When it comes to being a villain, it takes all types to oppose the hero! From the misunderstood characters we empathize with to the truly evil souls out to destroy their world, anime covers a wide range of villains. Of course, some of our favorites are the insane power-hungry characters, those that commit evil acts simply because they want more of something.
Whether it’s the desire for power, money or delusions of deity, villains of this crazy level will do anything to get what they want. Their morals are often skewed; putting others on a lower level of importance allows for these lesser lives to be easily expendable. We’ll cover the most deviously insane villains in our article, those that believe power rules over all.
10. Nobuyuki Sugou from Sword Art Online
- Episodes: 25
- Air Date: Jul. 2012 – Dec. 2012
Kazuto Kirigaya is one of the lucky few who get to play the new MMORPG called Sword Art Online, a game for the brand new “NerveGear.” Called Kirito in-game, Kazuto and ten thousand other players enjoy the beautiful fantasy world of Aincrad, until they discover that they cannot log out and are trapped in the game! In order to escape the game, players will have to work together to beat the different bosses – but if they die in-game, they die for real. Thus begins the long struggle for Kirito and his friends to defeat the foes ahead of them…
The main villain in the second half of Sword Art Online, Nobuyuki Sugou’s pursuit for power includes marrying Asuna Yuuki and keeping 300 players captive for research. He encounters Kirito in the real world, as well as later on in ALfheim Online as the Fairy King Oberon. Sugou attended the same school as Kayaba Akihiko, developing a bit of a rivalry with the man. Sugou is less of an insane villain as he is incredibly greedy and immoral, though his desire for power does overtake his entrepreneurial side in the end.
9. Meruem from Hunter x Hunter
- Episodes: 148
- Air Date: Oct. 2011 – Sep. 2014
Hunters are those that lead bold but dangerous lives as they work to capture criminals and look for treasure. Hunter x Hunter follows the story of Gon Freecss and his friends as they take the Hunter Exam and begin an epic adventure together, one that will teach them much about the world!
Meruem is the King of the Chimera Ants, being the most powerful Ant born of the Chimera Ant Queen. Though Meruem is refined and intelligent as a villain, he believes himself to be perfect and better than all other creatures, leading to his disdain for many other “weaker” life forms. He violently kills all who oppose him, showing a controlled insanity during battle. However, Meruem does change his thoughts later on in the series, after encountering specific humans and other beings that show strength and value in other ways. Because of this, the King of Chimera Ants is a bit lower on our list.
8. Vicious from Cowboy Bebop
- Episodes: 26
- Air Date: Apr. 1998 – Apr. 1999
In 2071, humans have expanded into the universe, colonizing several planets and traversing out into space beyond. Along with the police force that governs the universe, there are a number of bounty hunters who help sustain the peace. The spaceship Bebop, with its crew of Spike Spiegel and Jet Black, is one such adventuring vessel.
As Spike’s counterpart in many ways, Vicious is the main villain of Cowboy Bebop. He is intelligent and ruthless, working his way up in the Red Dragon crime syndicate until he eventually betrayed its leader, taking over himself. Vicious is unpredictable and it is unclear what he is really after, although his ambitious nature has allowed him to control much of the crime world.
7. Maximillion Pegasus from Yu Gi Oh! Duel Monsters (Yu-Gi-Oh!)
- Episodes: 224
- Air Date: Apr. 2000 – Sep. 2004
Yu Gi Oh! follows high school student Yuugi Mutou, a kind and smart boy who manages to solve the mysterious Millennium Puzzle. Yet when he completes the puzzle, Yuugi unlocks another version of himself, born from the presence locked inside the object. When he is faced with trouble, this alternate person comes to aid him! As Yuugi and his friends seek to uncover the truth behind this strange puzzle, they face off against many who seek to steal the object for themselves. Competing in a card game known as Duel Monsters, Yuugi and his friends will soon learn the truth behind an ancient legend linking them to the past…
The instigator of the Duelist Kingdom tournament, Maximillion Pegasus is also the creator of the Duel Monsters game. Pegasus lives in a controlled world of his own making, which causes him to lose his temper when anything doesn’t go as he planned. Since he created the Duel Monster card game, Pegasus believes he is the best duelist and is sure of his skill. While he uses some strategy in his dueling, he also manipulates his opponents, often using his Millennium Eye to see what his opponents have in store for him. While Pegasus has a desire for power, he is a bit lower on our list because his desire stems from wanting to revive his lover Cecelia.
6. Father from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
- Episodes: 64
- Air Date: Apr. 2009 – Jul. 2010
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood follows the story of brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric. When their mother dies, the Elrics decide to commit the forbidden act of alchemy, human transmutation, to get her back. However, when their attempt fails, the brothers are left shattered: Ed loses an arm and a leg, while Al’s body is taken, leaving his soul attached to a nearby suit of armor. The brothers begin a search to regain their bodies as Ed becomes a state alchemist, but they are unprepared for the truths they uncover along the way…
The original Homunculus, Father is an all-powerful being and the main antagonist of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. After Father gains his own physical form, he appears as Van Hohenheim does. Father created the seven Homunculi out of his own vices and emotions, attempting to rid himself of any flaws he himself saw. He is normally calm and collected, but does have an excitable side that comes about when his evil plans succeed. Father wishes to be free from the laws of the universe, desiring such great power for himself that he can surpass all rules and become a perfect being.
5. Monokuma from Danganronpa: Kibou no Gikuen to Zetsubou no Koukousei The Animation (Danganronpa: The Animation)
- Episodes: 13
- Air Date: Jul. 2013 – Sep. 2013
Makoto Naegi is a completely ordinary high school student. By luck alone, he manages to get accepted to the elite Hope’s Peak Academy, a school that only accepts the most talented students. Naegi is excited about his chance to study at Hope’s Peak along with the 14 other candidates, but their mutual enthusiasm is soon downtrodden. Their principal Monokuma, who is also a bear, traps the students inside the school! It seems that the only way they can escape is to successfully murder one of their own without being caught, which will allow them all to graduate. However, if you are caught in the act, you will be ended instead!
