4 Violent Manga That Will Haunt Your Dreams

There is a time for peace and happiness. There is also a time for action and violence. Prepare yourself for some very involved stories not for the faint of heart. You’ll want to look away, but won’t be able to.

4. テラフォーマーズ (Terraformars)
Japanese Level: ☆☆☆☆

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In the not too distant future, mankind has set its sights on finally terraforming Mars, making it habitable to human beings. The method? Send cockroaches and moss there. Through some scientific explanation that sounded somewhat silly to me, this apparently would set up Mars to be ripe for settlement.

The operation was deemed a success, and many decades later of that moss and cockroach combination altering the atmosphere, humans were finally ready to be sent over.

But what happens when you leave cockroaches unattended for decades in a highly volatile environment. They evolve. Fast. When the first humans arrive, they are in for a violent and disturbing encounter.

And the battle between cockroaches and humans begins. The solution to fight these newly evolved monstrosities? Experiment on humans giving them various insect super powers.

Sounds silly, but this manga is intense.

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3. 進撃の巨人 (Attack on Titan)
Japanese Level: ☆☆☆

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Giants rule the world. And they eat one thing: people. The last survivors of the world live in a massive city protected by colossal walls. They’ve been safe for 100 years. Until the day when a super giant, taller than the wall itself smashes an opening and allows all giants to make their attack on the last defense of humanity.

Seen the anime? You know how they cut the scenes usually where something grotesque was about to happen? The manga leaves everything in.

The opening images of the first few chapters will stick in your memory. Naked giants causing mass destruction and eating humans as they flee for their lives.

But the real heart of the story is about fighting back. Gaining your freedom. And not letting yourself be defeated no matter how “giant” the obstacle is.

The story runs deep. The further you go into this world, the more you realize the giants are not what they seem, as one mystery after another is revealed. It constantly leaves you wondering how everything will end.

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2. Claymore
Difficulty: ☆☆

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In a land where demons rule, half demons (known as Claymore for their giant swords) keep them in check and protect humanity.

But the demons are getting stronger and are banding together. The Claymore organization has a dark and disturbing past, and members are starting to realize what they are actually a part of.

Who is going to come out on top? The demons? The Claymore? The humans? Or something else?

Limbs and body parts fly around constantly as one bloody battle after another continues. But the story is well thought out and intriguing, and as the plot progresses, so does your desire for answers.

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1. 闇金ウシジマくん (Loan Shark Ushijima-kun)
Difficulty: ☆☆☆

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Ever wondered about what the dark world of loan-sharking was like in Japan? Here is your chance to see how these underground organizations run, the lives they effect, and the chaos they create.

This spawned off into a popular J-drama with two seasons and movies, but those are tame compared to the manga. There’s a lot here that just isn’t appropriate for TV (even though it’s TV show that was broadcast in the middle of the night).

Drugs, sex, violence, prostitution, and more.

At times it tried to be a comedy (and was successful). I don’t really know what it was going for though. It’s a strange phenomenon, and one that will definitely pique your curiosity.

But it can be a bit hard to read this for too long, as it makes you sad seeing lives destroyed.

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Any other violent and dream haunting manga that you recommend (is that the right word?)

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Founder of Jalup. Spends most of his time absorbing and spreading thrilling information about learning Japanese.


4 Violent Manga That Will Haunt Your Dreams — 23 Comments

  1. I really enjoy 進撃の巨人. It’s my latest discovery and I’ve been gripped every since. I actually get a little upset when people keep saying that the art is amateurish. Yes, the mangaka admits to it himself but I like it. I find it adds to the grittiness of the manga and it’s a refreshing change from all the polished clean lines of other manga.

    I’m also hoping the mangaka sticks to the sad ending they were thinking of instead of trying to appease fans with a happy ending. Apparently there was one character he had killed off but the editor cried upon reading so he decided not to kill the character. Personally I think the crying part shows how great the manga is. Unfortunate to let yourself influenced by others like that.

    In any case, definitely agree with that selection.

    I saw テラフォーマーズ in BookOff and it initially looked interesting but the absurdity of the plot kept me from picking it up and I think it’ll stay that way.

