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Sometimes, a dramatic moment in an anime series can be ruined through the absurdity of the situation (or inappropriately-used English).
Often times, a piece of dialogue will be perfectly fine in its original Japanese form, but will unfortunately become Narm once it is translated into English, especially in anime dubbed in Western languages using the same tone of voice as Japanese. Japanese has a rich sounding language, but it sounds relatively monotone compared to Western languages, particularly when people speak for long stretches. Many dubbing companies leave the monotone in, especially in dramatic anime, leading to the existence of many of the examples below.
Note: if it only appears in the manga, then list it in the section for manga.
A few series have had so many such moments that they've been given their own pages:
Addicted to Curry has its fair share, thanks to making curry cooking Serious Business. The best would probably be the guy who killed himself because of Indian curry; his son now harbors a deep-seated hatred for it and actively seeks revenge against Indian-style curry.
The first episode of Angel Beats! has a scene where Yurippe jokingly tells Otonashi to, as the official subtitles put it, "give a girl an enema," which is funny for entirely the wrong reasons. "Enema" refers to the Japanese schoolyard prank of poking your thumb up someone's (clothed) butt, not the extremely squicky medical procedure. The dub replaces this with "slap a girl on her ass," averting the narminess.
Any dramatic scene in Angel Blade. You just can't keep a straight face when huge pairs of bare boobies take up half the screen, even during the biggest fight scenes.
In AnoHana, all the crying and screaming in episode 11, while not being totally uncalled for, can reach a point where it just descends into this and melodrama.
In the Another anime, for some, Class Representative Yukari Sakuragi's death goes from horror to Black Comedy when you see her hand in the air and her foot leaning on the last stairstep, both twitching in an almost comical manner. That was a bit too much.
In episode 10, it's revealed that the calamity was stopped by killing the extra student. Teshigawara says, "great, now we just need to figure out who the extra is!" Then—he's interrupted by Kouichi and a needlessly loud background track.
The series definitely earns its stripes as Final Destination: theAnime with scenes like this one, which features an unnamed character escaping one deathtrap, only to be hilariously smacked down by another one (that comes almost completely out of left field) seconds later.
Attack on Titan has somehow managed to take the concept of Narm and weaponized it. Many of the Titans look like funny nudists that are stoned out of their mind. It can feel a little silly watching people try to fight them and end up making mistakes that get them killed... until the Titan makes a Slasher Smile and chows down, at which point the Narm gives way to good ol' Primal Fear, right when you're least expecting it.
Though, the show has been known to narm properly. There is a scene when Armin is about to be eaten by a beardy titan, so Eren jumps into the titan's mouth, somehow isn't swallowed, grabs Armin, and throws him out. He does all this after sustaining a wounds that would kill someone - not the best choice for a show that tries to scare its audience by disempowering the human characters. Then again, Eren isn't exactly a normal human.
In the first episode/chapter, the Scouting Legion soldier who drops to his knees and basically screams "WE DIDN'T LEARN ANYTHING!!" comes across as hilariously overdramatic. Later on, when you realize how terrifying the Titans are, it seems more appropriate.
Honestly, and though I may be the only one,but hearing Eren always rambling on saying "Kill titans! Kill titans!" has gradually reached Narm status as the series progressed.
The preview for the anime version of Axis Powers Hetalia for a certain Tear Jerker strip has an Gratuitous English line saying "You were so great," with a strange emphasis on "were". Not TOO bad, but annoying. Thankfully, not in the episode.
In Ayashi no Ceres, we have the scene where Tooya is subjected to Cold-Blooded Torture by Mikage-in-Aki's-body, who repeteadly guns him down... only for Tooya (being the Mana in human form) to regenerate and attempt to talk back to his torturer, and for Mikage/Shiso to kill him dead again. At first, it's a horrifying scene full of tension, squick and tears, even when we don't see a lot of it. Then the process is repeated, and it's a little... um. Then it's repeated again... and again... and again, with minimal changes each time. By the time the scene is almost over, all the drama is gone, and one is left half-laughing due to how ridiculous the deal is, half-mentally begging "JUST KILL HIM ALREADY, MIKAGE!".
Baki the Grappler has one during Baki's fight with Hanayama: After Baki figures out how to counter Hanayama's punches, there's a close-up of Baki smiling and saying "I did it!" ...Right before Hanayama punches him in the side of the head, contorting his face comically and sending him flying.
The final match of Beyblade V-Force became little more than a shouting match after a while.
Is there a dubbed hentai anime that isn't packed with Narm?
There are some, like The Duchess of Busty Mounds, whose English dubs go for straight-up So Bad, It's Good intentional comedy with varying levels of success. "Be careful, I had jalapeńos for lunch, you might get a nasty surprise."
There are a number of reasons why dubbed hentai is so narmy. Conventional pornography can be narmy as well, but the people performing in it are actually having sex. People in hentai aren't having sex, they're pretending to, so everything they say sounds extremely forced. Not only that, but the big name voice actors who know what they're doing tend to avoid hentai dubbing, as that might be seen as a bad mark on their record. So the voice actors they usually get are amateurs with nothing to their name.
During the main climax of Black Butler,the angel essentially offers his body to Sebastian and asks him to rule over the new world with him. When that offer is taken into context, most of that arc can be summed up as the angel attempting to hit on Sebastian.
The fifth episode of the second season features a scene where Alois demands that Ciel becomes his or else he'll kill all of Ciel's loved ones. This would be quite the dramatic moment if not for the fact that Alois was wearing a frilly maid's dress (complete with fake boobs) when he was threatening Ciel.
It is difficult not to laugh at the serious Gratuitous English in Black Lagoon, especially given the trigger-happy nature of most of the characters. The entire season 2 finale was ruined by characters — characters you used to respect — barking out line after line of English words that are pronounced like they're some sort of archaic spell. Even worse if you remember that English is supposed to be Revy's first language. Fortunately, the Gratuitous English is only a problem in the Japanese version (natch). And some feel it improves the work.
Any time Revy goes into a philosophical rant, it potentially lapses into this. She's so wangsty and over-the-top that it comes off as slightly funny. Of course, this may be intentional, as it's showing how pathetic and broken she has become due to her very rough upbringing. Her words ring hollow in the viewer's ears because she is hollow and simply providing a flimsy justification for her lifestyle.
In one episode, while the crew are in a building, a car with two people pulls up to the building and with a rocket launcher. As one of them fires, the scene slows down dramatically. What makes it funny instead of dramatic is Revy letting out a panicked yell of "ARRRRRR-PEEEEEE-GEEEEEEEEE" as the scene slows down.
In Blood-C, Saya's whole town being slaughtered by the Elder Bairn kind of loses its own bite, when the creatures doing it look like giant pink and cream rabbits with 'arms' as ears. Not to mention the bit where one stuffs a load of people into a giant bag, then another turns its hand into a blender-type thing. Would be horrific... if it didn't make a typical electric blender sound.
Nono and Nene's deaths become ridiculous when you recall all of the Panty Shots they have as they get gruesomely slaughtered. It may have been intended as Fan Disservice, but still...
This one scene from Blood+ can be made into a drinking game over the number of times they say the word "Blood"! Extra Narm points for the idiotic actions and reactions from the vampires. It is explicitly pointed out that the protagonist's blood kills chiropteareans multiple times but they have her give blood to the chiroptearean anyways (which is pretty stupid on it's own). Then when she dies as noted they accuse the protagonist of giving her "poisoned blood" and act like the whole thing was her idea.
In Bokurano, Kokopelli's backstory is one hell of a Wham Episode, but there's a moment where the seriousness is ruined: Koyemshi throws Kokopelli down to the ground, and he's wearing a skintight black jumpsuit, which means you can quite clearly see DAT ASS.
The scene in episode 9 of Brain Powerd, when Jonathan explains why he hates his mother and how he ended up joining the bad guys because of his terrible childhood.
Jonathan: When I was 8, 9, 10... even when I was 12 and 13, I waited and waited!
Who the HELL would ride a horse through the streets of modern Paris to reach a soccer stadium? Why, Monsieur El Sid Pierre of Captain Tsubasa fame, of course! This scene courtesy of the Road to 2002 anime version, and made even more nonsensical when we realize how OOC it is for someone like Pierre, according to his manga backstory.
