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Anime and manga has a plethora of different storylines and characters. Therefore, it goes without saying that character personalities tend to converge and diverge, that is that we have various characters who share common traits and others who aren’t so similar. So who are we zooming in on today? Only the most entertaining character trait there is: sadism! This is a list of sadistic anime characters who for one reason or another, can’t help but enjoy the pain of other people. Nothing makes them happier than a little gore, or a little psychological torture (although they don’t always take their treatment too well when it is done to them!) We’re looking at the top 10 sadistic anime characters, so let’s get to it! This is an updated list – you can find the old list below.
10. Maria – Arakawa Under the Bridge
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: April 2010 – June 2010
Ichinomiya Kou is the son of a wealthy businessman. His family’s number one value is “never owe anyone anything”. As such, Kou always repaid his debts, be they personal or financial, but when he runs into a group of mischievous kids on Arakawa Bridge, he ends up falling into the river flowing underneath. Luckily, Kou was saved by a passerby; however, under influence of his family’s number one value, Kou now owes this person his life! This person, a stoic homeless girl named Nino, who lives under Arakawa Bridge in a cardboard box, desires only one thing: to fall in love. When Nino asks Kou to be her boyfriend, Kou has no choice but to accept, moving out of his nice home in order to be with his girlfriend under the bridge.
When Kou arrives at the site under the bridge, he slowly realises that there are quite a few people living under Arakawa Bridge. This group of individuals has banded together to become a village and they are very eccentric characters. One of these characters is the shepherd, Maria. Like Kou and Nino, Maria lives under the bridge and she is a sharp-tongued pink-haired woman who enjoys nothing more than to verbally crush the people she speaks to. Her sharp tongue is so effective, it even makes one of the other characters bleed! Overall, Maria is one of the more terrifying residents of the underside of Arakawa Bridge and Kou has a very difficult time around her as she scares him.
9. Orihara Izaya – Durarara!!
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: January 2010 – June 2010
In Tokyo’s downtown district of Ikebukuro, a number of strange rumours regarding anonymous gangs and a popular urban legend: the legend of the headless “Black Rider”, who is said to drive a jet-black motorcycle around the city. Ryuugamine Mikado has always longed for a move to the city, craving the excitement of city life. So when his best friend, Kida Masaomi, invites him to Ikebukuro, Mikado is convinced. The city lives up to his expectations when on his first day in Ikebukuro, Mikado sees the Black Rider. However, that isn’t the end of the excitement Mikado’s new life will bring him, as a number of supernatural begin stirring up the district.
Operating in Ikebukuro is the famous information broker, Orihara Izaya. Izaya claims to be a firm lover of humans. He enjoys studying human emotions and behaviour and he launches vicious psychological attacks on everyone to whom he speaks. His words are deliberate and misleading, and his words have inspired many significant actions and events from the characters around him. His tendency to be enjoying his psychological attack of other human beings, as well as the effect thereof on the other characters, makes this information broker sadist number 9.
8. Kira Kousuke – BTOOOM!
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2012 – December 2012
Sakamoto Ryouta is unemployed and lives with his mother. He spends most of his time playing the popular online video game, BTOOOM!, of which he is Japan’s top player. His peaceful life changes when he finds himself stranded on an island with a small green crystal embedded in his left hand, unable to remember how he got there. It soon dawns on Ryouta that someone has decided to replicate the game BTOOOM, in real life, with real repercussions. Armed with unique bombs called “BIMs”, players have to kill seven other players and retrieve their green chips. With 8 green chips in total, the player will be allowed to leave the island and return home. Ryouta is forced to fight when out of nowhere, a man wielding BIMs tries to kill him. He finds himself being forced to survive, by all means necessary.
One of the players stranded on the BTOOOM! island is 14-year-old Kira Kousuke. In his regular life, Kousuke is a BTOOOM! player who has lived a terrible life of domestic and sexual abuse, neglect and mistreatment at the hands of his father. He ran away from home many times and resorted to theft, which escalated to robbing people and killing them. His activities became worse as he then raped 3 women.With years of mental torture, Kousuke has become twisted, revelling at his current situation on the island. Unlike Ryouta, Kousuke felt no reservations about killing other players and uses his devastating black hole BIM to cause serious damage to other players. His lack of empathy is possibly an effect of the horrendous childhood he experienced. Be that as it may, he is incredibly bloodthirsty and enjoys seeing people suffer.
7. Accelerator – Toaru Kagaku no Railgun (A Certain Scientific Railgun)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2009 – March 2010
Academy City is mostly home to students. The city is leading scientific advancement and currently has an ESPer development programme. Level 5 ESPers are the strongest, of which Academy City has 7. Ranked third among these Level 5 ESPers is Misaka Mikoto, an electricity-user known around the city as “the Railgun”. When strange things begin happening around town, Mikoto investigates and uncovers a connection of each crime to the “Level Upper”, a device which is claimed to be able to increase the ESPer level of its user. It turns out that there is more to Level Upper than initially caught and Mikoto soon realises that there is a darker side to the city.
