Akame ga Kill!: Esdeath is a brutal, sadistic Social Darwinist who simply has no comprehension or empathy with those whom she considers "weak" and whose hobbies include Cold-Blooded Torture. Moreover, she is one of the root causes of the Empire's corruption, supporting the evil Prime Minister simply because his atrocious reign causes endless rebelllions which provide her with endless opportunities for slaughter and bloodshed, and thus she shares responsibility for the majority of bad things that happen in the series. At one point the protagonist Tatsumi tries and fails to convince her to see his way due to just how twisted she is. Yet because of her lovable moments with that same protagonist, as well as multiple Pet the Dog moments and a somewhat Benevolent Boss tendency towards her subordinates, some fans still want her to be redeemed.
Attack on Titan: Annie. It's complicated since it's still too early in the story to judge whether they're actually villainous, and the other Titan Shifters also have this to some degree, but some of her more rabid fans are trying to paint her as a poor and hapless victim just trying to defend herself against unwarranted attacks even though she's been shown to have a sadistic streak not seen in the others. Ron the Death Eater also applies to them, to an extent.
Arguably, Levi. He shows little remorse after beating a boy half his age into a bloody pulp (though this is quickly shown to be tactical choice "for the greater good,") and later fiercely harasses and manhandles a teenage girl even shorter than himself, who had recently revealed to the cast a past filled with abuse and manipulation, in order to frighten her into agreeing to take actions she wasn't comfortable with. Some fans use Levi's Dark and Troubled Past, along with his occasional displays of sympathy, to excuse his behaviour and portray him as a misunderstood vigilante. He isn't necessarily a monstrous person, but he's a hell of a lot nastier than he's often shown to be.
Russia is a Jerkass Woobie who has a canon Freudian Excuse for being a mentally unstable Psychopathic Manchild and has a soft spot for his sister Ukraine, but whose Cute and Psycho tendencies are precisely what draws many fans to him in the first place. As a result, he's one of those characters who bothinverts this and plays it straight: On one hand, a number of fans happily embrace his psychotic tendencies in fanworks, some of them even exaggerating them to turn him into a Memetic Molester who rapes and tortures other nations at every opportunity - some of this is admittedly due to Die for Our Ship reasons, but such portrayals of Russia in a Mind Game Ship with another nation are almost always done by supporters of that ship. However, on the other hand, an equal number of fans tone down his psychoticness and/or the "Jerkass" part of Jerkass Woobie in shipping fics, sometimes to the point of making him completely unrecognizable as a 100% sane and mentally stable guy or a suave "bad guy" with barely a hint of childishness or Yandereness. All of this is why many Russia fans tend not to like any shipping fanfiction involving him, as you will almost never find a version of him anywhere near canon.
Prussia, too. He's a former Templar who has sought combat since he was a child, beat up other nations and got himself beaten up as well, grew as a Church Militant teenage nation who still got into many fights, as an adult nation he kept fighting everyone in his surroudings, and even after calming down a bit he can still be quite the Jerk Ass. While's he's not a bad guy per se and has had a number of Pet the Dog moments, some of his rabid fangirls like to paint him as a super sexy badass who never does anything wrong and either has more "right" to Hungary's vagina than that stupid, "abusive", unmanly sissy Austria, or is a poor little angel while Hungary is an evil bitch for not bowing to him. (That is, unless Prussia is given the Ron the Death Eater treatment...)
England is another one who suffers from this. As a Mean BritTsun Dere with Woobie tendencies some of his more...devoted fans who either take his deredere moments too far (which often crosses over with Wimpification )or they play up his 'cool' traits (piracy, snark, politeness, extra) to ridiculous degrees- turning him from an endearing, emotionally stunted grouch with a drink problem to a smooth talking, gorgeous Badass who never puts a foot wrong (even in fics involving the British Empire or his Brothers). It is, unsurprisingly, especially common in shipping fics, and like the other two hetalia characters here the author may site a backlash against Ron the Death Eater treatment for their portrayal
In Berserk fandom, there exists a splinter group of fans who put the resident Magnificent Bastard Griffith, who also doubles as a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, in a crotchless pair of leather pants. Might have been expected due to his unclear sexual orientation, flowing white hair and being rather effeminate looking but the extent to which his most questionable acts and his really revolting Moral Event Horizon crossing are rationalized can get...weird to say the least. Also, many Griffith fans conveniently disregard the fact that Griffith and Femto are one and the same to further justify their infatuation. It's probably because he used to be a good person (Or the closest thing to good you can get on a world like that) before his Despair Event Horizon (caused by being broken in body and mind after a year of horrific torture and the subsequent loss of everything he fought so hard to achieve), which makes him a Tragic Villain.
His urbanity, manners, and good looks cause many people to overlook the fact that Sebastian Michaelis is an utterly amoral (if not outright evil) and incredibly predatory demon implied to have caused to Black Plague.
Some fans also overlook the fact that Grelle is a sadistic serial killer, perhaps because of her comedic traits.
Quite a few fangirls of Creed from Black Cat excuse his actions of stalking Train, murdering Train's first (and at the time only) friend Saya, trying to murder Train's other friends, and murdering countless innocents for world domination because he was picked on when he was young.
Black Lagoon. Hansel and Gretel were supposed to be Jerkass Woobies, having had genuinely horrific pasts rooted in Snuff Film that left their scars in their terrifyingly sociopathic behaviors. As in, they torture and kill people for fun in the worst ways ever, and end up paying with their own lives for such behaviors that make even hardened people feel revolted, and give the biggest and baddest badasses of Roaranopur huge reasons to want them dead. Some fans, however, take out the Jerk Ass out of Jerk Ass Woobie and bash the shit out of said people, Chang and Balalaika (and specially Chang, who doesn't hide his contempt for them), conveniently "forgetting" that the kids are nicknamed "Vampire Twins" for good reasons, and both adults aren't angry just for the lulz (Like, the twins have remorselessly, needlesly and cruelly killed their subordinates., therefore pressing Balalaika's biggest Berserk Button). Yeah, it's sad that the kids went through sheer Hell and no one is saying it's not, but considering that Chang is a deconstruction of Hitman with a Heart and that Balalaika had the twins killed to punish them for the murder and torture of two of her men, there is somewhat of a limit to the sympathies.
Byakuya Kuchiki is nowhere near the lovable angel the fandom portrays him as. He was willing to allow his sister to die all because "obeying the rules" is more important and nearly kills Ichigo twice; he ignored her repeatedly and made no attempts at helping her or stopping Renji from threatening her or beating her up.
There are a disturbing number of legions of die-hard Szayel Aporro Granz fans, some of whom justify his hideous sadism with Fanon that he was the abused Arrancar, and more who found his demise at the hands of fellow Mad Scientist Mayuri Kurotsuchi horribly unfair rather than fitting. And look at his pink hair! (There are fans who do like Szayel BECAUSE he's an asshole, but these are few and far in between afaik.)
Mayuri Kurotsuchi is a minor case of this. In the SS Arc he talked about all of the humans he's dissected, killed three subordinates, and abused his daughter. However in all of his later appearances his actions were dialled down. He fits this trope only slightly, as even his fans don't try to gloss over his SS arc actions.
Kenpachi Zaraki is a huge one. His stated purpose in life is to fight. He didn't fight seriously against Nnoitra, putting the mission and Ichigo and Orihime at risk. Despite not caring about anything besides having a good fight, his fans treat him as more noble than he actually is.
Sosuke Aizen. He's supposed to be a Magnificent Bastard, but many of his actions are monstrous. And yet, many of his fans cheer for him mindlessly and bash his victims. Not even his using his former lieutenant, whom he already broke once, as a human shield with his powers and tricking the guy who swore to protect her into almost fatally injuring her dissuades them. Because he's sometimes said he holds back from killing people (he prefers manipulating others into doing that for him or he likes to have his enemies watch his victories over them), his fans tend to use that to back up their claims he's not evil, he's just misunderstood.
