10 Anime Villains Who Would Be Better As Heroes

Anime villains are reviled in many circles. However, there are a handful of antagonists that fans believe would be better suited to be heroes. Many of these villains’ motivations stem from either a misplaced sense of justice or a shred of truth. Some have been manipulated by others into becoming villains. For this reason, many viewers believe that these antagonists need to become heroes.


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Many of these villains see themselves or thought of themselves as heroes at one point, but their ideals soured along the way. Wherever they are now, these anime characters would make great heroes if they had only crossed over to the other side.

10/10 Akihiko Kayaba has created his own world

Sword Art Online

Akihiko Kayaba is the brilliant mind behind the titular game in Sword Art Online. As the wide spread players experience the new game for the first time, Kayaba traps them all for a social experience and challenges them to beat all levels of a tall tower to escape. After a while, Kayaba joins the players to view his creation but retains administrative access to return to the real world.

If Kayaba was a hero instead of a villain, he could have been the one who saved the trapped participants of his game – thereby redeeming himself and the property. Kayaba has ruined so many lives just to see his own vision come true.

9/10 Sho Kusakabe could be a hero with his brother

fire force

When Sho Kusakabe was a baby, he was taken from his home during a fire and raised by the villainous White Clad. As one of the wielders of an Adolla Burst, the White Clad groomed him to become the ultimate warrior for their cause.

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However, that meant he lost growing up with his brother, Shinra, whose whole mission was to become a hero. Had Sho been lucky enough to live with Shinra, the two could have become an unstoppable heroic team in fire force.

8/10 King Bradley could have been a good ruler

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

King Bradley is the Fuhrer of Amestris in the classic Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Unbeknownst to the public, Bradley is the homunculus known as Wrath, who helps take over the country.

However, had he not revealed himself, the citizens would have continued with him as their leader as usual. If Bradley was a hero, not only could he have used his immense power to help overthrow Father’s dastardly plan, but he could also have been a great and benevolent ruler.

7/10 Su-Won’s reign is tainted by his crime

Yona of dawn

At first, Su-Won appears to be a kind, albeit fickle, prince who enjoys his luxurious life. However, fans’ opinions of him quickly change as they witness him murder his uncle, King He in Yona of dawn.

Su-Won immediately ascends the throne in Il’s place and begins making drastic changes throughout the kingdom. Had he been a hero, Su-Won would only be seen for the good changes he brings to the Koka Kingdom. Unfortunately, everything he does in Yona of dawn is marred by the murder of King Il.

6/10 Rui could have had a real family found

demon slayer

Rui is a young-looking demon who was turned into a child due to his chronic illness. Yet, after his transformation, Rui developed a lust for human blood. Deprived and feeling like there was no other option, Rui’s parents planned to kill him and then themselves to protect others from Rui’s thirst and atone for their son’s sins.

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Unfortunately, Rui misunderstands their gesture and kills them before they have a chance to kill him. This left Rui completely alone. Now Rui is forcing other demons into his “family” against their will. If Rui had been a hero instead, he could have provided refuge for the demons who wanted to live their eternities in peace in demon slayer.

5/10 Reiner Braun deserves a win

The attack of the Titans

When fans first meet Reiner Braun in The attack of the Titans, they simply know him as one of the brash members of the 104th Cadet Corp. However, his true identity as someone from outside the walls and the Armored Titan shook the fandom to its core. Initially, fans couldn’t believe Reiner was striving to destroy everything that Eren Yeager and his friends had fought so hard for.

Yet when viewers look at things from Reiner’s perspective, he was only trying to follow orders to the best of his ability. Reiner isn’t the best or most capable soldier, but he fought his way to becoming one of Marley’s most revered Eldian warriors. If Reiner was the hero, then fans could see his triumphs as he does.

4/10 Junpei Yoshino joined the wrong side

Jujutsu Kaisen

Life is hard for Junpei Yoshino in Jujutsu Kaisen. He doesn’t have many friends and the kids at school bully him mercilessly. Moreover, the teachers always seem to turn a blind eye to the abuse Junpei suffered. Therefore, he jumps at the chance to gain power and be the aggressor to change.

Although Junpei is an antagonist, Yuji Itadori and the fans feel his plight. If Junpei had been a hero instead, he could have defeated his bullies in the right way and become the heroes he’s seen in so many movies.

3/10 Kowaru Nagisa became an ally

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Kowaru Nagisa is originally brought in as the fourth pilot of Neon Genesis Evangelion. Kowaru is a capable pilot and a lovely person, which Shinji notices. Therefore, it is a shock to everyone’s system when it is revealed that Kowaru is actually the Son of Adam.

If Kowaru was a hero, he could become a major asset to NERV. Additionally, he would have stayed on the team if he had been on the heroes’ side, making a real relationship with Shinji possible.

2/10 Zuko could have avoided conflicts

Avatar: The Last Airbender

The only thought of Prince Zuko at the start of Avatar: The Last Airbender is to return his honor by capturing the Avatar. Although he eventually sees his father for who he really is and joins the good guys, Zuko wastes a lot of time and energy trying to please Fire Lord Ozai.

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If Zuko had been a hero all along, it would have spared him a lot of conflict. Aang could have learned firebending sooner, and Zuko could have had the opportunity to go on with his life as he saw fit rather than trying in vain to please someone else. Also, with Zuko by their side from the start, Aang and the others could have reached the Fire Lord sooner.

1/10 Tomura Shiguraki could have made his dreams come true

my hero academia

In the last seasons of my hero academia, Tomura Shiguraki is one of the most powerful and feared villains. His vendetta against heroes is rooted in his beliefs, fueling his hatred and strength.

Yet he didn’t always feel that way. When Tenko was a young boy, he only wanted to be a hero. He played hero with his sister even though his father disapproved. Tenko Shimura could have stood up to his abusive father and proved himself to the world if he had become a hero instead.

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