Quarantine Week: The Top 10 Most Evil Anime Villains

Pure evil, that’s how we like them! In some cases, villains can be even more exciting than the heroes themselves. Something about their tragic mistakes, lamentable backgrounds, cunning personalities, seductive ways, manipulative skills, or just their downright evil behaviors, lures us in. Without them, there wouldn’t be any motion within the plot. So, here is a Top 10 list of anime’s best bad boys!

*Spoilers Ahead*

  1. 1. THE BAD: SHOU TUCKER – Full Metal Alchemist

    I wanted to start the list with this hated villain. There is nothing, and I mean nothing good to say about this character. He is far away from the primary antagonists of the series, yet he has become one of the series most depraved characters and has well earned his spot on the list due to one unforgivable act. When Ed and Alphonse Elric, the series protagonists, first meet Tucker, he’s a pleasant bookworm alchemist that lives alone with his daughter, Nina. He dedicated his studies to the research of chimera hybrid alchemy.

    However, beneath his friendly countenance lies a well of desperation. Two years before his appearance, Tucker and his family had lived in poverty. Tucker’s wife had left him, leaving him as the sole caregiver to Nina. Tucker had been pressured by his superiors to create a chimera hybrid, or else retire from his alchemy development; the reason why he commits that heart-wrenching act.

    When Ed and Alphonse discover that Tucker had managed to produce a successful illusion, they soon realize the bitter truth: Tucker transmuted his daughter’s body and soul with that of their family dog, sacrificing her to a life of agony and confusion. Shou becomes hysterical and claims that his daughter’s life was a necessity for the growth of scientific knowledge.

    Because of this act, Shou has become one of the most hateful characters in the anime world and a significant villain that remind Ed and Alphonse of their heresy. He is the depiction of what barbarous acts one is capable of committing and justifying by a supposed “greater good.”

  2. 2. NARAKU – Inuyasha

    Naraku is simply evil. You get to hate him so much that, in the end,  you love him. He touches countless lives directly and indirectly and seems to revel in being cruel, destructive, feared, and loathed. He isn’t the most powerful villain of all time, but he sure has that intellect and sensibility to pose as a good threat and back all his claims soothingly.

    In the series, it seems like he’s always in control, and all that transpires is according to his plans. He is capable of making powerful incarnations of himself and discards them when they have outlived their purpose. And even more miraculously, he is a villain that keeps improving over time, making him a problematic object to surpass those who oppose him. He forces Inuyasha, the protagonist, to keep up with his steady gain of power and agony. He is a villain that makes everyone’s lives and their pursuit of their accomplishments almost impossible.

    He’s a wonderfully terrible character.

  3. 3. FRIEZA – Dragon Ball

    Dragon Ball is a massive fandom series. It’s a heartfelt classic, so obviously Frieza had to be somewhere in this list. This villain is out of this world! No, literality. He is a galactic tyrant who governs the Planet Trade Organization and is feared by the universe because of his sadistic and brutal nature. Though, for instance, Cell and Vegeta (at first), had contributed plenty and caused a series of mayhems, Frieza is the series’ most personal and significant antagonist, being responsible for many of the series’ events, most notably Goku’s transformation into a Super Saiyan.

    Powerful as he is, this intergalactic 90’s villain is a perfect embodiment of the bad guy who wants to rule the universe and massacre humanity, just for the cheer of it.

  4. 4. HISOKA – Hunter X Hunter

    Here’s someone you don’t want to fight. A devious killer and master Nen user, Hisoka is driven by his desire to find and kill strong opponents. It doesn’t matter if they’re young children or master criminals, he’ll pursue them to the ends of the Earth. Likewise, he doesn’t care what happens to himself or others in this pursuit: mass civilian casualties, the loss of his allies, or even the loss of his limbs barely phases him, so long as he gets to fight with someone that tests his limits.

    He becomes extremely interested in the series protagonist, Gon. Gon’s potential power and awakening make Hisoka excited to battle him and eventually defeat him. Yet unlike other villains, Hisoka waits patiently for Gon’s developing strength, after all, that’s exactly what he wants.

