10 Most Dangerous Villains in the Pokémon Anime

Since it was first broadcast in Japan in 1997 and to international audiences in 1998, the ongoing pokemon anime has had a successful run. Audiences have followed Ash Ketchum for 25 seasons and 23 films as he strives to explore the world and become the greatest Pokémon master he can be. The fun mix of comedy, intense action and dynamic graphics of Pokémon helped introduce the games to a wider audience and contributed to the franchise’s success.

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Of course, things haven’t been smooth sailing for Ash and his friends. Each new region has its own perils, including those who want to use the power of Pokémon for their own evil purposes. These villains range from leaders of powerful organizations to evil Pokémon.



Ash’s most consistent opponents are Jessie, James and a talking Meowth who work for Team Rocket. Although their goal is to steal Ash’s Pikachu, they are comical villains who get blasted at the end of each episode. Meanwhile, the leader of their organization runs his operations from the shadows.

While pretending to be the gym leader of Viridian City, Giovanni’s true intentions are to use Pokémon to build his criminal empire, and he charges his agents with stealing the rarest and most powerful. Despite being the boss of Team Rocket, Giovanni and Ash rarely met, although Giovanni’s Persian was able to defeat Ash’s Pikachu effortlessly in the Black and white archery bow.


After discovering a fossil of the Pokémon precursor Mew, a group of scientists set out to clone it and create the world’s most powerful Pokémon. They succeeded and named the clone Mewtwo. Unfortunately, Mewtwo had no intention of being submissive to humans and decided to forge his own place in the world.

Mewtwo is a terrifying villain thanks to his unparalleled strength and his cold, calculated approach to things. No matter what the heroes try, they cannot overcome Mewtwo with brute force. Instead, Mewtwo is defeated when Ash and Mew misdirect her ideals, concluding that the circumstances of one’s birth don’t define them.

The iron masked marauder

Appear as the bad guy in Pokemon the Movie: 4Ever, the Iron Masked Marauder is a high-ranking Team Rocket member who invented his own Poké Ball called a Dark Ball. Any Pokémon caught with it will become hyper-aggressive and under its control. He plans to use the Dark Ball to capture the Legendary Pokémon Celebi and use its power to usurp Giovanni.

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While the Iron Masked Marauder’s motivations may not be the most complex, the idea of ​​the Dark Ball and its personality-distorting effects are terrifying. He is the first villain to successfully capture a Legendary, demonstrating how destructive their power is in the wrong hands. The fact that the antagonist is voiced by Dan Green, known as the voice of Yugi and the pharaoh in Yu-Gi-Oh, makes the character even more powerful and intimidating.

Pokemon Hunter J

Since Jessie, James and Meowth are the most recurring members of Team Rocket, it’s easy to forget that there are legitimate cold-blooded people who are okay with exploiting Pokémon for their own personal gain. The worst of them in Hunter J, one of the best Pokémon anime characters not in the games, from the Diamond & Pearl bows. Unlike the trio, J doesn’t gain any redeeming abilities, and once she’s set her sights on a target, she’ll do anything she can to acquire it.

While she lacks Team Rocket’s global organizing power, J makes up for it with advanced technology, including her signature arm cannon that can petrify humans and Pokémon. She also had a squad of villainous threats, including the arachnid Ariados, the ogre scorpion Drapion, and Salamence, one of the strongest Dragon Pokémon. J was so successful that she was occasionally able to defeat Ash, evade capture, and capture Legendary Pokémon.


Although Cyrus poses as a well-meaning businessman who financed many of Sinnoh’s libraries, this is a cover for his true intentions. He is secretly the boss of Team Galactic, an evil organization bent on capturing the Pokémon that represent time and space. To that end, he hires Pokémon Hunter J to capture a trio of legendary elves to forge a red chain to bind the dragon gods.

Cyrus is terrifying because of his lack of emotions and his ability to manipulate others. He believes the human mind is a weakness, but understands how to use emotions to get others to do what he wants. However, his selfish intentions are seen by all when he jumps through a portal created by Dialga and Palkia to claim a new world for himself.


One of the more interesting villains in the pokemon games, Colres appears in Black 2 and White 2 as the new boss of Team Plasma. Unfortunately, this is a means to an end; its goal is to find the ideal way to unlock a Pokémon’s inner potential, while its anime counterpart is much less willing to listen to the hero’s opinion on this.

Colress works under Ghetsis in the anime by designing weapons for Team Plasma to force Pokémon into a furious state. In this state, they would also be subordinate to any Team Plasma command. The worst part is that he is so apathetic about the suffering his experiments cause – all that matters is collecting his data.


The mastermind behind Team Plasma, Ghetsis, raised a young boy named N around abused Pokémon in hopes of turning the boy against humans. However, the legendary dragon, Reshiram, attacked his mansion, allowing N to escape and eventually meeting Ash and his closest companions. Undeterred, Ghetsis changed his tactics and ordered Colress to create a machine that could control the dragon.

Although Ghetsis lacks the nuances of his game counterpart, he is still a terrifying force in the anime. Mind-controlling Pokémon instead of catching them the traditional way adds an extra level of ferocity as the anime shows that Pokémon can choose to reject trainers if they want to. This only reinforces how Ghetsis sees Pokémon as nothing but tools for its ambition.


Usually, when a Pokémon in the anime goes villainous, there’s a reason for it. They are either trying to find their purpose in life like Mewtwo, or they are desperate because of the loss of food, homes or a loved one suffering from illness. None of this is the case for a certain Malamar from the X & Y archery bow.

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This mysterious squid Pokémon uses its psychic powers to hypnotize humans and Pokémon in hopes of creating an army for world conquest. Unlike most megalomaniacs, Mamalar knows his weaknesses and would rather flee or recruit other Malamars to his cause than stand and fight. By the end of the Kalos arc, the trio are still at large, waiting for their next chance at world domination.


In his youth, Lysandre devoted his life to helping the oppressed and less fortunate. However, when the people he helped began to depend on and expect from him, it hardened his heart and made him think that humanity was inherently selfish. This set him on a path to capture the legendary guardian of nature, Zygarde, one of the most powerful Pokémon, and use his power to restart the world.

Lysandre covers all the basics for a good villain: he can manipulate others in desperate situations to aid his goals, and when exposed, he’s still able to hold his own in battle. This is best seen in his fight against Alain and Ash, where his Mega Gyarados manage to defeat four of Ash’s six team members. He is ultimately one of the few examples of how the anime has actually improved the games and gave Kalos fans a glimpse of what a Pokémon Z could have offered.


The troublemakers of the Alola region are Team Skull, but no one takes these street punks seriously. Their leader, Guzma, the self-proclaimed best trainer in Alola, is another matter. When Professor Kukui announced the creation of Alola’s first Pokémon League, Guzma decided to go inside to prove his strength and destroy Kukui’s dream.

What makes Guzma a real villain is how recognizable he is. He has been found to feel inferior to others due to his inability to master Z-Moves and would rather walk away from a fight he can’t win than face the humiliation of defeat. This means that when he fights, he takes no punches and causes both Pokémon and Trainer to be crushed physically and mentally.

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