Top Five Anime Villains

Hello friendos and dears!

Everyone loves a villain. Some people hate to admit it, but it’s true. We love to see people do the messed-up things we consider doing on a regular basis. We love to see someone wear stylish clothes and give long stupid monologues about their own greatness. Anime is no different. Anime villains are like supervillains if supervillains gave even less of a shit about right or wrong. That’s right, everyone. It’s time for the flipside of the anime protagonist list. Here at the blog, we cover both sides of the coin. This house stans villains. This El-Listicle ™ is an elaborate love-letter to the worst of the worst. Welcome to:

*Here here Be Spoilers*

  • Source: Trigun
    • Synopsis: A space western following the adventures of Vash the Stampede, a man falsely thought of as being a mass murderer, and the enemies who seek to capture him and obtain his massive bounty…as well as stopping the machinations of his evil twin brother, Millions Knives, and his brother’s powerful psychic servant, Legato Bluesummers
  • Trauma-Rama: Childhood sexual abuse, sexual slavery, murder, body modification
  • Childhood in twenty words or less: Space-western town’s personal sex slave before the age of 12, adopted by the evil twin
  • Adulthood in twenty words or less: Emotionless killer bent on destroying human life, especially the good twin, blows shit up with his mind
  • Why they’re deplorable: Legato is cool as hell. He survived a horrible, horrible childhood because Vash the Stampede’s evil twin, Millions Knives, blew up the town he lived in where he was a sex slave. Legato started following him around because he had no one else. Now, he’s a psychic killer, using his mind to ruin everyone’s day. He hates Vash for…reasons. He just hates the guy because the evil twin hates him, and he wants to corrupt him and force Vash to admit that he’s just as bad as everyone else…he’s a turbo pessimist with the powers to back up his drive to be the ultimate Debbie Downer. He’s not the main big bad, but he’s one of the better villains Vash fights during the series.
  • Crowning moment of evil: Killing everyone in a bar with his mind powers because he ran into some slavers. Just a bit of a chip on his shoulder.

  • Source: Devilman (and it’s many, many incarnations)
    • Synopsis: A teenage boy becomes a demon-powered superhero to fight other demons at the behest of his best friend, who is secretly Satan
  • Trauma-Rama: Literally being Satan, dead father (before he remembers that he is literally Satan)
  • Childhood in twenty words or less:
    • (As Satan) Screw you Dad, I’m going to rule in hell
    • (As Ryo) Awkward archeological digs with his distant Dad
  • Adulthood/Adolescence in twenty words or less:
    • (As Satan) You can’t friendzone the devil
    • (As Ryo) In love with his stupid best friend (yes it’s canon, don’t @ me), big guns, and killing demons
  • Why they’re deplorable: Ryo is almost cheating. He isn’t the antagonist until the end of the series, and it’s not a stab in the back like the next entry on this list because he’s so creepy the whole damn show! His hoe/foe-yay with Akira is actually canon, and the yaoi fan-critter in me rejoiced. So, at the start, you think he’s a strange guy who’s discovered the true threat of demons and needs his pure-hearted best friend Akira to become Devilman to help him stop them. And then, he gradually realizes that he is the literal devil and he uses the magic of television to incite fear of demons in the human world…and then take it over, because why rule in hell when you can also take Earth? Checkmate. Honestly, Devilman is so bonkers and batshit that I can’t help but love it, and Ryo.
  • Crowning moment of evil: Aside from literally being Satan? This video. Just…this video
  • Source: Berserk
    • Synopsis: Griffith has a dream, and that dream is to have his own kingdom. He assembles a band of mercenaries known as the Band of the Hawk and fights and wins a war before falling from grace, becoming the literal worse person ever (he’s actually worse than the literal devil, who’s already on this mcfricking list) and then coming back from the dead with miraculous powers like an evil version of Jesus
  • Trauma-Rama: Loss of parents, war, engaging in sex work for war funds
  • Childhood in twenty words or less: Tiny fluffy orphan gets given freaky-deaky necklace and decides to become king of everything
  • Adulthood in twenty words or less: Asshole bird-man with a god complex who did everything wrong
  • Why they’re deplorable: Griffith is…you fall in love with this stupid bird bastard in the beginning of Berserk, and then he goes and betrays Guts and ruins everything for everyone and becomes Femto, member of the Godhand, and then he becomes Griffith again, commander of a monster army, and I want to kick him in the dick until he pees blood. I cannot stress this enough. Even knowing that Griffith turning evil, raping Casca and torturing Guts was coming, I still fell in love with Griffith and I was dreading the Eclipse with every fiber of my being. He makes you empathize with him before he betrays the audience. I can’t imagine reading or watching Berserk when it was first coming out, because that would have devastated fans. I have so much I could say about Griffith, so I should shut up and let you continue reading.
  • Crowning moment of evil: The eclipse. Just…the eclipse.
  • Source: Fate Zero, Fate Stay Night, Fate Grand Order
    • Synopsis: Historical figures (aka heroic spirits) are summoned as “servants” to grand battles between mages to fight to the death to obtain the holy grail, a magical wish-granting device. In the mobile game Fate Grand Order, one mage is tasked with saving the world with the help of a bunch of “servants”.
  • Trauma-Rama: Losing his best and only friend
  • Childhood in twenty words or less: Unsure—not discussed in the shows, not sure if the Child Gilgamesh servant is accurate (this is in the mobile game Fate Grand Order)
  • Adulthood in twenty words or less: I’m the King, bitches, and everyone who disagrees is getting hit in the head with my fanciest shit
  • Why they’re deplorable: Gilgamesh is an amoral demigod summoned as a “heroic spirit” to fight in Holy Grail wars. But he doesn’t want the grail for it’s awesome wish-granting powers. He wants it because it’s shiny and he likes treasure. That’s really it, at first. Then he wants to take over the world, which is also in character, because the world is also shiny. He’s just so self-assured of his own greatness that you both a) love watching his arrogant ass prance all over the screen and b) can’t wait for him to get his comeuppance. He’s such a bastard. The golden, crowning standard that all bastards strive to be.
  • Crowning moment of evil: Ripping the heart out of a child. Yes. That happened.

