Ranking the Villains of My Hero Academia, Part 1
The students of Class 1-A might be the focus of My Hero Academia on paper, but let’s be honest: the villains are everybody’s real favorites. Maybe the popularity polls don’t reflect this, but that’s just because people don’t want to admit the darkness in their hearts! To correct for this bias I’ve created my own set of rankings, and taken out all those pesky heroes for good measure. I’m including villains that have been featured in the anime so far, and only members of villain groups (or significant villains like Stain). Without further ado, let’s jump in!
These guys are the foot soldiers for the League of Villains, and there’s really not much to them. All For One gave them various basic powers like super strength and regeneration, but they mostly exist to be pounded around by the heroes. They were a little scary when they first appeared in the first work study arc, but I’m pretty sick of them at this point.
This freaking guy… Okay, first of all, Toga and I are in agreement that his costume is ugly. It looks like he just kept his school uniform on, slapped a gas mask over it and called it a day. His power feels unfair, more annoying than overpowered. What really made me rank him so low was the fact that he brought a gun to the forest camp raid and just started shooting it at the students!! This is a show about people with superpowers, and I don’t want to spend too much time thinking about why the League of Villains don’t all start carrying pieces too.
23: Yu Hojo
Yu Hojo is probably the least interesting member of the Shie Hassaikai. He lost a 3-on-1 fight against a high schooler, and basically just has a flashier and worse version of Kirishima and Tetsutetsu’s quirks. He’s supposed to represent the opposite of Buddhism’s third precept (don’t adorn yourself) but his personality doesn’t really reflect that; this is one of the rare times I would’ve been okay with queer-coding a villain more. You know you’re a weak villain when your highlight in the show is getting your arm munched by Tamajiki -- the crystals look better on him anyway.
22: Kendo Rappa and Hekji Tengai
Okay, so I will say I loved the fight against these two. Kirishima really needed some time in the spotlight and a chance to prove himself, and these two gave it to him. They have a cute little dynamic and I like watching them bicker, but their powers are really boring. Rappa just does Big Punch, and ends up feeling like a less scary version of Muscular. Tengai just makes a hard bubble, and is pretty much useless unless he has someone offensive with him. The only reason this fight was close was because Fat Gum decided to stand in front of all the punches like an idiot.
Joi Irinaka, or Mimic, is kind of a confusing character for me. He’s introduced to us as this little black-suited figure with a plague mask sewn on, and we’re then told he is the general manager of the Shie Hassaikai. It isn’t until after he’s defeated by the heroes that we learn he actually had a normal-looking adult male body hidden in the wall somewhere. I had a really hard time imagining how this little black puppet guy did the Yakuza’s taxes, but realistically it makes sense that their accountant would use his quirk to hide his identity.
20: Soramitsu Tabe
Aah! What a creepy-looking guy. The burlap sack tied over his head conceals an absolutely massive gob full of terrifying brontosaurus teeth. Tabe’s quirk allows him to chew through and digest any solid substance, the thought of which just makes me shudder. He could chew his way up through the foundation of your house!! Food serves as the perfect foil to Sun Eater’s Manifest, and it’s horrifying to watch him bite off Tamajiki’s beautiful tentacles. I like to imagine that the other seven Bullets goof off by throwing random objects into his mouth.
Quirk: Vitality Stealing
Hmmm, this guy looks a lot like Rappa…..only bigger! Katsukame’s vitality stealing quirk is one of the scarier abilities among the Eight Bullets, and he manages to hold his own against #9 pro hero Ryukyu. Villains need to be hateable, and threatening Urarara and Froppy is a surefire way to get there. Katsukame got even scarier after being dosed with Trigger and escaping police custody, and his menacing laugh still haunts me today. I would’ve put him higher on this list, but his character design (big guy with big fists) doesn’t really do it for me.
Quirk: Muscle Augmentation
I know I just said I’m tired of big, muscle-bound villains but that’s because Muscular did it first. Dressed in a wifebeater and jeans he looks like any belligerent asshole you’d find in a bar, and that’s what makes him scary. You can see the unfiltered bloodlust in his eye, and his lack of costume shows his violent nature isn’t an act. He was able to sustain a direct hit from Deku’s 100% Detroit Smash, something no other villain besides All For One has been able to do.
17: Gentle Criminal
Gentle Criminal is a loser, I know. He does petty crimes in order to get views on his (definitely not monetized) Youtube channel, and generally comes off as pretty insecure. That being said, he manages to be one of the competent villains on the show in terms of combat ability. His quirk is a perfect mixture of offense and defense, and he uses it with alarming skill. Deku admitted his fight against Gentle was the hardest he’d fought so far, even if he was holding back out of sympathy. Despite this he finds himself on the back end of the list, partially because he’s too silly and partially for his weird relationship with a younger fan.