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Lack Of Empathy / Anime & Manga

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People with a Lack of Empathy in anime and manga.

  • Attack on Titan has Gabi Braun, who shows no empathy for the Eldians living in the walls of Paradis Island, who were attacked by the military she's now a member of (and has been brainwashed by). Despite being Eldian herself, Gabi, like many Eldians around her, believe that they're different and superior to the Paradis Eldians (who have been in isolation for about 100 years). She's called out by fellow Child Soldier and future Tyke Bomb candidate Falco Grice, who does sympathize with the Paradis Eldians. One of the reasons Gabi gives to Falco is that she didn't see the attacks happen so therefore they can't be sure if they actually suffered. Both of them are later confronted by Kaya, an orphan (the girl who was saved by Sasha way back in chapter 30-something) who gives Gabi and Falco shelter when they're on the run in the walls. Kaya asks Gabi why she had to watch her mother be eaten alive by a titan, and Gabi gives the government-approved spiel of how all Eldians are evil and have killed millions of people and that Kaya and her mother were paying for their ancestors' cruelty. Kaya's retort is that she and her mother never did any of those things. Falco agrees with Kaya, although neither of them are able to get through to Gabi.
    • The memories of the Titan Shifters reveal King Fritz I was this in the worst way possible. Ymir Fritz, the mother of all Titans, was nothing more than his unfortunate abused slave, who happened to find an Eldritch Abomination one day while she was hunted down as Fritz' target practice. Fritz abused her so thoroughly, even when she became his baby factory and her empire's god, that she couldn't think about anything except serving her master. After she dies in an assassination attempt on King Fritz, all he can think about is how his power will cease to exist... then he forces his own daughters to eat their mother's corpse, causing the 13-year death curse through selective conditioning. Even on his deathbed, all he can think about is how glorious his empire crushing every other nation with man-eating abominations for all eternity will be. It's implied that this horrifying history is what caused every member of the Fritz royal family since the 145th turn to defeatist pacifism. Except it has a very different effect on Eren...
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  • It becomes increasingly apparent in the Baccano!! Light Novels that Elmer C. Albatross is, despite his seemingly selfless behavior, completely incapable of empathy. Ironically, that lack of empathy is exactly what lets him continue his unconditionally selfless behavior in the face of pointless suffering and depravity, and thus why he horrifies and disgusts Fermet.
  • Kazuo Kiriyama from the Battle Royale manga. He's revealed to actually physically be unable to feel empathy, as he got in a car accident that damaged his brain when he was young and lost all of his emotions. From the way this is presented, quite a few people consider this completely Narmy. There are some effective moments, though - at one point he chooses to let some kids befriend him on the results of a coin flip; on the island, he flips a coin again (at their urging), and when they lose the flip he slaughters them without a second's hesitation.
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  • Griffith from Berserk upon becoming a Godhand. His very first action as Femto says it all, as he viciously rapes his former executive officer Casca in front of her love and his former comrade Guts just to spite and hurt him while smirking at him the entire time. The evidence just gets more damning after he is reincarnated into the physical world as a human, where he goes to the Hill of Swords, a memorial to the Band of the Hawk whom he sold out during the Eclipse in order to become a Godhand just so he could find out if he could still feel anything about all that he did to his former friends and comrades. Turns out he doesn't. And says it with such a straight and rational face that it's scary. And no, this does not sit well with Guts at all.
  • Black Cat: Series Big Bad Creed Diskenth combines this trope with No Social Skills for truly bad results. Interestingly, his Lack Of Empathy is actually a crippling flaw for his career as a villain—he has no idea why his underlings constantly run away after he Bad Bosses a few of them, and his total inability to understand The Hero's emotions results in his own defeat.
  • Bleach
    • Ulquiorra, mostly because he doesn't understand what it means to be human and the human emotions that come with it. It's eventually subverted, however, as his interactions with Orihime help him understand the heart and what it entails, as seen in his death scene.
    • Aizen sees nothing wrong with manipulating the people he's earned the trust and respect of for centuries and betraying them simply to achieve his goals. On several occasions, he's cut them down himself because it amused him. Ironically, Ichigo believes he ended up this way because he was The Ace from a young age who couldn't connect with anyone due to being put on a pedestal.
    • Grimmjow believes that he is destined to become the king of Hollows and that anyone else is either a stepping stone or obstacle to get rid of, a follower who will serve him in reaching that point, or a rival that needs to be put down for getting between him and that goal. When his loyal Fraccion are all killed, he shrugs off their deaths rather easily and shows more anger about how his reckless actions he got his arm chopped off and kicked off the Espada as punishment (before he got it back and killed his successor with glee).
