floor B5, and the doctor who examined her. Danny, who has a maniacal obsession with eyes, desires Rachel's blue, once-blank eyes. During this time, Ray recovers her memory during the night when the murder occurred, just as Zack kills Danny for her, but spares Ray after losing interest in her lack of emotions. As Zack has killed someone that was not on his floor, the broadcast designates him as a "sacrifice" along with Ray, where they can freely be killed by any floor master. The two, in the same situation, form an alliance where Zack can use her intelligence to escape, and upon doing so will fulfill Ray's desire to be killed by him.

The name of the game is survival again, and the aspect that really translates over is the ever-present idea that you can’t trust anyone, otherwise, death is upon you. The story itself is psychologically fascinating and even has some mixtures of CG animation as a new aspect. The animation is thrilling and sharp, which works incredibly well with the intensity of the story. 

What We Love About Angels Of Death 

  • The animation itself is clean, sharp, and definitely varied in terms of the directions the violence goes in. The voice acting even pairs well with this, making the characters feel extremely expressive and oddly creative despite being in significant amounts of pain.
  • The plot takes risks, that’s for sure. It’s incredibly inventive, and when it comes to the relationship between Zack and Rachel, it isn’t afraid to take a huge risk in terms of how well they play off of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • The way death and violence are portrayed in this show can be considered one of the more creative and better-defined perspectives. The way it presents itself is stellar, and shouldn’t be ignored.

11. Future Diary 

Lonely high school student, Yukiteru Amano, spends his days writing a diary on his cellphone while conversing with his two seemingly imaginary friends Deus Ex Machina, who is the god of time and space, and Murmur, the god's servant. Revealing himself to be an actual entity, Deus grants Yukiteru a "Random Diary," which shows highly descriptive entries based on the future and forces him into a bloody battle royale with 11 other holders of similarly powerful future diaries.

With the last person standing designated as the new god of time and space, Yukiteru must find and kill the other 11 in order to survive. He reluctantly teams up with his obsessive stalker Yuno Gasai (who also possesses such a diary), and she takes it upon herself to ensure his safety. But there's more to the girl than meets the eye, as she might have other plans for her unrequited love

In my opinion, Future Diary has to be one of the most unique anime on this list. The entire concept comes from the figment of a young boy’s imagination and then manifests itself into a show similar to Danganronpa minus the investigation part. It was also one of the first anime’s to start truly utilizing cell phones as a major plot device. It wasn’t the first, but definitely one of the most interesting. The plot doesn’t feel contrived, I enjoyed it immensely, and the intensity in the plot ramps up with every episode.

What We Love About Future Diary 

  • Future Diary’s playing with time isn’t as stereotypical as one would think. The way the phones themselves work as a literal diary is one of the most creative aspects, and the use of the phone can even be used to drive home the theme that technology has every opportunity to beget violence. And of course, it does.
  • For such a violent show, the main characters are generally likable. Yuno might be a weird case on that front, but each one is still incredibly well written. You also have to feel some sympathy for Yukiteru as well, and the story makes that very easy.
  • The animation is beautiful. Everything is fluid, well-drawn, well saturated, and generally does well with portraying the violence that comes with it all. Done incorrectly, this could go incredibly wrong, but Future Diary pulls it off well.

10. Black Lagoon 

The story follows a team of pirate mercenaries known as the Lagoon Company, that smuggles goods in and around the seas of Southeast Asia in the early to mid-1990s. Their base of operations is located in the fictional harbor city of Roanapur in east Thailand near the border of Cambodia (somewhere in the Amphoe Mueang Trat District, likely on the mainland north/northeast of the Ko Chang island or on the island itself). The city is home to the Japanese Yakuza, the Chinese Triad, the Russian mafia, the Colombian cartel, the Italian mafia, a wide assortment of pickpockets, thugs, mercenaries, thieves, prostitutes, assassins, and gunmen. The city also has a large Vietnamese refugee population following the Vietnamese refugee exodus after the Communist takeover of Vietnam in 1975.

Lagoon Company transports goods for various clients in the American made 80-foot (24 m) Elco-type PT boat Black Lagoon. It has a particularly friendly relationship with the Russian crime syndicate Hotel Moscow. The team takes on a variety of missions—which may involve violent firefights, hand-to-hand combat, and nautical battles—in various Southeast Asian locations, even going as far as Phu Quoc island of Vietnam. When they are not working, the members of the Lagoon Company spend much of their downtime at The Yellow Flag, a bar in Roanapur which is often destroyed in firefights.

