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The 18 Greatest Shonen Anime Villains Of All Time

Updated November 11, 2020 78.5k votes 12.8k voters 181.9k views18 items

List RulesVote up the most compelling shonen villains.

Shonen anime villains make for some of the most fascinating figures in their genre. They generate the challenges the heroes must endure, create a sense of danger and suspense, and reveal the dark underbellies of seemingly peaceful anime worlds.

But which of these villains rank among the best of the best? With so many great options, it's hard to narrow it down to just a few. Some are great because they have deep, sympathetic backstories that perfectly explain their motivations and make it difficult to hate them, like Ultear Milkovich from Fairy Tail. Others, like Frieza from Dragon Ball Z, are irredeemably evil monsters who you just can't stop watching. Villains who force heroes to rethink their world, like Pain from Naruto, are fascinating too.

Every great shonen villain brings something different to the table. The one thing they all have in common is that they're indispensable when telling a great story. 

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