    • Nnoitra believes that Hollows are damned souls who shouldn't bother with things like "redemption" or trying to better themselves, and thus he sees nothing wrong with trying to kill anyone and everyone in his path as he seeks to become either the strongest around or gets killed in battle by someone stronger, both of which he longs for. The only person he's ever shown a smidgen of care for is his Fraccion Tesla.
    • Szayel Apollo Granz sees nothing wrong with turning his own Fraccion into edible food sources to recover from injuries quickly, nor does he have any issues sacrificing someone else in order to use his Gabriel technique.
    • Mayuri of the Soul Reapers describes in horrific detail the experiments he carried out on the souls of the Quincies, and then proceeds to complain about the difficulty of getting specimens.
  • Candy Candy: Candy's step-siblings Eliza and Neal Reagan, but most specifically Eliza, who seems to hate and pick on Candy for no real reason at all.
  • Code Geass: Prince Schneizel. At first he seems to be a kind and understanding gentleman who sympathizes with the plight of his subordinates. Then he's revealed to be a cold Manipulative Bastard who uses Dissonant Serenity to hide his detachment from humanity. Whether he truly did care for anyone is up for debate.
    • Schneizel is an interesting case, because he does honestly seem to want world peace... but at the same time, this is a man who can talk about nuking millions of people without so much as blinking.
      • Scneizel's psychology is so detached from the idea of empathy that some fans have suggested from how people talk about him that he willed himself to be a blank slate that responds to the surroundings rather than actually being able to grasp people having ambitions or an actual sense of self; he aims to take over his father's throne because his society's values indicate he should do so as the stronger of the two, not because he cares in the slightest about being Emperor. He doesn't even have the A God Am I reasoning behind nuking millions of people from orbit until Cornelia suggests it, and barely reacts when she is gunned down trying to stop him. Even when Lelouch finally defeats him, Schneizel appears to legitimately not care when he thinks he's about to die and this entire war was for nothing. Word of God confirms that he lacks ambition — and that's exactly why he is so dangerous, since he honestly doesn't have any long-term interest in any of his undertakings.
      • Which is why Schneizel el Britannia is the true Light Yagami Expy in Code Geass, not Lelouch.
  • Danganronpa 3:
    • Mukuro Ikusaba cares about one thing only: her sister Junko. Everyone else means nothing to her. While she doesn't take any sadistic joy in the suffering of others, she doesn't particularly care if they suffer either, and will willingly throw them under the bus for Junko's sake.
    • Izuru Kamukura is completely indifferent to the pain of people around him, to the point that his reaction to watching someone getting Mind Raped is to remark on how dull it is. This is justified, though, as while he logically knows what emotions are, he's a Transhuman so far above others he just can't empathize with them. Though like Mukuro, he has someone whom he makes an exception for, Chiaki Nanami. Her death is the one thing that drives him to actual tears.
  • Sir Isaac Ray Peram Westcott from Date A Live is a heartless and cold person who does not care about innocent lives, his subordinates, and even his own organization. Many, if not all, of the Wizards under his command express unwavering loyalty towards him. He still treats them like disposable pawns.
  • Death Note: Light Yagami starts out as a fairly nice guy who wants to change the world for the better, but that all changes as soon as he gets his hands on a Death Note and he eventually becomes so unhinged that he is all too willing to kill and manipulate anyone who gets in his way, or whomever he believes is a threat to him.
    • His "girlfriend", Misa Amane, is arguably even worse. With the sole exception of Light, she never cares about or even acknowledges the pain of others (applies both to pain she witnesses and pain she causes), casually offering to kill one of her friends, whom she used to send her Kira tapes to the media, if Light thinks it necessary. Even when Sayu Yagami, Light's little sister, is kidnapped, she is as cheerful and happy-go-lucky as ever, apparently not understanding that something like this would naturally upset Light.
  • In Death Parade, the arbiters essentially lack the comprehension of complex emotions and are thus unable to empathize with the humans they need to judge, to the point of needing more emphatic assistants who provide them with a moral compass of sorts. While it's not played out to be particularly villainous, it is a problem considering these are beings who judge whether a soul will be reincarnated or sent to "the void".
  • Kikuhara from Devils' Line. He is a man who is unable to feel love towards someone either as a regular companion or being attracted sexually towards them. Kikuhara also has no compunctions when throwing his companions away like a tissue to achieve his own goals.
  • Dragon Ball is filled with these kind of villains:
    • After killing Upa's father Bora in cold blood on a whim, Mercenary Tao tells Upa point-blank that he's lucky he didn't decide to kill him too. Master Roshi states outright that Tao has nothing resembling a conscience.
