In the fascinating world of anime, not all protagonists wear the shining armour of righteousness. Sometimes, our protagonists surprise us, embodying the villain role and blurring the lines between good and evil.
This unexpected twist brings depth to their character and fosters intriguing narratives. In addition, this situation gives the author an excellent opportunity to emphasize the supporting characters more.
Here are the top 10 anime where the main character, surprisingly, exhibits villainous tendencies.
10. The Saga of Tanya The Evil
|The Antagonistic Protagonist||Tanya|
|Number of Episodes||13 Episodes + 1 Movie|
“The Saga of Tanya the Evil” follows a protagonist who was a salaryman in his previous life and gets reincarnated as a little girl. The protagonist is not a villain in the series, but his behaviour is antagonistic.
His actions and habits are like someone who will typically be the antagonist, which makes him look like a villain. Tanya fights the main antagonist, “Being X”, throughout the series by using any method she considers viable.
In “The Saga of Tanya the Evil,” an ordinary salaryman who enters another planet as a young girl is reborn. He is reborn during World War I, but the main distinction is that magic exists here.
The main character is reborn as Tanya, a harsh and icy young woman known as “The Devil of the Rhine” for her frigid nature.
Tanya begins moving up the military ranks to build an Empire that will be remembered as the most powerful in history.
9. Black Lagoon
|The Antagonistic Protagonist||Rokuro Okajima|
|Number of Episodes||24 Episodes + 5 OVA Episodes|
“Black Lagoon” follows an exciting approach for the protagonist, which makes his character look like an antagonist as the series progresses.
A pirate company kidnaps the protagonist, and he witnesses the dark aspect of the world. He starts to get used to it. This compels him to release his dark side and sometimes betray his companions, which seems like criminal behaviour.
“Black Lagoon” centres on the exploits of Rokuro Okajima, an ordinary salaryman involved in the seedy underbelly after being abducted by the Lagoon Company, a mercenary organization.
Rokuro, now known as Rock, teams up with the rugged and mysterious Revy, Dutch, and Benny in the lawless city of Roanapur, a shelter for misfits and outlaws.
Together, they engage in dangerous operations, smuggling, and conflicts with competing groups while navigating morally ambiguous and violent seas.
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|The Antagonistic Protagonist||Ainz|
|Number of Episodes||52 Episodes|
|Genres||Action, Fantasy, Adventure|
“Overlord” features a main character who reincarnates as a skeleton in another world and rules over the world by power. The protagonist, Ainz, rules the world with his arsenal of monsters and beasts.
Like an antagonist, Ainz doesn’t show mercy to his enemies.
“Overlord” follows the story of Suzuki Satoru, a young man who is bored with life and spends most of his time playing the DMMO-RPG game “YGGDRASIL”.
A massive skeleton dubbed “Ainz Ooal Gown,” a rather powerful wizard, and the head of his evil guild is among his in-game characters, along with Momonga.
Satoru becomes stranded in the game’s universe and unable to check out one day while playing it. In addition, the NPCs come to life. The antagonist in this anime is Ainz, who battles the human species while looking for his buddies on this strange new planet.
|The Antagonistic Protagonist||Makishima Shogo|
|Number of Episodes||41 Episodes + 6 ONA Episodes + 5 movie|
|Genres||Sci-Fi, Action, Suspense|
“Psycho-Pass” follows a group of main protagonists, of which one of the protagonists is Makishima Shogo. Not only is he one of the main protagonists, but he is also the series’ primary villain.
Makishima opposes the “Psycho-Pass” social system, the Sibyl System. For going against this system, he manipulates people into believing that this is an evil system, and this causes uproar. This hinders the other protagonist, Akane, making Makishima a potential antagonist in this series.
“Psycho-Pass” is set in a future society where the Sibyl System, a government-run system, monitors and regulates people’s mental health and behaviour. The narrative centres on Akane Tsunemori, a recent hire assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division of the Public Safety Bureau.
She looks into several crimes committed by people with high “Crime Coefficients,” a gauge of their propensity for committing crimes, with the help of her team.
Akane embarks on a journey of self-discovery and rebellion against the system she previously believed in as she digs more into the cases and starts to doubt their morality and efficacy.
6. 91 Days
|The Antagonistic Protagonist||Avilio Bruno (Angelo Lagusa)|
|Number of Episodes||12 Episodes + 1 Special Episode|
“91 Days” is a very underrated anime series which features a fascinating protagonist, Angelo Lagusa. Although he is not the series’ main antagonist, “revenge” puts him on the path of antagonism.
The Mafia killed his family, and Angelo saw everything with his eyes. Throughout the series, his aims, methods of execution, and everything else feel like he is an antagonist, just like someone from Attack on Titan!
