In many of the action, fantasy, and drama series we see nowadays, we often see many of our favorite characters dying. But out of all of them, there have been many special anime characters who died smiling.
This was meant to encourage the other characters in the series, to move forward with their death. Although they were supposed to be in intense pain, they still showed that they could laugh even in their dying moments.
Spoilers ahead, you might see spoilers for some of the series you haven’t watched or watching right now. With everything that has been said, let us take a look at the top 15 popular anime characters who died smiling.
Table of Contents
15 Popular Anime Characters Who Died Smiling
15) Misato Katsuragi
- Anime: End of Evangelion
- Episode Number: 1hr 30min Movie
Misato Katsuragi was a Captain in the NERV HQ’s Tactical Operations branch. She was responsible for taking the protagonist Shinji Ikari into her house, for living.
However, their happy parade ended short, when she saved Shinji, by killing three soldiers who attacked NERV. But, she was eventually shot and gravely wounded in this attack. Despite this, she still sends off Shinji, with a smile on her face, and a kiss.
14) Sir Nighteye
- Anime: My Hero Academia
- Episode Number: 77
Sir Nighteye, also known as Mirai Sasaki, was a pro hero who was introduced to us at the end of season 3. We also got to know that he was Mirio Togata’s mentor was the former sidekick of All Might.
He instantly became a fan-favorite character, due to his character traits and abilities. But, Sir Nighteye was gravely wounded, when he was fighting the villain Overhaul. It was only a matter of time till he died, and he still kept smiling, even in his dying moments.
13) Jonathan Joestar
- Anime: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
- Episode Number: 9
Jonathan Joestar was the first Jojo, we ever met in the series. He was the start of the rivalry between Dio and the Jojo household. Jonathan also tried to put an end to Dio, using his newfound Ripple powers.
Just when he thought that he defeated Dio, the latter came back again for revenge. Jonathan did manage to stop Dio but at the cost of his life. Knowing that he would die, he brought some time for Erina to escape along with an infant.
Sending her off with a smile on his face, despite his serious injuries, was one of the best moments in Jojo Part 1. This is the reason, this character was easily included in this list of anime characters who died smiling.
12) Nicholas D. Wolfwood
- Anime: Trigun
- Episode Number: 23
Wolfwood was a fan-favorite character of the series, and always had great and comical interactions with Vash. He was loved for all these comical moments, but he was still a very powerful character.
However, he unfortunately meets his end, near the end of the series. Wolfwood has an intense battle with his mentor Chapel and was gravely wounded in this fight.
He still manages to convey the location of Knives to Vash. He ends up in a church, regretting his whole life and decisions till now. His death was still a very pleasant one, with him dreaming of his future and then dying with a smile, thinking of this.
11) Keisuke Baji
- Anime: Tokyo Revengers
- Episode Number: 21
We all know that Keisuke Baji was a founding member and the First Division Captain of the Tokyo Manji Gang. However, he had to join Valhalla later, due to some specific reasons.
During the Valhalla arc, he was critically wounded after Kazutora stabbed him. Since he fully knew about Kazutora’s intentions and his state, he did not want to make his murder fall into Kazutora’s hands.
He stabbed himself again, to prevent this from happening. He entrusts Toman and Mikey to Takemitchi and dies with a smile in the hands of Chifuyu. This was one of the saddest deaths in the series and is the reason it is placed in this list of anime characters who died smiling.
10) Van Hohenheim
- Anime: Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood
- Episode Number: 63
Although Hohenheim had a late introduction to the series, he was also Edward and Alphonse’s dad. He managed to live for a long time, due to the philosopher’s stone.
But, this came to an end in their final confrontation with Father. Hohenheim gladly offers his remaining life for Alphonse. After everything ends up, he still makes his way to his wife, Trisha’s grave.
Due to his life force now finished, he slowly dies at his wife’s grave, with a smile on his face. He had one of the most peaceful deaths in the FMAB series too.
- Anime: Hellsing Ultimate
- Episode Number: 10
Alucard was the most powerful weapon of the Hellsing Organization and is very loyal to Integra. We also know that he is one of the strongest characters in the series.
But, despite of this he soon met his demise, at the end of the series. Alucard became the Schrodigner’s cat and does not exist as the living or the dead. This is one of the most emotional scenes in the series where Integra keeps calling his name, as he is withering away.
