Anime is full of twists and turns, always surprising us with a new revelation or character reveal. And since 2018 was such a fantastic year for anime, it’s no surprise that it had more than its fair share of scenes that shook us to our very core.
Today, we’re going to look back on the top 5 most shocking moments from 2018 anime. These are incidents that we never expected to happen, and some of them changed everything we thought we knew about the entire show. Let’s examine these insane moments together!
5. Kaede’s Memory Loss from Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai (Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai)
- Episodes: 13
- Air Date: October 2018 – December 2018
Throughout this show, the mysterious phenomenon known as “puberty syndrome” has tortured our cast of teenage characters by erasing a person from everyone else’s memory, causing the same day to repeat over and over, and other unexplainable events. Sakuta’s little sister Kaede, on the other hand, seems to have issues that can’t be explained just by her bullying...
As episode 11 shows us, puberty syndrome did more to Kaede than just manifesting her classmates’ hurtful words as real wounds on her body – it completely erased her memory. For the entire series, her real personality has been replaced by the meek and child-like girl we’ve known this whole time. When she starts to regain her memories, she wonders... will the “new Kaede” even exist anymore?
4. Track Meet Massacre from Devilman: Crybaby
- Episodes: 10
- Air Date: January 2018
Devilman established in the first episode that it wouldn’t shy away from over-the-top violence and sexuality, but the true scope of its horror wasn’t made clear until episode 6. Ryo carefully engineers a track meet so that the demon-possessed athlete Koda loses control and devours everyone in the stadium. This kicks off Ryo’s plan to destroy the world.
He uses his news channel, high-ranking connections, and social media presence to create a scare mongering campaign that forces everyone to distrust and eventually attack one another. We always knew that Ryo was too smart for his own good, but we didn’t realize that he would go this far!
3. Shorter’s Fate from Banana Fish
- Episodes: 24
- Air Date: July 2018 – September 2018
Shorter is the leader of the Chinese street gang in New York City, but at heart, he’s a pretty down-to-earth guy who knows Ash from way back and would do anything for him. That’s what makes his fate in episode 9 all the more sadistic and heartbreaking.
He’s captured by the mafia and injected with the Banana Fish drug, which acts as a powerful hallucinogen that turns its victims into mindless violent slaves. The scientists shove Shorter into a room with a restrained Ash, forcing Ash to kill his best friend in self-defense. It’s a devastating moment that affects the entire rest of the series, following Ash around like a vengeful ghost.
2. All Might’s Sacrifice from Boku no Hero Academia 3rd Season (My Hero Academia 3)
- Episodes: 25
- Air Date: April 2018 – September 2018
The whole world knows All Might as the “symbol of peace”, an invincible juggernaut who keeps everyone safe and inspires young heroes to follow in his footsteps. But we know that he’s already running on fumes, barely able to maintain his muscular form for just a few hours a day. How much longer can he keep up this charade?
In episode 11’s final battle against All for One, All Might finally uses up the last of his power with an incredibly hype-tastic punch that protects his students from the greatest enemy they’ve ever faced. His scrawny, broken body is revealed on international television for all to see, destroying the fragile sense of safety that the “symbol of peace” once provided. It’s an unimaginable sacrifice, but one that he was willing to make to save his cherished students.
1. Total Party Kill from Goblin Slayer
- Episodes: 12
- Air Date: October 2018 – December 2018
The first episode of Goblin Slayer seems like any other JRPG-inspired fantasy anime – just about every cliché in the book is here. A young priestess joins an intrepid party of adventurers on what should be an easy mission to clear out some goblins from a cave, but then everything goes horribly wrong.
The underleveled warriors are brutally raped and murdered by the goblins, leaving only the horrified priestess to fight for her life. Suddenly, a masked knight appears and takes out the monsters with ease, rescuing the priestess in the process. She stays by his side to protect herself, and the two of them set out on a quest to destroy every goblin they can find. Well, that escalated quickly.
Even if we go back and watch these scenes again, they’ll never give us quite the same gut punch that we felt the first time that we saw them. It’s a feeling that only really happens once, but the best part about it is that the surprise still echoes every time we think about a moment that truly affected us. It may not be as intense as before, but that ghost of shock lingers far longer than we expect.
What did you think of our list? What moments shocked you in last year’s anime seasons? Have any 2019 anime shocked you so far? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!