So, you don’t like what your government (or maybe your company, your school, or maybe your religious institution) is doing and they are corrupt beyond imagination. They are oppressing the people, taking away your right to bear arms, your right to get your news from wherever you want, marry whom you want to marry, to practice what religion you what to practice, and so on. When you can’t take it anymore, you just got to fight the power! Of course, when you’re taking on a government with a full-fledged military (Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines), you can’t take them head on. At this point, you have to resort to sneaky tactics such as sabotage in order to fight for your right to party! With today’s list, we’re going to share which anime titles best express this. Now get your AntiFa face masks, baseball bats, and Molotov cocktails ready for what could be considered some of the best examples of sabotage in anime!
10. Death Note
- Episodes: 37
- Aired: October 2006 – June 2007
To kick off this list, we’re going to go a little unorthodox with Death Note. While most of us think of sabotage through physical anarchy such as mostly blowing or shooting stuff up, Death Note is more of a supernatural approach to achieving one’s goals of fighting the system. Tactics such as sabotage by definition is meant to send a message. Through Light’s conquest with the Death Note of wanting to make himself a god, it perfectly fits with what sabotage means. He is fighting against a system which he thinks is a failure, and when government agencies such as the FBI are on the move against him, he eliminates them, too. In addition, there is a brief period when Light gives the Death Note to the CEO of a company, and that person uses it to sabotage other companies for his own corporate gain. So in Death Note, you’re getting a mix of both governmental and corporate sabotage.
9. Masamune-kun no Revenge (Masamune-kun’s Revenge)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2017 – March 2017
Masamune-kun no Revenge is a classic tale of the Ugly Duckling back with a vengeance. When you first see Masamune Makabe, he’s a rather good school boy. But prior to puberty, he was the fat kid that everybody made fun of. After losing Aki, his only friend in childhood back when he was in elementary, he loses the weight and changes his name by high school to the point that nobody, and not even Aki, recognizes him. So, what’s the plan? To get Aki to fall for him and upon the moment of confession, reject her! While a majority of the anime listed here shows how sabotage is used for well-intended purposes, Masamune-kun no Revenge is a perfect example of how sabotaging someone in, let’s say, the high school setting can have consequences for everyone involved. When you cross a certain line, especially when it’s with a friend, there might not be any coming back. While we all had families of wanting to sabotage our classmate, boss or co-worker, even if the plan can go off without a hitch, sabotaging at a such a level isn’t worth it.
8. Koukaku Kidoutai: Stand Alone Complex (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 2002 – October 2003
Sometimes, if you want to fight the man, you have to hack him. In random episodes of Stand Alone Complex, Section 9 will have to deal with the elusive Laughing Man, a hacktivist who puts his mark on the face of people on TV, or hacking business and/or government officials into breaking down (while some are expected to be cheap imitators). While his means of public sabotage of putting his logo on TV and cybernetic eyes may seem childish and to induce fear, he wanted to reveal the truth about corruption within the cybernetic realm of the pharmaceutical industry. Sadly, the government and drug companies used this incident for their own personal gain to keep the trust of the citizens as propaganda. Thankfully, when Section 9 learns the truth that the Laughing Man is really one of the good guys, they resort to sabotage in the form of deception in order to bring the true culprits to justice!
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2016 – December 2016
You probably think Butch Cassidy, Oda Nobunaga, Shimazu Toyohisa, Hannibal Barca, and Anastasia all died and went to the after life, but think again! In Drifters, these historical figures were transported to a fantasy war zone in order to gain control of that world! One group is the titular Drifters, while another group is represented as the Ends. Despite the Drifters group not gaining any superpowers like the Ends, they use their life experiences on the battlefield in order to sabotage!
In the beginning of the series, the main trio from Japanese history (Shimazu, Oda, and Yoichi) liberate the elves from oppression by teaching them how to sabotage and leading by example. Largely thanks to a combination of Oda’s tactics, Shimazu’s balls of steel, and Yoichi’s silent means of killing, they were able to use the natural abilities of elves as archers (and the technology and magic available to them) in order to free their village and take down the empire through largely sabotage. In this case, classic guerrilla warfare.
6. Gankutsuou (The Count of Monte Cristo)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2004 – March 2005
Gankutsou serves as a futuristic and intergalactic interpretation of the classic Alexandre Dumas story. Like the original novel, it tells the tale of Edmund Dantes, who escapes false imprisonment, obtains a large fortune, and gets his revenge after 20 years in the making! The people he seeks vengeance against, have obtained positions of power, and now putting himself on equal and superior footing, Edmund can gain his victory. In context to sabotage, Gankutsuou shows that by having business and political suave, you can take down corruption and gain retribution. When you have money, power and influence, you can still take down your enemies without resorting to explosive means. Just gain their trust and stab them when they least expect it!
