Written by Shiggins
I've made it clear before that villains are my favourite category of every genre, as proven by past articles including the recent one listing One Piece's best and worst antagonists, but that only made me want to show love towards the other shows in my life. So without further ado, I present to you the great list of anime's most brilliant, evil and ridiculous villains ever. Enjoy... and cower before their might!
20. Medusa Gorgon (Soul Eater)
"I'm a witch. It's our job to blaspheme against God."
Let's kick off our big list with the barefoot bitch of darkness, Medusa! Best remembered by fans for running around as a little girl in a black hoodie, Medusa was by far the best antagonistic force of the Soul Eater series, both manga and anime, and the series suffered when she wasn't around. Everyone else, such as Noah, were a lot more haphazard and unfocused. Medusa kept it straight and narrow; Be a bad girl who loves science.
Fun and flirtatious, Medusa was someone you could never take down. As I said earlier, she actually had to possess the body of a young girl to keep herself from dying and she did it with zero remorse for the child. All she cares about is her own goal, and she'll send anyone to the depths of insanity to achieve it. It's a shame the series kept focusing on enemies like the boring Death God, isn't it?
19. Younger Toguro (YuYu Hakusho)
"The ability to fear your enemies is one of your strengths. It forces you to reach your potential, but you haven't been scared enough. You need some motivation, and that's why I've come here."
We don't praise Togashi's earlier work enough. The story of Yusuke and his interactions with the spirits and demons is something that has gone into the shadows over the years, but it deserves a mention every now and again. And one of the best reasons to remember it is the intimidating and cool younger half of the Toguro Brothers.
As ruthless as he is muscled, Toguro was the main antagonist of the Dark Tournament Saga, in which he was essentially the final boss that Yusuke and the gang would have to face. His demeanour is such a contrast to every other enemy of Yusuke's so far, making him a clear standout, and while he isn't the deepest of foes, he is certainly memorable. As Togashi himself said, he is the best YuYu Hakusho villain because of how "fundamentally unrestrained" he is.
18. Kumagawa Misogi (Medaka Box)
"Once again, I couldn't win."
People who read my work regularly will know I have a soft spot for Medaka Box, the stupid and surreal manga that never quite managed to catch its footing but at least managed to provide some memorable moments and characters for me. And at the centre of my weird fondness for the shonen is Kumagawa Misogi, the antagonist that literally saved the series from being cancelled.
A lover of naked aprons and manga, Kumagawa was built-up as the one person who could not be turned good, no matter what. And while he never did manage to keep that promise, he certainly was the biggest challenge for Medaka and friends, using words and tricks to manipulate everyone he came across, all for the goal of destroying a main character and to stop being a loser for once in his life. He is certainly someone you don't want to screw with.
17. Team Rocket (Pokemon)
"We're blasting off again!"
You can't have one without the two, so I'm counting all three together in this entry. The lovable failures that are arguably the most interesting Pokemon characters around, the trio of Jessie, James and Meowth make it to the 17th spot thanks to how memorable, hilarious and persistent they are in their goal to capture Ash's Pikachu so they can impress Giovanni.
What follows for the ragtag group is a lot of pain and misery as they use every scheme in the book to capture a Pokemon we all managed to catch rather easily in the games. We've seen them use blimps, hot air balloons, giant robots, submarines, angry Pokemon, disguises that give men breasts, and even a flaming Moltres... costume!
16. Donquixote Doflamingo (One Piece)
"Justice will prevail, you say? But of course it will! Whoever wins this war becomes justice!”
He wears a pink feather coat and sunglasses! That's so evil! He also murdered his own family and ruled an entire kingdom that he stole through trickery and manipulation, with his crew of ugly bastards following all his orders as he acted like a tyrant over the population of Dressrosa... but mostly, his fashion sense!
He's a cut above the rest of One Piece's gallery of rogues and demons, which is an impressive feat considering Blackbeard, Rob Lucci and many more are his competition. However, his utter ruthlessness and the evil soul that he was born with make him a standout. His power to control and create string is used to great effect, and it's surprising how such a ridiculous-looking motherfucker like this can be threatening. That's the magic of One Piece, I suppose.
15. Beelzemon (Digimon Tamers)
"Feels pretty good when ya got somethin' ta fight for! Hey! Who knew?"
He might be a bit over-the-top with his motorbike and guns and black wings and a name that is literally connected to Hell itself, but how can your inner child not adore Beelzemon? Starting out as the bratty and damaged Impmon, eventually Digivolving into the Mega Digimon monster by making a deal with the devils, Beelzemon quickly became a fan-favourite for the kids.
Beelzemon is responsible for the murder of many Digimon, including the ally Leomon, and gained quite a reputation for his horrific actions. To this day, he is still a popular monster for gamers as they have to struggle to get his winged ass on their side. He may have turned into a hero by the end of the series, but he left a mark on the franchise that no other have been able to. He made the Digimon Emperor look like a little kid in cosplay!
14. Hisoka Morow (Hunter x Hunter)
"Those eyes... that look... that spirit. I can't wait... to break you."