A large part of the fanbase seemed to think Gin was a double agent of sorts. This turned out not to be quite true, however, it was revealed that he did have a non-evil reason to stick by Aizen (namely, to kill him in revenge for what his men had done to Matsumoto - something that she either didn't even seem to remember, or had worked to get over). A large part of Bleach fandom promptly declared him a good guy, forgetting the fact that whatever his motivation Gin is(or rather was) the show's most overt, unrepentant sociopath, who probably had a more self-centered perception on Rangiku and what to do for her anyways, given that he didn't know or care about her choices in the matter (and her answer to that, given her angst over him, would probably be a flat-out "no".) So he's basically tied with the previously mentioned Szayel "Tentacle Rape" Aporro Granz and Mayuri, the one squad freakshow. Tite Kubo himself expresses surprise at the number of fangirls Gin gained, as he was designed to be creepy and off-putting.
Ladies and gentlemen: Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez. He tries to kill Rukia, tries to kill Ichigo three times, gets Orihime in a Neck Lift when she objects to him, brutalizes two Arrancar who are horrible Jerk Asses but have the looks/mindsets of teenage girls, threatened the much younger Nel, killed his comrade just to regain the rank of Espada, and didn't give a damn when his subordinates were killed in battle. Even after returning after a long absence and joining the good guys, he makes it clear in no uncertain terms that he's only doing so to further his own goals(namely, to have a final battle with Ichigo) and out of Pragmatic Villainy. Despite all this, and even though he never expressed regret for any of these actions, part of the fanbase views him as already redeemed rather than a Nominal Hero. Becausehe'ssexy.
Ulquiorra Cifer. It may be a big point of contention between certain parts of the fandom over whether every single interaction he has with Orihime is his psychologically torturing her, or if he genuinely tries to understand her POV or make her understand his own. Nevertheless, he had a major part in helping Yammy kill several members of Tatsuki's dojo, kidnapping and mentally torturing Orihime, helping killed Ichigo twice (and during one of these times, he totally broke what was left of Orihime's mind), and cut off Ishida's arm (or, in the anime, broke and burned it). Some of his fans give him a free pass on all this, which is simply unacceptable. It's made worse when these same fans turn the Ulquiorra/Orihime pairing, which is the poster-pairing for Mind Game Ship due to their twisted and psychologically-driven interactions, into fluffy true love, often followed about how "perfect" and "feminist" Ulquiorra is as a love interest to the young woman whom he abused, mocked, threatened and ultimately drove to a screaming Heroic B.S.O.D..
Another target of the DILP fangirls is ShukuroTsukishima. Yes, the guy who brainwashed almost everyone in Ichigo's circle of friends and family to make sure poor Ichigo would have a breakdown. He's called "Shuu-chan" by some fans, who also question and bash Ichigo for being almost at the verge of the Despair Event Horizon and openly willing to kill him for the sake of those he loves, and whom Tsukishima is holding hostage. He didn't turn out to be a total bastard, what with his Undying Loyalty to Ginjou (the man who saved him), but sheeeeesh.
Ginjou himself. He has a large number of fans who are willing to overlook the fact he masterminded the entire Fullbring arc and all the pain Ichigo, his friends and family were put through because they feel his complaint against Soul Society justifies manipulating, lying, brainwashing, mind screwing and maiming innocents just to steal some kid's powers for his own use. In this reasoning, Tsukishima did all the dirty work so he's the real villain and, since the brainwashing was reversible, there was no harm done so Ichigo clearly completely overreacted. As a result, not only is Ginjou viewed as the innocent victim, Ichigo's viewed as the villain for killing him rather than agreeing and siding with him.
The Vandereich seem to have started to gain fans like this due to Evil is Cool and Evil Is Hammy factors, and how they have managed to constantly out-gambit Soul Society - even in their own territories. Doesn't help that Soul Society's become unsympathetic to some due to housing a couple of Dracos themselves as well as their own stupidity.
Blood+. Diva, holy shit. Both fanboys and fangirls give her more sympathy than she deserves, given that while she might be an Anti-Villain with a good Freudian Excuse, she is also INCREDIBLY ruthless and often needlesly cruel. And a rapist/murderess who never shows any regret for raping and killing Riku. This is sometimes paired with the fandom villainizing and bashing Saya, and more frequently with trying to excuse away Diva's evil deeds "BECAUSE SHE HAD A TRAGIC PAST!!!111"
This one is more volatile, but in the manga sequel Heppokomaru/Gasser, an ally of the eponymous character, betrays the group in order to save his sister, mostly for the sake of upping Bo-bobo in terms of power. He even tries to enhance himself with drugs in order to do so; sadly, fangirls (especially ones in the West who only get so much material of what happened) still see him as the somewhat Adorkable punk that he was. It's even worse when you realize that the same sister he was trying to save had been willingly working for The Empire of the series the entire time, and is an all-powerful, borderline Mary Sue magical girl; she's also the sequel's source of Lolita fanservice (Word of God states her to be ten years old). Because she's so darn cute, though, Pokomi is easily a female version of this trope.
A less frequently noted example would be Cornelia li Britannia, who is all too happy to enforce Britannia's MO of Social Darwinism, preferably with an excessive (if not outright sadistic) amount of violence. She'll slaughter entire ghettos just to recreate the conditions in which Zero first appeared (to challenge his ego, and it did work), gladly sacrifice hostages rather than negotiate with terrorists (unless her beloved little sister Euphemia is among them, in which case she'll at least try a rescue attempt), and even chews out said sister for desiring to stand up to the rule of discrimination against Numbers by selecting Eleven Suzaku Kururugi as her personal Knight. Being a Dark Action Girl, having nice threads, and caring for her sister seems to deflect a lot of the bad publicity this would otherwise garner. She isn't the super cool idol her fans claim that she is. Her development in R2 did her no favors, as while she softened up due to her circumstances, she wasn't anywhere the innocent woobie her fans painted her out to be, especially given her absence of repentance for her earlier crimes, and considered her happy ending deserved, even though it was a matter of getting off incredibly easy.
Lord Guilford, skirts the line here. In contrast to the dark heroes, namely Zero, that will take drastic measures for the greater good, he takes up the cause of chivalry... in defense of the empire. Unfortunately, part of the fanbase mistakes this sense of honor for good. While he is one of the more reasonable Britannian knights, he chided Suzaku for ceasing a would-be massacre at the second SAZ just because the Japanese would dare insult Britannia by donning the mask of Zero!
Lelouch Lamperouge/vi Britannia likewise commits some chilling atrocities in the name of his cause, whether it's because of rage or as a part of his plans. But many fans seem to completely forget and/or cheerfully hand wave that he's a Byronic Hero who is supposed to cause lots of pain to others and himself because of his actions, painting him as some sort of perfect, angelic victim who never ever did anything wrong in the series, despite having kicked more than a few puppies along the way. For them, NOTHING that happens to "Lulu Baby" is either his fault or responsibility in their view - and how dare you point that out. Many, many sane Lelouch fans are very embarrassed by the Luluturds' claims, and even much of the fanbase who considers him a Cosmic Plaything wouldn't go that far.
Jeremiah Gottwald started out as this. After getting Out-Gambittedhard by Lelouch, he goes through such a soul-crushing Humiliation Conga that the fans ended up feeling sorry for him. It's easy to forget that this guy was introduced gleefully taking part in a massacre, then tried to frame Suzaku for murder out of racism (in Jeremiah's defense, he did really think Suzaku was guilty.) This trope isn't always a bad thing, though, because it resulted in his entire storyline being re-written and becoming so much more...
