Villains. Either you love ’em or you hate ’em.
Well, mostly you hate ’em since they’re the antagonists of their stories and all… but who says they can’t also be likable and be an absolute goofball at the same time?
Villains can either be presented as an obstacle for the hero to pass over, a big and scary “final boss” for the hero to battle at the climax, or heck, they can even be mere fodder that we won’t see much of.
It’s a tough job too, since they rarely even win.
But we’re going to give some well-deserved recognition to a bunch of anime villains that have made us laugh & kept us laughing, despite their usual villainous shticks.
15. Armored Gorilla
Anime: One Punch Man
Starting off, we have a gorilla who’s not just your average banana-eating and chest-beating ape. Another gorilla realized this the hard way in the show’s second season.
And considering how easily Armored Gorilla took out Marshall Gorilla, it’s not that hard to imagine just how strong he was during his villainous days.
Too bad he ran into Saitama and Genos, eh?
But then again, it was only after his encounter with the duo that Armored Gorilla showed his rather unintentionally hilarious side.
And in hindsight, I can’t really blame him for acting and talking like a robot just to look cool.
After all, I often did the same when I was a kid and I thought it was pretty awesome too. For a while, at least…
14. Hol Horse
Anime: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Hol Horse is a cowboy/gunslinger-type villain that you wouldn’t find out of place in any western.
Hell, even his Stand — The Emperor — fits his badass character archetype perfectly – it allows him to shoot bullets that are damn near impossible to block or evade.
Though the catch is that Hol Horse isn’t like the other antagonists in his series.
Sure he’s greedy and a bit of a coward.
But he never goes too far except for that one scene of him “killing” Avdol.
He’s a proper ladies’ man who’d never hit a woman. Hah, and they say chivalry is dead.
Kicking, on the other hand…
Anime: Death Note
There’s only one thing that Ryuk likes just as much as he likes apples.
And that’s none other than some Grade-A entertainment.
The dude’s pretty bored back in his realm, apparently.
Despite being a literal god of death, Ryuk is often laid back and nonchalant despite being a character in one of the most serious and thrilling anime of all time.
He even makes jokes at the ever-serious Yagami Light’s expense every once in a while – which just makes their whole dynamic all the more captivating.
Ever since that boulder incident, it’s no secret that Obito has had a good side and a bad side from then on.
Sheesh! That was a pretty dark joke there, but my point still stands.
He was a good-natured and stubborn kid much like Naruto, who got beaten down and knocked around both physically and emotionally by the jerk called “life”.
Though during his Akatsuki days, I have to admit that it was pretty fun to see him goof around a lot with the other members and even the protagonists.
On a sadder note, his past shenanigans have only shown us what his character could’ve been if the tragedies in his life didn’t happen.
11. Barry the Chopper
Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist
Despite being an infamous serial killer in his past life, Barry is just one of those characters whose backstory doesn’t match his attitude and demeanor at all.
Sure, he looks intimidating as hell. And he likes killing just for the heck of it.
But he immediately broke the illusion of a “terrifying villain” after his introduction.
Much like post-reveal Tobi, Barry rarely showed any signs of his troubling past and is generally a hoot to watch because of the way he acts and talks.
His funny side was even more apparent during his interactions with Alphonse, who’s a living armor just like him.
10. Maximillion Pegasus
When it comes to being a spoiled rich kid with too much time and money, this guy would give Seto Kaiba a run for his money (and win hands down).
Now don’t get me wrong. Given his vast resources and the fact that he wields the Millennium Eye, Pegasus is still not someone to mess with – unless you’re the main character.
Then again, Pegasus is just too bombastic and flamboyant – even in situations where he shouldn’t be.
And although some anime fans (including myself) can somewhat sympathize, his obsession with cartoons just makes him look less of a threat overall.
On the other hand, at least Seto makes it look cool whenever he does something childish or irrational.
The world of Digimon is as bizarre as it is fantastic.
It’s filled with monsters that, unlike their more famous counterparts (*cough Pokémon *cough), can actually talk with humans.
Therefore, they can also exhibit more noticeable and distinctive character traits, as opposed to only saying their names every single time they talk.
Etemon is a great example of this.
Despite being one of the weaker villains of the series, he still managed to bring so much fun and hilarity to the show with his character.
And considering he’s not really that great of a singer, the fact he hopes to rule the Digi-World with his music is an irony worth its weight in gold.
Anime: One Punch Man
Sonic might have brought all of his misfortunes upon himself. But I still can’t help but feel bad for the guy.