Despite not being number one, Black Lagoon will always be a personal favorite of mine. Its stories are often heartrending, especially from Rock’s perspective, and I think that that’s what makes it all so real. Things like drug and weapon trafficking, the porn industry, and the mafia are real beyond Black Lagoon, yet Black Lagoon manages to portray them all with frightening accuracy. It’s definitely the most realistic out of the list and should be appreciated for that.

What We Love About Black Lagoon 

  • Black Lagoon has to be the most interesting anime out of the list because it is the most realistic. One could argue that Prohibition 91 is the most realistic since Prohibition took place, but there are still some fantastical elements to it. Meanwhile, excluding the Vampire Twins, Black Lagoon holds the top spot of most realistic because things like that are happening right now and we all know it. It was also incredibly researched, and the way it interacts with reality is downright jarring.
  • Every character is likable in their own way, as they’re all so well written. Balalaika is a clear and consistent villain, but she’s such a force of nature that you can’t help but admire her when she takes down someone who has pissed her off. Revy is a terrible person, but the fact that she readily admits this mostly accepts it and makes it funny, almost forces you to enjoy her presence.
  • One of the best parts about this show is Rock himself and the way he reacts to the violence and horrors that take place in his new world. Loathe as we are to admit it, Rock’s reaction to all of this mirrors what we would do in that same situation, and that’s what can make the violence in Black Lagoon so real it’s frightening. 

9. Deadman Wonderland 

It looked like it would be a normal day for Ganta Igarashi and his classmates—they were preparing to go on a class field trip to a certain prison amusement park called Deadman Wonderland, where the convicts perform dangerous acts for the onlookers' amusement. However, Ganta's life is quickly turned upside down when his whole class gets massacred by a mysterious man in red. Framed for the incident and sentenced to death, Ganta is sent to the very jail he was supposed to visit. 

But Ganta's nightmare is only just beginning. 

The young protagonist is thrown into a world of sadistic inmates and enigmatic powers, to live in constant fear of the lethal collar placed around his neck that is slowed only by winning in the prison's deathly games. Ganta must bet his life to survive in a ruthless place where it isn't always easy to tell friend from foe, all while trying to find the mysterious "Red Man" and clear his name, in Deadman Wonderland.

Deadman Wonderland is incredibly graphic, and I’m not exaggerating. In the first episode, the main character’s entire class is murdered, and his best friend is decapitated. After that, you have characters getting murdered left and right, which becomes pretty par for the course and generally normal. Despite being graphic, however, the visuals are smooth and detailed, and it’s characters are well executed. 

What We Love About Deadman Wonderland 

  • The premise of Deadman Wonderland on its own is extremely easy to get invested in, and not only that, you can’t seem to look away from the horrors you’re currently watching. Despite the major concern being only one murder mystery, Deadman Wonderland keeps you absolutely hooked the entire time. 
  • What I say is special about Deadman Wonderland is the way that it ultimately chooses to portray violence. Not only is it a lifestyle, but it’s a source of entertainment and specially devised punishment. It’s what gives the show it’s strange but unique taste.
  • Ganta, despite being a complete coward for the good first half of the show, becomes a great, well-developed character. He becomes much more likable and grows considerably in strength, which is something no one expected. 

8. Claymore

When a shapeshifting demon with a thirst for human flesh, known as "youma," arrives in Raki's village, a lone woman with silver eyes walks into town with only a sword upon her back. She is a "Claymore," a being manufactured as half-human and half-youma, for the express purpose of exterminating these monsters. After Raki's family is killed, the Claymore saves his life, but he is subsequently banished from his home. With nowhere else to go, Raki finds the Claymore, known as Clare, and decides to follow her on her journeys.

As the pair travel from town to town, defeating youma along the way, more about Clare's organization and her fellow warriors comes to light. With every town cleansed and every demon destroyed, they come closer to the youma on which Clare has sought vengeance ever since she chose to become a Claymore.

I love Claymore because it feels so different, especially in terms of style. I was a little put off by it at first, but the storyline and overall character development won me over. Clare is a stoical character that is balanced out by the cheerful Raki, and I appreciate character dynamics like that. Claymore is original and beautiful despite being violent, and I will always love it for that.

