While there are moments when it can go a little over the top, watching an anime character enact their most clever or brutal plan of revenge can be cathartic. It is a little drop of sweetness on the tongue that you may never be able to taste yourself because you are too polite, obedient, or otherwise just too kind. Or maybe you just haven’t had the right kind of psychotic break yet. Regardless, until you can revel in the poetic end of your enemies, here are our best revenge anime recommendations.
Redo of Healer
As a boy, Keyaru awakened the power of a Hero. His specialty was healing. However, by using these powers, he experienced the trauma of the injured person as well. It eventually drove him insane, but he was forced to use his powers anyway. After enduring torture and abuse by his fellow heroes for years, Keyaru formed a plan to get his vengeance. He was able to turn back time and restart his life with all his previous memories. Thus his vengeance began.
Redo of Healer is the ultimate edgelord fanfiction. It is the glorious amalgamation of graphic violent torture and hardcore revenge hentai. Each jammed against each other with the intensity turned up to eleven. It’s not winning any awards for depth of plot, but it is a show that knows how to appeal to the angry, horny 14-year-old in you.
The Rising of the Shield Hero
The stories tell of four heroes summoned from another world – the sword, spear, bow, and shield heroes who will prevent calamity. With darkness bearing down on them, the Kingdom of Melromarc summons these heroes from modern day Japan. For otaku Naofumi Iwatani, unfortunately he is labeled the shield hero, the weakest of the group. Worse yet, betrayal sees him labeled as a criminal and outcasted. With hatred and vengeance consuming him, he sets forth to grow strong.
Turning down the intensity from Redo of Healer, The Rising of The Shield Hero focuses more on its plot and mostly keeping everyone’s clothes on. The sense of victimhood in the protagonist is turned up high as the main character is instantly betrayed by everyone. He then sets out and becomes the strongest hero, spending the remainder of the anime saving the day literally every day.
Arifureta – From Commonplace to World’s Strongest
Otaku Hajime Nagumo and several of his classmates are summoned to a fantasy world and tasked with saving mankind. However, while his classmates are gifted with great abilities, Hajime only has transmutation skills that have no real offensive use. He is soon betrayed by a classmate and sent into an abyss filled with monsters. Resolving to not die to the darkness, he struggles to survive and teams up with an imprisoned vampire to return to the world above.
One more notch down from The Rising of the Shield Hero, you now have Arifureta, or “The Rising of the Shield Hero-lite”. Both series have extremely similar plots, but pull them off in varying degrees of success. Unfortunately, Arifureta suffers from a less good adaptation of its source material, and it leaves the anime wanting. However, it still fills that void that is wanting to watch a main character just tiredly save everyone he hates all the time.
As a child, Masamune Makabe confessed his love to the wealthy and beautiful girl Aki Adagaki. However, she brutally rejected him and nicknamed him “Piggy” due to his chubby appearance. Fleeing to his grandfather’s in the country, Masamune toiled endlessly to become fit. Once he became skinny and handsome, he returns to his old neighborhood in order to wreck vengeance on the girl that wronged him. With the help of Aki’s maid, Masamune sets out to make her fall in love with him so that he can be the one to break her heart.
As a romantic drama, you would be right to expect the revenge to be a little on the light side. In fact, if you have watched enough romance shows, you will even rightly be able to guess most of the plot. There are a few interesting twists that keep things from being too predictable, but it is still definitely on the light-hearted side for revenge because it is indeed a romance show.
After being the constant victim of bullying at school, Aito Enyama is granted an invitation to a Captivity Game. In this game, he can name one person to be confined. They can then do whatever they like to them, barring murder. So long as the prisoner cannot guess the identity of their jailer, they stand a chance to win the game. For Enyama, there is only one choice when it comes to who will be their captive – his primary torturer, Aya Kirishima.
With short-form episodes and a lack of animation akin to The Way of The Househusband, Prison Lab focuses intently on a game about torturing people. While it documents the main character’s descent into darkness, it also explores a few other players as well to really allow you to get those strokes in on your justice boner.
Gun x Sword
After the murder of his fiance, Van lives and breaths only to get revenge on the man that did it. On his journey to find the murderer he has dubbed The Claw Man, Van finds himself defending a town from bandits after they tick him off enough to stop. After finding out they have connections to The Claw Man, he and a local girl from the town journey to find further clues to the target of his ultimate vengeance.
No one can say that Gun X Sword is a story that has never been told. However, a standard old revenge plot about killing the man that killed the person you love will always be successful if you do it with interesting characters. That’s not so much the main characters in Gun x Sword, but the world is alive with interesting side ones.
