In the manga AKIRA and its famous film adaptation, Neo Tokyo was scheduled to host to 2020 Summer Olympic Games, in September 2013, Tokyo beat Istanbul and Madrid in the right to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, as soon as news of this was heard, true anime and manga fans went to social networking sites and image boards to post images such as these◊.
In one of the first-season episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, much fun is made of so-called "card crushes", Perverse Sexual Lust of a duelist towards a Duel Monsters card. Then came Yubel in Season 3.
Speaking of Yu-Gi-Oh, the card Catapult Turtle doesn't look like much. Suicide attack, right? In the anime, it's used on a castle.
The "Wild Horses" episode of Cowboy Bebop is a competent spaceship story that culminates in the final flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia, about seventy years after being decommissioned. A few years after the episode was aired, the Columbia shuttle disintegrated in midair, killing everyone aboard. "Wild Horses" doesn't seem so rousing these days. The episode was taken off the air for two runs through the series by [adult swim], but they have aired it since.
The disintegration of the Columbia definitely makes this episode more serious. What is uncertain is whether it makes the episode more depressing or just more meaningful. It's possible to imagine that the old spaceship mechanic managed to collect most of the major pieces and rebuild the thing (hey, it's not much more implausible than his managing to pick Spike out of a skip-glide trajectory gone sour at a speed somewhere north of Mach 10). Try it, and see if you can't enjoy the episode a bit more that way. "Wild Horses" could be a fitting tribute to Columbia if watched in the right spirit. A tribute that just happened to be filmed before the fact.
The best part is that the collision with the Swordfish is said to have knocked off some of the heat tiles, making reentry dangerous. Too bad the people who made the space shuttles didn't watch Cowboy Bebop, eh? Or maybe they just trusted it because of it.
In one chapter of Gravitation, after Shuichi and Hiro get into a fight at school, Shuichi goes to Yuki's house to get cleaned up so his mom wouldn't see him all bloody. Yuki jokingly asks if Shuichi got gangbanged in gym class. A few chapters later, Shuichi actually does get gang raped.
Perhaps an even bigger and worse one is much of volume 9 in the manga. Volume 9 is about Shuichi being Shanghaied to New York to perform for a new record label. During one of the last major climaxes, as Shuichi and company flee from his new boss, Reiji, in order to return to Japan, part of New York City gets the ever-loving crap blown out of it. Later, though it's on a plane headed for Japan, hi-jinks once again ensue, including K busting into the cockpit and shooting (with non-lethal rounds) and bounding the pilots and taking control of the plane. Volume 9 was released in Japan on January 2000, over a year before 9/11. This is made even more jarring when the reader is treated to a nice shot of the New York skyline, which includes the World Trade Center, when Shuichi first arrives to New York City.
An episode of Rozen Maiden Traumend has Kanaria refer to the doll Barasuishou as "Bara-Bara". In Japanese, the word "barabara" means "dismemberment/breaking apart". Barasuishou's body collapses horrifyingly in the last episode.
The manga Fullmetal Alchemist started in 2001, before the September 11 attacks, an important part of the backstory is the Ishbal/Ishval rebellion, a war in which the Ishballans are tricked into rebelling against the Amestrian government. This gets eerie when it's stated that the war lasted seven years due to military incompetence, until the Amestrian government got tired of the war and just decided to wipe Ishbal off the map. Years later, the American government got locked into the Iraq War, a war that has lasted several years primarily due to incompetence.
King Bradley's origin, and the fact that his life has been on the path it's been on, takes on new meaning when you see that the "Birther" conspiracy honestly believes something similar happened with Barack Obama.
Fortunately, as of 2008, it seems that, following the 'surge' in Iraq, the total annihilation angle seems to have been averted. So it's only until the end where Truth in Television holds.
It's pretty hilarious whenever Hughes shoves pictures of Elysia and Gracia in other people's faces and rants about how adorable/beautiful they are. The aneurysm comes when Hughes can't bring himself to shoot Envy due to the homunculus pulling off a Shapeshifter Guilt Trip via turning into Gracia and murdering him, still looking like his beloved wife, having copied her appearance from a picture he dropped.
In the Fullmetal Alchemist anime, Hughes tells Mustang to hurry up and become a brigadier general, to which Mustang replies, "that's easy for you to say". Hughes, formerly ranked below Mustang so that he could support his friend from below, gains two ranks and becomes a brigadier general after he is killed.
