Any work of fiction, such as Japanese anime, will need at least one antagonist, and some franchises are famed for having many outstanding villains for the heroes to face in mortal combat. In fact, many anime series feature an entire squad or organization of them, ranging from the Akatsuki in Naruto to the Espadas in Bleach, the League of Villains in My Hero Academia, and the Ten Commandments from The Seven Deadly Sins, among others.
After a point, though, an anime’s narrative might suffer a bit if there are too many antagonists for the heroes to fight. For example, some villains will have weak character development because there isn’t room, or some villains might feel redundant compared to others. And in extreme cases, fans might simply get lost or confused when the cast of characters, including the villains, becomes too large.
10 Bleach’s Villains Don’t Have Room To Breathe
At times, the hit shonen anime Bleach paced the introduction of its villains well, and fans were excited to meet villains such as Ulquiorra Schiffer and Grimmjow Jaegerjaques. However, Bleach got carried away and soon flooded the story with many cannon fodder villains with forgettable designs.
That made the Fake Karakura Town and Hueco Mundo arcs feel like a tedious grind at times, and Bleach only impressed fans when it focused on fewer, better villains instead. Then the Thousand-Year Blood War arc came along and repeated that mistake with over two dozen villainous Quincy characters.
9 One Piece’s Cast Of Characters, Including Villains, Is Overwhelming
Anime fans will have their own opinions on whether One Piece is too big and too lengthy for its own good, but it can be said that this is a huge turnoff for casual anime fans. It’s pretty intimidating to get into a 1,000+ episode series, which means keeping track of many characters, too.
That’s too much to ask for many anime fans, and it may become too tough to keep track of who’s who, including One Piece’s many diverse villains. The villains might be introduced at a manageable pace, but in the long run, it adds up, and not in a good way.
8 JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Needs Fewer & Better Villains
By now, the concept of “monster of the week” is considered outdated and cheap by most standards, but JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure embraces it, which makes the series feel pretty repetitive to some anime fans. Fortunately, most other aspects of this anime are outstanding, but the endless parade of villains gets tiring.
These JoJo villains, appear, fight, then get written out in the span of just one or two episodes, and that happens constantly. The series does have standouts such as Dio the vampire and Yoshikage Kira, but in between them are far too many Stand-using monsters of the week.
7 My Hero Academia Has So Many Villains
Fortunately, the My Hero Academia storyline regularly picks off its villain characters to ensure the anime doesn’t have too many at once. And a decent variety of villains helps make this superhero anime more exciting. In the long run, it’s a chore to remember all these villains.
It’s already a serious burden to remember who all the heroes and students are, and it’s tough to remember all the villains, major and minor, on top of that. Casual fans will mostly focus on big names like Tomura Shigaraki, Dabi, and Himiko Toga, and simply forget the rest.
6 The Seven Deadly Sins Overdid It A Bit
The medieval action series The Seven Deadly Sins has a bit of restraint compared to Bleach and One Piece when it comes to introducing villains, but by Season 4, the cast of villains is still a bit too large. By then, it’s tough to remember who’s who, and even more villains get introduced.
That’s a bit too much, so perhaps in hindsight, The Seven Deadly Sins could have shaved its cast of characters by 10-20%, pared down the Ten Commandments a bit, or eliminated some other villains. Or, they could have combined a few villains into a single character to keep things streamlined.
5 Fairy Tail Won’t Stop Adding New Characters
Even if the lengthy shonen anime Fairy Tail paced itself a bit by introducing the villains one squad at a time, this anime’s cast of characters eventually grew out of control, and that meant only the most diehard fans could remember who’s who. Having too many villains means some will simply be forgotten.
Fairy Tail has not one, but several bad guy squads, ranging from the Phantom Lord guild to a trio of legendary dark guilds, the elite warriors of Edolas, the Sabertooth guild and even the Spriggan 12 squad. Altogether, that’s simply too many villains for Natsu and his friends to fight.
4 That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime Has So Many Characters
The hit isekai series That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime has many things going for it, but arguably, this anime has too many characters, and fans are expected to remember each and everyone one of them. By extension, this means the anime has a few too many villains.
Fans are supposed to keep track of demon lord Clayman and his associates, the Church/Falmuth alliance, three human isekai villains, Geld, Laplace, Tear, Footman, Gelmud and Hinata Sakaguchi, and that’s pretty tiring to deal with. Some of these villains should have been consolidated into a single character to streamline things.
3 Tokyo Ghoul Keeps Adding More Baddies
The hit seinen series Tokyo Ghoul is an outstanding story in most regards, but it might have a few too many villains for its own good. The anime and manga both introduce new characters at a rapid clip, and some of the villains feel redundant or underdeveloped as a result.
Villains like Yamori, the suit-wearing Shu Tsukiyama, and Dr. Kano are essential, but others, such as Noro, the Bin brothers, and Madame A feel like clutter at times. This diverts the anime from cooler foes such as Ayato Kirishima and Tatara, who are much more fun to watch.
2 Hunter X Hunter Goes Overboard At Times
Hunter x Hunter does many things right as an outstanding shonen series, but remembering all these characters is going to be a real headache for all but the most devoted fans. Each story arc, such as Yorknew, Greed Island, and Chimera Ant, adds a few too many new characters to the story.
Some Phantom Troupe members feel underdeveloped since the better ones edge them out of the picture. Then there’s Greed Island and Chimera Ant, where the heroes had a few too many villains on their hands. By now, it’s tough to recall more than a few Hunter x Hunter villains by name since there are so many to juggle.
1 Attack On Titan Won’t Let Up
The characters of Attack On Titan are pretty cool, but that’s not easy to appreciate when fans must juggle so many of them. In fact, the line between hero and villain often shifts around, so fans have even more villains to keep track of when heroes like Eren and Floch go bad.
The Marley war arc kept up this trend, throwing a handful of villains at the viewer all at once. This included commander Magath and his Warrior trainees, not to mention Willie Tybur and Lara Tyber on top of that. Even when many characters die, there are still a few too many bad guys to deal with.
NEXT: 10 Anime Villains Who Have Everything to Lose