The List
7 Deadliest Children

by Lynzee Loveridge,

Sometimes big things come in small packages, and sometimes those packages are full of dynamite. Tiny tots wrecking havoc was my first ever topic for The List back in 2012. Even at the time it was published, I had to really shrink down the number of kids I listed. Evidently killer youngsters is a popular anime thing that writer's don't get tired of, so we're back six years later with a bunch of kids that really need an intervention or something.

Masato (Mermaid's Scar) Rumiko Takahashi is well known for her romantic romps and action comedies, but she took a genuine turn toward the macabre with her Mermaid Saga manga series. The anime fit right in with direct-to-home-video crowd seeking out animation with darker themes than whatever was airing on Saturday mornings. The Mermaid Scar OAV follows Yuta, a young man that's lived for centuries after he gained immortality from eating mermaid flesh. One excursion leads Yuta and his companion Mana to meet Masato, an eight-year-old boy that has lived the last eight centuries and lost his humanity along the way. Stuck forever in the body of a child, Masato bides his time trying to make another immortal to be with him forever by feeding each newly adoptive parent mermaid flesh. When he finds his surrogate parents no longer compatible, he kills them, that is if the mermaid flesh didn't turn them into monsters first.

Alluka (Hunter x Hunter) Honestly, a number of characters from Hunter x Hunter would qualify for this category but I'm going to focus on Alluka because her face scares the crap out of me. Alluka is a victim of possession thus giving birth to an alternate personality named "Nanika." The two personalities are pretty much compatible but the circumstances surrounding her possession has led to her to be rejected by her own mother who doesn't see her as human. It might have something to do with how dramatically her face changes when Nanika takes over...or that individuals that deny Nanika her requests have met gruesome deaths. One could put partial blame on Alluka's mom; she continually used servants as sacrifices to deduce how Nanika's powers work.

Lil' Slugger (Paranoia Agent) "Lynzee, Lil' Slugger isn't a real child, though!" Hush, alright, because there's really nothing scarier than the collective paranoia of a population manifesting itself as a smiling kid on roller blades. Lil' Slugger, as a character is originally dreamed up by one person to avoid responsibility for a pet's death. The character is invented as a lie but it soon takes on a life of its own as different Tokyolites attempt to wiggle out of their own responsibilities and find themselves victims to "attacks" by Lil' Slugger. His notoriety continues to grow and manifest in violent ways. He can only be thwarted by going back to his origin: when his original creator finally admits he existence was manufactured.

Enma Ai (Hell Girl) "Would you like to give death a try?" I'm not sure any child character has a death count hirer than Enma Ai. She's guaranteed to at least ferry one person off to Hell each episode while simultaneously dooming another. If it makes a difference, Ai doesn't seem to genuinely enjoy her work and has made several attempts to leave it behind but keeps getting pulled back by tricky supernatural forces. Also, maybe she's absolved from some of her actions since they're the result of a contractual obligation? She's a supernatural hit-man, in a way, under the thumb of a talking spider.

Zazie the Beast (Trigun) Zazie kind of got shafted in the anime adaptation. As a character, his origin is far more interesting in the original manga and while both versions of the characters appear to be kids, I'm going to lean into the manga origins for this write-up. Zazie initially appears as a young boy and is spying on Hoppered and Midvalley when its discovered they are planning to betray the Gung-Ho-Guns. Hoppered gets the drop on Zazie and kills him...sort of. The kid they knew as Zazie was really just a host for a sentient insect hivemind, and it moves on to another host (this time a teenage girl) to get revenge on Hoppered. Zazie is, under most circumstances, close to immortal. Meanwhile in the anime version they threw out the whole hivemind business in favor of a character that controls sandworms. Not nearly as interesting as the original.

Pretty much all of them (Gunslinger Girl) Who in the Italian government dreamed up a counter-intelligence agency that solely employs traumatized young girls and outfits them with cybernetics? Regardless of who's responsible, Gunslinger Girl stars a cast of brainwashed young girls who kill with precision and the behest of the handlers. Their target numbers are high, their injuries numerous, and their loyalty unsurpassed. But seriously, the entire program is pretty screwy and co-dependent. Could they have, I don't know, taught them all how to paint really well instead or something?

Kirika (Noir) Kirika is a killer running on pure instinct. After losing nearly all of her memory, she begins shacking up with Mirelle, another assassin, without knowing she was originally a tool for monolithic secret society. Kirika was meant to be one half of the society's assassin team . She's shown to be adept using weapons like a garrote, firearms, and martial arts making her a formidable foe for even the most elite killers.

The new poll: Which of these super-powered kids do you think is the strongest?

The old poll: Who would you cast as the main character in a live-action Naruto film?

Glad to see our readers haven't changed at all since the last time this came up.

  1. No-one (A live-action Naruto would be rubbish)
  2. Someone Japanese
  3. Ryan Higa (YouTube personality)
  4. Christopher Walken (if you really need me to specify who this is...)
  5. Tommy Wiseau
  6. Zac Efron (High School Musical)
  7. Koudai Matsuoka (Naruto musical)
  8. Ryan Potter (Big Hero 6, Supah Ninjas)
  9. Ki Hong Lee (Maze Runner)
  10. Seth Rogan

When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as Managing Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her sons on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.

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