A Running Gag in the series is Mustang being rendered useless by rain (or getting wet in general) since he can't create flames with wet gloves. Hawkeye doesn't hesitate to remind him of that he is "useless when it's raining" whenever it happens. In the aftermath of Hughes' funeral, he bitterly comments, "It's raining..."
An In-Universe example: when Ed first fought Envy, he complained about his Shapeshifting; then Envy taunts him by asking if he would prefer him to look like a taller version of Ed. During the penultimate episode, Envy finally revealed his true form; instead of being the expected One-Winged Angel, he looks like a taller version of Ed. He's Ed's half-brother, the son of Ed's father Hohenheim and the Big Bad Dante.
Note: That last example is anime-only. The manga vs. of Envy's true form might be an FAM compared to the anime, though.
Detective Conan had a whole movie about a pair of twin towers being destroyed that hit cinemas in April 2001. The conspiracy theorists make this one worse: in the movie, the towers were destroyed by a controlled explosion by an undercover organisation - which happens to include evil politicians - that pretty much get away clean.
One case in the late '90s involved a girl meeting people in an online group, arranging to meet up with them in person, not knowing any of them except online, finding out that some of the 'men' in the group were actually female and vice versa, then becoming trapped overnight with these strangers. :::shudder:::
Detective Conan has a massive Funny Aneurysm with the fifteenth movie. First, they released a trailer that showed a massive amount of water bearing down on a helpless village and violently tearing away a bridge. Then, a few days later, the 2011 earthquake happened. The version on the official website and promotional images were quickly edited. Then a month after the earthquake the movie was released, and it turned out that no one actually died due to the heroic actions of Conan, giving the whole thing a feel of tragic irony.
Throughout Mahou Sensei Negima!, vampire-witch Evangeline threatens to "wind up" her robotic partner. Given that she has a giant key sticking out of the back of her head, it comes off as a sight gag. Later, it's revealed that the act of winding gives her a rather pleasurable feeling. (When we see it done, she screams in pleasure). Evangeline has been threatening to rape her the whole time.
Another example: near the end of both anime series, Negi forms a Pactio with all the members of his class. This sounds funny until you realize that this includes Chao Lingshen, who is revealed later in the manga to be Negi's distant descendant.
Then again, if there are two or more generations between them (which there probably are), then she's no closer than a cousin, genetically speaking. And in Japan, it's okay for cousins to marry.
Another In-Universe example, Chao Lingshen's Real Identity IS AN ALIEN FROM MARS!! Jump to the Magical World arc: The Layout of the Magical World is similar to the planet Mars. That "joke" that Chao made earlier really IS a Cassandra Truth AND you later find out about Chao's future timeline and HOW BAD IT REALLY IS yet as a student she still tries to always keep a smile on her face.
In a similar vein, there is an enormous amount of Ship Tease between Negi and Asuna over the course of the entire series. Then we get to chapter 252 and the apparent confirmation that she's his aunt.
This particular aneurysm has proven potentially survivable with Chapter 284, which reveals that Asuna is an Artificial Human and Really 700 Years Old - two things that make her being his aunt impossible.
Right before going to Magic World, during a sparing between Evangeline and Negi/Asuna team, Asuna menages to cut Eva's cheek, and gets frozen solid in return, and then in chapter 284 we see that in her past she was sealed in some kind of crystal. (It wasn't explained yet, if it was by The Lifemaker to use her power, or by the heroes to stop it)
Asuna wakes up early for her job, but whenever she can, she sleeps well into the day and is quite a heavy sleeper. A hundred chapters or so later, she is put to sleep for another hundred years for Negis plan to save the world, meaning she won't see everyone for a hundred years. Not many people survive to live until they are 115, but Ayaka did. And then Asuna oversleeps by 30 years.
Back in chapter 249, Rakan made an off-hand remark how little Negi resembles a main character, telling him he's more akin to the side character that dies 3 chapters before the ending. In the timeline Asuna slept 130 years through, set in chapter 352 of a 355-chapter series, this is accurate.
Code Geass had Lelouch's ornate ceremonial sword, which made people laugh when he brandished it because it happened to look like a plastic toy. Less people laughed during the Grand Finale, when Zero stabbed Lelouch with it, pushing it into his chest and out through his back. It then looked less like a children's toy than a sharp thing which kills people.
The nineteenth episode was banned after 9/11 because it featured a giant Tentacruel smashing through skyscrapers. It was not shown again until July 2005; then Hurricane Katrina happened, whereupon it was banned again because of the flooded city.
