10 Anime Villains With Terrible Childhoods

Shigaraki from MHA, Kabuto from Naruto, and Marik from Yu-Gi-Oh split image

Many anime villains are not ontologically evil. Their actions are a consequence of the rough lives they’ve led, oftentimes being subjected to unimaginable cruelty in their formative years. As a result, their worldview has been shattered, maligning them into the characters opposing the protagonist’s goal.

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Unfortunately, these antagonists did not have the strength to move past their difficult upbringings. Instead, they’ve been consumed by them, using them to justify the atrocities they’ve committed against innocent people. In this regard, anime villains perpetrate a cycle of violence and hatred that only the heroes can hope to break.

10 Annie Was Raised To Be A Weapon

Attack On Titan

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Attack On Titan‘s Annie Leonhart was adopted in the Eldian internment zone. Her “father” trained her daily, hoping to transform her into a weapon suitable for the Warrior program. Through Annie’s service, he hoped to elevate his own status within the country itself.

Unfortunately, Annie’s father did not appreciate her until it was time for her to leave for Paradis. Physically capable but emotionally dead, she found it difficult to reciprocate his heartfelt goodbye or to care about anyone at all.

9 Spinner Was Discriminated Against For His Appearance

My Hero Academia

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Spinner dressed as a civilian in My Hero Academia.

My Hero Academia‘s Spinner suffered persecution throughout his entire childhood. His scaled body made it impossible to integrate with others and was largely responsible for why he was tormented. By eighteen, Spinner had all but given up on living among others until he saw Stain’s broadcast.

To him, the vigilante embodied pure justice unfiltered by social constructs, which was incredibly appealing. While Spinner hoped to ally with Stain at first, he later joined the League Of Villains on account of his role model’s untimely defeat.

8 Amon Was Weaponized To Kill Aang

Legend Of Korra

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Amon in Legend of Korra

Amon’s childhood was turbulent in Legend Of Korra. His father was an influential gangster who had been forced from Republic City after being foiled by Aang. A proficient bloodbender, he hoped to raise his children as instruments of vengeance.

As a result, both Amon and his brother were forced to undergo grueling training. Their father never seemed satisfied and resorted to physical abuse when disappointed. Eventually, Amon grew to resent bending altogether, which was why he founded the Equalist movement. His role as its leader was especially ironic given that he was one of the most powerful element users in the entire series.

7 Marik Suffered Under The Pharoah’s Reign


<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>marik from yugioh

Marik Ishtar was a prominent antagonist in the Yu-Gi-Oh! series. Although once an innocent boy, his father forcibly carved hieroglyphs into his back as part of an ancient Egyptian ritual. He blamed Yami Yugi for this act of barbarism, making both Marik and the dark spirit he hosted resentful of him.

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Additionally, Marik’s weakened psychological state allowed his darker half to take over at any time. Yami Marik became so dominating of his host that he could even impersonate him successfully to others.

6 Guevara Suffered The United States’ Oppression


<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Guevara from Baki.

Baki‘s Guevara was perhaps the most sympathetic antagonist of the entire series. As a child, he was forced to live through the United States’ oppression. To remedy this, he trained his physical body to unparalleled lengths and quickly amassed a large following.

Eventually, Guevara’s army of elite warriors were sufficient in defeating the United States through carefully placed agents and blackmail. One of Guevara’s men personally escorted the president wherever he went, simultaneously acting as a bodyguard and reminder for what happened should Guevara’s home be trifled with.

5 Sho Lost His Mother & Home

Fire Force

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Sho Kusakabe from Fire Force

Fire Force‘s Sho had a life more difficult than his peers in the White-Clad. After his mother became an infernal, he lost everything. Many viewed his brother as a monster, and his home burned to the ground. It made it all too easy for the impressionable young boy to fall into the White-Clad’s clutches.

After Shinra convinced Sho to abandon his dark path, he was tentatively prepared to give up villainy. However, Haumea’s Ignition Ability brainwashed him, guaranteeing his cooperation for the foreseeable future. Sho’s childhood is bad, and it will continue to worsen.

4 Kabuto Accidentally Killed His Orphanage Mother


<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Kabuto staring in Naruto.

Naruto‘s Kabuto had every reason to become a monster. Abandoned by his parents and suffering from amnesia, he was taken in as an orphan. Over time, his keeper began treating him like a son, and he grew to love and care for her.

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When Danzo’s Foundation arrived, both Kabuto and the matron simultaneously agreed to join him so long as the other was not required to go. In the end, Kabuto was manipulated into killing the matron in a foolhardy mission, which cemented his status as an enemy of Konoha.

3 Doflamingo Went From Riches To Rags

One Piece

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Donquixote Doflamingo laughs to himself in One Piece.

As a Celestial Dragon, Doflamingo had one of the more charmed early lives in One Piece. However, that changed when his father relinquished his family’s status and moved from the Holy City to live among the commoners.

Understandably, the people were not thrilled with the Celestial Dragons and targeted the Donquixotes in order to satiate their thirst for revenge. Doflamingo himself was nearly executed by an angry mob. He tried to make amends with the World Government by killing his father, though they did not reverse their decision.

2 Shigaraki Accidentally Disintegrated His Entire Family

My Hero Academia

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Tomura Shigaraki as a child in My Hero Academia.

My Hero Academia‘s Shigaraki began life hoping to become a hero. However, after a fateful accident where he used his Quirk to disintegrate his entire family, he quickly turned his attention to mere survival. Many of the nearby pros and civilians refused to help him, making him feel as though they didn’t care if he lived or died.

All For One took Shigaraki in and carefully cultivated his rage. In the end, Shigaraki became more violent and malevolent even than his master, as seen through his blind desire to destroy the entire world.

1 Eren Watched His Own Mother Die

Attack On Titan

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Attack On Titan Carla Yeager Reaching Out

For a considerable part of his youth, Eren romanticized life beyond the walls and desired to explore. However, the titans’ invasion permanently shifted his priorities, especially given their murder of his mother. Forced to live with the destruction of his home and family, Eren vowed revenge against the giants through any means necessary.

When he eventually realized that Marley was to blame, what was once a quest to kill monsters became an untenable war against humanity itself. Eren’s quest for vengeance lost credibility since he targeted those who had never wronged him.

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