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You know who doesn’t get enough recognition in anime? The bad guys. The antagonists that make your skin crawl or the monsters that make you so angry that they’re still alive you just want to pop into the 2D world just to kill them yourself.
That’s what I’m going to explore, I want to pick out the best of the best in terms of people we all love to hate!
10. Makoto Shishio – Rurouni Kenshin
Coming in at our number 10 spot, we have the infamous Makoto Shishio, the assassin that replaced our favorite wandering swordsman.
This man is not just evil, he’s a justifiable evil. He’s got a type of evil that only comes from the complete betrayal by his government. Not only does he survive multiple gunshots, but being doused in oil and burned alive. He spends the rest of his days after that incident in complete and utter agony.
What allows Shishio to make the list of our most despicable bad guys is what he manages to do after surviving death. He compiles an army of the best fighters Japan has to offer and plots to overthrow the entire Meiji Government. While in complete agony.
Who else can claim that? Did I also mention he’s topping the list of best fighters in the show?
His swordsmanship is second only to Kenshin himself as he proves in their fight.
9. Izaya Orihara – Durarara!!
If you think best bad guy and Izaya isn’t on your list, you haven’t seen Durarara!! yet. Izaya doesn’t even realize he’s evil, that’s what makes him great. He loves humanity; from the depths of his bones he loves us all.
This is why he makes it on our list; he does progressively more cruel acts against humans, putting people in situations that generally lead to their deaths.
He’s a master of parkour and highly skilled with his switchblade, which he generally only uses in dire situations or fights against Shizuo. In short, I love this guy. I thoroughly enjoyed the way he manages to manipulate an entire populous and this is what gains him our number 9 spot.
8. Johan Liebheart – Monster
Now, when you think about a show named Monster, you’re prepared for what you think could be everything. You’re not, believe me. Our number 8 spot is dedicated to you Mr. Liebheart, and all the crazy you have to offer.
Johan is the perfect antagonist for a show dedicated to twisting your insides. Let’s put it this way, he’s been called the next Hitler.
At a young age Johan was shot in the head and saved by Dr. Tenma. He’s spent most of his life travelling and taking different aliases why manipulating and controlling others, sometimes twisting their views and corrupting them. He kills to be the last person standing at the end of the world. No other reason than that.
The only person he truly wishes to save is his twin sister, whom he wants to stand beside him in the end of all things.
7. Medusa Gorgon – Soul Eater
What can I say about Soul Eater aside from how much I truly just deep down despise Medusa?
I mean, she subjects her daughter to torture, legitimately painful torture, emotional and psychological trauma and even poses as a good guy in the Death School’s nursing office. As if that weren’t enough, she wants to destroy the world.
She views the world as that of something in a stasis, where nothing is changing or evolving. Medusa despises this and sets out to change it all on her own (with her incredible witches powers it’s even possible for her) by resurrecting Kishin Asura (Demon God Asura).
Her ability to possess people through her snakes allows her to escape situations that would normally lead to her death as she proves in the show.
6. Giovanni (Sakaki) – Pokémon
Have you seen the first season of Pokémon? If you haven’t, you missed out on one hell of a childhood. I hated this man from the depths of my tiny little body from his first appearance.
I mean, why does he want to hurt all these wonderful Pokémon?
He’s nothing less than downright evil and rightfully deserves a spot on the list of best bad guys. This man though, I didn’t love to hate him, I wanted everyone to be happy. I just outright hated him.
His main goal is to gain more money and power, mainly through selling stolen Pokémon his evil organization manages to take from otherwise happy trainers. This man is the embodiment of corruption, and earned the number 6 spot.
5. Majin Buu – Dragonball Z
Buu evolves throughout the fight for earth’s survival, until eventually he just decides to kill every human on earth with a single move.
A single move and everyone on earth is just gone, vanished as if they never even existed at all. The bad thing is he doesn’t even have to be evil.
Buu is like a child that’s been directed to the wrong side of the tracks without any way of knowing that what he’s doing is wrong at all. You even feel bad for him at times, he didn’t deserve the path he was given, he just followed it like any child would.
This is why our number 5 spot goes to the pink bubble-man, you love him, and you hate him.
4. Kyuubey – Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica
This little cat right here, there is no redemption for this adorable little ball of hatred. If you haven’t seen Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica then you just can’t understand the pain this little alien brings to the un-expecting viewer. You read that right, alien.
Kyuubey is an alien sent to earth by his species to harvest the emotional energy of humans that directly counteracts the entropy of the universe by granting teenage girls one wish in exchange for their services fighting “witches,” former Puella Magi who gave into the grief.
What makes him evil is quite possibly his species utter lack of emotion.
There is no right or wrong, only survival of the bigger picture at the cost of whomever or whatever they deem acceptable. He takes the souls of teenage girls that are going through the highly emotional phase of puberty and places them inside of crystals.
Their bodies are replaced by durable shells, allowing the girls to fight their former comrades.
3. Orochimaru – Naruto: Shippuuden
*Sigh*. This guy. Orochimaru is leading our top 3 of best anime villains, and rightfully so. He is quite possibly the most annoying villain ever to exist, simply because of his desire for knowledge and the destruction of Konoha. To do this he wishes to acquire the Sharingan and possess Sasuke Uchiha as his new body.
Throughout the entirely of Naruto Shippuuden, he’s seen doing unspeakable atrocities, gaining followers and corrupting those he can to his side. He desires power the most, always more power.
Through his ability to possess people to gain a new body, he has the potential to live indefinitely. Plus, the guy just doesn’t die, ever.
2. Light Yagami – Death Note
My personal favorite villain of any anime comes in at number 2, Light Yagami.
Through the entire show he is the main character, everything centers on him and his possession of Ryuk’s Death Note (a Shinigami diary that kills whose name is written down, humans have certain stipulations to this effect) and his alias Kira. He uses the book to empty prisons and murder criminals, as well as those who get too close to his true identity.
While he is technically a bad guy, because of the way the show is set up you can’t help but be drawn in to his ideals, aside from the whole wanting to be God thing. But hey, to each their own right? Light is a fantastically created character and one that you can sympathize with as he only wants to make the world a better place.
1. Shou Tucker - Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Our number 1 spot is dedicated to someone very special, and quite possibly the most hated villain in recent anime history. Shou Tucker is an alchemist, and only makes a single appearance in the show that gains your undying hatred. You have to know that in order to reach the level of animosity fans everywhere have for this man in a single episode; something terribly bad had to happen. Well it did. Something worse than bad happened, this man transmuted his dog and his daughter together to create a talking chimera, which hadn’t been done before.
Throughout the episode you become emotionally invested in his daughter, who loves her father very much and does nothing but support him. She was a kind and loving girl, one who didn’t deserve the fate her father handed to her without remorse. That’s the key; he didn’t care at all what he’d done. He didn’t care that his daughter was suffering; he had no qualms with bringing her pain, all he wanted was more recognition in the world of alchemy. What’s worse is how the episode closed, but I won’t spoil that for you.
That does it for our list of the top 10 best anime villains; if there’s one you think we missed or one that you agree with, let us know in the comments section below!
Izaya Orihara, Johan Leibheart and Light Yagami were also nominated into the rankings of the Smartest Anime Characters.
You can find the rankings here!