Top 25 Shockingly Serious Anime

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Fans of more serious and melancholic anime supply a ranking of the most emotionally intense (if not outright depressing) anime they have watched.

For those wondering about what merits the “serious” qualification: “anime with depressing (serious) developments which made an intense impression on you.”

The ranking:

1. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

2. School Days

3. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

4. Neon Genesis Evangelion

5. Bokurano

6. Ga-rei Zero

7. Code Geass

8. Elfen Lied

9. Fafner in the Azure

10. Infinite Ryvius

11. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

12. Deadman Wonderland

13. Umineki no Naku Koro ni

14. Ōkami Kakushi

15. Iriya no Sora

16. Saikano

17. Gosick

18. ef

19. Black Lagoon

20. Phantom

21. Madlax

22. Kara no Kyoukai

23. Rozen Maiden

24. H2O – Footprints in the Sand

25. Full Metal Panic

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268 Comments

  • Still haven’t experienced anything close to Texhnolyze’s massive scale of bleakness. Like a cold storm swept everything away, left nothing but despair, and layers and layers of atrophied humanity. That’s was not shocking. That’s was a big flipping fuck throughout the beginning to the end.
    Animated film, that Grave of Fireflies did carved a big fucking hole into my brain since ages, and still hasn’t left yet.

      • I agree (though, it’s still awesome that Texhnolyze managed to get a mention around here). This list mainly seems to be composed of anime that start out fairly light-hearted, or give a light-hearted impression from its promotional images and such, and then just hits you hard. Though, some of them aren’t too shocking, but I guess it’s a case-by-case basis, really. For instance, I’ve seen a lot of people who apparently knew what direction Madoka Magica was headed in because they were already familiar with Gen Urobuchi’s work, and with School Days, while there’s little doubt that they wouldn’t have banked on the infamous bad endings from the game, that’s not to say there weren’t some people who were expecting otherwise (or even a few people who saw the anime without being familiar with the game in the first place)… actually, the game itself most definitely qualifies as shock value.

    • Anonymous says:

      Strangely enough Tehxnolyze is the only anime that ever made me cry more than just a few tears (save for one episode of Gintama). After the end, I cried for several minutes.I agreed with his choice, but it still made me cry.

    • I have never felt huge pity for the boy in Grave of Fireflies. He was offered a work for food. His sister could work too. Instead he ran away, taken his sister with him, so he technically killed her. Because running away won’t bring you food. It was a fucking war, and he talked of some “childhood memories”. Douche.

      • I guess you missed the point that they where children. I guess you have to be an adult to understand how different children think and react to reality. Most adults and society in the movie cares little about the children or what is happening to them. I don’t remember the part about work but I do remember that he finally did get food but she is a little child and lack of normal food does her in even though he had food. Since his family for the most part is all dead and he is still a young man only, he just gives up.

        Easy to criticize when you never been out of your moms basement a totally different thing if you actually have worked with children and how different they think to adults. The movie to me was dead on how children are the really the worst off when it comes to wars. Adults may die but they have it way easier than the children do.

      • Anonymous says:

        THE REAL MONSTER IS JOHAN’S MOTHER BECAUSE SHE LET GO OF NINA’S HAND. SHE IS STILL ALIVE.

        IN THE END, IT WAS A RANDOM DRUNK GUY WHO SHOT JOHAN, NOT TENMA.

        JOHAN PRETENDED TO BE ANNA/NINA WHEN HE WAS WITH JAN SUK AT THE BAR.

        NINA FORTNER/ ANNA LIEBERT SHOT JOHAN WHEN THEY WERE KIDS.

        ROBERTO DIDN’T DIE WHEN TENMA SHOT HIM IN THE LIBRARY.

  • Anonymous says:

    Gawd. Not another of these lists where the survey respondents are noobs.

    Where is Alien Nine?
    Where is Shadow Star Narutaru?
    Where is Paranoia Agent?
    Where is Monster?
    Where is Now and Then, Here and There?

    Where is– you know what? Nobody’s gonna care anyways. It’s their loss for not seeing these titles.

    Madoka was good but it was nowhere near the above mentioned titles. Also, seeing Madoka almost everywhere is making me think its fans are just as retarded as narutards are.

    • Lets face it, there are always going to be anime’s people haven’t seen. Also, there are animes that people will just look at the art/first episode/page/genre and just decide not to watch because it isn’t what interests them (IE. One Piece, Madoka, Paranoia Agent).

