TV Lists

Top 9 Best Anime Villains, RANKED

Who doesn't LOVE a good villain?


An anime series is only as good as its villains.

Great villains can make or break any story, and anime just so happens to have some of the best. From over-the-top galactic conquerors to sociopathic high schoolers and psychotic fathers, anime villains are a diverse bunch.

So as an anime fan with a useless screenwriting degree, I'm ranking the best anime villains based on how complex they feel as characters and how well they function within the larger narrative.

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TV Features

The Top 3 Anime Fights (That Don't Feature Main Protagonists)

Sometimes the undercard matches are better than the headline fights.


Usually the most epic fights in anime are the ones between the main hero and the baddest villain.

Showdowns in the vein of Goku vs. Frieza are the culmination of entire story arcs. These are the fights where the villains pull out their most terrifying powers, and the heroes draw on everything they've experienced so far in order to transcend their abilities and, more often than not, develop a new final form.

But while the headline fights might be the bread and butter of anime hype, sometimes the undercard matches are incredible in their own right. Long-running anime series are particularly great at fleshing out side-characters who would most likely get shoved to the side in a lot of other kinds of stories, and sometimes their battles hit even harder than those of the main heroes.

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JoJo's Bizarre Adventure may have debuted in 1987, but its unique sensibilities have always been ahead of its time.

Created by manga artist Hirohiko Araki, the long-running (still going strong after 23 years!) JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series is most easily described as a genre-fluid anthology that follows various members of the Joestar family bloodline across generations. But the premise of JoJois almost besides the point.

On one hand, JoJodoes, indeed, have a great deal of substance, featuring lovable heroes, loathsome villains, and perhaps even ranking amongst the best epic stories ever told. At the same time, JoJois synonymous with its uber-unique style—hyper-masculine-looking men strutting like models; over-the-top, gory battles that make even the most adrenaline-fueled shonen battles seem weak in comparison; endless pop culture references; and, most importantly, its penchant for the bizarre.

JoJo's deeply absurdist sense of humor has made the series a cultural juggernaut in the Internet memesphere—an especially impressive feat for jokes that were written before most families even owned a home computer. In 2020, if you want to have any hope of adequately navigating the Internet, you need to be down with JoJo.

Lucky for you, I've been following JoJofor close to 20 years now, so I know every JoJoreference in existence. Now prepare your body for my crash course in JoJomemes:

Is This a JoJo Reference?

Pokemon JoJoThe Pokemon Company

Easily the most prolific of all JoJo references, "Is this a JoJo reference?" is a memetic reference to the prolific nature of other JoJo references. Which is to say, there are a metric sh*t ton of JoJo references everywhere online, so at some point, people just started memeing "Is this a JoJo reference?" at anything that even might be a JoJo reference. Even if you haven't seen a single episode of JoJo, just ask if everything is a JoJo reference. Usually you'll be right. Pretty much everything really is a JoJo reference.

JoJo Poses and the Koichi Pose

Risotto poseShueisha

In the world of JoJo, every character has their own unique pose. After all, there's nothing more manly than two mega-buff dudes standing across from one another and striking hot poses to strike fear into each other's hearts. So naturally, the most iconic JoJo memes are all about posing. It's a safe bet that anytime you see anyone striking a pose in any form of media, you're witnessing a JoJo reference in action.

But even amidst a series chock-full of glorious poses, one pose stands supreme: The Koichi Pose.

Koichi is one of the main characters in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 4: Diamond Is Unbreakable. He is a small, shy high school freshman who loves living in a small town. This is his pose:

Koichi PoseDamn, son.Shueisha

Look at that power. Look at that swagger. Look at that arm movement that could be reminiscent of either "walking like an Egyptian" or "boogie boarding." No pose can ever even hope top the Koichi pose, so if you're looking for a cooler pose, just stop. Instead, just bask in Koichi's glory.

[Great Days] but Everyone is Koichi Posing REQUIEM [ACT 3/3]

Everything Dio

Dio is the villain to end all villains, a man-turned-vampire-turned-god who is so evil that he makes Voldemort, Sauron, and Thanos look like a little babies in poo poo diapers. Dio is dangerous. Dio is sexy. But most importantly, Dio is a tremendous, unabashed d*ckhead whose every action seems to turn into memetic gold.

We first meet Dio in the Victorian era during JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood. At this point, Dio is but a mere human boy, orphaned and taken in by the noble Joestar family. Upon meeting his new brother, Jonathan, and the family dog, Danny, Dio does this:

Dio VS

Yep. He just f*cking kicks Danny in the face for no reason. Later, to retaliate against Jonathan for beating him in a fight, Dio straight up incinerates Danny in a fire.

He also kisses Jonathan's love interest, Erina, and then mocks her: "Have you even kissed JoJo yet? I thought not. So now, JoJo can't be your first." Dio then points at himself, shouting, "It was me, Dio."

It was me,Dio!

In this moment, Dio created one of the greatest fake-out memes in all of existence. Now, anything can be Dio. Anytime someone posts online about trying to find a song on the tip of their tongue, a movie recommendation, or even a long-lost sibling, tell them that you can help them out. Then hit them with a load of Dio.

