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"Now watch closely, everyone. I'm going to show you how to kill a god. A god of life and death. The trick is not to fear him."
Lady Eboshi, Princess Mononoke

Throughout the years, anime and manga writers have created countless memorable characters. Of those here are the most dubious yet intellectually charming.

The following have their own pages:

Individual works:

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     A - G 
  • Assassination Classroom: Gakuhou Asano was once a caring teacher who sought vengeance on the bullies who drove one of his students to suicide by getting them addicted to gambling, ruining their lives in the process. Becoming the chairman of Kunugigaoka Junior High School, Gakuhou established a system that would make sure that 95 percent of the students would be successful, by demeaning the lowest 5 percent, Class-E. He would make sure that the top 95 percent would constantly triumph Class-E over academic and sports, by subjugating them to his brutal teaching methods. Willing to prove that his system is flawless, Gakuhou challenges Koro-Sensei to open one of the five handout, before the grenades inside detonate, with four of them being lethal to Koro-Sensei. When Koro-Sensei fills out four of the five handouts, Gakuhou opens the one lethal to him in an attempt to take Koro-Sensei with him. Having a change of heart after Koro-Sensei saves him, Gakuhou accepts his loss with grace before resigning as chairman.
  • Banana Fish: Former KGB Lieutenant Blanca becomes The Mentor to Protagonist Ash Lynx, making him into a merciless fighter. Hired by Dino Golzine, Blanca attacks and easily subdues Ash for Dino. When Ash manages to escape from Golzine's clutches, it is Blanca who hunts him down for them, using his knowledge of the New York City sewer system. Realizing the depths of the depravity of Yut-Lung, his current employer, Blanca betrays him and allies with Ash out of a show of his own beliefs of honor and human compassion, proving his status as Ash's most Worthy Opponent in the series.
  • Black Lagoon: In this dark criminal underworld, a few manage to thrive and even direct the chaos:
    • Rokuro "Rock" Okajima himself has grown steadily darker as the series goes on. Proving his tactical acumen in the first few episodes by coming up with a genius plan to wipe out a pursuing anti-tank aircraft, Rock later shows his skilled manipulative side by becoming a flawless negotiator to the point that all the most powerful players in Roanpur genuinely like and respect him. During Roberta's rampage, it is Rock who manipulates Roberta and her master Garcia into a deadly confrontation to end the bloodshed, nearly getting both killed, but ending in Roberta recovering her sanity and leaving in peace. Rock continues to demonstrate his ability to use and manipulate others, even if for ostensibly desirable ends, as possibly the single most dangerous and skilled player of the criminal game in the darkness that is Roanpur.
    • Balalaika, born Sofiya Pavlovna, was cast out of military service to the Soviets for saving a child in a refugee camp. Now the head of Hotel Moscow in Roanpur with her old unit, Balalaika loves war above all else and maintains control of her section of the city with an iron fist. When she heads to Japan on business, Balalaika casually manipulates a gang war simply to enjoy the excitement with no side ever coming close to even touching her. Earlier, when two of her beloved soldiers are killed by the assassin twins, Hansel and Gretel, Balalaika lures Hansel out to his death and delivers an utterly chilling Breaking Speech as Hansel bleeds to death. Frequently displaying a tactical brilliance, Balalaika shows again and again why she is one of the single most powerful and dangerous people in the world.
    • Eda, supposedly a flirty criminal nun from the so-called Church of Violence smuggling operation, is actually a skilled major player in her own right. A CIA agent who also completely dominates the Triad boss Mr. Chang, Eda is in effect the true secret ruler of Roanpur. On the field, Eda also freely manipulates the hapless Janet Bhai into a safehouse that will be invaded, with enough instructions to escape so Eda can extort her for protection, and later shows that she casually plays all sides in Roanpur while setting up an end to the insane battle maid Roberta's rampage.
  • Blade of the Immortal:
    • Anotsu Kagehisa desires a world where "the sword excuses all". Creating the Itto-Ryu, Anotsu begins to hunt down dojos to eliminate them in order to abolish the stifling sword styles from the world in favor of a world of pure determination. Cleverly eluding his pursuers via having prostitutes disguise themselves as him and lead his hunters into ambushes, Anotsu's utter tenacity sees him through other attempts on his life and rallying the itto-Ryu against the shogunate, culminating in a dynamic assault on Edo castle itself. Even to the end, Anotsu remains a complex figure, stopping at nothing to achieve his dreams despite all the wrongs he has committed on his path.
    • Habaki Kagimura, secret master of the Mugai-Ryu and the shinbangashira—a major figure in the Shogunate—forms the Mugai-Ryu to secretly destroy the Itto-Ryu before luring the organization's strongest members into a trap and destroying them. Capturing series Protagonist, the immortal man Manji, Habaki subjects him to experiments to perfect immortality for the sake of the Shogun. When ordered to commit seppuku, Habaki uses his time to try to destroy the Itto-Ryu, dealing a series of decisive blows before engaging Anotsu himself with surprising good humor and mutual respect, with his only regrets at the end being the loss of the two loves of his life and his dead children.
  • Blaster Knuckle: Alex MacGregor is The Rival of Victor "Bloody Rain" Freeman. Raised in the beast-slaying organization Silven Kreuz, Alex befriends Victor during his time in the organization. Becoming a feared and cunning Bounty Hunter while remaining part of Silven Kreuz, Alex enjoys hunting both beasts and human criminals. Joining a police hunt of Victor while knowing that he isn't a murderer, Alex befriends a young Bounty Hunter and tries to convince him to return to his old life and has a duel against Victor that ends in a harsh tie with both injured. Later, Alex manages to survive unscratched by the traps of the beasts in the town of White Rock Valley and kill his attackers. Enraged at the death of his friend, Alex joins forces with Victor to kill as many beasts as they can. Killing the beast leader personally by using his own power against him, Alex reminds the good times and allows Victor to go away, warning him about other members of Silven Kreuz and showing why he's both Victor's enemy and friend.
  • Bleach: Kugo Ginjo is a former Substitute Soul Reaper betrayed by Soul Society. Desiring revenge, Ginjo assembles the Fullbringer group Xcution and manipulates Ichigo Kurosaki into joining. Secretly in league with Xcution's greatest 'enemy', Shukuro Tsukishima, Ginjo in fact has Tsukishima erase his own memory to convincingly pull a ruse off so he may lure Ichigo into a trap and steal his Soul Reaper powers before empowering the other members of Xcution to attack Soul Society. Reflected as an Evil Counterpart to Ichigo, Ginjo even returns in the final arc to assist Ichigo one last time to save the world from the monstrous Yhwach.
  • Claymore: Isley, the Silver King, was the first of the Creatures of the Abyss, the first Number 1 of the first and only male generation of Claymores. Upon meeting the powerful Priscilla and learning her power, Isley submits to her, intending on manipulating her to bring the world under his control. Bringing about a war in the North with his former comrades now as Awakened Beings, Isley splits his forces in half to sacrifice them against another Abyssal One and the Claymore Organization while he heads South to defeat the third Abyssal One and take her lands. Bonding with The Heroine Clare's former companion Raki, Isley truly grows to love him and Priscilla as family and even sends them away when the monstrous Abyssal Feeders come for him to save their lives. Even post-mortem, we learn Isley only ever Awakened to begin with voluntarily to stop his former comrades and instilled Raki with a plan to help stop Priscilla if she became a monster, a plan that Raki manages to pull off thanks to his teachings.
  • Coppelion: In the radioactive wasteland of Tokyo and its surroundings, Ibara Naruse faced some truly brilliant adversaries:
    • Doctor Coppelius, initially named Matasaburo Itami, was called to create the Coppelion after the nuclear outbreak that destroyed Tokyo. Using the alias Doctor Coppelius, he created Haruto Kurosawa by cloning himself and tried to revive his deceased daughter by cloning her. Exiled by the Three Professors, Coppelius kept himself hidden and managed to contact with some flawed Coppelion in Tokyo, promising them to fix their flaws if they help him. Stealing Aether that allows him to survive in radioactive areas and improving it before escaping to Tokyo to reunite with his allies, Coppelius captures the Ultimate Coppelion and analyzes her DNA to bargain it. Eventually captured for his creations and put in a jail, he writes a formula to turn Coppelion into regular humans to save them from a genetic flaw before escaping. Finding a clone of his own daughter as a member of the Lost Retrieval Unit, Coppelius liberates them to kill the Professors. Rediscovering his faith in humanity, Coppelius tries to stop his own apocalyptic plan, and as he dies, Coppelius gives his last Aether to Haruto to save Ibara. An eccentric old man proud of his creations, Coppelius dies as he lived, with a silly smile.
    • Ougai Masamune is the Japanese Minister of Internal Affairs. Initially helping the Coppelion program, Ougai is actually a nationalist intending to turn Japan into a world power. Side-stepping the Copellion and the Tokyo survivors, Ougai manipulates the First Minister and the jingoistic members of the E9 council into intervening in a foreign war with the intention of making them use nuclear power again after showing the radiation-resistant Coppelion. Intending to sell them to ensure the Japanese supremacy in a nuclear powered world, Ougai threatens the survivors of Tokyo and sends the Three Professors to capture the Ultimate Coppelion desired by the entire world. After the world is threatened by a new nuclear meltdown, Ougai eventually acknowledges his own mistakes and tries to atone for them, helping the Coppelion to save the world and helping to create a new law for a more responsible use of nuclear power. Abandoning his self-interested partners, Ougai creates a new magisterium, puts his former enemy Mishiba in charge of it and helps a depowered Ibara to reunite with her friends for a while, showing that despite everything, Ougai truly loved his country and wished for a better future.
    • JSDF Commander Kunikawa is the leader of the First Division, soldiers abandoned by their own government—including his politician best friend who would become the Japanese First Minister—in the toxic ruins of Tokyo. Developing a hatred towards mankind, Kunikawa manages to survive for years, planning his revenge. Working with the violent Ozu sisters, Kunikawa tries to cause a new nuclear meltdown in the Daiba nuclear plant, endangering Japan and even the world. He kidnaps a Coppelion for his plans and despite being captured, he manages to escape anyway, fooling even Teen Genius Haruto Kurosawa. Intending to succeed, Kunikawa is only stopped due to the combined efforts of the survivors of the Planet base and the heroic Coppelion. Having an honest talk with Haruto, who was almost as misanthropic as he is, about the actions of Ibara Naruse, Kunikawa recovers his faith in mankind, giving his own life to save both the survivors and his remaining soldiers, while giving his cape—accidentally causing the future redemption of the First Minister at seeing it—to Haruto to show his faith towards him before dying, smiling at having recovered his own humanity.
