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TOP FIVE GREATEST ULTRAVIOLENT ANIME

Brace yourself for the best in blood 'n guts!

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Welcome to the dark side, faithful Vicers!

This week, we’re plumbing the depths of depravity to bring you the finest in blood-spurting, entrails-spilling and eyeball-gouging. Those of you with weak stomachs may want to opt out, right now. For the rest of you sick puppies? Strap yourself in for a stomach-churning ride!

NUMBER FIVE == BERSERK

We’ve talked about BERSERK on the TOP 5 before, but no list of ultra-violence would be complete without this love letter to blood-geysers.

Things get over-the-top, sure, but believe it or not, the violence is actually in service of the story here. BERSERK’s story is one of intrigue and betrayal, full of complexity and subtle character relations... but also a ton of dudes getting chopped into pieces, stabbed, crushed, and eaten.

C'mon - - the hero of this show is named Guts! That pretty much says it all.

NUMBER FOUR == KITE

Be careful with this one - - the uncensored version is pretty vile.

I happen to think the version without graphic sexual sequences and tricky-ness is preferable, but I don’t know what you guys are into.

KITE is full of great action sequences, and some pretty shocking twists. The basic premise is a pretty standard: kids enlisted as assassins get into mischief and shoot a bunch of guys with special exploding bullets. This just happens to be one of the best examples of this age-old trope, though!

The colors, movement and crazy sequence of events are all top notch. In one particularly intense assassination-gone-wrong-in-a-bathroom, Sawa winds up pushing a man out a window and riding him all the way down to absorb some of the shock. Pretty awesome stuff.

NOTE: Fans of No Doubt may recognize this stunt from their “Ex Girlfriend” video, which fairly accurately recreates much of the scene (READ: rips it off entirely, right down to that stupid yellow suit).

NUMBER THREE == GENOCYBER

Another entry from the "wildman" days of the OVA, GENOCYBER is straight-up crazy bullshit from the creator of the one and only M.D. GEIST. Shockingly, the first GENOCYBER OVA is actually kind of okay - - somewhat concerned with emotional motivations and even telling a story. Who'd have thought it, right?

From there? Well, things kind of go to hell.

Another way of looking at it - - the creators of the show stopped lying to themselves and started embracing what they were really passionate about. Namely, insane-o violence. After freeing themselves from the shackles of “engaging storytelling” and “ coherence,” things really come into their own.

The horror! The brutality!
The horror! The brutality!

GENOCYBER is almost an art experiment seeking to push the boundaries of good taste and what an audience can stand. I mean, this show includes an uncomfortably long shot of some kids getting blasted apart - - it is some messed-up shit!

NUMBER TWO == 3X3 EYES

There may be a bit of a bias here, as 3X3 EYES was one of my first forays into the weird world of anime in the ‘90s, but it’s also a standout. The ultra-violence is built into the story this time, though - - I swear!

Our protagonist Yakumo has become stricken with immortality and, much like how detectives always seem to stumble across a murder case, he's always ambling into a horrible, blood-curdling accident.

3X3 EYES encompasses a pretty fun manga series and a nicely-adapted couple of OVAs. The latter has nice production values and a cast of likable characters. It feels a bit like "RANMA + monsters + gore." There’s plenty of adventure and traveling to mysterious foreign locals, as well as a bunch of demons and magic and... well... more eyes than usual.

Pai, making her most impressive no-nonsense face.
Pai, making her most impressive no-nonsense face.

There is tons of blood, but it’s actually often played for comic effect. There’s perhaps something a bit disturbing about this relaxed attitude to blood and guts, but it certainly lessons the impact. It’s somehow a pleasant story, despite everything, and I think that’s due in no small part to the strength of its characters.

Or maybe it's due to me a sick and desensitized? You decide.

NUMBER ONE == DEVILMAN

Once again, DEVILMAN comes out on top. This guy is the shit. He's at least 50% pure evil, and while he seems to be dominated by the heroic spirit of Akira Fudo, he definitely delights in death and destruction.

DEVILMAN has been around since the early '70s, with a wide variety of tones (the TV show is hilariously cleaned up and, for some reason, makes him green?). The OVA's from the ‘90s are pretty true to the spirit and events of the crazy Go Nagai comics, and they also happen to be entertaining as shit.

Sadly, this particular OVA is only two parts, leaving out the bonkers "Apocalypse of depression" at the final chapter. Part One's animation is dated, at times, but mostly quite strong; and its noticeably improves in Part Two, rendering all the gore so much competently. In fact, some animators from Studio Ghibli worked on it, so maybe there's even a hint of magical whimsy to the ultra-violence.

"Yeah, I&squot;m missing an arm, no big D. Still smiling."
"Yeah, I'm missing an arm, no big D. Still smiling."

And yeah, there’s blood. And demon parts everywhere There are also some images you’ll never forget - - like boob-mouth, for instance!

DEVILMANis pretty shockingly violent at times. I wince about it, even now, in my crusty, old, desensitized state. It does actually support the story and general feel of the universe, though.