It should be noted that a sample of footage of said giant Tentacruel smashing through skyscrapers was used in the original opening theme across the first eighty episodes, and was never edited or removed from any instance of the opening credits after episode was banned.
Another episode from that same season, called "Tower of Terror", was banned after 9/11 for the title alone. It's recently been unbanned, though.
As far as not being banned goes, an early episode features a wild Tarzan-type boy who, as we see in a flashback, was lost when he was dangled out of a helicopter and then dropped. This was played for laughs.
In the episode "Go West Young Meowth"", when the heroes and Team Rocket visit Hollywood, it turns out to be quite run down and implied to have a large amount of poverty. Keep in mind that this episode aired about 11 to 12 years before the California Bankruptcy.
Actually, that one would be considered more as dated humor, rather than this trope. On the other hand, what James said does basically speak for the people who know of 4Kids Entertainment's notoriety.
Late in the episode "The Battle According To Lenora", Ash decides to undergo training at the Pokémon Battle Club, run by one of the many identical-looking Don Georges, who in the dub sound similar to professional wrestler "Macho Man" Randy Savage. The episode ends with Don George, with the main characters behind him, walking into a blinding white light. That was the last Pokémon episode that aired in the US before Randy Savage died.
The events of the ending of "Battle aboard the St. Anne" and the beginning of "Pokemon Shipwrecked" have the St. Anne sinking, the captain making the morally dubious decision of leaving the passengers on the boat to sink, as well as the believed deaths of Ash, Misty, Brock, Jessie, and James. These events end up becoming significantly harsher for Italian fans recently, when the Costa Concordia sinks off the coast of Italy in a very similar manner to the St. Anne, not to mention five confirmed deaths onboard the ship as well as the arrest of the captain for its sinking. It's unknown if this will affect their being reaired by reruns.
Similar to the above, the Battle Subway two-parter in Best Wishes consisting of "Crisis From The Underground Up" and "Battle for the Underground" will be uncomfortable for Russian audiences after the events of the April 2011 Minsk Metro bombing.
Then there's the dub of "Ghost of Maiden's Peak", which has James (who has a British accent in the dub) whining "I don't want to go!" as he's pulled into Gastly's clutches. Then came The Tenth Doctor'sregeneration.
Likely this or Harsher in Hindsight: the third movie's plot revolves around the disappearance of Professor Spencer Hale, voiced by Dan Green, leaving his daughter alone since his wife went missing years before. Entei (also voiced by Dan Green) then shows up to take care of her. In November 2011, Dan Green's wife passed away after giving birth to twins.
Episode N featured a filler episode about a rescue team that is called in to fight a factory fire that trapped a class of schoolchildren and their teachers, which Team Rocket uses as a distraction to try to steal Pikachu. In April 2013, a factory exploded in Texas and the Boston Marathon was bombed, with one of the victims in the latter case being an 8-year-old boy.
XY The Series had one in a planned undersea episode centered around Skrelp and Dragalge; which was pulled from its initial airing and replaced with Ash's gym battle with Grant after the sinking of a South Korean ferry.
An early chapter of the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A'smanga had a scene of a sweatdropping Chrono asking Yuuno, "Won't it be too much for (Nanoha) if she continues like this?" in regards to Nanoha's Training from Hell, a cute Lampshade Hanging of the main character's completely over-the-top training method that became hauntingly prophetic in the following season when Nanoha almost got killed and became hospitalized for nearly a year mostly because she overextended herself.
Not the only time Nanoha's pushed herself way too hard - her overuse of massively boosted magical energy at the end of StrikerS damaged her actual magic potential, specified directly in the Sound Stages. It's why she's off combat duty in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Vivid, four years later.
In the "Freaky Friday" Flip episode of Revolutionary Girl Utena, Utena jokes about wanting to get out of Anthy's body before she gets caught up in some weird ritual sacrifice. Neither she nor the audience knows then that the whole Rose Bride thing works a lot like that.
One episode of the 2003 ADV Films release of Najica Blitz Tactics features a legendary alcohol-fueled DVD Commentary by voice actors Andy Mcavin and Mike Kleinhenz. At one point, the show's constant Fanservice and panty shots prompt Kleinhenz to jokingly remark, "Oooh, my heart, my heart can't take it!" On July 11th, 2008, Mike Kleinhenz passed away at the age of 56 due to a fatal heart attack.
