17 Cringe Anime That’ll Make Your Eyes Bleed

The animation industry in Japan is one of the biggest contributors to the country’s economy. Each year, scores of great shows are produced with spell-bounding animation, fresh music, and incredible voice-acting. However, evil always rises with good. Certain series’ have had a terrible track record and have given audience members nightmares that just don’t seem to go away.

Here are 17 such anime shows that will either make you gag, wince in pain, or laugh out loud.

#17 Ladyspo

#17 Ladyspo - Cringe Anime

Why Is Ladyspo Cringe:

This show resembles a picture drama similar to what we saw in the “Way of the Househusband” adaptation by Netflix. The whole thing looks like a vast power-point presentation that’ll numb your brain. The series’s intro sequence starts with two girls taking a shit, which is exactly where the show belongs: in the shitter. 

If the whole idea of this anime is to raise awareness on the topic of girls’ sporting events, we can guarantee that men will steer clear of women’s sports for the next century or so if they are forced to watch this shit show. A rumor also exists that a staff member associated with the production or animation team had a nervous breakdown, or the funding was pulled. The plot is almost non-existent, and the music is worse than average. 

Cringy Characters To Look Out For: Arigetti, Korupi, Sabina.

#16 Karen Senki

#16 Karen Senki - Cringe Anime

Why Is Karen Senki Cringe:

Set in a post-apocalyptic society where machines rule over their founders, i.e., humans, Karen is the leader of a resistance organization. The robots hunt the protagonist and her allies in a relentless fashion. The show poses some pretty interesting questions about the very nature of good and evil and who is the real enemy of civilization. 

Now we come to the bad aspects. The 3D animation and CGI look rushed and underdone. It will surely remind viewers of poorly-made android games with shoddy production. The expressions of the characters resemble hentai more than regular anime. The backgrounds are yet another problem plaguing the show; little to no attention was given to the buildings that look like lego blocks. The music score is quite commendable and may move some watchers. 

Cringy Characters To Look Out For: Karen, Junkshop, and Unsettling Robot designs.

#15 Berserk (2016)

#15 Berserk (2016) - Cringe Anime

Why Is Berserk Cringe:

Where do I start? The character designs and 3D look straight-up horrifying at times. The only saving grace of this adaptation is the final episode. The Eclipse is showcased well, and Skull Knight’s rescue received a fantastic portrayal. However, Berserk fans across the globe were greatly disappointed by this series. 

Produced by Liden Films with GEMBA and Millepense attending to animation, the camera work looks chopped, and the CGI can make the viewers feel pukish. Even the attractive Griffith appears strangely misshapen in multiple frames. Some fight scenes are intriguing and may invigorate the audiences, but most will cause us to lose hope. Kentaro Miura’s magnum opus deserves a better show with committed individuals working on it as a homage to his service and artistry. 

Cringy Characters To Look Out For: Hate to say it, but Guts looks terrible. 

#14 Shimoneta: A Boring World Where The Concept Of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist

#14 Shimoneta A Boring World Where The Concept Of Dirty Jokes Doesn't Exist - Cringe Anime

Why Is Shimoneta Cringe:

The female protagonist Ayame Kajou aka ero-terrorist Blue Snow, wears a panty on her head as she expresses her sexual desires freely in public. One of the supporting characters, Anna Nishikinomiya, has mucus leaking from her private parts whenever she gets aroused, which she thrusts into the mouth of the male protagonist. Yes, that is the level of cringe in this show. 

In a world where the government targets sexually-liberated people and “immoral” degenerates, one can get arrested even for making a slightly lewd joke. While the anime concept is pretty interesting, and the character designs look good, the execution can sometimes be terrible. Coupled with the fact that eccentric oddballs are the primary focus, the show can be rightfully labeled as “so bad it’s good.” For some like-minded viewers, it may be a guilty pleasure. 

Cringy Characters To Look Out For: Anna Nishikinomiya, Ayame Kajou, Raiki Gouriki.

#13 Taboo Tattoo

#13 Taboo Tattoo - Cringe Anime

Why Is Taboo Tattoo Cringe:

Taboo Tattoo had a pretty decent beginning, and then it all went downhill. The main problem with the anime is that the episodes are fast-paced and miss out on crucial information to wrap up the series quickly. The comedy and fanservice shall bore viewers, and the fights are drawn-out. The scenes that contain lewd tentacles don’t work in Taboo Tattoo’s favor either (remember SAO season 1?). 