“91 Days” follows the story of Avilio Bruno (Angelo), a young man seeking revenge against the Mafia organization that killed his family. Avilio returns to the fictional town of Lawless, Illinois, and infiltrates the Vanetti family, whose boss was responsible for the murder of his loved ones.
As Avilio gains the trust of the Vanetti family, he plots his revenge, but as the plan unfolds, he discovers that there is more to the story than he initially thought. Will Angelo be able to seek revenge after so long?
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5. Hellsing Ultimate
|The Antagonistic Protagonist||Alucard|
|Number of Episodes||10 Episodes|
|Genres||Action, Horror, Mystery|
“Hellsing Ultimate” features a protagonist named Alucard, who does his job by any means possible, including antagonistic ways.
He might not be the series’s main antagonist, but his everyday expressions and habits will surely give you evil villainous vibes. The horror element of this series is also not that hard, so everyone can enjoy this series!
“Hellsing: Ultimate” tells the tale of the Hellsing organization, which is run by Integra Hellsing, a powerful vampire, and Alucard, a strong vampire. They defend England against paranormal dangers like renegade vampires and Na-zi experiments.
They engage in combat with several formidable foes, ending in a conflict with the Millennium organization, a gang of Nazi vampires looking to rule the globe, with the aid of the expert sniper Seras Victoria and other members of the Hellsing organization.
4. Death Note
|The Antagonistic Protagonist||Light Yagami|
|Number of Episodes||89 Episodes|
“Death Note” is the classic “antagonistic protagonist” themed anime series where the main character can be considered the story’s villain.
“Death Note,” tells the tale of Light Yamagi, a high school student, who finds a notebook titled “Death Note” one day. People die when he tries to write the names of people in it. So, he starts to use it to kill criminals he witnesses anywhere.
But he slowly gets in trouble because a detective by the pseudonym “L” starts to uncover his name. So starts the battle between two people who think they are right.
Also Read: One Piece and Attack on Titan Are Among the Most “Dropped” Manga Series by Fans
3. Code Geass
|The Antagonistic Protagonist||Lelouch Lamperouge|
|Number of Episodes||50 Episodes|
|Genres||Action, Sci-Fi, Drama|
“Code Geass” is an anime series mostly known because of its protagonist, Lelouch Lamperouge.
Lelouch was the one who came up with the strategy of “sacrificing yourself for the safety of your loved ones”, which in Lelouch’s case is his sister. Throughout the anime series, he goes against the innocent to make the world a better place.
“Code Geass” occurs in a universe where the Holy Britannian Empire rules. Lelouch Lamperouge, a former prince who acquires the ability of Geass, which enables him to influence other people’s thoughts, is the main character of the novel.
Lelouch takes the persona of “Zero” and organizes an uprising against Britannia using his new skills. Lelouch works to make a world where his sister Nunnally may live peacefully as he navigates political intrigue, military battles, and interpersonal connections.
2. Terror In Resonance
|The Antagonistic Protagonist||Nine and Twelve|
|Number of Episodes||11 Episodes|
“Terror in Resonance” follows two teenagers as protagonists, namely Nine (Arata Kokonoe) and Twelve (Toji Hisami). Although they want to destroy the entire Tokyo city, they are still enlisted as the “protagonists” of the series.
It would come into spoiler territory to tell you why this happens, so this is an excellent recommendation for you to find out why these antagonists are the story’s protagonists.
“Terror in Resonance” follows a group of two mysterious adolescent guys named Sphinx who go by Nine and Twelve. They start a series of intricate bombs around the city, using their incredible brains and sinister background as weapons.
After every explosion, they provide the authorities with a riddle, testing them to find out what they want. Shibazaki, a diligent investigator, discovers more to the bombings than initially appears, setting off an exciting cat-and-mouse game loaded with secrets, moral problems, and a race against time.
1. Attack on Titan
|The Antagonistic Protagonist||Eren Yeager|
|Number of Episodes||89 Episodes|
|Genres||Suspense, Drama, Action|
“Attack on Titan” is the masterpiece of Hajime Isayama and the series which made this “antagonistic protagonist” theme famous worldwide. Eren Yeager won the antagonist of the year in the Crunchyroll Anime Awards.
The Final part of the Final Season will air in two parts, and some surprising information about the manga series of Attack on Titan was also announced.
Also Read: An Attack on Titan Live Action Adaptation Surprises Fans
“Attack on Titan” occurs when humans are trapped inside walls to stay safe from gigantic beasts known as Titans. One day, a giant titan arrives near the walls whose size is more significant than any titan has ever arrived at the walls.
A young boy named “Eren Yeager” makes his aims to eradicate these beasts when he joins the Survey Corps (a group that fights Titans). But mysteries start to pile up as soon as time passes. Will Eren be able to eradicate these creatures in the future?
What is your thought on this list? We here at Anime Senpai would love to hear your opinion.