8 Anime Antagonists Who Appear Innocent, But Are Actually Evil

A typical anime antagonist is portrayed as an evil character who opposes the protagonist. They are often depicted as a sinister figure with a menacing appearance.

The purpose of an anime antagonist is to instill fear in both the characters and the audience. While a formidable antagonist is crucial for any anime, their appearance does not always have to be intimidating. In fact, some anime antagonists may appear innocent, yet possess malicious intentions.

Despite their intimidating appearance, many antagonists in anime often fall short in terms of their overall impact. While physical appearance may be important, it is ultimately the quality of writing that truly defines a character and their impact within the story.

Despite their innocent and sweet appearance, some anime antagonists are actually the most heinous characters. Their seemingly harmless demeanor allows them to easily manipulate and deceive their enemies, making them the most cunning adversaries. In this article, we will be exploring the most deceptive anime antagonists.

Note: This article includes significant spoilers for the anime. The characters mentioned are not listed in any particular order.

8 Anime Villains Who Appear Innocent but are Actually Evil

1) Character Profile – Gaku Yashiro from Erased

Gaku Yashiro (Image via A-1 Pictures)
Gaku Yashiro (Image via A-1 Pictures)

Despite initially portraying himself as a kind, caring, and beloved teacher, Gaku Yashiro is revealed to be the main antagonist of the suspense drama anime, Erased. As Satoru’s homeroom teacher, he is later discovered to be a serial killer who specifically preys on children.

Despite being put into a coma by Gaku’s attempt to drown him in the frozen lake after learning the truth about his teacher, Satoru eventually wakes up and successfully apprehends the criminal. This reveal of Gaku as the killer proved to be the most unexpected and impressive twist in anime.

Malty Melromarc’s Role in The Rising of the Shield Hero

Malty Melromarc (Image via Kinema Citrus)
Malty Melromarc (Image via Kinema Citrus)

Malty S Melromarc is the main antagonist in The Rising of The Shield Hero. Initially, she presents herself as a kind and helpful princess, offering to assist Naofumi Iwatani, the Shield Hero. However, she ultimately betrays the Hero and falsely accuses him of serious crimes.

Despite being reprimanded and disowned by the Royal Family, Malty refused to learn from her punishment and continued to manipulate other Heroes for her own gain. As a result, she has become one of the most despised characters in anime.

Isabella (The Promised Neverland)

Isabella (Image via CloverWorks)
Isabella (Image via CloverWorks)

In the introduction and jailbreak arcs, Isabella, the mama from The Promised Neverland, served as the primary antagonist. The children residing in Grace Field House Plant 3 were completely blindsided by the revelation that their nurturing and compassionate mama was actually a ruthless and indifferent mother who had no qualms about sending them to their deaths.

Despite her role as a caretaker at the facility, Isabella ultimately redeems herself by assisting Emma, Ray, and the other orphans in their escape. It is possible that Isabella’s own experiences at the plant, which were similar to those of the orphans, played a role in her change of heart and decision to aid the children in their escape.

Seryu Ubiquitous – Character from Akame Ga Kill

Seryu Ubiquitous (Image via White Fox)
Seryu Ubiquitous (Image via White Fox)

Seryu Ubiquitous, a member of the imperial police and later the Jaegers squad, is one of the main antagonists in Akame Ga Kill. Despite her initial impression as calm, compassionate, and caring, fans soon begin to ship the protagonist with her.

As the anime continues, Seryu’s underlying nature is revealed to be merciless and deranged, driven by a distorted concept of justice. She takes pleasure in eliminating evil, but her judgement of what constitutes evil is flawed. Unlike other characters on this list, Seryu does not garner much sympathy from fans.

5) Character Profile: Himiko Toga from My Hero Academia

Himiko Toga (Image via Bones Studio)
Himiko Toga (Image via Bones Studio)

Himiko Toga, a prominent antagonist in My Hero Academia, was a member of the League of Villains and one of the nine Lieutenants of the Paranormal Liberation Front. Her character has gained significant popularity among fans, particularly among cosplayers.

Despite her cheerful appearance, Himiko possesses sadistic tendencies. She has a twisted sense of love and affection, often harming those she wishes to befriend. Unlike the other characters mentioned, Himiko has always been portrayed as an antagonist in anime.

Bertolt Hoover (Attack On Titan)

Bertolt Hoover (Image via MAPPA Studios)
Bertolt Hoover (Image via MAPPA Studios)

Bertolt Hoover, along with Reiner Braun and Annie Lienhart, was a Marleyan warrior tasked with capturing the founder and eliminating the population on Paradis Island, making him one of the primary antagonists in the first three seasons of Attack On Titan.

Bertolt was a titan shifter with the ability to transform into the Colossal Titan. He, along with Reiner, were the main supporters of Eren, besides Mikasa and Armin. However, their quiet nature and involvement in helping the Titans break through the walls in the first episode made the reveal of their true identities even more shocking. Despite their actions as situational villains, it was revealed that Bertolt and his friends were not pure evils.

Johan Liebert (Monster)

Johan Liebert (Image via Madhouse Studios)
Johan Liebert (Image via Madhouse Studios)

It is widely acknowledged that Johan Liebert is one of the most well-written antagonists in a seinen anime. He plays the role of the antagonist in the psychological thriller, Monster. Johan underwent a series of experiments during his childhood and was brainwashed at a young age, greatly influenced by the tale of the Nameless Monster.

Despite being a known villain, Johan’s level of antagonism was not surprising to the audience. However, the extreme lengths he would go to in order to achieve his goals were shocking. As a result, he is often sympathized with by viewers of anime.

Selim Bradley: The Youngest State Alchemist (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)

Selim Bradley (Image via Bones Studios)
Selim Bradley (Image via Bones Studios)

Selim Bradley, the son of King Bradley in Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, is a 10-year-old boy. Within Selim’s body resides Pride, a Homunculus and one of the most powerful Humonculi in the 2009 anime.

Despite being a young child, Selim never aroused suspicion of being a villain. He possessed incredible strength, capable of monitoring the entire city from the comfort of his room. His talent lay in manipulating shadows to eliminate his enemies. The revelation of Pride’s true identity came as a shocking plot twist for those who had not read the manga.

In conclusion

Both the protagonist and antagonist in an anime play crucial roles in its success. Antagonistic characters are often depicted with sinister appearances, facial scars, and unconventional hairstyles, emphasizing their twisted and unappealing nature.

Despite not possessing traditional traits, many anime antagonists are still able to effectively deliver, and in some cases, even better than their counterparts. The characters in this list are prime examples of this.

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