  • Dance in the Vampire Bund: Alphonse Medici de Borgiani is the Bund's master of intelligence who, for the sake of the Bund, will have a child kidnapped and bitten to blackmail the boy's politician grandfather. Constantly putting pressure on the hero Akira to better himself and become a strong companion for Princess Mina, Alphonse later orchestrates the betrayal and takeover of Mina's evil Doppleganger, before repenting and making plans to have Mina return to the throne via a series of clever contingencies. Finally, Alphonse allows himself to be destroyed and leaves a recording blaming himself for all of the Fake Mina's crimes so none of it will reflect upon the true Mina, protecting her, as Akira says, all the way to the bitter end.
  • Dances With The Dragons: Cardinal Moldeen Ogus Gyunei is the mastermind behind the series events, seeking to unite the Alshok Territory with the Seven-Cities Alliance and prevent the catastrophic Holy War from occurring. Arranging for the assassination of his own decoy, Moldeen uses this to expose and then kill the traitor in his organization. Hiring two assassins to use as bait to lure out a defector, Moldeen is also revealed to be responsible for the failure of the first treaty, which he did to create favorable conditions for Alshok. Admitting to be willing to deceive, betray, spill blood and even support oppressive regimes in the name of his end goal, Moldeen will stop at nothing to create a world where future generations can live in happiness.
  • Darker Than Black: The elusive, mysterious Amber betrayed MI-6 to work for The Syndicate, eventually leading the deadliest squad of Contractors in Heaven's War. Realizing the Syndicate's true intentions and using her powers to see and rewind the future countless times, Amber manipulated the Syndicate and her own side to seal off Heaven's Gate, which caused a massive disaster that rendered most of South America uninhabitable. Returning in modern day Japan, Amber orchestrates a series of bombings while kidnapping the scientist behind the Saturn Ring project, manipulating her former lover Hei and the world's intelligence agencies to place Hei close to Hell's Gate so he can seal it as well and prevent the Saturn Ring project from killing all the world's Contractors. After settling things with Hei, Amber sacrifices herself to rewind time and give him a chance to choose a third option, later revealing she had foreseen that possibility and left guidance in the new world Hei had made.
  • Date A Live: "Nightmare" Kurumi Tokisaki was once a normal, human girl. After being turned into a Spirit and lied to by the First Spirit after killing her best friend, Kurumi resolved to undo the First Spirit's existence no matter what it took. Introduced as a mysteriously charming transfer student, Kurumi stays one step ahead of Shido Itsuka and Ratatoskr, ultimately engineering a Sadistic Choice where either a spacequake destroys the city or her "City of Devouring Time" consumes Shido's entire school. After being saved from a rampaging "Efreet" by Shido, her next appearance sees her help Shido against Miku and DEM while trying to uncover Nia's location. Helping Origami go back in time to stop her parents' murder, Kurumi learns the horrible truth and uses her time powers to help Shido correct the mistake, including convincing her past self to offer aid. Against the overwhelming might of Mio Takamiya and Isaac Westcott, Kurumi put a clone back in time as a contingency to impart critical knowledge to Shido in case she's killed and steals back Nia's Qlipha Crystal from Westcott to even the odds. Brimming with self-confidence to match her enigmatic nature, Kurumi was both a deadly enemy and a pivotal ally.
  • Devil Devil, by Yu(u)ki Miyoshi: Shiva Garland is one of the strongest demons in Hell. Working for a demon what he believes is Satan, Shiva is sent to kill his best friend Sword. Sending demons of different moralities to secretly test him, Shiva's intent is to be defeated by Sword to give him a chance to defeat Satan. Killing one demon that was going to kill Sword, Shiva puts a lethal curse in his human host with the intention of forcing him to become stronger and kill him. Defeated by Sword, Shiva reveals that he's working with a rebellion against the Demon King and is put into a coma, awakening to stop the omnicidal Shadow of Satan, sacrificing his life to save all of existence. An honorable Blood Knight willing to risk the lives of humans to ensure a victory for his best friend, Shiva Garland was as powerful as he was intelligent.
  • Devilman: Ryo Asuka, in truth the fallen angel Satan, is the one who connives to have Akira Fudo become Devilman by tricking him into being possessed by the demon Amon. Upon regaining his memories as Satan, Ryo exposes the existence of demons and sets the world into a full-blown panic to make humanity turn on itself while he sweeps in with his demons to eliminate them, eventually facing and killing Akira himself to his great sorrow. Even after God resets the world, forcing Ryo to relive losing Akira over and over, Ryo shows hints of subtly altering things to eventually change the fate forced on him, showing why he is both Akira's greatest friend and deadliest enemy.
  • Digimon:
    • Digimon: The Movie: On a quest for "the programmer," Diaboromon's mad search and hunger for data earns the attention of Gennai and the DigiDestined. Assaulted as a Keraman by Tai, Izzy, and their Digimon, he tricks the latter two by jumping from Rookie to his Ultimate Form, Infermon, and subsequently overpowers them. Earning his first victory by attacking them mid-transformation, Infermon escapes and covers his tracks by clogging up the dial-up phone lines. When Izzy uses a satellite uplink to continue the pursuit, Diaboromon hijacks the connection to send missiles to Colorado and Japan to put them on the clock. Multiplying himself to hide the real one to kill time, it takes the might of Omnimon to destroy them all. Although Diaboromon resorts to outspeeding them, he's eventually caught and defeated. Returning in the sequel, he orchestrates his revival by tricking the DigiDestined into opening gates for his Kuramon swarms. Diaboromon holds out against his old foe Omnimon in the Digital World, showing how much he learned, before successfully digivolving into Armageddemon in the real world. Boasting a mere two appearances, Diaboromon regardless managed to be one of the DigiDestined's most cunning, adaptable, and dangerous adversaries.
    • Digimon Xros Wars:
      • Bagramon is the leader of the Bagra Army. Brother of the "dark" digimon SkullKnightmon, Bagramon used to be a angel digimon working for the digital deity Homeostasis. Rebelling against Homeostasis because of her plan to have digimon branded as heroic or villainous, in a system that would result in his brother's death, Bagramon is defeated and exiled. Finding the remains of the digital deity Ygdrassil, Bagramon uses them to empower himself and begin his conquest, creating the Xros Loader and the powerful artificial Digimon Tactimon. He then rebels again with the loyalty of dark digimons, defeating the Royal Knights and breaking the digital world. Manipulating his brother using two minions and some humans, Bragramon intends to judge humans and digimons based on who wins between them. When his brother "wins" while losing his sanity, Bagramon cries for him before using him to recreate Zeed Milleniunmon, intending to use it to euthanize both the digital and human worlds and save them from decay. When he is proven wrong by the heroes, Bagramon cheers for them and dies saving his brother, encouraging him to be better. Inspiring loyalty in his followers, Bagramon truly wishes for a better future.
      • More honorable than his anime counterpart, The Dreaded Tactimon is one of Bagramon's top generals and his best creation. Leading his armies in the fractured Digital World, Bagramon is the digimon that broke it during his fight against the powerful Royal Knight Omegamon. A ruthless yet effective general willing to fire against his own soldiers in harsh fights, Bagramon also prefers to not waste their lives in pointless battles. Manipulating Mach Leomon to his death to test the power of his rivals, Tactimon follows the heroes to test their power as well. During the final battle of the Bagra Army, Tactimon asks permission to use his full power and challenge the heroes in a harsh fight, showing his impressive unmatched skill and only being defeated by their determination and teamwork. Lethally wounded, congratulates them, happy at having find worthy opponents.
  • Fairy Tail: Zeref the Dark Mage is known as the most evil wizard of all time. In truth, a tormented genius cursed with everlasting life after he tries to resurrect his beloved younger brother, Zeref plotted to send the future Dragon Slayers into the future to one day combat the evil dragon Acnologia. Upon surrendering to darkness, Zeref clandestinely founded the Alvarez empire as Emperor Spriggan and used them to wage war on Fairy Tail, seizing the ultimate magic Fairy Heart for himself, intending on using it to wipe out the current timeline and go back to correct all his mistakes in the hopes of forging a better world.
  • Fate/Apocrypha: Shirou Kotomine is a Church minister presiding over the Red Faction and is the Master of Assassin Semiramis. In reality, he is Amakusa Shirou Tokisada, Ruler Servant summoned in a prior Grail War. Noble and benevolent, his methods are ruthless and cunning. Seeking humanity's redemption out of pure love for mankind, Shirou bid his time, gathered items as catalysts to summon a Servant in the Middle East, and waited Yggdemillenia of the Black Faction to show themselves. Midway during the next Grail War, Shirou launched an ambitious attack that sees him singlehandedly take over the Servants of the Red Faction, reclaim the lost Greater Grail, and out-gambit his enemy Darnic. He intends to invade Greater Grail's innards to access True Magic to begin humanity's salvation. Ever calm and collected, it is only when he is minutes close to achieving his dangerously alluring dream that Shirou rants to Seig not to ruin humanity's salvation.
  • Feng Shen Ji: Tian himself, once known as Hei Long, wiped out the ancient gods when they betrayed him and nearly murdered his beloved wife. Recreating the world, humanity and gods, Tian has humanity enslaved so he may have blood crystals harvested in order to revive Bai Long. Upon Bai Long's imperfect revival, Tian tries to end hostilities via his sheer power, before being betrayed by the evil Shen Yen. Seemingly accepting his death, Tian fakes it and is revealed to have been manipulating everyone so he may judge their worthiness for himself, honoring his vow to spare humanity when hero Ah Gou proves himself to Tian in combat.
