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ValuesDissonance plays a huge part in this category, as Japan has a ''much'' higher threshold than Western cultures on what's not acceptable for kids. Any {{shonen}} or {{shojo}} {{anime}} and manga falls under this category, especially some MagicalGirl anime. This tends to happen because of the Japanese language's lack of true swearing, which results in some of the harsher words or interjections being [[SpiceUpTheSubtitles translated into English as profanities]]; therefore, it's not uncommon to find an anime series that routinely uses the equivalent of "damn" or "shit" and was intended for children.

If not that, it's usually due to violent content; graphic violence doesn't have anywhere near the social stigma in Japan as it does in the rest of the world (where it has been theorized that blood and gore in the media may desensitize children to committing violent acts in real life)... ''so long as it is portrayed in a negative light and is shown as being villainous''. You'll still rarely ever see the heroes engage in senseless violence (and the more shonen you watch, the more you may notice the heroes decrying such things), but because it's okay for such things to be shown as ''evil'', there's a lot more latitude for the villains to really [[KickTheDog punt puppies with steel toes]].

While traditional WesternAnimation have little violence, blood, sex, or swearing ([[AllAdultAnimationIsSouthPark with a few exceptions]]), the term ''anime'' means nothing more then "cartoon" or "animation" in Japan and is seen more as a medium than as a genre in and of itself, meaning that ''anime'' and ''manga'' allows for multiple, decidely not kid-friendly genres such as {{Horror}} and {{Romance}}. Furthermore, the censors and ratings are arranged a tad bit differently then in most western countries, leading to the ValuesDissonance mentioned above.

Similarly, shonen {{deconstruction}}s, those with DarkerAndEdgier contents, and those with a [[TheCynic pessimistic viewpoint]] often falls into this trope and is often mistaken as {{seinen}}. It should be noted that many manga that are technically seinen in both content and target group run in shounen magazines, as many [[{{Otaku}} more devoted readers]] frequently keep reading these magazines well into adulthood.

* Let's get this out of the way first: A lot of the anime that airs or has aired on Creator/AdultSwim or the revived Creator/{{Toonami}} block is {{shonen|Demographic}}, despite varying levels of gore, sex, and dub profanity. Again, an all ages rating in Japan is often a TV-14-DLSV in America due to ValuesDissonance.
* ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' may be one of the most relentlessly serious, dark, violent, and horrifying manga in recent memory, easily on par with some of the grimmer {{Seinen}} out there, and yet it runs on Kodansha's ''Bessatsu {{Shonen}} Magazine''.
* ''Manga/AzumangaDaioh'' is widely believed to be a {{seinen}} series -- being aimed at teenage boys, it, along with Dengeki Daioh (where the manga appeared), are actually {{shonen}}. In some countries it's lumped in with 18+ mangas because of the perverted Mr. Kimura, but perverted teachers hitting on teenage girls in Japanese children's shows is just of of those things anime fans have to accept. The anime received an [[http://www.madman.com.au/images/slicks/very-large/mmb938.png MA15+]] rating in Australia ''purely'' because of the aforementioned teacher (according to licensee Creator/MadmanEntertainment).
* ''Manga/BarefootGen'', a semi-autobiographical manga series best known for its graphic depiction of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima, was originally published in ''Magazine/ShonenJump'' and aimed at kids, complete with intermittent history lessons throughout.
* The manga ''Manga/{{Bastard}}''. First off, the title stopped it from hitting mainstream in the US. It ran in Weekly Shonen Jump up until volume 8 or so, but even before volume 8 it is a crazy-R-rated manga, with sex (comically-sized penises included, and one sex scene so explicit Viz wouldn't publish it uncensored - and they released ''Manga/TenjhoTenge'' without edits!), gory violence and a metric crapton of creative swearing/expressions ("This fuckwad is getting cocky just 'cause he's the world's biggest ball of shit!" "I don't need help from a shit stained ass-monkey!").
* ''Manga/BlackButler''. It has {{Seinen}} written all over it, but is published in a {{Shonen}} magazine. It contains violence and gore, murder, child abuse, sex (and in the {{anime}}, rape), pedophilia, and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking questionable dialogue]]. To top it all off, its protagonists are {{Villain Protagonist}}s who kill anyone who gets in the way of their goals. On the other hand, cooking competitions, dance lessons, boys put in fluffy dresses, a cast full of bishonen, and a huge female fanbase might cause it to be mistaken for {{Shoujo}}.
* ''VisualNovel/{{CLANNAD}}'': Fans would be surprised to learn that the anime was based off a visual novel for people of all ages in Japan, despite the show having darker themes as the series progresses.
