In a visually stunning and emotionally gripping medium like anime, villains are just as popular as heroes. After all, it’s the bad guys that push the heroes of these anime to grow and improve.
Despite the fact that they seldom succeed in their plans, several of these most evil anime villains are so merciless that they are considered among the most terrifying in their series or throughout anime.
It might be challenging for anime fans seeking tales with villains with a high level of cruelty to find their “ideal” match among the many available possibilities. Which villains best embody the term “ruthless” due to their cruelty, mercilessness, and warped worldview?
While the mysterious Fatui Harbingers serves as the game’s adversaries, some anime fans may want the adaptation to incorporate far more brutal anime villains.
Some examples of such people are jail wardens with a dark sense of humor, scientists with an unhealthy obsession with immortality, and an extraterrestrial set on bringing humanity to its knees.
1. Tsunenaga Tamaki (Deadman Wonderland)
Most of Tokyo and much of Japan were devastated by an earthquake in Deadman Wonderland. Ganta Igarashi, the protagonist, seems to be a typical ninth student, yet all signs lead to his being innocent of slaughter in his class.
Deadman Wonderland is a prison-themed park controlled by warden Tsunenaga Tamaki, and Ganta was cornered and framed so that he had no option but to serve his sentence there.
Tamaki’s position as warden makes him a natural target for most individuals in Deadman Wonderland. Still, his connections to them elevate him to the level of a threat. To begin with, he pretended to be Ganta’s attorney while secretly conspiring to incriminate him.
Furthermore, below his stupid, foolish, always cheerful façade lies a vicious personality that seeks only to discover methods to murder more inmates for his delight.
2. Orochimaru (Naruto)
Despite his secondary role in Boruto as a scientist, Orochimaru, one of the most evil anime villains is a formidable foe in the original Naruto manga and anime.
In the first Naruto anime, Orochimaru gains popularity for his dedication to the study of Forbidden Jutsu and his willingness to stop at nothing to attain his goal of immortality.
To develop the ability to “transfer” himself to other bodies, he tried various methods, including testing on unknowing individuals and doing experiments on himself.
He was such a dangerous persona that he planned the feared Konoha Crush, which almost wiped out the Hidden Leaf Village. In addition, he was Sasuke Uchiha’s teacher and guided as the latter learned to become a ruthless shinobi.
The only thing keeping him from being the full-on bad guy in Boruto was his determination to see Sasuke take a “different” route than he expected (he thought the Uchiha survivor would destroy Konoha).
3. Bondrewd (Made In Abyss)
The titular Made In Abyss takes place in the fictional town of Orth, which rose to prominence due to its proximity to a massive hole called simply the Abyss.
Various adventurers collectively referred to as “Cave Raiders,” are drawn to the Abyss because of rumors that it houses the relics of long-lost civilizations and items with potentially lethal properties.
Riko’s robotic sidekick Reg comes along on her journey into the Abyss when she learns that her mother, White Whistle Lyza, may still be alive there. And as they go, they learn about Bondrewd, Lord of Dawn, one of the most famed White Whistle Delvers of all time.
As one of the most evil anime villains, Bondrewd has been keeping a fairly sinister secret from Riko. Bondrewd has always been interested in learning more about the Abyss and its inhabitants and has dedicated his life to studying them. Bondrewd shows no remorse as he performs brutal experiments within his Ido Front camp.
4. The Major (Hellsing)
In Hellsing’s other timeline, Abraham Van Hellsing and his Royal Order of Protestant Knights were the United Kingdom’s last line of defense against supernatural and zombie threats.
Since Sir Integra Hellsing is now in charge, the danger posed by the Nazi-inspired Millennium has prompted him to reawaken the vampire Alucard, who was previously beaten by Abraham and sentenced to a life of slavery.
Despite the show’s relentless action, The Major is perhaps the most mysterious character in Hellsing. The Major, head of the Millennium and onetime aide to Adolf Hitler, and also one of the most evil anime villains is committed to seeing that the Fuhrer’s Order 666—a scheme to intentionally introduce vampirism to the general populace—is carried out.
