A well-written hero can only be measured in the presence of a well-written villain. In this Best Anime Villains list we will go through the top 10 best anime villains who have done their part in the success of their respective series, from the atrocious Griffith to the swaggered Dio.
You’ll find everything you’re looking for! (The Best Anime Villains list contains obvious spoilers from a range of different series, view at your discretion)
10 Best Anime Villains List
1. Sosuke Aizen (Bleach)
Right off the bat, we have Aizen from the very highly critiqued series Bleach. Aizen served as the main villain of the series for nearly the entirety of the show, only to be dethroned by Ywach. Aizen, in his own right, was a member of the thirteen court guards and the Captain of the 5th squad.
Along with Gin Ichimaru and Tosen Kaname, he aimed to usurp the Soul King of the Soul Society and tried to create a new power imbalance with the Hogyoku.
With his Zanpakuto Kyoka Suigetsu and La Espada by his side, he seemed to be nothing short of impossible to beat for Ichigo and the gang. Everything is according to his plan.
2. Friend (20th Century Boys)
20th Century Boys is a rather underrated gem but it is one of the best Seinen works I have ever stumbled upon. This Naoki Urasawa masterpiece follows a story of a man named Kenji.
Now Kenji, in his childhood, wanted to save the world from an eminent danger. He certainly got his wish fulfilled when he crossed paths with Friend, one of Kenji’s former classmates but also a cult leader in a dystopian world.
From altering the media to straight-up manipulating his people, Friend is an absolute menace and this article is not enough to bear testimony to his various unspeakable actions and thus cement his legacy as a true evil mastermind.
3. Donquixote Doflamingo (One Piece)
Having consumed the ito-ito no mi, (string-string fruit), Doflamingo became a puppet master both figuratively and literally.
Being a former Celestian Dragon, One Piece fans had enough reason to hate him already but after his cruel actions in the kingdom of Dressrosa, it became immensely clear that he meant no good. Manipulation to Drug and weapons abuse, Doflamingo left us with no reason to like him.
With solid voice acting from Hideyuki Tanaka being the catalyst for Luffy’s growth and Gear Fourth, it is really hard to disregard Doflamingo as one of the best anime villains.
4. Dio Brando (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)
NoBest Anime Villains list consisting of villains can exist without acknowledging the classic Dio Brando, yes, he IS just that EVIL. Don’t believe me? Fine. In mere 10 minutes into the first episode of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, you will see what I am referring to.
Dio is the main villain of the series and he is so important that it cannot be emphasized enough. Even after his death, Dio continued to ruin the lives of the Joestar family, and during his menacing life, we got to witness one of the best anime fights between the Stardust Crusaders and the man himself.
He may not be the strongest one on our Best Anime Villains list today, but certainly the most well-dressed. ZA WARDO: TOKI WO TOMARE.
5. Eren Yeager (Attack On Titan)
Quite the controversial character right? But we can hopefully agree that no ‘hero’ character would try to commit worldwide genocide and that is what earned him this spot.
Attack On Titan is growing up to be one of the most successful anime series in existence and therefore it’s important to study the type of human that our main character, Eren Yeager is.
Along with Armin and Mikasa, Eren has gone through a lot in his life, from utterly despising Titans to becoming the Strongest Titan itself.
It would be wrong to address Eren as a villain because he is more of an anti-hero. In the manga, we see how Eren exterminates 80% of the entire population to protect his home, Paradis (the island of devils).
Eren is then beheaded by none other than his lover, Mikasa and giving us nothing short of a poetic dichotomy that the series and Eren deserve.
6. Johan Liebert (Monster)
If you don’t know who Johan is, there is but one thing you have to understand and it is that he is not the type of person you want to meet in a dark alley.
Johan is the product of German brainwashing which was a rather futile attempt in trying to win back their lost glory since the war. Johan was saved by Dr. Tenma and that was the beginning of the uncanny relationship between the two.
We’ve mentioned manipulators in this Best Anime Villains list before, but none of them as scary as Johan. Another invention of Naoki Urasawa’s genius and Johan is someone who will not stop until he sees the world end right before his eyes.
If pure, inhumane, and emotionlessness was a human being, then Johan would be the personification of it. There is no one on the list more deserving of being called a villain than Johan.
7. Meruem (Hunter x Hunter)
Meruem is the main antagonist of the Chimera Ant arc in Yoshihiro Togashi’s critically acclaimed series Hunter x Hunter. Meruem is the youngest and definitely, the strongest force we’ve encountered so far (in the anime at least).
Meruem could only be stopped after the reckless sacrifice of Edison Netero. The Poor Man’s Rose was the only thing that could put an end to his ruthless reign. What made him a villain? The fact that he hated humans automatically made him humanity’s greatest enemy.
His aggressive notions towards humans made him think that humans are subpar and that led to his demise. Episode 135, This Day x And x This Moment is one of the most heartbreaking and emotional moments in the entire show where Meruem and Kumogi died holding each other’s hands.
8. Light Yagami (Death Note)
Death Note is often regarded as the starter anime and that is simply because the show is so good. Our main character, Light Yagami in the beginning seems like a Spiderman-esque type of vigilante who puts criminals in their place when the law doesn’t.
But soon as Kira gains power, he also loses his sanity and became unable to rationalize between the wrong and the right. Light, towards the end of the series, turns into an egomaniacal villain himself and got himself killed. Much like Eren Yeager, Light is an anti-hero and one heck of a villain to remember.
9. Askeladd (Vinland Saga)
Askeladd is a very intriguing character and it is not possible to measure the depths of insanity and genius of someone like him. Being the descendent of Artoruis, Askeladd has the blood of a Royal Welsh in him and this is greatly shown throughout the series.
He killed Thors, Thorfinn’s father, and that led him to resent Askeladd for life, the consequences of which are still visible in Vinland Saga season 2.
Askeladd turned a docile and loving Thorfinn into a heartless killing machine. Truly evil and crafty as a devil and most certainly deserves a spot in the list of the Best Anime Villains.
10. Griffith (Berserk)
Last, but most definitely the most cunning and beautiful villain in perhaps anime history. Don’t let those curly hair fool you, for Griffith is as evil as evil can be.
The Eclipse where Griffith turns into Femto of the Godhand was just the beginning of the horrendous atrocities that he was about to commit.
Griffith sacrificed the Band of the Hawk and did utterly unspeakable things to Casca and Guts. Griffith is overambitious and cruel, a Kentaro Miura masterpiece, and someone who should be feared by all. With this, our list of the 10 Best Anime Villains comes to an end.
Writer’s Few Words
Well, this Best Anime Villains list is based solely on my experience and I can tell you with full confidence that these villains truly are all but kind.
I am a novice in this field so I request all the readers to comment on the above article as it will help me improve my skills massively. You can watch most of the anime on Crunchyroll.
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