With unlimited power and sturdy plot armor, our heroes need their own evil counterparts to keep them in check. Known as enemies, antagonists, or even a great plot device, these villains are prime motivators for the protagonists and their friends to grow and strive for strength.
However, not all the evil characters are villains, as some may be antiheroes, while others might not even deserve that title.
While most villains are respected, the characters I’m talking about will make your skin crawl with disgust, and your hands itch to give them a good beating. They are the epitome of evil and have most certainly made hell their home.
However, while these sick characters make us question humanity, they are the perfect addition to any show, whether it be to highlight the protagonist’s goodness or just to traumatize the audience, you know, for fun.
While reading this, I’m sure that already a few of them must have popped up in your mind, for example, the creator of a certain long-haired dog (honestly, I’m still traumatized after that scene).
Why stop there, though? Let’s see the top 20 most evil characters in anime, and find out where that creature ranks.
[Disclaimer and trigger warning: There will be spoilers, as well as words that may trigger some people. Please proceed carefully.]
Anime – Tower of God
Goal – See the stars
Crimes – Murder, and torture
Just one mention of her is enough to send any ‘Tower of God’ fan into a frenzied rage.
However, while she is one of the most hated characters, is she evil enough to be on this list? The answer is yes.
Rachel has murdered, tortured (RIP Dan’s legs), manipulated, betrayed so many people, and her only excuse for doing so? Seeing the stars. Oh, and also becoming a heroine.
She is a manipulative, insecure girl who will not hesitate to do everything and anything to fulfill her goal. In its pursuit, the evilest thing she has done is betray Baam, the boy who devoted everything, including his life for her.
While SIU declared her as the female protagonist, he might have to work extra hard for the fans to give her a chance again.
Anime – Sword Art Online
Goal – Become the God of SAO
Crimes – Sexual assault and attempted murder
This man has dabbled in all sorts of crime, be it abuse, sexual assault, kidnapping, or hacking. Nobuyuki uses his position in both the game and the real world to act on his obsession with Asuna.
He traps her consciousness in a game, ties her up, and molests her while impaling Kirito with a sword at the same time. All of these actions make him the epitome of evil.
Anime – Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Goal – Prevent the destruction of the universe
Crimes – Other than nearly destroying worlds, manipulation, and treachery.
Ever heard of this statement, ‘The man who does evil and does not think of it so, is perhaps the most dangerous of all?’
The next character on this list, i.e., Kyuubey, perfectly embodies it, well, except for the fact that it is more of a cute pet rather than a man.
While his race is known to have no emotions, he deceives little girls about the pact and basically makes them sign a deal with dire consequences.
Just like Faust, who signed the deal with a devil in the form of a poodle, these girls do the same, just that it’s in the shape of a cute cat-like creature.
Despite his goal to prevent the destruction of the universe, he causes the imminent devastation of several planets and nearly ends the timeline itself.
Anime – One Piece
Goal – Embroil the world in chaos
Crimes – Mass murder, enslavement, torture
Doflamingo is one of the most loved anime villains of all time, and that is mainly because of his unabashed reveling in acts of evil. He is cruel, sadistic, twisted, manipulative, a horrible human, and he owns it.
Doffy experienced both heaven and hell when he was eight, and decided that rather than ruling the world as a celestial, he would see it in utter chaos.
Just to give you an inkling of the deeds he’s committed, Doflamingo Killed his father and brother, took over a kingdom, and started a chain of misery for years and slaved thousands ranging from kids to elderly.
And unlike the previous entry, he wasn’t even courteous enough to ask.
Anime – Akame Ga Kill!
Goal – Deliver justice
Crimes – Murder, torture
Ironically, despite wanting to destroy all that is “evil,” Seryu placed 16th on the evilest characters’ list.
Due to her father’s background, she has a twisted sense of justice, which leads to her ruthless, psychotic, and criminal actions towards people she believes should be punished.
Viewing the view in full black and white, she is merciless and kills without a moment of hesitation. She is also completely blind to the evil all around her and only acts violently in matters that she thinks need justice.
