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  • The Read or Die OVA revolves around a symphony that causes anyone who listens to it to become suicidally depressed. The villains' plan is to broadcast it around the world and wipe out the weak-minded. To spare the viewers such a fate, Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" is played.
    • The manga also contains a scene where two captives are tortured with the audio version of The Dark Abyss, a book bound in human flesh and printed by five different people, one page at a time, so they wouldn't succumb to it. The pair withstood the audiobook for some 4 minutes before caving.
  • In Delicious in Dungeon, anyone, person or monster, who hears a mandrake's scream will immediately go insane. Interestingly, letting them scream before killing them makes them taste better.
  • An interesting plot from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (the episode "escape from"); a cybernetic puzzle box is discovered that traps the mind of anyone who cybernetically links to it. The intruder is placed in a virtual environment of an old fashioned theater, along with the trapped minds of those that came before. Playing is a certain obscure director's last film, which he never shot, which contains images so profoundly emotional, that intruders never want to leave, only remain and watch the film. Notoriously unemotional Major Kusanagi is trapped by the device, and at the climax of the film, she actually cries. As for what the image was, the show viewer can't see it, but Take Our Word for It. The device turns out to be the director's own brain, encased in the GITS universe's cybernetic equivalent to a drive enclosure for gray matter. The interesting part was that the director had no evil ulterior motive or anything...the movie was just that good that anyone who watched it would want to keep watching it forever; the perfect movie. Motoko ultimately tells him that she admits it's very good, but even the best of TV and film is no substitute for Real Life.
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    • This incidentally may be a subtle demonstration of psychic powers at play, since the idea of a brain-case abducting Ghosts of other people contradicts the internal logic of the series at many levels.
    • This also turned out to be how the terrorist group The Individual Eleven recruited in 2nd Gig. A series of documents that contain the group's manifesto are scattered across the Net. If a person of suitable personality and physical qualifications reads all eleven in order, a cybernetic meme is unleashed that turns them into a fanatical soldier for the Eleven. People who don't fit in the mold demonstrate different kinds of personality shifts, like the reporter who became obsessed with the refugee issue, but never acted on his own right, until the virus drove him to commit suicide, or the old professor, who simply took interest in the literary value of the imaginary manuscript, without getting a single radical idea out of it.
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  • The Chapter Black tape from Yu Yu Hakusho reportedly contains hours upon hours of humanity's worst deeds, and just watching it for five minutes can turn anyone into a Straw Nihilist as their respect for humanity drops to rock bottom. It's mentioned that the tape is part of a set with Chapter White, which contains all the greatest acts of human kindness and compassion. Koenma even says Chapter Black is a "One sided argument", and both tapes are apparently about the same length. In fact, neither one is really meant to be watched without the viewer watching the other one simultaneously.
  • Kyon of Haruhi Suzumiya uploads a club logo created by Haruhi onto their website...which just happens to be a data-compressed meme that infects the minds of observers and uses them to revive a long-dormant "digital cave cricket". Kyon disarms it by changing the "SOS" logo into a "ZOZ".
    • In the Drama CD, Haruhi creates the musical equivalent, which had to be defeated by The Power of Rock. At the end of the CD, while the Ear Worm properties of the tune had been excised, Haruhi goes on to come up with the dance version of this. Kyon warns the audience to avert their eyes if they see it, even though he thinks it's already too late.
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  • In Madlax, the words "Elda Taluta" and others bring to life parts of a person's psyche that are buried within; only a handful can hear these and not go insane. And god help you if you read the books that these words come from.
  • Played with in Detective School Q. The "Banquet of Evil" violin solo drives a violinist into increasing insanity as soon as he hears it, and it's mentioned that a mysterious person is forcing three other people to hear it as well through cellphone calls. The reason? It was the favorite musical piece of a brilliant player who was incapacitated and killed herself... after an horrible trap staged by the other four. Who end up murdered by the girl's fellow violinist and boyfriend. And had he not done it, they would've died at the hands of the girl's vengeful half-sister.
  • Several episodes of Pokémon featured a Jigglypuff who didn't seem to know its own strength. Its singing would put anyone who heard it - human and Pokémon alike - to sleep, and with amplification equipment, once did so to a whole city. Every time this happened, it got upset because it thought no-one was listening to it, and marked up the sleepers' faces with a magic marker!
  • In The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, one story was about our Five-Man Band investigating a certain railway crossing with an unusually high suicide rate. It seems to have to do with a suicide song played near the tracks, until they go there and discover that the music is an accidental combination of the railroad warning signal, the school chime and the tune played by the recycling truck, which makes people want to die.
  • Hunter × Hunter briefly mentions the Sonata of Darkness, said to have been written by Satan himself and includes parts for different instruments. Just listening to a few notes of the flute solo was enough to horribly deform the Music Hunter Melody Senritsu (it also gave her music based powers though). Her friend that actually played it died horribly.
