The world of anime is extremely expansive with a dozen different series that anyone could pick up and enjoy. If one show isn’t your type, surely there’s another that is. With all these series, fans will no doubt become attached to a hero they like, and what comes with that is a villain to hat eon (or love to hate on). This passionate hatred for villains is part of what makes the anime world go round and there are a number of pure evil characters out there who both look fabulous, all while they do the worst things known to the hero of the story. If you’re really looking for a good show, you’ll know the character development and plot to the story is only as good as its lead enemies.
We can think of dozens of characters that fit this bill because, seriously, there seems to be an infinite amount of stylishly evil villains in the giant world of anime. But amongst the many horrific events and baddies that thrive in the realm of anime, only a handful can truly be considered the worst of the worst. So exactly who are these wretched villains we speak of, you may ask? Well, we’ve compiled a list of the best there are and then we’re listing them off from the least powerful of the bunch, to the absolute most strongest ever. Are you ready for trouble? Here are 25 insanely gifted villains from your favorite anime series, officially ranked by power.
25 BEAST TITAN
If you like anime, you’ve probably watched Attack on Titan at least once in your life. At first, you might have thought that this was just an anime with the “us against them” sort of mentality, but the Beast Titan really changed all that.
Everything you thought you knew about titans was suddenly wrong -- this Titan could think, talk and plan.
Not only is this one of the largest Titans in the series, it also has the ability to launch items with extreme accuracy and harden its body. Horrifying? Definitely. He’s not the most powerful on this list, but certainly worth mentioning.
Lelouch isn't your classic villain, because he becomes one over time as he tries to do what he thinks is right. But a villain is still a villain. He has the incredible power of commanding absolute obedience by just making eye contact with a person.
But great power can’t make you a villain on your own -- the truly best villains are the ones who know how to use that power. Lelouch is very smart and uses the power of obedience in order to get his way in a very tactful way, making him highhandedly a worthy adversary.
23 LIGHT YAGAMI
Death Note was a classic anime and with Light Yagami at the head of it, we got to watch your normal, everyday high school boy become a mass murderer as he descends into madness. Much like Lelouch, Light is also extremely bright and clever.
The power of a Death Note is something no one could have ever predicted -- to be able to write down anyone’s name and have them perish is brutal.
In the end, we watched our main character lose his battle, but it was after a long series of pure evil shenanigans and cake-eating detectives that was totally worth it.
22 RAGYO KIRYUIN
Ragyo Kiryuin is certainly the most fabulous villain on this list, even if she isn’t the most powerful. However, we don’t think our previous villains could stand in a fight against a Life Fiber-infused human whose only goal is to end all life on earth.
The cruelty to her own children, not to mention fellow man, is astounding but she’s certified in a number of deadly attributes outside her Life Fibers, such as hand to hand, sword fighting... you name it. She really would have ended it all if her own children hadn’t defeated her.
Speaking of bad moms, Medusa can go right up there with Ragyo. Those attending Death’s school really were having a hard time with this lady on staff as a nurse -- no one would have ever suspected her to be a witch or the reason for so many problems.
Truly, she was one of the most powerful witches in the series, but she also had a deep, black heart.
Manipulation probably got her along much more than her powers ever could.
Gilgamesh has appeared in several different Fate series, but every time we see him, it’s always a joy. He’s always a powerful adversary that we love to watch fight because of how amazing his power is. Besides being extremely cocky and sure of himself, he has the power to call forth any weapon in his Gate of Babylon.
Not to mention, he can shatter Reality Marble using Ea, the Sword of Rapture. We’re lucky we had good guys on our side because his goal was ultimately to decide who was “worthy” of living in his new world.
19 THE MAJOR
The supreme commander of the Millennium, The Major was one of the most sick and twisted villains of all time. He was in charge of all vampires and had excellent intellect.
A leader of a masses, he was a tough man to get to -- not to mention he was extremely durable and immortal so that might have just been part of the problem.