Bonus points for the horrible/wonderful dub, with mispronunciations galore, including Dante of Dante’s Inferno pronounced “Dan-tee,” and Miki pronounced “Mickey.” Come on, guys. Come on.

Likable main characters! Whats not to like about this guy?
Likable main characters! Whats not to like about this guy?

Then there’s AMON: APOCALYPSE OF DEVILMAN, A.K.A. "Akira Fudo Visits Bummersville, Population: Everybody Dies." This shit. This shit, man! Brutal and shocking. Not nearly as good as the earlier OVA's, but surprisingly true to the ending of the comics!

Still, I would have loved to see how the ‘90s team handled this subject matter...

In conclusion, Go Nagai is a real piece of work.

Obviously this is amazing, but click for the gif and you'll never sleep again.
Obviously this is amazing, but click for the gif and you'll never sleep again.

So, there they are! Five, excellent cartoons to satisfy your lust for blood, you sick little freaks.

Now, go ahead and let me know what your favorite blood and guts anime are. Feel free to get mad about the absence of ELFEN LIED, and write about it in the comments section below (you won't change my mind, though).

Alex Eckman-Lawn is an illustrator and comic artists from Philadelphia. Check out his site - - alexeckmanlawn.com - - rumble with his Tumblr - -dudenukem.tumblr.com - - and hit up his Twitter: @alexeckmanlawn

Marshal Victoryon April 22, 2013 at 5:22 p.m.

I have been watching 3X3 EYES for a bit now an i have to say it is bloody! But just enuff . An at times feels like Big trouble in little china an indiana jones . Heck i could even see a bit of evil dead in it at times.

Wicked City could fall into this list as well.Very adult an very over the top violence.It feels like Men in Black but with demons instead of aliens.

Hellsing Ultimate kind of a surprise it didnt make the honorable mention at least.London becomes rivers of blood an all.

Blade of the Immortal had some bloody stuff if it was doen years ago it would have been much more gory i think.

Kuma_From_Argentina is online on April 22, 2013 at 6:16 p.m.

Violence Jack

Shin Hokuto No Ken is the goriest incarnation of the Muscle Bound Martial Artists Mad Max, Kenshiro.

Elfen Lied is also gory

Donwunon April 22, 2013 at 8:31 p.m.

haha Devilman wins again.....and rightly so

Shame ya had to put that awesome clip that spoils the first ova but i understand you HAD to prove your point and besides the second ova.....ahh....man. D vs Siren is one of the best fights ever - i particularly like the part when Aki...Devilman starts laughing after he rips her to pieces...CLASSIC!

Apocalypse of Devilman....yeah that movie was a big downer and didn't exactly follow the very final part of the manga but yeah it was a heartbreaking and disappointing watch overall leaving the trilogy pointlessly open-ended

BTW NEVER WATCH THE LIVE ACTION DEVILMAN MOVIE - SWEET LORD DON'T DO IT - @_@

Sometimes i wonder if this trilogy would do better and gain new awareness if it was rebooted but i'm pretty sure it would get CG'ed up the ass and be crappy but heh who knows.

Not really dying for a reboot / remake tho tbh.

Good stuff fellow demon lover

Donwunon April 22, 2013 at 8:41 p.m.

oh yes and maybe not worth being in the top 5 but Guyver is pretty graphic. in fact the death of Guyver in episode 5 still gives me chills.

Discression is advised...although the dated animation can make it easier to digest

Kino88on April 22, 2013 at 8:48 p.m.

and here I was about to say, hey! were is Akira?,

but then HOLY MOSES!!! that Genocyber thing makes the movie Akira look like a Disney film, ma bey Japan was secretly run by vampires during the 90's, awesome 90's vampires not the twilight kind (think Castlevainia),

also Devil Man's dub sounds amazing LOL!

Waleson April 23, 2013 at 7:43 a.m.

No Elfen Lied?

CapeBarneson April 23, 2013 at 8:07 a.m.

It's topics like this that make me say "Yay, violence!"

ComicMan24on April 23, 2013 at 1:26 p.m.

Out of these shows, I have only watched Berserk but I wouldn't really call it ultra-violent. Elfen Lied could be in my list. The first few minutes of the first episode, are some of the violent I have ever seen in anime lol

phantomranton April 23, 2013 at 3:05 p.m.

Hellsing anime and Hokuto no Ken deserves honorable mentions.

vergiliuson April 23, 2013 at 10:38 p.m.

Surprised Elfen Lied isn't on here.

I think Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne should get an honorable mention, at least. The limited edition DVD has a case made to feel like human skin. That should tell you all you need to know. Also, I'll be damned if it isn't the *best written* lesbian torture porn I've ever seen.

AlexEL staff on April 26, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.

@Donwun: YES! Guyver made my childhood! It hasn't exactly aged well, but i'll always have a soft spot.

lentfilmson Feb. 28, 2014 at 12:36 p.m.

How could Battle Royal High School not be mentioned in this article.

Dig Deeper into Devilman

A classic Go Nagai series adapted loosely off his series Demon Lord Dante.

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