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Card Carrying Villain / Anime & Manga

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Examples of Card-Carrying Villain in anime and manga.

  • Ah! My Goddess has Mara, a demon who calls herself "the baddest devil ever".
  • Ladd Russo from Baccano! is a hammy Psycho for Hire who freely admits that all he loves is killing, killing, and more killing. When his uncle tells him "Homicidal lunatics think you're a nutcase!" He informs him that his "attempts at flattery are so ham handed."
  • Berserk: The God Hand are sinister beings of god-like power who manipulate causality in order to serve their agenda, which involves driving certain humans to despair and offering them the chance to cast away their human vulnerability by sacrificing the person who’s most important to them. They frame this choice as a deliberate crossing of the Moral Event Horizon, which allows "evil" to take over one’s heart. It seems like the ultimate goal of everything they do is to increase human suffering. The Lost Episode, which Miura removed from the canon because it gave away too much and set a limit on the scope of the story, originally revealed another layer to this: The God Hand is subservient to an even more powerful creature calling itself the Idea of Evil, which came into being when the collective unconscious of humankind wanted a reason to explain the meaningless pain and suffering of the world. In other words, humanity subconsciously wished the Idea of Evil into existence because the alternative of bad things happening to them for no reason seemed even worse.
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  • Dante from Black Clover calls evil a vital part of human nature and gloats over his malicious intentions, even saying his malice will never be satisfied no matter how many atrocities he has committed. He's even complimented when Asta calls him evil.
  • Bleach: Discussed in-universe when Ginjou is training Ichigo; he invokes all the Shounen villain stereotypes to make Ichigo feel as though Orihime's life is on the line because he knows Ichigo performs better when there's a genuine threat against someone's life. At the end of the training, he tells Ichigo that he'd make a very clichéd villain.
  • Buso Renkin: Papillon is not shy about voicing how much he enjoys destruction and how he plans to burn down all the "trash of the world". Despite this, however, he never seriously follows up on his rhetoric, even before his character development.
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  • Cells at Work: Bacteria!: The leader of the Clostridium perfingens bacteria makes no bones about his status as a "bad bacteria" or his intentions to expand his group's turf.
  • Lelouch from Code Geass pretends to be a heartless supervillain in order to unite the world through common hatred of him, then allows himself to be killed so everyone can move on and work together towards peace. Yeah, Lulu can be a little weird.
  • Sir Isaac Ray Peram Westcott from Date A Live. He wants to cause chaos, annihilation, destruction, and the deaths of men, women, and children, and he'd do anything to plunge the whole world into endless chaos, destruction and suffering as possible and makes no secret of it. He's only subtle if he needs to manipulate someone.
  • Digimon:
  • The Dragon Ball series has several examples:
    • King Piccolo, who even says "There are two things that I, Demon King Piccolo, hate most in this world: Peace and justice".
      • Piccolo Jr. even more so, at least in the 23rd World Tournament arc.
    • Captain Ginyu. When Goku tells him he should try helping others, he replies "Don't try to reform me".
    • Frieza, who openly gloats about his cruelty, relishes bringing immense pain onto others, freely admits all the horrible stories told about him are true, and wants immortality to forever stay in control of the universe. And it's played very darkly straight. His own minions call him the Emperor of Evil. Even after fighting alongside his sworn enemies for the sake of the universe, he openly admits he won't stop being evil after being fully resurrected.
    • Like Frieza, Cell openly gloats about his cruelty and relishes causing pain and mass destruction, to the extent that he freely admits that his greatest joy is seeing his victims die in terror and despair. When he has an epiphany that Dr. Gero created him to destroy all living things in the universe, Cell wholeheartedly and joyfully embraces the role of an Omnicidal Maniac.
    • Turles. When Goku states that Gohan knows right from wrong while Turles does not, Turles responds "I know the difference, I just don't care".
    • Broly: "A monster? No, I'm a devil!"
    • Mercenary Tao is a Psycho for Hire who delights in his sadism and cruelty, to the extent that after forcing a tailor to do a week's worth of work on his destroyed uniform in three days, he refused to pay him on the grounds that doing so would ruin his reputation as a cold, ruthless assassin. Tao then reconsiders, and decides to offer the man 'payment' in the form of doing what he does best: killing someone. When the man declines, not wanting anyone dead, Tao shows his offer wasn't optional by killing him with a single finger to the head.
