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15 Anime Where The Protagonist Isn't Afraid To Kill

Updated May 14, 2021 2.4k votes 467 voters 15.4k views15 items

Most anime protagonists have a hard line that they won't cross: no killing. While it can be nice to see them display compassion and empathy, it can also be frustrating. Does that villain who just tried to destroy the world really deserve to survive when it's obvious that he's just going to go do the exact same thing the moment the hero's back is turned? Whatever you think of the morality of that situation, it can be trying to watch heroes steadfastly refuse to take lives under any circumstances.

But not every anime protagonist is like that. Some feature anime protagonists who don't spare lives or at least do so rarely. Whether they're hardened gang members like Ash Lynx from Banana Fish, brainwashed children like the kids from Gunslinger Girl, or vigilante fighters who will sacrifice anything for the greater good like Lelouch from Code Geass, these characters know that taking out their foes is sometimes the only choice they have. 

Which of these anime features the most merciless warriors? To answer that question, vote them up!

  • Photo: Madhouse

    Light Yagami isn't just unafraid to end lives, he considers it his duty. After finding a notebook that eliminates anyone whose name is written inside, he decides to start taking out anyone he thinks deserves it. At first, his targets are criminals who he believes make the world a more dangerous place, but as the series progresses, his standards weaken and he starts taking down anyone who gets in his way. To stay in the game, he'll even sacrifice his own allies. So much for his morality.  

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  • Photo: Wit Studio

    When Attack on Titan starts, all Eren Jaeger cares about is wiping out all of the Titans and getting revenge on them for destroying his home and his family. As he learns more about the origins of the Titans and his own role in the increasingly complex story, his bloodlust becomes a bit more targeted and complex, but it doesn't lessen.

    In Season 4, he declares war on the entire planet, showing a clear desire to annihilate every human being on Earth. It's not that he's a joyful warmonger, however - it's that he sees no other path forward. 

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  • Photo: Satelight

    Hellsing is a powerful military organization that's dedicated to taking down vampires. The ace up its sleeve is Alucard himself, a superpowered vampire who fights against his own kind. More or less immortal and stronger than nearly anyone in his world, it isn't hard for him to rip through even the most dangerous foes. He has fun with it too, often toying with his victims and allowing them to believe that they'll survive before ruthlessly snuffing out the hope he just gave them. 

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  • Photo: Sunrise

    Lelouch Lamperouge, also known by his real name Lelouch vi Britannia, is the secret prince of the Brittainian Empire. Both because of how his own mother was treated by the family and his disgust at its rampant colonialism and destruction of the Japanese people, he dedicates himself to revolution. Under the alias Zero, he becomes the de facto leader of the Black Knights and tries to lead them and the rest of the country towards freedom. He'll have to sacrifice plenty of lives along the way, from enemy soldiers and random guards who got in his way to members of his own family.

    But one thing that you can say about Lelouch is that he's not a hypocrite. One of his most famous quotes is this: 

    "The only ones who should kill, are those who are prepared to be killed."

    He acts on those beliefs in the biggest way possible. At the end of the series, his final victim in the name of lasting peace is himself.

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