  • Source: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
    • Synopsis: A family of extremely muscular men with implausible superpowers fight vampires using magic sunlight punches and magic punch ghosts
  • Trauma-Rama: Child abuse, death of parents
  • Childhood in twenty words or less: Smart kid living in the slums with an abusive alcoholic father, sure hope nothing happens to him…
  • Adolescence in twenty words or less (bonus!): I’m going to end this man’s whole childhood by kicking dogs and kissing girls
  • Adulthood in twenty words or less: Turbo-bisexual vampire with an irrational hatred of shirts and other clothes that make sense
  • Why they’re deplorable: I truly saved the best (worst?) for last. DIO (and yes, you can only write it in caps lock) is the most meme-able anime villain of all time. Astute readers might notice that there is in fact a DIO meme starting off this post. He’s so bat-shit evil, and has such a good time doing it, that you just can’t help but watch. He manipulates everyone into hating his foster brother, kills his dog, forcibly kisses his girlfriend, and then acts like a whiny bitch when JoJo whoops his ass. And that’s just the first two episodes! DIO becomes a vampire and then turns his evil up to eleven, killing people, making zombies, kidnapping children…and then tops it off by stealing Jonathan’s body in front of his foster brother’s new wife. On his honeymoon. Despicable. He returns for part three as a vampire cult-leader with an army of trained stand users bent on destroying the Joestar bloodline. And he refuses to wear a shirt. I think he comes back in part six, but I haven’t read it yet so I don’t know what he does in it. He doesn’t give a shit about anyone but himself, and revels in how selfish and evil he is. DIO is an incredible adversary, and there’s never a dull moment with DIO around.
  • Crowning moment of evil: All of it. Just…all of it.

Who is your favourite anime villain? What makes a great villain? Do you want to see more anime-related posts? Let me know down below!

With malicious, memeable intent,

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Elka Scott writes short and novel-length fiction as well as poetry. She studied creative writing and psychology at university and is currently working to become a creative writing therapist. Elka lives in Saskatchewan and recently received a grant from the Saskatchewan Arts Board to write her first graphic novel.

4 thoughts on “Top Five Anime Villains”

  1. Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes I LOVE LEGATO. Such a bitch. Amazing. 👌

    I also love Vicious and Vincent Volaju from Cowboy Bebop, and Sesshomaru from Inuyasha. And really any villain with long silver hair. 😂


    1. Yay! Another Legato fan! I love him so much.

      I haven’t watched Cowboy Bebop and Inuyasha yet. I know it’s kind of bad to like anime and not have seen those shows, but I’ll get there. I also dig long silver-haired villains, so they both will move up a couple spots on the “to watch” list.


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