    • Vegeta was a perfect example before his Heel–Face Turn, being so cruel and callous that even Nappa and Raditz, themselves cold-blooded Jerkasses, were taken aback by some of his actions. He coldly murdered his partner Nappa who asked him for help and refused to consider bringing Raditz back because he was a weakling for getting himself killed. Not only that, but when the Namekians he killed weren't revived by the Dragon Balls due to Shenron's Literal Genie tendencies, he viciously lampshades it and outright laughs in the other Namekians' faces. Even when he wasn't technically evil anymore, he still doesn't give a damn about anyone but himself, including his own son. It wasn't until the Buu Saga that he begun to show any empathy towards people and it's mostly because he became begrudgingly fond of them, which he saw as a weakness and was why he gave himself to Babidi. By the end of the series, he finally learned to truly care about someone other than himself.
    • Frieza has absolutely no empathy for anyone but himself. Best exemplified in Super, when Tagoma coldly shoots through Shisami to hit Gohan; while the Z-Fighters and even Sorbet are all taken aback at Tagoma's ruthlessness, Frieza is impressed by it.
    • Like Frieza, Cell has no empathy for anyone. As far as he's concerned, all other living things are either food to get stronger, entertainment to fight and kill, or both.
    • Majin Buu provides different takes on this. Fat Buu genuinely doesn't know any better due to his childlike demeanor and gradually learns empathy through Mr. Satan and Bee, while Kid Buu is simply too mindless to comprehend anything other than destruction. Super Buu, however, is sentient enough to know that he's inflicting harm on others and evil enough to not care and enjoy it anyway.
    • Zamasu, the corrupt Supreme Kai of Universe 10 in Dragon Ball Super, has no empathy for mortals, viewing them as Always Chaotic Evil. In Episode 59, when Goku reveals to him that his counterparts from Trunks' Bad Future caused all sorts of devastation, rather than be shocked or remorseful, he's delighted to discover his dream had become a reality. He also has no qualms against trying to kill his own master to further his goals.
    • Due to his child-like mentality, Zeno doesn't seem to comprehend that erasing trillions of mortals and universes isn't a good thing. This is best shown when he erased Universe 9 for losing the Tournament of Power where when all the fighters momentarily stopped for a moment due to witnessing a universe being erased, he is genuinely baffled as to why they are stopping meaning that he fails to understand to horrible act of erasing a whole universe. This mentality continues even as Zeno wipes out six more universes until only five remain at the end of Super. Luckily, 17 just wishes all the universes back, which Zeno was counting on him to do.
  • Izaya Orihara of Durarara!! could definitely be interpreted as a sociopath. He likes to proclaim his love of humans (in a way that suggests he doesn't consider himself one) and spends his time manipulating others for his own amusement. Sometimes his actions are funny when viewed from the outside, especially when done to nasty people, but he has no compunction about harming innocents. While some people like and indeed fawn on him (generally girls), it's only because he's a convincing liar. Other than that, he has no friends to speak of.
    • Later on though, this becomes subverted. As of volume 9 of the novel, Izaya is very capable of showing emotions. The closest thing he has shown was fear of losing Shinra during middle school after Shinra took a stab wound for him by another student that was out to hurt Izaya. Naturally, this event has affected him in more ways than one and his determination to get revenge on the person who hurt his only friend is very evident in this volume.
    • Mikado shows shades of this as of volume 6. Aoba can't pinpoint what emotion Mikado has except that it's cold and emotionless. How dark Mikado is will be up for interpretation until later volumes.
  • A few of the Diclonius in Elfen Lied. Lucy's different because deep, deep down, she actually does feel guilty about the murders.
    • She really only started feeling guilty after she killed Kouta's little sister and father, and even afterwards, she doesn't show any empathy towards the numerous innocent humans and Diclonii that she kills or maims. It's only if the killings affect Kouta and his feelings for her, that she shows any bit of remorse or hesitation in her actions.
  • Agon Kongo from Eyeshield 21 is the classic sociopath: he's very good at socializing and pretending to be a charming young man, but lacks any affection for anyone. Interestingly, the one person he was somewhat empathetic to was his brother. His identical twin brother. Which might imply something about how his mind works.
    • Near the end of the series, he does show some genuine empathy. Or at least tries to, in his own jerkass way.
  • Black Mage Zeref of Fairy Tail actually needs this to control his vast magical powers. If he develops compassion for other people, he suffers deadly Power Incontinence that drains the life out of everything around him. For centuries he placed himself in self-imposed exile on Tenrou Island to avoid hurting other people. Unfortunately, by the end of chapter 249, the machinations of Grimoire Heart cause him to forget compassion again and Master Hades becomes his latest victim. The formerly kindly Zeref then derides his victim as "trash" that should just fall into the abyss.