      Also, anime is growing. More people are enjoying it but are much less exposed to anime. A few animes on your list aren’t all that popular so it stands to realize they wouldn’t have seen them if they’ve only been watching anime for a few years… also, granted this may not apply to 2ch, but most Japanese people don’t have a lot of time to watch a backlog of anime… especially when 20+ series come out a season.

      Now as many people have pointed out, most of these animes go from being normal animes to “wtf just happened”… I believe that is more what the list is going for (which is why I don’t think Eva was suddenly wtf… but yet, the ending was wtf in a different way, like bang my head against a wall way).

      I agree these lists are silly, everyone is going to have a different opinion. There are a lot of great animes out there, theres a lot of crap anime out there too (more crap than good likely) but just calling fans of an anime retarded is silly because the top of the list isn’t what you want. In that respect your just as “retarded” as the people who made the list if you believe your opinion is more important than anothers…

      • Anonymous says:

        I can’t speak to this list in particular since serious anime is not my cup of tea. but the guy does have a point, pretty much every single one of these lists has a concentrated focus on anime made within the last decade. does that mean that “The best/most ___________ anime of all time” was barely made a few years ago? very unlikely. in fact, among people who have been watching anime for decades you’ll get a pretty unanimous opinion that all these rankings have a rather myopic scope

      • Anonymous says:

        good point. I just realized my mistake.

        It’s not because of the list is not what I want, and it certainly is not because I believe my opinion is more important than others. But rather…

        I expected “Fans of more serious and melancholic anime” (as stated in the article) have seen their fair share of quality anime, not just the popular ones.

        I guess I expected too much 😐

      • Well said. I started watching in the mid 90s and I can see where some of them are coming from, but… anime from 10 years ago isn’t as relevant now as it was then, even if it was great… imagine that. I don’t want to be like that, because it’s like being the guy who argues all the good music was from 40 years ago. Eventually it just makes the person look “old” and closes their mind to what else is out there.

        Besides… who’s going to make a list for “____ anime… OF ALL TIME?” Who would even get most of it?

        • You realize, if that was done no one would really be happy except for those who liked the first few animes in the list.. =/

          The best part of the lists is, if the list pertains to what you like, use it to find other anime’s you haven’t watched that may interest you. For instance out of the top 5 I haven’t seen 1 of them… Bokurano, I guess I should check it out to see if it really is suddenly serious… plus looking at the comments Monster should be something worth checking out as well…

        • Anonymous says:

          THE REAL MONSTER IS JOHAN’S MOTHER BECAUSE SHE LET GO OF NINA’S HAND. SHE IS STILL ALIVE.

          IN THE END, IT WAS A RANDOM DRUNK GUY WHO SHOT JOHAN, NOT TENMA.

          JOHAN PRETENDED TO BE ANNA/NINA WHEN HE WAS WITH JAN SUK AT THE BAR.

          NINA FORTNER/ ANNA LIEBERT SHOT JOHAN WHEN THEY WERE KIDS.

      • Anonymous says:

        @ SunnyJ

        good point. I just realized my mistake.

        It’s not because of the list is not what I want, and it certainly is not because I believe my opinion is more important than others. But rather…

        I expected “Fans of more serious and melancholic anime” (as stated in the article) have seen their fair share of quality anime, not just the popular ones.

        I guess I expected too much :/

      • Anonymous says:

        good point. I just realized my mistake.

        It’s not because of the list is not what I want, and it certainly is not because I believe my opinion is more important than others. But rather…

        I expected “Fans of more serious and melancholic anime” (as stated in the article) have seen their fair share of quality anime, not just the popular ones.

        I guess I expected too much :/

    • Anonymous says:

      Now and Then, Here and There… that one wins it. Madoka wasn’t nearly as shocking, even though it prided itself in throwing as much shock value at the viewers as possible.

      The only reason it’s on every list is cause people are still going “Holy crap! That girl just got eaten! This is amazing!”

      • Anonymous says:

        Madoka wasn’t shocking at all if you weren’t actively deluding yourself. It should have been obvious, just like with Bokurano, that there was something very disturbing about the show and that you were going to regret not preparing yourself. I mean, Mami was practically wearing a neon sign that said “I’m going to die in 10.. 9..”

