Anime's 8 Deadliest Children
by Lynzee Loveridge,
Your list-maker extraordinaire is on maternity leave this week, so it's time for another Classic installment of The List! It seems only fitting that this throwback countdown be child-themed, and it also happens to be the first edition of The List that Lynzee created when she started managing the column! (So long ago that Sailor Moon Crystal didn't exist yet, hence the reference to the original Sailor Moon!) As always, spoilers ahead for the featured anime series, and new List columns will resume starting next week!
8. Reisuke Hōjō/The Fifth (Future Diary)
Reisuke was dealt a pretty poor hand in life at a young age, so it comes as no surprise that he does his best to kill all his opponents when he's offered the chance to become a god. He attacks Yukiteru and Yuno, hoping to kill them via lethal injection. His third-person narration while talking to his hand puppets also elicits strong feelings of ‘holy-crap-get-this-child-away-from-me’. Despite this, Reisuke never succeeds in killing anyone, and his demise is a particularly uncomfortable moment in the series' many deaths.
7. Hibana Daida (Deadman Wonderland)
You have to give Hibana credit; the girl certainly has a strong sense of justice. Unfortunately, it's hopelessly twisted, making her a frightful Undertaker at seven years old. Killing off her classmates in kindergarten was just the starting point for Hibana, earning her the much deserved nickname, “Punishment”. She wields a sort of sword-whip weapon, allowing her to torture inmates with dexterity and speed. Despite her impressive weapons and training, Hibana is dispatched rather easily by Toto.
6. Wen (Cowboy Bebop)
Session 6: Sympathy for the Devil is one of Cowboy Bebop's best stand-alone episodes next to Pierrot Le Fou, and both are distinctly creepy due to their memorable antagonists. In the episode, what appears to be a child musical prodigy is actually the jaded immortal Wen. He regularly blackmails and kills adults to maintain his cover as a child lest he draw too much attention to himself, proving to be both cunning and manipulative after losing all fear of death. It's only with a particular gem, a sort of hyperspace-Kryptonite, that Spike is able to kill Wen and bring the poor lad some peace.
5. Poom Poom/Manaka Kisaragi (Boogiepop Phantom)
Poom Poom and Manaka take up one slot on this list for their deadly symbiotic relationship. Manaka is a reincarnated spirit and Poom Poom is a phantom she created to lure children and townsfolk into a park. Part Violinist of Hameln and part Pennywise, Poom Poom hands out red balloons to steal souls, turning his victims into eerie balloon children. Neither character directly kills anyone, but stealing someone's hopes and dreams is devastating enough to cause their victims to commit suicide.
4. Mariko Kurama/#35 (Elfen Lied)
If you want to see a horrifying mix of childhood playfulness and deadly intent, look no further than 5-year-old Diclonius, Mariko. Raised in a torturous testing chamber with little to no contact with the outside world, Mariko has no qualms about murdering the only woman she knew as a parental figure. She wields some of the most powerful vectors, 26 invisible hands, each with a longer-than-average range.
3. Selim Bradley/Pride (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
Selim has all the appearances of a well-mannered, adopted Prince. He's cute and wears an adorable little suit. Unfortunately for the heroes of FMA, Selim is a chief homunculus named Pride. As Pride, Selim's only goal is to further his creator's wishes to become a perfect omnipotent being. He frequently assaults Edward and his allies, using his abilities to control shadows to attack. Most disturbingly, Pride can absorb the powers of others by consuming them thus reminding the audience that the idea of getting eaten by a 300-year-old man-child is downright disturbing.
2. Hotaru Tomoe/Mistress 9/Sailor Saturn (Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon)
Hotaru Tomoe, the arguable source of the term ‘moe’, is anything but helpless. The physically weak and bullied child takes a turn for the dangerous when she is possessed by a malevolent spirit working to facilitate the arrival of an evil god and is also awakened as the Soldier of Death. The character leaves Sailor Moon and her team in a bit of a bind, as her evil incarnation plans to destroy the world, and well, so does her good incarnation. There's something unnerving about a child with a large pointy stick who can lower it at a moment's notice and destroy the entire planet.
1. The Entire Bokurano Cast
Psychology and death are common themes in Mohiro Kitoh's work but none contain the sheer amounts of destruction and death as Bokurano. The kids piloting Zearth aren't merely fighting space invaders looking to destroy the planet, the stakes are far beyond that. With whole dimensions on the line, the cast of Bokurano wipe out no less than 14 alternate dimensions and every single inhabitant therein. The battles themselves are ritualistic, a scenario set to repeat itself over and over and wiping out billions of people in the process.
The old poll: What's your favorite recent American cartoon?
- Avatar: The Last Airbender 22.9%
- Steven Universe 21.2%
- Rick & Morty 17.7%
- South Park 13.8%
- Gravity Falls 12.6%
- Adventure Time 12.1%
- Archer 10.9%
- Futurama 9.5%
- The Simpsons 8.4%
- Bob's Burgers 7.7%
- My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic 6.6%
- The Venture Bros. 6.2%
- Young Justice 5.5%
- Voltron: Legendary Defender 5.4%
- Family Guy 5.4%
- Star Wars Rebels 5.3%
- Regular Show 5.1%
- Star vs. the Forces of Evil 5.1%
- RWBY 5.1%
- American Dad! 4.9%
When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as Associate Editor for Anime News Network, blogs about women and LBGT topics in anime and manga on her blog Engendered Dilemma, and posts pictures of her son on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.
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