* ''Anime/CrossAnge'' is a [[ExaggeratedTrope shonen and it's rated TV-MA]] and it looks like a {{Seinen}}. It has loads of fanservice and nudity in general, loads of {{Yuri}}, there's multiple scenes of rape and the first scene of rape is in the first episode and all the girls [[{{Stripperiffic}} wear as much]] if not less than [[Anime/KillLaKill Ryuko Matoi]]. There's a scene where one of the girls gets touched in a certain area and she blushes and has a case of TheImmodestOrgasm. There's also scenes of masturbation although this is made to disgust as her [[MindRape mind is being broken]]. There's also some mentions of sexual intercourse and two characters are stated to have had sex and you can see it starting before it cuts away. The show is filled with {{Gorn}} and lots of blood in a non-comedic fashion always comes out whenever someone gets injured. [[spoiler: The second episode also contains Coco getting blasted in half with [[HighPressureBlood loads of blood]] and the main villain dies by being dissected.]] The show in terms of violence is as bad as ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' and in terms of sexual content it's worse than most other {{Ecchi}}. It got rated 16+ in Quebec which is the same as '''''Franchise/{{Saw}}''''' and '''''Franchise/GameOfThrones'''''. In comparison most R rated films get 13+ over there.
* ''Manga/DeadTube'' packs much of there is for family unfriendly content in its ''FIRST CHAPTER ALONE'', fetishes such as a girl being filmed while peeing on a bathroom and being okay with it, said girl asking to be filmed while having sex with someone else, then the girl killing the unsuspecting lover while the other guy films it, and that’s just the beginning. This series just screams {{Seinen}}, but no it runs in '''Champion RED''', a {{Shonen}} Magazine that loves running raunchy content without no known age restriction.
* ''Manga/D.Gray-man'' 's main theme is tragedy according to WordOfGod. It is aimed for kids but the villains' actions are too much. The main antagonist revives people but in the form of Akuma/demons who often make cannibalism to hide within society as humans that can eat other humans so that they can become stronger. The main character, Allen Walker, is often described as a gentleman but later in the series it is revealed he suffers from posttraumatic disorder following his guardian's death and revival as an Akuma. Other major characters also go through tragic backstories but it seems Allen takes the cake.
* ''Manga/DeathNote''. It has all the makings of a {{Seinen}} series... but ran in Shonen Jump. Acknowledged by the authors who mention in their [[Manga/{{Bakuman}} manga about manga]] the idea of writing otherwise {{seinen}} stories in a {{shonen}} magazine. It even seems like they support {{shonen}} magazines having {{seinen}}-like manga. The author does mention in ''Death Note: How to Read'', however, that the story would've taken a different path if it ran in a seinen magazine, exploring the morality involved in using a Death Note and how society responds to it rather than putting the cat-and-mouse chase between Light and L at the front.
* The [[{{Gorn}} gory]], [[{{Fanservice}} sexually-charged]], [[ClusterFBomb profanity-laden]] anime series ''Manga/DeadmanWonderland'' was used as the flagship title for the revival of Creator/{{Toonami}} as part of Creator/AdultSwim. All signs point to this being a {{Seinen}} series. But in reality, it's a {{Shonen}} series whose original manga version was serialized in the same anthology magazine that housed significantly tamer series such as ''Anime/KidouTenshiAngelicLayer'' (which is actually aimed at '''children''' in the United States), ''Manga/{{Nichijou}}'' and ''Anime/KaitouTenshiTwinAngel''.
* ''Manga/FutureDiary'' (AKA ''[[Manga/FutureDiary Mirai Nikki]]''). It was thought to be a {{Seinen}} series but was published in the same {{Shonen}} magazine as ''Manga/DeadmanWonderland''.
* It can be argued that this {{trope}}, combined with ValuesDissonance, is why ''Manga/DetectiveConan'' (a.k.a. ''Case Closed'') failed when it was broadcast on Creator/CartoonNetwork in the United States: it was too childish for '''Creator/AdultSwim''', yet too violent for Creator/{{Toonami}}. The aged animation style was the final nail in the coffin. In fact, this anime was aired during family hours in Japan. Complete with brutal murders; complex plots involving suicide, drugs and business dealings; and of course copious amounts of sexual tension. And apparently that's why it worked in the German language broadcast. Not only has the German dubbed run more than twice the episodes compared to the English, but those extra episodes run uncut in a children's block.
* ''Manga/{{Devilman}}''. Yes, ''that'' Devilman. It ran in ''Weekly Shonen Magazine'' in 1972, and a few pages looks light-hearted with goofy-looking JapaneseDelinquents, right? No, violence, gore, and nudity abound, and has one of the most depressing DownerEnding in a Shonen series. ''Manga/ViolenceJack'' also qualify since it ran in 1973, with the same thing, but more sex and gore (until later parts were in a Seinen magazine). The former has a rather LighterAndSofter anime adaptation by Creator/ToeiAnimation (until the OVAs happen). ''Violence Jack'', not so much. Sequels to ''Devilman'' and ''Violence Jack'' are straight {{Seinen}}.
* ''Anime/DigimonTamers'', [[DarkerAndEdgier Digimon Tamers]], [[RuleOfThree DIGIMON TAMERS]]. Especially notable since [[Anime/DigimonAdventure its]] [[Anime/DigimonAdventure02 predecessors]] had their share of darkness, but nowhere ''near'' its level.