Cross Ange has Embryo, the villain of the series. Created a world where anybody who can't use Mana is a traitor to society, kidnapped a DRAGON to create his world, and wishes to reset the world in his first appearance. Fans however are very forgiving with him because he's got good looks, the fact that the entire discrimination was there because it was an accident and that he wishes for the best of humanity, a friend to animals, gave several Pet the Dog moments to Salia, Ersha, and Chris by being there for them in their Heroic B.S.O.D. moments, would have Ange in his hands by doing her a favor and killing Julio, was very appalled at the massacre of Arzenal, and is Affably Evil in his appearances. Contrast to, well, several members of the cast who are more on the abrasive side, especially Jill.
In episode 10 of Danganronpa 3: Despair, Juzo covers up the Big Bad's crimes because she threatens to out him if he doesn't. Several fangirls reacted to this by accusing all Juzo's critics of being homophobes who just don't understand how hard coming out is, to hell with all the murders Junko had and would commit.
Light Yagami; sociopath, Manipulative Bastard, Knight Templar and Villain Protagonist. He is self-obsessed to the point of narcissism, and competitive to the point of sadism. He cold-bloodedly murders almost anyone who stands in his way, including the police and eventually his own girlfriend, who he forces to burn herself to death. Over the course of the series arc, he kills hundreds of thousands of people, and since he gleefully bypasses the checks and balances of the judicial system to the point of nearly rendering it obsolete, legitimate doubts can be raised about the guilt of his victims. His stated goal from the beginning is to create a worldwide police state in which everyone will worship him as God. While he does have some complexity, he has hordes of fans both in-universe and out who think that he's a misunderstood visionary, or a good guy underneath it all. It just ain't so.
Misa Amane has also a following of devoted fanboys who seem to think that adorableness and sexiness somehow excuses near-indiscriminate mass-murder.
Mello gets more than his fair share of fangirls, seeing as he's an incredibly diabolical crime lord... and he's the only one of the characters who actually wears form-fitting leather.
Mikami also gets this due to his sympathetic backstory, in which he tried to protect his classmates from bullies even when he got beaten up and no one else would support him. This treatment ignores the fact that he's one of the most blatantly insane characters in the series, believing that "God" killed the people he wanted dead long before he or Light got Death Notes.
Despite arguably not being actually villainous, L fits this trope to a much larger extent than some of his fans are willing to admit. While he isn't a vicious murderer like the competition, he's not above endangering the lives of both convicts (like Lind L. Tailor) and innocents (like Hideki Ryuga) in his numerous attempts to provoke Kira. L is also perfectly willing to let the deaths of criminals and businessmen alike to continue during the investigation of Yotsuba, and orders the torture of Misa Amane. Some support L over Kira (and even believe L can do no wrong, in classic DILP fashion) simply because they find L sexier, or they find his mannerisms to be cute.
Beyond Birthday, that wonderfully psychotic serial killer from Another Note. Most fans try and forget his very gruesome murders and unstable mentality and turn him into a fuck-toy for L. Too many fics have been written where Beyond is portrayed as very out of character.
Matt, although he's only a bad guy in that he's working with Mello against Kira.
Dr. Kazutaka Muraki from Descendants of Darkness. He rapes Hisoka and kills him in a very slow and painful manner, tries to rape Tsuzuki repeatedly and wants to transplant his dead brother's consciousness into Tsuzuki so he can kill him. He kills, tortures, or destroys virtually everyone he meets, yet in fandom he's either loved because he's an asshole or made up to be a pitiable creature who just needs love, which in the latter case, would make him an example of this.
Detective Conan : The beautiful and mysterious Vermouth is easily one of the most popular characters in the franchise. Fans tend to see her as not being as evil or as bad as the others like Gin and Vodka just because she spared Ran and Shinichi, even though she wants Haibara dead, has killed people before and will continue to kill.
Gin is another example. Despite being responsible for Akemi Miyano's death, shrinking Shinichi, and being established as a cold and merciless man, Gin is very popular among the fandom and shown as a smooth, suave guy, ignoring his canon creepiness altogether.
Myotismon is one of the most ruthless villains in the entire franchise; among other things, he has a tendency to kill perfectly loyal minionsjust because he doesn't need them anymore, and he once threatened to kill an entire group of children if one of his minions wouldn't identify a specific one he was after. He also happens to be attractive, so there are several fanfics (especially from the early days of the fandom) where he's portrayed as a dark, brooding, misguided soul who sees the light either because of the Digidestined (usually Kari and/or Gatomon) or because of an original character.
Even though he turned good later on in the series, some Digimon Adventure 02 fans prefer Ken Ichijouji as the evil Digimon Emperor. This was the guy who enslaved hordes of digimon, corrupted Agumon and turned him against his friends, and frequently abused his own partner, by the way.
Of all the characters in DBZ, Vegeta is perhaps the most iconic example of this, having become a massive hit with the fanbase in spite of the multiple times he's crossed the Moral Event Horizon. Admittedly, he becomes a better person at the very end of the Buu Saga. But it doesn't change the fact that from his introduction to as late as the Buu Saga itself, he showed himself to be a nasty piece of work, destroying planets, ordering the deaths of almost all the Z Warriors, beating up children, slaughtering innocent villagers and spectators, and endangering the lives of his allies and the earth just so his ego could be satisfied. Even the English Dub gets in on emphasizing his Draco in Leather Pants status, blaming Vegeta's cruelty on the years he spent as a servant under Frieza.
Bardock. Holy cow, Bardock. Fans of him tend to overlook the fact that he made a living by slaughtering BILLIONS of innocent people so their planet could be auctioned off lock, stock, and barrel. The Funimation dub doesn't really help here, either, since they portrayed Bardock as being a "repentant sinner", and that his rebellion against Freeza was his atonement, when, in the original, Bardock was simply pissed because Freeza was going to kill them all. The Episode of Bardock special has officially cemented Bardock's place in this category forever, what with him going Super Saiyan and punching out Frieza's progenitor. Even q himself has gotten in on the fun through his Dragon Ball Minus one-shot in which Bardock is seen showing much more concern and acceptance towards both Kakarot and the boy's mother, who is finally revealed to be a White Sheep Saiyan woman named Gine.
Even King Vegeta, who's shown no remotely positive characteristics other than a royal posturing habit and an English dub voice that could pass for a half-assed Major Armstrong impersonation, gets planted with this status just for going after Frieza. Generally, the best way to get on this list with the DB fandom is to rebel against your more evil boss.
Or just to be a Saiyan of note. Raditz gets this for being Goku's brother (and Goku giving him this treatment for five seconds), Nappa gets this in large part due to the fun factor potential in his brute character being exposed by Team Four Star, and Broly gets this on account of basically being the Incredible Hulk as a heel in permanent on mode (the fact that Paragus tried to control him for his own ends is only a convenient excuse when you see his utter demonic nature as the LSSJ).
Humorously, at the very least, Bulma gets called out on her early DB behavior at the end of GT. However, this is somewhat spoiled by her shifting the blame to Goku, who just takes it on the chin because the situation interests him.
Despite being redeemed villains, Androids 17 and 18 get some of this treatment due to their attractive looks, 17's devil-may-care thrill-seeking attitude making him a cool character to imagine hanging out with (not to mention a likable foil to Goku), and 18 being one of the least annoyingly bitchy and hostile of the regular female characters. Many fans tend to forget that these two twins were once villains on a mission to kill Goku as a means of entertainment. They're no saints, even though they did redeem themselves and became good persons (and 18 in particular went on to marry Krillin). That said, going after Goku was more likely due to Dr. Gero's programmingnote if not in their own brains, then definitely their comrade Android 16's, since he was the one truly driven to kill Goku while the twins just needed something to do, as they were technically kidnapped and forcibly turned into cyborgs so it's not entirely their fault. But if Bulma gets to be on this list for being more of a jerkass than people like to admit, then so do these guys.
