In anime, it’s almost a given that heroes will sacrifice themselves for the greater good. After all, a willingness to give one’s life up for the greater good is the epitome of what it means to be heroic, and it often leads to many final and poignant scenes that fans seldom forget.
However, there are some characters who are more interested in sacrificing others than themselves. Whether claiming that it’s in everyone’s best interest or flagrantly failing to make an excuse for their actions, their readiness to put their comrades at risk blurs the line between hero and villain.
10 Endeavor Sacrificed His Son’s Childhood For His Own Ego (My Hero Academia)
Endeavor was infamous for how he mistreated Shoto during his childhood. As soon as he realized the potential behind his son’s quirk, he immediately forced him to train until his body and mind were broken.
Todoroki’s mother was devastated at what was happening to her family and scalded Shoto’s face amidst her anger. Endeavor’s desire to live vicariously through Todoroki sacrificed his childhood and ruined the relationships of all parties involved.
9 Watari Was Killed in L’s Plan To Expose Light (Death Note)
In the worst-case scenario, Watari was instructed to delete L’s files so that Light wouldn’t have access to his notes. L anticipated that the request put his servant in a significant amount of danger though went through with it anyway.
For his recklessness, Watari was killed by the Death Note during Rem’s rampage without ever being able to fully appreciate the danger he was in. Nonetheless, L wasn’t entirely hypocritical in the mission he assigned since he was taking on an equal amount of risk as his lifelong friend and companion.
8 Levi Allowed His Squad To Be Massacred In Order To Guarantee Eren’s Escape (Attack On Titan)
Although Levi was held in high regard by his subordinates, he was remarkably willing to sacrifice them when appropriate. During Annie’s pursuit of Eren through the forest, he told his squad to stay behind and fight with the knowledge that they’d likely die.
In addition to forbidding Eren from helping, Levi himself could’ve stopped the Female Titan’s rampage if he’d turned around. However, doing so would’ve left Eren open and put him at risk to either the roaming pure titans or the remaining shifters (as Reiner and Bertholdt’s identities were unknown at the time).
7 Nico Robin Was Willing To Sacrifice The Innocent People Of Alabasta In The Name Of Self Preservation (One Piece)
When she was first introduced, Nico Robin was absolutely relentless. As a Baroque Works agent, she crippled Pell and prevented the nation’s loyalists from accessing the palace, assisting Luffy against Crocodile, or most importantly, saving the king.
Robin did this in order to discover the poneglyphs and as an act of self-preservation. Fortunately, she learned sacrifice during the Enies Lobby arc, where she attempted to give her own life so that the Straw Hats would avoid a buster call.
6 Okuyasu Was Willing To Knock An Innocent Person Unconscious To Find Akira (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)
After Akira snuck onboard the Speedwagon boat, Okuyasu was faced with a serious problem. Since he never saw the Stand user before, he was forced to take the remaining crewmember’s word against the imposter’s.
Overwhelmed by the decision, he lunged at Akira and knocked him unconscious with a single swing. Okuyasu later admitted that he was only guessing, entailing that he would’ve sacrificed the innocent crewmate without hesitation if he chose incorrectly.
5 Lady Satsuki Was Willing To Sacrifice The Weak To Defeat Ragyo (Kill La Kill)
Although Satsuki was introduced as a villain, she later proved to be a hero through her actions in defeating Ragyo. However, this does not erase the sins of the past or her willingness to sacrifice others.
Honnoji Academy was built on the assumption that the weak should be oppressed and the strong rewarded (namely, with Life Fiber uniforms). While such a system created eligible warriors to fend off Ragyo’s invasion, it also caused massive poverty, inequity, and despair for those who failed to receive Satsuki’s approval.
4 Gowther Was Willing To Sacrifice King’s Relationship To Understand People (Seven Deadly Sins)
Having erased his own memories of heartbreak, Gowther was intrigued by King’s relationship with Diane and sought to understand what it comprised. To do so, he erased the giantess’ memories, effectively setting King’s progress back significantly.
It was a particularly dangerous and selfish endeavor since Gowther’s actions were for no other purpose than to slake his curiosity. Nonetheless, Diane and King forgave him after the lost memories were retrieved. In the end, the Sins were stronger for the experience.
3 Kurapika Was Willing To Sacrifice Neon Nostrade To Pursue Vengeance (Hunter X Hunter)
At first, Kurapika agreed to protect the Yorknew crime families since he suspected it would get him closer to the Phantom Troupe. By the time of their attack, he had all but abandoned keeping Neon Nostrade safe, and as a result, she slipped into Chrollo’s clutches.
Fortunately, Kurapika managed to capture the troupe’s leader after Uvogin was defeated. Nonetheless, Neon’s powers were stolen from her by that time, and his employer’s criminal enterprise was all but ruined as a consequence of Chrollo’s actions.
2 Najenda Was Perfectly Content To Let Susanoo Give His Life For Her (Akame Ga Kill!)
Najenda was the leader of Night Raid and the user of the “Susanoo” imperial arms. Its rules were simple: by borrowing from her life force, it could increase its strength to immeasurable levels. After three charges, Najenda would die instantly.
During a harrowing encounter with Esdeath, Susanoo used the last of its own strength in order to stop the general so that its master would have time to escape. Najenda made no protests and was more than willing to allow her imperial arms to destroy itself.
1 Sakura Was Willing To Sacrifice The Leaf So That She Could Follow Sasuke (Naruto)
When Sasuke announced his intentions to leave the Leaf Village, Sakura volunteered to follow him. This was a blatant act of treason when considering that she knew he intended to serve Orochimaru, the fallen Sannin who murdered Hiruzen Sarutobi.
She volunteered to join Sasuke again after he slew Danzo Shimura and critically injured Karin. This time, she was viciously attacked and would have been killed outright if not for the timely intervention of Kakashi and Naruto. Should Sasuke have agreed to Sakura’s request, there’s no telling what she would have done in the name of his love.
NEXT: Naruto: 5 Shinobi Danzo Could Defeat (& 5 He’d Lose To)
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