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16 Anime Villains Who Absolutely Love Being Evil

Updated June 22, 2021 1.6k votes 289 voters 7k views16 items

If you're looking for sympathetic villains with valid reasons for their nefarious deeds, turn back now. The characters on this list don't turn to evil because they have to or because they think it's a means to a peaceful end - they do it because it's fun.

Anime villains who love being evil can be unsettling, but they can also be fun. It's both interesting to think about how a character who loves spreading misery ticks, and cathartic to see them get what's coming to them. These villains appear in classic anime like DBZ and in more recent series like Blood Blockade Battlefront, and while it can sometimes seem like villains with hearts of gold are more popular, these cruel antagonists will probably keep cropping up in the medium. Which ones are your favorites? 

  • 1. All For One - My Hero Academia

    While most villains in My Hero Academia have reasons like "an extensive history of childhood trauma" or "being constantly rejected by society" or "genuinely believing that their crimes will better society" All For One seems to be hellbent on evil for evil's sake. We may not know his full motivation yet, but we know that he's absolutely tickled pink by his protege's crueler accomplishments, and that he's more than happy to cause serious damage to anyone who stands in his way. 

    Do they love being evil?
  • Just because Dragon Ball has a lot of heroes who were once villains doesn't mean that every villain will eventually swap sides. Originally based on corrupt real estate moguls in Japan, Frieza was never meant to be sympathetic. He buys and sells planets for personal gain, enslaving the residents and destroying them when they prove threatening or inconvenient. He finds his victims' suffering amusing, and feels no empathy for them whatsoever. The one time he does cooperate with Goku, it's because their interests happen to align, not because he's suddenly seen the light or turned into a nice guy. 

    Do they love being evil?
  • Photo: Madhouse

    Hisoka might help out the heroes from time to time, but it's not because he's a good guy. Rather, he's a relentless thrill-seeker who wants to keep his prey alive until they're worth destroying. Planting seeds of chaos and making people miserable is his M.O.

    When the time comes to betray someone, he does it with glee - unless he loses. That's why after he finally persuades Chrollo Lucilfer to fight him and doesn't emerge victoriously, he tries to force a rematch by eliminating multiple members of the Phantom Troupe

    Do they love being evil?
  • Zolf J. Kimblee believes in survival of the fittest, and he takes significant joy out of methodically assessing whether or not people are strong enough to survive his assaults. His explosion-based alchemy is also a source of aesthetic pleasure for him - much like Deidara from Naruto, he thinks that explosions are art. If others suffer in the process, or if he's working for someone who wants to sacrifice massive numbers of people for power, it's no skin off his nose. 

    Do they love being evil?