Isekai Anime Where the Main Character Is the Villain

Isekai Anime Where the Main Character is the Villain Overlord
Credit: Kugane Maruyama/KADOKAWA/Overlord Production Committee


Isekai Anime Where the Main Character is the Villain Overlord
Credit: Kugane Maruyama/KADOKAWA/Overlord Production Committee

Being isekai’d must be super annoying, right? If I woke up in a fantasy world tomorrow, I might be a little mad. Add the common isekai trope of a teenage protagonist being overpowered and, surprisingly, there aren’t more isekai anime where the main character turns to a life of villainy.

Thankfully, there are some great, dastardly isekai anime to scratch your nefarious itch.

Whether seeking revenge or being forced into a life on the wrong side of their new world, these MCs live by their code, making plenty of enemies along the way.

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  1. The Saga of Tanya the Evil

    The title does a lot of the heavy lifting here. A Japanese atheist challenges a god known as Being X in a battle of faith.

    Reincarnated as an orphan in an alternate, magic-filled version of World War I, Tanya must die of natural causes or turn to Being X for help, or suffer in hell for her previous sins.

    Refusing to give in, Tanya rises through the Empire’s military ranks, establishing herself as one of the leading generals.

    Known for her ruthlessness and cunning, Tanya is one of the most feared people in the Empire, helping it become a global superpower.

  2. The World's Finest Assassin Gets Reincarnated in Another World as an Aristocrat

    Fantasy stories often star the ‘Hero’. The World’s Finest Assassin, meanwhile, stars someone whose only mission is to kill the Hero!

    The isekai victim here is a legendary assassin who, now growing old, decides to retire. However, his last job goes wrong, and his dreams of a quiet retirement are ended.

    Upon his death, a goddess reincarnates him into her world of magic with the sole mission of assassinating the Hero who is set to destroy the world.

  3. Overlord

    One of the most popular isekai anime of recent years, Overlord follows a demonic ruler who appears to have few ethical issues as he attempts to rule the entire world.

    At the end of a popular MMORPG’s run, Momonga is the only remaining leader of Ainz Ooal Gown, one of the game’s strongest guilds. He intends to spend the last few minutes with the NPCs in the small kingdom they created.

    However, after the servers are supposed to be shut down, Momonga is still in the game, and the NPCs develop personalities of their own.

    Adopting the moniker of Ainz Ooal Gown, the skeletal ruler sets his guild off on a journey through the world to discover what happened, capturing lands along the way.

    READ MORE: Overlord Holy Kingdom Arc Movie: All You Need to Know!

  4. The Rising of the Shield Hero

    Naofumi doesn’t intend to become a villain. However, ostracized by the world that summoned him, the titular Shield Hero is forced to live on the outskirts of society and reclaim his position, by fair means or foul.

    Four Japanese teenagers are summoned into the fantasy world to fulfill the roles of Cardinal Heroes, legendary figures that protect the kingdoms from evil monsters.

    Three of the heroes are lauded and given riches, but Naofumi the Shield Hero, mocked for his attacking weakness, is vilified after being double-crossed by an evil princess.

    Whether Naofumi is a true ‘villain’ is debatable, as he continues to protect people from the monsters.

    However, many of his ruthless actions early in the series, including buying a young slave girl, are frowned upon by a world that would rather he didn’t exist.

  5. The Most Heretical Last Boss Queen: From Villainess to Savior

    At just eight years old, Pride Royal Ivy realizes that she has been taken away to another world.

    Here, she is fated to become the notorious villain and ultimate boss in an otome game.

    Armed with razor-sharp intellect, incredible powers, and wielding influence as the crown princess, she seemingly has it all. But rather than embracing her evil destiny, Princess Pride has a different plan.

    She abandons her villainous schemes, choosing instead to protect the male love interests, bending the rules to ensure the salvation of as many souls as possible.

    Although Pride has renounced her former ways, her lingering villainous tendencies add a layer of complexity to her situation.

  6. Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games Is Tough for Mobs

    Trapped in a Dating Sim works in a slightly similar way to Shield Hero. While not a classic villain, Leon is someone on the outskirts of his new world who looks to disrupt its order.

    As the name implies, the series follows Leon, reincarnated into a romantic sim game he just completed. However, instead of reincarnating as one of the main characters, Leon is stuck as a meaningless NPC.

    Armed with his knowledge of the game, Leon sets forth to disrupt the cosy patterns of the protagonist Olivia and her romantic interests, until he discovers that someone else is playing the same game.

  7. My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!

    Similar to Trapped in a Dating Sim, Catarina is transported into the world of an otome game. However, instead of being an NPC like Leon, she’s the villain whom the protagonist is destined to defeat!

    Desperate to turn the tide before it’s too late, Catarina sets out to establish the relationships and skills that will keep her alive. However, the more she messes with the story, the more complex the world becomes.

    Unlike most isekai anime, My Next Life as a Villainess is a shoujo anime, with more focus on comedy and romance than action and mystery.

  8. GATE

    GATE is a show where the main character himself isn’t really ‘villainous’ but finds himself on the wrong side of the story.

    Itami is a soldier in Japan’s Self-Defence Force (JSDF) when Japan is attacked by fantasy monsters through a mysterious portal. After helping to subdue the attack, he’s tasked with leading a recon team into the ‘Special Region’ to try and understand the threat and make peace.

    Itami ends up befriending people in the Special Region. However, back home, more countries express an interest in the Special Region, potentially leaving Itami caught in the middle of another conflict.

  9. The Executioner and Her Way of Life

    Similar to GATE, the main character here doesn’t always act like a villain but ultimately finds herself playing that role.

    The Executioner is set in a fantasy world where students from Japan occasionally appear with tremendous powers - an isekai from the viewpoint of the world itself.

    These people, known as Lost Ones, are usually unable to control their powers, eventually leading to tragic consequences. Therefore, a religious group known as the Faust employs executioners with magic powers to hunt down the Lost Ones and kill them before they bring harm.

    The story follows Menou, one of the best executioners, who’s asked to kill Akari, the latest Lost One to appear. However, with the ability to manipulate time, Akari always comes back to life.

    Now a walking, ticking time bomb, Menou takes Akari on a journey while trying to find a way to kill her and her power.

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