Also, in Princess Tutu, Mike Kleinhenz plays the villainous Raven, and what is the one thing he desires? A heart.
During a flashback in the Alabasta arc in One Piece, Kohza gets his gang of kids to protect Vivi from kidnappers while shouting, "Fight to the death!" When she gets rescued (in the manga, at least), she responds to all this with "Don't ever say death, leader!" This was long before the English dub.
Also in One Piece, Luffy finds Bon Clay in Impel Down, and is overjoyed to find him alive after the last time he saw him getting blown up luring marines off the Strawhat's trail. Bon-chan laughs at him, and says "Okamas can never die!" And then of course, he repeats his self sacrifice with someone a little more sinister than Hina. Though of course, this being One Piece, and the act happening off screen, there is still hope that Bon-chan was indeed right.
Ace's boss, Whitebeard, is a walking Moment Of Awesome. His Devil Fruit ability? The power to make earth quakes. Wouldn't be so bad if he didn't also use this ability to flood an island with a tsunami. Kind of hard to watch his Awesome Moments now.
Several of the main characters' traits, such as Usopp's lying, Nami's obsession with money, and even Brook's eccentric nature are used for comic effect. However, each crew member eventually gets a flashback, many of which reveal tragic origins for these traits. For the most part, though, this doesn't stop them from being funny afterwards.
A couple jokes are made by Usopp about people using scrapped ships: once during a filler episode, and again as the Skypiea arc begins regarding Mashira. It takes on a darker turn in Water 7 when the Going Merry is damaged beyond repair and Usopp is unwilling to let it go.
Early on in the xxxHOLiC manga, Yuuko dramatically pretends to be dead from the heat, and Maru and Moro even set up a fake crime scene investigation. This becomes much less funny when it's revealed that she's been Dead All Along.
Also, a critic commented that Yuuko looked like "a sexy zombie" when she appeared on the covers of one of the DVD box set. This, likewise, is not as funny as it once was when one takes into consideration that she was dead at the time.
For an in-show example, in an early episode of Ōban Star-Racers, Molly states that she would rather fall into a bottomless pit than listen to him (the 'him' being Don Wei). In the race directly after she and her father have a long-overdue discussion when Don reveals that he now realizes she's his daughter, Eva, the Whizzing Arrow is badly damaged and plummets down the almost bottomless canyon. Oops.
In Challengers, Souichi is violently homophobic after an incident several years before where a professor tried to rape him, only to be narrowly saved by Morinaga. When Morinaga finally comes out of the closet to Souichi and confesses his own love, Souichi manages to get over his homophobia enough to keep Morinaga around as a friend and lab assistant, and Morinaga proudly tells another friend later that he's "proven that not all homosexuals are Satan's rape demons." Cue spin-off manga The Tyrant Falls in Love, where the overarching conflict is set up by Morinaga taking advantage of a drugged but very aware Souichi.
The opening theme to DearS is, essentially, a love song entitled "Love Slave," and one of the repeating lines in it is, in Gratuitous English, "I'm Your Slave". Then you get a good portion of the way into the series, and you find out that the aliens of the title are a purpose-made slave race.
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has one in episode 5.5 (a special OVA bundled with any preorders of the Nintendo DS game). In one scene, Kamina is hurled off a cliff only to be shown immediately holding on for dear life. He then remarks "whew, I almost died." If you've seen the whole series, you know the problem.
The ending of Gundam 0083. A terrorist attack decimates North America due to interference from a militarist faction within the government, who then use the attack as a justification to expand their influence & start another war. And this was made in the early 1990s!
In episode 12 of the first season of Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Louise Halevy is disturbed by the fact that her mother says how Saji reminds her of her husband (describing how Saji looks like her 'husband reborn'), with Louise citing that he is still alive. It is a lot harder to watch after episode 18, when her entire family is killed by Nena Trinity during a wedding.
In episode 11 of AIR, Haruko makes up for not spending time with Misuzu and they agree to start over. The next day, Misuzu loses her memories (as per the prophecy Yukito was told) and Haruko has to build their relationship back up from the beginning.
In-universe example: In Wolf's Rain, the boys get stuck in a storm and Hige and Toboe start complaining about the lack of food. Tsume jokes that they "can start with the runt, since he's weak, and then eat porky." Then, in the second to last episode, Tsume has to use his teeth to tear out Hige's throat in a mercy kill. This line may also offer a bit of Hilarious in Hindsight, no pun intended, given Tsume and Toboe's later interactions.Which takes it right back into Funny Aneurysm territory with Tsume's reaction to Toboe's death.
