17 Best Anime Villains Who Do Evil Right
Villains, love them, or hate them, are essential to every story. Where would the heroes be without the darkness to their light? In every anime, there are always those couple of best anime villains ready to test their wits against our heroes. Some of them are troublesome, some of them are downright ridiculous, and some of them, well, the less said about them, the better. They’re the ones that make the things that go bump in the night scared.
The anime bad guys below don’t just know how to do evil right; some of them are evil incarnate. We’ve rounded up the best anime villains who have perfected the art of evil. From mass murders to horrible experiments and worse, this is our list of the best anime villains who do evil right!
1. Sōsuke Aizen, Bleach
“You should not dwell on the betrayal that you can see. The truly terrifying betrayal is that which lies utterly hidden from your eyes, Captain Hirako.”
Our top choice for best anime villains has to be Aizen, a genius-level intellect and master manipulator who ran a long game for over 110 years without anyone noticing. For over a century, Aizen manipulated events under the noses of his Soul Society superiors without their knowing. This included engaging in dangerous experiments with manipulations Reiryoku and Reishi, and the Hollowfication of Shinigami.
While committing these atrocities, he had everyone convinced that he was a kindhearted young man who had the best of intentions. Once his betrayal of the Soul Society became known, Aizen dropped the act, revealing his true nature; a cunning, deceitful strategist fixated on his plan to recreate the world in his image.
Not only did Aizen execute one of his plans over 110 years, but he also managed to keep the Shikai ability of his weapon, Kyoka Suigetsu, hidden from everyone for that entire time. Kyoka Suigetsu can hypnotize people as soon as they lay eyes on the blade, and the only way to avoid being hypnotized is to touch the blade before the power can be activated.
As a result, Aizen has managed to hypnotize countless people over the years without anyone knowing, and has the strength to last for centuries. Aizen’s ability to keep such a powerful weapon a secret for so long while utilizing its power is noteworthy, but coupled with his elaborate master plans, he has more than earned his place on this list of best anime villains.
2. Ragyō Kiryūin, Kill la Kill
“You’d be surprised at the breadth of things that can be powered by the souls of the innocent. Fortresses, swords, my favorite chandelier.”
Raygo was never a nice person, and it was just unfortunate that she was the first person to discover the Original Life Fiber. Rather than think about all the good she could do with it, she decided to use it to dominate humanity. From then on, everything Raygo did was to benefit her mission.
She married a scientist who could further her goals and used their daughters for her experiments, infusing their DNA with life fibers. Both experiments were considered failures, and her husband managed to run away with one of her daughters.
Raygo raised her other daughter, Satsuki, to be her successor, although it was far from a loving relationship. She abused her regularly, using humiliation and domination to control and manipulate her.
Domination is all that Raygo has ever wanted, and it is the driving force behind everything she does. She has no emotional attachments to anything else, and anyone in her life is simply a means to an end. She’s a wife and mother in name only, with her husband and daughters existing simply because she needed them to further her experiments into the life fibers.
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3. The Major, Hellsing
“Countless little lives struggling and dying together, like tiny cells making up a great beast struggling towards its own elimination; seeking blood whilst spilling blood; continuously multiplying and receding; fighting with itself without end.”
The Major is the supreme commander of Millennium, a Nazi paramilitary organization whose aim is to plunge the world into a state of endless war. He first came into contact with vampires as a first lieutenant of the SS when he was placed in charge of a project to perfect an artificial vampirization process by Adolf Hitler.
While that project was shut down by Alucard and Walter Dorneaz, The Major has since busied himself with creating a Nazi army of vampires. They are the perfect weapon for Millennium to wreak chaos on the world, appealing to his mad love for war.
Like a real Nazi, the Major considers humans to be pure and above vampires, refusing the offer to become a vampire but willingly accepting the use of cybernetics to extend his life.
He is a military genius, taking over a century to plan an attack on his enemies to cause the optimal amount of carnage and pain. The Major is a ghost from another time, with a terrifying supernatural army at his beck and call. He is most definitely worthy of being on a list of the best villains in anime.