** Case in point: ''The first episode'' had two seperate Digimon killing ''and eating'' another one, and to make matters worse, Digimon who die that way are never reborn. Other [[SarcasmMode highlights]] include some of the most [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown horrifying]] and [[CurbStompBattle brutal]] battles in the series' history, one of the hero's Digimon being eaten and thus permanently killed (by a former friend, no less), someone trying to commit ''suicide'', at least two HeroicSacrifices, a good chunk of the Digital World and its residents being deleted, one of the Digimon getting stabbed nearly to death and thrown into a sea of deletion ''while his/her Tamer/s can do nothing but watch'', a heart-breakingly BittersweetEnding, and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking naked children with]] BarbieDollAnatomy. The absolute worse offender, however, is a sweet little 10-year-old girl getting [[MindRape mind fucked]] by an EldritchAbomination for at ''least'' a week. If the title didn't have "Digimon" attached to it, you'd think it was intended for high school students, but ''no'', it's (theoretically) aimed at kids around that girl's age.
** Hell - a decent part of the BrokenBase for this particular entry in the franchise revolves around the MoralGuardians being ''right'' on this one, and the show being completely inappropriate for children despite being nominally aimed at the elementary-school set. In practice, showing it to that age group has proven to be a dodgy proposition, because they either won't really get it, or they ''will'' get it and end up legitimately disturbed, especially by its final act. Of course, proponents of the show like to point out this is exactly what Chiaki Konaka was trying to pull off in the first place, concerning the way most cartoons for children treat or avoid "death".
** Also ''Anime/DigimonSavers''. less mindfuck than Tamers, but less shy about detailed violence or blatant {{Fanservice}}.
** Willis's Story: you used to have two little friends. One is corrupted. Kill it and live with the other happily forever. It is basically VisualNovel/FullMetalDaemonMuramasa for kids. Also, the evil one has BlackFace on.
* ''Manga/DragonBall'' and ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' is very clearly a kids' series, but it can get pretty violent, including one scene of [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice bloody impalement]], and [[DirtyOldMan Muten Roshi's]] hijinks sometimes run a little blue.
* The heavy amount of violence present in later episodes of ''Anime/EurekaSeven'' forced Creator/CartoonNetwork to air the English dub on its Adult Swim block with a TV-MA rating. However, ''Eureka Seven'' is a show targeted for kids, as evidenced by its [[http://www.japansociety.org/resources/content/2/0/5/4/documents/sato_mcgray%20interview.pdf 7 A.M. Sunday morning time slot in Japan]]. Even the voice actors express their confusion over the timeslot during several of the more violent scenes in the Japanese [[DVDCommentary DVD commentaries]].
* ''Anime/HellGirl'' seems like a mature seinen or josei series. Nope, it's shoujo. So it's probably aimed at the older end of the shoujo spectrum, right? Nope. It was serialized in a magazine for 8-14 year old girls.
* ''LightNovel/FateZero'' was shown on Japan's Kids Station channel. It features, among other things, a psyhopathic SerialKiller whose Servant is an [[UpToEleven even more psychopathic serial killer]] who subverts WouldntHurtAChild in his EstablishingCharacterMoment. ([[GoryDiscretionShot we don't actually see it directly]], but there is a cut to the wall splattered with huge amounts of blood afterwards, and it's made all the more horrifying by the fact that he deliberately gave the kid a HopeSpot before killing him.) As well as Assassin getting [[BoomHeadshot rather messily impaled through the head with a thrown lance]]. ''This is just the second episode.'' The first episode just contained a child being tortured by monstrous worms. It is of note, however, that the series ''was'' aired after midnight, which is generally reserved for more adult titles.
* ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' is textbook {{Gorn}} with blood and guts flying around and torture and sick villains... and it's also the TropeMaker for {{Shonen}} FightingSeries. It's also from the late Showa era; you probably couldn't get away with a lot of that in a modern {{shonen}} series. Its modern iterations only do get away because of the GrandfatherClause. Japan had a few scares with [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsutomu_Miyazaki an otaku serial killer]] and teen murders in the intervening 22 years, prompting more scrutiny from MoralGuardians.
* ''Manga/FrankenFran'' is serialized in a Shonen magazine, but it is full of {{Gorn}}, graphic BodyHorror, [[{{Fanservice}} nud]][[FanDisservice ity]] and other suggestive scenes.
* ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'' started off as a light-hearted shonen (ignoring the Elrics' backstory) with an [[MonsterOfTheWeek Antagonist of the Week]] popping up often until several episodes in. After [[spoiler:Nina's death]] the dark moments got more closer together and more frequent. By the mid-point it hit full CerebusSyndrome and by the end it resembled more of a seinen then a shonen. The [[Manga/FullmetalAlchemist manga]] and ''Brotherhood'', however, stays generally shonen even with their dark moments.
* Despite having some VERY raunchy humor that would make some western animated shows intended for adults blush, ''Anime/GinTama'' aired on Sunday mornings in Japan, a children's timeslot, and the manga is serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump. Like ''Manga/HunterXHunter'' though, it did eventually move to OtakuOClock for its conclusion, but the manga is still shonen.
