Anime17 Most Banned Anime & Whether To Watch Them Or Not!

17 Most Banned Anime & Whether To Watch Them Or Not!

Anime bans are pretty common. Countries can ban any anime series for any reason, and there’s nothing fans can do about it- except for streaming it illegally. And you’d be surprised by this list of banned anime all over the world.

The most popular anime to ever get banned award goes to Pokemon. 

Saudi Arabia banned Pokemon because it had elements of gambling and promoted Jewish practices. The anime got banned in 2001 and affected Pokemon Go! as well.

Animes that challenge social norms and go against the cultural values of a country will definitely get banned. Countries might also ban anime for being too dark or for highlighting taboos. 

Others get banned because they feel more like a hentai than an anime.

And these 15+ most banned anime from around the world fall into the same brackets.

17 Most Banned Anime – Watch & Avoid!

From controversial plots to profanity to gore fests, these banned anime pretty much justify the bans. But, these are things that matter not to a mature audience.

So, read on to find out why these anime got banned and whether you should add them to your watchlist.

17. High School of the Dead

high school of the dead anime
  • Episodes: 12
  • Season(s): 1
  • Author: Daisuke Satō
  • Production Studio: Madhouse
  • Watch On: Crunchyroll

High School of the Dead was supposed to be a post-apocalyptic anime with some fan service to keep it light and fun. And that’s exactly what Madhouse did. 

As a group of students tries to survive a sudden zombie apocalypse in modern-day Japan, it makes for some great action. And the comedy isn’t half bad either. So, if you are into zombies, you might want to check it out.

But, clouding the humor, the zombie outbreak, and the impressive action sequences are the overly sexualized female characters. And that’s the reason China banned it. If anyone ever tells you that High School of the Dead doesn’t have that much fan service, just show them this clip below.

16. My Hero Academia

my hero academia
  • Episodes: 113
  • Season(s): 6
  • Author: Kōhei Horikoshi
  • Production Studio: Bones
  • Watch On: Crunchyroll

This PG-13 anime in a banned anime list is definitely a shocker, but it’s true. My Hero Academia got banned in China because of a character’s name.

Set in a world where 80% of the population has superpowers called Quirks, My Hero Academia follows Izuku Midoriya, a weak and Quirkless boy. But, Izuku’s life changes when he is chosen as the successor for Japan’s greatest superhero, All Might. Now, Izuku must learn to harness this power at a school for superheroes.

It’s a straightforward good vs. evil anime, so why would China ban it?

Well, after it was revealed that Dr. Daruma Ujiko’s real name is Maruta Shiga (Japanese term for human experimentation during World War II), China was quick to ban the anime for good.

My Hero Academia is a highly popular anime among the masses and one that should definitely be on your watch list.

15. Elfen Lied

elfen lied anime
  • Episodes: 13 
  • Season(s): 1
  • Author: Lynn Okamoto
  • Production Studio: Arms Corporation
  • Watch On: Crunchyroll

Elfen Lied is a dark fantasy sci-fi anime that revolves around Lucy, a humanoid creature called Diclonius. These are mutant creatures who look like humans but have horns on their heads and possess supernatural powers. 

Lucy, captured for experimentation, breaks out of the facility and hides with two humans- Yuka and Kouta. With Diclonius and humans both searching for Lucy, it all gets really messy.

As the series progressed, its content got more and more mature. And after a few episodes, the nudity and gruesome violence proved too much for China and Russia. Both countries banned the anime for good.

It’s not the best anime, but it’s decent enough to binge-watch over the weekend, especially since it only has 13 episodes.

14. Excel Saga

excel saga
  • Episodes: 26 
  • Season(s): 1
  • Author: Kōshi Rikudō
  • Production Studio: J.C. Staff
  • Watch On: Crunchyroll

Anime is getting popular among the US audience, and it’s good that the US censors are pretty lenient in letting some mature and dark anime slide through. However, Excel Saga proved a breaking point, and it became one of the few anime banned in the United States.

Excel Saga follows the story of Excel. She is a member of a secret organization called Across, and their goal is to take over the world, starting from the city of Fukuoka. 

The series has 26 episodes, and everything was going great up til the final episodes. Writers and creators of Excel Saga intentionally went overboard with violence and profanity to test the limits of censorship. And, well, they reached the limits.

By now you’re curious enough to watch the anime, so it doesn’t matter what I say you’re going to watch at least the final episode, aren’t you?

13. Kodomo no Jikan

kodomo no jikan
  • Episodes: 15 
  • Season(s): 2
  • Author: Kaworu Watashiya
  • Production Studio: Studio Barcelona
  • Watch On: betaseries

Kodomo no Jikan is an ecchi anime banned in the United States and plenty of other countries because of its outlandish premise.

Presented as a romantic comedy, Kodomo no Jikan follows a 23-year-old teacher, Daisuke Aoki. He starts his first teaching job at the Futatsubashi Elementary School. But it all goes haywire when a student falls for him. 

This student, Rin Kokonoe, is 9 years old. And her crush isn’t harmless and playful, as it soon turns sexual.

