In anime, moments of rage can bring out the best in a character, at least as far as character development. Most rage scenes are epic, but when the “silent character” or “cool character” goes wild with fury or violence, the resulting scene can be quite shocking—and memorable.
Sudden bursts of emotions (and power), which are often caused by incidents like deaths or betrayals, can help viewers empathize with a character, to feel what they feel: the rush, the anger, the pain, the loneliness. Coupled with high-grade animation, there’s nothing better.
Here are some of our favorite anime rage moments where otherwise quiet, calm, and collected characters exploded.
10. Illumi Zoldyck (Hunter X Hunter)
One of the calmest evil characters in anime, Illumi Zoldyck is an assassin who comes from a family of hired killers and professional assassins. In the 141st episode of Hunter X Hunter, there’s a scene where Hisoka asks if he’s allowed to kill Killua—one of the best scenes of the series.
Illumi’s rage mode doesn’t last too long and isn’t as animated as other scenes, but his intent to kill is seen to overflow in that very frame. When he said he’s going to kill Hisoka, we know for sure he’s gonna do it—only if Hisoka didn’t pull it as a joke and saw the threat as a challenge.
9. Masataka Takayanagi (Tenjou Tenge)
A true martial artist would always win against a total novice, but not in the case of Takayanagi and Souichiro in Tenjou Tenge.
Although Souichiro officially “won” because of the handicap agreement—that if he manages to land a single blow, it’d count as his win—Takayanagi still beat the freshman, rendering him unable to fight.
Takayanagi’s rage was triggered by the engagement idea of Aya with Souichiro, but it exploded because of the dirty trick played on him. After being hit by the winning blow, he charged and attacked relentlessly as if he were going to kill him, which even Maya and Aya couldn’t stop.
8. Hyakkimaru (Dororo)
One of the most heartbreaking scenes in the series Dororo occurs when Mio—and the children with her—are murdered by the soldiers.
The grief and pain of the moment turns into heated blood fury when Hyakkimaru realized that the people who took care of him died, causing him to lose his temper and kill every soldier he can find.
This rage moment became so intense as his humanity was corrupted by anger with every slash and decapitation, leaving no one but himself and Dororo left in the scene.
7. Shigeo Kageyama (Mob Psycho 100)
While Shigeo Kageyama is powerful, his power isn’t always apparent in his attitude or the way he carries himself. But don’t underestimate him, because when his anger reaches a hundred percent, he can’t be stopped.
Shigeo Kageyama, also known as Mob, has powers closely in line with his emotions, which is why he keeps himself emotionless and free of hatred and anger. But occasionally he goes wild and reaches full emotion, like when his brother Ritsu was abducted.
When the scene turns black and his eyes glow red with his hair standing, we know that he’s about to release a power hidden deep inside.
6. Levi Ackerman (Attack on Titan)
We always knew Captain Levi wasn’t a talkative person. He’s a small-built man who stands noticeably short next to his comrades and recruits, and he’s always cool and composed like his captain Erwin Smith.
But in his small frame, there’s unmatched lethal prowess. He can bring down a Titan in one fell swoop, just as he did when he saw his friends killed by a Titan and lost all control out of anger—and in this rage moment, even killing the Titan wasn’t enough to satisfy his grief.
There’s also that other scene: his battle against the Beast Titan, where far too many troops were sacrificed to cover Levi’s tracks and presence. From the hands to the feet and up to Zeke’s nape, we can feel the pressure of Levi’s anger with every slash.
5. Megumi Fushiguro (Jujutsu Kaisen)
The Chimera Shadow Garden of Megumi Fushiguro is one of the most badass scenes in Jujutsu Kaisen. Though he states that the technique is still incomplete, he manages to defeat a special-grade cursed spirit who has Sukuna’s finger.
As he was about to be defeated, Megumi manages to turn the tide of the battle. We can all agree that his evil laugh while performing the Domain Expansion: Chimera Shadow Garden is telling, in that he fully intends to bring down the cursed spirit with his own hands.
4. Rin Okumura (Blue Exorcist)
Rin Okumura is the son of the Devil in the series Blue Exorcist, but surprisingly he has a good and caring personality. He hides his true identity, which manifests upon drawing his sword off the scabbard.
But when Amaimon appears, disturbs their camp, abducts Shiemei, and hurts his friends, Rin unsheathes his sword and fights back.
The best scene in this rage moment is when he charges into the cuckoo box of Mephisto where Amaimon was pulled into, cutting it—along with the demon—completely in half.
3. Ken Kaneki (Tokyo Ghoul)
In the early season of the series Tokyo Ghoul, Ken Kaneki is a cool guy with a calm and timid personality. His calmness goes off after Yakumo Oomori (“Jason”) tortures him physically, mentally, and emotionally.
In this scene, he embraces his Ghoul side. Aided by the memory of Rize in his mind, he goes berserk and pushes himself to the limits, defeating Yakumo in the same way he was tortured by him.
A more badass and wilder Ken is seen with his centipede-like kagune during the raid in the mansion of Akihiro Kanou.
2. Chopper (One Piece)
Chopper is the doctor of the Straw Hat Pirates and one of the close-combat fighters of the crew. He’s a reindeer who has the power of the Hito Hito no Mi Human Model, which gives him the ability to manifest man-like features.
If this feat seems too normal to be qualified as “badass,” check out his fight against Kumadori of the CP9. He uses his forbidden Rumble Ball technique out of desperation to save his friends, turning him into an uncontrollable monster.
Later on in the story, after Chopper manages to control his Monster Point, this ability becomes a normal technique he can use.
1. Gon Freecs (Hunter X Hunter)
One of the best anime rage moments of all time happens in the Gon versus Pitou scene of Hunter X Hunter. Gon is normally loud, easy-going, and funny, unlike the others on this list of quiet characters.
What makes him earn top spot on this list is what happens after he gains immense power. Upon turning into his adult form, he assumes a disturbingly calm demeanor, with only one idea in mind: vengeance.
Unlike other rage moments, Gon turns calm after his anger is manifested—but we can still feel that anger and how lonely he is during the very scene, so much so that all he can do is beat Pitou down again and again.