    • Played with in regards to Frost. Unlike Frieza, he puts on a good guy facade and acts as Universe 6's savior, fighting off space pirates, restoring damaged planets, and providing aid to children of war-torn worlds. When his true colors are revealed after he's caught cheating, he brags about his underground planet broker operation and how he starts wars so he can buy planets on the cheap. He is so shameless about his evil acts that he all but thumbs his nose in front of two Gods of Destruction, something Frieza never did even when he gained an ultimate form. When confronting Vegeta subsequently, Frost is practically giddy over the fact that he no longer has to keep up his Nice Guy facade. Even then, he finds out the hard way that Frieza is a better card carrier than he is.
      Frost: Now that I've opened the door to changing the rules, I can get away with anything! Welcome to the world of trickery, deception, and murder! This is my domain, and soon it will be adorned with your blood!!
  • Durarara!!: Kasane Kujiragi openly says that she identifies herself as a villain and expects a day to come when some sort of hero will kill her. For her deeds, most are only mentioned but she is indirectly responsible for both Celty's head being severed and Anri obtaining Saika. She also has kidnapped and possessed Shinra to purposely cause Celty to transform into a monster so Kasane could capture and sell her. However, Kasane is not intentionally malicious and has aided Shinra and Vorona with apparently no ulterior motive.
    • Izaya Orihara. He is sociopathic and repeatedly indulges in his hobby of manipulating humans to see what they will do. He is responsible for an absurd amount of strife in the series and nearly every single character has been influenced in some way by him. His list of crimes is too long to properly be explained, but among his actions he has mocked suicidal women for the Evulz, repeatedly antagonized Shizuo, manipulated high school, middle school and elementary school kids, and even attempted to murder Shizuo. Izaya does this all simply because it amuses him and so he can express his twisted love for the human race. The only time he shows a shred of remorse is when he thinks about betraying Shinra, which causes him to punch a telephone pole. That, by the way, is the only time he actually expresses genuine emotion.
  • Most of the major villains in Fist of the North Star, even the most cruel ones, tend to avert this, with the exception of Kaioh, who clearly brags about being strengthened by evilness.
  • Lust from Fullmetal Alchemist is very proud of being evil. She revels in causing humans pain and suffering, and compliments Mustang's determination while he's killing her, stating that one day soon, his eyes will widen with agony and despair.
    • Envy as well to a much greater extent. While trapped with Ed and Ling in Gluttony's stomach, they admit unprompted to starting the Ishvalan Civil War all while laughing their ass off. They even explain the sheer joy of shooting an innocent child to cause strife and the extra bonus of doing the deed disguised as a soldier against the military occupation and subsequently destroyed his life.
    • Envy in the 2003 anime is somehow even worse and frequently kicks the dog. He tells Al that unlike the other homunculi, he is very much aware that Dante has no intention of helping him and he doesn't care. The only reason he has for working for Dante is so he can kill as many people as possible.
  • Gundam:
    • After War Gundam X has Shagia and Olba Frost, a Big Bad Duumvirate who ally themselves with a new petty tyrant or corrupt official almost weekly (after first backstabbing the previous one) and whose goal is to make humanity destroy itself just because some Federation officials didn't think their Twin Telepathy was useful. They take a good deal of satisfaction in their killing and betraying; when plotting with each other, Shagia outright says they'll have to do something evil, and Olba is particularly fond of Kick the Dog.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 has the freaking incarnation of the third sphere, Ali Al-Saachez. The world of Gundam generally (pretend to) have multidimensional villains with some understandable motivations. Or, at least, villains that are good at self-justification and excuses. Ali is probably the only villain in the entire existence with Gundams to readily admit that he loves war for war's sake, that he commits his (numerous) crimes For the Evulz, and that this makes him the worst sort of person in the world. He has absolutely no problem with it.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans had a lot of card carrying villains in the first season. The CGS forces cares little about the lives of the Third Unit and rewards Orga for saving the CGS base from destruction by beating him to a pulp. The Brewers managed to up the ante by being Obviously Evil caricatures among likes of Kudal and Brook utterly grotesque physical appearances as they employ Human Debris as cannon fodder among them Akihiro's brother Masahiro who is broken by the years of abuse. Second Season had Rustal Elion who makes no obvious secret that what he does is extremely heinous but does it anyway for the sake of victory.
