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  • Bleach:
    • Sousuke Aizen created an army of Hollows over the course of at least a century pretty much solely for them to be killed fighting Soul Society as a distraction for his true plan. At least he's upfront about it—he informs his enemies that he specifically warned his followers not to trust him because he might betray them at any moment. He's actually a fairly decent guy to work for up until the point You Have Outlived Your Usefulness, but that seems written into the contract.
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    • One of the first things we see Mayuri Kurotsuchi is turning his subordinates into living bombs, killing one that didn't detonate the first time because "a bomb isn't supposed to come back". He proceeds to savagely beat his lieutenant Nemu for asking for the antidote to the poison she inhaled because he made her immune to that and therefore concludes that she couldn't possibly be suffering was making fun of him. When called out on this by Ishida, Mayuri berates him because Nemu is his daughter and he can treat her however he likes. Amazingly, his later appearances play him for laughs and he's underwent a Hazy Feel Turn.
    • Mayuri's equally evil counterpart and Aizen's Octava Espada is Szayelaporro Grantz, a Mad Scientist who has performed experiments on himself and his underling so that he can recover from injury by eating them.
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    • Yhwach, the leader of the Vandenreich, within his first two scenes, is observed mutilating and dismembering his underlings for effectively no reason. They had neither failed him nor outlived their usefulness. In fact, whipping off an underling's arm seems to be his favorite way of getting their attention. Later, he also resorts to the ol' classic You Have Failed Me and You Have Outlived Your Usefulness antics.
    • This is true of the Sternritter in general. Quilge Opie sends his much weaker minions into battles and only enters once they have all been defeated, killing anyone who flees. Mask de Masculine incinerates his number one fanboy (and the one providing his Healing Factor) because he knew James would regenerate anyway, and banked on being able to take out Renji Abarai in the process. Bambietta Basterbine lets off steam by sleeping with her henchmen and violently killing them if she's still frustrated. The only objection anyone has to this habit (even the henchmen themselves are actually very willing and eager) is that it's a waste of hot guys. Furthermore, Giselle Gewelle, who can turn people into Zombies, is shown to be incredibly abusive towards her puppets, with the implication that she's reprogrammed them into sex slaves. If there is a Vandenreich leader who is not a walking workplace hazard, we have yet to see them.
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    • Later on, Yhwach's behavior (and allowing of the Sternritter to do the same) is later given an explanation: every Quincy in existence literally derives their power from him, and that power returns to him upon their death. This is the only thing that saves him from a Fate Worse than Death, because he was born blind, deaf, numb and dumb and the only way he can keep his senses is to give out his power, binding it to an individual's soul, and then have it return to him. The result is that he is a Blood Knight and his army must fight and die for him lest he return to a state of living death. He has to kill his subordinates - or at least, send them to their likely deaths - if he wants to stick around, and it explains why he has no objections at the Unfriendly Fire of the Sternritter. Doesn't change the fact that is clearly enjoying himself, and he's willfully enslaving their souls (and the souls of their descendants) because he thinks It's All About Me. This also explains the behaviour of his subordinates - their job is simply to fight and kill until someone kills them, so if someone is unwilling to fight, they can simply serve His Majesty in death, although it must be said that only a few senior Sternritter even know of this fact.
  • A Certain Magical Index has One-Eyed Othinus, the leader of GREMLIN. She is revealed to have a tendency to kill or maim subordinates when she's bored or displeased.
  • Though he doesn't exactly have what could be called "henchmen," Light Yagami of Death Note kills or tries to kill almost everyone who helps him throughout the series. A Justified Trope, since Light tries to keep his identity as the mass murderer Kira a secret from the police, and every person that knows who he really is poses a security risk. Misa devotes her entire life to serving Kira, even to the point of undergoing rather painful interrogation, shortening her lifespan twice, and giving up any notion of a normal life for him and he still treats her like dirt and manipulates her for all she's worth.
