Who is a villain? A bold, courageous daredevil who will stop at nothing or a self righteous goon who is bent on to make the world a better place? According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, a villain is someone who opposes the main hero of the story. While this may stand true to many shows and movies alike, our anime villains are complex personalities with agendas far beyond our understanding. They are gutsy, volatile, fearful and calculating.
Are they right and undeserving of the fate that befalls them or are they victims of their own circumstances? From Light Yagami in Death Note to Shogo Makishima in Psycho-Pass, we are on a quest to find the most evil and iconic anime villain of all time. Stay till the end because the answer may truly surprise you!
10. Gilgamesh- FATE SERIES
“So, you would question me, you filthy mongrel? Me, the one true king? If you cannot now discern my identity in the presence of my magnificent glory, then you’re ignorant blindness will serve to seal your doom!
Let us start our series strong with Gilgamesh, a true deadly and iconic anime villain. King Gilgamesh is also known as King of Heroes and Archer. These boastful nicknames are symbolic of his personality. He is unarguably brave, devilishly handsome and radiant. He possesses the natural charisma most of our anime villains do. Such charm is evident in the personality of most of our antagonists.
Gilgamesh is a selfish and arrogant man. He is determined to make everyone bow down and respect his power. He is consumed by pleasures that the world has to offer and seeks immediate gratification. He is a natural leader and can persuade anyone to follow his command.
Gilgamesh is an indomitable force of nature. He is half God and half human. He refuses to acknowledge the might of Gods and declares himself as one true God and king. He rains down blood and war. He is powerful beyond measure and destroys anything and everything in his way. He is far oblivious to the abilities of his opponents and thus, his attacks are vicious and merciless. Due to his intense vigour and malevolent nature, Gilgamesh makes a strong entry on our list of deadly anime villains.
9. The Major- HELLSING
Here it comes – I can sense it! A powerful river… a river of death! The dead shall dance…and all of Hell shall sing!
— The Major
The Major from Hellsing is the devil’s pawn. The mere fact that the Major was a Nazi automatically puts him in our list of most deadly anime villains. He adorns a plump stature, sinister smile and devilish gleam in his eyes. He was initially recruited by Hitler’s regime to create artificial vampires who can strengthen their possibility to win the Second World War. The Major is particularly obsessed with the war. He is fuelled by death, despair and trauma. He wants to create an aura of everlasting hell on earth. He is barely concerned about who is dying and if his side is winning the war or not.
He wants to create an endless war filled with brutal killings, bloodshed and massacres. He is not determined to ensure Germany’s win but rather create a state of pure tyranny and fighting. He is filled with malice and evil desires. His personality is perfectly encapsulated in the quote “let’s bring them hell”.
Despite being a warmonger, the Major fails to defend himself. He is an absolute genius and leads his army of vampires effectively but without their protection, he is not as powerful or strong. His caricature like physique and demeanour is often misinterpreted as harmless but the Major is a harbinger of death. We wonder who could be worse and deadlier than him? Keep on reading to find out who is indeed the reincarnation of satan itself!
8. Madara Uchiha- NARUTO
“World, when we enter into it, seems all new and exciting. But as we grow more and more and reach our final phase of living, all we realize is that life is all about nothingness and will end someday.”
— Madara Uchiha
Madara, an egocentric nihilist and antagonist of our beloved series Naruto is an iconic anime villain of all times. His cruel nature is evident when the mere presence of his own blood arouses him. He lives and breathes for war. Madara is an exceptionally skilled fighter. He barely needs to fight with his full might as the bare minimum is enough for him to raise hell and defeat his opponents.
What makes Madara so deadly is his utter disregard for life. He is bent on destroying those who bore him and keep the ones alive who interest and challenge him. Life and death is a game to him and his arrogance drives his thirst for bloodshed. He always maintains a calm composure and is barely shaken by any turmoil or emotion.
Madara Uchiha is power hungry and he will do anything to rise through the ranks. His sadistic and ambitious nature makes him a ruthless and merciless killer. He is a skilled manipulator and avoids display of his feelings. With this, we believe that Uchiha is a strong contender in our list of most deadly anime villains and thus, bags a strong spot at number eight. If you are enjoying this list so far, do not forget to check out 20 Thriller K-Drama That Will Keep You On The Edge
7. Muzan Kibutsuji- DEMON SLAYER
You told me what to do. You deserve death.
Ego, privilege and thanatophobia (fear of death) breeds our next deadly anime villain, Muzan Kibutsuji. Muzan was already a menace to the society but emboldened by his newly found powers, Muzan is ready to bring forward wrath previously unknown to mankind. A master manipulator, he is easily able to blend in and put up a kind and innocent face.
