Traitors and imposters are a common occurrence in anime. Frequently, their duplicity is used to shock the series’ most prominent characters and swing the story in an unpredictable turn of events, often with disastrous results.
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However, there have been an equal amount of times where their betrayals have been just as stunning to the audience. By identifying anime’s most two-faced characters, we can better appreciate the ways they have subverted expectations and preyed upon the trust of those they have interacted with to their fullest advantage.
10 Kabuto Fooled Everyone Into Believing His Intentions Until He Got What He Needed (Naruto)
Kabuto introduced himself as a genin who repeatedly failed and retook the Chunin Exams. His innocence was implied both to Team Seven and the audience, especially since the more experienced Jonin he was surrounded with didn’t suspect him.
By the time the medical ninja’s intentions were made known, he had already conveyed Sasuke’s potential usefulness to his master. Orochimaru would then place a curse mark on his target’s neck, beginning the young shinobi’s long and gradual descent into villainy.
9 Aizen Was Almost Able To Get Rukia Falsely Executed (Bleach)
Aizen was a former Gotei captain of the Soul Society who almost got Rukia executed. Few anticipated his machinations until he was already prepared to expose his intentions and depart for Las Noches.
The only person who suspected Aizen in advance was Gin, who immediately swore fealty to him in hopes of one day being in an adequate enough position to betray him. Although he caused commendable damage to the villain, Aizen was still able to defeat his treacherous subordinate before the final showdown with Ichigo.
8 Lisa Hid Her Allegiance To The White-Clad Well (Fire Force)
Lisa was a servant of the White-Clad who was instructed to infiltrate Vulcan’s family and discover the plans for the Amaterasu. While she was successful in gaining the engineer’s trust, Giovanni quickly grew impatient with her progress and attacked Vulcan’s house himself.
Given that there were no previous indications of her allegiance to the cult, Lisa’s betrayal stunned audiences and deeply wounded her lover. Nonetheless, he diligently attempted to save her during the attack in the Nether and was even willing to shoot Captain Obi to do so.
7 Drole & Gloxinia Both Defected From The Ten Commandments (Seven Deadly Sins)
Drole and Gloxinia were both unlikely members of the Ten Commandments. The Fairy King sealed his fate after giving in to his rage, and his giant partner was intimidated into submission by Zeldris.
When encountering Diane and King, they placed them under the exact same circumstances they were once in to see how they would fare. The results impressed them, so they infused the two Sins with tremendous power. Once the demon clan realized their treachery, both redeemed heroes stood against Chandler and provided their allies the moments they needed to escape at the cost of their own lives.
6 Rob Lucci Infiltrated The Galley-La Company For Years (One Piece)
Rob Lucci was introduced as a mute and unassuming member of the Galley-La company. His actions went beneath the notice of Iceberg and Monkey D. Luffy, especially since he retrieved the latter’s stolen goods from the conniving Franky Family.
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When it was time for Lucci’s betrayal, not even the audience saw it coming. He was nearly able to assassinate Iceberg and pin the murder on Robin, thereby ousting the Straw Hats from Water Seven due to their association with her. Fortunately, the Galley-La president survived and was able to clear their reputation.
5 Walter Turned Against Integra By Attacking Alucard (Hellsing)
Initially, Walter was one of Integra’s most trusted confidants and servants, having assisted her for decades in her ventures to protect London. After he held the line against her enemies and was subsequently captured, he returned much different than before.
Walter’s single goal was to assassinate Alucard, having found the vampire’s existence disdainful and grotesque. It is contentious how much of a role the Millennium Organization had in his downfall and subsequent rebirth, though his actions were shocking and heartbreaking all the same.
4 Reiner’s Betrayal Was Shocking Given How Much He Helped The Heroes (Attack On Titan)
When Reiner was revealed as a traitor, it shocked audiences everywhere. Until that point, the Marleyan agent had been a massive asset to the Scouts, especially when helping Eren master his ODM gear during Keith Shadis’ training exercises.
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Perhaps the most bizarre facet of Reiner’s treason was how casually he presented his true motives. In the aftermath of the battle at Utgard Castle, he off-handedly mentioned that he was the Armored Titan and that Bertholdt was the Colossal. The way he outed himself was so nonchalant that Eren’s first instinct was to assume he was simply delirious.
3 Heathcliff Was The Charismatic Leader Of A Powerful Guild Until His Role In Aincrad’s Creation Was Discovered (Sword Art Online)
There were few indications of Heathcliff’s guilt to the audience before Kirito figured him out. It was improbable to assume that Kayaba not only dwelled among the players he forcibly kidnapped but also broadcasted himself as Aincrad’s most prominent guild master.
In the end, Kirito was only able to deduce his identity based on the fact that he had never taken any serious damage before and was significantly stronger than the other players. Their personal duel provided all the evidence the Black Swordsman needed to take action.
2 Sango’s Betrayal Of Inuyasha Defied The Overall Tone Of The Series (Inuyasha)
Sango’s betrayal of Inuyasha was especially stunning since all of the heroes had been presented in such an earnest manner. In the middle of the night, she stole the Tessaiga and delivered it to Naraku, hoping to earn her brother’s freedom by doing so.
While her duplicity may have been somewhat understandable, it shocked audiences and placed the heroes in a significant amount of danger. Strangely, however, there was little contention before reintroducing her as a member of Kagome’s group.
1 Itachi’s Profoundly Brutal Actions Were Justified All Along (Naruto)
In the beginning, it seemed virtually impossible to justify Itachi’s murder of the Uchiha clan. Not only did he go as far as to kill his own parents, but he also gloated over their deaths before his horrified younger brother.
Much to the shock of the audience and series’ cast alike, Itachi’s actions were entirely justified. He only killed his clan in order to prevent a world war that would’ve boded greater casualties, and he taunted Sasuke solely to evolve his sharingan and make him a more capable defender of Konoha.
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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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