Imagine you were once a deadly, highly-trained, and infamous assassin who felt like you could take on anyone after coming fresh out of a lifelong training camp.
But then one day, some unremarkable-looking bald guy just came out of nowhere and busted your family jewels without even throwing a punch.
That last part alone would mess up any man, and mess up Sonic it did.
After all, he’s never stopped hunting down Saitama for a rematch ever since the most crushing and excruciating day of his life.
Though if I were him, I’d start wearing a groin protector at all times. At least then I won’t get PTSD every time Saitama makes even the slightest move.
Anime: One Piece
Perona is one of Thriller Bark’s crew members and the adoptive daughter of a former Warlord of the Sea — Gecko Moria.
She once helped her captain in his battle against the Straw Hats at one point, but she lost, and was sent to Mihawk’s Castle all thanks to everyone’s favorite revolutionary cyborg.
And from then on we were able to see just how adorable and hilarious Perona’s character truly is.
She just absolutely adores cute things, and would often playfully mess with poor Zoro when he was injured.
She’s also childish and naïve more often than not.
So that, along with her fear of cockroaches, makes every other minute of watching her chuckle-worthy at the very least.
6. Gentle Criminal & La Brava
Anime: My Hero Academia
These two might not have the funniest backstory (far from it actually). But their shenanigans and overall character dynamic just never fail to crack me up.
One is a tragic hero-turned-villain, and the other was a youth who was disinterested in life. On their own, they’re not really characters fit for more comedic shticks.
Just like PB&J when it comes to making fans cry with laughter.
Although they also have the uncanny ability to make some of us tear up with genuine sadness, with the way their story ended.
5. Buggy the Clown
Anime: One Piece
You may also call this guy Buggy D. Clown (I’m kidding, it’s just a meme).
He’s one of the few gag characters in One Piece.
The memes often make him out to be stronger than the likes of Shanks, Whitebeard, and hell, even Gol D. Roger himself – but his real strength lies entirely on something else.
That is, of course, his dedication to clown around even when he’s in the direst of situations.
Whether it’s day or night, rain or shine, or him being literally whole or diced — it doesn’t matter for Buggy.
True to his name, Buggy the Clown doesn’t disappoint when it comes to lifting the mood with his ridiculous and over-the-top antics.
4. Emperor Pilaf, Mai & Shu
Anime: Dragon Ball
Being an OG Dragon Ball fan, I often remember the times when Kid Goku butted heads with these three with a small, nostalgic smile on my face.
They may not be the strongest group Goku has ever faced by a long mile.
But they were definitely amongst the funniest.
That’s why it’s a delight to see them as reoccurring antagonists even in the later episodes of Dragon Ball (both in GT and in Super).
And even though we already know that they will always fail spectacularly whenever they make an appearance, it still doesn’t make their presence any less hilarious all in all.
Anime: My Hero Academia
There are very few anime characters that can be written off as goofy, yet still be effective antagonists at the same time.
And luckily for MHA fans (or unluckily depending on how you look at it), Twice is one such character.
He’s a former criminal-turned-villain that’s suffering from a psychological side-effect of his Quirk that allows him to make duplicates of himself and others.
Despite his bizarre condition being a problem for him more than a few times, it was still hysterical to see the gags that were made possible because of it.
Needless to say, he reminds us fans of a certain merc with a mouth we also hype up and love.
2. Ginyu Force (Guldo, Recoome, Jeice, Burter & Ginyu)
Anime: Dragon Ball
There should be no doubt that the Ginyu Force is one of the best and most well-known villain groups of all time.
But for a bunch of galaxy-conquering bad guys, they sure are pretty damned hilarious whether it’s intentional or not.
Of course, the goofiest of them all is none other than the captain himself – who likes doing poses just about as much as he likes messing up his Body Change technique.
Poor ol’ Captain Ginyu. Spent several years living as a frog, only to be beaten by Vegeta without even completing a contemporary posing routine…
Well, at least he finally got to reunite with his old team members down in HFIL in the end.
1. Team Rocket (Jessie, James & Meowth)
For our top spot, we have a three-way tie between the members of the illustrious and (sometimes literally) high-flying Team Rocket.
But let’s be honest:
How can we ever mention one from this iconic trio without the other two?
After all, they’re so popular as a team that their names are almost synonymous with each other at this point.
Their innumerable villainous (yet cartoonish) deeds, and the blunders they often make throughout the series, also come to mind whenever they’re mentioned.
Though I’m certain that we adore them mostly because of their blunders, and I personally think these three are proof that villains can be every bit as likable as the heroes.