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Tragic Villain / Anime & Manga

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Tragic Villains in anime and manga.

  • Adolf Kaufman from Adolf. He was forced to go to Adolf Hitler Schule and became a true Nazi who killed without compassion. He crossed the Moral Event Horizon, which made him lose his friends and family. He realized at the end of the war that what he did was useless, but it was really too late for him to have any chance of rehabilitation.
  • Nike, The Axe-Crazy Dragon to Air Gear's Big Bad, fits this. While he's a mostly unrepentant jerkass who kicks the dog often and balances over the Moral Event Horizon, he does generate some sympathy. He's been used as a weapon for most of his life by the brother he looks up to and one of the characters harmed most by Nike even states that his brother kept him isolated from everything that could have dulled his edge. As a result, his life gradually lost all meaning outside of killing to achieve victory in battle. When he finally realizes how close everything that could have given him a normal life was, he seems to lament the fact that the other Gravity Children could have given his life meaning instead of just his bastard of a brother. However, he feels that even if he's finally realized this, he's come too far and that there is no way he would be able to live a normal life. The way the scene plays out, it makes it feel like he's a slave to his own need for victory.
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  • Seryu Ubiquitous in Akame ga Kill! is an Axe-Crazy member of the Jaegers who believes the corrupt Empire is on the side of "Justice" and any who opposes it is evil without exceptions, and will often slaughter supposed criminals with a Slasher Smile and Evil Laugh. However, a look at her past paints a much different story than many of the series' generic villains. Her father who was part of the Imperial Police and the one who brought up in her a strong fixation upon "Justice" met his end at hands of revolutionaries, causing Seryu's extreme thirst for punishing evildoers. Her mentor and superior, Captain Ogre, who she highly respected was undeservedly (in her mind) killed by Night Raid that causing her lust for revenge. And Dr. Stylish, the one who to implant weapons into her body in order to make her stronger and who seem to be cared about her (when in reality, he just saw her as a willing experiment subject), also was killed by Night Raid that only accelerated her Sanity Slippage. Even Mine, the one who swears vengeance on Seryu for killing her best friend Sheele, admits to feeling some shred of sympathy for her as they fight to the death.
  • Attack on Titan uses this to twist the knife for both the audience and the characters themselves.
    • The Warriors, responsible for much of the death and destruction in the series, are ultimately proven to be incredibly tragic figures once their motivations are revealed. Reiner, Bertolt, and Annie were born in the nation of Marley, a military dictatorship that has oppressed and imprisoned their people in internment camps for the last century. Their parents were convinced to enlist their children in a Tyke Bomb program, having been promised better treatment in exchange for their children taking on a mission to "save the world". After a decade of harsh training and brainwashing, they were deployed on the mission to destroy the Walls with their families held as collateral to ensure their loyalty. Though they became close to their classmates over the years and realized they had been lied to, their fear of their superiors and belief the destruction of Paradis couldn't be avoided left them unable to defy their orders. By the time they were defeated, all three were traumatized and overwhelmed with self-hatred over their crimes.
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  • Berserk subverts this with most of the demonic Apostles, the main villains of the series, were once humans who made a Deal with the Devil during a moment of ultimate despair, but due to their horrific actions they come across as completely unsympathetic. The only straight examples so far are Rosine and the Egg of the Perfect World.
  • In B.Ichi, the Clowns must respect a specific condition in exchange for their power, or they will lose "something precious within them" (like "friendship"). Some conditions are rather harmless (like "eating only dried food"). Emine's condition is… not. He must commit "one evil deed a day", which prevented him from getting along with normal humans, as much as he wanted to. He ends up so desperate that several years later, he is determined to kill Showtaro and destroy the world. How did all this end? Who knows…
  • The villains of Cardcaptor Sakura fall into this.