  • Fist of the North Star: Raoh himself, Kenshiro's eldest brother disciple in Hokuto Shinken styles himself as Ken-Oh The Conqueror. In a series of brilliant and ruthless campaigns, Raoh carves out his own empire in the wasteland while defeating any martial artists who challenge him and sending them to the prison Cassandra while stealing their scrolls for his own usage and advancement. While sometimes at the disadvantage thanks to Kenshiro or rival forces, Raoh is infamous for pushing back to be stronger than ever through sheer force of will and tenacity. Possessing a strong form of honor, Raoh does not hesitate to execute any in his army who terrorize or violate his citizens and when he faces the warrior Fudoh, Raoh orders his own men to kill him should he take a step back, a request he is furious they ignore. When he finally faces Kenshiro and loses, Raoh embraces his brother with true affection and uses the last of his energy to purge the radioactive toxins from the atmosphere, declaring proudly that he lived his life without regrets as he dies standing proud.
  • Flame of Recca: Kurei Mori, The Dragon to Kouran Mori is the string puller behind the events of the first 50+ chapters. Kidnapping Recca's "princess", Yanagi, Kurei baits Recca to his castle. Defeating Recca and the heroes' Team Hokage, Kurei forces them to participate in the lethal combat arena, Ura Butou Satsujin, where the wealthy gamble on the fights—including Kurei's adoptive father, the aforementioned Kouran. After witnessing the abilities of Team Hokage, Kurei prepares powerful fighters to challenge them and even uses the heroes to take down the traitorous Genjuro, along with his minions. Having removed all other opposition, Kurei challenges Recca to one-on-one combat and after being defeated, honors his promise not to attack Recca or his friends. Helping the heroes kill Kouran after he betrays Kurei, Kurei proved himself to plan one step ahead of everyone else and always remained a Noble Demon at heart, despite his brutal tendencies.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: The Ishbalan only known as Scar used to live normally until his older brother performed a human transmutation to revive his girlfriend, unknowingly creating the homunculus Lust. During the Ishbalan genocide, Scar was saved by said brother, who sacrificed his arm and life to ensure his survival. Deciding to take revenge on the Amestrian State Alchemists, Scar goes to Central and mercy-kills the suffering Nina Tucker before fighting Edward Elric. Years later, Scar continues with his one-man crusade and crosses paths with the Elric brothers, constantly fighting with and sparing them—especially Alphonse—as they remind him of his past, and even working together sometimes. Discovering the real nature of his arm as an incomplete Philosopher's Stone, Scar decides to finish what his brother started and travels to the war-torn city of Reole, where he leads and protects the civilians, creates a city-wide transmutation symbol and tricks the Amestrian soldiers to their deaths with the help of Lust—who acknowledges their shared past after meeting him—while the civilians evacuate. A survivor determined to succeed, Scar uses his last moments to save Alphonse and finish the transmutation, dying while thinking about the Elric brothers, his brother and his own guilt.
  • Future Diary: Mur-Mur is the humorous minion of Deus Ex Machina, but schemes behind her master's back to continue the survival games for eternity to amuse herself. Convincing Yuno Gasai to travel to the 2nd World and take that Yuno's place so she can still be with Yukiteru Amano, Mur-Mur would also take her own 2nd world counterpart's place so she can manipulate the people in that world; She tells Keigo Kurusu that he can cure his son's illness if he wins causing him to turn against Yuki, and lies to Yuki that he can resurrect his dead parents if he becomes god. Mur-Mur also takes direct manners to those that interfere with her plans such as erasing all of Akise's actions in Paradox, abandoning Yuki in the 2nd world before traveling to the 3rd world with Yuno, and brutalizing Minene Uryu when she fights her; she would have won if Yuno had not killed herself out love for Yuki, leading Mur-Mur to unite Yuno's 3rd world counterpart with Yuki.
  • Gankutsuou: Once an innocent man sentenced unjustly, Edmond Dantes returns as the ruthless, charming Count of Monte Cristo to destroy his enemies. Rescuing the son of his former best friend Fernand and his fiancee Mercedes, the young Albert Morcerf, it is later revealed the Count set up the kidnapping to begin with to gain Albert's trust. Manipulating his old enemies into trusting him with investments that ruin them, the Count also reveals he rescued a young alien girl named Haydee so she could expose Fernand as a traitor and the murderer of her father. Edmond also introduces one enemy, Villefort's, mentally unstable wife to poison so she will commit murders and further disgrace her husband while later having his ally, the bandit Andrea, reveal he is Villefort's illegitimate son to ruin him further. Finally, the Count plans to harden his own heart and kill Albert to destroy Fernand, not satisfied until he has given Fernand the same unending despair Fernand once gave him, before finally letting go of his hatred thanks to the love of Albert, ending his life with a final plea to remember that his name was Edmond Dantes. A charming, sophisticated manipulator, none around him ever saw the Count coming until he struck.
  • Godzilla: The Planet Eater: Metphies is an Exif who serves as the archbishop of their religion. Using his status as a colonel of the United Earth Military to convert numerous people on board the Aratum into his religion, he would mold one of them, Haruo Sakaki, into his own personal weapon against Godzilla by exploiting Haruo’s hatred for the beast. Leaking Haruo information about Godzilla, he sent him and a squadron down to Earth to kill the beast, before convincing Haruo to turn against Mulu-elu Galu-gu when the latter’s plans to assimilate the Earth with Mechagodzilla’s nanometal interferes with Metphies' own plans for the planet. After saving Earth from Mulu-elu and Mechagodzilla, Metphies persuades many of the survivors into helping his cause, having them summon Ghidorah — an Eldritch Abomination that destroyed the Exif homeworld — to the planet by telling them it could destroy Godzilla. When Haruo and Miana learn of Metphies' intentions to sacrifice Earth to Ghidorah, Metphies subjects them to mind breaking visions and hallucinations to prevent them from stopping him. Only losing to Mothra’s sudden intervention and Haruo gaining the determination to resist him, Metphies proves that with his intellect and charisma alone he can become a threat on par with the King of Monsters.
  • Golgo 13: Master assassin Duke Togo, better known as Golgo 13, spends most of his stories coming up with a complex gambit to fool his target and get him in a position to take his shot. A master sniper, Togo has been active decades with incredibly few failures and a sterling reputation as a professional. In one instance, he tricked a CIA traitor into leading him to her boss while wearing a red coat against the snowy background to snipe them both in one shot. In another, knowing a mobster was faster on the draw than him, Golgo fooled him into being occupied with his dominant arm holding on to a woman so Golgo could outdraw him. Throughout every story, what characterizes Golgo 13 is cold charisma and unreadable expression, always having a plan to take out his target, no matter who it is.

     H - N 
  • Happy Sugar Life: Satou Matsuzaka is a high schooler who — after becoming enamored with the young Shio Kobe — would go to any length to protect her "happy sugar life" with her. While presenting herself as friendly in public, Satou is in truth a skilled manipulator who blackmails others into doing her dirty work under the threat of ruining their livelihoods. When Shio's brother Asahi comes into the equation, Satou ropes a despondent Taiyo Mitsuboshi into her scheme to lure Asahi into another district by exploiting his psychological trauma. After reluctantly killing her best friend Shouko Hida, Satou adjusts her scheme yet again by deciding to pass off Shouko's corpse as her own and tasking her aunt with burning the upper level of the apartment to cover her tracks. Satou realized as she was falling to her death the real meaning of love and selflessly shields Shio with her body, dying in her place.
  • Heavy Object: Among the people in a world where war is the norm, the following make a devious record with what they have:
    • Volume 6: Sogia, formerly White Bears leader Yulenzak, body guarded Princess Staivia, Dimiksy's sister. Years ago, he learned of Dimiksy's plan to assassinate Staivia under and his assassination of Excelsyla to obtain her Object, however the conspiracy couldn't be thwarted or slowed. Deciding to go into hiding and stop this plan, Sogia and the White Bears were supposedly killed by fake Information Alliance troops from Dimiksy's faction. However Sogia's unit, having anticipated it, faked their deaths and became Unicorn to thwart Dimiksy from the shadows, even willing to shed their morals. They've also used manipulation to get Qwenthur and Havia reassigned so they learn of Dimiksy's plans. They've also interfered with the duo's operation in Athabasca. When Qwenthur and Havia fight Dimiksy and his Object, Broad Sky Saber, Sogia and Unicorn steal the Forest Roller Object in hopes of using it against the Sky Saber. Unfortunately, the Roller gets destroyed by Dimiksy's laser cannon, having anticipated the attack, which revealed the Object's anti-laser beacon. With Sogia's aid, Qwenthur and Havia corrupt it to make the laser kill Dimiksy and save Staivia in the process.
    • Volume 10: Nyarlathotep, was formerly from the Capitalist Enterprise spy cabal Outer Gods. As a spy, he had numerous times both gotten plastic surgery and faked his death. Once their leader, Azathoth/Acres Kiss-of-Rose, retired and began leading one of the 7th Cores ruling the Capitalist Enterprise, Nyarlathotep retired and became a family man in Soberania. But when his family gets killed in Soberania's destruction at Azathoth's hands, the vengeful Nyarlathotep resorted to psychological warfare in order to start the Gigant Hustler, an event showcasing Object fights. Nyarlathotep then infiltrated the Hustler and sabotaged a participant to draw Azathoth into the event. Once the event is canceled, with one of his Objects destroyed, Azathoth plans an attack to divert attention away from him... only for Nyarly to kidnap and kill him at the remains of Soberania. In order to avert a war between every faction, Nyarlathotep faced a farcical military trial by the Legitimacy Kingdom. He then killed the assassin sent to silence him and faked his death once again, before departing elsewhere.
    • Volume 11: Alisa and her sisters, Rica and Orisa, from the Information Alliance's Martini Series, help Flag Eggnog start wars between the Vanderbilts and the Winchels, and even assisting him with the drug war and the Plasma 177 construction meant to keep him in power. In actuality, they're manipulating Eggnog in order to obtain data on nobles for the Perfect Browsing project, a system that would display how to resolve a worldwide crisis by just typing a text string into a search engine. They start many sample incidents and disasters as possible, preferring to get info from a noble near the top of an enemy world power, using Eggnog who was so dimwitted to believe they're allies. Nearing conclusion of the Celestial Flowers attack, the sisters contact Flag and reveal their true goals and manipulation, noting that they'd now obtained data on the full-speed collapse of a royal's life, planning to upload it entirely for everyone to see, before hanging up on the confused, infuriated prince and leaving him to his ruin.