* ''Manga/GirlsBravo'' was mildly controversial when it came over to the United States; Geneon had to put a warning on the back (something usually only done for {{hentai}}) advising stores not to sell it to people under 17. It averts the usual non-nude ecchi that was popular at the time with detailed, graphic nudity and sexual situations. So how on Earth did its manga run in the same shonen magazine as squeaky-clean manga like ''Angelic Layer''?!
* The anime anthology ''Anime/GrimmsFairyTaleClassics'' was clearly aimed towards small children. However, it contains many scenes of intense cruelty (such as a princess being falsely accused of killing her baby in the episode "The Six Swans", characters being beaten by abusive guardians in "Brother and Sister" and "Rapunzel", and the main character being framed by his brother's cruel trick in "The Water of Life"), as well as semi-frequent use of violence and NightmareFuel. One episode is based on the Grimms' story "Allerleirauh", which features a princess fleeing from her father who wants to marry her. The darkest episode was perhaps "Bluebeard", which features the title character killing his wives and nearly kills the most recent one until her brothers save her. Much of the dark imagery was toned down for the English dub, but the show was still quite dark considering its target audience. The catch? This show was aired on Nick Jr., which is known today for [[TastesLikeDiabetes very sugary shows]] such as ''WesternAnimation/DoraTheExplorer''.
* Related to the above, ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamAge Gundam AGE]]'' is targeted to a younger audience than ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeed SEED]]'' and ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundam00 00]]''. Yet, despite its [[ArtStyleDissonance children's cartoon art-style]], ''AGE'' has a really dark story and it doesn't hold any punches when it comes to killing off characters and showing their death scenes. And that's before you get into [[spoiler:having a main protagonist become a genocidal, [[WellIntentionedExtremist if well-intentioned,]] maniac, [[TheWarOfEarthlyAggression the whole back-story for Vagan (also known as the Unknown Enemy),]] or even [[EnfantTerrible Desil Galette.]]]]
* ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'' is best known for its extremely graphic gore and murder scenes. Despite this its manga, which is BloodierAndGorier than even the anime, was inexplicably aired in ''shonen'' magazines.
* In ''Manga/KenganAsura'', despite this mixed martial arts fighting series running in a magazine meant for young teens it features many graphical scenes one would see in series aimed at older audiences, such as many brutal portrayals of highly detailed violence and in the middle of that some quick shots of sexual intercourse.
* The mangas of ''VisualNovel/RoseGunsDays''' first three seasons also ran in Shōnen Gangan, G-Fantasy and Gangan Online. While they're far less violent than the ''When They Cry'' series, they still have some decidedly un-childish themes such as war, the loss of your homeland, colonization and Chinese-Japanese relationships; and Season 3 features some pretty brutal murders. However, Season 4, as well as the spin-off ''Aishū no Cross-Knife'', appropriately ran in Big Gangan.
* ''Manga/HotGimmick'', a manga with lots of sexual blackmail raunchier then most MTV shows and getting a 16+ rating for the American publication (with a few additional disclaimers about underage drinking and other such material), points towards being a josei, but somehow ran in Betsucomi, a shoujo magazine originally targeted to elementary and middle school girls (though there has been a bit of an aging up of the magazine in recent years).
* ''Manga/HunterXHunter'', a series where almost Main/AnyoneCanDie and contains among other things a heart being torn out, beheadings, fights to the death and a floor being covered in fresh blood, and the series in general being rather graphic at times, the series is serialized on ''Weekly Shonen Jump''. Goes double for the Chimera Ant arc, which features BlackAndGrayMorality, bordering on BlackAndBlackMorality, along with much of the graphic violence described above, plus significant dismemberments, plots of genocide [[spoiler:(though neither side succeeds in this aim)]], disturbing imagery and themes left, right, and center, and even [[spoiler:nuclear apocalypse]] is depicted, though the last one isn't part of the arc's main focus.
* ''Manga/ItsudatteMySanta'''s original printing was recalled for having the wrong rating on the package, TV-PG instead of TV-MA. Despite that, nobody complained even before its recall, plus that it was serialized on a Shonen magazine.
* ''Franchise/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' ranks up there with ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'', ''Manga/ApocalypseZero'' and ''Anime/CrossAnge'' as the top candidate for this trope. The sheer frank homoeroticism and casual ''brutality'' of this franchise, tolerable to teenage boys in Japan, would have [[ComicBook/ChickTracts Jack Chick]] doing gymnastics in his grave!
** ''[[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventureVentoAureo Vento Aureo]]'' is probably the worst in this regard, occurring before the shift to a more mature seinen magazine--each and every arc in the series (which is to each of the dozen conflicts with stand users) centers around some aspect of bloody, gory, painful body horror. The next part, ''[[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventureStoneOcean Stone Ocean]]'', is also pretty bad with the gore. And has prostitutes, vibrators as currency and people exploding into snails.
