First impression matters when it comes to anime villains. The way villains debut is what makes them memorable. There are those who come with a bang and from their first appearance, they must strike the fear into the audience.
From the moment they appear on screen, these villains have the power to draw us in and make us question our loyalties. They might be evil, but they’re compelling, which is why we love them. So, that’s why we bring you the 10 best epic villain entrances in anime.
Here are the 10 best villain entrances in anime
In anime, the debut of the main villain is usually the most memorable moment of an episode. It makes a villain stand out from all the other mediocre antagonists and sets the stage for the rest of the episode. Here are the 10 best epic villain entrances in anime.
10. Kenny Ackerman (Attack on Titan)
After seasons of mostly fighting titans, it’s about time for a change of pace and what we’ve got is someone who doesn’t really have as much of an imposing presence as the shifters but is just as or even more dangerous as the serial killer, Kenny Ackerman.
The whole time, you the audience, are at the edge of your seats due to the ominous ambiance. The supposed calm carries an air of impending doom, and Levi’s monologues reflect what many of us thought in that moment.
Something’s wrong and we know it’s coming; it’s just that we can’t do anything about it. Then it happens; people drop like flies and Levi’s left to confront this new villain with unbridled fury. He may have been an expert in titan combat, but one of the battles is against one of his own and someone with far more malicious and murderous intent than the behemoths.
It’s an amazing way to put a cliffhanger on Attack on Titan’s season three’s pilot episode. The manga is good but what the anime did makes it even more amazing.
09. Gotou (Parasyte)
Since we’re on the topic of a series about people transforming into monstrosities, remember Gotou from Parasite. Watching Parasite, I didn’t exactly know what the end game was at the start.
Yeah, there’s the hole protecting humans from alien invader schtick but there’s gotta be a mastermind, right? You know a big boss who will end this madness when defeated.
It’s one of the mysteries that keep my anticipation up for the plot of this excellent series. Then comes this big squinty-eyed guy. Some guy claiming to just test his limitations while slaughtering the Yakuza like they’re nothing. He moves with superhuman speed while using his bare hands to attack.
What amazes me more is how he easily shrugs off literal bullets and swords to show his power. The mask comes off after the massacre and with the appearance that we’ve come to know, it’s here that I finally know this is the guy.
This is the one who’s going to have that epic showdown with Shinichi at some point. True final boss material, and let me just say that their eventual confrontation didn’t disappoint. It had no shortage of drama and heart-pounding action.
08. Garou (One Punch Man)
One Punch Man’s second season decided to go for a change of pace. Instead of a somewhat episodic approach that the first season pulled, the second season quickly sets the tone by introducing an overarching villain to be dealt with.
In a series with powerhouse heroes and overpowered villains like Boros, the pressure is huge and Garou rises to the challenge in his debut. Eventually, taking on the role of a hero hunter is a daunting task that’s not for the weak nor the faint of heart.
So how does Garou show us that he’s up to the task? By becoming the strongest. By pulling a one-man army and defeating everyone in sight. It doesn’t matter whether he’s facing a group of heroes and villains at once, the strongest in the world must be able to assert supremacy. The bad news is that he’s only getting started.
His crusade against heroes is quite the compelling plot point to follow but something like that is only as good as the debut and in that regard, he made a damn good first impression.
07. Meruem (Hunter X Hunter)
Meruem is the character who wastes no time in making an impact. That’s taken quite literally as he’s the villain that we have the pleasure of seeing as early as birth. What does he do?
Well, he forces his way out of the queen ant and kill comrades as well. Shocking but not completely unexpected from someone who’s destined to be the king and something he quickly assumes with how he gives orders. It’s a simple and concise moment that tells us a lot about the character.
It quickly establishes his personality and ruthlessness, and it sets him up to be one of the biggest threats the heroes have seen so far in the story, and that’s what makes his eventual development even sweeter looking at it from the perspective of story writing.
Who knew that this ruthless tyrant would undergo the level of transformation he did when it’s all said and done?
06. Muzan (Demon Slayer)
Muzan’s debut for me is one of the more unorthodox ones. For one, there’s no show of strength in a direct way. There’s no big confrontation against Tanjiro or someone significant. All we’ve got is him being outed while perfectly blending in with the crowd.