He’s considered one of the most evil villains of all time, but considering that his powers are a little more limited than some of our fellows on this list, he doesn’t rank that high.
As quiet as Zeref always seemed, he truly had some awesome, raw power and abilities -- it was no wonder it took so long to defeat him in the Fairy Tail series.
The best part about him as a villain was that once we were able to see his backstory, we actually felt pity and sadness for him. He utilizes the Black Arts and his magic is so powerful that he cannot consciously control it, which makes fighting him pretty difficult on both ends.
If you talk about super cute villains, and you’re a fan of magical girls and twisted endings, Magi Madoka really put you on a feels trip through several different emotions.
When you find out that Kyubey was not only conducting so many of their tragedies, but also felt nothing about it, you suddenly realized just how creepy those little red eyes are.
At the end of the day, between creating magical girls and witches, you have to remember that he’s just doing what he does with no real attachments.
16 SHOGO MAKASHIMA
Shogo was one of those villains with an idea and a plan. He wanted people to think for themselves and so he decided to “liberate” them from the Sibyl System. Shogo loves the dark side of humanity and isn’t opposed to watching people suffer, or even being the one to cause them pain.
He found out that he could control his Psycho-Pass at will, something no one else in the series can do, and therefore could not be recognized by the Sibyl -- a reject amongst his fellow humans.
15 SHISHIO MAKOTO
Shishio Makoto was the main antagonist for the Kyoto arc in Rurouni Kenshin and he was certainly one of the most memorable. His sword, like Kenshin’s, was made by Arai Shakku and could utilize the blood and oil from people it’d struck down to use fire attacks. Pretty brutal, right?
He had a variety of skills in fighting that put him on par, if not above, Kenshin.
This paired with his skills made him extremely creepy -- just look at all those bandages and red eyes, how could we not be freaked out?
Vicious is inhumanely good with a sword, probably more so than our fellow swordsmen on this list. Everyone who loved Cowboy Bebop should have loved this guy as a villain. He even has the cool look for one with the white hair and bags under his eyes.
As a member of the Red Dragon crime syndicate, you knew he was going to be getting into some trouble, but it was certainly the kind of trouble that we enjoyed watching and enough to get him on our list.
13 CHAR AZNABLE
A man in a giant robotic suit of armor is everything you should need to know, but Char is so much more than that. You have to at least love one of the Gundam series, but this mega villain appears in Mobile Suit Gundam and is perhaps one of the most heinous villains out there.
Alongside being able to perform combat in his suit regardless of the terrain, space, air or earth, his biggest attribute was always to outsmart his opponents making him extremely tough to beat.
He truly brings out the full potential of the mobile suits, making him a worthy villain!
His name literally means “Hell”, what else did we expect with this one? He was also responsible for almost all of the character’s misery, which is quite a feat even by anime’s standards. He desired the completed Shikon no Tama jewel which would make him invincible, but would also get rid of the human side of him.
His powers included everything from controlling wasps from Hell to shape shifting and enhanced physical strengths. He was extremely difficult to beat because he had an arsenal of deadly talents; all of which he was a master at.
11 DIO BRANDO
We know this show is a little “bizarre”, but that doesn’t mean that the characters aren’t top notch -- Dio certainly has earned his way onto our list as a top villain. Firstly, if you couldn’t already tell by most the male appearances in JoJo, he has quite a bit of strength.
His determination is unparalleled and he’s excellent at fighting.
Once he puts on the Stone Mask to become a vampire, he changes significantly both as a villain and in ability. But if we were going off of eyebrows? He’d probably be number one on the list.
Bleach lovers rejoice! We could never forget the original baddie from one of the most popular anime series out there. Many would say that his intellect was his most fearsome trait, but he had a number of insane powers to accompany it.
He was incredibly fast thanks to his Shunpo skills and, had intense spiritual power and was a Kido master. Besides all of that, his Zanpakutō, the Kyoka Suigetsu, was also so crazy in its respective abilities, usually controlling the five senses.
