Generally, anime villains are written for heroes to defeat. It provides a satisfying catharsis for the audience and conveys that in the end evil will never meaningfully triumph. However, there are instances where one anime antagonist defeats or even kills another.
Whether forcing them into the organization or eliminating them as competition, such cases are as rare as they are important. Two villains clashing is particularly interesting since neither party is particularly concerned with sparing the opponent. As a result, any engagement is inherently high stakes and could change history permanently.
This article contains spoilers from Attack on Titan manga.
10/10 Orochimaru tried to steal Itachi’s body
Itachi and Orochimaru were two of the most notorious villains in the Naruto. After the latter joined Akatsuki, he sought the former’s body for similar reasons as he was interested in Sasuke. However, this proved to be one of the biggest disasters of Orochimaru’s career.
Itachi used his genjutsu to turn the tables almost immediately and bring Orochimaru to his knees. Had it not been for Kabuto’s unexpected intervention, he probably would have even killed him. Regardless, Orochimau’s actions got him removed from Akatsuki with nothing to show for his efforts.
9/10 Blackbeard wiped out Moria in the New World
When Moriah sought Absalom in One Piece‘s New World, he ended up on Blackbeard’s island. He unleashed Thriller Bark’s zombies, terrorizing his opponents’ weaker henchmen and taking him out personally. However, Devon tricked Moria into thinking she was Absalom, causing him to lower his guard.
By the time he knew otherwise, Blackbeard’s forces had already surrounded him. Instead of killing Moria, he was enlisted into the villain’s crew for a much more secret purpose. Moria was indignant at this arrangement since he was forced to cooperate with his friend’s killers.
8/10 Diavolo was ultimately responsible for Risotto’s death
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
La Squadra was an enigmatic group of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure antagonists who sought to take down Diavolo as much as Team Bucciarati. As their members fell one by one, Risotto confronted Doppio personally, hoping to defeat him while he was at his weakest.
To Risotto’s credit, he performed remarkably well. By calcifying the iron in his enemy’s body, he significantly weakened him near the point of death. But since Narancia didn’t realize who Doppio was, he unwittingly helped him kill Risotto with his “Little Bomber” Stand.
7/10 Eren defeated Reiner in Marley’s Invasion of Paradise
Attack on Titan
During Marley’s invasion of Paradise i Attack on Titan, neither party could be considered the hero. On the one hand, Marley had tried to conquer the island and has long since controlled or killed the inhabitants. On the other hand, Eren intended to exterminate all non-fiery life the moment he got such an opportunity.
This meant the death of several billion innocent people unrelated to Paradis’ suffering. In the end, Eren and Zeke worked together to defeat the Warriors and unlock the Titans from the walls. It started a worldwide extinction event that claimed 80% of the global population.
6/10 Ty Lee and Mai stopped Azula at The Boiling Rock
Avatar: The Last Airbender
When the heroes to Avatar: The Last Airbender fled the boiling stone, Azula was not far behind. She was willing to cut the wagon’s escape line, sending them to their blistering doom. However, Mai stood in Azula’s way since she cared about Zuko.
Just as they prepared to fight, Ty Lee struck from behind, paralyzing Azula and causing her to collapse. Although they prevailed over the Fire Princess and succeeded in their goal, both girls were immediately captured by the remaining guards.
5/10 Zeldris teamed up with Meliodas Against The Demon King
Seven Deadly Sins
The Demon King first attempted to usurp Meliodas when he waged war against Britannia. When that failed, he had Zeldris, Seven Deadly Sins’ second most prominent villain. However, the Demon King’s trick was against his son’s wishes and a blatant betrayal of his trust.
Meliodas knew that Zeldris’ ultimate goal was to be with his betrothed, so he encouraged him to fight while the heroes held the demon king at bay. Between Zeldris’ resistance and the power of the Sins, the Demon King quickly found himself in need of a new vessel.
4/10 Pegasus defeated Kaiba on Duelist Island
Kaiba persevered diligently Yu-Gi-Oh’s Duelist Island arc for Mokuba’s sake and his own reputation. Shortly after, he met Pegasus in a fateful round of Duel Monsters.
Despite Kaiba’s overwhelmed cards and blatant use of Blue-Eyes White Dragon, his opponent always found a way to turn their strategies against him. Toon World made a novelty of its strongest monsters, much to Kaiba’s horror and confusion. Given that Pegasus could read Kaiba’s mind using the Millennium Eye, his victory was guaranteed from the start.
3/10 Gin was unable to betray Aizen
Ever since he learned about Aizen’s plan, Gin understood that he was one of the most powerful characters in the Bleach. Instead of challenging him directly, he agreed to serve Aizen with the intention of betraying him when the time was right.
Just as Aizen prepared to face Ichigo, Gin stabbed the Hogyoku and broke it. He touched Aizen’s Zanpakuto to negate its hypnotic effects. Unfortunately, Aizen survived, killed Gin for his betrayal, and pressed on Ichigo with minimal inhibition.
2/10 Overhaul Killed Magne & Maimed Compress
My Hero Academia
My Hero Academiathe villain meeting between Overhaul and Shigaraki went badly. After Overhaul and Shigaraki refused to be turned over to each other, Magne attacked, hoping to honor his employer’s reputation. In an instant, Overhaul reduced Magne to a bloody paste.
Compress attempted to avenge his comrade, only to lose his arm and be neutralized just as quickly. Although Overhaul suffered his own injuries, he could afford more losses than the League Of Villains given that he had minions to spare. Nevertheless, Shigaraki took revenge when he attacked Overhaul’s prison caravan by rotting his hands before cutting them off.
1/10 Sasuke avenged the Uchiha when he fought Danzo
When Obito revealed the truth behind the Uchiha massacre, Sasuke was enraged. He attacked the Five Kage summit and pursued Danzo as he inevitably fled. Finally, the two villains had a showdown on a bridge, with Sasuke pitting his stun jutsu against Danzo’s near-immortality.
Regardless, Sasuke finally delivered the killing blow by tricking Danzo into miscalculating his sharingan with a minor genjutsu. With the last of his strength, Danzo attempted to take Sasuke with him in a brutal explosion. But his latest act of desperation didn’t end up killing anyone but himself.
NEXT: 10 Best Anime Power-Ups That Come at a Price