Cardcaptor Sakura features at least one example caused by nothing more than an unfortunate coincidence in casting. In one episode toward the end of the series, Yukito passes out and falls off a second-floor balcony. Touya catches him by one hand and frantically screams his name, trying to wake him up. What should have been a tense, dramatic scene is somewhat marred by Touya sounding exactly like Shuichi Shindou (both are voiced by Tomokazu Seki) yelling at Eiri Yuki. Considering how different Shuichi and Touya are, personality-wise, much lulz are often had at the expense of the sub scene.
In Chocotto Sister, a sweet moment of Choco comforting her distressed brother gets ruined by a blatant shot up her summer dress—which gets even worse if you consider Choco's age.
The fourth episode of Chrono Crusade Has villainous old man Ricardo deliver a long monologue about his own undead condition. Halfway through the speech, his lungs fly out through a hole in his chest. It was out of place, illogical, not to mention ridiculous.
In Claymore, when Ophelia Awakens, she swears revenge on Elena by screaming "FUUUCCCKKK YOOOOUUUU!!!" over and over again.
The ending of the Cowboy Bebop episode "Pierrot le Fou". Let's just say the sight of a grown man squirming on the ground crying out for his mommy just before being stepped on by a big goofy dog thing doesn't exactly help his previously established image as a stone-cold assassin who is Immune to Bullets and kills for the love of killing.
The balloon monster from Corpse Princess. Sure, its bizarre marker-drawn face and creepy voice does slightly help it. What doesn't is its theme. Then again, having a head made of a collection of balloons tends to have that effect. It makes it feel more like a goofy Power Rangersmonster instead of something you'd see in a horror anime.
The earth-friendly anime special Daikyouryu Jidai, localized as Age of the Great Dinosaurs in English, received an incredibly Narmy moment in the dub. The protagonist has a seizure early on while thinking about life, and it's accompanied by this endless loop:
"The sweet mystery of life!... The sweet mystery of life!... The sweet mystery of life!... All things are one!... All things are one!... All things are one!..."
In episode 4 of Darker than Black, a teenager (moratorium) with the power of fire uses it to defend herself from her attackers at a construction site. Later, in a semi-catatonic state, she regains her senses when she hits her head walking straight into a pole.
Muraki in Descendants of Darkness had a moment in the final episode when he is trapped inside the flames of Touda and he is going on about how he will kill Saki. He starts laughing while he is supposedly dying, so his scream sounds really off.
Muraki's voice in the English dub is often seen as much more stupid than his Japanese voice, leading to many more moments of narm.
The "Moonlight Sonata" case in Detective Conan is a brutal mix of horror and Tear Jerker. But the ridiculous face that the first "victim" makes in the flashback when he learns that the soon-to-be Sympathetic Murderer is the child of the pianist he and others killed and then dies of a heart-attack is... distracting. If you're in a somewhat more cynical mod, 'poof goes the drama - which is a shame, indeed.
A few of the Opening themes try very hard to make Conan look like an action packed series. The fact that the series generally isn't makes them look ridiculous. One of them has Conan hang-gliding...
Let's not forget that whenever there's a crime with more than one suspect, they try way too hard to make the other suspects seem suspicious in the dramatic thought scenes in Shinichi/Conan's head. Even if they have done nothing even remotely sinister or implicative besides be in the episode, it will still show an image of all the suspects angrily or smugly scowling while looking over the corner of their eyes.
In the "Reunion with the Black Organization" episode (176), there's a moment where Haibara's hallucinating about Gin coming towards her, yelling her name in a supposedly creepy way. It's supposed to be creepy and scary, but the way Gin calls her name out makes it too narmy to watch without bursting out laughing. His voice is just too overdone. "Sheeeerrrryy".
Near the end of one of the DevilmanOVAs, there is a scene in which the main character, Akira, punches the villain, Amon, in the face over 140 times. Then he falls, naked, from the sky, and lands in the center of a gigantic Amon-shaped hole in the ground. It's very hard not to laugh.
For some, the incredible power of the Level 4 Akuma in D.Gray-Man is undermined by how incredibly stupid it looks.
The stupid part is replaced with terrifying as soon as you hear the bloody thing talk. It´s horrific in a series that's already very much so.
Same goes for a certain incredible strong, effective, and attractive empathetic weapon which goes by the name Clown Crown. One has to give Allen credit for shouting the name with a straight face.
At first, Dragonaut: The Resonance seemed to be trying to tell a serious story about a boy who tragically lost his family in a freak shuttle accident... but the stupid characters and organizations and the general lack of empathy in the story made it the feel-good comedy of the year. To give all the reasons would clutter this page or require a new one, but the best example would be everything surrounding the character Kazuki. Of those, the best example is in episode seven, where his anger over continual rejection drives him to cut his hair... into a form that makes it look like he was attacked by a rabid lawnmower. Oh, and about that rejection? He's rejected by a big burly loner because Kazuki thinks he owns him, and by his childhood friend, who Kazuki doesn't seem to understand why he is sad despite the whole dead family thing.
There's also Kazuki's thong-eyepatch ("scar-patch") later in the series. Wearing a mask? Okay. Wearing an eyepatch? Okay. Wearing an eyepatch as a mask? No.
All you need is a quote from the fansub of the first episode:
Even some of the fansubbers took potshots at the anime at the commercial break eyecatches.
In the first five minutes, a shuttle containing the main character, his family, and a whole bunch of other people is destroyed. The main character is then shown flying out of the thing like a missile, which makes the whole shuttle disaster laughable.
Durarara!! can be abbreviated to DRRR. In fanart and even in-series, this is used. A lot. There are three problems... It sounds like DDR, it's reminiscent of the narmy ending of The Enigm Of Amigara Fault, and, most importantly, it sounds like DERRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. AKA the stereotypical stupidity sfx.
Person: "A girl was being attacked. She was wearing a Raira Academy uniform."
See also, in the final episode of the series, when Masaomi has a rather sweet conversation with Mikado and Anri. Please note, it's in the middle of the final battle between the dollars and yellow scarves and he is bleeding profusely. All of this is done while sappy violin music plays in the background.
In the case of ef - a fairy tale of the two., the scene in episode 11 where Renji and Chihiro finish their date by kissing and then having sex in the rooftop of their school loses quite a part of its emotion when you see Chihiro's clothes neatly and primorously folded on the floor, as if they were just ready for morning use. Waaaaay to distract the viewer from all of the dramatic tension there.
Another example straddling the line between Narm and horror would be from Elfen Lied, in which some bullies are beating a dog to death with a vase. Then, quite literally, everyone explodes.
In a related note, any scene where Mayu and Nana are talking sounds odd in the dub because of how ridiculously similar they sound.
It's utterly hilarious when the minor male villain gives Lucy a We Can Rule Together speech...and then his head falls off, courtesy of her vectors.
It becomes a bit of belated Fridge Brilliance when she faces the Big Bad, father of that same minor villain, late in the manga and decaps him as well, explaining that the whole basis of their ruling together with her is wrong; They are not Dicloni - she would have sensed them as such. They were just humans with a horn-like mutation. Lucy's simple rejection takes on new dimensions.
The opening scene falls between this and horror in the opening 10 minutes of the anime. The insane blood pressure can make it absolutely destroy any hope of seriousness dependant on how funny you think Bloody Hilarious is...but the same actions can also be just utterly horrifying.
Lucy's backstory could be looked at as Narm due to how cardboard and unreasonably monstrous the bullies of Lucy's childhood are. And they behave this way because they're prejuduced against Lucy for being a diclonius. That's right; the kids are unfathomably evil and cruel to the poor girl to the point of literally killing a puppy to show how evil they are and push Lucy over the edge out of prejudice. Sure, Tomoo could be written off as The Sociopath but the entire orphanage? What sort of kids act like this?
As great and touching as the finale to Eureka Seven was, the part where the Nirvash starts firing rainbow-colored, heart-shaped laser beams into the moon is a bit much. Even if it is in character.