  • Mikbell of Delicious in Dungeon abuses Kuro's loyalty terribly. Two other members of her party discuss how she's probably barely paying him and just giving him food instead. In all her interactions with Kuro, she treats him more like a pet than a person.
  • The Digimon Adventure anime and its sequel, Digimon Adventure 02 has...
    • Myotismon (Vamdemon), whose minions he's killed for failure or for no apparent reason once he was done with them, and the fact that both his resurrections required the deaths of others, the only minion of his known to have survived working for him is Gatomon (Tailmon), who's also the one who turned against him. Even then, it's stated that Gatomon suffered regular physical abuse at his hands.
    • Puppetmon was nearly as bad, killing off minions who annoyed him even slightly. At least Metalseadramon and Machinedramon's reasons for killing Scorpiomon and Warumonzaemon made some sense.
    • Etemon is a sillier example, as he's always screaming at his minions and frequently whacks them over the slightest offenses.
    • During his time as the Digimon Emperor, Ken Ichijoji regularly abused his various Digimon slaves, even going so far as to force them to fight to the death in a Colosseum-style arena for his own amusement. In a unique case, Ken did all of this because he thought the Digital World was just a big computer game, and pulls a Heel–Face Turn when he discovers otherwise.
  • Digimon Xros Wars the Bagra Empire has no problem in killing its own troops to harvest their data. And Kiriha isn't particularly nice to some of his digimon that he considers as weak.
  • Dragon Ball loves this trope:
    • Dragon Ball:
      • General Blue, the gay high-ranking officer in the Red Ribbon Army, often executed his own soldiers if they either did unclean things (e.g. he had a random soldier executed for picking his nose), or failed him. He's also quite careless about where he sends his fellow soldiers, as he sent his soldiers rushing down a corridor that had holes coming out while he walked slowly. Guess what happened to those soldiers?
      • Colonel Violet, another officer in the Red Ribbon Army, has a total disregard for her men. When her group is threatened by a crocodile, her first reaction is to throw two of her own men into the water, then have everyone leave as the croc eats them. While fighting a tribe for a Dragon Ball, she doesn't bat an eye at all of her men getting killed, yet goes out of her way to rescue a monkey that got injured in the fighting.
      • Commander Red, the Red Ribbon Army's boss, is even worse: He has his soldiers executed for failure, and has... an extremely wide definition as to what it means to fail (for one thing, if some soldier is unlucky enough to not be able to evade a cat he sics on them and gets his eye plucked out... he's executed). Then he reveals that he only wanted the Dragon Balls to make himself taller, and is perfectly willing to throw every last soldier's lives away to get it. At which point Staff Officer Black disposes of Red and takes over.
      • Emperor Pilaf regularly insults and belittles his Co-Dragons Shu and Mai. It's taken to ridiculous extremes in the second episode of the anime, where he farts and tries to pass the buck onto Shu, going so far as to threaten Shu with a chainsaw when he objects.
    • Powerful enemies on Dragon Ball Z tend to be extremely cruel and apathetic when it comes to anybody working under them.
      • Vegeta, back during his tenure as a villain in early Z. He mercilessly killed one of the Saibaiman for losing to Tenshinhan in a fight, and after Nappa got his back broken by Goku, he threw him into the air and obliterated him with an energy beam.
    Vegeta: "I have no use for a paralyzed Saiyan! You're dead weight now!"
    • Chilled, Frieza's ancestor in the non-canon Episode of Bardock, is just as bad as his descendant, if not worse. In one scene, he kills one of his random henchmen simply because said henchman was blocking his view, and that was when he was in a good mood.
  • Fairy Tail has a lot. These include:
    • Brain, who shoots Cobra in the back for taking too long to defeat Natsu (and Cobra was about to win despite taking a pretty bad injury). Cobra made sure he paid for that seven years later.
    • King Faust, burns his subordinate's legs for mentioning that another subordinate was in the line of fire.
