What Anime “Crossed the Line” for You?

Two weeks ago on his Answerman column, Brian Hanson posted responses to a question he posed a week prior:

Has a particular title ever gone ‘too far’ in terms of its content for you?

I immediately thought, ELFEN LIED!, and wrote a response that didn’t make it in (though thankfully, someone else mentioned that irredeemable [or is it?] series).

But what about you, readers?

What anime or manga “crossed the line” for you?  Why was the content too much for you?


33 thoughts on “What Anime “Crossed the Line” for You?

  1. This is going to sound obvious, but Panty and Stocking. Not that there aren’t plenty of awful smut anime I won’t touch, but this one especially bums me out because the art style is so COOL. What a waste. D:

  2. Fate/stay night with its sexism, Beck with its conceit. Other than that, mostly extreme fanservice shows. I’m usually fine with fictional violence.

      1. You’re lucky you haven’t read the source material. It’s actually even worse there, with the MC commenting that a tomboyish girl might benefit from being assaulted by learning how to be more ladylike, as well as the infamous mana transfers through sexual intercourse repeated in every route.

  3. Boku no Pico; it is probably one of the most well-known shotacon works out there. I’d say more, but I feel dirty just talking about it. Sexual exploitation of minors is where I draw the line.

  4. While I can’t say it definitely crossed the line, I remember stopping reading The Wallflower/Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge partly because there was an incident that involved attempted rape that I felt was not treated seriously enough. Also, when I was fourteen, I read the Chobits manga, which definitely crossed right over my fourteen-year-old lines, but I read on anyway because the story was fascinating and I did feel it had redeeming qualities. Since it’s been so long, I’m not sure where it would sit in regard to my lines, but I definitely wish I’d waited a couple years. However, it was after that that I became more cautious, and tried to find out the content of anime/manga before I read it, which has steered me away from stuff like Elfen Lied, which I know for sure I’ll probably never be able to watch.

    1. You brought up an interesting point, Lynna – sometimes it isn’t the graphic sight of something, like violence, but rather the way a source treats something. For instance, the discussion of rape might be very significant and important, or, if it’s treated jokingly or without seriousness, might stir up some righteous rage.

      Oh, and how I wish I could be like, having never seen Elfen Lied! The first 5 minutes of that series tell you pretty much all you need to know about it. Very disturbing.

  5. I have a high tolerance, so it’s rare that I stop watching for line-crossing reasons. For anime, Shadow Star Narutaru I only have seen the first disk, and I’m not sure I’m ready for more. That one is probably worse than Elfen Lied, and worse, less manipulative. Elfen Lied I stopped, but because it was obvious they were going so over the top that it was suffering for suffering’s sake. Narutaru knows when to cut away, and when to be subtle, and its far worse.

    I don’t particularly plan to watch Higurashi/ When they Cry or its sequels. Same with Berserk. I don’t think I’ve made it through all of Genocyber or Devilman Amon. Rin: Mmenosyne; don’t watch. Seriously. I sat through it, and man, that director needs some therapy.

    1. Thanks for sharing. I haven’t seen any of those series, though ironically enough, I had a conversation with a friend about Berserk the other day…I don’t think I’ll be watching that series anytime soon (even considering all the love it gets).

    2. The one thing I can say for Higurashi is that it’s a slasher…. but with a reason and a moral to it. Which I can’t necessarily say for some other ones (Rin).

  6. I haven’t stopped watching it yet, but To Aru Majutsu no Index II. It still seems to have the pointless annoying fanservice, and now in addition there is virulent anti-Catholicism, as well as a general anti-Christian/Religion bent. It’s just a little bit much; especially when a lot of it looks and sounds like you’re watching something made by Jack Chick or something.

    1. I’ve been told over and over that I should check out this show…but I couldn’t even make it to the religious parts, because I found the first episodes boring.

      1. I agree with the episodes being boring. I put the show on hold for over 2 years because I just couldn’t get into it. Now I just wanted to watch something. First season was good, Second season goes hard-core anti Catholic. The RC’s are a powerhungry organization that want the world to remain firmly in the “grip” of the Christian religion, as well as forcibly convert protestants and non-Christians to Catholicism through magic. LOL.