8) Retsu Unohana
- Anime: Bleach Thousand Year Blood War Arc
- Episode Number: 10
At first glance, we see that Unohana is the Squad 4 Captain, and she is more suited for healing. But soon enough, we get to know that she was one of the first and the strongest Kenpachi, till Zaraki came.
In the most recent installment, we saw that she had a duel with Kenpachi, to awaken his dormant powers. In this fight, Kenpachi surpasses her and deals her a finishing blow.
Knowing that she will die, she entrusted everything she had to Kenpachi with a smiling face. She had a very memorable death, and this is one of the reasons why she made this list of anime characters who died smiling.
7) Ash Lynx
- Anime: Banana Fish
- Episode Number: 24
Ash Lynx is the protagonist of the anime Banana Fish, which revolves around drugs, mafia, guns, and bloodshed. Ash has been targeted by the local don Dino Golzine, and he needs to escape the clutches of this mafia.
Just when we thought everything had concluded peacefully, Ash gets stabbed at the very last episode, after his war with Dino Golzine ended. Severely injured, Ash then reads Eiji’s letter, soon enough, we see that he is dead, with a smile on his face.
6) Lelouch vi Britannia
- Anime: Code Geass Season 2
- Episode Number: 25
Lelouch vi Britannia is the protagonist as well as the Prince of Britannia. Soon enough, he understood the flaws of this world and wanted to correct all of them.
He soon became the entity known as Zero, after receiving a Geass. At the end of two seasons, he achieved his goal and managed to become the King of Britannia.
But, this was short-lived as Lelouch had other plans. He knew that he couldn’t protect his sister and friends like this. So, he willingly asks Suzaki to dress up as Zero and kill him. In his final moments, Lelouch dies peacefully with a smile, understanding that he was successful.
5) Gol D Roger
- Anime: One Piece
- Episode Number: 48
We all know Gol D Roger as the Pirate King and someone who owned the legendary treasure One Piece. After understanding that he will be dying soon of an incurable disease, he turned himself in.
He was publicly executed, and this was when the Pirate King told everyone about his treasure with a big smile, before dying. This was the start of the journey for many characters and is the reason this is the top 5 in the anime characters who died smiling list.
4) Itachi Uchiha
- Anime: Naruto Shippuden
- Episode Number: 138
Itachi Uchiha was the last surviving member of the Uchiha clan, along with his brother Sasuke. Itachi slaughtered the whole Uchiha clan, which marked him as a traitor and earned him hatred of Sasuke.
But, unknown to any of this, was that Itachi had been suffering from an incurable disease. In his battle with Sasuke in Shippuden, Itachi finally succumbs to his disease, while sending off his brother with a smile.
3) Portgas D. Ace
- Anime: One Piece
- Episode Number: 483
Ace was one of the most memorable and favorite characters, for most of the fans. But, he also met his end soon enough, when he sacrificed himself to protect Luffy.
Ace took a direct punch from Akainu, and this severely wounded him. In his dying moments, he thanks Luffy for everything and collapsed just like that with a smile on his face.
- Anime: Naruto Shippuden
- Episode Number: 133
Arguably one of the most emotional deaths in the series, we all remember Jiraiya as the Pervy Sage. He had successfully found out the leader of the Akatsuki and went on a solo mission.
But, Jiraiya is immediately overwhelmed by the number of Pains, over there. In his dying moments, he thinks that the final chapter has turned out to be good, and dies with a smile on his face.
1) Kyojuro Rengoku
- Anime: Demon Slayer S2
- Episode Number: 7
Arguably one of the most traumatic and impactful scenes in the whole series was Kyojuro Rengoku vs Akaza. Kyojuro Rengoku was the Flame Pillar, whose mission was to find out the devil behind the Mugen Train incidents.
Unfortunately, Akaza is also present there and gives a tough fight to Rengoku. But, putting everything on the line to save people, he manages to fend off Akaza.
Ultimately, Rengoku was able to save everyone over there and fulfill his mission. But, he succumbed to his injuries, and he died in the same spot, with a big smile on his face.
This marks the end of our article on the top 15 most popular anime characters who died smiling. Truly most of these moments had much impact on the surviving character, as well as the fans. For more such content, make sure to check our articles here.
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Eswar Keshav is an ardent anime fan for more than a decade. Along with this, he also has been following anime and manga updates for years. He is also enthusiastic and passionate when it comes to writing about his favorite things. Combining his love for writing and his love for anime and manga, his articles speak of his love for the genre.