14 Best Anti Villains In Anime Audiences Root For

With their hopeful resolve, some anime villains may leave a lasting impression on audiences. Such characters are regarded as anime anti villains, and today we’ll cast a light on these sadistic souls.

Before jumping into our topic, let’s figure out the actual meaning behind the term “Anti-villain.

Anti-villain is the opposite term of Anti-hero. Anti-villains seem bad but ain’t all bad. Sure they do bad things, but usually for somewhat good-ish reasons deep down inside. You gotta feel for them a little with their tough backstories, even if their actions are a bit much sometimes.

So let’s dig up some best anti villains in anime.

14: Orsted

Orsted of jobless reincarnation  is one of the best anti villains in anime

Anime: Jobless Reincarnation

Orsted is one of the top op isekai antagonists. As the pride member of Dragon Tribe and sworn enemy of Human God, Orsted is berserk character always remain ready to defeat any possible threat.

This ruthless god has been cursed to be hated by every being, and that’s why he lacks social skills.

Then why he’s listed in the category of anti-villains?

That’s because he’s softie from inside and deeply cares about his comrades. He also cares about children and avoids any bloodshed in such case. Such traits should be enough to enlist him as anti villain.

13: Puppet Master

Puppet Master from ghost in the shell is a villain with heroic traits

Anime: Ghost In The Shell (Movie)

Is there any room for an AI program in this list of best anti-villains of anime? If not, puppet master will make it.

Puppet Master is one of the most enigmatic hackers within the Internet as an AI program. While using his immense skills for criminal goals, his motivations remain cryptic.

He sees the digital and physical worlds blurring, with people becoming just “data” to manipulate. Yet amidst his mind games and illicit activities, one senses hesitation – perhaps he understands humanity more than he wishes.

12: Akaza

akaza of Demon Slayer

Anime: Demon Slayer

After giving a super long thought, I have included Akaza as an anti-villain in this list. Now only anime fans will question me what good deeds he has done to fall on this list.

So anime fans, brace yourself to witness the most emotional back story of upper rank 3 Demon Akaza.

As you know, he doesn’t kill women and there’s a reason behind his decision that you all gonna love. I bet only anime fans will forget Gyutaro vs Tengen when Tomioka and Akaza will spar.

11: Zeref

Zeref from fairy tale is antagonist who just want atonement for his sins

Anime: Fairy tail

Zeref is the most evil and powerful mage of the anime world “Fairy Tale”, after killing hordes of people and creating unlimited demons with his black arts, now he seeks redemption and has just one motive “to meet death.”

Honestly, this cruel description doesn’t fit him when we look at his face seeking atonement for his sins.

Zeref threatens all, but pities himself most of all. Able to annihilate nations, this tortured soul remains the story’s greatest tragedy.

10: Ultimatia

ultimatia is twisted anime villain with kind heart

Anime: Ragna Crimson

Just once witness this wholesome angelic character with beautiful eyes and a sweet voice on your own, you’ll be confused as to consider; whether she is good or evil until her true motives come out.

Despite she’s the main antagonist of the series, her anti-villain trait is that she can’t bear humans in pain and suffering. Therefore she tries to kill all humans at once as an act of mercy.

With beautiful white hair and a chibi character design, her allure hit differently. So make sure you witness her twisted character by watching this underrated series “Ragna Crimson.”

9: Ryuga

Ryuga of beyblade

Anime: BeyBlade

Ryuga, huh? He’s definitely an intriguing character. On the surface he seems like a classic villain – ruthless, cares only about being the strongest.

But I always got the sense there was more going on beneath the surface with him and he proves in after storyline. As a lone wolf, he embarks on a solo journey to master Eldrago.

At the end of the day, all the drive to defeat everyone could really just be him looking for something to fill the void inside. So in a way, he’s almost a tragic figure beneath the harsh exterior.

8: L Lawlight

Anime: Death Note

In the list of best anti-villains in anime, L reigns supreme as a smartest anime character and may be the only one capable of giving a tough time to Light Yagami.

L is the main antagonist of the classic anime series Death Note. With his monstrous detective charm and analytical skills, he’s the only one to trace down the mass murderer Light Yagami or Kira.

Although he works for justice, we have often seen him crossing boundaries to chase down Kira, like sacrificing people for the sake of his missions.

Rolewise, he is a hero and lies in the category of anti-heroes, but since most fandoms consider him as the villain of the storyline, I think he’s a considerable character for our list.

