Christmas is one of the few times of the year when just about everyone goes home to see their family. And between all of the cookie baking, present wrapping, and seasonal decorating, you might want to bond with your family members by watching some anime together. We love the idea, but have one piece of advice: Make sure you know what you’re watching!
These 10 shows look harmless at first glance, but beneath their child-friendly exteriors lay every possible flavor of R-rated content. There’s sex, violence, strong language, and even dark subject matter that can scare adults out of their comfy Christmas mood. They’re all still great anime, so be sure to watch them on your own time. They’re just not exactly the best shows to watch in the background while cooking the holiday feast.
10. Poputepipikku (Pop Team Epic)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2018 – March 2018
This variety show anime stars two cutesy, almost mascot-like high school girls named Popuko and Pipimi and follows them on their adventures to... take over the world with cybernetic idol singers? Win the Olympic skeleton race? Enjoy their trip to France? The “plot” changes with every skit, often incorporating irreverent jokes that wouldn’t be out of place on Adult Swim.
Pop Team Epic gets bonus points for pretending to be an entirely different show—a fake cheesy idol/slice-of-life anime called Hoshiiro Girldrop—for the opening five minutes of the first episode. It even keeps up the gag by including next episode previews for the fake anime instead of showing what Popuko and Pipimi might be up to next week. Overall, it’s a hilarious show that you’re better off watching with a group of inebriated friends than with your little cousins.
9. Gakkougurashi! (School-Live!)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2015 – September 2015
Bright and cheerful Yuki is completely enamored with her school and wants to spend all of her time there. The first episode follows her and the other members of the School Life club, setting you up to think that this is just another “cute girls doing cute things” moe series. But, if you pay attention, you’ll notice that a few things seem off—like the girls eating the army ration food hardtack. As it turns out, Yuki’s carefree life is but a figment of her imagination and she really lives in a zombie apocalypse.
The show doesn’t just introduce zombies for shock value, though. It delves into the complex emotions and terrifying situations that the girls have to go through, like killing their own classmates and wondering if pushing onwards is even worth it. School-Live can be soul-crushingly sad, especially later on when the group’s dog gets sick, but we still recommend it for those who can handle mature themes.
8. Fairy Tail OVA
- Episodes: 3
- Aired: May 2016 – December 2016
Fairy Tail is well known for its revealing outfits and tendency to contrive situations where characters lose their clothes, but TV restrictions prevent it from going too far. However, the rules are much more lax for OVAs, so try not to watch them within eyesight of any family members.
The third episode of the 2016 OVA series is “Fairies’ Christmas”, based on the omake chapter of the same name. Erza goads her friends into playing a drinking game with her, which she rigs so that she almost always gets to force others into performing embarrassing acts like going outside in their underwear or dancing around naked. It still ends on a sweet note, though, as Jellal runs into Erza while she’s walking home in the nude and offers her his coat to keep warm.
7. Gakkou no Kaidan (Ghost Stories)
- Episodes: 19
- Aired: October 2000 – March 2001
The original Japanese dub is as kid-friendly as a ghost-themed anime can be, but it didn’t sell well during its initial release. So when American licensing studio ADV Films got the rights to the show, the original creators asked them to do whatever they could to make it more popular.
And that’s how we got the hilariously profane Ghost Stories English dub, featuring now-famous actors like Greg Ayres and Monica Rial ad-libbing lines about being fanatically evangelical Christians or how the obnoxious little kid should run like a big black man is chasing him. It’s also a perfect time capsule for early 2000s America, so check it out if you’re old enough to get the references.
6. Princess Tutu
- Episodes: 38
- Aired: August 2002 – May 2003
Princess Tutu is a sweet little show about a duck who turns into a human ballerina girl and wants to marry her prince charming. The plot and much of the music are homages to Swan Lake, recreating the beautiful tragedy of the famous play.
