10 Anime Villains Based On Animals

Crocodile from One Piece, Pet Shop from JoJo, Orochimaru from Naruto split image

Many anime villains have a bestial quality that makes them more like animals than people. Whether possessing a title that names them after a creature or physically being one, their disconnect from humanity makes it easier to root against them. A few can even harness powers from the animal they strive to imitate.


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Some antagonists use their monstrous qualities to strike fear into enemies or make themselves recognizable. It is an effective tool for ensuring that they are not soon forgotten and helps to better establish them on an individual level.

10 Cheetu Was A Cheetah-Based Chimera Ant

Hunter X Hunter

Hunter X Hunter’s Cheetu has the clearest translation from animal to Chimera Ant. Although possessing the qualities of a human and cheetah, segmented limbs indicate that he is still part of Meruem’s brood.

Cheetu uses his animalistic speed to his advantage. When fighting Morel, he moved so quickly that even the veteran hunter himself could not catch him fairly. Unfortunately, Cheetu’s primal nature also made him extremely impatient, which left him prone to clumsy makes that many of his comrades would not make.

9 Spinner’s Appearance & Quirk Are Based Off Lizards

My Hero Academia

Spinner draws his sword in My Hero Academia.

My Hero Academia‘s Spinner shares visible similarities to a lizard. His skin is addled and green, with an elongated snout that does not even remotely appear human. He was bullied for his appearance throughout much of his life, resulting in his membership with the League Of Villains.

Spinner’s physicality isn’t his only similarity to lizards. His Quirk also allows him to stick to walls, a quality that he and his animal have in common. Spinner may not be the most powerful swordsman, but his theme and character are both reliably consistent.

8 Orochimaru Has Characteristics & Mannerisms Of A Snake

Naruto

Orochimaru

Naruto‘s Orochimaru was deliberately designed to resemble a snake. His clammy skin and narrow pupils are his most obvious physical traits, though he also has access to snake based jutsu such as his ability to summon the Manda. His behavior is serpentine, as seen when attempting to kill Jiraiya when it became even slightly convenient for him to do so.

Additionally, Orochimaru’s goal resembles that of a snake’s. Every few years, he needs to find a fresh host body in order to preserve his immortality. This strongly resembles how a snake sheds its skin over the passage of time.

7 Pet Shop Was A Hawk

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

Pet Shop scowling in JoJo

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure‘s Pet Shop does not waste time with petty symbolism. He was a hawk and one of the few animal Stand users that the heroes faced.

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Despite his relatively average appearance, Pet Shop ranked among the strongest Stand users in Stardust Crusaders. His “Horus” unleashed ice-based projectiles powerful enough to crush entire cars in a single blast. Although losing against Iggy, the hawk dealt serious injuries that his opponent would carry for the rest of his life.

6 Rui & His Family Were Spider Demons

Demon Slayer

Rui the Spider Demon begins attack in Demon Slayer Kimetsu No Yaiba

Rui was one of the most serious threats Tanjuro encountered in Demon Slayer. He transformed his entire “family” to become like him; spider-demons with enhanced physical strength and capabilities. Rui heavily leaned into his newfound power, such as when creating threads that were capable of slicing through steel.

He was also spider-like in personality, as seen when “entrapping” strangers in his web of coercion and fear. Should the Hashira not have put an end to him, Rui may have even imposed such a fate on Nezuko.

5 Ozai Was Nicknamed “The Phoenix King”

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Fire Lord Ozai from Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Ozai was the main antagonist of Avatar: The Last Airbender. An extremely proficient firebender, he sought to claim the title of “Phoenix King” when incinerating the Earth Kingdom and expanding his empire’s reach. Ozai’s claim to resemble a phoenix was understandable.

In addition to wielding its same element, he was also a highly resilient villain who seldom let loss inhibit him. This was seen when surviving an encounter with Zuko and finally concluding the century-long campaign against the Earth Kingdom. Ironically, Ozai only stopped being a “phoenix” when his firebending was taken away from him.

4 Gellick Was A Huge, Poisonous Toad Guarding A Hoard Of Treasure

Deltora Quest

gellick from deltora quest

Gellick was a colossal toad and the fifth gem guardian of Deltora Quest. Given that he was literally an animal, it’s unnecessary to justify any similarities between him and his likeness.

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Curiously, Gellick’s primary weapon was not his prodigious size. Instead, he used noxious poisons in order to assail the heroes and keep his army of cowering servants in line. His hoards of gold also resemble a dragon, which suggest that Gellick draws from far more inspirations than simply being a toad.

3 Pegasus Was Named After A Mythical Creature

Yu-Gi-Oh!

Pegasus from the Yu-Gi-Oh Anime

Pegasus was the main antagonist of Yu-Gi-Oh‘s Duel Island arc and a particularly powerful man. He shared many similarities to the animal of his namesake, such as a regal appearance and a glorious alabaster mane of hair.

The greatest connection between the two is that Pegasus was supernatural. His Millennium Eye helped to read an opponents’ thoughts, which granted him special insights on how to defeat them. Pegasus’ interest in cartoons also relates to mythical animals since it is where they are most likely to appear.

2 Giovanni Transformed Into An Insect Hybrid

Fire Force

Giovanni from Fire Force

Giovanni was among the White-Clad’s most clever members in Fire Force. For most of the series, he preferred to keep his true strength completely unknown and instead relied on weaker underlings. When pushed into an uncomfortable situation, Giovanni finally transformed parts of his body into a mantis-like insect.

These appendages were capable of shredding steel and made Giovanni much more durable than his original human form. His transformation may have occurred later in the series, though the villain has always been a monster due to his collaboration with a doomsday cult.

1 Crocodile’s Name Is Self Explanatory

One Piece

Crocodile with a scar on his face in One Piece.

One Piece‘s Crocodile designed his name and brand from the same animal. This was physically demonstrated in the Alabasta arc, where his hideout was also one of the few places in the entire region that still had water.

Like a crocodile, the Warlord is incredibly opportunistic and moves with sudden albeit purposefully violent strokes. He tried to capitalize on Alabasta’s civil war by stealing its poneglyph and was an explosive component of the Impel Down escape. In both instances, Crocodile bided his time until ready to eviscerate his intended targets.

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