Anything involving the Seven Swell, controlled or otherwise, goes straight into this bin. As amazing as the typeZERO, or any LFO, can look while sweeping, whirling, and zipping through the sky, the style gets cramped by the amazing tricks leaving behind deadly rainbow mist. This is probably why the Seven Swell is rarely done despite being Nirvash's Ultimate Attack.
Renton, upon seeing what's happened to Eureka's body, beats himself with a rock, attempting to make his arm swell up and match hers. Because normal welts totally look like glowing green crystals overtaking your body, right? Maurice even tries to imitate the destructive behavior. Then Renton gets a serious fever and agonizing pains, and is unconscious for about 24 hours - probably because he wounded himself with a filthy rock covered in bacteria he's probably never been exposed to. It was supposed to seem touching and self-sacrificing, but it came across as... well, a 14-year-old boy attempting to be dramatic.
Years before Renton's story began, the first use of the Amita Drive with the Nirvash created a wave of chaos that plunged the world in death and civil wars all over the world, killing millions of people. This terrible event's name? The Summer of Love.
The Eyeshield 21 anime. For whatever reason, the anime played out scenes that were meant to be humorous with the utmost seriousness, making them hilarious in a completely different way. Not to mention the ATROCIOUS animation ruined any and all Crowning Moment Of Awesome in the series, with the off model art taking away from the emotional impact. For example, Sena's infamous speed is portrayed with Shaggy-like running.
Not to mention the biggest "villain" of the series is basically narm incarnate. Sure, he's a borderline sociopath, but it's a bit hard to look threatening with purple dreadlocks and a gold chain. He tends to skirt the line between being a legitimately horrible person and just being hilariously douchey.
In the English dub, the white-haired Re-l/ Monad is given an extremely annoying, whiny voice. This almost kills the drama in any scene she appears in. There's also Vincent's outfit, which some viewers have described as a big red condom.
Fairy Tail's anime adaptation really needs different eyecatches. And, to a lesser extent, less fluffy ending themes, though they are not as damaging. The penultimate fight at the Tower of Heaven is a great example.
The Animax dub has this effect on virtually the entire series. The actors sound like they're reading a script almost as often as they read their lines oddly. Some characters even end up getting over-the-top goofy voices or Unexplained Accents—Makarov ends up sounding like a gnome, and Juvia is French for some reason (without even uttering a single French phrase). Others, such as Laxus and Jellal, put little to no effort into their roles and end up sounding dorky when they shout during dramatic moments. All in all, it's easier to count the number of times the actors can actually be taken seriously in moments that are supposed to be serious.
Yukino's Shameful Strip. While the average reader probably isn't looking at the characters in the background, it's recommended for a good chuckle or two. One guy has his face scrunched up like his nose is itchy but he can't scratch it, there's a woman who's looking off-panel and spacing out, and finally there's an extremely gloomy/bored guy staring 'directly at the reader.' For no reason. There are probably more, but they stand out the most.
People generally blame the anime fansubbers for this one, but it's a pretty literal translation and is translated the exact same way in the visual novel (done by a different fan translator), where variations on the phrase appear several times. It crops up in other anime as well. Basically, it looks to be a Japanese Stock Phrase that translates extremely badly.
The death of Caster and Kuzuki was a Crowning Moment of Sadness in the anime. In the UBW Movie however, and despite its superb quality, the drama is completely ruined by the fact Kuzuki has a huge-ass sword nailed on his back the entire time.
In the newer OVA series, Shin Hokuto, Seiji sabotages his demise with narm higher than the pillars surrounding him with A: his brazenly insane rationalisations for suiciding which, from a more well-read villain, would have simply been a statement of dishonour through mercy, and B: His 'realisation' that his father was showing him love by throwing him off a cliff, and C: His aunt and Sara's reactions. Also, B completely fails to seem realistic or feel sympathetic considering what a colossal asshole Sanga is to everyone, especially the local Morality Pet and his brother. And when victory seems uncertain, Sanga responded by distracting Kenshiro by tossing a large candlebra THROUGH the perpetutally ill young boy and fleeing like a wounded dog. Kenshiro, not to be upstaged, tells him what a strong and honorable man his dad was.
Scar then carries Kimbley's body up to a rooftop...using what, his teeth?
Almost everything Scar's brother does, including grinning maniacally while crying and completely naked. Also notice how young Scar gives his lower body an "OHSWEETLORD" look while adult Scar pudically narrates "he lost a part of his body".
When Greed is dying, he gives a nice death speech with emotional music in the background...and then, all of a sudden, his body spasms wildly like he is having an epileptic fit before setting into a rigid position with his eyes bulging and his mouth agape.
Archer's return as the freaking Terminator in the first anime. It's completely out of place even in the Schizo Tech of FMA, and it's made worse because the whole thing brings to mind Damu Rama, the idiot warrior who is turned into an idiot cyborg in Dragon Half. Apparently, Archer's brain is so compact that, even with half his head missing, it wasn't damaged.
There's some in Brotherhood. During the intro, there's a short sequence where Ed's arm and leg are zapped away; Al is zapped into nothing; and Winry... stumbles about in the wind a bit.
You could maybe chalk that up to Winry's close connection to the Elric brothers allowing her to feel their pain (notice that she essentially gets knocked around in the same way, but without the "losing your limbs/body" part), but yeah...
In the first episode, when the Freezing Alchemist realizes what Ed and Al did after seeing that Al's armor is empty, he makes this face that would be normal for the circumstances except that he has no eyebrows. It ends up looking like a variation of the Awesome Face meme.
Even better, the guy's name was Issac McDougal. Of all the villain names they could have picked, they picked something that ends up sounding incredibly silly when used in any serious context - nothing ruins the mood better than "We have to stop McDougal!"
Bald's Not So Different speech in the first anime series amounts to, "I have a metal arm, you have a metal arm."
In episode 11 of the Brotherhood dub, the narrator casually says "Maes Hughes is dead," at the beginning of the recap. <Spit Take>
The scene in episode 63 with Father being sent to his gate would probably be more meaningful if the guy wasn't so adorable in that state.
The first series flashback to Basque Grand killing some Ishbalans, because the Ishbalans are armed only with poles making the whole "send in the state alchemist" part overkills, and because Basque isn't wearing a shirt.
This probably would be justified as a way of showing that the Armestrian government is corrupt as hell. Not sure if this really works.
Ed's animation in Brotherhood's 62nd episode when he went batshit on Father was incredibly Narmish. His eyes were pointing in different directions and his mouth flew to the size of a blue whale.
Brotherhood's voice acting can be a little Narmy sometimes. Al's voice seems more high-pitched and childlike than in the first anime, and there's that one scene where Ed screams into the sky "We're only human!" It would be sadder if it for some inexplicable reason didn't remind you of Charlie Brown.
In episode 22 of Brotherhood, when Winry finds out that Scar is the man who killed her parents, she seems kind of emotionless. Her emotions can definitely be heard at first, but the animation and facial expressions aren't doing her any favors. And even then, her voice actress only seems to get the "shock" part right, at the beginning of the scene. Afterwards, her performance fell a bit flat.
In The Sacred Star of Milos, while confronting the chimera that killed the man who was leading Ed somewhere, Ed says, in a dead serious tone: "Pedro was a good man, and you murdered him. You're gonna pay!"
Christine Auten as Izumi just can't quite get her voice Hot-Blooded enough to mesh with the animation.
Mustang's lie to Ed and Al about Hughes' death, thanks to its similarity to the old saw about a kid's dog going away to live on a farm.
When Mustang decodes the message about Selim being a Homunculus, he doesn't react at all until the very last letter is in place, making you wonder what exactly he thought the whole message was going to be as he got near the end.
The Fushigi Yuugi anime did this a lot, especially in the english dub, where Tamahome is voiced by Solid Snake and Tasuki is Cosmo. But even in the japanese version of the second OAV, there's a massive one that either falls here or in Narm Charm: The death of Hikou. What should have been - and up to a point, WAS - a serious, heartbreaking scene, was immediately ruined by the sound-effect they used to depict him turning into water and breaking apart. It completely broke me out of the sadness of the scene, made me laugh...and then made me think "oh, I shouldn't be laughing, should I?" Taka and Tasuki's reaction to Chichiri's Let's Get Dangerous moment in that episode cracks me up every time as well:
Tasuki: No shit, man!