  • King Joseph of Gallia from The Familiar of Zero. In fact, much of his actions are an insane attempt to to instigate a feeling of remorse. His list of evil deeds include: killing his brother to usurp his throne, attempting to poison his niece Tabitha with an insanity-causing potion (her mother took it instead), forcing said niece to serve him as his agent, forcing Tabitha to betray her friends and sentencing her death when she failed, and finally launching an unprovoked assault on the country of Romalia with the intention of annihilating the capital city. Each of his deeds grew progressively worse, hoping that by increasing the depravity of his deeds he would finally feel an inkling of remorse. Whether he finally understood empathy when his familiar, who was in love with him, chose to die with him is ambiguous.
  • Tohsaka Tokiomi of Fate/Zero. The man gives up his younger daughter to a Fate Worse than Death for the sake of making her an "equal" to her elder sister (which could potentially result in his daughters fighting each other in the next Grail War). He also is genuinely surprised that Kariya disagrees with him over it, his response being more or less "are you seriously asking me such a pointless question?" Kariya calls him an "unfeeling magus" and "inhuman monster". Later subverted in the Light Novel though, as Tokiomi did not actually know what kind of "training" Sakura would have to go through and that he gave her to the Matou family to prevent the Association from bestowing a Sealing Designation on her (which in turn was something Kariya wasn't aware of). Tokiomi loved Sakura, as much as a "true" magus is capable of loving someone.
    • Archer/Gilgamesh's response to hearing Saber's wish to save her kingdom from its destruction is to laugh in her face and call her a naive child. And unlike Rider, he doesn't even give reasons he thinks that way.
  • Mori from Flame of Recca. Was more than willing to abuse his adoptive son Kurei by turning him into an emotionally stunted killing machine and create clones so that they can die protecting him or dispose of them himself when they're no longer useful (as he did by devouring his loyal clone Renge when he achieved his Tendou Jigoku state.) Kaima (whom merged with Mori to become the Tendou Jigoku) also counts, creating his own mad?gu for the sole purpose of killing.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
    • The Homunculi, with the possible exception of Greed, either enjoy harming humans or simply don't care, and in cases where they have a Morality Pet, have no empathy towards anyone else. Pride is so devoid of empathy that he views the other Homunculi as lowly as the other Homunculi view humans, but Subverted after his rebirth, when he asks his mother if an injured bird can be "fixed".. And while Father shows a measure of affection for his "children", he has even less empathy for humankind than they do. As a comparison, Envy has, on multiple occasions, laughed openly at the "foolishness" of humanity. When Ling Yao accuses him of doing the same, Father simply tells him that, much like humans see themselves above insects and worms, he sees himself as so far above humanity that he literally feels nothing, not even contempt, towards them.
    • Solf J. Kimblee seems to have been written as a serious look at real-life sociopathy. He seems to be aware of his differing mentality from others and therefore goes to great lengths to disguise it, but at the end of the day he's still an amoral guy who honestly doesn't believe that there's any moral difference between slaughtering people as a soldier and saving them as a doctor; to him both are just doing their job (which, if they do well, he applauds equally). Essentially, Kimblee defines his bizarre twisted code of morality based on how much a person follows through on their beliefs or occupation; his psychopathy is too extreme for society's rules to matter to him. While he can demonstrate a certain amount of respect for another person, it's always in a very detached way, and he's completely incapable of feeling genuine empathy. There's a reason both Pride and Envy like him.
    • The 2003 anime version of Kimblee is, if anything, even worse. He considers all living things, himself included, as little more than walking bomb components and practically lives for the sake of spreading misery and pain, joining whoever lets him blow up people consequence-free.
      • The Big Bad of the 2003 anime, Dante, is almost as bad as Father. She's been Body Surfing through different bodies for more than two centuries and mass sacrificed humans, and caused dozens of wars, disease outbreaks and worse, just to keep her Philosopher Stone fix going. Unlike Father and the Homunculi, Dante doesn't even have an excuse due to being 100% human, just a completely selfish sociopath who believes It's All About Me and has been emotionally abusing Envy for about four hundred years.
  • Sagara Sousuke from Full Metal Panic! is a heroic example of this. He finds it extremely hard to understand other people's feelings, and tends to do very morally ambiguous things without much consideration for others. Most of the time it's played for laughs. There are numerous times where he finds himself unable to understand why someone feels fear or sadness (even when someone died).
    • Justified somewhat as he's been exposed to death quite a bit and BSODing on the battlefield can get you killed.
    • Sousuke's Evil Counterpart Zaied is an extreme example of this. A borderline Empty Shell, Zaied sold out his comrades in order to fulfill his desire to be on the winning side and shows no qualms about cutting down Sousuke, the only survivor, when they encounter one another years later. There's nothing left of Zaied. He has no empathy for anyone; truly an example of It's All About Me.
