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Top 10 Anime That Tried To Be Scary But Aren't

VO: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Alex Crilly-Mckean
Uh…was that supposed to frighten us? Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we are counting down our picks for the Top 10 Anime That Tried To Be Scary But Aren't. For this list, we’ll be looking at the anime that tried to incorporate some aspect of horror, only to fail miserably. Prepare for some mature content down the line, just don’t expect to be scared by it.
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Top 10 Anime That Tried To Be Scary But Aren't
Uh…was that supposed to frighten us? Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we are counting down our picks for the Top 10 Anime That Tried To Be Scary But Aren't.
For this list, we’ll be looking at the anime that tried to incorporate some aspect of horror, only to fail miserably. Prepare for some mature content down the line, just don’t expect to be scared by it.

#10: “Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack!” (2012)

Full credit to Junji Ito, his manga about sea life growling metallic legs and invading the mainland is still scary on paper, especially when it comes to the walking great white shark. That being said, the anime packs nowhere near the punch you would expect, even if does do a good job of showing how repugnant a human-fish hybrid would look like. Honestly, the sub-par animation makes the whole thing one shade away from becoming anime’s answer to Sharknado. Let’s hope that it never gets a live-action adaptation.

#9: “Kagewani” (2015)

While the potential for a terrifying series certainly lies beneath the surface, this anime falls more into the category of a creature feature without any of the jump-scares. Serving as an anthology, we follow a detective as he investigates a group of monsters that have started running rampart. There’s suspense to be found here, even when a civilian ends up getting offed. The animation is certainly an acquired taste as well, so while you might find the designs of the monsters intriguing, don’t come into this expecting the next Parasyte.

#8: “Dark Cat” (1991)

Here’s a classic example of how too much gore and shocking imagery can drain all the possible scares out of a scene. Sure, there are plenty of demon tentacles running around, but any unpleasantness you might find in these scenes is quickly overshadowed by its terrible animation, the fact that our heroes’ main method of defeating said tentacles is to transform into housecats, and the oh so terrible voicing acting. Like, hentai levels of voice acting. Don’t be surprised if your morbid curiosity soon turns to uncontrollable laughter after watching what amounts to pseudo-Genocyber.

#7: “King’s Game: The Animation” (2017)

Whether you love or hate anime like Future Diary and Danganronpa: The Animation, at least they’re not this heaping dumpster fire. Imagine if someone took the survival game aspect of those shows and tried to make it as edgy as possible. And by edgy, we mean make everything totally incoherent, oversexualise all female characters and constantly create scenarios that lead to the cast either dying in exaggerated ways or violating each other. The deaths are almost fetishized to the point where you’re not so much quivering in fear as you are wondering what the hell were the writers thinking?

#6: “Supernatural: The Animation” (2011)

We’re not trying to step on any toes here, and good on you if you happen to like this adaptation of the highly successful TV series, but to our eyes what genuine horror the live-action version had was lost in translation. Following the exploits of the Winchester brothers, the series pretty much serves as a self-contained story featuring all manner of monsters of the week. The kills may be bloody but the animation style and lack of any real disturbing content prevents it from reaching new heights. Sorry Sam and Dean.

#5: “Mars of Destruction” (2005)

What more do we need to say about this absolute failure? It’s known as the worst anime of all time for a reason you know. This also extends to what it apparently thinks horror is. With the Earth under attack from aliens, a group of cardboard cutouts posing as characters have to fend them off. The animation is so poor that the death scenes are more akin to someone cropping their heads off in Microsoft Paint. Watch at your own dismay, just know that the true scares don’t come from the narrative but rather the show’s abysmal quality.

#4: “Pupa” (2014)

Don’t get us wrong, watching this show will make you physically sick, but it’s more from the subject matter as opposed to anything to do with credible horror. If watching a sister devour her brother in a cannibalistic display of incestuous affection is your idea of a good time, then by all means binge it, the rest of us will wait over here and judge it silently for trying to shock us into submission. Hard to imagine there’s a series that actually fails in its use of excessive gore, but that’s Pupa for you.

#3: “Ghost Stories” (2000-01)

To see how badly this anime failed, you need only to look at the dubbed version. Due to the story, character and general plot being utter trash and devoid of even the mildest scare, the voice actors decided to literally say “fuck it” and turned it into a crude comedy. The result is surprisingly hilarious, becoming something of an official abridged series and managing to gain way more popularity than the original ever did. We can’t think of a better putdown than that.

#2: “Junji Ito Collection” (2018)

This one actually hurts. After all, the man has such a vast collection of truly frightening tales that an animated anthology almost series seems like a match made in heaven. There’s just a little snag; none of the stories are scary. The animation fails to capture the visceral nature of Ito’s most haunting titles, all the while poor pacing just removes any sense of tension and dread. It’s a true tragedy that no-one can manage to capture the horrific essence of such a genre genius, but by this point we’re just hoping studios leave Uzumaki alone.

#1: “The Lost Village” (2016)

A classic haunting featuring a group of young and endearing characters? Yeah, don’t expect to find any of that here. Whatever promise the beginning might have had quickly fizzles out when you realize there are too many characters to keep track of, the plot is anything but focused and the so-called scares never manage to actually leave an impact. It was pretty much an underwhelming disaster from beginning to end, so much so that even the ghosts in this supposedly cursed village were bored by it.
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