21 Best Anime Villains of All Time

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Everybody loves a good villain. As much as we shouldn’t, resisting their conniving plans and overwhelming charisma is impossible. That’s what makes them good villains; we can’t take our eyes off them.

Today, we will examine a few of the best villains in the genre. From evil space dictators to mild-mannered scientists, this list has something for everyone. So, settle in. Things are about to get dark.

1. Goku Black

Photo Credit: Fuji Television Network.

This anime villain employs all of Goku’s strengths but none of his compassion. The main villain of the Future Trunks Saga, Goku Black, is a godlike creature who wishes to see the end of all mortal life.

Goku Black’s ruthlessness and cunning make him a formidable foe in Dragon Ball Z. Like every great villain, he has an intricate and intriguing backstory that fans love to follow. This is a perfect example of the Superman gone rogue subgenre and is an excellent addition to the Dragon Ball Saga.

2. Boros

Photo Credit: Asatsu.

This anime villain just wants a worthy opponent. Boros is the antagonist of the first season of One Punch Man. As the leader of the Dark Matter Thieves, Lord Boros has accumulated incredible power and now searches the universe for strong opponents.

However, going up against Saitama is never a good idea. His fight with One Punch Man is an epic battle, and the first time we see the hero struggle. Boros’s ability to challenge such a proficient hero makes him a compelling villain that fans adore.

3. All for One

Photo Credit: Bones.

This villain is the boss. All for One is an antagonist in the hit anime My Hero Academia. Once regarded as the greatest supervillain, he has resigned to letting others commit evil for him. All for One forms the League of Villains and causes havoc from behind the scenes.

This evil tyrant can steal other people’s powers or “Quirks.” This allows All for One to be essentially immortal and a formidable enemy. This anime villain will go down as one of the genre’s most ruthless and terrifying characters.

4. Eren Yeager

Photo Credit: Wit Studio.

This character asks how far we will go to save our loved ones. Eren Yeager is both the protagonist and antagonist of Attack on Titan. The series follows the young boy’s corruption as he tries to protect the people he loves.

Eren Yeager is a complex character who questions morality, justice, and the cost of power. His tragic backstory and ascension have captivated audiences, making him one of the best villains ever created.

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5. Frieza

Photo Credit: Bird Studios.

This character is evil for the sake of evil. Frieza is one of the most memorable evildoers from the Dragon Ball Z Universe. While most villains have a long and detailed explanation for their evil deeds, Frieza commits atrocities just to amuse himself.

Frieza is one of the most iconic antagonists in anime. His ruthless destruction and witty banter have made him an anime legend. Frieza is the archetypal anime villain that all others aspire to be.

6. The Major

Photo Credit: G.D.H.

This mad genius just wants to watch the world burn. The Major is a nazi scientist and the main antagonist in the Hellsing Ultimate anime. Before the end of the second world war, The Major was tasked by Hitler to create a brand of Nazi Zombies/Vampires for world domination.

This villain is a cold, calculating menace who wants to plunge the world into eternal darkness. What makes The Major so intriguing is his world philosophy, composed personality, and the respect he gives his opponents.

7. Muzan Kibutsuji

Photo Credit: Ufotable.

Everyone is beneath this ruthless killer. Muzan is the antagonist of the Demon Slayer franchise and wields an army of demons. His blood allows him to create demons from human hosts, and he seeks the destruction of the Demon Slaying Corps.

Muzan Kibutsuji is a wildly powerful character who is as cruel as he is fascinating. His ruthless approach to world domination has captivated the audience and is a vital aspect of the show.

8. Shogo Makishima

Photo Credit: Dentsu.

This emotional character wants to rule the world. Shogo Makishima is the main villain in the Psycho-Pass anime series. Although, many people would argue that villain may not be the correct term for a character like Shogo Makishima.

Shogo’s primary goal in the series is to liberate the people of Japan from the Sibyl System. He believes that this will allow people to live fully fleshed-out lives and allow them to prosper. However, how he invokes this change is anything but righteous.

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9. Envy

Photo Credit: Bones.

This villain is a jealous god. Envy is one of the seven Homunculi created by Father and serves as one of the villains in the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood saga. He is a cruel character who thrives on humanity’s suffering.

Envy is jealous of humanity’s ability to work together and will stop at nothing to reduce them to rubble.  His uncaring attitude and formidable strengths make him a fantastic villain that is not easily forgotten.

10. Nagato Uzumaki

Photo Credit: Pierrot.

This martial artist can control the dead. Nagota Uzumaki is one of the many antagonists in the Naruto franchise. Unable to use his original body, Nagota uses the bodies of dead people to combat his opponents.

At his heart, Nagota wants to achieve world peace. Unfortunately, he does this by using his criminal organization, the Akatsuki. Nagota is a complicated and intriguing villain who dominates every scene.

