For a series that has teenagers playing soccer in all sorts of wacky ways, it's a bit hard to believe that it could be really grim.
Inazuma Eleven Go
- Fifth Sector in GO are pretty terrifying in a more mundane way, being an all-powerful organization that controls soccer and brutally punishes anyone who goes against them. We see the full extent of this early on, where they order Tsurugi, in his brief stint as The Mole to cripple Tenma to the point where he can never play soccer again, just for trying to stand up to them. He seriously considered going through with it too, until he had a HeelFace Turn. As Raimon starts winning more and more, their measures get more and more desperate, such as putting known violent players on teams you go up against, having your coaches fired, blackmailing the star players of your opponents to keep them in line and destroying the schools of other teams that joined the revolution.
- The Final Boss team of the first GO game, Dragonlink, have a major case of Uncanny Valley going on. Apart from their captain, all their players have the same hair colour and even look similar, and their formation is military-based. Their whole team has Avatars, but due to Chess Motifs most of them are just Pawns, which implies many of them have been stripped of their individuality. Since they're the private team of the real leader of Fifth Sector, they're portrayed as essentially a dictator's private army of super-soldiers. The match against them is also a dark and stormy Battle in the Rain.
- Jounetsu de Mune Atsu can be this for some people, it's easily one of the darkest openings in the series.
- Following the similar Uncanny Valley concept with Dragonlink, Perfect Cascade can also fall under this. Everybody has this monotonous tone going on, then you just listen to how (in the Japanese dub) soulless their members sound. Eventually it's finally revealed in King Arthur's parallel world that they are in fact robots created by El Dorado to become the best soccer team.
- On the note of Perfect Cascade, they also follow a similar concept to Dragonlink where they all have Keshins that has little to no individuality. Everybody in the team has some variety of Jinkou Keshin Plasma Shadow (as seen above), which as the name implies is a man-made Keshin, as the same goes for the players.
- Second Stage Children in contrast to Fifth Sector, is terrifying because its far from expected that you would see people of their age bracket rebelling the adults who rejected them because of their power, they will kill you simply because they believe that if you are at least above the age of twenty that you are weak and therefore you must die because you are in their way. What's even scarier is that their intentions are far from evil, at worst they are simply misunderstood from society; and to some this might even be relatable.
- The Reveal that Fei was with Second Stage Children all along, it doesn't help that Fei had a jarring shift in personality after all of that.
- The fact that there are people willing and able to go back in time and make your life hell, Terminator-style (and sometimes murder or permanent crippling isn't off the table), just because you like to play soccer and for as long as you continue to like to play soccer (yeah, the reason is pretty complicated and It Makes Sense in Context, but still).
- In Inazuma Eleven Go Galaxy the Grand Celesta Galaxy is a soccer tournament held in space, but if a planet loses the soccer match, there planets will be Destroyed by the end of the tournament.
Inazuma Eleven Ares
- Ares introduces the Ares No Tenbin, a school designed to push anyone from elementary all the way until college to become successful physically and academically. However, if you don't have the mental capacity to withstand it like Haizaki's friend Akane, then it can leave you comatose for years.
- Orion #3: Park, Baek, and Lee outright brutalize Seok, their own captain, one of them kneeing him straight in the gut to remove him from the game. The Disciples of Orion do not play around.
- Worse, any discipline that loses or ultimately fails in their mission is taken away by the Men in Black for who knows what reason.
- Orion #4: Ichihoshi nearly murders Endou with a spike hidden on the soccer battle he shot at him while training.
- Orion #6: What's worse than blinding players with light and tackling them brutally? How about cutting their legs with a hidden knife inside their shoes! The first sabotage is something that while painful, is still something easier to heal from, but cutting their legs could cause grievous injuries especially if they were to cut a sensitive spot.
- Orion #13: The Reveal of Ichihoshi. He's not Ichihoshi Mitsuru, he's Ichihoshi Hikaru. The younger brother who was unable to cope with his older brother's death and as a result absorbed his personality, but unlike Fubuki, he thought that he was Mitsuru while Hikaru was injured by the car crash and is currently ill. It's truly horrifying to realize you're not even the person you thought you were and that everything your organization told you was a lie to motivate you to work for them.
- That's not even counting the fact that while character deaths are done off screen previously, we see Mitsuru dying right in front of Hikaru on-screen. A first on-screen death in Inazuma Eleven as a whole. It's any wonder that he's traumatized...
- Orion #33: Asuto, after he turned down the offer to be part of Orion, his father then orders two men to chloroform knocking Asuto out. Keep in mind he is not any older then 14 and this is also a pretty realistic way to kidnap someone in this show. This scene alone makes any other time Asuto is alone with his dad creepy.
- Orion #36: The Stinger for the next episode shows Asuto completely brainwashed as a part of Orion... Thankfully it was later shown to be someone with a similar hairstyle like Asuto in the next episode, however this does leave us wondering where the real Asuto is.
- Orion #43: Near the end of the episode, we are introduced to Irina Girikanan, whose Establishing Character Moment is being an Abusive Parent, slapping Bernard down. A 29 year old man, no less! While most parents in Inazuma Eleven are shown to be flawed, but loving parents to their kids along with some Good Parents, with a few exceptions, Irina is outright the first parent in the franchise who is shown to be a completely abusive mother. Anyone who had an Abusive Parent once would have find things that Bernard endured hit Close to Home.