This year has seen a large number of new and returning popular animes, one of the most highly anticipated being the adaptation of bleach Thousand Years War. One of the main reasons for the popularity of anime is the unique villains it introduces to the public. These villains, like any other medium, range from landscape chewers to cold psychopaths.
In any case, anime has shown how creative and clever Japanese writers can be. Even in the most intimate and personal anime, there is always a sense of grand purpose that makes anime so captivating. While there are hundreds of iconic villains, some quotes stand out from the rest.
“Their souls are weighed by gravity.”
Char, Mobile Suit Gundam
The full quote is: “The people on Earth do nothing but pollute. Their souls are weighed by gravity.” Char Aznable is the most iconic villain of the Mobile suit Gundam franchise, no exception. He is the longest lasting threat against the heroes of the Universal Age.
Char isn’t an effective villain just because he’s an ace pilot who leads from the front. What makes him so effective is how firm he is in his manners. His genuine belief in his own infallibility and the “corruption” of those on Earth. Despite his outward charm, Char is a cynical and bitter man who is ready to do whatever it takes to achieve victory.
“When angels are thrown from heaven, they become devils.”
Vicious, Cowboy Bebop
The full quote is: “When angels are thrown from heaven, they become devils; you agree, don’t you, Spike?” In the fights with his old partner Spike, Vicious often goes into these kinds of platitudes in Cowboy Bebop. He is a demure man when he speaks and at first glance seems like a cold person.
Behind this stoicism, however, is a quiet anger. The quote above best sums up his black-and-white view of traitors. He sees himself as an “angel”, and Spike, who left the syndicate, as a “devil”. Stoicism and culture are just a facade to mask his thirst for domination.
“Death is a normal thing. So why live?”
Johann Liebert, Monster
The full quote is: “Most of the universe is just dead, nothing more. In this universe of ours, the birth of a new life on a corner of our planet is nothing but a small, insignificant flash. Death is a normal thing, so why live?” That whole monologue sums up Johann’s most remarkable belief: to him life is nothing special.
Despite his own intelligence, charisma and ability to live a “normal” life, he chooses not to. It is meaningless to him. Except for a few people, he has absolutely no pity for life. Good, bad, race, gender, all those things don’t matter. He just kills because he can. He is the reason the show is called what it is. Sample.
“Live boldly. Even if only for a few moments.”
Frieza, Dragonball Z
The full quote is “That’s right. Let it all out. Live boldly. If only for a few moments.” This aspect of Frieza is what makes him so memorable Dragon Ball Z villain. He likes to play with his food. He could easily crush everyone in Namek without thinking about it. However, his thoughts are “where’s the fun in that?” There’s no point in being an intergalactic conqueror if it doesn’t involve torture, as far as Frieza is concerned.
Fighting Frieza isn’t just terrifying because of his total strength. It is because he will enjoy every moment of sadism. Yet that is also its biggest flaw. By giving Goku so much leeway, he was eventually killed. But to be fair, that’s something Goku does a lot too.
“Do you people ever listen to the cries of mercy…..?”
Meruem, Hunter x Hunter
The full quote is “Do you people ever listen to the cries of mercy that come from the pigs and cows you slaughter?” While there are a few exceptions, Meruem has nothing but disdain for humanity as a whole. He sees himself as the next step in evolution, and that humans are nothing more than cattle.
Yet this facade is broken down as he encounters more and more exceptional people. Though he is proud, he is not a fool. If a man gives him a challenge, he will admit his own mistake. A rarity among villains. It won’t stop him from completely destroying villages, but it does give him more nuance than most others.
“Justice will prevail, you say?”
Doflamingo, One Piece
The full quote is: “Justice will prevail, you say? But of course it will! Whoever wins this war becomes justice!” Doflamingo is one of the most memorable villains in a long-running series full of memorable villains. He is in the running for the loudest of the seven warlords.
Despite his sadism, he also inspires genuine confidence in his crew. He is completely convinced that the pursuit of romance, like the One Piece, is futile. Instead, he wants to conquer the world around him. Might equalizes, and the winners get to say what’s right and what’s not. A fantastic villain who pushes the Straw Hats to their limits.
“I now see that the circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant.”
The full quote is “I see now that the circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant… It’s what you do with the gift of life that defines who you are.” Mewtwo is one of the more likeable villains in anime, and this quote sums it up best. Throughout the film, Mewtwo’s strength is never sadistic. He does what he does because he thinks it’s necessary.
A villain who truly believes they are doing a good job and not taking part in it is both terrifying and hopeful. If he has good intentions, it must mean that a spark of good can be achieved. That quote is the realization that his judgment is flawed. People should be free to make their own way without being judged by birth. Just like people judged him.
“To realize my dream, I will alight on their corpses.”
Griffith is by far one of the most hated villains in anime history. Even anime fans who haven’t seen it yet Berserk are aware of how cruel the infamous “Eclipse” was to Guts. However, this was an even harder blow to the gut for people who did watch Berserk For the first time. Griffith wasn’t just any villain.
He was also Guts’ best friend. Despite his unscrupulous ways of achieving his dreams, he harbored a genuine fondness for Guts. Still, he was proud, and his misunderstanding of Guts’ departure as a ‘betrayal’ led him down the wrong path. This degeneration into a cynical monster willing to do anything for power is as tragic as it is disgusting.
“You’re a third-rate duelist with a fourth-rate deck!”
Seto Kaiba, Yu-Gi-Oh
Anime fans use this quote to describe the amazingly pretentious Seto Kaiba of the best Yu-Gi-Oh fame. As the hyper-competent heir to the Kaiba Corporation, he has restructured the former arms trading company into a gaming company. However, do not confuse this with softness. In any case, the shift required much more brutality on Kaiba’s part. The combination of a child prodigy and his status as the richest man in the world means that all his taunts remind the adversary of their low status compared to him.
A memorable over-the-top villain in an over-the-top anime. However, the above quote is not directly from the anime series, but from a game where he says the line in a cutscene. Even in video games, Kaiba remains incredibly quoteable.
“I reject my humanity, JoJo!”
Dio, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood
When it comes to memetic mutation, few anime have the fame that Dio has had this decade. While anime fans are only now enjoying Dio’s egomaniacal outbursts, manga fans have been waiting with bated breath for years to hear that line. Dio is the most iconic villain of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure franchise, having a major impact on events even after his death.
It all started with this scene, the moment he rejected his humanity in search of more power. The sheer joy with which he throws his humanity away for power is entertaining, and that’s what makes it so easy to quote.
Next: 10 Best Anime on Netflix (Right now)