Anime characters are amazing for the sheer range in their expression, personalities, emotions and even their objectives. In many ways, they mirror real people – and because of this, it goes without saying that some anime characters are just horrible people. Some of the most disgusting, vile, low-life characters also double as some of the most interesting. Due to that fact, we’ve put together a list of ten of our favourite… or least favourite anime characters – so off we go, our ten worst scumbags!
10. Itou Makoto – School Days
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2007 - September 2007
Itou Makoto takes the train to school every day. While taking the train on the first day of the second semester of his freshman year, he notices the beautiful Katsura Kotonoha but finds himself too shy to approach her. Makoto soon realises that they ride the same train every day; so one day, he secretly takes a photo of her and sets it as his phone’s wallpaper, hoping to keep it as a secret charm that would help him achieve his crush. However, Makoto’s inquisitive classmate, Saionji Sekai catches a glimpse of the picture and offers to help him in his endeavour, going as far as to befriend Kotonoha just for him. The three become friends, each coming to understand the joys and pains of high school and romance.
Long story short, Makoto makes this list because shortly after he starts dating Kotonoha, he cheats on her with Sekai… and just about anyone else. He was initially a mild-mannered dude; however, his pursuit of sexual relationships with various girls in his school and his addiction to sex corrupts his personality. Makoto’s creepily endearing gesture of making Kotonoha his wallpaper just about falls to the wayside within two episodes and his constant infidelity sans remorse quite actually drives Kotonoha insane. He lies, manipulates and disregards her feelings in a relationship he initiated, making him incredibly easy to hate. His antics also destroy Sekai mentally due to her attraction to him being way much more than the physical. So when Makoto finds himself being perforated several times by one of Sekai’s kitchen knives, you can’t help but feel something akin to happiness.
9. Yagami Light – Death Note
- Episodes: 37
- Aired: October 2006 – June 2007
Shinigami are gods of death, capable of killing anyone if they’ve seen their face and write their name in a notebook known as a Death Note. A Shinigami named Ryuk is bored with his life and decides to drop a Death Note into the human realm, keen to see how a human would make use of it. High school student Yagami Light comes across the Death Note and tests it by writing a criminal’s name. When the criminal dies, Light realises the extent of the power he now wields and decides to use it to exterminate every single criminal on the planet and build a new world free of crime, a world where he is revered as a god. The police soon realise that there is a new serial killer targeting criminals and try to find the one responsible. To that end, they enlist the best detective in the world: a strange young man named L.
One of the most well-known anime characters, Light is what most people would consider a complete sociopath. His machiavellian thinking and planning allowed him to remain several steps ahead of everyone else and he was deliberate in his judgement of criminals – it really didn’t matter to him that using the Death Note renders one unable to go to Heaven or Hell, he was just interested in becoming god of the new world. He was two-faced and used people as a means to end, cruelly removing people from his plans when he no longer needed them and even the death of his father didn’t inspire him to turn another leaf.
8. Hikigaya Hachiman – Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru (My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong, As I Expected)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: April 2013 – June 2013
Hikigaya Hachiman is an apathetic high school student with intense narcissistic and nihilistic tendencies. His extreme pessimism makes him believe that joyful youth is nothing more than just a delusion. As punishment for writing an essay mocking social relationships, Hachiman’s teacher forces him to join the Volunteer Service Club, a club dedicated to helping any student who asks for their help. With the cold Yukinoshita Yukino being the only other club member, Hachiman ends up being the frontman of the club, having to listen to other people’s problems. Can Hachiman’s pessimistic view of human beings be useful in his new environment?
Hachiman is not deliberately a terrible person as much as he has a terrible personality. His cynical view on everything makes it incredibly difficult for most other characters to like him and it is this brand of cynicism that makes him completely apathetic towards the ways he goes about trying to help people. He doesn’t mind stepping on toes and completely decimating people’s pride and insecurities if it means that he will bring about the best possible outcome and he often performs social self-destruction by ensuring that people vilify him should that be what he believes the solution to the problem. However, deep down, Hachiman isn’t trying to hurt people; however, he does it anyway and he is fully capable of understanding that his methods cause a lot of injury.
7. Dio Brando – Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 2012 – April 2013
In the year 1868, Dario Brando saves the live of the nobleman George Joestar. George attempts to show his gratitude to his savior by taking in Dario’s son, Dio. Dio, dissatisfied with the life he lives, eagerly takes the opportunity to seize the Joestar house for his own. He finds an ancient Aztec stone mask bearing supernatural powers, which he uses to destroy George and his son, Jonathan “Jojo” Joestar. This triggers a series of events that reverberate for years to come. 50 years pass and Jonathan’s grandson, Joseph, finds the legacy left behind by his grandfather. The secret behind the stone mask is uncovered and Joseph realises he’s the only one capable of defeating the Pillar Men, mystical beings with incredible power.