Muzan lived in constant fear of death since his childhood. He was a frail kid destined to only live till twenty but his doctor finally found a cure for him in the form of blue spider lily. As Muzan recovered from his illness, he found himself craving human flesh. Instead of practising restraint, he devoured his family and satisfied his hunger. However, his atrocities are far from begun.
Muzan is determined to find the blue spider lily and thus, he creates an army of demons. He is an egomaniac who is filled with vengeance. He uses his privilege of being born into a noble family and exploits the women he marries to the point they are driven to take their own lives. Still, he wants to exert his power and thrashes a group of drunkards for talking to him rudely. Due to his sadistic streak and insatiable ego, Muzan is ranked highly on our list of deadly anime villains.
6. Dio Brando- JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE
“Most men’s hearts are restrained by mortal, recoiling in fear from the fabulous fruits of evil. But some do not constrain themselves to the mortality and its tyranny.” )
— Dio Brando
Is it easy to spot a villain from the crowd? Perhaps, our next contender on the list can prove that disheveled hair, malicious grin and hungry eyes is a sure recipe for a hell raiser. Was Dio born evil? Many sources suggest otherwise. It is said that he felt true emotions and was deeply attached to his mother. He was caring towards the ones who were good to him but Dio’s character arc plummets through the show and reveals a sinister side never seen before.
Dio is indeed a victim of his circumstances. He had a particularly difficult childhood as he was raised by an alcoholic father. His descent into madness begins when he kills his own father. Contrary to the other anime villains we have so far covered on our list, Dio particularly stands out because he does not kill for the sake of pleasure. He only fights when someone proves to be a menace or an obstacle in his path albeit, this changes as the show progresses.
Dio is a megalomaniac which means that he has an undying hunger for power. He is insane and untrustworthy. Dio is definitely a remarkable and deadly anime villain on our list as his sadistic behaviour keeps getting worse and worse. If you are enjoying our compilation of villains, you should definitely check out Top 10 Comics on Bilibili for some fun filled reading.
5. Griffith- BERSERK
“I feel no responsibility to comrades who’ve lost lives under my command. Because they chose to fight in each battle.. Just as I chose this. But if there is something that… I can do for them. Something I can do for the dead… Then it is to win! I must keep winning to attain my dream. The same one they clung to, and risked their lives for!! To realize my dream, I will perch on top of their corpses.. It is a blood-smeared dream, after all. I don’t regret or feel guilty about it.. But to risk thousands of lives while never getting myself dirty. It’s not a dream that can be so easily realized!”
Griffith is a man so angelic and handsome it seems as if he has just stepped out of a painting. With flowing white hair and piercing blue eyes, Griffith is the embodiment of beauty. His charming looks and tactical mind makes him an invincible and formidable force of nature. His good looks make him irresistible and help him manipulate and persuade other people.
What makes Griffith an iconic anime villain? So far he sounds like a devilishly handsome man blessed with the skills of a fighter. However, do not be fooled by his looks as he is a deeply narcissistic and selfish. He is a sadistic sociopath who discards others like trash after he has used them. He is clearly a deeply disturbed and deadly man as he is devoid of any emotions such as guilt or remorse.
While he still exhibited humanly nature before his reformation, Griffith is reborn as a stone cold monster. He is utterly ambitious and hungry for power. His sadistic streak puts him at number five in our list of most deadly anime villains. We hope you are enjoying the list so far! Stay tuned and discover who bags our top spot.
4. Johan Liebert- MONSTER
“Tell me what do you think is the ultimate fear? I really though that I’d already reached the darkest of the dark, but then, ahead of me, I beheld a darkness even greater still.”
― Johan Liebert
Let us continue our countdown of most deadly anime villains by the literal embodiment of Antichrist itself, Johan Liebert. Johan was abandoned by his mother as a kid, or so he thought, and thus, his descent into madness began after this one pivotal moment. Johan has exhibited the skills of a master manipulator. This is evident when he led fifty men to their death by instigating them. Is Johan a victim of his own circumstances? The answer to this question is as clear as a crystal, no. Johan is a psychopath. He derives pleasure and satisfaction from the pain and sadness of others.
While his childhood was mostly traumatic due to the ghastly experiments carried out on him, his trauma is no excuse for his behaviour. He ruthlessly killed his foster family without any remorse or guilt, thus, exhibiting the true trademark characteristics of a psychopath. Johan is exceptionally talented and is a keen observer of human behaviour. This is how he learns the strengths and weaknesses of his victims and drives them to take their own lives.
Johan appears as a true angel, like Lucifer. He is a perfectionist and seems to be charming but his intentions are sinister. Johan indeed qualifies to be at number four on our list of most deadly anime villains of all time. Stay tuned to see who bags the top spot.
