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15 Times Anime Characters Made Incredibly Tough Decisions

Updated April 5, 2021 7.3k votes 1.8k voters 78k views15 items

Life is full of hard choices, but the anime world really takes things to the extreme. In fact, some of these challenging decisions are so complicated and painful that it's hard to imagine how the characters involved could have possibly done anything but stand there paralyzed. How, for example, did Itachi Uchiha of Naruto will himself to slay his own parents after Danzo gave him his terrible choice? How did Neiru from Wonder Egg Priority will herself to disconnect her friend's life support? 

But all anime characters who made tough decisions are faced with something quite that dire - Momo Adachi of Peach Girl really struggled to choose between two boys that she loved equally. It's still emotional, but everyone's alive at the end. 

No matter what these characters are struggling with, characters who weigh their options and take action make their respective plots that much stronger. Vote up the toughest decisions you wouldn't want to make!

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  • When Itachi Uchiha was a child, Root leader Danzo Shimura approached him with a terrible choice: destroy his entire clan with his own hands and save his younger brother Sasuke and himself, or wait for Root to do the job, sacrificing his prospects for survival. There was also a third, unspoken choice: tell his clan about Danzo's plans and prepare for war. 

    The last choice was impossible for Itachi - his wartorn childhood had him dedicated to avoiding bloodshed at all cost. He chose to do the job himself, eliminating his own parents with his own hands. He also didn't explain himself to Sasuke - instead, he painted himself as a villain in order to help Sasuke awaken his latent powers. 

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  • Photo: Wit Studio

    After a long battle against the Titans from Marley, the Survey Corps are left nearly destroyed. Two key members, Erwin Smith and Armin Arlelt, are both on the verge of passing away. Only one thing can save them: an injection of Titan serum. But there's only enough for one person, and a choice must be made. 

    Levi has a long history with Erwin, and cares about him deeply. What's more, he's their commander. But ultimately, he chooses Armin, both because Levi believed that Erwin had done enough for the Corps and deserved to rest, and because Armin's strategic mind was something they needed for the future. So, he made the difficult decision to say goodbye to his oldest friend, and save Armin's life. 

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  • Photo: ufotable

    You know the trolley problem? The one that asks you if you'd drive a trolley over one person in order to save a larger group? For Kiritsugu Emiya, the answer is a resounding yes. When his parental figure Natalia Kaminski is trapped onboard a plane that's laden with infected Ghouls, he knows he has to take action. Though it pains him to end the life of one of the only people who ever truly felt like his family, he shoots down the plane in order to prevent the Ghouls from escaping and attacking people. It's a rough moment, but it does a great job of displaying just what kind of person Kiritsugu is. 

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    Nanachi Asked Reg To End Mitty In 'Made In Abyss'

    Thanks to horrific human experimentation, both Nanachi and Mitty's bodies have been drastically and painfully altered. For Nanachi, it's manageable - they've been turned into a rabbitlike creature. But Mitty can't communicate with others and is living in a melted, immortal body. If Nanachi doesn't find a way to end her life, she will be eternally alone or subjected to extreme mistreatment from the same person who did this to her in the first place. 

    When Nanachi meets Reg, they meet the first person with the power to end Mitty's life. They can't ask Mitty what she would want, and they don't want to live out the rest of their life without her - but they also can't let her suffer eternally. And so, they ask Reg to shoot Mitty with his arm cannon.

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