In anime, there is a common trope that the worst enemies one faces are those related to them. This is an efficient plot device used to resonate with viewers on an emotional level, as many can understand the hardships of familial strife.
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Subsequently, there are dozens of instances in anime where one character seeks revenge on another member of their own family. By identifying them, we can better appreciate how ubiquitous the concept really is and if it has been handled carefully throughout the stories in which it is seen.
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
10 Sasuke Revenge Quest Ended With His Older Brother’s Death (Naruto)
Sasuke Uchiha spent the entirety of the original series seeking revenge against his older brother for what he had done to his clan. He was even willing to betray his comrades and align with Orochimaru for a chance at more power in order to complete his mission.
Ultimately, he would be successful in killing Itachi. However, it was later revealed that his brother intended to die the entire time and had only hoped to progress Sasuke’s sharingan through his actions. Sasuke was shattered by the tragic realization and altered the subject of his wrath.
9 Ryuko Sought Revenge Against Her Sister & Later Her Mother (Kill La Kill)
Ryuko initially blamed her sister, Satsuki Kiryuin, for the death of their father. Initially, Satsuki was willing to play along with her accusations in order to gauge her power and determine if she would be strong enough to defend against the coming life fiber invasion.
Later, it was revealed that Nui Harime was responsible for the death of Ryuko’s father under the instructions of her biological mother, Ragyo Kiryuin. After harnessing the combined threads of Honnoji Academy, the hero struck down her mother and saved the entire planet.
8 Azula Hunted Zuko For Betraying The Fire Nation (Avatar)
This culminated with a brutal Agni Kai where Zuko was nearly able to defeat her. However, she forced him to sacrifice himself in order to save Katara, thereby compelling Katara to finish the fight on his behalf.
7 Killua & Illumi Have Had A Grudge Ever Since The Hunter Exam (Hunter X Hunter)
Killua and Illumi Zoldyck have had an openly hostile relationship ever since the events of the Hunter Exam. The latter whispered a trigger phrase to him, deliberately setting his brother into a murderous rage and getting him disqualified from the final tournament.
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Similarly, Killua was responsible for liberating Alluka from Illumi’s reach – arguably the family’s most indispensable asset. As a result, the older assassin led a failed hunt in order to recapture his wish-making prize and punish his sibling for his insolence.
6 Zeldris Is Resentful About Meliodas’ Favor With The Demon King (Seven Deadly Sins)
Zeldris was the leader of the Ten Commandments’ incursion into present-day Britannia. One of the primary objectives laid out by the Demon King was to retrieve Meliodas, his son who he considered to have lost his way.
The Demon King intended to make Meliodas his successor as the next leader of the underworld’s armies. This bred animosity from both Zeldris and Estarossa, who attempted to attack the Dragon Sin even after he had accepted his new mantle.
5 Levi Harbored A Grudge Against His Uncle For Abandoning Him (Attack On Titan)
Kenny Ackerman found Levi as a child and took pity on his wretched state. In order to help him survive in Paradis’ underbelly, he trained him to become a talented fighter and gave him the skills he needed to live independently. After he felt as if he’d done enough, he disappeared into the crowd without another word.
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Levi was resentful for the man’s abandonment of both him and his mother. When they finally met and clashed as enemies years later, the captain had a personal interest in seeing his foe defeated.
4 Dio Sought To Destroy Jonathan Joestar For Challenging His Plans (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)
Dio Brando was adopted by George Joestar after the death of his biological father. Ever since arriving at his new home, he tried as much as possible in order to make Jonathan’s life hellish and destroy his will.
After Jonathan exposed him as a traitor before the police, Dio harbored a grudge against him for meddling in his plans. He was one of the few villains to succeed in his evil, as he managed to kill his brother and steal his body. The vendetta he had against the Joestar family would be inherited by Joseph and Jotaro during the events of Stardust Crusaders.
3 Sesshomaru Held A Grudge Against Inuyasha For Numerous Reasons (Inuyasha)
The relationship between Inuyasha and Sesshomaru has always been strained. He resented his half-demon brother’s lineage and felt insecure about his sibling’s Tessaiga (a blade made by their father with ultimately superior combat potential to his Bakusaiga).
Additionally, the strain between the two brothers worsened after Inuyasha severed Sesshomaru’s left arm at the conclusion of one of their most meaningful battles. Nonetheless, he was willing to assist him in fights against Naraku as an unlikely but sorely needed comrade.
2 Greed Hated Wrath For Killing His Comrades And Doggedly Sought The Truth (Fullmetal Alchemist)
When Greed’s essence was placed into the body of Ling Yao, it wasn’t long before old memories began returning to him. Although his visions were blurry, he frequently saw Bradley in them and knew him to be at least partially responsible for a greater conspiracy.
As a result, he confronted his technical sibling and attacked him in his private residence. However, the King’s speed was too considerable for him to overcome. Greed made his daring getaway just as state reinforcements arrived.
1 Dabi Resents Endeavor For His Abuse As A Child
Dabi was the forgotten son of Endeavor and a man who spurned his father’s child abuse. Before his redemption, Endeavor was only interested in using his children as tools to further his legacy. As a result, they were placed under enormous physical and psychological strain.
When Todoroki’s powers were discovered, Endeavor virtually abandoned Dabi and poured his attention into him. This partially explained and justified the blue-flame user’s decision to join the League of Villains and oppose everything the number-two hero stood for.
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About The Author
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David Zimmerman is an English major from the United States. He has enthusiastically pursued his interest in storytelling since childhood and authored his first book, “The Massive Adventures Of Massive Guy,” at the age of fifteen. Additionally, he is an award winning screenwriter with keen interest in the fantasy and science fiction genres. You can reach him at [email protected] with questions or inquiries!
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