    • Eriol Hiiragizawa, aka the reincarnated Clow Reed, performs Necessary Evil to motivate Sakura into transforming the Clow Cards into Sakura Cards or they will lose their magic. The degree of his magic disturbances vary, but sometimes he has outright put Sakura and her friends in mortal peril. This nearly included drowning Sakura's friend Rika in a swimming pool (which he subtly apologised for) and ended up pushing Sakura too far when she tried to use the powerful Time Card in the middle of a blizzard. He doubles as a Well-Intentioned Extremist to ensure his creations survive beyond Clow Reed's magic, leading to Sakura realising Yue was fading away.
    • The sorceress in the first movie was imprisoned in another dimension by Clow Reed, who was her lover and taught her magic. She spent centuries trapped, unable to escape, and unaware Clow had died and she herself later on. Eventually learning the truth from Sakura, the sorceress dissolves into water and passes away.
    • The Nothing Card in the second movie. Her purpose is to act as a counterbalance to all the positive magic of the other Clow Cards with only negative energy, but she was so powerful that Clow Reed trapped her beneath his house for centuries with no connection to her friends. When she escapes, the Nothing steals the other cards one by one, but it causes parts of Sakura's hometown to disappear. Sakura then learns the only way to capture the Nothing is to sacrifice her feelings towards the person she loves most, aka Syaoran Li. When Sakura finally confronts the Nothing, she breaks down in tears, revealing just how lonely she has been, encouraging Sakura to sympathise with her and invite her to join her friends rather than catch her by force. As for the required sacrifice, a nameless card Sakura created through her love at the end of the series performs a Deus ex Machina, fusing with the Nothing Card to negate the effects of her capture and becomes The Hope Card, allowng both Sakura and Syaoran to maintain their feelings.
  • Accelerator from A Certain Magical Index is this at the beginning and after his Heel–Face Turn. He is desperately trying to make up for his very heavy sins.
  • In Code Geass, either Lelouch or Suzaku or both could apply for this: They've both done morally dubious things in the hope for a better world, they've both demonstrated a great deal of regret and guilt over what they've done, and yet they both feel that they have no other choice but to continue down their current path.
    • Continue, nothing. It is their tragedy that makes them start walking on that path in the first place - it is only after accepting that they have no choice but to walk the morally dubious path that they truly do things that would be regarded as villainy.
    • Mao may count as well, since the reason why he's a villain stems from the Geass he received at the age of six. Unlike most examples, though, he doesn't seem to be aware that he's evil.
    • For that matter, if one is to consider C.C. (the one who gave Mao and Lelouch their Geass) a villain, then she also qualifies, as she was an innocent girl who was tricked into inheriting the power of Geass and immortality.
  • Prince Richter of Daimos is one of the more honorable Balmlings, but he became extremely embittered against humans after he thought they murdered his father in cold blood, and his own pride as a Balmling did not allow him to seek compromise. Not helping his case was that any humans he encountered tends to be ones that are hostile, led by Miwa, which made him conclude that Humans Are Bastards. He was proven wrong about humans in the last episode, in addition of finding out that his regent was the one who killed his father. Out of shame of everything he did, he made a Heroic Sacrifice and left his sister Erika to lead their people (also, he knew that peace wouldn't come as long as he lived, because he's the face of the Earth invasion and not every Earthlings are going to forgive him, which may ignite another war.)
  • Digimon Adventure 02 has not just one, but two:
    • The Digimon Emperor at first acts like a total Jerkass and Insufferable Genius, treating his conquest of the Digital World like a game and showing no remorse for the cruelties he inflicts- until he reveals that he thought Digimon were "just" data, and the revelation that he was torturing living creatures breaks him. In "Genesis of Evil", we learn that Ken has a ton of issues stemming from his resentment and love for his genius older brother who died long ago. The reason he threw himself into the "Evil Emperor" schtick was to escape the feeling of loss from Osamu's death.
