Anime villain characters are fictional figures that can give viewers a different perspective to find out how a bad person feels. For some this experience is really scary and for others, it feels pretty good. Either way, these kinds of anime characters decided to live life on the edge and try things they might not have tried before.
These evil anime villains might be hellbent on world domination, they might have the means and incentive to seek revenge, or they don’t know how to handle a failed relationship.
When it comes to anime, after a while the villains seem to stick with you more than the heroes themselves. I asked around and these are some of the most popular villainous characters from anime that are currently gripping us all.
26. Nadeko Sengoku from Monogatari
Kicking off the list of the best anime villain characters, with this evil female named Nadeko Sengoku. A poor girl who ends up resorting to nefarious activities because her feelings are out of control in the TV series ‘Monogatari’. She’s being cursed by a classmate who is upset at her for rejecting the guy she liked last time. Then Koyomi, AKA the person that Nadeko actually loves saves her.
Once Nadeko’s feelings for Koyomi were truly realized, she ended up fusing with the snake spirit (oddity) to become one herself. At that point, Nadeko was trying to kill Koyomi as she wanted to preserve her delusions of romance.
25. Majin Buu from Dragonball Z
Majin Buu isn’t one of those anime villain characters who has something dark about them or whose background is twisted for some insidious gain. He doesn’t want to do anything bad or malicious and has no ulterior motive. He’s just your average washed-up villain with a lot of power who constantly tries to kill everybody.
He’s joking! It was just his arm being raised in the air while he says something funny. Then billions of people on earth actually fell dead.
24. Koko Hekmatyar from Jormungand
Koko Hekmatyar is an international arms dealer, she has a personal bodyguard team, which is composed of former special-ops soldiers. In her line of work, she is surrounded by many dangers and they must be there to help keep her safe.
Koko is a mysterious villainous character and is among the best anime villains ever! she travels the world to sell illegal weapons for HCLI. This controversial work can sometimes be difficult, but Koko never gives up and is always ready for her next mission.
23. Shou Tucker from Fullmetal Alchemist
Among the most hated anime villains of all time is Shou Tucker, an alchemist who didn’t kill anybody. So, why is he on this list?
To keep his alchemic grant money coming and to meet his research obligation, he had to turn his own adorable daughter Nina and her equally adorable dog into a chimera, merging them into one hideous, pitiable monster.
Watching this horrifying scene was one of the saddest, most traumatizing anime moments in history that will make fans shed tears!! People may not have died at his hand, but the emotional impact he had on those who watched Fullmetal Alchemist was quite extensive.
22. Ken Kaneki from Tokyo Ghoul
Tokyo Ghoul is a magnificent anime series about Ken Kaneki of Tokyo Ghoul who’s almost eaten by a ghoul and somehow survives. From there, he becomes one of these ghouls- Ken Kaneki starts off as a mild-mannered young literature student who’s drawn into something grotesque.
Now that he has a new desire to eat human flesh, he tries to not stop being a good guy in his hunger. Luckily, he meets the people from Anteiku and learns ethical ways to decide who he should eat. After being brutally tortured, he lost any desire to be kind. When this happens, he’s willing to step up into becoming an evil villain and take on big tasks that mean progress towards his goals.
21. Shiro from Deadman Wonderland
This show is all about anime villain characters who are imprisoned. You might be expecting some of them to have done bad things, so if you are looking for anime series with bad characters, then, this is a good show for you.
Shiro is one of the latter; at first, she was a sweet little girl wanting nothing more than to have a good time with her best friend Ganta. Thanks to years of excruciating torture, Shiro developed a second personality, titled The Wretched Egg but really it’s still pretty awful.
On a field trip, Ganta and his classmates visit the titular prison when it’s raided by the Wretched Egg who murders many of their classmates and leaves Ganta alone. The fact that he’s still alive leads to him being blamed for everything that happened.
20. Kabuto Yakushi from Naruto
It’s hard not to mention the Naruto series when it comes to many characters who tend to change from good guys to bad guys. This trope is so well-used in the show them it should be renamed “Naruto: Good Ninja Gone Bad.” There are a lot of evil characters in the anime that change sides, but Kabuto just seems to get overlooked.
Since Orochimaru’s plans of chasing kids in the pursuit of immortality, you might expect that anyone on his side is pretty evil and all kinds of scary. But Kabuto used to be just an orphan with a promising scientific brain talent, who Orochimaru noticed and decided to raise him. He became a criminal because one of the only adults who ever really cared about him manipulated his feelings.
19. Count of Monte Cristo from Gankutsuou
Here’s another great anime series about bad guys that you’ll probably end up loving. First of all, Gankutsuou is an anime series based on the novel “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas.
This animated series tells the story of Albert Morcerf and what happens when he meets a wealthy nobleman and how that leads to so many weird circumstances throughout the series.
