Not every anime character is who they say they are. Upon first seeing some characters, fans believe that they’re just unassuming or a little bit eccentric. However, plenty of them have dark backstories and twisted motives. They’re incredibly manipulative and untrustworthy, always scheming about their next plot.
These types of characters don’t care who they need to step over as long as their plan succeeds. They always have an ulterior motive and seldom care for the people surrounding them unless they can be used as pawns for their goals. In some series, this may spell death for those around these characters.
10 Ayanokoji Is A Master Manipulator
Classroom Of The Elite
In Classroom Of The Elite, Kiyotaka Ayanokoji purposely makes himself seem as unassuming as possible to avoid garnering attention. Ayanokoji never lets anybody else know what he’s thinking and knows how to turn people’s emotions against them for his own gain.
He’s a master manipulator who never shows his hand. Ayanokoji views the people around him as pawns, and he picks the best allies for any given situation. It’s unclear whether or not he actually cares about the people he uses. However, fans do know that his behavior stems from his upbringing.
9 Not Even All For One’s Allies Trust Him
My Hero Academia
In My Hero Academia, All For One is the ultimate puppetmaster behind the League of Villains and Shigaraki. During the Paranormal Liberation War, fans and the other villains were shocked to find out that All For One was never a true mentor for Shigaraki. His true intentions were to train Shigaraki into a strong enough vessel for him to possess and cause more villainous chaos.
Even the people who are supposed to trust All For One don’t trust him. Spinner, for example, called him out after he possessed Shigaraki and flat-out said that he’s not their leader. Spinner respects Shigaraki, but not All For One.
8 Light Sees Everyone As Pawns
In Death Note, Light Yagami appointed himself god of the new world after getting his hands on the titular death note. The notebook gave him a sense of purpose since he felt like he would do something good by killing criminals, but he became the most prolific murderer of all.
He took advantage of everyone in his path and killed them if they could no longer be of service to him. Light even killed his own father for getting in his way. Light was always scheming and never actually cared about the people he surrounded himself with, only using them as pawns to keep up the Kira act as long as possible.
7 Itachi Had A Secret Plan All Along
In Naruto, Itachi Uchiha was initially set up as the ultimate villain because he killed his entire clan and traumatized Sasuke. However, it turned out that he wanted to protect Konoha and make Sasuke an admirable ninja by sacrificing himself and the clan.
Itachi’s actions are undeniably reprehensible, but his ambitions were at least somewhat understandable. Itachi turned himself into a villain by killing his entire clan and joining the Akatsuki to shape Sasuke into who he ultimately is today. Itachi was a talented ninja from the start, but unfortunate circumstances led him down that path.
6 Makima Uses Everybody
In Chainsaw Man, manga fans already know not to trust Makima. In fact, anime-only viewers may already be apprehensive of her. Makima is actually the Control Devil. She’s extremely manipulative and uses everybody to her advantage. Denji, in particular, was easy for her to use since she could use his lack of romantic experience against him to lead him on and make him obey her every command.
Makima admits that she’s not exactly a good person, but rather a necessary evil since she helps the Japanese government. Makima doesn’t care who she emotionally abuses or tramples over as long as she gets what she wants.
5 Zeke Kept His True Motive Hidden
Attack On Titan
In Attack On Titan, Zeke Yeager played Eldia and Marley against each other and fueled the flames of their centuries-long division for his own goals. Zeke wanted to sterilize and eventually eliminate all Eldians to atone for their sins. He considered it an act of salvation for his people since the war would never end otherwise. However, his genocidal plan was a more subtle way of committing a mass murder than Eren starting The Rumbling.
Zeke is intelligent and a natural leader, but he’s incredibly manipulative and turns on his allies without prior notice. The only person Zeke outwardly expressed care for was Eren, who turned out to be even more ruthless than him.
4 Angelo Is A Talented Liar
In 91 Days, Angelo Lagusa’s parents and brother were killed by the Vanetti family. Seeking revenge, Angelo changed his identity and infiltrated the Vanetti family, earning their trust in the process. Motivated by his intense survivor’s guilt, Angelo became a talented liar with a ruthless disposition.
Even though the Vanetti family was responsible for his family’s death, not every member was evil. In fact, some of them may not have even known the crime was committed. However, Angelo took advantage of everyone’s trust and became the villain by the end of the series.
3 Dio Is Always Scheming
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
Since the beginning of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Dio has tormented the Joestar family. Even after his death, Dio had a contingency plan to take over the world. In Phantom Blood, Dio infiltrated the Joestar mansion, took advantage of everybody’s trust, became a vampire, and hijacked Jonathan’s body by the end of it.
In part three, he gathered a legion of agents to stop the Joestar group in their tracks on their journey to Egypt. He didn’t care about any of his agents, as they were only tools in his eyes. Even after Dio’s defeat at Jotaro’s hands, he continued to be a thorn in the Joestar family’s side.
2 Mephisto Is An Enigma
In Blue Exorcist, Mephisto Pheles is Rin’s de-facto mentor. He wants to make him strong enough to defeat Satan, but his teaching methods are pretty unorthodox. He usually throws Rin right into the shark tank, then pulls up a front-row seat in the sky and narrates the entire thing.
Nobody really knows what Mephisto is thinking, so he’s a pretty enigmatic character despite his flamboyant outward disposition. Mephisto always seems to have an ulterior motive, but he’s obnoxiously unpredictable and constantly gets on everyone’s nerves.
1 Dazai Never Lets Anyone Know What He’s Thinking
Bungou Stray Dogs
In Bungou Stray Dogs, Dazai is one of the most complex characters in the entire series. On one hand, he comes off as a fun-loving slacker whose favorite hobby is getting on Kunikida’s nerves. On the other hand, he’s an incredibly melancholic, dark figure who constantly muses about taking his own life.
Dazai’s done too many awful things to be a hero, but he’s not exactly a villain since he joined the Armed Detective Agency to become a better person. People always say they’d rather have Dazai as an ally than an enemy, and nobody knows what his ultimate end goal is yet.
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