Is an act of extreme revenge ever really justified? When it comes to anime, the answer has to be in the affirmative. With all the wild plot twists and heart-wrenching betrayals, revenge is almost necessary to bring some kind of balance to the story.
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It’s not always a matter of violence or bloodshed. Sometimes, revenge is a clever plot or attaining more success than your enemy. When the motive is relatable and justifiable, it’s often one of the highlights of the story. These heroes got their own back one way or another–even if it didn’t always turn out exactly the way they’d expected.
10 Mogami Kyōko Proves Success Is The Best Revenge (Skip Beat!)
Kyoko Mogami is heartbroken when she learns that her childhood friend, Shotaro Fuwa, has just been using her on his way to the top of the celebrity food chain. She’s been his housemaid and supported him financially, but he’s cold and unfeeling. She vows revenge by beating him in show business.
She undergoes a makeover, gets into acting, and quickly climbs up the ladder to become more famous than him. In the end, she discovers a real love of acting and moves beyond pure revenge.
9 Bullying Sparks The Story (Masamune-kun No Revenge)
Anyone who’s been bullied can understand how Masamune Makabe feels when his childhood friend and crush, Aki Adagaki, cruelly humiliates him by nicknaming him Piggy in front of a crowd of bullies. So, the short and chubby Masamune grows, trains, and comes back eight years later as a hottie.
His plan is to make her fall in love with him, then break her heart. But, in the end, he realizes it was a jealous friend disguised as Aki who’d humiliated him years ago.
8 Train Takes Revenge For Saya’s Wanton Murder By Nixing Creed’s Bid For Immortality (Black Cat)
The relationship between Train Heartnet, a bounty hunter, and Creed, is complicated in Black Cat. Both used to be members of the secretive Chronos organization. What started as a friendly relationship turned into a rivalry. When Creed kills Saya, Train’s friend, for no reason other than to separate her from Train, he turns to vengeance.
Creed becomes the leader of his own criminal organization, members of which steal tech that will make him immortal. In their final showdown, instead of killing Creed, Train destroys the Imagine Blade that is fuelling his immortality.
7 Brandon Heat Comes Back From The Dead To Avenge His Death By His Former Best Friend (Gungrave)
Brandon Heat and Harry McDowell begin their criminal careers as young gang members on the street in Gungrave. After they join Millennion, the biggest Mafia family, Harry dreams of one day becoming the boss, while Brandon’s satisfied with his girlfriend Maria.
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But, Brandon becomes close to boss Big Daddy, and Harry’s jealousy eventually leads him to shoot and kill him. Thirteen years later, Harry is the boss, and Brandon comes back from the grave determined to eliminate Millennion and Harry. While he was certainly justified, at the last minute, he lets Harry live.
6 Char Aznable’s Life Takes A Different Turn After Avenging His Father (Mobile Suit Gundam)
Char is a proud and charismatic pilot in Mobile Suit Gundam, and his early life is driven by his desire for revenge against the Zabi Family for killing his father–and nearly killing him and his sister too. It takes him a while to gain the trust of the Zabi’s and essentially infiltrate their family, and he did it all for the sole purpose of taking his revenge on them all.
It’s on the obsessive side, but still, after he’s finished with vengeance, his life takes a different path, and he’s able to move on.
5 Van Finally Kills The Claw Who Killed His Bride (Gun X Sword)
Van’s wedding day turns into a nightmare when his wife is killed by a madman called The Claw. Set on the Planet of Endless Illusion, Van runs into all sorts of colorful characters in his quest to find The Claw and take revenge.
Each of the people he meets was also affected by The Claw one way or another. At the end of 26 episodes, he finally exacts the ultimate revenge and in doing so, saves the world. Everyone goes their separate ways after the long journey.
4 Dracula’s Vengeance Comes From A Broken Heart (Castlevania)
It’s hard not to sympathize at least a little with the heartbroken vampire in Castlevania. The love of his life, Lisa, was wise in the ways of herbs and natural medicines, which naturally made her a target of the townspeople in Wallachia, where they lived.
He comes home from travels to find they’ve turned on her and burned her at the stake. It’s totally understandable when he creates an army of hell creatures to come back and destroy them all a year later.
3 Edmund Dantes Has Elaborate & Well-Deserved Revenge Plans (Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo)
Based on the classic story by French novelist Alexandre Dumas, in Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo, the whole story (set in 5053) is fueled by a plot for revenge. Edmund Dantes, once a sailor, and first love of the beautiful Mercedes, is falsely imprisoned by the Baron Danglars. Then, General de Morcerf marries Mercedes.
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In prison, the demon Gankutsuou helps Edmund escape and turn himself into the Count of Monte Cristo so he can take his elaborate revenge, which includes publicly ruining Danglars and then leaving him in space, poisoning him, and much more.
2 Angelo Lagusa is The Only Surviving Member Of His Family, & Bent On Revenge (91 Days)
Angelo Lagusa witnesses the murder of his parents and younger brother as a child during the Prohibition era, in 91 Days. He leaves the fictional city of Lawless to go into hiding, but years later, known now as Avilio Bruno, he comes back to town to get revenge after receiving a mysterious letter.
He infiltrates the Vanetti family that killed his family by befriending the son, Nero. Then, he proceeds to exact his revenge against the Vanettis, which soon blows out of control and engulfs both Avilio and Nero.
1 Kurapika Gets His Justice For The Annihilation Of His People (Hunter X Hunter)
As the last survivor of the Kurta Clan, Kurapika carries the weight of their slaughter on his shoulders. Despite being smaller in stature, his deep motivation makes him become a Blacklist Hunter. When members of the Phantom Troupe killed his people, they also carved out their distinctive red eyes, so Kurapika not only wants revenge, but he also wants to get the eyes back.
The way he takes down Uyogin, a member of the Phantom Troupe, by crushing his heart after taunting him with his Scarlet Eyes, is a particularly satisfying scene.
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About The Author
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I’m a long time freelance writer, blogger, and editor with a specialty in entertainment, arts, culture and travel. I’m also a longstanding science fiction/fantasy/comic book fan. My work has been cited and referenced in numerous books, magazines, and academic publications all over the world.
I teach creative writing courses at the college level and in my other identity, I’m also a singer-songwriter known as Anya Mia.
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