Protagonists are cool and all but we all know a well made antagonist will be a fan favorite. They usually look much cooler and have a more unique personality. So let’s take a look at some of the top anime and manga antagonists!
When we think of popular antagonists one of the first that comes to mind is Meruem. Being the kind of the chimera ants and plotting destruction over the world, Meruem shows his strength and intelligence. What truly makes Meruem one of the top antagonists is how he struggles himself with wether his acts are ethical or not. He questions life and death itself and strives to learn more. After all he was simply born into this roll as king and had no choice in the matter. From fighting Netero to playing Gungi with Komugi, He showed many different sides to him and grew so much as a character in a short amount of time. When it came to his demise most viewers were sad even though he was a villain who killed many people which speaks volumes to him as a character.
Johan Liebert (Monster)
Johan is a lesser known character as his anime and manga is not very well known. That being said as his anime title suggests, he is a monster. Going through numerous childhood traumas and maybe having something inside of him even before that, Johan is a cold blooded killer with no sense of empathy. He will kill anyone just to make his life a little easier and also just for the fun of it. What makes him such an incredible antagonist is that serial killers like him do exist in real life. There is also the thought about why Johan is like this? Is it a mental imbalance or something created by environmental trauma? Johan himself wants to know the answers to this and almost in a way wants to be caught to stop this “monster” inside of him. Johan is attractive, very intelligent, and makes a good impression on everyone he meets. That is what makes him the best monster.
Askeladd (Vinland Saga)
Askeladd is the definition of a character you hate to love. This man murders innocent children and families and is responsible for murdering someone very close to the main protagonist. He seemingly cares for nobody except himself. Then as we get deeper and get to know Askeladd more we realize he is simply doing what he must to survive in this world. Not only that but he really cares for his crew and especially Bjorn who may be his only friend. I’m a weird way he almost becomes a sort of father figure to Thorfinn. Askeladd proved his swordsmanship and battle tactics time and time again even if some were shady ways to say the least him and his crew usually came up on top because of him. Without spoiling, Askeladd ended up doing some very selfless acts that turned many viewers from hating to loving him. Hard to make a better character than that!
Griffith is possibly one of the most popular manga characters in general, not just antagonists. He is the founder and leader of an army and is enemies with his former ally Guts. Like many characters on this list he is one who struggles with peace or destruction which makes him a very interesting character not to mention his good looks and charm.
The Friend (20th Century Boys)
The friend is one of the most interesting characters because until very late into the series we have no clue who this person really is. For years and years in the manga, the friend evades both the police who are actually allied with him and the protagonists who knew him from childhood and can’t even figure which of their classmates it was! He formed a plot when he was in elementary school and made these childhood thoughts come to fruition. The friend made a cult of millions so his every bidding for him, made a virtual video game that can go into the past, had an amusement park dedicated to him, got praised by the pope, and came back from the dead! What else can we even say!
Ryo (Devilman Crybaby)
Ryo is an extremely interesting character in that he just does whatever he wants without caring to hide. He will pull out guns or murder people without a second thought. SPOILERS AHEAD: This man tricked his childhood best friend into becoming a demon, only to film him and do experiments on him, then to destroy the world, only to regret it all at the end…. But he do so in a very cool way 😉
Gendo Ikari (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
As many good antagonists viewers hate to love, for Gendo, basically everybody just hates him and he seems to have no redeeming qualities. In a world full of awful anime parents Gendo still manages to come out on top of most. This is a feat in its own. Not being in his sons life until he needs him to control fr his robot with a very good chance of not making it out alive, you can see why Gendo may not be peoples favorite person. He always has a cold and demeaning manor. Watching Gendo outs shivers down your spine while watching and that definitely counts as being a top antagonist.
Dio Brando (jojos bizarre adventure)
Dio has easily surpassed the Jojo protagonists in the show. He is an extremely powerful vampire god and also a viral meme! It’s hard to watch or read jojo and not like Dio as a character. Although the entire show and jojo family line is a about cleaning up after messes Dio starts starting back at part 1. Therefore Jojos bizarre adventure would not even exist without Dio! Even when he loses, he wins, because he’s Dio.
Madera Uchiha (Naruto)
Out of all the vast antagonists in the naruto verse, it is clear Madera is on top. (Itachi is not an antagonist!). This man took on all the Toughest Kages by himself!!! And he kicked their ass!he also disguised himself for years and infiltrated the akatsuki! Not only that be Madera founded the leaf Villiage with the first hokage! Hearing his name struck fear In even the toughest ninjas. Whenever he appeared on the screen you knew shit was about to go down. That is why he earned a spot on this list.
There we have it! Some of the top antagonists in anime and manga! Let me know your favorites! Subscribe for more 🙂