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Evil characters are, in general, very fun. They make the story, because heroes without villains to fight tend to become boring after a while. Also, the greater the evil to vanquish, the greater the hero is, which means that the more legendary a hero becomes, the more memorable their villain is.
Now, while some of the most memorable villains in fiction are male –from Lex Luthor to Majin Boo, and from Voldemort to Father – we can remember a lot of men who have dedicated their lives to being as evil as they can in the search of their personal gain. However, that doesn’t mean that only men can be villains: female villains may not be as common, especially in shounen manga where they get the chance to be redeemed by the hero, but the ones who don’t get redeemed tend to be a bit more deadly than the males.
So here we’re going to celebrate 10 great villainesses who, because of their hate, their greed, or their pride, have shown to be evil beyond redemption. Just remember, this is a list for manga only, so great anime villainesses like, say, Sailor Galaxia, are not included on it.
10. Shinobu Uchiyama (Ito Junhi Kyoufu Manga Collection – Ijimetsu Musume)
- Mangaka: Junji Ito
- Genre: Mystery, Drama, Horror, Supernatural, Psychological, Seinen
- Volumes: 1
- Published Date: 2000
At first glance, Shinobu Uchiyama seems like a pretty normal girl. Fourteen years old, a bit shy around the new tenant in her house, Mr. Ishida, but in most regards, perfectly normal. The only strange thing around here could be the fact that next to her house there’s a small alley that has been completely walled in. Whenever Ishida asks her about it, she manages to change the subject and tells him to stop trying to go into the alley, as it could be dangerous, and, after all, “we only have one life”, as she puts it.
However, when he finds a secret window behind a bookcase and manages to get down to the alley that has disturbing silhouettes of six people, we find out the truth. Those six are, in fact, Shinobu’s victims. She may only be 14, but back when the alley was open –when she was four, if we’re to believe the man who told Ishida the story about the window- she killed three children her age because she was the “queen” of the alley and they were in her way. And later on, when her father closed the alley because he suspected what she had done, she decided to kill him too. To complete the set, she also lured and killed two of her classmates, and finally Ishida himself.
Because of the glee that she shows when she kills, and the fact that she is only fourteen, Shinobu earns the tenth place on our list.
9. Mokozu Umino (Satougashi no Dangan wa Uchinukenai)
- Mangaka: Sakuraba, Kazui (Story), Sugimoto, Iqura (art)
- Genre: Drama, School, Shounen, Psychological
- Volumes: 2
- Published Date: 2007 - 2008
Mokozu Umino is the talk of the school from the day she transfers into Nagisa’s class. There’s the rumor that she is the daughter of the famous singer Masachika Umino, and that would be more than enough to make everyone pay attention to her. However, the fact that during her introduction she claimed to be a mermaid with no parents, and that she thought humans were pretty silly creatures, sealed the fact that everyone wanted to know more about her. Everyone except Nagisa, who saw her as a boring rich kid looking for attention. However, this made Mokozu focus on her, deciding that she wanted Nagisa to be her friend –as if she didn’t make a friend before a month, she’d die, turning into foam.
But while Mokozu’s really strange acting –including the fact that she is constantly drinking water and limps noticeably – is revealed to be a way for her to cope with her very abusive home life, the truth is that she’s not completely innocent. As Nagisa ends up becoming her friend, some people compare their friendship to Stockholm Syndrome because Mokozu is incredibly manipulative and will stop at nothing to make sure she’s the only one who matters in Nagisa’s life, including ending the life of innocent beings, like the rabbits at school that Nagisa cared for.
Even when her family life gives her some excuses, and her final fate makes her a tragic figure, she still is evil enough to earn the ninth place on our list.
8. Mitsuko Souma (Battle Royale)
- Mangaka: Taguchi, Masayuki (Art), Takami, Koushun (Story)
- Genre: Action, Drama, Horror, Psychological, Seinen
- Volumes: 15
- Published Date: 2000- 2005
When the government of your own country has decided to put you and your classmates in a deadly game of cat and mouse and the only way you have to survive is if you kill everyone else, it is somewhat understandable that you will do whatever you need to do to be the last one standing. But even with that in consideration, no one can deny that Mitsuko Souma, Girl #11 went far beyond what was acceptable in that situation, killing and manipulating everyone she could until she was one of the final five survivors.