Izaya of Durarara!!. Despite the fact that he's a arrogant bastard most of the time, likes to fuck with and manipulate people and supernatural beingsFor the Evulz with no apparent remorse, he's such a recipient of Jerkass Dissonance that he's easily one of the most popular characters in the series. This is thanks largely to his hilarious dialogue, oddly charming personality, and good looks. He even manages to be a DILP in series as well, where there's a number of teenage girls such as Kida's ex-girlfriend/Honey Trap, Saki, who worship the ground he walks on and will follow even his most dangerous requests.
Aoba also counts. The number of fans he has is very surprising, given how selfish and self-centered he is. Izumii is a greater example of this, though, with a lot of fans finding his past to be interesting or just liking him for his looks. But the best example is Rokujou Chikage, who is admired by the fandom simply for being a gentleman and for having lots of women.
Lucy from Elfen Lied. Now, this was completely deliberate on the writers' part, since Evil Is Sexy and Lucy is one of the most sympatheticmass murderers in anime history with a genuinely powerful Freudian Excuse, but regardless: to hear her fanboys (and more than one fangirl) talk, you'd think that she had never done anything wrong and just needed a hug to be turned into an angel of sweetness and light, never mind the fact that she started off the series freely killing any human except for Kouta who ever crossed her path. Her romantic rival, Unlucky Childhood Friend Yuka, is of course turned into Ron the Death Eater, and her Clingy Jealous Girl tendencies are Flanderized to the point that the Lucy fandom often gleefully wish for Lucy to dismember Yuka. Of course, Lucy is not only a Clingy Jealous Girl, but a Yandere who slaughtered an entire carnival full of innocent people (including Kouta's own father and sister) when Kouta snubbed her...but don't tell that to her fans, or they'll tell you that they all deserved it.
As an example? The Elfen Lied blurb in the Cry for the Devil page had to be almost completely sniped out, since it was full of rabid Lucy fans who were openly justifying and approving of mass murder because of poor widdle Lucy's suffer in the series.
Fairy Tail: Ultear, pre-Heel–Face Turn. Her known atrocities are slaughtering Merudy's village, brainwashing Jellal into continuing the Tower of Heaven after the slave revolt, leaving him a reviled criminal in the eyes of most characters, and assisting Lyon in trying to revive a demon who slaughtered several characters' families (he at least wanted to prove that he could kill it, she was planning on using it to wreak havoc). Her motivation, while admittedly sympathetic and working under the belief that all her crimes will be erased, reeks of Poor Communication Kills by not revealing herself to Ur before deciding that Ur had forgotten about her. Even now that she's The Atoner, her only punishment was self-inflicted. Despite all this, her character has been received quite positively, especially in comparison to the guy whose crimes were forced by her.
Acnologia, despite begin an Omnicidal Maniac who killed all the Dragon Slayers' parents, with special brutality toward Igneel in front of his foster son, remains a fan favorite for being a nigh-unstoppable force who remains one of the few antagonists that have forced the protagonists to recognize that friendship (which often brings the series' Power Levels into question) doesn't overcome every foe. His popularity increased when his human form was revealed.
A sizable chunk of the fandom has now turned Zeref into this, despite him being responsible in some way for virtually every bad thing to happen in-story. By his own admission, he does not value the sanctity of life and does not care who he has to kill to get his way. In the latest arc, he started a full-scale war and has been nonchalantly ruining countless people's lives to get what he wants, including that of Natsu, his own little brother. To make this worse, if he does achieve his goal of finally dying, Natsu will die with him, being that their life forces are apparently connected. Zeref is fully aware of and OK with this. He also had no problem callously explaining all of this to Natsu, including the revelation that he had actually experimented on Natsu's dead body when they were children, reviving him and turning him into a literal demon. The DILP-ification naturally started as soon as his design was revealed, being that he is a cute-faced "young" man, but when his Dark and Troubled Past came out, it exploded. Meanwhile, his latest actions include watching Mavis, his former lover, dying on a table in excruciating agony and doing nothing about it because he needs her magic for his nefarious plots. However, since he showed a small amount of regret about this, the fandom has taken that little moment as a sign of his True Love for her—again, ignoring the fact that he is literally letting her die in front of him. Many cries of "what a precious cinnamon roll!" abound throughout the fandom, even though he really doesn't deserve it.
Villain Protagonist Haruko from FLCL is so loved for being Crazy Awesome personified that many end up excusing her for using Naota to nearly bring about the end of human thought, just so she could steal Atomsk's power in the process (and then trying to kill Naota when he ends up taking it instead.)
Akito from Fruits Basket, despite being an obsessive Control Freak that liked torturing his family members and planned to lock one of them in a cage for the rest of his life, was treated sympathetically by the fans almost entirely because he was a cute bishonen. When it was finally revealed that Akito was not a bishonen, but a girl, those fangirls immediately turned on Akito. Akito doesbecome a more sympathetic and less openlyevilcharacter when the backstory and motivations are fleshed out in the plot, but that was after the big reveal. The fangirls had based their opinion on the abusive monster Akito; they thought the Moral Event Horizon was crossed by Akito's only pretending to be male.
Envy has a rather devoted following despite being a murderous psychopath who enjoys killing and torturing humans and is personally responsible for the killing of another fan favorite character. In the manga and Brotherhood, he takes delight and pride in the fact that he ignited the Ishbalan War by shooting a small child while in the guise of a moderate Amestrian officer — who ended up getting court martialed for his actions. As Ed astutely points out, this means Envy is responsible for the Ishbalan genocide, the creation of Scar as a killer and the deaths of the Rockbells. Envy also kills Hughes while impersonating his wife and later taunts Roy about the murder while again looking like Hughes' wife, deriving near sexual pleasure from it. In the first anime, he abuses Wrath when the latter becomes obsessed with trying to revive Sloth after her death, takes on the form of Hughes while Ed is fighting him, and actually manages to kill Ed. And yet, many of the fans still love him.
Solf J. Kimblee is also similar in terms of personality and popularity; he is the second villian fan favorite after Envy. Kimblee kills humans for fun, and nothing more. He is responsible for mass genocide and is perfectly fine siding with a race that wants to destroy humanity. Yet, fans say his interesting personality make up for the fact that he is an insane murderer. It helps that, despite being clearly insane, he's not a raving lunatic and honestly seems to believe the screwy philosophic he espouses, giving rather poignant descriptions of other characters that there is no reason to believe he's simply making up for shits and giggles. Having the strength of will to survive being subsumed by one of the strongest homunculi, which of course stems from his aforementioned killy-focused personality, and then manages to drag said homunculus out of his plans for body-snatching and dying with a smile scores him major badass points with the fans, as well as proves that he is actually serious about what he believes because he turned against Pride due to the hypocrisy of his body-snatching plan.
What fanboys don't get about Lust is that, while she is beautiful, the point the of her character is that you shouldn't just fall for a character just because of her looks, because if you do,you might get betrayed, or get killed.
In Fushigi Yuugi, Nakago is pretty much permanently camped out on the wrong side of the Moral Event Horizon, while Suboshi crosses it in a shockingly horrible way about halfway through the series (and though he was partially manipulated by Nakago into doing that, that does not absolve him of all fault for his actions). However, a combination of tragic childhoods and Pet the Dog moments have earned both characters enough fan sympathy that Nakago is shipped around in fanfics all over the place, while Suboshi is a more popular match for Yui than her eventual canon boyfriend, Tetsuya. Nakago's case also isn't helped by the fact that he's the mangaka's personal favourite character.
Being a Bishoujo Series as well as a Gag Series that depends on Character Exaggeration, Galaxy Angel wouldn't be Galaxy Angel if they didn't do this intentionally. We therefore end up with a bunch of these who are marketed by their creators as lovable characters that the audience should want to be with. The most obvious example is Mint, whose scheming makes use of her odd pint-sizecuteness for fraud — she once claimed that she and Vanilla were destitute and suicidal to get money out of a semi driver, despite her already being loaded. Even her more selfless videogame persona, which the anime parodies, is shrewd and selfish to a point.