  • Hunter × Hunter: Leader of the Phantom Troupe, also known as the Spiders, Chrollo Lucilfer is a handsome, charismatic young man who masterminds elaborate heists and mass murders, only to get bored of the objects he obtains and sells them away again. Coming to the mafia-ruled Yorknew City, Chrollo masterminds the heist of the century where the Spiders infiltrate the mob and steal all the items from a high profile auction while Chrollo targets and steals the power of one mob leader's daughter. Completely outwitting the mob, Chrollo learns there is a contract on his head from the Twelve Godfathers and instantly hires different members of the same assassin family to target the Godfathers before having the Spiders fake their deaths and escape completely free. Chrollo also deeply values the other members of the Troupe, offering the lives of multiple mafia soldiers as a "requiem" for the fallen Uvogin, and when he faces off with the ruthless killer Hisoka, he also shows what a brilliant tactician and combatant he truly is by completely outplaying and seemingly killing the skilled fighter. A charming, philosophical man who freely admits he places no value on his own life, Chrollo is one of the most memorable villains in all of Hunter x Hunter.
  • Jackals: Lee Meilang, the head of Tennouren, is the most intelligent and devious gangster in all of Cicero City who takes over Tennouren solely to destroy the gangs in the city and come out ahead. Meilang manipulates their rival mob Gabriella into a war where she proceeds to play the hero Nichol Heyward and his allies into doing everything she wants. When Don Salieri is overthrown by his depraved underling Vampire Franco, Meilang simply works it into her plans and comes out ahead, selling out the other gangs and establishing a legitimate organization with the government after their defeat, completely untouchable to the end.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Battle Tendency: The affable Esidisi is Kars' best friend and the second-in-command of the Pillar Men. Upon confronting Joseph when looking for the Red Stone of Aja, Esidisi quickly proves to be an expert in messing with his opponent, temporarily leaving Joseph unable to get a read on him, and leading to Esidisi nearly killing Joseph with his tactics while praising him for being a Worthy Opponent. Even when Joseph destroys Esidisi’s body, Esidisi reveals his plans went deeper after all, using his surviving brain to possess Suzi Q and mail the gemstone for Kars to pick up. He then shows his conviction to the Pillar Men’s cause by being willing to sacrifice his own life in an attempt to take out the heroes by using the possessed Suzi Q as a boiling blood bomb, earning Joseph’s respect for Esidisi’s devotion to his allies.
    • Diamond Is Unbreakable: Yoshikage Kira is a suave, handsome Serial Killer who wants nothing more than to have an "average" existence and live without any distress or worry in his life. Having spent his life specifically seeking third place in any competition or test he took, even planting himself in inconspicuous positions in group photos, just to remain under the radar as neither particularly gifted or flawed, Kira then used his appearance as a normal person to mask his serial killings, murdering women to then take their hands and treat them as "dates" so as to satisfy his hand fetish. Using his Stand, Killer Queen, Kira easily eliminates all evidence of his victims, murders all those who could even possibly stand in his way, and sets numerous traps for Josuke and his friends as they close in on the killer. When seemingly beaten, Kira escapes, kills a man and steals his identity, and gains Bites the Dust, a time-rewinding ability that he uses to murder everyone who could possibly stop him. Even when killed and sent to the afterlife, Kira happily accepts his new "peaceful" existence, only truly losing when the souls of his victims lash out at him and curse him to an eternity of suffering. Though spending much of his time on the run from Josuke, Kira stays one step ahead the whole time, and has such sheer willpower to survive that he unlocks entirely new Stand abilities, a feat nearly unheard of throughout the world.
    • Stone Ocean: Enrico Pucci is a charming priest who was plunged into despair after racists murdered his sister due to his own mistakes, and the extremely unfortunate set of circumstances that brought about her demise drove Pucci to hate the idea of an unforeseen future and "fate." Coming to idolize DIO, Pucci collects the man's thoughts and plans for a new way of life called "Heaven," and, after handily pulling the strings of everyone in Green Dolphin Street Prison—taking time to try to genuinely help the prisoners there even as they attempt to rob him blind—Pucci uses his upgraded Stand "Made in Heaven" to begin his final plan: To force every human being to live out their whole lives, and see the entirety of the universe's lifespan, then relive their lives knowing their and everyone else's fates, this enabling them to never be surprised or broken by life's events, knowing beforehand all that will happen. Pucci is easily the most well-intentioned and genuinely caring Big Bad in the franchise, wanting to simply end the pain that comes with not knowing one's fate, and even while dying a torturous death tries to ensure his "Heaven" will carry on, even at the cost of his own life.
  • Jormungand: Koko Hekmatyar is a brilliant young Arms Dealer who runs her organization with ruthless efficiency. Constantly making advantageous illegal deals and dictating the course of conflicts, Koko adopts the young former child soldier Jonah as a way to keep herself shackled to her humanity, frequently taking on those who attempt to undermine or kill her while leading them to their own demises in breathtakingly impressive fashion. Koko is revealed to despise the arms trade despite her skill with it, and puts Project Jormungand into play: a plan to use a satellite system to seal the skies from humanity, destroying all aircrafts in the sky at once to force world peace, believing herself to be the one to create a true peace for the world, even successfully pushing Jonah into agreeing with the plan at the end, declaring her personal soldiers will be the final soldiers left.
  • Killing Bites: Evilutionary Biologist Reiichi Shidoh organizes the underground "Killing Bites" fights between the Half-Human Hybrid Therianthropes. Utterly unscrupulous, Shidoh uses shady tactics: tampering with the rules of the ring and manipulating the Zaibatu's conglomerates to allow for his experiments on Therianthropes. Betraying and arranging the murder of Mitsukado Zaibatsu's chairman, Yozan Mitsukado, Shidoh sets it up to look like an accident; then ordering his Therianthropes follower to murder her own investor to eliminate the witness to his crime. In spite of his unfettered nature, Shidoh truly believed his experiments on Therianthropes would fix the struggling Japanese economy and genuinely cares for Hitomi, even risking his own life to save her when he found her as a child.
  • Kindaichi Case Files: The Gentleman Thief is really a cunning woman and Master of Disguise with a penchant for stealing precious items and leaving notes to her next targets. Disguising herself as a young journalist, Diago Maki, the Thief targets Gamou Gouzou's residence to steal his painting, "My Beloved Daughter". Although almost outwitted by Kindaichi, the Thief disguises herself as and old woman and ties him to a basket of heavy rocks, leaving him stranded in the middle of a busy street. Later appearances show the Thief uses the same ploy to trick Kindaichi and get away with her stolen goods, saying she hopes to meet her challenging rival again.
  • Kongoh Bancho: Takeshi Kongoh is the true Big Bad of the manga and the wicked elder brother of the hero Akira Kongoh, aiming to be a Dark Messiah to destroy and rebuild Japan. Driven by rage at the death of his mother, Takeshi helps organize the 23 District project to lure in powerful Bancho, all while manipulating his father, whom he eventually usurps. Rising up, Takeshi reveals his true plan: the Damocles Project. Using it to dispose of previous Bancho participants, Takeshi becomes the undisputed ruler of Japan, aiming to destroy it and create an ideal world to make humanity pay. With his strength matched by a ruthless, calculating mind, Takeshi ends the series with his ideals awakened by his son Rai, using his last moments to save Akira's life and bidding him farewell as he gives Akira cover to save the world.
  • Konosuba: Arch-Devil Vanir, one of the seven Dukes of Hell and retired general of the Demon Lord, renovates a dungeon to battle against adventurers and prank them, letting him feed of their negative emotions and keep himself entertained. Unable to enter the inner-sanctum of a dungeon because of a purifying circle, Vanir attempts to kill the drawer by body-jacking a companion of Kazuma. Though struggling to take control of her body, Vanir eventually does so and even forms a cordial relationship with her. Accepting his defeat and remaining brave even in the face of seeming death, Vanir is revealed to have survived and now runs a magic item shop to help Kazuma on his future adventures.
  • Legend of Galactic Heroes: Paul von Oberstein is the most ruthless of Reinhard von Lohengramm's inner circle. A man infamous for his Dissonant Serenity and ruthlessly pragmatic advice, Oberstein devotes himself fully to Reinhard and his new dynasty, using his tactical and political brilliance to help entrench Reinhard as the rightful ruler of the crumbling Empire. Seeking to destroy the Goldenbaum dynasty, Oberstein hears that its mad duke Braunschweig is planning to nuke the rebellious colony Westmoreland, and intentionally delays Reinhard from hearing the news to let the attack happen. This has the effect of the entire empire unifying around Reinhard in revulsion, just as Oberstein planned. Oberstein makes himself a hated figure to keep any loathing directed from Reinhard, manipulating other admirals as he sees fit to keep Reinhard's empire safe and even uses himself as bait to lure out the last of the Terran cultists in the final episode to eliminate the final threat to Reinhard's rule, seemingly aware the empire he has forged has no place for him.
  • Leviathan, by Eiji Otsuka: Rokuro "Rock" Oogami, from the Lycaoni arc, is the charismatic teenager leader of the Lycaoni Revolution. After losing his beloved lycaoni family to an angry mob in the human world and being transformed into a Leviathan, Rock, despite not being a lycaoni himself, unites the lycaonis into a unified organization under himself. Turning humans and troublesome lycaoni into animals, Rock uses them to wipe out any opposition to his revolution and tricks Inuhiko Inugami's sister into using a toxin disguised as a Love Potion to trigger Inuhiko's lycaoni side and begin his uprising. A young but adept manipulator, Rock sought the destruction, then recreation of a world where lycaoni don't exist with the goal of ensuring his sister a happy life.
  • Lone Wolf and Cub: Both the protagonist and antagonist are viciously efficient operators:
    • Series Anti-Hero Ogami Itto is a stoic, charismatic warrior unjustly framed by the Yagyu clan. On the run with his three year old son Daigoro, Itto constantly showcases his strategic genius in his assassinations. In one instance, he allows himself to be captured by the enemy to get close to a target, revealing that the warning they received was written by him. In another, he uses Daigoro drowning as bait to trick a target's bodyguard into trying to save him so Itto can kill him. Itto singlehandedly brings down the powerful Yagyu clan on his own, showing why he is a man who walks the road of demons, the Path of Meifumado.
