Without an overpowered and evil villain, the story feels incomplete. There are countless anime whose villains are more popular than the heroes. We usually think of an antagonist as useless and often question their existence. However, we forget the fact that they are the ones that bring out the best in the protagonists and push them to their limits.
Every character, be it positive or negative, hides a backstory that shapes them the way they are. Not every time a villain is wrong; he may have a different perspective. Each character teaches us lessons, and the villains teach us the most because they make us question what is right and wrong!
This list will have all such villains without whom we can’t imagine the success of the anime. So, get ready to immerse yourself in the world of the best anime villains of all time.
35. Isabella (The Promised Neverland)
Imagine someone paying with the minds of kids and treating them well, only to send them to hell! Isabella is a cruel and selfish lady who doesn’t think twice about sacrificing the kids who considered her their mother.
She just wanted to save herself from becoming the food of the monsters. This cunning lady acted to be a very kind and caring person who tried her best to look after the kids. However, her good personality is a mask to hide her true evil motives. The scariest people are not one’s direct foes but those who hide their true motives.
34. Yuno Gasai (Future Diary)
Apparently, she is a gorgeous lady, but don’t you guys mistake her for a good soul. She is one of the most evil and selfish characters on this list. No matter how much she appears to be shy and nice, this is all a facade to hide her cure and evil personality.
Most of her actions lead to the death of people, which highlights a psychotic side to her personality. One can’t blame her completely because her mother’s behaviour towards her made her this way.
Multiple things prove her psychotic and obsessive behaviour and her being a yandere. Above all, she loves Yukiteru and can’t stand any girl getting near him. For her taking the lives of such girls is nothing big!
33. Naraku (InuYasha)
The more popular the anime is, the more popular its characters are, irrespective if they are positive or negative. We all know that InuYasha is one of the most famous anime, so all its characters enjoy great fame.
Naraku is the kind of person who desires power and can go to any extreme to acquire it. He wanted the Shikon Jewel to attain unlimited power, and his greed made him evil. He doesn’t mind harming others if it can help him in his dream.
His character was mysterious from the very start of the series, and one learns about him eventually with each passing episode.
32. Makishima Shogo (Psycho Pass)
He is as cold as he appears, and please don’t be fooled by his gorgeous looks. Most villains don’t fear torturing others, so the same goes for Makishima. This guy enjoys making people suffer, which makes the viewers love to hate him.
This handsome and cold young man knows how to manipulate others and use them as a stepping stone. Those who act as a hurdle in his way receive brutality in return. He is sharp and places himself above anyone else.
31. Shishio Makoto (Rurouni Kenshin)
He is one of the cruellest characters on this list of best anime villains of all time. Three words describe him the best, and they are merciless, sadistic, and ruthless. Shishio believes in the philosophy of “Might Is Right” In fact, for him, the weaker ones have no value.
No matter how much cruelty he shows to the world, there is one person he treats differently: his lover Yumi. Like other manipulative personalities on this list, Shishio has excellent manipulative skills. This guy is impressive in swordsmanship and surprises everyone with his skills on-screen and off-screen.
30. Lucy (Elfen Lied)
Lucy has a personality disorder because of a head injury. Before the head injury, she was extremely brutal and never hesitated to take lives and torture people. She harbours extreme hatred for humans and never thinks twice about harming them.
After the head injury, she forgot everything about herself and met a couple that named her Nyu. As Nyu, she was just like a child, curious and innocent. Her split personality disorder made her character even more encouraging to watch. Lucy was inhumane and cared only about achieving her motives and nothing else!
29. Medusa Gorgon (Soul Eater)
Don’t be bewitched by her beauty; she is a witch and loves fooling people. Watching her will frustrate you to the point of hating this character; she is evil and cruel. The most pleasurable thing for her is torturing people and enjoying watching them in pain.
For her, everyone is equal, and she treats her close ones the same as she treats her foes. Medusa can’t withstand anyone creating trouble in her way or stopping her from doing what she wants to do. Therefore, she doesn’t mind killing them to remove them from her way! Her sinister aura and demeanour will terrify anyone easily!
28. Suzuki Toichiro (Mob Psyco)
Suzuki’s character is very different and a little bit complex to understand. He is a powerful and prideful man filled with arrogance. The only person that matters to him is himself and no one else.