The broadcaster tried some heavy censoring, but it eventually got banned. And unless you’re willing to unlock some weird fantasies, I suggest you also steer clear of this anime. 

12. Shoujo Tsubaki

shoujo tsubaki
  • Runtime: 48 minutes
  • Author: Suehiro Maruo
  • Production Studio: Mippei Eiga Kiryūkan
  • Watch On: 9Anime

I wish I hadn’t watched this anime, but I jumped into the pit, so you don’t have to.

Shoujo Tsubaki, also known as Midori, is the most banned anime in the world, and it’s not for the faint-hearted. Even Japan, the OGs of anime, banned this film because of the disturbing visuals. And, boy, were they right.

This 1992 anime film is about a young florist who ends up in a freak circus after her mother dies. And her life in the circus is far from what she imagined. Aside from having to do bizarre freak shows, the girl gets sexually abused behind the scenes of the circus.

On top of all that, there’s animal abuse in full flow.

Naturally, fans and critics hated the anime film, and it was eventually banned all over the world. 

11. Paranoia Agent

paranoia agent
  • Episodes: 13
  • Season(s): 1
  • Author: Seishi Minakami
  • Production Studio: Madhouse
  • Watch On: Funimation

Paranoia Agent is one of the many banned anime in Japan that got banned because of its disturbing and mature plot. However, Japan allowed its release online later on.

Following Japan, the anime got banned in the United States as well, before a highly censored and edited version was released.

This psychological thriller follows two detectives, Mitsuhiro Maniwa and Keiichi Ikari, as they try to catch an unknown individual who has been attacking citizens of Musashino, Tokyo. The only identity of this “unknown individual” is that he wears golden inline skates and a baseball cap and beats people up with a bent baseball bat. 

Some of the episodes are creepy and disturbing to sit through, but if you’d like to watch a short thriller anime Paranoia Agent is spot on!

10. Lily C.A.T.

lily c.a.t. anime
  • Runtime: 67 minutes
  • Author: Hisayuki Toriumi
  • Production Studio: Studio Pierrot
  • Watch On: Amazon Prime Video

Set in a distant future where humanity is fighting over other planets to mine at, Lily C.A.T. follows a crew traveling through space in a giant spaceship. But, the exploration trip soon becomes a battle for survival as a shapeshifting alien boards the spaceship and starts killing crew members one after the other.

Reading through the premise summary, it seems like a harmless sci-fi horror movie, doesn’t it? However, they really went all out. It was banned because the horror was too much.

The censors found some of the scenes too disturbing to air, especially for children. So, instead of editing, they banned the whole anime film in the United States. However, it was eventually edited and released.

9. Tokyo Ghoul

tokyo ghoul anime
  • Episodes: 48
  • Season(s): 4
  • Author: Sui Ishida
  • Production Studio: Studio Pierrot
  • Watch On: Crunchyroll

Tokyo Ghoul is set on an alternate Earth where ghouls live alongside humans by hiding their true identities. Ghouls are creatures that survive on the flesh and blood of humans. Ken Kakui, a human, goes on his first-ever date with a fellow student, Rize Kamishiro. But Rize turns out to be a ghoul and tries to eat Ken. 

Ken somehow survives and becomes a human/ghoul hybrid.

The series follows Ken as he tries to continue his life while keeping his new identity hidden from the world.

The anime got banned in China and Russia because of the graphic and violent scenes. Ghouls eating humans alive didn’t sit well with these countries. But, for me, it wasn’t too bad. And if you like realistic action, you’d love Tokyo Ghoul.

8. Deadman Wonderland

deadman wonderland
  • Episodes: 12
  • Season(s): 1
  • Author: Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou
  • Production Studio: Manglobe
  • Watch On: Crunchyroll

If an anime has over-the-top gore and violence, chances are China has banned that anime. And Deadman Wonderland sits atop that list.

Deadman Wonderland follows Ganta Igarashi, a 9th grader who watches his entire class get murdered in front of his eyes. Ganta is the sole survivor and gets blamed for the massacre. With rigged evidence, Ganta is proven guilty of killing his entire class and sent to the Deadman Wonderland prison. 

The prison is also a theme park where the prisoners must entertain the onlookers to survive. And they do some disturbing acts for survival.

Deadman Wonderland is full of violence, nudity, and mature content that earned it an 18+ rating. Would you watch it?

7. Yami Shibai: Japanese Ghost Stories

yami shibai japanese ghost stories
  • Episodes: 130
  • Season(s): 10
  • Author: Hiromu Kumamoto
  • Production Studio: ILCA
  • Watch On:

Yami Shibai is another banned anime in Japan that’s quite popular among horror anime fans.

This anthology series is about a man who wears a yellow mask, rides a bicycle, and tells horror stories of Japanese myths to children at a park. With each passing day, his stories get more horrifying, and with every new season the storyteller’s location changes as well. 

This anime is now in its 10th season and the stories are getting more and more terrifying with the visuals magnifying the horror. And some of the visuals turned out to be too much for Japan’s censor board. 

Although some seasons were greenlit by Japan, the series mostly remains unavailable to air or is aired with extensive editing.