Monokuma is the most unusual megalomaniac villain on our list, as he is a stuffed robotic bear and the principal of Hope’s Peak Academy. His appearance is divided into two sides to reflect his two different moods – the innocent side of a teddy bear and a more sinister, sadistic smile. We see his moods especially in the way that he treats the students, which can be kind and full of advice, or tormenting and cruel, usually leaning toward the latter. Monokuma quite enjoys torturing the students he traps, and is violent in nature. Adding to his many flaws, Monokuma takes great pride in his position as headmaster of Hope’s Peak, getting fiercely angry when he is not referred to by his proper title. Throughout the course of the trials, it is obvious that Monokuma thoroughly enjoys the job he has been given, relishing in controlling the students in their trials.
4. Orochimaru from Naruto
- Episodes: 220
- Air Date: Oct. 2002 – Feb. 2007
When Naruto was born, the village of Konoha was being attacked by the Nine-Tailed Fox, Kyuubi. To save the village, the leader known as the Fourth Hokage sacrificed his life to seal the beast inside Naruto. In the present, Naruto’s hyperactive nature gets him in all kinds of trouble. Though he is shunned by the villagers, Naruto’s dream is to become the next great Hokage, and he refuses to give that up for anyone!
It is said that Orochimaru’s sadistic nature stems from his parents’ death at a young age. His search for immortality is ongoing, as he gathers powerful shinobi bodies to transplant into when the time is right. His particular interest in Sasuke is merely for this purpose as well, as he desires to become all-powerful and learn every technique in the world with his apprentice’s Sharingan. When Orochimaru lived in Konoha, he often used humans as test subjects for his experiments, subjecting them to horrible and painful changes with no remorse. He is manipulative, using people until they no longer serve his plans and then discarding them as worthless. Orochimaru is arrogant at times as well, believing himself to be truly immortal, which can be his downfall in battle.
3. Light Yagami from Death Note
- Episodes: 37
- Air Date: Oct. 2006 – June 2007
The way a Death Note works is simple – write a victim’s name in between the pages, picturing their face, and that person will die. When high school genius Light Yagami finds one of these Death Notes, he discovers the power it brings with it. Disgusted at the state of the world, Light decides to kill all criminals and build a new world, one with him as its god. Though the police and a detective named L are after him, Light will use his full intellect to succeed with his newfound dream!
Light appears to be a mild-mannered and handsome high school student, but his demeanor masks a cold, ruthless heart. His pride in his own abilities is steadfast, particularly when it comes to outsmarting and manipulating others. Light relishes in his power over death, especially as his game with L continues. He shows little remorse for others, seeing them all as pawns in his grand scheme and therefore as disposable when no longer in need.
2. Sato from Ajin (Ajin: Demi-Human)
- Episodes: 13
- Air Date: Jan. 2016 – Apr. 2016
Kei Nagai seems like an average high school student, even to his own shallow worldview. However, when he survives being hit by a truck, he realizes that he is actually an Ajin, one of the mysterious immortal beings hunted by the government. As Kei is forced to run from everything he knows, he will encounter friends and enemies in the most unexpected places. His journey to find his own place in the world is only just beginning! And before it all ends, he will have to decide who he is willing to fight for…
Sato is the main villain from Ajin, though he does not appear to be when Kei first meets him. His personality is calm and cheerful, at least until you try to cross him – then you will meet the chilling, cold-blooded master of chaos that resides within this old man! Sato has always been the kind of person to not understand human emotion, although his anger is terrifying to behold. He has obtained much experience in his life, from military operations to shady dealings, along with a love for arcade games. As such, he often sees his own terrorist antics as a game of chaos, one that he cannot lose because he is immortal.
1. Frieza from Dragon Ball Z
- Episodes: 291
- Air Date: Apr. 1989 – Jan. 1996
At the start of Dragon Ball Z, Goku has been living a quiet life with his wife and son. That all changes when a stranger named Raditz appears to tell Goku that they are brothers! Raditz tells Goku that when Goku first arrived on planet Earth as a baby, his purpose was to destroy the inhabitants – but suffering from amnesia, Goku was raised as a good person instead, fighting for the planet he was sent to destroy. Though Raditz fails to earn Goku’s allegiance, he does warn the group of an impending danger that is quickly approaching. The seven powerful dragon balls will be fought for once again! And this time, it’s uncertain who will be victorious…
Frieza is Goku’s most persistent enemy, coming after him again and again in an effort to destroy the Saiyan race. He takes delight in showing off his own strength, particularly when using that strength to kill someone or destroy entire planets. Frieza’s refined demeanor masks an insanity that enjoys destruction and chaos. He is disgusted by all things good, including Goku’s noble actions, and will not show mercy in a fight, though he may sadistically toy with his prey. Frieza is a powerful foe, even in moments where his arrogance and pride might hold him back. He truly does not care about anything but his own achievements, easily earning him the first spot on our list.
Regardless of what their goals are, the villains on our list are truly terrifying. Whether on a quest for power, wealth or deity, these characters are dangerous to face due to their perspective on others and pride in their own strength. While they may indeed be powerful and manipulative, good always triumphs over evil in the end! Unfortunately, that won’t stop these megalomaniacs from trying to achieve their goals…
So, do you agree with our list of the most power-hungry villains in anime? Who is your favorite villain? We love to talk about all characters, whether they are good or bad. So please leave your comments for us below!