Gutts has been a mercenary for as long as he can remember, caring for nothing but moving to the next battle. One fateful battle puts him at odds with the rapidly rising mercenary group, the Band of the Hawk. Their charismatic, idealistic leader Griffith soon makes him join by force, but the bond he forms with the Band of the Hawk may very well mean the end of the world.
Unfortunately the best animated arc of Berserk, The Golden Age Arc, isn’t about vengeance. It is all the build up to an ultimate event that would inspired the rest of the series to be about the need for revenge being the main character’s only reason to move forward.
Brandon Heat and Harry MacDowel grew up on the streets together and both turned to crime in order to get by. However, when their activities are noticed by the eyes of the expansive Millennion mafia syndicate, the pair find themselves brought under their wings and rising through the ranks. Things go well until one fateful day that changes it all. Years later, Brandon Heat is brought back from the dead to fight Millennion and its new leader, Harry MacDowel.
Much like Berserk, Gungrave tells a similar tale of the build up to betrayal and the all-consuming need for revenge, but with an organized crime bend to it. It even tells the story the same way by being mostly flashback in the beginning and then transitioning into the true tale of revenge.
Attack on Titan
Facing imminent extinction, humanity retreated behind a series of tall, thick walls to escape their most dangerous threat – massive human-like Titans with a taste for human flesh. With an enemy that eats humanity for fun rather than food, they are constantly threatened. As such, it is the duty of every human to defend the species. Enter Eren Yegaer who, after his village was destroyed by Titans breaching the outer wall, he and his adopted sister Mikasa join the Survey Corps. They are one of three factions of the military that scouts and combats Titans outside the walls. After joining in the brutal war, Eren discovers a secret about himself that could unravel what the world thinks they know about Titans.
What is interesting about Attack on Titan is that it is very often a tale of revenge, but it is just as often not about revenge at all. The motivations of the main and major characters in the series shifts often, and sometimes shifts with new context. Much of the beginning of the series is about a driven need for revenge, but that becomes more muddied as the series goes on.
Terror in Resonance
After a terrorist attack on a Japanese nuclear facility, the country was paralyzed to act. After six months of searching for the perpetrators, the public is shown a video of two boys known as Sphinx that take credit for a recent bomb attack in which they are then linked to the nuclear attack and theft by police. Threatening more mayhem to come, it is up to the police to catch these terrorists. However, as terrorists that never willingly kill anyone, their acts beg the public to pay attention to the horrific crimes committed against them in the past.
While, in its way, Terror in Resonance is a successful tale of revenge, it is not likely to leave you very satisfied with it. The main characters are very literally terrorists, and you know how the world feels about the terrorists winning. Though, while ti could have gone further, it does provide an interesting narrative poking at sympathy for the terrorists.
Magical Girl Site
Aya Asagiri lives a miserable life. At school she is bullied. At home she is beaten. Her only bright light is a cat, but one day even that is taken away from her. However, while browsing the internet, she finds a person that takes pity on her and gives her the powers of a magical girl to do as she pleases. So starts her vengeance.
Magical Girl Site starts off essentially doing every possible shitty thing to the main character to really build up that victimhood, then allowing you to revel in the glory that is her vengeance for the rest of it. There is a plot aside from that, but mostly it just shows many different people using magical girl powers for power and revenge.
The Holy Empire of Britannia has established itself as the dominant military nation, starting after their conquest of Japan, now named Area 11. Under Britannia’s tyranny, a number of resistance groups rose up to fight for their freedom. Enter Lelouch Lamperouge, the exiled prince of Britannia who has been sent to live in Japan. One day, after finding himself caught in the crossfire in a battle between Britannia and insurgents, Lelouch is able to escape with his life after meeting C.C., a mysterious girl who grants him the power of absolute obedience.
Code Geass is revenge on a global scale. It escalates from small-time rebellion to bringing an empire to its knees as a banished prince uses his wits, pedigree, and just a minor power of being able to have anyone obey you with a glance to take the throne.
Set during Prohibition, a man named Avilio returns to Lawless, a town famed for brewing illegal liquor, after the murder of his family by the mafia. A mysterious letter prompted him to return and infiltrate the Vanetti family to get his revenge. This anime tells the story of 91 days leading to the tragic end between Avilio and Nero Vanetti, the Don’s son.
I’m fairly certain that the tagline for this anime was legitimately “A Tale of Revenge in 91 Days,” because that’s just what this is. It is a tale of betrayal and revenge in a Prohibition Era-inspired world. The bond that develops between the two main characters makes the whole tale a little more complex and essentially is what makes it such a good show.
