Best Anime Villains of 2019

Villains can be some of the most memorable and compelling characters in anime. How did they become so evil? What are they striving for? Are they actually sympathetic in the end? 2019 had plenty of amazing villains worth analyzing, ranging from complete hate sinks to complex, relatable people who just happen to be on the opposing side. Let’s count down our favorites!

Massive Spoiler Warning for Kanata no Astra (Astra: Lost in Space)!

5. Malty Melromarc from Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari (The Rising of the Shield Hero)

  • Episodes: 25
  • Aired: January 2019 – June 2019

Even if a villain isn’t especially compelling in their motives, there’s something to be said about a character who’s so exceptionally detestable that watching them suffer is one of the best parts of an already good show. Malty is an entitled princess who flits from one adventuring group to the next, dazzling men with her beauty before robbing them and ruining their lives (in Naofumi’s case, she accuses him of sexual assault in front of the king). When she finally gets her comeuppance, we don’t feel a shred of sympathy for her.

4. The Originals from Kanata no Astra (Astra: Lost in Space)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: July 2019 – September 2019

When nine teenagers on a routine trip to space camp get swallowed by a mysterious orb and find themselves stranded thousands of lightyears from home, the question on everyone’s mind is, “Who did this to us and why?” It turns out that they’re leftovers from an illegal cloning operation, and their “parents” (the original people they were cloned from) were intending to use them as secondary bodies or involuntary organ donors until their secret was leaked and they needed to dispose of the evidence.

It’s a unique villain concept, especially since the parents don’t appear much. Kanata no Astra spends more time exploring how each teen is affected by their abusive/neglectful upbringing, and how they choose to view themselves after they learn the truth. It’s fascinating!

3. Cioccolata from JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken Part 5: Ougon no Kaze (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind)

  • Episodes: 39
  • Aired: October 2018 – July 2019

Cioccolata isn’t the main antagonist of Golden Wind, but he’s definitely our favorite. This corrupt doctor enjoys making snuff films, keeps another human being as a “pet”, can summon mold that decays entire city blocks, and is able to slice himself apart with such precision that he can still function as a pile of limbs and a gyrating spine. The anime even reveals that he’s the one who tortured and killed Sorbet and Gelato for pursuing the boss’ identity. Just like Malty, one of the best moments of the show comes when Giorno finally gives Cioccolata the punishment he deserves—30 whole seconds of rapid-fire punches and a final toss into a garbage truck!

2. Tahomaru from Dororo

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: January 2019 – June 2019

In the original 1969 manga, Hyakkimaru’s brother Tahomaru only appeared for a single fight and died with little fanfare or emotional resolution. But in the 2019 remake, his role has been greatly expanded in the best way possible. He resents Hyakkimaru for undoing the demon’s blessing on the land to save his own life, and he wants to prove to their parents that he’s the superior son. Their climactic clash in the burning castle is one of our favorite fights from 2019!

1. Askeladd from Vinland Saga

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: July 2019 – September 2019

Askeladd has always been the villain of Vinland Saga, but it’s easy to forget that when he’s the closest thing to a father figure Thorfinn has had for ten straight years. After he killed Thorfinn’s actual father, the kid tagged along with his army in an attempt at revenge, and Askeladd taught him to fight and practically raised him along the way. He’s intelligent, charismatic, and a terrifying warrior, but Askeladd harbors his own secret motivations that not even his closest confidants know. He’s one of the most compelling villains of the entire 2010s—you have to watch Vinland Saga to see him in action!

Final Thoughts

We also enjoyed The Beast Titan from Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2—it’s not every day that a massive talking gorilla monster pitches boulders and horses at screaming soldiers. He also seems to have an eerie, unexplained connection to Eren, so we look forward to seeing that play out next season!

What did you think of our list? Who are your favorite anime villains of 2019? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!

Tate-no-Yuusha-no-Nariagari-The-Rising-of-Shield-Hero-Wallpaper-1 Best Anime Villains of 2019


Author: Mary Lee Sauder

After the hard-hitting East Coast lifestyle hit me a bit too hard, I started pursuing my passion as a writer in my cozy home state of Ohio. Aside from that, I spend my time cooking, cosplaying, collecting anime merch, and being an improv comedy actor. I also love sneaking alliterations and stupid puns into my writing, so be on the lookout for them! 😉

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