The main and supporting cast experience limited growth as the show progresses. Touko’s character is entirely wasted, as she is only showcased as a crutch for Seigi with no concern for her back story. There is a sense of parody woven into the show, as it tries to poke fun at generic shounen anime. However, it fails miserably at that as well. The animation isn’t disheartening, and the action sequences may leave a lasting impression on a few. 

Cringy Characters To Look Out For: Touko Ichinose, Tom Shredfield, Justice Akatsuka

#12 Gibiate

#12 Gibiate - Cringe Anime

Why Is Gibiate Cringe:

This series is slightly similar to Guilty Crown but a dozen times worse. It is heavily racist, which is demonstrated as the virus turns human beings into monsters depending on the race, sex, and age of the people concerned. A trio of a warrior monk, an exiled samurai, and a shinobi hailing from the Edo period arrive in dystopian Japan and take on the Gibias monsters. Kathleen Funada is a scientist who is working diligently to find a cure that works against the virus. 

The CGI is inadequate and, at times, straight-up atrocious. The art may render viewers squeamish, alongside the cringeworthy relationship between the monk Yukinojyo Onikura and Yurika Funada.

The sound design is relatively well-done. Characters are bland and barely undergo any noticeable growth. The speed at which the series was wrapped up will leave audience members perplexed; some may even suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

Cringy Characters To Look Out For: Yukinojyo Onikura, Sensui Sanzaki, Dr. Yoshinaga, Hidenori Sakuma 

#11 Skelter+Heaven

#11 Skelter+Heaven - Cringe Anime

Why Is Skelter+Heaven Cringe:

Conceptualized by the same esteemed team behind Mars of Destruction, Yoshiteru Satou never fails to disappoint otakus. The tale is about the battle between an enormous alien squid and the Alta Mira Agency. The CGI and animation may render the audience catatonic; yes, it is that unbearable. 

Hunagai Otsuka is the male protagonist. He is a dull character who doesn’t evolve much like the stagnant story-telling. All the others are pretty one-dimensional as well. The yellow alien squid didn’t even attack any human until the so-called “heroes” launched an offensive against it, which made the alien a paltry villain. The voice-acting sounds painful throughout the show.

The fanservice is all over the place, trying to appease horny viewers who might give it a positive rating. Fight scenes appear uninteresting, and the ending includes a cliffhanger that wasn’t even addressed. The mecha designs and the opening song are perhaps the only redeemable qualities of this anime. 

Cringy Characters To Look Out For: Hunagai Otsuya, Rin Ichikawa

#10 Watamote – No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular

#10 Watamote – No Matter How I Look At It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular - Cringe Anime

Why Is Watamote Cringe:

What is unique about Watamote is that whenever a viewer cracks up, it’ll be due to the MC’s struggles against societal conventions. Tomoko Kuroki suffers from Social Anxiety Disorder, and the show turns the female protagonist into the butt of every joke.

God knows why this series is marketed as a comedy. If the whole point of the anime was to raise awareness of social awkwardness and psychological disorders associated with it, it would be understandable. But Watamote doubles down on the excruciating suffering of the MC with every passing episode. The teachers around her are trash, and the students are pigs who mistreat this poor girl every step of the way. 

The animation is satisfactory, and the score and the voice acting are good enough. But the industry must do better when dealing with touchy subjects centered around crippling mental illnesses.

Cringy Characters To Look Out For: Tomoki Kuroki, Kotomi Komiyama 

#9 Tokyo Ghoul (2nd and 3rd season)

#9 Tokyo Ghoul (2nd and 3rd season) - Cringe Anime

Why Is Tokyo Ghoul Cringe:

We all remember the riveting action sequence featuring Kaneki and Jason following Ken’s torture at the hands of the ruthless Aogiri Tree operative. Those days are long gone, but the decline of Tokyo Ghoul’s later seasons is no laughing matter. Season 2 received a mixed reception from audiences, as many details were omitted and Kaneki joining the Aogiri Tree made no sense to manga readers familiar with the entire story. 

