Anime Underground

13 Shockingly Violent OVAs From The '80s And '90s  

Leo Reyna
4.2k votes 1.2k voters 114.5k views 13 items

List Rules Vote up the OVAs from the '80s and '90s that are the most violent and brutal.

"Anime is not for kids." That's the tagline a now-defunct anime distributor once used at the beginning of their animated VHS ads. It's not hard to imagine why anyone would find that chilling warning so appealing. Generally, animation is aimed towards children in the West. On the other hand, Japan has animated series that appeal to a variety of ages and can get away with way more risqué material than the cartoons shown in the States. 

Nonetheless, even Japanese networks have their limits when it comes to depicting violence or airing material deemed offensive. The characters on Naruto may bleed and even die a heroic death, but you won't see any of them get decapitated right in front of your eyes. However, Original Video Animations, or OVAs, could get away with that.

The emerging market of OVAs during the 1980s and 1990s saw Japanese anime studios crossing territories they never could have crossed on TV. Eroticism was no longer a taboo subject, and neither was its correlation with extreme violence. Thus, OVAs became a huge factor in shaping the public perception about anime in Japan. Compiled here are the most shockingly violent OVAs from the '80s and '90s that painted anime as hyper-violent, pornographic cartoons. Vote up the ones that are most disturbingly bloody and savage. 

Genocyber is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 13 Shockingly Violent OVAs From The '80s And '90s
Photo:  Artmic

The cyberpunk anime Genocyber is infamous for its crazy depiction of violence. The soon-to-be-one nation of the world is under attack by a new cybernetic weapon that exhibits psychic powers. The humanoid monster dispatches its victims in the most grotesque of ways, such as ripping a man's skull and spine straight from his face. That's not even the worse death in Genocyber. A man has his stomach ripped open, resulting in an exposed rib cage with blood and organs spilling out. 

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Angel Cop
Angel Cop is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 13 Shockingly Violent OVAs From The '80s And '90s
Photo:  D.A.S.T.

Angel Cop is another unbelievably violent anime on this list. However, it is also a bit ridiculous, as its bloody scenes are paired with a horrendous English dub. It doesn't help that characters explode in pools of blood from simple gunshot wounds, either. In fact, nothing about the ways people are killed really makes sense here, yet it fits because of the so-bad-it's-good vibe. 

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Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend
Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Ov... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 13 Shockingly Violent OVAs From The '80s And '90s
Photo:  West Cape Productions

Best known for launching the tentacle rape genre, Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend mixed eroticism with extreme violence to create an animated film like no other. The anime's tale of humans, demons, and half-beasts intertwining provides an ugly world where rape and death are only minutes apart. Women are the main targets of Urotsukidoji's cruelty, as they are constantly raped and horrifically killed by chaotic monsters. Men have it a little easier - they're treated like living toys who are tortured until they break. 

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Apocalypse Zero
Apocalypse Zero is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 13 Shockingly Violent OVAs From The '80s And '90s
Photo:  Production Reed

The apocalypse provides the perfect background for unspeakable horrors, so it's no surprise Apocalypse Zero takes full advantage of its name to deliver an explicit martial arts film. Two siblings with superpowered armor take on horrible creatures who now roam their post-apocalyptic world. No goofy Power Ranger monsters here. Ungodly creatures, like a massive, clown-faced smiling woman with enormous breasts, run rampant and wild, causing pain and destruction everywhere. They are seen squeezing the life out of one victim and ripping the flesh off of the face of another. 

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