    • The series Big Bad Yagyu Retsudo is a charismatic old man with the soul of a samurai that contrasts with the hard ruthlessness of an assassin. After the Yagyu lose the post of Shogun executioner to Itto, Retsudo uses a seemingly innocuous sparring match to trick Itto into knocking his staff into a man who could pose a threat to him, leading to the man's death. Later framing Itto for treason, Retsudo is revealed to be manipulating the entire Shogunate from the shadows and even when exposed for this, manages to connive his way back to power, having his rival, the poisoner Abe no Kaii, eliminated by setting a fire on a date that will force Kaii to commit seppuku. Retsudo then uses a legion of ninja to face Itto, having them focus on breaking Itto's infamous sword, so he has the advantage for their final battle. A ruthless genius, Retsudo continuously shows why he is Itto's greatest enemy.
  • Lupin III:
    • Lupin III, the titular thief, is a debonair rogue always ready with a plan for a brand new caper. A thief who savors the rush and thrill of the theft far more than any monetary value, Lupin also delights in paying karmic justice to deserving victims. Throughout multiple anime incarnations, Lupin is characterized by choosing seemingly impossible ventures or is thrust into inescapable situations, only to execute a cunning plan and escape completely free, in one instance even outsmarting an ancient brain supposedly beyond any human being's. Rarely ever losing his playful grin, and always ready with witty repartee, Lupin remains one of anime's most successful examples of a Gentleman Thief who is constantly capable of twisting a situation to his advantage.
    • Lupin's occasional lover, rival and ally, Fujiko Mine, is his equal in brilliance and audaciousness. A skilled thief who lives for the rush of the theft, Fujiko is able to perform as many complex schemes as Lupin while constantly outwitting him and everyone around her to get her big score. In one instance in The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, she poses as a tutor at an all girls' school, allows one girl to seduce her, only to reveal she knew the girl was a cop in disguise, to fool him and steal the codes she needed. Equally capable of ruthlessness, Fujiko once escaped prison by seducing a guard and sending him to execution in her place, never hesitating to weaponize her sexuality. At the end, Fujiko allows nobody but her to define herself and stops at nothing to achieve her goals, no matter who she has to manipulate or fool, while always maintaining the same charismatic style as Lupin himself.
  • Made In Abyss: Bondrewd the Novel, Sovereign of Dawn and one of the legendary White Whistles, is also one of the most brilliant and ruthless among them. To research the Abyss and its Curse, Bondrewd experiments on orphan children while sacrificing his own humanity to create his White Whistle and creating complicated ways to navigate throughout the Abyss through his technology with no physically adverse effects to himself. Even in spite of his objectively monstrous actions, Bondrewd still sincerely loves and cares for the children under his care and takes pains to remember their identities even as he sacrifices them for his experiments, taking one of them as his own daughter and raising her to become genuinely well-adjusted and innocent. Though undoubtedly an amoral Humanoid Abomination dedicated above all else to scientific triumph regardless of the cost, Bondrewd still demonstrates he understands love and family in his own warped terms and operates with perpetual affability and style, comfortable to abandon even his own ambitions to see those with brighter aspiration succeed where he couldn't.
  • Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic: Sinbad, King of Sindria and leader of the Seven Seas Alliance is a heroic, charismatic ruler who wages war against the evil organization Al-Thamen. Unknown to most, Sinbad is halfway fallen into depravity and all his seeming benevolence is a front with alternative motives, cultivating allies and pawns alike to use against Al-Thamen, even using mind controlled sleeper agents in other nations to spy through and seize control of them at advantageous moments. Later taking over the world, Sinbad seeks to rewrite reality itself to make a perfect world, even plotting to return everything to raw energy and recreate it the right way. At the end, upon realizing his crimes, Sinbad opts to stand with Alibaba and Aladdin to save the world from the depraved King David, showing himself, whether the hero or villain, to be the best at what he sets his mind out to.
  • Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro: The genius demon Neuro arrives from the underworld, makes a hapless schoolgirl named Yako his proxy and uses her to help solve his mysteries so he can feed upon them. Neuro constantly outwits his quarry, deducing complex murders and making Yako a famous detective to raise his own profile, while brilliantly foiling other plots and gambles from villains. Neuro later encounters the atrociously evil Sicks who intends on exterminating humanity and decides to defend his food source, despising killing, as every human is capable of creating a mystery of their own for him. Neuro helps to organize the defeat of Sicks and his group with his trademark brilliance and audacious flourishes.
  • Manhole, by Tetsuya Tsutsui: Hiroshi Kurokawa is a doctor whose life was ruined by his granddaughter's traumatizing rape. To avenge himself upon the rapist, Kurokawa visits an African tribe to discover the secret behind the peaceful One-Eyed people. Discovering the filarias, worms that infect human brains and force them to control their emotions and lose an eye or die in agony. Testing them on the rapist that ruined his life and upon a violent unemployed man that beat his elderly parents, Hiroshi plans to use the filaria by inserting samples of them inside domestic animals and waiting until summer to let the mosquitoes share it with the rest of Japan, with the intention of creating a world without violence. Stopped thanks to lucky accidents and the recklessness of The Heroine Nao Inoue, Kurosawa manages to control even his own death. Driven only by his goal, Hiroshi is infected by the same worm that he wanted to spread and is a true believer in his own cause.
  • My Hero Academia: 'Sensei', better known as All For One, is a incredibly powerful villain, the arch-nemesis of the heroic All Might. Secretly ruling the country from the shadows for generations, All For One was seemingly killed by his enemy, but survived and rebuilt a group of villains in secret. Wanting to hurt All Might, All For One tracked down All Might's mentor's long-lost grandson, and raised him as the villain Shigaraki tomura, knowing this revelation would be the one thing to crush All Might's heroic spirit. Even in his final battle with All Might, All for One is pleased even if he loses, knowing his loss will inspire Tomura to become the greatest villain in history to oppose All Might's own successor.
  • Myriad Colors Phantom World: Appearing exclusively in the last episodes of the anime, Enigma is an artificial phantom created using human and phantom DNA. Escaping from her abusive creators, Enigma starts to hunt the students of the Hosea high school in order to steal their special abilities by draining their energy. Seemingly defeated by the protagonists, Enigma takes the body and identity of Haruhiko Ichijou's mother and goes to live with him, successfully faking a motherly personality that bonds with him. After Haruhiko's friends manage to realize her identity, Enigma is able to beat them and steal Haruhiko's summoning powers, intending to use them to control all phantoms to take revenge on humanity. When she is later defeated by Team E, Enigma is impressed by the human potential and admits that she enjoyed her time with Haruhiko, to which he agrees before she dies.
  • Naruto:
    • Kisame Hoshigaki at first appears only a 'thug lost in the mist' but is in truth one of the most level and devoted members of Akatsuki. After defeating Killer Bee, Kisame uses a plan to fake his own death with a White Zetsu clone and infiltrates bee's village of Kumogakure, gathering intelligence on the Allied Shinobi Forces. It is revealed later that Kisame was once tasked with eliminating traitors and potential captives in his home village of the Mist, even luring his treacherous teacher to his death to claim his sword Samehada. When exposed, Kisame uses clever tactics to preserve the intelligence and eventually, realizing he is not 'such a terrible man' after all, chooses to commit suicide rather than face capture, while using his last moments to rig the scroll with a trap that results in the intelligence finding its way to his superiors anyways, his death so impressive and touching that even the incredibly forgetful Might Guy, Kisame's supposed nemesis vows to remember Kisame for the rest of his life.
    • Nagato, better known as the alias of Pain, is the most visible leader of Akatsuki. Deciding that the world must known pain in order to know peace, Pain has the Akatsuki corner the war market in time of peace with Akatsuki acting as mercenaries in order to strengthen his group and weaken the military power of the villages. Secretly leading a rebellion in his home village of the Rain, Pain conceals his victory and projects an air of mystery and power as to be seen as a god. Secretly plotting to merge all the Bijuu into a superweapon to terrify the world into peace, Pain kills his former mentor Jiraiya and proceeds to attack Konohagakure with a series of ruthless, brilliant tactics that leave the village all but helpless against him. Finally facing Naruto, what truly saves the Leaf is Pain acknowledging his former idealism and sacrificing himself to revive the villagers. With unmatched charisma and drive for his version of peace, Pain remains one of the most memorable and driven villains in the series.
  • Nidome no Yuusha: The brilliant, charming Ueki Kaito ruthlessly takes any means necessary to avenge himself against those who betrayed him after he saved their world. Recruiting a young slave girl, Kaito viciously helps her poison both the slaver and the other slaves, transforming them into goblins and then killing them. Later allowing the Royal Capital to be ravaged by beasts, Kaito uses the destruction of an outer wall to escape. Pained by guilt after an innocent girl is caught in the debris, Kaito henceforth swears to avoid harming the innocent in his quest for vengeance.

     O - Y 
  • One Piece:
    • Crocodile, one of the Seven Warlords of the sea, is the brilliant master of the Baroque Works syndicate. Playing himself off as a public hero while running the aforementioned criminal organization, Crocodile manufactures a drought and a rebellion to weaken the Nefertari family in Alabasta, while plotting a takeover himself. Showing contingency after contingency, Crocodile manipulates countless people, including his right-hand woman, Nico Robin, with whom he intends to seize the superweapon Pluton in order to cow the World Government into recognizing his authority. Even after defeat, Crocodile later returns in Impel Down and helps organize the jailbreak with his enemy Luffy.
    • Sengoku the Buddha is the most brilliant of the Marine Admirals. The top Fleet Admiral of Marineford, Sengoku leads the execution of Portgas D. Ace, revealing to the world that Ace is the son of Gol D. Roger, the former Pirate King. With the arrival of Ace's captain, Whitebeard, Sengoku reveals a major trap for Whitebeard, sapping the morale of his forces with a carefully planned lie, trapping the pirates and closing in Marine forces, turning a near loss into a total rout for the strongest man alive with his own cunning.
  • Pandora Hearts: In a dark world with a complex plot involving many master manipulators, the Big-Bad Ensemble manage to stand out:
    • Glen Baskerville, real name Oswald, is the mysterious leader of the Baskerville family. Having ordered the slaughter of the population of Sablier to spare them the horrifying fate within the Abyss centuries in the past, Glen returns in the present time by taking over the body of his reincarnation and assumes direct leadership over the Baskerville clan once again. Able to force skilled schemers like Rufus Barma and even fellow Magnificent Bastard Jack Vessalius to the limits of their wits, Glen ultimately almost attains his goal of altering the timeline by killing his own sister to prevent the events of the series from occurring, only stopping when he realizes his own hypocrisies and hollowness of his goals hidden behind good intentions.
