Many anime characters live by the principle that honesty is the best policy. They weigh their words carefully and never say things they don’t mean. On the other hand, some find authenticity an overrated value. These lying anime characters don’t put much weight behind their statements, they spew lies and spread misinformation.
For some, this manipulative persona is just a mask that protects their fragile real selves. Others really get a lot of pleasure out of deception, using false claims as a deliberate, malicious tool. Whatever the reason for their lies may be, one should not trust the words of these anime characters.
10/10 Asuka uses harsh words to hide her uncertainty
Neon Genesis Evangelion
The most eager and confident pilot from Neon Genesis Evangelion, Asuka Langley Sohryu, loves to voice her opinions aggressively and comes across as a proud, arrogant person. She belittles anyone she perceives as weak, especially the quiet and insecure Shinji.
In reality, Asuka is a lot more like Shinji than she’s willing to admit. Her feisty persona is just a facade that hides her vulnerabilities, and most of her harsh words mean nothing and are aimed at Asuka herself. So no one should take her insensitive comments to heart.
9/10 Nakago makes people question the validity of their judgments
Nakago, the charismatic antagonist of Fushigi Yuugi, excels at manipulating people to his advantage, inciting his peasants to trust his word against their own judgment. His ruthless manipulation of Yui was horrific, as he convinced her that she had been assaulted and then betrayed by her best friend, Miaka Yuki.
Despite being one of the strongest characters in the series, Nakago uses manipulation as his primary tool to influence people’s minds. Even his tragic childhood does not make Nakago more likable or excuse his actions.
8/10 The ruthless killer Johan successfully passes himself off as a flawless gentleman
Being the namesake of the iconic mystery series Pattern, Johan Liebert is a frighteningly inhuman person who uses his charming facade to get away with murder. His words often sound sweet and reassuring, but there is no weight to any of his friendly statements.
Johan’s inner nature is dark, ruthless and nihilistic, as Johan has no empathy or compassion for the people he kills and manipulates. The facade of a well-behaved, approachable young man allows him to make almost anyone fall for his lies.
7/10 Izaya manipulates everyone around him for entertainment
The Master of Lies and Deception, Izaya Orihara from Durarara!!, loves to play with people’s heads and manipulate them for no apparent reason. Izaya never lets himself be his true self, always assuming exaggerated personas and putting on an eccentric show.
The only people Izaya never lies to are customers who pay for his information brokerage services, but no one else is off limits to his mind games. Fortunately, most of the show’s heroes are aware of Izaya’s tendency to never tell the truth and barely take his words seriously.
6/10 Kaiki Deishu admits that he never told the truth
Kaiki Deishu from the Monogatari the series shares many qualities with its subjects. The only truth Kaiki openly declares is that he is a fraud with no pride or morals whose word should not be trusted.
Komonogatari, the arc narrated by Kaiki, highlights his deceptive, untrustworthy nature. He states that the audience has no way of proving that the story he is telling is true or false in the opening statement, and ends the narrative by declaring his own death, despite the fact that he is clearly alive.
5/10 Vanitas never lets people see the truth of his vulnerability
The case study of Vanitas
To crack the true personality of The case study of Vanitas‘ Titular protagonist is a tough task. Vanitas love to assume radical personalities and act childish and manic in front of strangers. In the next moment, he can switch to a cold, calculating facade or a seductive, sensual character.
Playful, impulsive and mischievous, he does not take anything seriously and does not put much weight behind his words. Yet quieter moments reveal that Vanitas is just a broken man forced to act erratically to hide his vulnerable self-loathing and deep-rooted grief.
4/10 Dazai uses deception for harmless pranks and destructive assassination plots
Bungou stray dogs
A former mafia leader with no apparent capacity for empathy or remorse, Osamu Dazai from Bungou stray dogs is a master at wearing masks and playing with people. He is an enigmatic character whose true motives always remain hidden. Back in his Port Mafia days, Dazai used his manipulation skills maliciously.
After switching to the Armed Detective Agency, he began using them to establish a more playful, eccentric persona and play with his colleagues. Still, most of what spews out of the man’s mouth means nothing.
3/10 Makima tricked everyone into trusting her
One of the most disturbingly evil female characters in media, Makima from Chainsawman, fooling almost everyone into believing her noble intentions. Her outer facade is gentle, composed and charming to everyone she meets.
As the Control Devil, she excelled at ruling over people’s minds, and took her manipulations to the extreme with Denji. Yet all her kind words and empty promises were a lie she saw as a necessary evil. Makima’s true personality is calculating, cunning, and callous, devoted only to achieving her nefarious goals.
2/10 Nie Huaisang orchestrated the events of Mo Dao Zu Shi without anyone suspecting his involvement
Mo Dao Zu Shi
The seemingly powerless and incompetent Nie Huaisang from Mo Dao Zu Shi loves to proclaim his lack of awareness of everything around him. A poor student and disappointing leader of his clan, Nie Huaisang always shakes his head and says he doesn’t know anything when confronted with a question.
Nie Huaisang’s passive stupidity made most people ignore him. In reality, his powerlessness was a facade, as he was the mastermind behind all of the series’ events. Nie Huaisang, a chess master in disguise, avoided charges by hiding in plain sight.
1/10 Malty constantly tells lies and manipulates everyone for his own benefit
The Rising Of The Shield Hero
One of the most hated characters in anime history, Malty S Melromarc from The Rising of the Shield Hero, is a compulsive liar plagued by hypocrisy and narcissism. She loves to hide her mischievous nature under a friendly, flirtatious facade of a lovable princess.
Still, no one should fall for Malty’s cunning deception if they don’t want to be swindled. Lying seems to be Malty’s default reaction in any situation, as even when she was subjected to a truth spell, she continued to fake despite the pain it caused her.
NEXT: The 10 Most Controversial Female Anime Characters, Ranked