    • Zancrow, who incinerates his mooks just because they told him to be careful when fighting Natsu. When Natsu calls him out on this, Zancrow calls them "trash" and weaklings unfit to uphold Grimoire Heart's reputation as the strongest dark guild if a punk like Natsu could kick their asses.
    • Then there's Laxus, the biggest reason why he can never take over Fairy Tail is mostly his personality. Though he learned from his mistake, the fact still remains.
    • Jiemma exiles anyone in his guild who fails to win a single fight. He even has a ceremony for the exile that his subordinates have to watch.
  • Many of Fist of the North Star's villains are given to this behavior. Often the only thing keeping their mooks from saying Screw This, I'm Outta Here! when faced with Kenshiro exploding their heads is fear of what their bosses will do to them. One of the worst in this regard is Jagi, who will kill you just for looking at him without his helmet on, or for refusing to call him by his brother's name while he's trying to blacken it.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Kimblee is so unpleasant to his minions (as well as being such an utterly sadistic, degenerate villain in general) that every single one of them has done a Heel–Face Turn by the end of the series.
  • Gates from Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid had a penchant of killing his subordinates at the drop of a hat, just to show how much of a raving lunatic he was.
  • The unnamed villain in The Fuma Conspiracy, and leader of the Fuma, has no qualms about losing subordinates, and shows no emotion after some of them are butchered by a trap.
  • InuYasha:
    • Naraku constantly threatens his subordinates/detachments with death should they defy him, once tortured Kagura by squeezing her disembodied heart in his hands, and personally killed Kanna as part of a Suicide Mission he sent her on. Needless to say, quite a few of his detachments turn on or try to turn on him throughout the series, with Byakuya being the only one to stay loyal to him; his habit of this is such that he actually anticipates ahead of time that both Hakudoshi and the Infant will eventually try to betray him.
    • Sesshomaru constantly abuses his Sycophantic Servant Jaken, physically and verbally. On at least two occasions, he even literally stepped on him.
  • Kamisama Kiss has a couple of examples. The first one we are introduced to is Nurakami, whose familiars have a low life expectancy (her current two are her forty-second pair). She is later surpassed by Akura-Ou.
  • Xanxus from Katekyō Hitman Reborn! will kick his subordinates a hundred meters out of the base if they don't give him the right meat for dinner. He launches many things onto Squalo's head, usually glasses of wine, and possibly bigger things... When Bel and Mammon come disguised as transfer students for the Arcobaleno Trials, they hint that their family doesn't get a long well, since their mom (Squalo) yells a lot, and their dad (Xanxus) throws a lot of things. He's been known to "not care" if his subordinates go missing. Neither does anyone else on the team. Good thing Squalo came back anyway.
  • You'll be hard-pressed to find a scene that has Tonga from Kimba the White Lion that doesn't have her yelling or whipping her own workers. It got to the point where her lioness Bella Dona ditched her after being whipped when she was trying to tell Tonga where Kimba and Roger Ranger were hiding.
  • Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro features Neuro. Even leaving out the fact that he's a demon from the depths of the Makai, he's physically abusive to the people who work for him (at one point, he sets his assistant's hair on fire just to prove a point), with punishments for "failures" like forcing one to hold over her body a tub of gasoline with a candle that, if spilled, would burn her to death, gives absolutely no concern over the health and welfare of the people who work for him, or even for their wealth and property, as he completely totaled the new car of one employee and would only replace it with a clunker that wouldn't last a year, and borrowed under the name of another several million yen. The only reason anyone works for him is because if they refuse, he'll kill them. He loses some Bad Boss points (even comedic ones) for actually stealth-rewarding his assistants and much of the abuse being Training from Hell.
  • Shell Septinos of Mardock Scramble is a corrupt employee for the October Corporation, but the moment it becomes clear that his pastime is catching up with him, they turn their back on him and hire contract killers to shut him up for good. The fact that he was even engaged to the daughter of their CEO having no impact on the decision.