        I think people just don’t know what “shock” means. That, and if they consider Madoka serious, they really should get out more often. It’s pretty entertaining, but has virtually no real depth. It’s just another melodramatic story about an evil creature emotionally torturing little kids.. it’s just dressed up with mahou shoujo elements to make it popular.

        • Anonymous says:

          Mahou Shoujo elements to make it popular? That right there is an oxymoron.

          One of it’s most initially off putting factors is that it appears to be a Mahou Shoujo anime, though it’s really just that in name only.

          I think the reason those elements were thrown in there was cause it’s the last kind of anime people would expect to be dark and gritty and horrific and shocking.

      • Speaking of shocking violence and serious matters, stuff like Rainbow and Shigurui should count as well. Shigurui was one of the few anime that made me feel dizzy because of how grotesque it was.

        Also agreed with Alien Nine and NTHT. Alien Nine is such a creepy allusion towards puberty that is deeply shocking in some levels.

    • Monster doesn’t really have anything “shocking” even though it’s shocking how AMAZING the show is.

      Narutaru (shadow star) only had the girl kicking the test tube filled with caterpillars into the girls cunt, and said girls revenge with her dragon finger bang the girl that injects her with bugs and eventually split her in two.

      Paranoia agent was just a mystery, and it was all “dream sequence” fake crap anyways. Not to mention that infuriating ending…

      Can go on, but I can argue with your list just as much as I could bitch and moan about this top 25, heh.

      • Anonymous says:

        KINDERHEIM’S EXPERIMENT WAS ACTUALLY A GOOD EXPERIMENT THAT FOCUSES ON LOVE. THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE, MIHAIL PEDROV, DIED BECAUSE JOHAN KILLED HIM.

        TENMA PERFORMED AN OPERATION AGAIN ON JOHAN TO GET THE BULLET FROM HIS HEAD. AFTERWARDS, JOHAN ESCAPED FROM THE HOSPITAL AGAIN.

        GRIMMER CAME FROM KINDERHEIM. HE DIED.

        IT WASN’T REALLY JOHAN THAT WAS TAKEN TO THE ROSE MANSION, BUT IT WAS ANNA/NINA. JOHAN JUST THOUGHT IT WAS HIM BECAUSE ANNA TOLD HIM EVERYTHING AFTER SHE GOT HOME.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m sorry but monster was pure shit…

      “Look at me! im the Hero of the show! I’ll never take the shot to kill the bad guy because that would END MY ANIME! I’m a vicious humanitarian! Lets turn this 12 episode series into 52!” …Serious my ass. That main character guy was a bitch, what doctor who seeks revenge, pussies out on killing his mark 3 FUCKING times!?!? *rage*

    • I question you now,

      What is [b]Alien Nine[/b]?
      What is [b]Shadow Star Narutaru[/b]?
      What is [b]Paranoia Agent[/b]?
      What is [b]Monster[/b]?
      What is [b]Now and Then, Here and There?[/b]

      I bet most people here that watch Anime here not even watching your list..( except one like you )

      You said : “Gawd. Not another of these lists where the survey respondents are noobs.”

      Are you judging people noobs based on your Anime list that you watch but mostly other people don’t watch ?

      Aren’t you one of those that force your idea into other people ?

      I think we like our own Anime, and we have our own taste, whether it is mainstream or niche market.

      Some love simple, some love the complex one, some love moe, some love GAR, and some don’t like at all.

      You said : “Also, seeing Madoka almost everywhere is making me think its fans are just as retarded as narutards are.”

      Then congratulation, you’re just the same retarded as them.

      • I watched all of the titles he mentioned… and 14 of the titles from ranking. I must say that his list tops -almost- everything there in terms of seriousnes. This rankings should be named with “After 2005” or sth. Damn, I feel old.

      • Anonymous says:

        @ Renzo

        Instead of questioning me, how about trying to watch the titles I have mentioned. Then you can tell me your opinion.

        Renzo said:
        “I think we like our own Anime…. Some love simple, some love the complex one… unrelated rant blah blah blah”

        Didn’t you read the article, it’s about the top 25 shockingly Serious anime, we don’t talk about just any good anime; we talk about the titles which can be added to this list.

        Renzo said:
        “Are you judging people noobs based on your Anime list that you watch but mostly other people don’t watch ?”

