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Death Seeker / Anime & Manga

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Death Seekers in anime and manga.

  • Under the cheerful exterior, Mickey Simon from the Area 88 manga and OVA is certainly this. He convinced himself that he could not live in normal society after his traumatic experiences in the Vietnam War. He makes his living as a mercenary, fully expecting to die in battle with no thoughts for the future.
  • Attack on Titan: Eren Yeager is, in his own mind, an aversion as he has no intention of dying. Most of the people around him, however, are quick to point out that his life goals are exceedingly dangerous and largely impossible. Coupled with Eren's lack of fear towards death, this makes Eren behave like a Death Seeker and is widely assumed to be one.
    • When she thinks Eren is dead after having been eaten by a Titan, Mikasa goes on a Self-Destructive Charge with this intention.
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  • Lua Klein in Baccano!. She's suicidal and wants to die, however, she considers suicide cowardly (for some reason), so, she's together with Ladd, who promises to kill her last (after he's killed everyone else).
  • Downplayed with Guts from Berserk. While he isn't actively wishing for death, he throws himself into suicidal battles against creatures that greatly exceed the power of man with reckless abandon. It can be argued that he doesn't expect to actually beat the Apostles and Godhand, but is merely killing them off due to his unquenchable hatred until one of them finally manages to best him.
  • Manji from Blade of the Immortal seems like a mix of death seeker and The Atoner. He needs atonement to finally die. He has to do it by killing 1000 bad guys.
  • In Bleach:
    • The Quinto Espada, Nnoitra, constantly fights against strong opponents so that he can experience that rush someone gets in the final moments just before dying. His great hope is that he can die on the battlefield, after a glorious fight in which someone has earned the strength and power required to kill him. When Kenpachi grievously wounds him and starts to leave, Nnoitra refuses to give up and charges right at him in a suicide run, which prompts Kenpachi to finish him off.
      "Cause I wanna die. I want to die in the heat of battle. That's why I wanna get stronger. The stronger I get, the more battle will surround me. I want to be able to live and breathe the heat of battle."
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    • Overcome with guilt and grief for killing her beloved mentor, Rukia spends decades believing she has no right to live. When she is placed on death row for illegally giving Ichigo her power, she welcomes the chance to die. When she realises Ichigo is trying to save her, she struggles to understand why she could ever be worthy of being rescued.
  • In Brave10, Kamanosuke only joins the Braves so that he can get Saizo to kill him after a good, bloody fight.
  • Girge from Broken Blade is one rare example. You can clearly see that his purpose for jumping here and there in the battlefield isn't to decapitate some enemies' heads, but to find someone strong enough to kill him. The problem is, his reason remains mystery, even after he died in the Big Bad's hand. It's also clear that he seek neither forgiveness, nor salvation. New trope, anyone?
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  • Bungo Stray Dogs: Played straight during Dazai Osamu's mafia days. He is said to have grown bored of the world, and is seeking out something that could defy his expectations and hopefully kill him in the process. It is ambiguous whether he still thinks that way or not after leaving the mafia, but his proclamations of suicide since joining the detective agency have been a lot more lighthearted when compared to his genuine desire for death in the mafia, and happen less and less often as the series goes on. Crosses over a lot with Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life.
  • A Certain Magical Index:
    • Accelerator turned into one during his quest to atone for killing Mikoto's sisters, planning to protect everybody until he is eventually killed. He drops this attitude when Shizuri Mugino finds out and says he's just taking the coward's way out, and that true atonement can only come from fighting to protect everybody for as long as possible.
    • Bersei aka Kagun Kihara turned into one out of guilt for killing a mind-controlled person in self-defense. He eventually got his wish and was killed in battle, only to be brought back as a zombie.
  • Deneve from Claymore was one of these until Helen knocked some sense into her. Later on there's Cynthia, who is feeling horribly guilty about not being able to save her commander Flora in the Northern Campaign, and begs Yuma to kill her. Yuma isn't having any of it.
