Sunday Select: 7 Sociopaths in Anime

Hello and thanks for stopping by. It’s time to start the next Anime Rant! Uh, disclaimer here: I’m not a psychiatrist or a psychologist; I studied a lot of psychology electives and books, but it wasn’t even my major. So please take a large pinch of salt with everything I say pertaining to real psychology. Ok, let’s define some words. Definitions vary, but for our purposes, psychopaths and sociopaths are those who can’t feel empathy for others. Despite this, they are usually extraverted, persuasive, charismatic, and charming.

Sociopath and psychopath are not clinical terms, but a person diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder is clinically considered a sociopath. Sociopaths make up 1-4% of the population, with estimates varying considerably. Many are “socially acceptable sociopaths,” who, for the most part, stay in line with pro-social, law-abiding behavior. According to the psychologist I see, sociopaths are those who aren’t currently being menaces to society, while psychopaths actively engage in damaging, cruel, and/or law-breaking behaviors.

(Makishima Shougo of Psycho Pass is, not surprisingly, a psychopath)

In this post, the characters I chose are not psychopaths, for the most part, but can be considered sociopaths, or people with signs of APD. Some are more “evil” than others, and many of them have diverse personalities and quirks, but all of them are lacking one common thing: basic empathy. Now, please enjoy my selections!

1. Akabane Karma

I might get shit from Karma fans because I’m saying he has sociopathic tendencies, but it’s not like I dislike this crazy redhead from Assassination Classroom. In fact, I love him, especially when I get to write yaoi fanfics for Karma x Nagisa. But there’s no getting around the fact he has low empathy and other sociopathic tendencies like charm, charisma, lack of inhibition, and enjoyment of violence. Despite not feeling empathy, Karma comes to feel appreciative, and even protective, of others in his class.

2. Elias

Though Elias is not a human, his lines and behavior in Mahoustukai no Yome make him fit the profile for non-violent sociopath better than any other on this list. He doesn’t understand human emotion in general, and can’t wrap his mind around empathy. His “love” for Chise is a combination of attachment, necessity, and possiveness. He is also protective of her, but you can think of it the same way as being protective of an important jewel.

Elias treats Chise pretty well, and never tries to be cruel, instead focusing on learning about humans through her, and helping her learn about the world of magic. Some may not consider it true love because Chise is like a pet or an object to him, but it’s the only form of love he can give.

3. Isabella

Isabella, the mother at the “orphanage” in Yakusoku no Neverland, is certainly one of the most psychologically interesting characters of 2019. This entry is kind of a spoiler in itself, but I don’t want to spoil anything further, so I’m not going to say much else about Isabella, except that she’s very impressive in her own ways, and very sociopathic. But, in that world, it’s not she’s breaking the law or anything. She’s doing what she must to stay alive. In her case, if she did have empathy for others, she never would have been allowed to live long.

4. Okita Sougo (Gintama)

Souga probably has an even bigger base of squealing fangirls than Karma and Izaya, because he’s been around longer. I have to admit, I do have an anime crush on this little bastard. Sougo is a character from Gintama and member of the Shinsengumi police force; of course, he shares the name and vocation of a real man from Japanese history. Most of his sociopathic behaviors are portrayed as funny, and indeed they make me laugh. If you start to think about them seriously, though… you realize, yeah, this guy feels nothing for anyone. He just loves messing with them until they lose their minds (or lives).

5. Orihara Izaya

He’s got a sexy voice. He’s got a handsome face. And… he feels no empathy for his fellow human. One of the first things we see Izaya doing in Durarara is encouraging a foolish girl to kill herself. He really did want to see her jump. I’m pretty sure all the fans know Izaya is an asshole, but because he’s so well-written as the charming sociopath type, we can’t help but be drawn to him. And I mean, he’s voiced by Kamiya Hiroshi, voice of Levi Ackerman and so many other sexy characters. Who can resist that voice? xD

6. Sonokawa Momoko

I bet you’ve never heard of this one. Sabage-bu or Survival Game Club is one of my top 15 favorite anime comedies. It’s about girls who play mock-battles and survival games with airsoft guns. During their games, the perspective of the anime switches to the imagination of the girls, wherein, if someone is hit, they shed blood and die. Of course, that’s only their imagination. Momoko, the main character, doesn’t actually kill anyone.

Momoko still has the signs of a sociopath, however, and not one of the ones who puts effort into concealing their lack of empathy. She has zero sense of teamwork and thinks only of herself. She will sabotage others in the games and in real life if it helps her get ahead. If Momoko ever acts altruistic, be careful- — it’s a trap! xD

7. Tanya Degurechaff

Hailing from Yojou Senki (sometimes called Saga of Tanya the Evil), Tanya is one of my top 15 favorite female characters in anime. I’m don’t really consider her evil, but she is devious, self-interested, and able to cause plenty of destruction in war battles; and yes, she’s a sociopath. If she hadn’t been in a world with magic and war, she would have likely become a company manager or CEO, like she was in her past life. If you want to learn a little more about Tanya, I wrote about her here as part of the 30 Day Anime Challenge.

So, what did you think of my selections? Are any of these characters that you like? Do you have a favorite anime sociopath? Let me know in the comments if you have time. I really do appreciate you stopping by to read my post today. It means a lot. Arigatou gozaimasu! Anime Rants sends you their best wishes for health, peace, and safety!


(All images were found by searching the web, and I don’t own any of them.)

3 thoughts on “Sunday Select: 7 Sociopaths in Anime

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