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15 Anime With Too Many Character Deaths To Keep Up With

Updated June 2, 2021 22.1k votes 5.2k voters 204.8k views15 items

If you think Game of Thrones has too many character deaths, you haven't seen anything. Anime can be absolutely brutal when it comes to its characters' survival, and anime with a lot of deaths are more common than a casual viewer might realize.

Which is the anime with the most deaths? You might expect horror series to top the list, but some of them also fall into the shonen genre. Shows like Corpse Party and Shiki may be total bloodbaths, but planets and even universes full of people die in Dragon Ball Z.

If you plan to watch one of these shows, don't get too attached to any of the characters - otherwise, you'll be crying by the end. (Warning: Spoilers ahead!)

  • Photo: White Fox

    This anime has "kill" in the title, so it's obviously chock-full of character deaths - and many of those have some serious emotional impact. One of the most intense fatalities comes after the battle between Esdeath and Akame - the two women nearly destroy each other, but Akame is ultimately victorious. Esdeath starts out as a sadistic, emotionless monster, but ultimately changes her ways to some degree when she finds love.

    When Akame defeats her, she meanders over to her lover's dead body, then freezes both of their bodies together, dying herself. This is one of the most emotionally resonant deaths in the series, but there are plenty more where that comes from.

    Is this brutal?

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  • Photo: Arms

    Elfen Lied is one of the bloodiest anime ever created, so it shouldn't be surprising that many of the characters don't survive. Many of these deaths involve random security guards whose bodies Lucy tears to shreds. Others involve named characters - one particularly distressing example is when Mariko and her father die together in a form of murder-suicide.

    People get sliced in half, shot, and otherwise brutally killed in every episode. Even animals and children aren't spared - Lucy's classmates kill her puppy, and she retaliates by killing them.

    Is this brutal?

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  • Photo: Wit Studio

    Shonen anime is usually violent, but few of these shows boast quite as high a body count as Attack on Titan. This anime begins with giant, human-gobbling monsters infiltrating a walled-in town, killing everyone in their path.

    One of the first major fatalities is the protagonist's mother, who is eaten by a Titan right in front of her son - but the kill count only increases from there. Few fans can forget the gruesome ending of Marco Bodt, whose body is found half-eaten - after that, it quickly becomes clear no one is safe.

    Is this brutal?

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    Photo: P.A.Works

    Horror anime tend to be pretty fatality-heavy, and Another is no exception. The story focuses on a curse with the potential to kill everyone in class 3-3 at Yomiyama North Middle School, and everyone associated with them.

    Though it starts off slow and atmospheric, the deaths begin to pile up as the story progresses. Yukari Sakuragi falls and impales herself on an umbrella on the same day her mother dies in a car accident. Aya Ayano's family tries to escape the town, but their car gets hit by a rock, causing them to drive straight off a mountain road. Shoji Kubodera, the class's homeroom teacher, dies by suicide in front of his students. Later, everyone starts murdering each other.

    By the end of the series, there are few survivors.

    Is this brutal?