4. Sailor Galaxia, Sailor Moon
“Teamwork is a pitiful illusion! The only one you can rely on in this vast galaxy is yourself!”
Initially ranked as the strongest Sailor Senshi, Galaxia decided to stop centuries of bloody conflict by sealing Chaos in the safest place she could find; inside herself. It was an act that would ensure the safety of the entire galaxy, but it also doomed her.
Chaos began to rip her soul apart with each heartbeat and, realizing that her soul could not survive, Galaxia make the ultimate sacrifice. She released her soul seed into space, keeping it from being tainted by Chaos while she finally fell completely under Chaos’ control.
In doing so, she became the greatest enemy the galaxy had ever known, attacking and decimating worlds and civilizations to steal their star seeds. Galaxia did so without mercy, wholly consumed by her goal to control the star seeds of every planet. As a vessel for Chaos, Galaxia became the very epitome of the evil she tried to destroy.
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5. Orochimaru, Naruto
“Darkness. When everything that you know and love is taken away from you so harshly. All you can think about is anger, hatred and even revenge. And no one can save you.”
In the Second Shinobi World War, Orochimaru watched people he cared about die and vowed to learn every type of Jutsu he could find. It sounds like a noble gesture; however, to do so, he needed to obtain the DNA from each family line.
This led to him desecrating corpses and conducting illegal experiments, resulting in the deaths of innocent people. Nothing came before his search for knowledge, and Orochimaru has massacred entire clans to get their DNA.
A twisted individual with a god complex, Orochimaru has a charismatic personality that draws followers to him. However, they mean nothing to him other than a means for further his agenda, often being used as pawns or for suicide missions. He shows no remorse for his actions, unless they fail to achieve their objective.
While it is his charisma that catches people’s initial attention, it is Orochimaru’s manipulations that keep it. He may not feel anything for his followers, but he knows how to read them, promising them their dreams if they follow him. Those who are not easy to sway are controlled with a cursed seal that corrodes their body and mind, weakening them to his influence.
Some may view Orochimaru as grey, and that is precisely what makes him a master at doing evil right. He appears to be working towards a worthy cause, collecting knowledge, after experiencing the horrors of war. However, it is nothing more than the selfish goal of a cruel man who seeks to exploit others primarily for his benefit. He belongs on a list of the best anime villains.
6. Medusa Gorgon, Soul Eater
“I’m a witch. It’s our job to blaspheme against God.”
The middle child of the Gorgon sisters, Medusa’s goal is to destroy the current world to get the planet back on track. Her ultimate aim is to create a world in stasis where nothing ever changes or evolves. To reach this goal, she has been conducting terrible experiments on people, including her daughter, Crona.
It is Medusa’s acting skills that make her one of the best female anime villains. She maintained the persona of a caring nurse without anyone being none the wiser. In reality, she’s a sinister manipulator who cares for very few people, as seen by the way she tortures Crona.
She takes pleasure from causing others pain, particularly on a psychological level. While conducting experiments, Medusa would deprive her subjects of food, water, and light for days, as well as force them to commit unspeakable acts such as devouring human souls.
Everyone is a tool to be used or someone to be experimented on to further her goal of a perfect world. A mother who is capable of doing that to her only child is not just one of the best female anime villains; she’s pure evil in our book.
7. Kirei Kotomine, Fate/Stay
“You should know. Your wish will not come true unless there is a clear evil. Even if it’s not something you approve of, a hero of justice requires a villain to defeat.”
Named after a word of prayer so that he would grow up to be pure and beautiful, Kirei grew up with his father’s heavy expectations on his shoulders. As a young boy, he realized that while he was living up to those expectations, he didn’t understand his father’s notion of beautiful, and promised himself that he would try harder.
Throughout his teenage years, he suffered in turmoil as he struggled with his inability to comprehend, and believing he was a sinner by nature, he began to punish himself rather than give in to his twisted thoughts.