Accelerator is a project, an ESPer developed in order to test the possibility of going beyond Level 5 and the strongest ESPer in Academy City. According to the city’s best supercomputer, Tree Diagram, achieving ESPer Level 6 can only be possible by killing 128 Level 5 ESPers without one failure. Since there are only 7 Level 5 ESPers in Academy City including Accelerator, the plan was revised and he was dispatched to kill 20 000 Level 3 ESPers instead – the Misaka Mikoto clones. He revels in his ability to gruesomely murder each clone. Accelerator’s sadism makes him the ideal candidate for the experiment as he enjoys killing other people, especially the Misaka clones.
6. Creed Diskenth – Black Cat
- Episodes: 23
- Aired: October 2005 – March 2006
Train Heartnet is a skilled assassin who works for Chronos, a secret organisation which owns one third of the world’s economy. Dubbed the “Black Cat”, Train is one of Chronos’s best killers. One night, he meets Minatsuki Saya, a bounty hunter. He befriends Saya and as a result of her influence, Train begins to rethink life as an assassin. Train decides to leave Chronos and begin a life as a bounty hunter, but Chronos and Train’s old partner, Creed Diskenth, are not impressed with his defection. How long until Train is forced to face his past?
Creed is extremely possessive over Train, regarding him one of his best friends and one of the best assassins in the world. He believes that it is a waste of talent for Train to no longer be in Chronos, but Creed’s jealousy over Train’s friendship with Saya is what prompts the madman to visit Saya himself and brutally murder her after torturing her in combat. Creed has a terrifying one-track mind and he believed that Saya had bewitched Train. He was convinced that he was saving Train, but he also wished to inflict pain on Train in order to prompt a response.
5. Hidan – Naruto Shippuuden
- Episodes: 500
- Aired: February 2007 – March 2017
Two and a half years after Naruto leaves Konohagakure for intense training, the Akatsuki is quickly approaching completion of their grand plan which threatens the safety of the ninja world. Now older, Naruto has not changed all that much where personality is concerned, but he possesses a greater desire to become stronger and protect his friends. Naruto Shippuuden is the second part of the story about the boy who wanted to become Hokage.
Hidan is a sadistic, masochistic S-rank ninja from Yugakure who joined the Akatsuki. He left his village out of frustration as he believed that shinobi were meant to kill – he killed his neighbours before leaving the village. He joined Jashin, a cult-like faith where practitioners worship the teachings of outright slaughter, murder and destruction. Hidan makes a point of making his opponents’ deaths as painful as possible and he revels in murder and violence. He enjoys torturing his opponents, but he also tends to inflict injuries on himself too, showcasing a masochistic side to complement his sadism.
4. Freed Sellzen – High School DxD
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2012 – March 2012
Hyoudou Issei is an extremely perverted high school student who spends all his time peeping on women and daydreaming about having his own harem one day. One day on his way home from school, a beautiful girl asks him out on a date. However, she turns out to be a fallen angel who kills him. Luckily, the beautiful Rias Gremory, a top-class demon, revives Issei as a demon, giving him a second chance at life. Now as a demon, Issei meets the other demons in his school in the Occult Research Club. Slowly becoming accustomed to life as a demon, Issei must train and fight for survival in a dangerous new world.
Freed Sellzen is the priest who led Asia Argento before her death and revival into a demon. He is a character completely antithetical to the common conception of priests. He is foul-mouthed, dangerous and bloodthirsty, bearing an incredibly anti-demon prejudice exuded from every part of his body. He revels in torture, violence and murder and enjoys fighting and killing demons. His seemingly unstable nature makes his inclusion on this list a necessity.
3. Esdeath – Akame ga KILL!
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: July 2014 – December 2014
Tatsumi and his friends Sayo and Ieyasu embarked on a journey from their village to the empire capital in order to find work in the Royal Army so they can send money back to their village. When Tatsumi finds himself separated from Sayo and Ieyasu, he explores the capital on his own and is very quickly exposed to the extent of the depravity of the people in the capital. He soon joins Night Raid, the covert assassination branch of the Revolutionary Army, a group created in order to overthrow the Prime Minister, Honest, whose greed has thrown countless people into strife and poverty. Being skilled killers, the members of Night Raid know what is at stake and they remove all obstacles in their way.
General Esdeath is a high-ranked general of the Empire and a legendary figure throughout the capital. Her power and ruthlessness in combat is unmatched and her bloodlust is second to none. She truly enjoys fighting, war and suffering and her favourite thing is seeing her opponents suffer at her hands. Her vicious deeds are known throughout the Empire and she is the Revolutionary Army’s greatest threat.
