25 Best Anime Where the Main Character Is Betrayed (But Returns!)

25 Best Anime Where the Main Character Is Betrayed (But Returns!)

Anime has been around for more than half a century in the commercial sense; Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy launched a phenomenon that would go on to become one of the largest and most lucrative industries in the artistic and entertainment departments. Anime series come in all shapes and sizes, some of which are more famous and some of which are less. The same applies to the protagonists of these anime, who are going to be the main topic of discussion in this article.

The topic of this article is going to be those anime series that are focused on the topic of betrayal or, more specifically, the betrayal of the main character. We are going to deliver you a list of revenge anime series where the main character is somehow and at some point in his life betrayed by someone, but he makes a return in order to get his revenge and make things right. The list is going to contain a total of 25 titles, and we’re going to tell you a bit about them and why they fit the category.

1. Berserk


Original Run: October 7, 1997 – March 31, 1998 / 1 July 2016 – 23 June 2017
Number of Episodes: 25 / 24

What it’s about: Berserk tells the story of the meeting of Guts and Griffith, leader of the Falcon Troop, a band of mercenaries in the pay of the kingdom of Midland. From this meeting will be born an ambiguous friendship, but nevertheless efficient: the presence of Guts, a warrior with the disproportionate sword, will quickly prove essential to the ambition of the young Griffith, swashbuckler and outstanding tactician.

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The anime is thus the account of the rise and fall of the Falcon Troop, and of the relation between Guts and Griffith, particularly complex, between the relation of interest (Griffith uses the force of Guts), mutual respect ( both see each other as soldiers), and deep affection (each inexplicably needs the other’s presence).

Why you should watch it: Berserk is not just the first title on this list. It is generally one of the best anime classics in history and a series that you definitely have to watch. Guts is a great character with a great story, and the whole idea of him going on this journey to make things right fits perfectly into what we are looking at for this list.

2. The Rising of the Shield Hero

The Rising of the Shield Hero Chapter 82

Original Run: January 9, 2019 – present
Number of Episodes: 25

What it’s about: In The Rising of the Shield Hero, Naofumi Iwatani was summoned to a completely different world with three other boys from parallel Japans to become the “Legendary Four Heroes,” or “Four Ancestral Saints,” of this strange new world. Every Hero was given with own legendary piece of equipment as soon as they were summoned to the strange new world: Naofumi received the “Legendary Shield,” the only defensive equipment of the four, while the others respectively received an offensive weapon.


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Why you should watch it: This is actually a somewhat lighter isekai fantasy title, but the story fits our basic criteria. The Rising of the Shield Hero will satisfy your anime needs in more than one aspect, as it is a truly intriguing and dynamic story that has a lot of adventure, thrills, and twists that you will most definitely love.

3. Akame ga Kill!

Akame ga kill

Original Run: July 7, 2014 – December 15, 2014
Number of Episodes: 24

What it’s about: The young swordsman Tatsumi travels to the imperial city together with two comrades. They want to earn money in the imperial city to help their village. But arbitrariness and violence have reigned in the city ever since Minister Honest manipulated the young emperor in his interests. The powerful exploit, torture, and kill the poor for their amusement. So Tatsumi and his comrades are first separated in a robbery, then Tatsumi is outwitted and loses his money and, like his comrades before, gets caught by one of the rich families. But he escapes with the help of Night Raid, a group of assassins.

Why you should watch it: Ah, Akame ga Kill! is definitely a title you need to enjoy thoroughly. It has a great story, some memorable fights, and some great characters, all of which fit our betrayed-and-returned motif, which is why we suggested this anime so quickly. It is a great example of shonen storytelling, and you should definitely check it out.

4. Deadman Wonderland

Deadman Wonderland

Original Run: April 17, 2011 – July 3, 2011
Number of Episodes: 12 (+ OVA)

What it’s about: The student Ganta Igarashi lives in Tokyo, which was severely damaged by an earthquake. He is a survivor of the disaster that caused three-quarters of Tokyo to sink under the sea. Still, people try to live normal lives, so Ganta goes to school with his friends. One day, however, a strange man dressed in red appears, floating in front of the classroom windows.