Unknown to Kirei and everyone else, he was born with a warped brain, which meant that he could not receive pleasure from anything he did. No matter what he did, he was incapable of feeling happiness, instead being drawn to negative emotions.
He reached out to religion desperate for a solution, but that failed him too. During the Fourth Holy Grail War, he is responsible for the Fuyuki fire that kills many, and afterward, he rounds up the remaining children to use as an energy source for Gilgamesh.
As someone unable to feel happiness, Kirei has no understanding of anything apart from pain and suffering. That is all he has ever known and the lens through which he sees the world. He has a black and white view of the world, recognizing himself as a necessary villain that exists so that the hero has someone to defeat.
That view is the backbone of his existence, explaining why God created someone like him. He’s a religious zealot, and when someone’s reason for existing ties directly with their faith, that earns them a place among the most evil anime characters.
8. Minerva Orland, Fairy Tale
“Your thoughts about me are quite right: I am manipulative, sadistic, and even what you call, a ‘cheater.’ However, don’t let that deter from the fact that I am the best, and always will be.”
Unlike other female anime villains, Minerva isn’t insane; she knows precisely who she is, what she wants, and how she is going to get it. As a result, it makes her a very arrogant and manipulative character who won’t hesitate to do what needs to be done.
That includes taking one of her own comrades hostage if it furthers her personal goals. She is loyal to the Sabertooth Guild and goes to great lengths to ensure that it remains the number one guild.
During combat events, she is callous and cruel, pushing her opponents to the point of humiliation. While others would stop and show mercy, Minerva revels in keeping her opponent trapped and continues to punish them until they are covered in bruises. Rather than showing remorse, Minerva lifted her opponent’s battered body in victory for everyone to see.
While she may not seem as dark as some of the other villains on this list, it is her loyalty to herself and her guild that earns her a place on it. Someone who has fully embraced their dark nature and isn’t afraid to admit it, while also using her comrades to further her goals, is another kind of evil altogether.
9. Father, Fullmetal Alchemist
“When you notice an insect on the ground, do you stop to consider it a fool? The life of an insect is so beneath you that it would be a waste of your time to even consider judging it. That would be an accurate summation on my feelings towards you humans.”
Working from the shadows, Father represents a chilling revelation for the protagonists of Fullmetal Alchemist when his identity is revealed.
Not only has he been working behind the scenes as the secret leader who has been building the nation of Amestris, but he is also the biological father of Edward and Alphonse Elric. He has built Amestris so that he can sacrifice its entire population and achieve his ultimate goal: godhood.
Like a god, Father manipulates everything throughout the series, placing his agents where he needs them and controlling people and events as required. Everything and everyone is a puppet for him to play with, for him to utilize to reach his goal.
He cares for none of them other than their ability to do their job. Their lives mean nothing to him and he is responsible for thousands of deaths, and would have been responsible for millions more if he had not been stopped.
Father is one of the most evil anime characters because he considered himself to be a god long before he even got close to getting his hands on such power.
10. Clementine, Overlord
“I don’t know what sort of ugly face is under that helmet of yours, but there’s no way that I, Clementine-sama — one who’s left humanity behind and stepped into the realm of heroes — could possibly lose!”
As an assassin, Clementine’s job was to kill anyone listed in her contract; however, there was nothing in the agreement about taking medals from people she’d slain as trophies and turning them into armor.
A sadistic psychopath, Clementine made the perfect assassin, and going rogue has just made her even more bloodthirsty. She doesn’t think about the consequences of her actions, killing without mercy.
She gets a thrill from inflicting pain, although it doesn’t always have to end in blood. One of her weapons is enchanted with a mind-control spell, proving that Clementine is well-prepared and that her sadism goes beyond her thirst for blood.
11. Naraku, InuYasha
“I have often heard you humans refer to this as fate or destiny. Only the weak utter such nonsense. It is different for the truly powerful: they create this so-called destiny with their own hands.”