    • The aforementioned Jack Vessalius is the true mastermind behind the events of the work. The illegitimate son of a noble, Jack fled from his home, living on the streets until he met a girl from the Baskerville family. Wanting to meet her again, Jack uses his noble family's name to be able to see her. When the Baskerville girl was sacrificed to the Abyss, Jack obsesses over seeing her again, deciding to throw the whole world into the corrupted Abyss to bring it to her. Causing the catastrophic Tragedy of Sablier, Jack blames the Baskerville and Nightray families while painting himself as the hero, going on to seek a chance to recreate it. Manipulating Oz's entire life to fulfill what Jack believes is the wish of his beloved, he is an ultimately Tragic Villain, even finally redeeming himself after accepting the errors of his own acts.
  • Princess Mononoke: Lady Eboshi, the ruler of Irontown is a woman with a backbone made of steel. Forging a mining community with nothing but her own will and strength, Eboshi made it a refuge for lepers, outcasts and the downtrodden, even buying the freedom of many women from brothels and giving them a new home, training them to work and fight. Coming into conflict with the gods of the forest and local warlords, Eboshi leads her people to fend them off and fight back, even luring out the Great Forest Spirit to destroy it, in hopes of reducing the forest animals to just normal beasts, claiming her trick to killing a god is to not fear it. Even after losing an arm to the bite of the decapitated wolf goddess Moro, Eboshi merely grins and reminds herself that a wolf's head still has a bite, being one of the most morally complex and strong-willed antagonists in a Hayao Miyazaki film.
  • Princess Resurrection: Silvia von Phoenix, the ultimate Big Bad is described by her youngest sister Sherwood as a "natural born swindler". Hellbent on winning the Royal battle, Silvia plays her own siblings endlessly, having spent her sister Hime's childhood toying with and testing her for fun and to strengthen her. Using her brilliance to stay a step ahead of her siblings and eliminating her strongest brother Emile by making him her enslaved Blood Warrior, Silvia defeats and absorbs their eldest brother Fuhito to gain his power before attempting to defeat Hime and claim victory for herself, with one Bad Future having her utterly victorious.
  • The Promised Neverland: Archduke Leuvis is a demon who lives for the thrill of combat. Latching on to Emma as his worthy adversary, Leuvis shows himself to be fully willing to offer up his own weaknesses and to arm his opponents to equal the playing field and once his comrades are dead, engages Emma and her friends with a shockingly display of combat instinct and battle tactics, completely seeing through everything Emma's team does while countering until he is finally cornered. Even upon dealing Emma a seemingly fatal wound, Leuvis is courteous and respectful to her, thinking how much he loves humans for their ingenuity, unlike his fellow demons who consider them lesser beings and only fit for food. A demon of shocking charm and charisma, Leuvis proves why he is the most deadly adversary yet encountered by Emma and her friends.
  • Psycho-Pass: Both seasons' Big Bads prove to be as charming and intelligent as they are threatening to the status quo of their society:
    • Shogo Makishima is a ruthless Serial Killer obsessed with the darkness of human nature. Swaying others into becoming serial killers as well to help to damage society and eliminating them when they disappoint him or serve their purpose, Makishima begins cultivating inspector Shinya Kogami as his nemesis as he schemes to destroy the oppressive Sibyl system. Forming multiple plans to tear the system down, it is revealed the system in fact wants Makishima to join its hive mind, which he lethally rejects by murdering their emissary, declaring is loyalty is to his own individuality and he will keep playing his games by his own will. Cultured, charming, manipulative and ruthless beyond measure, Makishima will stop at nothing to impose his vision of freedom upon Japan and revel in the resulting chaos.
    • Kirito Kamui was surgically made into a collective being as a child after he alone survived a plane crash indirectly caused by a precursor to the Sibyl System and now seeks its betterment for humanity. A master psychotherapist, Kamui gets his followers' crime coefficients below judgeable levels, making them all the more threatening. Engineering a series of daring attacks, Kamui surmises the physical location of the Sibyl System and forces it to remove a number of corrupted brains from itself so that it can judge his collective mind. Though killed in his quest, Kamui is happy to have forced Sibyl to reconsider its position and leaves Akane Tsunemori with his ideals to carry forward for a brighter future.
  • Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace: The original Twenty-Faces, Namikoshi, pioneered the Serial-Killer Killer phenomenon after he spent his childhood bullied by his classmates and abused by his parents, before making friends with the brilliant Kogoro Akechi, together creating the "Dark Star" formula. Accelerating the coding of the formula as the abuse he suffered worsened, the Dark Star was set to murder both his abusers and those in society who take advantage of their power. When Akechi realizes their formula is lethally unstable, Twenty-Faces fakes his own death, then teams up with a medical examiner who works with Akechi to avenge the death of her brother. Kidnapping Akechi's assistant, Twenty-Faces takes him and ten children to the top of a clock-tower, planning to murder them all by having them jump in five-minute intervals. While he may be ruthlessly unfettered in his goals, Twenty-Faces truly believes his doings will be what creates a just and fair society.
  • Record of Lodoss War:
    • Karla, the Grey Witch, was the only survivor of an ancient magic civilization who implanted her consciousness into an enchanted circlet that possesses whoever kills her host body Seeking to prevent one side from ever growing too powerful, Karla has manipulated almost every war in Lodoss's history to bring about the ruin of any nation that may grow too powerful, even secretly fighting as one of the Six Heroes to stop the Demon God from destroying the world years ago. In present, Karla serves as the adviser to Emperor Beld of Marmo, guiding his nation to the top, ending with Beld slaying the Emperor Fahn of Valis- only for Karla to intervene and cause Beld's death herself to decapitate Valis and Marmo alike. Constantly escaping death, Karla stops at nothing to ensure Lodoss's balance remains as she wills it, no matter what she has to do.
    • Ashram, the Black Knight of Marmo, is seen by many as Marmo's true ruler and the heir to Beld himself. Once a young man fighting a war against the Thieves' Guild who allied with Beld, Ashram helped Beld to unify all of Marmo while vowing to one day surpass the emperor. Enraged at Beld's death, Ashram takes his demonic sword, the Soul Crusher and masters it, destroying the ancient dragons of Lodoss to find the Scepter of Domination and control the world. While seemingly dying, Ashram returns to depose the corrupt governor Rabido and manipulates him to his death, taking over all Marmo himself with his lover, the dark elf Pirotess at his side. Seeking to create a new home for the people of Marmo, Ashram ends up achieving all he sets out to do before departing Lodoss for a new home.
  • Rookie Policewoman Kiruko-san: Seemingly respectable business director Jean Smith is really a powerful criminal trying to expand his operation by using the small town of Nagashima for smuggling. Knowing The Heroine Kiruko and her allies are infiltrating his cruise ship to capture him, Jean has his men prepare for the attack while he personally greets the police in a jovial and personable manner. Ordering his men to take Kiruko's senior officer hostage, Jean escapes the cruise ship along with his hostage before trying to sink the boat. Eventually captured by the police, Jean nevertheless remains cordial to the cops and calls a rescue jet as a backup plan to escape. Genuinely friendly to both his enemies and allies, Jean remains the suavest criminal Kiruko has faced.
  • Rosario + Vampire:
    • Alucard is the true Big Bad of the series, using multiple aliases to achieve his goals. As the Masked King, Alucard formed the Miao Triad family, bidding the evil vampire Gyokuro Shuzen to form the anti-human terrorist organization Fairy Tale while also joining it under the secret name of Miyabi Fujisaki. Manipulating the heroes into a confrontation with Gyokuro and her squadron leaders, Alucard reveals himself only after the fighting to hijack her plans and awaken his true body, easily overcoming the other heroes and setting to attack the human world. Upon his final destruction, it is revealed that Alucard's full intention was to make himself the villain and create a group that had to be opposed by an alliance of human and monster, exposing the monster world to humankind, even making provisions to ensure his final subordinates survived the fight.
    • Hokuto Kaneshiro was once a human who left an abusive father to attend Yokai Academy. Finding only pain and suffering until he met Kiria Yoshii, Hokuto resolves to tear down the barrier between worlds and expose monsters to humanity. Playing at being Tsukune's friend, Hokuto reveals he is truly the leader of the rebellious group Anti-Thesis, letting himself be defeated so he will be placed in front of the headmaster in order to attempt an assassination attempt and steal a rosary to destroy the barrier. The only reason his plan fails is Hokuto deciding at the last moment to assist Tsukune instead. Even in part 2, Hokuto returns to help manipulate the end of Fairy Tale, aiding Tsukune one last time against even Kiria.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: Ruthless Social Darwinist Makoto Shishio was once the feared Hitokiri of the Shadows during the Bakumatsu. Betrayed by the government and left for dead, Shishio survived and by virtue of his overwhelming power and charisma creates a powerful organization consisting of loyal soldiers he effortlessly manipulates, with one named Usui even ostensibly wanting revenge against Shishio for blinding him, unaware Shishio is well aware he's lost all hope of vengeance and is just manipulating him by using his pride. Shishio then sets up a complex plan to burn Tokyo, only for it to be revealed this is a ruse as he attacks Kyoto instead. Despite being foiled here, Shishio proceeds to have the heroes fight his men in single matches, all for the purposes of weakening or eliminating them before they face Shishio himself when he gains greater understanding of their abilities through the fights. Even after his defeat and death, Shishio shows no sign of complaint and instantly sets off with his deceased lover and most loyal follower to begin conquering Hell itself.
  • Seven Mortal Sins: Main character Lucifer, Fallen Angel turned Demon Lord of Pride, can achieve anything she sets her mind to. Deciding to take over hell, Lucifer has a policy of challenging the Demon Lords known as the Mortal Sins at their own games on their own turf, constantly getting the better of them and winning no matter what venue they choose, constantly coming up with new plans and strategies. It is later revealed that for all her haughtiness and deep pride in herself, Lucifer was the only angel to object to God's plan to wipe out hell and the earth, having been protecting humanity from the start, and manages to get the better of both her arch-rivals, the demon lord Belial and the new leader of the Seven Lively Virtues, her old partner Michael via a few clever gambits, culminating in Lucifer embracing her love for her human companion Maria and claiming her rightful throne as the ruler of hell and queen of pride itself.
