What makes a great Anime antagonist anyway?
Is it skill? Talent?
Is it the way they think about life and how they act towards things?
Or is it their strategy, tactics, and maybe unconventional way of challenging the “good” guy?
I want you to hold that thought for it moment and put it in jar. Then lock it tight.
You can open it back up and share your thoughts after reading. 😉
Here are 8 of the best anime antagonists the anime world has ever seen.
At least from my perspective…
1. Shogo Makishima
Shogo Makashima is the main antagonist in season 1 of Psycho Pass.
In a few words: he’s terrifying. And his calm nature makes him that much more dangerous.
While you wanna hate the guy for his sick and twisted ways, and the countless murders he commits without a care in the world, his perspective on life is refreshing.
He’s also cunning and makes the anime more interesting.
Without this guy, Psycho Pass wouldn’t be half the anime it is.
Vegeta in the early stages of DBZ was a great antagonist. And one of the best you’ll ever witness.
Sharp, cunning, intelligent, forward-thinking. And he just made DBZ so much more interesting at this stage of the series.
Like when he was captured by Frieza, he manages to escape and take the dragon balls.
All while avoiding being caught or detected by any of Frieza’s squad.
Before he became the “good” guy, Vegeta was a genius and master strategist who made DBZ so interesting.
3. Red Priest Rezo
The Red Priest Rezo is another antagonist worth mentioning from anime: Slayers.
To avoid spoilers, just know he turns out to be more interesting than he first appears.
While playing a massive role to all 5 seasons of the old school anime series.
Gauron is one of the main antagonists from season 1 to season 2 of Full Metal Panic.
An action/military series with a brilliant set of characters.
In a lot of ways he’ll remind you of Shogo Makishima and Vegeta.
The kinds of BS this guy does in the anime is attrocious, sadistic and insane.
But at the same time – his role in Full Metal Panic is undeniable. And it wouldn’t be the same without Gauron.
5. Asano Gakuho
Asano Gakuho’s another brilliant antagonist.
But unlike other anime’s mentioned, there’s no murder involved here.
He’s an antagonist in a “school” setting, and makes this entire series so much more appealing.
Asano makes Assassination Classroom more of a competitive series both from the good side and the “bad” side.
6. Sosuke Aizen
Sosuke Aizen, one of the most powerful Soul Reaper captains in Bleach.
And top of that – highly intelligent, a strategist, forward-thinking and a cold hearted killer.
All you’ve got to do is watch the beginning arcs of Bleach to understand this. And especially the later arcs that show off this guys brilliance as a worthy antagonist.
Bleach wouldn’t even exist without this guy, because of how it all plays out.
Zagato is the antagonist from season 1 of Magic Knight Rayearth.
And similar to the Red Priest Rezo, he plays an interesting role in how the story plays out.
He’s the reason Magic Knight Rayearth even has a second season in some ways.
Related: Magic Knight Rayearth Merchandise
8. Akihiko Kayaba
This guy – Akihiko Kayaba created the world of SAO. Yet for most of it he’s in the background.
He’s a strange man that even despite the terrible things he did, he makes you wonder and think deep.
He’s the type of antagonist who isn’t on the front lines, and leaves you with a ton of unanswered questions.
For those reasons, Akihiko Kayaba deserves a mention on this list from Sword Art Online.
Which anime antagonist would you add to this list?
Share your thoughts! 🙂