Misunderstandings are a part of everyday life and just like in reality, they can cause a lot of chaos in anime. However, some anime take this a step further by having an unfortunate instance of miscommunication backfire in the worst possible. Specifically, these misunderstandings lead to death.
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Whether it’s because someone deliberately kept important details hidden from others until it was convenient for them or because of a genuine case of good intentions gone wrong, these misunderstandings led to endless suffering that was actually avoidable.
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
10 School Days – Makoto Itou’s Dishonesty Turned A Romance Bloody
School Days is a romantic soap opera gone horribly wrong, with the love triangle between Makoto, Sekai and Kotohana ending in misery and bloodshed. Makoto refused to be honest with any of the women he claimed to love, cheating on both Sekai and Kotohana while manipulating them emotionally to get what he wanted out of them.
His dishonesty drove Sekai off the deep end, and she brutally stabbed him to death in the anime’s finale. Kotohana finished the tragedy by killing Sekai in vengeance, while also dissecting her corpse to see if she was actually pregnant like she claimed. Makoto got the relationship he wanted in death, as Kotohana all but married his severed head.
9 Steins;Gate – Rintaro Okabe Was Too Distraught To Tell Anyone About The Timelines
Simply put, Steins;Gate finds self-made mad scientist Okabe trapped in a Groundhog Day loop. The more he interferes with the past, the more his friends suffer, die, or outright cease to exist. Okabe is the only one who remembers the loops, leaving everyone (especially Mayuri) blissfully ignorant of their countless deaths across infinite time loops.
Despite this, Okabe never gets the brainwave to tell them what’s going on because he’s (understandably) too caught up in the situations’ stress. If he did, they could’ve helped him avert certain dark fates and timelines even if he died. It’s only near the end when he told Kurisu what was really going on that she immediately helped him align certain past events to ensure the best possible future.
8 Gundam SEED Destiny – Shinn Asuka Let His Anger Consume His Common Sense
After seeing his family die in the crossfire of the Battle of Orb, Shinn swore to kill Orb’s ruling Athha family and especially whoever was piloting the Freedom Gundam (i.e. Kira Yamato). While his motivations were sympathetic, Shinn lost himself to anger and vengeance as the anime went on.
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Shinn paid no heed to Kira and Orb’s actual noble intentions as seen in Gundam SEED or reasons in general, and was determined to kill them and whoever he decided was evil. By SEED Destiny’s halfway point, Shinn became the anime’s true antagonist and the murderous warmonger he envisioned Kira to be.
7 SSSS.Dynazenon – Gauma Never Told The Kaiju Eugenicists Why He Betrayed Them
In the sequel to SSSS.Gridman, Gauma recruits four hapless bystanders to help him pilot Dynazenon to protect Japan from the Kaiju Eugenicists’ rampant kaiju attacks. Little is known about them, save for the fact that Gauma was once a Eugenicist himself who turned against the others nearly 5,000 years ago.
Gauma did this because of his love for the Princess who the Eugenicists were plotting to kill since they foresaw her government betraying them. However, Gauma never explained his side of the story, leading to the Eugenicists’ vengeful destruction in the present. If Gauma was honest eons ago, a lot of kaiju collateral damage could’ve been averted.
6 Naruto – Itachi Uchiha Never Told Sasuke That He Was A Double Agent
For most of Naruto, Sasuke walked a path of darkness that led to him exacting bloody revenge on his brother, Itachi, the man behind the Uchiha Massacre. Along the way, Sasuke lost his humanity while Itachi committed atrocities as a member of the Akatsuki. Thing is, Itachi was a double agent this whole time.
Itachi wiped out his clan because they were planning a coup, which would’ve led to another devastating Ninja World War. The government also promised Itachi that Sasuke would be spared if he killed his family. Sasuke only learned this truth when Itachi was dying, leading to Sasuke becoming the deadliest threat that Konoha ever faced. Itachi could’ve saved everyone (especially Sasuke) from a world of pain if he told the truth earlier.
