8 anime characters with sadder backstories than Itachi from Naruto

Anime characters with sadder backstories than Itachi Uchiha
Levi Ackerman, Kurapika, and Shigaraki Tomura (Image via Sportskeeda)

Itachi Uchiha from Naruto is most widely known for his tragic backstory. He was just four years old when he experienced the horrors of war during the Third Shinobi World War and was a witness to the death and destruction all around him. Since then, he has been a pacifist, trying to eliminate war at any cost. Unfortunately, this resolve led him to have his clan massacred, including his family and friends.

Similar to Itachi Uchiha from Naruto, there have been several anime characters who have had a really sad backstory. These backstories have helped shape the characters we all know and love. In this article, we will be taking a look at some anime characters who have had sadder backstories than Itachi Uchiha from Naruto.


Levi Ackerman and 7 other anime characters with sadder backstories than Itachi Uchiha from Naruto

1) Guts from Berserk

Guts from Berserk (Image via OLM)
Guts from Berserk (Image via OLM)

Guts from Berserk is known for having one of the saddest backstories in the animeverse. He was born from a corpse as he was found lying beneath the corpse of his hanging mother by a group of mercenaries under Gambino. Shisu, a woman whom Gambino loved, adopted the baby and named him Guts. However, only a few years later, Shisu passed away owing to the plague.

Since then, Guts was blamed for his stepmother's death, with people believing that he was a bad omen. Much like Itachi Uchiha from Naruto, Guts was subjected to war at a young age too. While Gambino did get a share of Guts' earnings, he hated him as he chose to sell his stepson to Donovan for one night. Later, after Gambino lost his leg during the war, he attacked Guts out of spite, causing Guts to kill his stepdad at age 11.


2) Gaara from Naruto

Gaara from Naruto (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Gaara from Naruto (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Gaara from Naruto might just have a sadder backstory than Itachi Uchiha as he was subjected to a miserable ordeal even before his birth. His father, Rasa, wanted to make one of his children a Jinchuriki. However, as Temari and Kankuro were incompatible with the One-Tailed Beast Shukaku, he had Chiyo make Gaara a Jinchuriki as a fetus itself, inside his mother Karura's womb.

Due to such complications, Karura passed away while giving birth to Gaara prematurely. Since then, Gaara was raised in isolation as people feared him. As he tried to find solace in the fact that his maternal uncle Yashamaru loved him, he too tried to assassinate him on the orders of his father, Rasa. Gaara managed to survive five more assassination attempts by his father before Rasa's death at the hands of Orochimaru.


3) Lelouch vi Britannia from Code Geass

Lelouch vi Britannia from Code Geass (Image via Sunrise)
Lelouch vi Britannia from Code Geass (Image via Sunrise)

The protagonist of Code Geass, Lelouch vi Britannia, was the son of Charles zi Britannia, the 98th Emperor of the Holy Britannian Empire. He and his sister Nunnally lived in the Britannian Empire when he witnessed his mother being assassinated. The incident left his sister crippled, and both the siblings were exiled to Japan and abandoned by their father.

Having faced such an ordeal, Lelouch hated his father and the Britannian Empire. Thus, when he received his Geass powers, he used them to try and take down the Britannian Empire to create a better world for his doting sister.


4) Kurapika from Hunter x Hunter

Kurapika from Hunter x Hunter (Image via Madhouse)
Kurapika from Hunter x Hunter (Image via Madhouse)

While Hunter x Hunter's Kurapika's story may seem similar to that of Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto, he makes sure to stay on the right path in search of strength. Kurapika, a member of the Kurta clan, had always wanted to explore the outside world to find a cure for his friend who became disabled when he saved him. Naturally, when he finally got the opportunity, he took it.

However, only about six weeks after Kurapika left, the Kurta clan was attacked by the Phantom Troupe, as they massacred all 128 members of the clan, leaving Kurapika as the sole survivor. The Kurta clan were known for their unique Scarlet eyes, which the Phantom Troupe gouged out of their victims' eye sockets and sold on the Black Market. Ever since, Kurapika, similar to Sasuke Uchiha from Naruto, vowed to avenge his clan members and punish the murderers of his brethren.


5) Levi Ackerman from Attack on Titan

Levi Ackerman from Attack on Titan (Image via Wit Studio)
Levi Ackerman from Attack on Titan (Image via Wit Studio)

Levi Ackerman from Attack on Titan had one of the saddest backstories, as he was born to Kuchel Ackerman, a s*x worker from the underground slums. She was impreganated by one of her clients, who did not take responsibility for the same, leaving her alone with the child.

When Levi's uncle, Kenny Ackerman, came to visit his sister one day, he found her dead. The child, on the other hand, was starving to death, having eaten nothing for days. Kenny decided to take care of Levi and trained him to be able to defend himself. While his life did take a positive turn, his skills led him to get recruited to the Scouts Regiment, which had him face countless Titans and lose several comrades during his tenure.


6) Ray from The Promised Neverland

Ray from The Promised Neverland (Image via CloverWorks)
Ray from The Promised Neverland (Image via CloverWorks)

Ray from The Promised Neverland suffered from Hyperthymesia, a condition which led people to have highly superior autobiographical memory, preventing Ray from going through childhood amnesia. Thus, Ray was able to remember his life before being inducted into Grace Field, retaining vivid memories of being in Mother Isabella's womb as well.

Ray was slowly able to figure out everything about the Grace Field orphanage and how the orphanage would raise children only to serve them as food to demons. Subsequently, Ray knew that all of his friends who were being "adopted" were actually being fed to demons, which caused him to experience nightmares. With the intention to deceive his mother, he finally decided to confront her and act as a double agent to work against Grace Field House.


7) Hyakkimaru from Dororo

Hyakkimaru from Dororo (Image via MAPPA)
Hyakkimaru from Dororo (Image via MAPPA)

Unlike Itachi from Naruto, Hyakkimaru from Dororo was destined to suffer from his birth itself. His father, Lord Kagemitsu Daigo, sacrificed him to twelve demons in exchange for the prosperity of his land. As a result of the sacrifice, Hyakkimaru lost everything, including his eyes, limbs, skin, spine, ability to hear, and voice, to the demons.

His father abandoned him, but he was soon found by Jukai, who raised him and helped him out with prosthetics. Due to the sacrifice itself, Hyakkimaru also gained supernatural abilities, and he was able to regain his senses along with his limbs, which helped him slowly take down his foes.


8) Tomura Shigaraki from My Hero Academia

Tenko Shimura (Image via Bones)
Tenko Shimura (Image via Bones)

Much like Itachi Uchiha from Naruto, who was forced to change his outlook at a very young age, Shigaraki Tomura from My Hero Academia also went through his own set of ordeals which caused him to become a villain.

Shigaraki Tomura, who was born as Tenko Shimura, did not manifest his quirk at an early age, but instead suffered from constant itching. Nevertheless, he wanted to become a hero, something his father was strictly against. Whenever Tenko would show signs of wanting to become a hero, his father would punish him.

Thus, filled with hatred, Tenko accidentally manifested his quirk "Decay," killing his entire family, starting with his dog. Later, when an orphaned Tenko wandered the streets, hoping for someone to help him, he received no aid. Thus, Tenko started to develop resentment against heroes, which was manipulated by All For One for his cause.


These were our picks for the anime characters with sadder backstories than Itachi Uchiha from Naruto. If you feel like we missed out on any, do let us know in the comments section below!