Rivalries and friendships can bring a lot of unexpected twists to any anime series—especially when a trusted character turns around and delivers a stunning betrayal.
Traitors in anime can have huge impacts on a story, even going as far as taking the entire plotline in a new and unforeseen direction. The writers might give us hints and foreshadowings, but even so, we usually don’t know until the true faces are revealed.
Many anime series employ traitors and betrayals in all kinds of ways. Sometimes a good friend is tempted to switch sides. Sometimes the villain plants a mole. Sometimes the situation changes and the enemy-of-my-enemy simply becomes an enemy.
Here are some of the worst anime traitors and backstabbers that have turned stories upside down with their betrayals.
It should go without saying that this article will be full of spoilers. Scroll slowly and read at your own risk!
12. Bakuzan (One Punch Man)
Bakuzan is a martial artist who got blasted into the sky with a single punch from Charanko (i.e. Saitama in disguise).
He felt humiliated after that fight, leading to his anger and thirst for power growing inside of him. In the end, he was driven to eating the disgusting monster cell and became an ally of the monsters, betraying his own human race.
Though he gained the power to defeat Suiryu, he still never stood a chance against Saitama. A short time of tremendous power amounted to an even worse defeat, which cost him his life.
11. Cain Madhouse (To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts)
Cain Madhouse (a Vampire Incarnate) is a member of a squad led by Hank Henriette (a Werewolf Incarnate). The Incarnate Soldier Units were the best fighters of the army, comprised of humans who could turn into monsters and beasts (called Incarnates).
Yet because they were experimental beings, side effects began to manifest—they could no longer control their own transformations. Hank’s plan was to kill the Incarnates using the Godkiller bullets to prevent further disasters caused by uncontrollable monsters.
Cain Madhouse went on to betray Hank, took over the other Incarnates, and planned to rule the country using fear and power.
10. The Warriors (Attack on Titan)
In the first season of Attack on Titan, Reiner, Bertholdt, and Annie joined the Scout Regiment alongside our main characters Eren, Mikasa, Armin, and the rest of the gang. They slept, ate, and endured training together and became full-fledged Titan killers together.
What the group didn’t know is that Reiner, Bertholdt, and Annie were secretly the Titans responsible for the Titan invasion of Shiganshina District and the fall of Wall Maria.
Annie was later caught after she lost to Eren while fighting in their Titan forms. Reiner and Bertholdt voluntarily revealed their identities to Eren in hopes of turning him to their side.
9. Gin Ichimaru (Bleach)
Hulu offers a 30-day free trial so you can watch all kinds of TV shows and movies. Cancel at any time without losing the rest of the trial. Start your free trial!
At first, Gin Ichimaru was a traitor to Soul Society along with Sosuke Aizen as his leader. He helped Aizen with his Hollowfication experiments and even plotted Aizen’s fake death.
In the process of conquering Katakura Town, Gin surprisingly stabbed Aizen with his Zanpakuto, then stole the Hogyoku—which was his true intention from the very start.
Unfortunately, his efforts bore no impact and had no effect on Aizen because the Hogyoku was already his, whether it was in him or not. For his sins, Gin died in the arms of Rangiku.
8. Kaede Kayano (Assassination Classroom)
Fans never suspected that Kaede Kayano could really take on Koro Sensei alone. She appeared to be a normal student and interacted with everyone as if she were someone they already knew inside out.
Yukimura Akira (her real name) is the sister of Yukimura Aguri, who was an important person to Koro Sensei in the past. With her great acting skills, she was able to hide her bloodthirst and trick Koro Sensei into being comfortable with her—a grave mistake.
She wasn’t a traitor because she wanted to kill Koro Sensei, but because she hid who she really was. That alone made her classmates lose all trust in her.
7. Hisoka Morrow (Hunter X Hunter)
Hisoka is one of the most mysterious characters in Hunter X Hunter. All we can say about him is that he’s good at being a villain and he loves facing strong opponents, which was seen when he allows Gon and Killua to grow stronger before he hunts them.
Because of his craving for stronger opponents, he betrayed the Phantom Troupe and helped Kurapika with all the information he knew about the gang, in exchange for a fight with Chrollo Lucifer, the leader of the Phantom Troupe.
6. Meleoron (Hunter X Hunter)
Meleoron is a chameleon-type Chimera Ant and one of the Squadron leaders of the colony. After witnessing the death of the man who adopted him, he left the colony to avenge his late foster-father and defeat the Chimera Ant King, Meruem.
In his search for vengeance, he encountered the infiltrating Hunters and made contact with Gon, eventually forming an alliance with him and the rest of the Hunters.
He betrayed his King (who killed Peggy) and instead sided with the humans and their goal to eliminate Meruem. While his siding with the Hunters wasn’t a huge loss for the Chimera Ants, it ended up being a huge advantage for Gon’s team.
5. Squard (One Piece)
Squard is the captain of the Maelstrom Spider Pirates who sails under the banner of the Whitebeard Pirates. Before his recent crew, he led a group that was defeated and killed by the pirate king, Gol D. Roger.
With Akainu playing a dirty trick, Squard was deceived by the truth that Ace was Roger’s son, which made him hate Whitebeard for making him tag along with the son of the pirate he hates the most.
He approached Whitebeard at the Moby Dick in the middle of war, leaving the battlefield behind and stabbing the latter.
4. Black Zetsu (Naruto Shippuden)
For a limited time, you can try Hulu with Live TV for free for 7 days. This free trial offer won’t always be around, so if you’re on the fence, give it a shot while you can.
Black Zetsu lived for many years—long enough to deceive the Ashura and Indra incarnates and manipulate Uchiha Madara.
Madara believed that Black Zetsu was a manifestation of his own will, not knowing that Black Zetsu existed since long ago just after the sealing of Kaguya Otsutsuki.
Just as Madara cast the Infinite Tsukuyomi, Black Zetsu showed his true colors and attacked Madara from behind, using the abnormal chakra flow to bring Kaguya Otsutsuki back to life.
3. Marshall D. Teach (One Piece)
Marshall D. Teach, now known as Blackbeard, was a former member of the Whitebeard Pirates. He killed Thatch and stole the newly acquired devil fruit, which gave him the power of the Yami Yami no Mi and its ability to pull and absorb anything into darkness.
His betrayal in the fleet caused so much trouble for the crew and the rest of the world because of Ace, who wanted to pursue him and was later captured and imprisoned at Impel Down.
Whitebeard persuaded Ace to not go after Blackbeard, but the hard-headed son still boarded a ship to chase the traitor.
2. Ray (The Promised Neverland)
Just as the orphans are planning to escape the Grace Field House, Norman noticed something unusual in his surroundings and plotted a way to verify his doubts.
Ray, one of the orphans and someone who was there along with them, was caught being the eye of Isabella. Luckily for them, Ray stands against the Grace Field House and Isabella, so the information he fed her was half-truths.
Though he was planning to sacrifice himself for the sake of the kids in the house, he was carried along in a plan he didn’t know about, which Norman plotted long before he was delivered out of the House.
1. Himiko Toga and Twice (My Hero Academia)
The Himiko Toga and Twice duo brought a lot of twists to My Hero Academia during the Shie Hassaikai Arc. They managed to answer safely to Shin Nemoto’s Confession Quirk, dodging the question of whether they were ordered to betray Shie Hassaikai.
In the process of the heroes’ infiltration into Hassaikai’s base, they provoke Mimic and made him unstable, causing abnormalities in his Quirk manifestation.
They even called reinforcements for the heroes using their Quirks, a perfect and sneaky way to betray the gang without them knowing.