Before they can even react, visibly shocked, there is a kind of explosion that devastates the entire room. When Ganta regains consciousness, he finds himself in the midst of the rubble, watching as the attacker carries his best friend’s head as a trophy. However, he is quickly noticed. Seeing himself dead as well, Ganta has a red crystal implanted in his chest before losing consciousness.

When he regains consciousness in a hospital, he is immediately arrested because he is blamed for the murders. Ganta, who no longer understands the world, must endure how fabricated evidence is used against him and how he is eventually sentenced to death.

Why you should watch it: Deadman Wonderland might not be the first title that comes to mind when our motif is concerned, but it is a fact that Ganta is framed for a crime and has to fight his way “back to justice,” in a sense. The setting is as bizarre as you’d expect from the title, and there are some truly amazing characters and twists, which is why we definitely recommend Deadman Wonderland.

5. Vinland Saga

Vinland Saga Season 2 release date

Original Run: July 7, 2019 – present
Number of Episodes: 24

What it’s about: Combining historical figures and events with many fictional elements, Vinland Saga is the story of the life of a young Icelandic man, Thorfinn Thorsson. This son of an illustrious repentant warrior will see his life turned upside down when his father is assassinated by pirates led by the cunning Askeladd. Driven by revenge, Thorfinn will follow and then integrate this gang with the displayed desire to eliminate his father’s assassin in a loyal duel. Thorfinn’s vengeful quest is the common thread of the story’s prologue.


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It will lead him, in particular, to participate in the invasion of England by the Danes at the beginning of the eleventh century. This part of the story brilliantly treats various subjects such as war, politics, and religion and paints a convincing and human portrait of the daily life of the population victims of the war but also, especially of the warriors, far away from the clichés usually conveyed by the Vikings.

Why you should watch it: Vinland Saga‘s hero has been betrayed by everyone and all and has to fight his way through the brutal North so that he can make things right. Vinland Saga is one of the better anime you’ll watch, and the revenge aspect of the story is such that it will definitely have you wanting more and more of the show.

6. Tower of God

Tower of God

Original Run: July 7, 2019 – present
Number of Episodes: 24

What it’s about: Tower of God focuses on the young boy Twenty-Fifth Bam, a young child who has lived by himself in a cave for the majority of his life. The only person he has around is his close friend Rachel, who comes by on occasion. Rachel decides to enter and climb a magnificent tower because she wants to be able to see the stars.

Bam pursues her to the tower door despite her best efforts to leave him behind. He is able to unlock the tower’s door through his desire for her, after which he goes inside to follow her. As the plot develops, the legends, histories, and motivations of significant figures and forces that influenced or made an effort to influence the Tower’s destiny over more than 10,000 years are explored. Secrets are introduced and exposed gradually.

Why you should watch it: Tower of God makes perfect sense on this list, as it is a truly great work whose detailed narrative is something that you will definitely love. It fits our motif perfectly – and why wouldn’t it? It tells the story of a child who is coming back to society from a cave! – and is so odd and different that you’ll definitely enjoy it.

7. Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest

From commonplace to worlds strongest

Original Run: July 8, 2019 – present
Number of Episodes: 16 (+ 2 OVA)

What it’s about: Hajime Nagumo is an ordinary, benevolent high school student who is bullied by the rest of his class because of his special relationship with their “idol,” Kaori Shirasaki. When transported with their teacher to another fantasy world as heroes, while most of his fellow students gain powerful skills, including magic and high stats, Hajime only gets a non-combat class of “Synergist,” a kind of technician with mediocre statistics and the ability to transform solid materials, a common skill of artisans and blacksmiths, thus reinforcing the contempt of his peers.

Why you should watch it: Arifureta is a story that needs to be taken it because it is quite flamboyant! It has a lot – idols, fantasy, revenge, betrayal… all of which are combined into one unique storyline whose main purpose is to be as flamboyant as possible. It has a lot of humor, so it is one of the lighter titles on this list, but it is nevertheless a good example.

8. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

Code Geass

Original Run: October 6, 2006 – July 29, 2007
Number of Episodes: 25

What it’s about: On August 10, 2010, of the imperial calendar (i.e., in 1955 of the Gregorian calendar), the Holy Empire of Britannia crushed the Japanese forces and conquered the country in less than a month thanks to their new mechas named Knightmare. In the defeat, Japan lost its independence and was renamed Area 11. The Japanese, for their part, lost all their rights and their national identity, renamed Eleven. They were moved to ghettos, ceding most of the land to British settlers. However, rebel movements were born, and the Japanese nationalists continued the struggle for independence.

Why you should watch it: Well, Code Geass is one of those classic anime titles on this list that need to be seen regardless of the topic at hand. Lelouch is an iconic anime character, and this mecha fantasy is something that will definitely prove to be a source of entertainment for all fans of good anime series.

9. 91 Days

91 Days

Original Run: July 9, 2016 – October 1, 2016
Number of Episodes: 12

What it’s about: During the Prohibition era in the USA, the illegal alcohol business flourished, and with it, the mafia. Angelo Lagusa grows up sheltered in a Mafiosi family, but one day his parents and brother are murdered by another Mafia family. Angelo escapes and hides with the help of his friend Corteo. Years later, when Angelo grows up, a letter awakens his desire for revenge, and he decides to kill all four of his parents’ murderers.

He returns to the city and stays with Corteo. He distills schnapps himself and offers Angelo, now under the name Avilio Bruno, entry into the alcohol business. In this way, Avilio gains the trust of the Vanetti family, who are under pressure from the competing Orco family. Avilio is tasked with the murder of Fango, one of the most dangerous of the Orco. But he uses this to kill Vanno Clemente and foist it on the Orco.


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The death of Nero Vanetti’s best friend – son of the Vanetti Don and his heir – fuels the family’s hatred for the Orco, and they plot revenge. The conflict between the two families escalates, and Nero drives to the country to get to safety. Avilio accompanies him.

Why you should watch it: Undoubtedly, 91 Days is one of the best titles on this list. It is a gritty and realistic tale about betrayal and survival set in the Prohibition-era United States, focusing on the intricacies of mafia life. It has a great soundtrack, the animation is splendid, and the characters have actual depth, which is why we definitely recommend it.

10. Bungō Stray Dogs

Bungo Stray Dogs Characters: Age, Birthday, Height, Gender, Ethnicity, and More

Original Run: 7 April 2016 – present
Number of Episodes: 36 + OVA

What it’s about: The story centers around certain individuals with supernatural powers who use them for different purposes like running a business, solving mysteries, and carrying out armed detective agency missions against the port mafia. It revolves particularly around the members of the “armed detective agency” and their everyday life.

The story revolves around a detective agency, each member of which possesses supernatural powers. This particular characteristic gives them the right to resolve investigations that are too perilous for the police. Nakajima Atsushi, a young orphan on the verge of starvation by a river, accidentally finds himself having to save a man from a suicide attempt. This one is none other than Dazai Osamu, a member of this strange agency.

Why you should watch it: Undoubtedly, Bungō Stray Dogs is a brilliant title that you can also learn a lot from because of its numerous literary references. It is also a great betrayal-and-revenge story with numerous brilliantly written characters. There is no doubt that this is a title you have to check out and that you will absolutely love.

11. Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers


Original Run: July 4, 2015 – September 19, 2015
Number of Episodes: 12

What it’s about: When the God of Evil awakens again, the Goddess of Fate, patron goddess of the kingdom of Piena, chooses six heroes, whom she marks with a seal of six flowers. The mission of these heroes is to defeat the god of evil who is in Makoku territory, the realm of Calamities. Much of the story of Rokka no Yūsha takes place in the temple just outside the border of the Calamity Realm.

The heroes arrived at the temple, where a barrier was created to block the path to the realm of the evil god and secure the heroes’ rear once they passed to the other side.

Why you should watch it: Rokka is a fantasy isekai title that does fit our basic motif, but it features such a colorful cast of characters that it might blow your mind even if you’re just in it for the betrayal-and-revenge part. It is definitely a title that has to be seen, and that is why we have included it here on our list.