Getter Robo suffers from this as well. All the characters are anti-heroes to some degree, and generally quite violent and dickish. But the one character who gets the vast majority of fanart? Sociopathic Hero Hayato, a terrorist and the only protagonist who outright murders people and could be called legitimately crazy.
While Nena Trinity was The Scrappy of the series for a long time, and many of the fans she did have at the time were fully aware she's a crazy Cute Psycho and didn't downplay/excuse her acts of villainy (even calling out those who did it), the airing of the English dub on the Sci-Fi Channel seems to have given her a new fanbase that finds her utterly cute even when she's blowing up weddings out of boredom. She did get Rescued from the Scrappy Heap somewhat by helping Setsuna out of a pinch just to spite on her "mistress" Wang Liu-Mei, an even bigger Scrappy in season two, but that doesn't really excuse the wedding massacre. Though there are some who don't excuse her, but pity her for being a rather wasted character in said second season.
There is also Hallelujah, Allelujah's Superpowered Evil Side. While Allelujah himself is a decent, mild-mannered guy, Hallelujah is a big bastard who enjoys killing his opponents in slow and painful manners and causing Alle a lot of angst. The fangirls? Woobify him and make him into a sex god in their fics. Go figure.
Ribbons Almark. He is a character created in honor of Toru Furuya's role as Amuro Ray, the first hero in the entire franchise - just as Full Frontal is creacted in honor of Shuuichi Ikeda's role as the first antagonist of the franchise, Char Aznable - and thus has a great chance to become one such trope.
Although not evil (she does have a good side), there's Athena from Hayate the Combat Butler. Her fans have a tendency to disregard any indications that she might not be entirely good or that she might have some personality problems (which she rather does) in favour of focusing on how 'beautiful and awesome' she is. Anyone who tries to point this out will likely either get attacked, be accused of trolling, or be told 'Well, only her fans can see how truly great she is!'. (They've also been spotted claiming she's the author's favourite character, for some reason.)
"Host Samurai", a vampire who was forced to join the Gantz team, is in danger of becoming this. Never mind that he's killed numerous people including both the main character and his brother.
Hot Gimmick: A lot of fangirls are willing to overlook Ryoki's constant physical, verbal, sexual, and psychological abuse of the heroine Hatsumi because of his good looks. So what if he treats his Love Interest like trash? He's pretty and he has angst! And she's a dumb whore for not liking it anyway!
Sesshoumaru became one of the most popular characters from his introduction. While Character Development eventually makes him better than he used to be, earning him many more fans on much more reasonable merits, his earliest and cruelest behavior gets glossed over. Some fans will cheer on his cold acts toward Inuyasha before and after his character shift, while at the same timebashing Kagome and Shippo for their far less meaner, and sometimes understandable, acts.
The hugely popular Kouga's introduction is glossed over by fans and canon. He is introduced slaughtering human villages and allowing his wolves to slay and eat the villagers. Rin's village is one of the victims and the wolves cause her first death. Although Kouga and Inuyasha and Inuyasha and Sesshoumaru frequently interact, the manga never allows either Kouga and Sesshoumaru (Rin's guardian) to meet* The anime did do a filler encounter between them or Inuyasha's group to learn that Kouga killed Rin. Inuyasha's group does gloss over the Kouga's human-slaying history and that this behaviour is typical of his entire tribe. As a result, some of his fans often feel justified in glossing over this, too.
Often happens with Dio Brando of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, particularly with the increased popularity from the new TV anime adaptation. This is particularly odd, as Dio is not meant to have ANY redeeming features. He's just pretty, and hammy.
It also happens with Hol Horse, the smug, womanizing cowboy, which many people even want to see join the good guys, despite having shot one of them in the head.
Fans of Kagerou Project often do this to The Snake of Clearing Eyes when he's in his human form, AKA Kuroha. Despite the fact that Kuroha's human form is just Konoha's body under his possession. Many fans of the series will either make him out to be a lonely soul that just wanted love or friendship, especially after seeing the anime ending where his consciousness is dissolved, and his life force used to bring back Hiyori. They tend to either gloss over or even glorify the fact that his true goal is simply to live and continue existing forever by killing Marry's friends over and over again in increasingly brutal ways, causing her to reset the timeline. This allows him to live forever with no one the wiser, until the events of Summertime Record.
Leon Oswald from Kaleido Star. While he does have understandable reasons to be the way he is, these do NOT justify how his fangirls handwave or ommit the crap he has pulled on Sora, May and on many others, like the innocent partners that he injured just to test their worth. Not to mention we only learn of said Freudian Excusevery late in the story... and he was a DILP ever since his first appearance.
The Varia, specifically their leaderXanxus, further enforced by the fact that they really do all wear leather pants. Even the robot. In fact, every single villain (and even one Wild Card protagonist) in Reborn is subject to this. Taken to ridiculous lengths in Japanese fandom when Hibari and Mukuro ranked #1 and #4 respectively in a poll for who people would most like to marry.
The cold hearted, abusive, manipulative and arrogant Daemon Spade, on whom most fangirls' comments can be summed as "I know he's an asshole, but he's so hot!". But between his good looks and his awesome clothing, who can blame them?◊ (Image contains spoilers, of course).
Byakuran, who not only doesn't have a backstory other than how he got his powers, but he murdered anyone who got in the way of his goal, even tossing aside his own allies when he got bored of them. Yet the fans can still over look this because of his sweet tooth, cute smile and carefree attitude.
Fans still love Rokudo Mukurou even after learning about all the horrificthings he did in the past.
This comes to bite them in the ass in the OVA, when Rei uses clones of their past selves to combat them, showing that merely becoming heroes after all the crimes they've done isn't good enough redemption.
''Magi Labyrinthof Magic" Sinbad is the best example of this-despite having conquered most of the world and not being that heroic, on top of what he did to Kougyoku, he is still seen as a great person. Jafar and most notably Judar get this in spades, with most people overlooking Judar's evil nature on account of his sad past, despite the fact that he doesn't even remember it. The Kou Empire is the best example, however, as despite being very morally gray people, the fans have forgotten this fact and treated them as the 'heroes' of the series-with Kouen being shown in fanfiction as a misunderstood figure who just wants peace (never mind that Judar said he likes war), Kouha is a misunderstood rascal who just likes shedding blood, and Hakuryuu Ren is by far the most vaunted character. Despite having murdered his best friend and his own mother as well as sending his own soldiers in to die in battle, there are still people who act like Hakuryuu never did anything wrong in the series.
It has been done with Zagato from Magic Knight Rayearth — treating him as the hero of the first story arc... despite his being willing to deceive and manipulate his underlings, even letting one of them die in the manga due to a You Have Failed Me moment. He may have had motives we can sympathize with, but still... he was going to kill the only genuine, complete innocents in the entire affair. And his plan involved letting the world be destroyed along with countless innocent people in it simply because it was based on an unfair and corrupt system.
A lot of fans of Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro conveniently forget that Neuro is a ruthless, manipulative, sadistic demon who truly enjoys torturing people for the heck of it. They also forget the fact that he saved humanity only to wait for the day they kill each other to create his food.
Mayu Shinjo has a habit of creating these characters (sometimes literally). Sakuya Ookochi from Sensual Phrase and Uon Hakuron from Haou Airen are two notable examples of these. They have good looks and while their Dark and Troubled Pastsdoes make them for who they are, these still do not justify their Jerkass tendencies and their treatment to their respective love interests (Aine and Kurumi) borders on Loving Force multiple times. On the flipside, fangirls tend to bash Aine and Kurumi for being "bitches", "weak", and they also putting the blame on them for the abuse piling on them.
There are fangirls of Murata Azrael. He tried to commit genocide against the genetically altered, kills or abuses several sympathetic characters, and believes that the best way to solve political disputes is to kill the people you're having the dispute with, all while thinking he's much brighter than he really is. But they'll excuse that because he's a pretty boy.