In episode 7, a prototype mech touted as being more reliable than the Evangelions is being extravagantly unveiled for its first ever activation, to which several people, including the press, and two of NERV's highest ranking employees (namely Ritsuko and Misato) are invited. Dr. Akagi voices concern that its power-supply is a solid-fueled nuclear reactor, and the dangers that a core meltdown would pose. Of course, that's exactly what happens, and it's up to Misato (with help from Shinji & Unit 1) to prevent the runaway mech from suffering a runaway reactor meltdown. Made for exciting action, until the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi.
Then there's Misato joking to Ritsuko in one of the first episodes that she's "not going to put the moves on Shinji". This has been nicknamed the "irony bomb" by parts of the fandom.
The scene where Shinji compliments Rei by saying she would make a good mother definitely qualifies, once you find out that Rei is a partial clone of his mother.
The scene isn't helped by Rei's nervous expression and blush in response to the compliment. On the first viewing, it looks like she's just being cutely awkward. Once you know the whole truth about Rei, it seems more like she's nervous because Shinji is getting way too close to the truth.
At one point, Rei says that all she is, is a pilot; and if she stops piloting Eva, she'll cease to exist.
Spike Spencer's rant on the NGE Platinum DVD. "Uuuhh... Is this how you end a series? I mean, is this... Where we go from here? Okay, the movie better sure as hell make up for this, I'm telling you, 'cause I'm stuck in nowhere land".
Adam sent Earth off its axis, much like the Sendai earthquake.
Halfway thought the first episode of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni freelance photographer Tomitake asks Keiichi what his friend, Rena, is doing in the garbage dump. Keiichi makes a crack about her "going to check a body that she killed". While it was barely received as a joke at first, it eventually gets even more awkward and disturbing.
Fridge Brilliance occurs later on in the answer arc, where she does kill two people, keep them in the dump, and goes to check on them often as her mental status deteriorates.
In a more light-hearted scene we watch Mion joke about her "evil" twin sister and are shown an Imagine Spot with a chibi Shion beating a chibi Mion with a whip. The Imagine Spot wasn't so funny when we see Shion beating her own grandmother with a whip later on.
"I like using poison to kill because it's a gentle death" becomes a lot less funny when (in Meakashi-hen) Rika is injected with the cure for the Hinamizawa disease that she'd intended to use on someone else, which gave her an allergic reaction since she is the carrier, leading to her being weakened and committing suicide so she wouldnt be tortured to death.
When Chor Tempest gets asked to show a Plumbum priestess around their ship they naturally start off with introductions, with the priestess repeating each name as she's told it. All except Aer's. A funny little snub, right? Not so funny when it's revealed why she won't say "Aer". Until she does, anyway.
When Nina first receives the romantic-sounding email from the man "born to smother her with flowers," she laughs at it as a perceived attempt of her Butt Monkey friend to seduce her. When, in retrospect, it is revealed that the sender is her own brother, the romantic subtext initially seen becomes truly cringe-worthy.
Nerima Daikon Brothers has a parody of Michael Jackson as an end-of-series villain, complete with the usual jokes. It isn't really that bad to anyone who isn't that sensitive to the his whole being dead thing, at least until the line "You're right, I DO look like Sammy Davis Jr.! Well, except for the being dead part".
In the manga of Fushigi Yuugi (volume 2), Miaka regains consciousness after stabbing herself to save her warriors from the Evil Miaka demon-thing. Nuriko teases her by saying, "I never thought for a second that a stupid, overly optimistic food monger like you would die!" Miaka counters with, "Oh, shrivel and die, Nuriko!" It's actually quite amusing until you read volume 8/watch episode 33, when Nuriko does indeed die.
In episode 6 of Peacemaker Kurogane, Nagakura Shinpachi accuses Vice-captain Yamanami of cheating during a footrace by turning abaci into rollerskates, and demands (jokingly) that he commit seppuku. Yamanami is Doomed by History to end his Shinsengumi career by committing seppuku.
Similarly, in an early episode of the anime, Okita walks in on Hijikata making medicine, and jokingly states that no one will have to worry about catching colds. Okita will later die of tuberculosis.
In the early episodes of Nana, Nana Komatsu gets paranoid about her boyfriend, Shouji, cheating on her for a girl named Sachiko, complete with exaggeration that makes it hard to take her seriously. Guess what happens a few episodes later for real.