In fact, he doesn’t even bother and has no concern for the pains and sufferings of others. What can you expect from a cold-hearted person? Suzuki isn’t even merciful to his close ones and doesn’t mind torturing his son.
He is very proud of his powers and often overestimates himself, believing he is superior and doesn’t need help. Overall, you will feel annoyed and frustrated watching him on screen, proving he is the best anime villain of all time.
27. Takasugi Shinsuke (Gintama)
He is one of those villains who aim to destroy the world and can do anything to achieve their goal. His allies and subordinates fear him and try not to anger him… because those who anger him receive death as the only punishment.
Everyone has something that changed their life, and for Takasugi, the death of his mentor changed his worldview. What do you think of a man who wants to cause destruction? Him being ruthless, merciless, and apathetic is obvious. Watching him in action is a visual treat because he is a fine swordsman and a highly skilled fighter.
26. Envy (FullMetal Alchemist)
I bet you must have guessed his character after reading his name. Just like his name, he is jealous and envious of the humans. He is full of hatred and negativity, and every bit of his actions speaks that.
A mentally stable villain is very rare and difficult to find, so you should not have high expectations from him. He is just a psycho who feels an unexplainable amusement in seeing others in pain.
Envy can’t stand anyone commenting negatively about his appearance or bad-mouthing him. When annoyed, he swiftly gets ready to attack the other in response. Overall, he is a complex yet cliche villain with all negative traits!
25. Father (FullMetal Alchemist)
The obsession with anything is bad, and Father was obsessed with knowledge, perfection, superiority, and power. He gives mysterious vibes, and one can easily suspect something dark about him.
He created homunculi children, and Envy is one of them. The reason behind all of the negative traits of his kids is Father himself. He only cares about himself and uses people, even his kids, to achieve his goals. Father is cold-hearted and so emotionless that the pain of his close ones doesn’t affect him slightly.
24. Hisoka (Hunter X Hunter)
Like any other villain, he is an expert in killing and making people suffer. Though he enjoys fighting with powerful opponents, he also knows his potential. A few characters are effortlessly entertaining because of their appearance and attitude, and Hisoka is a fan-favourite villain because of them.
It’s good watching him fight, as he has admirable abilities and strengths. He is better than most villains on this list, as he doesn’t kill people like that. No matter how useless the reason is, there is a reason for him to kill others.
23. Vicious (Cowboy Bebop)
He is a true villain, and everything about his character speaks of evil intentions. His character justifies his name perfectly; he is as vicious as one can imagine. He only thinks about himself and has no concern for others.
If he wants something, then he wants it; there is no in-between. He is not even kind or humane to his allies, making him the worst person and the best anime villain of all time. Vicious is undoubtedly an iconic antagonist, which is what a villain should be like!
22. Askeladd (Vinland Saga)
Askeladd’s character differs from the other villains on this list. He is a charismatic man with his perspective of seeing things around him. He has a strategic mind, and he very well knows how to deal with different people.
This guy is very good at reading people, which greatly helps him. His intelligence had helped him become a good leader. In fact, the most interesting thing about him is his intelligence and how he uses his brain to plan beforehand and to be way ahead of his opponents.
For him killing people and taking a life is not a big deal, and if murdering benefits him even the slightest bit, he will not hesitate. Askeladd’s character is so beautifully written that one learns a lot of things from him.
21. Griffith (Berserk)
Griffith has a very elegant personality and decent demeanor, but this guy is as deep as the ocean. Some people imagine him as ambitious and peaceful, while others think of him as cruel and hostile.
With time, one learns more about Griffith and judging him from the first glimpse is not easy. He doesn’t think of others, and his sense of empathy fades away throughout the story.
His character is intricate and complex; understanding him is not a piece of cake. For him, his goals and dreams are above everything; he will not stop pursuing them no matter WHAT!
Many of his comrades sacrificed their lives to help him achieve his dream but he didn’t care for their lives. He is greedy for power and recognition and can manipulate people in his favour. The otaku community believes Griffith is one of the best anime villains of all time.
20. Light Yagami (Death Note)
Well, unlike the cliche protagonists, he is an Anti-Hero. His dream to make this world a place without injustice made him evil. Light is very smart and intelligent and knows how to plan things in his favour.
