10 Most Wholesome Anime Villains, Ranked

The world of anime is populated with a dazzling assortment of truly terrifying, brutal villains who cast a long shadow over their respective series. Big names such as Madara Uchiha, Sosuke Aizen, Dio Brando, and All For One can send a shiver down any anime fan’s spine, but there are also villains with their wholesome side as well.

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Amazingly, “wholesome villain” is not an oxymoron at all. Plenty of anime antagonists are actually decent people who simply oppose the protagonist, often for sympathetic reasons, such as protecting a loved one or trying to overcome societal prejudice. Unsurprisingly, many of these wholesome villains are just temporary or circumstantial ones, and some might even become heroes later on. Rarely, if ever, do wholesome anime villains make a career out of crime or violence.

10 Reiner Braun Fought For His Family (Attack On Titan)

In the world of Attack on Titan, heroes and villains are only loosely defined, but overall, Reiner Braun the Armored Titan can be classified as a villain. It’s true that Reiner has said and done some pretty villainous things, but deep down, he is not a monster. He’s just following orders and reluctantly at that.

Reiner’s top priority is to keep his family safe and happy in the Marley Empire’s Eldian internment zone, and he also doesn’t like taking lives if he can help it. He also cannot bring himself to hate Paradis Island’s citizens as devils, and he might even help them sometimes. All he wants is to see true justice done, one way or another.

9 Drole Puts His People First (The Seven Deadly Sins)

At first, the Ten Commandments were introduced as a gang of deadly, horrible villains, but only some of them, such as Galand and Melascula, are truly villainous at heart. Monspeet and Derieri were partially redeemed, and the giant Drole was never evil at all. He just sided with the strongest warriors he could find.

Drole was the first giant king, and eventually, he left the Ten Commandments to return to his own kind. He is sympathetic to Diane and wishes her well, though he won’t tolerate any cowardice in her. He may be polite, but he only respects warriors whether he’s acting as a hero or villain.

8 Konan Is Protective Of Her Friends (Naruto)

The Akatsuki is home to some truly brutal villains such as Hidan, Kakuzu, and Sasori, but a few members are actually rather wholesome deep down. This includes the group’s sole female member, the blue-haired Konan. She was a childhood friend of Yahiko and Nagato, and she never forgot the time they spent together.

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Konan may be stern and humorless, but she is not cruel or emotionless at all. She is merely protective of her comrades, seeing the Akatsuki as a found family of sorts. That’s pretty wholesome, and later, she agreed with Nagato that it was time to believe in hope instead of pain.

7 La Brava Just Wanted Love (My Hero Academia)

Unlike twisted villains such as Overhaul or Tomura Shigraki, the minor villain La Brava is pretty wholesome, and she never had any seriously evil intentions at all. Growing up, she was terribly lonely, which wounded her heart, and she became a shut-in. Then she discovered Gentle Criminal online and vowed to meet him.

Now La Brava is Gentle’s happy, loyal sidekick, and she couldn’t ask for more. She knows that Gentle is breaking laws, but the two of them never did anything particularly bad, at least. La Brava doesn’t want to tear down society; she just wants someone to accept her and love her.

6 Ty Lee Is Like A Genki Girl (Avatar: The Last Airbender)

The acrobatic chi blocker Ty Lee is like a ray of sunshine in the darkest days of the Hundred-Year War. She is indeed a villain as a loyal part of princess Azula’s squad, and she didn’t regret helping Azula capture the city of Ba Sing Se. Still, on a personal level, Ty Lee isn’t so bad after all.

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Ty Lee is a genki girl, a cheerful, fun-loving person who enjoys making friends and savoring everyday life. She is a kind and helpful person who sees the best in everyone, and she even helped Azula practice talking to boys. She is also rather sensitive and never picks on anyone.

5 L’Arc Berg Is Just Doing His Duty (The Rising Of The Shield Hero)

The scythe-wielding warrior L’Arc Berg was introduced as an antagonist, and even now, he is Naofumi’s unofficial ally at best, with the two of them calling a temporary truce. At this rate, L’Arc might actually become a hero, though his and Naofumi’s duties conflict with one another.

L’Arc fiercely battled Naofumi’s team off the coast of the Cal Mira archipelago, but ever since Kyo Ethnina showed up, L’Arc has been embracing his wholesome side more than ever, and it’s a good look. L’Arc is naturally supportive, optimistic, and cheerful, and he enjoys meeting new people, too.

4 Coyote Starrk Longed For Friends (Bleach)

As opposed to bloodthirsty Arrancars like Grimmjow and Yammy, the highest-ranked Espada, Coyote Starrk, is downright cuddly. Despite his immense power, he was surprisingly lazy and had no intention of fighting anyone. Even when under orders fight, he hoped to just feign combat with his Soul Reaper opponents.

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Coyote Starrk joined the Espadas for one reason — to make friends. He had been terribly lonely in the vast Hueco Mundo desert, and he viewed the other Espadas as cherished friends, even if they didn’t feel that way about him. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body, so his opponents almost seemed to regret defeating him in the end.

3 Eishi Tsukasa Was Only Loyal To Cuisine Itself (Food Wars!)

Eishi Tsukasa is remarkably similar to Coyote Starrk as wholesome villains. They are both easygoing but talented fighters who rank first in their respective villain teams and have no malice toward anyone, not even their bosses’ enemies. Eishi even became a friendly rival to Soma later and lost his villain status.

Eishi joined Azami Nakiri’s group named Central, and he opposed Soma and the other protagonist rebels. Eishi fought hard for Azami’s sake, but in the end, he’s a noble knight of a chef who is most loyal to his ingredients, not to scheming chefs like Azami.

2 Yukinori Shinohara Is A Best Dad (Tokyo Ghoul)

In the brutal signals series Tokyo Ghouli, the villains are not so much “bad guys” as they are antagonists to the sympathetic ghoul protagonists. Among these villains is the incredibly wholesome Yukinori Shinohara who, unlike Kureo Mado and Juzo, is not at all cruel about his job. He only fights to protect the innocent.

Yukinori is almost like a foster father figure for the wild orphan Juzo, and he takes that duty seriously, too. He is a great role model as a caring professional, and he is quick to apologize sincerely if anyone gets hurt on his behalf. Even Kotaro Amon and Kisho Arima aren’t half as heroic as Yukinori is.

1 Desumi Is A Lovestruck Villain (Love After World Domination)

Desumi belongs to the cartoonish evil organization called Gekko, and she is widely feared and respected as the Reaper Princess. Despite her villainous antics, Desumi is actually a good-hearted girl who found true love with her former enemy, the hero Fudo Aikawa.

Desumi might lose her temper sometimes, but overall, she is a cheerful, kind-hearted, and optimistic person who could easily have been a superhero if she weren’t born into a family dedicated to Gekko. She is the ideal girlfriend for Fudo and a good friend to all her classmates and all her Gekko co-workers, often putting their needs ahead of her own.

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