In the first English dub of Galaxy Express 999, Captain Harlock is voiced by Peter Cullen channeling John Wayne. Harlock is supposed to be an elegant man of refinement and education. He is cultured and upper class. A few of his lines even suggest this; but with that particular voice, he just sounds pompous. (Face it - John Wayne isn't an elegant man of refinement, buster.)
Gankutsuou: The opening song of the anime "We Were Lovers" is a beautiful moving piece. However, when the singer says the word 'love' (in the line "I just pray that you will love me and trust me") it becomes hilarious due to the way he stresses the L in love.
In episode 14 Albert has become depressed due to all the crap he's endured and cheers up when Franz says he's leaving Paris for a while, thinking that means he's gonna take him with him as well, meaning he'll be able to get away from everything for a bit. However, Franz states he can't take Albert with him and Albert grabs Franz by the shirt, screaming into his face "why not?!" This becomes hilarious when he keeps his mouth wide open as if he's still screaming but doesn't say anything before Franz says "I'm sorry."
When the Brain Primeval is using its telekinetic powers to immobilise and attack GaoGaiGar, it becomes a bit silly if you notice that it's making a "muhmuhmuhmuhmuhmuhmuh" sound. It's probably supposed to represent pulsing or something, but still.
If you don't know Kabuki theater, then you'll find the summoning scene in Gasaraki either boring or Narm.
From Genocyber: Playing with children, eh? TOO BAD HAVE SOME 50CAL BULLETS FUCKERS!
The most ridiculous part of that was how indignant the supposed death scene looked. She just kind of flies up against the railing with a huge splat, like she'd just been hit by a massive wave or something.
They were explaining the assassination plot on the Chinese ambassador to the suspect's sister, with: "Somebody's been making death threats on his life."
In Guilty Crown, much like Code GeassR2 at its worst, there's an ever growing pile of Narm that would take hours to fully compile. For a start, how taking out someone's Void is presented as almost orgasm-inducing and all the resulting rape metaphors, Gai's predictable but completely unnecessary death and return, the entire deal with Shu's incestuous sister Mana and her apparent reincarnation into Inori, Daryl's tragicomic daddy issues, Ayase's wheelchair challenges, Arisa's willingness to sell her body, how the death of Hare came to pass, the bizarre faces made by Shu and many other characters, Shu's plan to attack the Ghost Unit control tower being little more than a stupid frontal assault where the students pretty much walk to their deaths, the threat of genocidal walls, the Nazi parallels...this literally could go on and on.
Brandon Heat's funeral (not to worry, hegetsbetter) in Gungrave would probably have had more emotional weight if his tombstone didn't say "Blandon." Certain versions of the opening sequence had the graffiti on the walls spell his name "Blandon".
Wo sinks heavily into Narm territory in GUN×SWORD once he starts talking about his mother. The worst moment has to be when, for no good reason, he's seated naked in a throne, holding a collapsible rapier in one hand, talking about her... and then the sword expands. Fortunately, that is the last episode he talks about her.
Lunlun's argument to prove that Walter is a good person compared to his fellow criminals (which heis, but almost nobody knows it among the cast aside of Lunlun and Co. and his defense lawyer) is basically reduced to "I lost my mom and so did he! His paintings reflect that! How could he be a bad person, waaaaaah!" Lunlun, sweetie, we know you're trying to help, but please stick to being All-Loving Heroand don't try to play lawyer, okay?
In the Latin-American dub, the emotional moment in which the blindHeartwarming Orphan Lucero tries to disuade her friends from using a World War II bomb as a "hostage" to get her the medical attention that she desperately needs becomes horribly hilarious once you notice that the dub VA is either a male trying to voice a little girl, or a very deep-voiced old woman trying to do likewise. Either way, the Larynx Dissonance hits HARD and makes what was supposed to be a Tear Jerker completely ridiculous.
When Fallen Princess Margot laments her bad luck and how she's bound to marry an old Upper-Class Twit to save her family from destitution, she covers her face with her hands and cries into them. Fine, her situation really sucks. Bad thing? She then flails around for a brief moment, and the already old animation gets so weird in these brief seconds that that it's funny instead of sad.
That scene in Hana Yori Dango when Tsukushi found out she kissed Domyoji in the dark. Shocked faces, slo mo close ups, ominous music... he stole her first kiss, not murder anyone.
Harmageddon. Some gave it the nickname Narmageddon for a reason. The dub's acting ranges from tolerable to Horrible, and it ruins scenes meant to be dramatic. For example, when Junko is trying to explain to Jo why she wants to break up with him, it comes out like this.
Yes, we all know they have a bad time trying to come up with awesome attack names, but why did it have to happen at the end?
Hell Girl's damnation sequences are sometimes more silly than creepy — especially in the third season. Mecha Puppies and Ai dressed as a bee come to mind.
The third episode of the first season has a scene this troper has dubbed "Hit and run exposition" where a trio of schoolgirls ran (literally ran) into the shot, stopping right in front of the camera and blocking out everything else to immediately talk about the Hell Correspondence, giving a bare bones explanation amongst themselves within earshot of the victim of the week, and then ran out of the shot at full speed.
Alexander Anderson screaming "MARS!" repeatedly at the top of his lungs during the fourth Hellsing OVA is hilarious, even while he's slaughtering some gunmen sent to kill him.
Especially amusing to Finnish viewers: the Japanese pronounciation, "Marsu", sounds like the Finnish word for "Guinea pig". Try to keep your face straight when a guy keeps screaming that. And Maxwell does the same thing while making his most ridiculous expression yet.
On the subject of Anderson, the TV series has a latter-day bit in which, during a fight between Alucard and Anderson, Alucard blows off Anderson's arms. Anderson tries to continue the fight as if nothing's happened with a bayonet in his teeth. The absurdity of the situation, the obvious comparison to Monty Python (try to watch without thinking something like "'Tis but a scratch!" or "I've had worse!"), and his looking ridiculous result in a scene that was meant to look badass becoming grade-A narm.
The total destruction of London and every single one of its citizens is pretty heavy stuff, but the appearance of one Nazi vampire chomping on a baby makes the scene so over-the-top that it becomes funny.
Pretty much the entirety of the action scenes in the 4th OVA, apart from the aforementioned "MARS!" moments, there's the whole scene with Rip Van Winkle. Joyfully killing and dancing while narmily singing a German song about demon-hunting. Also, her over-exageratedexpressions and reactions help making the whole thing falter the line between purely creepy and purely hilarious.
OVA Episode 9, in the aftermath of Walter and the Captain killing Yumie and grazingly shooting Heinkel in the jaw, respectively, we see Heinkel dramatically swearing vengeance, while part of his mouth is ripped out, rendering his speech barelly intelligible (at least in the original japanese). It wouldn't be bad if, in at least one fansub, it was translated into a thteweotypical lithp.
OVA Episode 10, Integra shouts an order for Seras to "Search and Destroy!" when their enemy is right there, in front of them, not hiding or going anywhere. Although he was protected by reinforced glass, so it could be that her order was abbridged from "Search for something that can destroy this glass and destroy it!" but it was still silly.
In the dub of Tsumihoroboshi-hen, Keiichi is cornered by a very psychotic and unstable Rena holding up a cleaver. Her arm brings it down along with a hysterical shriek of "KEIICHI, YOU SUCK!!!"
Then there's the part where, completely having lost her mind by this point, Rena claims several characters have been abducted and replaced by aliens. At the start of season 2, some characters are investigating Hinamizawa, and they keep bringing the alien theory up, which ruins the suspense and horror of the whole situation.
The animators pick some of the most awkward times possible to accentuate Mion's and Shion's assets. Like when we're getting a shot of their wide-eyed corpses drenched in blood.
A handful of anime bloggers noted that the scene in the Kyoto Animation adaptation of Kanon where Akiko is hit by an SUV ended up looking a bit silly. "She just disappears!" The protests from those who liked the scene fell on deaf ears, even when they pulled out a real-life video of someone getting hit by a carthat lookedexactly like that.