Dio, the primary antagonist of the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure universe and archrival to the Joestar family. He is always shown to have a rotten personality. Dio has no conscience and his ambition knows no bounds. He is a manipulative, violent and domineering individual who cares only for himself. After living a dejected life in miserable conditions and suffering abuse by his father, Dio aspired to become the richest, most powerful individual on the planet and in order to achieve this goal, he would stop at nothing. Dio Brando’s selfishness is limitless and he is a devastating individual to have to deal with in anyway.
6. Ikari Gendou – Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 1995 – March 1996
The year is 2015 and humanity stands on the brink of destruction at the hands of the Angels, the creatures bringing about Earth’s ruin. The only hope is NERV, a special organisation under the United Nations which possesses the Evangelions, giant robots capable of defeating the Angels. The organisation seeks pilots who are compatible with the Evangelion, allowing them to realise their true potential. 14-year-old Ikari Shinji’s life changes forever when he brought to NERV as the one who will pilot Evangelion Unit-01. With mankind’s fate on his shoulders, can Shinji accept his new destiny and become a legend?
Ikari Gendou, Shinji’s father and the leader of the NERV team responsible for the development and maintenance of the Evangelion. He is absent from most of Shinji’s life and only calls for his presence when he requires a new teenage pilot for one of the three Evangelion currently in NERV’s possession. Completely indifferent to the well-being of his teenage son, Ikari Gendou is quite the selfish character, looking out for humanity but only considering his son’s physical health if it means he can continue to pilot the Evangelion.
5. Prime Minister Honest – Akame ga KILL!
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: July 2014 – December 2014
Night Raid is the assassination branch of the Revolutionary Army, which was assembled in order to take back the empire from the greedy Prime Minister Honest who has taken advantage of the young emperor’s naivety. As a result, poverty and strife are commonplace throughout the empire. Night Raid’s members are experienced assassins who have thrown away their lives for the cause, knowing very well what is at stake. Tatsumi is their newest recruit, brought to the empire’s capital from his village in order to make money to send home. However, his plans change when the depravity of the city leads him to changing his mind and making an acquaintance with Night Raid, learning what it means to be an assassin with a cause.
Prime Minister Honest is the corrupt attendant of the Emperor, who is unfortunately, just a young boy who isn’t completely suited to leading an entire empire. As a result, Honest took advantage of his youth and inexperience and engineered the high levels of brutality and inequality that characterised the Empire before Night Raid eventually succeeded in eliminating every corrupt official and relic of the old Empire. Honest is a disgusting, gluttonous, greedy man devoid of any empathy, honesty (yes, punny) or even any sense of goodwill. His disregard for human life is perhaps one of the few things about Akame ga KILL! that remain rooted in one’s mind long after they’ve seen the show.
4. Sugou Nobuyuki – Sword Art Online
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: July 2012 – December 2012
In the year 2022, virtual reality technology has seen major inroads in its progression and a huge online role-playing game called Sword Art Online has launched. Using “NervGear” technology, players are able to control their in-game avatars with nothing but their thoughts. Kirigaya Kazuto, also known as “Kirito”, is one of the lucky few who get to test the first shipment of the game. He and about ten thousand others find themselves exploring the scenic world of Aincrad, filled with medieval weapons, monsters, items and various other elements. Their excitement turns to horror; however, when they realise that they’re unable to log out of the game – the game’s creator, Kayaba Akihiko, has trapped them inside the game. The only way to get out is to clear the game’s 100 levels; however, death in the game means death in real life. Kirito and all the other players must now fight for their survival in order to escape the hellish new reality in which they now find themselves.
Sugou Nobuyuki is a man who attended the same school as Sword Art Online creator Kayaba Akihiko and viewed him as his rival. He was chosen to marry Yuuki Asuna and was also adopted into Asuna’s family on her father’s wishes. Upon the clearing of Sword Art Online by Kirito, the security of the SAO servers was disabled and he used this opportunity to hack the SAO server and reroute the minds of 300 players, including Asuna, to a new game called ALfheim Online. He used these players as test subjects on mind and emotion control and sought to sell this information to people. He is a manipulative degenerate who hides his true nature from other people. He had a terrible superiority complex and he was also an extreme pervert, having sexually harassed Asuna several times and abused her in front of Kirito. Quite the scumbag indeed.