  • Gundam:
    • From the original Mobile Suit Gundam: Char Aznable has many, many, talents. The ability to see other people as anything other than tools is not among them, although there are one or two people (Lalah Sune, his sister Artesia) whom he seems to care about. Gihren Zabi plays this trope very straight, killing his father so that he can usurp his position, turning his little brother's funeral into a political rally, and never showing an ounce of regard for anyone who isn't himself. This eventually bites him in the ass when he fails to anticipate how his sister will react to their father's murder.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 00: Ali Al-Saachez, who actually goes as far as to consider empathy to be disgusting. His employer, Ribbons Almark is pretty lacking in this department as well.
    • Desil Galette of Mobile Suit Gundam AGE doesn't give a damn about anyone who isn't himself. He views the entire war as one big game, and the soldiers he kills as toys to be thrown away. This attitude is chilling enough in a child, but it persists well into his adulthood, and he eventually begins plotting against his own brother when the latter dares to upstage him.
    • Muruta Azrael and Lord Djibril of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny. They're a pair of Fantastic Racists with a Final Solution for the Coordinator problem, and no ability to empathise with anyone else. They subscribe to a We Have Reserves style of fighting, firmly believe There Is No Kill Like Overkill, and have no qualms about using Weapons Of Mass Destruction in the pursuit of petty, personal vendettas. Azrael sees his men as equipment, and regards other Naturals as expendable, Djibril orders the Destroy to kill half of Eurasia because their governments threaten to rebel...needless to say, not a lot of empathy going on there.
      • Their Tykebombs, the pre-Extended and Extended are almost as bad, albeit for more sympathetic reasons. The Psycho Serum they're forced to take has left them all in varying states of Sanity Slippage, with no ability to empathise. Orga doesn't care who he shoots at, Clotho sees it all as some kind of game, Auel and especially Shani take a sadistic delight in slaughtering their enemies, Sting's just utterly cold-blooded, and Stella? The most sympathetic of the group? She doesn't even see people as people. They're all "Scary Things', and need to die because of it.
      • Shinn is an interesting case in that his empathy is selective. He has empathy, but only for people that he decides he likes. He feels horrible for Stella, because she's otherwise innocent and reminds of his sister, but not the other Extended, who he kills without a second thought. He feels bad for a girl he just met who's family was killed by the EA, but not Athrun or Cagalli, despite them also loosing their families in the last war, because they are associated with the Orb goverment, who he blames for his families death. He mocks Athrun about killing his friend to his face, because he was an enemy pilot, despite the fact that he was still Athrun's friend. Basically Shinn only empathizes with people who remind him of himself, his family, or are explicitly on Durandal's side. Not Zaft as a whole mind you, just Durandal loyalists because Durandal praises Shinn and makes him feel important.
    • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam's Bask Om and Yazan Gable are an Insane Admiral and Sociopathic Soldier who enjoy hurting as many people as they can. Series' Big Bad Paptimus Scirocco also completely lacks empathy, but is able to make up for it with his Psychic Powers.
      • On the heroic side, Quattro Bajeena, formerly known as Char Aznable from the original. While he's fighting for the good guys this time, and he seems to be trying to care about people, he still doesn't understand anything about emotions, and he tends to brush people's feelings off without realizing or comprehending that they might be hurt by it.
  • Ryoki Tachibana from the manga Hot Gimmick. Although he's utterly obsessed with Hatsumi, the series' doormat female lead, he's usually far too up himself to ever do anything as pointless as care about her or anybody else, including his family. His response to most of her (considerable) problems is "forget it, just focus on me" and he gets pissed off at her for worrying about her family. In another scene, shortly after she had her heart broken and was almost raped he berates her for crying about it, comes on to her too strong and forcibly kisses her despite her protests. Later, however, he begins to develop genuine feelings for her, but still retains his possessive and inconsiderate nature. In the novel, his actions result in her dumping him for the more compassionate and caring Shinogu. It's later shown that Ryoki's family is disjointed and loveless, which is why he finds Hatsumi's devotion to her family incomprehensible, and cannot sympathize with her for it.
  • InuYasha has quite a few examples:
    • Naraku has absolutely zero empathy for anyone but himself; to him, all other beings, human and demon alike, are either food to get stronger, pawns to be manipulated, entertainment to torment and kill, or some combination of the three.
    • Naraku's detachment Hakudoshi is just as bad. This is first shown when he cuts off the head of a demon just walking by, and then kills an otter demon right in front of his son. The latter got resurrected by Sesshomaru after wandering a bit. He also sics a massive pack of rat demons on several innocent villages for the sole purpose of drawing Kikyo out of hiding, and when Inuyasha furiously asks him if he knows how many innocent lives were lost, he flippantly remarks, "Is that what you're so upset about?"