His life was changed the moment he found the death note. His simple ordinary life became unordinary and thrilling. Seeking justice and making efforts to make the world peaceful is good, but killing evil people, taking justice in one’s hand, doing what one likes and aiming to become the god of a new world is NOT RIGHT.
The Death Note entry in his life changed him entirely, and he forgot to differentiate the thin line between right and wrong. People love Light’s character for multiple reasons; some admire his intelligence, others support his perspective, and some find him handsome.
19. Johan Liebert (Monster)
There are a few villains that scare the hell out of us, and those are termed the best anime villains of all time. The psychopathic behaviour of Johan and his murderous intent create fear in the audience.
Apparently, this man is charming and gives good vibes, but he is far from being a good guy. The ones who become his friends mostly judge him by his exterior and demeanour. If he plans to harm someone, it is impossible not to fall prey to his plans.
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Most of his actions are calculated and pre-planned. His way of torturing people is not simple, and he makes sure not to give an easy death. Johan Liebert is one of the most fearsome and best anime villains with psychopathic tendencies.
18. Meruem (Hunter X Hunter)
Meruem is one of the most interesting characters from Hunter X Hunter. His character and personality remain unchanged throughout and undergo many changes. He is introduced as one of the most merciless and cruel guys who has committed countless killings.
Eventually, he experiences a change of heart. His character was so remarkably written that one can do nothing but admire the writer. Watching a merciless villain differentiate between right and wrong and experiencing kindness towards others is no less than a visual treat.
The credit for changing him goes to a girl named Komugi. Apart from being powerful, his intriguing character entertains people the most, and they call him the best anime villain of all time.
17. Esdeath (Akame Ga Kill)
If you think that females can not be the best anime villains of all time, then let Esdeath prove you wrong. Don’t judge her for her exterior and gorgeousness; she is the deadliest person on this list.
If one starts counting the number of people she has murdered, it will be impossible. She finds pleasure in giving pain to others and loves torturing people. One Can’t blame her completely because her father was the one who taught her that survival is only for the stronger ones.
Unlike cliche villains, Esdeath is a good leader who knows how to keep her followers loyal to her. Well, precisely, she is the most cunning lady who knows how to make people and things work in her favour.
16. Gilgamesh (Fate Series)
When a person starts treating oneself as a god, then problems begin. Gilgamesh is one such person who thinks that the world needs to obey him. This mentality has made him proud, egoistic, and extremely self-obsessed.
He thinks he is the one and only the best, which often puts him at a disadvantage. Unlike many villains who remain the same throughout, his character is different. The development in the story introduces a change in his personality, and after drinking a potion, he becomes a kid.
At this point in the story, Gilgamesh won many hearts with his innocence and purity. Watching different shades, specifically the opposite sides of a villain’s personality, is not very common, which is why Gilgamesh is popular.
15. Garou (One Punch Man)
No matter how evil this person is, if one thinks about his upbringing and the pain he felt in his childhood, one feels empathy for him. His classmates always treated him as a villain while playing games; in the end, he was all alone.
Somehow watching the behaviour of other kids with him developed a hatred for heroes in him. There are many moments when we see Garou’s soft side overshadowing his evil side, which makes him an interesting character.
In short, he is a very honourable villain, and one likes his character, be it for the negative traits or the positive.
14. Tomura Shigaraki (My Hero Academia)
Most villains are cruel and self-absorbed, and so is Tomura Shigaraki. He is extremely brutal, cruel, and apathetic. Tomura Shigaraki doesn’t think of others; thus, killing them is easy for him. Tomura Shigaraki also has a dark past where he grew up as a lonely child whose family, especially his father, treated him poorly.
It would not be wrong to call him a psychopath because of his extreme emotions. The best way to understand his character would be to think of the extreme opposite of Deku as a person.
Though cruel and has no heart or emotions for others, he respects and loves All For One the most. Apart from his personality and negative traits, his overpowers make him one of the best anime villains of all time.
13. All For One (My Hero Academia)
Those of you who have watched MHA are familiar with the mysteriousness of this guy. He is the main villain and a threat to the heroes. His aura and name are enough to create an air of fear and chill.
If he plans something, then he will do anything to make it a reality. For him, values, morals, justice, and humanity mean nothing. All For One is manipulative and knows how to make people follow his orders.