Her disjointed view of the world and actions make Seryu one of the evilest and hated characters of all time.
Anime – Death Note
Goal – Create a crime-less world
Crimes – Mass murder
Light Yagami has become the blueprint for antiheroes, and it’s obvious why. He is one of the best-written characters whose descent into madness is hastened after the discovery of the Death Note.
With a book that can kill, his sense of justice deforms as he sets out to create a perfect world. What makes him such an amazing and evil character is his failure to see any wrong in his actions.
Light managed to control the world around him with a movement of his pen and waged it in chaos despite the apparent lack of crimes.
He showed no remorse for his family, close ones, or even Misa. He killed anyone who blocked his path and ultimately fell to the same weapon that allowed him to do so.
He is the ultimate evil who starts off being good, then turns antihero, and finally, a villain who died a pathetic death. There’s no salvation for Light, and his death is one of the most brilliant moments in all of anime, as a self-proclaimed God finally loses his greatness.
Anime – Soul Eater
Goal – Destroy the World
Crimes – Murder, torture
Medusa Gorgon, a powerful witch from Soul Eater, is the antagonist in the series. She has committed several heinous crimes, such as abusing her own child, Crona.
Furthermore, she has attempted omnicide and considers everyone who comes in her way of the “evolution” of the world, a threat.
Due to this, Medusa is proven to be the vilest individual in the series. After all, a parent who subjects their own kid to extreme torture and wants to destroy the world has to be included in this list.
Anime – Soul Eater
Goal – Stay out of Jail
Crimes – Mass murder, kidnapping, torture
Behind Gaku Yashiro’s facade lies a deplorable, sadistic, and heinous person who enjoys murdering children.
His desire to do so stemmed from his childhood, where he enjoyed drowning hamsters. He is one of the few truly evil characters who are evil just for the sake of it.
Anime – Fullmetal Alchemist
Goal – Become immortal and a God
Crimes – Mass murder, genocide, warmongering
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has had its mark made on the shonen genre, especially with its not-so-typical portrayal of evil.
In the beginning, Father was nothing more than a tiny dwarf in a flask and yet managed to find a way to bring entire civilizations to ruin.
He experimented and killed innumerable people in search for immortality, and threw the whole world into total collapse.
Anime – Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
Goal – Fill the world with despair
Crimes – Mass murder, worldwide destruction
Junko wanted to make everyone experience despair, and to do that, she tortured, killed, and subjected people with years of abuse.
Her evilness knew no bounds, as she drove others crazy and watched them murder their friends and families. By the end, she brainwashed almost the entire world and brought it on its knees.
Anime – Inuyasha
Goal – Become a full demon
Crimes – Mass murder, abuse
Naraku is the main driving force behind Inuyasha anime and has been the constant motivation factor for the series’ characters. As his name suggests, he literally has power over the underworld and ranks high on the pettiness scale of evil.
Naraku revels in playing with people’s emotions, and it seems as if his only motive in the series is to subject pain to Inuyasha and his companions.
He is a master con man who even managed to trick the great Sesshomaru.
From the very beginning, he manipulated Inuyasha and his lover Kikyo which resulted in their tragic end and had Kohaku kill his entire family, as Sango watched.
Anime – Fate
Goal – Becoming the heir
Crimes – Rape, kidnapping
Shinji is extremely incompetent and downright psychopathic. He tortures people, holds an entire school hostage, and kills others just to prove his self-worth.
After seeing him molesting his classmate and raping his own sister, the urge to bludgeon him to death has blossomed in every person watching the series.
Even the satisfaction of him receiving his karmic end is not enough to quell our anger at one of the evilest and most disgusting characters ever.
Anime – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Goal – World domination
Crimes – Mass murder, sexual assault
As another character to add to our ever-growing collection of evil characters, Dio fits in perfectly. He is a moral-less character whose greed for power leads him to commit horrendous acts.