* The American publication of ''Manga/KareFirstLove'' (via VIZ) is rated T (13+) despite Aoi's consistent pressure on his girlfriend to have sex with him. Curiously, the series' rating never increases, even after it displays a rather explicit sex scene and a pregnancy scare resulting from an affair between an adult man and high school teen. Other manga published by VIZ has been marketed to older teens/adults simply for containing frontal nudity -- such as ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf''.
* ''Manga/{{Kinnikuman}}'' originally started out as a parody of ''Ultraman'' complete with action and comedy being somewhat expected of a Shonen manga. Then, the series shifted from being just a parody of superheroes to a series about ProfessionalWrestling. Despite the comedy remaining in the series, there was notably a lot more violence in the show. For one, the wrestling matches couldn't really be called matches anymore, as whenever someone won, it usually meant that they won via killing the other person, complete with FamilyUnfriendlyDeath for the defeated (One person actually got ''eaten alive'' by their opponent). Keep in mind that it was still considered a Shonen manga after the shift. The anime tried to tone down the violence, but a lot of it was still kept in.
* The same can be said for the anime of its sequel ''Kinnikuman Nisei'' (known in the US as ''Anime/UltimateMuscle''). Despite being aimed at kids, it still follows in the footsteps of its predecessor with violence and loads of innuendo in both the original ''and'' the dub. The manga averts this trope, as it's marketed for adults.
* ''Manga/{{Life}}'' may be a {{Shoujo}} manga however it's considerably more mature in nature than most shoujo. From the graphic nudity, sexual scenes, and gore... it's no wonder {{Creator/Tokyopop}} changed it from being for "Older Teens" to "Mature". One scene in volume 6 even involved showing two characters somewhat graphically having sex. It can easily be mistaken for a {{Josei}} manga.
* ''Manga/MaicchinguMachikoSensei'' is an anime about a quirky teacher who helps her students through everyday problems such as bullies and school work. Sometimes, she takes them on wacky adventures as well. Oh, and every episode featured the main character naked due to her students' pranks. And yes, BarbieDollAnatomy was completely averted. And yet, it was a show aimed at middle school children.
* Like Kare First Love, ''Manga/{{Mars}}'' deals with very dark subject matters like suicide, sexual abuse and also has an explicit sex scene yet Tokyopop keeps the rating at Teen 13+.
* {{Anime}} News Network's reviewers have condemned ''Manga/MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'' for sexually suggestive dialogue and scenes (read: [[ParentalBonus light enough that kids wouldn't get it]]) as well as its aversion of BloodlessCarnage, even though it was originally published in Nakayoshi. The {{anime}} sanitized a lot of these scenes anyway, but it's confusing that people who ought to know better would judge this way. (The same review ''also'' exemplified [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids this trope's opposite]], in that it stated that no-one that the reviewer deemed old enough to read the series would dare touch a cute MagicalGirl manga.)
* ''Manga/{{Nana}}''. With its fairly adult storyline and content, it runs in a {{Shoujo}} magazine. {{Josei}} would have been more like it.
* Despite being run in a shonen magazine that also runs ''Manga/FairyTail'' and its remake anime ''Anime/NegimaSecondSeason''[[note]]which admittedly cut out almost all of the fanservice[[/note]] being run during afternoons for children on TV Tokyo, ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' has a lot of sexual innuendo, nudity, and fetish material, such as [[spoiler:Asuna being stripped naked and tickled on one page where we can see ''everything'' - barely managing to not become hentai with BarbieDollAnatomy]].
* In regards to the new four part movie remake being made based on it, Creator/HideakiAnno mentioned, briefly, that ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' was intended for youths and even kids and how the message of the series was important for their ears more so than anyone else. You know, that show where a naked teenage girl grows to the size of a planet and then falls apart, [[MindRape another character has her mind horrifically invaded and essentially violated]], and ended up squarely defining pessimism in the Super Robot genre. [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids In the States, it was once the victim of the opposite trope, nowadays]] ''Evangelion'' is pretty much put on par with ''Manga/{{AKIRA}}'', ''Legend of the Overfiend'' and violent anime/hentai in general. Japanese parents (and sponsors) were just as surprised at an after-school {{anime}} growing so violent and nightmarish so quickly, culminating in the movie being a strictly R-rating level affairs.\\\
It may have been intended to be a kids program, at least the initial idea. The creator, however, suffered from depression problems, [[CreatorBreakdown and he had something of a meltdown midway through the series]]. While the show had been dark before, there had at least been lighthearted moments, and characters seemed to be developing in a positive route; things started to go downhill after that point, (much like a rolling stone hurling off a cliff into a pit of [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking acid, lava, piranhas, and toenail clippings]].) [[http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/buried-treasure/2007-05-03 This article]] shows that kids in Japan do still watch ''Evangelion'', regardless.