The Major’s crazy devotion to battle makes him so horrible; he will do everything to promote bloodshed in the show.
5. Father (Fullmetal Alchemist)
Alchemy, a specialized science that can change one thing into another, is practiced in the Fullmetal Alchemist world’s Amestris area. Fullmetal Alchemist’s protagonists, brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric, have developed into trustworthy State Alchemists throughout the series.
However, their connection with their father, Van Hohenheim, seems far more meaningful. Van Hohenheim, an alchemist, employed by King Xerxes, has survived for hundreds of years, earning him the nickname “Number 23.”
During this ancient period, Van Hohenheim “extracted” some of the wisdom from the Gate, the source of all knowledge. This entity (a homunculus) is often referred to as “the Dwarf in the Flask” and is responsible for spreading Alchemy over the area.
6. Gendo Ikari (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Megalomaniacal villains aren’t as scary as someone blindly committed to their aims, good or bad. Gendo Ikari is a good example of this kind of character; he evolves into Neon Genesis Evangelion’s ultimate nemesis. For Gendo, who just lost his wife, reuniting with her would be worth risking everything for.
One of the most evil anime villains, Gendo’s objective is to create a near-cataclysmic catastrophe to rouse powerful Angels, who would then see his Evangelion project as essential to save the planet.
Underneath it all, Gendo cruelly ignores his kid, manipulates the emotions of his employees, and even subjects human subjects to studies.
7. Majin Buu (Dragon Ball Z)
Majin Buu, one of the most evil anime villains, first appeared as the chirpy but unpredictable pink monster in the latter episodes of Dragon Ball Z. He eventually evolved into the series’ most powerful and menacing antagonist.
Although Buu may assume numerous appearances, the little Kid Buu is his purest, most insane form. Because of its absorbing powers, continual regeneration, and indestructible physique, this was the form that Goku and his friends had the most trouble destroying.
But Majin Buu’s lack of character is what makes him so dangerous. Majin Buu has no regret, no sympathy, and no capacity for empathy. The destruction of planets brings Majin Buu great pleasure.
8. Kyubey (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)
Kyubey, the Puella Magi Madoka Magica mascot, is more than meets the eye. Kyubey is an Incubator, a member of a technologically superior civilization determined to prevent the death of the cosmos by the spread of randomness.
To slow the development of entropy, Kyubey and his people learn that emotions, especially those of adolescent females, are a powerful tool.
Without warning, Kyubey, one of the most evil anime villains approaches these young women and promises to give their desires in return for helping him destroy witches.
9. Light Yagami (Death Note)
As soon as Light Yagami, one of the most evil anime villains, gets his hands on the Death Note, he knows that if he writes anyone’s name in it, that person will be killed.
Death Note and Light’s mission to eliminate criminals personally, therefore, bring in a new, ideal, and lawless era known as Kira.
However, the authorities, especially L, who proves to be his adversary, always stand in Light’s way as he attempts to ascend to godhood. After a certain point, Light will abandon all morals in pursuit of his objectives.
Despite his status as Death Note’s “protagonist,” Light is really the story’s primary antagonist. Light’s life as Kira, utilizing the Death Note to eliminate criminals, has become regular.
He uses manipulation to gain the favor of people, turns them into followers, and then tosses them aside when they are no longer useful to him.
10. Frieza (Dragon Ball Z)
It’s possible that Majin Buu was the most powerful villain in Dragon Ball, but none could equal Frieza for pure wickedness. His charisma and ruthlessness have made him the most popular villain in the Dragon Ball series.
During his reign as a galactic dictator, Frieza, one of the most evil anime villains had every Saiyan wiped off. Frieza freely played with his friends and colleagues before his destruction at the hands of Goku.
Frieza enjoys keeping his opponents on their toes with his morphing powers, and he gets a perverse thrill out of hurting and humiliating them. His IQ heightens the horror of his psychopathic tendencies.
He is notorious for his actions, setting Krillin on fire and burning whole Namekian towns in his quest to get the Dragon Balls.
