There is a wide range of diverse anime genres that help make anime approachable to all audiences, and there’s typically a series out there for everyone. The prevalence of anime streaming services has helped make the medium more available than ever before, and there are now lots of opportunities for the entire family to congregate together around an anime series.
Some anime may initially seem to be appropriate for all ages, or the right programs to be used to introduce parents to this medium, only for awkward material to attack the screen. There are lots of anime series that are must-watch programs, but just not the right shows to binge alongside the parents.
10 Food Wars! Gets Passionate About Cuisine In Very Curious Ways
Food Wars! has become a huge shonen hit that’s a brilliant subversion of the standard hero’s journey. Soma Yukihira strives to be an accomplished chef as opposed to the strongest martial artist or some legendary ninja. Food Wars! always makes delicious cuisine its priority, and it’s not a good idea to watch the show on an empty stomach. The characters and subject matter are relatively tame, but the appreciation that’s shown towards food is often expressed in extreme ways. These explosions of passion are likely to cause furtive glances from the parents, and Soma’s quest might be best watched alone.
9 Goblin Slayer’s Fantasy Story Gets Lost In Its Mature Themes
There are endless anime that are set in fantasy worlds, and there’s a growing problem with diminishing returns since so many fantasy series explore comparable stories. Goblin Slayer looks like more of the same, but it wastes no time in proving that it’s a considerably more mature vehicle. Blunt, vicious violence is par for the course in Goblin Slayer, but its first episode is also steeped in controversy due to the dark places that it immediately pushes its young priestess into. An engaging adventure does get underway in Goblin Slayer, but it’s too mature to be a watch for the whole family.
8 Higurashi: When They Cry Hides A Heartbreaking Nightmare Under Its Cute Veneer
Higurashi: When They Cry has carefully cultivated a connected universe that encompasses light novels, video games, and a series of complex anime series and spin-offs. Higurashi: When They Cry is another anime that immerses the audience in bright colors and cute, stylized characters, but it’s all in service of making the series’ dark themes hit harder.
When They Cry details a mysterious virus, several renegade serial killers, and a time-loop narrative that makes success feel impossible for these beleaguered characters. A family might decide to check out the school-based antics of Higurashi’s characters together, but it won’t take long until murders and abuse take over the narrative.
7 Kill La Kill Is A Vibrant Action Series That Shows Lots Of Skin
Studio TRIGGER has built an impressive name for itself through the polished and unique art styles that accompany its productions, but it’s Kill la Kill that’s regularly heralded as the studio’s best work. Kill la Kill centers around two extremely confident female characters, Ryuo Matoi and Satsuki Kiryuin, but the constant action spectacles will definitely appeal more to a male audience.
Kill la Kill riffs on shonen staples, but also Shakespearean storytelling, to create a powerful revenge story that always looks gorgeous. However, the exaggerated nature of Ryuko’s clothing and the Life Fibers that accompany many characters are likely to make younger audiences blush in front of their parents.
6 Pop Team Epic Will Leave The Parents Totally Confused
Pop Team Epic is the closest that a gag anime series has ever gotten to being a literal manifestation of memes and the mentality of “trolls.” The chaotic comedy series has a sketch-like structure where episodes deliriously ricochet between dozens of absurd ideas. Pop Team Epic doesn’t take itself seriously, and it passionately lampoons the very nature of anime. Pop Team Epic isn’t an awkward watch with parents because it features sex or violence, but rather it’s just such a weird show that’s likely to confound the older generation. Jokes will need to be constantly explained.
5 Elfen Lied Explores The Darkness That Lies In Humanity
There are lots of anime series that are interested in dangerous experiments where powerful creatures double as scientific breakthroughs and unbelievable weapons. Elfen Lied features younger characters, but it’s a very adult story that evolves into a bloodier and more frightening version of Stranger Things.
Lucy’s struggles with her mysterious powers only grow progressively grim and there are gruesome displays of violence that punctuate the depressing subject matter. There are more inappropriate series to watch with parents than Elfen Lied, but its nihilistic message about humanity and the state of the world will just leave the family depressed.
4 Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler Turns Games Of Chance Into Explosive Displays
Anime is a medium that often explores mundane ideas with exaggerated characters and reactions. Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler is set in the elite Hyakkaou Private Academy and unpacks the school’s intricate underworld of gambling. Yumeko Jabami is a newcomer to this odd environment, but she soon excels and begins to dominate the student body. Kakegurui‘s games of chance aren’t necessarily inappropriate, but the extreme reactions that Jabami and company experience during the height of wagers are likely to create some awkwardness between family members.
3 High School DxD Provides A Cornucopia Of Fan Service
One of the more popular genres of anime involves the “harem” trope, where a character is bombarded with members of the opposite sex, which only intensifies their awkward behavior. High School DxD begins with one of the worst first dates of all time. Issei Hyodo is murdered by his romantic partner, only to be reincarnated as her subservient demon.
Issei is now around constant temptations, and High School DxD willingly engages in fan service and more lecherous visuals. High School DxD’s hormonal nature is never in doubt, which makes it a difficult watch with parents. There will be something new to be embarrassed over every few minutes.
2 Happy Sugar Life Is A Depressing Exercise In Manipulation
An anime’s art design is crucial, and sometimes, the darkest of material gets presented with cute and colorful aesthetics as a way to further reinforce the series’ themes. Happy Sugar Life is a 12-episode descent into darkness, gaslighting, and manipulation that masquerades itself as a touching coming-of-age romance.
Satou, a teenager, becomes obsessed with the adorable purity of Shio, a young girl. Satou’s desire to protect Shio at all costs transforms into a disturbing hostage situation and a string of murders. Happy Sugar Life‘s innocuous look, much like Satou, draws in a broad audience, only to later shock them to their core.
1 Neon Genesis Evangelion Submerges The World In Surreal Depression
Neon Genesis Evangelion is considered to be one of the most prolific anime series of all time, and it’s a rare series that’s even made a strong impression on non-anime crowds. Evangelion presents itself as a mecha dystopia, but destructive battles between giant robots and deadly monsters known as Angels become the backdrop for a staggering deconstruction of identity and depression.
Evangelion’s characters become progressively worn out, pushed to their breaking points, and forced to confront the horrors of humanity. There’s a deeply disturbing relationship between Gendo Ikari and the different EVA pilots, which audiences won’t want to watch with their parents around.
NEXT: 10 Children’s Anime That Dealt With Surprisingly Mature Topics