What We Love About Claymore 

  • Raki absolutely steals the show here, at least until we’re introduced to more characters. He’s incredibly likable, kind, smart, and even brave to some extent. That’s what makes him unique from most of the main protagonists on this list.
  • Clare and Raki have a genuine relationship that develops properly over time instead of being totally rushed. They’re both incredibly awkward, but also decent characters when it comes to plot development.
  • Claymore doesn’t let its violence distract from its good story and decent world-building. Instead, it compliments it entirely. The visuals are a little strange, but they work with the story, and it’s wonderful. 

7. King’s Game 

It can be rough transferring to a new school—even more so if you don't want to make any friends, like Nobuaki Kanazawa. But the reason for his antisocial behavior soon becomes clear when his class receives a text from someone called "The King." Included are instructions for the "King's Game," and all class members must participate. Those who refuse to play, quit halfway, or don't follow an order in the allotted time of 24 hours will receive a deadly punishment.

Having played the game before and watched as those around him died, Nobuaki tries to warn his clueless classmates. Unfortunately, they only believe him after the King's Game claims its first casualties. Stuck in a horrific situation with no chance of escape, Nobuaki has a choice: put his own survival above those around him, or do what he couldn't before and save his classmates.

In my opinion, King’s Game is better than most people have made it out to be. Its release in 2017 was met with mixed reviews, accused of being a little dull, and the dub contrived. However, compared to the majority of the anime’s on this list, we finally have a male protagonist that is more than shy or just thrust into the wrong place at the wrong time. Nobuaki seems to have previous issues, meaning that the fact that he is antisocial isn’t his entire personality, although that is a trait. It’s also nice to have a character in the know about a frightening situation rather than suffering from some form of amnesia or being completely out of it with the rest of the class. It also manages to cover difficult topics beyond death, such as religion, relationships, societal norms, and even mental illness.

What We Love About King’s Game 

  • When it comes to ever present societal issues such as death, relationships, religion, social norms, and mental illness, King’s Game doesn’t hold back when it comes to any of these. In fact, it embraces them, which is a welcome change from most shows who shy away from this sort of thing. 
  • We finally have a male protagonist who isn’t thrust into the middle of an unknown situation. Instead, he’s the smart one, and that makes the story even more unique and interesting. 
  • And the violence doesn’t distract from the story King’s Game is trying to tell. Instead, it contributes to the telling of that story, making it even better.

6. Parasyte

Parasyte centers on a male 17-year-old high school student named Shinichi Izumi, who lives with his mother and father in a quiet neighborhood in Tokyo, Japan. One night, tiny worm-like aliens with drill-like heads called Parasites arrive on Earth, taking over the brains of their hosts by entering through their ears or noses. One Parasite attempts to crawl into Shinichi's nose while he sleeps, but fails as Shinichi wakes up, and enters his body by burrowing into his arm instead. In the Japanese version, it takes over his right hand and is named Migi, after the Japanese word for 'right'.

Because Shinichi was able to prevent Migi from traveling further up into his brain, both beings retain their separate intellect and personality. As the duo encounters other Parasites, they capitalize on their strange situation and gradually form a strong bond, working together to survive. This gives them an edge in battling other Parasites who frequently attack the pair upon realization that Shinichi's human brain is still intact. Shinichi feels compelled to fight other Parasites, who devour other members of the species they infect as food while enlisting Migi's help.

I will be honest, I really didn’t like Parasyte at first. The visuals were a little too weird and graphic. But it grew on me, no pun intended, and I started to love it for its characters and plot points. It’s overall an amazing story and the animation details are done over very well. Overall, I would definitely recommend Parasyte.

What We Love About Parasyte 

  • Parasyte was written to be disturbing, which overall makes the writing style really unique. It also gives the visual artists the freedom to do whatever they wanted, which they most certainly did with character designs and Parasite scenes.
  • Shinichi is a genuinely good character, if not written to be down on his luck. His oddly forged relationship with his personal Parasite also gives the story its charms and its shivers, so I believe that it works.
  • When it comes to the violence in this show, the details and intricacies of the moment catch you so off guard with their disturbing beauty that you can’t look away. It’s a testament to a well written fictional world.

5. Corpse Party: Tortured Souls 

Nine students gather in their high school at night to bid farewell to a friend. As is customary among many high school students, they perform a sort of ritual for them to remain friends forever, using small paper charms shaped like dolls.

However, the students do not realize that these charms are connected to Heavenly Host Academy—an elementary school that was destroyed years ago after a series of gruesome murders took place, a school that rests under the foundation of their very own Kisaragi Academy. Now, trapped in an alternate dimension with vengeful ghosts of the past, the students must work together to escape—or join the spirits of the damned forever.

