Coming from a high-ranking family, whether it be nobility or actual royalty, brings with it a certain set of expectations. You must behave yourself properly, succeed where others fail, and most importantly of all... uphold the family legacy. But some upper-crust anime characters reject following such a strict script and set out to blaze their own path in life, no matter what daddy thinks. Let’s check out five rebellious royal and nobles in anime!
5. Lucy Heartfilia from Fairy Tail
You wouldn’t know it just from looking at her, but celestial spirit wizard and all-around sweetheart Lucy Heartfilia is the daughter of a wealthy merchant family. She ran away from home to make her own way in the world, but her choices come back to bite her when her father hires the ruthless Phantom Lord guild to kidnap her and force her to return home so she can be married off to a noble for political gain. In episode 29, she finally rejects her dad’s wishes to his face by tearing off her fancy dress and declaring that she belongs at the Fairy Tail guild instead. You go, girl!
4. Endorsi Jahad from Kami no Tou (Tower of God)
The Princesses of Jahad are exceptional women who are given power and weaponry in return for serving as the king’s pawns for the rest of their lives. Endorsi reveals in episode 9 that she competed with dozens of other girls to become the princess she is today – in her household, those who excelled in training got extravagant meals to eat, while those at the bottom rungs got stale bread or nothing at all. One day, she snapped and killed everyone else so she could eat all of the fancy food herself, not regretting her actions for a single moment. Will she continue on this bloody path to reach her goals? We’ll just have to see...
3. Historia Reiss from Shingeki no Kyojin Season 3 (Attack on Titan Season 3)
Originally a fairly minor character early on in the series, Krista Lenz reveals herself later on to be Historia Reiss, one of the only surviving members of the true royal family within the walls. She almost gives in to her father’s demands that she become a titan to steal Eren’s powers (and life) away from him, but shatters the vial of titan fluid at the last second and declares that she’ll live a life she can be proud of. Her father desperately laps up the fluid instead and becomes a massive titan that threatens the lives of everyone in the walls. After a harrowing battle, Historia lands the final blow to kill the monster in episode 9 and declares to the townsfolk that she is the rightful queen, practically daring them to prove her wrong. But who could deny her when presented with that degree of badassery?
2. Prince Canute from Vinland Saga
In a show full of warmongering Vikings and fearless explorers, the meek Prince Canute looks jarringly out of place. He starts off as a shy, sheltered kid who ineptly prays for peace while serving as little more than a political pawn, but all of that changes in episode 18 when his safety net is taken away from him and he’s forced to face the horrors of the world on his own. Canute declares that he’s tired of waiting for God to save everyone – if he wants paradise, he’ll make it on Earth with his own two hands! And just like that, the prince becomes a confident leader who successfully de-escalates the conflict between Askeladd’s group and Thorkell and rallies them behind a unified cause to dethrone his tyrant king father. Who knew he had it in him?
1. Lelouch vi Britannia and Euphemia li Britannia from Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion)
Lelouch is a low-ranking member of the Britannian royal family, which rules much of the world and has reduced Japan to a subservient colony called Area 11. He swore revenge against the emperor (his father) for allowing his mother to be murdered, his sister to be permanently disabled, and for exiling himself and his sister to Area 11 to be used as hostages. He tries to take over Japan by leading a violent resistance movement, but just when he’s finally making progress, his half-sister Euphemia arrives and proposes a peaceful solution. It almost works... until Lelouch’s mind control power goes out of control in episode 22 and he accidentally forces the princess to massacre the very people she was trying to save. Both royals wanted to change their oppressive system from within, but Lelouch’s greed ruined any chance at a bloodless coup.
We also can’t forget to mention Catarina from this season’s Arte, whose love of cooking (gained from growing up around servants who treated her better than her noble family did) makes her happier than any life as a “proper lady” ever could.
Who are your favorite rebellious royals and nobles in anime? Did we forget anyone? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!