3. Light Yagami- DEATH NOTE
This world is rotten, and those who are making it rot deserve to die. Someone has to do it, so why not me? Even if it means sacrificing my own mind and soul, it’s worth it. Because the world… can’t go on like this. I wonder… what if someone else had picked up this notebook? Is there anyone out there other than me who’d be willing to eliminate the vermin from the world? If I don’t do it, then who will? That’s just it: there’s no one. But I can do it. In fact, I’m the only one who can. I’ll do it. Using the Death Note, I’ll change the world.
Coming in strong at number three in our list of deadly anime villains is the self proclaimed god of the new world, Light Yagami. What makes Yagami, a self righteous man bent on to make the world a happier and better place enter our list of deadly anime villains at number three? Light Yagami’s journey from a normal yet popular Japanese high schooler to a sinister psychopath who is vindictive and selfish is the textbook making of a villain. Give an ordinary person immense power and slowly watch them burn the whole world is perfectly encapsulated in his journey.
Light is driven by a moral conscience. He wants to make a difference in the world. However, once he encounters the death note, all hell breaks loose. Light suffers from saviour complex. He is immensely self centered and believes himself to be the one and only saviour of this failing world. He wants to build a cult like following and become a God. He is unfeeling and harbours pure hatred towards criminals.
Light is cunning and intelligent. He can easily fool people and can master double personalities, one he boasts in front of his family and school and the other sadistic personality that only Ryuk and he is aware of. He is courageous and barely gets scared when is surrounded by Ryuk and his Shinigami counterparts. He is undefeated champion of Machiavellian manoeuvres and mannerisms. He is a true deadly anime villain in all its forms. Do check out 13 Manga Similar to Vinland Saga that Will Instantly Transport You to Historical Adventures
2. Frieza- DRAGON BALL- Z
“Observe. My left hand…it’s strength alone is enough to crush you like the little bug you are, so as a special one time bonus, today, I will fight you while my other hand is behind my back. So now that we’ve got the ground rules settled, shall we begin?”
We are finally reaching towards the end of our list of most deadly anime villains of all time. Before we reveal the final entry, let us look at our childhood favourite anime and its villain- Frieza. Frieza is pure evil on earth. He is a lizard like creature who changes many forms. At 100% power, he is a force to be reckoned with. Frieza derives pleasure in the pain and suffering of others. He is sadistic and loves people writhing in pain. He inflicts torture on each and every single one of his victim.
He carries out massacres of great magnitude. Frieza is extremely paranoid and thus, his moves are calculated. He is very manipulative and has a dark sense of humour. He is full of pride and bursting with ego. He appears to be very cool and calm in adverse situations but loses his calm whenever someone disobeys him. He only respects his father and looks down upon others.
He is ruthless and cruel but still considers Goku as a challenging and strong opponent. Due to his barbarous nature, Frieza ruled as the deadliest anime villain for the longest time but was dethroned by our top anime villain of all time.
1. Shogo Makishima- PSYCHO- PASS
“Suppose someone said “humans are foolish”… Obviously, that person would be talking about themselves as well. If you want to understand human beings, you need to do more than just watch them. You need to pay attention to what they themselves are watching. What are you watching? You are the ones who I’m watching. It may be hard to believe, but I like you guys. You know what they say… The opposite of love is not hatred, but indifference. An indifferent person would lack the drive to kill or hurt. My mind keeps jumping around. Am I nervous…? Did I underestimate my enemy so much that I stepped in too deep…? …What a silly thought.”
With this, we come to our deadliest and most formidable anime villain of all time- Makishima Shogo. You are probably wondering what makes him the deadliest anime villain of all time. Let us dive into who Makishima really is and why is he the most cruel antagonist on our list!
Shogo possesses the manipulation skills of Johan, fascination with death like The Major and nihilistic view of the world like Madara. He is interested in all things gory and inhumane. The worst traits of humanity seem to delight him. He is exceptionally intelligent like Light and derives pleasure from sufferings of others like Frieza.
He is a keen observer of human behaviour. While many of our deadly anime villains on the list are good at profiling others, Shogo stands out as he is free of any bias or prejudice. He has quite impressive kills which make him a deadly weapon. He kills people in a blink of an eye without any regard for the right or wrong. He is charming and has a an unshakeable hold on his subordinates. He is a vile, immoral and depraved sadist who has justifiably earned the top most position in our list of the most deadly anime villains of all time!
Do you feel we missed a villain that you believe should be on the list? Comment below. We are always open to ideas and recommendations. Let us know what do you want to read next? In the meantime, don’t forget to check out Top 10 K-dramas To Watch In 2022
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12th Apr. 2023 at 8:57 AM
although they are villains, I like them more than the main :)))