One common thing in most of the villains on this list is that they are all hungry for power. The same goes for this mysterious man; he uses people as a pawn and stepping stones to achieve his goals.
12. Doflamingo (One Piece)
He is probably one of the coolest anime villains on this list. His attitude, behaviour, and stance make him extremely cool! Many of you must be having goosebumps right now by just reading his name.
He is extremely terrifying and fears none. After listening to him, one learns that this guy thinks himself superior and believes that stronger ones rule the world. He has a carefree and chilled attitude which makes him even more terrifying.
Needless to mention that One Piece characters are known for being overpowered, which makes it obvious that this guy is Overpowered as HELL! He is ruthless, and expecting mercy from him is hard. Doflamingo is one of those villains who love to play with their prey and torture them to feel pleasure.
11. Muzan Kibutsuji (Demon Slayer)
If you have watched Demon Slayer, you must know this guy. He is the main antagonist and the most powerful demon that the Demon Slayers are trying to exterminate. When one first looks at him, he gives calm and cool vibes, but they are just a facade.
He hates when his subordinates fail at a task or if they are hiding or lying to him. Egoistic is the perfect word that defines his personality, and for him, nothing is before himself. He is the mastermind and the puppeteer for all the demons.
Muzan doesn’t need a reason to kill anyone; if he wants to, he won’t hesitate. Additionally, since he is the main antagonist, you can expect him to be smart, intelligent, and powerful!
10. Dabi (My Hero Academia)
My Hero Academia is famous not only for its superheroes but also for its villains. The characters are the main reason this anime enjoyed success and love from anime fans around the globe.
From childhood, he dreamed of only one thing: to be strong enough to defeat All Might. The excess and extreme of anything are wrong, but the poor child fell prey to his extreme desire to achieve his goal.
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Of course, his father is responsible for his obsession with being strong, as he was the one to make him think like that. If only his father had treated him kindly and acknowledged his efforts, he wouldn’t be on this list of the best anime villains of all time.
Dabi’s heartbreaks and the poor treatment of his loved ones made him an evil character filled with hatred, obsession, and mercilessness. As he was obsessed with being powerful, you can expect him to be an overpowered Villain!
9. Aizen Sosuke (Bleach)
From the very first glimpse, he seems suspicious and mysterious. Aizen knows how to deal with people and how to manipulate them for his own good. We can judge his smartness by the fact that he was hiding his true motives for being a member of the soul society.
Until the end, he appeared cool, calm, and nice, and he didn’t let anyone doubt his personality even once. Fans remember Aizen as one of the best villains; he is so powerful that Ichigo loses his powers in the final battle against him. He is a perfect villain with everything one wishes to see in the antagonist.
8. Eren Yeager (Attack On Titan)
There is a huge debate about this character; it would be wrong to call him a negative character. Eren Yeager is an anti-hero, and if one thinks from his perspective keeping in mind what he has been through… justifies his actions!
However, Eren’s way of destroying the world and harming humanity makes him a villain. He is not only the best anime villain of all time but also the best anime character. People who have watched Attack On Titan understand his character better.
They have seen him transform from a hero to an anti-hero. No matter how much destruction he creates, one feels sympathy towards this guy because of the sufferings he had in his life. He is extremely overpowered, and watching him coming with his Titan army is a scene that will make you lose your balance!
7. Frieza (Dragon Ball)
Only Dragon Ball fans can understand the thrill of this character and the amount of fear he creates with his presence. Almost all the antagonists of dragon ball are overpowered…but the tension Frieza creates among fans and the heroes is incomparable.
His cruel ways of torturing people, showcasing his extreme hatred towards the heroes, and swiftly causing huge damage make him the most terrifying anime villain. Those who have watched his battles know how much he enjoyed making the opponents suffer.
He sure has sadistic traits, and the most frightening thing about this guy is not his cruelty but how overpowered he is. Just imagine a guy with extreme power and the intent to destroy everything and everyone! Won’t he be scary?
6. Cell (Dragon Ball)
Nothing can beat the villains from the Dragon Ball anime. Almost all of its antagonists are overpowered and fearsome. He was a challenging opponent for Goku and the others because he was created from their DNA.
