25 Best Anime Supervillains Of All Time

Where atrocities are just another day at the office.

Anime is like the death metal of the cartoon world. The other genres know it’s there and tolerate it accordingly, but deep down they know something darker is at work, and nowhere is that clearer than in its supervillains.

The Japanese brand of cartoon does the evil adversary like no other, and among the decades of anime series and film is a waiting room chocked full of some of the most memorable baddies to ever grace the illustrated screen.

Not every anime follows the same design, and often it’s the vibrantly coloured protagonists who draw the most attention. People remember Ash Ketchum and Goku most from their respective series, but there are some villains who go on to become the most iconic figures of their own.

Honourable Mention: Lucy/Nyu - Elfen Lied

Lucy Elfen Lied
Propeller TV

It’s up to the viewer themselves to decide just whether they consider Lucy (or Nyu) to be a hero or a villain, good or bad, or just downright insane.

Elfen Lied’s main character is the epicentre in this messed up narrative, combining extreme beauty with a complete disregard for other life, resulting in one of the goriest anime series to which you’ll ever likely bear witness.

Anti-hero may be the correct term in this instance, as there’s no doubt Lucy kills some people who deserved it, but there are very few out there who have killed the number of people she has, in the ways that she has, who could be called “good.”

This invisible-killer-tentacle-wielding lab experiment has few emotional tethers and could be an apocalyptic force if she were so inclined, so we should perhaps count our blessings she limits herself to the dozens of deaths she's responsible for during the series.

25. Lelouch Lamperouge - Code Geass

Fullmetal Alchemist

Code Geass’ main character, Lelouch Lamperouge, transforms drastically over the course of the series, and the initially charming lead gives way to a much more divisive figure by the show's end.

But here’s the thing: If you have the power to make anyone obey your word just by making eye contact, and you do both really evil and good things, it kind of still makes you evil. After all, saving one million lives by ending one million lives is equal, one could say - but you still killed one million people.

Lelouch is painted as a protagonist who sacrifices his own image to put the world in what he envisions as a better place, but just because he's given that power and believes he's acting virtuously doesn't automatically make it so.

It comes back to that age-old debate over the judge, jury and executioner, and Lelouch's evil deeds performed in the main role function as a stellar example of the villain protagonist—the bad guy for whom you just can't help but root.

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Tom Sunderland hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.