**This article contains mature content not suitable for minors! Must be 18 year of age or older!**
When are you struck by disgust? When you are, do you react in horror or in laughter?
The idea of being shown something alien to your daily life is a common feature of storytelling and anime is certainly no exception. In fact, there is a sizeable portion of keen anime fans who actively seek out the horrifying and the exotic. This article is a love letter to them.
However, note that this article chooses not to include some of the more progressive sexual themes in anime in our consideration of what is disgusting. One may not find Koi Kaze or Hourou Musuko to be very appetising when it comes to challenging our view of appropriate sexual relationships or gender identity, but there is nothing that can be described as inherently disgusting about such works. Instead, this article focuses on the immediate impact of the “what the hell did I just watch” factor in certain shows that no one wants to tell their friends they watched.
For anime, disgusting shows often come hand-in-hand with scenes that aim to disturb because of its narrative effect rather than purely through aesthetics. Each selection will take into account the relevant context of the disgusting elements and leave to our readers to make your own judgement. A deliberate attempt has been made to touch on well-known shows before gradually introducing some of the lesser known, more exotic works that has come out of the industry.
So, without further ado, let us present Honey’s Anime’s selection for the Top 10 Disgusting Anime.
- Episodes: 22
- Aired: October 2012-March 2013
Savvy readers who already watched this brilliance of a TV anime show might’ve been so immersed in one of the most riveting anime narratives of this decades to remember how disturbing some of the earlier stories had been. Possibly to fit his gory and almost nihilistic writing style to the TV airwaves, the first half of Psycho-Pass is a collection of Gen Urobuchi’s imaginatively violent murders ranging from our first exposure to death by molecular deconstruction (through the Dominators used by our protagonists) to sawing up a corpse so that it can be flushed into a toilet bowl.
Admittedly, Psycho-Pass is among Urobuchi’s tamer works, especially compared to almost all of his prolific visual novels. However, it is possibly his most gut-churning anime as you realise that one of the victims in the show ended up with their legs attached to where their arms are supposed to connect with their shoulders, in an almost beautifying way no less.
- Nazo no Kanojo X (Mysterious Girlfriend X)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: April 2012-July 2012
16 year old Akira Tsubaki gets into a relationship with fellow classmate and loner Mikoto Urabe. Having a setup so similar to many anime romances, it shouldn’t be wrong for any innocent viewer to assume that this show is about Akira and Mikoto’s adorable couplehood and their learning to come into terms with being with one another. Well, they wouldn’t be wrong either…
However, Nazo no Kanojo X is especially disconcerting because the entire basis of the main couple’s relationship and sexual attraction to one another is based on them dwelling (both mentally and very, very graphically) on each other’s spit. There’s an element of rawness in the show’s frank depiction of Akira and Mikoto’s pent up frustration despite the Ghibli-inspired fantastical aesthetics, giving an almost poetic meaning to their salivary exchanges as they learn to accept the weirdness in their significant other. Whether it is appealing to watch is something we have decide on our own.
Watching Nazo no Kanojo X is akin to visiting your neighbours and then absolutely enjoying yourself as their puppy runs enthusiastically onto your lap, only for you to realise in horror that his entire body is covered in the stink of his uncleaned waste. You can definitely learn to ignore the stench and enjoy his antics, but that would definitely be more of a compliment to your strength of mind.
- Episodes: 22
- Aired: July 2010-December 2010
Shiki is an anime about vampires. Not many vampire anime exist, and among the most popular shows of the past decade are a shoujo love story and a high school romantic comedy. In stark contrast to its motif predecessors, Shiki tells a story of the conflicts between the humans and ‘shiki’, long-living vampiric creatures, in a rural Japanese village that escalates into a desperate war of survival at the cost of morality and compassion. The show does a great job of making every death count.
While Shiki resembles a horror show more than anything else in the first half of its run, there comes a point when the viewer is no longer astonished by the vampires but instead by the sheer violence that both sides are capable of. In one particular scene, village doctor Toshio Ozaki becomes so consumed with his hate for the ‘shiki’ that he heartlessly dissects one of their kind both in our and his conscious victim’s view. The scene, in all its disturbing glory, ends up being a turning point in demonstrating to us that some of the most disgusting and revolting conflicts are those of when people try to regain their normal lives.