Most self-righteous anime heroes' ideals are set in stone. Their fight for justice frequently comes at the expense of their health. A truly noble hero, on the other hand, resists the dark side's temptations, clinging to their integrity and refusing to stray from the path of virtue.


Some heroes in Attack on Titan, however, refuse to face the trials of righteousness, succumbing to the allure of abandoning their rigid ideals. A blinding power, lapse in judgment, or well-intended extremism can gradually cause heroes to lose sight of who they once were. The one person these anime heroes should never have doubted was themselves.

10 Guts


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The cruel, unforgiving world of Berserk transformed Guts, the hunter of the land's worst evils, Griffith and the Apostles, into something as monstrous as his enemies. Guts frequently succumbs to his evil side, even attacking Casca while succumbing to the Beast of Darkness.

When the manifestation of Guts' anger and trauma takes over, causing the man to commit regrettable, irredeemable acts, nothing of his stoic compassion remains. Guts, on the other hand, clings to the last vestige of virtue he possesses.

9 Rossiu Adai

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

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After escaping the village he grew up in, which used to kill its people to ensure the survival of the rest, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann's Rossiu realized the crimes of his former caretakers. Unfortunately, he didn’t cling to his newfound humanistic ideals for long.

Awaiting the attack of the Anti-Spirals, Rossiu was tempted to frame his friend Simon and escape with as many people as could be rescued to space. Thankfully, Simon saved the day, and Rossiu expressed sincere remorse for his lapse of judgment.

8 Sakata Gintoki


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When faced with impossible choices, some heroes must give up a piece of themselves. Sakata Gintoki from Gintama was a war hero who saved Japan from an alien takeover before becoming a layabout samurai running an odd jobs business.

Gintoki was forced to choose between saving his teacher, Shouyou-sensei, and his friends just before deserting. Gintoki took his teacher's life despite his comrades' pleas to spare Shouyou, who was willing to die, marking the end of his path as a warrior with Shouyou's blood.

7 Aki Hayakawa

Chainsaw Man

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Public Safety Devil Hunter Aki Hayakawa is introduced into the narrative of Chainsaw Man as an almost stereotypical shonen hero. Motivated by a burning desire to avenge his family, he disregards all dangers associated with hunting down the Gun Devil.


As Aki grows closer to Power and Denji, he begins to doubt his convictions and considers abandoning the hunt entirely. His guest for vengeance eventually catches up with Aki in the most brutal way possible, as he becomes the object of his hatred—the Gun Fiend.

6 Makoto Edamura

Great Pretender

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The path of a con artist is related to enormous risks, including losing oneself in the act of the job. Great Pretender's Laurent warned his protégé Makoto to never allow the persona assumed for a con to seep too deep, alluding to the same happening to him in the past.

Unfortunately, while working as a yakuza undercover, Makoto betrays himself by becoming as ruthless and immoral as a real criminal. He even develops an almost parental bond with the yakuza leader Suzaku, ignoring the heinous crimes she commits.

5 Elamba

Now & Then, Here & There

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The kingdom of Hellywood, ruled by the maniacal militaristic dictator Hamdo, inflicted unending suffering on all heroes of Now and Then, Here and There. No one, however, was more determined to bring Hellywood's reign to an end than Elamba, the leader of a radical faction at Zari-Bars.

Elamba's entire family was murdered by Hamdo's soldiers, motivating him to dedicate his life to righteous vengeance. However, in his pursuit of justice, Elamba became as cruel and twisted as Hamdo, employing the same ruthless methods as his adversaries.

4 Light Yagami

Death Note

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The hero-turned-villain of Death Note, Light Yagami, dreamed of riding the entire world of criminals, seeing himself as a noble executioner of those who don't deserve to live. Even when Ryuk points out that killing all wrong-doers would make Light the only remaining criminal, he brushes that notion off.


Intoxicated by power, Light gradually betrays his ideals of justice, maddened by a desire to hide his identity and become the god of a new world. Ultimately, he succumbs to the Death Note's power and dies as a villain.

3 Rintaro Okabe

Steins;Gate 0

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The alternative version of the original anime, Steins;Gate 0 explores a timeline in which Rintaro Okabe never got his good ending and gave up on Kurisu Makise and World War III conspiracies. Traumatized beyond repair by his previous failures, Okabe betrays himself and fruitlessly tries to move on from Kurisu's death.

Okabe even gives up his Houhouin Kyouma mad scientist gimmick, effectively turning into a bland, depressed shell of his former self. It takes him a chunk of the series to rediscover his ideals and return to his former glory.

2 Lan Wangji

Mo Dao Zu Shi

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The stoic, rule-abiding deuteragonist of Mo Dao Zu Shi, Lan Wangji, was raised as a high-ranking cultivator of the Lan clan. For a serious, strict person like him, disobedience is an unthinkable crime.

However, when the man he fell in love with—a follower of the Demonic Cultivation Path Wei Wuxian—was about to be executed by a coalition of cultivators, including the Lan clan, Lan Wangji had no choice but to betray his ideals. In his attempt to protect Wei Wuxian, he injured 33 of his clansmen.

1 Eren Yeager

Attack On Titan

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The modern icon of villain protagonists, Eren Yeager of Attack on Titan, was just a brash, idealistic boy at the beginning of the series. His sole motivation was slaughtering every titan responsible for the tragedies of Paradis.

After discovering the truth about the world outside the Walls, Eren becomes the opposite of his virtuous young self. Growing bitter and hateful towards humans, he starts the Rumbling to destroy every nation threatening Paradis from the outside, seeing mass genocide as the only way to ensure the safety of his homeland.

NEXT: 10 Anime Heroes Who Are Willing To Take A Life