When you think about anime for kids, you probably don't think about people and animals passing away, psychological breakdowns, cities being destroyed, or police brutality. But while kid-oriented fare tends to stay relatively PG, there are moments when things go totally off the rails.
Viewers of shows like Yu-Gi-Oh!, Digimon, and even Sonic X and Yokai Watch will remember the series' more disturbing moments. Kyosuke Kiryuu being tortured in prison was only one of the horrifying moments that Yu-Gi-Oh! had to offer, while Juri's breakdown in Digimon Tamers will stay with viewers forever.
Dark moments from kids anime aren't necessarily a bad thing. They can help their intended audience process difficult subjects in a safe way, and they can keep the adults and teens in the room from being bored out of their minds. That said, if a kid isn't prepared for a scary moment, it can be damaging.
Which scary anime moments seem the least kid friendly?
Jibanyan Is Hit By A Truck In 'Yo-Kai Watch'Photo: OLM
Jibanyan was once a regular cat named Rudy, who belonged to a little girl named Amy. Tragically, he lost his life trying to stop Amy from getting hit by a truck. While the child survived, the cat didn't make it. Because he couldn't exactly percieve things perfectly while the life was draining out of him, he thought that Amy was insulting him, which gave him a shame complex that would persist for ages.
Does anybody - especially a child who is only just beginning to understand what death is - truly want to watch a cat pass away?12722Was this dark?
Kyosuke Kiryuu Is Tortured In Prison In 'Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds'Photo: Studio Gallop
One wouldn't expect anime to deal with police brutality, but that's actually a major theme in Yu-Gi-Oh! Kyosuke Kiryuu, also known as Kalin Kessler, is a resident of Sattellite. That means he can be arrested for pretty much any reason, and when he is, the consequences are severe. Not only is he imprisoned, he's also beaten and denied food on a routine basis. But it gets even worse from there. The police burn a "criminal mark" into his face, a process that's just as excruciatingly painful as it sounds.
Remember guys, this is supposed to be a kids' show about card games.10725Was this dark?
The Underground Cage Matches In 'Yu-Gi-Oh! GX'Photo: Studio Gallop
Though typically categorized as one of the cheeriest entries into the Yu-Gi-Oh! canon, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX has some genuinely disturbing moments. Here's one of them.
Ryo Marufuji, known as Zane Truesdale in the dub, becomes a professional duelist just like he's always dreamed. Unfortunately, his budding career takes a nosedive when he starts losing duels. Eventually, he starts participating in underground duels. These take place in a shady-looking bar, and the participants wear electrodes that administer severe shocks when the players lose their life points. Meanwhile, spectators watch in gleeful amusement.
While the series pins Ryo's eventual heart failure on using an evil card, it's unlikely that being repeatedly electrocuted wasn't a contributing factor.11135Was this dark?
Akihiro Kurata Destroys the Digital World in 'Digimon Data Sqaud'Photo: Toei Animation
Akihiro Kurata is unique in the world of Digimon in that he is the only human character who is actually evil - the other human beings were typically being manipulated by some outside force. When Kurata first encounters the Digital World, he's so terrified by its denizens that he sends in machines to massacre as many of them as humanly possible. He feels no remorse, only the desire to destroy the ones' he missed. Genocide isn't exactly kids show material, but Digimon has always been pretty dark.7721Was this dark?