  • Shakugan no Shana:
    • Bel Peol, known as the "Arbiter of Reverse Reasoning" and "The Strategist", lead Bel Masque in the first two seasons. In the past, Bel Peol sacrificed her right eye as part of a plan to retrieve her master's body; later convincing a Denizen into going for a dangerous mission, resulting in his death for her cause. Trying to destroy Misaki City, Bel Peol nearly succeeds in all her attempts thanks to her tactical brilliance and pushes the heroes to their limits. Joining her master, the Snake of the Festival upon his revival, Bel Peol acts as his Dragon and together they usher in the creation of Xanadu, a paradise for Denizens and humans alike, fighting fiercely for it. A ruthless, goal-driven woman, Bel Peol nevertheless showed fondness to her underlings and exceedingly intelligence thinking in the field of battle, proving herself a worthy leader of Bel Masque.
    • The aforementioned Snake of the Festival or "The God of Creation", is the original leader of Bel Masque. Summoned in ancient times by the Denizens of the past, the Snake tried to create a paradise for them before being sealed in the Abyss. In present convincing Protagonist Yuji Sakai to become his vessel, the Snake retakes leadership of Bel Masque, giving a speech so powerful it gains him the complete loyalty of all the present Denizens. Leading the Denizens in the devastating Second Great War, the Snake oversees the brutal combat to have his body recovered from the Abyss. Returning to Misaki City to create Xanadu, the Snake uses his own body and a member of the Trinity as sacrifices to create his new world. Realizing the Denizen's wish for peaceful coexistence, the Snake completes his mission despite massive opposition and returns to sleep, wishing his vessel success for the future.
  • Shaman King: Big Bad Hao Asakura was once a shaman in heian-era Japan where he lost his beloved mother at the prejudices of humanity. Manipulating future events and even his own reincarnations to empower himself, Hao is reborn again in modern times as the twin brother of hero Yoh Asakura. Absurdly powerful and intelligent, Hao remains a step ahead of the heroes, defeating all challengers and enemies in an attempt to become the Shaman King and destroy humanity. At the end, Hao succeeds in his goal, becoming Shaman King, but proves open to reason and opts to watch the world for himself, being as brilliant a villain in victory as he was in the attempt to get there.
  • Shut Hell: The Dreaded, ruthless Khan; Genghis Khan himself. Born Temujin, and branded with the Tangut letters on his back marking him as a slave forever, the Khan seeks to destroy the Tangut script and the people of western Xia to forever remove knowledge of the brand on his skin. Utterly dominating the Mongol tribes through his dark charisma and power, the Khan sweeps through Western Xia and Jin, devastating all in his path with his brilliance and strength. Ever quick to turn any disadvantage back to his side, the Khan even handles the death of his son and commander Tolui by enslaving the young prince Yurul and forcing him to take Tolui's identity. A man who rose from nothing to become the greatest warlord the world had ever seen, the Khan decides he will burn all in his path, no matter how much fire it takes.
  • Slayers: Xellos the Trickster Priest is a Mazoku, and the most mysterious member of the cast. Hiding his true self behind a veil of smiles and pleasantries, Xellos ruthlessly manipulates Lina and friends into carrying out his wishes and destroying his enemies. Frequently arranging situations to benefit himself no matter what the outcome, Xellos helps destroy his Mistress, the Grand Beast Zelas Metallium's rivals and other Mazoku should it benefit him. Xellos tends to change his schemes on the fly as well, making it impossible to tell what was part of his plans from the start, even if he admits he feels some affection for Lina and her team. Xellos is so charming and affable, it's very easy to forget that he is a demonic being under his friendliness.
  • Sonic X: Dark Oak, supreme leader of the Metarex, is a chilling combination of power and tragedy. Originally an alien lifeform named Lukas, he fell out with his lover Earthia and parts of his own species trying to save his world from destruction. His ambition and sound intentions eventually corrupted him to become Dark Oak, an Evil Overlord bent on creating a galaxy free of war and conflict by annihilating everything except plants and botanical lifeforms like himself. Introduced trouncing Super Sonic in an attempt to get all seven Chaos Emeralds, Dark Oak strays to background and creates strategies to systematically crush his opposition that, even in failure, will give him an idea of what they are capable of. Dark Oak's cruelest but most ingenious act was forcing a sleeper agent within the ranks of Sonic and crew from the very beginning. Said person had a tracking device that relayed valuable information to the Metarex as they captured the Chaos Emeralds and the Planet Eggs for "Forestation." At the end of a hard-fought battle, Lukas dies realizing the errors of his ways and reconciles with Earthia in the afterlife.
  • Soul Hunter:
    • Though spending much of his time observing the major events, Shinkohyou proves himself to be one of the strongest and most compelling rivals of Taikoubou. Defeating Taikoubou for mocking his fashion sense, Shinkohyou leaves his Worthy Opponent ecstatic at facing challenging combat. Trying to stop the crown prince of the Yin Empire from fleeing, Shinkohyou gives him and his brother a Motive Rant so enlightening that they betray Taikoubou. Though seemingly villainous for much of the story, Shinkohyou is truthfully a neutral Trickster who switches sides based on which he finds more entertaining.
    • Chou Koumei is one of the strongest Kingo Island Sennin under Youkai Tsuten Kyoshu and the instigator behind a battle between the aforementioned and Kongrong Mountain to test his super paopei, destroying the relationship between the two groups. Teaming up with Dakki, Chou Koumei puts a series of maneuvers in play to stop the Zhou Empire from revolting against Choka. Kidnapping Taikoubou's companions to get him to fight, Chou Koumei takes advantage of the former fleeing from combat to turn his spirit beast into stone, forcing him to confront him. After seemingly defeating Taikoubou, Chou Koumei attempts to change the story by making another manga to replace it and when Taikoubou is resurrected, Chou Koumei turns himself into a plant and tries to drain the Earth of its nutrients. Even when finally defeated, Chou Koumei remains cordial, proving himself to be one of the most respectful and interesting opponents of the series.
  • Space Battleship Yamato: Albelt Dessler is the charming, sophisticated supreme ruler and dictator of Gamillas. Desiring a peace in the galaxy through ultimate control, Dessler has expanded the Gamillas empire but keeps new conquered races happy by allowing them to prove themselves equal citizens in the empire on pure merit. When earth proves more difficult to conquer, Dessler deals with the matter by assigning a failed commander to either give Dessler more knowledge of the earthlings' tactics, or removing an incompetent without him lifting a finger. Dessler also outplays any who attempt to usurp his authority and when defeated, he promptly reemerges to take the Yamato over to restore himself to glory, convinced that his success is the glory of Gamillas itself.
  • Speed Grapher: Choji Suitengu is a man who flaunts his extensive wealth via using expensive yen notes as cigars, believing everything 'has its price,' especially human life. In truth, Suitengu is dedicated to overthrowing the social order of Japan, manipulating all the upper echelons of society with his Roppongi Club that caters to a variety of fetishes. Constantly planning ahead of series hero Saiga, Suitengu also manipulates his lover, Shinzen of the powerful Tennozou Group and later disposes of her when she attempts to betray and kill him.Revealing his tragic past to his arch enemy, the prime minister, when the man tries to kill Suitengu and take over the Roppongi Club, Suitengu kills him and enacts his master plan: completely erasing the corrupt upper class and causing a massive financial crisis to completely break their hold on Japan forever.
  • Sword Art Online: This duo of genius programmers show that programming isn't their only talent.
    • Akihiko Kayaba is a genius that desires a complete virtual reality. Becoming the creator of Sword Art Online, the first VRMMORPG in existence, Kayaba traps 10,000 players inside it, killing them in the real world if they die in the game, while ensuring that the authorities in the real world can't do anything to intervene. Disguising himself as Heathcliff, the charismatic leader of the Knights of Blood, and guiding the players through Aincrad, Kayaba intends to betray them in the last dungeon, acting as the Final Boss of his own game. When Kirito is able to deduce "Heathcliff's" true identity, Kayaba praises him before challenging him to a duel, promising to end the game if Kirito wins. Keeping his word, Kayaba frees the players before seemingly committing suicide, though actually copying his Fluctlight onto the internet to continue existing. Reappearing in Fairy Dance, Kayaba helps Kirito defeat the despicable Sugou and entrusts Kirito with his last invention, encouraging him to share it with the world, leading to the creation of many innovative VR games. In Alicization, Kayaba secretly helps to save the virtual world of Underworld and takes control of a robot to save his former companions.
    • Initially presented as Kirito's eccentric and annoying benefactor, Seijirou Kikuoka is revealed to be much more. Actually a lieutenant in the JSDF, he leads RATH, creators of the virtual world Underworld, which is inhabited by highly developed AIs known as "Artificial Fluctlights". Convincing Kirito to work in the Project Alicization while hiding its morally dubious aspects from him, Kikuoka intends to use "complete Fluctlights" as combatants, hoping to avoid human casualties in warfare and showing Japan's potential to the world. After Kirito is hospitalized and suffers from brain damage, Kikuoka takes him from the hospital to the Ocean Turtle and connects him to the Underworld, hoping to save his mind out of genuine concern and affection. After the Ocean Turtle is attacked by Glowgen Defense Systems, Kikuoka helps to defend it, sends Asuna to the Underworld to save Kirito and stop the sociopathic Gabriel Miller, and is injured while trying to protect his companions. Initially willing to sacrifice infinite AIs for one single human, Kikuoka learns to value the Underworld and promises to protect it. Having helped Kirito and Asuna one last time, he successfully fakes his death after showing Japan's potential, completely avoiding any punishment.
  • Tokyo ESP: The Professor, formerly Hokusai Azuma, was an archeologist who discovered the Holy Ark containing the Super Empowering Glowing Fishes. Becoming one of the first espers of the modern era, the Professor was betrayed and attacked by the General of his country and the Ares organization, which left his entire crew dead. Crafting his persona as "The Professor", he went back to Japan, adopting the son of one of his deceased crew-mates and begins plotting his vengeance against Ares, founding the terrorist group known as the Esper Liberation Front. Successfully opening the Ark atop the Tokyo Tower, the Professor causes a Mass Super-Empowering Event and despite his subsequent imprisonment, completes his revenge on Ares by leaving the heroes with instructions to take them down and free his beloved daughter. Driven to avenge his comrades, the Professor ruthlessly advances on his goals with care for none save his own child.