     Incredibly intelligent, manipulative, fast and adapted to any situation, Hisoka gets a well-deserved seven on my list.

  5. 5. SHOGO MAKISHIMA – Psycho-Pass

    Set in a dystopian future: this anime pictures a society ruled by something called the Sibyl System. The Sibyl System is an advanced mechanism that scans everyone’s criminal tendencies by reading their psyche. If their “criminal trend,” indicated by numbers, is too high, they could be arrested or even killed on the spot. Since Sybil’s system psychoanalyses people, done by machines, it’s prone to have flaws.

    For instance, in episode one, a woman was sexually abused by a latent criminal. The police kill the man, and the Sybil System scans the woman. The verdict: she reads like a criminal as well. Which makes sense for us, because getting sexually violated, could very well make you have violent thoughts. However, the Sybil System does not understand this, and she’s locked away.  

    What’s interesting about Makishima is that the Sybil System doesn’t identify him. He’s the vilest human, but because of his insane composure, he can never be registered as a latent criminal. Therefore, the guns of the police officers can’t even shoot him because they’re only authorized to open fire on those read as bad guys.

    Makishima is a villain for all the horrible crimes he has done, yes. However, he’s also against the Sibyl System. He brings forth valid points of how humanity has become so dependent on technology that they have lost a significant part of their common sense and empathy towards others. He commits this heinous act in public in hopes of everyone’s criminal number rises and creates chaos in the system.

    Makishima is evil, but revolutionary, which makes him a fantastic and keen villain.

  6. 6. DONQUIXOTE DOFLAMINGO – One Piece

    Within the One-Piece world, there are honorable mentions such as: Crocodile, Enel, Black beard, and Katakuri. Doflamingo is definitely the ultimate villain. His background, lack of empathy, social power, and manipulative ways, outshines the rest of these amazingly evil characters in this pirate universe.

    Doflamingo’s power has more inclination to social status and manipulation over strength. For instance, he isn’t as strong as the marine admirals or the Yonkos, but he has managed to become one of the seven Warlords of the sea, which technically means he’s powerful. However, as mentioned before, what’s alluring of this evil character doesn’t reside on his physical strength.

    There is a social hierarchy in One Piece, where the Celestial Dragons are on top of it all. They’re just disgusting human beings that every fan hate. They’re basically the embodiment of prick nobility. Doflamingo’s father was among these people, but he was actually a good one. He saw the Celestial Dragons for what they were, scum. He was not okay with how they treated commoners, so he decided he would live among the common, and abandoned his elite status. However, the commoners hated the Celestial Dragons and took out that wrath on to Doflamingo’s father and children, being one of them Doflamingo.

    As a kid, Doflamingo hated his very existence and everybody that surrounded it. He hated the commoners and hated the Celestial Dragons, but that didn’t stop him from utilizing his nobility. Though first rejected to reclaim his status, Doflamingo kills his father for lowering them to the commoners and blamed him for the death of his mother; he manages to rise in power in time. Eventually taking over an entire country, using it as his playground… literally.

    The cruelty and fear he has shadowed and imposed on this innocent country, his lack of empathy, and devious smile, make him a jaw-dropping villain.

  7. 7. PAIN – Naruto

    Naruto has plenty of fantastic villains, but my personal favorite and the most impacting to the protagonist, Naruto, has to be Pain. No, not Orochimaru, not Obito, not OP Madara, but Pain. This is simple and complex because Naruto’s big climax was against Pain.

    When Naruto was a child, he was at the bottom of the social ladder where everyone was staying away from him, calling him names, and oppressing him just because of a sealed monster inside of him. Since Naruto lived a shadowed life, Naruto’s main goal was to become Hokage, but not because he wanted to become the strongest ninja in the world, but because he wanted to feel recognized, appreciated, and loved by others; which he had so eagerly and desperately wanted as a child.

    When Naruto fights Pain, it’s when he’s finally recognized and appreciated by everyone in Konoha, and he becomes the village’s hero.

