9 Anime Characters Who Went Out With The Most Epic Deaths

Erwin Smith Inspires His Troupes In 'Attack On Titan'

Most anime deaths have some level of drama or gravitas attached to them, but some of them are truly epic moments featuring anime characters who went out in a blaze of glory.

Many of these characters lost their lives in high-stakes battles that they didn’t even once consider running away from no matter how badly hurt they were. Zabuza Momochi might not have had usable arms, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t keep fighting mercenaries with a kunai in his mouth. Other moments involve major sacrifices that prove just how brave the character in question is – Lelouch Lamperouge’s last moments proved that he was willing to do anything for lasting peace.

1. Whitebeard Dies Standing Up In ‘One Piece’

Whitebeard Dies Standing Up In 'One Piece'

After a dramatic showdown with Blackbeard, Whitebeard ultimately succumbs to the injuries accrued both from Blackbeard himself and from being pummeled by bullets, blades, cannonballs and fire by Blackbeard’s crew. He holds out long enough for his crew to get away with Luffy, and deliver a dramatic speech that not only confirms the existence of the One Piece, but also makes it clear that Blackbeard isn’t worthy of it. Despite being unmatched, he doesn’t run away – he shows his unscarred back to prove that he’s never gotten a single injury from running way, then dies on his feet. 

2. Zabuza Momochi Fights Through Agony In ‘Naruto’

Zabuza Momochi Fights Through Agony In 'Naruto'

There are actually a ton of moments like this one in Naruto, so we’ll start with the one that started it all – Zabuza Momochi’s last moments. The guy has his work cut out for him. He’s already totally exhausted, he has to fight off a mob of mercenaries, and his arms are too badly injured to use. Most people would just give up, but Zabuza decides to keep on fighting with a kunai in his mouth. Why? Because he’s a freakin’ badass, that’s why.

But Zabuza’s moments aren’t just awesome – he also has a touching moment with Haku just before he passes away that made a lot of viewers sob. There’s glory in that, too.

3. Spike Spiegel Takes On The Red Dragon Syndicate In ‘Cowboy Bebop’

Spike Spiegel Takes On The Red Dragon Syndicate In 'Cowboy Bebop'

After single-handedly taking down the entire Red Dragon Syndicate and having a final clash with his former friend Vicious, Spike seemingly passes away on the grounds with one final word and gesture – finger gun with the word “bang.” It’s one of the most memorable moments in anime history. 

4. Erwin Smith Inspires His Troupes In ‘Attack On Titan’

Erwin Smith Inspires His Troupes In 'Attack On Titan'

Despite having little chance of defeating the Beast Titan, Erwin Smith doesn’t want his troops to give up in despair. In order to distract him while Levi comes after him from the back, Erwin gives one of the most inspiring speeches in anime history, then leads his troupes to charge forward even as they’re pelted with boulders.

Even when Erwin is taken down partway through the siege, the rest of his troops are so inspired that they keep going anyway, tears streaming down their eyes. 

5. Rengoku Proves His Indomitable Spirit In ‘Demon Slayer: Mugen Train’

Rengoku Proves His Indomitable Spirit In 'Demon Slayer: Mugen Train'

There’s a reason why Rengoku’s spiritual core is covered in blazing flames. It’s a representation of his indomitable spirit and will to protect others from demons. When Akaza mortally wounds the Flame Hashira by piercing through his solar plexus, it seems as if their intense battle has finally come to an end. Yet Rengoku pushes through the pain and tries to slice Akaza’s head with his sword. It’s also worth noting that he does this with Akaza’s arm still stuck in his solar plexus in order to prevent the demon from running away. Now, that’s a metal way to go.

6. Isaac Netero Self-Destructs In ‘Hunter x Hunter’

Isaac Netero Self-Destructs In 'Hunter x Hunter' 

After realizing that there was no way he could possibly defeat the king of the Chimera Ants, Isaac Netero decides to take drastic measures. He detonates a bomb called the Poor Man’s Rose that was housed inside of his body. It has the power to not only tear Netero apart, but to severely wound Meruem. While the bomb itself isn’t enough to end Meruem’s life, the bomb also contains a lethal, contagious poison that ultimately destroys him.

7. Greed Betrays Father In ‘Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood’

Greed Betrays Father In 'Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood'

Up until the end of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Greed was more or less on board with helping Father achieve godhood. Not because he really cared, but because it’s what he was made to do. But after getting closer to Ling and changing his perspective on a lot of things, he ended up being instrumental in defeating Father. 

When Father tried to absorb Greed into his body as a power boost, Greed went willingly – if he didn’t, Ling would have passed away. But the chemical changes that Greed causes in Father’s body makes him brittle enough to be wrecked by Ed’s punch during the all-out brawl taking place around them. Greed started out a villain, and ended up a hero. 

8. Lelouch Lamperouge Turns Himself Into A Symbol In ‘Code Geass’

Lelouch Lamperouge Turns Himself Into A Symbol In 'Code Geass'

Lelouch Lamperouge needed a villain for the populace to mutually hate and unite in the desire to destroy. He also needed his alter-ego, Zero, to look like a hero as he led them towards ultimate peace. To do that, he made himself look like a cruel despot, then had his friend Suzaku dress up like Zero and take his life in a showy public display. The fact that he was willing to make such a massive sacrifice combined with the drama of the scene, makes this one of anime’s most glorious final moments. 

9. Hange Zoe Staves Off The Titans To Help Their Team Escape In ‘Attack On Titan’

Hange Zoe Staves Off The Titans To Help Their Team Escape In 'Attack On Titan'

In a last-ditch effort to stop Eren from destroying the world, a small group of people, including what’s left of the Survey Corps, Reiner, Oyankopon, and Pieck, decide to fly toward him in an airplane. But their timing is wrecked when Floch shows up and shoots their plane’s fuel tank, forcing a delay for repairs. During that time, the Colossal Titans loosed by the Rumbling get so close that they won’t have time to take off unless someone stays behind to fight them.

Hange volunteers themself. They aren’t willing to let any of the people with Titan powers sacrifice themselves, nor are they willing to let any more of the kids they’ve been leading perish. They tell Levi that they want to do something flashy and heroic, and after getting his blessing, they take off on their ODM gear. They slash as many Titan necks as possible before their body bursts into flames from proximity to the Titan’s steam. They literally go out in a blaze of glory.

Their sacrifice is not in vain – the others are able to take off, and they’re determined to make the best of the chance that Hange gave them.