21 Anime Where The Villain Is The Favorite Character

A few anime villains have such strong personalities that they become your favorite main characters.

Due to a past traumatic experience, the main character acts villainously. Regardless of the harm they cause, they are ultimately motivated by protecting themselves and those they love.

The protagonist is forced to confront the consequences of their actions as the story progresses, leading them to make difficult decisions about their character.

Even if there is something to be said for a sympathetic anime villain, sometimes you want to see the good guys take on a truly evil character.

Main Characters That Are villain

These characters are always fun to watch, whether they finally receive what they deserve or what malicious depths they’ll sink to next.

Finding the “perfect” anime story with ruthless villains might prove difficult for anime fans. Which villains, with their brutality, mercilessness, and twisted ideologies, would best fit the description of “ruthless”? These are just a few that stand out to me.

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

First episode: October 5, 2006
Writers: Gorō Taniguchi, Ichirō Ōkouchi

Exiled prince Lelouch Lamperouge of Code Geass is the ruler of a fictional empire seeking to dominate other nations, including Japan. Lelouch leads the charge to liberate Japan from the empire’s grasp. Unlike some series, Code Geass does not depict this as heroic behavior.

Despite lying to his followers, ignoring promises, and throwing people under the bus, Lelouch serves his goals at all costs. He even looks at the part with his dark cape and cruel, piercing gaze.



First episode: January 7, 2019
Final episode: June 24, 2019
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Action fiction

While Dororo looks innocent, he is a cheeky, mischievous thief who plays nasty tricks on others to accomplish his goals. Occasionally, he claims credit that belongs to others, which seems arrogant and reckless. Additionally, he has a determination that makes him fond of trouble.

Hyakkimaru’s abnormal presence does not frighten Dororo as he approaches him without hesitation like a curious child.

He often displays his caring nature by fetching Hyakkimaru’s misplaced prostheses with acquiescence and providing assistance on simple tasks he cannot accomplish alone. Hyakkimaru sometimes appears harsh and rude to Dororo, but Dororo is quite clingy towards him.

Akame ga Kill!

Akame ga Kill!

First episode: July 7, 2014
Final episode: December 16, 2014

In the Revolutionary Army, Akame is a member of the assassination group Night Raid, also known as Akame of the Demon Sword Murasame. The katana she wields is known for its one-hit killing ability, Murasame.

Assassination Classroom

Assassination Classroom

Volumes: 21 (List of volumes)
Released: December 27, 2013
Published by: Shueisha

Earth is in jeopardy. A powerful, tentacled creature suddenly appears and destroys 70% of the Moon, leaving it as a crescent. According to the beast, he will destroy the planet within a year. Despite this, he offers humanity a chance to avoid this fate.

The creature begins teaching his students normal subjects and assassination methods in class 3-E, the End Class of Kunugigaoka Junior High School. To kill Koro-sensei, the Japanese government offered a reward of $1 billion to the student who killed him.

Death Note

Death Note

Episodes: 37 (List of episodes)
Studio: Madhouse
Published by: Shueisha

Death Note would be an essential addition to any list of villainous protagonists. Light Yagami uses a magical notebook to bring justice to scores of criminals in the series. Eventually, he becomes so engulfed in ambition that he loses sight of his morals and begins killing innocent people to avoid being caught.

One of Death Note’s most essential questions is: Does anyone have the right to decide who lives and dies? What’s fascinating about Light’s actions is seeing what led him down such a dark and terrible path.



Final episode: September 27, 2022
First episode: July 7, 2015

Momonga loses more than just his ordinary human life when he is trapped in the virtual reality game Yggdrasil. It is not until Ainz Ooal Gown accepts the new identity that he takes his new identity as Ainz Ooal Gown.

Due to the in-game tendencies of his character, he begins to stray from humanity and kill countless people. The fact that his avatar looks so villainous doesn’t help, either. Even though he does commit questionable acts at times, he does have moments of kindness.

Hellsing Ultimate

Hellsing Ultimate

Alucard is a vampire hunter not for moral reasons but because he thoroughly enjoys taking the lives of others. Hellsing Ultimate’s Alucard hunts his fellow vampires as part of his job. A character like Alucard could easily be an anti-hero or just a hero in another series, but this isn’t the case with him.

Despite his softening, he remains a very villainous character throughout the series. In addition to viciously slaughtering vampires, he also kills humans. It is his pleasure to end lives, and he shows no mercy.

Great Pretender

Great Pretender

Director: Hiro Kaburagi
Character Designer: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Animation Work: Wit Studio
Series Composition: Ryota Kosawa

The greatest swindler in Japan is allegedly Makoto Edamura. He and his partner Kudo trick a Frenchman in Asakusa after they try to trick him together.

In the end, it turned out to be Laurent Thierry, who controlled the mafia much higher than the Frenchman they tried to trick. After taking part in the dirty jobs of the Frenchman, Edamura is yet to find out what fate awaits him.

Angels of Death

Angels of Death

First episode: July 6, 2018
Final episode: October 26, 2018

Rachel Gardner must team up with Zack, a sadistic serial killer, to ascend through a mysterious building one floor at a time.

Every floor has a boss who is just as twisted and murderous as Zack.

The building’s terrors threaten Rachel and Zack, even though they would be viewed as enemies in any other story.

There is more to Rachel than meets the eye. Zack’s secret is equally terrifying as hers, which viewers learn throughout the series.

