Anti-heroes are amoral protagonists that will use any method to achieve their goals. They lack the idealism of traditional heroes, and can have either an uncaring or cynical view of the world. What stops them from being villains is that their enemies are a lot worse.
Anime, especial shounen works, is filled with happy-go-lucky heroes and friendship power! But, there are anti-heroes lurking in the shadows if you know where to look…
1Guts – Berserk
His only goal in life is to hunt down Griffith to exact revenge. Guts doesn’t bother with help others and won’t hesitate to cut down anyone who stands in his way. Being a mercenary for most of his life has also left Guts with a cloudy moral code.
2Sebastian Michaelis – Black Butler
Oh sure, Sebastian will become your bishounen butler as long as he can eat your soul in the end. He’ll do any dead you ask too, all without the hassle of pesky questions!
3Accelerator – A Certain Magical Index
Accelerator really loves to fight and has no qualms for causing immense damage. Originally a villain, Accelerator becomes an anti-hero in the Last Order Arc.
4Lelouch Lamperouge – Code Geass
Lelouch has good intentions and wants to create a peaceful world for his sister Nunnally. However, Lelouch is willing to destory cities, kill scores of people, and manipulate those around him to acheive his goal.
5L – Death Note
Don’t let L’s love of sweets and hobo look fool you, the guy will use any method to track down Kira. This includes kidnapping and torture!
6Arsene Lupin III – Lupin III
A rouge thief who loves the thrill of a heist. While Lupin and his gang are willing to stop evil people, it’s purely due to self-interest and excitement.
7Claire Stanfield – Baccano!
Most of the characters from Baccano! can fall under anti-hero or villain-protagonist. Claire gets the spot for his fabulous name and his job as a freelance assassin.
8Kiritsugu Emiya – Fate/Zero
Emiya wanted to be a “Hero of Justice,” but became disillusioned after realizing he can’t save everybody in deadly situations. Kiritsugu’s pursuit of the Holy Grail is so he can finally realize his Utopian dream, and has no qualms with killing anyone through less honorable methods.
9Hei – Darker than Black
Hei is a skilled assassin working for The Syndicate. To help with his jobs, he suppresses all emotions and does not question the morality of his job.
10Alucard – Hellsing Ultimate
This guy loves death and destruction. We’d be questioning Alucard’s mental stability if he wasn’t busy killing Nazis.
11Sagara Sousuke – Full Metal Panic!
Sagara is a more comedic example of an anti-hero. The only thing he cares about is completing missions and protecting Kaname Chidori (which is a mission). He’ll use all kinds of bizarre combat methods, like turning a mascot costume into power armor.
12Mireille Bouquet and Kirika Yuumura – Noir
These lady assassins are ruthless killers, and are only considered heroes because their marks are some much more evil.
13Saitama – One Punch Man
Hey, not all anti-heroes are the sulking type. Being a parody of super hero comics and shounen manga, Saitama definitely fits the bill. While most heroes are running around due to a sense of duty, Saitama fights villains because he’s bored. Can’t think of a better reason than that!
Who are your favorite anime anti-heroes?