5. Persona 5 The Animation
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 2018 – September 2018
Like Death Note, Persona 5 is another example of expressing sabotage through metaphysical means. We all know high school can be tough. But, when a teacher abuses students and nobody does anything about it (especially when that same teacher breaks a student’s leg and drives another to try to commit suicide), sometimes, you have to enter his palace, or his inner heart in order to make him change his ways. When a band of teenagers discover this new found power to enter the palaces of others, they use it to change their ways to make society a better place. The palaces are constructed like a metaphysical fortress and due to their gimmicks, it’s a sabotage anime where the Phantom Thieves take a treasure within, the person mentally breaks down and publicly confesses of their crimes.
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2001 – March 2002
X is a unique series of not simply between good vs. evil, but just two forces of nature that are right in their own ways. The Dragons of Earth want to destroy mankind in order to purify it, while the Dragons of Heaven want to keep things the way they are now. Both forces are right in their own respective ways, but the sad thing is, they have to fight. So in order for the Dragons of Earth to succeed in their goals, they need to resort to some crazy methods in order to destroy modern society.
If they kill a Dragon of Heaven within their barrier, they can destroy that area! However, their methods of sabotage don’t include breaking buildings down. Some members happen to be within the government (with their leader being a secretary to the Prime Minister of Japan), and they use their influence in order to achieve their goals.
3. Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)
- Episodes: 48 - Ongoing
- Aired: April 2013 - Ongoing
Though the first arc of the series focuses mostly on fighting the titular Titans, the series progresses to becoming more of fighting against a corrupt (and false) government. When the Scouts discover the truth about their society, they take matters into their own hands! Thanks to their battle hardened experiences, unity, and solid leadership, they manage to take down the kingdom. So how did they do it? Erwin, the commander of the Scouts, uses trickery to do so. He lies about a Titan attacks and exposes the royal officials as the scum they are by demonstrating if the attack was real, they would have abandoned the people to die! Sometimes, sabotage doesn’t really require anything physically explosive, just getting people in power to show their true colors for the world to see.
2. Kidou Senshi Gundam 00 (Mobile Suit Gundam 00)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2007 – March 2008
Celestial Being, the guerrilla unit that the Gundam pilots belong to, exist in order to rid mankind of conflict. In a world of only three dominant superpowers who have control of the world’s solar power, non-related nations are at war for natural resources. With a plan that has been in the works for nearly 200 years, the Gundams intervene in conflict zones and single-handedly stop them. Once they manage to get their message through actions, they hijack a TV signal to broadcast the message of their founder, Aeolia Schenberg, to express their goals. Through both armed intervention and media hijacking, Gundam 00 demonstrates what it takes to pull of a sabotage and reform a system.
1. Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2006 – July 2997
If there is any anime that best represents Public Enemy’s Fight the Power, it would be without a doubt, Code Geass. What ultimately makes Code Geass number one on this list is how it approaches sabotage through every angle you can think of both militarily and politically. Throughout the series, the Black Knights often often resort to your basic guerrilla tactics by attacking and taking over enemy outposts, but their most impacting moments tend to be hijacking the media by exposing the world and the people of Japan the cruelties of the empire. Code Geass masterfully portrays that if you want to destroy an oppressive government, the support of the citizens is the most important tool in order to do so. By exposing citizens to the truth, only then can a corrupt government collapse.
There are many crazy governments (and corporations) around the world that expendably uses its citizens for their own personal gain. Over 200 years ago, when the US was just a colony to the British Empire, regular citizens fought against that same oppression. Shortly before it became a full-scale conflict, they took on the British Empire through the Boston Tea Party as a form of protest and used the Boston Massacre as a means of motivating them to take arms. Eventually, America freed itself from tyranny thanks to having superior knowledge of the territory and using sabotage tactics (and gaining valuable allies with the French). Afghanistan and Vietnam also defeated two superpower nations by using sabotage and other basic guerrilla tactics. With today’s technology, people can be better informed, but at the same time, that technology can also be used for sabotage. With the recent Presidential Alerts in the US (as if Twitter wasn’t already good enough), who's to say that the power we put in our pockets can be used for the next big sabotage?