  • Mazinger Z: Dr. Hell is a curious example. On one side he felt that he was above executing his subordinates. On the other side he was not above punishing their failures with strikes, insults or torture. He used an Agony Beam with Baron Ashura several times, insulted him often, and an episode opened with Ashura getting flayed for their latest failures. In Mazinger-Z vs Devilman movie he slapped Ashura because he was angry and Ashura was nearby. And yet he cared for his henchmen in his own way, turning Ashura down whenever they asked for execution, constantly giving them second chances, forgiving failures when he knew that his Co-Dragons had tried their best, and mourning Ashura after their death and planning to avenge him.
  • Metroid Prime: Episode of Aether gives us the unnamed Space Pirate called "Boss". Puns aside, he was shown throttling one of the pirates under his command when the latter made a report that Samus is coming to stop him.
  • Muruta Azrael, Lord Djibril, and Patrick Zala of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED (and sequel Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny) were terrible bosses, with the first two in particular subscribing to a We Have Reserves style of fighting that cost thousands of lives. They also controlled their subordinates through drugs and brainwashing, and killed anyone who tried to argue with them.
  • Monster: Johan Liebert, the titular monster, given his propensity to murder his minions or talk them into killing themselves. Even his most devoted follower, Roberto, is not spared a tragic end as Johan coldly rubs in the fact that he will not be able to see the "Scenery for a Doomsday" that Johan has planned for Tenma in his final moments, though Roberto's death had nothing to do with Johan and he was unlikely to survive his wounds. Johan was just being his usual sociopathic self. His treatment of his minions is justified since he doesn't truly care for anybody except his sister and possibly Tenma and even then, how he shows his affection is very twisted and involves murdering lots of people.
  • From Naruto:
    • Orochimaru sacrifices his subordinates to perform forbidden jutsu, regularly performs gruesome experiments on many others (though he probably mainly picks his prisoners), murders one mook who came in to help him when he was screaming in pain, and dismisses his most fanatical follower as unimportant after he chose to die fighting for him. He even flat-out admitted to Kakashi at one point that he considers all of his subordinates who don't have special worth to be nothing but worthless pawns.
    • Orochimaru can be contrasted with Pain, who is a ruthless but beloved god to his village, genuinely cares for his country, and rebukes his subordinates for fighting amongst themselves and disrespecting each other, stressing teamwork and camaraderie.
    • Tobi is somewhere in the middle. While he doesn't seem too concerned about the deaths of his henchmen and actively manipulates all of them, he doesn't seem to have expected them to die either and he doesn't regard them as cheap sacrifices. He outwardly respects them at any rate, though he teases them occasionally.
  • This is one of the defining traits of One Piece villains. Luffy hates them because he believes in True Companions and betraying your companions is the worst crime ever.
    • This is also how to measure the Character Development of Buggy the Clown. In the beginning, he uses his own men as shields and in the manga goes so far as to have one of his men killed over mishearing something he said and falsely believing that he was making fun of his nose, but when we see him last, he and they are crying joyously at their reunion.
    • Crocodile is willing to let his own underlings die by the thousands in order to pursue his own goals. Not above doing the deed himself if they screw up either. The only ones exempt are the ones he genuinely likes, and only Daz Bonez qualifies there.
    • Eneru is willing to let his own underlings die by the thousands in order to pursue his own goals. Perfectly willing to do the job himself if he feels like it as well.
    • Spandam is willing to let his own underlings die by the thousands in order to pursue his own goals. Also willing to let his other subordinates kill them for him, since most of said underlings are stronger than him.
    • Hody Jones is willing to let his own underlings die by the thousands in order to pursue his own goals, or kill his subordinates For the Evulz.
    • Subverted by Arlong, who despises and kills humans callously, but deeply cares for and gets enraged when his subordinates are harmed. Particularly when Luffy uses one of his incapacitated allies as a shield.
