Anime made itself a name in this modern era of storytelling but even the greatest ones can be banned if they touch sensitive topics or go against government policies.
Today we are about to dive into the list of top 20 anime that got banned and also learn where to watch them now.
Disclaimer: The below list contains a catalog of anime shows that may be banned, even altered for a single episode from its original due to restrictions, or censored in any way.
For convenience, The banned anime series are listed in a systematic order based on their IMDB ratings. Before kicking it off, Do you know that averagebeing.com conducted extensive research and found out that there are a total of 74 anime banned worldwide?
Check out the below infographic before we dive deep into the various anime that are banned and the reasons for each of them.
As you can see, A decent 22.2% of anime series were banned solely because of political issues. Sounds interesting? Keep reading for more.
Here are the top 20 banned anime around the globe
- Here are the top 20 banned anime around the globe
- #20 Lily Cat
- #19 Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya
- #18 Record of Ragnarok
- #17 Wicked City
- #16 Midori
- #15 Kinnikuman
- #14 Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories
- #13 Puni Puni Poemy
- #12 Hetalia Axis Power
- #11 Excel Saga
- #10 Osomatsu-san
- #9 Tokyo Ghoul
- #8 Kite
- #7 Pokemon
- #6 Paranoia Agent
- #5 Serial Experiments Lain
- #4 High School DxD
- #3 Parasyte
- #2 Death Note
- #1 Attack on Titan
- Anime Banned In China
- Anime Banned In Japan
- Anime Banned In Russia
- Anime Banned In United States
- Anime Banned In New Zealand
- Anime Banned In India
#20 Lily Cat
This is an 80s anime film where a bunch of astronauts travels across the universe in a spaceship that can travel for 20 years while the crew inside will only age 1 year. All of a sudden, A deadly shape-shifting alien from outer space onboards the ship and attacks the crew members. Can the astronauts survive this plague attack without any help from the outside world?
Lily Cat is like a mix of The Thing and Alien, It is all you need from a scary thriller as the virus kills off the crew members one after the one.
Reason: The sci-fi thriller was banned in the United States due to censorship issues as it wasn’t suitable for children. The twisted ending of the movie was also cut from some versions of the film. People who watched both the original and the censored version say it was heavily edited in the States.
Where to watch: With a run time of just over 90 minutes, Lily Cat is available in Amazon Prime and Crunchyroll to stream.
#19 Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya
A spin-off series of Fate/Stay Night anime where Illya is a normal school girl in Japan who loves her brother Shirou Emiya. As their parents stay out of the country, She tries to get Shirou’s attention who always ignores her. One day, while she was dreaming a magical wand named Ruby appears and makes her a wizard to serve its own purposes.
Now Illya is trapped in collecting the dangerous class cards while keeping them away from the rival magic girls far away from her home. Can she return back safely and win her brother’s love?
Reason: This anime was banned in Russia due to its immense sexuality. Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya portrayed the underaged characters almost similar to hentai which if you didn’t know aren’t allowed in Russia due to its child pornography laws.
Where to watch: The magical banned anime show consists of four seasons and can be streamed from Crunchyroll, Netflix, and Amazon Prime.
#18 Record of Ragnarok
Every 1000 years the gods assemble to decide the fate of humanity. After almost 7 million of human history, The gods decided to end humanity. This is where Brunhild, one of the 13 demigod Valkyries proposes an alternate path to decide the outcome giving humanity a final chance to survive. The alternative she proposed was to enact Ragnarok, A one on one challenge between man and god. Can the humans win the tournament and triumph over the very beings who created them?
Reason: As the summary explains, This banned anime involves various gods and humans all over the world. Some of them were mistreated which resulted in botching the actual religion itself. Due to this India banned the anime as Lord Shiva was mishandled.
Where to watch: Apart from India it’s available pretty much everywhere. Record of Ragnarok is a Netflix-exclusive show.
#17 Wicked City
The film explores the concept of a demonic world secretly co-existing with the human one. These boundaries were monitored and protected by a group of agents known as the Black Guard. The adventure follows two agents, A lady human and a demon who came to know about a peace treaty they’ll have to protect against the evil to prevent chaos. Can the police duo stop the inevitable fight between the human world and the demon world?
Reason: Wicked City was banned in several countries namely the United Kingdom, and the United States due to the nature of the story. The science-fiction anime film was filled with many elements such as horror, violence, guns and also contains sexual violence on the female lead. This resulted in the governments initiating the ban.
Where to watch: The 120-minute banned anime feature film is only available on Amazon to buy as a Blu-ray, DVD, or VHS Tape.
Midori is a young innocent school girl living in Japan but when her mother fell ill, The poor girl had to sell flowers before ending up in a circus show. What awaits her is a gruesome life that just keeps torturing her in different ways by the circus crew. Can the little girl stay strong and turn her life around?