  • The Major from Hellsing. He is one of the best examples. He cheerfully admit openly that he loves war, destruction, horror, holocaust, genocide, the slaughter of innocents, death and loves every kind of war that mankind can evoke over the world.
  • Inuyasha:
    • InuYasha himself, pre-Character Development, openly admits to Kagome and Kaede that he's one of the "wrong hands" that they mean to keep the Shikon Jewel shards away from.
    • The Band of Seven are unrepentant murderers to the extent that Mt. Hakurei's purity makes them feel sick.
  • In So I'm a Spider, So What? "D" openly refers to herself as the world's most evil god. Background shows that this isn't an exaggeration as even other gods consider her the evil god.
  • The Hückebein family in Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha FORCE, as shown by the interrogation scene with the captured Thoma, where Fortis explains how the Hückebein performs one of their trademark massacres of innocent settlements.
    Thoma: "You really are evil criminals."
    Fortis: (While smiling and doing an "Oh, please" hand gesture) "Didn't we introduce ourselves like that?"
    • Because of their openness about their crimes, the Hückebein are a big contrast to the other main villain, Hades Vandein, who pretends to be an innocent civilian despite being Obviously Evil.
  • Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro:
    • Neuro, an actual demon who enjoys eating mysteries; while he claims to be evil, he never kills humans and tends to be more an amoral troll than a "monster".
    • Big Bad Sicks, in the other hand, take the concept of a villain who is evil for the sake of being evil and takes it to the Logical Extreme while playing it for pure, hyper-concentrated Nightmare Fuel. His right hand man Zenjiro gets a very nice speech, one that be found on the quote page of this trope, where he accurately described Sicks as "Absolute Evil" using him as an example as to why the "generally accepted opinion that nobody in this world is pure 'evil'" is wrong. Neuro himself, a demon who consider mankind as a whole his personal playthings, stated that Sicks is not longer human but something "infinitely worse". Neuro's first meting with Sicks ends up with the first time in the manga that we see him genuinely angry.
  • Mazinger:
    • Mazinger Z: Dr. Hell got his backstory and a motivation to want to Take Over the World in the Gosaku Ota manga version (essentially he's a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds wants to force everybody to kneel before him), and most of his Co-Dragons follow him out of loyalty. But Viscount Pygman felt no loyalty towards Hell. Mind raping and brainwashing several characters, fighting Mazinger-Z and Aphrodite-a with his bare hands, wreaking havok, take over the Institute... his motivation to make all these things seemed being "for the hell of it".
    • Great Mazinger: Dragon-in-Chief Great General of Darkness (Ankoku Daishogun) was very clear about his goals: he wanted the ancient Mykene civilization returned to the surface world and felt the light of Sun for first time in milennia, and he thought conquering the surface and wiping the whole humanity out was the only way to accomplish that. However, Big Bad Great Emperor of Darkness didn't make clear that was his motivation. Then again, he was Hades. It's a bit hard not being evil when you are a God of Evil.
    • UFO Robo Grendizer: Vega's homeworld was dying cause the overexploitation of a rare radioactive mineral called vegatron. Big Bad King Vega started his campaign of conquest through the galaxy because he needed to find a suitable world to settle their people on (and because he was a power-hungry bastard). His Co-Dragons followed him out of loyalty to him or to the Empire, and some of them were Well Intentioned Extremists, but Barados... Good Lord, Barados was pointlessly cruel and he committed atrocities as laughing: deliberately murdering women and children to exterminate a planet's population, taking hostages to blackmail his enemies with and then killing them in a horrible way... Let's tell than The Hero Duke told that was the only Vegan he could not forgive and when he died, no Vegan higher-up missed him.
  • The Evil Overlord Moo in Monster Rancher is one of these who isn't played for laughs. He revels in his hatred and villainy because negative emotions empower him, thus it benefits him to be evil as much as possible.
