Best Anime Villains of the 2020s
Anime has had some amazing villains throughout the years. We’ve seen villains like Frieza and Cell from Dragonball Z and we’ve also seen villains like Shougo Makishima from Psycho Pass who remains at the top of most villain lists since his debut on the first season of the series back in 2012.
But as we progress further and further into the anime world, let’s talk about some of the best anime villains of the 2020s. Some villains have come on screen and quickly become fan favorites through all of the destruction and terror.
Starting off a bit light, in my opinion, we have Faraday from Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. One of the best things about this character is his voice actor who is none other than Giancarlo Espisito. You can definitely tell that some of his personality went into this character while pulling from his extensive background of villain characters.
Faraday is calculating, ruthless and has no problem betraying those who seem to serve no purpose after the initial plan is over and done with. Him going directly against David Martinez and setting up the assassination of his co-conspirator Kiwi are just a couple examples of his willingness to do what it takes to move forward.
Aura the Guillotine
Aura is definitely new but she made her mark as a villain in the series Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End. If you haven’t seen the show, it does come highly recommended as it is being considered one of the best anime series to come out of the fall season for anime in 2023.
As for Aura, she’s a demon who was part of the Seven Sages of Destruction and was one of the main servants of the Demon King before he was defeated. With her magic she is able to control just about anyone and beheads those with the rare ability to resist, hence the name. She’s evil for the sake of being evil and that is always refreshing to have in a villain, versus the tragic backstories that ultimately made them that way.
She has no empathy, no remorse and has no problem losing those who she made assist her as she can always make more. If we do get more from this story, I am very much looking forward to seeing her again, or more of the Seven.
Speaking of being evil for the sake of being evil, here we have Rachel from Tower of God. Just in case you forgot, Rachel sticks around with Bam for essentially the entire show and decided that because Bam was better than her, she was going to kill him so that she would come out as the better.
The betrayal we all felt watching Rachel push Bam off the top of the tower is truly unfathomable. And as we saw in flashbacks that she was essentially jealous and completely unhinged, it all started to make NO SENSE! Not that I want to get into a rant, but pretending to be crippled and going through all of the extra steps to be evil was more than I wanted and I’ve never hated a character so much. Not until later in this list anyway.
But while she doesn’t have a tragic backstory, she definitely tried to create one. It just goes to show that jealousy can definitely make you do evil things. But to be honest, I think she was evil to start with and her ego and her jealousy only propelled her to put her plan into action THEN versus waiting until later. She is definitely one of the best anime villains of the 2020s.
Now, this one may be a little controversial for a couple of reasons. One reason being that Trese is not a traditional anime, it is in the same category as Castlevania, Seis Manos and Blood of Zeus. However, Anton Trese needs to be on this list. At this point it’s a must. Which would lead to the next reason it could be controversial to have him here, because he is the father of the main character, Alexandra. But his role in the events definitely lands him on the list of being one of the best anime villains of the 2020s.
Now, you’re probably asking how he’s the villain here when Datu Talagbusao is right there? Well the Doctor is here to let you know the real diagnosis. In the show Talagbusao admits to setting up essentially everything that led to Alexandra confronting him in that moment, however, his plan was only set into motion because of Anton and his obsession with messing with supernatural things that did not need to be messed with.
Because of Anton’s twisted version of a prophecy he didn’t understand, he went so far as to murder one of his own kids as well as members of a council he created to support his absolutely insane idea and manipulate those who would have otherwise disagreed and it all culminated in Alexandra coming face to face with his horrible choices in the form of Talagbusao.
This next one I believe is one that could be considered a bit much. But this character is a villain for the books and it would be a crime to not have Giselle on this list. Without going into specifics, Giselle is an interestingly written character and has some controversy that surrounds her. But what’s a good character without some controversy?
Giselle, when we see her in the Thousand Year Blood War arc, is there with the other Sternritter. She is definitely one to be considered evil for the sake of being evil and that’s shown when she kills Bambietta and then later on uses her body in several different fights.
She also goes so far as to beat Bambietta’s dead and zombified body when she gets angry. She’s very much a sadist and it is proven as such when she gets physically aroused by abuse. Her Zombie ability contributes to her demented mind and twisted ego as she feels that with her ability she cannot be touched. As we continue to see her in the series until her apparent defeat we see one of the most disturbing villains from the Bleach universes in Giselle and that does make her one of the best anime villains of the 2020s.
I don’t think you can talk too much about villains without at least mentioning some of the students from Classroom of the Elite. When you’re speaking of someone being sadistic like Giselle it’s hard not to mention Kakeru Ryuen. He is the class representative for Class 1-C.
He rules over his class with fear with a group of bullies to beat people up who even dare to look at them or him in a way he doesn’t like. He even went so far as to try to get one student Ken Sudo expelled because he didn’t like him. He hit one of his goons over the head with a glass bottle for no reason and had no remorse for it.