* ''Manga/PandoraHearts'' is a shonen manga series similar to ''Manga/BlackButler''. Like ''Black Butler'' and ''Manga/DeathNote'', it probably would be more suited for a Seinen magazine, due to its violence, characters with violent and complex pasts (quite a few involving EyeScream) and generally being quite a mature manga series. This is something that has only gotten darker and darker as it goes on, especially what with the rampant character death the author likes to pull on people.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}''
** ''Manga/PokemonAdventures''. It is in fact classified as a ''kodomo''[[note]]children's[[/note]] manga. However, its strong sense of continuity and characterization, as well as frequent use of violence and even occasional deaths, has people convinced it's meant for an older crowd.
** Quite a few of the [[Manga/{{Pokemon}} other manga]] too, either due to violence or {{Fanservice}}. ''Manga/PokemonDiamondAndPearlAdventure'' can be as violent as ''Adventures'' at times, and features dark themes like it, but can't be above {{Shonen}}. Of course, the main reason WHY it's classified as ''kodomo'' is because the manga are based off of a MerchandiseDriven children's video game.
** Creator/TakeshiShudo [[note]]The head writer for the anime from Kanto until Johto[[/note]] had originally wanted [[Anime/{{Pokemon}} the show]] to be [[MultipleDemographicAppeal enjoyed by anyone]], not just kids, and it shows in most of the episodes written by him which noticeably clash in tone with a lot of the show's other, more lighthearted episodes. For example, ''[[Recap/PokemonS1E1PokemonIChooseYou the very first episode]]'' was a {{deconstruction}} of being a Pokémon trainer, and the Japanese version of ''Anime/PokemonTheFirstMovie'' features a complex backstory for Mewtwo involving the ethics of cloning, among other things. ExecutiveMeddling prevented Shudo from using a lot of the [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar bonuses]] he'd intended to, and he ended up leaving because the show became overly kid-focused. Nonetheless, the anime still does get pretty dark at times, such as in the Hunter J arc of the ''[[VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl Diamond and Pearl]]'' saga.
** The uncensored edition of ''Manga/TheElectricTaleOfPikachu'' is a ''Pokémon'' shonen manga but [[BleachedUnderpants the artwork was done by a hentai artist]], turning something that is a [[UpToEleven TY-Y show at first straight into a full on]] {{Ecchi}}. [[WorldOfBuxom All the characters have huge busts]] which are shown off frequently, most female characters show off [[AbsoluteCleavage lots of cleavage]] or {{Underboobs}}. There's also a bath scene where Misty is shown to start playing with her breasts such as groping herself so [[ACupAngst she could get them larger]] and this was just a scheme made by Ash so Ash could perv on her. Ash is also a LovableSexManiac. It also doesn't mind [[BloodierAndGorier hiding the brutality of Pokémon battles]] with a couple of fights sporting [[{{Gorn}} high amounts of blood]] including [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown the last battle]]. Needless to say, this uncensored version is very adult despite it being a ''Pokémon'' manga.
** ''Manga/PocketMonsters'' is a GagSeries, but it contains a lot of gross-out moments that wouldn't be out of place in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''. This includes a scene of Pikachu's face being smashed into his own shit and [[http://snarp.dreamwidth.org/40223.html multiple shots clearly showing Red and Clefairy's]] ''genitalia,''
** ''Anime/PokemonGenerations'' features an in-universe version. AZ's history (which features a war and countless innocents being sacrificed to power a WeaponOfMassDestruction) is apparently treated as a children's fairy tale.
* ''Franchise/PrettyCure''
** Toei held two all-night events at a movie theater for grown ups only due to a Japanese law that doesn't allow children to see movies after 8:00PM. They showed some ''Pretty Cure'' movies during this marathon.
** The show itself is primarily known for its abundance of martial arts fighting, not normally seen in magical girl anime aimed at a young audience.
* The [[MagicalGirl magical-girl]] {{anime}} series ''Anime/PrincessTutu'' is aimed at children in Japan ([[GirlShowGhetto just look at the title]]), but it's rated PG-13 for scenes with blood and violence, as well as surprisingly common [[BarbieDollAnatomy Barbie Doll Nudity]].
* ''VideoGame/PriPara'', an idol show aimed at children, has a satanic girl who uses magic to control others into acting bad and says "hell" OncePerEpisode, mascots who drink alcohol occasionally (and one of them run what appears to be a bar), a few sequences with the girls in revealing swimsuits, an adult woman going nuts over Michaelangelo's David statue while at a museum, two crossdressing characters, a baby giving three girls a golden shower, a girl [[spoiler: who wants to commit suicide in order to get a dress]], an elementary schooler who likes seeing boys wet the bed and a train that yells "Go to hell!" in the first movie.
* ''Anime/ReadOrDie Rehabilitation'' is more risque than its {{Seinen}} counterparts ''Anime/ReadOrDie'' and ''Read or Dream'', yet is serialized on a {{Shonen}} magazine.
* ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' is full of mature themes and taboo sexual relationships/metaphors, and as such has never received a rating lower than 13+ on a North American release. However, the show is indeed a shoujo, and was scheduled at a timeslot on TV Tokyo in which lots of young children would be watching (for a few months, it aired right before ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'').