    • Also subverted by Mr 2 Bon Clay, who has no problem beating his men for failing him, but refuses to let anyone else hurt them.
    • Donquixote Doflamingo is proving to be the worst yet. When creating his "family" of executives, he specifically welcomed individuals with a Dark and Troubled Past because they'd be the most likely to die for him whenever he demands it. Shown with his subordinates Vergo and Monet, both who happily died in Punk Hazard following Doflamingo's request they do so.
      • It's a little more complex than that. Doflamingo is extremely self-centered, sure. But Vergo and Monet's deaths did affect him, and he commended both for their loyalty before they kicked the bucket. His reaction was to head to Punk Hazard himself, mow down Marine soldiers with impunity and nearly kill a Vice-Admiral present in a fit of bloody murderous rage.
    • Big Mom has eaten her subordinates, most of which are her own children. While she mostly cares, she's still very dismissive, prone to bullying, not all there with reality and very prone to losing all reason and going berserk, in which case subordinates can expect to either be devoured or soul-ripped.
  • From Pokémon:
    • Hunter J is more than willing to sacrifice her own minions, leaving them to die if she has to, if she thinks she will benefit. (Sadly, that is far from her worst trait. Very few villains on the show are crueler than she is. And the worst part? She is motivated by greed, nothing else.)
    • The Iron Masked Marauder of Pokémon 4Ever is so evil that upon his defeat, every single one of his Pokémon ditched him. Most of the time, a trainer's Pokémon are loyal to the trainer even if they are evil: the Marauder was just that much of a dick.
  • Queen's Blade: Menace, who lost her kingdom because she was more concerned with spending all her time having lesbian orgies with her huge harem than actually ruling. Eventually, her favorite love-slave Anarista betrayed her to a foreign power and her kingdom was conquered and destroyed.
  • Rosario + Vampire:
    • Gyokuro Shuzen is perfectly willing to let her minions die in droves as long as she gets her way. On top of that, she openly threatens to kill Akua, one of her daughters, when she feels that Akua has worn out her usefulness.
    • The Masked King, head of the Miao family and the true head of Fairy Tale. He brutalizes his subordinates and planned to kill Xia-Long regardless of whether or not Xia-Long was loyal to the cause. Furthermore, when Gyokuro loses control of Alucard and is about to be consumed, the King, despite being perfectly capable of rescuing her, sits back and lets her die. Not that Gyokuro didn't deserve it.
  • Sailor Moon
    • The 90s anime loved this trope. The lesser villains were far more likely to be killed by their bosses (or each other) than by the Sailor Guardians. Beryl imprisoned Jadeite and killed Zoisite; Wiseman killed Diamond and Saphir and was indirectly responsible for Esmeraude's death; Mistress 9 was responsible for Kaolinite's second death and was herself a victim of attempted murder by Pharaoh 90; Galaxia offed 3/4 of her minions, the only exception being Lead Crow, to show her up as the biggest threat the heroines had yet faced. Tomoe didn't kill anyone, likely because he was possessed and was otherwise hit by Adaptational Heroism, but was indifferent to his subordinates' deaths. The true sole exception was Nehellenia because her season was the most lighthearted and technically all the villains got to live.
    • The manga had a couple of examples, but here the heroines killed most of the villains. Wiseman killed Rubeus for attempting to defect and the only subordinate Galaxia killed was Tin Nyanko. Zirconia may have attempted this with the Amazones Quartet by sealing them in orbs, but it's unclear if this would have killed them or just imprisoned them. There are also a couple of instances where it's implied a higher up would've killed a villain had they not been killed by the Sailor Guardians first, i.e. Beryl saying she will not tolerate a third straight failure from Jadeite (very heavily implying she'll kill him) and Esmeraude, assuming "leave" was a euphemism for death.
