It’s rather amazing how many fiction consumers are infatuated with the Anime villains. Given that the villain makes the main plot of the story, it only makes sense that we like a good antagonist to get those ripples in the pond going.
But some Anime villains don’t inspire adoration and excitement from us; some inspire so many feelings of anger and frustration that we can’t be bothered to watch them.
And when it comes to anime, that’s a delicate line to walk. It’s hard to carry a ton of seasons when your main antagonist inspires feelings of apathy every time they pop on screen.
Below are my top 5 Anime villains or villain-like characters that inspire feelings of absolute frustration in me, be they badly written or written just a little too well.
They don’t break their shows, but they make breaking your laptop over your knee look all the more reasonable.
Oh, and a lot of these contain spoilers, so allow me to just get this out of the way:
Spoilers Ahead. Ye be warned.
5. Light Yagami– Death Note
Put your pitchforks down; I love Death Note. But any fan of the series will usually tell you that they have a very strong love/hate relationship with this genius.
Light the character is an amazing protagonist. He’s an active player in the plot, making the police run in circles, evading capture even after they have him caught, and giving the world’s greatest detective the magical slip twice.
These gambits are exciting to watch and cement Light as a solid Anime villains Protagonist. But that doesn’t change the fact that Light The Person will make you want to punch him through the walls, Love Hina style.
You may very well agree with Kira’s goals of creating the perfect world, or that all criminals deserve a painful death. But I doubt there’s a large group that agrees with Light’s methods for keeping himself in power because he is a stone-cold sociopath.
If you weren’t mad at his constant emotional manipulation of Misa Amane and Kiyomi Takeda, then his blatant disregard for his family, later on, should do it. He has to fight with himself about killing Sayo;
He has to pretend to be devastated when his father dies; when said Father is on his deathbed he’s far more concerned about making sure his dad doesn’t think he’s Kira, and so much more. Light Yagami the person is infuriating, which only makes the final confrontation all the sweeter.
4. Sasuke Uchiha – Naruto
I won’t hear any arguments about this one being an Anime villains. As far as I’m concerned, when you join several antagonist groups and threaten to murder your friends without the aid of brainwashing, you don’t get to go to the heroes club meetings anymore.
I have complicated feelings about Naruto the show but I am clear on how much I can’t stand Sasuke Uchiha. I have no patience for ungrateful brats, especially brats who waste infinite second chances from their peers.
Every attempt to show him kindness and concern is met with cold rejection and murder-attempts, and yet somehow everyone falls over themselves to bring him home.
Even after he joins two different organizations bent on the destruction of Konoha, even after he tries to kill his two best friends, both Naruto and Sakura feel they have to “rescue” him.
It’s infuriating to see Kishimoto’s attempts to make us like a character who has no redeeming value to his personality and who, ultimately, does little for the plot.
But, and I say this begrudgingly, he did have one use: it was infinitely satisfying seeing him fail.
Sasuke has a purpose – to fail. He’s the power-hungry revenge seeker who is clearly in the wrong for the show, thus you’re supposed to be sad but secretly satisfied when he gets the snot kicked out of him.
It’s a nice idea and full of potential, but it’s buried under a pile of induced apathy from a fanbase that’s tired of watching him betray just about everyone who trusts him.
3. Ali & An – Sailor Moon
Oh God, how I hate filler.
I understand that sometimes you need to buy time in anime production. Sailor Moon especially needed more time since Takeuchi was already buried under her manga work and couldn’t get season two started.
However, that does not change the fact that filler is annoying, wastes everyone’s time, and needs to be kept to a minimum. Now, imagine an entire section of a season being filler, with two of the most bratty Anime villains ever… and they’re doing it on purpose.
Ali and An, or “Allan and Ann” if you saw the dub, were two alien lifeforms raised by the ethereal, magical being called the Makaju, or the “doom tree.”
Because it fed on energy and gave them energy, in turn, these two would routinely summon “Caridan monsters” which stole human energy.
When they weren’t doing that, they were pretending to be human and attempting to break up the main couple despite claiming to love each other.
It was a vicious cycle of them cheating, getting caught by each other, and apologizing, and then starting back at square one.
Furthermore, because of their “tragic” backstory, they were supposedly given excuses for believing they could force people to love them.
But even “annoying on purpose” is a fail in my book. When the plot of the season is supposed to involve evil child-murderers from the future, a side-plot about two, petty adults who piss each other off just doesn’t cut it.
2. The Noah – D Gray Man
Yes, I’m cheating. But, in all seriousness, The Noah were the worst part of the entire anime just for the sheer amount of attention they got.
The Millennium Earl was and continues to be a terrifying character, making machine skeletons out of the dead and stuffing them into the skin of their loved ones.
And his merry band of evil misfits were equally worrisome; immortal, spiteful beings with no qualms about murder will certainly do that.
But, as much as I enjoyed Tyki Mikk being a monster and Road being the resident Creepy-Child, they wore out their welcome too fast.
I like a good villain as much as the next writer, but I hate it when they distract me completely from the main plot.
Far too often I was eager to move onto the next point with the exorcist’s group and had to wade through too many scenes of Road being creepy, Tyki being a s@distic b*stard, and the Earl’s umbrella needlessly freaking out.
The Noah’s appeal quickly wears off as the anime lingers on their antics. It turns out there is such a thing as too much villain exposure, and The Noah are guilty as charged.
1. Envy – Fullmetal Alchemist 2003
Our last entry is my biggest pet-peeve: a character who used to work, no longer works, and still receives adoration he doesn’t deserve. I can’t understand why anyone in the world would find this creature attractive – especially in his first anime form.
Now, I’m neither stupid nor insensitive, so I’m aware there’s an attraction to bad men for some women; I’ve had my fair share of bad-guy crushes. But I was especially baffled at the fanbase Envy has, especially first incarnation Envy.
Let’s ignore the fact that the real Envy is a sadist who will happily kill humans like insects, started an entire war out of sheer boredom, and murdered a man by pretending to be his wife. I can easily understand how fan-girls can completely ignore all of that, though I’m less impressed at some trying to excuse it.
But I would never understand why anyone would like “Envy, the whiny child who just wanted daddy to love him.”
Envy is not anyone’s child in the manga, or in Brotherhood. But the 2003 anime decided that he needed extra wangst and made him the son of Dante and Hohenheim. They decided that this sociopathic monster was better suited to hating Edward specifically because he felt like Hohenheim cared more for the Elrics than for him.
As far as I’m concerned, this completely ruins anything about the character that made him scary. It’s an attempt to add empathy to a creature who’s shown it to no one. In fact, Envy has been downright predatory to people capable of empathy and emotion.
Envy to me is the sum of what makes the must frustrating villain. It’s a character pulled in a direction that doesn’t make sense for them, or just plain misses the point of their role entirely.
Who are your most frustrating Anime villains characters? Feel free to comment below!