Responsible for almost every atrocity in the InuYasha series, Naraku is a powerful shapeshifter who initially worked from the shadows. His real face was hidden beneath a baboon outfit before he possessed the young lord Kagewaki Hitomi, keeping that form.
Therefore, no one knows what Naraku looks like. Shapeshifting is a useful and terrifying ability for a master manipulator, and Naraku used it wisely to spread chaos and gain the upper hand whenever he could.
A power-hungry narcissist, Naraku is driven by pure greed for power and dominance over others. He will do whatever is necessary to achieve those goals, including purging himself of his humanity to gain power and immortality.
He goes out of his way to cause others misery, enjoying their suffering. He also takes specific delight in destroying the lives and bonds of others, as he cannot understand them. Overall, Naraku’s goal is to seek power, but he takes sadistic pleasure in ensuring that others suffer every step of the way.
12. Seryu Ubiquitous, Akame Ga Kill!
“There will always be a gray area, and that is where judgement will start. The judgement between mercy or death, and I will be the one who delivers that judgement. That is my concept of justice. Because, I am my own justice.”
Seryu Ubiquitous grew up on the wrong side of good and evil, and as a result, has a completely warped sense of justice. Both her father and mentor died at the hands of revolutionaries, and as a result, she has dedicated her life to avenging them, seeking justice for their deaths.
Unfortunately, she’s fighting on the wrong side, making her one of the major villains in the series Akame Ga Kill! As far as Seryu is concerned, she exists to hand out justice, and her view of the world is entirely black and white; the corrupt Empire is always right, and anyone who stands against it is wrong.
As a result, she does not think beyond that ideology and has been known to murder an entire group of prisoners before her allies could interrogate them for information. She doesn’t comprehend the point of such things, and she kills without mercy.
If she’s sent on a mission to capture someone alive, it’s a given that she’ll defy those orders and kill them. Absolutely nothing, even her loyalty to the Empire, goes before her commitment to justice. That is what makes her so evil.
13. Nobuyuki Sugou, Sword Art Online
“Do not forget, my dear, that I am the king of this world. Your consent is strictly a courtesy.”
The former Director of the research institute of RECTO Progress Inc, Nobuyuki Sugou, is the worst type of villain. A remorseless predator, he is responsible for trapping the minds of three hundred players, including his fiancé Asuna, in ALfheim Online, all in the name of ‘science.’
In the game, he adopted the persona of the all-powerful Fairy King Oberon, keeping Asuna trapped in a birdcage. In real life, he had successfully hidden his true colors from Asuna’s father, being selected to marry her despite having sexually harassed her on several occasions.
He does so again in front of Kiritio, enjoying the pain he causes both of them. While her mind is trapped in the game, he makes plans to arrange their wedding despite her being unconscious.
Nobuyuki’s machinations are all built around maintaining an air of superiority and innocence. As he visits his unconscious fiancé in the hospital, he wears the facade of the soft-spoken businessman concerned for her well-being, all the while being the reason for her condition.
This speaks to the cold and callous nature of Nobuyuki, as well as the delight he gets from the ongoing deceit.
14. Yuno Gasai, Future Diary
“Don’t worry, Yuki. It’ll be okay. Yuno’s here to protect you. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep you safe, because that’s how much I love you.”
Yuno is the tragic and psychotic anti-heroine of Future Diary, and the second owner of the diary in the Survival Game. She is the owner of the ‘Yukiteru Diary/Diary of Future Love’ and has developed a massive crush on her friend Yuki.
Due to a childhood of abuse and neglect, Yuno developed a psychotic identity to protect herself, and her darker side is not afraid of doing anything to keep her and Yuno safe – including killing anyone that gets in her way.
The most dangerous thing about Yuno is that she’s completely insane and delusional. Her way of keeping people she cares about safe comes with a promise of killing anyone who threatens that safety, which means she’s the one you never see coming. Her motives are entirely her own, unpredictable, and she lives by a code that makes sense to no one but her.
