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Wretched Hive / Anime & Manga

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  • The Underground from Attack on Titan is an abandoned settlement built in caverns beneath the Capitol, and a place where the most destitute struggle to survive. Overrun with criminals and those with nowhere else to go, it is a place even the military avoids whenever possible. Levi grew up there, and describes it as a trash heap he and his friends were desperate to escape.
  • The fictional Thai city of Roanapur from Black Lagoon is regarded as the criminal capital of the world. Having four criminal organisations (The Mafia, The Mafiya, The Cartel and the Triads) sharing the city is bad enough, but just add up all the other crime groups that come there... Hell, even the protagonists are scum! In short, you do not want to be there.
  • The city that Alka visits in Episode 2 of Blade & Soul, and the one Karen runs a restaurant at. At one point, a guy dies on the street, only for a nearby guard and then several other people to start searching for valuables on his body.
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  • The Zaraki region of Soul Society in Bleach. When the Blood Knight comes from there and treats slicing up people and smelling like blood as everyday activities, that's because there's a really bad place. Makes one wonder how Hell would be...
  • Night City in Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is just as awful of a place as it is in the game it's based on. It's plagued with crime, violence, and corruption on all levels of society. David is even warned by his fellow edgerunners that he cannot trust anybody in the city.
  • Lost Angels in Heavy Object is almost completely overrun by four criminal gangs which are actually fronts for spies from the four superpowers, and they're not shy about using military hardware against one another. The remainder of the population consists of actual criminals profiting off the "gang" wars or people effectively exiled from the rest of society.
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  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood gives us Ogre Street, a fictional section of London. The first thing Jonathan Joestar sees when he enters is a stray cat eating a puppy. Right after that, he's beset by some of the locals, who aren't much friendlier. Upon hearing that Jonathan went there, Dio Brando (who also went there to acquire some poison) decides that he won't need a murder plot of his own, as the aforementioned locals would do it for him. Unfortunately, Jonathan is far tougher than the first group that comes after him, and his chivalry is enough to impress Speedwagon, who dedicates himself to helping Jonathan.
  • In the English translation of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, Kereellis, the sock-puppet from outer space, complains once that the Russian night club the group visits once is not the wretched hive of scum and villainy he was promised.
  • From One Piece:
    • Since the World Government only controls one Island there, the second half of the Grand Line, dubbed the "New World" controlled by the Four Pirate Emperors, is rather chaotic.
    • For an example in Paradise, you need look no further then Mock Town, on Jaya. While pirates have the run of the town and often engage in piratical past-times like picking fights and killing each other, they tend to leave the regular townsfolk alone, if only so there are people to buy food and booze from. Also, the fact that said pirates spend money like water means that the economy is booming.
    • Sabaody Archipelago, while has lovely shopping areas and a thriving theme park, has a "Lawless area" where crooks and slavers operate uninhibited. After the Time Skip, during which the Navy moved their headquarters to the other side of the Red Line, the size of the lawless area increased.
    • Fishman Island has the Fishman District, an area underneath Fishman Island proper (The "Island" is encased in a gigantic bubble), where the New Fishman Pirates have set up base. It was supposed to be a home for orphans, but quickly fell into disarray. King Neptune has the entire district closed down when it becomes apparent that the negative environment was what contributed to the New Fishman Pirates' warped mindsets.
    • In SBS Vol. 104, Eiichiro Oda finally explains Eustass Kid's home island. It turns out, it's not a place one would want to live in. Why? Because it is an unnamed island unaffiliated with the World Government, making it a lawless place taken over by gangs instead of Kings or Queens. The place was divided into four districts and each one was under the rule of a local gang; Kid was the leader of one gang district while his 3 current crewmen (Killer, Wire, and Heat) were leaders of the other three.
  • Subverted in Princess Mononoke. When seen for the first time, the Ironworks are a bunch of grey roofs and tall smoking chimneys crowded together on a small hill surrounded by heavily barbed barricades inside the rotting stumps of a razed forest. But once Ashitaka gets inside, the steel workers are astonishingly well mannered and cheerful people who hold their equally charming director in very high regard.
  • Kyoto in Sengoku Komachi Kurou Tan has apparently been this since the Onin War. Every new warlord to take the city often let their soldiers rape and pillage as they will, leading to a rise in banditry and vagrancy. Nobunaga wishes to put a stop to it and appoints Shizuko to restore public order.
  • Lux in Texhnolyze is this trope. The parts of the city that aren't in the control of three vicious gangs struggling with each other are in hopeless squalor, and the "normal" populace can easily be more dangerous than the gangsters in those parts.
  • In Tokyo Shinobi Squad, Tokyo has become this following Japan's attempts at super-globalization. It's riddled with massacres, terrorists attacks, organized crime, and corruption. It has the highest crime rate in the world and people freely hire shinobi as assassins, bodyguards, and spies.
  • In the final arc of the original Yu-Gi-Oh!, the origin of the seven Millenium Items is revealed: they were created from a ritual using the bodily components of all the inhabitants of Kul Elna, a village entirely comprised of thieves, murderers, and other evil-doers. Unfortunately, this results in a few problems: First, due to the process that created them, the seven items are slightly tainted with darkness. Second, upon learning that an entire village (evil or not) was sacrificed to create them, Yami's father, the current pharaoh, became sick with grief that led to his death. Also, there was one survivor of Kul Elna, Bandit Bakura, whose rage and grief over his village's destruction enabled him to be used as an Unwitting Pawn by Zorc the Dark One.
  • Crashtown in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds. This was originally founded as a mining town to mine a precious mineral called dyne which is used to build D-Wheels, but was eventually taken over by two criminal gangs, who fought each other over the mining rights, eventually using dueling to conscript members into slave labor. The whole arc shows that there is No Honor Among Thieves when Yusei is used as an Unwitting Pawn for one of the leaders to win the conflict, only for him to be double-crossed by his brother. (At the end, the whole roster of Team Satisfaction comes together to bring the criminal rule to an end, making the conclusion both symbolic and satisfying.