        Of course. I base it on what I have seen. How on earth will I know if a title is significant to the list if I haven’t seen it. But I didn’t base it only to my anime list. I based it to what is SIGNIFICANT to the list.

        I stand firm to my previous statement that the respondents are noobs. But since you seem to take the term “noob” offensively, I’ll just call them novices to anime. Why?

        I would understand if somehow the titles I have mentioned didn’t make it to the top, just as long as they are on the list. But, the COMPLETE ABSENCE of these titles is rather questionable for a list made by “Fans of more serious and melancholic anime”.

        Again, the COMPLETE ABSENCE of these titles is an indication that they haven’t seen it. If they have seen it, it would make it somewhere on this top 25 list.

        They haven’t seen it since they are novices to anime. How simple is that.

      • Anonymous says:

        “I bet most people here that watch Anime here not even watching your list..( except one like you )”

        “Are you judging people noobs based on your Anime list that you watch but mostly other people don’t watch ?”

        Haha, I like that you get on this guy for being judgmental and yet you think you know what “most other people have watched”.You should try getting of the little anime fandom box you’ve put yourself into instead of chastising him for making some damn good choices for “serious anime”.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, thank the god the era of Monster shows has been over for a long for years. I’d cry like a little girl imagining if this toplist would’ve been created 10 years ago…

    • Anonymous says:

      “Now and Then, Here and There” was what I immediately thought of when I saw the title for this list. The first episode starts comical since you have a somewhat incompetent optimist trying to fight off some robots, but he doesn’t realize the complete and utter hell he is going to go through for the rest of the series.

        • Anonymous says:

          No dice on the shiki! A lame ass ending to that bearded buffalo of a ox equaled to the epic messy ending of the shiki bitch with her wonderful dreams of spreading her disease thru a bigger city to null out what should of been great conclusion!!!
          +
          Seriously~ a dude running of adrenaline for most of a few days gets wacked in his SHOULDER BLADE and he’s STUNNED?!!?!?

    • NeverSleep says:

      The only thing in this list that made me nod in approval was Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu.

      Some of them aren’t even “shocking” since it’s all written over them “SERIOUS STUFF” like Kara no Kyoukai or Bokurano.

      • Anonymous says:

        agreed, it’s called “shockingly serious because you don’t expect it to be serious, i for one did not expect a serious to semi-serious story to come out of a “magical girl” category

        only “alien nine” and “narutaru” were unexpectedly serious in your list all the others you could tell are serious about 3 and half a miles away

        • Anonymous says:

          If you didn’t think Madoka was serious, especially after the first episode, you’re very naive. If you think it’s shocking that it was serious you must be new to this “entertainment” thing.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes. I quite expected Monster to be MORE than serious. I had already read 20th century boys and some other stuff by Urasawa so I knew I was in for some conspiracies and moral dilemma.

        • Anonymous says:

          sometimes you can just tell for many different reasons, like the art, title, summery, categories, or the first chapter/episode,

          i anyways just make opinions on the first few pages of the manga i read, and if something starts out with jokes, i wont think its going to be that “serious”, if it starts out with someone being decapitated, than i think its going to be a whole lot darker

          but when i’m reading something with “cute-like” art, about a magical middle school girl fighting evil, with a cute little follower, my mind doesn’t jump to “it’s going to be a blood-bath”

          comparing that too berserk, where all the art looks dark, the title isn’t exactly pink and fluffy, and it starts off with a guy having sex with a girl, who then turns into a monster -followed by him killing it i not really going to be surprised if later i see people getting raped and murdered

        • Anonymous says:

          @ 11:23 06/07/2011 & @ 10:57 06/07/2011

          Yes, Of course; Before watching an anime, we look at its genre and brief summary. Monster obviously has been labeled as serious. Even at episode 1, it already made an impression to its viewers that it had a serious atmosphere.

          But let me ask you –you, who have completely seen and enjoyed monster–, did you ever expect its seriousness to be of that level. As it progressed, was there never a time when you said to yourself “man! this is more than serious”.

          But in your case, let me ask you: Did you expect it to be serious because of the labels it had?; because of its brief description?; because of the first few episodes? –Or is it because you’ve read reviews and comments of people who have seen the anime?

          Let me remind you: watching an Anime at it’s time of release where nobody knows how it’s going to turn out; and watching an anime because of reviews and recommendations, creates different impressions. If you watched it because of the latter, then I’m not surprised you _only_ had that impression of monster.