  • Suzaku Kururugi's exceptional piloting skills and willingness to put himself in mortal danger in Code Geass are revealed to be because he is a Death Seeker of the Redemption Equals Death variety: after he murdered his father, ex-Prime Minister Genbu Kururugi, and doomed Japan to Britannian tyranny because of that, he seeks to be punished for the crime he was never blamed for. This gets a whole lot trickier when Lelouch places a Geass on him instructing him to "Live!" with no duration or parameters. Thus, whenever he tries to do something suicidal, or even just accepts that death will be the result of his current situation, the Geass command forces him to take any action he possibly can to avoid dying. Given the nature of the series, this has predictably tragic results. It doesn't stop him from trying, though, which leads to Suzaku destroying the Tokyo settlement when he tried to let Kallen kill him while carrying a nuke. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! on both sides. However, he does use the Geass to his advantage at one point. When he fights an enemy with a Geass that allows him to see into the future, Suzaku uses the "Live!" effect to enhance his performance and move too fast for his opponent to keep up. Lampshaded by Lelouch, who comments on how powerful his mental discipline is. The Geass even provides him with knowledge he shouldn't even be able to have; his reflexes tell him when to throw a spear that will disable a FLEJA nuke.
    • C.C. is eventually revealed to be suicidal, but she's been trapped in an immortal body since the middle ages. She can survive getting shot in the head, being burned at the stake, and even being crushed by the intense water pressure at the bottom of the ocean. The entire reason she's gone around granting Geass powers to people like Mao and Lelouch is because she needs someone to become powerful enough to kill her. Somewhat subverted in this case, Lelouch mentions her "true wish" afterwards and she stays with him, even though he couldn't bring himself to kill her and she ditched Mao for that very reason.
    • Lelouch eventually becomes this after the death of Shirley, the apparent demise of Nunnally and the betrayal of the Black Knights at Schneizel's hands. At that point he was initially willing to let the Knights kill him until Rolo came in for the rescue, and only after the latter's sacrifice did he regain the willpower to take down his father, Charles zi Britannia. After doing this, he reaches an agreement with Suzaku to team up and also punish each other in the process. Unlike the other two death seekers, Lelouch actually pulls it off in the end and makes his death a part of his ultimate plan to change the world.
  • In Corsair, Canale is a former assassin who made a promise not to kill himself, but wishes to die because he thinks he brings misery and destruction wherever he goes. Early on he begs Ayace to do so, but Ayace refuses. Later Ayace makes a promise that if Canale brings destruction on Preveza he will kill him, so until then he should try living normally, which reassures Canale greatly.
  • Digimon
    • Digimon Adventure 02: Ken Ichijoji is revealed to be one during the final episodes, due to his guilt over his actions as the Digimon Emperor. When trapped in a Lotus-Eater Machine along with the other DigiDestined, Ken's dream is watching himself get beaten to death, as the Emperor, by the Digimon he hurt.
    • In Digimon Tamers, Beelzemon could be considered this after his Heel–Face Turn. At the very least, he recklessly throws himself into battle and doesn't seem to care whether he lives or dies—he gets mortally wounded at one point and presses the Tamers to continue on and rescue Jeri instead of helping him, and expresses more frustration about his inability to help than the fact that he was, you know, dying.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • The Big Bad Black Mage Zeref feels rejected by the world because of his uncontrollable power that drains the life from everything around him. Realizing that he will always be alone because of this, he wants to die. For some reason, he believes that Natsu is the only one who has a chance of killing him. When they meet in 209 and Natsu punches him, his only reaction (after being completely unharmed) is to feel regret.
      Zeref: I see... still. Still. He still... Natsu... still can't break me.
    • It's eventually revealed that Natsu is E.N.D. (Etherious Natsu Dragneel), by far the strongest demon ever created by Zeref. Not only that, Natsu is also Zeref's younger brother, who died centuries ago and whose death would start him on the path to become what he is today — Zeref created E.N.D. using Natsu's corpse to not only to revive his younger brother (his original goal), but also create the one to finally end his existence. That's right, Zeref is so desperate to die that he turned his younger brother into a Laser Guided Tyke Bomb with the sole purpose of killing him.