In Bakuman。, the strain of working on manga while in school is not portrayed completely seriously at first, with the characters falling asleep in class to catch up on sleep. Later on, though, Mashiro gets hospitalized for pushing himself too far.
Fukuda once notes that Nakai "looks like a stalker" when drawing outside Aoki's house so they can team up again, but the scene is played as proof of his Determinator nature. Later on, Nakai essentially tells Aoki that she can only work with him if she becomes his girlfriend, thus suggesting that he was selfish and emotionally manipulative back then.
Soul Eater: the scene in Justin's debut where both Spirit and Yumi kick him in the back for having his earphones in when Shinigami is talking (his lip-reading is useless when Shinigami has no visible mouth). We later discover where Justin's allegiance (apparently) truly lies, and that he was, therefore, never listening to Shinigami. Come to think of it, that also casts the scene where Shinigami gets Spirit to 'translate' - "Repeat after me!" - in a different light. Although it could easily be Shinigami being Shinigami.
Death The Kid's Super OCD is Played for Laughs usually and his freak-outs are pretty funny. That is, until the Book Of Eibon arc in the manga in which he goes mad and wants to destroy all of existence to create perfect symmetry via nothingness. Luckily, Black Star snaps him out of it, but his obsessive nature isn't quite as funny since then.
Meme's main schtick in Soul Eater Not! is her tendency to forget things, including her own name. This gets a little bit darker when she loses track of a whole day, and then a lot darker when she turns out to be one of Shaula's People Puppets. The memory loss is discussed as a possible side effect of the drugs and magic that Shaula uses in her mind control spell. Suddenly, seeing Meme tie her hair the wrong way isn't quite as funny anymore.
In the Azumanga Daioh supplementary lessons, Osaka believes she is going to have a good day because she woke up early, only for an earthquake to rock the school moments later. Keep in mind, the school they go to is in Tokyo. Yeah, joke no longer funny.
Kazuko's inserting rants about her failures to get a boyfriend and the difficulties associated with her age into her lessons is meant to come off as funny at first, but once you consider Sayaka crossing the Despair Event Horizon primarily due to being unable to get together with Kyosuke, what Kazuko is going through comes across as a potentially very emotionally damaging experience, and one has to wonder about her well-being. Her raving in Rebellion about the Mayan apocalypse and wanting the world to end because she can't get a stable boyfriend is an even cringier example, after Homura resets and heavily modifies the universe to satisfy her obsessive love for Madoka.
Sayaka teases Madoka about her Homura-related dream in the first episode, saying she must have known Homura in a previous life, and destiny has transcended spacetime to bring them together. In the manga, she jokes that they must be star-crossed lovers. All of this is essentially true, thanks to Homura's relentless time-travelling, and the details are horrendously traumatic.
Similarly, Homura is often depicted as a crazedMemetic Molester in fanart, as a joking contrast to her normally stoic demeanor and as an elevation of her devotion to Madoka into Single-Target Sexuality. Then Rebellion came along, and Homura turned out to be willing to steal Madoka's power and remake the world into a prison for her. Suddenly, the fanart depiction seems pretty kind.
It's mentioned in Shaman King that American Indian art is popular in Japan. A group of Navajo artists are raising money to help victims of the tsunami.
And then we have Ishihara's comment about Japanese culture being too materialistic and that causing the earthquake. Shaman King makes this a personal hobby horse.
For those who don't get the reference, Tamaki and Haruhi have the same seiyuus as Light and Takada.
In one of the specials for Mai-Otome, Shiho, after being left with the wrong straw and being told to hold down the fort while her fellow Trias members Akane and Chie relax during the survival exam, uses her "spiraling" to cause a massive tidal wave that washes away all the people on the beach. Naturally, this scene comes off as quite disturbing in light of the recent aforementioned tsunami.
Near the beginning of the Jinchuu Arc of Rurouni Kenshin, Enishi tells Kenshin that he has ten large battleships (of the type deployed by Shishio in the previous arc) and threatens to use them to burn Tokyo to the ground if Kenshin backs out of their upcoming confrontation. Now compare this with the infamous Buster Call from One Piece, which is virtually the same thing. It's also entirely possible that this was intentional since Eiichiro Oda, author of One Piece, used to be Watsuki's assistant before starting his own series.
