Top 10 Anime Moments That Left Us Shook



Top 10 Anime Moments That Left Us Shook

VOICE OVER: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Mark Sammut
These are the scenes we just can't forget! Join Ashley as he counts down our picks the moments in anime that left us unsettled, as seen in series such as "Parasyte", "Elfen Lied", "Attack on Titan", and more!
Script written by ALEX CRILLY-MCKEAN

Top 10 Anime Moments That Left Us Shook

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Anime Moments That Left Us Shook.

For this list, we’ll be looking at those anime scenes that are so chilling, they cannot be forgotten. Please note that spoilers will be everywhere.

Which anime moment shook you down to your core? Let us know in the comments!

#10: Joker's Past

“Fire Force” (2019-)

Along with splendid action, plenty of humor, and too much fanservice, "Fire Force" can also throw out the occasional haunting sequence. Enigmatic and driven by a lust for truth, Joker's endless charm makes the character's incredibly dark backstory all that more difficult to anticipate. During an invasion of The Holy Sol Temple's Netherworld, Joker's history with the church becomes exposed, one defined by child abuse and murder. Although the flashback happens in an episode that is rather atmospheric and tense, Joker's backstory unfolds in waves of suffering and goes to wholly unexpected places.

#9: Kaiji Gambles With His Fingers and Loses

“Kaiji” (2007-11)

As entertaining as gambling anime can be, the fun comes from seeing how rather than if the protagonists win. "Kaiji" is the exception, as it presents its tearful main character as fallible. Still, the anime seems to raise its stakes a bit too high when Kaiji puts four of his fingers on the line in a gamble against the Teiai Corporation's detestable chairman. The protagonist of a typical gambling anime would never lose such a bet, but "Kaiji" is nothing if not unpredictable. The anime also follows through on its promise and Kaiji ends the day with only six attached fingers.

#8: Shinichi’s Mom Is a Parasite

“Parasyte” (2014-15)

The best body horror anime has to offer, "Parasyte" delivers not only creative gore but also psychological terror. An early example of the anime's brilliance involves Shinichi, the quiet protagonist with an alien for a hand, meeting his mother after her body has been taken over by a parasite. While Nobuko dying so early in the anime is quite surprising, the most shocking thing about this scene is Shinichi's painfully human reaction. Despite knowing the truth, Shinichi refuses to accept the reality that his mother is dead. As the scene plays out, Shinichi grows more emotionally broken, while the parasite uses Nobuko's corpse like a puppet.

#7: The Murder of Mikasa’s Family

“Attack on Titan” (2013-)

Titans are not the only monsters. This modern phenomenon is synonymous with shocking moments, but Mikasa's backstory stands out due to just how real it feels. In a flashback, Mikasa's parents are murdered by bandits who want to make a buck on the black market. The sequence is fantastically paced and extremely graphic, and it eliminates the idea that "Attack on Titan" is just a story about the good humans taking on the evil naked beasts. This moment is not just gory and unexpected, but it’s also cruel. While the Titans are depicted as mindless animals in the early parts of the anime, these murders are premeditated and selfish.

#6: Kiritsugu’s Sacrifices Are All for Nothing

“Fate/Zero” (2011-12)

Whether striving to be a hero of justice or sacrificing a few people to save many, Kiritsugu has good intentions at heart. Joining the Holy Grail War to create a world without conflict, Saber's Master soon learns that the corrupted Grail twists any wish into one of destruction. This fact renders all of Kiritsugu's previous sacrifices pointless, but "Fate/Zero's" climax delivers a double dose of depression. After ordering Saber to destroy the Grail, Kiritsugu's decision backfires and leads to the decimation of a large part of Shinto. Putting aside a small ray of hope in the form of Shirou Emiya, this ending is a mega downer.

#5: Toshio Uses His Wife as a Guinea Pig

“Shiki” (2010)

A series of two halves, "Shiki" starts as a relatively slow-moving horror anime about vampires taking over a town in denial, before eventually blurring the lines separating the humans from the monsters. The turning point happens when Toshio, a pretty likable doctor who is desperate for answers, decides to use his recently transformed wife as a guinea pig. Humans are presented as nothing more than victims for the most part, but Toshio experimenting on a confused and frightened Kyoko is "Shiki" at its most brutal, setting the tone for the darkness to come.

#4: The Raid

“Steins;Gate” (2011)

Following a dozen episodes of slice of life hijinks, character development, and Okabe hamming it up as a mad scientist, "Steins;Gate" finally explodes in a moment that changes everything. After the Future Gadget Lab, and specifically Kurisu, put the finishing touches on their time leap machine, an uneasy air falls over the anime that culminates in a raid that leaves one character dead and everyone else in shock. Although the series foreshadows this event well enough, this moment still marks a significant tonal shift. Okabe is never the same, for better or worse

#3: Lucy’s Puppy Is Killed

“Elfen Lied” (2004)

Known for its gruesome scenes, this retro seinen goes to places few shows are willing to explore. In the most infamous moment of the anime, a flashback shows how a young Lucy was tormented by an orphanage's bullies and ignored by its uncaring adults before finding some solace in a stray puppy. As a world this cruel has no time for kindness, Lucy can do nothing but watch as the worst children ever bludgeon her dog to death with a vase. Plenty of anime throw out graphic death scenes, but there is just something different about watching a helpless puppy be tortured for amusement. Lucy does get revenge pretty quickly, though.

#2: Don’t Trust Rena

“Higurashi: When They Cry – Gou” (2020)

As multiple time loops are all par for the course, the anime can play around with expectations. In the final arc of the 2006 anime, Keiichi learns that, in the original time-loop, Rena and Mion were not trying to kill him and the protagonist’s paranoia caused him to kill them instead. So, when the 2020 sequel presents a time-loop where Keiichi manages to trust Rena, everything seems right in the world; unfortunately, this time around, Rena is genuinely trying to kill Keiichi. The scene also manages to be unsettling without the context of the original series, as Rena shows up for dinner with a bag full of torture instruments.

#1: Prushka’s Death

“Made in Abyss: Dawn of the Deep Soul” (2020)

Innocence has no place in the Abyss. This movie sequel delves deep into Bondrewd; a human who is willing to do anything to learn the truth about the supernatural chasm he inhabits. It also introduces us to Prushka; Bondrewd’s young adoptive daughter who loves and idolizes her papa. Unfortunately, Prushka’s trust is misplaced, as Bondrewd ultimately uses his daughter’s love and life to protect himself from the Abyss’ curse. While not surprising, the scene is still absolutely devastating, as the likable Prushka is reduced to a bloodied tool to be used and discarded.