The English dubbing of Kite falls into this. Sawa refers to the male lead as "Ovary." That ought to lower everyone's expectations.
K-On! is a Slice of Life series, and the somber moments are done well. This is not the case in episode 11 of the first season, "Crisis", when Ritsu has been absent from the club meetings for a while and the other four band members plus Sawako are having a discussion about it. Cue the Mood Whiplash when Sawako claims that Ritsu might order a big bowl of beef that she can't finish and drift off to heavy metal, combined with a picture of Ritsu with Kiss-inspired make-up and her child-like roars. The whiplash may have been intentional, but the viewer was not given enough time to get into a serious mood again before the dialogue continued.
In Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora (aka Shattered Angels), the titular main hero (Kyoshiro), has lead a group consisting of the other Angels' masters to stop his brother and save the five from reawakening the thing that brought about their last Apocalypse Wow. When they get there, Kyoshiro spots one of the girls, Kuu, and shouts out her name. Not so bad, right? Well, for some reason, the Japanese actor decides to raise his voice at the "uu" part of her name, so it comes off as less of a call out and more someone stepped on his foot as he shouted out.
During the big "I'm a Perfect Angel" revelation...
Kaon: Sorry for bringing you here so forcefully... I was wondering if we could have a chat... Kuu: Yes... please be gentle with me...
It could be argued that the only reason the series doesn't get its own page is that it was too short to accumulate much Narm.
In Macross Frontier episode 19, Ranka is running upstairs to the launch deck, elated because she thinks Alto loves her, when she suddenly barges in on Alto comforting Sheryl (who had collapsed due to her illness, but Ranka doesn't know about that). On the one hand, it's sad to see poor, brokenhearted Ranka stand there, saying, "It can't be..." with a frozen smile on her face. On the other, it becomes hilarious when one remembers that this is Alto Saotome, and that his predecessor was often caught in the exact same situations, with the exact same results. Ranka should have screamed "I HATE YOU, ALTO!" and punched him into the distance.
In the third season (StrikerS), episode 9, while Teana's trying to describe her worth and how to improve it to Nanoha during the helicopter scene, Signum nonchalantly shuts Teana up by socking her in the cheek, sending her flying ten feet. (She held back.) The best part is, no one could have seen it coming. Teana's wangsting, and suddenly there's a hand on her shoulder and WHAM.
The way Vivio flails about in the second StrikerS opening just before Nanoha runs to her for the Take My Hand shot can be quite funny to some.
Intelligent Devices' Gratuitous English to be expected. Bizarre syntax, word choice and fragmented sentences like so are unintentionally funny. Use in dramatic sequences like Subaru's fight with Ginga in Episode 23 is Narmful.
It's especially bad when you consider that they went to the effort of casting native English speakers for those roles. What's the point in doing that if you won't bother with getting the grammar right?
An example: In one episode of A's, Raising Heart tells Nanoha that it can still shoot even though it has been damaged in combat. What does it say?
Some of the drama in the flashback at the beginning of Episode 10 of A's that shows Clyde Harlaown's death is lost at the beginning, when a display says "ALART". That last one, at least, was fixed for the DVD release.
In the newest chapter of Force, Subaru goes into battle. What's her codename? Swordfish
Mai-HiME has a scene in which one character discovers a betrayal committed by her best friend. Her shouts of "Liar! Liar!" are supposed to be dramatic, but the moment was ruined by the fact that the Japanese word for liar sounds similar to a famous Israeli brand of tea.
John Smith's name is hard to take seriously because it sounds like an obviously fake pseudonym. It gets funnier because of how it's pronounced in English — particularly in Mai-Otome, where his last name is used often. It's even funnier if you're familiar with Haruhi Suzumiya.
The last fight between Arika and Tomoe in the penultimate episode of Mai-Otome ends with Tomoe's Robe shattering and her falling to the ground, screaming defiantly in a manner similar to that of a cartoonish supervillain. After she makes impact with the ground, she somehow is able to limp away and shoo off a group of palace soldiers trying to capture her/tend to her wounds.
Mai-Otome 0~S.ifr~ had a Narm moment thanks to Gratuitous English. Lena Sayers is fighting a hopeless battle, struggling with a stern face to withstand the energy blast while her Robe is literally falling apart... Cut to her GEM, displaying the words "POWER OVER LODING". Poofsky! There goes the dramatic tension. Still awesometo watch, but the spelling fix would have made it perfect.
In the second episode of Mermaid Forest, a bad guy suddenly kills a henchman who questions their current goals by throwing a dresser at him. This is already odd-looking. It becomes hilarious when the others' reaction is limited to one guy saying, "He'salreadydead".
In Mirage of Blaze, episode 7, a emotional scene between Naoe and Kagetora is ruined with the sound of what appears to be porno music in the background, as well as when Kagetora slaps Naeo instead of punching him.
In Mirai Nikki, Marco aka the Seventh has a huge and absolutely RIDICULOUS pompadour. It's even more stupid-looking in the anime than in the manga.
Many fans can't help but look at Eighth, think Cooking Mama and chuckle.
In the anime the drama of Minene getting a dart to the eye is ruined by her scream and the sight of her boobs bouncing.
Whenever someone screams First (Yuki's diary holder number) "FAAARRSSTOOO!!!!"
One sub translation of a scene in the anime has Minene telling Nishijima "You leave can too."
A scene from Episode 18 of Michiko to Hatchin has Michiko threaten someone she saw looking at Hana. He then says that she just reminded him of Rock Morena. Upon learning that he knows Rock, Michiko starts nosebleeding. It's not exaggerated like it usually is, but for a show that usually avoids such cliches, it's amusingly out of place.
In Ninja Scroll, the nun moaning while exploding into a mass of writhing snakes was somewhat horrific in the Japanese soundtrack. In the English Dub, she made a ridiculous noise that made this troper had to pause the DVD to laugh it off before continuing.
In addition, the way Jubei yells "GENMAAAAAA!!!" at a certain point in the dub is quite hilarious.
"Someone call an eye doctor!" (From the middle of the second episode of Naru Taru, when Akira Sakura throws up on herself and passes out). The scene gets narmy once the sickening crunch has passed.
In the last episode of Noir, Big Bad Altena lets her hair loose in front of a volcanic vent while delivering the final challenge to the protagonists. It was supposed to be dramatic, but more fans than not found the scene unintentionally funny. Altena's hair and skirt blowing around made her look like a Marilyn Monroe wannabe and an octopus simultaneously, wrecking the intended effect.
The somewhat unusual locale for anime, Paris, is also a source of Narm. In one episode, Noir is being chased by armed suits through the bamboo forests of northern France... wait a minute, there are no bamboo forests in Europe!
Wait, wasn't that a flashback to when Kirika was still in Japan?
Yep, it was a flashback; but by the time that scene aired, the series was going out of its way to avoid showing or mentioning any travel between France and Japan. That led to disorientation here.
In episode 8, there's a scene with six men standing around a dead Mafioso. When an even bigger boss shows up, they exclaim in perfect unison, "Don Salvatore!"
The "musical number" at the start of that episode spoils the serious mood.
The Alabasta arc in One Piece loses a lot of its seriousness when the scene repeatedly cuts to Vivi screaming "Stop it stop it stop it!" over and over and over again.
As well as the ridiculously exaggerated faces she makes in the anime after Mariko snaps on her and slashes her with a boxcutter.
In the third episode, when Aya and her Girl Posse bully Nanako in English class and almost everyone joins in until Kaoru intervenes, the absolute incompetence of the teacher makes the whole drama bomb almost comical. One can understand being put off by a bunch of schoolgirls whining in the middle of a lecture, but letting a kid half your age put order? What kind of teacher is this?!
The whole series straddles the line between genuine drama/tragedy and this. Not helped by how it's set in a World of Ham where everything is very exaggerated.
Outlaw Star has two of the most fearsome outlaws ever in the galaxy: The McDougal Brothers. It takes away tension when someone mentions their name. Luckily, they're scary enough to outweigh any hilarity in their names.
Harry's overreactions. Grazed in the arm by a bullet? Replace the whole damn thing with robotics.