Reason: This is probably the only banned anime on the list solely due to the storyline. The 1992 anime film consists of an abusive, hopeless, hellish life of a girl with dark, unsettling violence. Add to that the movie also had animal violence which made fans and the general public go berserk. People found it disgusting and destroyed most of the copies of the film. Due to its dark, depressing storyline, Midori became one of the most controversial subjects in anime which lead to its ban by countries all over the globe.
Where to watch: The 52-minute gore anime is available as a DVD on Amazon (This will not play in the U.S, Canada, Bermuda, and a few other regions)
Being the son of the legendary King Muscle, Kinnikuman is a superhero trying to follow in the footsteps of his father. One day the truth has been revealed that he’s the prince of an alien planet and he must fight and win in tournaments to prove himself and save the world from evil chiyojins.
Reason: Kinnikuman is a fun-filled, goofy anime with a clumsy protagonist and yet was banned in France. You may be thinking why such a silly anime is banned, The reason is due to the portrayal of the character Broken Jr. There are strict rules on depicting nazis in France that cannot be undone.
Where to watch: The complete series with 137 episodes is available on Amazon as a DVD set.
#14 Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories
Who doesn’t love some good old ghost stories?
The anime features a yellow-masked old man who narrates various scary stories at 5 p.m every week in a playground. However, The old man is no ordinary citizen. The man carries a kamishibai (a traditional paper scrolling device) to add compelling visuals to the story. As the days pass, The stories got more and more terrifying and the audience was all sucked up in his appealing narration.
Reason: The Ghost Stories contain horrifying supernatural elements that keep you guessing. Yamishibai is a kind of dark storytelling with 6 seasons of pure horror. Though this anime isn’t banned, a few of the episodes were edited out due to immense scary elements. Yamishibai is one bite-sized anthology series with enough horror to chill you to the bone in a few minutes.
Where to watch: The 6 seasons of short stories based on myths and urban legends are available on Crunchyroll.
#13 Puni Puni Poemy
Poemy Watanabe is a 10-year-old girl who dreams of being a famous voice actress in Tokyo. Though the girl’s voice acting is worse she always tries her best. One day her parents got killed by an alien, The kid then becomes a magical girl with a wand to save the day.
Note: This is a spinoff of Excel Saga anime
Reason: You may think this looks like some kid-friendly fantasy anime but it isn’t. Puni Puni Poemy has a lot of perverted humor, nudity, and violence which ultimately lead to its ban in New Zealand.
Where to watch: The 2 episode ova of the banned anime is available on Amazon and Bestbuy to own.
#12 Hetalia Axis Power
This is basically a parody of the events from world war I and II. The show takes on characters from different countries and personifies them in a humorous way. As the name suggests, The anime goes around the interests, cultures, and relationships between the countries. This is a historical parody that pokes every country at its core while delivering facts.
Reason: If you’ve read the summary then it’s clear that the anime had to deal with some sensitive issues while maintaining a neutral base. Hetalia mocked the world war II nations and it was considered a national crime in South Korea leading to its ban. Activities like protests and opposition took place at the show station until their war heroes were removed from the anime.
Where to watch: Hetalia Axis Powers comes in a paperback format and both its volumes are available on Amazon or can be streamed from Crunchyroll.
#11 Excel Saga
An organization named ACROSS was all about conquering. Lord llpalazzo, was the head of it who wants to take over the planet and starts from the city of Fukuoka. The two recruits of the organization Excel and Hyatt were ordered to carry out llpalazzo’s plans for him. From that day, The troubled adventures begin as they never fail to mess up their jobs which were portrayed as a satire on all of the anime genres.
Reason: Excel Saga was not completely banned but the final episode wasn’t aired on television. Japan took down the final episode from broadcasting as the anime was purposely too obscene and included heavy violence along with nudity.
Where to watch: The whole 6 seasons of Excel Saga can be streamed on Crunchyroll and is available as a DVD release on Amazon, and Bestbuy.
The Matsuno clan consists of sextuplets (six identical siblings) where each of them has special characteristics they stick with. These brothers were incredibly slothful and never work for a living. Even if they try, their unique personality traits will get them rejected. The lead of the show was one of the sextuplets named Osomatsu who’s nature was being self-centered. The show follows the adventures of Osomatsu and his five brothers.
Reason: This banned anime comes under the comedy, and adventure genre. Once again it was Japan who banned another anime on this list. The very first episode of Osomatsu was removed as the show insists heavily on parody to produce laughter. If you didn’t know this, Japan has very strict laws about parody and its fair use. So, Osomatsu’s first episode was removed as per Japanese laws as the government considered the anime was breaking the rules of the country.
