Controversial anime is nothing new, but more often than not their shame stems from a specific scene or episode that really upset viewers. For example, School days is remembered more for its bloody series finale and a certain beautiful boat, not the whole story. These anime, meanwhile, became infamous for their entire plot.
The overarching stories and underlying messages of this anime were so worrying and questionable to viewers that they wondered how this series was even approved. While most anime viewers are fine with anime that moves into obscure or even tacky territory, this anime went too far.
Sensitive and disturbing content ahead!
10 Handshakes are notoriously banal and lumpy
Every battle anime has a gimmick to sell its plot, and hand shakers is no exception. Here, couples known as “Hand Shakers” battle each other with Nimrods to get their wish granted by God. To summon their Nimrods, Hand Shakers must hold hands in combat. In the case of Tazuna and Koyori, they must hold hands at all times or Koyori will die.
As for anime gimmicks, hand shakers has seen one of the most notoriously uninspired ever. At best, hand shakers core premise was rejected because it was unimaginative. At worst, it was seen as a transparent means of granting wishes, with refusal to show affection in public literally death for some.
9 GATE was not shy about his nationalism and self-indulgence
Anime that leans heavily conservatively is relatively common, and PORT: So the JSDF fought there! is one of the most infamous. to describe GATE since nationalist propaganda is charitable, because it has no qualms about portraying the Japanese self-defense force as the largest army on earth, while yielding to the fulfillment of otaku wishes.
GATE could have been an enjoyable clash between fantasy armies and modern armies, but whatever entertainment value it had, it was overshadowed by overt militaristic rhetoric and sexist undertones. Many fans of military anime can forgive or overlook the problematic conventions of their favorite genre, but GATE is too much even for them.
8 Interspecies Reviewers Were So Raunchy It Was Banned
Interspecies reviewers is far from the first adult-oriented anime, but it was certainly one of the most infamously shameless. In the anime, the titular reviewers go through a fantasy realm to sleep with someone from every known fantasy race and rate the experience. Not surprising, Interspecies reviewer banned almost immediately.
Because of its unapologetic premise and associated fame, Interspecies reviewers quickly became an underground sensation. Help out Interspecies Reviewer’s case was how much it commits to its raunchy potential. Fans who got into the anime after hearing about it were not only pleased with the content, but got more than they bargained for.
7 World’s End Harem is the lowest point of the harem genre
Harem anime are not exactly known for being clever, but many consider The World’s End Harem to be the bottom of the vessel of the niche. The World’s End Harem Set in a world where all but a million men have been killed by a virus. Reito is one of only five men left in Japan and it’s up to them to repopulate the country.
As lazy as harem anime tends to justify their romantic shenanigans, The World’s End Harem is at the same time the most bizarre but also the laziest. Despite the post-apocalyptic setting, The World’s End Harem is just another clichéd harem anime. Its only claim to fame and fame is its daring plot and ridiculous excess of fan service.
6 The emergence of the whole shield hero premise is very controversial
Modern isekai anime doesn’t have the best reputation, and The Rising Of The Shield Hero is not for nothing touted as an example. Naofumi’s time as the Shield Hero began with false accusations of sexual assault, and he toiled to clear his name and humiliate his enemies. This alone is enough for some to drop the anime after one episode.
Isekai anime are inherently escapist and youthful, but The Rising Of The Shield Hero pushed these vicarious tropes into offensive areas on the frontier. In addition to the blatant misogyny on display, the anime makes its self-indulgence abundantly clear. The isekai genre has its flaws, and The Rising Of The Shield Hero is a collection of its worst traits.
5 Harem in the labyrinth of another world justifies and romanticizes slavery
For some reason, slavery is a recurring theme in the modern isekai anime. Most isekai anime tend to cover up the existence of slaves and the inhumane institution of slavery, but Harem in the labyrinth of another world centers the whole story and setting on it. In fact, the full title even started with “slave” before being cut out for international markets.
When Michio Kaga wakes up in a pretend play, he decides to earn money so that he can build a harem by buying the freedoms of his love interests. Modern isekai anime are already notorious for their transparent self-indulgence and problematic portrayal of women, but Harem in the labyrinth of another world is one of the most scandalous.
4 Happy Sugar Life is one of the most twisted anime ever made
At first sight, Happy sugar life looks just like any other questionable anime about a relationship with a huge age difference. In the case of this anime, the main couple consists of the teenage Satou Matsuzaka and the much younger Shio Kobe. However, Happy sugar life is really about obsession and trauma, not about young love.
Basically, Satou is an extreme yandere who will kill to keep the “happy sugar life” of her dreams with Shio. Happy sugar life is infamous not only for its dark plot, but also for its deceptively cute art style that would feel right at home in most shojo anime. Because of this, Happy sugar life is often recommended as a challenge or a joke.
One of the most controversial anime tropes is the underage romance, especially those that try to evade criticism by citing long-dead social norms of eons ago. Young Bride of Nobunaga Teacher gained infamy not only for following this questionable formula to the last letter, but also for its lack of pretensions.
In Young Bride of Nobunaga TeacherTeacher Oda Nobunaga gets the love life he desired when a 14-year-old girl from the Sengoku era travels to modern Japan and mistakes him for the historical daimyo betrothed to her. Young Bride of Nobunaga Teacher portrays this as a romantic comedy, which soured the premise even further among viewers.
2 Dogeza: Tried to ask while Kowtowing is sad for all the wrong reasons
Anime told from a first-person perspective aren’t that uncommon, and Dogeza is one of the most infamous and mainstream examples of this niche. Dogeza is told from the point of view of the faceless Doge Suwaru and through his eyes the audience convinces several women to perform lewd acts by literally begging them to do so.
Dogeza may not be the most lecherous anime of its kind, but it was one of the most seen since it actually aired on television. In addition to the blatant fetishistic wish-fulfillment, Dogeza became infamous among anime viewers for being so pathetic that Doge couldn’t decide whether to hate him or feel sorry for him.
1 Oreimo is responsible for popularizing romantic anime for siblings
The 2010s saw a plethora of romantic anime with sibling romances, and all of these imoto (or little sister) anime owe their existence to Oreimo. After Kyousuke discovers that his younger sister Kirino is an otaku, the two develop feelings for each other and even get married. Not surprising, Oreimo caused controversy.
For better and worse, Oreimo fully committed to the incest taboos instead of walking around it like later in imoto anime. Kyousuke and Kirino were siblings by birth and they made no apologies for the ensuing romance. Imoto anime is still airing today, but they can never match Oreimos daring and shame.
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