In the anime world, not every character gets a peaceful death. In some of the most brutal and graphic anime series out there, heroes and villains alike are prone to suffering a gruesome fate, often getting tortured to death, burned alive, chewed to the bone, and more. Their last moments are filled with unspeakable agony.
Whether or not an anime character deserves such a fate, these gruesome, painful anime deaths may make audiences squirm in their seats, and that’s usually what the creators are aiming for. These agonizing, twisted anime deaths remind fans that for some characters, a quest or mission may go horribly wrong, and losing in battle to a sadist is a one-way ticket to a living hell.
10 Light Yagami Got Shot, Then Had A Heart Attack (Death Note)
Light Yagami the antihero caused thousands of deaths, and when his own time to die arrived, it was not quick or painless. He had lost to Near and the police, and when he tried writing down Near’s real name, Matsuda shot his hand, but that was just the start.
Matsuda shot Light in the chest several times after that, which must have been agony for Light. Then, while riddled with bullets, Light suffered a fatal heart attack when Ryuk wrote down his name, another gruesome layer of pain for Light’s final moments.
9 Thors Got Shot With Dozens Of Arrows (Vinland Saga)
Light isn’t the only anime character who’s getting shot to death with projectile weapons. In his final battle, the mighty Thors, the Troll of Jom, fought Askeladd in the Faroe Islands before Askeladd’s men shot Thors with arrows from head to toe. By then, Thor was finished.
No doubt that was a terribly painful death for Thors, but incredibly, he did not cry out, nor did he lament his fate. Instead, Thors implored the victorious Askeladd to let his men and son go free, and then he died in peace, despite the arrows sticking out of his body.
8 Zazan Died When A Mini-Sun Burned Her (Hunter X Hunter)
Zazan was born as one of the ant queen’s lieutenants, but she rarely did anything for the queen’s benefit, instead seeking to become the queen of her own chimera ant colony. Then Zazan went up against Feitan, a member of the Phantom Troupe, and met her end at his hands.
Zazan felt pretty cocky at first, but then Zazan used his Nen ability, Rising Sun, to finish her off. In a brief but intense moment, Zazan experienced overwhelming torment as the small sun incinerated first her hair, then her entire body.
7 Lucy Melted Into Goop (Elfen Lied)
The vicious antihero Lucy, also known as Nyu, inflicted a lot of pain and death on the humans around her, often using her invisible vector arms to tear people limb from limb or even worse. She seemed invincible, but eventually, her enemies cornered her, and Lucy overexerted herself fighting back.
Lucy pushed her body past its limits to defend herself and Kota, and her body actually started melting and falling apart, which must have been terribly painful. When the battle ended, Lucy couldn’t stop herself from melting away, and she died in a gory mess.
6 Flesh-Eating Rabbits Devoured Subaru Natsuki (Re:Zero)
The hapless isekai anime hero Subaru Natsuki is notorious for suffering many gruesome deaths, including having his gut sliced wide open or falling off of cliffs. His most agonizing, and bizarre death, involves him standing in a snowy field while surrounded by hundreds of Killer Rabbits.
These are not innocent anime bunnies by any stretch. They’re more akin to super-piranhas, shredding Subaru from head to toe, chewing him to the bone in a moment of frenzied feeding. Subaru soon learned to fear the very sight of snow rabbits from that moment on.
5 Carla Yeager Was Chomped To Death (Attack On Titan)
Carla Yeager was a pretty great anime mom, but that didn’t protect her from suffering one of the most painful and horrific anime deaths in recent memory. When Wall Maria fell in 845, the Yeager house got smashed to bits, and Dina Fritz’s Pure Titen seized the helpless Carla.
Carla Yeager suffered greatly when Dina’s Titan crushed her in its teeth, devouring her whole with superhuman brutality. Oddly enough, Dina Fritz was the mother of Grisha Yeager’s other son Zeke, though Carla never knew of this connection.
4 Portgas D. Ace Got Punched With A Lava Fist (One Piece)
“Fire Fist” Portgas D. Ace was once a high-ranking member of the Whitebeard Pirates, but then he ended up a prisoner in Impel Down before his execution date. Monkey D. Luffy did his best to save Ace from this fate, even fighting in the Marineford War to ensure Ace’s survival.
But it was for naught. Admiral Akainu fatally injured Ace with a lava fist, and it must have been horribly painful to have a lava fist punch its way clean through his body. Despite that, Ace died happy, thanking his foster brother Luffy for loving him before collapsing, dead.
The seven homunculi all died in very different ways, with Envy tearing out his own Philosopher’s Stone and Sloth overexerting himself. Meanwhile, the seductive assassin Lust tried to kill Roy Mustang, Jean Havoc, and Lieutenant Hawkeye, only for Roy to turn the tables on her.
Roy Mustang repeatedly blasted Lust with his fire-based alchemy, burning her to the bone each time. Lust kept regenerating, only to get burned once again, and finally, her Philosopher’s Stone was exhausted. Lust crumbled to ashes, but not before making an ominous taunt to Roy about his eyes.
2 Szayelaporro Grantz’s Death Felt Like A Century (Bleach)
The 8th Espada, Szayelaporro Grantz, enjoyed torturing both Renji and Uryu with his abilities, but in the end, he suffered the most. Not only did Szayelaporro Grantz lose to Captain Kurotsuchi, he got injected with a concentrated drug that sped up his mental process millions of times.
As a result, one second felt like decades to Szayelaporro’s ultra-fast mind, and then Captain Kurotsuchi stabbed him in the heart. Physically, that only took one second to do, but in Szayelaporro’s mind, this agonizing death was stretched out over an entire century. A century of pain is a worse fate than any anime character could imagine.
1 Diavolo Suffred Painful Deaths For All Time (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)
A century of torment is certainly a horrific fate, but JoJo’s most painful death is even more brutal and agonizing than that. The pink-haired villain Diavolo sought to seize the Stand Arrow, but in the end, Giorno got it, and his Stand became Gold Experience Requiem. Then, Diavolo paid for his crimes.
GER trapped Diavolo in an infinite loop, where he experienced an endless sequences of painful, creative deaths. He got hit by a car, he got stabbed to death, and he even had a mortician operate on him while he was still alive. This is a painful anime death that shall never end, making it anime’s most agonizing, grotesque death of all.
NEXT: 10 Shonen Anime That Don’t Have a Happy Ending