Generally, anime villains derive their power from things like physical strength, supernatural potential, or a willingness to go far more drastic than their heroic counterparts. This helps to separate them from the main character and establish their credibility.
But instead of relying explicitly on strength, their vast fortunes are some antagonists’ weapons of choice. From inherited kingdoms to vast business empires, these individuals’ accumulated wealth allows them to continuously challenge the hero with minimal risk to themselves. It also means that they are significantly more difficult to confront given the defensive measures they have purchased.
10/10 Gato hired an army of mercenaries
Gato was the richest villain in Naruto. A crime boss from the Land Of Waves, he hired Zabuza to prevent the bridge builder from completing his mission. When that didn’t work, Gato employed an entire army of paid soldiers in hopes of overwhelming the shinobi while they were already exhausted.
As wealthy as Gato may have been, he ultimately bought quantity over quality. As a result, Zabuza had little trouble slaughtering Gato’s new minions and him along with them.
9/10 Sugou created Alfheim
Sword art online
Sugou was the most insidious villain in the Sword art online. A wealthy businessman bought the engine Aincrad was built on when he designed his own MMO, Alfheim.
Sugou’s extensive resources made him an attractive prospect to Asuna’s parents, who had little idea of his sinister nature or the things he had done to their daughter in the virtual world. The extent of Sugou’s plan was later revealed as a way for him to subtly modify the brains of his victims. Had his experiments been successful, they would have paid high dividends.
8/10 Varrick was a visionary inventor and genius
The Legend of Korra
When The Legend of KorraVarrick’s first debut, he was not a good person. Despite raising awareness of Unalaq’s machinations, his interest in war began with the northern war tribe and ended with the profits he stood to make. Regardless, Varrick achieved incredible wealth from a series of successful businesses.
Not only did he start a successful film starring Bolin, but he was also so gifted with robotics that Kuvira even wanted him to help the Earth Kingdom reclaim lost territories. It took her war crimes for him to realize the error of his ways and begin to correct them.
7/10 Pegasus invented dueling monsters and had his own island
Pegasus was the founder antagonist of Yu-Gi-Oh‘s Duel Kingdom arc. In addition to inventing Duel monsters and profiting from the sale, he had enough money to buy an entire private island fully furnished with the latest advances in virtual projections. Pegasus even had resources to spare for a cash prize for whoever could beat him in a card game.
Nothing Pegasus did would have been possible without his excessive wealth. His decision to put the tournament together for the sake of the Millennium Puzzle illustrated how valuable what Yugi had actually was.
6/10 Re-Destro delivers the paranormal liberation front
My Hero Academia
Re-Destro is the Paranormal Liberation Front’s wealthy benefactor i My Hero Academia. He amassed his fortune by selling specialized equipment that suited the users’ specific quirks. Ironically, pro-heroes were among his most popular clientele before his fateful encounter with Shigaraki.
Re-Destro’s wealth allowed Shigaraki to provide his teammates with comfortable beds, hot food, and even doctors to help with their wounds before the heroes’ sudden invasion. It also helped to significantly increase the reach of his message.
5/10 Doflamingo ruled the nation of Dressrosa
Many factors contributed to Doflamingo’s wealth i One Piece. Not only was he a former Celestial Dragon, but the man also ran a lucrative supply chain between Punk Hazard and Wano. His partnership with Kaido was incredibly profitable and helped restore much of his former glory.
Most importantly, Doflamingo was the exclusive ruler of Dressrosa for over a decade. As a result, he also directly benefited from the taxes paid to him by the region’s civilians. Considering that their neighbors were disappearing every day, no one dared to oppose him until Luffy arrived.
4/10 The emperor commanded wealth from several nations
Akame Ga Kill!
Despite the fact that I am a child, Akame Ga Kill!The emperor was extremely rich. In addition to a rich inheritance, he also financed brutal conquests that furthered his resources. Almost none of the royal coffers went to care for his subjects, meaning he hoarded the money paid to him through taxes.
The Emperor’s fortune was largely due to Minister Honest’s advice. Although his strategies were effective for short-term gain, they created too many enemies for the empire to handle.
3/10 Ragyo’s clothing empire spans the globe
Kill La Kill
While Ragyo may have been destroyed by Kill La Kill’s life fiber, she would never have been able to spread their influence without financial means. She used her servants to support a clothing industry that spanned the world. When it was finally time to make her move, the victims wearing her outfit were forcefully propelled into the sky.
There were so many that it obliterated the atmosphere of the planet itself. Considering the scale of Ragyo’s brand and her bankrolling Honnoji Academy without much effort, her wealth was arguably her most underrated weapon.
2/10 Willy Tybur was Marley’s secret manager
Attack on Titan
Willy Tybur was the true leader of Marley i Attack on Titan. As a result, he had direct control over the nation’s resources, which were particularly extensive given how many countries they were at war with at any given time.
Willy’s assets increased further near his death as countries around the world pledged their allegiance to his mission to defeat Paradise. But given that Eren killed him immediately after, he didn’t have a chance to enjoy his newfound power.
1/10 I am the richest person in the world
I am the leader of the world government and the only being the five elders bow to. Although little is known about them, their control over Mary Geoise suggests that they are richer than the Sky Dragons combined, who are billionaires themselves.
Considering Im controls the most powerful nations in the world, they have a seemingly inexhaustible source of passive income. They understand that as long as countries are afraid of the Marines, the World Government will never truly be defeated.
NEXT: 10 One Piece Characters Who Disrespect Authority