    • Yukio Oikawa at first seems like a perfect Man Behind the Man, orchestrating the events of the series to suit his own purposes. But his Freudian Excuse is that he was aware of the Digital World ever since childhood, and has been trying to find a way of accessing it, even though he was never made a Chosen Child. The loss of the only friend he had who shared this goal didn't help, and made him the Unwitting Pawn of Myotismon.
  • Beelzemon from Digimon Tamers is an almost-perfect example. He's pretty sympathetic for the first few episodes, given the events that drove him to villainy, especially since he didn't do anything in those episodes except ride around on his Cool Bike. Then came Episode 36, and he completely lost any sympathy both the audience and the characters had for him...until he was shown wandering aimlessly a few episodes later, so shocked, horrified and disgusted with himself that he tries to commit Suicide by Cop.
    • Also he subverts this trope. He's genuinely surprised when Renamon saves his life and offers him a second chance, and actually turns her offer down since he thinks death is all he deserves. After some persuasion on her part, he relents and becomes a Reformed, but Rejected atoner, although he still doesn't think he can nor deserves to be redeemed.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Androids 17 and 18. Before they became cyborgs, they were two teenagers who were kidnapped and used by Dr. Gero as experiments.
    • Vegeta was used by Freeza as a hostage and then had his father murdered and his entire race exterminated by Freeza, who continued to use him as a low-level enforcer afterwards. Goku eventually realizes that Vegeta was largely shaped by Freeza into becoming a remorseless killing machine.
    • Piccolo was one back in "Dragon Ball". He grew up without any parent, giving him a strong hate for Goku for killing his father, King Piccolo, and a goal to fulfill his father's dream to Take Over the World. Gohan sympathises with him, telling him that he is nowhere near as evil as his father (he did not take that very well). When sacrificing himself to Gohan, he tells him that he was the only one who has ever been nice to him, giving yet another reason why he turned into a cynical megalomaniac. Thanks to Gohan, anyhow, he is now a noble hero. He's so close with the main cast now that he's practically an uncle to Gohan's daughter, Pan.
  • Lucy from Elfen Lied is one of the prime examples of this trope: A broken little girl who became a murderous monster after she snapped at the world's relentless cruelty and her own budding insanity.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Zeref. Life was not fair to him at all. One of the Jerkass Gods, Ankhseram, cursed him simply because he was researching a way to bring his dead little brother back to life. A curse of contradictions, as he long as he values life, everything around him dies; he can regain control if he stops valuing life, but because of this Lack of Empathy, he'll probably end up killing people anyway. The curse also makes him a massive Mood-Swinger, and he constantly contradicts himself — pointing this out will cause him a mental breakdown. He can't even find relief in death, as the curse makes him immortal so he can suffer for eternity. For this alone, he was labeled as the most evil wizard in history and ostracized by humanity, when a bit of conservation made it blatantly clear that he wasn't evil at all. All of this alone would be enough for a Start of Darkness for any villain — but Zeref didn't break until he met Mavis. She was the first person in centuries to ever show him kindness and see the good, but troubled soul he really was. When she too was cursed by Ankhseram, she proposed Eternal Love, and her empathy was enough for him to fall in love with her — but their first kiss kills her because, despite both of them being immortal, the curse they both have is ultimately to ensure that they can never be happy. Denied the chance to be with the only person who ever truly understood him, the only person who ever brought him a shred of happiness in his hellish existence, pushed Zeref beyond the breaking point, and led to his descent into evil.
    • Hades of Grimoire Heart was once Precht Gaebolg, one of the founders of Fairy Tail who, despite his social awkwardness, No Social Skills, and intimidating looks, was a legitimately kind and heroic person who was named the second Master of Fairy Tail by his friend Mavis and went on to teach Makarov the values their guild held dear. However, when Zeref left the seemingly-dead Mavis on Fairy Tail's doorsteps, Precht spent 30 years desperately attempting to revive her and inadvertently created an infinite source of magic energy in the process. At the same time, his research drove him deeper and deeper into an obsession with discovering the root of all magic and ultimately to find Zeref. By the time he left the guild and named Makarov his successor, Precht became the head of a dark guild that manipulated and slaughtered countless innocents in the name of reaching Zeref, having lost sight of the man he used to be in his obsession and betraying everything Mavis believed in.
