Be sure to check out the first three parts before reading! If you just want to read about the top 5 villains, then read on.
5: Hero Killer Stain
All For One is touted as the biggest villain in the My Hero Academia universe, but based on what we’ve seen in the series it seems someone who’s had a much greater impact on society is Stain. Chizome Akaguro, or Hero Killer Stain, is the villain with the highest murder count since All Might’s rise to power. He has killed 17 pro heroes, and has crippled 24 others for life (including Tenya’s brother). That being said, his skill with a blade and his blood-curdling quirk aren’t what make him truly dangerous. Stain is a villain with an ideology: he believes society is failing because people are working as heroes for income, rather than for the sake of heroism. Stain sees All Might as the only “true” hero, and wishes to kill all other heroes he sees as hypocrites. He decides not to kill Deku because he sees the spirit of true heroism within him, and even saves Deku from a Nomu after he’s already in police custody. This unyielding conviction strikes terror into the hearts of those who oppose him, and forces them to call their own beliefs into question. This happens to both Gran Torino and Endeavor, two vastly experienced pro heroes. Stain’s influence is also responsible for some of my favorite characters in MHA. Without him we wouldn’t have Himiko Toga or Dabi (or Spinner but whatever), and that’s a world I don’t want to imagine.
4: All For One
Quirk: All For One, Search, Warping, Air Cannon, Springlike Limbs, Kinetic Booster, Strength Enhancer, Forced Quirk Activation, Impact Recoil, Infrared Ray, Air Walk, Longevity, Multiplier, Hypertrophy, Rivets, Spearlike Bones
If we were going by power level alone, yeah, All For One would be at the top of this list. Horikoshi really went all out on All Might’s nemesis, giving him the most powerful quirk imaginable: essentially, control over all quirks. He has a cookie-cutter set of supervillain ideals, believing that sheer power is the only thing in the world that matters. All For One believes the strong should rule over the weak absolutely. When he uses his quirk to bestow power on someone else, it’s always to further his own plans; anyone stupid enough to defy his will is crushed without a thought. His face and boy are all but destroyed from his previous clashes with All Might, a dark reminder of the violence caused by even our favorite heroes. He acquired hundreds of quirks over his reign of terror, which lasted over 100 years. All For One is even responsible for the creation of One For All after bestowing his brother with a power-stockpiling quirk, and has lived through 8 generations of One For All users. This is the man responsible for All Might’s fatal injury and retirement, and indirectly, Deku’s ascension as a hero. In the end he was defeated by All Might’s final surge of power, but not before passing the torch onto young Shigaraki Tomura. Even though he’s in prison, it still doesn’t feel like he’s lost.
3: Shigaraki Tomura
A barren heart. A young man, devoid of soul! Shigaraki is the character that made me first fall in love with My Hero Academia. I consume a lot of horror anime and games so my tolerance for being creeped out is fairly high, but the way Horikoshi draws Shigaraki’s face consistently gives me nightmares. His forced grin, lifeless eyes and decaying skin paint the picture of someone so neglected by society that he loses any sense of social reality; it’s a sad, solipsistic world he lives in. Guess that goes to show what being raised by a supervillain will do for you. Wearing the hands of your entire family, who you murdered, as a costume has to be the boldest outfit choice of the entire series. (Bold enough to make me cosplay as him once). Shigaraki starts the series as a petulant child, giving up easily and sending Nomus out to rampage when he doesn’t get his way. In All For One’s absence, however, he matures and starts making tactical decisions that lead to great success for the league. Shigaraki Tomura’s nihilism is a perfect foil for Deku’s optimism, and I’m excited to see him grow and develop his powers alongside Midoriya.
2: Himiko Toga
This is where favoritism comes into the equation.... Himiko Toga could kill someone in front of me and I would just be like “yasss! You go, girl!” Inspired by the ”yandere” archetype (a character who is dangerously obsessed with another), Toga’s quirk allows her to take on the voice and appearance of someone else by drinking their blood. Everyone who knew her claimed Himiko Toga was a normal, innocent high school girl up until becoming a villain; yet somehow, she manages to be the most capable stealth operator out of anyone in the show, heroes and villains included. Toga is capable of erasing her presence, allowing her to completely vanish if her opponent loses sight of her for even one moment. Despite her lack of any kind of combat-enhancing quirk, this allows her to be a deadly fighter with just her knives and needles. She’s incredibly cheerful and easily distracted, and has already fallen in love with at least Deku, Ochaco and Stain so far. Himiko is continually blushing most of the time we see her, giving her a permanent look of lovesickness. I really relate to someone who develops a lot of crushes, but Himiko’s are...a bit kinky, to say the least. She wants to see the object of her affection beaten, bleeding and helpless, which is revealed when she confesses her love to Deku after infiltrating the Provisional Licensing Exam. Toga’s twisted nature was likely influenced by her blood-related quirk and the way society treated her because of it, which makes her an empathetic case in my eyes. She’s shown to have a gentle, compassionate side as well, caring for Twice after he feels responsible for Magne’s death. In terms of style her school uniform is absolutely classic, her two messy buns convey a deranged sense of normality, and her fangs are just...they’re very cute. There’s a reason she keeps showing up in almost every arc of the series, and it’s because she’s amazing. Bisexual Icon. Nothing more to say.
All For One and Shigaraki may be the established main antagonists of the series, but the top spot on this list goes to Chisaki Kai, the demon leader of the Shie Hassaikai for a number of reasons. Overhaul’s quirk allows him to deconstruct and reconstruct matter at will, which is undoubtedly one of the most godlike powers we’ve seen so far. He uses it to devastating effect in battle, either to destroy his opponents’ bodies directly or to assault them with deadly spikes. Chisaki’s abilities work on living matter as well, which he demonstrates by fusing his body with two of his subordinates’ during his fight with Deku. In fact, it’s Overhaul’s absolute disregard for human life and his own humanity that earn him his place here. He would rather become a six-armed monster with a crow beak than face his own actions. While Mirio is attempting to save Eri, Chisaki attacks the both of them without a thought because he says he can just reassemble Eri if she “breaks” again. This implies that Eri has died multiple times during the manufacturing of the quirk-erasing drug, only to be revived by her captor. The fact that all of this is just a business dealing for Overhaul also adds a welcome dose of realism to the show. The Shie Hassaikai aren’t some flashy villain organization, they prefer to carry out evil quietly; this raises the question of just how many groups like them there are, silently hurting people in the background. Chisaki believes that quirks are a plague on humanity, a belief that immediately grabs my ire as a viewer. Of course I don’t want him to take the quirks away from my favorite UA students, they still have so much to learn! In the end, Izuku’s clash with Overhaul was his most intense battle yet. The crime leader pushed our young hero to his limits, forcing him to use One For All’s full power in a visually stunning duel of the skies. I’m sure more fearsome foes will reveal themselves in time, but for now, Chisaki stands at the top for me.