While we all get a little mad sometimes, anime characters have a tendency to unleash berserker tantrums mighty enough to leave the world around them in complete ruin. In action anime, in particular, at least one character is going to lose their mind and unleash a berserker rage that levels an entire countryside or an armada of adversaries, sooner or later. The source of their rage could be something tangible or abstract and uncertain.
But what are the most shocking berserker rages the medium has to offer? Let's take a look at some instances that, due to their suddenness or intensity, left anime audiences shocked by either the sheer rage a character demonstrated or the destructive might of their anger.
Broly (Dragon Ball Z & Dragon Ball Super)
Broly is one of the most iconic, 'walking angry' rage monsters in anime. When he returned in Dragon Ball Super, fans waited for Broly to completely meltdown, and were not disappointed when he unleashed so much rage that he started anger-vomiting, pure destructive force, breaking down the walls of reality. However, this only became iconic in the first place from the shock fans were left in after watching the original Dragon Ball Z Broly film.
Broly's berserker rage lasts two whole movies, with Broly going first from a scrawny, powerless Saiyan into something powerful enough to take Goku's strongest attacks without flinching. What's most shocking, though, is how Broly's rage does not cease in his second appearance, Dragon Ball Z: Broly -- Second Coming. By the time he's beaten, he's so angry he can only shout one word: "Kakarot." And all because he's still mad Goku cried a lot in the nursery.
With a title like Berserk, there are guaranteed to be some noteworthy and shocking berserker rage moments. Main character Guts unleashes these in just about every battle like they're going out of style. Guts even has a Berserker Armor that capitalizes on his unrelenting rage. His most disturbing berserker rage, however, happens long before he gets that armor.
During the infamous Eclipse, Guts is forced to watch his former best friend Griffith conjure the God Hand and devour the souls of all their fellow members of the Band of the Hawk. This is enough to drive Guts into madness, but what breaks Guts is watching Griffith sexually assault Casca. Guts carves off his own arm when a demon bites down on it just to try to save Casca and kill Griffith. It's hard to tell what's more shocking: Guts' rage or how, ultimately, it proves futile.
Vash the Stampede (Trigun)
Vash the Stampede's entire character is focused on solving problems without killing a single person. But there are several points in Trigun where he's forced to almost -- or in the case of Legato, actually -- take a life. One of the most memorable and chilling instances of this takes place during the fight against Monev, the first of the Gung-Ho Guns.
Monev murders several people around Vash, pushing Vash into a berserker rage, unable to contain his righteous fury. The normally calm and collected hero shouts, screams and unleashes lethal force against a villain who definitely deserves to go down. In the manga, however, Vash goes one step further: he gouges out Monev's eye with the barrel of his gun.
Lucy (Elfen Lied)
Elfen Lied's Lucy has a lot of moments of cold, murderous rage, but few scenes are as shocking as the one in which the kids at the orphanage beat her dog to death in front of her. This profoundly disturbing moment serves as a betrayal on multiple levels against Lucy. Lucy's dog was the one thing that unconditionally loved her, and the bullies found out about it because the one girl she trusted told them -- possibly knowing what would happen.
What's shocking about watching Lucy murder a bunch of children isn't so much that violent act itself; rather, it's that you are probably on Lucy's side when she does it. The problem is... she just keeps killing in a brutal rage against the human race, even attacking the people who actually care about her.
Suzaku (Code Geass)
While several characters unleash their full rage during the events of Code Geass, the moment in which the normally peaceful Suzaku loses his cool and goes on berserk is shocking. Granted, watching Lelouch as Zero manipulate Euphemia into being his pawn to rally the Japanese against the Brittanians, then shoot her, is already shocking, but watching Suzaku watch it is even more disturbing.
Suzaku enters into a berserk rage that ultimately changes the trajectory of his entire character arc. So while the rage itself is already intense, with him rushing to rescue Euphemia in a failed attempt to save her life, the fallout of this moment is felt all until the second season's finale.
Shion (Higurashi: When They Cry)
There are several brutal murders that transpire throughout Higurashi: When They Cry. However, one of the cruelest of them all is when Shion, during the first of the Answer Arcs, crucifies and murders Satoko, blaming her for Satoshi's apparent death. What makes this berserker rage shocking isn't so much watching Shion run through gunfire or get into a fight. Rather, it's the sheer sadism of watching her stab a young child to death in an unrelenting rage.
This is also the point at which Shion psychologically breaks. She becomes, essentially, another person -- arguably, one of the most terrifying villains in the entire series.
Roy Mustang (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
Roy Mustang, throughout Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, is after Envy, the Homunculus who murders Maes Hughes. This pursuit of revenge drives Roy to many dark places throughout the series, including when finally confronts Envy and unleashes a cold, violent beat-down that is as chilling as it is cathartic.
Roy just lights Envy on fire again and again and again, which, at first, is entertaining. However, as Roy goes on and on, it becomes just overkill, demonstrating the level of suppressed rage Roy has bottled up inside him this whole time. For a character who often appears composed and in-control, this barrage goes from exciting to disturbing, especially as Envy is left in a more pitiful state with each attack.
Shinji Ikari (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Evangelion Unit-01 has several Berserker Moments, each one more brutal than the last. However, even when Unit-01 eats an Angel like a feral monster, it pales in comparison to the worst berserker rage in the series, which comes entirely from Shinji Ikari, Unit-01's pilot, in End of Evangelion. At this point in the series, Shinji has been abandoned by everyone around him. To make matters worse, he's forced to confront multiple deaths in short succession.
By the time the Mass Production Evangelions intercept him and Third Impact is triggered, Shinji is at his lowest point. After being submerged in a hallucinatory experience, in which he's confronted by Misato, Rei and Asuka, criticizing Shinji for all his faults and awful behavior, Shinji enters into a despairing rage and decides to just end all of humanity. The Instrumentality Sequence is Shinji's berserker rage against humanity, and it doesn't get much more shocking than that.