Problematic anime

This post is inspired by a friend discovering that the anime they were watching was suddenly a lot more handsy than they expected. If you’ve been watching anime for any length of time it should be of no surprise that anime can be problematic. The mores of Eastern society are not the same as those of Western society, and most popular anime tends to be based on shōnen manga which is typically written for teenage boys.1Modern shōnen manga and anime tends to be broader in scope than old-school stuff, with some featuring female protagonists that aren’t there to be part of a harem.

The point of this post is to highlight what may or may not be wrong with various anime shows that I have seen. The following list is by no means exhaustive and may well get expanded as time goes on.

As a note, everything on the initial version of this list is something I have watched enough of to want to continue watching it. Things that I was bored with, or didn’t get very far in are not on this list.

These lists are nowhere near complete, and isn’t presented purely as a list of problems but of anime that I know enough about to comment on. Some entries have nothing noted against them – they may be pure as snow or I may have missed something.

Feel free to contact me to get more added to this list.

I’ve talked about some of the listed anime before on an older site. I may actually try and review some of them and say why I would recommend them, because most of the anime listed is something I would recommend.


“Fan service” can mean anything from “characters with much larger boobs than they need to have” to “gratuitous bikini episode” to “lots of focus on boobs” to “advert cards of characters posing” to “revealing costumes” or “sexual posing”. It is not necessarily a bad thing on its own and is present in most anime.

“Harem” usually means one male character surrounded by female characters who may or may not be interested in them. It’s a typical shōnen scenario and doesn’t imply sexual relations.

A lot of anime on this list features violence. Where that violence is realistically portrayed including its consequences, that is noted as “realistic violence”.

If you don’t know about the Bechdel test, it’s failed when two women fail to have a conversation about anything other than the male characters.

Terms listed may not be major tropes within the show, and may be relatively minor features or be addressed excellently. This isn’t a commentary about how well these things are addressed within the show.


  • Anti-Magic Academy: The 35th Test Platoon: harem, fan service, unwanted molestation
  • Arpeggio of Blue Steel: fan service, harem
  • Assassination Classroom: fan service, tentacles
  • The Asterisk War: harem, fan service, accidental molestation
  • Attack on Titan: kidnapping, human trafficking, realistic violence
  • Berserk (1997): realistic violence, harassment, rape, torture
  • Black Clover: fan service
  • Black Lagoon: realistic violence, pirates, kidnapping, heavy drinking, smoking, criminal behaviour
  • Bleach: fan service, kidnapping
  • Chivalry of a Failed Knight: harem, fan service, nudity, accidental molestation, torture
  • Cowboy Bebop2clear inspiration for Firefly: fan service, smoking, jazz3The jazz is not problematic, it’s a joke, dog-napping
  • Darwin’s Game: realistic violence, death
  • Death Note: mind control, death, emotional manipulation
  • Demonbane: Cthulhu mythos, fan service, harem, nudity
  • Fairy Tail: fan service, slavery
  • Fire Force: fan service, accidental molestation
  • Full Metal Alchemist: fan service, transgressions against the laws of reality
  • Girls und Panzer: fan service
  • Goblin Slayer: rape, forced nudity, torture, realistic violence, Bechdel failure, harem – this is rated R for a reason
  • The God of High School: realistic violence
  • Hundred: fan service, harem
  • Hunter x Hunter: fan service, physical abuse, child abuse
  • If It’s For My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat A Demon Lord:
  • The Irregular at Magic High School: implied incest, fan service, nudity, body comparison
  • Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (Danmachi): fan service, harem, attempted rape, prostitution
  • Kill la Kill: fan service, nudity-based powers
  • Magi: Labyrinth of Magic: child slavery
  • Magi: Adventures of Sinbad: fan service, child assassin
  • Megalobox: realistic violence
  • The Misfit of Demon King Academy: harem
  • Monster Girl Doctor: fan service, harem
  • My Hero Academia: fan service, bullying
  • Naruto: fan service, objectification of women, peeping
  • Outlaw Star4clear inspiration for Firefly: objectification of women, fan service, nudity, criminal behaviour
  • Plunderer: fan service
  • Record of Grancrest War: fan service
  • Seven Deadly Sins: unwanted molestation, fan service
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: fan service, nudity
  • To The Abandoned Sacred Beast: kidnapping, realistic violence
  • Tokyo Ghoul: realistic violence, cannibalism, physical abuse, torture, coffee5The coffee is not problematic, it’s a joke
  • Tower of God: manipulation
  • Trigun: Bechdel failure, fan service
  • World Trigger: bullying

Isekai6Modern-day characters in a different world

  • The 8th Son? Are You Kidding Me?: harem
  • Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest: harem, murder
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm: background mistreatment of orphans (addressed in show), classism
  • Batman Ninja: wtf?7No really, this is crazy
  • Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense: fan service
  • Cautious Hero: fan service
  • Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody: child slavery
  • Didn’t I Say To Make My Abilities Average In the Next Life: fan service
  • Dog Days: fan service, kidnapping, harem
  • Dr STONE: Senku only has time for science8The science is not problematic, it’s a joke, probable Bechdel failure
  • GATE: harem, unwanted molestation
  • High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even In Another World: fan service, attempted rape
  • How Not to Summon a Demon Lord: harem, fan service, faux sexual acts, unwanted molestation
  • In Another World With My Smartphone: harem, fan service
  • Infinite Dendrogram: fan service
  • Isekai Cheat Magician: fan service
  • Konosuba – God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World: fan service, harem
  • No Game No Life: implication of incest, fan service, harem, unwanted molestation
  • Overlord: fan service, harem, rewriting of personality, molestation
  • Restaurant to Another World: fan service
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero: harem, child nudity, rape accusations, child slavery
  • Saga of Tanya the Evil: basically Nazis
  • Sword Art Online: harem, tentacles, harassment, Bechdel failure
  • Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online: realistic violence, suicide pacts
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: harem, Bechdel failure, fan service
  • Those Who Hunt Elves: nudity, forced nudity, cat tank, fan service
  • Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun: fan service
  • Wise Man’s Grandchild: harem, fan service


  • Aldnoah.Zero: physical abuse
  • Big O: amnesia, fan service, noir, kidnapping
  • Code Geass: fan service, mind control
  • Cross Ange: fan service, nudity, forced sexual acts
  • Eureka Seven: fan service
  • Gundam Build Divers: fan service (series references)
  • Gundam Build Fighters: fan service (series references), kidnapping
  • Knights & Magic (also isekai and fantasy):
  • Kuromukuro:
  • Martian Successor Nadesico: fan service, harem
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam: fan service, molestation, kidnapping
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00: some fan service, child soldiers, kidnapping
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans: realistic violence, child slavery, child soldiers, implied sexual abuse, rape survivors, fan service, a literal harem
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Seed: fan service
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: some fan service
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: fan service, harem, Shinji, weird incest

Modern day

  • Classroom of the Elite: potential depictions of mental health issues, some fan service
  • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma: forced nudity, fan service, tentacles, food-based orgasms
  • Haikyu!!: boob jealousy, men seeing women as objects/idols
  • Kuroko no Basket (Kuroko’s Basketball): boob jealousy, men seeing women as objects, unwanted molestation, peeping


  • Death Parade: death, torture