  • Trigun:
    • Millions Knives is a humanoid plant who was driven to misanthropy upon discovering humanity had performed horrifying experiments on his own kind. Even as a child manipulating the "Great Fall," an event where he caused an entire fleet of humanity to crash to their deaths on the planet Gunsmoke, Knives in the present seeks revenge on both humans and his twin Vash for allying with them. Siccing the Gung-Ho Guns onto Vash to distract and torment him by targeting innocents, Knives traverses Gunsmoke and influences other Plants to merge with him, making him all the stronger as he reveals his final plan to lure the final vestiges of humanity to Gunsmoke, wipe them all out, and use their Plant captives to create a new, peaceful world of nature and flourishing life. Upon being defeated and witnessing humanity realize the error of their ways, Knives saves his brother's life and spends his last moments granting a poor family a bountiful apple tree as the only recompense for his atrocities he is able to perform.
    • Legato Bluesummers from the anime sheds his manga counterpart's Laughing Mad insanity and numerous breakdowns, instead being a suave, always calm mastermind who serves as Vash's true Arch-Enemy in the series. A nihilist with the belief that all of humanity meaningless and deserves to be purged to save it from misery and despair, Legato allies with Millions Knives in preparing for the destruction of humankind and the rising of Plant life. Not entirely devoid of respectable attributes even as he sends the Gung-Ho Guns after Vash with orders to target civilians in the process just to torture the pacifistic hero, Legato slaughters a group of human traffickers and frees their slaves, informing the young women to use their time wisely before Knives wipes them all out. In the end, Legato forces Vash to break his Thou Shalt Not Kill code, giving him the ultimatum of either shooting Legato or watching as his best friends are murdered by the villain, and dies with a smile on his face as he knows the act of taking a human life will drive Vash into utter despair.
    • Gasback Gallon Getaway is a roguish, boisterous criminal who, despite his brutish appearance, is in truth a calculating thief who views the act of robbery and thievery as "art" forms. After his initial bank heist is foiled by treacherous minions, Gasback spends decades plotting both revenge against the men for "sullying" the art of robbery with their dishonorable betrayal, and the greatest heist he's ever concocted. Laying waste to two of the men's prospering enterprises, Gasback repeats the process on his final betrayer, revealing at the same time that each of his before robberies were all to amass materials needed to steal a Plant, which he pulls off flawlessly before escaping. Giving Vash one of the hardest fought battles of his life through sheer determination to never lose, Gasback gains respect for the hero when beaten, and is revealed to have spent those decades of planning taking care of a woman he loved and even leaving her enough money to sustain her for the rest of her life. Always charming even with his loud personality, Gasback was undoubtedly the most swashbuckling villain Vash ever faced.
  • Vinland Saga: Askeladd Olafson introduces himself to the audience sacking a fort and robbing it of its riches with a series of clever schemes, barely shedding a drop of blood. Leader of a group of Viking raiders, Askeladd was born the son of a slave and a lord. Murdering his father years later after his mother's death, Askeladd framed one of his brothers after ingratiating himself to his family. Playing the cutthroat court of King Sweyn with clever gambits, Askeladd has the caretaker of the weak prince Canute murdered to build Canute into an ideal candidate for the throne. Also driven by his desire to protect his maternal homeland of Wales, Askeladd finds himself briefly outplayed by Sweyn who demands he kill Canute or see Wales invaded by the Danes. Askeladd instead chooses to kill Sweyn and allow Canute to kill him, achieving all his goals posthumously by making Canute a beloved, respected King and knowing the young man will forge Askeladd's ideal kingdom and defend Wales out of gratitude.
  • Witch Craft Works: Weekend is a Tower Witch and explosive trap master who makes deals with other witches to weaken the seals holding the White Princess Evermillion. With a powerful bomb, Weekend distracts Kazane Kagari with protecting Tougetsu City, while she uses bombs she had planted prior to damage the bases of the Workshop Witches. Freeing herself when seemingly defeated, Weekend nearly defeats Ayaka Kagari in combat, only losing due to third party intervention and ends up joining the heroes. After joining them, Weekend proves herself an inquisitive investigator, coming close to finding the answer to a series of mysterious events and only stopped by the antics of her ally. Though a self proclaimed mediocre witch, Weekend uses a combination of intelligence and technology to take down two of the series' most powerful magic users.
  • World Embryo:
    • Takao Mishima, born as Ryuusei Takao, used to be a child living on Hatsumi Island, taking care of the local Coffin Princess Julie. Forced by his family to betray his then-friend Shirou Karasawa, Takao later helps him to bring back his deceased girlfriend as a Coffin Princess. Becoming the only survivor of the destruction of the island at Shirou's hands, Takao is betrayed and framed as a murderer by him. He becomes the feared Jinki Hunter, killing members of F.L.A.G and infected humans before their transformation. Meeting a girl who admires him, Takao starts to care for her, even comforting her after she is lethally hurt by Kanshuus. He allies with his former enemy Riku Amami to avenge her, and they manage to defeat Shirou together. After the Coffin Princess Amane endangers the world, Takao works with the spirits of the people from Hatsume Island to convince Rene Arisugawa to become another Princess as a way to counter Amane, succeeding and personally dealing the final blow. Betrayed by the spirits, Takao is willing to be killed to save the world, and in the epilogue, Takao is determined to save Riku from himself, just as Riku did for him.
    • Born Amane Sasamori, Amane Amami is Riku Amami's adoptive sister and first love. A kind teenager forced into becoming a Coffin Princess for multiple reasons and becoming aware of the real nature of humanity and the corruption inside the World Embryo, she decides to absorb humanity inside a virtual paradise. To do so, she manipulates her family and sends a baby version of herself, later known as Neene, to them, hoping that she becomes strong enough to take control of her. Suceeding, Amane takes control of Neene's body and tries to cause the destruction of the world while faking a villainous personality. After the fate of humanity is decided in a game, The Coffin Princess cheats by forcing F.L.A.G. members into fighting their traumas before revealing that it was just a trap to capture Jinki users. Stopped only by Takao and Rene, who interrupt her duel with Riku, she apologizes to him for all the pain that she caused to him before ensuring Neene's survival, knowing that she would be vital to save humanity.
    • A Consummate Liar since childhood despite his kindness, Suraga, alias of Riku Amami himself, is the newest threat to humanity after Shirou and the above mentioned Coffin Princess. Having lost all hope after his beloved lose her memories and determined to get them back by using the Kanshuu, Suraga causes multiple controlled Kanshuu outbreaks, knowing that his former friends will stop them and return the victims back to normality. Having lied to the world itself by his own words, Suraga's attacks becomes a routine menace in the new world. After his plan is eventually discovered by the remaining Coffin Princesses, they use Takao to force him to confess his plan before helping him to—after lots of losses—get his happy family back.
  • Yōtōden, by Takeshi Narumi: Ranmaru Mori is a demon who disguises himself as a young man while manipulating the entire war in Japan. Using Oda Nobunaga and the Oboro ninja as puppets, Ranmaru uses Nobunaga's excesses to wipe out ninja clans so the survivors seek vengeance while following a prophecy and using sacred weapons Ranmaru himself created, to gain enough negative energy to free his fellow demons. Ranmaru even sneaks a mole into their camp as a demon disguised as a monk who has no idea of his true nature, his plans going off perfectly until almost the very end.
  • YuYu Hakusho:
    • Sakyo is a charming, charismatic member of the Black Black Club who came up from nothing. A born sociopath who despised his honest, loving family, Sakyo graduated from torturing animals into high stakes gambling where he amassed a fortune to join the demon-trafficking and torturing Black Black Club. Deciding to advance even further, Sakyo plays the group's founder Gonzo Tarukane by secretly paying off the Toguro brothers when Tarukane hires them as bodyguards, rigging the gambles he makes with Tarukane by having the Toguro brothers take a dive against Team Urameshi. Setting up his team to fight in the Dark Tournament, Sakyo takes a curious liking to Shizuru Kuwabara and protects her during the events while also manipulating and eventually disposing of the rest of the Black Black Club, before gambling his own life on Toguro's victory in order to insure he can see a portal opened to the Demon World out of sheer morbid curiosity. When Toguro is defeated, Sakyo immediately offers his life without complaint, bidding a last fond farewell to Shizuru first.
    • The Younger Toguro brother sold his soul 50 years ago to become a powerful demon after winning the Dark Tournament in despair over the deaths of his students and the knowledge of his impending mortality. In present, having grown disillusioned with his life, he manipulates the events with Gonzo Tarukane to see if Yusuke Urameshi is a worthy adversary and forces him and team to join the Dark Tournament. Toguro manipulates Yusuke into becoming stronger while also keeping him from making Toguro's mistakes before the final match. After killing Yusuke's mentor, his former teammate and lover Genkai, Toguro is dissatisfied with Yusuke's strength and seemingly murders his friend Kuwabara to force him to fight all out, only to reveal he faked Kuwabara's death. Unlike his twisted elder brother, Toguro never sold his pride along with his soul and displays a true sense of honor, grateful to give his all against a final worthy adversary.
    • The "Black Angel", Shinobu Sensui was once a brilliant young Spirit Detective whose idealistic view of humans was shattered by the Black Black Club. Years later, he uses the depraved Chapter Black tape to recruit a group of psychics to his side as Team Urameshi goes after him, manipulating all his enemies and allies alike to achieve his goals and weaken Yusuke's team. In one instance, Sensui forces Kurama to duel in a game against a little boy, with the boy not knowing he will die if he loses. Sensui is aware Kurama will do it, but knows it will shake him up too much to be of use in fighting Sensui at his best later, while also knowing a guilt-stricken Koenma will use up too much power restoring the boy to life. Sensui also uses his multiple personalities to bear the burdens of his crimes, revealing his true self in time to defeat and even kill Yusuke before opening a path to the demon world. His true goal? Is an elaborate suicide attempt to die at the hands of a powerful demon to atone for taking so many demon lives in the past. Passing as a dark mirror to Yusuke himself, Sensui remains one of his most sympathetic and fascinating enemies.

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