12. Yona of the Dawn

yona of the dawn review 2

Original Run: October 7, 2014 – March 24, 2015
Number of Episodes: 24 + 3 OVAs

What it’s about: Yona, the princess of the Kôka kingdom, grew up carefree. Since childhood, she has been pampered by her father and protected by her bodyguard and childhood friend, Hak. On her sixteenth birthday, Yona is happy: her cousin and secret love, Soo-Won, comes to visit her to celebrate her birthday, and she intends to confess her feelings to him. But nothing will go as planned. Forced to abandon her position, she will have to fight to regain the throne that is rightfully hers. As well as for its survival because the country of Kôka is full of dangers.


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Why you should watch it: Yona of the Dawn is a good addition to the list because it focuses on a female protagonist and is quite different from the other titles on this list. It also has a very interesting blend of action and romance, which is why you will definitely enjoy it and why it is going to be a refreshing addition to our list.

13. Dororo


Original run: April 6, 1969 – September 28, 1969
Number of episodes: 26

What it’s about: The Sengoku-era anime portrays the tale of Hyakkimaru, a young man whose 48 body parts were sacrificed to 48 demons before his birth. In order to gain power, his father has actually made an agreement with them. He instantly leaves his son, who is being raised by a doctor, behind. This uses prosthetics to fill up Hyakkimaru’s missing body parts, some of which end up being weapons (for example, his fake arms hide swords). The young man obtains superhuman senses that enable him to fight off demons because his other senses—sight, hearing, and others—have been taken from him.

Why you should watch it: Dororo is a very old title, and younger anime fans might not enjoy it as everyone else, but we have to tell you that it is amazing. It’s a truly great story that highlights how anime was made half a century ago and how the dedication of the authors can withstand the test of time and become a timeless classic.



Original Run: April 9, 2006 – December 19, 2006
Number of Episodes: 24

What it’s about: In BLACK LAGOON, we follow Rokuro Okajima, a young Japanese employee of a large company tasked with traveling the seas of Asia to deliver a disc containing secret and vital data on the company for which he works. Unfortunately, his boat is attacked by a band of freelance pirates wanting to recover his property, and he himself is taken hostage on their boat, the Black Lagoon, an old torpedo boat. Thinking that his company will do everything to help him, he is not overly worried. What he does not know is that his superiors hired mercenaries to silence him and destroy all evidence of the record’s existence.

Why you should watch it: BLACK LAGOON is a fairly popular title. It has a lot of action, some quirky characters, and a fairly unique plot that makes a lot of sense in the context of our general motif. BLACK LAGOON is definitely for those who enjoy an action-packed story, but it also has a lot of other aspects that you will definitely enjoy.

15. Guilty Crown

Guilty Crown

Original Release: October 13, 2011 – March 22, 2012
Number of Episodes: 22

What it’s about: The story comes to life in Tokyo in 2039, surrounded by a weakened Japan unable to provide for itself after the tragedy that exploded on Christmas Eve 2029, remembered by all as “Lost Christmas.” In fact, ten years have passed since the whole country was thrown into total panic by a rampant and unknown viral pandemic called Virus Apocalypse. An international organization known as GHQ steps in and restores order in Japan, which pays the price with its independence. After taking the reins of command under martial law, the company, with its own military army, takes advantage of the situation in the most varied ways, even going so far as to execute civilians on the spot after having classified them as infected.

Why you should watch it: Guilty Crown is yet another timeless classic on this list and an anime whose story is brilliantly supplemented by its visual beauty. The story is among the better ones on this list, and all of that makes Guilty Crown a title that definitely needs to be seen, which is why we recommend it absolutely.