Albert invites the Count to meet his friends and family, all of whom happen to be part of the upper-class society of Paris, France. Unfortunately, Albert doesn’t realize the Count’s hidden motives.
18. Isabella from The Promised Neverland
Isabella, the evil female antagonist in the promised neverland, is a fish out of water. She doesn’t have superpowers or a deep dark secret that would make her scary. But sacrificing innocent children makes her one of the worst anime villains of all time.
She is an evil genius, with sharp intellect, mental war strategy skills, and cunning eyes. You feel like she is always watching and listening and plotting something. After getting to know her backstory, we now see that she’s a real threat. We truly understand her and can see why others around her are so scared. She’s not easy to deal with.
17. Zagred from Black Clover
Black Clover‘s antagonist, Zagread, is taking viewers on a scary journey. We might be getting chills while seeing his demonic character design but still he has power that is even scarier.
I love shows that have a certain fantasy-themed to them, and when I was introduced to the villain Zagred, it was hard not to be immediately engrossed. Not only is he one of the most powerful villains on the show, but he has also been responsible for mass destruction and genocide. He is the mastermind behind the creation of Licht’s five-leaf clover grimoire and the massacre & reincarnation of elves.
16. Vicious from Cowboy Bebop
Vicious is the villain of Cowboy Bebop, one of the most popular classic anime series, that is still highly appreciated up to now. The villain in question has rebelled against his syndicate and became its leader. His war experience gave him plenty of expertise and led to him being a veteran of the Titan War.
He is known for being cold, emotionless, and a dirty killer who often wreaks havoc everywhere he goes! Luckily, Spike Spiegel killed Vicious and managed to bring an end to the chaos that Vicious continuously created.
15. The Beast Titan from Attack On Titan
The Beast Titan takes the form of an animal-like humanoid and is larger than most other Titans. Zeke is the one who is using it and probably presents himself as a lovable guy with a nice personality who enjoys being calm the majority of the time.
However, this façade is fake and hides his calculating, Machiavellian tendencies. Which he fully displays in battle. While certainly, he is a formidable anime villain character, his greatest threat comes from his intelligence. He is a strategist able to orchestrate long-term events and is willing to ruthlessly cut down anyone who gets in the way of his ambitions.
14. Shougo Makishima from Psycho-Pass
Makishima is definitely well-deserved for this spot on this list of the best anime villain characters of all time because he was a key part of the story in Psycho-Pass and is the antagonist that won over fans’ hearts. The main team goes out to capture him, but it turns out that it is so hard to do so against such a formidable foe.
Unlike other criminals, he always manages to stay a few steps ahead of the police and they don’t know his plans. He’s also quite intriguing and people end up getting a kick out of trying to anticipate what he might do next. His fight against Kougami is one of the most chilling moments in anime.
13. The Major from Hellsing
In the manga and anime series Hellsing, the antagonist is named Major, who prefers to be known as Montana Max. He served as Millenium’s supreme commander, an organization that seeks to cause worldwide mayhem through war.
The Major likes to play with his prey, but is less able to control himself. His smile could be a sign of kindness, but it can also change into cruelty at any moment. He is a sadistic monster who uses authority in good-natured ways and can quickly switch from joy to anger.
12. Frieza from Dragon Ball
Frieza is the villain of the Dragon Ball anime series, and one of Goku’s biggest enemies. He’s made appearances in other parts as well! He is known as one of the most ruthless anime villains with a penchant for violence. His army’s ruthlessness is described throughout the galaxy, and his dark humor tends to bully his enemies into submission.
Frieza is shown to be a perfectionist and expects nothing less from his subordinates. If they fail, it will only lead to extreme punishment, if not death. More than that he has no qualms about slaughtering his own forces, too, if they stand in his way.
11. Doflamingo from One Piece
Doflamingo is one of the best villains in the One Piece anime and manga. This evil anime character is sure to make a scene! He seems to have a penchant for dramatic phrasing, as well as a habit of exaggerated posing when giving declarations.
He also openly taunts Fleet Admiral Sengoku in the Shichibukai meeting and displays a level of interest in a war with Whitebeard that is gleeful to see.
Doflamingo had some unusual personality quirks even before he became a criminal. For example, his habit of sitting in odd positions on chairs, tables, barrels, and even walls. Not to mention his sadistic tendencies when dealing with other people which ultimately makes him one of the most memorable anime villains of all time.
10. Izaya from Durarara
He is The main antagonist in Durarara!!, one of the founders of Amphisbaena, and a member of the Dollars. Izaya is a skilled and powerful information broker. He usually gives information for his own enjoyment, and he claims to love all of humanity, excluding Shizuo.
Izaya’s love for humans is a bit different than what one might assume. What he specifically loves about them is their unpredictable nature, and he really enjoys putting people in chaotic, humorous, or emotionally challenging situations.
9. Muzan from Demon Slayer
Muzan Kibutsuji is the main anime villain of the Demon Slayer series. He’s colder, more uncaring, and more intelligent than any demon out there. Although he’s usually seen as distant and monotonous, he does show emotions sparingly when pushed to it.