In Macross Frontier episode 6, after Ranka starts singing, Nanase encourages her with: "Become the next pop idol! Overthrow Sheryl!". First time this was funny, but during rewatch, this is very cringeworthy since in episode 18 said "Overthrow Sheryl!" turns out to be a totalTear Jerker for Sheryl. It doesn't turn out well for Ranka either.
When fighting Lunatic, Kotetsu jokes about the palm-like design on his mask. Episode 16 informs us that it is because Yuri Petrov has a hand-shaped burn mark on his face from when he killed his father.
In Mai-HiME, Reito once jokes that he decided to make Shizuru come to the student council meeting instead of tending to the sick Natsuki because he "thought leaving Shizuru-san alone with Natsuki-san would be too dangerous". Later on, it turns out that Shizuru has been keeping her feelings to Natsuki to herself because many people, including Haruka and herself, find them improper, and while Natsuki is asleep, kisses her (and may have gone even further earlier). One fan comic notes that Shizuru's casual attitude and joking that she and Natsuki were "just getting to the good part" when Reito and Yuuichi walked into the student council room is a bit of a Tear Jerker considering the later revelations about how Shizuru feels about her love for Natsuki.
Mawaru-Penguindrum's ED, in which Himari and the Double H girls get dolled up and dance around happily becomes a lot harder to watch after Episode 9 reveals that the Double H girls used to be Himari's friends and that the ED is a wistful reminder of something that can't happen for her.
Also, seeing the beautiful Yuri in a princess-like pose and garb in the first OP is harsher when you learn how her father wanted "to make her beautiful" via using his chisel to carve up her body.
When the Princess of the Crystal refers to Shouma and Kanba as "lowlifes that never will accomplish to anything", it's really freaking funny. When little Himari refers to herself as "someone who never accomplished to anything" as she's in the Child Broiler, it's really freaking sad.
Many consider Hiroe's diatribe Dude, Not Funny! Kon's condition was public knowledge (as Kon blogged about his condition until his death), so the remark looked as if Hiroe was speaking ill of Kon.
Part 6 of Hentai manga Secret Plot Deep involves the main characters going to a beach north of Tokyo which is deserted due to everyone's worries about the nearby nuclear power plant. Gyaa.
During episode 4 of Lucky Star, there's a scene where Kagami, Tsukasa, and Konata are talking about kidnappings that had been going on. At the end of the scene, Kagami tells her friends that if they ever did anything horrible, she'd tell anyone who asked that she knew all along that they'd do something like that. Come the horror fanfic Ahoge, in which Tsukasa kills Konata with an ax. Kagami then spends the next few days holed up in her room (obviously speaking to no one), before hanging herself with the garden hose.
In Nisemonogatari, Kanbaru makes an offhand comment about how Sengoku Nadeko is the "Final Last Boss" due to her Moe traits and the hook she's planted into lolicon Araragi's mind. Five novels later in Otorimonogatari, Nadeko has awakened her Superpowered Evil Side due to her repressed Yandere tendencies for Araragi and as of that novel is an enemy of Araragi, Shinobu and Senjougahara. Aptly, the story is entitled "Nadeko Medusa", for her oddity's form is of a medusa.
Interestingly, this plot thread may have been born when Nadeko's voice actress, Kana Hanazawa said in an interview with Nisio Isin that she had always wanted to voice an evil character.
Dragon Ball had Goku being nicknamed by his friends as "monkey-boy" in reference to his monkey-like tail. With Dragon Ball Z, however, and the frequent use of the term "Monkey" towards Goku and the other Saiyans by Frieza and his men, his friend's nickname for Goku sounds awfully racist in retrospect.
In the opening shot◊ of Blassreiter episode 2 one of the headlines in the (German language) newspaper reads "Knut the polar bear becomes daddy". It was a fun little background detail at the time, but unfortunately Knut died in 2011. And to make things really tragically ironic, he was castrated about a year after Blassreiter came out.
In Baccano!, members of the Martillo family find much amusement in the fact that Firo manages to remain a virgin into his nineties (especially since he's been married for over twenty years). Then Another Junk Railroad featured a conversation between Firo and a concerned Berga that heavily implies that Firo has a Paralyzing Fear of Sexuality because he was almost raped when he was younger.
Fighting Foodons: Episode 15 has some townspeople afflicted with "swine flu" after coming in contact with lettuce pigs. This lost all humor after the H 1 N 1 outbreak in 2009. Also qualifies as Harsher in Hindsight due to many cases of the disease being contracted from underprocessed pork products.