15. Adam Taurus, RWBY
“What you want is impossible! But I understand because all I want is you, Blake. And as I set out upon this world and deliver the justice mankind so greatly deserves, I will make it my mission to destroy everything you love. Starting with her.”
Obsession is what propelled this villain down his dark path, starting with his ideas of making the world a better place. Once described as the embodiment of justice itself, Adam Taurus’ obsession went beyond passion, and his vision of a perfect world was one without humans.
His journey to a villain was a gradual one, beginning with a few “accidental” human deaths on missions before White Fang fully became an extremist organization with Adam as its leader.
As a zealot, Adam was a cruel, embittered figure unleashing his pain on the world for what it had done to him. His obsession with faunas to rule and enslave humanity is rivaled only by his passion to punish Blake for her betrayal of him and White Fang.
His need to punish Blake often interferes with his duty as the leader of White Fang, and Adam puts the entire organization at risk when he impulsively orders the assassination of her parents. When he encounters Blake in battle, he hurls abuse at her, taking sadistic delight in taunting her with memories from their time together.
His obsession makes him an extremely dangerous villain, and more than once, he has proven that he would rather die than admit defeat.
16. Kaguya Ōtsutsuki, Naruto
“This place… this earth is my precious nursery. I cannot allow you to damage it anymore… Let us end this battle. … Here… I shall erase you all from existence right now.”
As the overall villain of the Naruto franchise, Princess Kaguya Ōtsutsuki is responsible for all the conflict throughout the series. She was the first being to wield a chakra after consuming the fruit of the God Tree, later becoming a powerful goddess to save her world. Unfortunately, her desire to do so turned her into a power-hungry tyrant.
While Naruto was able to sympathize with and understand the other enemies he battled, Kaguya is the one exception. She is utterly devoid of any emotion and humanity, and this is what makes her one of the best anime villains. The once caring soul became stern and cruel, rising above everyone and not acknowledging those who she considers far beneath her.
Kaguya’s god complex developed to the point where she found herself to be the only one fit to rule the world. Dismissing humanity as unworthy of their freedom, she plans to turn them into monster-slaves so that she has complete control over them.
She’s an example of “mother knows best” taken to its most toxic conclusion, and that doesn’t make her just genuinely evil, but also terrifying because a mother will do anything for their children.
17. Kyubey, Madoka Magicka
“Not necessarily. I did make it perfectly clear I wanted you to become Magical Girls. I just didn’t explain the exact form you’d be taking to do that is all.”
Kyubey is one of the worst kinds of villains, luring young girls to sign their souls away behind the facade of an adorable creature. He does this by offering to make their wish to become magical girls come true.
His true goal is to collect the emotional energy of the magical girls, and he does this by luring them to their death in Mitakihara Town. As a result, when a powerful witch threatens their home, the magical girls must choose between making a contract with Kyubey or letting it be destroyed.
If that wasn’t enough to win him a spot on our list of best anime villains, he’s also a master manipulator. From his appearance to the way he manipulates girls into making a contract with him, he makes himself appear innocent.
When questioned about the deal, he argues that he did nothing wrong, gaslighting the magical girls by saying that he didn’t have to explain the exact details. He did what he said he would do, implying that it was their mistake that they didn’t ask for more information.
You’ve made it to the end of our list of best anime villains who do evil right. Some of them are masterminds, many of them are completely insane, and others are just pure evil.
What did you think? Is our best anime villains of all time list complete or did we miss some? Let us know in the comments, as we’d love to hear your suggestions!
As a child of the 80s and 90s, my journey into geekdom was fuelled by warrior princesses, NeverEnding Stories, magical creatures, sword fights, and people going off on adventures. Nothing much has changed really!
I’ve always been drawn to stories, and my two great loves are Star Wars and World of Warcraft. I fall in love with fandoms easily, devouring everything I can get my hands on including games, spin-offs, and extra material. As a huge animal lover, I’m constantly asking my fiance if I can adopt every cute fantasy creature I come across. Although we already have two cats, Milo and George, I would quite happily have many more – even a zoo if I was allowed!
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