Top 20 Anime Heroes Turned Villains

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Top 20 Anime Heroes Turned Villains

VOICE OVER: Ashley Bowman
All it takes is one bad day. Join Ashley as we count down the times that heroes in anime went to the dark side, as seen in series such as "Naruto", "Attack on Titan", "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure", and more!
Transcript
Script written by Alex Crilly-Mckean

Top 20 Anime Heroes Turned Villains


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we are counting down our picks for the Top 20 Anime Heroes Turned Villains.

For this list, we’re looking at the times where kind-hearted souls went to the dark side. Whether it was just a temporary blip or a full-on conversion, as long as they were flying the banner of evil at one point in time, they count! Think we missed any essential turncoats?
Let us know in the comments!

#20: Saber

“Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel” (2017-20)

Even the most noble knight can fall, and for all of her chivalry and swordsmanship, this Heroic Spirit, across all her incarnations, has been shown to have a frail heart beneath all that armor. After coming into contact with the Shadow, Saber is twisted into a dark reflection of herself. Now acting as Sakura’s guard-dog, Saber Alter is presented as a merciless warrior, with enough strength in her swings to even annihilate monsters like Berserker. Where was this form back during the Fourth Holy Grail War?!

#19: Ami Kirio

“Welcome to Demon School, Iruma-kun” (2019-)

Given just how clumsy and unassuming he was, the idea of Kirio being any kind of villain or threat, was laughable. And then he revealed himself to be an evil mastermind with a despair fetish and nearly blew up an entire school with a magic bomb. Turns out he was more of a loose cannon than anyone realised, one who relishes the acts of terror he commits, as well as his own failures. Dude is messed up, and now he’s got his eyes on Iruma, who he now considers his beloved nemesis. Hey! You stay away from that blue cinnamon roll, he belongs to Ameri!

#18: Lyserg

“Shaman King” (2001-02)

Remember this kid? The Sherlock Holmes Shaman who had such a hate-on for Hao that he was willing to give up the bonds he had built up with Yoh and company? Driven by his single-minded desire for revenge, Lyserg left Team Asakura in favor of the X-Laws; a bunch of radicals who wouldn’t hesitate to harm innocents if it meant they could purge Hao. While Lyserg would eventually see the light, his time among the white-robed gunslingers didn’t do well for his image.

#17: Meicoomon

“Digimon Adventure tri.” (2015-18)

Aww, how could anyone hate on such a lovely bundle of digital fluff? Starting out as just another addition to the franchise’s gallery of adorable entities, the would-be-plushie takes something of a sinister turn when it’s revealed to be the source of the infection consuming the digital world. After that little reveal, it abandons its cutesy exterior, bulks up, shafts its partner, and goes on to cause no end of calamity. We’re not normally one to advocate deletion of fluffy animals, but we could make an exception here.

#16: Slaine Troyard


“Aldnoah.Zero” (2014-15)

Ah adolescence. A time of great emotional complexity, yearning and outbursts. It’s just such a shame that this guy’s hormones propelled him towards being a warmonger. While originally nothing more than a loyal soldier determined to save the life of his beloved empress, who he happened to be harbouring feelings towards, her apparent death plus the fact there was a new protagonist making the moves on her was just a bit too much for Slaine to handle. Murdering his adoptive father, causing chaos with his mecha, there’s no lengths he wouldn’t go for the sake of his thirst.

#15: Akira Hayama

“Food Wars” (2015-20)

A prodigy when it comes to spices and scents, Hayama was very much the golden boy of anime’s answer to cutthroat kitchen, proving himself time and time again to be one of Soma’s fiercest rivals. Alas, not even this genius chef could resist the temptation to join the corporate ranks of Central, surrendering to the notion that if the times were changing, he would change with them, even if it pushed away all of those he cared about. Thus, we have Hayama’s bad boy phase…which, given his new threads, bordered on edgelord territory. Nothing a good foodgasm can’t fix.

#14:Stocking


“Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt” (2010)

Technically this villainous twist is played more for laughs and shock value than actual character development, but hey, it still counts! After managing to put the kibosh on Corset by summoning a giant pair of legs from heaven (just go with it) Stocking betrays her sister at the last second by slicing her up into bite-sized angel pieces, all before revealing that, surprise, she’s actually a demon. Are we given an explanation? Nope, but at least we got to share in everyone else’s stares of disbelief as the series concluded on the mother of all cliffhangers.

#13: Kai


“Beyblade” (2001)

Being a jerk and a loner is one thing, but betraying your team for a shiny new Beyblade is a bridge too far. After being given the chance to get his hands on the infamous Black Dranzer, Kai happily throws his lot in with the shady Boris and his Demolition Boys. From there, Kai proceeds to decimate all other players, sometimes whole teams at a time, in order to steal their Bit Beasts for himself. Thankfully, after getting his ass beaten by his former comrades and nearly drowning in a frozen lake, he finally learned some humility.

#12: Chibiusa Tsukino

“Sailor Moon” (1992-97)

She may have been obnoxious at times, but Chibiusa was still just a child trying to find her way home. More than that, she’s also the daughter of an alternative version of Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask. This naturally made her the perfect target for the insidious Wiseman, who fooled her into believing that her loved one’s from both time periods despised her. In her anguish, she became a vessel for the Malefic Black Crystal, transforming into a more adult version of herself known as Black Lady, or Wicked Lady, if you’re a dub purist - a tool to be used to destroy the Sailor Senshi.

