anime with delinquents

So anime characters come in all shapes and sizes, some even imitating real-life culture. There’s this classic type called the “delinquents.”

Japan had this whole subculture of rebellious teens back then, and nowadays, anime and manga try to look back at it. It’s like a throwback to the good old days of rebels and punks, even if the era has passed. The lawbreakers still vibe.

Everywhere you go, culprits are seen as rebels against everything society stands for. They’re freedom fighters, breaking free from all society’s rules and expectations. Sure, some go way overboard, but then you have those lovable troublemakers with golden hearts. These are the ones who steal the spotlight.

1. Yu Yu Hakusho

You definitely gotta look this one up. It’s about a crew of lawbreakers tackling demons, mad spirits and other spooky stuff. So, there’s Yusuke Urameshi, total rebel, bunked classes, always in fights. Then, one day, he gets hit by a truck while trying to save a kid and wakes up as a spirit detective. 

If you’re into Tokyo Revengers, you will love the supernatural stuff Yusuke gets mixed up in and the true companionship with his crew. It’s all about their journey from a ragtag group to a tight-knit team, and that’s where all the fun is. The anime went on for 112 episodes, and the manga for 19 volumes

2. Banana Fish

Mafia twists plus delinquency equals Banana Fish. This crime noir manga has been around for a while now, since the early 80’s and 90’s, and turned into a 24 episode anime in 2018. It follows a teenage gang leader, Ash Lynx, as he dives into the secrets of Banana fish while dodging the mafia.

Dozens of aspects draw fans in, like the lawlessness vibe, similar to Tokyo Revengers, the messed-up father-son relationship between Ash and his mafia boss dad, Dino Golzine.

And not forgetting the romantic relationship between Ash and Eiji, both males. But I must warn you, the series displays some serious sexual assault scenes and many other acts of brutality.

3. Angel Densetsu

There’s also this old classic manga called Angel Densetsu that later got turned into an OVA in 1996. It tells the story of the protagonist, Selichirou Kitano, a gentle boy with a super scary look.

Because of his appearance, people often get the wrong idea and accidentally become the leader of delinquents at school. Imagine the chaos that followed after that, definitely gotta check it out yourself.

If you look at the summary of the previous two entries, this one is more comedic and amusing, possibly funnier than Tokyo Revengers. It’s all about a guy who unintentionally turns bad and is a riot.

Also, there’s an awesome message about not judging people simply based on their looks. It was released in Shonen Jump from 1992 to 2000 and lasted 15 volumes. If you are in the mood to laugh or just stress away, check it out!

4. Great Teacher Onizuka (GTO)

Ever heard of the anime and manga Great Teacher Onizuka? It’s about a 22-year-old guy named Eikichi Onizuka. He’s highly ranked in martial arts and used to be a troublemaker.

He’s now trying to get his life together, so he decides to become a teacher and marry a high school girl before he’s too old. Unfortunately, not all plans succeed; instead of getting an easy class, he ends up with a class full of delinquents.

So GTO is huge, with 43-episode anime, a 25-volume manga, several TV shows, a prequel, and a dual spin-off. Even though the vibe is mostly funny, they do dig into topics like suicide or depression since each kid in the class faces challenges of his or her own. Have you ever heard of Tokyo Revengers, too? It’s also 29-manga volumes.

5. Clannad

Clannad is one of the few visual novels that has been talked about for a while. They have made anime, films, drama CDs, TV series, and many manga. Clannad ratings are over the roof.

It’s about a guy named Tomoya Okazaki, obviously a delinquent, who meets a shy girl named Nagisa Furukawa. What’s interesting is his change in character after meeting her. He becomes more open and friendly to others.

Clannad is like a universe on its own; with TV shows, animes, movies, etc., it mainly focuses on important themes like real friendships and family, mixed in with a few hardships here and there.

Reminds you of Tokyo Revengers, right? It’s known for being depressing and yet healing at the same time. It might sound a bit too much, but believe me, it has this humour that glows.

6. School Rumble

School Rumble isn’t all about troublemakers, but man or woman, it’s an amazing anime that mixes delinquency with comedy. It’s about Tenma and her high school friends with their antics. Among the anime characters are troublemakers who spice things up a bit, adding more drama and comedy to the anime.

