The term “best” is incredibly vague. We don’t think there’s any one particular villain that is “better” than all the others, in all ways, because the villains are all serving different roles. Some are klutzy, some are pure evil, some are misguided, while others are just pests. For that matter, what is a “villain?” Villains are antagonists, but more. They are full characters with ambitions, personalities, and goals. This distinguishes them from mere antagonists, who are effectively speed bumps on the hero’s path – antagonists are really only characters in relation to the hero. A villain will act whether the hero is there or not because he is a character on his own, rather than a foil for the hero.
Thus out of respect for the diverse and varied nature of villany, we agreed to break this into categories that showcase some excellent examples of different “best villains”.
*Warning – Spoilers Below*
Envy – Most empty
Fullmetal alchemist brotherhood
Empty villains act because they are searching for something to fulfill them. For all the derisions and verbal abuse of humans that come out of Envy’s mouth, he/she secretly longs to be one of them and understand and stand up for who he truly is, just like they do. But he can’t and never will. He is literally nothing but envy, bluffing away his own emptiness, never to find himself in the hoards of which he is made.
Harime Nui – Most Frightening
Some characters inspire fear whenever they’re around. There’s no better way to describe Nui than her character theme – a saccharine melody that brings with it a crushing force of power, absolutely to be feared. She’s always in control. Every evil deed, every diabolical act Nui commits is because she wants to. And when she flips her lid, boy does she become even more dangerous.
Chonoire Schwartz VI – most intriguing
Witch craft works
Intriguing villains have an air of mystery surrounding them, obscuring them in a way that makes them fascinating. It is difficult to say exactly why or what Chronoire is doing, but to make trouble and looking classy doing it. She’s clearly an exceptionally powerful witch, and yet wholly mysterious. We don’t know her backstory or her motives. Chronnoire is very capable, knowledgeable, and displays herself in public as a respectful young lady, accompanied by her familiar crocodile gentleman, Seras.
Makishima Shogo – Most insidious
These characters cause harm in a way that isn’t easily noticed – they are subtle and often harmfully enticing. Wicked and brilliant, Makishima Shogo is testing other people to see their inner will, including you, the viewer. However, he’s an exceptionally thoughtful villain, acting to oppose a society he sees as flawed. Many a viewer may find it uncomfortable that they agree with him.
Slaine Troyard – Most accidental Villain
He never set out to be a villain. He never thought he’d be one – he just sort of found himself there. He is the Martian army’s whipping boy who got himself so far in over his head that the consequences of his actions gained enough momentum to pass him. He made great leaps of poor decisions just to try to keep control of the situation. Again, one of Zenko’s favorites for being a lost character.
Szilard Quates – Most Greedy
Characters marked by an intense desire, normally self-serving. Everything this guy does is purely for himself. Gaining immortality isn’t enough for him. No, he then wants to be the only immortal. He creates other immortals solely for the purpose of consuming them to acquire knowledge. Heck, even his creation of Ennis is self-serving.