Although extremely bright, Kyouko Mogami’s naivety shines brighter as she toils endlessly to support her childhood friend and rising pop star Shou Fuwa. However, when she learns that all her hard work is like free servitude to her friend, she decides to get back at him by joining the ruthless world of entertainment herself.
Revenge plots and romance anime don’t always play so well together unless you are trying to make a series where every character is just terrible. However, Skip Beat explores really the one avenue that romance anime series with revenge plots can explore – showing someone you are much better than them in order to make them hella jealous.
Ravaging every land they touch, Vikings have become renowned for their thirst and talent for violence. Thorfinn, a son of a great Viking warrior, spends his childhood on the battlefield in order to reap his vengeance on his father’s murderer. A man who murdered his family in front of him, plucked him from his home, and now commands him in a band of warriors.
For as much as vikings permeate other media, there is a disappointing lack of Viking anime. Not this one, though. Not one person could say that there was anything disappointing about watching the tale of intrigues going on around the main character who is solely motivated to kill the character that is manipulating the world.
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens
The city of Fukuoka seems pretty normal, but it is awash in dangerous individuals. In the mix is Banba, a detective investigating hitman companies in the area and Lin, a hitman that is fed up with his lack of jobs. After being refused pay for a target that killed themselves, Lin is tasked with killing Banba, but instead asks him to team up.
While Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens is quite frankly a little rediculious with its town where every man, women, and child seems to be an assassin, it does tell a surprisingly in-depth story about revenge against hitman organization. It is, however, a show easily carried by its great characters.
At the beginning of the Edo Era, a time of peace has descended over the land. The Lord Tokugawa Tadanaga, however, has decided to hold a fighting tournament with real steel instead of wooden swords. Within this tournament, the one-armed Gennosuke and blind Seigen are set to face off. As they were both disciples of Iwamoto Kogan, the greatest swordsman in all of Japan, both are determined to prove they are the rightful successor.
Shigurui, with its brutal violence and nipple bean-splitting techniques, is mostly a story told of past events. It is the type of series that is all building towards the ultimate revenge payoff in the form of two maimed samurai fighting each other to the death. However, the entirety of the backstory makes it difficult to pick who you will be rooting for.
Blade of the Immortal
Manji is a swordsman who was cursed with eternal life. Growing upset with all the death he has created, he tries to get his mortality back by killing 100 evil men for every good person he had struck down. On this journey, he meets a girl named Rin who seeks her own vengeance against a sword school that killed her family. Together they journey, both trying to find their peace and prevent being consumed by revenge.
Everyone needs a weapon for vengeance, and in Blade of the Immortal, that weapon is technically Manji. And what a pair they make! A women driven completely by revenge with a long list of enemies, and a man who needs a varying number of evil men to kill in order to finally die.
Joran: The Princess of Snow and Blood
With the Meiji Era continuing on well into 1931, the Tokugawa Shogunate is still in power. With a newly discovered special resource known as “Dragon Vein,” Japan has propelled itself forward under the Tokugawa, but there are many who are unhappy, like the rebel group known as Kuchinawa. By day, Sawa Yukimura runs a bookshop, but at night she seeks vengeance against a man that killed her family and tribe – the leader of the Kuchinawa, a man named Janome.
Joran is the type of series that, had you not read a synopsis, you would spend many episodes piecing together what was supposed to be happening. Aside from being confusing in its storytelling due to this, Joran does have absolutely lovely visual moments due to its art style.
It is said that those who hold a powerful grudge can access a particular website at midnight. By entering a name here, that person can be ferried straight to hell. This is the tale of Ai Enma, the Hell Girl that carries out those orders.
Much of the small stories in Hell Girl are not about the unfeeling, unemotional main character getting revenge, but rather being the tool that people use to get their own. Nothing says vengeance like sentencing a soul to Hell for something like not returning a pencil. Joking aside, Hell Girl does tell those standard tales of someone in a heart-breaking situation getting fast and easy justice.
In the year 5053, French aristocrats Viscount Albert de Morcerf and Baron Franz d’Epinay attend Carnivale on the moon. While Franz wants to have fun, Albert is looking for something more fulfilling. However, after catching the eye of the Count of Monte Cristo at the opera, he finds more than he bargains for. Albert introduces him into French society, but the Count has vengeance on his mind as he seeks to ruin those that wronged him.
Based on The Count of Monte Cristo, one of the finest tales of revenge in classic literature, Gankutsuou adds a distinct sci-fi twist to everything that makes it significantly more anime in nature. It tells very much a similar story, but with a vastly different setting. It also has one of those distinct visual styles to it that you will remember uniquely forever.
Do you have more anime recommendations about tales of glorious revenge? Let fans know in the comments section below.