Where to watch: All 3 seasons of Osomatsu can be streamed on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Crunchyroll.
#9 Tokyo Ghoul
Ken Kaneki is a normal college student in Tokyo who loves to read books. When the shy boy finally gets the chance to go on a date with his crush, She turns out to be a Ghoul (a bloodthirsty savage creature who feeds on human flesh for survival). From then on Ken Kaneki’s whole life turns upside down as he becomes half-ghoul/half-human. There was constant bloodshed between humans and ghouls but as the ghouls blend in with humans they’re hard to differentiate. This is where Kankei comes in as he belongs to both worlds and is the only hope to save either side from further tragedies.
Reason: With over 12 million copies sold, This banned anime is one of the best-selling manga series in recent times but all that couldn’t change its fate in China. The Chinese government banned the anime for its disturbing story and visuals. China considers Tokyo Ghoul to be dark and dangerous as it shows ghouls surviving on human flesh and blood.
Recently, The banned anime series got banned in Russia by a district court. The St. Petersburg court system alleged that every episode in Tokyo Ghoul contains cruelty, murder, violence and it cannot allow it to impact the teens from recreating those violent acts.
Where to watch: Tokyo Ghoul series consists of a total of four seasons which can be streamed right from your home on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.
Sawa was taken under Akai and Kanie detectives after her parents got murdered. The orphan was trained and shaped into an assassin who completed all her missions without fail. Though Akai was her guardian, He was physically abusive towards Sawa. She then realized that he was no longer different from her targets and want to break free from the evil guardian detectives. Can she move from their shadows and continue her life as an assassin?
Reason: Kite is an OVA where an innocent-looking girl kills bad people. The real problem is with the detective’s guardianship with Sawa. Akai forces her into a sexual relationship and makes her his slave. Due to the child pornographic content, anime got banned in all of Europe.
Where to watch: The 2 episode OVA is available on Crunchyroll and Amazon Prime.
Very few animes become popular in the current competing world and only a fraction of those run for a decade but Pokemon was almost broadcasted for over two decades and is still going strong. Everyone’s childhood favorite anime was simply the adventures of a kid named Ash Ketchum along with his pet Pikachu in a world full of powerful creatures.
Reason: You may be surprised by seeing this kid-friendly anime on this list but Saudi Arabia banned it for having an element of gambling and Jewish sentiments. The officials also considered Pokemon to be against the zionist conspiracy and even deemed it misleading to religions.
Where to watch: The huge 24 season anime can be streamed on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and the official site of pokemon.
#6 Paranoia Agent
An Unknown individual wreaks havoc in Musashino City as the person moves around on rollerblades and smacks people down with a golden baseball bat. Soon the Shounen Bat became terrorizing the residents of Musashino city, As it seemed nearly impossible to find out the identity and motives of the attacker, Detectives Keiichi Ikari and Mitsuhiro Maniwa took up the case for investigation. However, This didn’t slow down the attacks as more and more people became victims of the baseball bat. Paranoia and rumors arise amongst people which ultimately leads to people believing in the Little Slugger. Can the detectives find out the truth or will they get consumed by paranoia?
Reason: This anime was partially banned in Japan as the authorities never broadcasted it on TV but aired it online. This is because the Japanese government considered it harsh, and unpleasant as the anime gives out chills and leaves a deep mark on you with the terrible situations it explores.
Where to watch: The 13-episode psychological thriller is available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Crunchyroll.
#5 Serial Experiments Lain
Serial Experiments Lain is definitely a bit hard to summarize due to its complex concepts and storytelling but here it goes.
Lain Iwakura is a 14-year schoolgirl who receives an email from her dead classmate Chisa Yomoda. Though Lain has no expertise in modern technology, She began to explore the mystery behind the email which lead her into the Wired (a communication network similar to the internet). As she began to get more and more emails, Chisa reveals that she is not dead and is alive in a different virtual realm. Lain gets caught up in these mysterious events as the definition of identity, perception, and reality changes with further explorations. Can the girl pull herself out of this strange interconnected realm or will she get a new view of the world we live in?
Reason: The demanding anime which rose several questions on the lifestyle and society got banned in several countries due to its ability to alter one’s views on the world along with its impactful story. The banned anime also contains some depressing moments as we dive deep into the mysteries.
Where to watch: The thought-provoking science fiction anime consists of 13 episodes with a duration of 24 minutes each. Serial Experiments Lain is can be streamed on Crunchyroll and available to buy as a Blu-ray/DVD combo on Amazon.
#4 High School DxD
A high school student named Issei Hyoudou was killed by an angel on his first date. Later he was revived by a devil named Rias Gremory only to serve her in her exploits. Issei considers this as his second chance at life and needs to train hard to survive in this new angel and demon world. He then joins the Occult Research Club to go on adventures with his demonic company. Can the kid adjust to this newfound life while keeping his identity a secret?