* ''Anime/SailorMoon''. No, it was not only for teens in Japan; [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONUVMin4QoE watch the commercials]]. The first season finale deserves special mention where four of the Sailors are brutally killed (they get better). Reportedly so many children were upset about the deaths that they made themselves sick. For TheNineties Creator/DiC US dub, the deaths were censored by implying that they were merely being held prisoner and the two part finale was edited into one episode.
** The turning point for the anime was when Nephrite died. Before that it was a mostly straightforward and lighthearted super-heroine show, but that episode made it painfully clear that death was a reality and what the true stakes were. The first season's finale ''much'' further empathized it, and things were never really the same again for the entire series.
** The second Creator/VizMedia DVD/Blu-Ray set, which includes said finale completely uncut, is still rated PG like the first and gives no warning. Anyone who hasn't seen it before (including those who only saw the "Day of Destiny" [=DiC=] version) is in for quite a surprise.
** The manga is much worse, featuring much more deaths that tend to be rather gory and barely avoiding to show Usagi and Mamoru ''having sex''. Then there's ''Manga/CodenameSailorV'', closer to the funnier tone of the anime but still showing the terrifying toll that fighting alone for a year and [[spoiler:killing her true love]] took on Minako, [[StepfordSmiler casting quite the shadow on her]] FunPersonified character in the main manga.
* ''Manga/SaintSeiya'' was aimed to children in Japan, as well in Europe and South America, having a lot of controversy due the huge amounts of violence, frightening scenes and religious/mythological references.
* ''Anime/ScienceNinjaTeamGatchaman'' has a gender-bending villain, plenty of violence and death, and (in the first series) TWO attempts to destroy the planet. Its target audience was 6-year-olds.
* The ''Manga/{{Splatoon}}'' manga is a wacky {{shonen|demographic}} GagSeries, and given ValuesDissonance, there's a lot of jokes and scenarios that just wouldn't fly in international markets -- NakedPeopleAreFunny, jokes about one's *ahem* eleventh tentacle, lewd references, and a scene where the main character pantses a rival, [[AssShove shoves the barrel of his Splattershot up his ass]], ''and pulls the trigger.'' Yeesh! Somehow, it defied NoExportForYou and made it to international shores--where it is, against all odds, marketed to the same demographic as in Japan.
* One might think that a plot involving three guys who's goal is to hunt down every female elf maiden they can find in a fantasy world in order to strip them all naked - the plot of ''Manga/ThoseWhoHuntElves'', in a nutshell - would be some [[{{Hentai}} porno]] with gratuitous sex and nudity. Actually, it's a comedy satire with barely enough mature content to rate a PG in the United States. (And it ''did'' get that rating, actually. Maybe not ''made'' for kids, but still can make them laugh their butts off.)
* ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' had the same treatment as its sister-series ''Higurashi'', with the manga adaptations running in Shōnen Gangan, G-Fantasy and Gangan Online. In a weird inversion, the much LighterAndSofter extra stories of ''Umineko Tsubasa'' ran in Big Gangan, a Seinen magazine…
* ''Anime/YokaiWatch'' has some really disturbing backstories for the characters, has a lot of GettingCrapPastTheRadar (even in the English dub), and has occasional swearing, despite its demographic.
* ''Franchise/YuGiOh'' itself has always been this, but its [[Anime/YuGiOhArcV fifth series]] takes it {{Up to Eleven}}. Lets see, we have: an interdimensional war, a genocide, {{Child Soldiers}}, who, willingly or not, fight in the war, complete with a broad range of brutality each soldier shows in battle; from the reluctant wobble who doesn't want to hurt anyone to the psychopathic sadist who takes pleasure in tormenting others. The main protagonists philosophies are repeatedly proven false, and his character gets thoroughly deconstructed. Then there's the Akaba family, which consists of: a child with possible autism, who sees the world as a grey place and strives to become a copy of his [[spoiler: adopted]] brother [[spoiler: and grew up in a war zone]], an Abusive Mama who uses said child as a test-subject for some unknown project, her other son, who is a complete MagnificentBastard and can at best be called ALighterShadeOfGrey, and the father himself who began the interdimensional war. We also have a lot of crazy faces from everybody, starting with the protagonist [[http://kh13.com/forum/uploads/profile/photo-45471.jpg?_r=1431136573 (Just Look)]] and ending with minors, traitors, {{Heroic BSOD}}s, etc. The second season introduces huge economical and social inequality, the causes of said inequality being supported by many of its victims, a prison mini-arc, slavery being publicly accepted, and more psychological turmoil. In case it wasn't clear, this show also includes some HumansAreBastards and GreyAndBlackMorality. Yes, a children’s anime indeed.
* ''Manga/ZekkyouGakkyuu'' is a shoujo horror anthology aimed at ''elementary and middle-school girls.'' Stories in said anthology feature murder, stalking, mentions of rape, torture, grade-school girls planning to kill classmates [[DisproportionateRetribution over petty trifles...]] Oh, and AnyoneCanDie and most of the stories contain [[DownerEnding Downer Endings]], and aren't shy about showing the victim's blood pooling on the floor. That's not even getting into the narrator's backstory: being bullied so badly she committed murder-suicide by blowing up both herself and the bullies, and now wanders the town as a disembodied, ghostly torso.