The entirety of the wrestling episode. Was supposed to be Hot-Blooded but was just too silly.
A tense lead-up to the first grappler-to-grappler battle turns narmy when the grappler arms pull out... spaceship-sized pistols and blades, making for the weirdest and goofiest mecha fight this troper has ever seen.
In the english dub Harry hits Melfina with roses when she tries to refuse his advances and tells her "I didn't mean to do that, Melfina! I'm sorry, I promise I'm not going to hurt you!" *backhands her to the floor about a few minutes later*
The worst example of this is the 11th episode. as it's revealed Sayaka idolizes Ms. Igurashi. The context of Sayaka idolizing a drunkard (oddly, this is the only episode where she isn't seen drinking, and naturally, Miyako lampshades it) makes the sweet moment (along with Himeko) seem...off.
No, no, no, the 19th episode takes the cake. After Himeko gets possessed by the mushroom that locates where her Idiot Hair used to be (just roll with it}, she tells Becky that she never wants to see her again. Cue sad music, Becky running away sad. Overacting, out of place, and considering just a few minutes ago, Ichijo was seen with a big claw, you'd think they're parodying something. It's played seriously, and again, it just doesn't work.
From episode 7; a spell to possibly help Behoimi to get magic powers is done. Rei then says some magic words, only to then just randomly spout out "Yeah.". We go from something tense to...something awkward. This is on the dub version, b the way.
In Persona 4, the episodes about Nanako's kidnapping and death are genuinely well-done... except for the scene in which Narukami is angsting about it and then Yousuke shows up with a face that gives the impression that he had just been smoking bongs. It was supposed to show how Yousuke had it hard too, but for some people, the animators were trying just TOO hard.
The ending sequence of Episode 25 would be pure Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, were it not for Yu looking out of the train window and seeing all of his loved ones running after him in perfect unison, with almost identical facial expressions. Luckily this was reanimated for the bonus episode.
In ''Pokémon: The First Movie', where Ash has just released the Pokémon captured by Mewtwo and is guiding them up to do battle against Mewtwo's army of cloned, enhanced Pokémon. Ash declares that they won't allow him to go through with his plan of genocide. It's all tense and dramatic right up until Ash attempts to attack Mewtwo himself. Mewtwo was seen deflecting a wave of fire from a Charizard, a charging Rhydon, and a Hyper Beam from a Gyarados, all with no effort whatsoever; charging Mewtwo seems a rather foolish thing for Ash to do. Mewtwo, for his part, contemptuously flings Ash several hundred feet through the air, which would have killed him were it not for Mew's intervention.
When Ash was turned into stone after being hit by Mew and Mewtwo, all of the Pokémon start crying. The tears float to Ash and bring him back to life. Pokémon has been filled with these for a long time...
Good luck getting through the crying Dewgong. Whatever your opinion is on the rest of the Pokémon crying, nothing could make "GOOOOOOONG!" sound dramatic or sad.
It's even worse in the Japanese version.
Most of the dialogue from the first movie can qualify, including this:
"She's very small, but very pretty!"
Believe it or not, one of the most hilarious lines in the dub comes from Mewtwo, who, after delivering menacing, awesome Badass Boast after Badass Boast, goes a little too over-the-top with this extremely hammy gem before the final battle(To Mew): "Who will rule? My super Pokémon, or your pa-thetic group of spineless, inferior Pokémon?"
In the English dub, any seriousness in the first Pokémon movie was lost when a certain Pokemon was referred to by the wrong name: a trainer referring to his own Pidgeot as "Pidgeotto".
During the somewhat scary scene in which Team Rocket witness the clones being released, the dub has them mistakenly call a Scyther "Alakazam". Unlike the Pidgeotto/Pidgeot example above, there's no excuse for this one!
The televised sequel Mewtwo Returns begins with Mewtwo narrating the events of the previous movie in full Dan Green gravitas. It loses a lot of its power when he, in his words, "encountered my nemesis". "Mew mew mew mew mew mew..."
The Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai movie, in which Dialga and Palkia are fighting each other. A girl who has temporarily joined the team yells at the two Pokémon to stop fighting. Think about this for a moment. Even if the creators of time and space were willing to follow orders from some insignificant human, they wouldn't have heard her because they were flying high above the city!
Then there's some of the lines yelled by the good semi-Eldritch Abomination Darkrai. Yes, a dark lord of nightmares screams, "THIS GARDEN IS FOR EVERYONE!"
What's even worse is that Darkrai was holding back both Dialga and Palkia when he said that, so it was meant to be his Crowning Moment Of Awesome.
There was the English dub of Pokémon: The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon. A virtual Mew gets destroyed, and the villain remarks in a very nonchalant tone, "Good riddance. Flawed specimen." The delivery of this line made it narm.
To say nothing of how Ash responds afterwards "Flawed speciman? You've got a whoooole lot of nerve talkin' about Mew like that!" He's supposed to be pissed but just sounds like he's merely been irritated by a bully's insult.
Zero, the ridiculously campy villain from the 11th movie, Pokémon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior. He spouts dialogue such as "ALL OF YOUR POWERS ARE NOW MIIIIIINE!" every time he's on screen. By the movie's climax, he doesn't even bother with the words - he just yells and has peals of maniacal laughter every time the film cuts to him. Somehow, it's even funnier than it sounds.
Please, Zero is made of Narm, have you SEEN his outfit! I don't know how anybody could take him seriously at first glance. Then he goes batshit crazy...and is even more ridiculous!
There's also the dub voice they gave Arceus. He sounded..... Well, not the way you'd expect the Olympus Mons who created the universe to sound.
The Pokémon anime in general makes it hard to take some of the more dramatic battles seriously because every defeated Pokémon has swirly eyes when they're knocked out.
Cynthia's speech after Ash and Paul's final battle about how "when one life touches another, relationships grow". The dialogue itself and the way it's delivered sounded very much like she was describing Ash and Paul falling in love with each other.
Sometimes it's phrased as "when one life touches another, something is born".
There was also the episode called "The Scuffle Of Legends," mostly because "scuffle" tends to be used in the context of two children having a mild altercation on the playground, not when two colossal monsters are battling and could potentially screw up the entire planet.
You can attribute this awkward title to a hamfisted atttempt to work in the Stock Phrase "The stuff of legend", as the localization team at the time were up to their necks in the pit of gratuitous title puns.
The very concept of Pokémon Speak as used in the animenote and some spinoff games, the Pokémon Special manga, and Super Smash Bros.. While it works for the smaller/cuter Mons (especially Pikachu), that monstrous alligator or armored praying mantis with pincers or gigantic Spider Tank becomes a whole lot less scary and Badass if it talks in some sort of human-like baby talk consisting only of its own name. At least some of them (such as Charizard) put a more realistic spin on the concept; they emit more animalistic cries that vaguely sound like their Japanese name ("Lizardon!"), just like a few real animals.
Even worse when some Pokémon don't even speak their whole name. When Ash had a Krokorok, for example, all it could really say was "CROWK-UHHH!" in a manner that made "Find the computer room!" sound awesome in comparison.
From "Tentacool & Tentacruel" the big rampage the Tentacruel goes on, knocking all the Pokemon out of its way has one moment where Misty's Goldeen gets swatted and makes an absolutely hilarious sound.
From the third Pokemon movie Spell of the Unknown, Entei approaches Mrs Ketchum and says "You. Are....Mama!" It Makes Sense in Context but it's impossible not to laugh when it's being spoken by gigantic beast Pokemon.
Ash's current voice actress, Sarah Natochenny, doesn't do drama particularly well. All of her attempts to yell or sound angry sound very stiffed and pained.
Popotan has a good, dramatic story, which is sometimes narmed by the show's attempt to stay true to its eroge roots. Nothing breaks a tearjerker moment like framing the shot up a crying girl's skirt.
In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, the girls have pretty well-animated and cool Transformation Sequences. The bad thing? Mami Tomoe's cute little hops with bended knees and pigeon toes before she transforms for the first time are... quite distracting. And kinda out of place.
Although it may have been ruined before that. Homura's ready for the final showdown as a dramatic thunderstorm looms, and... giant green elephant.
