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The 13 Most Beloved Anime Villains Almost No One Hates

March 19, 2020 37.6k votes 6.4k voters 94.9k views13 items

Not every villain is a subject of fan's scorn. In fact, some of them are absolutely adored by their fandoms. This can be because their motives are sympathetic, because they're wildly attractive, because their philosophy on life is interesting, or because they're evil as hell in a way that's fun to watch. 

The most beloved anime villains are, of course, Shou Tucker, Malty S. Melromarc, and Nobuyuki Sugou - just kidding!! You'd be pretty hard-pressed to find fans of those characters, but if you're looking for people with soft spots for villains like Itachi Uchiha, Vegeta, and Sesshomaru, you won't have to look very far.

Of course, there are exceptions to everything - you may very well despise these characters. If you see a villain on this list who you personally dislike, more power to you - this community is nothing without its diversity. But these anime villains are generally pretty well-liked by the fans of their respective series. Vote up the ones you like too! 

  • Itachi Uchiha is a great villain because he manages to go from utterly loathesome to universally sympathetic. After he eliminated his entire family (minus Sasuke) and pretended he did it to test his strength, most viewers were rooting for Sasuke to get his revenge. But once it became clear that Itachi was forced to make an impossible choice by his government, popular opinion changed dramatically. Rather than a malicious monster, Itachi was a victim himself who was doing the best he could given horrible circumstances. To take a character from one extreme to another requires some serious talent on the creator's part!

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  • Sesshomaru - 'Inuyasha' is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 13 Most Beloved Anime Villains Almost No One Hates
    Photo: Sunrise

    If you're a millenial who is attracted to men and watched anime when you were a teenager, chances are extremely high that you had a crush on Sesshoumaru - and if you say you didn't, chances are even higher that you're lying. At first, Sesshoumaru appears as Inuyasha's hostile older brother, who hates him because their father gave him what appears to the more powerful magical sword and because he's only half demon.

    But this magnificant bastard turns out to have a number of positive features. He loves the little girl he's taken in, Rin, which makes him seem more well-rounded and therefore more interesting. Also, he does eventually patch things up with his little bro and help him defeat Naraku, which means he undergoes some serious character development. 

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  • Hisoka - 'Hunter X Hunter' is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 13 Most Beloved Anime Villains Almost No One Hates
    Photo: Madhouse

    Hisoka's appeal lies in how absolutely balls-to-the-wall insane he is. You know how Goku will do anything to fight a strong opponent? Hisoka is like that, except horny and manipulative about it. He helps Gon and his friends at first, but only because he wants to make sure that they'll be strong enough that he can eventually defeat them in the most torturous way possible. He's evil as hell, but that's exactly what makes him so appealing - that and the fact that he manages to make his clown outfit look sexy.

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  • Vegeta begins the series as a ruthless villain who is perfectly happy to destroy anyone or anything that gets in the way of his goals - goals which include becoming immortal and getting revenge against Frieza for destroying his home planet. The whole revenge thing is pretty reasonable, but taking innocent lives along the way isn't. But Vegeta isn't just cruel - he's also totally isolated, unable to acknowledge his own emotions or get close to other people. 

    Over the course of the series, that changes - and that's what makes him such a beloved character. He develops a romantic relationship with Bulma, becomes a father, and joins the good guys' team - all while still retaining his big ego, grumpy personality, and awesome powers.

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