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Ranking Popular Shonen Anime Villains By How Hard They Were To Beat

October 7, 2020 3.5k votes 594 voters 39.2k views20 items

When faced with wildly powerful opponents, shonen heroes are forced to put everything on the line to take them down. Sometimes, this means developing brand new powers, sometimes it involves coming up with a strategy, and sometimes it involves relying on luck or help from their friends. No matter how they do it, these villains push the heroes they fight to their limit.

Who are hardest shonen anime villains to beat? There's a whole lot out there. Meruem from Hunter x Hunter was so tough that Isaac Netero had to sacrifice himself to take him down. Sousuke Aizen from Bleach survives one of the most terrifying attacks in anime history, and is only destroyed by an unexpected trap. 

Which of these villains would you never want to find yourself up against? Vote them up! 

  • Just as Madara thinks his plan has come to fruition, Black Zetsu stabs him in the back: figuratively and literally. After attaching to him and forcing him to absorb vast amounts of chakra from those trapped in Infinite Tsukuyomi, Madara's body inflates and then shrinks, revealing a revived Kaguya Ootsutsuki.

    When Naruto and Sasuke seal Kaguya in her own dimension, she becomes the Ten Tails. Madara, her former vessel, is spit out. The strain of having both the Ten Tails and the Demonic Statue extracted from his body is too much, and he passes away after a final conversation with Hashirama. 

    Hard to defeat?
  • By activating Saigo no Getsuga Tenshō, Ichigo Kurosaki is taking a massive gamble: though it allows him to use the enormously powerful move Mugetsu, it also means that he’ll use his Shinigami powers permanently. 

    Ichigo manages to damage Aizen just badly enough to activate the Kidō seal that Kisuke Urahara implanted inside of him. This spells his ultimate defeat.

    Hard to defeat?
  • 3

    Meruem - Hunter x Hunter

    Meruem - Hunter x Hunter
    Photo: Madhouse

    In a last-ditch attempt to defeat the chimera ant king, Isaac Netero set off a chemo-explosive weapon called the Poor Man’s Rose. This weapon, which was implanted in his body and set to go off when he passed away, was powerful enough to severely damage Meruem - but because Youpi and Shiapouf let him feed on their bodies, he was able to heal. 

    He was finally defeated because of the other effect of the Poor Man’s Rose - a contagious poison that would eventually shut down his organs.

    Hard to defeat?
  • By the time Naruto appears, the entire village has already been hard at work trying to take Pain down. He's destroyed nearly all of Konoha, and ended thousands of lives in the process. And Naruto doesn't seem to be making much progress until he goes into Tailed Beast Mode after watching Hinata seemingly sacrifice herself to protect him. 

    Once Naruto regains control over himself, he fights the Deva Paths and eventually defeats them with clone techniques and Rasengan, finally earning an audience with Nagato himself. Naruto manages to persuade Nagato that his methods won't lead to peace. Nagato uses the Samsara of Heavenly Life Technique, reviving everyone who passed away and ending his own life in the process.  

    Hard to defeat?