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The 18 Most Horrifying Anime Curses

Updated January 22, 2021 16.3k votes 4.0k voters 219.5k views18 items

List RulesVote up the worst anime curses you'd try your hardest to break.

Sometimes, it's not enough for an anime character to suffer a run-of-the-mill misfortune. In order to truly be a catalyst in a hero's story, the character has to go through something supernatural, like an evil spell. Anime curses provide rather tragic backstories and motivations for characters, and the curses' creators get really creative. 

The worst anime curses usually involve death, like the Class 3-3 Curse in Another, which results in the gruesome demise of multiple people every year. Others are less violent but also quite harrowing; the Sohma Zodiac curse in Fruits Basket might seem cute and fun, but it leads to isolation, secrecy, and abuse.

A few of these awful curses do have a bright side, like how Sophie Hatter in Howl's Moving Castle learns a lot about herself after she rapidly ages from 19 to 90. No matter what form they take, curses can seriously spice up a story.

  • Guts Is Branded With A Cursed Mark In 'Berserk'
    Photo: Berserk / GEMBA

    When Griffith betrays the Band of the Hawk by trying to sacrifice them to achieve godlike powers, he leaves the survivors, Guts and Casca, with something called a Brand of Sacrifice.

    This brand is essentially a curse that attracts demonic forces. Those with the brand can't stay in one place for too long or the area will become overrun with demons. They're forced into what feels like never-ending battle with demons of all kinds and they can never know peace. Even worse, the brand causes extreme pain and even bleeds when demons and other evil spirits appear. 

    Is this curse terrifying?

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    Joseph And Chise Suffer Contrasting Curses In 'The Ancient Magus' Bride'

    There are actually three curses in the Ancient Magus' Bride, and they're all different degrees of horrible. 

    The first two curses afflict Chise Hatori, a Sleigh Beggy. When properly trained, Sleigh Beggies can attract and control magic in abundance, but that magic gradually weakens their bodies, leaving them fragile and sickly. She later adds another curse to her repertoire when she tries to rescue a baby dragon from captivity and it attacks her out of fear. The dragon's curse – which will kill her – can't be removed without killing the dragon or being transferred to someone else, which Chise refuses to do. 

    The final curse belongs to Joseph, a 2000+ year-old being who became cursed with immortality after fusing with Cartaphilus, a man similarly cursed. Though he cannot die, his body can deteriorate, which causes him immense pain. In an attempt to either die or keep his flesh from rotting, Joseph performs gruesome experiments on other people. 

    Is this curse terrifying?
  • Mitty's transformation into a Narehate is a scene that is guaranteed to give you nightmares. After Mitty and Nanachi are used in Bondrewd's cruel experiment, Mitty becomes a victim to the Curse of the 6th layer. Her body painfully morphs into an amorphous blob, and she loses her intelligence and ability to communicate. This transformation is so brutal that Mitty begs Nanachi to kill her. And while her state as a Narehate gives her immortality, she is in a constant state of mental and physical pain. Thankfully, Nanachi is able to end her suffering and kills her with Reg's hand cannon.

    Is this curse terrifying?

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    Hyakkimaru Is Born Without Any Limbs In 'Dororo'

    Hyakkimaru Is Born Without Any Limbs In 'Dororo'
    Photo: MAPPA

     Daigo Kagemitsu will do anything to gain wealth and power, even if it means trading his newborn son's limbs to the demons. When Hyakkimaru is first born, he is missing all his vital limbs and body parts. He has no legs, arms, eyes, nose, ears, or even skin. His greedy father traded them all to the demons in order for his land to prosper. Although Hyakkimaru is abandoned as a baby, a kind doctor decides to raise him and give him prostheses. While Hyakkimaru is able to use the prostheses well, it's a tragic curse that is made even worse because his own father brought it upon him.

    Is this curse terrifying?