  • Fate/Zero shows that Kotomine Kirei started off as this. Kotomine Kirei lived his life always trying to do what others and his society thought was good, because he found he could only find happiness in violence, destruction, and tragedy and despised himself for this. However, Kirei questioned if others truly were as good as they said they were but followed what he was told regardless, becoming an Executor (assassin) for the Church despite understanding the hypocrisy. When Kirei met Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh slowly convinced Kirei to stop hating his genius and to use it for what he truly enjoyed.
  • Fist of the North Star: Shin, originally Kenshirou's best friend, is tricked into becoming a Big Bad due to his weak heart by Jagi, who convinces him to kill Kenshirou to get his lover, Yuria, whom Shin has long had a great desire for. He tries to please Yuria with every luxury he gains with his bloody hands, but to no avail. When Yuria commits suicide - or at least, she seems dead - to prevent him from doing it any further, Shin is left heartbroken, and finally joins her in the afterworld after his defeat in the hands of his former friend, Kenshirou.
    • Souther also qualifies as a Tragic Villain - a particularly cruel, tyrannical type. Overrun by the grief of killing his own beloved adoptive father and master, who instructed him to do it to complete his training, he goes insane and orders children to build a pyramid for his master without mercy until Kenshirou kills him, making him reveal his human side at his death.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Scar used to be a kind and caring man before the Ishvalan Rebellion took his family and the most of his people away from him. He does make a Heel–Face Turn, though.
    • In their final moments, Envy turns out to be Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Edward's "The Reason You Suck" Speech about Envy's jealousy toward human strength drives them to suicide.
    • Most of the homunculi in the first anime, except Envy and Pride, count as this. Gluttony is much like his manga incarnation until Dante brain-washes him because of his attachment to Lust. Wrath was a sweet, normal kid when introduced. He eventually warps into an antagonist but he mainly just wants a mother. It isn't until The Movie that he realizes that he had Izumi the entire time, though by then she's succumbed to her illness. Lust and Sloth are both tormented by their nature as Came Back Wrong subjects and the lives they used to lead, with the former realising I Just Want To Be Human and realising as she's killed that she's able to die as one and the latter lashing out at all the remains of her life before being killed by her own children in self-defence when she tries to murder them. Greed just wants to be left alone and free of his creator and commits Suicide by Cop when that is denied to him.
  • Gundam:
  • Kagura from InuYasha only serves the Big Bad Naraku because he holds her heart in his hands and can kill her at any time. She routinely helps out the heroes, and when she allowed Kohaku to escape she was killed.
  • The King of Night in Is This a Zombie?. He grew to hate his immortality and just wanted to die. However, Yuu saw him as a friend still and didn't want to kill him, so the King went out and caused everything that happened to get Yuu to hate him and thus kill him.
  • Precia Testarossa in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The MOVIE 1st combines this with Fatal Flaw and Fond Memories That Could Have Been. As she falls to her death, Precia remembers that Alicia once wanted a little sister and realizes that she could've treated Fate as another daughter instead of a failed replacement for Alicia. Unfortunately, there is no longer enough time left to make amends or even apologize.
  • Subverted with Johan Liebert from Monster. He suffered extreme trauma as a child and it's clear that it continues to haunt him. However, others suffered similarly without becoming monsters, and Hartmann admits that he couldn't have crafted a monster like Johan. As the series progresses, it becomes clear that Johan's "trauma" may have been a self-induced situation, as it was his sister who suffered and he took those memories and ran them as his own.