    • Tokajin, being a cannibal, views other humans as nothing but food and treats them as such.
  • Although portrayed more sympathetically than many examples, due to having No Social Skills and a history of being betrayed by humans, Akai Tsubasa/Phoenix from Kaitou Joker is this. He doesn't understand other character's emotions and relationships, in particular being confused by Joker's friendship/rivalry with Queen and Spade and angering two guards to the point that they take him prisoner (without Akai realizing he even is a prisoner.) Akai doesn't express any concern when other characters are in danger (eg. when Joker is injured and being chased by a hungry shark; when Joker and his friends are shrunken and imprisoned in a cage) and even taunts and laughs at them. Unlike Joker, Akai doesn't seem to value life, leaving Hachi and the other phantom thief assistants to be impaled in a trap, threatening to feed a shipful of people to a giant squid, and cheerfully wrapping Joker in an anchor and throwing him into the ocean, along with Akai's former companion Hosshi.
  • In Koharu No Hibi, after a fairly nasty breakup between Koharu and Akira, Koharu is confronted by one of Akira's friends, who explains to Koharu just how much pain Akira is feeling now because of her. Koharu is happy to learn this, because it means Akira hasn't forgotten her and is still thinking about her, not even caring what he's going through at all.
  • Little Witch Academia: When Croix Meridies reveals Dream Fuel Spirit's side effects to Chariot after it's already been used, she claims that a few muggles (or even one or two young witches) losing their magic potential due to it is a necessary sacrifice. Later on her plan involves inciting hatred between two countries by rigging a football game and using their anger as fuel, which gets bad enough that it causes violent riots and nearly leads to them starting a war.
  • The Eclipse virus in Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force takes away the ability to feel empathy from its victims along with other things that drive its users to madness. For instance, when Signum was questioning Cypha on a world that was wiped out, the latter responded with nonchalance on taking part in the extermination.
  • Monster:
    • Johan Liebert becomes the titular monster because he has no regard for other people's feelings or lives, and would manipulate them and destroy their lives just because he could. However, the semi-sequel Another Monster suggested that Johan may actually possess empathy. He just also has the ability to efficiently ignore it.
    • Wolfgang Grimmer defies this. He claims to be unable to feel, but he knows enough about right and wrong to try his best to do good for others.
  • Osamu Tezuka's MW uses this as its main theme in concern to the villain protagonist Michio, who as a little boy inhaled a gas that damaged his brain and turned him into a sociopath. His homosexual lover's (who also happens to be a priest) attempts to justify or curve his behavior are met with tragedy.
  • Naruto has many antagonized characters, villain and anti-hero alike, with a history of lacking empathy towards anyone but themselves. Sasuke, Gaara (Pre-Character Development), Orochimaru, Kabuto, numerous Akatsuki members, Tobi, and especially Madara. There's also the abundance of villains from the anime filler arcs but let's face it, no one really cares for those.
    • Naruto Shippuden the Movie: The Lost Tower: Anrokuzan (aka Mukade) displays this when he calmly recounts how he killed Sāra's mother and used Sāra herself as an Unwitting Pawn, furthering her Heroic BSoD. On top of it all, he even mocks Sāra for not realizing it sooner.
    • Gaara's traumatic childhood leaves him to take his name to heart ("Gaara, the demon that loves only itself") and kill without compunction or restraint.
    • Sasuke also becomes largely apathetic after finding out the truth about Itachi and doesn't particularly care if he harms others or even himself, so long as he can get his revenge. One of the most effective examples of this is when he casually massacres a legion of Samurai who were protecting a diplomatic meeting he was crashing purely because he couldn't be bothered not to kill them and doesn't think twice to leave his entire team to die after they save his life repeatedly seconds earlier.
    • And Sasori. He says he wouldn't feel any different about his grandmother dying than he would about all the hundreds to thousands he's killed, then when Sakura is outraged by this, he tells her ninja shouldn't feel that way.
    • Tobi aka Obito Uchiha is one of the worst examples in this series. His nihilistic outlook on life leads to him using and/or killing several people for his goals. The Nine-Tails' attack on Konoha, which killed several people and forced the protagonist to become a Jinchuuriki, is his doing and not to mention the many other terrible actions which he committed and all for the sake to replace reality with a dream where everyone can be happy and the good guys always win. And for this he is willing to kill lots of people, as he reasons that they will be resurrected anyway once he accomplishes his goal.
