The 11 Most Evil Villains In Anime

The 11 Most Evil Villains In Anime

Do you think Skeletor, the Joker, Megatron and Lex Luthor have the market cornered on evil? Not so fast. The world of manga and anime is just as full of villains as Western comics and cartoons are, and they’re no slouches in the murder and depravity departments. Here are 11 anime and manga villain you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley… or a well-lit one, for that matter.

1) Light, Death Note

Young Light Yagami only wanted to help the world when he found the Death Note, a magical notebook that would kill anyone whose name he wrote in it, in the manner he described it. He used it to kill criminals who escaped justice or were in the middle of their schemes… and then he just started killing all the worst criminals, even if they were already in jail. And then he killed a detective who had stumbled onto his secret — in order, he told himself, to serve the greater good. That was a first step on a slippery slope to eventually killing everyone he decided was a criminal, regardless of what the law said, as well as anyone who tried to stop him. By the time he was eventually caught, he had murdered thousands.

2) Father, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

The antagonist of the original Fullmetal Alchemist manga and the second anime Brotherhood bears a striking resemblance to protagonists Ed and Alphonse Elric’s father Van Hohenheim, but he’s quite different. Mainly in that he is willing to kill the citizens of whole cities and even entire countries in order to advance his own power, and that he succeeds in both, killing millions. The reason why he does the former is to free himself from the flask he was trapped in, which is kind of understandable, but the country sacrifice was simply to absorb the power of God, which is a feat as arrogant as it is evil, and it’s pretty evil. Oh, and he’s more than willing to kill his own children, the Homunculi, in order to achieve his ends. However, he’s only one of FMA‘s many horrible fathers, as you’ll see….

3) Johan Liebert, Monster

If you’re the bad guy in a manga series titled Monster, chances are you’re going to be something special. And Johan Liebert is — he’s a serial killer that would make Hannibal Lector step back and say “whoa.” He killed his adoptive family, he killed the co-workers of the surgeon who saved his life, he even managed to talk all the students and instructors of a secret Germany military training program into killing each other. And then, after the surgery, he really got busy murdering people. He was actually a leader of sorts for Europe’s serial killers, who did his bidding even as he occasionally killed them (which, to be fair, kind of goes with the job description). He’s actually so evil and murderous that a Neo-Nazi party tried to get him to become the new Adolf Hitler — which wassn’t Johan’s style so he massacred most of them so they’d leave him alone. When people are asking you to be Hitler 2,0, you know you’re a bad dude.

4) Majin Buu, Dragonball Z

Majin Buu isn’t one of those villains with a dark soul, or some twisted upbringing, or who has some nefarious plan for his own advancement or revenge. He’s just a pink arsehole with a lot of power, such as when he kills everybody on the planet with a single martial arts move. Seriously, he raises his arm, performs the “Human Extinction Attack,” and all seven billion of Earth’s inhabitants are dead. For no real gain. Just to be a dick.

5) Griffith, Berserk

It can be difficult when a friend leaves, especially when that friend is also a co-worker. Suffice it to say, Griffith did not take it well when Guts left his mercenary group the Band of the Hawk. How bad? Well, later, after Guts had come back to rescue him several times, he sacrificed the rest of his Band in order to become a powerful demon named the God Hand, and the first thing he did was rape Guts’ pregnant lover Casca right in front of him, so horrifyingly that the baby ended up deformed. What Griffith’s evil lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in total wretchedness.

6) Diva, Blood+

Speaking of horrible violent sex acts, Diva — the fellow Chiropteran Queen sister of Blood+‘s protagonist Saya — came so close to killing her adopted brother Riku that Saya was forced to make him her Chevalier, which is like a nice version of turning him into a Thrall (not the worst fate in the world, but something you wouldn’t wish on a family member). But Riku’s half-life was destined to be short, as he was soon captured by Diva, raped, and then completely killed. To be fair, while Saya was raised by a loving adoptive family Diva was kept locked in a tower and psychologically tortured, but still, not cool. Anyways, Diva also killed a bunch of more people, many of them Saya’s friends, before trying to turn the entire world into her Chiropteran monster pawns through an opera performance (don’t ask).

