10 Most Brutal Anime Betrayals, Ranked

top 10 anime betrayal

Betrayal is a common theme throughout anime of all genres. There’s nothing like leading fans in one direction with a character, only to pull the proverbial rug out on their expectations with a twist that comes out of nowhere.

Sometimes, betrayals in anime series make little sense, other than possibly shock value, or to “re-spark” a stagnating storyline. But, in other cases, the motives are more understandable. For fans, it’s another unexpected turn in the story, and topic for multiple Redditor debates. With such a wealth of anime betrayals to choose from, they come in many forms and designs and can be truly brutal in nature.


10 When Reiner & Bertolt Reveal They Are Titans On Attack on Titan

10 Most Brutal Anime Betrayals, Ranked
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Eren has been through a lot on Attack on Titan, from the moment a Titan ate his mother through his journey in the military and through many battles. Then, he’s betrayed by a comrade in arms. Yes, Reiner ends up feeling tortured about things like getting Marco killed, but both he and Bertolt still have an agenda, and pursue it pretty ruthlessly.

It’s only years later, and in the middle of battle, that he confesses their true identities as the Armored Titan and Colossus Titan, shocking fans and Eren alike.

9 Kyubey & His Cruel Deceptions In Puella Magi Madoka Magica

10 Most Brutal Anime Betrayals, Ranked
via Fandom

It is the genius of writer and co-creator Gen Urobuchi to create one of the cutest villains in anime in Kyubey. He’s an adorable kitty who approaches little girls with a deal: become a magic girl and fight witches for us, and you’ll be granted your deepest wish.

He’s a cuddly kitty, so they say yes. What they don’t realize is that they’ve signed on for a lifetime of fighting witches and each other, and they’ll either die that way or stain their soul gems too much and become witches themselves.

8 Villetta Shoots Her Husband To Finish Her Cause In Code Geass

10 Most Brutal Anime Betrayals, Ranked
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The world of Code Geass is tough on its characters both physically and emotionally. There is war, chaos, death, and of all the betrayals, but Villetta’s is arguably the coldest. The elite Nightmare Frame pilot loses her memory when Lelouch uses his Geass on her.

She becomes Chigusa and marries the man who has cared for her – and is, incidentally, Kaname Ohgi, the leader of the Japanese resistance cell. They’re in love… until she regains her memories and her old personality. As Villetta again, she shoots Ohgi and finishes her cause.

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7 Griffith Sacrifices The Band Of Hawk For His God Hand Ambitions In Berserk

10 Most Brutal Anime Betrayals, Ranked
via Fandom

Griffith is a compelling character on Berserk, from his appearance to his ruthless transformation and from formidable warrior to the demonic/inhuman Falcon of Light. Imprisonment and torture, which he suffered after impulsively sleeping with Princess Charlotte, do tend to change personalities.

In Griffith’s case, it sent him on a journey to becoming the God Hand Femto. It’s the Bad of the Hawk, his old mercenary team who rescues him from prison – and it’s they who he sacrifices so that he can be reborn and finally achieve his ambitions.

6 Aizen Betrays The Soul Society In Bleach

10 Most Brutal Anime Betrayals, Ranked
via Fandom

Sosuke Aizen used to be a pretty laidback, hardworking captain in the 5th Division in the Gotei 13. He was polite, worked well under pressure, and seemed to be prepared with a plan for every situation that came up. He was, in short, an ideal part of the Soul Society.

Then, seemingly out of the blue, he abandons his post, changes his looks, and becomes a completely different person. Nowadays, he’s out to get the Soul Society with his own army of Arrancar.

5 Archer Betrays Himself In Fate/Stay Night

10 Most Brutal Anime Betrayals, Ranked
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Archer’s betrayal of his younger self has to be one of the more convoluted betrayal storylines in anime history. When Rin’s servant in Unlimited Blade Works was revealed to be another Shirou – an older version from a parallel universe – no one saw it coming.

Archer is actually a Counter Guardian, and he’s there after making a contract to go back into another timeline and kill himself before he can create the whole Fate/Stay Night timeline. While he didn’t defeat his younger self in the end, it was a memorable moment in the story.

4 Anthy Literally Backstabs Utena In Revolutionary Girl Utena

10 Most Brutal Anime Betrayals, Ranked
via Comicbook

It’s a poetic form of betrayal when Anthy stabs Utena in the back in Revolutionary Girl Utena. Utena wins Anthy the Rose Bride as a winner at the Ohtori Academy duels. They become close friends, but Anthy has her secrets – a relationship with her power-mad brother Akio and an identity as a Witch.

When Akio reveals her Witch identity to Utena, she refuses to believe it and duels him. But, in the end, it’s Anthy who reveals herself with a knife in Utena’s back.

3 Itachi Takes Out The Uchiha Clan In Naruto

10 Most Brutal Anime Betrayals, Ranked
via Fandom

It’s a difficult decision, but most fans can sympathize with Itachi when he betrays his entire community and kills them all. It’s an extreme situation, and his choices were terrible. Despite his affection for the community, Itachi is a double agent.

His decision is this: let the Uchiha start a war (one that will have disastrous results), or kill the whole clan to save himself and his brother. When little brother Sasuke is away, he makes his move, and the Uchiha clan is history.

2 Satsuki Betrays Ragyō – Her Mother – In Kill La Kill

10 Most Brutal Anime Betrayals, Ranked
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Like Gin Imchimaru, who had his reasons for betraying the Soul Society, Satsuki’s betrayal of Ragyō was a long time coming. Ragyō isn’t much of a mother, it has to be said. She experiments on Satsuki with Life Fibers, and has abused her emotionally and physically for years.

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Satsuki secretly begins to plot against her when she learns about her evil plot to destroy the Earth. Still, it’s a shocking twist when she finally betrays her publicly and takes a side against her.

1 Everything Is About Betrayal In Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo

10 Most Brutal Anime Betrayals, Ranked
via Nefarious Reviews

It’s impossible to pick out one betrayal in Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo when it’s a theme that runs through the whole piece. First, Edmond Dantes is framed on trumped-up charges by people he called friends on his wedding day.

While he’s in prison, his beloved Mercedes marries one of the people who conspired against him. It’s no wonder that, while he’s locked up and encounters the demon Gankutsuou, he lets himself become possessed so he can seek revenge against them all.

NEXT: 10 Times Our Favorite Heroes Betrayed Us

Next 10 Best Anime Mothers, Ranked About The Author

10 Most Brutal Anime Betrayals, Ranked

Anya Wassenberg (120 Articles Published)

I’m a long time freelance writer, blogger, and editor with a specialty in entertainment, arts, culture and travel. I’m also a longstanding science fiction/fantasy/comic book fan. My work has been cited and referenced in numerous books, magazines, and academic publications all over the world. I teach creative writing courses at the college level and in my other identity, I’m also a singer-songwriter known as Anya Mia. You can check out me and my work on my website at AnyaWassenberg.ca, and follow me on Twitter at @AnyaArtsMaven

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