Best Anime That Subvert The Moe Archetype


In anime, the term moe is often used to describe a cute, innocent, and feminine character. But what happens when that cute character is actually evil? While the contrast can be jarring, it’s definitely an interesting concept. Moe characters are usually found in romantic comedy shows or drama anime, however, there is plenty of manga and anime adaptations that depict moe characters in a completely different light.



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This may put some people off, but others absolutely love it. It’s surprising and creates a really entertaining, and at times creepy, plot. Nobody expects the cute anime girl to actually be a sadistic evil person or be involved in an abundance of violent mishaps and traumatic experiences.

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7 The Future Diary

The Future Diary is an incredibly popular anime amongst horror and thriller fans. It blends suspense as well as psychological horror with one of the main characters being a cute anime girl with pink hair. Considering her appearance, you wouldn’t expect her to act the way she does. Gasai Yuno is the archetypical yandere who will kill anyone who gets in the way of her beloved Yukiteru.

The Future Diary is an anime that is essentially about a battle royale game where the players within the game must all kill each other until there is only one participant left. Yuno takes it upon herself to protect Yuki and team up with him as they fight their way through.

6 When They Cry

This show starts off as a generic slice-of-life anime with cute anime girls, but it doesn’t take long until it gets much darker. Keiichi Maebara moves to Hinamizawa and joins the local school, it’s here that he meets his new group of friends. All seems well until the annual festival preparations start. Keiichi finds out about the mysterious legend that surrounds the festival and he discovers that there have been multiple murders around the time of the festival over the past few years.

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Understandably, Keiichi is distressed after finding out about this, so as any teenager would do, he goes straight to his friends to ask them about it. To his surprise, his friends suddenly start to act incredibly hostile toward him and won’t answer any of his questions. This then leads Keiichi to become suspicious of his group of friends and the town as a whole, and he slowly descends into an increased state of paranoia, and soon finds himself at the hands of evil.

5 Happy Sugar Life

Satou Matsuzaka appears to be a happy and very popular high schooler. She’s described to be incredibly beautiful and doesn’t find it hard to find a guy who’s interested in her. Her life seems average fairly at first, that is until she meets Shio Koube. What’s disturbing about this, is that Shio is a child, and Satou takes it upon herself to protect and love Shio at all costs.

While this is problematic and illegal, that doesn’t stop Satou from kidnapping Shio and keeping her at her house. News gets out that a young girl named Shio is missing after she doesn’t return home that day. Satou will do anything to maintain the daily life that she has with Shio, even if it means resorting to violence.

4 Madoka Magica

Madoka Kaname meets a strange creature named Kyuubey one day. To her surprise, this being promises to grant her a wish in return for Madoka and her friend Sayaka becoming magical girls. They are warned by Homura Akemi that not everything is as it appears, as she is a magical girl herself.

The show goes down a surprisingly dark route despite the cute character designs and overall magical girl theme, as the magical girls deal with the trials and tribulations of what it truly means to be a magical girl with powers. This anime goes down a psychological route with a ton of surprising drama points as well as plot twists, as the themes become much darker as the show goes on.

3 School-Live

School-Live is one of those anime shows that takes viewers by surprise, and many fans recommend not researching anything about the show. To avoid spoilers, the show can be simply described as a slice of life horror. At first, it seems like a typical slice of life anime that follows the main cast in their school as they take part in club activities.

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It lulls viewers into a false sense of security within those first episodes, especially if you haven’t seen the genres for the show. All seems well in their high school life until a huge plot twist happens and the show goes down a completely different route. It’s jarring and is a stark contrast to the early scenes in the anime, but that’s why it is incredibly popular amongst horror anime fans.

2 utakata

Ichika Tachibana is a normal school girl and is introduced to the viewers as a polite yet stern teenager who’s looking forward to the upcoming summer vacation. As Ichika is cleaning a school building, she notices a reflection in a nearby mirror. The surprising thing is, it’s not her reflection, it is that of a mysterious girl who she doesn’t recognize. She’s convinced she’s seeing things, and her friends agree with her and assure her that it was nothing.

However, later that day the girl appears again in a mirror, and Ichika notices that she’s holding her missing phone. Much to her surprise, the mysterious girl comes out of the mirror, giving Ichika her phone back. She then notices that her charms appear to be different and discovers that this allows her to use the power of the twelve Djinn. As Ichika communicates with the spirits, she experiences traumatic sights that heavily affect her overall psychological state as time goes on.

1 Angel Beats

As Yuzuru Otonashi wakes up in limbo between life and death, he can’t recall any of his past memories. This state of limbo begins to appear as a high school where those who have died reside. These students feel as if they were wronged by God, so they decided to create the Afterlife Battlefront.

This group works to oppose the student council president, Kanade “Angel” Tachibana. Otonashi soon meets this group and is swiftly invited to join them in their fight. Fans of the show tend to describe Angel Beats as a dark supernatural show that covers depressing stories about each of the characters whilst also tackling dark themes.

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