    • I know JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is very popular (it’s always on the popular manga list on amazon.jp), but didn’t realize it was a violent manga.

      • It can be pretty violent.
        I’ve only seen the anime but the first episode stopped me from continuing it for quite a while lol. I’ve continued it now and I love it.
        I hope to read the manga one day too~~

      • I’ll just let these two pages do the talking (warning for anyone who likes dogs): http://i.cubeupload.com/2RQsjA.png

        And that’s just the first volume, out of over 100 and counting. Honestly, if you haven’t read it yet then you definitely should. There are references to it in nearly everything, from video games (Guile’s design in Street Fighter II is directly copied from a character in Part 2) to anime (the stone mask with the red jewel in the intro of the Hunter X Hunter 2011 adaptation is a direct reference) to idol music videos (Perfume and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu do JoJo poses in videos and elsewhere). There are so many references that there’s even a whole list of them on the JoJo wikia: http://jojo.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_cultural_references_from_JoJo%27s_Bizarre_Adventure

        Not to mention the manga itself is great. It’s been going consistently for almost 30 years, gone through 8 different protagonists, and still manages to stay fresh and entertaining while the art constantly improves. There’s an anime adaptation that’s extremely faithful to the manga, but it’s only halfway through part 3 and on hiatus until January. I’d advise anyone reading this to give it a shot. It might open up a cultural world you were previously unaware of. But it is very violent.

  2. Really loving these articles! I bought the shingeki no kyojin light novel just recently after loving the anime. I’ll admit I watched the anime subtitled. Not liking my odds for the light novel now haha

    • I dunno, I think your experience and interest from the anime will give you a leg up. If you can familiarize yourself with some of the core vocab (like the names of the 3 military branches, “3D maneuver gear”, etc) that comes up really often, you might have a fighting chance ;)

      This wiki appears to have the JP terms for most of the important stuff – http://shingekinokyojin.wikia.com/wiki/Shingeki_no_Kyojin_Wiki

      Good luck!

    • I haven’t read Berserk but I’ve heard violent things about it. Want to give a quick summary of it?

      • “Have you ever hated someone so much, that this feeling alone would drive you to do horrific and impossible to grasp things?
        Have you ever hated someone so much, that your whole life was focused on finding that person and ripping him apart?
        Have you ever hated someone so much, that you would forget about your humanity, purge it all just to find enough power, for one, single fraction of a moment, one chance to get your revenge…

        What would your eyes look like in that very moment…? Insane? Terrified? Passionate? Happy? Or maybe… satisfied…

        Look into his eyes, and find nothing there…”

        Berserk is about a man named Guts. From the very start of his life, he’s had to worst luck possible. He was born from a dead mother, and raised in a mercenary troop. Everyday, he was fighting for his life, and he would always lose everything. When he would finally find a goal, something special to him in his life, he would lose it in the most horrible way imaginable, and then more. It’s the story of a man fighting against his destiny, and against the destiny of all mankind. Against forces that are far beyond the grasp of a human being.

        This is an example of the art & gore of this manga: http://i.imgur.com/vFdJR5W.jpg

  3. I liked the Claymore anime a lot, and I’ve been thinking of getting the manga for some time. Yep, it’s time to pay amazon.co.jp a visit I think. :)

    • Definitely check it out! The anime left off at a very strange point, and the series is still continuing even now. It gets much deeper and darker.

  4. Violent manga? Oh god, I could go on and on with this.
    Off the top of my head I would add:
    – vinland saga
    – berserk
    – vagabond
    – blade of the immortal
    – gantz
    – corpse party blood covered
    – battle royale
    – Übel Blatt
    I think I’ll look into the loan shark one. I like these articles, keep them up!

  5. No manga on this list or any other comes even remotely close to the violence depicted on the internet manga called 妖精で遊ぼう. It is a torture manga that can only come from the mind of someone the police should closely keep an eye on. Do not look for it. Trust me, it will crush your soul, especially if your Japanese is good enough for you to understand what’s going on. I had the mifortune of reading it as a dare and l haven’t been able to fully cleanse my mind of it.

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