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The 20 Greatest Anime Villains From The 1990s, Ranked

Updated July 13, 2020 14.5k votes 2.1k voters 60.8k views20 items

Whether you were watching anime throughout the '90s or are just catching up on the classics now, everybody who is familiar with the series from that decade knows that plenty of excellent shows arose from that period. Some of those great '90s anime were driven by a great villain. Let's get nostalgic and give our respects to the best anime villains from the '90s.

Who are the best '90s anime villains? Some, like Frieza from DBZ and Vicious from Cowboy Bebop are just as beloved today as they were in the past. Others, like Nakago from Fushigi Yugi and Ruby Eye Shabranigdo from Slayers aren't talked about as much anymore, but are still worthy of attention.

Which '90s anime bad guys are your favorites? Be sure to vote them up!

  • Frieza is probably the cruelest villain in the DBZ universe, which is why he's one of the most noteworthy. He buys, sells, and destroys planets full of sentient beings, forcing its inhabitants to do labor for him - in fact, he's responsible for the destruction of Planet Vegeta and the near-eradication of the Saiyan Race. Confident in his power to the point of arrogance, he almost never trains - and it's only once he finds himself dealing with exceptionally strong opponents like Goku that he decides to put in some effort.

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  • Above all else, Cell wants to become 'perfect' - that is, he wants to transform into the most powerful version of himself, something which he can only achieve by absorbing other strong beings. In order to prove his superiority to the rest of the universe, Cell hopes to destroy it - which is exactly what the Z-Fighters want to prevent.

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  • Toguro - 'Yu Yu Hakusho'
    Photo: Sunrise

    Elder Toguro is also kind of cool in a creepy way, but for now lets focus on the younger and more popular Toguro brother. He's obsessed with youth and vigor to the point where he traded in his humanity for a huge power-up - which is part of what led to his conflict with his former teammate, Genkai, who wasn't willing to do the same.. He can fully control how much of his strength he's using at any given moment, and he only plans to go all out for one person: Yusuke Urameshi.

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  • Shishio Makoto is a former Ishin Shishi hitokiri who expected to become the next battosai. However, the Meiji government deemed him a threat, and set him on fire. This prompted him to create his own army for the purpose of revenge. He's actually based on a real world figure, Serizawa Kamo, the leader of the Shinsengumi during Japan's Bakumatsu period.

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