The world of anime boasts no shortage of powerful children, with characters like Sakura Kinomoto and Naruto Uzumaki holding the fate of the world in their adolescent hands. But for all the powerful child heroes of the anime universe there exist deadly anime kids with equally impressive, if dangerous, abilities. Anime never shies away from blessing young people with great power, and just like adults, anime children can let power go to their heads. Unlike the most annoying anime children, many dangerous anime kids actually make compelling character studies.
Many of these kids are dangerous serial killers who easily hold their own against adults. Some possess formidable powers like Mariko Kurama from Elfen Lied, who uses telekinesis to rip apart enemies for fun. Maybe they’re blisteringly intelligent like Johan Liebert of Monster, a child nihilist with plans to instigate the apocalypse. No matter what the reason for their brutality, adults are better off staying far, far away from the deadliest anime children.
Killua Zoldyck – ‘Hunter x Hunter’
Raised from birth to be an assassin as part of the Zoldyck assassin clan, 12-year-old Killua Zoldyck sees no problem in murdering anyone who crosses him in the bloodiest ways imaginable. Though capable of brutal violence, Killua can actually be an affectionate, fun-loving kid – until his bloodthirsty side comes out in battle. Due to his pride and loyalty to his friends, Killua will savagely murder anyone who crosses him or his acquaintances, as long as he’s sure that he’ll win.
If he remains unsure of victory, he avoids the combat, since he doesn’t want to endure the humiliation that comes with losing. Armed with a powerful Nen (aura), his metallic yo-yos, and an intellect far beyond his years, Killua is a young force to be reckoned with.
Hibana Daida – ‘Deadman Wonderland’
Everyone in the Deadman Wonderland Prison is dangerous in their own way, but Hibana Daida is especially unsettling. At age seven, this girl became an Undertaker, meaning she survived the prison’s brutal reform program and ranks as one of the worst and most savage inmates.
When Hibana was in kindergarten, a classmate flipped her skirt. Instead of telling him off or telling the teacher, Hibana reacted by killing not only him, but everyone else in her class. This was, she believed, an appropriate punishment. She also tortured and killed her abusive mother in retaliation for the pain she endured at her hands. In Hibana’s eyes, her sadism is just one part of being the “good girl” her mother raised her to be.
Pride – ‘Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood’
Although he inhabits the body of a child named Selim Bradley, Pride is actually the oldest homunculus created by Father. In his child form, Selim appears as a sweet, polite little boy who shows respect for his elders. All of his positive traits go right out the window when he turns into the monstrous Pride, a living shadow with rows of sharp teeth. As Pride, he sees himself as superior to humans, torturing and enslaving them for his own amusement. But he targets more than just humans – he also dismembers and consumes Gluttony, a fellow homunculus who was foolish enough to trust him.
Despite his amoral nature, Pride inexplicably enjoys life as a human child, and wishes he could fully inhabit his fake life and make it real. In the end, he manages to do just that.
Mariko Kurama – ‘Elfen Lied’
After enduring a series of traumatic experiments and complete isolation at the Diclonius Research Institute, Mariko Kurama becomes completely insensitive to the suffering of others. Except when reined in by the threat of being hurt herself, Mariko murders any human being unfortunate enough to approach her, and she delights in fighting and maiming other Diclonius.
Despite her propensity popping someone else’s limbs for fun using her telekinetic arms, Mariko remains in many ways a normal five-year-old girl who wants to be close to her family.
Sachiko Shinozaki – ‘Corpse Party’
Considering the fact Sachiko Shinozaki is the protagonist of an anime called Corpse Party, it comes as no surprise she’s terrifying. At age seven, Sachiko was murdered by the principal of her school after she witnessed him attempting to sexually assault her mother.
The gruesome circumstances of her death turned her into a vengeful ghost. Her vengeance takes the form of infiltrating people’s dreams and destroying their brains until they become mindless puppets who are no truly longer human.
Hänsel And Gretel – ‘Black Lagoon’
Identical twins with a shared passion for assassination, Hänsel and Gretel make for a fearsome package. Left in the care of an abusive orphanage, the siblings fell victim to exploitation in violent snuff films. Being forced into killing at young ages warped the siblings’ personalities to the point they believe they need to kill others in order to live longer.
Both twins are disturbingly close to each other, even swapping identities for their own amusement. The embodiment of Hänsel uses a battle axe while Gretel wields an immense rifle. If a woods witch befell this version of Hänsel and Gretel, she might want to proceed with caution.