16. Sorcerous Stabber Orphen

Sorcerous Stabber Orphen Season 2 release date Majutsushi Orphen Hagure Tabi 2020 remake New Stray Journey sequel

Original Release: October 3, 1998 – present
Number of Episodes: 71 (+ OVA)

What it’s about: The 20-year-old magician Orphen lives with his apprentice Majik in an inn in the city of Totokanta. Although he is talented, he is constantly broke and owes money to almost everyone in town. In addition, the beautiful Clio, the daughter of a rich family, wants to learn how to use magic from him. However, she has little talent, which doesn’t stop her from constantly harassing him. Her sister Mariabelle wants to marry Orphen, which he is not enthusiastic about. The Volcano brothers Volcan and Dortin also haunt him frequently. They are his enterprising rivals. V

Why you should watch it: Sorcerous Stabber Orphen is a long-running anime series that will see yet another season come out in 2023. All the more reason to watch it! It perfectly fits our general motif, and you still have enough time to binge-watch the whole series before the new seasons and some new adventures.

16. Evil or Live


Original Release: October 10, 2017 – January 2, 2018
Number of Episodes: 12

What it’s about: Internet addiction is a condition that affects young people, particularly men and women, and causes them to become more withdrawn from social interactions and away from electronic devices. Hibiki, 17, was coerced into attending Elite Reeducation Academy, a rehabilitation facility, but for him and others like him, it functions more like a harsh prison.

Why you should watch it: This is certainly a lesser-known title, but the psychological intricacies of Evil or Live certainly make it a noteworthy title. We expect you to enjoy it thoroughly, primarily because it’s somewhat unique in the context of this list but also because it has some truly inherent qualities that fans of this motif will enjoy.

18. Chivalry of a Failed Knight

Chivalry of a Failed Knight

Original Run: October 3, 2015 – December 19, 2015
Number of Episodes: 12

What it’s about: In a world in which people with magical abilities known as “blazers” are trained as knights, Ikki Kurogane is the most unsuccessful student at the Hagun Knight Academy. His abilities are weak, and so is his “device,” the weapon he can form from his soul. The fact that the notorious loser comes from a famous family doesn’t make it any easier for him, as his relatives also keep preventing him from being successful. One day, however, the school changer Stella Vermillion, a princess from Europe, becomes his roommate.


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Why you should watch it: Chivalry of a Failed Knight is a very light-hearted title with a lot of comedy and also ecchi elements in its story. It isn’t bad by any means, but it doesn’t take the basic motif as seriously as some other titles. On the other hand, it doesn’t have too many episodes and is quite fun, which is why you should enjoy it at the end.

19. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

Original Run: April 8, 2016 – June 30, 2016
Number of Episodes: 12

What it’s about: During the industrial revolution, a mysterious pandemic struck the world and soon spread to the far reaches of the East, even on the sovereign island of Hinomoto. People themselves infected or bitten by other infected humans are transformed into Kabane, formidable blood-hungry undead whose extermination is extremely difficult. Indeed, the heart of the Kabane is covered with a special steel film that renders most conventional weapons (bladed weapons and steam rifles) Bushi ineffective.


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Why you should watch it: Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is an intriguing fantasy title that takes a lot of turns when you don’t really expect it to, but that is what makes it great. There is a lot to be enjoyed here, and that is why we definitely recommend Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress for those who are looking for a more fantastic approach to our motif.

20. Gungrave


Original Run: October 7, 2003 – March 30, 2004
Number of Episodes: 26

What it’s about: The story begins, and a truck is surrounded by human-looking monsters. A scientist and a young girl find themselves on board in a very delicate situation. Fortunately, the scientist wakes up Brandon. The man is a real war machine; he easily exterminates the crowd of monsters using his two huge weapons (the Cerberus). But what is behind this attack, what is the story of our protagonists, and who is really Brandon, alias “Beyond the Grave”? This is what we discover during a long flashback retracing the lives of two young thugs entering the criminal organization that runs their town.


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Why you should watch it: Gungrave is definitely an intriguing show if you like the early 00s anime series, and it will provide you with both a lot of entertainment and thrills. The story digs deep into the past of the characters and the lore to explain everything, and that kind of dedicated storytelling is something you’ll definitely enjoy.

