I’m not really here to discuss what makes a great anime villain or antagonist. I don’t believe there’s any single answer to that. You can have ones that are just downright evil and despicable with their menace carrying them to the top where they loom over as a powerful and intimidating force not to be reckoned with. And you can also have ones who act great as foils or opposites to the hero or protagonist, and are endearing for their charisma and complexity. The important thing in every case is that they’re believable to the viewer. I can buy into these characters because they’re interesting or sympathetic or just too entertaining to question otherwise.
Writing this list in particular has made me realize I need to watch more anime, because while there are probably many I would consider great out of shows I haven’t watched, there aren’t many out of the ones I have watched. When it comes to this topic, the top lists and discussions I’ll see are filled to the brim with picks, answers and (awesome) reasons about characters I don’t really know from shows I have yet to experience myself.
Izaya Orihara, the lovable asshole of Durarara and my favourite character in the series, somehow wound up being a surprise role model for me. Apart from his stylish appearance, cool & confident demeanour, and slick moves, what I like about Izaya that makes him stand out from the rest of the cast is his philosophy towards life. His varied interests stem from a desire to spice up his day-to-day life as a way of impeding any boredom.