7) Naraku, Inuyasha

Naraku might not be the evilest villain on this list, but he’s possibly the most annoying. While other bad guys will just cut right to the killing and destroying, Naraku will bleed you to death with a million super-obnoxious paper cuts, and make sure to constantly be gone before you can catch him. His whole plan in Inuyasha was to collect the pieces of the demon shard, but he did it it the most dickish, least effective ways possible, as if all he really cared about was making Inuyasha and his friends feel shitty. He tricked Inyasha and his lover Kikyo into hating each other, he had Sango’s brother Kohaku kill their entire family, he set Inuyasha’s brother against him, and he even made multiple clones of himself in order that the Inuyasha gang could fight and defeat him every single episode and be sure to get absolutely nowhere on their obnoxiously long journey. Believe you me, there are plenty of Inuyasha fans who believe Naraku is the biggest arsehole on this list.

8) Medusa, Soul Eater

The Mummy Dearest of the anime world, Medusa turned her child Crona into a research subject. And when I say research subject, I mean, she researched how to drive him completely insane and turn into a deranged killer, and then subjected him to the necessary torture in order to do this. In fact, Medusa is so horrible to her son that after the experiment is completed, Crona murders her… which she manipulated him into doing on purpose so he would have killed everything that he had ever cared for… which is when she gets proud. And here’s the worst part — she kind of likes her son. Everyone else, she’s not so nice to…

9) Makoto Shishio, Rurouni Kenshin

Makoto seems like your standard villain — a former government assassin who gets double-crossed and set on fire but lives, then spends all his time covered in bandages determined to destroy the government and conquer the nation. You know, that old chestnut. Along the way, he’s got plenty of time to try to destroy the cities of Kyoto and Tokyo, or even just send his goons to try to kill Kenshin’s friends at the Aoi-Ya dojo. I mean, he’s evil, but this is standard villain stuff, right? Well, there are two reasons Shishio makes it to this list, both in regards to his final duel to the death with Kenshin: 1) when his lover Yumi intercedes in the fight to keep Kenshin from landing a devastating blow, Shishio uses the distraction to stab Kenshin… through Yumi’s body. 2) When that didn’t work, Shishio hated Kenshin so much that he fought until his blood evaporated. This deserves some kind of evil commemoration.

10) The Major, Hellsing

The Major is a Nazi, which is really all needs to be said. Nazis are the worst. However, the Major is evil even among Nazis, mainly because he’s really, really prepared. After fleeing Germany at the end of World War II, the Major planned for 50 years to take his revenge on England, amassing an army of vampires, monsters, war-zeppelins, and more. Not only is he good at war, he really, really enjoys it — his plan wasn’t just to begin a new 1,00-year Reich, his plan was to so fuck up the world that he could stay at war the entire time, too. He killed three million people, pretty much for kicks, and destroyed Alucard in a trick that involved him sucking up all the blood in the annihilated London. That’s… that’s pretty impressive. And evil.

11) Shou Tucker, Fullmetal Alchemist

Shou Tucker was an alchemist who didn’t kill anybody. Why is he on this list? Because in order to keep his alchemic grant money coming, and because he was tasked with researching chimera, he turned his own adorable daughter Nina and her equally adorable dog into a chimera, merging them into one hideous, pitiable monster whose life was nothing but pain and confusion and betrayal in what is still one of the saddest, most traumatic anime moments of all time. He may not have killed anybody, but he hurt every single person who watched Fullmetal Alchemist.


  • Thank you for saying Light was a villain, I’ve met a somewhat disturbingly large amount of people that saw him as a “good guy”. Also, yeah, Shou Tucker was pretty messed up, the series as a whole never really grabbed me, but that episode was pretty outstanding.

    • Light was a Hero! The weight of his responsibilities was just a little too much for him. Thank you Yagami for doing your best.

      • Light was a Hero! The weight of his responsibilities was just a little too much for him.

        Yeah, he really should have lightened up a bit.

    • While I don’t know of anyone who considers him a good guy, I think people sympathise with his initial motivation and initial results of decreasing crime. He really went off the deep end as the series progressed though. Still, he ended war across the globe which would probably be Nobel Peace Prize worthy if not for the mountains of bodies left in the process.

    • He’s the ‘hero’ of what’s essentially a greek tragedy. Man is given power by the gods, uses it to do what he thinks is good, becomes so wrapped up in his own arrogance that he falls and becomes warped, then is ultimately undone by his own hubris.

    • Eh, I’d vote for, Light. The only non-criminals he killed were people trying to stop him from killing actual criminals, so suffice to say had no ever interfered he most likely would have wiped out the penal system and then what happens afterwards would have be a different future.

      All in all though I don’t agree with the death sentence but in his case he got results and he wrote it down which means it is science 😛

  • Shou Tucker’s first “success” was apparently his wife; I don’t think that’s ever stated explicitly, but it’s heavily implied.

    So he turned his wife into a chimera to get his State Alchemist’s licence, then did the same thing to his daughter to keep that licence.

    Still, while those were thoroughly evil acts, I think some of the other names on the list were “more” evil. Tucker’s intentions were good, in a twisted way (advancing alchemy!), but some of the others caused enormous suffering and death just because they wanted to.

    My reading of Hellsing was that the primary purpose of the Major’s invasion of England was to kill Arucard. The war was basically a bonus (admittedly, a really GOOD bonus from his perspective, as he was a real fan of war for its own sake),

    Gendou Ikari (from Evangelion) probably belongs on the list; he basically destroys the world in order to recover his dead wife. (With some help from Seele, of course.)

  • > Header pic of character in the signature Gendo Ikari Pose.
    > Gendo not in the list.


    Also not Kirei from Fate/Zero? So often anime villains are megalomaniacs. That kind of cold, sadistic nihilism is far more striking.

    How about Madoka Magica’s Kyuubey?

    • I wouldn’t call Gendo evil personally, he just has motivations that aren’t revealed until the very end. A cold/selfish prick?, absolutely, evil though?, I guess I’d have to call my own father evil if that’s the case, because they are very similar in a lot of ways.

        • Instrumentality wasn’t about ending life, it was forced evolution to the LCL state to form unified consciousness. Gendo’s plan only deviated in that he didn’t care about SEELE’s ultimate goal at all, just about reuniting with his wife.

          • Yep, the Third Impact was going to happen, one way or the other. There were just too many players in that game with that same agenda. He was just another of the players wanting it to happen on his own terms. Also, if you look at the whole series, his “terms” were also what you’d expect to be humanity’s own terms: to go down with a fight and taking something out of it.

          • I personally find the notion of “Human Instrumentality” to be pretty cool, no more individuality, no fear or pain, I loved EoE so much, probably my favorite movie to date.

  • Id have to put Johan at number one, Griffith as number two and Light in third. I haven’t seen Brotherhood yet so the guy coming second is a mystery to me, but to be worse than Griffith and Johan he is going to have to be completely insane.

  • i feel like there maybe should have been a naruto villain in there somewhere, some Madara or Obito, even though he was a pawn and there was some redemption, or orochimaru or Danzo even. im not a fan boy, and i realise Naruto definitely had its flaws, but some of these people actions were truly fucked up.

  • I don’t think Shishio was a villain. He was a shrewd politician unafraid of putting his own life on the line to further his cause. The removal of key political and military assets was just par for the course and his political views were not entirely villainous, just (surprisingly) too conservative.

    The most villainous thing that can be attributed to him is the one that the article mentions, using his lover to nail Kenshin. What the article doesn’t mention is that it was her own plan. Those two had a personal arrangement (that has been explored in a short- spin-off manga) that made her death a logical step when the stakes were raised as they were. Remember that Yumi was one of his “Swords” the incredibly skilled and powerful group of martial artists that served as Shishio’s lieutenants, even though she was neither skilled or powerful. Her “Sword’s” edge was precisely dying like that, and as such she was the Sword that caused the most damage to Kenshin. And Shishio was visibly affected by her death, even if only for a second, but he hadn’t much time to reflect on it because he was facing the most skilled swordsman in the known world.

    I’m not saying that he was good, only that he was an antagonist, not a villain. The story goes out of its way to show him in a sympathetic light even after his death, when he sets off to defeat the devil himself with Yumi by his side.

  • Okay, I don’t want to be the guy who has to point it out, but seriously, you guys overlooked One Piece. Three words – Don Quixote Doflamingo. He physically forced a country’s king to slaughter a lot of his own people of whom he loved, turned most of the nation into toys making their loved ones forget they ever existed, established himself as king, killed his father when he was young, tortures his subordinates even though they look up to him on so many levels and imprisoned the natives of the land making them work in a factory.

    If that wasn’t bad enough he also decided to kill everybody on the island as soon as the hero tried to stop him. Come on, he’s worse than half the villains on this list.

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