        This show utilizes the trope, “Magic = Religion” generally, even when they pray it’s usually realized through magic somehow. Eh… I’m still watching it, just to see where it ends up because it is kind of amusing.

        Interestingly enough they do mention how Catholicism tries to merge religion (which in that quote they said “magic”…) and science; faith and reason, as much as possible. It just views that attempt by the Church as negative and evil.

        1. Wow – I had no idea the show went that in depth with it’s religion conspiracies. I’ve been told I need to watch it, and now I’m definitely more interested. Thanks for sharing!

    2. ugh, that’s no good. I’ve been reading the manga of A Certain Scientific Railgun, and while it has the same fan service problems, anti-religion really knocks the enjoyment out of a series for me. Demon King Daimao was the same way. Start off with a silly premise and then end hardcore anti-religion.

  7. Oh yes, for example, Spoiler: the “true Christian” nun that happened to be a member of the Catholic Church doing work for Jesus realizes “the truth” and becomes an Anglican. Bleh.

      1. Yep nearly all the protagonists except the male lead are Anglicans.

        This particular nun loved the Church, God, and even brought the gospel to three pagan nations. But then she started to question the “contradictory” doctrines of her Church and was beaten, and was about to be executed for heresy. Just before she was about to be killed she said, “Those people we helped act out of belief! We Catholics act only out of doubt and fear (that we’ll lose our power? I’m not sure what that was supposed to mean)!”

        Then she got rescued and became an Anglican.

          1. To Aru Majutsu no Index. Season one has a lot to do with religion and only has a relativiely small anti-religion current.

            To Aru Majutsu no Index II is what I’m referring to in these comments. I could be imperfectly relating some of the information, but I promise I’m not making this up! It is very wild for anime.

            1. That does sound pretty wild and actually might make me bump it up my priorities list, simply because I am rather shocked that any anime touches on religion… especially in such a way. And that makes me immensely curious.

              1. The first season just references different Christian sects; and the different magicians are typically all members of one Christian denomination or another. They don’t really delve into doctrine, though the female lead, an Anglican nun, does reference the many schisms in the church and tries to explain them to the irreligious male lead.

                Ecclesiastical politics and “turf wars” don’t enter into it much, but they do in the second season and that’s where it gets VERY interesting, but also very fanciful.

  8. Several years ago I tried to watch Nanoha, which is supposed to be a superior magical girl show. I didn’t get far. I don’t care how good the story is; extended, detailed transformation scenes featuring naked third-grade girls do not belong in anime. Period.

  9. If you try to make an anime or manga using religion in any way to incite hate and lies. You are no better than the evil you are trying to project. Religious overtones should not be used in such ways. Religion should be used in peace. Look at what happened to Sam Bacile. The maker of the bad anti islamic youtube movie.

    Another note. Catholicism nowadays is nothing more than a religion. It has no outright political power. It cannot command any armed forces. The vatican has no taxes. It’s finances are just enough. it subsists on mass donations. It can’t politically force anyone to become catholic. In europe, Her cathedrals merely became museums. Only few old people go to mass. She has to remind europe time and time again of the need of the catholic or christian religion. The swiss guard is only that. Guard. She has no economy. SHE’S BROKE! The only power she has is advising, teaching, influencing, and reminding people. But if people don’t want to follow, they’re lost. All she can do is pray.

    The catholic pope is actively engaged in dialogue and conversations with other religions. Making apologies left and right for failure in her duties. Wanting peace with almost everyone. She has met with THE ANGLICAN BISHOP, THE ORTHODOX PATRIARCH, THE HIGH PRIEST OF ISRAEL, MUSLIM LEADERS, ETC. Even holding an ecumenical dialogue with pagans and non religious people. The catholic church has done A LOT to foster reconciliation, peace, and dialogue among religions. So what is this IGNORANT BRAINLESS author bashing in his shows that catholics are the bad guys? I wonder how osama bin laden and al qaeda fit into his story?

    I feel it’s unfair catholics are bashed this way. We know they are propaganda and lies. I don’t know what the author was thinking when he made this show. I love anime. But sometimes, people cross the line. Just because you believe in something else doesn’t mean it’s your place to use other religions to incite hate, spread lies, and make money out of it. Pathetic.

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