    • Madara Uchiha is even worse considering the fact that even Obito himself considers him too much of an asshole to tolerate. Once he appears on the battlefield with Alliance he shamelessly killed a lot of people and all in order to test his new powers. At one point he openly declares that he sees the world as mere "entertainment". Also in his fight with Hashirama, he refused to stop despite them both being zombies anyway and Obito's about to obliterate everyone in the barrier and acts offended that Hashirama considers that save people to be more important than fighting him again.
  • Most of the villains in One Piece.
    • The Tenryubito definitely take the cake for this. They are nothing but glorified Spoiled Brats who feel they can do whatever the hell they want, even murder, because of their statuses. They don't give a damn who gets hurt as long as they're pampered and spoiled.
    • Sanji hails from a family of assassins in the North Blue, the Germa 66. His family, notably his father and his three genetically modified fraternal quadruplet brothers, treated him like trash for being a normal (weak) human and use their army as meat shields without a care in the world. Sanji's mother and sister, who was also modified, on the other hand show compassion and empathy, and it was eventually Sanji's sister, Reiju, who helped Sanji escape from his family.
    • It's later revealed to be an invoked and enforced trope as of Chapter 852; Judge wanted the then-unborn Sanji and his quadruplet brothers to become the perfect Tykebombs to wage war and conquer nations with, so he performed experiments on them in utero and outright surgically removed their ability to feel and understand empathy. Sanji's mother, who disapproved of her husband's actions, secretly consumed a gene enhancement-reversing drug that for some reason only worked successfully on Sanji, at the cost of her own life. Vinsmokes Ichiji, Niji, and Yonji weren't so lucky; the drug only managed to preserve what little shreds of humanity was left from Judge's experiments, enough to perform Even Evil Has Standards when Big Mom showed off her human and creature collections.
  • Paul/Shinji from the Pokémon anime. He's the biggest jackass of a character the series has yet produced, short of a few of the villains. It makes sense, given that he's an Expy of the rival from the Pokémon Gold and Silver/Crystal games.
    • Kodai, the Big Bad of Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions would probably sicken even Paul. He even comes right on out and says he doesn't care about anyone but himself. He is unable to feel compassion or guilt at all, even for the most horrible crimes one could commit.
  • Kyubey in Puella Magi Madoka Magica doesn't understand why teenage girls get so worked up over things like finding out that he effectively tuned them into liches without their knowledge, and sees nothing wrong with using the hope and despair of those girls as a source of energy.
    "You people are all the same. Every time I tell someone, it's the same response. I don't get it. Why do humans care so much where their souls are?"
  • The entirety of the Ranma ½ cast fall into this trope at one point or another due it being a series built on Comedic Sociopathy. The exceptions being maybe Kasumi and Tofu.
  • Rosario + Vampire:
    • Kuyou, big time. When Tsukune, having been scheduled for execution by the Security Committee, asks him to at least leave Moka and the other members of his Unwanted Harem alone, Kuyou assures him that their deaths with be quick and painless and then laughs in his face while Tsukune pleads with him not to hurt them.
    • Gyokuro Shuzen doesn't give a damn about anyone but herself. Her children, her lovers, her subordinates - at best, she sees them all as pawns to be manipulated, and at worst, they're obstacles in the way of her plans that need to be eliminated. Perhaps her best display of this is when she directly ordered Kahlua, her second-eldest daughter, to kill Kokoa, her youngest, despite the fact that Kahlua literally begged her to change her mind, all with a sadistic Slasher Smile on her face.
  • In Rurouni Kenshin, Enishi wants revenge on Kenshin for killing his sister Tomoe (by accident), but privately admits that he couldn't give a crap about anybody else Kenshin has wronged. The only reason why he teams up with others Kenshin has wronged, while pretending to sympathize with them, is because he sees them as useful in defeating Kenshin.
  • Katsuragi, Souma, and Sakurako of Sakura Gari. Initially, it seems as if It's All About Me with them, and that they'll do whatever it takes to get what they want even if they hurt/kill others in the process. Also, every one of Souma's lovers are shown to have horrible endings. He even notices and mentions it himself. This doesn't stop him from continuing to take lovers and he shows no remorse over their deaths. While he does develop a little empathy as a result of his interactions with Masataka, whom he had genuinely fallen in love with, his actions eventually end up driving Masataka away for good.
  • Makoto Itou in the School Days anime, who sleeps around without caring how the girls feel. This includes when Sekai gets pregnant, and his abandoning her in favor of Kotonoha leads Sekai to murder him. Not so much in the game depending on how it ends.
    • His father, Tomaru Sawagoe, is even worse. Unlike Makoto (who to his credit doesn't go that far), he actually gloats about the women he's raped, including his own daughters.
  • Sunako of Shiki first appears as this. Being quite indifferent to deaths of many humans at the hands of the Shiki, though showing sympathy to a priest who has embraced a form of Nihilism. But later she acts very emotional when the humans pull the same stuff on the Shiki.