Reason: This popular anime series was banned in New Zealand for its nudity. As the main lead of the show is an idiotic pervert, the show exploits immensely sexual elements. The censor board of New Zealand decided to shut it down for its mature harem content.
Where to watch: All 4 seasons of the fun, supernatural, romantic anime are available on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
This is similar to Tokyo Ghoul as Shinichi Izumi a 17-year-old high school student was infected by a parasite that preys on human beings for its survival. These creatures are from the outer world and they look to acquire full control of their host by attaching themselves but the parasite was somehow not able to gain full control over Izumi and was trapped in his right hand. Now both Shinichi Izumi and the parasite Migi must learn to co-exist with each other in order to defend themselves from both humans and other parasites.
Reason: China’s Ministry of Culture banned this anime from online and print distribution because of its graphic violence. Liu Qiang stated that this is a result of the evaluation by investigators and the opinions of experts.
Where to watch: Parasyte is a horror/science fiction anime with 24 episodes that can be streamed from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.
#2 Death Note
Death Note was considered to be one of the best animes of all time. If you haven’t watched any anime series yet this would be a banger to start with.
The story revolves around an extremely intelligent Japanese high school student named Light Yagami. One day he finds a notebook dropped from another realm by a Shinigami Ryuk. This deadly notebook can kill anyone whose name was written in it. Sick of this corrupt world, Light Yagami decided to eliminate all of the evil and wanted people to worship him as a god. Will he achieve his objective or is there a twist in the tale?
Reason: This outstanding anime was banned in many countries due to the impact it created. Students all over the world made their own custom Death Notes and brought them to schools. Countries like China, Mexico, Russia banned Death Note and their governments stated that the ban was approved for preserving the physical and mental health of students.
Where to watch: The mind-bending crime thriller with 37 episodes can be streamed on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Crunchyroll.
#1 Attack on Titan
What’s the one thing that can even top an amazing anime such as Death Note? It’s the top-rated anime on IMDb called Attack on Titan.
This is probably the only anime with so many important characters and the main protagonist gets overshadowed numerous times.
After Eren Jaeger saw his mother swallowed by a humongous Titan right in front of his eyes, He swore to cleanse all the Titans and save humanity. Eren then works with many fan-favorite characters like Levi Ackerman, Erwin Smith, Mikasa Ackerman, and Armin Arlert to explore some shocking plot twists throughout the series.
Reason: No country dares to ban this outstanding anime except one, It’s China again that banned Attack on Titan. The Chinese Ministry of Culture stated that the anime was inappropriate for public consumption and blacklisted it before season 2. Another country that missed out on this anime was India. Though the Indian government didn’t ban all of AOT, season 4 was not allowed to stream in the subcontinent.
Where to watch: All 4 seasons of this apocalyptic, action fantasy anime are available on Netflix and Hulu.
With this, we put an end to the top banned anime list.
Now, Let’s pick up the data where we left off. As mentioned earlier, Our team at averagebeing.com did thorough research on all the banned anime and found out another interesting thing which is out of all the bans, 74.6% of anime were troubled in China and Japan alone. So, Here’s an infographic for you to understand.
Want to see even more awesome anime content? Join our family, and be the first one to read them all.
Anime Banned In China
|1||Attack on Titan|
|5||Serial Experiments Lain|
|6||Midori: Shōjo Tsubaki|
|7||Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero|
|9||Corpse Party: Tortured Souls|
|11||Highschool of the Dead|
|12||My Hero Academia|
|14||Sword Art Online II|
|15||The Testament of Sister New Devil|
|17||Terror in Resonance|
|20||The Skull Man|
|26||Devil May Cry|
|27||RIN – Daughters of Mnemosyne|
|29||Date A Live II|
|30||Strike the Blood|
|33||Those Who Hunt Elves|
|35||So, I Can’t Play H!|
|36||Girls Bravo: Second Season|
|38||Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero|
|40||Dance in the Vampire Bund|
Anime Banned In Japan
|1||Serial Experiments Lain|
|5||Midori: Shōjo Tsubaki|
|6||Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories|
Anime Banned In Russia
|3||Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya|
|4||Midori: Shōjo Tsubaki|
|5||Sword Art Online II|
|9||Mortal Kombat: Scorpion’s Revenge|
|10||Happy Tree Friends|
Anime Banned In United States
|1||Serial Experiments Lain|
|5||Midori: Shōjo Tsubaki|
|6||Transformers: Robots in Disguise|
Anime Banned In New Zealand
|1||High School DxD|
|2||Puni Puny Poemy|
Anime Banned In India
|2||Record of Ragnarok|
Which banned anime show from this list surprised you? Have we missed any? Let us know in the comment section.
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