91 Days

91 Days

First episode: July 9, 2016
Final episode: September 30, 2016

An anti-Prohibition mafia revenge story, 91 Days is set in the 1930s. Angelo Lagusa is the villainous protagonist who swears revenge on the powerful Vanetti family after they killed his parents and younger brother.

The thing that makes Angelo a villain is that he wants more than revenge; he wants to inflict as much suffering as possible on anyone who has even the slightest connection to his family’s death.

Blast of Tempest

Blast of Tempest

Episodes: 24 (List of episodes)

As the story unfolds, Mahiro Fuwa, a teenage high school student, learns that his younger step-sister Aika (also Yoshino Takigawa’s longtime girlfriend) and their parents were mysteriously murdered just one year earlier.

In exchange for Hakaze Kusaribe’s help in identifying the culprit responsible for the tragic death of his family, Mahiro is contacted by the leader of the Kusaribe clan, Hakaze Kusaribe.

Yoshino joins his friend on his quest to stand against the Kusaribe clan’s plan to awaken the “Tree of Exodus,” whose power can ruin the entire world, after learning of his friend’s intentions.

Lupin III

Lupin III

Published by: Futabasha; Chuokoron-Shinsha
Volumes: 14 (List of volumes)
Magazine: Weekly Manga Action

The titular Lupin and his gang of thieves star in Lupin III, a classic anime from the 1970s. Even though he foils the perpetrators of more serious crimes, he remains the world’s most wanted thief.

Inspector Zenigata, the antagonist, is perpetually trying to arrest Lupin for his crimes, but Lupin always manages to escape.



Volumes: 8 (List of volumes)
English publisher: Crunchyroll Manga (expired)

Nico (ニコ Niko) is one of the main protagonists of the Nanbaka anime and web manga series. As an inmate of Nanba Prison, he is housed in cell thirteen of building thirteen. As a sickly individual who relies on medication for survival, he was arrested for unwittingly buying and selling drugs in the slums.

It is Nico’s cheerful, childish personality that makes him stand out. His innocent nature entices him to be enchanted by almost everything and he rarely takes things seriously.

Terror in Resonance

Terror in Resonance

First episode: July 10, 2014
Created by: Shinichirō Watanabe

Sphinx is a terrorist cell formed by two teenage boys, Nine and Twelve. A gifted institution for children, the Settlement, provided a home for Nine and Twelve when they were young.

The Settlement is not interested in the children’s best interests, as you might have guessed. In other words, they were simply tools to be used by the Japanese government for whatever purpose it wished.

Most of the children were drugged or experimented on, but Nine and Twelve managed to escape.

Talentless Nana

Talentless Nana

Episodes: 13

Looseboy and Iori Furuya are the creators of the Japanese manga series Talentless Nana. It has been serialized in Square Enix’s shōnen manga magazine Monthly Shōnen Gangan since May 2016 and has been collected in ten tankōbon volumes.

Crunchyroll publishes the manga digitally in North America.

Elfen Lied

Elfen Lied

Author: Lynn Okamoto
Episodes: 13 + OVA
Volumes: 12

In Elfen Lied, Lucy’s villainy is justified. Her status as a Diclonius opens her up to severe interpersonal and societal discrimination and government experiments and torture.

She starts destroying others without remorse after she is traumatized by her experiences. Besides killing her captors, she also kills the father and sister of her childhood friend and makes other random killings.

Vinland Saga

Vinland Saga

Author: Makoto Yukimura
Adaptations: Vinland Saga (2019)

From July to December 2019, NHK General TV aired a 24-episode anime television series adaptation animated by Wit Studio. The second season will premiere on Tokyo MX and BS11 in January 2023, animated by MAPPA.

The Saga of Tanya the Evil

The Saga of Tanya the Evil

Authors: Carlo Zen, Chika Tojo
Adaptations: Saga of Tanya the Evil: The Movie (2019)

I can’t say that she hasn’t earned the title “evil”; her name contains the word.

Even though she’s technically just a soldier doing her duty, she goes about it in the worst possible way.

As a result of the murder, she feels no remorse at all. She never remembers the faces of those she has killed. There is no safety around her, not even for her subordinates.

If you’re acting up, she’ll use a pistol to bash your head open and berate you with insults while you eat dirt. That’s right, and she’s something special.



First episode: October 12, 2012
Final episode: December 12, 2019

“Villain as protagonist” is an unusual concept in Psycho-Pass. Although no one would call Akane Tsunemori a villain, she works for a criminal organization, and her opponents tend to be trying to destroy it.

As part of the MWPSB, Akane works for an organization like a police force that has the authority to execute people who have been classified as “latent criminals” by the Sybil System.

Despite Akane’s realization that such a system is cruel and futile, she cannot dismantle it or resist it entirely. Instead, she works with it to take down characters such as Shogo Makishima and Kirito Kamui.

Squid Girl

Squid Girl

First episode: October 5, 2010
Network: TV Tokyo

Even though Squid Girl’s main character is adorable, she is trying to take over the world. When Ika makes her way to the surface to take revenge on the human race for dumping garbage into the ocean, she is thwarted by food cart workers and her good nature.

Since Ika’s goal is to destroy humanity, she is a villain, but her criminal nature eventually fades as she gets to know humankind.

World Conquest Zvezda Plot

World Conquest Zvezda Plot

Episodes: 12 + OVA (List of episodes)

World Conquest Zvezda Plot’s Kate Hoshimiya is the leader of a secret society called Zvezda despite being a little girl. Zvezda will make no compromises in its quest for world dominance.

“Taking over the world” puts Kate in the “villain” category, but she’s also more than willing to spill her devious plans in a Bond villain-like monologue.

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