The best villains are complex, with distinct personalities and character designs that engage the audience, making the intriguing character linger in viewers’ minds. A character’s attractiveness doesn’t have to be entirely physical; sometimes it stems from their competency and the way they hold themselves.
Sometimes beauty can make a villain all the more threatening or tempting, depending on the context of the story. It can be easy to make a villain “ugly” inside and out by casting them as a creature of eldritch horror, for example. But conventional beauty is so often aligned with goodness in stories that it adds depth to complicate that concept.
10 Joan of Arc’s Menacing Appearance Is Captivating (Drifters)
The Drifters‘ imagining of Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orléans, is intriguingly tragic, though it doesn’t hold very close to the personality of the real historical peasant knight. Driven to madness by the cruelty of her murder by fire, this character is portrayed as a sadistic villain, resurrected from the ash and imbued with infernal powers.
As a loyal knight of the Black King, she has an extremely short temper, but it didn’t come out of nowhere. She has pale, tousled hair cut short like a soldier’s, an empty smile, and wide, soulless eyes. She wears her armor and many swords very well as she razes battlefields in the name of her king.
9 The Mermaids Are Both Beautiful And Terrifying (Mermaid Forest)
Mermaid Forest is the cult classic anime series based on the manga Mermaid Saga by Rumiko Takahashi, the same creator of Ranma 1/2 and InuYasha. The mermaids in this series are gorgeous beings with long, dark hair who swim elegantly through the sea with fluttering fins.
The mermaids turn vicious at the sight of prey, and when their bloodlust is ignited, their faces distort, and long fangs extend from their mouths. Their flesh is known for bestowing the eater with immortality – if the process doesn’t poison the eater first. While it could be argued that the humans in pursuit of immortality at any cost are the worst villains in this story, the mermaids are the most beautiful and terrifying.
The homunculus Lust in Fullmetal Alchemist was designed to be evocative, to draw out the lust of others. Her lips curl into a small smile, expressive eyes peak out from wavy bangs, and the rest of her dark hair flows down to the small of her back.
She’s an elegantly dressed villain who could be a perfect image of beauty, but for a lethal set of claws that can cut through almost anything. Lust, isn’t interested in carnality, herself, though she can be charming, at times. Her main motivation is her disdain for humanity, which allows her to be violent without remorse.
7 Madara Uchiha Is Still Handsome After Death (Naruto Shippuden)
With a thatch of blue-black hair, and a determined expression paired impossibly with sleepy, hollowed-out eyes, Naruto‘s Madara Uchiha makes a great representative for Tall, Dark, and Surly. In a strange way, he looks just as handsome after he dies and has been resurrected.
Madara wears a set of scarlet armor, and bears a great scythe. He’s an able warrior who can use all parts of the Six Paths Technique. Madara’s personality was once more reasonable but as tragedy entered his life, he grew angry and bitter, taking his determination to darkness.
6 Balalaika Makes Crime Look Good (Black Lagoon)
Black Lagoon’s Balalaika was also once known as Sofiya Pavlovna. She’s the Russian crime boss of Hotel Moscow. She has an imposing and impressive presence. She’s also an accomplished sniper, formerly of the Soviet Army.
Part of what makes Balalaika attractive is a piece of her backstory which hints at her idealism, wherein she endured torture in order to protect a group of refugees. Balalaika is a statuesque character with long, blonde hair, blue eyes, and rosy lips. No one smokes a cigar and gives a dead stare quite like her.
5 Griffith’s Looks Are Decieving (Berserk)
Berserk‘s main antagonist Griffith cuts quite the figure. He has angelic looks with white hair and perfectly shaggy bangs, crystalline eyes, a pouted mouth, and broad shoulders under his armor. For all his looks and cultivated manners, he could be a prince that stepped right out of a fairy tale – but looks are misleading as he’s no noble prince.
His ambition is deadly. Griffith is a complex villain who inspires both dread and fawning in others. He can also sense other people’s feelings toward him, and he occasionally regrets lives that have been lost due to his ambitions.
4 Fans Adored Jessie’s Bold Look And Personality (Pokémon)
Many Pokémon fans who grew up with the series had a crush on Jessie from Team Rocket at one point or another. She has long, magenta hair, a killer outfit, and a deep, bombastic voice. Her clumsiness and expressive nature are as entertaining as they are persistent throughout the seasons.
Jessie cares very much about how she looks and that’s exemplified both in how she poses and performs all the time. She notably grows incensed when someone messes with those looks. Neither she nor James are very competent villains, but they certainly are pretty.
3 Zuko Is The Attractive Bad Boy Fans Fall In Love With (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
Avatar: The Last Airbender‘s Zuko is the anti-villain that captured fans’ hearts, both by his looks and with his long, arduous journey toward redemption. He’s the exemplar Bad Boy Prince trope, and that persona is rendered believable because of his complicated motivations and backstory.
Zuko has a shaggy black haircut, tawny eyes, and a stern mouth. His moments of vulnerability are rare and reserved mostly for his loved ones like Mai and his Uncle Iroh. His distant nature makes his tenderness with Mai really stand out.
2 Queen Beryl Is A Goddess Of The Night (Sailor Moon)
Queen Beryl of the Dark Kingdom is Sailor Moon’s first big baddie. The hallmarks of Beryl’s aesthetic are streaming red hair, a svelte couture dress, long fingers and nails like a vampire, and a dusky voice. She’s good-looking across the board, from the manga to both renditions of the Sailor Moon anime series.
Beryl has a commanding aura and brooks no foolishness or failure in her mission as the servant to Queen Metalia. She makes plans and gathers energy from her gothic lair in the Negaverse, every inch the vampy foil to Neo-Queen Serenity.
1 Sesshomaru Plays Both Sides And Looks Good Doing It (InuYasha)
Sesshomaru is Inuyasha’s older brother, acting primarily as an antagonist and sometimes as a hesitant ally against Naraku. He has white hair that reaches past his hips, a powerful stature, brown eyes, and a purple crescent moon on his forehead. His handsome looks and unlikely soft side inspire admiration in InuYasha fans.
Sesshomaru’s goal is to sharpen the blade of his skill against the most powerful beings that he can find. Eventually, Sesshomaru becomes a kind of anti-hero, though he likes to pretend he has no good intentions whatsoever.
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