Most animes tend to fall into genre norms when it comes to their characters and stories. In a shounen style anime you’re going to find that the protagonist is probably trash at whatever fighting style in the beginning and they need to get better. Every harem anime has a Tsundere type character and there’s almost always a strange amount of fan service in any show that you watch.
These tropes are so common that there are lists entirely about these things. This is why it becomes really interesting when shows buck trends and throw a twist our way. Some shows look at the conventions of the genre and even the conventions of the media and basically just laugh at them, delivering some of the most shocking anime moments fans have seen. (Spoilers for all the shows tagged ahead!)
10. Deku Losing To Todoroki - My Hero Academia
In Shounen anime, no matter how trash the protagonist is compared to their rivals, they always end up winning in the end, well almost always. This is where Todoroki vs Deku at the UA Sports Festival comes in.
Deku is still learning to physically manage his quirk while Todoroki is still learning to emotionally manage the fire part of his. This fight was great to watch and Deku had already powered through a fight that had seemed lost once. The strange thing was that Deku was also helping Todoroki, which in the end cost him as he actually lost the fight and Todoroki went on to face Bakugo in the finals.
9. What Happened To Hei's Sister - Darker Than Black
Darker Than Black is a fairly underrated series and if you haven’t seen it before, do yourself a favor and check it out. A big part of the first season of the show was Hei , the shows protagonist, looking for his sister, Bai.
Bai went missing sometime ago and while working Hei is looking for her., the only problem is that she is closer than he originally thought. We see Hei didn’t always have his powers, in fact he got them from his sister when he absorbed her during an incident in the past. This is the reason why Whenever Hei uses his powers it doesn’t require an obeisance.
8. Baki Dominating Muhammad Ali Jr. - Baki
Muhammad Ali Jr. is a character that had hype before we even learned his name and then when we did learn what his name was, the hype got real.
Having a character that is the son of one of the greatest boxers to ever live and who is basically his spitting image is insane. Then when we got to see what he could do during the Great Raitai tournament, he was set up as a real contender to Baki, plus he was trying to take Baki’s girl the whole time.
The trouble arised when he got beat up by four different people in a row, one of which was his father. This caused him to train harder to take on Baki, a fight which a lot of people expected him to win. The thing is that the fight lasted all of 30 seconds, with Baki dominating Ali Jr easily, shocking anime fans around the world as there was still time in the episode for a fight.
7. Vegeta Killing The Crowd - Dragon Ball Z
Vegeta is the most developed character in the Dragon Ball series period. While Goku is basically the same character from the original Dragon Ball series, Vegeta went from a villain to being one of earth’s greatest protectors.
By the time the stat of the Majin Buu arc came around Vegeta had just become a begrudging father more than a bad person. Apparently Vegeta didn’t like that this had happened to him and allowed Babidi to control and enter his mind to restore the darkness in his heart. This leads to Vegeta showing of this new evil he has by killing a section of the audience at the tournament, shocking Goku and anime fans alike.
6. Eren And Co's First Fight - Attack On Titan
Attack On Titan starts off like any normal anime, with the death of a parent and the life that the protagonist once knew. This opening was intense but not all that surprising to anime fans with Eren swearing vengeance against the Titans.
What was surprising is what came after all the training that Eren and his friends went through to finally battle Titans. Most anime fans are conditioned to think that the squad was going to pull through and maybe struggle but still manage to take down some Titans. This was not the case.
The Titans killed most of the squad in brutal fashion and even seemingly killed the main protagonist of the show. This was not the case but it shocked anime fans when they first saaw it.
5. First Episode - Goblin Slayer
Goblin Slayer was a surprising anime to drop on anime fans as it was seemingly just another fantasy story with a bit of a focus on Goblins.
A show like this might have had trouble getting a solid audience and making an impression, if it weren’t for the first episode. It starts off with your fairly standard crew of fantasy adventurers trying to make a name for themselves but basically as soon as the adventure starts two of them are killed and one other suffers a terrible fate.
This nightmare is only ended when the brutally effective Goblin Slayer goes to finish it and save the only surviving member of the group.
4. Amon Is A Ghoul - Tokyo Ghoul
One of the more shocking things that an anime can do is have a character take a hell turn and join the other team, especially if their old identity was based around fighting the other side. This is exactly what happened to Amon in Tokyo Ghoul, originally being a member of the CCG who became an artificial ghoul.
This was crazy as Amon had a massive vendetta against ghouls and to see him become what he hates is sad considering how he was never a bad guy but just against our main protagonist.
3. Avdol's (Actual) Death - Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and more accurately it’s writer Hirohiko Araki have a track record of just killing off what are generally called Jobros by the fandom.
You would think that this would make the death of one of the characters in the series less shocking but it somehow doesn’t. There are a few factors that make this a shocking anime death. One is that Avdol had already “died” before but that was a fake out and he came back.
The second thing was just how sudden his death was, seemingly coming out of nowhere and with no real Warning. One second Avdol is telling Polnareff to get down ad the next he is just gone with only his arms remaining. The death is so sudden that it can be hard to believe.
2. Lelouch Accidentaly Using Geass On Euphemia - Code Geass
This anime moment is both shocking and sad. Euphemia was seemingly the only character that was still in the Britannian royal family that was not power hungry and was a innocent and benevolent person. She wanted to help the people of Japan regain some sense of national identity and used her influence as a princess to do it.
She gets 99 percent of the way there but unfortunately Lelouch has to say the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time. Lelouch reveals that he is Zero to Euphemia and at first she is happy that is is alive. Lelouch goes on to explain Geass to her and says that he could make her kill all the Japanese in this special zone where they are allowed to have a national identity. At that moment he accidentally uses Geass and she now goes on a murderous rampage to kill all the people she just tried to help.
This ultimately ends with the death of Euphemia and Lelouch having to pretend that this was her plan, when she actually wanted to help.
1. The Ending - Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
Part of what makes the ending of Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans so shocking is what fans of the series are used to happening. In most Gundam series, there is usually a lot of death, a decent amount of those being children but still end the end the good guys win with the main protagonist and a decent number of his friends surviving.
This is not how Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans ends. Somepoint near the end of the show Shino looks like he is about to make the final Hail Mary play that wins the fight but he misses, dying in the process.
This causes a downward spiral for the members of Tekkedan and their allies as the main members all die and the survivors are forced to surrender. While this is a massive shock to most watchers, in the end reforms are made and in a way they get what they fought for, but they couldn’t live to see it.