At the bottom of every anime fan’s heart is a secret chamber that has an undying love for an anime villain. No matter how much you despise a specific antagonist, you just can’t seem to get them out of your head.
Anime villains have a way of frustrating us, making us want to shatter the screen, and getting under our skin. These anime villains, in particular, are the ones we love to hate the most.
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10. Satsuki Kiryuin (Kill La Kill)
Kill La Kill is home to some of the most powerful women in anime, and I’m not just talking about Ryuko Matoi. The main antagonist (for a major portion of the series), Satsuki Kiryuin, still leaves her distinct mark.
Who else can double as a student council president and master manipulator? None other than Satsuki Kiryuin. She’s one of Ryuko’s top rival, but her harsh demeanor, thick eyebrows, and sheer power make her especially remarkable.
9. Cell (Dragon Ball Z)
Cell is the diabolical creation of Dr. Gero—the mad scientist combined the cells of the universe’s best fighters to develop Cell’s egg. Despite resembling an insect, Cell possesses a huge amount of power.
He goes through several form changes (like most Dragon Ball characters). His final form, Perfect Cell, is his most powerful. He only increases his power by absorbing other fighters, which makes Cell even more unique of a supervillain.
8. Hisoka (Hunter x Hunter)
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Instead of killing everyone in his path, Hisoka prefers to wait.
In other words, this Hunter x Hunter villain won’t face his foe until they’ve become more powerful, which is sort of a nice thing to do. He gains an immense (and somewhat creepy) satisfaction from battling strong opponents.
Hisoka may look like a complete joke, but despite his jester-inspired appearance, he’s as dangerous of an enemy as every other character on this list.
7. Dio Brando (Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure)
Fans of Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure might want to feel bad for Dio. After all, he had a rough childhood—his alcoholic father constantly abused him.
Once Dio weasels his way into becoming Jonathan Joestar’s adopted brother, it’s clear that he has malicious intentions. He makes Jonathan’s life a living hell, as he kills not only his poor dog, but also his father.
Dio gets even more powerful after transforming into a vampire. He ends up as one of those annoying villains that never die, which somehow makes him grow on you even more.
6. Sosuke Aizen (Bleach)
Sosuke Aizen is clever, diabolical, and extremely manipulative. He initially comes off as a kind and respectable person, and is deemed trustworthy enough to assume the role as captain of the 5th Division.
However, his warm personality is nothing but a facade. He’s secretly manipulating everyone behind the scenes just to get one step ahead. Aizen’s exquisite tactics and apparent immortality make him an unforgettable villain.
5. Wrath (Full Metal Alchemist)
Wrath is introduced as part of the seven deadly homunculi. However, he’s no match for his sinful counterparts. He may look like an old man, but his speed, swordsmanship, and agility outdoes just about anyone.
Wrath doesn’t wear an eyepatch just to look cool. He uses it to conceal the Ouroboros mark on his left eye, as well as the power within it.
Wrath possesses the Ultimate Eye power, which allows him to clearly see every minute detail in front of him—this ability makes predicting and dodging his opponents’ attacks even easier.
4. Pain (Naruto Shippuden)
Nagato (Pain) isn’t all that evil of a villain, and that’s what makes him surprisingly likable. He took on the nickname of Pain after assuming a leadership role in a criminal organization called the Akatsuki.
Before he became a total villain, Pain actually strove to live in a peaceful, non-violent world. He started to get pretty fed up once his friend got killed in battle.
That’s why he decided to lead the Akatsuki and forcefully bring peace into the world—it’s a little counterintuitive, but he has overall good intentions.
3. All For One (My Hero Academia)
All For One isn’t just the Quirk that the heroic All Might and Izuku Midoriya possess—All For One is also the most powerful villain in all of My Hero Academia. He dons a black suit and a full face mask that definitely alludes to his psychotic and evil personality.
His All For One Quirk allows him to steal the Quirks of other heroes. As a result, he can combine multiple Quirks, making him almost undefeatable in battle.
The Search Quirk lets All For One keep track of up to 100 people at a time, and the Warping Quirk enables him to create liquid portals. Keep in mind that these are just a mere fraction of the unique abilities he possesses.
2. Light Yagami (Death Note)
Death Note fans are either on Team Light or Team L—there’s no in-between. Light starts out as a typical high school student, that is until a notebook falls from the sky.
Light initially has the right intentions, as he wants to eradicate the world of criminals. If you had a notebook that kills any person associated with the name you wrote, wouldn’t you want to get rid of criminals too?
I’ll admit that his killing sprees get a bit out of hand, but his resourcefulness when it comes to outsmarting L (and the whole police force) is amazing to watch.
1. Frieza (Dragon Ball Z)
When you think about anime villains, the first that comes to mind is Frieza and his iconic voice. Dragon Ball Z spends tons of episodes dragging out the epic battle between Goku and Frieza. The villain even ends up making a cameo in Dragon Ball Super!
With each transformation, Frieza gets stronger. He might look like a puny lizard when he’s introduced, but he turns into a huge challenge for Goku.
The Most Brutal Anime Series
Whether you love or hate these villains, you can’t deny that they’re some of the most iconic. Their power, intelligence, and warped personality make them unforgettable.
Want to see what a nasty villain can do? Check out the most brutal anime series of all time!
Japanese Anime & Manga Genres, Explained
We all know what fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and thriller mean. But anime and manga go beyond that, and there are all kinds of Japanese genre names that might perplex you.
Maybe you already understand what shonen and shoujo are all about. But what about isekai? What exactly does slice of life entail? What's the difference between ecchi and hentai? We've broken it down for you!
Understanding the Japanese genre names can be helpful when you want to find more anime to watch and manga to read. Download the printable PDF below and pin it on your wall so you always have a handy reference at hand: