Sibling rivalries in shonen anime never seem to turn out well. For every well-adjusted and positive relationship like the one between Edward and Alphonse Elric, audiences are treated to hostile and toxic relationships like the one between Illumi and Killua.
However, beyond the idea of manipulation, plenty of shonen anime show twisted power dynamics between siblings, including cruel acts and general abuse.
These are just 10 of the worst sibling relationships in shonen anime.
Note: This article contains spoilers for all the relationships listed. It also solely reflects the author's opinion. Only one relationship per anime has been chosen.
10 bad sibling relationships in shonen anime, ranked from tense to murderous
10) Byakuya and Rukia (Bleach)
You may be asking, why is Byakuya and Rukia at the bottom of the list when Byakuya's strict obedience to the Soul Society's rules nearly resulted in Rukia's execution? The answer is incredibly simple. Byakuya redeemed himself and helped Rukia a number of times after Ichigo defeated him.
The aristocratic captain in Bleach wasn't always a stickler for the rules. Byakuya adopted Rukia into the Kuchiki Clan after his dying wife requested it, breaking the rules and a promise made to his deceased parents.
When Ichigo defeated him, Byakuya took a blow from Gin Ichimaru that was meant to kill Rukia and became more lenient toward Rukia from that point forward.
9) Char Aznable and Sayla Mass/Casval and Artesia (Mobile Suit Gundam)
Char and Sayla were raised as Casval and Artesia Deikun. They had to survive multiple assassination attempts from the Zabi family in the shonen anime Gundam: Origins and the original Mobile Suit Gundam.
However, while Casval went off on his own revenge quest against the Zabis, Artesia was raised by the Mass family and studied medicine to become a doctor. She would eventually become the White Base's communications officer.
The two would encounter each other time and again. Char would try to get her to join him in his revenge quest, and Sayla would refuse every time.
When Char did try to kill her, he couldn't go through with it. Char at least tried to give Sayla the money to live a good life, which she, in turn, gave to the crew of the White Base.
8) Illumi and Killua (Hunter x Hunter)
Illumi and Killua have probably the most sour relationship in the Zoldyck family in the shonen anime Hunter x Hunter. This is probably owing to the fact that Illumi implanted a Nen needle in Killua's brain, forcing the latter to run from battles he wasn't sure he could win.
Illumi's whole modus operandi with Killua is to continue molding him into a great assassin. He manipulated and cruelly mocked his dreams of being a Hunter and even forcibly disqualifyied him during the exam.
Killua has now removed this needle and has at least confronted his brother. They're only this low on this list because they have not tried to kill each other.
7) Maki and Mai Zenin (Jujutsu Kaisen)
Maki and Mai are twin sisters who hail from the respected Zenin Family in the shonen anime Jujutsu Kaisen. Since both sisters possessed very little cursed energy, they were ostracized and nearly cast out.
Instead of staying by her sister's side, Maki decided to cut ties with the clan and become her own person. This led Mai to become extremely resentful of Maki, as she felt abandoned by her sister and was forced to become a sorcerer.
Although both sisters still care for each other deep down, their messy relationship strained their every interaction. It culminated in Maki slaying the rest of their clan for her sister's sake after their final conflict with their father.
6) Dabi and Shoto Todoroki (My Hero Academia)
This led to Toya continually burning himself and feeling left behind as his siblings were born. Toya nearly immolated himself shortly after Shoto was born. Dabi was thus born from the ashes.
This sibling relationship finally began to resolve itself when Dabi revealed himself to the world during the Paranormal War Liberation Arc. The fight between Endeavor and Shoto vs. Dabi was part of an elaborate scheme to make everyone lose faith in heroes.
As of the Final Act, Shoto and Dabi are currently trying to burn each other out. Time will tell who's flame burns brightest and who is snuffed out.
5) Raditz and Goku (Dragon Ball Z)
Speaking of mutual snuffing, Goku vs. Raditz is quite the duel. It's the first duel in the shonen anime Dragon Ball Z and ends with both men dead.