Or, at least, that’s how the storymaster Drosselmeyer wants everything to go. Duck and the others find out that he’s using them as pawns to create the perfect tragedy, and they decide to take back control of their own destinies. It isn’t quite as R-rated as others on this list, but the dark plot twist halfway through this otherwise light and fluffy anime feels a bit like interrupting The Nutcracker with a horror film.
5. Hunter x Hunter
- Episodes: 148
- Aired: October 2011 – September 2014
The first arc of Hunter x Hunter would have you believe that it’s just like any other battle shounen of its era, but our spiky-haired protagonist and his friends aren’t as stereotypically innocent as they look. One of the first real gut punches comes when the skateboarding and dessert-loving preteen Killua effortlessly pulls a man’s heart right out of his chest.
Some of this show’s villains are also disturbing on a deep psychological level. Gon’s rival Hisoka wants to watch Gon get stronger and stronger just so that he can crush the kid when he’s at his peak. Hisoka isn’t opportunistic and he doesn’t want to kill Gon out of anger—he’s like a lion savoring its meal. Yikes.
4. Happy Sugar Life
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2018 – September 2018
Don’t be fooled by the title, there’s nothing happy about this anime. Summer 2018’s Happy Sugar Life is about a seemingly cute and bubbly high schooler named Satou who finds a girl named Shio on the street and resolves to take care of her in her apartment. Satou is actually a dangerous psychopath and murderer whose devotion to Shio borders on pedophilic, but nobody outside of her home has any idea about this side of her personality.
Satou knows that Shio’s family is looking for her but keeps the child blissfully unaware of this by warning her of the dangers of the outside world and keeping her locked within the apartment. The sheer wrongness of their relationship, with Satou abusing her power by making Shio believe everything she says, is enough to disturb anyone—especially kids or sensitive family members—during the holidays.
3. Pokémon Generations
- Episodes: 18
- Aired: December 2016 – February 2017
Even though this YouTube series was implicitly marketed towards adult fans, nobody thought that an official Pokémon product would go anywhere near as dark as parts of Pokémon Generations did. Focusing mainly on side characters and villains who didn’t get as much development in the main games, these episodes pulled no punches when it came to what would really happen in the extreme scenarios the characters get themselves into.
Looker’s Team Rocket investigation is played just like a gritty mafia film and both the Team Magma and Aqua episodes show the massive destruction that the Primal Pokémon cause (including Primal Kyogre attacking and presumably eating everyone in Team’s Aqua’s submarine). But the scariest episode is definitely The Old Chateau, where Cheryl and her Chansey seek shelter in a mansion that’s teeming with ghosts. From the unnerving dinner scene where the two happily eat food that isn’t really there to the final moments where they scream in terror at the ghost of a little girl surging towards them, it’s a far cry from what we normally expect from Pokémon.
2. Goblin Slayer
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2018 – Currently Airing
This isn’t your average fantasy anime. It certainly looks the part, with generically cute characters and a setting straight out of Dungeons & Dragons, but Goblin Slayer’s real aim is to deconstruct its fellow fantasy shows and games by showing what would really happen if a group of low-level adventurers took on a quest that they weren’t ready for.
The goblins that the party members were sent to slay gang up on them, raping and murdering everyone but the young priestess who is saved at the last second by the titular Goblin Slayer. The two decide to join forces and fight goblins together, facing many more atrocities along the way like nearly being eaten alive. A world full of monsters is much more dangerous than you might think.
1. Made in Abyss
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: July 2017 – September 2017
Made in Abyss is one of the most memorable and highly regarded anime of 2017, but it’s not because of its cute art style and Ghibli-like backgrounds. It’s because, like some other shows on this list, it portrays how a coming-of-age hero’s journey can be perilous and traumatizing to our young protagonists.
The Abyss is a dangerous, wild place that nearly guarantees a death sentence for Riko and Reg—the monsters in the Abyss are lethal, but the humans who reside within it can be even worse. Nanachi and Mitty’s story is particularly heartbreaking, making us tear up more than once at how much they suffered. It looks like such a warm and inviting show, but dig deep enough and you’ll find that it’s bone-chillingly dark.
