Redemption is a common theme in anime that can signify the growth of the character (either through the mercy of the redeemer or the absolution of the receiver). Often times, it serves as a turning point in the story, especially when a hero and an ex-villain team up against an even greater threat.
Given the omnipresence of the trope that has been demonstrated throughout many different stories, it is important to recognize characters who did not explicitly have humble origins. By pointing out his transformations from villain to hero, we can better appreciate the complexity of his characters.
10 Scar (Fullmetal Alchemist) – In the first part of the series, he was a violent terrorist who almost killed Edward Elric himself
Scar was a rogue Ishvallan who sought revenge for the crimes that Amestris (and especially Bradley and Kimblee) had committed against his people. In the first part of the series, this implied that he was a violent terrorist who nearly killed Edward Elric.
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Only after his rage had tempered would he become a useful ally to the forces of good. Although he would never get revenge on Kimblee for what he had done (since the Crimson Alchemist had already been devoured), he managed to kill the king in a final and satisfying fight.
9 Joey Wheeler (Yu-Gi-Oh!) – few will remember he was introduced as one of the hero’s most ruthless goons
Joey Wheeler was a lovable ruffian and a loyal friend to Yugi Moto. He helped his friend in many of his adventures, he was even willing to give his life for him on certain occasions.
What few could remember is that he was featured as one of the hero’s most ruthless bullies. Only after the duelist had desired the Millennium Puzzle would he find a « genuine » change of heart and become a faithful guardian of the man he had once tormented. In this sense, his « redemption » was forced since he did not change his behavior of his own free will.
8 Gaara (Naruto) – When introduced, he was a bloodthirsty psychopath who liked nothing more than ripping life out of the fighting bodies of his opponents
Gaara was the Kazekage of the Sand village and a former leader of the Allied Shinobi Forces. Often reserved and emotionally stable, he was a reliable ally of Naruto, especially during his own quest to lead his people.
However, the shinobi was not always so benevolent. When he was introduced, he was a bloodthirsty psychopath who liked nothing more than ripping life out of the fighting bodies of his opponents. His inclinations were so monstrous that he even tried to assassinate Rock Lee in the hospital. Before Naruto’s intervention, he was not only interested in becoming a strong shinobi; he liked the opportunity to extinguish life itself.
7 Colt (Hunter X Hunter) – Colt was a member of the Chimera Ants and one who participated in their raids against the NGL
Although considerably less bloodthirsty than his counterparts (recovering only what the queen required of humans), he was nevertheless an active accomplice in the onslaught that ensued.
However, he would show his compassion through his collaboration with the Hunters Association. After Meruem got up and dismissed the lesser ants, Colt ceased his evil completely, changing her for a more noble path.
6 Sesshomaru (Inuyasha) – frequently resented his half demon brother; given their lineage, the two often came to blows
Sesshomaru was Inuyasha’s older brother and frequently resented his half demon brother. Given his lineage (and his insecurity about the upper sword his father had given him), the two often came to blows. Ultimately, this would cost you your arm.
Despite how incorrigible she may have initially seemed, she achieved a new vision of humanity after discovering and traveling with Rin. She touched his heart in a similar way to how Kagome did with her brother, and as a result, he became concerned. of his anger at Naraku instead – a much more appropriate target.
5 The Captains of Gotei (Bleach) – After Rukia’s capture (unfair), they tried to thwart Ichigo’s efforts to rescue her, reluctant to listen to reasons
The captains of the Gotei may have passed most of Bleach as heroes, although they were not featured as such. After Rukia’s (unfair) capture, they tried to thwart Ichigo’s efforts to rescue her, reluctant to listen to reasons.
Even once the truth is revealed, it is difficult to excuse the crimes that have been allowed to remain unknown. Examples are human experimentation and genocide against the Quincies and the Bounts, respectively. Although they are allies of Kurosaki, they are not explicitly an organization of heroes – some might even be considered the opposite.
4 Hendrickson (Seven Deadly Sins) – He was introduced to the series as a corrupt and maniac man who had a personal vendetta against the Sins
As the rebel group of knights struggled to reach the palace and got closer to discovering the truth, they realized that their villainy was only because of their possession by the demon Fraudrin.
After being freed from his malevolent influence, the warrior was deeply sorry for what he had done and was willing to repent in order to make amends. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be as powerful without being used by the Commandment.
3 L (Death Note) – He was introduced to the anime as a cold, conspiratorial man who would do anything to expose Light for his true identity
As Yagami had not yet passed an incorrigible threshold (only killing the worst criminals in Japanese society), it seemed as if his detractor was simply trying to impede his quest for justice.
However, as Yagami’s ego began to swell and his identity unraveled, he took increasingly desperate and immoral measures to remain anonymous. This gradually changed the public’s perception of him as the main hero to L. Unfortunately, Lawliet was close to death before Kira’s true nature became apparent to the viewer.
2 Bucciarati (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure) – After Giorno murdered Luca, Bucciarati was deployed to investigate the circumstances surrounding his death
It wasn’t long before he found the culprit, taking on Giovanna on Diavolo’s behalf and nearly defeating him via his Zipper Man Stand.
Fortunately, the son of the DIO was able to take the lead, outwitting his adversary and showing an unusual amount of mercy. This intrigued Bruno and sparked an argument between the two, which would conclude with the criminal turning on his former master.
1 Satsuki (Kill La Kill) – debuted as the burdensome tyrant of Honnoji Academy
She ruled with an iron fist and openly detested those in less prestigious position than herself, citing them as pigs. Worse still, he allowed Ryuko to believe that he had murdered his father and collaborated directly with Ragyo to have the life fibers consume the entire planet.
However, this was all an elaborate ruse to gain her mother’s trust. He hoped that by cooperating with the nefarious woman’s plans, her rebellion would go unnoticed. Although the ploy was successful, he did not have the strength to defeat the fibers of life without Matoi’s help.