Top 10 Anime backstories of a side character that we didn’t see coming

top 10 anime backstories

Backstories are an important part of a story; they add layers to a character who may otherwise come off as plain or uninteresting. They also assist in the world-building of a series and are crucial to making the premise of a story believable.

Some of the best backstories though, are not just exclusive to main characters, but in fact, a whole lot of them belong to side characters from many iconic series, some of whom we should rightfully mention. So, let’s go onwards with our top 10 anime backstories list, shall we (Spoiler Warning for many Anime).

1. Kakashi Hatake (Naruto/Naruto Shippuden)

Kakashi ready for battle
Image Courtesy: Studio Pierrot

Copy ninja Kakashi Hatake, is far more than the handsome stoic ninja most think him to be with just a look. Although he was born as a genius, Kakashi had to struggle with maturing fast after: –

  • losing his father to suicide
  • have his friend die on his arm
  • killing the love of his life

With even more that had transpired, Kakashi’s past speaks volumes about the mental fortitude that he has, to still look at the world with a smile and press forward with his life regardless of the situations that he is faced with.

2. Roy Mustang (Full Metal Alchemist)

Mustang is bloodlusted
Image Courtesy: Studio Bones

Roy Mustang is introduced with an airheaded devil-may-care attitude, but his genuine personality could not be any far from that. He is cold, cautious, and has a strong sense of responsibility which has led him to downright depression. Mustang is a broken soul, who has been scarred and horrified by the ghosts of the innocents that he has killed and the best friend that he had put in harm’s way.

It’s not hard to imagine him losing it, but even after all that he moved on with his life and strived to be better than his past.

3. Yu Ishigami

Ishigami being a pretty boy
Image Courtesy: A-1 Pictures

The undisputed best girl of “Kaguya Sama: Love is War”, the series would not feel the same without our lovable depressed shut-in gamer NEET. Ishigami is reliable and his mannerisms are comical, but in a sudden twist of fate, it was revealed that his comically depressing attitude is the result of a really huge scandal from his past involving his first crush, that not many characters in the series are aware of.

Even with all the stigma surrounding him, Ishigami couldn’t care less and is more than happy to just spend time with the student council members that accept him.

4. Shoto Todoroki (My Hero Academia)

Todoroki in a cool pose
Image Courtesy: Studio Bones

One of the single most popular anime characters of his era, and the resident pretty boy of his Hero academy. There are not many people who don’t absolutely adore Shoto Todoroki, except maybe for himself, for reasons such as: –

  • He believes himself to be the cause of his mom’s mental breakdown against him.
  • He hates that he bares resemblance to his father and actively loathes his fire half.
  • He has suffered through enough childhood trauma to be at a point where he is self-actualizing his insecurities.

But the relieving fact is that Shoto is communicative about his issues and is actively trying to improve his self-esteem and is also building a relationship with his remorseful father.

5. Sanji (One Piece)

Sanji in love yet again
Image Courtesy: Toei Animation

The resident pervert in One Piece. Being the “Head Chef” of the Straw Hat pirates, Sanji is a believer in the power of kicks and women, though he is a shameless pervert he does not discriminate in the types of women he won’t ask to marry him. But under that perverted exterior is a man born as a test subject and then quickly abandoned and stranded in his childhood, having to survive an extremely perilous environment.

Even after all he has been through Sanji is blessed with a heart of gold that he always puts out on his sleeve, a true gentleman till the end.

6. Levi Ackerman (Attack on Titan)

Levi with his stone face
Image Courtesy: WIT Studio

Being the strongest soldier of humanity does not leave much room for human connections. Levi exemplifies that trope by being absolutely cynical most of the time and being seldom neutral about a situation, but that attitude is justified after the horrifying life that he has been dealt with such as: –

  • Being born in the underground slums, he lived most of his childhood as a malnourished husk.
  • He lost his best friends to an abnormal titan and had the displeasure to catch it eating their corpses.
  • He lost his mother to disease and had to steal, kill and extort money from people to survive.

With all that he has been through, with all that has happened to him, we are darn lucky to say that Levi still turned out to be a self-sacrificing hero always ready to save the innocent and the people he loves (though he never shows it).

7. Future Trunks (Dragon Ball Z)

Trunks is ready to kill
Image Courtesy: Toei Animation

Being the unfortunate byproduct of a doomed timeline, Future Trunks was born during the height of terror as all the people in his life (except for his Master Gohan and his mother Bulma) were slaughtered by the Androids 18 and 17, before he could even get to know them. He also had to live through the terror countless times after barely surviving his battles against the Androids until one such battle resulted in the death of Gohan.

After taking all this into account, it’s surprising that he did not turn out as calculating and on edge, as most would presume.

8. Giyuu Tomioka (Demon Slayer)

Giyuu being serious
Image Courtesy: Ufotable

A stone-cold warrior and one of the Hashiras in the Demon Slayer Corp, not many people know much about Giyuu due to his reclusive attitude and no non-sense way of life. His being the Water Hashira would make you think that he was a star pupil who started off as a genius but no, the most fatal mistake in Giyuu’s life is tied to his act of cowardice and lack of strength during the “Slayer Selection Exams” where he cost the life of his fellow pupil and best friend Sabito, who rushed headfirst onto a Demon that was about to attack Giyuu.

Ever since that incident, Giyuu has made sure to never hold back his companions.

9. Killua Zoldyck (Hunter x Hunter)

Killua is focusing
Image Courtesy: Studio Madhouse

The best friend of Gon and the infamous child assassin. Killua has lived a sheltered life under his Zoldyck family name. He has almost no familial relations with his family except for his little sister (whom he adores), He had to spend most of his childhood doing gruelling training regiments that were outright inhumane, and had to suffer through intense mental torture to increase his fortitude and desensitization.

All of this led him to finally try to break off his family ties and live the life of joy that he so desperately craves.

10. Aki Hayakawa

Aki summoning Kon
Image Courtesy: MAPPA

A reserved but kindhearted individual most would think of Aki as the typical pretend emo character trope at first glance. He only talks when needed, he is always gloomy and always acts too serious about his job. But when put into his shoes, many won’t be able to handle the self-actualized hatred that he has burdened himself with. Aki’s family was killed by the gun devil when he was a kid, and ever since then, he has been hating himself for failing his family as well as actively hunting the Gun devil for revenge.

As emo characters go, Aki could have turned way colder and more brutal.


Considering the plethora of anime out there and the many more insane backstories left to cover in this genre, we will never get done if we continue to cover all of them. So, enjoy this condensed top 10 list for the few characters we deem extremely interesting and relevant. But if you have any more to share, feel free to comment with us about your opinions.

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