A feast for mystery fanatics, gore-hounds, and horror fans alike, Corpse Party: Tortured Souls - Bougyakusareta Tamashii no Jukyou shows a sobering look at redemption, sacrifice, and how the past is always right behind, sometimes a little too close for comfort.

Corpse Party, in my opinion, is rightfully graphic. Not only does it’s gory animation fit the story that’s being told, but it also fits with the common denominator of all of these shows; murder. The fact that this also takes place in a high school, and I find the story incredibly unique and entertaining. It’s very eerie, intense, and the characters are surprisingly likable. Which makes it sad when people start dying.

What We Love About Corpse Party: Tortured Souls 

  • The setting for Corpse Party is extremely creative and allows for so much artistic freedom when it comes to what the writers and artists want to work with. And this definitely paid off; Corpse Party is a great show.
  • Corpse Party as a violent mystery works extremely well, especially with that little horror genre sprinkled in. The visuals, however horrifying, compliment everything the best. An odd thing to say about gore, but accurate nonetheless.
  • The animation style is fun, scary, and amazingly done all that same time, not something too many shows can pull off. The characters work well with each other in this style, and overall it creates a great show.

4. Danganronpa 

Makoto Naegi, the protagonist, an average student selected to join Hope's Peak Academy, arrives at the school only to lose consciousness and later find himself trapped inside it, along with fourteen other students. There, a sadistic remote-controlled bear by the name of Monokuma announces that the students will be forced to live in the school forever, offering only one way to "graduate": murder another student and get away with it. When a crime scene is discovered, a "class trial" is held, in which the remaining students must discuss amongst themselves who the murderer is. If they successfully figure out who murdered the victim, the culprit alone will be executed. However, if they guess incorrectly, the culprit will be able to leave the school and everyone else will be executed.

I loved Danganronpa as a video game and I love it as an anime. Its characters are accurate to the game, it’s visuals are detailed and colorful, and the plot is fast-paced and wild. It’s a great ride from start to finish, and you’ll always be rooting for Makoto to solve the case. Or more like, Kyoko solving the cases with Makoto as her sidekick. Danganronpa is a great anime with a great sequel in Danganronpa 3.

What We Love About Danganronpa 

  • Danganronpa was already a successful, well-written video game. But it manages to pay great homage to the game by going at it the best they could and recreating scenes players know well. Even those who haven’t played the game can watch and enjoy it.
  • The characters' personalities translated perfectly. Makoto is like Makoto, Aoi is like Aoi, Kyoko is like Kyoko, and so on. The writers knew what they were doing when they created the show and cast the voice cast, and they did very well.
  • The visuals are still beautiful despite being violent, and the colors are vibrant and pop with excitement. The character designs are on point, so combine that with them being killed and you have a true death fest on your hands.

3. Tokyo Ghoul

Tokyo has become a cruel and merciless city—a place where vicious creatures called “ghouls” exist alongside humans. The citizens of this once great metropolis live in constant fear of these bloodthirsty savages and their thirst for human flesh. However, the greatest threat these ghouls pose is their dangerous ability to masquerade as humans and blend in with society.

Based on the best-selling supernatural horror manga by Sui Ishida, Tokyo Ghoul follows Ken Kaneki, a shy, bookish college student, who is instantly drawn to Rize Kamishiro, an avid reader like himself. However, Rize is not exactly who she seems, and this unfortunate meeting pushes Kaneki into the dark depths of the ghouls' inhuman world. In a twist of fate, Kaneki is saved by the enigmatic waitress Touka Kirishima, and thus begins his new, secret life as a half-ghoul/half-human who must find a way to integrate into both societies.

Tokyo Ghoul really makes you feel for you Ken, and that’s the idea. Its concept is creative and original, and it’s honestly best at its beginning. I think the pack and alpha mentality of the Ghouls is fascinating, and a great play on animalistic tendencies. There was tons of thought put into this anime, and it’s beautiful visually and story-wise. Definitely give it a go.

What We Love About Tokyo Ghoul 

  • The concept itself while disturbing is quite amazing and interesting. Modern-day science fiction lore paired with this level of violence actually works quite well in Tokyo Ghoul’s favor, making it an extremely popular anime.
  • The animation is beautiful. It’s fluid, sharp, colorful, and the facial expressions on each character were done with immense thought and care. When it comes to the surroundings, each minute detail counts, and each one contributes a great deal to the rest of the story. 
  • Kaneki is a great male protagonist. He’s not completely hotheaded or completely weak, either. He has heart and a genuine personality the audience can grow to love. Of course, the stellar voice acting also definitely helps out.

