Top 12 Anime Characters With A Tragic Past

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Some people are just born with a little black cloud over them – especially in anime.

Anime are known for their tendency to create drama. And what better way to create a lot of sympathy for the hero than a really bad childhood?

So here’s the list of 12 anime characters with a tragic past.

12. Trafalgar Law from One Piece

This anime also has its share of tragic characters, like the twice-orphaned Nami. But Trafalgar Law’s past takes the cake where misfortune is concerned. 

He was born in a country being decimated by a terrible disease, which his beloved sister contracted. His parents were doctors who were working to fight the illness. 

Unfortunately, enemies of his country attacked, killing his parents and friends before his eyes and destroying the hospital with his sister inside. 

Trafalgar survived – but only by hiding beneath a pile of rotting corpses until they were conveyed out of town. Now that’s just nasty.


11. Johan Liebert from Monster

Johan Liebert is the monster of the title, and he is indeed horrific. While definitely not justifying his actions, Johan’s horrible childhood helped twist him into the man he became. 

Johan and his twin sister Anna were part of a eugenics experiment which sought to create a perfect individual. Anna was further experimented on in traumatic ways, but Johan comes to believe he was the victim. 

Much more ensues, including the children being adopted and Johan shooting their new parents. He then orders Anna to shoot him in the head, which she does. And that’s just the beginning of his tale.

10. Kaoru Hanabishi from Ai Yori Aoshi

Kaoru’s problems originate in his birth. He was the oldest son of the head of the Hanabishi clan, so things should have been rosy. 

Unfortunately, his father and mother lived together without benefit of marriage, which caused a bit of a scandal. His father died when he was five years old, his grandfather insisted on adopting him – and cutting off all his ties with his mother. 

He suffered a great deal of physical and verbal abuse thereafter before running away to live on his own.

9. Hakuryuu Ren from Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic

Being a prince isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Just ask Hakuryuu. 

At the age of six, he was caught in a massive fire when enemies revolted against his father. He fledwith his older brothers, both of whom died – but not before revealing that it was their own mother that started the revolt. 

One of his brothers stabbed himself and poured his blood all over Hakuryuu, hoping the liquid would protect him from the flames. Although scarred, Hakuryuu lived – and had to confront the fact that his mother had brought about this destruction.

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