#11:Straizo

“JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” (2012-13)

Honestly, turning evil was properly the right move for this guy. At least now he’ll always be the villain that introduced us to the majestic awesomeness that is Joseph Joestar, as opposed to some generic chap who survived the events of Phantom Blood. Deciding to take the power of the Stone Mask for himself, Straizo turns himself into a vampire before deciding to get rid of the one man who could defeat him. Alas, he proves no match for Joseph’s cunning and uncanny ability to pull victories out of his backside.

#10: Nadeko Sengoku

“Monogatari” franchise (2009-2019)

Heartbreak can be awful, even more so when you’ve been rejected by Araragi of all people. Yet another high schooler caught in the midst of a supernatural affliction, Nadeko was saved by Araragi’s intervention, and subsequently fell for him hard. Alas, he rejected her, given that he already had an S-Tier romance with Senjougahara, something Nadeko didn’t take too well. As a result, she chose to instead embrace her former affliction, becoming a Medusa figure who nearly tore apart her beloved out of envy. Ain’t love a bitch?

#9: Seidou Takizawa

“Tokyo Ghoul:re” (2018)

While originally a member of the CCG, Takizawa was nonetheless a well-meaning kid. Albeit one who had a major inferiority complex and didn’t know how to control his fear. Unfortunately for him, he found himself being turned into an artificial One-Eyed Ghoul and was driven crazy by the torturous process. This eventually led him into the crosshairs of Haise, where the two proceeded to engage in all-out Ghoul brawl. Too bad all that insanity wasn’t enough to defeat our brooding lead.

#8: Walter Dornez

“Hellsing Ultimate” (2006-12)

Former master vampire hunter and loyal butler to the Hellsing family, Walter was very much the reliable voice of reason among Integra’s inner circle. As it happens, the aged warrior had his own dreams, one that he was willing to sell his soul for. In a last ditch effort to kill Alucard, Walter not only agreed to undergo a procedure that would temporarily restore him to his youth at the expense of his life…but joined up with the remnants of the Third Reich in order to do so. No matter how you slice it, teaming up with swastika-wearing lunatics is not a good look.

#7: Archer

“Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works” (2014-15)

While on the surface, this Heroic Spirit appears to be the embodiment of suave, one who would happily slice and his shoot his way through the Fifth Holy Grail War for the sake of Rin. Truthfully however, he’s an opportunist looking for the most advantageous way to push his own agenda. As an alternate version of Shirou from another timeline, Archer seeks to end his younger self in order to…uh…timey-wimey/right the wrongs/counter-guardian you get the idea. Have to admit, even as he betrays basically everyone he encounters, he still looks awesome in that coat.

#6: Char Aznable


“Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack” (1988)

Well, so much for all that good faith that he built up during Zeta. After rallying the Neo-Zeon forces in an effort to kick the Earth Federation to the curb, Char once again returns to his status as the Red Comet, complete with some major revenge issues. Turns out he never quite got over Lalah’s death. Thus, the legendary rivalry is reignited, with Char even willing to drop an asteroid on the Earth for the sake of his mission. It’s fair to say that this time around, Char skipped over the morally-grey area and went straight for Vader status.

#5: Eren Jaeger

“Attack on Titan” (2013-)

He may have been loud and vengeful, but above all else Eren was optimistic in his belief that humanity would take back their homes from the man-eating giants that lurked outside the walls. That is, until the truth of the world was laid bare before his eyes, leading to him making the shift to the scariest Chad in anime. Whatever his endgame ultimately is, it was enough to warrant him laying siege to Marley, killing slews of innocents, and pushing everyone who cared about him to the side. Eren willingly became the monster of his own story, and it is as haunting as it is entrancing.

#4: Ryo Asuka

“Devilman Crybaby” (2018)

While we should have seen the warning signs when he starting pulling out machine guns and stabbing people in nightclubs, for the most part we still trusted Ryou when it came to his mission to wipe out the demons infesting the Earth…until it was revealed that he was the biggest devil of them all. After discovering his true origins as Satan, Ryou is all too eager to fall back on his old apocalyptic habits, paving the way for the slaughter all of mankind in the process.

#3: Sasuke Uchiha


“Naruto” series (2002-17)

Watching your family get massacred by your older brother can certainly have a negative effect on an impressionable young kid, and for Sasuke, it rooted itself in the form of cold-blooded revenge. The younger Uchiha was so driven by a desire to kill his bro, that his narrowmindedness led him to abandon his village and nearly kill his best bud. Of course, the vengeance-train didn’t stop there, as after discovering the truth about Itachi, he soon set his sights on wiping out the Hidden Leaf and almost killed his future wife! Honestly, it’s a miracle that he managed to get himself off the hook by the end of the series.

#2: Satoko Hojo

“Higurashi: When They Cry” franchise (2006-)

It’s always sad when besties break up, even more so when one of them has gone so far off the deep end they’re now a living deity whose only goal in life is mentally breaking their former friend. So yeah, Satoko be psycho. Now with an understanding of the various time loops and horrors that she and everyone had previously experienced, Satoko went from just another victim to an instigator. Instead of freeing everyone from the curse, she’d rather force everyone in it to fit her dream life. Stop giving little anime girls with ungodly power. It never ends well!

#1: Griffith


“Berserk” (1997-98)

Of course it’s bloody Griffith! The White Hawk may have pulled some shady shit in order to improve his political standing and win the king’s favour, but he still was shown to have a deep appreciation for the Band of the Hawk as well as his newfound friendship with Guts. At least he did, until he sacrificed them all to become a member of the God Hand, the final nail in the coffin being when he made Guts watch as he violated Casca. Yeeeeeep, that’ll earn you a villain’s loyalty card all right.
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