  • Naruto: Character Development revealed that Gaara's psychosis was a direct result of the actions of his own father's attempts to either turn him into a living weapon or kill him. Insanity and Shukaku's whispers were his last refuge from the bleak emptiness of his childhood. Thankfully, he does a Heel–Face Turn and life starts getting better for him. As the series has progressed a majority of the villains have turned out to be this with notable exceptions being Zabuza and Orochimaru.
    • Even then you can make a case for those two. Zabuza proved to truly care about Haku, and his death truly did break his heart and drove him to Suicide by Cop. Orochimaru lost his parents at a young age and desired immortality to see their reincarnations. Originally he wanted it for himself and the entire village, but eventually his increasing thirst for power and descent into insanity made him lose sight of his original goal and made him into what he is today.
    • In all actuality, the only real exception to this trope in Naruto is Hidan. He killed his neighbors and ditched his village because the village itself became a tourist resort and abandoned the whole ninja village thing. The lack of violence went against his religion.
    • Conversely, one of the most tragic is the Big Bad, Tobi, aka Obito. Tobirama's revelation of how the Uchiha Clan's deep sense love is also the source of their "curse" and subsequent insanity changes the perspective of Obito's supposedly disproportionate reaction to Rin's death. The mental anguish truly was worse for him, and to see the girl he loved killed by his best friend was something his mind couldn't handle. In his disillusioned new views, all he cares about is a world where the people which he loved are alive and his former ideals of heroism are the norm.
      • This is shown while his soul was being devoured by the bijuu, which was represented by his genin team photo being torn apart and being reconstructed when he regained his sanity. Even after all he has done and said, his friend, his crush and and his sensei are his reason to exist.
      • His mental battle with Naruto twists the knife even more where Obito has a vision of what his life would have been like if he didn't let his obsession consume his soul.
      • His final talk with Madara plunges the knife all the way through, when Obito realizes, he never had a chance: Madara took away everything from him. He was orchestrating his downfall all along, and prepared for every possible outcome in order to Obito went along with his Moon Eye Plan
    • Even Madara Uchiha has shades of this. While no doubt one of, if not THE most villainous character in the franchise, it was a result of a life filled with tragedy. He was born in the era of Warring Clans, one of the most violent periods of time in shinobi history. By the time he was ten, he had already lost four brothers, leaving only Izuna, and the constant loss and desperation caused a dream of peace, a dream he shared with Hashirama Senju, the future First Hokage and Madara's best friend. However, despite that dream, what Madara cherished most was Izuna, his only remaining brother — enough to willingly turn his back on his best friend and his dream for his little brother's sake. Hashirama believes that all of Madara's actions are a result of him lashing out in his grief over his brother's death. And the fact that he was a pawn used to revive his distant ancestor is just icing on the cake.
    • Neji was raised around people who convinced him that he does not decide his destiny. His father was the only one who did not tell him this, but when he died, he named himself the bird in a cage, and became like the rest - A cynic who annhilates people who strive for their dreams, constantly telling them that they could not ever fullfill their dreams, and though he put them through Domestic Abuse, he did not see it that way. In fact, he thought he was helping people that way. He even developed a murderous additude towards his cousin Hinata, for being the head of the branch that was unintentinally responsible for his father's death (though he was stopped before it was too late). At least he gets a Jerkass Realization after Naruto shows him that destiny lies in one's own hands. He then sheds a tear when his father sent him a letter from the time he was alive, that he decides his own destiny.
  • One Piece has a lot of villains that qualify for this trope.
