So Halloween today and this year I have put together a top 5 list of anime moments that make me flinch. I am not a squeamish person by nature and when it is happening in anime, I’m even less likely to flinch because anime characters don’t look like real people, and yet there are some scenes that have managed it over the years. Last year my Halloween list looked at 5 anime titles with a great atmosphere that you should watch for Halloween. If you missed it or are new to my blog, I still stand by those choices as excellent viewing for Halloween so please check out the post.
I’m going to avoid being too graphic in the images below, but fair warning that these are moments that make a horror fan flinch so if you are not into that sort of thing, maybe skip this list and try one of my other top 5’s.
Please Note – There are spoilers below. You have been warned. Also, graphic visual warning for people who don’t like blood.
Honourable mentions to Pupa (it should have taken out every spot on this list so I disqualified it), Shiki (the moment Megumi slides out from under the bed), and Tokyo Ghoul (Kaneki being tortured).
Number 5: The teacher suicide in Another
This moment actually shocked me cold. Another is atmospheric and nicely put together but ultimately it isn’t scary because it is incredibly standard in terms of the horror it presents. The girl with the umbrella shocked viewers because it was kind of the first real sign things were going to turn ugly but otherwise there’s nothing overly exceptional about it and without the curse would have been an accident. This on the other hand… The teacher walked into the room and killed himself in front of his class. Curse or not, if the teacher had a death wish there was no reason to bring it into the classroom. From a narrative point of view it would have made no difference if the Principal had come to the room and informed the students that the teacher had been found dead. I just kept thinking how traumatic this would be for any class of students, let alone a class of already very scared and traumatized teens. No wonder they all went crazy by the end.
Number 4: Everyone is dead in Owari No Seraph
While Another shocked me with how unexpected it was, Owari was incredibly painful because of how telegraphed it was. You knew these kids only existed to die tragically more or less from the get-go and that they made it so close before being toyed with by an incredibly vicious vampire just hurts to watch. No points for originality having cute kid characters killed off for dramatic and emotional affect, but just because it isn’t original does not make it any less affective.
Number 3: Gassed in Btooom
This one really just gets a ‘gross’ kind of comment. It wasn’t that this death from episode 7 was any more flinch worthy than any of the other deaths from bombs and craziness in this show (it is a show about a death game being played out on an island so really you get what you sign up for). Still, visually that was a little sickening and I probably could have happily gone without seeing that.
Number 2: Kei’s torture in Ajin
There’s something about this scene that is seriously sickening. We’re told early in Ajin that the Ajin are used for medical experiments and we’ve seen some grainy video evidence for that. So, it isn’t a surprise that this is happening. What gets me is just how clinical everyone is about what they are doing. You are killing a child over and over again for no reason other than to satisfy your own curiosity. There is literally no other reason for this as they don’t seem to actually be learning anything of significance from this. All and all, this scene genuinely makes my skin crawl just thinking about it and that some of the scene is shown from Kei’s perspective (so inside those bandages with some visibility but not enough and hearing all the tools those doctors are preparing) just makes it worse.
Number 1: Delete in D Gray Man
No matter how many times I watch episode 56 of D Gray Man I am always going to flinch and I am always going to end up crying for Allen. After everything he went through in the episodes leading up to this, trying to rescue Suman, failing but then recovering Suman’s innocence, this encounter with Tyki is all kinds of cruel. First his arm (and his innocence – so only weapon to fight back with) are destroyed (a feat Tyki may have pulled off anyway but given Allen was already on the brink of exhaustion he really didn’t have much chance). Then, once Allen realises he’s going to die, he sends Timcampy away with Suman’s innocence to protect it, but that leaves Allen completely alone and facing his own death. Then Tyki sets the scene for a truly painful and slow death because he’s Tyki.
This episode is gut-wrenching and emotionally shattering to watch and even tops out the episode where Allen’s eye was taken out by Road (because that was all kinds of gross). So yeah, if I’m talking moments in anime that make me flinch, nothing is ever going to beat this one. Yes, there are far bloodier deaths out there, but the emotional attachment I already had with Allen and then the really cruel way this scene is set up just crushes you. The fact that you know they aren’t actually going to leave the protagonist of the story dead doesn’t actually make this less difficult to watch.
So there you have it for Halloween. My top 5 moments that make me flinch. I’d love you to share some of your flinch worthy anime moments in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.
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