11. Yagami Light

Photo Credit: D.N. Dream Partners.

This series highlights the dangers of amorality. Yagami Light is the protagonist and antagonist of the spectacular anime Death Note. After discovering a notebook that will kill anyone whose name is put inside, Yagami sets off to make the world a better place.

However, the power of such a godlike instrument soon corrupts his ambitions. Yagami Light’s complicated relationships, twisted moral code, and eventual downfall make him stand out as one of the most interesting villains ever conceived.

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12. Griffith

Photo Credit: Netflix.

This character symbolizes the power of ambition. Griffith was once a much-loved member of the Band of Hawk. However, on his deathbed, he triggered the eclipse, wiping out his former teammates. He was then reborn as the villain of the Berserk saga, Femto.

Femto now controls an army of apostles who wield immense power. This character’s ambition and fall from grace make him a memorable addition to the list of top villains.

13. Johan Liebert

Photo Credit: Madhouse.

This villain highlights the power of influence. This dark and mischievous character comes to us from the hit anime Monster. Johan Liebert is a villain with no superpower, just a high IQ and undeniable charisma.

This makes Johan Liebert a formidable enemy, as no one suspects such a mild-mannered character to be responsible for such crimes. Johan’s ominous presence and overwhelming personality make him one of the best classic anime villains.

14. Dio

Photo Credit: David Production.

This villain is an icon. Dio Brando is the antagonist in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure universe. In the series, Dio is an unstoppable and remorseless force of evil. He is an immortal vampire hellbent on destroying humanity and anything that gets in his way.

For such a silly show, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure features one of the cruelest antagonists imaginable. As such, Dio will go down in history as one of the best villains in anime history.

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15. Askeladd

Photo Credit: Wit Studio.

This Viking struggles with his morality. Askeladd is both a remorseless killer and a loving son. He is one of the many villains in the Vinland Saga and provides the series with a nuanced look into the actions of evil men.

Aaskladd has become a fan-favorite antihero for his charisma and brilliant battle tactics. However, his relentless pursuit of his goals and ruthless tactics have led to his label as one of the strongest villains ever.

16. Meruem

Photo Credit: Madhouse.

This vile creature just wants to be perfect. Meruem is the antagonist during the fifth season of Hunter X Hunter. They are insectoid creatures that can absorb the powers of lifeforms they devour. Meruem’s is to absorb the most powerful being to become the perfect creature.

They are similar characters to Dragon Ball Z’s Cell, but they are darker and much more disturbing. Meruem is a ruthless alien lifeform that anime fans can’t get enough of. Her cunning and battle prowess make her a great anime villain to watch.

17. Naraku

Photo Credit: Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation.

This is the most vindictive villain on the list. Naraku is a villain from the Inuyasha universe, and they spend their days making the titular hero suffer as much as possible. This villain focuses on drawn-out plans that will inflict the most mental damage on his enemies.

Naraku quickly became a fan favorite for their cold, calculating approach to evil. Although they are not the strongest villain on this list, they are the most sadistic.

18. Sosuke Aizen

Photo Credit: TV Tokyo.

This antagonist tries to kill a god. Sosuke Aizen is one of the primary villains in the Bleach saga. He began as a Soul Reaper before faking his death. He now searches for a way to enter the kingdom of the Soul King to remake the world in his image.

As far as grand plans go, this one is advanced. Not content with simple world domination, Sosuke Aizen wants to become a living god and revel in the worship. This stroke of madness lands Sosuke in the top spot on the list of best anime villains.

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19. Bondrewd

Photo Credit: Kinema Citrus.

This researcher does everything in the name of science. Bondrewed is an antagonist in the hit series Made in Abyss. Although he never acts hostile or malicious to anyone, something dark lurks beneath the surface.

Bondrewd’s main appeal is that he would never allow something like ethics or human dignity to get in the way of his research. He is an emotionless machine who seeks to advance himself regardless of the cost.

20. Kyubey

Photo Credit: Aniplex.

This cuddly creature is not as adorable as it seems. At first glance, it is easy to assume that Kyubey is a magical entity that helps young girls embrace their magical powers in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. However, it is actually an entity of unimaginable horrors.

The role of Kyubey is to trick young girls into joining the ranks of despair. This villain provides an essential warning about wish fulfillment and trust. Kyubey proves that evil sometimes comes in adorable packaging.

21. Shou Tucker

Photo Credit: Bones.

This may be the most detested villain on the list. Shou Tucker is a state alchemist in the iconic Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood series. This mild-mannered scientist is soon revealed to be a despicable monster.

To maintain his status, he resorts to experimenting on his family and sacrificing them in the process. This terrible act is remembered as one of the bleakest moments of the show and lands Shou Tucker their spot on the list.

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