** However, due to complaints sent in by parents, the stories have altered a little bit. They still contain the same horrible moments of intense bullying, suicide and implied torture of and to ''elementary and middle-school girls'', but several of the stories tend to end on [[HappyEnding happier]] notes than before.
* Blockbuster Video once had a point where they rated every anime "Youth Restricted Viewing", even relatively kid-friendly titles like ''Anime/TenchiUniverse'', ''Anime/ProjectAKo'', ''Anime/KOBeast'', basically, every anime that wasn't ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}''; however, Blockbuster's system for the "Youth Restricted Viewing" rating was all messed up; on your account, you either had to allow it all or none of it. So, you either can have none of the anime section, or you can have all of it, including the hentai, with the same rating, showing no difference between the two; you could end up with a "Youth Restricted Viewing" title that has a "damn" or two and maybe a drop of blood, or you could end up with an also "Youth Restricted Viewing" hentai that has everything but the kitchen sink in it, with no warning. A rather difficult system to deal with if you've got a young kid into anime, so it's no wonder they went out of business.
** Blockbuster had this problem in general. It was especially galling that Drama and Horror were filled with soft-core porn that a child could rent with no restrictions, but ''Anime/ProjectAKo'' was restricted. Complaints fell on deaf ears and employees could do nothing [[ExecutiveMeddling because corporate was insane]].
* Creator/{{CLAMP}} is good at this. Case in point being ''Manga/TsubasaReservoirChronicle'' which starts off as a fluffy GottaCatchEmAll romantic comedy drama. Later you can just substitute "fluffy" and "comedy" with "violent" and "depressing" and you're all set.
* Many works of Creator/GoNagai could be considered way too frightening and violent to be for children, but are aimed to children in Japan (Like for example: ''Manga/DororonEnmaKun'' and ''Anime/MazingerZ''.)
* Some of Creator/OsamuTezuka's {{anime}} and manga aimed at children/young teens tend to fall under this. The first episode of ''Manga/KimbaTheWhiteLion'' for example can pretty much be summed up as one massive BreakTheCutie for the eponymous character, and [[DownerEnding the ending for the manga and movie is one of the most infamous endings in the industry]].
* Creator/YoshiyukiTomino's early career is littered with examples of shows that were marketed to kids but were ''not'' so kid-friendly in their content:
** ''Anime/{{Zambot 3}}'', which earned him the nickname "KillEmAll Tomino", looks like a typical Saturday Morning cartoon, with a bunch a school age kids saving the day with a colourful CombiningMecha, but quickly turns into something much darker; the property damage and civilian casualties are depicted much more realistically than in the typical Super Robot show, the public turns against the kids and tries to murder them several times when it becomes apparent that they're the whole reason Earth is getting attacked in the first place, and most of the main characters die a bloody death in the finale.
** The original ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' had a similar effect at the time it first appeared, as the term RealRobot hadn't been invented yet and HumongousMecha were still widely considered the stuff of children's programming, Mr. Tomino's earlier work not withstanding.
** And let's not even mention ''Triton Of The Sea'' or ''Anime/SpaceRunawayIdeon''...
** [[Anime/GundamReconguistaInG His return to Gundam ]] after a 14 year absence was also stated by himself to be "for kids", but with [[KilledOffForReal certain developments in the show]], some fans have called "bullshit" on that claim.
** [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/gundam_sousei/c017/13.html Played with hilariously in]] ''Manga/GundamSousei'' with regards to ''[[Anime/SpaceRunawayIdeon Ideon's]]'' conception [[spoiler:and cancellation]].
* ''Anime/GhostStories'' (a.k.a. ''Gakkou no Kaidan'') is an anime about a group of prepubescent children who chase ghosts, which is targeted at kids. Notable ghosts they encounter are an incredibly scary and unstoppable GrimReaper lookalike, a grotesque HumanoidAbomination with a giant eye for mouth and a [[Literature/TheRing Sadako]] relative (who even comes out of a TV) who almost strangles the female lead to death. All of the ghosts are played seriously, albeit the English GagDub makes the series quite silly. However, said English gag dub is [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids definitely]] [[CrossesTheLineTwice NOT]] this trope.
* ''Manga/DamekkoDoubutsu'' is a SliceOfLife style anime/manga about animals (Humans wearing animal costumes Peter Pan style) [[RagTagBunchOfMisfits who are very different from what they are usually well-known for]]. [[SuperDeformed Despite the art style]],[[EarWorm upbeat opening]], [[SliceOfLife and laid back feeling]]. [[JerkAss Usahara]] one of the main characters, [[SmokingIsCool is a chain-smoker who is very agressive]]. There's also a Tobacco store, and Yunihiko is first seen drinking tons of alcohol which Usahara would later join in. Resulting in them getting drunk, and passing out in the process. Doesn't help that this aired on "Kids Station" which airs the majority of Japanese children's shows.