It's surprisingly rare for anime villains to be in romantic relationships. Most of the time, they're too busy with their nefarious plans to bother with love. But it is possible for villains to form relationships.
Sometimes, the love they feel is exactly what makes them redeemable. Without his connection with Komugi, Meruem from Hunter x Hunter wouldn't have found a purpose in his life outside of destruction. But there are other cases where love drives people into villainy in the first place - Gendo Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion is perfectly willing to destroy the world to see his wife again. Some villains are on the same side as their lovers - Ai and Marco from Future Diary are a dangerous team. Others are enemies who love each other anyway - Mavis and Zeref from Fairy Tail are on opposite sides of a war, but that doesn't stop their feelings.
Which of these anime villain relationships do you actually ship? Be sure to vote up your favorites.
Zeref & Mavis - Fairy TailPhoto: A-1 Pictures
Unlike many of the couples of this list, Zeref and Mavis aren't on the same side - actually they're on opposing sides of the final battle of Fiore. But the two have a long and complex history. Early in their relationship, Zeref explained his Curse of Contradictions. Sympathetic, Mavis created magical, imaginary animals that he could be around without destroying them. He taught her magic, and she ended up getting cursed herself. At some point, they even have a child named August, who they are not able to raise.
Loving each other is next to impossible because the curse means that anyone they care about will lose their lives. But after hundreds of years of immortality, they finally come to the point where they can admit their real feelings, ending their lives in one of the more tragically beautiful moments of the show.Great relationship?
Meruem & Komugi - Hunter x HunterPhoto: Madhouse
As the Chimera Ant King, Meruem was born with a singular purpose: to become as powerful as possible and rule over his surroundings. But he isn't satisfied with a pre-determined life, so he starts looking for purpose wherever he can find it. Eventually, he finds it in Komugi, a blind girl who has dedicated her entire life to mastering a game called gungi. The two begin playing gungi together, and no matter how hard Meruem tries, he can't defeat her.
Through their play, he realizes that he cares more about Komugi than he's ever cared about anything - so much so that it deeply alarms his Royal Guards. Komugi reciprocates Meruem's feelings, caring for him so deeply that she's willing to pass away by his side.
It's not clear whether their feelings are romantic or platonic, but either way, they obviously have a strong relationship.Great relationship?
Jessie & James - PokemonPhoto: OLM
Jessie and James - also known as Musashi and Kojiro - are the human members of Team Rocket, the lovably villainous crew who are constantly trying to steal Pokemon from the protagonists. In the anime canon, there are moments where it seems like they might be into each other, as well as moments where it seems completely impossible that they could ever see each other as more than co-workers.
But while their relationship status in the anime is ambiguous, there's another source that makes it very clear. The Electric Tale of Pikachu, an officially licensed manga, the two are depicted as a married couple expecting a baby.Great relationship?
Genkai & Younger Toguro - Yu Yu HakushoPhoto: Sunrise
By the time we meet Genkai and Younger Toguro, their relationship is long over. Former teammates and implied lovers, they grew apart after they won the Dark Tournament together. Toguro wished to become an all-powerful demon, while Genkai wanted to hang on to her humanity. Toguro became obsessed with youth and strength to the point where he finds Genkai's aged appearance and weakened state repulsive. He doesn't really think she's all that weak, though, because he waits until she's given most of her power away to her protege before taking her on in a final, fatal battle.
Though Genkai could never forgive what Toguro became, he remained an important figure in her life. When they meet in the afterlife before she's revived and as he's on his way to Hell, she tries to and fails to persuade him to take the lighter punishment offered, and they reminisce a little about their past.Great relationship?