    • Loki was one of these, too. Rather than actively trying to die, he was waiting for his life force to drain so that he could be free from the guilt of accidentally causing the death of Karen Lilica. Lucy manages to break him out of this.
    • Jellal hit this point upon being told of his villainous deeds by Erza when he suffers from amnesia, with him believing Erza would be better off with him dead. Despite Erza's efforts to snap him out of it, Jellal continues to harbor these feelings long into and after both Time Skips, which fuel his attempt at numerous failed HeroicSacrifices. It culminates in the Alvarez Empire arc when he goes on an all-but-certain suicide attack on Acnologia himself to lure him into the space between time, knowing full well that he would likely be trapped with the dragon. It's only after Ichiya and Anna take his place, and later when he's pardoned by Queen Hisui, that he finally devotes himself to living for the future.
    • As of chapter 388, Minerva turned out to be this, as she begged Erza to kill her for succumbing to darkness and becoming a demon, believing that she deserves to die due to her misdeeds. Erza refuses and Sting and Rogue show up to tell her Sabertooth is still waiting for her to come home.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Hohenheim wants to die, and really really sucks at it. He does know that he has some plot-like things to do first, but death is a definite goal for him, and he is likely trying to track down the Big Bad in order to find out how he can die, as well as to defeat the bad guys. He likely is a character who would not mind dying to escape his horrifying and very long past. Ironically, when he finally is able to die at the end of the series, his last words are that, now that he's here, he kind of wants to keep living. However, it's too late.
    • Lust in the 2003 anime wants to become human so she can eventually be with her former lover in death.
    • Greed in the 2003 anime as well, when he realizes that his dream of gaining eternal life is a hopeless one. This can be seen when he willingly fights Ed after Dante weakens him. Martel even lampshades it later on.
    • In The Movie, Wrath helps Al so he can die and be with his mother.
  • Gauron from Full Metal Panic!. Somewhere along the line, he somehow latches onto the idea that he wants Sousuke to kill him (and if that doesn't work, killing Sousuke and raping his body works just fine as well). His suicidal and extreme sadomasochistic tendencies are somewhat explained in the novels, where it's revealed that he had lethal cancer that would kill him sooner or later. The only irony is, it seems the more he throws himself into danger and suicidal situations, the longer he lives.
  • In Ga-Rei -Zero-, Yomi, fighting the emotion intensifying effects of the Sesshouseki, attempts to get Noriyuki to kill her since she has become a "taint of evil," as she puts it. However, he repeatedly refuses to, even as she becomes increasingly more sadistic in her attempts to provoke him to do so.
  • In GeGeGe No Kitaro (2018), Shogo; a human professor, request that Kitaro kills him after he unwittingly turned himself into a Yōkai that kills people by draining their blood. Initially, Kitaro was planning on finding another solution that would help Shogo, but ends up being forced to destroy him when Shogo nearly kills his own daughter. Sadly, Mikoto refuses to see it that way and just views Kitaro as a murderer.
  • Mostly all vampires and other immortals in Hellsing seek, over everything else, to end their immortal existence. Most of them Go Out with a Smile, and the entire reason the Major began his war was so that he and his comrades could go out with a bang instead of fading away in silence. Even Alucard himself falls into this, with the proviso that he'll only accept death at the hands of a Worthy Opponent and feels that only a human could ever be worthy, never a fellow monster.
  • Immortal Rain: Rain and Yuca BOTH, especially since Yuca made Rain practically have him kill him.
  • In part 6 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Weather Report, after recovering his memories. He dies shortly afterward in a not quite successful suicide attack on the Big Bad.
  • Mikoto in K relentlessly pursues Tatara's killer despite the increasing deterioration of his Sword of Damocles, refusing to peacefully back down from his attack on the school when he finds out that the killer is possibly there. After successfully completing his revenge by killing the Colorless King, he simply open his arms to welcome death either by Reisi's sword or from his own failing Sword of Damocles.