Let us recount what he did. Firstly, he nearly stole the Joestar fortune, then forced himself on Jonathan’s girl, and slaughtered hundreds of innocents.
He poisoned the man who treated him as a son, and after gaining his stand, unleashed disasters upon the world once again.
Anime – Blood+
Goal – Kill her sister
Crimes – Assault, mass murder, rape
Diva is another character whose acts cannot possibly be commented upon without letting out profanity or two. After lethally wounding her brother, she captured, raped, and then finally killed him.
While Diva was locked in a tower and psychologically abused, her actions are not excusable. She also killed many others and almost turned the entire world into Chiropteran monster pawns.
Anime – Dragon Ball Z
Goal – Gain immortality
Crimes – Mass genocide, mass murder, torture
Like everything else in the Dragon Ball franchise, even its characters’ evilness is on an entirely different scale.
Frieza is an extremely sadistic individual who takes great pleasure in slaughtering the entire population of planets.
He relishes the agony caused to others and makes it a point to torture his victim before killing them.
During the Tournament of Power arc, in his search for immortality, Frieza enslaved races and wiped out the majority of the Saiyan Race.
The only one who can compare to his murderous and sadistic tendencies is the latest villain, Moro.
Anime – Hellsing
Goal – Create the greatest war in history
Crimes – Mass murder, war crimes
Two things solidify his place in this list as one of the evilest characters – him being a Nazi and his love for wars.
Throughout the series, his deranged and disturbed speeches manage to attract a huge following and form an army of vampires, monsters, war-zeppelins, etc.
His main goal the entire time is to embroil the world in a great never-ending war and see it to the end, even if it ends in his death.
He killed more than three million people without any particular reason and committed crimes that can give us nightmares for days during his lifetime.
Anime – Dragon Ball Z
Goal – Live a life of peace
Crimes – Mass genocide, torture
Majin Buu is another case of a character being evil just for the sake of it. Despite his childish look, he destroys entire planets just to flex and tortures people for the same reason.
His more sadistic tendencies come to play in the series when after getting tired of murdering people, he turns them into clay and builds a house out of them.
Furthermore, he turns an old man into milk and feeds it to an innocent boy for no apparent reason, other than that the latter did not fear him at first.
Despite wanting to live a peaceful life on earth now, his crimes are permanently etched into our minds.
Anime – Berserk
Goal – Rule over a kingdom
Crimes – Mass murder, rape, torture
Next on our list is Griffith, the perfect example of appearances that deceive. While most evil characters are not often blessed with aesthetic beauty, Griffith has heroic and divine looks.
However, you’re in for a one-way ride to hell if you judge him based on them.
After Guts leaves his mercenary group, his psychopathic, manipulative, and obsessive nature comes to the forefront as all traces of his morality disappear.
He sacrifices his band to become a powerful demon and fuelled by revenge; he rapes Guts’ pregnant lover Casca right in front of him.
By doing this, he solidifies his position as the evilest character ever to exist, so much that even the tortures of hell might not suffice.
Anime – Monster
Goal – Commit suicide
Crimes – Murder, torture
Johan skyrockets past the scales of human evil. Each and every action of his is aimed at creating more chaos and destroying anything near to him. After the surgeon saved him, he killed his coworkers and went on a killing spree.
He manipulated students of a military program to kill each other and massacred people who invited him to become the new Adolf Hitler.
Johan’s callous behavior and reveling in human suffering makes him a perfect monster.
Anime – Fullmetal Alchemist
Goal – Reinstate his State Alchemist license
Anime – Abuse, immoral and illegal experimentation
Shou Tucker is the evilest character in anime as he merged his daughter Nina, and his dog into a hideous monster.
Every indecent word falls short of describing this man. Despite not initiating wars or committing mass murder, managed to make every single person, and probably even satan hate him.
The moment the chimera spoke its first words, realization dawned on the audience.
The trauma and pain this moment caused carried itself out of the screen and made sure that Shou Tucker would be condemned to a never-ending cycle of abuse from every anime fan.