His exterior appearance seems calm, rational, and collected. But he’s emotionally unstable and prone to overreacting when things don’t go according to plan. His self-esteem is so big, and he can kill his subordinates too harshly if they made mistakes.
8. Tomura Shikaragi from My Hero Academia
The number of anime villains in this show is too much, from Stain all the way up to All For One. They are all very popular, just as much as the heroes. But we will focus mainly on Shikaragi Tomura, who is one of the most interesting dark characters in the whole series.
Tomura is considered to be the dark reflection of Izuku Midoriya, who doesn’t care about anyone’s life. He has no qualms about performing evil deeds like killing innocent people. He is just that sort of guy who doesn’t see anything wrong with going too far in his evil pursuits.
7. Dio Brando from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Jojo Bizare is an anime series that doesn’t need promotion! The series has a bunch of unique fictional characters all with their own interesting storylines. For example, the most famous character in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is Dio Brando, who has been around since the beginning. He has an overpowered Stand power which is called “The World.”
Dio is a villain in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure whose methods of defeating opponents are brutal. He managed to Kill several main characters in the original manga and anime, including Jonathan Joestar, Joseph Joestar, Kakyoin, and so on…
6. Light Yagami from Death Note
At the start of Death Note, Light Yagami is portrayed as an ordinary teenage boy. He’s intrigued by the notebook that he eventually picks up that lets him kill people whose name is written down. He’s initially reluctant to use it, but as the series progresses, he grows more and more morally corrupted under its influence.
However, he quickly decides to take out criminals. He believes his motives are pure and that what he’s doing is making the world a better place. Soon, Light started doing things that are inarguably unjust. He starts killing people who have done nothing wrong, just because they stand in his way. He became among the top anime villains when he even considered sacrificing his loved ones to avoid getting caught. Yagami Light becomes increasingly rotten as the series moves along and ultimately leads to his downfall.
5. Griffith from Berserk
When your best friend leaves you, it can be hard for you. It’s even harder when that person leaves a group that is part of your work too. Griffith probably had a lot to say about this!
Well, after Guts came back to rescue him several times, he has already sacrificed the rest of his band to become a powerful demon named the God Hand. The first thing he did was raping Guts’ pregnant lover Casca right in front of him, a so horrifying scene that will make Guts explodes with rage. Griffith is a terrible guy, and his lack of mercy outweighs the fact that he’s an absolute disaster which makes him one of the worst anime villains ever seen in history.
4. Aizen from Bleach
Many people didn’t find out about Sōsuke Aizen’s evil nature in Bleach before he reveals it to everyone else. His character develops as they discover this bad side of him as well. From the outside, you can tell he’s a nice guy who can be dedicated to Soul Society but is also a stickler about rules. But rules can’t make someone evil.
Yeah, the whole persona thing was just a front, but it didn’t work. He actually is here to destroy Soul Society, but not directly! His plan is set in motion when he fakes his own death, implicating Soul Society’s newest members to become top suspects for his murder.
3. Johan Liebert from Monster
Johan Liebert is one of the evilest anime villains I’ve ever seen. Johan is a serial killer that would make Hannibal Lector step back and say, “Whoa.”
He killed his adoptive family, he murdered the co-workers of the surgeon who saved his life, and he was even able to talk all of the students and instructors of a secretive Army program into killing everyone else! Then, after the surgery, he really got busy murdering people. He was actually a leader of sorts for Europe’s serial killers, who did his bidding even as he occasionally killed them.
He’s actually so evil and murderous that a Neo-Nazi party tried to get him to become the new Adolf Hitler — which wasn’t Johan’s style so he massacred most of them so they’d leave him alone. When people are asking you to be Hitler 2,0, you know you’re a bad dude.
2. Hisoka from Hunter X Hunter
Hisoka is a crazy man who has known no fear. In fact, he’s taken pride in that fact. He’s been a feared assassin who has never failed to carry out his missions and is ranked as one of the strongest individuals in this world, as he has killed many powerful characters.
With his evil persona and dark behavior, it’s hard to predict what he will do next. He is one of the best anime villains ever, and a man shrouded in mystery, but the truth seems to be that he is just a sadistic character. His story is an interesting one because this psychopath anime character how enjoys his crimes.
1. Madara Uchiha from Naurto Shippuden
Madara Uchiha is one of the most famous and successful anime villains of all time. In the Naruto series, he is overpowered, merciless, cruel, and with a macabre sense of humor that makes him even more badass.
Madara Uchiha can be incredibly egotistical, dismissive to those he thinks are weaker, and cutthroat. His desire for power takes precedence over any moral considerations and he is willing to do anything in order to achieve it. What makes him a pure evil is that he’s unwilling to admit any remorse for the harm he caused to Obito Uchiha and others or the people he killed.