They’re wicked, sinful, powerful and a danger to others even if they’re not necessarily evil.
Yes they are the devil and we absolutely love them. Anime wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for some utterly badass demons from the Yokai of ancient Japanese folklore to the unholy trinity of Satan Lucifer and Beelzebub the manga and anime industry has always had a fascination with demons.
From gegege no kitaro in the 1960s to demon slayer in 2019, anime with demon themes have held a special place in our hearts.
It is after all such a versatile theme that it fits just as easily in a shounen adventure, a shoujo romance or a dark fantasy epic.
But what is it about demons that we find so captivating, I guess it’s their very nature, isn’t it ?
From what we’ve seen of anime demons, they’re a bit of a hero and a bit of a villain rolled into one.
Even if they’re good, they’re rogues who take pleasure in being bad and if they’re evil, well they’re just pure evil.
Yep, they’re never Undimentional, thanks to the creativity of anime, these demons are never as mundane as our cliched perception of them as creatures with tails and horns.
And that brings us to the subject of our blog today.
The top 10 most badass anime demons! Love them or hate them, you just can’t ignore them.
So without further ado, let’s get started…
At number 10 we have the wimpiest devil you’ve ever seen.
10. Akira – Devilman Crybaby
Akira is a cowardly young man prone to bursting into tears at the slightest provocation by a twist of fate.
He’s possessed by a powerful demon and becomes devil man, inheriting all of the demon’s powers and memories.
He also suddenly and inexplicably becomes hotter.
However, he somehow manages to retain his conscience and humanity and yes he is still a crybaby.
In a world where humans are under attack from demons and being turned into demons themselves, this formerly awkward high schooler is their greatest hope for survival.
Drenched in violence and neon, devil man crybaby is not your average anime and its protagonist is not your average hero.
While devil man is supernaturally strong, violent, headstrong and perverse, Akira brings a certain vulnerability to this character that makes it both badass and empathetic at the same time.
Our next entry is a foxy one who might just be every girl’s dream come true.
9. Tomoe – Kamisama Kiss
Tomoe is a fox demon, the guardian spirit of a shrine and the hero of the popular romance “Kamisama kiss”.
The first thing you notice about him is his brooding good looks.
It’s no wonder that Nanami, a powerless young girl who suddenly inherits the shrine and becomes its resident God, falls for him big time.
While he’s the only hero of a shoujo series on this list, Tomoe is far from prince charming.
On the contrary, he’s cold, ill-tempered, sly and a sadist to boot.
What makes him interesting is his duality, he’s the second strongest Yokai demon in the world and feared by all, mostly because of his past as a Hell-raiser.
He’s also a bit of a lady’s man, a flirt and a tease and he’s probably the only demon who likes to see the contract with a kiss.
That’s badass on a whole different level now when you say.
8. Nura Rikuo – Rise of the Yokai Clan
Don’t let his boyish looks fool you, Rikuo might be a regular boy by day but watch out for him when his Yokai blood awakens at night.
Completely different in appearance from his elementary school self, night form Rikuo is much older has red eyes and a shock of long white and black hair that defies gravity.
He’s also a strong fighter, an excellent swordsman and has a talent for winning over allies, this later helps him become the leader of the night parade of a hundred demons.
Apparently, that’s a big achievement for yokai.
Whether he’s stylishly lounging on a Sakura tree drinking sake or slashing his sword and baring his fangs at his enemies, there’s something very badass about this night out.
It probably has something to do with his lineage, Rikuo’s grandfather was a pretty powerful demon in his prime, even if he’s now a shrunken old man with a large head.
Nura might not be the most popular anime about demons out there but if you’re a fan of old-school Yokai, this is definitely a show for you.
Coming up next is a character from a classic anime…
7. Naraku – InuYasha
InuYasha is both the title of the anime that aired in 2000 and it’s hero, a half human and half dog demon.
This series has plenty of badass yokai to choose from, there’s InuYasha himself who has a boyish feistiness that younger audiences would definitely relate to.
There’s his half-brother Sesshomaru, fully demon and as cool as he is talented.
But our pick for today is Naraku, the first out-and-out bad guy on this list.
Naraku is the personification of deception driven by his desire to purge his human side and become invincible, this demon antagonist is as overpowered as they come.
While he has enhanced physical strength, Naraku prefers to use his superior intellect to fight his battles.
A master manipulator, he has the ability to mimic the appearance of others and uses this to play them against each other.
He’s also a shapeshifter and can use poison, cast spells and control corpses at will.
There isn’t much he can’t do to be honest, and yes he’s almost impossible to kill.
But what makes Naraku so compelling is his human side, which he to his great dismay just can’t seem to get rid of till the very end.
6. Hozuki – Hozuki’s Coolheadedness
Demon number six is a different animal altogether, he’s the most official demon you’ve ever seen and the guy who runs hell like a well-oiled machine.
Whether it’s by sending sinners to the fiery pit, having them flogged by a torturer loving bunny or stalked by an old hag who loves to strip, Hozuki is the extremely capable and super sadistic deputy of King Enma.
If this were a contest of efficiency, organizational skills and micro-management, this scowling demon would actually take the top spot.
As the title of this superbly entertaining anime suggests, nothing fazes Hozuki and nothing escapes him in the eighth cold hells, the eight hotels and 272 other sub-divisions he presides over.
His bureaucratic sensibilities and troubleshooting skills might be unparalleled but so is his appetite for violence.
Just ask Beelzebub, who might be second only to Satan in European hell but has been so traumatized by Hozuki’s mere words that he can’t help but cough up blood whenever he sees him.