  • The clone of Zest in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS was a "Doomed to die an ignoble death" version, and provoked Signum for a battle to the death after she made an assurance that his charge was safe with her squad and that the villains had been caught. While Agito hated her for it, she thanked her for giving him his last honor as a fellow knight.
  • Rau Le Creuset in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED combines this with Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds and Omnicidal Maniac for a truly dangerous combination.
  • May have been Reccoa's true motivation for turning traitor in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, as having been a guerrilla fighter for nine years had worn her resolve against tyranny down to nearly nothing.
  • Toukichirou Higaki from Murciélago is revealed to be this in their final moments. He regretted not being able to give his life for his country during World War II, and his declaration of war against the police was meant to give him the opportunity to die in battle.
  • Itachi Uchiha from Naruto is a more deliberate version than most: he goads his younger brother into killing him, which he believes will make Sasuke strong. It takes almost a decade, by which time he's already dying from an unknown disease; and Sasuke does get stronger, true, but he also goes quite mad. Heck, the only thing worse than his death is his life.
  • One Piece
    • Jimbei makes it clear several times throughout the Marineford battle that he expected to die. He survives, and remains an important character two in-universe years later. He appears to be fine with this outcome, though.
    • Nico Robin loses her last hope and purpose to life at the end of the Alabasta arc. It needs two unwanted rescues until she is ready to admit in the middle of the Enies Lobby arc that she has found her reason to live and that she doesn't want to die.
    • Kaido as well, though he's extremely bad at it. He's taken up suicide attempts as a hobby, survived 40 of his own executions, and is willing to light a giant war to find something actually able to kill him while in battle. It's not known if he's tired of living, or if he's simply curious as to the extent of his own indestructibility.
    • Reiju Vinsmoke suffers from immense self-loathing for all the crimes she committed in the name of the Germa 66 at the behest of her father and the rest of the family. When her brother Sanji finds out about the Charlotte Family's plans to massacre the Vinsmoke Family at his wedding the following day and implores her to help him somehow stop the plan so she won't die, she refuses, believing that the world would be better off without the Vinsmokes, including her, and instead begs her brother, the sole good member of their family, to flee with his friends.
  • In an episode of Princess Tutu, a "Ghost Knight" roams the town, escaped from a story where he killed his lover (who was an enemy spy) and remained honorable to his country until the end of the war, after which he found no meaning to his life. Fakir believed that the reason he was having dreams about him was because he was the one the Knight had chosen to kill him in battle...but it turns out he was carrying the heart shard of Pride, and the real reason Fakir was having dreams about him was because he was a descendant of Drosselmeyer.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Sayaka does not react well to finding out that her soul had been moved into her Soul Gem. Unfortunately, she does not die; she becomes a witch. Kyoko probably has some of this trope as well (stemming from her ultra-tragic backstory), given how she reacts to Sayaka's downfall.
    • There is a lot of evidence in the Rebellion Movie that Homura is an example, due to the dozens of time loops she's gone through trying to keep Madoka from contracting and losing her at the final loop of the old Universe. By the time of the movie her Witch form begs for death, and when she takes over the Universe, her helpers the Clara Dolls (who represent Homura's feelings) can be seen throwing themselves off a ledge. Homura follows them in The Stinger
  • Kenshin Himura of Rurouni Kenshin is revealed to be this. According to his former master, Hiko Seijuurou, Kenshin's Superpowered Evil Side has roots in both this, and his former Knight Templar mindset: Kenshin's guilt for his time as an assassin caused him to take his own life for granted, and was willing to die if it meant protecting the innocent and receiving penance for his sins. This sense of despair was what caused Kenshin's Thou Shalt Not Kill vow to waver, seeing himself as a lost cause and prepared to further damn himself for the sake of others.

  • Kanbei in Samurai 7, who is actually disappointed that he has managed to survive yet again even while most of his subordinates have once again died.
  • Suite Pretty Cure ♪: Being the embodiment of sadness, Noise wants to accomplish his true goal of disappearing from the world by creating a World of Silence where no emotions exist.