    • Bellamy becomes this in the Dressrosa Arc. While he was an all-around Jerkass in the Jaya Arc and later presumed dead, he did show a great deal of respect towards Doflamingo. He eventually returned with a new lease on life, respecting Luffy much more and having an even stronger desire to move up in Doflamingo's ranks. During the course of the arc, Luffy even comes to cheer Bellamy on during the coliseum match and call him his friend. Later on, though, he's given orders by Diamante to assassinate Luffy with the promise of an Executive chair in return (which is a ruse anyway since Diamante then immediately tells Dellinger to kill Bellamy, a fact that Dellinger does not mind slipping to Bellamy even before he attempts the assassination). Much later, when Doflamingo begins his "election game" demanding the heads of the Straw Hats and company, Bellamy approaches him alone to ask if he really wanted him dead; in exchange, Doflamingo beats him to a bloody pulp and leaves him at his feet for Luffy and Law to find later. Doflamingo then controls Bellamy and forces him to fight Luffy, which Luffy is hesitant against since he now considers Bellamy a friend, which moves Bellamy to tears. Eventually Doflamingo releases Bellamy from his control, but when Luffy attempts to go after him, Bellamy intervenes with his Spring Hopper technique, begging Luffy to fight him one last time. He still refuses to turn on Doflamingo even after all he's done, even admitting that he chose the wrong man to admire. While initially hesitant to fight him, Luffy eventually knocks him out in one blow (mirroring the way he took him out at Jaya), leaving him bloody and with tears running down his face; Bellamy's last thoughts before falling unconscious is thanking Luffy for call him a friend. Knowing that Bellamy was fighting out of honor for an honorless man causes Luffy to scream Doflamingo's name in fury.
    • The Vinsmoke children were all essentially Forced into Evil by their father, Judge. The Vinsmoke quadruplets, Ichiji, Niji, and Yonji were physically and psychologically altered in utero to turn them utterly remorseless killers that will lead Germa to greatness, which robbed them of all chances to become people the moment they were born because they literally couldn't feel and/or understand benevolent emotions such as love and compassion. Their older sister, Reiju, received similar modifications that left her unable to resist her father's orders in any way except Loophole Abuse - unlike her brothers, she had her humanity intact, but because she had the emotional capacity to understand her family's atrocities, she became so consumed with self-loathing that she feels the only way to atone for her actions is through death, as she sees both herself and her family as cruel murderers whose presence will only ruin the world they live in.
    • The Pirate Charlotte "Big Mom" Linlin is revealed to be one in her flashbacks. Born far larger and stronger than any other human (At age five, she easily outgrew her parents), she already suffered from Ambiguous Innocence and "hunger-rampages", which meant no one had any idea how to deal with her. Even her only role model, who seemingly understood her, was actually enabling her destructive behavior so she could sell Linlin into slavery. When said role model died "mysteriously", there was nothing to stop Linlin from going From Nobody to Nightmare. Ultimately, underneath all that power, influence, and cruelty is just a mentally unwell woman who's the victim of multiple outside factors beyond her control.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion turns Akemi Homura into one of these at the end. She takes Madoka's power to become a demon, partly because Madoka indicated she couldn't bear to give up her life with her friends and family—while not remembering the circumstances that led her to do just that, making the validity of her statement ambiguous—but also to rule over the Incubators with an iron fist so that (ironically) they could never again attempt to steal Madoka's power and remake the original Crapsack World. Superficially, she acts as if she enjoys her new role as supreme Evil Overlord of the universe, often sporting a evil grin, but she clearly doesn't. Despite declaring she did all this out of love for Madoka, she tearfully returns Madoka's ribbon, saying that they will be enemies from now on even as Homura continues to fight for her happiness. Both Homura and her familiars throw themselves off cliffs, indicating she hates herself for what she's become and likely did it in part because she thought everyone else should hate her, even as she improved their lives.
  • Helbram from The Seven Deadly Sins is presented as this. He was once a kind fairy who was fascinated by humans until he saw his beloved friends tortured and slaughtered, leaving him as a hateful shell of himself. His hatred for humans had swelled for years up to a point wherein he can no longer bring himself to stop killing humans despite his own desire to do so.
  • Some of the Un Dead in Shiki hate what they have become, but the pressure from other vampires combined with their uncontrollable bloodlust and desire to live mean that they can't stop themselves. The best example would be Tohru.
