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Top 10 Anime Where The Hero Dies

VO: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Alex Crilly McKean
They were just too good for this world. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we are counting down our picks for the Top 10 Anime Where The Hero Dies. For this list, we’ll be looking at the heroes in anime who bit the dust at one point or more during their respective series. Keep in mind we will be including both permadeath as well as times characters who were brought back to life. Prepare for a lot of dead bodies and a lot of spoilers down the line!
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Top 10 Anime Where The Hero Dies
They were just too good for this world. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we are counting down our picks for the Top 10 Anime Where The Hero Dies.
For this list, we’ll be looking at the heroes in anime who bit the dust at one point or more during their respective series. Keep in mind we will be including both permadeath as well as times characters who were brought back to life. Prepare for a lot of dead bodies and a lot of spoilers down the line!

#10: “Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans” (2015-17)


They were looking for a place to call their own, yet ended up dying on the battlefield like the child soldiers they were raised to be. After their alliance with McGillis falls through, Tekkadan find themselves once again in the crosshairs of Gjallerhorn forces, culminating in a final stand on Mars. Despite putting up a hell of a fight thanks to the untamed power of Barbatos Lupus Rex, Mikazuki’s life gives out before the battles end. Throw in the fact Orga got himself shot on the side of the street a few episodes earlier, and this particular entry in the Gundam mythos cemented itself as one of the most heart-breaking.

#9: “Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World-” (2016)


Whereas some characters only die once, Subaru managed to take spontaneous expiration and turn it into an artform. After finding himself trapped in a vast fantasy world, Subaru learns the hard way that every time he perishes, time rewinds itself back to the point of his arrival. Unfortunately for him, he dies a lot. Doesn’t matter if it’s being ripped apart by the beautiful Elsa, getting on the wrong side of Rem, or just letting the elements take hold of him, Subaru and death have a somewhat revolving door of a relationship.

#8: “Akame ga Kill!” (2014)


Being killed on the job sort of comes with the territory when you’re an assassin, especially if your mission it to take down an Empire. That being said, we didn’t expect the majority of Night Raid to meet their end by the time the series had drawn to a close. Sure, we’re happy that Akame got to live to fight another day, but that doesn’t take away the sting of seeing the rest of her allies fall to the sword. The fact that Tatsumi ended up meeting such a bitter end was the real kicker… Read the manga.

#7: “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood” (2012)


Jonathan Joestar and Dio Brando’s fates were always going to be intertwined, we just never expected it would result in Dio’s severed head going on a rampage and turning JoJo’s honeymoon cruise into a zombie ship. Despite getting his throat blasted open, Jonathan still manages to save his beloved Erina from harm, choosing instead to go down with the ship while making peace with the man who has caused him so much pain. Such a huge sacrifice could only come from the ultimate gentleman.

#6: “Inuyashiki” (2017)


Even before he was turned into an alien cyborg, this old man was nothing more than a big barrel of generosity, wanting nothing more than to reconnect with his family. After being given the terminator treatment, Inuyashiki does his darndest to save those from death with his extraordinary healing abilities, only to find himself having to give up everything when a meteor threatens the Earth. Teaming up with nemesis Shishigami, the two self-destruct in a final desperate act to save their loved ones from annihilation. No matter whether he was man or machine, Inuyashiki had a heart of gold.

#5: “Yu Yu Hakusho” (1992-95)


Getting runover by a car is never pleasant, but it’s safe to say that without Yusuke Urameshi’s first case of death, we wouldn’t have had this much beloved classic of the shounen genre. After saving a kid from becoming roadkill, the young juvenile is swiftly led to the afterlife, where he suddenly finds himself given the task of serving as a Spirit Detective and is promptly retuned to Earth so he can break a few demon skulls. He also found himself dying once again at the hands of Sensui, but it was nothing a little demonic blood couldn’t correct.

#4: “Devilman Crybaby” (2018)


Better the devil you know, right? Well unfortunately for Akira, he didn’t know his best friend all that well at all. Following on from Miki’s murder and humankind’s final decent into extinction, Akira discovers that Ryou is in fact Satan himself, who seems all too eager to set the earth ablaze before gearing up to fight God. Understandably pissed he’s been led on all this time, Akira launches one final apocalyptic assault against the forces of Hell…only to be torn in half in the process. It’s a shallow victory for Ryou however, as all he can do is weep over the corpse of his friend while everything else gets nuked into nothingness.

#3: “Dragon Ball Z” (1989-96)


Yes, the fact that dying in this series is more akin to a holiday abroad than a final destination does take some of the sharpness off when it comes to character deaths. However, even with the presence of a wish-granting dragon looming, the times Goku and company did bite the dusk still resonated with some stunning emotional poignancy. Taking a Special Beam Cannon to the gut, teleporting Cell away to save the Earth, Krillin getting blown up by Frieza, Vegeta’s sacrifice against Majin Buu, no one can deny that these moments still get you in the feels each and every time they appear on screen.

#2: “Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2” (2008)


from the very beginning, Lelouch only had one mission; to destroy the Empire of Britannia and undo the horrors inflicted by his family. To do so involved a lot of deception, plenty of killing and the occasional dip into straight-up villain territory, yet he never lost sight of uniting the world. How to accomplish such a feat? Build himself up to be the worst tyrant in history, all before staging a public assassination. By orchestrating his own demise, Lelouch proved that in spite of all the mistakes he made along the way, above all else he remained dedicated to liberating those who his kin had wronged.

#1: “Cowboy Bebop” (1998-99)

While some may argue it’s not for certain that that Spike Spiegel kicked the bucket following his bloody skirmish with Vicious, the image of him whispering his final words before falling to the floor is so iconic, so drilled into the minds of anime fans, such a perfect swan song of the legendary bounty hunter, that you couldn’t ask for a more perfect set up for a death scene if you tried. As such, we’re very much in the Spike-totally-died camp. But what a glorious death it was. See you, space cowboy.
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