The death of a major character, especially one of the main villains, has to be handled with care. Someone so powerful and frightening must meet their end in a way that feels earned—if it’s too easy or contrived, viewers may feel like all of the emotional buildup tied to that character was wasted. After all, why should we be intimidated by someone who goes down like a total chump? So today, we have for you five of the most unsatisfying anime villain deaths we could think of; please join us in bitterly ruminating on where these scenes went wrong.
Major Spoilers Ahead!
5. Risotto Nero from JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken Part 5: Ougon no Kaze (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind)
Risotto, the stone-faced leader of La Squadra Esecuzioni, is a terrifying man. He stands over six feet tall and wields the iron-manipulating Stand Metallica, which can transform the iron in an opponent’s blood into razor blades or scissors that are still stuck inside their body. He makes short work of the boss’ spacey assistant Doppio, but a stray attack in the direction of the heroes’ group causes Narancia’s Stand Aerosmith to automatically retaliate and shoot Risotto full of holes (too bad actual risotto is made with parmesan and not swiss cheese).
Even though his actual moment of death a few minutes later is supposed to show how outclassed the rest of the gang is compared to their mysterious boss, there’s another scene immediately after that which accomplishes that same thing in a much more effective way. Risotto deserved a much more dignified death than what he got.
4. Godzilla from Godzilla: S.P (Godzilla Singular Point)
The most famous kaiju of all time, Godzilla himself, has lived and died in many ways over the course of his storied media career. However, his death in Godzilla Singular Point has to be one of the most contrived ever written. After spending an entire season building up Jet Jaguar’s machine learning powers and a mysterious song that contains a way to stop the kaiju calamity, the answer turns out to be... a program that makes Jet Jaguar super strong. So... it just sort of beats up Godzilla and they both die. Is that what this whole mystery was leading up to? Bummer.
3. Abel Bluefield from Kaizoku Oujo (Fena: Pirate Princess)
The knock-down, drag-out battle between Yukimaru and Abel in the shadow of Eden’s decaying ark is actually very well done, but when the prim and proper pedophilic prince finally bites the dust, he gets the kind of treatment that we’d expect a hero to receive. He’s able to reunite with the spirit of his long-lost love Helena, who doesn’t seem to mind that he’s been targeting her daughter Fena as a living substitute ever since he learned of her existence, and they head off to the afterlife together in peace. This man blew a rival pirate ship to fiery smithereens just because they dared to put a small cut on Fena’s neck! Should he really get such a consequence-free exit from the story?
2. Acnologia from Fairy Tail: Final Series
The black dragon Acnologia is such a fearsome threat that all of Fairy Tail’s strongest mages had to be sealed in a magical barrier for seven years just to survive his most basic roar attack. So naturally, that means that our heroes will have to come up with an amazing plan to defeat this beast when it’s finally time to square off for real, right? ...Right?
As it turns out, all they needed was the power of friendship. Fairy Tail is one of the biggest abusers of this trope in the world of shounen anime, but it’s had its fair share of legitimately tense fights and creative battle strategies. That’s why, when Acnologia gets rammed by a giant ship (piloted by a joke character) and eventually dies to a magic-infused friendship punch despite the fact that magic isn’t supposed to work on him, it feels like a slap in the face to everyone who dared to expect something better.
1. Peter Ratri from Yakusoku no Neverland 2nd Season (The Promised Neverland Season 2)
Let’s be honest—pretty much all of The Promised Neverland Season 2 is one giant dumpster fire, but the putrid cherry on top of it all is how badly it butchers the ending. This includes reducing Peter Ratri, the enigmatic main antagonist of the series whose devotion to his goals verges on manic obsession, to a pathetic shell of a man who can be brought down by a single Inspiring Shounen Speech™ from Emma. Nobody even has to get their hands dirty—he just shoots himself to make things easier. Let’s just hope that some eventual remake will turn him into a threatening villain again.
We won’t list any honorable mentions to avoid unnecessary spoilers, but rest assured that there are many more villain deaths that just didn’t go the way fans hoped they would. If you have any that particularly irk you to your core, go ahead and leave them in the comments below. Thanks so much for reading!