• Anime Underground

Ranking The Character Design For Every Major Shonen Villain

No matter the genre or the character type, design is an extremely important part of any anime experience. Design can tell you a lot about the character's personality and background, as well as help to determine the series' overall aesthetic feel. For this list, we'll be focusing on some of the stand-out villains from the shonen genre, and the choices their creators made in bringing them to life. 

So, which are the best shonen villain character designs? That's in the eye of the beholder. Love old school pirates? Then you might like Blackbeard from One Piece. Love modern takes on mythical figures? Then maybe you're a fan of Soul Eater's Medusa Gorgon. Love a villain who repeatedly changes forms? Anything from Cell to Father could be a favorite. 

Vote up the anime villains you think had the best design, and vote down those who need some reworking.

  • Photo: White Fox

    Often cited as one of the most attractive anime women, period, Esdeath's design is appealing to many viewers. Many elements of her uniform bring to mind dominatrixes and S&M, which makes sense because her name is a play on that concept. 

    Great character design?
  • Creating Cell was a major struggle for Toriyama. He designed him to look like an insect, but his editor, Yū Kondō, called his first form ugly, which led to his transformation Kondō also wasn't happy with Cell's new form, so that led to further transformations. All these changes combined with the excess number of spots made him one of the hardest characters to design in the whole series. 

    Great character design?
  • 7

    Naraku - Inuyasha

    Photo: Sunrise

    Naraku was originally a bandit named Onigumo who fed himself to a host of demons. This resulted in the version of Naraku who appears throughout the series, one who looks more humanoid or more spiderlike depending on the circumstances. 

    Great character design?
  • 8

    Donquixote Doflamingo - One Piece

    At 10"10, Donquixote Doflamingo cuts a terrifying figure. His flamboyant outfits are striking, but it should be noted that his sunglasses are based on Kamen Rider Super-1. 

    Great character design?