June 2 is the day of betrayal.
Akechi Mitsuhide, a retainer of Oda Nobunaga, moved against his position at Honnoo-ji. This incident is known as Honno-hi no Hen, and depicted in many films and dramas.
There are many traitors in anime and games. They betray other people in different ways: never reveal their thoughts, steal their friend’s partner, become friends with enemies, etc. Who is the most notable traitor among the fans?
Therefore, Anime!Anime! conducted a reader survey titled ‘Speaking about a “traitor”, what character comes to your mind?’ for the first time in two years. During the survey period from May 23 to 30, a total of 198 responses were received. For the gender ratio, the females were the majority with about 70% while the males were about 30%. For the age distribution, we received the majority of responses from the young readers: about 50% were from teens, and 30% were from those in their 20s.
*Because of the theme, this article includes “spoilers” for those who have not watched the works. We tried not to go into details about each “betrayal”, however, please note that the contents below could be spoilers.
【The titles mentioned in this article.】
“Attack on Titan”, “Assassination Classroom”, “Dr. Stone”, “Bleach”, “Naruto”, “One Piece” “Gintama” “Detective Conan” “Crayon Shin-chan” “Mobile Suit Gundam SEED” “Final Fantasy IV” “Hypnosis Mic: Division Rap Battle” “Bungo Stray Dogs” “Yona of the Dawn” “The Transformers” “Fresh Pretty Cure!” “Persona 5” “Devilman” “Lupin III” “The Seven Deadly Sins”
■There are various reasons why they betray others!
1st place went to Reiner Braun from “Attack on Titan”. The support rating was about 10 %.
The comments received include, “He was a reliable character in season1, but I was completely betrayed by him in season 2. Not only Elen, but also us, the viewers, were upset like ‘what ?'” and “I was thinking he was a fellow to fight against titans as he had been in such attitude since he was a trainee…” Fans were shocked by him. Some readers mentioned the scene where the protagonist got furious, saying “I still remember Elen’s line, ‘You sold us out.'”
2nd place went to Kayano Kaede from “Assassination Classroom”. The support rating was about 7 %.
The comments received include, “I was so surprised that the heroine was a traitor. I wonder who could guess this betrayal!” and “It was such an amazing foreshadowing, and it was paid off pretty well”. The fans said that they were surprised by such an unexpected development.
3rd place went to Asagiri Gen from “Dr. Stone”. The support rating was about 6%.
The comments received include, “He came to the Kingdom of Science as a spy on the enemy side. However, he was attracted by Senku, who reminds him of a nostalgic civilization, and he switched to the Kingdom’s side. It was impressive. He calls himself a superficial traitor, but he is devoted to what he loves, and he trusts Senku, who says he will make the wishes come true. I like such an honest aspect”. The readers were attracted by his gap that he apparently looks superficial but he is actually trustworthy.
■Let’s introduce other comments!!
For Haibara Ai from “Detective Conan”.
“Ai-chan betrayed the Black Organization to escape from that. She becomes more cheerful than she works as Sherry. I am so glad!”
For Buriburizaemon from “Crayon Shin-chan”.
“He is a hero who appears in response to Sukui no Maracas. He initially seems to be a reliable fellow, but he frequently defects to the enemy, saying ‘I am always on the stronger’s side.’ In movies, he becomes of a little bit of help…”
For Starscream from “The Transformers”.
“He is a traitor that represents the series. When he fails to betray others, he asks for Megatron’s forgiveness. His attitude change is also his charm?”
For Devilmen from “Devilman”.
“They are dark heroes who fight for humans they love even though they belong to Demon Lord.”
“They are complete traitors that even the theme song says.”
The readers voted for a title whose TV anime series has a different plot from the original manga.
Not only the characters from the titles released in 2021 such as “Attack on Titan” and “Dr. Stone”, but also those from long-seller titles such as “Detective Conan” and “Lupin III”, were ranked in this survey.
The result shows how these traitors enrich the story.
■Ranking Top 20
Speaking about a “traitor”, what character comes to your mind?
1. Reiner Braun “Attack on Titan”
2. Kayano Kaede “Assassination Classroom”
3. Asagiri Gen “Dr. Stone”
4. Aizen Sosuke “Bleach”
4. Uchiha Sasuke “Naruto”
6. Kurozumi Kanjuro “One Piece”
7. Ito Kamotaro “Gintama”
8. Haibara Ai “Detective Conan”
8. Buriburizaemon “Crayon Shin-chan”
10. Athrun Zala “Mobile Suit Gundam SEED”
10. Kain “Final Fantasy IV”
10. Amemura Ramuda “Hypnosis Mic: Division Rap Battle”
10. Sakaguchi Ango “Bungo Stray Dogs”
14. Su-Won “Yona of the Dawn”
14. Starscream “The Transformers”
14. Higashi Setsuna / Fresh Pretty Cure! / Eas “Fresh Pretty Cure!”
17. Akechi Goro “Persona 5”
17. Uchiha Itachi “Naruto”
17. Dazai Osamu “Bungo Stray Dogs”
17. Devilmen “Devilman”
17. Mine Fujiko “Lupin III”
17. Meliodas “The Seven Deadly Sins”
（Survey Period: May 23 – 30, 2021)
*This survey is intended to research the readers’ “interest in anime and characters today”. It is not intended to discuss the relative merits of each character nor work. I would be glad if this article can help you develop an understanding and interest in the anime and characters.