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There is blood everywhere and corpses are strewn across on the ground. The smell of carnage is thick in the air and you hear someone… laughing? Anime has its fair share of quirky characters, often that’s what makes it so compelling. They range from being slightly off-kilter, to utterly insane, and then there are those that actually enjoy hurting people. That’s right – I’m talking about sadistic anime characters.
You’ve seen them reveling in conflict and violence, sure to be seen emerging with a twisted grin on their faces each time. In the real world, sadists are those who take pleasure in the pain of others. Anime features many characters who take this to an extreme. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the most sadistic characters in anime.
10) Shion Sonozaki - Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (When They Cry)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 5, 2006 to September 27, 2006
Higurashi is widely considered one of the most twisted stories to be told through anime – and it is home to some of the most memorable scenes of violence and betrayal. Shion Sonozaki seems like a sweet, relatively normal girl – but in this show, nothing is what is seems.
Though not inherently a sadistic person in her natural state, the transformation she undergoes in this series is unforgettable. She’s not the only character, either. It’s impossible to describe without spoilers – you’ll have to trust us on this one, she definitely earns a spot on this list.
9) Ayato Sakamaki – Diabolik Lovers
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Sep 16, 2013 to Dec 9, 2013
The men of Diabolik Lovers are all relatively sadistic, taking pleasure in the heroine's pain. After all, who can really blame the undead for enjoying the taste of blood? A vampire and a torture device aficionado, Ayato Sakamaki is notably cruel.
Ayato is often seen teasing and berating the protagonist of the show, and often takes her blood without her permission. Not only this but he delights in her pain and discomfort, treating her like a cat does a helpless mouse, putting him in the running on this list.
8) Dokuro Mitsukai - Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan
- Episodes: 4
- Aired: March 13, 2005 to September 22, 2005
Dokuro is an angel, but only in the literal sense of the word. When she loses her temper, which is quite often, her charming smile becomes much anything but angelic. Her halo is a weapon sharper than a katana, and she has a spiked club she carries like a child does his favorite teddy bear.
She enjoys causing the protagonist pain in a variety of ways – the opening for the series even shows a bit of BDSM. For better or for worse, she also has the power to bring him back to life, allowing her to kill him over and over again in various ways. This strong sadistic streak puts Dokuro-chan on this list.
7) Kazutaka Muraki – Yami no Matsuei (Descendants of Darkness)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: October 2, 2000 to December 18, 2000
On the surface, Kazutaka Muraki is a compassionate physician. However, this is far from his true nature. Performing cruel experiments on human subjects with no remorse, he cares very little about the suffering of others. Muraki is more than your run of the mill mad scientist – he is a sadistic killer.
Sometimes characters are just heartless and shallow, with little explanation as to why. However, Muraki is a character with a lot of depth and though his twisted behaviors are explained to a degree he remains extremely cruel, earning him a spot on this list.
6) Medusa Gorgon – Soul Eater
- Episodes: 51
- Aired: April 7, 2008 - March 30, 2009
Medusa is one of the main antagonists in the series. While witches aren't by nature amoral, Medusa is not only evil, but a formidable foe in battle. Her powers go beyond combat – she also is an incredibly capable and remorseless manipulator.
She is another character who enjoys hurting others, and has no qualms about taking any means necessary to achieve her goals. Though at times she feigns empathy, at her core she is a truly wicked and sadistic character, putting her on this list.
5) Hisoka – HunterxHunter
- Episodes: 148
- Aired: October 2, 2011 - September 24, 2014
Hisoka is force to be feared. He lives his life in a self-indulgent manner, with no regard for others. He does not hesitate to take the lives of people that present themselves as obstacles, but his murderous streak is more complex than being a simple tool to achieve his means.
The thing that brings him the greatest pleasure of all is to kill difficult opponents - in the most painful ways that he can. Often times he goes through great lengths to orchestrate these killings, and it is this unadulterated bloodlust that puts him on this list.
4) Koichi Shido – Highschool of the Dead
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 5, 2010 - September 20, 2010
Educators are supposed to be figures that students can look up to, but Kiochi Shido isn’t even the type of person you’d want in the same room as children. Teachers shouldn’t encourage bullying, and they certainly shouldn’t use a zombie apocalypse as an excuse to manipulate their students.
There are sadistic characters who remain fan favorites, and then there are ones that just make your skin crawl in visceral disgust. Though a relatively minor character, Shido is certainly that special breed of monster, and definitely earns a spot on this list.
3) Yuno Gasai - Mirai Nikki
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 9, 2011 - April 15, 2012
Yuno Gasai maintains the illusion of being a perfect girl. She is a model student, smart and beautiful. Under this polished veneer lurks one of the most sadistic yandere characters in anime history. Whenever anything gets in her path she takes it down without hesitation, or remorse.
Like the other characters on this list, Yuno has no aversion to violence. A boxcutter is her armament of choice, though she is seen using an array of bladed weapons throughout the series. She is cold, calculating, and utterly ruthless, and receives a mention here.
2) Light Yagami – Death Note
- Episodes: 37
- Aired: Oct 4, 2006 to Jun 27, 2007
What would you do if you had the ability to kill anyone anonymously? High school student Light Yagami finds out when he gets the Death Note – a book allowing him to do just that. He chooses to eliminate people he sees as unworthy, claiming to endeavor to make the world a better place.
They say power can corrupt, but Light Yagami seems to have a few screws loose from the start of the series. The whole time he assumes the title of a vigilante, but it becomes clear that he enjoys killing people – a little too much. The glee with which he takes lives puts him on this list.
1) Alucard - Hellsing Ultimate
- Episodes: 10
- Aired: February 10, 2006 - December 26, 2012
Alucard is a vampire who is bound by contract to work as a mercenary, loyal only to his master Sir Integra Hellsing. His purpose is to act as her protector, no matter what the cost. As events in Hellsing unfold, he is repeatedly placed in combat and demonstrates his capabilities as a super-natural force to be reckoned with.
In the ways that only an ancient vampire can be, Alucard is intimately acquainted with bloodshed. Not only is it familiar to him, but it happens to be his favorite past time. He kills vampires in the name of a higher power, but his expressions undeniably showcase his enjoyment and excitement as he does so. Hellsing is full of such characters, but Alucard is the most extreme.
There are a variety of sadistic anime characters, from all sorts of genres from comedy and romance, to suspense and horror. Some of them are manipulative and pretend to be benevolent, others wear their dark colors on their sleeve. Some are villains, while some may be protagonists. Regardless of your preference, hopefully you found one of the characters on this list intriguing.