Top 10 Anime Villains of the 90s

Credits: Ashley Bowman Ashley Bowman
Written by Alex Crilly-Mckean Some are cheesy, some are imposing, all are classics. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we are counting down our picks for the Top 10 Anime Villains of the 90s. For this list, we’ll be looking at the most iconic villains in anime that made their debut in the 1990s and ranking them on their popularity and lasting impact.
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Top 10 Anime Villains of the 90s

Some are cheesy, some are imposing, all are classics. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we are counting down our picks for the Top 10 Anime Villains of the 90s.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most iconic villains in anime that made their debut in the 1990s and ranking them on their popularity and lasting impact.



#10: The MacDougall Brothers

“Outlaw Star” (1998)

Give these boys a wad of cash, tell them to go kill someone, and they’ll get the job done. While Gene Starwind has encountered all manner of criminal scum throughout his trip across the stars, none have been more persistent than these two siblings. Their desperate pursuit of Hot Ice Hilda and penchant for violence made their misdeeds somewhat endearing, so much so we couldn’t wait for them to appear on screen, if only for Gene and company to blast them back into the vacuum of space.



#9: Queen Beryl

“Sailor Moon” (1992-97)

Serving as the Sailor Scout’s original antagonist, this sorceress turned to the dark side after losing her precious Prince Endymion to Princess Serenity. In her vengeance, she pretty much ended up screwing everything up for the Moon Kingdom. Following on from that, she aimed to repeat the process on Earth by snatching up the prince’s reincarnation and slaying Sailor Moon in the process. Yeah, she knows a thing or two about holding onto a grudge.



#8: Dilandau Albatou

“Visions of Escaflowne” (1996)

Vain doesn’t even come close to describing this one. By far the most sadistic warrior that the Zaibach empire has at its disposal, Dilandau’s impulsive nature and incomparable narcissism made him a character we just loved to hate. Heck, the main reason he despises our heroic lead is because he left a tiny cut his supposedly perfect face. While we’d later learn just why the leader of the Dragon Slayers had so many screws loose, he still made for the perfect foil for Van to fight against.



#7: Zechs Merquise

“Mobile Suit Gundam Wing” (1995-96)

This one is a little more complex. While Gundam purists might take one look at this guy and immediately call out “Char clone”, Zechs is actually a character all his own, who at times blurred the line between good and evil. While we can’t say he was the cruellest individual to emerge from Gundam’s most bishonen stacked iteration, he certainly knows how to take heads when piloting the Epyon. If he can’t persuade you with his silver tongue, then he’ll painfully demonstrate while he’s known as the Lightning Count.



#6: Dio Brando

“JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure OVA” (1993)

You’d thought we’d include Stardust Crusaders on this list, but it was actually me – the classic OVA! Yeah, long before Jotaro Kujo got the remaster he so desperately needed, we had this little series, one that introduced us to the terror that was Lord Dio. Even before his name was a meme, the Joestar nemesis was still shown to have all the crazy quirks we’ve come to love him for, dropping steamrollers and mutilating his own face included. Just goes to show that no matter the decade, this vampire never gets old.



#5: Makoto Shishio

“Rurouni Kenshin” (1996-98)

When Kenshin abandoned his killing ways to atone for his sins, the title of Manslayer was left open for another to grasp, and wouldn’t you know it, it went to this severely disfigured, psychotic swordsman. Fuelled by pain and a desire to spread chaos, Shishio proved himself to be Kenshin’s greatest opponent. Unburdened by morals, he was even willing to slice through his own comrades just to gain an advantage in a fight. Brutal up until his end, this is one twisted firestarter we won’t soon be forgetting.



#4: Toguro

“Yu Yu Hakasho” (1992-94)

Yusuke had no shortage of foes during his time as a Spirit Detective, but by far the one that left the biggest impressions was this shades-wearing demon. While we figured him for nothing more than a bulky henchman, Toguro ended up casting quite the shadow across the series. With monstrous strength, a tragic past and a deadly rivalry with Yusuke, his actions at the Dark Tournament cemented him as an antagonist leagues above the other devilish denizens of the series.



#3: Team Rocket

“Pokemon” (1997-)

Hey, we never said they had to be effective villains. Almost as iconic as Pikachu, this merry trio of criminals have made it their sole goal in life to hunt down the lightning mouse, even if it takes them all over the globe. Given that they’ve failed more times than Ash has bombed at tournaments, you have to admire their commitment to their cause. Never seen without a ridiculous set of disguises, a whole host of crazy capturing contraptions as well as their now legendary motto, Jessie, James and Meowth stand tall as the model Rocket-employees.



#2: Vicious

“Cowboy Bebop” (1998-99)

The clue is right there in the name. Remorseless, uncaring and the bane of Spike Spiegel’s existence, this ruthless killer only seems to feel alive when he’s making others cry tears of scarlet. A former partner of Spike’s during their time as members of the Red Dragon Syndicate, he stands as the one responsible from taking everything from the Space Cowboy, aiming to finish him off with his signature sword. This is definitely not a man you want to cross.



#1: Frieza

“Dragon Ball Z” (1989-96)

The intergalactic tyrant wins the day again. Out of all the beings that have threatened the universe, and believe us there have been plenty, none have quite managed to top this nasty bastard. Able to drop his victims with just a flick of his finger, Frieza remains Goku’s most iconic foe, not to mention was the one responsible for genocide of the Saiyan race. Heartless to the end, eerily charismatic and the one responsible for triggering Goku’s switch to Super Saiyan, we never get tired of seeing this guy strut his stuff.
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