It was me DioShueisha

After Dio becomes a vampire (just watch the show, seriously), the meme-worthy douchebaggery only ramps up. Here's Dio responding to someone asking how many people he's killed by shooting back, "How many breads have you eaten in your life?"

How many breads have you eaten in your life?

Here's Dio yelling his new catchphrase, "Muda Muda Muda," which translates to "Useless Useless Useless," for an entire hour.

One Hour of MUDA MUDA

Here's Dio in a 1998 fighting game, dropping a steamroller on his opponent and then screaming "WRYYYYY." Don't you dare ask for context. If you want context, then I'm sorry to tell you, but you're just not getting it.

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure -

Considering everything Dio does is memeable, you might be wondering how the heroes of JoJo could possibly defeat him. The answer, of course, is more memes.

Everything Jotaro

If Dio is the primary face of JoJo's stable of villains, then Jotaro Kujo is destined to be his foil.

As the high school punk protagonist of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders, Jotaro sets out on a globe-trotting trek to track down the now vampiric and super-powered Dio, in order to save his mother from a mysterious death curse of Dio's doing. Luckily, Jotaro is to badassery as Dio is to evil. Meaning, yeah, there are endless Jotaro memes.

See, Jotaro has a catch phrase of his own: "Yare yare daze." This translates to "good grief," and when Jotaro says it, he tends to strut and tip his cooly tip his brimmed hat. This means that saying "Yare yare daze" is now, officially, the coolest thing you can do.

Yare Yare

Jotaro also happens to have super powers in the form of a Stand (a physical manifestation of someone's life energy that I refuse to explain beyond that because go watch the damn show). Anyways, when he punches with it, he says, "Ora Ora Ora," so here's ten hours of that, too.

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure - ORA ORA ORA 10

Now that you know "Ora Ora Ora," prepare to see it absolutely everywhere. Even modern anime juggernauts, like My Hero Academia, can't resist the occasional Ora Ora Ora.


Clearly, Dio and Jotaro are a match made in some sort of meme hellhole. So what happens when these two masters of meme fodder confront one another?

A walk-off, of course.

Oh you're approaching meShueisha

The iconic confrontation, popularly known as "Oh, you're approaching me," is the epitome of two powerful rivals staring each other down, but also strutting. This is what legends are made of, lads.

It's no wonder, then, that the image has spawned a copycat format that includes stand-offs between opposing forces ranging from the Virgin and the Chad to Woody from Toy Story and still Dio.

woody vs dio

Really, Everything Is JoJo

Have you ever come across the legendary "My name is Yoshika Kira" copypasta?

That's a JoJo meme.

JJBA Diamond is Unbreakable - Kira Yoshikage and Killer

Or how about someone saying, "This is the taste of a liar," and then linking to an image of a man with a bob haircut licking another man. Because yeah, that's a JoJo meme.

JoJo - Taste of A Liar [HD]

How about the purple Japanese katakana for "Menacing" that oftentimes show up in images of the buffest boys hulking out?

Spongebob menacing

Of course, that's JoJo, too. Also, it's really funny that they show up when you look up the word "menacing" on Wikipedia.

Menacing JoJo

Truthfully, the only way to truly become a JoJo meme master is to immerse yourself in the source material. Do yourself a favor and read the manga, or at least watch the anime. It's a wonderful series, and you can't hope to become a true denizen of the Internet without out.

Until then...

Roundabout by Yes (to be continued meme music)

Oh, and those "To Be Continued" fail videos that are so popular right now? All JoJo memes.

If you've enjoyed this list, then our final entry is perhaps the most appropriate for you. Get back to work.

JoJo meme inter

Keiji Fujiwara, the incredibly talented voice actor behind Leorio from Hunter X Hunter, Axel from Kingdom Hearts, and Reno from the recent Final Fantasy VII Remake, has passed away at age 55.

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Culture Feature

"Demon Slayer" Slayed at Crunchyroll's Anime Awards

Demon Slayer's big win was the right choice.

In the world of anime, 2019 will forever be known as the year of Demon Slayer.
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19 Best Anime Series You Can Watch on Netflix

Check out the best anime currently streaming on Netflix!


Anime isn't just an art form; it's a way of life.

I might enjoy watching Stranger Things, but I'd never shell out $1000+ for a Dustin vs The Mind Flayer 1:6 scale statue or a Demogorgon body pillow. Okay, that's not entirely true, I'd probably buy a Demogorgon body pillow. But if I'm going to spend $1000 on a statue, it's going to be on something like this. And no, that's not just because anime battles are cooler than battles in any other medium (and yes, I actually did buy that).

What sets anime apart from everything else is that, at its best, great anime combines action, fantasy, and humor with gorgeous art and cutting emotional impact in a way quite unlike anything else I've ever experienced. I recommend anime to anyone and everyone, and if you're seriously looking to get into the medium (legally), I'd recommend subscribing to Crunchyroll for its massive library. But for those just starting out, Netflix has a great range of anime series that are sure to show any budding anime buff what the medium has to offer:

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