Top 10 Ultimate Anime Paybacks



Top 10 Ultimate Anime Paybacks

VOICE OVER: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Jonathan Alexander
Revenge is a dish best served animated. Join Ashley as we count down our picks for the best examples of anime vengeance, as seen in series such as "Gundam", "Attack on Titan", "Naruto", and more!
Script written by Jonathan Alexander

Top 10 Ultimate Anime Paybacks

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Ultimate Anime Paybacks.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the best instances of anime characters getting sweet, sweet revenge. But beware, spoilers ahead!

What are your favorite payback scenes in anime? Be sure to let us know in those comments below!

#10: Makoto Snaps

“Tsukimichi: Moonlit Fantasy” (2021-)

Even the most benevolent of heroes have a breaking point, and unfortunately for this band of thieves, they witnessed Makoto’s first hand. Despite being trapped in another world and told he’s too ugly to be a hero, this all-powerful adventurer’s optimism and generosity extend even to trespassing bandits. But after saving them from vicious elves, how do they repay him? By raiding the town’s armory, of course. When the resulting scuffle leads to the death of a young orc, Makoto finally cracks, and makes brutal, effective work of a thief in retribution. As the first time we see him succumb to his darker impulses, he almost seems like a completely different character, but that’s the very reason this scene remains so memorable.

#9: Choked Out

“Tokyo Revengers” (2021)

There are few things as universally cathartic as finally standing up to a bully - let alone one as despicable as Kiyomasa. After half a season of constant ridicule and abuse, Takemichi finally makes a stand against the Manji Gang member, and the resulting fight is as glorious as you’d expect. While it’s just plain satisfying to see this villain finally get his comeuppance, the real heart of this scene is hearing the determined underdog proudly shout his name as he secures the win. Amidst murder, time travel, and gang wars, no moment hits quite as hard as this character-defining scene that sees Takemichi finally stop running away from his problems.

#8: Game Over

“Darwin’s Game” (2020)

Death was always a looming consequence for anyone who lost this game of murder and lootboxes, but Wang and his clan took this a step too far. When the brilliant but kind-hearted Kaname outwits the villainous Eighth clan out of an event reward, they seek retribution by offing the innocent Shinozuka. Kaname doesn’t take this lying down, and when he sends the ruthless Shuka to dole out revenge, the once dangerous Eighth clan leader ends up a limbless, groveling husk of his former self. If Shuka’s effortless dispatchment didn’t bruise his ego, Kaname saving the final blow for himself sure would.

#7: Tempest Bites Back

“That Time I Got Reincarnated As a Slime” (2018-)

As a rule of thumb, messing with an all-powerful slime that can take on the powers of anything they consume is probably not a great idea. But someone didn’t send Falmuth this memo, and when Rimuru discovers the enemy forces have ransacked Tempest, he and the kingdom’s army retaliate in what is one of the most efficient massacres in all of anime. With a single, devastating display of power from his Megiddo, Rimuru paints a loud and clear picture that revenge is a dish best served dramatically. Oh, and did we mention he then uses the spirits of the dead Falmuth to become a literal Demon Lord and revive all the fallen in Tempest? Now that’s just salt in the wound.

#6: Char vs. The Zabi

“Mobile Suit Gundam” (1979-80)

Even amidst intergalactic warfare and giant mecha fights, one of the most exciting moments of this series ends with a single shot. In the early days of this legendary franchise, conflicted antagonist Char Aznable seeks revenge on the Zabi family for their presumed part in his father’s death, even if it means going undercover in the very Federation he hates. After an entire season of anticipation, Char finally destroys the last living member of the Zabi family in a glorious headshot that’s one for the record books. It’s over almost as soon as it begins, but as a brutally effective culmination to Char’s quest for vengeance, it stands out among the out-of-this-world action as one of the greatest moments in the whole series.

#5: Naofumi’s Personal Brand of Vengeance

“The Rising of the Shield Hero” (2019-)

If it weren’t bad enough that out of every mythical weapon granted to the legendary heroes, Naofumi is just given a shield, he’s also framed for making indecent advances on the princess. But when he returns from his banishment and clears his name, he spares the treasonous princess and her coconspirator father from execution with a fate that might be even worse. They can live, but only if they change their names to “bitch” and “trash” respectively. As far as payback goes, it’s hard to think of a better way to humiliate your foe than this.

#4: Levi Beats Zeke...Again!

“Attack on Titan” (2013-)

Third time’s the charm. It took a few extra tries, but not even Zeke could weasel out of Levi’s grasp this time. After Eren’s misguided sibling turns his entire squadron into Titans, Levi seeks revenge. Witnessing the treasonous doctor truly frightened as Levi tears through everything to get to him is one of the series most cathartic moments, but the satisfaction doesn’t end there. With a helpful assist from Thunder Spear, Levi manages to pierce the Beast Titan’s exterior to burn the villain from the inside out. It’s a violent, fitting end to Levi’s pursuit, and though it was a long time coming, we think Erwin would approve.

#3: Pitou’s Beatdown

“Hunter X Hunter” (2011-14)

It takes a lot to push Gon this far, but we can’t say this catlike Chimera Ant didn’t get what they had coming. After killing Kite and turning him into a mindless puppet, Gon is determined to defeat Neferpitou, even at the risk of losing his Nen forever. Aside from the innate emotion of avenging a fallen comrade, each of Gon’s blows are ferocious to the point we’re surprised there was anything recognizable left of the Chimera Ant when he was finished. If it wasn’t clear before, it is now - Gon may look like a carefree child, but he’s more than capable of dishing out a deserved punishment.

#2: Roasted Envy

“Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” (2009-10)

Did someone order a smoked homunculus? The shapeshifting villain’s murder of Maes Hughes is a tragic turning point in the series, but it pays off masterfully when Mustang finally gets his fiery revenge. In a terrifying display of power, the Colonel burns Envy alive faster than they can heal themselves, even with a philosopher’s stone. There’s no one better than Mustang to avenge his closest friend, and though it’s violent to the point of excess, it’s hard not to cheer as the despicable villain finally pays for their crimes.

#1: Shikamaru Buries Hidan

“Naruto: Shippuden” (2007-17)

This takes the idea of burying the hatchet to new heights. The villainous Akatsuki are a force to be reckoned with, but when they ruthlessly murder Team Ten’s leader, Asuma, Shikamaru and the others are determined to get revenge despite the odds. Of course, that’s easier said than done when your enemy is literally immortal. Luckily, this sharp-witted shinobi knows the perfect workaround - burying him alive. It’s a fate worse than death, but from the hand’s of Asuma’s protege, it’s also an undeniably poetic end to the invincible zealot - by using the fallen mentor’s lighter to set off the final explosion.