    • Anonymous says:

      Madoka suck, i am really getting fed up with it. regarding your list I agree Narutaru was shoking indeed. but Paranoia Agent and Monster, for some reason are rather easy to cope with, but for example in Black Lagoon the part about the Twins really fraked me out, Higurashi has some very hard parts.
      Elfen lied in it’s moment was very shoking too as well as evangelion. but i had to agree some animes on that list are rather lame, Bokurano and Modaka would be the worst.

    • I can’t stop thinking, why has many people been unable to get over Madoka? Even I, who watched this in a weak sentimental state didn’t feel it was that awesome. Great, yes indeed. But as aforementioned, Madoka fans may reach the narutard level shortly.

      Oh, and yes. This list is troll.

      • Anonymous says:

        The people who don’t understand the Madoka hype are the ones who most likely didn’t follow the series as it was airing and research the history and hidden messages in the story. if you watched Madoka after it aired in one sitting, of course you won’t get it, the suspense element is gone. The surprise is gone. You probably read spoilers or recommendations that ruined it.

        • Anonymous says:

          I think people need to stop treating Madoka like it’s more than it is.. it only hurts the show. I watched it while it aired, and intentionally didn’t spoil myself. The fan discussions almost universally boiled down to stupidity like this:

          “Zomg Mami dies”
          “Zomg I want to kill QB”
          “Zomg I want to glomp Homuhomu”

          I was enough to make me cynical about the show, to the point where I had to just watch it and not bother with the comments. Happens all the time, reminded me of the “controversy” with Final Fantasy 7 (and other games).

        • Anonymous says:

          True, there are several animes that watching each episode back to back causes them to lose their shock / cliffhanger properties. For instance Ga-Rei Zero after seeing that first episode many people were probably like.. OMG WTF HAPPENS NEXT… EVERYONES DEAD?!? (and who the hell is that hot girl that just killed them all?). Same with Higurashi when the same thing happens at the end of the arcs…

          @PhillB: Now we can argue the qualities of what makes an anime good / bad, but whats really more important is how long is an anime remembered or how recomended is it? TBH I have never heard of Monster… maybe cause I haven’t talked with anyone whose seen it? Or maybe because it doesn’t stick in their head?

          I will join you on Narutotard bashing just because long anime is long and really just a miling anime… but still you need to give it respect as its a house-hold-name when it comes to anime… much like Bleach, DBZ, Salor Moon, Eva, etc… Everyones heard of them. Does popularity make them bad? Or is it because the anime you like isn’t as popular?

          Also, one thing I wish people would recgonize is that just because it’s your favorite anime doesn’t mean it’s the best… For instance Shakugan no Shana was my favorite anime but I totally never thought of it as the best… not even by a long shot.

        • I nearly became a Madoka wiseguy during the airing time. I followed closely as I watched the raws two hours after the airing time. I had no spoiler in my way. I know almost everything there’s to it. But suddenly I dismissed this anime overnight. I started to watch it by recomendation.

          Really, I can’t get why there are so many people addicted to Madoka like this. It was good while it lasted, but most of them are starting to creep me out. I didn’t reach such a tremendous catharsis for Madoka.

          I have nothing against Madoka other than its fans wearing a supernatural hype aura.

      • Anonymous says:

        Here’s a bigger question

        Seriously guys, how many of you here were actually watching Madoka before the fuss was made about that particular episode?

        I doubt you were really shocked if you only decided to watch Madoka after the buzz about it.

  • Carrot_Glace says:

    I had seen: 3. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni 4. Neon Genesis Evangelion 5. Bokurano 7. Code Geass 8. Elfen Lied
    16. Saikano 17. Gosick 18. ef 19. Black Lagoon
    20. Phantom 24. H2O – Footprints in the Sand 25. Full Metal Panic

    Rozen Maiden was dropped after two eps.

        • Anonymous says:

          desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu

        • Anonymous says:

          desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu desu

      • Anonymous says:

        Well, the visual novel was more serious than the anime, I can agree, but for a “mere romance anime” it was pretty deep, with girls (and boys, too) having more or less real problems instead of just being there.

        • True, it was a well done serious anime. I really enjoyed it and have posted other places that it is an anime that has been well under played. However, I never felt the “shockingly serious” aspect of it.. mainly in regards to the shockingly part… It was serious from pretty much the get go… Hell, even the art was serious…

  • Anonymous says:

    school days last episode is carved into my brain. its like a scar on my soul.

    the most disturbing, weirdest, scariest anime i have ever seen D:
    i really hate school days. not worth watching.