The storytelling is rushed for no reason, and the animation dwindles with every passing episode. Kaneki’s Dragon form upset his fans greatly, and even Rize didn’t get the send-off she deserved. Studio Pierrot has a track record of delivering popular anime like Naruto Shippuden, Bleach, etc., and animation quality drops once it has garnered enough traction via the Internet and otherwise. 

An example would be the horrendous fight between Naruto and Pain. At the end of the 2nd Season, Kaneki encounters Arima of the CCG. The fight between them is probably the epic one in the entire manga, and this was entirely skipped. Kaneki miraculously turned into Haise Sasaki, leading to hundreds of otaku protesting online. 

Cringy Characters To Look Out For: Kaneki’s edginess (which is not a factor in the manga)

#8 Rent-a-Girlfriend

#8 Rent-a-Girlfriend - Cringe Anime

Why Is Rent a Girlfriend Cringe:

Just because a show garners popularity doesn’t necessarily make it good. Take Domestic Girlfriend, or in this case, Rent a Girlfriend, as an example. The protagonist Kazuya is a gigantic pushover who gets dumped by Mami after dating her for roughly a month. Kazuya then starts renting a girl via a dating app. Chizuru Mizuhara is a gorgeous woman he pays to go out on dates. 

There’s nothing wrong with being non-traditional. But renting women to fill the darkness inside male hearts is just not it. Almost all the characters, especially the MC, experience little growth as the story progresses. Kazuya starts working part-time to pay for expensive dates and presents for his girls. This is a sad example of what many recent anime shows are victims of; lack of good storylines. 

Cringy Characters To Look Out For: Mami Nanami, Kazuya Kinoshita

#7 Makura no Danshi

#7 Makura no Danshi - Cringe Anime

Why Is Makura no Danshi cringe:

Only airheaded girls looking to leer at hot boys with no substance whatsoever might get hooked on this show. The series is a simulation in which attractive male characters speak to the viewer while maintaining a first-person narrative. Aside from the opening and the ending song, the music score is non-existent. 

This series will remind you of ASMR girls on Twitch looking to make a quick buck by pandering to the basic instincts of men. The story seems to “heal” tired hearts, but in reality, it wounds us greatly. In fact, your brain might sustain a critical injury if you force yourself to watch the entire fiasco. The structure closely resembles visual novels, but the art is pretty good. The target audience definitely isn’t straight males, but even the intended viewers might scream with fury once they take a look at this show. 

Cringy Characters To Look Out For: Every single one, in particular, the violinist 

#6 Vampire Holmes

#6 Vampire Holmes - Cringe Anime

Why Is Vampire Holmes Cringe:

The show basically destroyed what Holmes is known for; his shrewd nature and deductive reasoning. The famed detective was turned into a vampire hunter for 12 episodes, roughly 3 minutes long. 

Based on a video game, this animated series will make South Park look like it was created by God himself. Holmes locates a lost dog, and that’s it. The story is almost non-existent, and the dry humor gets tiring after a while. Arthur Conan Doyle would turn into Jack the Ripper and then slit both his wrists if he was alive and was tasked to watch the show. 

Cringy Characters To Look Out For: Holmes, Hudson, Kira

#5 Pupa

#5 Pupa - Cringe Anime

Why Is Pupa cringe:

Pupa is a horror anime produced and animated by Studio DEEN. This show will scare you shitless and may cause you to gain an aversion towards anime in general. The pupa virus gives Utsuku the power to regenerate, and Yume Hasegawa becomes a flesh-eating demon. The story unfolds haphazardly, and the dark tone doesn’t help. 

One can say that Pupa is Demon Slayer’s disturbing sibling. Several key points in the manga are skipped to ensure that the runtime for each episode stays at 4 minutes. The animation makes the whole thing look too rigid, and the coloring can make you suicidal.

There is a ton of gore at the cost of inconsistent pacing. The main characters have no established progression, much like the anime. Their abusive father’s backstory is not revealed and involves the generational curse. The siblings have an incestuous relationship which is just icing on this moldy cake. There is no clear-cut resolution either. 

