If there's one things villains are known for, it's monologuing. Big Baddies love to talk about their ingenious plans or dive into their dark pasts.
Anime villains are no different. They may not be spitting inspiring anime quotes, but they can certainly light a fire under your feet. In some cases, like when Stain admonishes Tenya Iida for his fixation on revenge in My Hero Academia, villains do offer solid advice.
When they aren't motivational, the best anime villain quotes often reveal insights into why the evil-doer commits heinous acts. Motivations range from depression brought on by childhood horrors, like Madara Uchiha from Naruto, to an understandable loathing for humankind as expressed by Knives Millions of Trigun.
Whether or not the villain is sympathetic, hearing what they have to say makes their position clear and adds depth to the plot.
"This world is full of things that don't go as you wish. The longer you live, the more you realize reality is just made of pain, suffering, and emptiness... Listen... In this world, whenever there is light, there are also shadows. As long as the concept of winners exist, there must also be losers. The selfish desire of wanting to maintain peace causes wars and hatred is born to protect love."
Madara's ultimate goal is to drape the Earth in an immersive illusion as he restarts humanity. This quote sheds light on why he wants to do something so drastic: his life has been a montage of humanity's lowest moments.
As a child soldier, Madara experienced endless suffering up until the day he died, and when he comes back to life, he sees nothing has changed. Rather than revenge – like Pain wanted – Madara desires a more permanent end for humanity.
“Greed may not be good, but it’s not so bad either. You humans think greed is just for money and power, but everyone wants something they don’t have.”
By the end of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Greed is more of an anti-hero than a full-fledged villain, but he spends enough time on the side of evil to count.
In this quote, he forces viewers to reckon with the idea that the sin he's guilty of is part of human nature—no one is immune to it.
"Drop ink on the finest snow-white paper and it will inevitably absorb into black. Its purity demands it. Tainted men have immunities. Black does not absorb black."
Shinobu Sensui is a former spirit detective who was consumed by guilt after killing countless demons.
As a result, Sensui developed a severe case of multiple personality disorder, as well as a fierce loathing for human beings, including himself. He believes he's already tainted by evil, and therefore cannot get any worse.
"Forget about yourself for a second and try saving others. Don't wield your power for your own sake. Because getting trapped by your own hate and acting out of pure self-interest... makes you the furthest thing from a hero."
Stain may actively attempt to kill Tenya Iida, but that doesn't mean he won't offer the would-be hero some advice. Stain assaults Tenya's brother Tensei because the villain believes pro heroes are obsessed with money and fame, not true heroism.
Tenya goes after Stain in the name of revenge, but the warning from Stain sticks with him long after the battle is over.