The art of deception is a rare skill that not many are able to master. It may involve a good deal of misdirection, secrecy or manipulation, all of which contribute greatly to the action. These traits become exponentially more useful when it comes to characters who wish to deceive others by acting like individuals they are not.
They may assume the identity of pre-existing individuals or personas that deviate from their natural disposition. They can also dwell among opposing forces as they plan to destroy them from the inside out. While not always inherently evil, most of the characters on this list take on roles that end up harming others and causing great harm to certain groups. Here are some of anime’s most iconic imposters that have been introduced over the years.
10/10 Yuga Aoyama – My Hero Academia
Aoyama is a Class 1-A student who served as a mole for All For One and the League of Villains during most of his time at UA. Just like his quirk, he has a sparkling personality and is shown to be quite proud despite its glaring side effects. It is later revealed in the story that the distinctive was given to him by All For One.
However, this came at a cost, as he then demanded Yuga join the UA and forward confidential information to him. This resulted in various situations where miscreants infiltrated students’ activities and put them in danger.
9/10 Fraudrin – Seven Deadly Sins
Fraudrin was a stand-in member of the Ten Commandments, with the ability to possess human bodies. He took over the body of the holy knight Dreyfus and inhabited it for ten years. In this form, he orchestrated the death of the Great Holy Knight Zaratras and framed the Seven Deadly Sins for the deed.
In his original form, Fraudrin was a demon, large in size with spikes on his back and a purple complexion. He also had a history with the series’ main character, as he was responsible for murdering the demon prince’s lover several years back. Despite his ferocious nature and domineering appearance, he became attached to the son of his host, and that had a major impact on his decision to let Meliodas kill him.
8/10 Isabella – The Promised Neverland
Isabella is the designated “mother” of one of the plantations of the Grace Field house, acting as a caretaker for the orphans who live in. She initially appears to be normal, leading the children to believe that they are on path to happy lives after adoption. However, she is keeping a crucial and terrifying secret from them.
Her true role was to further the development of each child and prepare their brains for consumption by scaring demons. This would undoubtedly lead to their unsuspecting deaths, and she was ready to lead each orphan to that fate. She acted as a caring and reliable mother figure to all the children, but worked for the demons in secret.
7/10 Kenjaku – Jujutsu Kaisen
Kenjaku is a powerful sorcerer who has lived for several centuries, with the goal of developing humanity by using cursed energy. He has a unique power that allows him to inhabit the bodies of others while maintaining their original physical appearance. He is currently occupying the body of the deceased jujutsu wizard and former friend of Gojo Satoru, Suguru Geto.
Previously, he was responsible for possessing the corpse of a wizard named Noritoshi Kamo, earning him a reputation as the most evil wizard in history. He works with cursed spirits to achieve his goals, and despite his sense of superiority over them, he has a peculiar connection to some.
6/10 Keigo Takami – My Hero Academia
Keigo Takami, otherwise known as Hawks, is the second highest ranked Pro Hero in the My Hero Academia series. He generally has a laid-back personality, but as a hero he is extremely skilled and versatile, able to use his quirk in many ways.
In addition, he is skilled at hiding his true feelings and is an excellent liar.
Using these abilities, he was able to infiltrate the Paranormal Liberation Front and gain the trust of longtime villains such as Twice. He is an intelligent individual and is able to identify, as well as pursue, the best possible scenarios in the situations in which he finds himself.
5/10 Obito Uchiha – Naruto
Obito was a powerful shinobi who lived a large part of his life posing as the legendary Madara Uchiha. Despite belonging to the same bloodline, these two characters were very different, but Obito performed this role to ensure that their plans went smoothly.
Before declaring himself Madara, he also assumed the identity of Tobi, another false personality. He served as a member of Akatsuki, although his long-term goals differed from those of the organization. Nevertheless, he continued to hide his true identity until the very end, deceiving several characters as well as some of the audience.
On the surface, Führer King Bradley was the ruler of Amestris and a seemingly ordinary human. However, his true identity was a homunculus, a being created by his father who was given the title of Wrath. He was the last of the homunculi, and his greatest service to his father’s cause was inciting the war against Ishval, which led to the deaths of many.
He was designed as a human-based homunculus for the purpose of fitting in with humans, and he was extremely skilled at deceiving those around him. Furthermore, he was very devoted to his creator, carrying out his orders unwaveringly and opposing those who would try to thwart his plans.
3/10 Reiner And Bertholdt – Attack On Titan
Reiner and Bertholdt were two characters who infiltrated Paradis Island as Warriors of Marley, sent with the goal of obtaining the Founding Titan. They were accompanied by two other warriors, but managed to make it the furthest of them. Additionally, they were responsible for the destruction of Wall Maria, allowing the Titans to wreak havoc in the area.
They later joined the 104th Survey Corps, mingled with the native members and resumed their activities from there. Although Reiner developed an identity crisis due to his newfound friendship with his teammates, he continued to pursue Marley’s goals. However, his guilt led him to admit his true allegiance, after which a battle ensued between him and the protagonist Eren Yeager.
2/10 Sosuke Aizen – Bleach
Aizen is a calm and collected individual, hardly ever shaken by anything and usually several steps ahead of his opponents. In the beginning of Bleach series, he was portrayed as a kind man who was the captain of the 5th Division of the Gotei 13. However, after Ichigo’s appearance in Soul Society, his ruthless and devious personality was shown to everyone.
It was revealed that he had been plotting behind the scenes for decades, using his positions in Gotei 13 as a cover for his illegal experiments. He deceived, killed and manipulated several individuals without remorse. After enough time had passed, he defected from the Soul Society and actively began his mission to overthrow the Soul King.
1/10 Light Yagami – Death Note
Light Yagami was a narcissistic serial killer empowered by the titular Death Note, a notebook capable of killing anyone whose name was written in it. Referred to by the masses as Kira while keeping his real identity a secret, he consistently eluded capture by the authorities, aided by his astounding intellect.
As the series continued, he was closely watched by the Japanese task force and eventually invited to their headquarters. Despite the heavy suspicion surrounding him, Light was exposed to the thought processes and actions taken against Kira, allowing the ruthless killer to plan accordingly. He used his father’s position as task force leader to gain the trust of most of the members and eventually gained the upper hand as the lead detective tasked with apprehending him.
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