Char Aznable has legions of fans who will pick an argument with anyone so much as doubting his greatness. Char, a man so popular despite the fact that he emotionally manipulated others for his own gain, blamed others for the tragic consequences of his own actions, and tried to throw a massive asteroid at Earth and cause a nuclear winter for a reason so detached from, well, reason that it might have as well been For the Evulz. Tomino has even stated that Char's views on reality are not in sync with real life. Even Char's own sister Sayla has commented on this. But just try explaining this to the fans.
Even Gihren Zabi gets it himself in some circles of the fandom. That is despite him being behind the bulk of Zeon's war crimes in the One Year War and taking comparisons to Hitler as a compliment. There are even games allowing Zeon to win that envisions a Earth Sphere led by Gihren as a glorious future!
Hell, Zeon in general gets a whole lot of "freedom fighter"-type Pantsing. It's common that Gundam fans need to be reminded◊ that the Sides were not under totalitarian rule nor particularly worse off than Earth, and that the reason the Federation cut their supplies was because they were trying to secede, and wanted the entire population of the Earth to leave with them. Other things to remind them: Zeon fired the first shot, Zeon targeted fellow Spacenoid civilian colonies in the One Year War for the purposes of using them as Colony Drop ammo, and Zeon killed off a third of the population of a planet they claimed they wanted pristine even before shooting weapons of mass destruction at it.
In-universe, there's Stain, a ruthless Hero Killer, who wants to make the word better by finishing heroes he doesn't deem worthy of the title. He is also brutally right, some heroes just got in the business to get fame and fortune, overlooking the part where they need to save people and help them or seeing it as a stepping stone, even Midoriya is forced to agree with his ideals. Because his ideas made so much sense, merchandising of him was sold and various fans of him joined the Villain's Alliance, while they ignored he did killed a lot of heroes or injured them badly.
Due to being a Base-Breaking Character, Bakugou can be seen as this. He was Midoriya's bully ever since they were 4, he was feared even by the teachers and still has a lot of attitude problems. He did got a lot of Character Development, and while he still can't deal with people properly, he at least doesn't want to murder everybody all the time, except maybe Midoriya and Todoroki, but fans always treated him lovingly.
One of the most bizarre examples from fan fiction is none other than the Kyuubi. This is a being noted as a living natural disaster with a will composed solely of its hatred for everything else, supported by its stated desires to kill the eponymous character and pretty much anything else it happens upon. The fanfics try to give it a sympathetic backstory, but it usually boils down to a repetitive "they killed my kits and mate and I got angry; I'm sowwy" excuse, in spite of the fact that it's a construct made up of malignant chakra, NOT an organic fox known to be capable of breeding a family. Ironically, being percieved as nothing more than a construct of malignant chakra that can be harnessed and weaponized, is pretty much the main reason the Ninetails hates everybody so much. As canon would have it, he actually IS a sentient being, and becomes more sympathetic than he originally seems.
Despite being one of the least sympathetically portrayed of all the Akatsuki, Hidan has some of the most die-hard fangirls. Yes, thatHidan. Apparently it's okay to sadistically murder people if you have white hair and walk around with your midriff exposed. As long as you're sexy enough, the Fangirls will go to any lengths to justify your sociopathic behavior, up to and including: inventing sympathetic backstory where there was none; pulling Freudian Excuses out of their asses; and coming up with lame excuses to vilify your victims. The problem is that Hidan is not only monstruous, but so damn fun while being a monster; specially in the anime, which makes him a Large Ham who acts almost like a Psychopathic Manchild and has very amusing interactions with Kakuzu. That alone will bring lots of fans... too bad they simply refuse to admit that his charm is how much of an amusing bastard Hidan was, and try woobiefying him. COME ON! Hidan was amusing and all, but he was an asshole, and a very unapologetic one at that - making him a Woobiemisses the point and the fun of his character.
Itachi Uchiha is widely liked even though he killed his entire family and committed numerous atrocities while a member of Akatsuki. And that was before we learned that he was ordered to kill the Uchiha clan by Danzo to prevent them from launching a coup against the village, joined Akatsuki to keep an eye on them, and planned it so that Sasuke would become a hero for killing him and get the Eternal Mangekyo Sharingan.
Sasuke. Some of his fans think he's actually justified in planning to destroy Konoha and everyone in it (including his former friends) even though the most responsible person from Konoha for ruining his life is already dead.. There's all the Sasuke x Sakura shipping fics in which Sasuke returns to the village and mostly seamlessly integrates back in. Most fans weren't happy when Sasuke declared he'd be Hokagenote Ironically, on the day Naruto was to be inducted as Seventh Hokage, his daughter knocks him senseless while fighting with her brother, meaning Sasuke has to henge and take his place. and ignore what his former classmates said... while his fans put him in the biggest leather pants ever and say he not only deserves it, but is best choice while blaming other people for his behavior. It's kind of funny how as the series keeps going, and Sasuke dives deeper and deeper into his Heel status, the attempts to explain just how he ends up a good guy again so that sexy times can start now get shorter and more frequently waved away as AU. Here's some In-Universe implementation as of Chapter 619, because Word of God wants us to cut down on accountability for the Uchiha Clan: they are cursed to "love too much", and their brain functions when they lose a loved one literally amplify the anguish - increasing their mental instability whilst also empowering their Sharingan. So they really do feel more agony than normal people, and therefore we must feel sorry for Sasuke/Obito/Madara for being douchebags because their crazy eyes make them do it, accountability be damned! Right from the horse's mouth, that stuff is. Ultimately defied in the follow-upseries; Sasuke considers his actions as a teenager to be completely unforgivable, and is humble beyond description that Naruto - and through him ultimately the village - forgave him anyway. He has thus sentenced himself to a lifetime of service to the village, the girl he had scorned, and the friend he had betrayed, and his newfound humility, loyalty and patience would be utterly unrecognizable if so much of his character wasn't being a brooding dork in the first place.
And to make it an Uchiha trifecta, there is also Sasuke and Itachi's mother, Mikoto. Most fans like to ignore or deny that Mikoto was most likely an active participant and had full knowledge of the coup, and instead treat her as a God-send who had obviously been forced into a abusive and loveless marriage. Never mind that she was a jounin and could take care of herself, and never once showed a sign that she didn't love her husband. Apparently in the eyes of the fandom, she's too hot to be a traitor.
Tayuya. Most fanfiction that have her as a main character have her inexplicably survive Temari's burying of her during the Sasuke Retrival Arc, only for the pursuing medics and/or Kakashi to stumble upon her, and, after she explains/spews that she was forced into working for Orochimaru, she is taken back to Konoha for treatment and possibly a Q&A with Ibiki/Inoichi. She usually then joins the "treehuggers" ranks with none of the Konoha 11 questioning it. Especially odd because Tayuya is no more sympathetic than the other Sound ninjas (besides Kimimaro) - the fanbase seems to like her a lot just because she's attractive, female, an unusual personality and her unique powers. That's not to say the other Sound Four don't have sympathetic portrayals, but they're less frequent and usually a little bit more believable than what she usually gets whilst alone.
It helps that she was given a chance to fight and showcase her skills (she was an able match for Shikamaru) and was shown to have a small code of sorts, telling Naruto and Shikamaru not to waste their and their teammates' lives in a hopeless mission, making fans of her think she wasn't all bad. Like with Kimimaro, many find her to be a wasted character who was unceremoniously killed off.
Pirate Empress Boa Hancock. Interestingly, it's a rare case of fangirls idealizing a female character who's turned out to be good Possession Sue material. Otherwise, we wouldn't have so many fans who think she's going to join the crew and easily be the strongest, marry Luffy, and free all the slaves in the world. In reality, her overall moral character is still questionable; she doesn't really seem to care for anyone other than her family and Luffy. She's very sympathetic, and does have a genuinelygoodFreudian Excuse, but she's still not nearly as good as some of her fans would like her to be.
