Are you a fan of revenge stories in anime? If so, you’re not alone! Revenge is a common theme in fictional media, including anime and manga. Many times, it leads the protagonist down a dark path, blurring the line between hero and villain due to their ambiguous actions. However, revenge stories also make for some of the most satisfying and action-packed anime on the screen. In this article, we’ve compiled the top 10 best revenge stories in anime, according to CBR.
10. Kuroko – Kuroko’s Basketball
Kuroko’s Basketball has one of the best revenge plots in sports anime. Instead of harboring negative emotions towards his former teammates, Kuroko is angry at their egos for clouding their judgment. He joins Seirin to fall in love with basketball again and defeat his former teammates, known as the “Generation of Miracles.” While Kuroko is continuously belittled and mocked, Seirin eventually defeats the “Generation of Miracles” and wins the Winter Cup, forcing everyone to recognize Kuroko’s skill.
9. Thorfinn – Vinland Saga
Vinland Saga is an anime central to the theme of revenge. Thorfinn’s desire to avenge his father’s death against Askeladd is the driving force behind the story. Thorfinn is an ordinary good-natured boy who has been following his father’s journey until he witnesses his tragic death. From this moment on, Thorfinn becomes consumed by revenge and must navigate a dangerous path to get closer to his target.
8. Spike and Vicious – Cowboy Bebop
Spike and Vicious in Cowboy Bebop were initially friends until a love triangle got between them. Vicious orders his girlfriend, Julia, to kill Spike. However, she runs away before getting murdered by Syndicate. The finale features the ultimate showdown between Spike and Vicious, ending with Spike shooting Vicious in the heart.
7. Ermes – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean
Ermes in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure lost her sister, Gloria, to Sports Maxx, who got away with only five years of prison time. As a result, Ermes spent eight years collecting information on Sports Maxx, ultimately seeking revenge for her sister’s murder. Despite initial setbacks, Ermes finally beats Sports Maxx to death to avenge her sister’s murder in a truly satisfying conclusion.
6. Tatsumi – Akame Ga Kill!
Tatsumi in Akame Ga Kill joins Night Raid after his friend, Sayo, is tortured to death. Tatsumi’s original target was Aria, Sayo’s abuser. Tatsumi’s goal becomes complicated in a surprising twist when he discovers Aria is, in fact, another victim of the noble family. After Tatsumi learns the devastating truth of his friend’s death by the same noble family, he finally takes revenge and kills Aria.
5. Dabi – My Hero Academia
Dabi in My Hero Academia seeks revenge against Endeavor, one of the strongest heroes and the father of Shouto Todoroki, who also abused his children for his personal goals in life. Interestingly, Dabi is one of Shouto’s long-lost brothers, and his revenge plans against the Todoroki family ultimately lead him to fight Endeavor himself. Although the final battle against Endeavor is still to come, Dabi’s backstory and his eventual plan make his revenge story one of the most intriguing.
Revenge stories add an excellent layer of complexity to anime, creating some of the most memorable and awe-inspiring moments in the medium. While it’s easy to assume that revenge is a simple or overused theme, these top 10 anime prove that it’s still effective in driving a compelling narrative.