Top 10 (or Bottom 10, Depending How You Look at It) Anime Villains

Criteria include true creepiness, effectiveness, complexity, and capacity for destruction or at least ability to ruin The Protagonist’s life. Some effort has also been made to represent a number of different types of villains commonly found in anime. Given that the real evil is in the thousands of rapists in hentai, here’s Needcoffee’s official list–the best of the worst–the Top 10 Anime Villains:

10. Vicious—Cowboy Bebop.

Vicious from Cowboy Bebop

Very well known for a reason, Vicious was once Spike’s partner, and it is because of him that Spike’s life was shattered. A would-be leader of their crime syndicate, Vicious is smarter and more directly violent himself than a lot of the villains in anime. Old-fashioned destructiveness–plus a soupcon of maliciousness–par excellence. (Click here to Cowboy Bebop stuff from Amazon…)

9. Griffith—Berserk.

Griffith from Berserk

Because villains can be pretty, but the evil they do never is. Berserk plays at times like a Greek tragedy about the real price of hubris. Looks all sweet and innocent, doesn’t he? See, that’s how he gets you. Willing to sacrifice anyone but himself, even those he claims to love, to achieve his ambitions (which are selfish and not noble) and to fulfill his arrogance, Griffith shows just how far ego and a belief in fate can make you go. (Click here to Berserk stuff from Amazon…)

8. Rumi & Me-Mania—Perfect Blue.

Me-Mania from Perfect Blue

Given how fully Me-Mania is used and manipulated by the mad Rumi, they count as a single villain here. It’s Rumi’s insane and delusional will that make the duo the perfect representative of the criminally insane anime type. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

7. Kazuki Fuse—Jin-Roh.

Jin-Roh

Poor, poor Fuse. The society in this film could more accurately be described as the villain, but Fuse does make some interesting choices along the way. His villainy is not due to selfishness, apathy, or evil, but rather to feeling (and actually being) trapped. Forced by his culture and his “programming” to do dark things at very close range, Fuse trades his humanity for his idea of duty and his own continued life. He’s brutally, coldly, rationally effective, and there’s nothing scarier than someone who can look you in the eye and pull the trigger. Besides, as you can see from the above image, that gear is some scary shit, ain’t it? He’s especially frightening as a villain because this sort of “easy” evil happens all the time in the really-real world, and it’s not like he’s the only Wolf in the Brigade. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

6. Meier Link—Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust.

Meier Link from Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

Ah, the villain you actually feel sorry for. He’s stolen her away from her family and home! He’s a blood-drinker monster of the night! He’s killed many people! And… you really, really want him to succeed. He’s only a villain in that his goals are set against the goals of Our Hero, D, and in that he runs to the security of a truer evil, Carmila. Apparently, antagonists can be heroes, too. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

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5. Tetsuo—Akira

Tetsuo from Akira

Yes, he’s also the hero. But he’s a very tragic kind of hero who destroys an entire city and causes the death of countless citizens. Unfortunately, no one said you had to “mean it” to become a villain, or that the viewer can’t empathize with the villain. After all, having depth of character and a good past is what makes him so interesting as a character and the film about him into a classic. He cannot control his power and does not seek assistance doing so in time to contain it, causing him to become the prototypical Accidental Villain. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

4. Paladin Alexander Anderson—Hellsing

Paladin Anderson from Hellsing

Gleefully destructive and completely unwilling to use his brain or listen to reason, Alexander lives to kill, and who he wants to kill now is Our Hero, Alucard. His prejudices against the Hellsings and the Protestant English blind him and prevent him from being in any way a hero, even though he does ostensibly kill monsters most of the time. See him in action, with mad Latin skillz. (Click here to buy the title from Amazon.)

3. Akito Souma—Fruits Basket

Akito Souma from Fruits Basket

Want an emo villain who turns a sweet, funny show into a tragic angst-fest of epic and nigh-unwatchable proportions? Akito proves that having been abused yourself doesn’t give you an excuse to abuse, manipulate, and ruin the hearts, minds, and spirits of other people. Her evil is old-fashioned selfishness, and thereby all-too-real, instead of supernatural, coerced, or otherwise mitigated. You may feel a minor twinge of pity for her, but then you remember what she did to Yuki. And Kyo. And… you get the point. Akito is a vile being unworthy of the love and worship offered her. (Click here to buy Fruits Basket stuff from Amazon…)