And among the worst delinquents is Harima. This guy is a total nutjob. He’s stubborn and always finds himself in ridiculous situations.

Despite being a big bad wolf, he’s soft when it comes to love, especially regarding his feelings towards Tenma. Now, he’s in a battle between his delinquency and loving side. You have to witness these hilarious moments yourself.

School Rumble is a perfect combination of fun, laughs, love and normal day-to-day stuff. You don’t wanna miss out.

 7. Beelzebub

Another banger featuring delinquents is Beelzebub. I find the story a bit weird. It’s all about a first-year student at a school for juvenile delinquents named Tatsumi Oga.

Out of the blue, the dude rescues a baby in a river, and the baby’s father is the great demon king. Sadly he was stuck with raising the baby while attending classes. ( do you get why i find the story weird now?)

Tokyo Revenger fans will go nuts on this one. It finds a way to make both comedy and supernatural stuff work.

Imagine trying to raise a demon’s kid, who’s probably a demon too, while also being in school, plus you’re a troublemaker at the same time. The anime lasted 60 episodes, and the manga exceeded volume 28.

8. Worst

Worst right? Just by the name of the anime, something about to go down; it’s mostly based on delinquent kids of Suzuran All-Boy High School. The story surrounds a boy named Hana Tsukishima who lives in the countryside.

His dream is to one day be the school leader despite the fact it never had one before. Turns out competition was tougher than he thought, with rival schools and gangs taking a chance.

So yes, the Shonen series is all about fights and violence, with several school gangs involved, too. You name it. Hiroshi Takahashi wrote it, and it is the next chapter of “Crows”, another by the same writer.

Unfortunately, the series and manga are temporarily suspended. On the brighter side, there are 33 volumes of manga, hey. Sadly, it has no anime. To be locked in on Worst, you first have to check Crows.

9. Cromartie High School

This is one weird high school comedy anime and manga featuring the most notorious delinquents in Japan. The Cromartie residents mainly focus on being strong, looking, and acting strong.

Takashi Kammiyama, new at the school, has to manoeuvre around a school with gorillas, aliens and other outsiders in the student body.

Cromartie High School is like a love parody to all those mangas about delinquents from the 70’s and 80’s. It’s totally weird and kinda short. Like 26 episodes only, 26 really.

And imagine just 17 manga volumes. Although if you are really into Tokyo Revengers, its oddness part of it will intrigue you.

10. Gokusen

Just imagine, after you graduate or graduate from university, you become a teacher in a school filled with delinquents. Kumiko Yamaguchi had to teach at an all-boys delinquent school. Sounds like GTO, right? However, she ain’t your average teacher; she’s the heiress to a Yakuza group, and someone suspects her.

She tries to earn their trust while preserving her secret. Now, unlike GTO, this series keeps the fanservice low. It’s more about comedy and action. It ran for seven years straight with 15 manga volumes and 13 anime episodes.

And yeah, it’s got its comedic moments, especially with the whole family wanting her to take over Yakuza biz.

11. Slam Dunk

A big shout-out to all my basketball lovers out there. The story is about Hanamichi slowly getting into the basketball rhythm and changing his life for the better. He begins as a bold-impulsive person, but his teammates appreciate him more after a few games.

Looking at Hanamachi’s story, we saw how effective sports can affect a person’s personality. Turning a delinquent like Hanamichi into a whole new person. Plus, there’s Kaede and Takenori, each facing their own struggles and personalities that stand out.

Fans will be pleased with the way they grow and bond with one another. With epic basketball matches and heart heart-touching storylines, basketball fan or not, you still gotta check it out.

12. Rainbow: Criminal Seven of Compound Two Cell Six

Rainbow has one catchy story that digs deep into troublesome kids’ daily lives in a juvenile correctional facility. You can tell by how they tell their story, intense emotions and complicated characters. It’s one amazing anime that portrays real-life delinquency.

Rainbow is all about these seven teenage boys who are put in juvenile jail for something they did. The series describes all they went through, their challenges, and their personal issues, both in and out of juvie.

