Fallen Heroes – Anime Characters That Gave in to the Darkness

As, I believe, a Batman movie said – You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become a villain. While that is not true for every anime character in every series, there are some characters that you do get to watch have the fallen hero transformation. In many series, these characters aren’t necessarily the protagonist, but rather a sort of tragic antagonist that is slowly made rather than being evil because the plot demands they be evil. If you are looking for fallen heroes, we got fallen heroes.




Griffith From Berserk

There aren’t really any heroes in the world of Berserk. It’s hard and violent even before things get even worse. However, Griffith was probably the closest thing that you would see. He wants to be king to give everyone a better life. That is quite the ambition for a street child who runs a mercenary band. In his ambition, Griffith sort of gives away pieces of himself until he finally shatters. When there is only his dream left, he does the unthinkable to those he loves most in order to achieve it.

All Claymores in Claymore

It is established pretty early on in the series that all Claymores are doomed, and they are shunned because of it. They are infused with Yoma blood so they can fight those same Yoma. Unfortunately, that same blood will eventually transform them and other Claymores will have to come put them down. The series main antagonist, Priscilla, is exactly this.

Joan of Arc in Drifters

Joan of Arc, historically, was a hero of the Hundred Year War between France and England. She supposedly heard the voices of angels that helped her win several battles. Eventually, she was burned as a heretic in equal parts due to being a woman, hearing voices, and because the man proceeding over her trial was an English sympathizer. In Drifters, however, she comes back even more crazed and a super pyromaniac.

She’s not the only fallen hero in Drifters, however. Although it’s not in the anime yet, the main villain of the series is highly suggested to be a certain savoir that came back homicidal instead of turning the other cheek.

Gendo from Neon Genesis Evangelion

In the past, you saw flashbacks of Gendo when he was happy and actually cared about trying to fight for humanity. Then his wife died. Consumed by his own grief, he instead became dedicated to bring her back, even trying to summon the third impact to do so. This is, of course, completely converse to what his wife would have wanted.

Jellal From Fairy Tail

As a child, Jellal was a leader of child slaves. He was a good one too. He even tried to save Ezra from torture, only to end up taking it in her place. Unfortunately, he became brainwashed which caused him to become the very antithesis of himself. Although he does eventually break it, imagine waking up to a world in which you were the villain?

Sayaka in Madoka Magica

There are a few fallen heroes in Madoka Magica, and some could argue that all characters in this series will eventually become one due to reasons. However, one of the major fallen heroes that gets explored is Sayaka. As she is explored, you see that she is taking care of her sick friend that she also has a crush on. She gave so much of her time to visiting him and cheering him up, and ultimately uses her magical girl wish to cure him. Then of course he falls in love with someone else. Certainly giving your time does not make someone beholden to you, but it still stings to watch it happen to Sayaka then watch her go crazy because of it.

Sensui From Yu Yu Hakusho

Sensui in his backstory is shown to have once been a spirit detective, and a really good one. However, one day he happens across humans killing and bathing in the blood of demons just for fun. He is completely disturbed by this, and that is compounded when he watches Chapter Black, a collection of every sin humanity has ever committed. This collection completely twists him into one of the series most powerful antagonists.

Joseph in Ancient Magus’ Bride

The series never tries to excuse Joseph’s behavior, but it does try to explain it in his back story. The Joseph we see initially has no regard for human life, or his own. In fact, he wants to die. Immortality in this show is shown for the shitshow that immortality would likely be if real. You live forever, yes, but your body slowly rots in agony around you. Joseph was initially a grave digger that started taking care of an immortal. In order to try and make him better, he fused his body with his and accidentally made himself immortal. Now twisted and jaded, he does horrible things for fun and to try and find a way for him to die.

Scar in Full Metal Alchemist

Initially an Ishvalan warrior priest with a mind for peace, Scar’s family and people are viciously killed in the Ishvalan Rebellion. This leads him to further turning his back to his people as he is consumed by a need for revenge. This leads him to become a serial killer of Amestrians.

Do you have any more fallen hero type anime characters? Let fans know in the comments section below.


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