11. Shinobu Sensui (Yu Yu Hakusho)
Aficionados of Yu Yu Hakusho will recall the haughty but noble Yusuke Urameshi and his trademark Spirit Gun, while those with a penchant for villains will recall Shinobu Sensui.
Before Yusuke took over as Koenma’s spirit investigator, a man named Shinobu resigned and went into hiding, only to emerge with a plan to destroy the world. This was especially sad since Shinobu has keen psychic abilities.
In his view, humans are more morally upright than demons, and he must wipe them out so they can no longer pose a danger to humanity. However, Shinobu was there at an incident when humans cruelly tortured demons for entertainment.
After losing his sense of right and wrong, Shinobu subconsciously created many identities to help him get through life.
Since Shinobu considers both demons and humans to be vermin and undeserving of being saved, he will do whatever it takes to see the two races destroy one another.
12. April Griffith (Berserk)
The most frightening villains are often the ones who look the most harmless and meek. This is exactly what happened to Berserk’s Griffith.
No one would ever guess that Griffith’s mind is capable of such weird manipulations, what with his modest upbringing and polite attitude.
His charisma, sincerity, and drive never fail to win over his followers. As a result of his drive, Griffith becomes Berserk’s most hated antagonist.
Once Griffith sacrifices himself to his desire, he is reincarnated as Femto, an even more menacing being. Griffith/Femto, now an agent of the Idea of Evil, sacrificed his humanity for the sake of his beliefs.
To achieve his goals, he lies to, betrays, and murders his allies. What’s worse is that he seems to be able to rationalize every one of his actions with cold cruelty.
13. Makishima Shogo (Psycho-Pass)
The mysterious Sybil System in Psycho-future Pass’s Japan can instantly quantify and analyze a person’s mental state, then use this data to assign that person to their “ideal” social position.
However, a low “Psycho-Pass,” or predisposition for violence, is required to use the Sybil System. Those who score highly on the Psycho-Pass are a target for the authorities.
The primary antagonist of the first season, Makishima Shogo, one of the most evil anime villains, commits mass murder while maintaining a relatively low Psycho-Pass.
His Psycho-Pass score stays low even if he has a violent agenda because he justifies his actions in his mind.
Makishima is even more terrifying when one considers the possibility that he murders merely as a way to poke fun at a system that considers itself flawless.
14. Shou Tucker (Fullmetal Alchemist)
Although he only appeared in a few episodes, Fullmetal Alchemist’s Shou Tucker left a lasting impression on viewers by demonstrating the terrifying consequences of unchecked ambition and compelling curiosity.
After his wife abandoned him and their daughter, Nina, Shou Tucker, one of the most evil anime villains, became the world’s leading specialist on chimeras. For his efforts in creating a talking chimera, Shou was awarded a State Alchemist License.
Without coming up with a terrible solution, like combining Nina and their family dog Alexander, he cannot achieve success.
If questioned about his immorality, Shou would try to defend himself by saying that the foundation of all scientific progress is a price. Fans find Shou repugnant because he would be so heartless as to sacrifice his daughter in the service of study.
15. Lil’ Slugger (Paranoia Agent)
For a nation to lose sleep over a series of serial killers is one thing; for it to worry about something that may or may not even exist is something quite else.
This is the predicament that Paranoia Agent’s primary villain, Lil’ Slugger, one of the most evil anime villains, finds himself in.
In the anime, a lady called Tsukiko Sagi is assaulted by a youngster with a bat, whom she labels “Lil’ Slugger.” From that point on, Lil’ Slugger appears to different people and attacks them in different ways and at different times.
It’s quickly discovered that Lil’ Slugger is no more than a fabrication of Tsukiko’s mind. Because of how quickly the tale about Lil’ Slugger spread, it became a meme, a cultural phenomenon that seems to infiltrate the brains of individuals with varying degrees of psychological baggage.
However, Lil’ Slugger’s ruthlessness stems not from its acts but from the ease with which it might materialize in the imagination.