It is always fun to see the good guys in anime fight the bad guys (especially via full blown tournament arcs). Sometimes the good guys win, and sometimes the bad guys win. The tried and tested formula works because it’s exactly that – tried and tested. However, an underused and even more entertaining trope is when villains decide to stop attacking the heroes altogether.
Perhaps their goals shifted, perhaps they developed a soft spot for the good guy. Whatever the reason, it’s always fun to witness such exchanges between the heroes and villains. Sometimes fans are interested in knowing more about villains who sort-of gave up on the series’ heroes.
10 Rin Matsuoka (Free!!)
When Rin returns from Australia, he’s shown to be a changed man. He’s rude and antagonistic towards his childhood friend Haruka, to the point of almost getting into a fist fight with him. He constantly challenges him to swimming contests to prove his superiority towards Haruka.
In turn, Haruka and his friends feel threatened by his very presence, but of course, the power of friendship wins and they all end up becoming the best of friends towards the end of the series.
9 Grell (Black Butler)
He is introduced to fans as a partner in crime to Madam Red’s murders of various prostitutes. The two of them are dubbed as Jack The Ripper. Ciel and his butler Sebastian are able to immediately uncover their identities.
However, Grells seems to develop a heavy crush on Sebastian. As a result of this (and also poor writing) he abandons his plans of killing more prostitutes, Ciel and Sebastian, and instead becomes their goofy sidekick.
8 Greed (Fullmetal Brotherhood: Alchemist)
In the beginning of the series, Greed is shown to be nothing but a pawn of Father, who does as he says. This includes trying to (almost) kill the Elric brothers.
However, he does get tired of his own attitude and Father’s control over him. After he’s reborn and loses his memories, he eventually starts warming up to the Elric brothers’ company. In the end, he sacrifices his own life by letting Father absorb him, so that he could save everybody else’s lives.
7 Rui (Gatchaman Crowds)
Rui believes in a world free of superheroes and authorities, where people don’t rely on them but on each other to help people out.
In order to do so, he creates an app that does exactly this. He ends up becoming an unwitting pawn for the alien Berg Katze, and makes it sole mission to disband the Gatchaman heroes, come what may. However, he changes his perspective when these very heroes save his life and forgive him for what he did.
6 Endeavor (My Hero Academia)
By all means, he’s a villain. He used to verbally and physically hurt his son when he was a child, as well as his wife. Both were nothing but tools for him to achieve greatness via his offspring.
But as Todoroki grew up, he distanced himself from his father. Endeavor too stopped abusing his son and instead, chooses dialogue to convince his son to follow his father’s dreams.
5 Reiko Tamura (Parasyte: The Maxim)
Among one of the many parasites who took over their human hosts, was Reiko Tamura (an assumed name). She showed no remorse over ending her host Ryouko Tamiya’s existence, and killed many humans throughout the series.
However, everything changes when she gives birth to a human child, with whom she eventually forms a strong bond. Eventually, she ends up sacrificing her life to save the life of her human child.
4 Katarina Claes (My Next Life as a Villainess)
As part of royalty, Katarina is shown to be exceptionally spoilt, selfish and self centered. She doesn’t like having an adopted baby brother (Keith) so she spends a lot of time bullying him, which can be argued to be borderline abusive.
However, when she hits her head and remembers her past life, her attitude instantly changes. She becomes kind and caring, so much so that Keith ends up falling in love with her.
3 Lucifer (The Devil Is A Part Timer)
During Lucifer’s very first entry in the anime, he kidnaps young Chiho and treats her as a pawn. Things only get worse when he attempts to kill Satan, Alciel and Emilia in order to become the king of the demon world.
However, Satan is able to swiftly deal a crushing blow to his plans. He decides to take Lucifer in so that he can keep an eye on him and ultimately, ends up gaining a very loyal ally.
2 Isabella (Promised Neverland)
Isabella is the person in charge of the orphanage cum meat plant for demons. She sends off children to their demise, fully aware of her actions.
In the later episodes, her past is revealed, showing how she was forced to do this against her will. Eventually, after months of trying to stop Emma and the others, she lets them escape so that they don’t have to suffer how the other children suffered.
1 Shouya Ishida (A Silent Voice)
The entire anime is about the redemption of Shouya Ishida. The story begins with young Shouya and his classmaters mercilessly bullying young Shouko Nishimiya, who is eventually forced to leave her school.
As a teenager, he is shown to deeply regret his actions and is constantly tormented by his guilt. He goes out of his way to befriend the teenage Shouko, begging for her forgiveness, as well as wanting to forgive his past self for what he did to her.
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