My Hero Academia did a great job building up the heroes—and the aspiring heroes—in its story. From their senses of justice to their strengths and weaknesses, they're fully explored in many ways.
But its not just the heroes who are fleshed-out. In fact, some might even say that the villains of My Hero Academia are the best characters, who shine with depth and make us want more with every scene.
These villains aren't always outright evil and one-dimensional. Some of them have noble intentions but are misguided, while others possess a sense of justice that isn't compatible with societal acceptance.
Here are the best villains in My Hero Academia, who are captivating to watch on screen as they make lives difficult for our heroes and deepen the story as their narratives intersect throughout.
10. Kendo Rappa
Kendo Rappa is one of Shie Hassaikai's Eight Bullets. He's a bloodthirsty individual who only wants to fight endlessly and win all the time.
His Quirk is called Strongarm, which allows him to throw extremely strong punches—and his attacks are so strong that he even broke Red Riot's Hardening defense and thinned down Fat Gum's huge body.
What makes him earn a spot on this list is his code of honor: he only fights alone and never accepts aid from Hekiji Tengai's Quirk, Barrier.
Even if his screen time is a bit short-lived, we can't help but admire Kendo Rappa's sportsmanship and pride as a fighter.
9. Gentle Criminal
While most villains are violent, Danjuro Tobita—more commonly known as Gentle Criminal—doesn't resort to harming others. Instead, he seeks fame and only commits crimes to be remembered by society.
He's a villain who records his own crimes and uploads them to the internet, which causes him to become a celebrity "influencer." His partner in crime is Manami Aiba, who's an avid fan of his.
Gentle Criminal's Quirk is called Elasticity, which allows him to grant elastic properties to anything he touches. He can do things like making solid steel bars flexible and turning a surface into a trampoline-like membrane to be used as an escape platform.
When enhanced with Aiba's Quirk called Love, he gains even more power that allows him to pin down Izuku during their clash.
8. Dr. Kyudai Garaki
Every great team includes someone who's adept in medical and scientific know-how. For the League of Villains, that's Dr. Kyudai Garaki.
Dr. Garaki is a secretive individual who blends in with the community and only makes contact with the League when his services are truly needed.
That said, he's still a loyal underling of All for One, and he attended to All for One's recovery after his first defeat by All Might.
Dr. Garaki is also responsible for the creation of the Nomus, who are modified human beings that exceed normal human capabilities and have the potential to match All Might or Endeavor in one-on-one battles.
The movie My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising features the villain Nine, a character who possesses multiple Quirks. He's a product of sinister experiments that aimed to create another All for One.
Nine possesses a weaker version of the All for One Quirk, which only allows him to steal and store a limited number of Quirks. Despite it being weaker, it's still powerful—for example, Nine is still able to manipulate the weather and nearly destroy an entire island, alone.
He's such a strong villain that he forced rivals Izuku Midoriya and Katsuki Bakugo to work together toward his defeat.
Their fight even reached a point where Izuku sacrificed his own dream and gave up his Quirk (One for All) by passing it on to Bakugo, all for the sake of defeating the rampaging Nine.
Kai Chisaki was the leader of the Shie Hassaikai before it was defeated by the Pro Heroes (with the help of the League of Villains from the shadows). All he wanted was for his group to rise in society.
He planned to remove Quirks using "Quirk-erasing bullets," and then sell drugs that would restore those Quirks to his victims. It's quite a sinister and inhumane plan, and he used the young Eri as his guinea pig.
Overhaul is named for his Quirk—also called Overhaul—which allows him to disintegrate anything or anyone through touch alone, making him one of the scariest villains to go up against.
Dabi has a darkly interesting backstory that leads him down a villainous path. His fire-based Quirk shows his relationship with Endeavor and Shoto, which remained a big mystery in the early parts of the series.
His minor appearances in the early arcs made impactful developments on his character, but it was his ultimate revelation—about his lineage and who he really is—that delivered a huge moment of vengeance.
4. The Nomus
Though they seem to have low IQs, the Nomus are tough and powerful. They're products of Dr. Garaki's experiments that involve corpses being modified and imbued with multiple Quirks.
Several Nomus play crucial roles in the narrative, including the first one that was introduced during the USJ infiltration. That one was built to match All Might using Shock Absorption and Regeneration Quirks.
Nomus that have higher intellect are known as High-End Nomus, which include Kurogiri, Hood, and the ones Mirko and the rest of the Pro Heroes encountered in the lab.
3. All for One
All for One is one of the strongest characters in My Hero Academia with his terrifying Quirk—also called All for One—that allows him to steal other people's Quirks for personal use or to pass on to others.
He has acquired tons of stolen Quirks, which he uses to wreak havoc, disrupt justice, and sow chaos throughout society. He's always behind every move the League of Villains makes.
All for One is every hero's worst nightmare, as he's adept with so many Quirks. He knows the weakness to every Quirk, like how he knew that surprise attacks are the best counter to Mirio's Permeation Quirk.
His greatest feat? Simply surviving every clash with All Might—which alone would make him a contender for best villains of the series—but also driving the No. 1 hero to the brink of death.
2. Tomura Shigaraki
Although All for One is really behind every operation of the League of Villains, we admire Tomura Shigaraki more as a villain. He's got the poise, the creepy calmness, and the will to destroy everything—and his Quirk (Decay) perfectly fits his desire.
Right up to the very end, he remained the best villain: born of a heartbreaking disaster, nurtured by the most sinister being, and forever changed by body modifications that made him no longer human.
Even when his Quirk is nullified, he still has tremendous physical strength that's able to match Pro Heroes who still have active Quirks.
Far beyond the other villains of My Hero Academia, Stain harbors deep hatred and resentment towards heroes, whom he believes only pursue fame and personal riches rather than true justice.
In fact, there's only one hero that Stain accepts, and that's All Might. To him, All Might is the only one who's a true hero to society.
Because of his ideology, Stain hunts and kills Pro Heroes who don't fit his ideals of a true hero, thus earning him the name "Hero Killer."
Although he hates heroes, Stain also despises criminals and villains, especially those who enact senseless violence. He even went up against Tomura Shigaraki when he was recruited to the League.
His Quirk is called Bloodcurdle, which allows him to paralyze anyone after ingesting even a drop of their blood. His Quirk perfectly matches his incredible fighting style and his set of bladed weapons.