As with other female villains, her backstory is tragic. She was abused by her stepfather and that led her down a downward path that included prostitution, blackmail, and losing the ability to feel empathy for others. She is not a psychopath, like Kazuo Kiriyama, but she’s close. And because of that, she becomes one of the most dangerous people in the game, including the trained soldiers. She ends up with the second highest body count, and given that her main tactic was to use her looks to fool her opponents rather than just shoot them and hope for the best, it’s obvious she was also enjoying the kills, rather than just hoping everyone else would die without her having to work for her survival.
Due to how she was ready to kill everyone in her path to survive, Mitsuko earns the eighth place on our list.
7. Yamada Mimimi (Platinium End)
- Mangaka: Ohba, Tsugumi (Story), Obata, Takeshi (Art)
- Genre: Drama, Shounen, Supernatural, Psychological
- Volumes: 6
- Published Date: 2015 – ongoing
Yamada Mimimi, also known as Misurin, had it all. She was beautiful, talented, and thanks to a very successful career as a singer, she was also rich and famous. Unfortunately, all that didn’t make up for her absolute lack of morals and she ended up in jail at 14 years old, when she killed several of her classmates at school for no other reason than thinking they were prettier than her. With that, she became infamous all over Japan, but few thought she would be able to top her original murders.
However, once she was chosen by Metropoliman as his sidekick, she was granted the use of wings and a red arrow that makes anyone hit with it fall in love with her. Her role in Metropoliman’s plan was to act as bait to the other God Candidates, but other than that, he really didn’t much care what she did with her free time –in fact, he had picked her just to grant a classmate’s wish: that all ugly girls would die, so he would only see beautiful girls around him. And so, Mitsurin used the Red Arrow to hit girls, force them to have sex with her, and then kill them as cruelly as she could.
Due to the cruelty with which she kills her victims, and her final plan to help Metropoliman’s plans, Yamada Mimimi earns the seventh place on our list.
6. Strange Lolita (Ibitsu)
- Mangaka: Ryou, Haruto
- Genre: Horror, Seinen
- Volumes: 2
- Published Date: 2009 - 2010
There’s a legend running around Tokyo’s streets: If you’re walking alone at midnight, a girl dressed as a Lolita will appear and ask you if you have a younger sister. Whatever you do, you must not answer, because if you do, she will reply that she has found her big brother and then chase you, manipulate her way in your life until people start believing that yes, she is your sister, and then she’ll make sure you die a twisted death.
Unfortunately for Kazuki, the legend is true. And soon, he starts seeing the strange woman following him around. She stalks him relentlessly, going through his trash, and introducing herself to others as his sister. And while that in itself is incredibly off-putting, once he starts investigating more about the strange Lolita and the rumors about her, that’s when people around him start dying in more and more suspicious situations.
The Strange Lolita’s true nature, and the cruelty of her actions, more than earn her the sixth place on our list.
5. Elimana (Defense Devil)
- Mangaka: Yoon, In-Wan (Story), Yang, Kyung-Il (Art)
- Genre: Action, Comedy, Demons, Mystery, Drama, Ecchi, Romance, Shounen, Supernatural
- Volumes: 10
- Published Date: 2009 – 2011
The area between Heaven, Hell, and the world of the living is named Event Horizon. That’s where the souls of those who died go to wait for their Shinigami and the sentence for the sins they committed in life. That’s also where those who don’t belong in heaven nor hell make their home. One of those beings is Elimana, who makes her living by selling items to the demons and shinigami who may need them. Her main client is Kucabara, the disgraced son of the King of Hell, but the truth is that she deals with many shady individuals.
But as Kucabara ends up involved in a battle that could end up destroying Hell, he discovers that everything was manipulated by Elimona. Not only that, he finds out that she is actually an angel and wants to destroy everything because she wants to recover her powers; which were taken away from her because she manipulated humans for her own goals, making them wage war against one another. Her plan also included enslaving all the demons, instead of letting them work for Heaven as they had been doing for eons.
As she is supposed to be good, but instead considers everyone her playthings, Elimana earns the fifth place on our list.
4. Hazama Rei (Doubt)
- Mangaka: Tonogai, Yoshiki
- Genre: Mystery, Shounen, Psychological, Thriller
- Volumes: 4
- Published Date: 2007 – 2009
Want to play a game? Rabbit Doubt is a very popular mobile game, where a group of “Rabbits” must figure out which one of them is in fact a hidden Wolf that can, and will, pick them off one by one. Unfortunately for Yuu and the other five victims, someone has decided to make that game a reality and now they’re trapped in an abandoned hospital and forced to play for their lives. Rei Hazama, at first, seems to be the most defenseless of the “Rabbits”, and, in fact, the one the others should protect. It’s not until the very end when Yuu discovers that not only is she far more capable of defending herself, but is, in fact, the mastermind behind all the Rabbit Doubt games. A talented hypnotist, Rei has destroyed many lives, even if she herself has not been the actual killer.
