No series would be complete without a villain at its core. They’re there for a purpose — to push the story forward and make the hero shine bright. But sometimes, their plans go beyond what viewers expected, making us questions the main character’s ability to overcome these huge obstacles. And this year, these criminals weren’t short on creativity. Here are the five most villainous acts in anime of 2018.
Papa’s Deception (DARLING in the FRANXX)
DARLING in the FRANXX took many anime fans by surprise — not only did it have pubescent teens fighting in giant robots, but it also tells a love story about the rollercoaster ride that is teenage emotions. However, their biggest enemy is none other than Papa, the person in charge of their mecha units and the one that they see as a father figure. Throughout the series, viewers watch how these children live in cages and fight against the Klaxosaur, often resulting in the children’s death. But there’s something even more sinister going on.
In truth, Papa values the safety and objectives of APE, the organization that governs humanity, above all else. Papa sees every child killed during the battle as a sacrifice for their greater good. Even worse, the children are not even aware as he gains their trust and admiration by praising their combat capabilities and promising them rewards in exchange for fulfilling their duties. As a result, these children are loyal to Papa and are willing to die for him.
During the final episodes, viewers discover Papa’s real identity. He’s a VIRM, an alien hive mind species, and we learn the full extent of his plans. The VIRM is an entitled race that does as they please with other life forms they come across. When the battle against the Klaxosaur was nearing the end, the VIRM killed numerous pilots to escape from Earth, even if that meant the demise of all the people left on the planet. This indifference for human life is one of the evilest acts that we’ve seen this year so far.
Ryo Asuka’s Manipulation (Devilman Crybaby)
Devilman Crybaby took the internet by storm, from its creative animation style to amazing soundtrack, and the Netflix series was an instant hit. But that’s not all — with a despicable character at its core, the series also tells one of the most villainous stories. The series follows a caring teenager named Akira Fudo, who gets manipulated by his best friend, Ryo Asuka, to fight demons, and thus becoming a Devilman, a human by day and demon at night. With each evil act, Asuka gets closer to his goal of destroying humanity by turning them against each other.
Despite his young age, Asuka appears to be very successful in life. He has a college degree and TV show, which earned him a massive penthouse apartment. His wealth also gives him access to powerful gun and drugs, which he has no qualms in showing off or using. But that’s the material stuff. The true horrendous thing is how he manipulates millions of people, including his friend Fudo. When Asuka uploads a video about demons online, he creates many riots around the world.
Although he’s very fond of Fudo, he also holds a frightening amount of power over the young boy, without the latter even noticing. Just think of how smooth Ryo was to get Fudo to go to a Sabbath party with him in only a few hours of seeing him for the first time in years. Even though Asuka profoundly cares for his friend, he uses these emotions to get what he wants.
Manipulating Memories (The Seven Deadly Sins)
Gowther, who seems to have feelings for Guila, erased the memories of her brother so that she would have enough room to love the fellow Sin. Despite his friends telling him this is wrong, Gowther honestly doesn’t realize the weight of his actions. He doesn’t understand why manipulating a person’s memory could mess with someone’s emotions since he, unfortunately, has none of his own.
Due to being emotionless, Gowther is morally ambiguous. As such, there have been some moments where he has been careless with his fellow Sins’ wellbeing. The pink-haired warrior used his power on Diane to make her forget King. Gowther was curious if Diane’s feelings for the former fairy king would remain, even if she forgot about King. Not only that, but he also tries to kill Escanor and Hawk during the Great Fight Festival to further advance in the tournament. He almost killed his friends to win a heart and better understand human feelings.
Although he’s tasked to protect the people, his detached behavior, lack of understanding of emotions, and selfishness tend to make him morally questionable. These, combined with his brainwashing powers, are only a few ambiguously evil acts that fans have seen so far. The next season will see how far the pink-haired warrior will go.
Involuntary Population Control (Dragon Ball Super)
If threatening to eliminate several universes doesn’t count as a villainous act, then nothing will. During the Universal Survival Saga, the fate of Universe 7 and several others come into play during the Tournament of Power. Although it has a prize of a wish from the Dragon Balls, this competition has a villain. But it’s not Jiren or any of the other entrants. It’s Zeno and Future Zeno.
They want to destroy several universes because they feel there are too many. And this isn’t their first time doing this — the entities already destroyed six in the past after a bout of anger.
Worse than that, they want to be entertained by the fighters before they destroy them and their respective universes, making them fight like gladiators in the Colosseum. Beerus, who intends to punish evil civilizations and raise the Mortal Level, had a method to his madness. Even Frieza, who has committed mass genocide and destroyed several universes, finds the Zenos’ plan to be troublesome, showing that even these evildoers have limits on mass killing.
The Zenos don’t care what they do — they just want to destroy. They laugh childishly while erasing entire universes. Not only that, they don’t understand why everyone in the tournament stopped fighting after witnessing a whole universe getting obliterated.
Despite their age, the Zenos are naive, uncaring, temperamental beings who don’t deserve to rule over the universes. Why fear Beerus or Frieza when the Zenos are around?
Giving Family Dinner a New Meaning (Boruto: Naruto Next Generations)
At first, the celestial being was very calm and collected, masterfully calculating each step. But throughout the years, Momoshiki also demonstrated some sadistic tendencies, which came to light during his and Kinshiki‘s attack on Konoha. Without any regard to human life, Momoshiki unleashed several elemental assaults on citizens. After seeing the fear appear in their eyes, he can only laugh at their despair.
But besides that, the villain has a severe superiority complex, calling humans as “lowly beings.” This sentiment also extends to his father, Kinshiki, who in turn is very loyal and subservient to his son.
After taking Naruto to another dimension and preparing to extract the Nine-Tails from him, the process proved to be too slow. This gave Sasuke, Boruto, and the Kage enough time to rescue the leader of the Hidden Leaf Village. Despite their fierce battle against Kinshiki, they manage to capture the celestial being. But, at the last second, he unleashes a powerful blast, causing massive destruction but also severely injuring himself. To everyone’s horror, Momoshiki, without hesitation, turns his father into a chakra pill and devours Kinshinki to increase his strength.
While the evil god has committed some heinous acts in the past, seeing him eat his father just to continue fighting is one of the most villainous acts we’ve seen this year.