  • Medusa from Soul Eater.
    • In the opinions of some (Spirit and Nygus have mentioned it), Stein counts, although his more recent interactions with Marie could suggest they're misjudging him or simply (justifiably) wary of what he's like.
    • Medusa's claim that she'd simply dispose of Crona as a failed experiment got an angry reaction out of both Spirit (obviously) and Stein. Which knowing her was likely her intention.
  • Sword Art Online:
    • Akihiko Kayaba cares nothing for the deaths of the players in SAO, treating it more like an inevitable consequence of living in the world he created. Unlike most examples, however, he isn't malicious about it, just indifferent.
    • Nobuyuki Sugou shows no remorse over any of the heinous deeds he commits through the Fairy Dance arc, up to and including trapping 300 SAO survivors in ALO for the sake of performing inhumane Mind Control research and trying to rape Asuna while making an incapacitated Kirito watch, and even takes delight in them. Most notably, he views the 300 SAO survivors he trapped in ALO as nothing but guinea pigs for his research and calls them as such. He also believes he's entitled to have Asuna and completely disregards her own emotions, opting to make her fall in love with him and marry her.
    • Due to his past, XaXa of Laughing Coffin only sees value in that which is beneficial to him. He has no qualms against killing other people if the mood strikes, and he actually spent his time in GGO before he became Death Gun stalking other players from afar and imagining ways to kill them.
    • Gabriel Miller/Subtilizer/Vector cares for nothing but getting the first fully-functional artificial intelligence (i.e. Alice) all for himself, and that's before taking into account all the numerous atrocities that he did before getting to her, such as experimenting on animals to find the nature of the soul, killing his fiancé (the former two of which he did when he was a child), and leading people he manipulated to their deaths in the Underworld.
  • A good amount of the characters in Texhnolyze. Even the most sympathetic characters in Lux skirt close to being Villain Protagonists at times. Yoshii is definitely this. He came down from the Class in order to instigate a massive war between the groups. He states that his goal is to awaken the people from their sleep in order to build leaders of them, even if they don't want him to. This involves him murdering innocent people and starting gang wars because he finds it "interesting", all with a pleasant smile on his face. While he may have an ideological purpose behind it all, it is so obscure that it only makes him look all the more hysterical.
    • Yoshii is not of the Class. He is a Theonormal, a surface dweller, while the Class are mediators between the citizens of Lux and the surface. His motivation comes from the fact that where he comes from nobody fears death or cares for life. The way the people of Lux care about things makes him crave to see more of their deep will to live, and to do so, tries to throw the entire city into chaos of war of everybody versus everybody.
  • Tokyo Ghoul:
    • Various ghouls have this mind set but Torso is a notable example. His diary reveals that he is unable to comprehend or relate to others, and has the sense something is wrong with him. His diary depicts him as thinking of humans as nothing but automated dolls crammed with meat and has no problem with mutilating woman that he takes as his lovers.
    • Kureo Mado, the CCG's personal Knight Templar, has absolutely nothing but contempt and disgust for all Ghouls no matter what, rubbing in Hinami's face about how he killed her parents and turned their remains into his Quinques, and openly expressing disgust at how Ghouls "imitate" human feelings like maternal love and compassion. Case in point: after Touka gives him a heartfelt speech about how she just wants to live like he does and points out that she only eats humans because she can't survive on anything else, Mado is completely unmoved and tells her point-blank that he can't bear to hear another word out of her mouth.
  • Under Grand Hotel: This is Swordfish in a nutshell. Although he's in love with Sen he's a murderous bisexual who threatens anyone who expresses an interest in Sen with death, has sex with Sen to the point where it nearly kills Sen, tries to strangle him, kills the guys who raped Sen saying that he did it for Sen's sake even after Sen told him not to kill them, moves out of Sen's room and lets a rapist move in when angry with Sen, and slices the throat of another one of Sen's rapists right in front of him while saying "I love you, Sen." This being after he tried to get Sen to kill the guy himself but Sen refused.
  • Yuri!!! on Ice: An interesting, selective case with Yuri Katsuki, of all people. He has so little self-worth that he can't empathize with people that do value and support him, including his family and friends in Hasetsu, Minami, and Victor. He manages to upset Victor in Episode 12 while acting completely detached from the situation. He actually enters the rink after their fight calmer than in any other competition, despite Victor being clearly miserable and depressed.
  • Dufort/Dufaux/Dyufo of Zatch Bell!. Then again, Justified with all he went through as a kid. He was sold off by his mother to an evil scientist who did nothing but make him unhappy or angry to see the effects on his Answer Talker. And then he got blown up. At least Zeon saved him from certain death.


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