  • How does Rozen Maiden make this otherwise wicked sick list? As I recall, that incomplete (in both anime AND manga) series had only 1 very cool character named Suigintou, and the rest were simply a bunch of dolls hanging around a prepubescent four-eyed hikikomori doing nothing until the final 3 episodes xD

  • Anonymous says:

    if were talking about a development of seriousness, then Katekyo Hitman Reborn is worth noting. now it may seem it was serious all along, but it turns serious once Mukuro is revealed. so it was SHOCKINGLY serious.

    ~Karsten69

  • Another one you can put on that list if you can find it is “Koi Kaze”. No violence but what’s more sweet, serious and melancholic than a story of an incestuous love affair (blood related) between a 27 year old brother and his 15 year old sister. No comedy here.

  • it lacks clannad, you can argue that it finally has a happy ending but so does higurashi,this misses classics like cowboy bebop, and old school anime like devilman or ashita no joe(hell, i see a parody of the last scene of this in a ton of animes), even candy candy is more depressing than most on that list.

  • Sigh… Again with the ambiguous meanings and debates over definitions. Shockingly serious would be a show where on first glance would seem innocent and cute (or at least predictable), but turn shockingly serious with no prior warning.

    Lots of shows that others have mentioned like Monster are indeed shocking and has its unique twists and turns, but are already serious from the get go and you know what you’re into.

  • Anonymous says:

    School days should have been above madoka, now while madoka was shocking it was shown to be pretty much from the beginning where as school days played out as a standard dating sim anime until the last episode or two where it suddenly turned into a ‘Ho shit, what just happened there?’ kind of a affair

    also dissapointed somewhat not to see Elfen Lied in there and seeing okami kakushi on the list and so high is rather dissapointing too

  • Anonymous says:

    I played schooldays long ago. I end up with two girls and nobody die nobody get rape and we are all happy. Jap are S/M and pedophilia just pick up a worst case scenerio to make anime.

  • Oh god.. Madoka again? Okay. I really hate it when you force some “GODLY” (the heck?) anime to be #1 in all rankings…

    Face it. Madoka isn’t fit to be in the top 10.
    Fate/Stay Night, Death Note, Code Geass, and such..

    I agree w/ Rozen Maiden.

    King Of Thorns? oh, that’s movie.. darn XD

  • Anonymous says:

    1. Puella Magi Madoka Magica <- Typical "what you see isn't what you get"-Animu. Really awesome.

    3. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni <- Season 1: BLOOD AND GORE LULZ (Basically you just watched it for the bloody and shocking parts) Season 2: WHY DO THEY KEEP ON DYING FFFFF- (Basically you wanted the massacres to continue but instead got a tragic backstory slapped in your violence lusting face. Simply perfect.)
    Of course it's my all time favorite.

    8. Elfen Lied <- Ew. No.

    14. Ōkami Kakushi <- Dropped. Did I miss something?

    23. Rozen Maiden <- Nice desu but not really SHOCKING serious…

  • Anonymous says:

    Why not making own lists instead of copying shitty others?

    Ya know, people find these lists through search engines and think wtf is this shit. These lists you post respresent sankaku itself.

  • Anonymous says:

    WOw, they left out Grave of the Fireflies, and Zegapain is far more shockingly serious than Code Geese and Full Metal Panic combined.

    Feels like Japan doesn’t even know their own good quality works.

  • 1/2 of that list is more like Serious serious. The other half would be considered shockingly serious. Madoka being high up simply because you would never figure out that a magical girl anime would ever take a serious turn without using that seriousness as a comedy gimmick.

    Its not top 25 obviously serious anime because that would also coincide with top 25 most pretentious anime.

    So in my opinion:
    Witchblade – should be in there simply because of how shockingly wonderful the serious chemistry between Masamune and her daughter was throughout the whole show
    Gunslinger Girl (season 1) – would be in here not because of the loli’s with guns aspect of it but rather how these girls deal with their superpowers and how the viewers realize with them how innocent and fragile these little girls are mentally.
    Solty Rei – started out as a pretty fun ass kicking action anime, but it turned surprisingly serious after *spoiler* happened. I still get goosebumps when i hear that tune.