7: Tsukasa Shishio

Tsukasa Shishio from dr. stone is awesome anti villain

Anime: Dr. Stone

Tsukasa Shishio serves as the main antagonist of Dr. Stone for the first 2 seasons. Hypothetically speaking, his utter motive was to purify the world from evil, yet he lies in the category of villains for his merciless acts.

Despite being physically powerful enough to beat the crap out of a lion with a single punch, Tsukasa is soft from the inside and always considers good people as equal.

The problem began when he opposed the idea of reviving everyone as equal. He thinks that since he has a chance he should revive only good people instead of everyone.

As a whole, his intentions were right compared to his ideology and acts.

6: Suguru Geto

Suguru Geto from JJk is handsome male coverts into villain

Anime: Jujutsu Kaisen

Suguru Geto is the ultimate example of how a wholesome man can turn into terrifying evil as the result of just one event. With long black hair, tall physique and superb powers, Suguru was once a gentleman with a little twisted ideology.

His Ideology caught fire when he witnessed people applauding the death of a girl “Riko Aanai.”

His rule of living turns simple – the strong preys weak and since humans are weaker than sorcerers, they have no right to exist.

Suguru is the buddy fellow of prodigy Satoru Gojo however with different ideologies. Where Gojo follows the rules to make the world a better place, Geto thinks weak ones should perish and the problem will be solved.

5: Vegeta

Vegeta is an inspiratin anime villain who coverts into hero

Anime: Dragon Ball

The character development of Vegeta from an arrogant antagonist to a proud Saiyan was a roller coaster of emotions.

This inspirational anime character has proven that evil can be converted into good if given a chance.

He first landed on Earth to conquer it and lose to Goku. Instead of giving up and following his evil dream, he set his goals to become more powerful than Goku instead wreaking havoc.

Yet, he’s little selfish and doesn’t give a shit about others lives. He lives only to pursue his dream by using any forbidden means if possible.

4: Garou

Garou of one punch man is isanely powerful villain with moralous humanity

Anime: One Punch Man

I bet Garou’s terror would hit the audience hard if we weren’t certain that Saitama is undefeatable.

Garou is such a badass anime character who seems like a straightforward villain, going around beating up heroes just to prove he’s the strongest.

He puts on this act of being a monster but deep down he still cares what people think of him and wants to be recognized.

It’s also interesting that he never actually kills any of the heroes even when he has a chance. As a whole, he’s an anti-villain only trying to prove his strength with little extreme means.

3: Meruem

Meruem from hunter x hunter is renowned anti villain

Anime: Hunter X Hunter

Now Meruem is one of the most unique and complex antagonists I’ve seen in any anime. At first, he seems like a pure villain – the ruthless King of the Chimera Ants who will crush anyone in his path. But man, his character arc takes so many turns!

You can’t help but be fascinated as he gradually develops emotions like compassion through his interactions with Komugi. It’s almost like he evolves from being a beast into a fully realized person throughout the story.

He’s truly one of the praise-worthy anti villains in anime who wanted to make the world a better place by force.

2: Reiner

Anime: Attack On Titan

Here comes the ultimate baddie Reiner of Attack on Titan whose motives make it really tough to either consider him a villain or a hero.

Posing as a friend to the Survey Corps while secretly being the Armored Titan – the guilt from living that lie must’ve been eating him up inside for years but don’t worry, he’s strong enough to follow his pursuit leaving the care of consequences.

The pressure of keeping up appearances while carrying out his missions really messed with his mental state and we have witnessed it when Eren finally opens up for being suspicious towards Reiner.

No matter how tough he acts on the outside, Reiner wears his heartache on his sleeve.

1: Askeladd

Askeladd is the most promising anime anti villain of all time

Anime: Vinland Saga

On the top spot, we have Askeladd – one of the greatest mentors of anime history to protagonists, an anit-villain, a manipulative general, and a truly troublesome pirate.

Askeladd is the man who killed the legendary warrior Thor and takes his son under his wing who seeks vengeance for his father’s murder.

Askeladd is a complex anti-villain who challenges the notions of heroism and morality in the brutal world of Vinland Saga.

He is a man who hides his true identity and motives behind a mask of sarcasm and indifference but also reveals glimpses of his humanity and wisdom.


Like me, most people enjoy watching badass anti-villains in anime, therefore I have custom-curated this list as a tribute to such complex characters. If somehow I missed a considerable entity, please hit me through the contact form page.