  • In Shotaro Ishinomori's manga, tokusatsu and anime series Kikaider, the Big Bad Professor Gill has a flute that allows him to control his robotic creations. The flute affects Jiro/Kikaider as well: because of his incomplete conscience circuit, the flute's sound causes him physical pain and also sends him into a brainwashed rage. Only after he transforms into his "Kikaider" form does the flute not affect him.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, although not really a bad thing, Ed sees "the Truth" after attempting to perform a human transmutation on his mother at the very beginning of the series and, along with learning a good deal of alchemic knowledge, is able to perform alchemy without a circle, something only those who have also seen the "Truth" can do. Al also ends up seeing the "Truth" later on and gains this ability as well.
  • A Certain Scientific Railgun has a primary plotline which revolves around this trope. The "Level Upper" is a sound that connects the espers through a neural network simulating a very powerful supercomputer. The "Level Upper" has the positive side effect of temporarily increasing an esper's powers, but later causes them to universally lapse into a coma, and then go berserk when they awaken.
    • Similarly, Capacity Down is a sound that shuts down esper powers. Non-espers find the sound annoying but harmless, while espers can barely stand up straight when listening to it.
    • The second season of A Certain Magical Index has Index getting surrounded by armed nuns. She responds with a song that subconsciously exposes all the supposed contradictions of Christianity to every believer in range, instantly incapacitating all of her attackers, who writhe on the ground screaming in agony. The second wave responds by everyone taking out a pair of fountain pens and stabbing themselves in the ears to deafen themselves so that the song won't affect them.
  • One episode of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman has The Man Behind the Man of Galactor compose "Murder Music #1", a rock song that can drive people insane and shatter buildings when played from the Mecha Of The Week.
  • Violinist of Hameln runs almost entirely on this trope, flavored with Rule of Cool, Refuge in Audacity and copious amounts of crack. But what else can you say for a series whose entire premise is that the heroes use magical music to beat evil up (and to beat each other up, they're rather dysfunctional)...?
  • Not a major plot element but once in a while there is mention of a whistle that is about the only thing to harm Kamen no Maid Guy's Kogarashi. (First and last episode, actually)
    • Kogarashi's MEIDO GUY FREEZE VOICE, which renders most people unable to move for 30 minutes.
  • Played for laughs on a national scale in this clip from Kujibiki Unbalance.
  • Hakko from Canaan has the ability to kill people with her voice, but whenever she speaks or sings it sounds perfectly normal. The audience only hears how she perceives her voice herself, rather than the people affected by it.
  • Harukanaru Toki no Naka de - Hachiyou Shou at one point has the heroine put into a coma by the cursed kin; due to the extra string, the music produced by said instrument caused disorder in the souls of whoever heard it, killing them. Exorcising the ghost of the first victim who continued playing and causing deaths still required a specific person to play the kin and die in the process. Eisen finds a way around it by playing the kin under water, reducing the sound to a non-lethal strength — and he still gets injured by it.
  • The powerful human and crow tengu of Japan Tengu Party Illustrated have only one real weakness: seeing a "real" tengu, a large seemingly flightless bird causes instant DePowering. This is due to the tengu's view that they are unique supernatural beings, and discovering that their legend is based on a real animal completely shatters their powers.
  • In Naruto, the character Tayuya has one of these: Her weapon of choice is a flute, with which she can control these three creepy puppet corpses. Specific notes cause them to move in certain ways, one in particular causes the corpses to emit chakra devouring soul.. mouth worm things. However, her real kicker comes in the form of a melody, which simply hearing causes the victim to fall into an illusion in which they appear to be strung up by wires as the skin melts off their bones.
  • In one chapter of Sgt. Frog, Keroro manages to disable Natsumi by whispering something in her ear. Fuyuki later asks Natsumi what he said to her, but Natsumi only replies "Do you want to get this book banned?"
    • Also, it's revealed Kururu can use his headphones to generate a sonic attack that broadcasts the target's least favorite sound (nails on a chalkboard, pieces of styrofoam being rubbed together, etc.) right into their brain.
  • The titular RahXephon and the D-1 Dolems that appear throughout the series can sing in such horrific ways that things around them explode, disintegrate, or cease to exist. It gets worse when they start doing harmonies or descants with more than one in the area.
  • Wunder X's music in Weiß Kreuz causes people to go insane and kill themselves.
  • The songs of the mermaids of Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch are beautiful to listen to but hurt people with an evil heart to the point of death.
  • Gintama: In episode 50, Sougo's pitch on how to improve the show comes as an extended guttural noise that drives everyone crazy.
  • Dimitri from Kurobara Alice is a tenor who acquires this power after being turned into a vampire. He accidentally kills his own audience, to start.
  • In Soul Eater, Crona wrote a poem that causes anyone who reads it to wish they'd never been born, or, in their zombie teacher's case, that he'd never been brought back to life.
  • In Guilty Crown, there is a sound that causes dormant stages of the Apocalypse Virus to grow rapidly, crystallizing and killing the victim in less than five seconds. While Inori describes it as a song, it sounds like anything but.
  • In the second, anime-only season of Black Butler, there is an episode where all the main characters attend a ball hosted by Alois Trancy. At the party, one of Alois' demons Hannah plays an instrument much like an armonica that possesses those who hear its song. Sebastian counteracts the music with an accompaniment on some water-filled wineglasses.
