Not all anime villains are created equal. Some are quick mini-bosses that pose such minor threats to the heroes that they are quickly forgotten by the fanbase, while others take center stage as the main villain to defeat. Sadly, fans sometimes forget about villains who fall in the middle of the villain spectrum.
These anime villains have a power that pales in comparison to both the main villains and the heroes, but still leave such an impact on the plot that the heroes get chills just thinking about them. This evil batch could have been easily defeated, but that doesn’t take away much from the impact of their dastardly plans.
Mob Psycho 100
In Mob Psycho 100, protagonist Shigeo Kageyama learns of the dangerous Claw organization and infiltrates the secret hideout of the 7th Division to rescue his brother from their clutches. Viewers are treated to a glimpse of leader Ishiguro, donning an ominous ensemble of black cloak and black gas mask. At this moment, this noble villain was certainly an enemy to remember.
Unfortunately, under the mask was a disheveled older man. Granted, Ishiguro still has his immense and terrifying telekinetic powers and could have succeeded in taking over the world if not for his lack of subtlety and balanced temperament.
Dragon Ball Z
Before they are fully introduced in Dragon Ball Z, the close presence of the Ginyu Force alone causes quite a commotion on planet Earth. This leads Vegeta, who was initially a villain, to join forces with the heroes. From what he already knew of the Ginyu Force’s reputation, they would bring a tough fight for him to overcome.
As the infamous mercenaries, fans expected a little more from the Ginyu Force upon their arrival. Aside from their awkward and clearly rehearsed introduction, they’ve become known more as a joke in the fandom, though that doesn’t detract from their influence on the heroes. They managed to overpower Vegeta, Gohan and Krillin, but were no match for Goku.
In Naruto Shippuden, the heroes face one Akatsuki duo after another. Widely considered the weakest of the group, Hidan was the reason for his and his partner’s demise. While his partner Kakuzu remained calm and collected in battle, Hidan let himself loose in his confrontations with other ninja, which was his greatest weakness.
It’s true that the zombie duo can’t be killed easily, and Hidan especially has the upper hand as an immortal, but relying on his inability to be killed is why his opponent gets so many opportunities to incapacitate him to some extent. With his jutsu that can kill instantly, Hidan had the potential to become one of the most powerful villains, but failed due to his inflated ego.
As Orochimaru’s right-hand man, Kabuto was always at the center of things. Still, his skill was more about manipulation and of course anything related to medical ninjutsu. As a fighter, Kabuto is quite weak, needing to rely on subconscious tactics to fight stronger opponents like he did with Tsunade in Naruto Season 5.
Despite Kabuto’s lack of power in battle, he is still considered one of the most influential villains, especially towards the end of Naruto. The only way he turns the tide of the war in favor of Madara Uchiha while maintaining the upper hand against him with a bit of leverage. If not for the combined efforts of Sasuke and Itachi, Kabuto could have grown even further as the strongest villain in the series.
Kill La Kill
In Kill La Kill, Ryuko tries to fight her way to the top of Honnoji Academy to find and avenge her father’s killer. Her biggest challengers are the elite four of the student council, though it turns out one of them was just talk. Uzu Sanageyama, the chairman of the Athletic Committee, steps forward at the beginning of the anime to confront Ryuko after she destroys one athletic team after another.
Despite Uzu’s bragging rights and impressive demeanor and skills, he is still defeated by rookie Ryuko. In an attempt to redeem himself, he makes enemies with her twice more, letting Ryuko escape the second time, and their third and final fight is interrupted before she has a chance to show herself.
At the start of Jujutsu Kaisen, the villains gather and discuss the correct strategy to usher in the Era of Cursed Spirits, whose biggest obstacle is Gojo-sensei, the most powerful jujutsu wizard. Jogo’s cursed spirit declares that he can easily defeat him and attacks him alone in the dead of night. As impressive as Jogo’s abilities are, Gojo is far beyond the reach of any opponent.
Despite Jogo losing to Gojo and subsequently becoming the joke of the villain group, Jogo still has the potential to become a bigger threat to the heroes. Going forward, if he is strong and wise enough, like his comrade Hanami, then maybe he will get stronger in battle.
Despite his small stature, Soul Eater’s Little Demon caused a lot of havoc to the main couple of the anime, Maka and Soul. The little demon ended up in the soul’s body after the soul was attacked by Crona and infected with black blood.
Without the physical strength to scream, this minor villain’s powers lay in his manipulation abilities, forcing a soul to use the power of black blood despite the harm it could cause him and Mako. In the end, Soul was able to control himself against the corruption of the black blood, thwarting the Little Demon’s plot. However, this villain is iconic in Soul Eater with his suave and sly personality.
My Hero Academia
After the intense Shie Hassaikai Arc, a new villain appears in My Hero Academia. Despite their character focus and villain plot, Gentle Criminal is known as a minor villain with a huge impact on the main character, Deku.
The Gentle Criminal posts videos of his minor crimes on social media to try to impress society. But after staying in the dark for so long, he decides to close the U.A. Cultural festival. Crossing paths with Deku, the Gentle Criminal reveals his impressive antics that earn the hero his training. In the end, the Gentle Criminal isn’t strong enough to overpower Deku and complete his goal, but his serious personality stands out among the other villains, making him a recent fan favorite.
My Hero Academia
The fearsome creations called Nomu consistently rock the battlefield in My Hero Academia, though only a few of them are truly fearsome competitors. For the most part, these abominations are mindless drones that can be defeated with a bit of training from the heroes.
The creatures are the result of modifying the deceased human bodies of the villains, designed to use various quirks. Only a few of these experiments actually challenged the heroes in battle. However, with how many of these super soldiers are in the possession of the villains, their name and existence still sends chills down the spines of the heroes.
Rize Kamishiro, as the villain who started the protagonist’s terrifying journey in Tokyo Ghoul, quickly stole the limelight from the villains who came after her. As the anime progressed, her reputation as one of the strongest and most terrifying ghouls became clear.
Unfortunately, Tokyo Ghoul would disappoint fans with the fate of this infamous character. When she finally took to the battlefield, Rize was defeated in the most disappointing way, at least for the fans. It was a quick defeat that failed to live up to the built up potential of the villains.