Psycho-Pass was written by the same guy as Madoka above, and also doesn't skimp on the cynical darkness. Episode 10 features a man hunting humans for sport to relieve his boredom. Much like how Madoka's pivotal Episode 10 (see above) aired the night before the Tohoku earthquake, this one aired in Japan the day before a horrific school shooting in America. The themes of mental illness and criminality in the anime do not help. That's two in a row for Urobutcher.
Early in the manga, flashbacks reveal a very young Uryuu asking Souken if the old-fashioned Quincy wardrobe will ever be updated because the uniform is totally uncool. In the Arrancar Arc, Uryuu announces to the Arrancar, in a very hammy scene, that Aizen should fear Quincies, not Shinigami. The final arc reveals the Quincies aren't extinct, they've conquered Hueco Mundo, are performing ethnic cleansing on the Arrancar and their uniform has changed to match the obvious image. The Quincies then invade Soul Society, trash the city and decimate the Gotei 13 by half in only a few minutes of fighting - including wrecking several captains and lieutenants. Then Uryuu betrays his friends by joining the Quincies, Putting on the Reich himself, and no-one knows why.
In episode 3, Usagi talks about how much fun it must be to never wake up again, because you get to stay in your dreams forever. It wasn't so much fun in episode 69, when she almost died because she couldn't wake up.
In episode 145, Fisheye attacks and tries to kill a young ballet master simply because he wouldn't give him the role of Giselle. While this is one of the more light-hearted examples of Disproportionate Retribution (this being SuperS), it suddenly became one of the darkest moments in the most lighthearted season of the anime after Bolshoi Ballet artistic director Sergei Filin got splashed in the face with acid on January 17, 2013, in one of the most horrific incidents in the history of the Bolshoi Ballet, particularly as far as the infamous in-fighting and rivalries are concerned.
A Running Gag of Tsutomu Tanaka of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple is that he'll often pause in the course of the action to speak to his wife on the phone. Coming across as a Henpecked Husband despite being a genuine Badass. As of an arc in which he challenges the man who killed his master, we learn that all this time he's been calling an automated Test Call every time and his family has been Dead All Along.
In Saki, Yuuki, after losing a game of mahjong in the training camp, accuses Nodoka of hiding mahjong tiles between her breasts. In the prefectural tournament arc, one of the members of the Ryuumonbuchi team, Hajime, is revealed to have cheated at mahjong in elementary school (via sleight of hand), and as a result, feels guilt and a desire to regain the trust of others, resulting in her wearing the chains on her wrists.
In a gag strip of one of the early volumes of Fruits Basket, Shigure tells the audience that Yukiis actually a girl. Then you discover that Akito really is a girl pretending to be a boy, and Shigure knew about it. Still funny, but it comes across as pretty cruel.
In Haiyore! Nyarko-san, Nyarko repeatedly attempts to get her Love Interest Mahiro's attention by giving him custom-made "Nyarko goods", like body pillows or a "Yes/No cushion" that depicts her wearing slinky black lingerie. She does finally wear that lingerie in the second season, but it's during a very painful emotional breakdown caused by Mahiro playing The Beard for another girl, in which Nyarko sobs that his Can Not Spit It Out attitude — quite literally, being unwilling or unable to give a definite "Yes" or "No" answer to "Do you like me?" — is driving her crazy.
In the Area 88 manga, Saki's female bodyguards were a lighthearted nod to Gaddafi's Amazonian Guard. The arrangement seems a lot less sexy now that members of the real-life Amazonian Guard have accused Gaddafi and his sons of sexually assaulting them.
When Rundelhaus in Log Horizon was first introduced, he was depicted as a Small Name, Big Ego with Leeroy Jenkins tendencies, frustrating his party members greatly even though his Large Ham made him hilarious to viewers. However, when he was later revealed to be a Person of the Landnote who, unlike player characters (Adventurers), cannot be revived upon death after being fatally wounded while protecting his comrades at arms, his past antics suddenly became much more poignant; his boasting can now be interpreted as his inability to fully comprehend the vast skill disparities between People of the Land and Adventurers and his habit of charging forward without coordinating with his party properly represents his desperateness in "becoming" an Adventurer.
Sword Art Online: In episode 8, Kirito accidentally grabs Asuna's breast when she falls on him. Cue Kirito being smacked in the face for humor effect assuming he did so intentionally. The scene wasn't so funny 16 episodes later when Asuna ends up being nearly raped. In front of Kirito.