Have fun watching anime with your family this Christmas season, but try to stay away from these shows and anything else you don’t know very well. After all, if there’s anything animation excels at, it’s the ability to look child-friendly no matter what the actual content is. Stay safe out there, and watch these shows once the holidays are over!
What did you think of our list? Have any of these shows surprised you with their adult subject matter? Have you watched any of them with your family by accident? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!
Holidays, in general, are meant to bring families closer together. Especially when Christmas Day comes closer, families try to rush together to celebrate together. With this in mind, it’s not hard to understand why anime fans might want to use this time to get their families into the greatness that is the anime world. However, if you’re planning on doing this then there are some dos and don’ts associated with what anime to watch with the folks or your brothers and sisters. That’s why with our Top 10 Anime You Should Avoid Watching with Your Family During Christmas list, you should be paying close attention.
Now, you might wonder why are some anime bad to watch during Christmas? Well, we here at Honey’s Anime have an answer for that. The shows listed below will most likely scare those who aren’t used to the anime experience and thus, ensure they will never be used to the anime experience. These shows look like innocent anime series from maybe their playful covers or cute titles. However, once you begin watching the anime below things take a very different turn and before you know it, dad will be yelling for you to go to your room, mom will cry and yell about the oddness that is anime—since she doesn’t get it—and your brothers/sisters will be traumatized. Avoid watching these shows with the family this upcoming Christmas!
10. Aho Girl
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul, 2017- Sept, 2017
Beginning our list of the Top 10 Anime You Should Avoid Watching with Your Family During Christmas, we examine Aho Girl. One glance at the cover and you might be inclined to think this will make everyone in my family laugh. If your family loves anime then we agree, Aho Girl will make them smile and laugh out loud. Though if they don’t understand anime and already don’t care for it, Aho Girl won’t work. In fact, it might cause your parents to question your own sanity.
The reason for our above statement is Aho Girl is a very odd form of comedy. While the humor makes jokes about brain dead girls and odd friends, it also has humor about being handcuffed and fed like a baby, stealing women’s undergarments and breaking into homes at night. Quite literally, these jokes make us otaku cry laughing. Though for the human populace, this just shows the stranger side of anime. Don’t show this to your family during Christmas please. Otherwise next year, you might be watching some reruns of old tv shows because your parents refuse to let you decide on what to watch ever again.
- Episodes: 25 (Season 1)
- Aired: Oct, 2015- Mar, 2016
Back in 1966, a series released based on old comic series known as Osomatsu-kun. In the late 1980s a sequel to that was released and then in 2015, yet another sequel—the one we’re focusing on—came out to the world. Osomatsu-san might seem like the perfect treat for those who watched anime before it became mainstream. Though you might be slightly less inclined given that Osomatsu-kun and Osomatsu-san are two very different shows. Let’s just say that these six identical brothers have grown up and become quite…mature.
Osomatsu-san might seem like a simple slapstick humor filled show at first glance. While that is true by definition, unlike the original 1966 show, Osomatsu-san is more perverse and anime references filled. The jokes have gone from a kid-based theme of humor to 17+ one. This ultimately means those who might have seen the original won’t particularly care for the random dirty jokes and sometimes bizarre references to shows they have never heard of before and probably can’t pronounce. Osomatsu-kun was indeed old school, to say the least. However, Osomatsu-san has gone new age and older folk may not like it.
8. Blend S
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct, 2017- Present
Cute Girls, check. Light hearted cover, check. Comedy and silly humor, check. You might be thinking Blend S will be perfect to watch with the family for Christmas. Our answer is: no, it isn’t.
Blend S is one of those shows that hides mature themes quite well. Behind the cute opening song—which does show some hints on what to expect—Blend S hides some more M rated humor despite the rating being PG-13. That’s because Blend S uses a lot of humor in the form of oppai jokes and how to control a guy using dominatrix principles. Needles to say, Blend S might have cute girls indeed. Though, these girls aren’t normal and your family will think you’re not either if you put this on the TV this Christmas season.