And in episode 12, as Madoka makes her game-breaking wish and in engulfed by intense power that blasts lots of stuff away for the sheer awesome, Kyuubey pulls his Most Epic Face Ever◊, which is either this or Narm Charm to the nth degree.
Charlotte's One-Winged Angel is a large worm that appears to be made out of candy and looks as though it has the face of a clown. It's something of the equivalent of Lelouch's pink sword in dramatic effect, especially after it devoursMami.
To those unfamiliar with Code Geass and its Narm, 'Lelouch's pink sword' is something that seems incredibly silly and Narmy when first introduced, but turns out to be less...amusing later on. Unless you're so jaded by Code Geass-like stuff that Charlotte ends up ruining the whole scene instead of enhancing it, that is.
In episode 8, Homura breaks down in front of Madoka and tearfully begs her not to throw her life away. The latter's response amounts to awkwardly mumbling "I have to go now" and running away. (Though for others, it crosses into Foreshadowing and Fridge Brilliance, considering how Madoka reacted like that because she cannot remember all the times she has thrown her life away in other timelines, while Homura does.
Mami's mental breakdown was rather overblown because of how much her eyes dilated and how OOC it was. One second calm and composed, bam, next second Kyouko's dead and she's holding a gun.
The Read or Die OVA. It's really hard to take anything seriously when during tense moments someone calls Yomiko "ZA PEIPAA." Furthermore, the idea of someone being called "The Paper."
Record of Lodoss War: the series is usually made with exceptional quality, but the kobolds and goblins sound just like a five year old kid trying to immitate a parrot.
Narmy enough in itself; coming from the brooding, cynical badass of the show...
In Rosario + Vampire, it is stated that one of Moka's weaknesses as a vampire is fresh water. This is shown the first time when she jumps in a pool to save Tsukune. The second time, all they do is flick water on her, and she is screaming like crazy, and sparks are going everywhere.
The gratutious fanservice that goes on even during the serious moments is more likely to induce laughter than arousal. For instance, in episode 12's On the Next sequence, Moka gives a dramatic narration, and theeeen... Panty Shot! Any chance of that sequence being taken seriously is killed instantly.
Not to mention the theme song for Rurouni Kenshin is rather inappropriate, considering the show's more dramatic atmosphere. Like the mention below, it sounds like the Heathcliff song.
The first theme song, Judy and Mary's Sobakasu, is especially narmy. Here, we have a badass who can practically take down ANY foe without actually killing him. Some blood, broken bones, swearing, and dramatic scenes. What do we get for his theme song? A very cutesytheme song that bears a slight resemblence to the 1980s Heathcliff one. That would be like playing the Muppet Babies theme during the opening for Sonsof Anarchy.
The sex scene with Shishio and Yumi in the Kyoto OVA, it's completely out of place being based off a shonen manga, and it makes no sense because Shishio suffers from massive burns. Not to mention the rather ridiculous and out-of-place dialogue between the two during it.
Saikano: Many scenes where Chise cries, but her sex scene with Shuuji tops it all.
Whenever someone starts crying in this series, their tears roll down their faces — until they reach the chin. Then they stay there as if they were made of transparent jello. So many Tear Jerker moments ruined by that little detail.
One of the earliest Tear Jerkers goes to HELL by pretty... questionable perspective shots. When Esmeralda is fatally struck down by her own father, we see Ikki rushing to the victim's aid... and we see him running towards her from below, as if there was a camera underneath the scene. This gives the impression that the crying Ikki is pretty much swimming in air or crawling to her air, thus making the impact of the scene go POOF.
Also, many of the Cloths (of all kinds) have very... special designs. Or look really odd when worn. A Narmtastic example is one of the Spectres, Deadly Beetle Stand...who, well, looks like a real life beetle. Or a a Pinsir. What The HELL was Kurumada thinking?!
ADV's dub of the first Sakura Wars anime could sometimes lead to Narm. For example, Kohran often sounds like she's drunk. This makes lines like "I'm not a little girl, and I don't need your pity!" pretty funny, as she sounds like an alcoholic drowning her sorrows in a bar.
To a lesser extent, there's also Kanna's thick New York accent.
The first episode of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, which is Narmy anyway by today's standards, features one outstanding moment: a giant robot is breaking into a nuclear power plant. The army's guns have no effect. The robot is now flying into the sky, just about to blast them all with a giant laser. What does the general say about this? With no expression whatsoever, he glowers at the robot and says, in perfect monotone, "you damn uranium thief".
The final scene of School Daysin which the main character is stabbed to death by one of his girlfriends is supposed to be shocking; since the protagonist is a Jerk Ass, it comes off as cathartic.
The scene where Kotonoha kills Sekai and cuts her open to check whether she's pregnant is supposed to raise the question of whether one or both of them is lying, mistaken, or simply insane. It comes off as Black Comedy because of how Kotonoha goes about doing it. The last scene, where Kotonoha sails away while cradling Makoto's severed head and speaking to it as though he were alive comes off as both disturbing and funny.
The second to last episode of Seirei no Moribito has a scene where Tanda is sent into another world when he passes through the border... but his horse isn't. This all happens instantly. It comes off as humorous because, at first, it looks like an animation mistake. It isn't — his horse really did suddenly disappear out from under him.
In Shakugan no Shana Flame Hazes and Crimson lords have narmy sounding aliases when translated into English. Shana is the "Flaming-Haired Blazing-Eyed Hunter". Margery Daw is the "Interpreter of Condolence" or "Chanter of Elegies". Wilhelmina is "Manipulator of Ten Thousand Ribbons" or "Specialist of Everything". Khamsin is the "Mobilizer of Ceremonial Equipment". Behemoth is the "Steadfast Sharp Peak". Valac is the "President of Reptiles". East Edge is the "Summoner of Star River". Quetzalcoatl is the "Windy Echo of Enlightenment". That about sums it up.
Shana answers her English teacher's question ("That which we call a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet") in correct but otherwise indecipherable English. It would have been a Crowning Moment Of Awesome for Shana if we had been able to understand her.
The scary scene where Kaede drops a boxcutter on Rin's eye from the top of the stairs is made Narmy when we see Kaede's arm somehow manage to reach all the way from the top of the stairs over to where Rin is to drop the boxcutter.
Sonic X has the odd Narm here and there. One instance which stands out is, surprisingly, corrected in the dub version (done by the infamous 4Kids Entertainment) from the original Japanese. In the episode The Birth of Super Sonic, there is a scene where Christopher Thorndyke is so disturbed by seeing Sonic attacked that he somehow manages to break out of a set of solid steel restraints holding him to the wall before reaching out and ripping the Chaos Emeralds out of an active robot, doing himself a great deal of damage. In the dub, this is an impressive sight. In the original, Chris's seiyu is... more vocal about the whole thing; the tone of Chris's screaming turned it into Narm of epic proportions.
When Chris tries to reason with Shadow on the Space Colony Ark (and steal Amy's CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming), telling him that it's not fair to blame people for what happened 50 years ago, Shadow delivers this rhyming rebuttal:
Don't talk to me about fair, not after what happened here!
Then there's the last episode. In the (more tearjerking) Japanese version, Tails breaks down upon being told to shoot Cosmo in order to defeat the Metarex. He finally works up the nerve to. The last words he says before doing it are "Cosmo...I LOVE YOU!". The dub cuts this scene for an unknown reason and just has Tails say good luck and goodbye. The delivery is... like a vocal version of Tobey Maguire's facial expressions.
In Soul Eater, Maka defeats Asura by "filling her fist with courage" and punching him in the face. This, for some reason, causes him to crack apart as though he was made of glass and explode. This has even been mocked multiple times in the manga. The more recent villains that Maka has faced actually tell her that courage alone won't let you win, and that people don't explode when they die.
Super Dimension Fortress Macross: The knife fight. Fans will know exactly what this means, but for everyone else: Max has completely on numerous occasions in previous episodes defeated and humiliated Millia in combat, and so she decides to sneak aboard the Macross to confront and kill him. Unbeknownst to him, he ends up facing off against her in a flight-sim video game at an arcade and again metaphorically wipes the floor with her. Finally, under the guise of asking him for a date, she challenges him to a knife fight. The most ridiculously narm-y fight in existance. The animators made no effort whatsoever to actually depict what an genuine knife fight would look like, opting for the two to go Flynning with their daggers. In the end, he wins again, and she finally begs him to kill her. He instead, proposes marriage.