He does make a demon out of a person, a testament to his power and the threat that he brings. There’s no big battle like any of the previous entries and just as suddenly as he appeared, he’s gone. Quite a bizarre debut actually when put against someone like Garou or Meruem.
However, it’s a decently strong moment and after finishing the manga, I think it’s great in a sense that in a matter of a few seconds, it easily establishes the foundation of Muzan’s personality moving forward.
The way he does his thing, the kind of villain he is, and how his end was don’t make sense after looking at his debut in retrospect. It’s certainly a moment you’ll appreciate more looking back.
05. Luo Lang (Sword of the Stranger)
From Muzan’s debut, we move back to a more action-packed one and here we have what I think is one of the best anime movie openers, courtesy of Luo Lang.
In an action movie that’s heavy on the sword fights and battles, it’s especially important to establish the end villain and the final obstacle that the hero will face in his journey and with the limited time that a movie is compared to a series, Sword of the Stranger wastes no time in establishing Luo Lang’s threat level. It’s a moment like Gotou.
We’ve got one guy laying waste to an entire squad but take note that Luo Lang doesn’t have any alien powers backing him up. He’s just that good. He’s just that powerful to make mincemeat out of the entire battalion.
This is the villain that our hero must face in the end. The ultimate challenge and it will take everything to have the slightest hope against this monster.
04. All for One (My Hero Academia)
For so long, we’ve heard of the name “All for One.” The ultimate villain who’s the antithesis of All Might’s status as the beacon of justice and hope.
We’ve known a lot of things thanks to his reputation but we never really saw him in action, that is until we finally did. Almost no one knew who this person was but the look on their faces says it all. That’s the look of pure fear and awe as All for One stands over the wreckage.
His mere presence slowly eradicates all hope from the hearts of all heroes in sight. It also helps that he defeated the best genius with ease. This physical debut for me is all about the hype.
After everything we’ve heard, we finally saw him in action and he didn’t disappoint one bit. It’s gonna take a miracle for the heroes to get out of this and we did get it in the clash against All Might, giving us what I feel is one of the best final battles in anime. Well, it’s not literally a final battle but it marks the changing of the guard.
03. Utsuro (Gintama)
Utsuro, as a character, always carried an air of mystery before and after his debut. If I were to make a comparison from this list, then I consider his debut to be like Muzan’s. Not in the not doing any fighting department because he sure showed his power and beat everyone but in the way that he looked like an NPC.
Even the protagonist didn’t expect to face one of the most overpowered characters in all of the anime when they took on some random masked dude, but here we are talking about how Utsuro made a memorable debut, winning a three-on-one with ease. Talk about a twist given what we see from Utsuro as the series continues.
It’s crazy to think that he was not nearly in full power when this happened. This is like some warm-up for the guy who will eventually dazzle us with his combination of skill and downright broken powers.
02. Kaido (One Piece)
Amongst the villains, Kaido is always going to be one of my favorites and that has to do with his debut. Who among you One Piece fans could ever forget this sky drop that shook the earth.
From the vantage point high above the sky, Kaido easily towers over the feeble weaklings as he quickly makes his presence felt in a huge way, both literally and figuratively.
I think that what helped make this moment is the endless stream of hype as he’s making that big drop. You get those claims reserved for only the strongest of the strong. A being so powerful that all that’s left is for him to search for a place to die. A character who’s been hardened so much by the endless tribulations he had to overcome before.
Add to that the claims of immortality, and we know we’re dealing with something insane here. The stomp on everyone was just icing on the cake, a means to justify the hype.
01. Madara (Naruto Shippuden)
At first, we have Madara. Seriously is there any villain debut in a battle shounen that can compare to this? For so long, we’ve heard about the exploits of Madara and how he’s a character who left quite the legacy.
Someone who’s a pillar of history and one of the strongest characters, but to see him revived in action and to see him solo desecrate an entire division without even breaking a sweat, this is the perfect endgame boss material for Naruto after all the craziness we’ve seen through over a decade of the anime.
I’d argue that he doesn’t need such a strong debut because the hype’s already there. He is freaking Madara in the flesh, yet he continues his rampage, justifying the hype and continuing the momentum of his debut.
Kaguya shouldn’t have come into the picture, but Kishimoto had to find a way to write him out because he made Madara too powerful. Pretty funny metacommentary when you think about it. Without a doubt, Madara has the best villain entry of all time.
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