Reisuke Houjou – ‘Future Diary’
Despite being a five year old, Reisuke Houjou comes across one of the scariest kids in anime. Like everyone else involved in the Survival Game, Reisuke wants to win, and that means becoming a cold-blooded. His methods far surpass what’s possible for most kindergartners, making use of complex chemistry, physics, and social manipulation.
However, he’s not without his childish side – even if he feels hellbent on killing someone, he might show mercy if that person treats him with the kindness he never received from his abusive parents.
Gaara – ‘Naruto’
Gaara literally arrives to the world with a Tailed Beast sealed into his body. While this chakra monster granted him incredible abilities that would serve him well in his future career as a ninja, as a child it made him into something of a monster himself. Gaara’s birth led to his mother’s death, which made his father and his uncle unsympathetic to his needs. When his powers got out of control and he started murdering random villagers, his own father attempted to assassinate him. By the age of 12, violence was all he cared about.
After fighting Naruto Uzumaki, Gaara puts aside his murderous behavior and uses his abilities more constructively. Despite his change of heart, he was still entirely capable of killing innocent people for most of his childhood.
Yumeno Kyusaku – ‘Bungou Stray Dogs’
The scariest thing about Yumeno Kyusaku isn’t that he’s a member of the mafia at age 13. Nor is it his ability to curse people with hallucinations that drive them into murderous frenzies. No, the scariest thing about Yumeno, also known as Q, is that he doesn’t differentiate between his friends and his enemies.
He loves causing pain, and he loves manipulating people into triggering his curse, and it doesn’t matter who the victim is as long as they suffer.
Illyasviel von Einzbern – ‘Fate/Stay Night’
Illyasviel von Einzbern is a homunculus from a family of sorcerers who prepared her to be a living vessel for the Holy Grail. To ready herself for this onerous role, Illya endured a painful training regimen, as well as a lifetime of loneliness and isolation.
While Illya can be kind and childlike, she can equally be a callous and remorseless girl who never blinks at the thought of murder. Even her hair is murderous, capable of becoming living swords or a bullet-shooting bird.
Johan Liebert – ‘Monster’
Following a terrifying childhood that involved being the subject of a Nazi-esque eugenics experiment, Johan Liebert became both too intelligent and too traumatized to play by the rules of normal civilization. To escape an orphanage called the Kinderheim 511, he manipulates the staff and the children into fighting to death, then burns the place down and slips away.
At less than 10 years old, Johan kills his own adoptive parents, and manipulates his sister into shooting him to throw off potential investigators. As he grows older, the pile of bodies Johan leaves behind only grows bigger.
Maki – ‘Darker Than Black’
Though he hasn’t hit puberty yet, Maki‘s love for Amber is so intense that it borders on insanity. He claims to love her so much he would do anything for her, even destroy Tokyo. Because he wants to be Amber’s one-and-only, literally, Maki goes to extreme lengths to remove those who might be a part of her life.
These terrible proclivities combined with his Contractor powers, the ability to explode any objects, make him a dangerous foe.
Czeslaw Meyer – ‘Baccano!’
Sometimes, the thing that makes an anime child so terrifying happens to be their backstory. Czeslaw Meyer, an immortal who has lived for over 300 years, never matures physically or emotionally beyond childhood. Unable to be killed by anyone other than another immortal, Czeslaw endures over 200 years of physical torture from a world doing its best to kill him.
As a result of all the pain he endured, Czeslaw no longer trusts anyone and strives to kill all other immortals before they can kill him. He kills mortals too if he needs to – in fact, he murders an entire train car full of people just to make himself feel safe. With his scalpel and explosives, Czeslaw ensures he never finds himself completely defenseless.
Messiah – ‘From The New World’
The Messiah, also known as Akki, is technically a nine-year-old human, but they believe themselves to be a monster rat, a sentient species which dominates the world of the series. Due to the death feedback, a mechanism that makes it impossible for anyone to kill a member of their own species, humans in this world can’t kill other humans.
Akki exists an exception to this, because they aren’t aware of their humanity. As such, they’re the perfect weapon for monster rats who want to get rid of humans, and they easily wipe out everyone attending the summer festival.
Teruki Hanazawa – ‘Mob Psycho 100’
In a world where kids with psychic abilities are commonplace, Teruki Hanazawa stands out as being especially dangerous. It’s not that he’s more powerful than the titular Mob – he isn’t. What makes Teruki formidable is the social capital he manages to amass with his powers. Not only does Teruki have incredible telekinetic abilities, he also possesses immense powers of persuasion, convincing most of his middle school classmates into obeying his every command.
Sure, Mob convinces Teruki that acting high-and-mighty with your powers is pathetic, but there’s nothing to suggest Teruki will think that way forever.