    Having said the grand contribution of Pain in Naruto’s dream, it’s also essential to mention that Pain was also Jiraya’s pupil (Naruto’s sensei) when he was a child. Overtime, Pain followed different paths and ended up killing Jiraya. Both pupils, both children of the prophecy, fight, and Naruto, defeats him. By overcoming Pain, Naruto finally surpasses his master as well as avenges him.  

    Moreover, different from other villains, Pain originally wanted a peaceful world. He recognized that the cycle of pain, which many ninjas dictated their lives with, was horrible. For instance, so many ninjas annihilate one another out of vengeance, and that is a never-ending cycle of hate. Furthermore, Pain grew up as an orphan in the middle of a war. He witnesses the death of his parents and his best friend, which triggered him to set out on a different path. He seeks to have massive control over power and illusion, so no one kills each other out of fear Pain’s impact on Naruto’s life, his development from a war orphan to a justifiable villain due to ironic ideologies of peace makes Pain a very intriguing bad guy.

  8. 8. AIZEN SOSUKE – Bleach

    Amongst every good villain, there is always the overpowered one, and Aizen from Bleach fits this type perfectly. This villain is a betraying, lying piece of..., but we like him just like that. He’s extremely powerful, to the extent that he becomes immortal later on in the series. Able to take on nearly every Captain, Vizard, and Vice-Captain single-handedly and at the same time. Someone whose power is so beyond normal that he eventually decides to try and destroy the Soul King, aka God by himself.

    He’s a man who mastered every form of Shinigami combat, and he’s perfectly able to control all five senses of anyone who lays eyes on his sword. Practically unstoppable and unkillable. Though he gets defeated by Ichigo, the series protagonist, due to his immortality, he did not die, and he plans ever so calmly the day of his return.

  9. 9. JOHAN LIEBERT – Monster

    Not every villain has to have massive power and shoot laser beams or destroy planets, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t as remarkable. Johan Liebert is that villain. He’s so incredible—well written and unique—unlike typical villains. His weapon of choice is a simple gun, but the real deal is his astonishing manipulation. The way he breaks people psychologically and leads them to suicide is just horrible. If he wants, he can make any people do his dirty work for him by the methods of his charisma, intelligence, and words. He can inspire fear and attraction. 

    Furthermore, the events of Monster can happen in real life, so a person like Johan can possibly exist. He’s someone who could lurk around and haunt.

    Johan is the best manifestation of the word “monster.” He’s internally emotionless, a walking terror, and yet a charming and lovely human being at the same time.

  10. 10. THE WORST: YAGAMI LIGHT – ​Death Note

    Yagami Light is an average human being, who isn’t that average due to his insane intelligence and, oh yeah, his notebook. The Death Note is a notebook in which, when he writes the name of someone, that person dies. When the Death note enters his life, Light is forever changed—nothing more satisfying than seeing a character’s transformation to evilness.

    He goes from an innocent young high school student to a deceiving, manipulative genius, and cold-blooded killer. The character is written in such a way that, at the beginning of the anime, anyone who reads this character wouldn’t categorize him as evil. The later development of his cruelty makes him a great villain. He convinces himself that he’s God and that whoever disagrees with his judgment is evil. In the entire series, he believes that what he’s doing is right and righteous.

    There’s so much depth in this character, and it makes him incredible. He manipulates others into taking his side or believing in his innocence. Soon enough, he becomes a character that lacks empathy, love, and joy. His only goal in life is to be Kira, rule the world and its balance, cleanse it from all the people that he judges as criminals, and that oppose him. His extreme sagacity, deductive skills, advances intelligence, and logistics, combined with his evil demeanor and his power over humanity by the stroke of a pen on a notebook, make him a timeless anime villain.

    This type of villain is far more intense than one who is evil for the sake of being evil. Light is an unhealthy person who was given, by causality, humanity’s most influential and murderous weapon. His fall at the end of the series is a powerful moment with a strong message. A self-proclaimed God loses his immensity. He’s an intricate character with psychological detail and philosophical depth. He’s the most extreme type of sadistic and evil genius, while still seeing himself as useful.

I hope this list inspires you to watch horror-filled anime!