2. Kurotsuchi Mayuri – Bleach
- Episodes: 366
- Aired: October 2004 – March 2012
Kurosaki Ichigo is a high schooler who, for as long as he can remember, has been able to see ghosts. His life was otherwise normal until one night, a woman dressed in a black kimono, armed with a katana appeared in his room. She introduced herself as a Shinigami, a grim reaper-like entity whose role is to guide good spirits over to Heaven, and to purify evil souls called Hollows. Soon after, Ichigo’s family is attacked by a powerful Hollow and the Shinigami sustains fatal wounds. With their situation looking bleak, she suggests one thing: she will transfer her Shinigami powers to Ichigo so he may defeat it. From that day, Ichigo’s life changed forever.
The captain of the 12th Squad of the Gotei 13, the Research Division, is none other than Kurotsuchi Mayuri. He is incredibly driven by his curiosity and is not shy to look into things in the most unethical way possible. His disregard for his underlings is shocking; however, nothing trumps the fact that he ordered a Shinigami group to purposefully delay their reaction to a Hollow signal, which led to the death of Ishida Uryu’s grandfather. This was all so Mayuri could poke and probe the body of a Quincy. His Zanpakuto is capable of severing all the nerves in an opponent’s body parts without removing the sensation of pain – so Mayuri ends up having a motionless opponent whom he perforates an indefinite number of times.
1. Betelgeuse Romaneé-Conti – Re:Zero
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: April 2016 – September 2016
When Natsuki Subaru, a high school shut-in, goes to the convenience store, he steps out into the a fantasy world. Bewildered, Subaru’s new environment gives him a rough greeting as he is attacked by thugs soon after his arrival and beaten to a pulp. Luckily, a white-haired beauty named Satella, on her way to find the one who stole her insignia, runs into Subaru and saves him. Grateful, Subaru offers his help towards finding Satella’s insignia. Later that night, they find the insignia’s whereabouts, but they are soon brutally murdered. Subaru awakens to the same sight he saw upon stepping outside the convenience store, the same thugs, the same Satella, everything happening in exactly the same way. The mystery deepens as history repeats itself.
Betegeuse-Romaneé-Conti is one of the main antagonists in the series and he is one of the evil Witch’s Sin Archbishops, as the Archbishop of Sloth. His life is directed by diligence and love for the Witch. He is capable of a vast array of evil magic and can even possess other people’s bodies. His power of Sloth allows him to mentally break his opponents, causing them to experience hallucinations, pain and even go completely mad. His lack of empathy and his masochistic tendencies come together to create an unpredictable, obsessive and dangerous mess of a character.
There is a vast array of different characters in the anime and manga that we love. That is one of the main reasons why some people love anime so much. The sadists on this list are some of the most ruthless and cunning characters that we have seen. Are there any other sadists that we haven’t featured on our list? Please drop a comment below and tell us who they are – perhaps they will feature on another list just like this one in the near future!
There is blood everywhere and corpses are strewn across on the ground. The smell of carnage is thick in the air and you hear someone… laughing? Anime has its fair share of quirky characters, often that’s what makes it so compelling. They range from being slightly off-kilter, to utterly insane, and then there are those that actually enjoy hurting people. That’s right – I’m talking about sadistic anime characters.
You’ve seen them reveling in conflict and violence, sure to be seen emerging with a twisted grin on their faces each time. In the real world, sadists are those who take pleasure in the pain of others. Anime features many characters who take this to an extreme. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the most sadistic characters in anime.
10) Shion Sonozaki - Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (When They Cry)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 5, 2006 to September 27, 2006
Higurashi is widely considered one of the most twisted stories to be told through anime – and it is home to some of the most memorable scenes of violence and betrayal. Shion Sonozaki seems like a sweet, relatively normal girl – but in this show, nothing is what is seems.
Though not inherently a sadistic person in her natural state, the transformation she undergoes in this series is unforgettable. She’s not the only character, either. It’s impossible to describe without spoilers – you’ll have to trust us on this one, she definitely earns a spot on this list.
9) Ayato Sakamaki – Diabolik Lovers
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Sep 16, 2013 to Dec 9, 2013
The men of Diabolik Lovers are all relatively sadistic, taking pleasure in the heroine's pain. After all, who can really blame the undead for enjoying the taste of blood? A vampire and a torture device aficionado, Ayato Sakamaki is notably cruel.
Ayato is often seen teasing and berating the protagonist of the show, and often takes her blood without her permission. Not only this but he delights in her pain and discomfort, treating her like a cat does a helpless mouse, putting him in the running on this list.