    • Sailor Moon Crystal mostly follows the manga, but has two notable changes that fall under this trope. Metaria kills the Shitennou for outliving their usefulness, though it's likely she would've killed all her subordinates anyway once she gained the power of the Legendary Silver Crystal considering she was an Omnicidal Maniac. Wiseman kills Diamond like he does in the first anime, but is otherwise in the same boat as Metaria considering they're related.
  • The Sands of Destruction manga plays with this: Morte is shown to bark orders at her sailors (well, technically they're Agan's sailors, but she's the one who bosses them around), threatening to cut their pay if they don't work fast enough, and they in turn call her a demon (which she finds amusing). However, they're also seen to joke around with her just moments after this, so apparently working for an Ax-Crazy Omnicidal Maniac isn't that bad.
  • Tono to Issho: Oda Nobunaga has a habit of setting his retainers on fire for his own amusement.
  • Trigun:
    • Millions Knives allows none of his servants to exit the anime alive, as he views them as garbage like all the other humans. Caine in the anime and Dominique in the manga even kill themselves rather than face the penalty for failure.
    • Then there's Legato, his head servant, who is strongly implied to do quite a few of the murders for failure and has a bit of an issue with Midvalley in the manga. His coin gimmick even implies that he intended for all the members of the Gung-ho Guns to be killed before his final confrontation with Vash (which might make him even worse than Knives in some way. Interestingly, the manga version of Legato himself is an extraordinary "victim" of Knives's cruelty, as his zeal earns him a broken spine and Knives tells him that he doesn't care about his loyalty and will kill him as soon as he stops being useful.
    • Master Chapel in the manga. This is all the more aggravating since he's a kind of substitute father to several of his henchmen.
  • In Yatterman, even when his leads are revealed to be inaccurate, Dokurobei is always quick to punish the Doronbo Gang when they fail.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Marik was a Bad Boss even before his Super-Powered Evil Side took over. He Brainwashed many Ghouls (or did so to force them become Ghouls), apparently murdered practically every one who failed him, including Rare Hunter, Pandora, Pantomimer, and Masks of Light and Darkness, and possibly others, and slaps Rishid in the face for failing to find Yugi's friends. (To make this truly ironic, there was never any confirmed case of Dark Marik killing one of his servants - he intended to kill Rishid, but he considered Rishid an enemy, seeing as he could possibly cause the real Marik to regain control. Of course, the reason he never killed a servant may simply be because he was on the airship (and later Alcatraz) and never had an opportunity to do so.)
    • Also, Dartz, who kind of crossed into Stupid Evil this way. His group was small enough as it was, but he seemed more than willing to sacrifice the few servants he had to the Orichalcos, up to the point where he was literally the last one left at the climax. Though Justified since they had outlived their usefulness and he was badass enough to nearly win on his own anyway.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters Alexander is condescending to his vassals and declares them useless when Yugi's friends damage their monsters, and is perfectly willing to sacrifice them for his own gain.
  • The Three Emperors of Yliaster from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's rarely had to punish a minion, but the few times they did, they showed complete lack of mercy. When Clark Smith disobeyed them, they literally erased him from existence, altering the past so that he was never born. (At least, that's what they claimed they did; seeing as this didn't undo any of the crimes he had committed, like ordering the murders of Sherry's parents, it may have been more complicated.)
  • From Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL:
    • Tron clearly intended to sacrifice his henchmen from the start, despite the fact they were his own sons. He even went so far as to insult IV to his face, (in the dub saying that he "would assign more value to a trio of baboons"). Of course, few villains in the whole franchise were more sadistic than Tron was.
    • Don Thousand had them all beat, although calling him a "boss" may be slightly inaccurate. (He was a godlike entity worshipped by the residents of Barian World, but took far more of a role in governing it at times.) The worst thing he did to them was the method he recruited them, arranging for seven powerful warriors and sages to suffer horrible deaths, and then use the Over-Hundred Numbers to reincarnate them with their memories corrupted as dark creatures. He later consumed them (his intentions all along, most likely) when his plan to obtain the Numerion Code reached a climax.

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