A lot of anime try to really stand out by using the shock value to really jumpstart the watchers into caring about the anime. Some people find this sort of cliché to be fun and refreshing, but let’s be honest here, unless the characters themselves are interesting, there is no real reason to do this in the first place, because killing plastic dolls won’t affect anyone, regardless of how gruesome the deaths are. Danganronpa suffers of this overused gag, characters dying left and right, but because we don’t really care about those characters in the first place, it comes off as goofy and uninteresting. To some this may seem appealing, and some anime even try to feed off of this cliché. Killing extras or uninteresting characters is always fun, because you can do whatever you want to those characters without actually having to put any thought and emotion into it.
Highschool of the Dead is a title that seems to constantly abuse this gag, but in this case it works because that is the mood that the show is trying to showcase. This is a world filled with survivors and dead people that want to eat those survivors. Ignoring the obvious “ecchi factor” in this anime, we can clearly tell that the anime appeals to a lot more crowds than the typical jiggly physics fans. It is a gruesome world in which you either live, either you die. So, although no real main character dies in this series, plenty of extras are cut off in gruesome ways. This makes for funny and sometimes even creepy scenes. Top it all off with the fact that the anime is clearly trying to appeal to adults only and you have an anime done right.
On the other side of the spectrum you have School Days. Although it started off nicely, the anime itself didn’t get a lot of attention from the common crowd, so the directors decided to ignore the manga and go for a mind bogglingly shocking ending. What was the result of this choice? Everybody hated this anime. You might believe that this is a bit too far, but really, this was actually the reaction that everybody had to this anime’s ending.
Corpse party is another title that used this gag, but what makes it actually fun and entertaining is the fact that you are afraid for every character in that series. It’s basically the Game of Thrones of anime in that case, although in this series almost everybody gets butchered or maimed at one point or another. Plus, the scenes are very brutal, needless to say, Corpse Party lives up to its name. That is how you do a horror anime. Most horror anime tend to be simple and not really scary, but if you add in all of this gruesome imagery, it makes for an unsettling mood that can actually scare the watcher every now and then.
Akame Ga Kill is one of those anime that everybody praised for its story. One of the main reasons as to why the manga became so popular is the fact that almost every character ends up being axed off by the end of the series. When the anime finally came out though, people were a bit scared when they saw just how predictable it all was. It was definitely sad, but as far as sad moments go, it seemed a bit out of place every now and then. This made the whole series predictable after episode 5, which is why so many people stopped watching it. Also, the few episodes that were actually released didn’t have the time to actually give all of the characters a proper backstory and thus the characters weren’t really fleshed out before they started to drop dead. This made the anime sad at times, but most of the time it was way too rushed. The animation tried to save it, but since the characters were too rushed, it ended up just being quite a cluttered mess.
In conclusion, this gag only works if you have the right mood in the anime. The characters need to be fully fleshed out to actually have an impact on the viewers, and not only that, but if your mood doesn’t really match with the plot twist, then you can’t really just throw that in for the shock value.