While there are a lot of delicate snowflakes in the anime world that have their personalities and attitudes affected by their mental scars, real badasses have the proof they lived displayed right on their flesh. One look and you know that they have been through some shit. One glance and you know these are the type of anime characters you don’t want to mess with.
Himura Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin
We, the audience, may recognize Kenshin for his scar, but few people know how he got it. To find out, one needs to watch the Samurai X OVAs (or read the manga) in order to find out that his iconic ‘X’ is actually two scars. One is from a man he killed, and the second is from the fiancée of the man that Kenshin later married back when he was the Battousai. She gave it to him right before her death.
Jet Black from Cowboy Bebop
Jet didn’t get the nickname of Black Dog during his time on the police force for no reason. He is as stubborn as they come. He even dared to go after a criminal organization that had corrupted much of the police force. Unfortunately, he fell into a trap that resulted in the destruction of his arm and (presumably) the scar so bad on his face he needs a metal piece to support it.
While he could have had cell regeneration, he opted for mechanical replacements instead. You know, just as a reminder.
Vash the Stampede from Trigun
Throughout much of Trigun, Vash appears to be untouchable. However, after a chance encounter of getting caught in the shower, you see that he has had his fair share of misfortune. Trouble does follow him around like a horrid rain cloud after all. Looking at his bare body, you see tons of twisted gnarled flesh, even a bit of metal mesh. However, the most surprising part was the false arm that he got after his real one was blow off during a tragic incident long ago.
Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist
Nothing says “don’t fuck with me” like a giant ‘X’ shaped scar across your forehead. However, the man named “Scar” didn’t choose his scar. He got it when his entire family was slaughtered. He also lost an arm, but his brother was nice enough to lend him one of his.
Gutts from Berserk
At this point, especially if you have been keeping up with the Berserk manga, Gutts should just be 100 percent scar tissue. He has a number of visible scars, like the nick on his nose that are the result of starting mercenary life at a very young age with a “learn by beating” foster father. Of course, his most notable scar is the Brand of Sacrifice on his neck that occasionally gets a bit oozy when demons come sniffing around.
Allen Walker from D. Gray Man
One look at Allen’s eye and you just know that his scar has a story. After all, you don’t get pentagram eye slashes all randomly, right? In this case it was given to Allen well before he became an exorcist by his adoptive father who had died. In his grief, Allen was tricked and Mana Walker turned into an Akuma, marring the boy’s face and also giving him the power to detect Akuma and see the human souls that are bound to their bodies.
Whitebeard from One Piece
There are probably thousands of interesting scars in One Piece. I mean, they’re pirates, they should have a little bit of skin flair. However, we could likely populate a separate list with interesting One Piece scars, so we just picked the one – Whitebeard. Because he’s Whitebeard. While he has a wide array of scars, he has none on his back, because this old badass never runs from a fight.
Worick from Gangsta
You know what they say, scars make a man more handsome, but Worick already has that in spades. Despite having a life that teetered between sheltered and violent, he only has one scar on his eye. Hidden under his eye patch, he hides a scar that he got when his father burned his eye with a cigarette.
Balalaika from Black Lagoon
Granddaughter of a prestigious USSR military leader, Balalaika would be a beautiful femme fatale… If it were for horrible burns over half of her body. The scars she got in the Soviet war in Afghanistan. To her enemies, she is affectionately known as “Fry Face,” but she will affectionately murder you if she hears you calling her that.
All Might from My Hero Academia
When you wear full body spandex, it’s is pretty hard to see scars, however as you find out rather early in the series, All Might has a secret. Due to a wound he sustained during a fight long ago, he can only sustain his hero form for a few hours. The scar is pretty intense. It took out his stomach and the scar just now sort of spirals in on itself.
Manji from Blade of the Immortal
Even at first glance, you know Manji by that brilliant scar running across his face. However, upon closer inspection, you will find that Manji’s body is basically all scars. That is kind of what happens when you are immortal and just spend all your time fighting. Immortality doesn’t always mean your boo-boo’s heal up flawlessly.
Genryuusai from Bleach
Bleach is another shounen series with a lot of a scars and a lot of stories about how they got their scars. However, while Kenpachi has some impressive ones, the best are found on Genryuusai where his age is not only testified by his impressive beard, but by having the gnarled flesh of an oak.
Morino Ibiki from Naruto
Ibiki is quickly overlooked because of his sparse appearances in Naruto, but he has some serious scars on his face. He has even more craters and burns underneath his scarf, which is why he wear it, and, presumably, his long sleeves. As one of the more feared members of ANBU, he got his scars from years of occasional bouts of torture.
Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star
Kenshiro sports some of the most iconic scars in anime history across that rippling chest of his. After he was betrayed by his adoptive brother, Kenshiro was left for dead after a martial arts technique was used on him that left seven finger tip-shaped scars down his chest in the shape of the little dipper.
Naraku from Inuyasha
Originally, Inuyasha’s main antagonist Naraku was human. However, after suffering major burns all over his body and basically left to die in a cave under Kikyo’s care, he offered his body to the demons. Reborn as a spider demon, not only did he gat a series of annoying abilities that go with being a spider demon, but he got a pretty wicked spider scar on his back.
Sensui from Yu Yu Hakusho
For as much fighting as there is in Yu Yu Hakusho, you would think there would be more cool scars, but you really only have Sensui. He doesn’t have what your would call “cool” scars, but he does feature a lot of them. Accumulated through his love of fighting and utterly insane attitude, when shirts come off, you see that Sensui is basically a hodge-podge of scar tissue.
Mika from Durarara
Who says girls other than Balalaika can’t have scars? Well, typically they don’t have very impressive scars, because reasons. However, Miki is one of the rare exceptions by having an awesome scar across her neck because she is a crazy yandere, and the specifics of it all are pretty big spoilers.
Adolf from Terra Formars
Although Adolf’s time on Terra Formars was brief, he was given plenty of spotlight during his fight for his life in the first season. He is, however, a pretty tragic character like his scars suggest. With major burns on his face and body, we discover it is because he has the DNA of an electric eel inside him. In order to accommodate the voltage, he was constantly shocked, which caused him his disfiguring burn scars.
King from One Punch Man
With a reputation as the strongest man on earth, you need a few scars to go with a chin like an anvil. King has three tidy slits running along the side of his face that just completely pull together his regal-yet-menacing look. While not strictly explained, the rumor is he got the scars fighting against a God-level monster.
Yamcha from Dragon Ball Z
And finally, Yamcha. For as much as he gets merc’d in the Dragon Ball universe, Yamcha should have vastly more scars than he does. He got his scars training in order to win the World’s Martial Arts Tournament. However, if you gotta get scars, you should be so lucky to get handsome-enhancing scars like Yamcha.
Did we miss any of your other favorite badass scars? Lay them on us in the comments section below. Do note that we only chose one character from the major shounen series for a reason (because there be a lot of scar tissue within). So, tell us your favorites, but don’t be angry they didn’t make the list.