Anti-heroes live in a morally grey area. They don't adhere to what's traditionally expected of heroes, but they can't exactly be considered villains, either. They've done plenty of righteous things to help those they consider allies. Still, they've also done many questionable things that make both the audience and other characters wonder where their head is.
Naturally, many anti-heroes go on to become fan-favorite characters in anime. Fans enjoy their unpredictability, and some even resonate with their reasoning. However, some anti-heroes just can't be redeemed. Some of them abandoned their heroism and took a deep dive into pure villainhood.
This article contains spoilers from the Jujutsu Kaisen and Attack on Titan mangas.
10 Stain Is One Of My Hero Academia's Most Well-Written Characters, But His Actions Are Inexcusable
My Hero Academia's Stain isn't quite a villain. He's more of a vigilante than anything else. He hates the League of Villains just as much as he hates self-centered pro-heroes who only care about pandering to the media.
Many fans loved the notorious Hero Killer and felt his philosophy was common sense. However, most agree that his actions are inexcusable and ruined any shot he had at a redemption arc. He permanently injured Iida's brother, resulting in his retirement. He also killed and gravely hurt many other heroes, causing countless civilians to become collateral damage.
9 Obito Did Nothing To Prevent Itachi's Massacre (Naruto)
Itachi is Naruto's ultimate anti-hero. However, he was put in a difficult situation and was essentially given no choice but to kill his clan. Though he was set up as the ultimate evil Sasuke was meant to kill, viewers found it easier to forgive him because of his circumstances.
Obito, on the other hand, is irredeemable. He did nothing to prevent Itachi's massacre of the Uchiha clan. Even worse, he knew the truth all along. Though he wanted to create peace with the Mugen Tsukuyomi, he still committed and witnessed preventable atrocities.
8 Suguru Geto Killed His Entire Family & Wanted To Start A Genocide Of Every Non-Sorcerer (Jujutsu Kaisen)
Suguru Geto is one of Jujutsu Kaisen's most complex characters. He started out attending Jujutsu High with Gojo, but he took a dark turn pretty fast. He started to look down upon the non-sorcerers and wanted to kill every one of them. He regretted ever protecting them in the first place.
One day, he killed his entire family and massacred a village. He stuck to his true beliefs of eradicating the non-sorcerers and cultivating a society favoring those who can manipulate cursed energy.
7 Kaname Kuran Is Too Creepy For His Own Good (Vampire Knight)
Vampire Knight didn't age quite as well as a few other shojo series, partially because of Kaname Kuran. He's one of the series' main love interests, but he's just too creepy for his own good.
Most of what he did to Zero was uncalled for, and he was too possessive over Yuki. He guilt tripped Yuki into not falling for Zero, although he knew he would have been a better match for her. He's a Pureblooded vampire who is more worried about his political power than he is about being a respectable man.
6 Angelo Tortured & Slaughtered Many People (91 Days)
Working with the mafia always leads to dirty business. The Vanetti family killed Angelo's parents in 91 Days. He was the sole survivor of their massacre, so he wanted to get revenge. After returning to his hometown, Angelo struggled with survivor's guilt.
He took on a much more ruthless persona and began his plight to avenge his loved ones. He tortured and slaughtered many people along the way if he considered them his enemies. By the end, Angelo was less of an anti-hero and more of a full-blown villain. He got addicted to the high of constant violence.
5 Ray Doesn't Have Any Empathy (Angel Of Death)
Ray Gardner from Angel of Death may not look like much on the surface, but her abilities are nothing to scoff at. She's much more terrifying than her unassuming appearance wound let on. She's incapable of feeling empathy and barely understands most of her emotions.
She grew up surrounded by violence. She watched her father kill her mother. Still, this doesn't excuse Ray's continuation of the cycle. Her first kill was an innocent puppy, and she only continued to rob more innocent beings of their lives from there.
4 Mori Is Merciless, Cruel, & Leaves A Trail Of Blood Wherever He Goes (Bungo Stray Dogs)
Almost every character in Bungo Stray Dogs could be considered an anti-hero. Though many of them have redeeming qualities, some of them are too far gone. Ogai Mori is the current boss of the Port Mafia. He killed the previous boss and made it look like he died of natural causes.
Mori always leaves a trail of blood wherever he goes. He doesn't care about who he has to take advantage of or abuse along the way, as long as he gets what he wants. Though Mori cares about defending Yokohama, his means are inexcusable, and it's clear that he views the world through a very twisted lens.
3 Eren Jaeger Wiped Out 80% Of The Population (Attack On Titan)
Eren Jaeger is one of the most controversial shonen protagonists. He started as a boy who just wanted to kill Titans and avenge his family. However, nothing is ever that simple, especially in Attack on Titan. As the series' lore continued to sink its roots deeper, things became murkier and more twisted. The same could be said about Eren's turn to the dark side.
When he started the Rumbling, he was ready to destroy the world. He even implied that killing everybody would grant the Paladians freedom. However, he wiped out 80% of the world's population. By the end of the series, Eren's only legacy was the bloodstained path he left in his wake.
2 Lelouch Became The Worst Type Of Villain (Code Geass)
Lelouch was the eleventh prince of the Britannian empire. His father was a tyrant, and Lelouch swore to liberate Japan from his iron fist. Unfortunately, his actions throughout Code Geass led him down a darker path. He grew mad with power, losing sight of his initial goal.
Ends don't always justify the means, which is certainly true in Lelouch's case. He became the worst type of villain by the end of the series. However, this was all part of his plan. He figured that the only way that the world would unite for Japan's sake was to create a universal enemy.
1 Light Yagami Appointed Himself As The Ultimate Arbiter Of Justice (Death Note)
Light Yagami is probably anime's most iconic anti-hero. Even people who aren't avid anime fans have at least watched Death Note. Light is a brilliant student and always stayed at the top of his class. Getting into an elite college was a cakewalk for him. However, he found himself bored with his life. Things became too predictable and mundane for his liking.
He was ecstatic when the death note essentially fell right into his hands. Killing off criminals and eliminating everyone who he deemed vermin gave him a purpose in life. Unfortunately, this leads him down a very dark, corrupt path. He wasn't only killing criminals; he was indiscriminately slaughtering everyone who got in his way. By the end of the series, Light was the biggest threat to humanity. A single person should not have as much power in the palm of their hand as Light Yagami did with the notebook.
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