To top it off, just like Saiyans level-up, Cell could transform, and each transformation made him stronger than the previous. His personality is a mixture of Vegeta, Goku, and Piccolo, and he takes huge advantage of it in his battles.
Like any villain, he was rude, apathetic, sadistic, aggressive, and evil. However, all these traits make him a remarkable and the best anime villain ever. Watching his battle against the heroes will give you goosebumps, and you will be forced to the edge of your seats.
5. Dio Brando (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure)
Dio is one of the most popular characters and the most favourite anime villain ever. Without this guy, one can’t imagine the success of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood.
Dio defines what a villain needs to be like. To be on the safe side, you can think of all the negative traits, and you will find them all in this man. Dio is arrogant, greedy, passionate, manipulative, and destructive.
He wants to make everything in his favour and wants the people to obey him. He will not think twice about torturing those who refuse to do so. The hunger for power and greed to become the sovereign pushes him towards the wrong path.
Keep in mind that the anime has put Light on his backstory, which proves that his poor upbringing and abusive father made him evil. So, he could have been a good guy!
4. Black Goku (Dragon Ball)
Yes, guys, just imagine the main character turning into an antagonist!!! Well, he apparently looks like Goku, but actually, he is not him but the incarnation of Zamasu. There are no words to express the remarkableness of this character. Think of him as a perfect villain!
Watching him in action simply gives goosebumps to the viewers. Not only does he look smart, but this guy knows how to use his brain. His powers, manipulation, ruthlessness, and cruelty are unlimited. Once this man has decided to do something, then guys fear HIM! He will do everything to make it happen!
3. Yhwach (Bleach)
If you have watched the Thousand Year Blood War Arc or read the manga, you are familiar with what a DEVIL he is! Only watching his entry will shake your interior, and you’ll lose your balance.
Well, all the war initiators and overpowered villains are self-proclaimed lovers of peace so is this guy. He never hesitates to use the most brutal methods to achieve his goals, no matter what. Every villain has a motive for which he goes out of the boundary, and Yhwach’s motive is to create a world where no one fears death.
This man has his own ideals and worldview. For him, values have no meaning, blind loyalty is worthless, and justice is just a word for him. It’s impossible to explain this character’s aura and depth with mere words. He is a ONE MAN ARMY or, Let’s Say, GOD LEVEL GUY!
2. Kaguya (Naruto)
Ah, what to say about this lady? Absolutely no words can do justice to explain the fearsome aura and the evilness of Kaguya Otsutsuki. She is the main mastermind and the main antagonist of Naruto. Where we all thought Madara Uchiha would be the puppeteer, this lady controlled his threads.
As the POWER changes people so, the same happened with her. She was once a kind lady before gaining the chakra from the God Tree’s fruit. However, her overpowers made her proud, and she started thinking of herself as a God. Her lack of faith and trust in humans proved to be an igniter of her already growing evil.
She was so powerful that standing against her was not easy for the strongest shinobi. It took Naruto and Sasuke to use their highest potential to stand against her. Even then, the duo could only seal her. Please remember that they seal her using the powers that Kaguya’s son lent them!
1. Madara Uchiha (Naruto)
This list of best anime villains of all time would have been incomplete without the legendary Madara Uchiha. Even after years of anime completion, otaku still remember him as the perfect villain. Some of you might be having goosebumps reading his name!
As I said, not all antagonists are wrong, and Madara’s main goal was to create a world without hatred and war. He wanted to create a world filled with love and peace. However, his way of promoting peace was wrong as it created conflicts and initiated war. He is one of the most powerful characters not only in Naruto World, but he is extremely overpowered as compared to many popular anime characters.
It took the prime and the ultimate best of multiple overpowered characters to stand against him. Madara is full of pride and confidence, and he is manipulative as hell. He knows how to make things work in his favour and would not hesitate to exterminate those who stand in his way.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are many but Kaguya, Doflamingo, and Madara are one of the baddest anime villains of all time.
Naruto, Luffy, and Ichigo are one of the most powerful anime characters of all time.
Phew! What a list it was; discussing the best anime villains of all time was a hell of an experience for me. Suddenly, I want to experience all the battles these OP villains have fought (XD)! Not all of these villains have superpowers, but most have, and if you still haven’t watched them in action, then start binge-watching the anime.