    …of course lists are all a matter of disression and my thoughts and opinions do not reflect whats 100% correct. Although i do stand by my 3 selections

  • Anonymous says:

    The final ep of School Days left me mortified by days.

    Over the course of the anime I went from “okay, this is kinda cute fluff” to “…o…kay, this is getting a little weird…” to “Holy Shit WTF!? D:< *bleeds from the eyes*"

  • It’s not [i]shocking[/i]ly serious if you already expected it to be serious.

    Serious anime isn’t the same as shockingly serious anime. Because of that, some of the ones in the list are out from the category.

    Madoka is still shocking, though, IF you followed from episode 1 when it first came out. :3

    • Anonymous says:

      true
      and one more reason alien nine and now and then, here and there should be on this list.
      you don’t see it coming if you just look at the character designs and know nothing else about them

  • Anonymous says:

    People who vote for this ranking are lack of experience. They had not watch enough to compare to match the word “serious”. There are dozens of serious anime out there that they didn’t checked. So I assume that their range are around 2000 to 2011.
    I’m not surprise.

  • Anonymous says:

    Might have been the age I was when I saw it, but watching Saikano was just devastating for me. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 had some impact too, just because the show had slowly built up the mood over the entire series just to that point.

  • i never understood Higurashi, season one for me = wtfijustwatched, watched 2 episodes of season 2… it was season 1 basically with different outcomes from different points of view… meh

    H2O i dropped, i dunno why…

    21,15,10 i didn’t watch

    • Anonymous says:

      “Shockingly serious” doesn’t mean “being serious from the start”. It means, you saw an image of the characters, thought of something and when you watched it, it wasn’t exactly what you thought it was going to be.

      Like Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. It looks like it could be straight slice of life series, not something that you’d see murder/death in it. Hence why Madoka is on the list.. it looked like a normal magical girl show. But then Mami’s death and everyone else’s kinda changed the original idea of it being happy-go-lucky to “shockingly serious”.

      • Anonymous says:

        hmmyeah, this top list is for anime that shows drastic, unthinkable change in the flow, whether its right from the start or a few episodes later.

        i remember when i first watched EVA XD
        it made me go from “oh, pfft… heck yeah, some mecha shit! lay it on me!” to “woah woah woah! i didn’t know it was– OH SHI-!”, and the final 3 episode gave me one helluva shock, it gives me paradoxical dreams… AND HUNDREDS OF REI O_O

      • Anonymous says:

        “Hence why Madoka is on the list.. it looked like a normal magical girl show. But then Mami’s death and everyone else’s kinda changed the original idea of it being happy-go-lucky to “shockingly serious”.”

        Which is why type b otaku guilty pleasure only became as such thanks to the type a elements.

    • I agree, though, in Japan the only time your “free” is when your in school like this… hence why a lot of anime takes place during this time frame.

      Besides, I don’t want to see 50+ yr olds in my anime… then again, thay’d probably make them look like they were 20 anyway…

  • Oh no, no more top lists. Go back talking about Aya Hirano’s twitter, sankaku, but not this again…

    By the way, I hate elfen lied, even made a blog to curse it.

    Rozen Maiden? I’m trying to watch it(just because of ali project… ok, I also like the dolls lol), I’m in the middle of first season but I don’t know, until now I can’t say it’s serious or melancholic. Maybe it is if you have a life like Jun’s(poor thing).

    A list made just to put Madoka at first?
    Well, at least there’s no K-on lol(they still have some sanity and read the question).

    • Anonymous says:

      The ending of RG Veda is unforgettable. The characters you thought would die in the end were the only ones left…
      And don’t get me started on the whole Subaru-Seishirou thing in Tokyo Babylon (and X). GOD, that creeps me out, even years after I finished reading it…

      I will say that, for recent anime at least, Madoka rightfully steals this list. Of course, I personally love it for more than just its plot and characters. All the imagery and the analytical story elements that are so easy to pass over… just make it a meaningful series to me. It’s so much fun to be able to rewatch a series you just finished and find all the hidden elements that now pop out at you so horrifically…
      But that’s my inner creativity speaking.

  • This list actually does good. It has some older titles mixed with newer titles…

    Though, I don’t know about Eva being so high… Madoka, School Days, and Ga-Rei Zero are perfect for this list… (Higurashi was good too, I just didn’t care for how S2 ended).