In Tears to Tiara, the English version of the original game's theme plays at certain points in the story... usually those where you would not want to be distracted at how bad the damn English is.
The English dub of the anime is pretty good, but most of the characters have Irish accents that range from subtle, nuanced, and believable to magicallydelicious.
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann There's the pronunciation of Simon's name both in the original (She-Moan) and the dub (See-Moan), which can produce laughs because they both sound vaguely dirty and like "Simone" (Si-MOAN), which is a girl's name.
According to Matt Greenfield, the would've-been ADR director of the ADV Filmsdub, ADV would've dubbed the name as the English "Simon" (Sai-mun) and averted this.
In the 24th episode, when Simon is told that his drill won't be enough to penetrate an enemy's shield, his response is just hilarious. His very first thought is "So you're saying I need to get a bigger drill?"
The doppleganger Roger bot was another, especially once it starts mimicking Roger's "Big O!" activation call. It was a plan by Beck, so you can't expect too much seriousness, though.
Megadeus would be an intimidating moniker for a giant robot, as it translates to "Super God." But it should be pronounced "mega-day-us." It is pronounced "Mega-deuce," which sounds like an Unusual Euphemism for a really big crap.
The title itself. The creators clearly were unaware of the English word "orgasm" when they thought of it.
Speaking of Code Geass, every time Bunny does a spin-kick in the English dub, I have to laugh because he's voiced by Spinzaku. Even in extremely dramatic situations like when he's fighting Kotetsu.
In Episode 45 of Tokyo Mew Mew, when Kish declares that he will die with Ichigo, his "rape face" is supposed to show how emotionally unstable he's become. It is somewhat goofy.
Like an example cited under Narm/CodeGeass, this is purely Fansub-created Narm. During a rather serious, dramatic conversation in episode 15 of Toradora!, one of Taiga's lines is translated as "Because of that, I was able to relieve myself." If that sounds funny to you out-of-context, then just imagine its effects in-context.
Similar to the Nanoha series that it inspired, Triangle Heart 3's OVA has Gratuitous English that makes the villain's evil scheming at the end of the first episode hard to take seriously. The fansubbers had to correct the grammar in the subtitles.
The flashback at the beginning of the third episode, in which Kyouya and Miyuki learn of Kyouya's father's death, would be more dramatic if the lighting didn't make the two of them and Momoko look like they're playing "Spectre Face" with flashlights, and if all three didn't have Dull Grief expressions on their faces.
Trigun has quite a few examples. Most of what Rem Saverem says qualifies, especially when she appears in dream sequences.
Even Knives has moments of Narm, notably when he starts emoting about "Why doesn't my brother love meeeeee?"
Vash's and Knives's lines switch between genuine drama and horror and pure Narm because of the immaturity of some of their comments.
"If humans want to harm us, let's just leave then come back!"
No wonder Knives is pissed.
Vash shoots Knives and then runs away after Knives first tests his angel arm. Knives clutches his wounded thigh and cries, "My leg! Why is there so much pain in my leg? Did you shoot me? DID YOU JUST SHOOT ME?!" while he and Vash are looking at each other in horror. Then Vash lets out an almighty scream and runs away. After that, Knives curls up in fetal position while crying his eyes out. In another anime, this kind of character would be crying "Daddyyyyyy!" all the time before going Yandere. (Vash is more the "Mommyyyy!" type.)
Given his propensity to spend days Wangsting, fretting, and generally feeling sorry for himself, that could make Knives a genocidal and attractive version of Shinji Ikari. Knives is half horror, half Narm; he shows what would happen if an angry, jealous two-year-old had the bitterness of an adult and superhuman powers. He absolutely can't deal with frustration, and his self-control skills rank in the negative. He probably has wet dreams about Vash
To be completely fair, it seems like most of this was intentional. Vash and Knives, left to wander by themselves for a hundred years, have become unstoppable war machines with the minds of children. The entire story is about Vash's struggle to grow up, in a way.
The scene in the episode that follows Legato's death when Vash tries to pet Kuroneko. Kuroneko scratches him, and he gets that wounded look. Sure, the whole universe is against him, but that's going too far. You can practically hear him think, "Even the cat doesn't like meeee! Boo hoo!"
Also in Vision of Escaflowne: Dilandau is impossible to take seriously despite being seriously evil. Especially hilarious are his panic attacks both times he's nearly killed by Van. Screaming in a high-pitched voice with your mouth hanging open two feet isn't the best way to have people take your moment of peril seriously.
"My cheek BURNS Van, just like the city! And all because YOU'RE in it!!!" Seriously?!
It's even HARDER to take him seriously when you realize his Japanese seiyuu is Minami Takayama, the same one who voices pint-sized detective Conan Edogawa in Detective Conan.
Hitomi's Dream Sequence in which she's back on Earth, and Allen's there with her, having decided to abandon his life on Gaea for her. They go on a date for no apparent reason. The problem? He's still in his Asturian knight outfit, which looks out of place in modern Japan. The other problem? He acts completelyout of character throughout the whole sequence. It's as if someone took a not particularly imaginative preteen Japanese girl's idea of what a first date should be like and then had Hitomi and Allen act it out — it's like a romantic Transplanted Character Fic. Then, at the end, Millerna turns up literally out of nowhere, and Allen goes "Oooh, Millerna!" and immediately forgets about Hitomi. The whole thing leads to Fridge Brilliance about whether Hitomi truly loves Allen or just loves his bishounen-ness and how he looks a whole lot like Amano-senpai. That scene was really weird.
Earlier in the series, we have King Duke Freid's death. You know, being turned into a Human Pincushion is really, reallynot a nice way to die. But when someone gets struck with dozens of bolts simultaneously from nearly every conceivable angle, it goes from dramatic to both disturbing and funny in a span of seconds.
The dramatic effect of the scene in Yozakura Quartet Episode 7 when Ao wakes up from a dream after being kidnapped by Enjin was lost when the last part of the dream involved her backing up against the wall with eyes wide in terror as a plate of cheesecake fell to the ground in slow motion. The plate broke and the slice of cheesecake was smashed to bits—also in slow motion.
In Japan, this made sense:Drop and fail are the same word in Japanese, so the subtext of that scene in Japanese is that she will never get Gin back. Since English in fundamentally different, the multiple meanings get lost; then the Narm kicks in.
Throughout the YuYu Hakusho anime, Koenma is often shown making humorous commentary on fights from his office in Spirit World, which is often at odds with the serious nature of the situations. The worst case is just after Yusuke gets the Forlorn Hope from Kurama. The manga had a scene in which Kurama, having survived using the mirror to cure his mother, tearfully tells her that he is not going anywhere, while Yusuke goes home and offers to make his mother dinner, moved by Kurama's devotion to his mother. In the anime, this touching moment is removed; instead, Yusuke jokes with Botan while Koenma is concerned about getting the last treasure (although probably more out of fear of his father's punishment than of Hiei).
During an epic battle in the YuYu Hakusho Dark Tournament arc, as Hiei is using his dangerous Dragon of the Darkness Flame technique, his face becomes rounder and more childlike, dangerously close to Super-Deformed; coupled with his deep voice as he shouts, this is funny. In the same episode, Bui gets reduced to wordless screaming each time he attacks and it fails to do damage against Hiei. After the third time around, it gets hilarious.
Byakko the White Tiger's Japanese voice. The character is supposed to be a raging beast, but the seiyuu plays the role with as much Dull Surprise as he could. Especially funny is the "roar", which sounds just like someone saying "Rooooooooar!" instead of actually roaring, and yet the characters treat it like a terrifying sound.
There's also Kuro Momotaro's Armor Of The Phoenix, which looks (and sounds!) more like the Armor Of The Chicken!
A minor villain in an early episode who's blackmailing Kuwabara by threatening his cat, enjoys being bad a little too much to be taken seriously. It's especially narmful in the Japanese version where the subtitles give us this: