Antagonists in anime are characters who stand in opposition to the protagonists. They are essentially characters who stand in the way as obstacles for the protagonists to complete their destiny.
These 10 male characters are some powerful antagonists that have become famous for their villainous characteristics. These nefarious characters have one thing in common, they are all insanely intelligent.
A few reasons for their evil nature are- childhood trauma, growing up in poverty, losing loved ones, gaining power, and so on.
Their evil nature comes from weak roots of greed, power, loneliness, and many more. Perhaps some are nihilistic and some just want to see the world suffer as they did.
Some villains are just straight-up evil and some antagonists are protagonists who wish to harm the evil people of the world but end up doing evil things themselves. It’s contradictory to the role of a typical protagonist, but who said a villain couldn’t be a hero?
So, here are 10 male characters that are powerful antagonists:
1. Light Yagami (Death Note)
Light Yagami from the Death Note series is, oddly, the protagonist and antagonist in one. He wanted to rid the world of criminals by killing them. The irony can never fail to make this one of the best series ever.
Light always felt a strong sense of justice and was really good at analyzing and was a skilled planner. He’s a highly perceptive guy but once he got the Death Note in his hands, he turned into a cold and ruthless killer.
The signs of a complete psychopath are seen in him yet he showed compassion after losing his memories.
2. Madara Uchiha (Naruto)
Madara Uchiha from the Naruto series was one of the biggest villains of the series. He’s an Uchiha, which means he’s deeply affected by the ‘Uchiha curse’ which is one of the reasons he turned into a villain.
Madara grew up in the world of war, where various clans fought each other for power, land, and strength. He was a skilled Uchiha, a brilliant tactician, and a fighter who was the only one who could match the First Hokage.
His goal to attain the ultimate power backfired because of his selfishness.
3. Fuhrer Bradley (Fullmetal Alchemist)
Fuhrer Bradley aka Wrath, from the Fullmetal Alchemist series, was one of the strongest villains of the series. He seems calm all the time but really, he’s always angry which fuels his ability to kill.
Fuhrer Bradley had us all fooled right from the start. Who knew the big bad king had grand plans to wipe out the entire human population just to gain some power.
Not only did he trick everyone into believing he was a good person, but it was also incredibly difficult to defeat him as he had eyes everywhere.
4. Pride (Fullmetal Alchemist)
Another villain from the Fullmetal Alchemist series, Pride is one of the most powerful villains of the series. It is incredibly hard to beat him. The quote “Don’t let the appearance fool you, there is only one reality” by Haruki Murakami has never been more right.
Pride in human form was a small boy, who is incredibly smart. He also fooled everyone into believing he was just a normal boy. Furthermore, his powers are hard to escape and Edward Elric needed help in order to defeat him. Let’s be real, he takes pride in being evil, and pride by nature can be evil if given the chance.
5. Johan Liebert (Monster)
Johan Liebert from Monster was literally a monster. Johan’s character was not hard to understand as all his evilness is very life-like. This guy will make you want to doubt humanity.
Johan may look harmless but he is extraordinarily charming and intelligent. It’s almost like you can’t hate him but he does crimes that are more common than not.
He’s got a nihilist and claims that he is “nothing.” He tortures his victims until they kill themselves. His original and ultimate goal- to be the last one standing in the world.
6. Lelouch Lamparouge (Code Geass)
Lelouch Lamparouge is the main antagonist of the Code Geass series. He’s highly intelligent and arrogant because of his aristocratic upbringing. He seems likable and sophisticated but it is all a facade.
Lelouch went through a traumatic event that caused him to become evil. His mother’s death changed him into an avenger. He killed countless innocent people and doesn’t care about it. He is ruthless in battle but can be compassionate with his loved ones.
7. Kira Yoshikage (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures)
Kira Yoshikage is the main antagonist of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures: Diamond is Unbreakable series. He’s also a Stand user and wields the Killer Queen. He can also create deadly bombs.Yoshikage is a serial killer who has romantic relationships with a beautiful woman's dismembered hands.
He’s paraphilic and has been doing it for 15 years. He’s a monster and not only does he kill, but his creepy level also increases tenfold because he collects fingernails and bottles them. If that doesn’t get any weirder, who knows what will.
8. Pain (Naruto)
Pain aka Nagato Uzumaki from the Naruto series is one of the antagonists turned good. Pain had a tragic childhood and it turned him into a villain with a positive goal and negative actions.
Pain’s goal to bring peace into the world was good but he totally went about it the wrong way. In his defense, he thought it was the best idea to gain total power of the world and shelter them into their own dream worlds.
He destroyed the entire leaf village and killed innocent lives. Thankfully, Naruto changed his mind before more damage could be done.
9. Shougo Makishima (Psycho-Pass)
Shougo Makishima is the main villain of the first season of Psycho-Pass. He is a criminal whose goal is to free the Japanese government from the Sibyl System. Shougo killed innocent and defenseless victims and he did it to make a point.
He wanted everyone to see that the Sibyl System was imperfect and had to be rid of it. He was unrecognized by Sibyl and had faced many hardships in his early life which made him feel unwanted and invisible. And so he wanted to take the entire system down.
10. King Meruem (Hunter x Hunter)
Mereum was the main antagonist of the Chimera Ant Arc of the Hunter x Hunter series. He was the king of the Chimera Ants and the most powerful one. Mereum was cruel and violent and believed himself to be superior to others, especially all forms of life.
He cannibalized any Chimera Ant that disrespected him and showed no mercy. He was a dictator and hated humans. He even ate a human child not long after his birth. He’s one of the worst villains out there.