Anime would not be as fun to watch if it didn’t have some amazingly evil characters for our heroes to face off against. If everyone was good, the story would probably get dull quite quickly Though not all evil characters are villains (at the very least not in direct opposition of the protagonist) this updated list focuses on those characters who can’t help but put themselves directly in the way of the protagonist. These evil characters thrive off causing conflict for others and make it a point in their mission to cause psychological, emotional, and physical stress for the protagonist. Without further ado, let’s talk about the top 10 evil characters in anime, and be sure to read the original below for an even greater dose of evilness.
10. Alois Trancy from Kuroshitsuji II (Black Butler II)
Aired: Jul. 2010 – Sep. 2010
There aren’t many ‘good’ characters in the Kuroshitsuji series. Ciel, the main character, is practically an anti-hero as he simply lives for enacting revenge. However, none of the characters bring out the viewer’s rage and frustration as much as young master Alois Trancy. Trancy is the main antagonist of the second season and he has made it his goal to cause harm to Sebastian, which basically means taking Ciel away from Sebastian. Though he has gone through a lot of abuse in his life that definitely makes you feel for the boy, he has a tendency to frustrate most viewers. He seeks attention constantly and has a rather uncontrollable temper that results in loud and obscene outbursts. Considering what he has gone through these outbursts are understandable, but they are extremely painful to view because of the fact that everyone else in the show tends to bottle their emotions and act with a sense of refinery (except for Grell). All of that said, he gives into his desire for revenge and so here he is.
9. Junko Enoshima from Danganronpa: Kibou no Gakuen to Zetsubou no Koukousei The Animation (Danganronpa: The Animation)
Aired: Jul. 2013 – Sep. 2013
Junko Enoshima was brought into Hope’s Peak Academy as the Ultimate Fashionista. First seen as perhaps a little superficial and hot-tempered, it is a nice surprise to find out that it has all been an act. Junko Enoshima, in fact, has the Ultimate Analytical Prowess and is the creator of the Ultimate Despair. This is to say that she is the main antagonist of the series and is responsible for basically every single terrible thing that happens. This is because she is able to use her analytical prowess to figure out anyone’s weakness and then exploit that weakness to bring about despair. What makes her such a great evil character is how much she enjoys bringing about despair and manipulating people. Even better is that she does it all to simply keep herself from boredom.
8. Shishio from Rurouni Kenshin
Aired: Jan. 1996 – Sep. 1998
Shishio is the main antagonist of the second arc of Rurouni Kenshin. He brings together a group of immensely powerful warriors, as he tries to dismantle the government that turned its back on his work and tried to execute him. Though the warriors join him for vastly different reasons, each have found his passion and philosophy influential. Shishio is an evil character with mass appeal. He is charismatic and forceful and knows how to overthrow a government. Every step he takes is planned and he always has a back-up plan in place. For most of his arc, he is essentially toying with our heroes, who include two of the most feared manslayers from the Imperial War. The best part about him is that he has the skills and abilities to back up all his bark, and that his philosophy extends to all parts of his life. It doesn’t matter if it comes down to his own life or lover, those who are weak are merely energy for the strong.
7. Shou Tucker from Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Aired: Apr. 2009 – Jul. 2010
Does anything really need to be said about Shou Tucker? Everyone knows his face, and the entire anime community will definitely agree that he is one of the most evil characters. Behind his rather unassuming appearance is a mind corrupted by the pursuit of power and creation. At first, we think he’s not too far gone. We think he is simply misunderstood by the alchemist community at broad, because he dabbles in the forbidden aspect of alchemy. Considering that Edward delved into the most forbidden of practices, it is no surprise that we find ourselves sympathetic towards the man. Then he uses his daughter in his experiments and creates an existence that is clearly in immense pain. Yep, the guy is evil and the whole community hates him for good reason.
6. Naraku from InuYasha
Aired: July 2016 – September 2016
Naraku is the source of all the problems that plague Inuyasha. If it wasn’t for Naraku, then Inuyasha would have had a much easier life. However, Naraku made his way into Inuyasha’s life and decided to turn Inuyasha and Kikyo against one another in such a way that would act as a catalyst for most of the drama in the series. So we already discussed how Naraku set a couple of lovebirds against one another. Such an act obviously establishes him as an evil character, but there are many more. There’s the fact that he holds Kanna and Kagura hostage by holding onto their hearts. He gladly punishes them by squeezing their hearts if they ever disobey hm. There’s the fact that he pits Sango against her own little brother Kohaku, who was brainwashed into killing off the rest of their family. The guy wants to be the top demon so is it really any surprise that he displays such an evil nature?
