Villains or bad guys are the sole sources of tension in an anime and that’s why they can break or make a thrilling premise. ‘Dragon Ball Z‘ is one of the greatest anime out there with the most likable protagonists but would it still be the same without Vegeta or Frieza? And not to mention, ‘Death Note‘ would not even exist without Kira.
Every great anime, especially Shounen, deserves to have a great villain as much as a hero. The traits of a good hero are pretty straight forward and anyone can easily identify him/ her. But what does it take to be an unforgettable villain? Let’s find out by looking at the motives, personalities, and backgrounds of each of the bad guys mentioned below. Though these shadowy figures are known for their badassery, they are the testaments to the fact that you may not always root for the heroes of an anime. You can watch several of these best anime villains on action on Netflix, Crunchyroll or Hulu.
10. Light Yagami (Death Note)
“This world is rotten, and those who are making it rot deserve to die. Someone has to do it, so why not me?”-Light Yagami
More often than not, we automatically find ourselves rooting for the heroes of an anime. But every once in a while an antagonist comes along and we can’t help but admire him/her. Light Yagami, also referred to as Kira, is more of an anti-hero than a typical villain from ‘Death Note.’ But contrary to that, if you consider L to be the good guy then for obvious reasons, Light completely fulfills the role of an antagonist. Initially, during the anime, Light’s reasoning towards bringing an end to all crime by killing criminals seem justified to a certain extent. However, as the story progresses further, his pride and conviction towards becoming a modern god grow and he even kills innocents who come in his way.
For some reason though, despite knowing that he was wrong I found my self rooting for—albeit half-heartedly—for Light. His strong sense of justice that he initially portrayed and his noble visions of a perfect world somehow stayed with me all the way till the end and I kept convincing myself that he could be right. But then again, a character who can be considered to be fairly good must show empathy of some sort. But Light, being the typical psychopath that he is, shows none of that, making him an almost perfect anime villain.