Hozuki doesn’t even spare his own boss, inflicting all kinds of abuse on the easygoing Enma.
This includes beating him with a spiked iron club or making him lie on a bed of nails.
You better not get on the wrong side of this one.
5. Muzan – Demon Slayer
We don’t know all that much about Muzan as season 1 just scratch the surface of his character but from what we saw of him we can just say that he’s vicious, powerful and dangerous.
He has the power to turn ordinary humans into demons by making them ingest his blood and turn them into his slaves.
To the series here Tanjiro, he’s the demon responsible for turning his sister into a demon and slaughtering the rest of his family.
Underneath his polished and gentle exterior, Muzan is a volatile seething mass of malice.
He takes pleasure in brutally killing his subordinates when they failed to do his bidding.
He thinks nothing of murdering a harmless drunk simply for mocking him, it’s particularly terrifying to see his stoic and detached facade crumble and his violent rage erupt.
But what perhaps makes him most wild is his deception, to the rest of the world he appears to be a happy family man and father to a young child.
Hiding in plain sight, this is one dangerous demon that would love to stay clear of.
4. Azazel – Shingeki no Bahamut
No list of demons is complete without an angel, a fallen angel to be precise.
And our next entry is a heavenly body, quite literally.
Azazel is first and foremost strikingly beautiful with white hair and large black wings, with his purple lips and tall muscular frame clad in tight black leather, he looks more like a visual K-rock star than Lucifer’s second-in-command.
Azazel is also as devious as he is good-looking, he plays his enemies against each other, thinks nothing of discarding a mission to fight worthy opponents for his own amusement.
And even sides with his enemies if it suits his cause.
Naturally he’s extremely powerful and adept at black magic, just watch him take on an entire army in his rag demon form.
But there’s another side to his personality where he cares deeply for those he takes under his wings even if they’re the child of his greatest nemesis.
Several popularity polls have voted Azazel the most popular character of the series and we can tell why.
He’s evil but sometimes good, he kills but also protects, he’s crafty but fiercely loyal and he’s sweetly awkward when he’s hiding a pretty girl.
It’s no wonder the writers changed their minds about killing him off early on as was originally planned.
3. Meliodas – The Seven Deadly Sins
The oldest son and heir-apparent of the demon king, captain of the strongest order of knights called the seven deadly sins, representative of the sin of Wrath and former commander of a group of elite demon warriors called the 10 commandments.
Meliodas looks nothing like the force of nature he is.
Cursed with immortality, he has the appearance of an adolescent, an extremely well muscled one that is, despite being more than 3,000 years old.
But don’t let his youthfulness lull you into a false sense of calm, with a list of powers and abilities a mile long, he can take down giants and wave the tall and brawny barn around like a piece of dirty laundry and snap his wrist like a twig.
All this without breaking a sweat and rarely losing his wide-eyed smiley look.
But, he’s a different customer altogether when he unleashes his full demonic powers and goes into assault mode which robs him of his emotions and turns him into a cold killing machine.
If through-the-roof physical strength and demonic powers aren’t enough, Meliodas also has the perfect defense in full counter with which he can deflect any magic attack.
He’s a feisty fiend and that’s why he’s on this list.
2. Hiei – Yu Yu Hakusho
A member of team Yusuke, Hiei looks like a regular human except for his crimson eyes and his other defining feature, the third eye on his forehead which has earned him the name “Master Of The Evil Eye”.
This evil eye gives Hiei tremendous powers and psychic abilities such as telepathy and memory erasure.
Additionally, his origin as a fire demon born of an ice maiden makes him one of the most formidable demons in his world.
And that’s not all!
He’s a master swordsman and so fast that he’s capable of slicing an opponent 16 times in the blink of an eye.
He’s the only one in his team to not suffer a single defeat in the dark tournament arc which is one of the most well written arcs in shounen history.
If such a raw power doesn’t make him badass, there’s his attitude.
Hiei is extremely arrogant, belittling both humans for their emotional attachments and weak demons for their lack of strength.
He’s also ruthless, violent and has a notorious reputation as a killer.
Yet, Hiei isn’t all that bad, originally written as a secondary antagonist before his popularity turned him into one of the main protagonists, what makes Hiei such an intriguing figure is the reverence he sometimes shows for the very human bonds he claims to despise.
1. Zodd – Berserk
That brings us to the top of the tops, the biggest baddest demon of them all!
Zodd from the “Berserk” franchise.
All it takes is one good look to see how ferocious and frightening he is.
Whether in his beasteale human form or his Minotaur like apostle form, Zodd is your worst nightmare come to life!
This creature is fearsome even by the standards of “Berserk”, a series known for some truly terrifying characters.
Be it the other apostles, Griffith’s Femto transformation or even the creepy Crimson Behelit.
Until Guts and Griffith became the first in 300 years to wound him, Zodd had considered the Skull Knight his only worthy rival.
It’s because of his long existence that this demon is called Zodd The Immortal or even Nosferatu, the name usually associated with the 1922’s silent horror masterpiece that was the first adaptation of Dracula.
While Zodd is undeniably a god of the battlefield, he’s not the unfeeling monster that he appears to be.
Despite his bloodlust, he doesn’t kill for the sake of killing.
His killing sprees are actually a way to find worthy adversaries of whom they are sadly far too few for him.
But when he does meet one, they have his respect.
Zodd also seems dismayed by his own strength sometimes, such character traits make him an enigmatic figure among both men and demons.
And on that note, we’ve reached the end of this blog on the top 10 most badass anime demons.
Thanks for reading till the end, leave a comment if you agree with this list or if you think it’s missing some worthy contenders, I’d love to hear from you on that actually.