Fans of the fantastic Hunter x Hunter will no doubt be wondering why Meruem was not given the spot on this list, instead of the clown prince of crime. After much internal debate, it was realised that while Mereum's key moments were unbelievable in almost every way, they weren't villainous. The moments he spends as a villain were great, but Hisoka just outranks him in terms of antagonism. You can disagree and that's fair.
However, let's talk about what makes Hisoka so great instead. He's a clown, which makes him instantly evil. He's also a clown that loves staring at Gon's wee tight bum, and Gon's wee tight Nen, wanting to fight him and any other powerful foe to the death. He'll do an orgasm face at the blink of an eye, and kill you with gum-like power before you can scream in horror at how he's obviously getting an erection. Damn, he's fun.
13. Envy (Fullmetal Alchemist)
"Humans are so easy to take advantage of, lucky us."
While most readers were probably expecting the Big Bad of the series, Father, I can't deny how much of an impact the transforming gender-less homunculus Envy had on Fullmetal Alchemist and my heart. While Father may have spent a lot of time giving speeches and punishing his creations, Envy was always the one on the front lines committing the worst actions around.
From killing children to start a war, to literally taking the form of a woman so it can shoot one of the most beloved characters around, Envy never left the show for long. Every form of Envy is iconic and every action is horrid, but delightfully so. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is my favourite anime of all time, and Envy is one of the many reasons I can say that.
12. Izaya Orihara (Durarara!)
"It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious."
Easily the best antagonist of the anime, Izaya lives to be a bastard. In many ways, he is like a more insidious Kumagawa but instead of using giant screws to impale you, he'll manipulate his twin sisters for years and years until they're prepared to jam scissors into your eye. He lives to toy with lives, mocking humanity as if he was some sort of alien, and nobody truly knows what's going on in his head. Never trust the cocky cow that is Izaya.
11. Satsuki Kiryuin (Kill la Kill)
"If it means I can fulfill my ambitions, I will bare my breasts for all to see! I will do whatever it takes! For I know that my actions are utterly pure!”
The princess of the fashion family, Satsuki rules Honnōji Academy with an iron fist and a steel will! A sword in one hand, her mighty Elite Four in the other, and with her tits practically dangling out due to the weird nature of the show, Satsuki proves herself to be Kill la Kill's best villain, owning the entire first half. No mercy given to those who stand in her way.
Her ruthless behaviour as a dictator is absolutely brilliant to watch, with clear inspiration from George Orwell echoing throughout each scene. She is a motivated monster, strange and ridiculous like the rest of the series, and her battles against the protagonist are absolutely fantastic with both tension and animation at their absolute best.
10. Junko Enoshima (Danganronpa!)
“Thousands of humans falling over like dominoes... ahhh... that sight was so beautiful! I thought my brain was gonna melt..!”
Is Despair a disease, a personality disorder, or a religion? That is the question one will find themselves constantly asking as they take part in my obsession over the hit franchise known as Danganronpa. And as you watch every murder, every horrific scheme and splatter of purple blood over the tools used to smash in a person's skull or pierce a victim's skin, just remember that you have one person to blame for it all... The model!
Somehow managing to be as deadly in life as she is in death, Junko is a constant source of madness that never leaves. She keeps the atmosphere tense and the deception thick, making up plan after plan to send her victims into bouts of despair for her own amusement and pleasure. She just loves fucking with you, and it's fantastic.
9. Fate Averruncus (Negima!)
"I cannot find any meaning in erasing them, but at the same time I also have no reason not to."
I bet a lot of lists won't feature this white-haired bad boy, but that's just one of the reasons why you should come to me instead of everyone else on the internet. Main antagonist of the cult(?) classic Negima, Fate spent his time slowly taking the centre stage but managed to be thoroughly engaging and stole every scene, even when he was only acting as a mercenary for some other chick (who wore monkey suits, for some reason).
A living doll granted life to serve an immortal being, Fate is unique as he wants to save the world, rather than destroy it. He has a plan that is understandable, although still insane, and manages to place Negi Springfield, the protagonist, in a moral dilemma as he had to figure out if Fate is right. Add in the fact that Fate has his own group of harem wannabees, the power to use Earth magic, and a deep love of coffee, and you have one fine villain we can't forget.
8. Vicious (Cowboy Bebop)
"You will shed tears of scarlet"
What if your best friend owned a giant crow-mutant and ran the gang you once ran with? Well, he's
probably got a reason to kill you and is going to ensure he does so with every resource he has in his
possession. Leader of the Red Dragon crime syndicate and grey-haired sociopath, Vicious is perfect
proof of what a woman can do to you.
One of the corners of a tragic love triangle, Vicious rarely took fierce action himself. However, every time he did, it was incredible. The scene at the church is still one of my favourite showdowns in any anime, and the final battle between him and Spike has cemented itself in nerd culture for years to come. A man of few words but heavy impact, he truly was a vicious villain.
7. Zeref (Fairy Tail)
"If this world continues to reject me, then I shall reject the world."
Why can't more villains be adorable and sympathetic? We need villains that we want to cuddle and kiss and protect from the world around us, and Zeref proves my point perfectly. The dark mage that has been cursed by God since he was a child, Zeref's life has been nothing but misery and pain. It's no wonder he became evil.
