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.
“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.
"Ha! These humans are definitely foolish creatures. Think as hard as those weak brains of yours can manage. Do you humans ever listen to the cries of mercy coming from pigs and cows you slaughter?"
Meruem spends most of his life believing his species, the Chimera Ants, are far superior to humans. In this quote, he compares humans to cattle.
The viewpoint is chilling enough on its own, but its even more interesting in retrospect. Before he dies, Meruem develops great respect for a young human girl named Komugi.
"The only ones who should kill are those who are prepared to be killed."
This is easily the most resonant thing Lelouch Lamperouge says in Code Geass. After he makes this proclamation, he proceeds to take multiple lives in service of his ultimate goal: to free Japan from the imperial grip of Brittania.
At the end of the series, he proves he wasn't bluffing when he said he was ready to die.
"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.