5. The Major from Hellsing Ultimate
Aired: Feb. 2006 – Dec. 2012
Hellsing is an anime full of evil characters. The main character is debatably the most evil. However, Alucard has a leash of sorts tied about his neck and kept his past dealings in a pretty specific location. It’s safe enough to say that he wasn’t out for world conquest, which is why The Major takes this spot. The Major created an army of Nazi vampires. What more needs to be said? You have to be pretty evil to combine the mindset of a Nazi with the prowess of a vampire. If that’s not enough, then maybe the fact that he’s not actually after world conquest is what makes him truly evil. That’s right, he doesn’t want to simply rule the world. What he wants is to create such systemic conflict that war becomes the constant state of the world. This is to say that he wants death and destruction to be occurring everywhere at all times. He really is a piece of evil pie.
4. Diva from Blood+
Aired: Oct. 2005 – Sep. 2006
Diva is the main antagonist from the Blood+ series, and she is essentially trying to turn everyone in the world into her mindless slave. Why? Well, she was raised in isolation and abused to the point that she could not care less about what’s right or wrong. She simply wants revenge and control and has a particular fondness for toying with Saya and those closest to her. Diva is a monstrous villain. From the get go her actions take a stark contrast to the actions of Saya. When Diva is first released from her cell by Saya, in order to sing for Joel’s birthday, Diva slaughters everyone. She then continues to slaughter and kill people across the world. Throughout the whole series she does a lot of terrible things, but few compare to when she rapes Riku, kills him, and then dresses up like him to mock Saya.
3. Medusa from Soul Eater
Aired: Apr. 2008 – Mar. 2009
Medusa is arguably the most frustrating and cunning villain in Soul Eater. Even though Asura is the strongest opponent in the series, Medusa acts as the primary antagonist for about 90% of the series, and so we get to see a lot more of her cruelty and schemes. You know a character is evil when you need to take a moment to narrow down the list of deeds to discuss. Let’s start with the fact that Medusa kills the eldest witch of the Mizune family and puts Eruka Frog under her control by slipping snakes into her body that can kill her at any moment. Now let’s discuss how she infused her own child with black blood and abused that child for years in order to use him as a pawn. The icing on top is the fact that she even corrupts Stein for a while and uses him against his own pupils. Medusa is simply pure evil.
2. Sachiko from Corpse Party: Tortured Souls – Bougyakusareta Tamashii no Jukyou
Aired: July 2013
Sachiko is the antagonist of Corpse Party and few characters can compare to her in terms of being evil. Admittedly, her presence as a ghost was caused by an incident years ago, where she was killed by the school staff. Of course such a death would leave a person with quite a bit of hostility towards the living. However, her hostility goes above and beyond. The types of traps that Sachiko leaves for the people that enter her realm are on the level of Saw films. The situations and tortures she inflicts upon the characters of the story are truly horrendous and show an extremely sadistic nature. These methods involve stabbing people through the eye, cutting half of someone’s head off with scissors, and a bunch of other twisted schemes. Essentially, she forces people through hell and back even when they are just innocent children.
1. Griffith from Berserk (Berserk)
Aired: Oct. 1997 – Apr. 1998
Griffith was a messianic figure as he led the Band of the Hawk during the Hundred Year War. His efforts brought about a semblance of peace to the war-torn kingdom of Midland, and then about a year later he betrayed all of humanity and became the fifth member of the God Hand, Femto.What makes Griffith such a poignantly evil character is that he was an earnestly good person at the beginning. It’s the fallen angel complex, and the creators did an incredible job portraying his turnabout. We watch his conscience make the decision to abandon all empathy and stab those closest to him in the back. This is most powerfully and painfully shown as he, now Femto, rapes Casca in front of Guts.
Evil characters are essential in anime. However, it is important that the characters are not simply pure incarnations of evil. It’s important for them to have a backstory and character complexities. It is these types of nuances that allow the characters to be memorable and they also make each devilish choice all that more impactful. Are there any truly evil characters that the list above and the list below miss?