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15 Anime Characters Who Had Major Redemptions

Updated June 14, 2020 10.1k votes 2k voters 55.3k views15 items

It can be deeply satisfying when a character who starts off as an awful person realizes the error of their ways and commits to doing better. The road to redemption isn't always easy - sometimes it's painfully hard - but for anime characters who were redeemed, it's worth it. 

One of the most famous examples of a character who goes through a major redemption arc is Vegeta from DBZ. He starts off as a dangerous enemy, but eventually becomes one of Goku's closest allies and friends - even if he still wants to defeat him. More recently, there's Isabella from The Promised Neverland, who does the right thing for her kids in the end. There's also Endeavor from My Hero Academia, who hasn't been fully redeemed yet, but has started on a long and complicated path to make up for abusing his family.

Which of these redemption stories stands out to you as powerful?

  • Just about everyone in DBZ goes through some sort of redemption arc, but the most noteworthy one is probably Vegeta's.

    He begins the series as an enemy of Earth and a member of the Frieza Force. However, as he starts to build genuine bonds with the people he meets on Earth, and starts to allow himself to actually feel his feelings about Frieza destroying his planet, he becomes one of Goku's greatest allies. 

    A powerful redemption?
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  • 6

    Reiko Tamura Loves Her Son In 'Parasyte'

    Photo: Madhouse

    Reiko Tamura is the human alias for a parasite who took over a human host named Ryouko Tamiya. This ended Ryouko's life. At first, Reiko is completely indifferent to this, and to any other damage she causes through her various crimes against humanity. Like most parasites, she sees them as either food or as an experimental subject.

    That changes when she gives birth to a human child. At first, she doesn't have much of a bond with the kid - but eventually, she forms one so powerful that she sacrifices her life to protect him. Watching her accept a torso full of bullets causes Shinichi - and the viewers - to question everything they've ever thought about parasites and their capacity for love. 

    A powerful redemption?
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  • 7

    Kojiro Shinomiya Swallows His Pride In 'Food Wars!'

    Photo: J.C. Staff

    Kojiro Shinomiya is a 79th Generation Tōtsuki Academy Alumnus and once served as the First Seat on the Elite Ten Council. Not only that, but he's the first Japanese person to win a Pluspol award, and he's generally known as an incredible chef. With a record like that, it's hard to blame him for being full of himself...but full of himself he very much is. He goes out of his way to try and get both Soma and Megumi expelled for minor infractions, and is completely inflexible when it comes to culinary rules. 

    But when he actually tastes Megumi's food, he's blown away by its purity and deliciousness. He decides to stop being so tough and put some genuine effort into mentoring his charges. 

    A powerful redemption?
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  • 8

    Franky Goes From Robber To Comrade In 'One Piece'

    It's not uncommon for characters in One Piece to go from enemies to allies, but when Franky is first introduced it's hard for the viewer to not deeply hate him after him and his crew humiliate and beat the crap out of Usopp. This beating causes the legendary "Walk To Franky House" scene where Luffy, Zoro, Sanji and Chopper walk dramatically towards the house to get their revenge. Eventually Franky's backstory tugs at your heartstrings and you end up absolutely loving him as the newest member of the Straw Hat Pirates. Suuuuperrrrr!

    A powerful redemption?
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