  • In Sonic X, Dark Oak, also known as Luke/Lucas, counts as one, as his tragic past happened during a war that took place on his former home planet of Seedrius-Flora/Greengate. Refusing to leave with the other Seedrians and abandon his home planet after having fought so long, he began using its Planet Egg to make the male Seedrians' transformations last longer to Hertia/Earthia's shock and dismay, forcing the females to destroy the males and leave them behind. But a few males survived and they became the Metarex. The motivation of Dark Oak and the Metarex is to erase all life of flesh and blood from the entire galaxy so that plants can rule, and therefore bring their own peace and tranquility to the galaxy, and they require the Planet Eggs and the seven Chaos Emeralds to do so. In the end, Dark Oak finally realizes the errors of his ways when Sonic and co. defeat him with help from Cosmo's Heroic Sacrifice - he realizes that Hertia/Earthia was right about his lust for power destroying his own people and him bringing nothing but pain and suffering to everyone. Hertia/Earthia appears before Dark Oak and gives him a second chance, and he happily reunites with her and they both depart for the afterlife.
  • Lunatic, or Yuri from Tiger & Bunny was eventually to be revealed to be this if you consider him a villain. After his father, Mr. Legend, started to lose his powers he resorted to drinking very heavily. This resulted in a nasty change in his father's personality whom before the power loss inspired him to seek justice for crimes committed against innocent people. Mr. Legend turned from a relatively nice man to an abusive drunk that would regularly commit every type of abuse (including implied sexual abuse) on his wife and regularly beat Yuri as well. At one point when Yuri was a teen he tried to get his father to stop the horrible abuse by intervening. This ended up being received poorly as Mr. Legend turned his rage on his son. To make matters worse Yuri's NEXT Powers awakened at that exact moment and his blue-green fire power ended up burning his father alive. Despite that Yuri's father had enough time to burn his palm into his face before dying, permanently burn scarring him for life. To make matters worse Yuri's mother in the present is mentally unstable and delusional. She still thinks that her husband is alive and well and routinely has dinner table conversations with him (thin air). When she comes to her senses after seeing the now adult Yuri she thinks of her son as a monster for what he did which could easily be seen as self-defense in a horrible situation and he just stands there and listens to her scream at him (and it's implied that this happens regularly). It's very obvious Mr. Legend's fall from grace and descent into depravity ended up twisting his view on justice and shaping him up as the brutal vigilante we see today. Oh yeah and he himself is showing some level of mental instability as he is occasionally imagining his father mocking him over his view of justice...
  • Prince Heinel from Voltes V is brought up hated as the son of a traitor so he goes about the business of invading Earth to redeem himself. After The Reveal that the Emperor he serves is a usurper, he is marked as a traitor, his loyal minions are killed and even though he gets his revenge he is Driven to Suicide after finding out three members of the Voltes team are his half-brothers.
  • Darcia from Wolf's Rain only starts off as an antagonist to the heroes because while they want to use Living MacGuffin Cheza to find the way to paradise, while Darcia wants to use her Healing Hands ability to save his lover Harmona, who he's kept on life support for centuries while he's tried to find a cure for her condition. Darcia defeats the heroes without killing them, takes Cheza back to his castle... and finds that Harmona was murdered by another noble just hours before his return. We don't get to see the full effect this has on him until much later. In the OVA that finishes the series, we see that he's become an Ax-Crazy Straw Nihilist, and the hero's Evil Counterpart.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has Pegasus, who was driven mad by the Millennium Eye, and his primary motivation for his subsequent villainy was the resurrection of his dead wife.
  • YuYu Hakusho.
    • The younger Toguro was the strongest man alive but made a Deal with the Devil because he was dying of an incurable disease. That and he couldn't get over the guilt of losing his students to a powerful demon.
    • Sensui came up with his elaborate Evil Plan to get Yusuke to kill him as atonement for all the innocent demons he killed and like Toguro above was dying of a disease, specifically cancer.


Example of: