While some anime villains are complex with noble intentions, there are others who are pure evil, corrupt, and without many redeeming qualities. They just want power and domination.
Indeed, sometimes an anime villain isn't fighting "for" something. Rather, they're just in the business of spreading evil, wreaking havoc, and causing senseless deaths. But that doesn't mean they're boring!
Here are our picks for the most evil anime characters who are ruthless and behave in wicked ways for entertainment, greed, power, control, or no apparent reason at all.
20. Junko Enoshima (Danganronpa)
A mere student who calls herself Ultimate Fashionista, Junko Enoshima is a founder of the terrorist organization called Ultimate Despair, an organization that brings despair to mankind.
Like any other villain, Junko causes a lot of trouble not only to other people, but also to those who are close to her. She does horrible things, including killings and bombings, and even created the so-called The Tragedy.
She did all this just to satisfy her own obsession with despair, enjoying the masterpiece of inflicting misery to the world.
19. Toichiro Suzuki (Mob Psycho 100)
Well-known for being the most powerful esper, Toichiro Suzuki founded Claw, an organization that consists of all kinds of esper all around the world. As he traveled around the world and realized no one can beat him, the idea of world domination came to mind.
He believed he was granted such power for one ultimate purpose, and his over-positive thinking led him to obsession with power, spending 20 years reserving his strength so that he can rule over the world. But in the end, his selfishness led him to his own downfall.
18. Fumito Nanahara (Blood-C)
Fumito Nanahara was introduced as the cheerful and kind owner of a coffee shop who cares for others, but later showed his true colors and motives behind his actions at the end of the series Blood-C.
Fumito was driven by the idea of how Saya Kisaragi—an Aged One who devours her own kind—would deal with a change in environment. He created an experiment specially made for Saya that turns into a disaster, killing hundreds of people trapped on an isolated island.
17. Bondrewd (Made in Abyss)
Bondrewd, who is known as "Lord of Dawn," has the ill intent of using humans for his research. He's a man that shows sincerity and care for children, but only sees them as material for his experiments.
He purposely raises children to be used in his research and tests so he can learn about the effects of the abyss on the human body. He doesn't care whether the children go back alive, crumpled, or disfigured, as long as he gains information for his research about the abyss.
16. Deus Ex Machina (The Future Diary)
Deus Ex Machina is the God of Time and Space. He has the ability to manipulate cause and effect. As he was waiting for his forthcoming death, he created a Survival Game to find his successor.
To keep himself entertained, he chose "interesting" participants for the Survival Game that would make the game fun for him to watch. Though he showed fondness and kindness toward them, the game is designed so that the participants must kill each other.
Without any sympathy, as the participants die one by one, he watched the game to the very end until he got himself the successor he wanted.
15. Cain Madhouse (To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts)
Cain Madhouse is a Vampire Incarnate who's also known as "The Undead King of Blood and Night." He was once a member of a military force of Incarnates. Having an immortal body, he grew bored with the world and developed a nihilistic view.
He once agreed with his friends that all Incarnates should be eliminated to make the world safe, but later killed those friends and instead let all the Incarnates be released all over the world.
Cain showed his sadistic side and even a darker nature, stating that this world has no fun and should be gone.
14. Shaiapouf (Hunter X Hunter)
Shaiapouf is one of Meruem's loyal Royal Guards and a Chimera Ant having human features and huge butterfly wings. While his king changed his mind about the hierarchy of humans and Ants, Shaiapouf disagreed always believed that Ants should be at the top of the food chain.
When Meruem lost some of his memory (especially that of Komugi), Shaiapouf tricks and betrays his own king. He hides the truth about Komugi and the king's change of heart upon meeting Komugi.
13. Hidan (Naruto Shippuden)
Hidan is an immortal member of the mercenary group Akatsuki in the Naruto Shippuden series. His main objective of killing is based upon his religion called Jashinism, which involves bringing death and destruction.
He accepts Konan's offer to join the group just to satisfy his beliefs and continue his killings, intending to spread the terrors of Jashinism.
12. Mahito (Jujutsu Kaisen)
A special grade Cursed Spirit that was spawned out of humans' hatred of one another, Mahito is a being with supernatural strength and power. He has the ability to manipulate souls and cursed energy, regenerate his detached body parts, and even perform metamorphosis.
He causes a lot of damage in the human world for his own experiments and beliefs, such as killing innocent people without hesitation to manipulate their souls. He then wants to make Itadori Yuji into Sukuna's vessel, to submit and make a Bonding Vow with Sukuna.
11. Majin Buu (Dragon Ball Z)
We're not talking about the cute and chubby Majin Buu, but the original form he had before he absorbed some of the Kais that resulted in his change of personality. The original form of Majin Buu is a short, pink humanoid with a purely evil mind.
He has no qualms about destroying every planet and wants to run wild with destruction everywhere he goes. Unlike his other versions—who patiently waited for his opponents or even made friends with humans—the original Buu just wants to destroy for no reason at all.
10. Peter Ratri (The Promised Neverland)
Peter Ratri is the current head of his clan and is in charge of the inhumane business of the Grace Field House and other plantations. These plantations produce meat for the demons—meat sourced from orphaned children who are raised only to be sent out for consumption.
He's so evil in that he doesn't want to stop his business with the demons because the money he earns is too good, and he'll do anything to eliminate threats to his income-generating plantations.
9. Johan Liebert (Monster)
Johan Liebert is the main antagonist of the Monster anime series. This man has a calm demeanor and he wears a cool guy facade in his daily life, but all of that masks his ill intentions.
He may not have flashy powers or world-shattering abilities, but his words alone are enough to make people lose their sanity and obey his bidding—to the point where he can kill others without getting himself stained with the blood of his victims.
From torturing a young boy's mind to pulling the strings behind suicide attempts, Johan Liebert is a true monster to be wary of.
8. Light Yagami (Death Note)
Light Yagami was just a smart high school student when he happened upon the mysterious Death Note. With this incredible weapon at hand, he turned into one of the greatest anime villains of all time.
Nicknamed Kira, he essentially becomes a god-like person who can kill anyone just by writing down their name and thinking of their face. He uses this ability to purge the world of criminals—his idea of true justice—but he's really just a lawless, vigilante serial killer.
While Light Yagami has noble intentions, the authorities of the world tag him as "just another murderer." And the more he uses his godly powers? The more he succumbs to wickedness and manipulation as he tries to achieve what he believes is a righteous goal.
7. All For One (My Hero Academia)
All For One is the main antagonist of My Hero Academia. He's the one who's behind the notorious League of Villains and he's the one infamously manipulating the group.
His special Quirk (also called All For One) is what allows him to be a villain who can stand against the mightiest heroes of society. Even the ones who have the One For All Quirk have a hard time dealing with him, with All Might defeating him twice but at a huge cost.
All For One has done all kinds of evil stuff throughout the series, but the worst thing has to be tainting the mind of the young Tenko Shimura and turning him into the villainous Tomura Shigaraki.
Instead of comforting him and helping him through the aftermath of his Quirk's disastrous awakening, All For One egged him on and took advantage of the young one's grief and trauma for his own purposes.
6. Alucard (Hellsing)
While Alucard is the protagonist of Hellsing, he's actually so evil that only a handful of his enemies aren't afraid of him. Whenever someone comes close to defeat, they realize the horror of facing Alucard.
Alucard is overly confident in his abilities and quite sadistic towards his enemies. His opponents not only suffer physical defeat but also emotional trauma as Alucard loves to mock and humiliate them before he consumes and/or kills them.
Sure, he might still have a bit of heart and a code of honor that he abides by, but it's his wickedly evil side that leads to his badassery and allows him to stand out as a cool main character.
5. Muzan Kibutsuji (Demon Slayer)
Muzan Kibutsuji is the evil and wicked progenitor of the demons in the series Demon Slayer. The demons he created now terrorize humanity and feed on their flesh and blood.
Muzan shows no empathy towards other beings, even the demons under his wing. He has no qualms about killing them if they fail him, and he's only willing to spare life if he can get something useful out of it.
Plus, his deathly stare! It's enough to make any demon—from normal ones to high-ranking ones—bow down before him and obey his every command. With his presence alone, he can kill anyone.
4. Father (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
At the start of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, young brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric perform the taboo act of Human Transmutation in an effort to bring their dead mother back to life.
But not everyone seeks out forbidden magic for such innocent purposes. The homunculus Father, for example, performs Human Transmutation out of a desire for power, even if it means sacrificing countless lives.
He simply wants to attain godhood and perfection, to become superior to the humans whom he deems as worthless and imperfect beings.
3. Hisoka Morow (Hunter X Hunter)
Hisoka Morow is a jester-type character in the series Hunter X Hunter, but he isn't your usual clown who brings smiles to his audience. He's a maniacal person who kills for fun, and he even allows young ones to live just so he can hunt them down later.
What makes Hisoka even more terrifying is that we can never really tell what he has in mind. Is he an ally? Or the archvillain? What are his true intentions? No one knows!
We only know one thing: when Hisoka enters the scene, you can always expect bloodshed, card play, and an insatiable lust for powerful opponents like Illumi, Killua, and Gon.
2. Lelouch vi Brittania (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion)
"To defeat evil, I must become a greater evil." That's the iconic line uttered by Lelouch vi Britannia AKA Zero.
Sure, he fights for freedom and justice against the unjust rulers who are greedy for power. However, he ended up consumed by his own power and self-righteousness, turning him into the villain of his own story.
He may have good intentions to deliver justice and help the voiceless, but the way he manipulates those around him with his Geass—the Power of Absolute Obedience—is pretty dark. He's been the cause of suicides, bloodshed, and numerous other deaths.
1. Shou Tucker (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
Shou Tucker is one of the most hated characters in anime history because he's the very worst of what a human can be.
He turned his own family into subjects for his experiments, all to save his own position. Though human transmutation is already strictly forbidden in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the fact he experiments on his own wife and daughter is downright unacceptable.
The beating he gets from Edward is nowhere near enough to pay for the wickedness he enacted on his daughter and wife.