3. Freed Sellzen – High School DxD
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2012 – March 2012
Hyoudou Issei is a perverted high school student who spends all his time peeping on women and daydreaming about having his own harem one day. When a girl from another school asks him out on a date, Issei feels like he’s finally having his big break; however, she turns out to be a fallen angel who kills him. Luckily, Issei is given a second chance at life when his upperclassman, Rias Gremory, a high-class demon, revives him as her servant. He then joins the ranks of the school’s Occult Research Club, learning to fight and survive the violent new world into which he has been thrust, all while keeping it a secret from family and friends.
Freed Sellzen is a priest-turned-exorcist who initially hunts demons with Asia Argento in tow. He is a ruthless, bloodthirsty pervert who enjoys making his opponents suffer. Freed also has quite the vulgar mouth, having the most crude way of expressing himself. He is a violent psychopath who had no problems killing other people and often killed for his own pleasure. The degenerate threatened to rape Asia for disobeying his orders, showing the truly twisted character that is Freed Sellzen.
2. Aizen Sousuke – BLEACH
- Episodes: 366
- Aired: October 2004 – March 2012
15-year-old Kurosaki Ichigo has always been able to see ghosts. One night, a woman dressed in a black kimono named Kuchiki Rukia appears out of nowhere in his room, claiming to be a Shinigami – a grim reaper-like entity. She explains that her role is to guide lost souls to a realm known as Soul Society, while also purging evil spirits known as “Hollows”. Sceptical at first, Ichigo’s suspicions are quickly deadened as his family is attacked by one such Hollow and Rukia is gravely injured. With their fates all but sealed, Rukia suggests a daring plan: she will attempt to transfer her Shinigami powers to Ichigo so that he may then slay the beast. From that day forth, Kurosaki Ichigo took on the mantle of a Shinigami, changing his life forever.
Aizen Sousuke, the main antagonist throughout the majority of the Bleach continuity. He ranks high on this list of scumbags based on his pervasive impact on the entire Bleach universe. His Hollowfication experiments cost several souls living in Soul Society’s Rukongai to lose their lives as they simply vanished into thin air, as well as costing several Captains and Vice-Captains their place in the Gotei 13. He has no regard for any lives and manipulates the people around him to no end. In true Machiavellian fashion, Aizen faked his death at the time Ichigo and his friends had gone to Soul Society to save Rukia from being executed for offering up her Shinigami powers and that event left Soul Society in a terrible state. He orchestrated just about every single event in Kurosaki’s life, including Rukia’s appearance in Karakura Town, and as one reads the manga, the truth about Ichigo’s father losing his powers becomes linked to Aizen as well. In his pursuit of power, Aizen had no sense of compassion, no empathy whatsoever and certainly not even a shred of remorse for ruining countless lives across the denominations Shinigami, Hollow and Human.
1. Shou Tucker – Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
- Episodes: 64
- Aired: April 2009 – July 2010
The most important law of alchemy is that of Equivalent Exchange. The Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse, learn first-hand the horrors that can happen when one does not adhere to this law, with Alphonse losing his entire body and his brother Edward losing an arm and a leg in order to affix Alphonse’s soul to a suit of armour. Years later, Edward becomes a state alchemist of the land of Amestris, the youngest ever to lay claim to that title, granted the moniker “Fullmetal”, based off the mechanical limbs he now possesses. Together, the brothers perform their duties while trying to locate the Philosopher’s Stone, a relic capable of overcoming the laws of alchemy so that they can return their bodies to the way they used to be. However, along the way they come to realise the dark history of their own country.
Shou Tucker is one of the most famous anime scumbags because of the events that occur in the first five episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. He is an alchemist and scientist who created a chimera that was capable of human speech; however, it was unstable and soon died. Receiving critical acclaim for that feat meant that Tucker would be required to do it again; however, he was incapable of doing so. It was soon revealed that the scumbag transmuted his own wife with assorted animals in order to create the talking chimera and in the events of the series itself, he combines his three-year-old daughter Nina with their dog, Alexander to create yet another talking chimera. The scene is possibly one of the most harrowing in anime and just about anyone who sees this has unending hatred for Shou Tucker, possibly the worst father in fiction. Okay, we’re exaggerating a bit but he is most definitely our top scumbag.
Anime allows us to explore some of the extremes of human emotion, ability and even the extremities of human degeneracy. Authors of stories use the medium to capture quite a lot about what human life is and it is through these characters that our favourite medium comes to live. It goes without saying that there could be worse scumbags out there that we haven’t gotten around to. Some of our dishonourable mentions include Frieza from Dragon Ball Z, who committed the genocide that left only four canonical Saiyans left, or even Orihara Izaya from Durarara!! who simply enjoys playing with people’s minds. If we left out your most-hated scumbag, drop a comment below and tell us all about them!