One thing I love about Rainbow is that it’s “raw”; it touches sensitive subjects like sexism, abuse, and the harsh, violent life of a prisoner.

You will not be the same after watching this. The conditions the characters have to go through are just brutal. Each teenager has a different story and challenges connecting with all fan types. Another must-watch banger

13. Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto

I’m Sakamoto. The anime is obviously about Sakamoto. He lives a mysterious life and is well-known in school. There are more other delinquent characters, too. However, they uplift Sakamoto’s behaviour. Their differences and relations with each other do spice things up.

The story is basically about lawbreakers who want to tarnish their reputations. Everywhere he goes, he bumps into at least one jealous troublemaker. Weird how he always attracted them. Thankfully, his parents raised him right with good manners; he always found a way to defend his image.

His humour set a clear division between him and his enemies, who look scruffy. Because of these, certain amusing instances will keep you locked in.

Even if their intentions for Sakamoto were bad, he would try and talk them out of their ways. Inspire them on the benefits of a positive, well mannered life. You might not realize it, but this 

14. Kyou kara Ore wa!!

I think there’s nothing that beats high school blended with a pinch of comedy. Now imagine adding delinquents, too. Tell me you are not mesmerized already. The storyline is about Shinji and Takashi.

The entertainment in Kyou Kara Ore wa is up to par indeed. Digging deep into things like trustworthiness and personal growth. However, Takashi and Shinji seem to be stubborn culprits initially, with a few instances where they open up and realize their mistakes.

Other characters also add to the story’s charm. But how Takashi and Shinji’s relationship turns out makes me want a new friend.

The number of strange situations our dual characters come across is just shocking. The anime, in general, though, is an amazing boredom killer.

15. Arisa Uotani Is A Reformed Delinquent (Fruits Basket)

The Shonen series never disappoints when it comes to delinquency anime. Fruits Basket also has several out there, including Kyo. Arisa Uotani used to be a well-known troublemaker; she later corrected her ways. But her temper stays the same. Thwart her, and you will see.

She’s not from a rich family and was only raised by her reckless father. Before she met Tohru, she used to be involved in gangs. We need people like Tohru who help turn friends’ lives around. Arisa isn’t a rascal; all she wanted was a little push and pointing in the right direction.

16. Yu Ishigami Is A Delinquent By Shuchiin Standards (Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War)

If we were to compare different delinquents from other anime, we would say Yu-Ishigami belongs in this list. However, when his out of his mind, he can be something else frustrating leaders. He would create rules and even break them sometimes. No matter his punishment, he didn’t listen.

One time he fought for a girl, Kyoto Otomo. After being asked to apologize in a letter, he nixed. The guy sometimes spends the whole day gaming in student council meetings. Yu is the treasurer, by the way.

17. Metal Bat Cares For His Sister (One-Punch Man)

Metal Bat is an exceptional superhero, indeed. He is part of the Hero Association, and he’s S-rank. So, he is a powerful combatant. Don’t know if it’s worth wasting such amazing skills for a good cause. He must be a villain. Sadly, he is one of the good guys. He has a funky style, from his attire and bat to his behaviour.

Metal Bat would rather put his life in danger to protect justice. But what he cares about the most is his young sister, he would always watch her play her piano. But still, we consider him a rascal who insults people straight to their faces.

18. Manjiro Sano, AKA Mikey, Is Loyal & Smart (Tokyo Revengers)

Tokyo Revengers, finally, I know, right? It’s all about culprits and minor gangs in Tokyo in 2005. Our well-reserved main character, Takemichi Hanagaki, can travel through time and wishes to correct the past for a better future. And Mikey is caught amidst everything.

Mikey is one raw and resilient boy who truly believes in trustworthiness, responsibility and respect. His friends are his top priority, and he will die for them. Tokyo Revengers is all about revenge with some serious, captivating scenarios. 

About Alex

Hi myself Alex, one of the operators at I'm a digital artist and cosplayers. I'm a part of this huge anime community full of anime fans that would like to help people pick the best anime/manga. We have been watching anime for years and have developed this website to post our honest opinions on anime/manga recommendations with our own watching experience.

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