6. Parasyte: The Maxim

parasyte the maxim
  • Episodes: 24
  • Season(s): 1
  • Author: Hitoshi Iwaaki
  • Production Studio: Madhouse
  • Watch On: Hulu

Parasyte got the combo ban- China banned the anime from airing and stopped manga distribution as well, thanks to the Chinese Ministry of Culture deeming it too “graphic” and “violent.”

Based on a sci-fi horror manga, Parasyte revolves around a 17-year-old high school student, Shinichi Izumi. Earth gets attacked by tiny parasitic aliens who enter and take over the human brain. An alien tries to do the same with Shinichi but fails and ends up in his right arm. 

The two try to cohabit, and soon more action follows.

Regardless of the ban in China, Parasyte is considered one of the best sci-fi thrillers. And if you haven’t seen it already, start right now!

5. Kite

kite anime
  • Runtime: 52 minutes
  • Author: Yasuomi Umetsu
  • Production Studio: studioGraph
  • Watch On:

Ok, this is one anime movie that should have been banned in the US, but instead, it was just edited and aired. The reason I say it should have been banned is that some of its content borders on child pornography. That’s why Norway, and most European countries, banned this anime.

This 1998 anime film follows Sawa, a pre-teen girl whose parents get murdered. Akai and Kanie, two detectives, take in the girl as guardians but start training her as an assassin. Akai even develops a sexual relationship with the young girl, and the helpless Sawa just goes along.

It’s not the most comfortable anime to watch, but the censored and edited version takes out the exact scenes that got the anime banned in Europe.

4. Serial Experiments Lain

serial experiments lain
  • Episodes: 13
  • Season(s): 1 
  • Author: Yasuyuki Ueda
  • Production Studio: Triangle Staff
  • Watch On: 9Anime

Serial Experiments Lain is one of the darkest psychological horror anime you will ever see. And if you take your anime too seriously, avoid this one.

Serial Experiments Lain is the story of Lain Iwakura, a junior high student who lives with an emotionally distant family. After one of her schoolmates, Chisa Yomoda, commits suicide, Lain finds out that Chisa has been emailing everyone after her death.

Lain checks her email and finds a message from Chisa. The email says that Chisa is not dead, she has just moved into the virtual world of Wired- basically the internet.

Japan, China, the United States, and a handful of other countries banned Serial Experiments Lain because of its disturbing views on life, the afterlife, one’s identity, and society as a whole.

3. Death Note

death note anime
  • Episodes: 130 
  • Season(s): 5
  • Author: Tsugumi Ohba
  • Production Studio: Madhouse
  • Watch On: Netflix

Death Note follows Light Yagami, a high school student who finds a mysterious/magical notebook. With this notebook, Light can kill anyone in any manner. All he needs to do is write their name on the Death Note. 

Soon, Light starts killing criminals, imposing his own brand of justice on the world. But, a cat-and-mouse chase begins when the world’s greatest detective takes up the case of the mysterious deaths.

China has something against anime that is loved the world over. Death Note is one of the best anime of all time, but China banned it because of the series’ idea of justice. However, this ban is kind of justified because, apparently, kids from China started making their own Death Notes and writing names on them.

Also Read: 10 Best Anime About Detectives in 2023

2. High School DxD

high school dxd
  • Episodes: 48 
  • Season(s): 4
  • Creator: Ichiei Ishibumi 
  • Studio: TNK
  • Watch On: Hulu

High School DxD follows a perverted young boy, Issei Hyodo, who joins an all-girls high school that has recently gone co-ed. The school is full of supernatural beings (angels, devils, fallen angels) posing as humans. Issei gets killed by a fallen angel, but a devil revives him and makes him her servant. 

And servants have to do anything and everything to please their masters.

High School DxD is a harem anime that’s full of fanservice. But, since it’s high schoolers doing all the ecchi stuff, New Zealand banned this anime. 

If you are looking for a light-hearted anime with well-developed characters, and you can overlook the hypersexualization of high school girls, it’s an entertaining anime to watch.

1. Attack on Titan

attack on titan
  • Episodes: 87
  • Season(s): 4
  • Author: Hajime Isayama
  • Production Studio: Wit Studio, MAPPA
  • Watch On: Netflix

Attack on Titan got banned in China by the Chinese Ministry of Culture because of its’ gruesome action.

The series is set in a post-apocalyptic world and humans have been pushed behind walls by giant man-eating Titans. But Eren Yeager, a young boy who vows to protect humanity and rid the world of the Titans after a Titan kills his mother, emerges as a savior.

As the premise suggests, the series is full of bloody action and gory violence. And the terrifying visuals of humans getting eaten alive and Titans getting chopped into pieces are just too much for the Chinese Ministry of Culture. So, Attack on Titan got banned in China in 2015 and is still banned.

For fans of mature and dark anime, Attack on Titan is absolutely unmissable.


And that concludes my list of banned anime.

All things considered, the western censors are pretty liberal when it comes to anime. China and Japan, on the other hand, are quick to ban anime that even slightly challenges their social norms.

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