He’s extremely smart and calculated in how he decides to get at different students as well as how to rule over the school. His attitude is reminiscent of Griffith from Berserk. Using the people who are willing to assist him, to progress further in his rank over his class and the school and sacrifice them if necessary for his ultimate cause.
Continuing on our journey of evil crazy people, oh I’m sorry, I meant the best anime villains of the 2020s. Forgive and forget. We come to one, Tetta Kisaki of Tokyo Revengers. If ever there was a hater, outside of Rachel, it would be Kisaki. Like 100%.
He has an obsessive “love” for a girl named Hinata, who is in fact the girlfriend of his rival Hanagaki. Now, it is definitely NOT love in the actual sense of the word but it’s more about control. Kisaki is manipulative, cunning, ruthless, egotistical and a bit of a sadist as well. Got a few of those don’t we? Ultimately, he hates the idea of Hinata being with anyone else SO MUCH, that he orchestrates her murder in every timeline she rejects him in.
While he makes others fear him, it’s what he does behind the scenes that makes him one of the most intense villains on this list.
Now, I don’t really think the King of Curses really needs an introduction. I think by now we all know how destructive,selfish, sadistic, immoral, manipulative, impulsive and downright crazy Sukuna is. I believe when we get into the Shibuya Arc, we get more of a deep dive into Sukuna and how he sees those around him, truly.
We all know he is incredibly powerful and almost a complete genius, but while we know all of these things, we have seen him dismiss his opponents for being weaker than himself. We’ve seen him pay respect to those who he felt like deserved it of course, like his fight with Jogo in the city before he ultimately ended up killing him.
Sukuna is one of the ultimate villains and while I do believe we know what happens later on in the manga, I believe the next couple of animated seasons will show just how all villains truly should be. It’s almost hard to hate him because he’s just so good at being bad. Not having him as one of the best anime villains of the 2020s would indeed be a crime.
Serial killer, I feel, is not the proper title for this anime villain. Cutthroat is one kill short, at the time of arrest, of 1000 murders. And sometimes you have to wonder, how does one even come to the decision to remove all of these people from existence for exactly no reason? Not that there could be a reason for such things, but you know what I mean.
In Akudama Drive, we see the Akudama interrupt Cutthroat’s execution to give him one of the bomb collars. Later on in the series, when we see Cutthroat he’s essentially a child. Singing nursery rhymes, laughing all the time and frolicking around. However, at the sight of red, we see a completely different person.
We see someone who can’t control their murderous impulses and enjoys seeing blood spouting from the victims, like putting your finger over a water hose type of entertainment, just with a dying body. Interestingly enough, this behavior doesn’t really seem consistent because when he was released by the Akudama in the first episode he just DECIDES to behead the police chief. His behavior throughout the series is increasingly creepy, especially when it comes to the Swindler.
So you have to wonder if he’s really crazy or is he just calculating. Either way, he is definitely one of the best anime villains of the 2020s and if we get more from Akudama Drive it would be interesting to see if they would be able to replicate someone like Cutthroat.
Remember when I said earlier that later on in this list was a character I would hate above like everyone? Well we are to that point. We all know Mahito and at this point we should all hate Mahito. Like Sukuna he is from Jujutsu Kaisen and from the time he has appeared on screen he has been nothing but an absolute menace.
Around the time we first see Mahito, he causes the death of Junpei’s mother indirectly which sets him up to toy around with Junpei in any way he sees fit. Which is exactly what he does. While he is very immature, he is also very calculating, manipulative and, you guessed it, sadistic. To the extreme. He only sees humans as toys to be played with and when they outlive their playfulness, he kills them. Case and point, Junpei. Junpei was killed in front of Yuji even when he was trying to defend Mahito from Yuji.
When we get to the Shibuya Arc, we see even more of his destructive nature down in the subway station. His murder of Nanami still hurts my heart and he also took out Nobara. And essentially after doing both of those things, he laughed in Yuji’s face which was the ultimate insult to injury. Yuji got his revenge though, that’s for sure. But Mahito caused extreme crises from the moment he stepped on screen and would of course be included in this list as one of the best anime villains of the 2020s.
Drolta & Shigaraki
We all know Shigaraki from My Hero Academia. While MHA isn’t a 2020 anime, Shigaraki got his incredible powerup and ability to kill all the heroes in the most recent seasons spanning into the 2020s. For this, he is an honorable mention.
Drolta, on the other hand, is new to the villain scene and an amazing job she did on screen. She appears in the spin off series Castlevania: Nocturne as essentially the main villain. Having no problem disposing of those who oppose her or her Messiah. While I do wish we could see more of her later on, what we did see of her landed her as an honorable mention on this list.
All anime villains deserve some limelight. Some more than others based on how they are received by the vast anime audience. And as we have more anime series coming out the woodwork we will be introduced to even more villains who are even more immoral, manipulative and downright crazy!
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