  • Sunday Without God has two. The first is Julie, who claims to seek revenge against the immortal Hampnie (and Julie knows he's immortal) for "killing" his undead wife, although his true goal is to die at Hampnie's hands. The second is Hampnie himself, who wants to die a happy death surrounded by those he loves, as he fears his Resurrective Immortality will someday leave him the last living human being in the world.
  • Kirito from Sword Art Online goes through a phase of this after a lower-level guild he joins ends up dying. He initially attempts an extremely dangerous boss fight so that he can get a revival item for Sachi, a female member he was particularly close to. When that doesn't work, he plans to banzai charge the boss monsters until one kills him, but a posthumous recorded message from Sachi talks him out of it.
  • Rossiu from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann plans to commit suicide after everything he did almost ended in Humanity's extinction, it takes a punch from Simon to prevent this.
  • Tokyo Ghoul:
    • In the final arc of the original series, Yomo suggests that Yoshimura, Enji Koma, and Kaya Irimi have gone into battle with the intention of dying to redeem themselves. Touka argues that she should join them, because she's a murderer as well — he sternly reminds her that her task is to honor their sacrifice by continuing to live with the pain. In a slightly more comical moment, Kaneki is briefly scolded for ruining everything by coming to rescue them.
    • In the sequel, after regaining his memories, Kaneki realizes that he wanted to die when he confronted Arima at V14. He decides that he wants to "die in style", and spends several months preparing to carry out a suitably dramatic death. After months of appearing like a jerk, he betrays the CCG and breaks Hinami out of Cochlea.....all while intending to use her escape to provoke Arima into killing him. Arima ends up seeing through this ruse, lecturing him over his misguided actions and repeatedly baiting him into fighting harder. After a brutal Curb-Stomp Battle, he realizes that a part of him doesn't really wish for death and resolves to go on living in spite of it not being "cool".
    • Arima turns out to be an actual Death Seeker, due to his miserable shortened life as V's attack dog. He slits his own throat when Kaneki refuses to finish him off.
  • In the latter half of Toward the Terra, Matsuka worries that Keith seems to be "looking for a place to die." These worries are well-founded.
  • Uratarou tried many different ways, but still couldn't kill himself. Even being beheaded doesn't kill him. It's later revealed that the main reason for him wanting to die is watching all of his friends and loved ones die.
  • In the Your Name side novel Another Side: Earthbound, this is Discussed; Futaba's reluctance to be hospitalised for her illness until it deteriorated to the point that she had no choice led Toshiki to wonder if she was this.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, after the Big Bad is defeated, the Pharaoh's spirit within the Millennium Puzzle can go to the afterlife, but only once he's been defeated in a duel.
    • An interesting variation with Kaiser Ryo/Zane in Season Three of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. He's developed a fatal heart condition, so he's not actively looking to die as it's going to happen regardless. Instead, he's trying to hold on long enough to find an opponent to give him a true challenge, so he can go out fighting.
    • Kiryu/Kalin in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's in the Crash Town arc, overlaps with The Atoner as he wishes to die to be punished for his actions as a Dark Signer. Edited into a "Because Destiny Says So" attitude in the dub (Never Say "Die" is in effect too)—he still wants to be punished for what he did, but the focus in more on him accepting his fate to be punished when it happens rather than seeking it out.
  • Heroes cannot die in Yuki Yuna is a Hero. While the other girls accept this Togo takes becoming increasingly disabled until they're bedbound badly. After over ten failed suicide attempts and learning the Awful Truth about their world she decides to Kill All Humans in order to have them, and mostly her friends and herself, die in a Mercy Kill fashion.
  • In Yu Yu Hakusho:
    • This is Younger Toguro's entire reason for getting Yusuke involved in the Dark Tournament.
    • This was what Dr. Ichigaki's team really wants, in contrast to their seemingly Blood Knight ways:
    • And Sensui's entire reason for opening the tunnel to Makai.
    • There's also Raizen, Bui, Hiei, and possibly Mukuro.


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