Cringy Characters To Look Out For: Yume Hasegawa, Shiro Onijima (the father)

#4 Mars of Destruction

#4 Mars of Destruction - Cringe Anime

Why Is Mars of Destruction cringe:

Idea Factory is a legendary studio known in the anime industry for putting out the cringiest content imaginable. They worked on Mars of Destruction, based on a PS2 adventure video game. Cut scenes from the video game were used as footage for the series. 

The Neon Genesis Evangelion influence is hard to miss. But the show lacks fluid animation and a complex storyline. A scene at the start of the series includes a female soldier getting decapitated during a fight and the subsequent blood fountain that is a highlight of abysmal animation. The voice acting is abhorrent, and the deaths are utterly vile and laughable. Little to no information is presented about the background of all the characters, making it difficult for audiences to relate to them. The twist at the end is stupid and nonsensical, and the sound effects can make your hair curl.

Cringy Characters To Look Out For: All of them, especially the protagonists

#3 The Seven Deadly Sins (From Season 3)

#3 The Seven Deadly Sins (Season 3 onwards) - Cringe Anime

Why Is The Seven Deadly Sins cringe:

A-1 Pictures was the studio in charge of production and animation during the first two seasons of this celebrated manga series. From the 3rd season onwards, Studio Deen took over and turned it into meme material. To date, almost all the characters, especially Meliodas, King, and Escanor, are subjected to ridicule because of their misshapen bodies and their fight sequences. 

The best of these last few seasons stems primarily from voice-acting. Escanor’s dubbed voice sounds spectacular and keeps hope alive in the hearts of viewers. In his battle against the Dragon’s Sin of Wrath, the background and all actions of the two involved seem like an absolute mess, a maelstrom of chaos and dismay. 

Cringy Characters To Look Out For: Meliodas, and Escanor (their design and expressions)

#2 Ex-Arm

#2 Ex-Arm - Cringe Anime

Why Is Ex-Arm Cringe:

This is one of those shows that’ll make you just quit halfway through and read the manga to save what’s left of your sanity. Computer-generated imagery, aka CGI, has come a long way, and the audience doesn’t deserve this abysmal abomination. The animation team who worked on this show were all amateurs, which is clearly visible if one watches the whole thing. 

The series may force you to quit living in the city and transform into a hermit at a monastery. But even Buddha’s will cannot drive these sins away; those haunting memories of choppy 3D will stick with you. By the way, Muse Asia has it available for free on YouTube, so don’t waste any time and feast your eyes on this masterpiece (that was sarcasm, I wish the show was too). 

Cringy Characters To Look Out For: The whole enterprise is a buzzkill

#1 High Guardian Spice

#1 High Guardian Spice - Cringe Anime

Why Is High Guardian Spice Cringe:

Probably the worst show in anime history, High Guardian Spice is an abomination that only gets worse with each episode. Created by Raye Rodriguez with an all-female team, the story is haphazard, the drawings unwatchable. Pretty much the entirety of the male cast in the show is portrayed as overbearing and insufferable. 

We all can understand the need for feminism and LGBTQ+ representation in anime. But disgracing and stereotyping identities and regurgitating political ideologies do not make a good show. Rosemary is the primary protagonist and the most annoying character in all of anime. The main cast and the voice acting don’t get better as the tale unfolds. Kate Leth is an infamous misandrist and one of the writers who worked on the show. She ran a hashtag that said, “Kill All Men.” Why Crunchyroll devoted their money, time, and energy to unveiling this dumpster fire is beyond me. 

Cringy Characters To Look Out For: Rosemary, Sage, Parsley, Thyme, Amaryllis

Honorable Mentions

  • Garzey’s Wings
  • Ragnastrike Angels
  • Wonder Momo
  • Abunai Sisters: Koko and Mika 


Which Is the Cringiest Anime of All Time?

Boku no Pico may just be the most traumatic anime series out there. Shamelessly advertised as the “World’s First Shotacon anime,” it follows the adventures of little boys as they begin to explore their sexuality. The show is laden with content that is akin to pedophilia and child sexual abuse. 

That’ll be all for this list! Do you think we missed out on any similar gut-wrenching shows? What is your opinion on the chosen shows? Do let us know how you feel, and don’t forget to visit averagebeing.com for more awesome anime content!