8) Dokuro Mitsukai - Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan
- Episodes: 4
- Aired: March 13, 2005 to September 22, 2005
Dokuro is an angel, but only in the literal sense of the word. When she loses her temper, which is quite often, her charming smile becomes much anything but angelic. Her halo is a weapon sharper than a katana, and she has a spiked club she carries like a child does his favorite teddy bear.
She enjoys causing the protagonist pain in a variety of ways – the opening for the series even shows a bit of BDSM. For better or for worse, she also has the power to bring him back to life, allowing her to kill him over and over again in various ways. This strong sadistic streak puts Dokuro-chan on this list.
7) Kazutaka Muraki – Yami no Matsuei (Descendants of Darkness)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: October 2, 2000 to December 18, 2000
On the surface, Kazutaka Muraki is a compassionate physician. However, this is far from his true nature. Performing cruel experiments on human subjects with no remorse, he cares very little about the suffering of others. Muraki is more than your run of the mill mad scientist – he is a sadistic killer.
Sometimes characters are just heartless and shallow, with little explanation as to why. However, Muraki is a character with a lot of depth and though his twisted behaviors are explained to a degree he remains extremely cruel, earning him a spot on this list.
6) Medusa Gorgon – Soul Eater
- Episodes: 51
- Aired: April 7, 2008 - March 30, 2009
Medusa is one of the main antagonists in the series. While witches aren't by nature amoral, Medusa is not only evil, but a formidable foe in battle. Her powers go beyond combat – she also is an incredibly capable and remorseless manipulator.
She is another character who enjoys hurting others, and has no qualms about taking any means necessary to achieve her goals. Though at times she feigns empathy, at her core she is a truly wicked and sadistic character, putting her on this list.
5) Hisoka – HunterxHunter
- Episodes: 148
- Aired: October 2, 2011 - September 24, 2014
Hisoka is force to be feared. He lives his life in a self-indulgent manner, with no regard for others. He does not hesitate to take the lives of people that present themselves as obstacles, but his murderous streak is more complex than being a simple tool to achieve his means.
The thing that brings him the greatest pleasure of all is to kill difficult opponents - in the most painful ways that he can. Often times he goes through great lengths to orchestrate these killings, and it is this unadulterated bloodlust that puts him on this list.
4) Koichi Shido – Highschool of the Dead
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 5, 2010 - September 20, 2010
Educators are supposed to be figures that students can look up to, but Kiochi Shido isn’t even the type of person you’d want in the same room as children. Teachers shouldn’t encourage bullying, and they certainly shouldn’t use a zombie apocalypse as an excuse to manipulate their students.
There are sadistic characters who remain fan favorites, and then there are ones that just make your skin crawl in visceral disgust. Though a relatively minor character, Shido is certainly that special breed of monster, and definitely earns a spot on this list.
3) Yuno Gasai - Mirai Nikki
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 9, 2011 - April 15, 2012
Yuno Gasai maintains the illusion of being a perfect girl. She is a model student, smart and beautiful. Under this polished veneer lurks one of the most sadistic yandere characters in anime history. Whenever anything gets in her path she takes it down without hesitation, or remorse.
Like the other characters on this list, Yuno has no aversion to violence. A boxcutter is her armament of choice, though she is seen using an array of bladed weapons throughout the series. She is cold, calculating, and utterly ruthless, and receives a mention here.
2) Light Yagami – Death Note
- Episodes: 37
- Aired: Oct 4, 2006 to Jun 27, 2007
What would you do if you had the ability to kill anyone anonymously? High school student Light Yagami finds out when he gets the Death Note – a book allowing him to do just that. He chooses to eliminate people he sees as unworthy, claiming to endeavor to make the world a better place.
They say power can corrupt, but Light Yagami seems to have a few screws loose from the start of the series. The whole time he assumes the title of a vigilante, but it becomes clear that he enjoys killing people – a little too much. The glee with which he takes lives puts him on this list.
1) Alucard - Hellsing Ultimate
- Episodes: 10
- Aired: February 10, 2006 - December 26, 2012
Alucard is a vampire who is bound by contract to work as a mercenary, loyal only to his master Sir Integra Hellsing. His purpose is to act as her protector, no matter what the cost. As events in Hellsing unfold, he is repeatedly placed in combat and demonstrates his capabilities as a super-natural force to be reckoned with.
In the ways that only an ancient vampire can be, Alucard is intimately acquainted with bloodshed. Not only is it familiar to him, but it happens to be his favorite past time. He kills vampires in the name of a higher power, but his expressions undeniably showcase his enjoyment and excitement as he does so. Hellsing is full of such characters, but Alucard is the most extreme.
There are a variety of sadistic anime characters, from all sorts of genres from comedy and romance, to suspense and horror. Some of them are manipulative and pretend to be benevolent, others wear their dark colors on their sleeve. Some are villains, while some may be protagonists. Regardless of your preference, hopefully you found one of the characters on this list intriguing.