10 Sad Anime Villains You Can’t Stop Loving!

Best Anime Villans
Image via VIZ Media

Any Anime without villains would be very close to watching something that always feels incomplete. These villains are downright evil, or some are so wild and fascinating that you can’t help but root for them. Anime has a wide range of villains, but some are so heart-wrenching to watch that we can’t help but sympathize with them or truly adore them for their role in the anime. 

Such villains who think they can better the world by doing the most chaotic or absurd things, those villains who are trying to do good deeds even if they are misguided. Here are ten anime villains who have a heart of gold and could charm you in seconds. 

Team Rocket (Pokémon)

Team Rocket (Pokémon)- Anime Villains
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Even though this is a team and not a singular villain, this team as an entirety is one character that never fails to excite us and give us comic relief from the constant achievements of Ash. They are supposedly villains, but their melodramatic background, past emotional ruins, and golden hearts force us to like them or even sympathize with them.

Somehow team rocket makes us feel more human emotions than ever, whether they are jealous because of Ash when they take care of each other or even when they finally start to accept their failures. Their abandonment issues somehow justify their actions even though they are wrong; their developments are what connect us to them, maybe even more than Ash and his friends. 

Pain/Nagato (Naruto)

Pain/Nagato (Naruto) - Anime Villains
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We all know Nagato or Pain from Naruto. He was and is one of the most sympathetic villains in the anime world, the apparent leader of the heinous Akatsuki organization. He was the one who founded the original Akatsuki organization with his friends Yahiko and Konan.

Related: 12 Amazing Anime like Naruto to Your Watchlist!

Nagato was motivated to fight for peace in a world torn apart because of wars. But the death of Yahiko intensified his desires and entire belief system to achieve world peace at extreme costs. Even though his ultimate goal was harmony, his methods to achieve that were anything but peaceful; he is one of those villains that would have been a hero if he wasn’t trapped in wars and manipulation. 

Itachi (Naruto)

Itachi (Naruto) - Anime Villains
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When we first meet Itachi, we find a bloodthirsty murderer who killed his family (The Uchiha Clan) for fun. We fear him, not only because of his talents and power but how heartless he can be. And after all the years, it is finally revealed that Itachi is not the monster we know.

In fact, he killed his family to stop the Uchiha rebellion and save the villagers’ lives. He killed his own kin to save others, and his love for Sasuke never went unnoticed; he became the villain so his brother wouldn’t. His guilt and loneliness always make us feel like we are falling for him. 

Ukyo (Amnesia)

Ukyo (Amnesia) - Anime Villains
Image via Sentai Filmworks

Ukyo is charming, charismatic, and mysterious enough to make anyone fall in love with him. He is one of the boys who try to help Amnesia’s heroine salvage her memory. He is also the only man from a group of six who wants the heroine dead but somehow always saves her from being run over by trains. 

Ukyo’s maniacal laugh and threatening knife-wielding skills top his beautiful face, and we get to know that he is the heroine’s boyfriend in a parallel universe and is psychologically tormented seeing the one he loves die over and over again.

Moreover, the continuous deaths of himself force his villainous personality to take control and protect himself from everyone, and everything around him, taking over his goals. But occasionally, his true personality breaks free, making us all head over heels for him. 

Eren Yeager (Attack On Titan)

Eren Yeager (Attack On Titan) - Anime Villains
Image via Funimation

When it comes to Eren Yeager, we don’t know if he is white or black, but we do know that he is shades of grey. As Attack of the Titan continues, the question about Eren being a protagonist or an antagonist keeps popping up.

Related: 11 Legendary Anime Characters You’ll Never Forget in Your Life!

The Eren we used to know and Eren now is significantly different; he revels in hurting people and making piles of dead bodies, contrasting to how he was the hopeful character who wanted peace and justice in the world. 

We know that he is still the hero, who stands for justice, and the show revolves around him, but he is also slowly becoming tired and mad. The semi-innocent boy with self-esteem issues has gone forever after the war, and we can’t help but feel sympathy for him. And hope that the hero we knew might come back. 

Greed (Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood)

Greed (Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood) - Anime Villains
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Greed is one of the seven homunculi created by the main antagonist, Father, in the series. As his name implies, he embodies everything that greed is. We know that homunculi harbor some kind of hatred for humans, yet Greed has never really shown any disdain towards humans but instead grows to see them as equals. 

Greed goes from wanting everything, power, wealth, and riches to wanting a simple human experience filled with love, friends, and pain. We see Greed evolve and redeem himself to be someone better and not so hard to love. 

Gentle Criminal (My Hero Academia)

Gentle Criminal (My Hero Academia) - Anime Villains
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Danjuro Tobita, also known as gentle criminal or just gentle, is an eccentric and huge comic relief that brightens the audience’s mood whenever it gets too serious. He is so bizarre that he is known for his stern rules and his attempts to have his endeavors go viral online. 

Related: The Best My Hero Academia Watch Order to Follow!

However, we can’t help but love Gentle Criminal, who adores and supports his sidekick and, more often than once, acts like a grumpy old grandfather. And after heavy, overwhelming events in My Hero Academia, it feels good to have someone who gives the fans a certain amount of comfort and bumbling energy. 

Bishamonten (Noragami)

Bishamonten (Noragami) - Anime Villains
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Bishamonten is the Goddess of War, whose main goal is to constantly chase after Noragami’s protagonist, Yato, who she believes destroyed many people close to her. Her quest to now destroy Yato takes over, so much so that she becomes a villain in the series. 

It becomes worse when she slowly starts to get corrupted, wanting more. Soon everything comes crashing down, and she realizes the people close to her died because of her negligence. Her coming to terms with the death of her beloved regalia showed how much of a lady boss she was and will always be. 

Kurama Shinjirou (Kamisama Kiss)

Kurama Shinjirou (Kamisama Kiss) - Anime Villains
Image via Funimation

Who better villain than a fallen angel turned pop star? His entire character is a cheesy take on rock and roll mixed with emo bad-boy vibes. He is arrogant and selfish and has been planning to eat Nanami’s heart after he finds out that she is the Land god. 

But his playful and charismatic personality and his decision to finally move away from the darker side make him redeemable and so much more charming. 

Zuko (Avatar The Last Airbender)

Zuko (Avatar The Last Airbender) - Anime Villains
Image via Nickelodeon Animation Studios

In the first half of the series, Zuko is the prime antagonist. His main goal is to capture the Avatar and return him to his father, Firelord Ozai. 

Slowly we find out that Ozai had banished Zuko for a petty violation, which in turn forces Zuko to go on a quest to restore his honor or find a way back home. With his uncle’s help, he takes a different path towards good.