  • In Fairy Tail, the Death Magic of the flute Lullaby kills any who hear its song.
  • In The Case Files of Yakushiji Ryoko, the Ultrasonic Bug case involves an insect whose cry drives humans to suicide when heard through a cell phone. And they seem to be a natural Japanese species, not some genetically engineered weapon.
  • In Toriko, one of Zebra's most dangerous and draining voice-based attacks has him modulating the frequency of his voice to instantly kill anyone who hears it. The art depicts this as a massive Grim Reaper like entity. Zebra himself claims, that he does that by mimicking sound of the Grim Reaper's footsteps.
  • The Devil Is a Part-Timer! A picture that Shiba Miki sends to Maou, Ashiya and Lucifer of her in Hawaii dressed in a bikini, has the effect of placing anyone who sees it into a temporary Go Mad from the Revelation moment. If you've seen her before, whatever you do...DON'T THINK ABOUT IT.
  • This is the entire plot point of the anime Suite Pretty Cure ♪. There's a special song in Major Land called the "Melody of Happiness" that, when sung, brings great joy and bliss. But, when the notes are rearranged, it creates the Melody of Sorrow, which plunges everyone who listens to it into despair. Its our heroines' job to make sure the latter doesn't happen.
  • Naga's Noblewoman's Laugh is the ultimate brown note in the Slayers universe; heard from any distance it's been known to drive entire cities into raw panic, children crying, adults running, and little old ladies crouching at every shrine they can find begging to make it stop.
  • The Hating Girl has a couple relating to the main female character, Asumi.
    • Asumi has an arrow all the way through her head, which causes grief for both her and others. At one point she accidentally runs the arrow's point along the windows of a school room, bringing everyone around her to their knees in the same manner as nails on a chalkboard.
    • Her friend Ryouji has a handful of things that cause him to panic, and bugs are one, specifically drone beetles. Thus, it's hard for him to hear Asumi yell out that she's lower than a drone beetle when she's apologizing.
  • Weather Report from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has weather-controlling powers. After he regains his memories, his hate gives him a power to create rainbows. Said rainbows contain subliminal messaging, which turns any creature, that sees or interacts with them into a snail (although it's not clear, whether snail transformations were real or just an illisions).
    • There's also Rohan Kishibe's Stand, Heaven's Door, which takes effect if anyone looks at his manga (even if it's drawn in the air), turning them into books that he can read and edit to control their memories and actions.
  • In Dissolving Classroom, the dark energy produced by Yuuma's apologies causes people's brains to melt, and eventually dissolves their entire bodies into goop. The worse part? They're still alive, or at the very least their souls are still anchored to their liquefied remains.
  • In Kado: The Right Answer, Sufficiently Advanced Alien Yaha-kui's first attempt at communication with a human leaves the poor sod (main character Shindo) writhing on the floor in agony. Fortunately Yaha-kui is able to gain knowledge of Japanese from Shindo's mind (and further from his cell phone's dictionary) and switches to verbal communication.
  • In Ore no Ie ga Maryoku Spot datta Ken - Sundeiru dake de Sekai Saikyou, the main character's voice causes the witches to wet themselves.
  • In Doraemon, Giant / Big G's singing is infamously horrendous that everyone fears listening to it. It's so potent that it has been used as anti-pest measure and even weaponized. In one of the movies where they went to a world of magic, his singing overpowers the Enthralling Sirens' song and even knocks out the demon whale that roams the sea. And when they went to an Alternate Universe where there's no sound just to escape his singing, just looking at its lyrics is enough to nauseate people.
  • In Assassination Classroom, there is an assassination technique known as the Clap Stun which enables a person to distract or even paralyze an opponent, with pretty drastic, though short-term consequences on the victim's mind. As the name suggests, it involves an assassin clapping at an opportune moment. This is most commonly applied by Nagisa, but has been used by multiple other assassins, namely Lovro, The Reaper and Korosensei/The Reaper.
    • Nagisa originally learns the standard version, which requires three things: that the user has multiple weapons (when Nagisa does it he has a stun gun and a knife), that the opponent knows combat and the opponent has known the fear of death. However, he learns (by having it done to him) that there is an advanced version that uses a person's wavelengths to paralyze them. When a person is alert, their brain's wavelengths achieve a 'peak'. During this moment, the assassin claps, causing the victim to fall to the ground in a shaking mess. Nagisa quickly becomes adept at this version as he is far above average in terms of reading people.
    • There are times when the Clap Stun becomes ineffectual. If a person can distract themself or simply their mind cannot achieve the 'peak' the technique relies on, the Clap Stun will either be unusable or have minimal results. As an example, when Karma is fighting with Nagisa, he purposely bites his tongue so when the attack comes, it barely registers.
  • Akuma in D.Gray-Man are fueled by the souls of dead humans, and as the Akuma grows stronger and changes form, the soul that powers it becomes more and more twisted and tortured. When Allen, who possesses the ability to see the souls of Akuma, confronts a Level 4 Akuma (the most powerful form of Akuma seen thus far,) the state of the Akuma's soul is apparently so grotesque that Allen doubles over and vomits at the sight of it.
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