7. Itsudatte My Santa!
- Episodes: 2
- Aired: Dec, 2005
Itsudatte My Santa! might seem like the perfect Christmas show to watch. Not only is the name Santa in it but it’s 2 episodes long! You can watch it with the folks and then go play video games, right? No Folks, Itsudatte My Santa! is a show that you will want to avoid Christmas Day and we mean all day. The reason being is that Itsudatte My Santa! isn’t a kid friendly show.
Rated R+, Itsudatte My Santa! is a story that has nudity, odd sexual tones and tons of fan service throughout. Watch as Santa—the main guy’s name—gets a powerful Christmas fairy that wishes to make him love Christmas again. Heartwarming as that premise is, the rest of this 2-episode long OVA is far from heartwarming and basically just goes into constant ecchi moments where girl’s chest are exposed and various human body parts grow. Itsudatte My Santa! might be a short show but the scars it will leave for your parents and possibly younger siblings won’t be short. Watch Itsudatte My Santa! when you’re home alone and in the need of a good mature rom-com anime.
6. Shokugeki no Souma
- Episodes: 24 (Season 1)
- Aired: Apr, 2015- Sept, 2015
Here at Honey’s Anime we love watching food shows during Christmas with the family. Not only is it simple entertainment, but it can lead to some nice ideas for what to make for dinner. That’s why we know many might think Shokugeki no Souma might be the perfect family treat for Christmas viewing but the reality is that it really is not. While the food in Shokugeki no Souma might look incredible—seriously makes our mouths water every time—fans of the show know this is only one element to the series. Shokugeki no Souma might cause non-anime fans to question anime and possibly food all together.
Shokugeki no Souma follows 15-year old Souma Yukihira as he enters a prestigious culinary academy. Here, Souma must master his creative culinary skills and rise up to hopefully become one of the best chefs around! Innocent as that summary might be, Shokugeki no Souma has tons of ecchi and partial nudity. Souma’s masterful food dishes—and some of the others as well—cause women and men to lose their clothes as they bathe in the thoughts of how amazing the meals are. While no nudity is shown, the look on your parents faces won’t mirror that censorship. Instead, your parents will scream at you for watching R-rated works—when Shokugeki no Souma is only rated PG-13—and will probably take your Christmas gifts away till your grounding is over. Maybe watch non-anime food shows this Christmas instead.
5. Grisaia no Kajitsu (Fruits of Grisaia)
- Episodes: 13 (Season 1)
- Aired: Oct, 2014- Dec, 2014
Harems already are series we tend to tell people to avoid watching with those not privy to what anime is. However, this upcoming Christmas Day, we beg you to not watch Grisaia no Kajitsu with family around. Even if Grisaia no Kajitsu has been a show you’ve been dying to watch, wait till after Christmas. Trust us, we will make you realize why Grisaia no Kajitsu is perfect for our list of the Top 10 Anime You Should Avoid Watching with Your Family During Christmas.
Grisaia no Kajitsu seems to be a normal harem when you look at the Blu Ray or DVD cover. Several girls greet you with cute smiles and sexy poses. That already should make this a show you don’t need to watch with the family present but Grisaia no Kajitsu hides even more mature elements within its series. Sex, murder, violence, self-mutilation and maids who go too far are just a few of the oddities you can expect to see in Grisaia no Kajitsu. Watch this alone, not with your family during Christmas, everyone!
4. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan, 2011- Apr, 2011
Those who are well versed in anime know about the concept of magical girls. Take small and adorable girls and place them together to make the ultimate kawaii package. Despite the seemingly cute side of most magical girl shows, most anime fans will tell you magical girl shows aren’t always cute. The best example of this lies in a well-known show called Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. Don’t worry if you’re new to magical girl shows and have never heard of it, we’ll explain why this show is a show you want to avoid watching with anyone during Christmas.
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica tells the tale of Kaname and Miki. These two normal middle school girls are tricked into becoming magical girls by a small talking cat and then are forced into a world filled with horrible monstrosities and death around every corner. Needless to say, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica shows girls being torn apart, killing others and the list goes on. Still think that’s a cute show to watch with the family? We feel most of you said no and now will avoid playing Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica on Christmas morning.
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Jul, 2005- Jan, 2006
Shuffle! seems like such a cute show name, doesn’t it? The theme of girls fighting for love might be a bit much for grandma and grandpa, but they might be okay with thinking the show is just about a dance move. The problem lies in the fact that Shuffle! isn’t a nice dance move. Instead, you get an extremely great harem anime with some nice romance themes. Plus, you get a series that deals with girls who have dual personalities and some who are troubled to say the least.
Shuffle! weaves a tale about high school student Rin and his average days going out the window one afternoon. During Rin’s class, two beings—one the King of Demons and the other the King of Gods—appear and claim Rin is to marry one of their daughters. Now, Rin must choose the girl he wants to spend his entire life with as well as deal with several other girls who are in love with him already. Seems simple enough, but about halfway through this 24-episode series, Shuffle! changes quite quickly and becomes dark and quite mature. Let’s just say it’s not going to be a good time for the grandparents once these scenes begin to show up. Heck, we’d give them credit if they made it past episode 1 to be honest.
2. Yosuga no Sora
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct, 2010- Dec, 2010
Romance anime come in many forms and designs. There are high school ones, college ones, and even, adult ones. Then there’s Yosuga no Sora which is what we consider a hybrid of sorts. While the story centers around teenager Haruka and his various what ifs when it comes to the lovely cast of girls, there is more to this show than meets the eye. Let us explain why watching Yosuga no Sora with your parents, grandparents and the like isn’t a good idea.
Yosuga no Sora has a deceptive story. While it seems cute that romance is born between Haruka and girls like Akira or Kazuha, these romances are quite explicit in content. Yosuga no Sora has some pretty high levels of nudity and that might turn off those new to anime. Then add in the fact that Haruka gets with his sister Sora in one of the arcs and things get even worse. Basically, Yosuga no Sora might be a clever story and well animated for us otaku but for the family, it might be seen as basically smut and or porn.
1. School Days
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul, 2007- Sept, 2007
For many, the anime known as School Days is all too infamous. Regardless of how much you love or hate the show, we can all agree that School Days’ anime cover and name seem like pleasant things at first. Two girls on the front who look happy and the theme of a young boy dealing with the pains of young relationships seems like a good wholesome show to watch near a fireplace with the family during Christmas. Maybe you’ll think Mom and Dad might reminisce about their past loves and that seems kind of cute. Well, let us here at Honey’s Anime warn you, School Days to those who have never heard of it, is a show to avoid watching with family during Christmas.
The crux of School Days is that Makoto Itou has recently found his heart being taken by a cute girl on the train named Kotonoha Katsura. Begging his friend Sekai Saionji for advice, Itou is soon able to win Kotonoha’s heart and they date. If School Days stayed like this, then it wouldn’t be on this list of the Top 10 Anime You Should Avoid Watching with Your Family During Christmas. Instead, School Days becomes a dark tale as Itou seduces tons of girls, has one girl lose her mind and the other go into a yandere mode. While School Days is a great show—at least for most of us here at Honey’s Anime—others will agree to not watch it with anyone who hasn’t learned the true darkness that anime can hide. That’s why School Days earns the “Nice Boat” award and takes number one on our list of the Top 10 Anime You Should Avoid Watching with Your Family During Christmas.
For us in the anime world, the shows above might be considered amazing. They have excellent animation, mature stories and wicked twists in their narrative. Unfortunately, not everyone can understand that and most families might be more scared off by these shows than becoming fans of them like we are. Have you ever had moments where your family was turned off or utterly appalled by a show that you love? Let us know in the comments below and for all your Christmas Day related articles keep with us here at Honey’s Anime.