2. Death Note

A shinigami, as a god of death, can kill any person—provided they see their victim's face and write their victim's name in a notebook called a Death Note. One day, Ryuk, bored by the shinigami lifestyle and interested in seeing how a human would use a Death Note, drops one into the human realm.

High school student and prodigy Light Yagami stumbles upon the Death Note and—since he deplores the state of the world—tests the deadly notebook by writing a criminal's name in it. When the criminal dies immediately following his experiment with the Death Note, Light is greatly surprised and quickly recognizes how devastating the power that has fallen into his hands could be. 

With this divine capability, Light decides to extinguish all criminals in order to build a new world where crime does not exist and people worship him as a god. Police, however, quickly discover that a serial killer is targeting criminals and, consequently, try to apprehend the culprit. To do this, the Japanese investigators count on the assistance of the best detective in the world: a young and eccentric man known only by the name of L.

I like Death Note mostly for Ryuk. He runs the business, he steals the show, he does everything. The world is fascinating, as is the show’s concept of what constitutes the afterlife and who goes where. And as conceited and as obnoxious as Light can be, he is funny, and he does have the Death Note. It’s a great show, and I totally recommend it to anyone who loves anime.

What We Love About Death Note 

  • The concept in general is incredibly creative and discusses righteousness, death, and vanity in one of the most original ways an anime has ever done. The violence perpetrated by emotions and the inner workings of Light’s mind, making the world seem smaller in an interesting way.
  • Ryuk is one of the best anime characters of all time. He’s funny, is the main catalyst for the whole show, and gets along well with Light to the point where their relationship is sometimes comedic. He is definitely the best character in Death Note and definitely makes the story.
  • The voice acting is on point, especially for Light and Ryuk. Two very talented voice actors are portraying two complex characters and their personalities, and overall, it works in the show’s favor. They aren’t the only talents of course, but they both ultimately steal the show together. 

Best Violent Anime: Attack On Titan 

Centuries ago, mankind was slaughtered to near extinction by monstrous humanoid creatures called titans, forcing humans to hide in fear behind enormous concentric walls. What makes these giants truly terrifying is that their taste for human flesh is not born out of hunger but what appears to be out of pleasure. To ensure their survival, the remnants of humanity began living within defensive barriers, resulting in one hundred years without a single titan encounter. However, that fragile calm is soon shattered when a colossal titan manages to breach the supposedly impregnable outer wall, reigniting the fight for survival against the man-eating abominations.

After witnessing a horrific personal loss at the hands of the invading creatures, Eren Yeager dedicates his life to their eradication by enlisting into the Survey Corps, an elite military unit that combats the merciless humanoids outside the protection of the walls. Based on Hajime Isayama's award-winning manga, Shingeki no Kyojin follows Eren, along with his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman and his childhood friend Armin Arlert, as they join the brutal war against the titans and race to discover a way of defeating them before the last walls are breached.

This may be a typically popular anime, but it definitely hits hard. Visually, it’s absolutely stunning, and when I watched it for the first time I was caught off guard by the intensity of it. But I enjoy the story, I love every character, the action is well animated and exciting, and there’s even a mystery concerning Eren’s father. Eren can get a little overbearing at times, but I think that’s his best personality traits in some cases.

What We Love About Attack On Titan 

  • The animation is gorgeous. Everything is so finely tuned and colored, it’s very easy to see that there was a ton of tough work put into it. Besides that, the facial expressions are so realistic it can be haunting when a character is in pain.
  • Speaking of characters, they all have depth and passion in them. Each character is well written and their stories are well executed. Not only that, but they all interact with each other in ways that no viewer can expect on some occasions.
  • Finally, violence. It isn’t as graphic as Corpse Party or Parasyte, but the significant violence it does have paired with the better story writing puts it at number one. Its overall balance between the two makes it the most appealing and interesting in terms of an anime to watch.

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I carry my pen like I carry my broadsword; with confidence and experience. My entire life has been devoted to creative writing and gaming, and always will be.
Gamer Since: 2012
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Shadowverse
Top 3 Favorite Games:Costume Quest, Star Wars: Battlefront, The Elder Scrolls Online

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