Top 10 Most Beloved Anime Villains

Anime villains are often so well written that, at times, the viewers root for them instead of the heroes. But why? Because in anime, you get flashbacks and internal monologues of the villain, unlike in real life.

Anime villains, more often than not, are true to their ideologies and don’t shy away from exposing the hole in society, a nation, or humanity as a whole. Unlike certain heroes, who can’t undertake any action, anime villains do, but what makes them villains is that they do wrong to make things right.

And I’m here to talk about villains you love for being true to themselves. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the list of the top 10 most loved anime villains.

10. Sukuna

Top 10 Most Beloved Anime Villains
Sukuna | Source: Fandom

Anime: Jujutsu Kaisen

At the beginning of Jujutsu Kaisen, Sukuna seemed like a stereotypical power-hungry villain. But as the story progressed, the layers of his psyche unfolded one by one, and we got a closer look at his outlook—and it is anything but peaceful.

To Sukuna, every being is there to entertain him and end his boredom. If he isn’t entertained enough, he makes sure to entertain himself by destroying anything and everything. Sukuna doesn’t think about the consequences; he just does what he wants. He embraces evil, he embraces strength, and what he embraces the most is himself. If you want to learn more about self-love, I highly recommend you ask Sukuna.

9. Madara Uchiha

Top 10 Most Beloved Anime Villains
Madara Uchiha | Source: Fandom

Anime: Naruto: Shippuuden

When you hear Madara Uchiha, the first thing that instantly comes to mind is his fight scene against the Shinobi Alliance, right? As the leader of the Uchiha Clan, Madara was one of the strongest, even after he was revived decades later.

Madara and Hashirama founded Hidden Leaf Village, but due to certain conflicts, they fought each other until Madara died (he faked his death to further devise his plans). But Madara is loved because of how strong he is as a villain and how he acknowledges strong warrior when he sees one. In short, he’s too cool not to be loved.

8. Makima

Top 10 Most Beloved Anime Villains
Makima | Source: Twitter

Anime: Chainsaw Man

When Chainsaw Man was in its ‘peak-fiction’ era on the internet, everyone was cosplaying Makima. Some were ready to become her pet, and some even wanted to be stepped on. The craze wasn’t a joke, and understandably so.

Makima is the main villain of Chainsaw Man. She was the control devil and continued horrifying deeds using her pets. Despite that, every anime fan, even non-fans, swooned over her. Her devil powers not only control the characters of the story, but the viewers as well, including yourself.

7. Frieza

Top 10 Most Beloved Anime Villains
Frieza | Source: Fandom

Anime: Dragon Ball (Universe)

Since his appearance in Dragon Ball Z, Frieza has been a part of the Dragon Ball universe one way or the other. Kill him, he gets revived; cut him into pieces, he gets stitched up; defeat him once, and he’ll come back stronger than ever; his persistency is annoying yet inspiring.

If you ask me why is one of the most loved villains? The answer’s simple: despite being evil, Frieza’s obsession with Saiyans, especially Goku, is like that of an individual who can’t see his ex-happy and wants to thwart that. Frieza will not move on and will not let the Saiyans move on as well. Seeing this salty beach going haywire is fun; maybe that’s why you love him. Tell me I’m wrong.

6. Hisoka

Top 10 Most Beloved Anime Villains
Hisoka | Source: Fandom

Anime: Hunter x Hunter

Among all the villains in this list, Hisoka has the most twisted personality. His ideology isn’t black or white; it’s grey. This makes him extremely dangerous because of his unpredictability. In Hunter x Hunter, he might not be the ultimate villain, but he is as lethal, if not more than the ultimate one.

Hisoka is a true hunter at heart who likes to be challenged by the prey. You see, he is fascinated with Gon’s growth potential, so he keeps an eye on him. He just wants to feed the chicken, fatten it up, and later enjoy it all by himself. If someone even tries to lay a finger on his chicken (Gon), he’ll skin them alive.

5. Light Yagami

Top 10 Most Beloved Anime Villains
Light Yagami Kira | Source: Fandom

Anime: Death Note

Light Yagami was intelligent to the t. Even after discovering Death Note, he aimed to use it for noble causes. However, as time passed, the unnatural deaths created a pattern that can be traced back to another smart individual like him. So, to hide the clues, Light started killing innocent people as well. And, before he knew it, he was on a power trip, killing anyone who became a nuisance to him.

Eventually, he killed L, but by then, he let the powers get to his head, which led to his tragic but fitting death. In the end, it was only Yagami, lost in darkness; Light was nowhere to be found. 

4. Dio Brando

Top 10 Most Beloved Anime Villains
Dio Brando | Source: Fandom

Anime: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (Universe)

Dio Brando is the textbook villain. Even though most of his traits as a villain are stereotypical, they are relatable as well. Be it killing a pet, stealing the first kiss from someone’s girlfriend, trying to kill his stepdad to become the heir of the rich estate, to selling his soul to gain supernatural powers, you name it, and Dio has already got you covered.

His actions make him shine the most, and the consequences are felt decades after his death. Dio Brando, the legendary villain, is loved because he embodies the pettiness we often hide and acts wisely to get accepted.

3. Donquixote Doflamingo

Top 10 Most Beloved Anime Villains
Donquixote Doflamingo | Source: Fandom

Anime: One Piece

Doflamingo is unapologetically evil. Everything he does and aspires to do is evil; his greed knows no bounds. He believes that the one in power decides what’s wrong and right, which is why he does what he does. Before getting defeated at the hands of Luffy, Doflamingo reached the point where he was killing innocents just for entertainment. He’s true to himself, which even the protagonists find hard to do.

Keeping his character traits aside, Doflamingo is a fashion icon among fans and non-fans. His light pink feather coat and deep pink pants became a must-wear for cosplayers. In contrast, his sunglasses became a hot pick even outside the anime community, knowingly or unknowingly.

2. Askeladd

Top 10 Most Beloved Anime Villains
Askeladd | Source: IMDb

Anime: Vinland Saga 

It won’t be wrong to say that among all the antagonists in anime history, Askeladd stands out for how well his psyche has been presented to the audience. He’s not just your run-of-the-mill antagonist. Askeladd faced reality and took action based on the situation, not emotion. The only time he let his emotions take over was when he died.

When Thors sacrificed himself to protect his son and the Icelanders, Ari tried to attack Askeladd. But Askeladd punched Ari away and told him to be grateful to be alive. Before passing away, Askeladd told Thorfinn to move on from something as petty as revenge and find a reason to live. There’s a reason why he is so loved.

1. Johan Liebert

Top 10 Most Beloved Anime Villains
Johan Liebert | Source: IMDb

Anime: Monster

Johan Liebert leaves a long-lasting impression on you, a not-so-good one. Even though he is just an anime character, his psych is something to fear. Johan is the personification of an abyss, which you won’t understand until you watch this tastefully executed psychological thriller. (I strongly recommend Monster)

He is loved not because of his evil deeds but because of how he hides them behind his charming demeanor. He can push someone to their death’s door just by exchanging a few words. A remarkably evil and undoubtedly best anime villain who is loved by the fans.

Villains or not, we love them for who they are, as characters, and for how they develop throughout the story. Not every villain can make it onto the list, but that doesn’t mean I can’t add it in the future. So, if you think there’s a villain that should be or shouldn’t be on the list, let me know in the comment section.

Abhradip Acharya

Abhradip Acharya

Abhradip Acharya has been writing about anime for over three years now. He loves to dig deeper and find obsolete anime buried under the pile of mass-produced hot trash often termed ‘peak fiction’ by the internet. When he is not watching anime, he is binging on different Asian dramas and movies.


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