21. Seraph of the End

What We Know So Far About The New Isekai Wa Smartphone To Ni 74

Original Run: April 4, 2015 – December 26, 2015
Number of Episodes: 24

What it’s about: The story follows the adventure of Yu, a young orphan, and his demon Ashuramaru. The world is ravaged by a terrible disease. Children under 13 who were, for some reason, immune to the virus survived. But these were enslaved by vampires who suddenly emerged from the depths of the Earth. Yûichirô Hyakuya and Mikael Hyakuya, two orphans, serve as a “pantry” for vampires: they have the right to live, in exchange for a daily blood sample. After an escape attempt that results in a massacre of his friends, Yûichirô manages to escape, leaving Mikael for dead.

Why you should watch it: Serap of the End is a rather specific title that has vampires as its main characters and is also set in a post-apocalyptic world, which is why it might not be for everyone. On the other hand, it does fit our basic motif, which is why we did include it on this list in the end, but with a disclaimer that it might not be for everyone.

22. The Legend of the Legendary Heroes

The Legend of the Legendary Heroes

Original Run: July 1, 2010 – December 16, 2010
Number of Episodes: 24

What it’s about: Ryner Lute is a listless and perennially sleepy boy, a student of Roland’s Royal Special Military Academy; One day, however, war breaks out, and the entire school is sent into battle, during which all the students are killed with the exception of Sion, Kiefer, and Ryner, thanks to the latter. Following the victory, the merit of which will fall on Sion, he himself will succeed to the throne of Roland, and to ensure that there are no more wars, he will create a group composed of Ryner and Ferris (an excellent swordsman) and will entrust him with a mission: find the artifacts of the legendary heroes.

Why you should watch it: This is also a very intriguing tale that combines fantasy and isekai with our principal motif. And while it does focus on betrayal and revenge and has a lot of tropes, it is still interesting and is a very entertaining piece that will definitely see you watch the whole 24-episode series.

23. Redo of Healer

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Original Run: January 13, 2021 – March 31, 2021
Number of Episodes: 12

What it’s about: After being exploited, drugged, and sexually abused for a long time due to his status as a weak Healing Hero, Keyaru develops powers drawn from the experiences of those he has healed: however, the moment he realizes his potential, he has already been deprived of everything. He then decides to use his healing magic on the whole world and travel back four years into the past, start all over again and get revenge on those who abused, raped, and exploited him.


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Why you should watch it: Redo of Healer is undoubtedly the most twisted and brutal title on this list. It thrives within a really grim setting and focuses on really morbid topics, but that is why it fits our motif perfectly. This is an extreme example of revenge where violence leads to even more violence, so if you cannot tolerate such stuff, this might be a bit too much for you.



Original Run: October 4, 2012 – December 20, 2012
Number of Episodes: 12

What it’s about: The series follows the story of Ryouta Sakamoto, whose only real achievement was being Japan’s top player in a popular video game named Btoom! He soon gets drawn into a reality that looks like the game without any idea of how he got there. Players are to kill seven other players and redeem their green crystals in order to return home. Ryota has to team up with a fellow player, Himiko, as they try to escape and also find out the real truth behind the reality they found themselves in.

Why you should watch it: Unlike most other titles on this list, BTOOM! actually focuses on a group rather than just an individual. It still functions great, though! This is an action-packed title that will provide you with everything you need if you like explosions, tension, and a thrilling plot. It might not be as deep as some titles, but it’s still great.

25. DEVILMAN crybaby

DEVILMAN crybaby

Original Run: January 5, 2018
Number of Episodes: 10

What it’s about: Ryo Asuka, Akira Fudo’s best friend, informs him that the ancient race of Demons that used to take over human bodies in order to possess them have come back to Earth to retrieve them. Ryo offers that Akira goes with him to observe Demons take possession of people because he believes that is the only possible means to stop the Demons. Akira becomes the Devilman, a human with the abilities of a Demon but preserving his own heart by merging with Amon, the Lord of Demons.

Why you should watch it: This series is a more twisted take on our topic, but DEVILMAN crybaby nevertheless satisfies all your criteria. One should expect a classical take on the motif, but DEVILMAN crybaby is everything but ordinary, both in terms of animation and its take on the story and its motifs. It also has a lot of interesting characters.