Blackbeard. He gained a lot of fans through being Affably Evil and having his worst crimes (murdering one of his comrades and devastating Drum Island) happen off-screen. Even after his acts in the Marineford Arc confirmed without a shadow of doubt that he's evil and shaping up to be the Big Bad, he retains a fan following.
Osomatsu-san: Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist variant; the Matsuno brothers often have their personality flaws downplayed in fanworks, instead having them come across as "cute" and "quirky" rather than acting like their goofy and immature selves. This, coupled with Self-Fanservice below, is especially prominent in shipping work and reader insert fics. This gets especially bad with Karamatsu and Jyushimatsu, as even though they're not quite as bad as the other brothers, most of their less savory moments are ignored for a "completely good" characterization.
Outlaw Star has Harry Macdougal, who gets love from fangirls despite being an Ax-CrazyStalker with a Crush. Yeah, it was really cute the way Harry slapped Melfina around when she turned down his advances and tried to kidnap her. It probably has a lot to do with the end of the series, when Harry, reduced to his last legs from the effort of getting to Melfina and from having his body brutally broken by Hazankou, says a very tender farewell and gives his life to wake her up for the climax, and Melfina, for her part, is more broken up about it than any real person with their history ever would be.Draco in Leather Pants because of Death Equals Redemption. They're starting to recurse...
Pandora Hearts Vincent Nightray is this. His only redeeming quality is his love for his brother Gilbert, who he often uses and tries to mind control in an attempt to make him murder his friends. He abuses his servant, he poisons people, he cuts the heads off stuffed animals, murdered Alyss's cat out of jealousy and bullied her, beheaded most of his family, planned to use Ada and didn't care at all about the people he killed. Despite this, a chat with any of his many fans might make you think it's all Jack to blame when the kid has been messed up for a long time before Jack entered the picture. A better example is Levi, who literally played with Lacie's life and mentally abused her as well as sexually assaulted her and imprisoned her.
Parodied with Meowth of Team Rocket. He has this with Giovanni, even though Giovanni frequently mistreats him and is shown to be ruthless. Meowth imagines him as simply a nice guy with a gruff exterior who likes to go shirtless. He also sees himself as competing with Giovanni's pet Persian for attention, although it's clear Persian couldn't care less.
Any member of Team Rocket can receive this treatment. The main trio have the somewhat emotional backstories, and have been shown to have good sides (caring about their Pokemon, each other, and the greater good, especially in the movies), even though they still attempt to hurt Pokemon and even children. Butch, Cassidy and Giovanni have their fans treat them this way as well.
Paul is easily the biggest Jerkass among Ash's rivals, releasing any Pokemon that don't meet his standards, insulting Ash at any given opportunity and acting cold toward everyone else he meets, and most notably having his entire team gang up on his Chimchar, in an effort to force it into activating its Blaze ability, which is unusually powerful, and then rage-quitting on it and releasing it, effectively abandoning it out of disgust (everything that happened that day and the night before really soured Ash's opinion of Paul). He gets a small handful of Break the Haughty moments throughout the series, but mostly goes unpunished. Despite his jerkassery, he has a sizable fanbase. (Doesn't help that some gamers agree with Paul's methods because they do similar in their Pokemon training.)
All of the witches, particularly Charlotte. It doesn't help that All witches were were once magical girls, who fell into despair. They all have big fanbases, and even excuse Charlotte from the fact she ate Mami's head. In some cases, magical girls are subjected to Ron the Death Eater because they hunt witches.
The series itself is an Expy of the public domain work Faust...except Puella's Faust analogue isn't a bored hedonist who sells his soul for petty luxuries. Actually, she isn't that villainous at all, as everything she does is motivated either by trauma or her desire to save Madoka from a horrific death...Wait, how are the characters similar again?
Puella Magi Oriko Magica introduced Oriko, a villainous Seer who murdered at least one version of Madoka to save the world. While her methods are usually acknowledged as questionable, she assessed that Homura would gladly let the world burn if it meant making Madoka happy, which led to a bunch saying she was right after the release of...
This trope has been applied to nearly all of characters, Depending on the Writer's well-intended rationalization of a character's comedy-prone, ridiculously over-the-top personality. In fact, some Fanon takes on characters such as this have gotten so bad that a lot of people remember them as canon. For instance, people will remember Shampoo attacking the attempted wedding at the end of the series, but will somehow conveniently forget Ukyo's taking part in it... or even claim that she was defending everybody from Shampoo! Even a cursory glance at the manga will tell anyone this isn't so, and yet the Lionized Ukyo Who Defends Ranma and Akane's Love persists.
One of the most pervasive applications is usually on Nabiki Tendo. Since she is a relatively levelheaded and cerebral character, most Fan Fic writers severely downplay her outgoing harmonic and cheerful extreme greed, selfishness, sadism, and ruthlessness, or turn her into a completely opposite "isolated tragic ice queen altruist". Naturally, Rumiko Takahashi — her creator — describes this nature, in combination with always getting away with what she's doing, as the reason that she is funny.
Lucia from Rave Master, who is essentially that world's Hitler, is all too often looked at as a poor troubled boy who just took the only path open to him after having a bad childhood. Yes, getting locked up in prison as a little kid because of who your dad is sucks, but it's not an excuse to go and commit mass murder. It might help that he actually sees himself that way, and has a whole rant in the final battle about how he wasn't given any real options. Of course, Haru's "right, not buying it" helps to balance things out.
Akio Ohtori, Touga Kiryuu and Ruka Tsuchiya from Revolutionary Girl Utena are varying shades of manipulative and sexist, but thanks to their mildly sympathetic qualities (Touga's backstory and feelings for Utena, Akio's origins as Prince Dios, a truly good person and Ruka's feelings for Juri) and their good looks their fanbases tend to sweep their behavior under the rug. Some even go so far as to blame the female characters they associate with for their behavior.
Enishi Yukishiro from Rurouni Kenshin can sometimes be seen by fan(girl)s as this misunderstood little boy who only wanted his sister's love and wished for her to smile upon him no matter what. While one is certainly justified in being traumatized and scarred for life by his sister and mother figure's death, it doesn't quite excuse a lot of other stuff he did after his sister Tomoe died. For example, brutally slaughtering the kind family who took him in just because he couldn't stand their "happiness," becoming a crime lord in Shanghai, and selling weapons to known psychotic revolutionary Shishio. He did all of this so he could psychologically torment the sympathetic and almost saint-like Kenshin, who's tried to do his best ever since Tomoe's death to atone for his crimes and help others.
Sailor Moon's Prince Dimande. Not only did he want to destroy Crystal Tokyo, but he abducted Usagi, changed her clothes while she was unconscious and forced a kiss on her. But of course, he's so pretty so people can't help excusing his behavior.
Samurai Deeper Kyo has the in-universe as well as fandom example of the the main character, Demon Eyes Kyo, who is best known for slaughtering over 1000 people at the battle of Sekigahara. There's also Ensemble Darkhorse antagonist Hishigi, who garners plenty of sympathy due to his Iron Woobie status and fandom admiration for his badass characteristics, but is still far from a pleasant or moral person in the source material itself.
In Shiki, Tatsumi and to a lesser extent Megumi have their fans who will gloss over their bad qualities and treat them as objects of desire. Whole sides may be subjected to this as well, with some fans thinking the vampires have the right to kill people to eat without consequences and others thinking the humans have the right to slaughter the vampires in the most horrific ways possible, even when they're not aggressive or acting any differently from when they were alive.
He isn't treated as a villain in-story, but it's blatantly obvious, after The Reveal that Xellos is a sadistic and God-tier level demon incapable of feeling positive emotions at all. This doesn't stop fans from making him fall in love withthe preachy dragon Filia, even though he's completely incapable of such thoughts. There's not much justification to your actions when you are probably the most powerful member of an Always Chaotic Evil race of demons short of the five Dark Lords under that world's equivalent of Satan.