9 FRANCIS SCOTT KEY FITZGERALD
As the leader of the American organization known as The Guild, Francis was a pretty intense character for such a popular anime. While he’d had a troubled past before going totally evil, his main goal was always to restore happiness to his family, as his wife had gone ill after losing their young daughter.
That’s a pretty solid goal considering the kind of snob he always seemed to be.
His ability was called "The Great Fitzgerald" -- the more money he spent, the greater his power was. A good tool to have, if you’re rich like Francis.
8 SHINOBU SENSUI
While his series had many different villains, Shinobu was probably one of the more intense people we saw Yusuke struggle against. A former spirit detective himself, he had a strong sense of what was right and wrong.
This didn’t exactly work out in the end considering he had to develop several different personalities in order to carry his burdens; his original one remaining “pure”. While he can utilize a number of special abilities, one of the coolest was his use of Sacred Energy, which is the highest echelon of power.
The leader of the Blackbeard pirates and also known as Marshall D. Teach, Blackbeard was one of the most feared pirates of the sea. Having a whole history behind him on a sea full of dangerous pirates, there is one thing that makes him stand out from the rest.
He is the only character we’ve seen so far that has two different Devil Fruit powers.
He holds the power of the Dark Dark Fruit, which is considered the evilest of all as it control darkness itself, as well as the Tremor Tremor Fruit that allows the user to create earthquakes.
6 ALL FOR ONE
If you’ve been keeping up with the current anime hits, My Hero Academia should be at the top of your list. Recently, we were shown the mastermind behind the League of Villains and formerly known as one of the most powerful villains in all of Japan.
His power is almost the opposite of All Might’s because as the hero’s quirk is one that has been passed down with gained abilities, All For One’s powers are actually stolen quirks that are made his own, meaning he could take the power of anyone greater than himself.
As angelic as Griffith looks in appearances, his divinity isn’t really what you think. He’s the Supreme Commander of the Midland Regular Army and, with that title, comes nice abilities that rank him high on our list.
Some of those include being an incredible swordsman with impeccable charisma that would make any man follow him into battle.
But the craziest thing of all? After his transcendence into Femto, he no longer existed within the reasons of the Physical World.
4 KING BRADLEY, WRATH
We all loved Fullmetal Alchemist and their seven deadly homunculi, but one stood out against the rest. Regardless of which version of the series you watched, Wrath has always had a pretty solid arc as a villain.
Not only is he the biggest challenge for the Elric brothers, but he’s also the most powerful out of all of them. His biggest advantage was actually being involved with the other side in order to take it down -- he was seriously hardcore.
3 MADARA UCHIHA
The stuff of legends, literally, Madara Uchiha was the leader of the Uchiha clan in Naruto. Not only has he “died” a couple of times, his chakra and physical powers have been over the moon. He was born with intense chakra that was considered bad in part because it was Indra’s chakra.
This, however, allows him to continue fighting for long periods of time without ever tiring.
Before his final death, he was considered relatively indestructible. This paired with some of his other abilities made him very memorable and perhaps one of the most powerful antagonists from the series.
We all knew that at least one of the Dragonball villains was going to have to make it on this list, so who better then Frieza? He’s the main antagonist for the entire series and his name literally can send chills down your spine! Other than having a really cool alien design, Frieza was born with unusually strong power for his kind.
Each time he transforms, he seems to always grow stronger, but comparatively speaking, he has outmatched almost everyone when it comes to his pure, raw power.
Yet another non-human villain with an amazing design, Mereum could certainly give Frieza a run for his money. So far, he’s been the strongest character in the series with an extremely high learning ability, despite his age.
He’s pretty much a broken character when it comes to his powers.
He has unlimited strength, speed, agility and has a crazy pain tolerance to the point of feeling nothing -- he literally pulled off his own arm with no reaction. That, paired with being a super genius, makes him one of the most dangerous villains in anime, period.