Whose your favorite anime villain? What, to you, constitutes a villain? Do they have to be the big bad, a powerful adversary? I gave it a lot of thought, for me, villains have to have truly evil motivations, and in no way redeemable. So a lot of popular badasses like Madara Uchiha for example, didn’t make the list. In all honesty you might hate my list, but I hope you keep an open mind. Also, spoiler warnings because obviously I can’t talk about these baddies without revealing things though I’ll try my best not to spoil too much.
5. Major- Hellsing Ultimate
When it comes to weak and non-combative masterminds, Major, leader of the vampire Nazi army, is my absolute favorite. His motivations are crystal clear and irrefutable: he loves war. War is his favorite thing. Despite being too fat to fight and a terrible shot with a gun, he views war as a chaotic symphony and thinks himself a marvelous conductor. My favorite thing about him though, is his other goal and motivation. He wants to die, but wants to die in his idea of glory, an idea that was probably bred into him as a Nazi youth. There’s nothing redeemable about him, no tragic backstory or anything to pity, he’s a fucking Nazi. He’s a perfect counterpoint to our dark hero Alucard because he is his opposite in every way, but they are both monsters.
4. Zaheer – Legend of Korra
First things first, yes, I consider ATLA and LOK anime, or at least anime adjacent. Secondly, yes, this man is a thousand times more badass and intimidating than Ozai. Rather than being a privileged prince who was raised to be a tyrant, Zaheer is the kind of guy who could have probably taken Ozai down if Aang had never returned. He considers himself an agent of liberation, but also chaos. His conviction is absolute, not to mention in the span of only a few weeks he mastered the most complex and impossible air bending skills. With a four person team he managed to do more damage to Korra than even the spirit of darkness could achieve.
3. Bishop- Castlevania
In all honesty, it took me a minute think of a villain I hate more than this guy, simply because he just is that evil. All the events of the series start with this sexist, power hungry monster. Also, he has my favorite death of all anime villains. I mean, this man saw a giant flame with the face of Dracula, denied his existence, brought Hell on earth, and then moved to another town and immediately took control and started oppressing people all over again. Even blamed marginalized community for his crimes. True, true evil. The thing that truly makes him terrifying though, is that he’s real. This time in the history of the world, the church had more power and influence than any government, the town bishops were kings masquerading as saviors, and the kind of corruption Bishop creates in the anime is exactly the kind of corruption the church utilized in that time. He represents a real evil we have in our current society, which makes watching him die all the more satisfying.
2. Papa Dino- Banana Fish
So, as I said with Priest, I wasn’t sure who I hated more than him at first, but Dino is definitely worse. Dino lives in a world with absolutely nothing supernatural. The world of Banana Fish is essentially the world we live in, but it’s darkest parts, and Dino runs all of it. Luxury hideaways for the powerful and perverse, drugs, shell companies, street gangs, you name it. Dino Golzine is the quintessential mob boss. He by himself is not a particularly intimidating figure, but his system, his goons, and his plans are complete evil. The fact that his only weakness is the boy he loves makes him all the more terrifying, especially considering he regards the boy as property. He turned orphans and runaway kids into child prostitutes and child porn stars. He held police, and high level politicians in the palm of his hand, even assassinated a presidential candidate to make a point. Dino is absolutely disgusting, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a villain more foul than him.
1. Father- Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Think of every government conspiracy you’ve ever heard on the internet, or every story you’ve ever seen that has a otherworldly puppet master behind it all. None of those would-be-kings compare to this creature. I absolutely love him. Truth be told, he’s not even the most evil character in FMAB (worst dad ever) but that doesn’t matter. The thing I love most about him is just how genius and unbelievable he truly is. There is no comparing villains in FMAB because all the best ones are him. Not in some lame “we beat him and he comes back again” kind of way either. Wrath? Envy? Pride? Lust? Gluttony? Sloth? Greed? He’s their source. They begin and end with him. A group of nearly immortal badasses who treat humanity like their playthings and are absolutely terrifying, and all of them are him. Almost every bad thing that’s ever happened in their world is his fault in some way. But unlike your average puppet master, when you get to him you don’t find a weak old man or a disgusting mob boss, you find a cold immortal of power and purpose who can kill you with ease.