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Top 10 Soul Crushing Anime Deaths

Written by Shara Mae Artajo Whether unwarranted or just plain surprising... Death has never felt so cruel. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Soul Crushing Anime Deaths. For this list, we’ll be mourning the most upsetting deaths of some of our favorite characters. Special thanks to our user Ashjbow for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 Soul Crushing Anime Deaths

Whether unwarranted or just plain surprising... Death has never felt so cruel.

Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Soul Crushing Anime Deaths.

For this list, we’ll be mourning the most upsetting deaths of some of our favorite characters.

#10: Yabuki, Joe

“Ashita no Joe” (1970-71)

After so many fights, it’s revealed that Joe suffers from “punch-drunkenness” a condition developed from sustained head trauma. Regardless, the championship fight is still on. Joe versus Jose Mendoza. After trading blows and even some knock downs with the Champion, we can see the world title just within his grasp... But the fight ends and Jose remains Champion, by vote.

Joe, exhausted takes a seat, and after some time, remains unresponsive…

#9: Miki Makimura

“Devilman Crybaby” (2018)

Go Nagai’s classic manga series was full of enough gore to desensitize us completely… but nothing could prepare us for the fate of one girl. So, when it came time for the adaptation, Devilman Crybaby, we braced ourselves for the worst – only to get completely shattered again. When humanity turns to shit after Ryo’s meddling, Miki uses her voice to try to get them back to their senses…to no avail. The worst part about this scene is that it makes us so damn certain that she’s gonna make it out alive, only to be slaughtered beyond repair.

#8: Ace

“One Piece” (1999-)

Son of the Pirate King and the adopted older brother of Luffy, Fire Fist Ace is renowned for his incredible power. Because of his lineage, he was captured and sentenced to death by the World Government but is soon freed and freedom is just within his grasp. In a desperate attempt to end the battle, Akainu overpowers Ace and then turns his attentions to Luffy. The screen flashes and much to our surprise, Ace sacrifices himself sparing Luffy’s life in place of his own…damn.

#7: Jiraiya

“Naruto Shippuden” (2007-17)

This Pervy Sage has accomplished a lot in his years as a ninja. His strength and experience seemed to be unrivaled by any other. Much to our dismay, we were wrong. Jiraiya is drawn into battle with the Akatsuki’s leader and his former student, Pain, and throughout the battle we see him struggle to even damage him. At the climax of the battle, Jiraiya makes a final attempt to right his wrongs… but ultimately, he is killed in the process, leaving a whole lot of brokenhearted ninja…

#6: Kite

“Hunter X Hunter” (2011-14)

Since his appearance later in the series, we are shown the heights of Kite’s strength, such as taking out an entire division of Ants in one attack. This is undermined by his battle with the bloodthirsty Pitou. While sensing the presence of evil approaching, Kite yells for Gon and Killua to retreat, willing to put his own life at risk. We don’t see the battle but one thing is certainly clear as soon as we see kite again...he’s dead – and no one takes that harder than Gon.

#5: Shirley

“Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2” (2006-12)

Although her love interest, Lelouch, is caught up in gambling and revenge, Shirley has gone through hell to earn his affections. After losing her memory, she finds out the truth about Lelouch and rushes to his aid. In the confusion, she crosses paths with Rolo a fellow classmate and partner of Lelouch who always manages to f*ck something up. When it cuts back, we are see Shirley in a pool of blood…and with her dying breath, she gives a chilling confession to Lelouch.

#4: Caesar

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (2014-15)

Both a friend and rival to Joseph, Caesar is primarily known for his dedication to his family’s name. He’s so strong willed that he’ll fight no matter the odds. When taking on Wamuu, Caesar is easily out maneuvered. But since Caesar is one of the central protagonists, we assume he’ll overcome his opponent…only he doesn’t. In his last moments, Caesar activates his last ripple to save the antidote and is crushed by a falling rock…Poor Joseph.

#3: Kaori

You lie in April (2014-15)

Giddy, free-spirited, and a musical genius; Kaori is a sweetheart with a heartbreaking back-story. Her skill with various instruments, most notably the violin, leads the series protagonist Kousei, to regain his passion for playing the piano. After some time, the story takes a dark turn. Bombarding us with scenes of Kaori’s waning health and eventual hospitalization. It is a tragic turn to such a light hearted story. Eventually, the taxing disease takes its toll, leading to the inevitable death of such a loving character.

#2: Maes Hughes

Full Metal Alchemist (2003-04)

Although quick and cunning, Major Maes Hughes of the State Military is a father and husband first. After investigating an eerie connection between military battles and the creation of Philosopher’s stone, Hughes hurries to contact Colonel Mustang; feeling as if he is the only one he can trust. But he’s interrupted by 2nd Lt. Ross; aiming a pistol at him. He’s able to counterattack but is quickly thrown off when the imposter takes the form of his wife. A move that would lead to his death and the most heartbreaking funeral in anime.

#1: Kamina

Gurren Lagann (2007)

The Dai-Gurren leader has been know to overcome obstacles and lead the fletching Team to victory, making him one of the most beloved anime characters to date. But while fighting against one of the four Divine Generals Thymilph, Kamina suffers a tremendous injury. Even after a direct stab through the abdomen, he still fights on combining with his blood brother, Simon, to finish the general off. Though Kamina dies, he has a lasting impact on Simon who learns to truly believe in himself.

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