  • In My Hero Academia, people who use their Quirks as authorized by the government to protect the innocent take up the Hero profession. Likewise, those that use their Quirks for evil and commit crimes are labelled "Villains". It's played straight with the main antagonist group, who call themselves the "League of Villains" and seek to tear down Hero society mostly because they can. Their founder All For One admits as much when All Might visits him in prison; while All Might went out of his way to be The Paragon, All For One always wanted to be an all powerful demon king ruling from the shadows and went out of his way to make that a reality.
  • Naruto: Kurama, the Nine-Tailed Fox, declares himself to be a "living mass of malevolence."
  • Evangeline of Negima! Magister Negi Magi tries and fails to be a type 2. She makes token attempts to turn Negi and Asuna to The Dark Side as her "sub-bosses", and occasionally tries to scare people, but other than that, she doesn't do anything all that evil and, as a matter of fact, helps the heroes a lot. Negi attempts to point this out to her, but she still claims to be evil.
    • Fairly early in the manga, Asuna herself does this quite sarcastically.
  • Several villains (and heroes) in One Piece revel in their status as criminals and rejoice when their bounties increase (though some, like Nami, hate the idea of having a bounty, and others, like Robin, are nonchalant about it). The Shichibukai are considered 'Government Dogs' for choosing to become privateers to the World Government (though next to nobody is dumb enough to say that within earshot of any of them).
  • Garou in One-Punch Man seems to be this at first, identifying himself as 'the villain' and 'the human monster', with his catchphrase being 'time to commit evil'. He even manages to convince many of the S-class heroes like Zombieman that he is this. However it turns out to be a subversion, as he is actually an Anti-Villain with the goal of uniting humankind, and most of his threats are bluffs as he goes out of his way to never actually kill any human beings.
  • Team Rocket (the whole organisation, not the Terrible Trio) in Pokémon. According to Cassidy and Billy, rivals to the trio, the motto they use is the real Team Rocket motto (where there are phrases like "To infect the world with devastation!" and "To blight all people in every nation!") and the motto Jessie and James use is, instead, a corrupted version (this version has phrases that imply that they see themselves as Knight Templars). Ironically, when Jessie and James updated their motto to become Card-Carrying Villains (from Battle Frontier up to the end of Sinnoh), the motto Cassidy and Paunchnote  use was also updated, and the phrases were Knight Templar-ish themselves.
    • In terms of the Pokémon themselves, Ekans/Arbok and Koffing/Weezing insist to be Punch Clock Villains that follow the orders of Jessie and James, but otherwise are amiable to the twerps' Pokémon. (see: "Island of the Giant Pokémon") Meowth, however, is a technically wild Pokémon who seems to engage in Team Rocket's villainy for kicks. While he also has his "nice" moments (especially in the Pikachu shorts), he more often than not has an ulterior motive for such cooperative behavior (for example, his Heel–Face Mole mini-arc in Best Wishes).
  • Pixy Misa in the Pretty Sammy series is the self-professed evil mistress of chaos and destruction.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion has one in none other than the protagonist, Homura Akemi, after she stabs Madoka in the back, steals her powers and becomes a self-proclaimed demon to counter her godlike status. From there, she chews the scenery to dust, slouches in her chair as she drinks fruity beverages and freely calls herself a force of chaos and "an existence called 'evil'" when confronted by Sayaka, before engaging in some truly gut-churning atrocities: she breaks one of Mami's teacups and makes Kyoko waste an apple, the fiend, then gives Sayaka and Madoka new chances to live happy lives, brings Nagisa back to be a friend for the lonely Mami, and delivers unto Kyubey a long-deserved dose of Mind Rape for his actions in the movie. And that's pretty much it. To be perfectly honest, Homura's declarations of 'demonhood' and claims of being evil do nothing but underscore how pathetic and self-loathing Homura really is, and even at this point she just doesn't have it in her to be truly wicked.
  • Being a Deconstruction Played for Laughs of the Fighting Series, Ramen Fighter Miki presents Megumi as a deconstruction of this trope: She is only a Combat Pragmatist willing to do anything, no matter how low, to beat The Rival Miki, but she has a Guilt Complex so big about this she sees herself as evil due to her self-hatred, taking her to proudly announce her "evil" plans to Miki while laughing an Evil Laugh (just a really annoying Noblewoman's Laugh).
