11 Outrageous Anime That Give Devilman Crybaby A Run For Its Money
By Dan Auty on
Netflix's recent anime hit Devilman Crybaby has become one of the most talked-about anime releases for many years, and its weird and disturbing content has pushed back the boundaries of what viewers might expect to see on the streaming service.
But it's hardly the first anime series to feature controversial, disturbing, and outrageous content. There have been some truly jaw-dropping movies and shows released over the years--some are violent, some sexual, some just indescribably weird. So here are 11 other anime movies and series that delivered something different. And once you’ve checked this out, take a look out our list of the best horror anime to stream right now and the best anime on Netflix.
11. Angel's Egg (1985)
Mamoru Oshii is one of Japan's most acclaimed animation directors, whose credits include the original Ghost in the Shell, Patlabor, and Urusei Yatsura. Before he made those classics he helmed Angel's Egg alongside artist Yoshitaka Amano, who would later become a prominent figure in the gaming world for his work on the Final Fantasy series. It's surely one of the weirdest anime films ever made--more a head-spinning psychedelic art instillation than a piece of narrative filmmaking, it follows a young girl as she wanders through a strange, post-apocalyptic world. Its bizarre, meditative tone is a world away from most of the other movies on the list, but in its own way it's every bit as subversive.
10. Urotsukidōji/Legend of the Overfiend (1986)
Urotsukidōji, also known as Legend of the Overfiend, was released in the US in the wake of Akira's break-out success, and for many new anime fans it was their first taste of how extreme things could get. It's based on Toshio Maeda's manga series, but director Hideki Takayama pushes the material much further. The story of a demonic beast in human form who comes to earth, it's packed with disturbing horror and sexual violence. As Takayama said when asked about Urotsukidōji's extreme content: "There is nothing that arouses a stronger response in human beings than either sex or violence. A mixture of the two is very powerful indeed."
9. Violence Jack: Evil Town (1988)
A year after he first unleashed Devilman on the world, manga pioneer Go Nagai returned with another controversial creation. Violence Jack is a mighty warrior who dispenses violent justice in a world that has been destroyed by natural disasters. The character might not have had the impact of Devilman, but he did inspire a variety of manga titles over the years, as well as three separate anime video releases. The middle of these was Violence Jack: Evil Town, and it was by far the most controversial. The depiction of rape, cannibalism, and necrophilia led the feature to be cut in many countries, and it was banned outright in Australia.
8. Genocyber (1993)
A wild, blood-drenched cyberpunk series, the Genocyber of the title is the crazed fusing of two sisters into one futuristic killing machine. Genocyber is not only unrelentingly violent but incredibly mean-spirited too, with dozens of innocent men, women, and children blown apart by heavy weaponry throughout the course of its five episodes.
7. Biohunter (1995)
Biohunter is hardly a classic, but it did receive a fairly wide VHS release in the US during the 1990s, and is notable for coming from famed anime studio Madhouse, who later produced several masterpieces from the late, great Satoshi Kon, including Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, and the Paranoia Agent series. And, of course, Biohunter is really violent. Two scientists fight against humans who are infected with murderous demonic powers. The dialogue and plotting is pretty dull, but when to comes to the gore, the series more than delivers, with the infected creatures ripping, tearing and mutilating anything that crosses their path.
6. Berserk (1997)
While many of the manga adaptations on this list increased the violent and sexual content from their original sources, the acclaimed 25-episode series Berserk actually toned down some of the manga's more extreme moments. But don't worry, there's still plenty of wild, gory mayhem in this absorbing blend of sci-fi and dark fantasy about a young mercenary called Guts. There was also a 2016 CGI remake, but it's the '90s classic that anime fans should seek out.
5. Serial Experiments Lain (1998)
One of the most challenging and often impenetrable anime series ever made, Serial Experiments Lain is a stunningly designed cyberpunk nightmare about a young girl and her experiences within a social media network known as the Wired. While many titles on the list alienated viewers with their violent content, Lain does it through its uncompromising tone, brain-scrambling philosophical concepts, and disorientating visuals.
4. Mind Game (2004)
More than a decade before he took on directing duties of Devilman Crybaby, Masaaki Yuasa delivered this crazy, unique, incredible animated movie. It's the story of a young man who has a run-in with gangsters and finds himself trapped in a psychedelic limbo. Mind Game constantly switches animation styles, from basic line drawings and more traditional styles to wild techniques involving CGI and live-action footage. It won much acclaim and many awards, and it remains one of the most jaw-droppingly mad slices of anime of recent years.
3. Mnemosyne (2008)
Also known as a RIN: Daughters of Mnemosyne, this is a sleazy detective story set in a futuristic Tokyo about the immortal, indestructible private investigator Rin and her assistant Mimi. There is a complicated supernatural conspiracy plot that centers around Rin's past, but the show is more concerned with delivering an explicit sex scene every ten minutes--plus plenty of impressively animated splatter sequences.
2. Gyo: Fish Attack (2012)
Gyo is a demented, surreal, and frequently offensive B-movie homage about walking, metal-legged sea creatures who emerge from the sea to attack humans. There are some serious themes about the dangers of pollution and chemical weapons in there, but for the most part they take second place to the sight of giant cybernetic sharks and octopus causing all sorts of gruesome mayhem on the streets of Tokyo.
1. Corpse Party: Tortured Souls (2013)
The Japanese survival horror video game Corpse Party has inspired any number of spin-offs: manga, audiobooks, theme park rides, live-action movies, and two anime versions--Corpse Party: Missing Footage and the follow-up Tortured Souls. Both fully deliver on the graphically violent promise of the game. A group of school kids and their teacher fall into a terrifying alternate universe filled with torture, murder, mutilation, and gallons of gore. It's not exactly good, but it sure is memorable.