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The Greatest Anime Villains: Our Top Picks

Everyone loves a good anime hero, right? From taking down big baddies who threaten to tear apart the universe to overcoming personal conflicts, there’s always something to love about a compelling protagonist who can persevere through the toughest of challenges.

But what about the characters who aren’t so good? If you’ve been an anime fan for long enough, you know that no good story is complete without a diabolical villain. Stay tuned as we list the best evildoers ever to grace the small screen.

Annie Leonhart: Attack on Titan

The Attack on Titan series offered more than a few bad guys to be scared of, yet Annie Leonhart stands out as one of the best villains the anime dealt with. Acting as a double agent with instructions to eliminate humanity once and for all, Annie utilizes deception to her advantage by wiping out her opposition before they can even sense her treachery.

Oh, yeah: She can also transform into a titan.

To make matters worse, Annie doesn’t seem to show much empathy towards her victims, either. However, like any other mighty villain, the forces of good eventually see her defeated.

Mother Isabella: The Promised Neverland

The Promised Neverland is an unnerving tale from start to finish, though it isn’t quite complete without the downright-chilling effect Mother Isabella added to the series. Despite having brief screen time, Isabella proved a villain worth noting after the truth behind her purpose was revealed: keeping the children under her care ignorant to the fact that their death is closer than they think.

To be fair, Isabella’s cruelty can be attributed to the disturbing upbringing she faced as a child. In fact, her defeat is more tragic than anything else.

Dio Brando: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure produced a slew of hilarious, compelling — and yes, bizarre — protagonists who’ve graced thousands of anime apparel ever since its premiere back in 2012. Still, the show’s villain is by far one of the best characters in the series — and anime in general.

Determined to get what he wants, how he wants, Dio is a virtually unstoppable force willing to do anything in order to fulfill his ambitions. As you might expect, this results in some genuinely unbelievable evil antics that only grow worse — and more entertaining — the stronger he gets. Can you blame anyone for secretly loving him?

Hisoka: Hunter X Hunter

A truly heartless villain, Hisoka has no other wish than to find opponents worthy of a fight — and killing them. Eventually, his twisted goal sees him causing chaos and bloodshed comparable to nearly no other antagonist.

But, like so many other names from Hunter X Hunter, Hisoka remains a particularly compelling character. It’s difficult not to be entertained as his deceitful antics and bloody schemes play out, even if they make him a conscious-less mastermind.