And once we know her reasons to kill, she becomes even worse: She is killing people just because, at one point, some reporters doubted her powers of hypnotism. Because she found her fame diminishing, she decided to hypnotize people into killing others, using their most traumatic memories as triggers. And, if that wasn’t enough, she never gets caught.
Because of her petty reasons and her cruelty, Rei gets the fourth place on our list of evil.
3. Goldie (Gunsmith Cats)
- Mangaka: Sonoda, Kenichi
- Genre: Action, Adventure, Cars, Drama, Shounen, Police
- Volumes: 8
- Published Date: 1990 -1997
Goldie Musou, the head of one of the “minor” Mafia families in Sicily, rose to power in Chicago through sheer cruelty. Using her designer drug Kerasine not only to make money, but also to create an army of addicted slaves, it didn’t take long before she had gotten rid of her competition and she was probably the most powerful drug dealer in the Windy City. Not only that, she was also the only character who managed to face Rally Vincent, the famous bounty hunter, and survive.
Among the things Goldie did in her quest for power, we can include turning a little boy into a Kerasine puppet, convincing him that his father had been kidnapped by aliens and that killing the “impostor” was the only way to get his father and mother back. That was her favorite modus operandi, as she created a whole harem of young girls after kidnapping them and using them to kill their families.
Besides her actions, the fact that she always escaped justice, makes her win the third place on our list.
2. Queen Datura Metel Mitragyna (Dokuhime)
- Mangaka: Mihara, Mitsukazu
- Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Romance, Josei
- Volumes: 5
- Published Date: 2002 – 2012
While evil Queens are the norm in fairy tales, Datura Metel Mitragyna goes far beyond what the title requires. To begin with, poisoning people at a banquet is her idea of a prank. Later, in order to frame another king for an act of war, she poisons the water of a whole country, not caring how many innocents die in the process. Not only that, but most of her success against other kingdoms is thanks to her deadly assassins, the “poison princesses”. Unfortunately, the method to make a girl into one of them is even more cruel than anything you can imagine, and she enjoys hearing about their suffering.
As ruler of her country, Datura considers every person of lower birth than her as inferior, and thus, object to her whims. Aware that her looks are starting to fail her, she decides to use the poison princesses –girls that have been raised from birth to become poisonous to the touch- in order to conquer the neighboring realms. Sure, most of it is due to her not wanting the secrets of her rule to be known to others, but she is willing to destroy her own realm just to make sure everyone knows she’s the one who gives the orders.
Due to the way she treats people as if they were objects, her majesty earns the second place on our list.
1. Tomie (Tomie)
- Mangaka: Ito, Junji
- Genre: Drama, Horror, supernatural, Josei
- Volumes: 3
- Published Date: 1987 – 2000
Tomie has an unearthly beauty and a deadly charisma. Any man who sees her falls in love with her so completely, so obsessively, that they will gladly kill anyone who tries to get in the way of “their love”. And that love can be so terrible, that they will turn against Tomie too, killing her to make sure no one else can possess her. But Tomie knows this, and in fact, counts on it because she is not human, and any time she’s killed, she will regrow from her parts. Each Tomie in turn will seduce those around her for money, fame, or whatever she wishes at the time. Until she crosses paths with another Tomie, and then the fight for survival will begin again.
There are some men who are immune to her beauty, but they don’t fare much better. Those poor souls end up as the focus of Tomie’s own obsession to be loved by everyone, and their lives are destroyed. The girls who cross Tomie’s path sometimes end up worse, as they’re usually seen by Tomie as her rivals and she will enjoy making their loved ones kill them, or worse.
Because of her immortality, and the fact that her only motive seems to be her own pleasure, Tomie earns the first place on our list.
As you can see from the list, Evil can be very petty. The reasons behind many great villainesses’ actions can be as absurd as the fact that someone thought they weren’t the prettiest girls around, or that they were laughed at in public. Their actions are the very definition of overreacting.
But they’re also the ones who make the story interesting. Because without a conflict, without a villain to defeat, heroes have no story. And thus, we need to ask: Do you agree with our list, or did we miss a specially evil woman in manga? Please, don’t forget to let us know in the comments below.