To a lesser extent, Zelgadis. Yes, he's protective of his friends and mostly respects them, but he's still the only one who doesn't have any remorse when it comes to killing people, and his self-centeredness and sense of superiority is almost more infuriating than Lina's. But no, he just has to be the ultimate woobie that can only be Xellos' bitch, and every single problem of his is Rezo's (or Amelia's, per Die for Our Ship) fault...
Despite being responsible for the deaths of thousands of people for purely selfish reasons, the fans of Kayaba Akihiko from Sword Art Online insist that he's not evil due to his apathetic personality as opposed to the corrupt and over the top Sugou Nobuyuki and the sadistic Shinkawa Shouichi. It should be noted that it was Kayaba's machinations that allowed the other antagonists to pursue their goals.
Deep Blue. He is the leader of the Aliens, is very evil and sadistic, and in the final episode, he tries to kill everyone in Tokyo. He even tries to choke Ichigo to death in the final battle, and it's implied that he was using the Aliens for his own ends. Yet for some odd reason, some of the fandom seems to pair Ichigo up with Deep Blue and make him a slightly sympathetic character.
Tokyo Ghoul: Despite technically being Kaneki's friend and ally, Tsukiyama could be considered one by some members of the fandom. Fans often play up his hammyness and shenanigans while ignoring the fact that he's trying to eat Kaneki throughout the series.
Ayato could count as well, since fans often ignore the implications of him belonging to an organization that kills investigators in cold blood on a regular basis.
In both the Anime and Manga of Trigun, Legato has more than a touch of nihilism and never does anything unconditionally good for anyone in the series (Yes, even the girl he gave the hot dog to. First, he used her to make a point. Second, popular fan theory and several clues from the manga hint that he is a cannibal, meaning that the hot dog...). Even with the rather tragic Freudian Excuse from the manga, it's clear there isn't any good in him left. Despite all this he is easily the most popular character in the show among women and there is a mountain of Self Insert Fics giving him (even more) tragic past where he hooked up with some Mary Sue, and the loss of her was what turned him evil.
The four members of Schwarz in Weiß Kreuz serve as the protagonists' Evil Counterparts and spend most of their time unrepentantly organizing mass murder and social chaos when they're not tormenting the main characters or, in the case of one member, torturing priests to death for fun; but somehow, they manage to have as large a fan following as the series' protagonists.
To make this even worse, a few of Kaiba's cards that were designed with the intent to make him look like an asshole have become Dracos in Leather Pant themselves. The Crush Card Virus is an excellent example, a horribly broken card that he used frequently, and while the OCG/TCG version was considerably nerfed, it was still incredibly broken. Nonetheless, no sooner was it available for TCG release than it became one of the most sought after cards in the game, and one of the biggest cases of Power Creep as players found ways to make it far more broken than it was. The card was outlawed eventually (many players say not soon enough) and players who objected to the ban never seemed to understand that when Kaiba first obtained this card, he was Bribing His Way To Victory, and shouldn't have been admired for it.
Yami Yugi has also been subject to the treatment in light of his Knight Templar tendencies. He becomes kinder over time, and some of his more ruthless deeds are absent in the Duel Monsters anime; but he's still ruthless early on in the manga.
Possibly a result of the leather outfit, badass dark powers, and backstory that has plenty of angst potential due to the death/entrapment/identity crisis triple threat.
Regular Marik isn't immune to this, either. He does have a sympathetic backstory, and he eventually goes through Defeat Means Friendship, but the fandom tends to ignore even the stuff that happened before aforementioned defeat, and claim that he'd be 100% good if not for Dark Marik. In the series proper, Marik, entirely without his Split Personality, had no problem with killing his own men or uninvolved innocents if it meant getting his revenge on Dark Yugi.
Valon has gotten this from fans who felt that he cared more about Mai than Joey did, just because he cancelled the duel between the two when the former was on the verge of losing, and believed that Joey cared more about dueling, even though in reality, he was the one who wanted to save Mai even if it meant her soul temporarily being lost, and that he originally intended to forfeit the duel to spare her. Guys, you can't do what you don't have the means to, and Valon specifically had what he needed to cancel the duel. Worse, they viewed Mai as an Ungrateful Bastard who Valon was too good for, even though he was partly responsible for her giving in to the Orichalcos in the first place, and was in a Yandere state. Granted, this was all under the effect of the seal, but still.
Jack Atlas went through a phase of Draco-dom when he was his bad self during the initial arc. Fans not only admired him for it, they encouraged it, and felt that Yusei and his friends were just weaklings, if not the ones at fault. The fans seemed to forget that Jack got to his current position by being a traitor, a thief, and almost a murderer. A case of Memetic Badass taken too far.
A more straightforward example would be Divine. He runs a school for Physic Duelists just so he can raise them into an army he can use to take over the world based on the supposed prejudice he suffered. While appearing to the world as a Professor X like figure, he also tortures all of the recruits to test their powers and kills them if they are not strong enough for him to use. This included Mistyï¿½s little brother Tobi which lead to her death and rebirth as a Dark Signer. All the while he was manipulating Aki into being completely loyal to him while turning her into a monster and pretending to care for her. He also has multiple events that could easily be considered crossing the Moral Event Horizon such as torturing Rua in a duel, killing Carly by throwing her out of a skyscraper window when he caught her snooping in his office and trying to drown Yusei and Mikage. He is the most purely evil character in the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise that is not an Eldritch Abomination, insane, Made of Evil, or a several thousand year old spirit of vengeance. However fangirls like to ignore all of that and focus on his Mind Game Ship with Aki instead.
Kaito from Yu Gi Oh Zexal is an odd case. Fans often side with him over Yuma, claiming he's a better duelist with better cards, despite the fact that Kaito was a cold, uncaring Jerkass at times who was willing to take the souls of his opponents to meet his goals, which was morally wrong however noble those goals may have been.
Shingo Sawatari. Despite the fact that his early methods are similar to the early manga version of Seto Kaiba, he is a Butt Monkey in this series and is too funny to despise. Also, as an Expy of Jun Manjoume/Chazz Princeton, most fans predict that he's going to become a good guy anyway. Not to mention that his father seems to be a neglectful parent and is in fact a grade A Jerkass, cast some fan sympathy on him. His return in episode 49 cemented his turn to becoming a mostly decent guy.
Serena had some of this due to being the dimensional counterpart of Yuzu, and she is already claimed by some to be the best girl, despite the fact that she is a Jerkass who sealed Hokuto in a card, is every bit as bigoted against Xyz duelists as her colleagues from Academia, and is rude to Reiji and her bodyguard, Barrett. Fortunately, later episodes have shown that she isn't a complete jerkass and had been indoctrinated into thinking Academia was noble, not realizing that they were intentionally harming and hunting innocents in the Xyz Dimension invasion.
Shun Kurosaki. People admire him for his efforts to save his sister and comrades, sometimes completely forgetting how he ruthlessly turned at least FIVE absolutely innocent people into cards, not caring much if they also had family and friends whose life he probably ruined. Also he had no problems doing it to the LDS Trio, if Reiji hadn't intervened.
There's a significant swathe of the fandom that absolutely refuses to believe Dennis to be a bad guy, despite the fact that he works happily with the psychotic Yuri, he let Halil and Olga be carded without a care, and it's pretty clear that his prior niceness was a facade. He has shown some shades of Becoming the Mask in the form of concern for Gongenzaka, but whether it will stick has yet to be seen. Some of these have dropped their opinion since episode 74.
Zoids: Chaotic Century: Raven of has a tragic backstory and mellows out somewhat towards the end of the series, but this doesn't change the fact that he's a jingoistic, bloodthirsty killer who has murdered dozens of innocent soldiers in cold blood (even those on his own side!) and attempted a genocide of an entire sentient species, even if said species happens to be mechanical. In classic Draco In Leather Pants fashion, Raven's fans downplay his genocidal tendencies in favour of playing him up as some kind woobie.