Not too long ago, we briefly explained the subject of anime -deres, or archetypes, zooming in on a rather elusive one: the sadodere. Characterised as someone who takes pleasure in mentally or emotionally torturing their loved ones, sadodere will ruthlessly manipulate, break down, confuse, tease or annoy the subject of their affections and relish the resulting negative emotions! Now that we’ve refreshed that quick lesson in anime vocabulary, let’s look at some of our favorite examples of sadodere characters in anime! There may be some spoilers, be careful!
5. ADAM – SK∞ (SK8 the Infinity)
As a result of Shindo Ainosuke’s abusive upbringing, he starts to compartmentalize his personality, using his home training to charm, seduce or otherwise win the favour of other people with charisma and poise. His childhood also leads him to develop a warped sense of self, a warped sense of love, affection, care, and interpersonal relationships such that his Adam alter ego is a love-obsessed madman who sees nothing wrong with physically, mentally, and emotionally crushing his opponents.
His immense talent and ability soon makes the art of skateboarding yet another arena in which Ainosuke, or Adam, finds himself in a league of his own, further adding to his warped sense of superiority over anyone around him. Adam becomes obsessed with Langa after seeing his potential, seeing Langa as his “Eve”—the only person who can keep up with him on four wheels. He engages Reki in a one-sided beef, violently beating him during their skate to evoke feelings of despair and woe in Langa, but consistently features psychological and physical violence in his tactics for any race.
4. Toga Himiko – Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia) Season 2
The second season of Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia) saw the introduction of more members of the League of Villains, as well as the arc featuring the Hero Killer, Stain. One of the members of the League of Villains introduced in this arc is the fan favourite haemophile, Toga Himiko (Quirk: Transform), whose Quirk enables her to transform her body into that of anyone whose blood she ingests. It’s vampiric, it’s dark and Toga’s unsettling demeanour and creepy faces of delight send chills down the spine. Her sadistic tendencies are elevated by her cheerful smile and her excited blushes. Her twisted understanding of love and friendship makes her seem incredibly unstable as she tends to actively befriend people she is trying to murder, as seen with Uraraka Ochaco (Hero Name: Uravity, Quirk: Zero Gravity) and Asui Tsuyu (Hero Name: Froppy, Quirk: Froggy).
Her Quirk is an extension of her twisted understanding of love, as she believes that loving someone makes you want to be like them. Furthermore, the act of sucking blood is another one of her forms of affection, which degenerates into her attraction to people who are beaten and bloody and “reeking of blood” as they are her ideal lover. While she enjoys harming the objects of her affection, Himiko is one of those sadodere characters who happens to be a yandere as well, evident whenever there is an obstacle between herself and someone she loves, she stops at nothing to remove the nuisance once and for all.
3. Haruhara Haruko – FLCL
This character is a blast from the past! The year 2001 gave us the wacky FLCL, a short yet wild ride of a series featuring one of the most notable sadoderes in anime history - the Vespa Woman, Haruhara Haruko! An extra-terrestrial, Haruko’s antics, behaviours and overall lack of courtesy or respect are the vehicle of her sadistic tendencies! She resorts to relentless forms of manipulation to get what she wants, never experiences remorse for the things she has done, and switches her personality to best suit her interests and get what she wants out of the situation! Not to mention the fact that she ran over an elementary school kid before bashing his face in with a guitar for no reason!
2. Amy Kirio – Mairimashita, Iruma-kun! (Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun)
About thirteen episodes into the first season emerges the series’ first actual antagonist! Enter Amy Kirio, a powerless third-year student who runs the Magical Apparatus Battler. Kirio seems meek and mild at first but is hiding a seriously nasty secret: he and the former student, Baal, have been planning something evil! They plan to slowly chip away at the peaceful social fabric dominating the Demon World to bring back the age of violent, manipulating, evil demons once more. He’ll do this by using a magical apparatus to destroy the entire school at once! Kirio relishes in the prospect of watching scores of people despair, so much so that when Iruma thwarted his plan, the reflection of Kirio’s own distorted, despairing face was heavily stimulating. If you’re looking for bad vibes, it’s this guy.
1. Nagatoro Hayase – Ijiranaide, Nagatoro-san! (Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro!)
Hachiouji Naoto is a second-year student who, quite frankly, has no backbone. As a result of his lack of confidence, resolve, or any kind of conviction, people like Nagatoro Hayase feed off of his awkwardness through bullying, teasing, and various forms of psychological manipulation. Initially, the first-year’s antics leave Naoto with a sour taste in his mouth and tears in his eyes, but it soon develops into a strange friendship between them. With Nagatoro in the picture, Naoto’s life is about to become a lot more interesting whether he likes it or not!
Nagatoro Hayase is the perfect example of the sadodere archetype. While her feelings for Naoto are yet to be confirmed, we do know that her treatment is reserved for Naoto and that she does not like it if anyone else treats him the way she does. Nagatoro’s sadism is perhaps the most benign on this list because she stops at making fun of Naoto, being a pest, teasing him (at least until she gets embarrassed herself).
Now that we’ve given you a few examples of the sadodere archetype, we think you’re ready to identify some characters for yourself. This is not the most popular archetype; however, they have been getting a lot more attention! Keep watching shows like Ijiranaide, Nagatoro-san! (Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro!) for more insight into how these rare creatures behave in the wild! Who is your favourite sadodere? Drop a comment below and tell us your thoughts!