10 Popular Anime Movies You Shouldn't Let Your Kids Watch – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Though anime is popular among young audiences, there are a few programs kids should stay away from.
Throughout the years, anime has had a significant rise in popularity. As it continues to enter mainstream media, more anime movies have come to the forefront and are enjoyed by fans and non-fans alike. With more people watching anime than ever before, many of these films are catered to wider audiences and are great for the whole family to enjoy together.
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Despite that, it's no secret that most anime are not appropriate for kids, and anime movies are no different. While there are tons of amazing films out there and many popular titles to choose from, a lot of these hits are aimed at adult audiences only, so parents should take heed.
The Evangelion franchise is well-known for its intense psychological plotline, so it's safe to assume it's more than kids can handle. That said, it's no surprise that The End of Evangelion continues this legacy, building on the already puzzling conclusion of the series.
It deals with heavy subjects, such as death, depression, self-hatred, and much more. There are many scenes that would be far too graphic for younger audiences, and the overall message is hard even for adults to grasp, so kids would have trouble keeping up.
Fist of the North Star is one of the most influential shonen franchises of all time. In many ways, it shaped what the genre is today, and its manga is still one of the most popular around. However, this is no series to introduce to young fans, and that includes the 1986 film adaptation.
Unlike the anime series of the time, this movie includes all the violence of the manga, making it far too intense for children. Some scenes are even uncomfortable for adult viewers, as Fist of the North Star (1986) doesn't pull any punches when it comes to graphic content.
Akira is a 1988 classic film filled with action and excitement. It centers on Neo-Tokyo, a reimagining of the city in an apocalyptic world devastated by World War 3. That alone shows what kind of story to expect from Akira, and it lives up to the hype.
There are plenty of graphic scenes in the movie from start to finish, including violence and gore, slight nudity, profanity, and some moments that even older audiences may find disturbing. While Akira is a great anime classic, it's not for everyone, and it definitely isn't for kids.
Ghost in the Shell is a staple of '90s anime and is beloved by many long-time fans. While it is less graphic than some titles, it's yet another franchise that's more for adults. The 1995 movie has mild violence, but a great deal of nudity and profanity, making it less than appropriate for younger fans.
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The storyline focuses on existential themes and what it means to be human, bringing up a lot of questions kids wouldn't really be able to understand. Many intense moments throughout the film also make it a bit too frightening. Teens may be able to handle Ghost in the Shell depending on their age, but it's far too much for anyone younger.
Satoshi Kon's work is praised throughout the anime community. Paprika is his last film, and it has all the psychological themes and twists that many have come to expect from his movies. Like most of his works, Paprika isn't a film most younger fans are ready to see.
The overall plot is extremely complex and surreal, and it would likely leave most kids lost or bored. There are also many graphic moments throughout, as well as creepy and unsettling imagery that younger audiences would find scary.
The Wind Rises is Hayao Miyazaki's farewell film and has risen to the same fame as his other masterpieces. For the most part, Miyazaki's works are films that the entire family can enjoy. They all present similar themes, but some present these themes in a way that adults can appreciate more than children.
The Wind Rises uses emotion and visual beauty to covey one of Miyazaki's most controversial messages yet, touching on war, death, and grief, among many other heavy subjects. It's one that kids can probably sit through, but they won't understand the deeper meaning and impact until they're older.
Redline is regarded by many as one of the greatest anime films of all time. With its fluid animation, exciting action scenes, and colorful characters, it's got something for everyone. Most would assume an action-packed racing movie would be perfect for kids.
However, Redline gets a bit too adult for younger audiences, with some violence and blood, suggestive themes, and nudity. Not to mention, the storyline has so much going on, it would likely be much harder for kids to follow along. Overall, though it's a beloved classic, it's best to wait until the kids get a little older to watch this one.
With Demon Slayer being one of the most popular anime franchises around, especially with younger fans, it's easy to assume that Demon Slayer Mugen Train is the perfect movie to show kids. However, many might want to think twice before sitting down with the family to watch it. Though it has a rating of PG12 in Japan, in the US and other countries, it's been given a much higher rating for its violence and disturbing scenes.
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Though there's minimal gore, suicide is a prominent feature throughout the film and is used as an escape from Enmu's spell. While most of the more intense scenes aren't anything an adult or teenager can't handle, the many deaths, blood, and use of suicide would likely be too much for anyone younger.
Satoshi Kon's Perfect Blue is considered a masterpiece among his works. Anyone who knows anything about his films knows that they aren't for everyone, especially not kids. As with all of his works, Perfect Blue is filled with psychological themes, horror, and many disturbing images that even adults sometimes can't handle.
It features a great deal of intense violence and gore, as well as blood, nudity, death, and depictions of assault. While the film is a beautiful thriller and likely the best example of Satoshi Kon's genius, it's not a movie for the faint of heart.
Studio Ghibli's works are often associated with whimsical worlds, cheerful colors, and happy characters. Most of their films are absolutely family-friendly. However, not all Ghibli films are okay to show kids. Grave of the Fireflies is infamous for its heartbreaking story of two siblings fighting to survive in a war-torn Japan.
It doesn't hold back at all when it comes to showing the ugly side of war, graphically depicting the devastation and grief it causes. Many adults who have watched it refuse to ever see it again due to how gutting and sad the film is from start to finish. With one of the saddest endings in Ghibli history, there's no way that any kid could ever handle watching it.
Chelsea is a List Writer for CBR with years of writing experience and a love for all things anime. She specializes in literature and creative writing, with a focus on fiction. In her spare time, she writes middle-grade and YA fiction, does traditional art, and keeps abreast of the latest anime series to hit the scene. She’s always eager to try new creative endeavors and uses them as inspiration in her writing.
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