There’s no doubt that anime villains have untapped potential. If they didn’t, the series would be left with very little effort to make the viewer want to see how the story unfolds. It is this latent potential for ultimate power and destruction that makes great anime villains truly great, and gives heroes something to measure their own power and courage against.
Often in anime, the main plot consists of the main character trying to stop the villain from reaching his true power and achieving his ultimate goals. Seeing the hero overcome all odds to stop the villain from completing their plan to unlock this power shows anime heroes growth and perseverance. Unfortunately, for the limitless potential of an anime villain, that means it will never be reached. The tragic fate of an anime villain is one of broken plans, unfinished experiments, and untapped potential.
10/10 All for one has unlimited potential
My Hero Academia
All For One has the potential to become the most powerful character in the My Hero Academia. Since he can steal any Quirk, he has unlimited possibilities of what powers he can have.
Not only can he steal the heroes’ quirks, but he can even use multiple abilities at once, effectively bringing out latent potential that those quirks would not have been able to display in the hands of their original users. Unfortunately, after suffering several losses at the hands of All Might, All For One was simply unable to return to its former glory.
9/10 Cell Max achieved only the minimum
Dragon Ball Super
Cell Max was supposed to be the ultimate creation of Dr Hedo of the Red Ribbon Army. However, unlike the original Cell, Cell Max was never allowed to reach his full power.
IN Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, Magenta activated Cell Max prematurely out of sheer desperation. This made it so that Cell Max was only able to achieve his semi-perfect form which, while still extremely powerful, was completely overpowered by Gohan’s Beast form.
8/10 Team Rocket keeps having their dreams stolen
Jesse, James and Meowth just can’t seem to get a plan to go smoothly. The terrible trio have been trying to carry out their plans to steal Ash’s Pokémon for over a decade with only mild, temporary success.
One thing Pokémon fans have to give Team Rocket credit for is that they tend to come up with the most creative ways to trick Ash and his friends into getting their Pokemon stolen. In the end, however, the three villains fail to follow through with a properly executed escape.
7/10 Meruem did not live long enough to change
hunter x hunter
Meruem is the most powerful villain the hunters encounter hunter x hunter, and is an almost unstoppable force in every way. Meruem is so indestructible that he survives a sharp blast from a nuclear weapon.
If Meruem had been around longer than he was, he and the Chimera ants would have easily taken over the world without anyone being able to stop them. Despite the fact that Meruem survived the initial blast of the destructive weapon used by Netero, the poison from the bomb ate away at Meruem over time until it eventually negated any potential he may have had.
6/10 Shishio wanted to burn everything to the ground
Shishio is one of the greatest swordsmen Kenshin Himura has ever met, and that’s saying something. Additionally, his ruthless disposition, merciless battle tactics, and willingness to use others as a means to gain make him the ultimate antithesis of everything Kenshin has sought to become.
Not only is Shishio a deadly swordsman, he is also very ambitious. If Shishio’s plans were indeed to be fully carried out, he would have taken over the Meiji government and become the sole ruler of the country.
5/10 Light Yagami became what he sought to destroy
Although his attitude changed over time, Light Yagami’s goal remained largely the same: to rid the world of evil people using the Death Note. Unfortunately, Light became the most evil person of all in the process.
Had the enigmatic genius detective L not been on the case, Light would probably never even have been suspected. Unfortunately for Light, L was the top detective in the country who immediately realized something was a little off about the Kira case.
4/10 Kaguya would have ended all human life
Kaguya is the Ten Tails Beast and was the first chakra user on Earth after eating the fruit from the God Tree. Her connection with the God Tree gives her the ability to change the nature and absorb the chakra of any being she touches.
If Kaguya were to reach her full potential, she would undoubtedly absorb the life force of all living beings. Because Kaguya believed that all humans were capable of fighting and destroying the world, Kaguya would want nothing more than to destroy all humans on Earth. Lucky for humanity, Team 7 was able to take Kaguya down before her plans were carried out.
3/10 Father’s only friend reversed his plans
Full metal alchemist
Father was the homunculus that the alchemist of Xerxes created using the blood of his slave, who also happened to be Ed and Al’s father, Hohenheim. After being created by the alchemist, Father tricked the King of Xerxes into sacrificing his kingdom to give him and Hohenheim immortal bodies, serving as a grim exploration of Father’s ultimate goal.
In the future, Father would once again attempt to enact a similar plan, except this time covering the entire nation of Amestris with an alchemical transformation circle to gain God’s power by sacrificing all those within it. Although his plan initially appears to be succeeding, Hohenheim’s foresight in the situation allowed him to reverse the disaster, preventing his father’s terrible plan from unraveling completely.
2/10 Eren wants to destroy the many to save the few
Attack on Titan
Eren’s change during Attack on Titan is one of the most surprising in anime. While his goal is always to protect his friends, Eren’s methodology to achieve his goal makes him nothing less than the most horrific of villains.
If he were to achieve his full potential, it would mean the complete annihilation of all countries outside of Paradise Island. While the anime has yet to explore whether Erin’s scheme reaches its true potential, manga readers have foresight similar to Erin’s as he was able to see the past, present, and future simultaneously.
1/10 Dimple’s brand of happiness was superficial
Mob Psycho 100
Dimple was the horrifying, eccentric leader of a cult before Mob showed up and exorcised him. Despite the simple, evil plans Dimple sets up early in the series, he inevitably has a change of heart that almost stunts his growth as a villain.
When he was first expelled, Dimple’s original intention in following Mob around was to eventually possess his body and take control of his powers. But after spending time around Mob and getting to know him better, Dimple decides to give up her plans in favor of helping Mob with her own goals.
NEXT: 10 Shonen Anime Villains Who Lost Everything in a Fight