Anime Heroes Who Are Extremely Manipulative

The protagonists in animated films are meant to be constructive role models without flaws. There are specific Anime protagonists who, despite being portrayed as being nice and compassionate, actually have a number of bad tendencies that they’re not afraid to express.

Being manipulative is among the most dangerous traits a protagonist can have. These personalities don’t hold back when it comes to outsmarting their rivals and tricking opponents into acting in their favor.

If you’re also up to searching for Anime movies having heroic characters being manipulative in nature, this is indeed the right place for you.

In the given section, I’ve compiled for you a list of Anime having main characters who exploited others throughout the story.

Attack on TitanCharacter: Eren Yeager
Genre: Action, Dark Fantasy
Released in: April 2013
Death NoteCharacter: Light
Genre: Mystery, Thrill
Released in: June 2006
BerserkCharacter: Griffith
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Released in: September 2011
Fruit BasketCharacter: Akito Sohma
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Released in: May 2019
Sailor MoonCharacter: Wiseman
Genre: Magic7
Released in: March 1992
Data table for manipulative Anime heroes

To have a detailed look at these main characters, read further.

Are anime characters morally ambiguous?

While anime villains are capable of deeply disturbing acts of betrayal, not every antagonist can be easily classified as good or evil.

Some characters are continuously shifting between sides, committing atrocities and then performing tremendous acts of generosity. Others exist in a permanent state of ambiguity, committing atrocities in the name of an undeniably great purpose.

Morally ambiguous anime characters are multidimensional, complicated characters who leave viewers wondering (and disputing) their true motivations.

What causes a character to be manipulative?

To be manipulative, a character does not have to be blatantly wicked; simply be the one pulling the strings from the sidelines.

Manipulative characters abound in the anime world. They are sometimes the great villain, duping their minions like sheep to the slaughter. Sometimes they are the villain’s henchman, amusing their master’s delusions of being in power.

There are numerous instances in which the character that the audience expected to be the hero, the love interest, or even the narrator proved themselves to be in complete control of the plot. They’re just so good that the audience didn’t know they’d been duped until it was too late.

1. Eren Yeager from Attack On Titan

At the beginning of the series, no one could have expected that Eren would develop into a cruel mass murderer, but as the series went on, Eren’s evil side was revealed.

In order to learn more about things, he headed to Marley and lived there for a long time. Eren’s conversation with Marley also achieved another purpose, which was to motivate the Surveying Team to take action.

Eren Yeager from Attack on Titan
The reality of Eren’s plan wasn’t made public until the start of the regular season.

Eren also deceived his friends into carrying out his orders, and they were all taken by surprise by his success. Eren’s scheme’s truth was still not revealed until the regular season had begun. He previously utilized his power to assist his dad steals the Founding Titan, which is another example of his deception.


Eren is really focused. He is also highly impetuous and doesn’t always think things through.

Eren is most appropriately characterized as being stubborn, uncompromising, impulsive, enthusiastic, and self-centered because of his strong spirit.

2. Light from Death Note

Light has demonstrated his ability to persuade shinigami, demons of death, as well as ordinary people, to comply with what he wishes. Also, the team of investigators was manipulated into recognizing him as their head for many months.

The conversation Light has had with Naomi Misora, in which he gradually wins her confidence with his typical pleasantries, serves as a wonderful illustration of Light’s ability to manipulate others. Given that he is the child of the security officer, she feels comfortable confiding in him. She dies as a result of this carelessness, and Light is easily able to identify her.

Fate telling diary named Death Note
Fate-telling diary named Death Note.


Light is a brilliant person who possesses a small touch of a superiority complex.

He famously uses the Death Note to govern the balance between life and death, deciding who is going to live and who deserves to die.

3. Griffith from Berserk

Griffith originally served as the Group of Hawk’s leader, and under his leadership, the paramilitary group achieved a considerable reputation. They transitioned from just being inconsequential to becoming Midland Empire heroes.

Griffith has a variety of negative traits, among which is his proclivity for manipulating others.

He intended to wed Charlotte, the present king’s youngest child, and become the new ruler. He was required to be courageous and powerful in order to achieve such levels. Additionally, he became sexually connected with Charlotte, showing his exploitative character.


He had graceful white hair, which was in contradiction to his evil attitude, and his appealing appearance.

He had strong character throughout the series and never wavered in trying circumstances. Apart from growing up in financial insecurities, he overcame all odds to reach excellence.

4. Akito Sohma From Fruit Basket

Misconceptions about Fruit Basket

The mysterious Akito is the owner of the Sohma community. Many Sohma guild members both admire and dread her. Throughout the series, there are numerous situations where her manipulative character is evident.

Given that she toured Tohru’s schools and encountered Yuki, her behavior toward him is very offensive. Later, she also discussed something with Yuki, following which he departed right away.

Additionally, she took advantage of Kurenoo by calling her unworthy to her face.

She calls Haru, mocking him a huge, dumb ox intentionally. She later confronts Tohru, telling him to stay away from the damned Sohmas and exposing that she is the owner of each of their lives while she tears his face.

She claims to be in charge of the Chinese zodiac and that she is the controller of its spirits rather than being afflicted by the one.


Akito is a victim who gets cursed by the Soma family.

Many Sohmas’ have been physically and psychologically traumatized by Akito, who is portrayed as being temperamental and violent.

5. Wiseman From Sailor Moon

In Sailor Moon’s second plot line, Wiseman the Evil Phantom’s alter ego is the actual mastermind of the game.

Wiseman, the main antagonist in Sailor Moon Anime
Essentially, the stronger devil, the Death Phantom, has an alter ego called Wiseman.

His schemes entail getting Duke Demande to kill Saphir, his brother, by tricking him, and transforming Esmeraude into stupid dragons so that he can make her the ruler of Nemesis. Wiseman is basically the alter ego of the stronger devil, the Death Phantom, contrary to the surprise that most series use when the primary antagonist works for an even worse evil.

Wiseman is renowned for manipulating Chibiusa to turn her villainous. He doesn’t only give her fake remembrances out of nothing; he also tries to control thoughts she already holds in order to pervert her, making her family as well as the others she met appear to be much less compassionate than they actually were.


The vestiges of Wiseman’s actual appearance are visible behind his open hood. Wiseman typically takes the form of an elderly guy hovering above the ground while gripping a crystal ball.

Final Verdict

  • In the above article, the protagonist characters, I find most manipulative from different Anime movies are discussed.
  • Despite their manipulative character, all of them are not absolutely mean but some adapted such behavior to achieve the specific targets they have set.

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