5 Neon Genesis Evangelion – Nobody Told Shinji Ikari Why He Should (Not) Get In The Robot
The main source of conflict in Neon Genesis Evangelion is everybody’s tragic emotional dishonesty. Because those around him would rather bottle up their true feelings and perpetuate the Hedgehog’s Dilemma, Shinji fell deeper into his angsts and self-loathing, driving him to end the world twice out of spite.
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In The End Of Evangelion, Shinji chose to end humanity via the Third Impact because he believed that nobody cared for him, so they didn’t deserve to live. In Evangelion 3.0 – You Can (Not) Redo, Shinji accidentally triggered the Fourth Impact because nobody in WILLE could get over their anger and tell him why getting in an Eva was a bad idea.
4 Akira – Tetsuo Became A Destructive God Because He Thought Kaneda Hated Him
Despite what his childhood friend and surrogate older brother Kaneda said, Tetsuo suffered from a severe inferiority complex. It doesn’t help that Tetsuo is seen by others as the Capsule gang’s weakest link, further fueling his overcompensation and desperate need to surpass Kaneda no matter what.
This hit its apocalyptic peak when Akira’s godlike powers awoke in Tetsuo. With these, Tetsuo set out to prove how much bigger he was than Kaneda, even if Kaneda never saw him as a rival. Tetsuo’s rampage ended in countless dead (including his girlfriend Kaori), all of Neo-Tokyo getting wiped out, and him being transported to another reality.
3 Puella Magi Madoka Magica – Kyubey Withheld The Truths About His Contracts & Let Magical Girls Suffer
Like in every magical girl anime before Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Kyubey offered young girls the chance to become a magical girl tasked with the noble duty of protecting Earth from otherworldly monsters. Unfortunately for these excited girls, Kyubey withheld the specifics and fine print of his contracts.
Not only are magical girls basically soulless dolls, but they’re destined to become the very Witches they slay. Worse, they’re only worth anything to Kyubey and his fellow Incubators when they’re dead. As a result, young girls throughout history were tricked into giving up their souls to a heartless cycle of despair that the Incubators enable.
2 Attack On Titan – Grisha Yeager Could’ve Saved Countless Eldians If He Revealed The Truths Of Paradis Earlier
It’s only in the tail end of Attack On Titan’s third season when Eren, the Scouting Legion’s few survivors, and the people of Paradis Island learn the truths of their existence: they’re Eldians, the Subjects of Ymir exiled by the world to Paradis Island as an alternative to genocide. Eren’s father knew this all along but hid it in his basement as part of his grander plans.
While Grisha’s secrecy helped Eren inherit the Titans’ power to change the world, it also needlessly kept his fellow Eldians in the dark. Grisha inadvertently inflicted endless death and suffering on the Eldians by denying them important information that would’ve not only helped them beat the Titans but realize their place in the world earlier.
1 Bokurano – Untold Billions Die Because Of Zearth’s Dark Truths
In Bokurano, a group of unwitting kids is recruited to pilot the mecha Zearth, Earth’s protector against an onslaught of cosmic threats and monsters. What looks like a by-the-numbers plot about kids saving the world through giant robots quickly takes a turn for the dark, as Zearth is revealed to have killed countless planets by defeating enemy kaiju.
Bokurano takes place in a multiversal gladiator battle, where around 32,000 parallel Earths have a mecha champion fight for their existence. If they lose, their homeworld is wiped out. Worse, every kid who pilots Zearth dies, regardless if they won or not. While billions of people would’ve died regardless of what Takashi and friends did, they would’ve at least had a choice if Koyemshi told them the truth.
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About The Author
Angelo Delos Trinos
(188 Articles Published)
CBR Staff Writer Angelo Delos Trinos’ professional writing career may have only started a few years ago, but he’s been writing and overthinking about anime, comics and movies for his whole life. He probably watched Neon Genesis Evangelion way too much, and he still misses video stores. Follow him at @AD3ofc on Twitter, or email him at [email protected]
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