2. Orochimaru—Naruto

Orochimaru from Naruto

Classic evil–note the snake eyes. His childhood might give you a second of pity for him, but his life will suck any more mercy right out of you. Even young, he demonstrated malice, power-lust, and a darkness that even friends and a good master couldn’t heal. He’s determined to become immortal so he can learn every jutsu in existence, and he doesn’t care what he has to destroy to get there. Evil experiments on people, betrayal, slavery, mind-control, necromancy, possession, child abuse, murder–he stops at nothing. (Click here to buy Naruto stuff from Amazon…)

1. Chief Kakuzawa—Elfen Lied

Chief Kakuzawa from Elfen Lied

He tortures children and thinks he’s right to do it. He doesn’t just excuse it because it’s what he wants; he actually thinks he’s noble and doing good. Kakuzawa is an example of the most frightening of evils–the evil we’ve seen in our own world and in our own time–the evil of thinking you’re doing the right thing, or “doing evil to do good.” On top of that, his idea of “good” is itself evil and base prejudice/racism. His staff is almost equally culpable, but at least they are free from the prejudice and want to find a cure instead of a more deadly disease. It is, incidentally, extremely hard to find any pictures of Kakuzawa at all–who wants to see him again, ever, even to make a screen-cap? (Click here to buy Elfen Lied stuff from Amazon…)

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26 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Pardon but i find the selection lacking without the wonderusly mad Mr. Gates from the anime Full metal panic : second Raid, yes FMPSR is full of love scenes and childish boy meets girl humor. But gates is as Twisted as they come, more moode swings then a pregnant woman, Necrofilia/puppetmastery and beating off to kittens, common thats got to win him some kind of prize.

  • Naraku is meh. I made the mistake of watching Elfin Lied Marathon style. I think a brighter, more innocent side of me died that day. That anime is not for the faint of heart. Anyway, Light Yagami from Deathnote out-villains all these jokers hands down. Well, I guess that depends on your perspective, as he is technically the protagonist.

  • Hi, and thanks for the pix and links. I watched the video with Father Anderson and liked the music. Better than that Carmin Burena they always use. Even though he’s speaking German in it and not Latin. [Which isn’t so odd, because in some countries not even the liturgy is in Latin now.]

  • Very informative post – adding this to RSS now. I’m also interested, what wordpress template is being used at the moment? I’d love to know where I can get a copy.

  • I believe the number 1 Villain should be Dio Brando from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure manga. Anyone who has read that manga will agree with me that there is no one worse than that guy.
    And also the list lacks Johann from Monster. But I’m guessing you haven’t read those two.

  • Those “villians” are mere kids in comparision with Johan in “Monster”! True evil! He’s an Evil Jesus, that’s enough!

  • This is quite an entertaining post; I love reading about various villains. However, the references to Akito’s gender are highly spoilerific. When reading or watching the series, one isn’t suposed to learn the truth until at least half way through.
    Just thought I’d mention it.

  • I think that Aizen from Bleach should be on that list. Not only is he evil and manipulative, but he’s also deadly and cruel.

  • Where the hell is Johan Liebert from Monster?? Those “kids” would just die in depression then commit suicide, if they met Johan.

  • number one should Johan Liebert from MONSTER!!! Evil has nothing to do with how many you’ve killed. like tetsuo you said he destroyed a city by accident, that’s not evil?

  • Harry MacDowell from Gungrave. Definitely. Anyone else in the world actually seen Gungrave? lol.

  • Ugh I stopped watching Bleach… but Aizen was the biggest villain in anime history, he gives you no reason of why he does horrible things :S.
    Freeze was funny from DBZ.

    Orochimaru? pssh I know this is 2007 old, but Madarra > Orochimaru.

  • I think not many people know about the anime called “X” from Clamp… because, for me, there is one of the best villains ever: Fuuma Monou as Kamui.

  • i would really like to see Legato from trigun on here. He might be not as bad as the other guys but in my oppinion, he is just a wicked bastard.

  • Dister: Your vote has been registered. We weren’t actually having a vote, mind you, but yours was registered all the same.

  • How about Light from Death Note? I think he deserves to be on this list as well, seeing how he pretty much became supreme ruler of the world, not to mention a very interesting character.

  • OK, so Bankotsu from Inuyasha, Luo-Lang from Sword of the stranger, and Alphard from Canaan definitely deserve a place here IMO.

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