Gia's List: 7 Anime Characters with Terrible Karma

by Gia Manry, Jan 14th 2012

In theory, good things are supposed to happen to good people, and sometimes they do. But sometimes bad things happen to good people...and sometimes really terrible things happen to people because they did good things. Here are some of the victims who've suffered the worst from bad/"reverse" karma.

7. Machi Kuragi (Fruits Basket)
Machi Kuragi spent most of her early childhood trying to live up to her mother's high expectations, competing with her half-brother Kakeru to see who would become the family heir. In exchange, her mother dropped her like a ton of bricks as soon as Machi's younger brother was born and instantly became the higher priority (presumably due to ranking higher on the heir-to-be list). At one point, Machi attempts to help her baby brother by bringing him a blanket when he seemed cold. In exchange, her mother thinks that Machi was trying to suffocate the baby and kicks her out of the house, forcing Machi to live alone throughout her high school career. Nice.

6. Yusuke Urameshi (Yū Yū Hakusho)
To be totally fair, one of the best things that ever happened to Yusuke Urameshi was being hit by a truck and dying, thus launching the series' plot, which takes place in the boy's afterlife. However, it's still a pretty sad story to anyone in pre-afterlife who doesn't know how it goes: after spending a lifetime being put down because he seems like a delinquent who will never amount to anything, Yusuke flings himself in front of a truck to try to save a young boy, but dies in the process. It was the only good deed he'd ever knowingly done in his life, and he dies for it. And while we don't want to spoil later events, this isn't even the worst example of his karma problems in the series.

5. Teresa (Claymore)
In the world of Claymore, a group of women known as Claymores exist who are half-human, half-yoma, where yoma are horrific demons that slaughter people. The Claymores are more human than their enemies, but it's not an easy life: sure, you get super-strength and super-senses, but also the entire human world completely despises you. Teresa was the strongest of all the Claymores, until she killed a human in order to save a young human girl from a crowd of cruel bandits. The organization that creates Claymores to protect humans from yoma also strictly forbids them from killing humans, and Teresa's slaughter of the bandit troop marks her for death at the hands of the rest of the Claymores.

4. Winry's Parents (Fullmetal Alchemist)
Fullmetal Alchemist contains a large number of well-intentioned folks whose comeuppance is undeserved. Automail mechanic Winry may be a major player in Fullmetal Alchemist, but taking a back seat (for the most part) are her parents. (Spoiler alert!) Winry's parents served as doctors during the Ishbal war— but unlike those who took sides, they were willing to treat anyone regardless of their military affiliation, wanting nothing more than to help those in need. For their unbiased kindness, the couple are killed for helping both sides— by one of their patients, no less. That patient, of course, is Scar.

3. The Straw Hat Pirates (One Piece)
To an outsider, it might seem odd that the happy-go-lucky Monkey D. Luffy and his crew, the Straw Hat pirates, should somehow have wound up as wanted men and women, especially with such enormous bounties. After all, they're the good guys, and let's face it, they're pretty poor pirates when it comes to thieving and looting. Instead, though, their unintentional but systematic destruction of other pirates, assassins, and other threats land them in increasingly hot water in the eyes of the World Government and the Marines. In fact, the more good that they actually do, saving entire villages and islands and whatnot, the worse their legal situation gets.

2. Kaiji (Kaiji)
At the beginning of Kaiji, the title character is sort of a well-meaning good-for-nothing. Unfortunately, his easy-going attitude results in him co-signing a loan for a friend that turns out to be with less of a real bank and more with a group of extremely creative loan sharks. After the friend skips town, Kaiji is convinced to participate in a gambling boat ride on which he'll play a unique Rock-Paper-Scissors (Jan-Ken-Pon) game, and the result will either be that his debt will be taken care of...or that he'll be sold into slavery at the end. We won't spoil the ending, but it's a hard-knock life.

1. Dr. Tenma (Monster)
The unquestioned king of failed karma is Dr. Kenzo Tenma, who shuffles his surgery schedule to help a young boy with a bullet in his head, resulting in the death of a hospital donor. Tenma loses his job prospects and his fiancée. Then those involved in his career downfall turn up dead. Tenma moves on with his life...only to learn later that the boy he nearly lost everything in order to save, Johan, is in fact a serial killer, manipulator, and all-around scary dude running amock throughout Europe. Horrified that his decision cost so many lives in the long run, Tenma vows to make it right by killing Johan, which only draws him into the greater conspiracy (and makes him even more of a murder suspect).

Each list is accompanied by a new reader poll, as well as the results from last week's poll.

The new poll: A new anime season has begun, and we want to know what you're digging so far! Take a look at our spotlight and read up on all the upcoming shows, then vote on the one you're enjoying or looking forward to the most!

The previous poll:

Last time we asked you which anime character you'd hire to help around the house...for better or worse. A surprising number of you— about 32% —were willing to sell your soul to the devil for the services of Black Butler's Sebastian Michaelis, who, it must be admitted, is a pretty awe-inspiring butler. Meanwhile, Hayate the Combat Butler's Hayate Ayasaki, whose worst baggage is that people tend to fall for him, took second with about 14%, and crazed former terrorist turned maid Roberta took third with around 11%. Here's the full list of results:

  1. Sebastian Michaelis (Black Butler) 31.93%
  2. Hayate Ayasaki (Hayate the Combat Butler) 13.99%
  3. Roberta (Black Lagoon) 11.45%
  4. Sayoko (Code Geass) 10.43%
  5. Mahoro (Mahoromatic) 10.05%
  6. Norman (The Big O) 9.41%
  7. Walter (Hellsing) 8.65%
  8. Kogarashi (Kamen no Maid Guy) 2.16%
  9. Mitsuki (He Is My Master) 1.91%

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