Raditz doesn't come back ever, unlike Goku, who does multiple times. What sparked this duel and put it on the list?
Raditz wanted Goku to murder the Earth's inhabitants to prove his Saiyan heritage and leave the planet alongside him. Goku refused, so Raditz's first response was to kidnap Goku's son Gohan to blackmail his brother. This was unwise, as it led to his death via Piccolo and Goku teaming up.
4) Sasuke Uchiha and Itachi Uchiha (Naruto Shippuden)
Believe it or not, this entry was slightly higher up before reconsideration. Sasuke and Itachi Uchiha used to be close, living in the Hidden Leaf village and Uchiha Clan compound.
One night, when Sasuke found the bodies of several Uchiha in the street, he ran home and found his parents dead. Itachi told the young Sasuke about all their deaths and his involvement. He then instructed his younger brother to let that hate fuel his desire for revenge.
Sasuke did so for most of his life, seeing Itachi as the butcher of the Uchiha Clan and their family.
However, Itachi was forced into that horrid situation. Sasuke would only find this out later. His image of Itachi would be twisted and warped until he found the whole truth.
So, why is this relationship so high on this list? Because for most of Sasuke's life, he hated Itachi, and that hate took a long time to fade. It became one of the most famous shonen anime sibling rivalries for a reason.
3) Kurome and Akame (Akame Ga Kill)
Kurome and Akame were close in childhood until they were sold to the Empire in the shonen anime Agame Ga Kill!.
Akame eventually realized just how messed up the Empire was. However, poor Kurome was forced to stay because the Empire had medicine for her.
Kurome became twisted and horrifying, making corpse dolls out of her defeated enemies (and even her friends) and playing with them.
Akame, on the other hand, began opposing the Empire following her defection. Kurome would constantly be on her tail, losing friends, squadmates, and minions along the way. Eventually, it became too much as she went berserk fighting her sister.
Fortunately, she was stopped before overdosing on combat drugs by her closest friend Wave and eventually defected from the Empire as well.
2) Saya and Diva Goldsmith (Blood+)
Like Kurome and Akame, Saya and Diva were both raised as experimental subjects birthed from a Chiropteran (think ancient vampire creature) during the early days of the shonen anime Blood+.
As part of the experiment, Saya was raised with good sense and a happy childhood. She was part of the French nobility and was given special "medicine" (human blood) for the "illness" she had.
Diva was horrifically abused, dissected and treated like a lab rat. It's no wonder she slaughtered her way out of the situation. Naturally, this caused some issues when she was eventually freed.
The two would clash multiple times, with Diva having the mentality of a horrid child. She knew what she was doing and knew it was wrong, but she enjoyed the bloodshed and wanted her sister to join her.
This is arguably the bloodiest shonen anime sibling relationship. Their final clash saw Diva use an entire city's worth of turned people to slow her sister before she was finally killed. Diva had not only hunted Saya but killed her younger brother.
1) Dio Brando and Jonathan Joestar/the Joestar family (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Parts 1-3)
This entry takes the cake because it spans multiple generations in the shonen anime JoJo's Bizarre Adventure!
Dio Brando started with Jonathan Joestar, who he never really loved or had any affection for, by beating him up. The two clashed multiple times, with Dio trying to gain the Joestar's fortune.
Dio killed Jonathan's dog, tried stealing his girl (failed), and poisoning his father (foiled). After becoming a vampire, he cut a swath through England, with Jonathan pursuing him.
Despite being decapitated, Dio was able to narrowly survive and mortally wound Jonathan. However, he got trapped beneath the ocean for 100 years, thanks to Jonathan's last actions.
One hundred years later, Dio would again torment the Joestars by trying to turn people into puppets. This caused the Stardust Crusaders to get on his case. Dio lost all his minions in Egypt and died after a time-bending duel with Jotaro Kujo.