  • Happōsai from Ranma ½ has no motivation for being an asshole and enjoys making peoples' lives miserable, even more so when his students take the fall for him. He, at one point, declares himself "evil 'till the day [he] die[s]". And attempting to think of being nice gives him seizures.
  • In Rescue Me, Mave-chan!, a spin-off OVA to Sentou Yousei Yukikaze, Forgetter is a literal case, as he actually uses a business card to introduce himself.
  • She may have mellowed out since, but Kokoa Shuzen from Rosario + Vampire definitely started out as one, even going so far as to claim to have been "born into a family of villains" in an early chapter of the second serialization, shortly after her debut. Within minutes of that declaration, though, she finds herself with humble pie in her face when Tsukune, who she thought had severely watered down her older sister Moka, saves her from the Monster of the Week.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: Makoto Shishio occasionally refers to himself as a demon from Hell and fully expects to go there when he dies... and take it over.
  • Berg Katse in Science Ninja Team Gatchaman and Sosai X start out as 1 with a dash of 2. Sosai eventually graduates to 3.
  • The Sengoku Basara incarnation of Oda Nobunaga possesses just about every Evil Overlord trope one character can have: he wears Spikes of Villainy, drinks wine out of a human skull whilst sitting on a throne made out of human skulls, wants to Take Over the World and/or destroy it, and is followed by Dramatic Thunder and Ominous German Chanting wherever he goes.
  • Shinzo: The original evil Mushrambo, who used the title "Dark King". Not very convincing when you're trying to portray your own side as victims of humanity.
  • Xellos from Slayers is this whenever he isn't siding with the protagonists. Being a powerful demon in the service of powers that want to destroy the world and feeding off from negative human emotions does that to a person. He makes an effort to avoid killing the good guys because they're such fun, though.
  • Sword Art Online: In contrast to Akihiko Kayaba, Sugou Nobuyuki is depicted as unambiguously, unconditionally evil, and openly revels in being able to do all the horrible things in ALO that would see him ostracized outside in real life.
  • Mint from "Trouble Chocolate" is a parody of this.
  • Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle:
    • Fugil seems to be one at first, since he often refers to himself as the villain in Lux's story and claims that the latter needs to be willing to get his hands dirty to survive in their corrupt world. This is subverted when later volumes reveal that he sees himself as Necessarily Evil in using manipulation and murder to maintain the balance of world powers.
    • The King of Vices plays this trope straight, in case you couldn't tell from the title. The King claims that evil will triumph over an equally powerful good because they have no moral restraints to hold them back from their goals, and also gloats that they’re even more wicked and competent than the other villains in the series due to her use of a brainwashed decoy to escape the consequences of her crimes. To her dying breath, she mocks the protagonists for their virtue and claims that they'll eventually be done in by another evil.
  • Hagurou Dou is one of these in Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest, as his goal in life is to be seen as a cold blooded monster. A rare example that is NOT Played for Laughs, considering what he is.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! gives us Dark Marik, the Superpowered Evil Side of Marik Ishtar in the Battle City Arc. While Marik is primarily motivated by wanting revenge on the Pharaoh, the man he believed responsible for killing his father, Dark Marik is primarily motivated by wanting to kill the universe, kicking as many dogs as he can along the way.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V has Zarc, the original self of protagonist Yuya and his alternative selves. Zarc has made it very clear that he wants to destroy the world, one at a time. But it's averted when Ray states he must have had some good in him, as Yuya had his original personality.
  • The demon Demiurge from Overlord was created to be the absolute embodiment of evil by his creator Ulbert, who also roleplayed a Card-Carrying Villain with a dramatic flair. This causes problems when he's transported to the New World and becomes an actual demon instead of a game NPC. Demiurge demonstrates just how terrifying a Card-Carrying Villain truly is if played deadly serious.
  • Parodied in The Rise of the Unemployed Wise Man where the protagonist Karna happily shouts that he's "an enemy of humanity" as he's openly rescuing humans and many of the actually evil demons go ultra-hammy about how evil they are and what atrocities they're going to commit, especially smashing Karna flat, until he blasts them with a One-Hit Kill without even trying, thinking they got away because there's No Body Left Behind.


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