His story with Mavis is surprisingly romantic and heart-warming, and I spent every second contradicting myself with him. I went from wanting to make love to his bum, to wishing this villain could be punched in the face over and over, and then back to his bum. His evil plans might not be as smart or cold as others on this list, but he's cute, sad and needs me!
6. Aizen Sousuke (Bleach)
"To trust in another is the same as to rely upon that person. Reliance is for the weak. It is of no use to
Oh Aizen, the series was never the same without you. Before Aizen, the series had been charming but
small. Nothing of note really happened, all building up to the smug prick who would one day betray the
Soul Society. His time as the villain is fantastic, full of mystery and fear as he makes all the greatest
foes of Ichigo's career tremble before his might.
Using the power of hypnosis and supremely complicated planning, Aizen trampled through the story and destroyed everything in his way. It was almost horrific how nobody could stand up to him, as the blood poured and he just smirked. His first appearance as a villain is unforgettable as well, even stopping Ichigo's theme! That's how evil he is!
5. Gilgamesh (Fate series)
"You mongrels. By our next meeting see that you've culled your numbers. Only a true hero is worthy to look upon my glorious presence."
Blonde, beautiful and badass (like me), Gilgamesh is responsible for some of the best moments in the series. He took down my favourite Fate character single-handedly, battled boring protagonist Shirou, and even posed naked because why not? Oh and he once brought out a golden fighter jet with a throne to have a motherfucking dogfight in the sky above a tentacled death monster! FUCK!
4. Orochimaru (Naruto)
"This child… intrigues me to no end!"
Some may have expected Madara or Obito, both of whom are great, but I will always turn to Orochimaru when it comes to who is the most superior Naruto foe. He makes Kaguya look even worse than she is. And there are so many reasons too. Do you love mad scientists? Laughing lunatics? Unethical bastards? Or are you just into long tongues? Whatever your fancy, he's got it.
From manipulating Sasuke for his own ends, to literally birthing a child in a messed-up experiment (in a chapter I reviewed long ago and absolutely adored), Orochimaru has a huge list of experience. He will never stop his sadism. Even in chibi form and fighting Rock Lee, Orochimaru owns the villain role and never lets go. He makes it look like an art.
3. Griffith (Berserk)
"Yes... Amongst the thousands of comrades... and the tens of thousands of enemies... there was only
one man... you were the only one... who ever made me forget my dream. I make the offering."
The rape scene.
I could leave it at that one horrific scene that is embedded in anime history, but lets go further. Unlike the other enemies on this list, Griffith spends the majority of his scenes in near-silence and carries his presence with threat and charisma. People fall before his majesty. And if you are ever in doubt of how awful he is, read or watch the Golden Age arc. Unforgettable. And truly tragic.
2. Dio Brando (Jojo's Bizarre Adventure)
I remember how much I scoffed when people told me to watch Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. I thought it was dated and basic, and ugly, but that just showed how wrong I was. After watching it however, I got quite a fascinating shock when Dio Brando entered the scene and showed me exactly how a real villain is supposed to be; A bastard!
Starting out as an arrogant human and evolving into a vampire through the power of a mask, Dio has been involved in just about every action in the bloodline of the Jojo family. Killing Jonathon's father, taking over Jonathon's body to battle against Jotaro Kujo, and even... gasp... kissing Jonathon's first girlfriend! His badass monstrosity owns every scene thanks to perfect writing and design, and I can't ever get enough of him. Kars who?
1. Frieza (Dragon Ball Z)
"I promised you, Didn't I? That I'd show you a nightmare beyond the horrors of Hell?"
Some villains work best because of their sympathetic past or their emotional connections to family. Others work best because of their evil schemes and pretentious speeches. And then... there is Frieza. The one who is regarded as anime's greatest anime villain by almost all of Japan, Frieza is the best because of just how damn evil he is.
With all the grace and swagger of a Shakespearean villain, Frieza is notorious for his actions. Killing Krillin and many Namekians in his quest for immortality, causing Goku to finally reach Super Saiyan, wiping out the Saiyans, returning in a shiny gold form... Frieza is an icon of villainy. Even to this day, he overshadows the villains of Dragon Ball and refuses to show one iota of mercy or kindness. A villain so brilliant that everyone after him has been compared to or influenced by him in some way. Frieza shaped anime to the way it is today. Or to sum it all up; he's a dick.
|Anti-Spiral (Tengen Toppen Gurren Lagann)|
|Boros (One Punch Man)|
|Femt (Blood Blockade Battlefront)|
|Grell Sutcliff (Black Butler)|
|Shishio Makoto (Ruronai Kenhin)|
Born under the stars of the Dark Gods, Shiggins owns the power of the Great Eye and is utterly magnificent in his omniscience. If you dare to discover more about someone as great as him, then go ahead. And to all my friends and family members, YOU are wrong and I should be disappointed! Not the other way round!,. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on ask.fm/shigginsishere or go to his tumblr page http://otakugajeel.tumblr.com/