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"The ultimate villain of the story, who's causing the problem the heroes must solve."

Note that Big Bad is not a catch-all trope for the biggest and ugliest villain of any given story. The Big Bad is the one who turns out to be behind several other seemingly independent threats.


  • Akio Ohtori of Revolutionary Girl Utena. He loses Anthy but it could be rightly said that otherwise, he got away with everything, including being responsible for probably hundreds of deaths, if not thousands.
  • The first season of Rosario to Vampire had Hokuto. The second season has Gyokuro.
  • Rurouni Kenshin had Makoto Shishio and Enishi Yukishiro. To expand on this:
    • Shishio was the Big Bad of the Kyoto arc by virtue of being Kenshin's replacement as the Ishin Shishi's top assassin, a Social Darwinist whose views clashed with Kenshin's pacifistic ideals, and his desire to overthrow the Japanese government that both his and Kenshin's swords helped to set up. He had the strength, connections, manpower and weaponry to start and maintain his campaign, plus being a magnificently Manipulative Bastard for a lot of people, both within his private army and on a wider scale; not to mention his aptitude for planning and executing strategies to keep himself two steps ahead of his enemies. What made him especially effective was that he was willing to cop to his faults whenever any aspect of his planning did fail such as underestimating Sanosuke and not anticipating he'd have portable bombs powerful enough to destroy the Rengoku battleship, he actually respected his underlings to a degree, and he proved powerful enough to stave off four of the strongest opponents he could have--while being physically impaired himself (his burns from the government's assassination attempt meant he couldn't fight longer than 15 minutes at a time or else he'd risk death by overheating).
    • By contrast, Enishi,the Big Bad of the Jinchu arc, has a much closer tie to Kenshin than Shishio did (both Kenshin and Enishi had Tomoe in common, and both got lasting marks from her death--Kenshin got the second half of his scar, with the first half coming from Tomoe's slain fiance; Enishi, meanwhile, had his hair turn white from the shock of seeing Tomoe die in front of him), being the only one to both physically defeat Kenshin in combat and psychologically break him.
  • Sailor Moon was no stranger to this concept, but it was even more fond of setting up the seasons Dragon as the Big Bad, only to do a big reveal at the end.
    • First season: Queen Metaria
    • Sailor Moon R: Ail and En in Part One, and Wiseman/Death Phantom in Part Two
    • Sailor Moon S: Pharaoh 90
    • Sailor Moon SuperS: Queen Nehellenia
    • Sailor Stars: Chaos (who is the original source of all the aforementioned except Ail and En)
  • Saint Seiya the first Big Bad is Ares.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman has Sosai (Leader) X.
  • Slayers has at least one or two per season:
    • Slayers: Rezo-Shabranigdo and Copy Rezo.
    • Slayers NEXT: Chaos Dragon Gaav and Hellmaster Phibrizo.
    • Slayers TRY: Valgaav and Dark Star Dugradigdu
    • Slayers Revolution: Zanaffar (revived by Dulcis)
    • Slayers Evolution-R: The ghost of Rezo-Shabranigdo.
      • And in the final original light novel, another piece of Shabranigdo, held within the soul of a mercenary named Luke, was a Big Bad.
  • Sonic X has Dr. Eggman in the first two seasons and Dark Oak in the final season.
  • Soul Eater has one for every major story arc. In the first one, it's Medusa, the second, Arachnae, and the third, Noah(The Greed Incarnation)but actually it's the Book of Eibon's Table of Contents as the Noahs are artificial constructs created by it.. Although Medusa is notable.In that she wakes up Kishin Ashura and so far, hasn't been killed, and is still an active villain.Until she is killed by Crona in the Moon Arc Kishin Asura is often mistaken for one, but he more qualifies as a Bigger Bad.However he did make a few recurring appearances in the story arcs and like medusa is still as active villain.Now the next arc is about Asura and him as the Big Bad this time.Also Soul eater is about preventing Kishins from being born just like Asura since everybody is after him,so Asura does qualify as a big bad to the entire series.
    • in Soul Eater Not! Medusa's and Arachne's younger sister Shaula Gorgon can be qualified as the Big Bad in this arc.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, the Big Bad is Lordgenome. Until the Anti-Spirals are revealed...
  • Friend from Twentieth Century Boys.
  • In Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Beatrice is this at first, until she is usurped by Bernkastel and Lambdadelta. Because of this, Bernkastel is now a Rogue Protagonist and Fallen Hero, since she was the amalgamation of all the dead Rika Furudes from Higurashi.
  • Lord Darcia in Wolf's Rain is not only a Big Bad, his entire family line is responsible for anything evil involved in the story... even in its "happy ending," which is anything but because of him.
    • Oddly enough, the original ending (the version that stops at episode 26) seems to present Lady Jaguara as the real villain, especially after Darcia's apparent death. In the OVA, Darcia takes that position back hard.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!!:
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX:
    • Season 1: Kagemaru
    • Season 2: The Light of Ruin
    • Season 3: Yubel, corrupted but not possessed by the Light of Ruin
    • Season 4: Darkness
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's:
    • Season 1: Rex Godwin starts off looking like one, but turns out to be more of a Stealth Mentor. In the second half of the season, Rudger (Rex's brother and leader of The Psycho Rangers) seems to take over, but is soon abruptly killed off halfway through his arc, leaving the rest of it to his followers who had been Dragon Their Feet. The final three episodes of the season, however, reveal the guy behind everything: it really was Rex the whole time, playing everyone up to and including two deities for suckers.
    • Season 2: Z-one, who was, through his followers, responsible for Rex and Rudger turning evil, and thus could be considered the Bigger Bad for Season 1, as well.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh Ze Xal
    • Season 1: Dr. Faker so far, but now that the World Duel Carnival has started it's ambiguous as to whether it'll be him or Tron, the most mysterious competitor in said Carnival, who'll turn out to be Eviler Than Thou.
    • Generally, it can be argued that the biggest bad of the original series is Bakura/Zorc, the biggest bad of GX is the Light of Ruin (while not the final adversary, and in fact beaten offscreen, it is Judai's Arch Nemesis Because Destiny Says So and responsible for two seasons worth of strife, the other two villains only getting one), and the biggest bad of 5D's is ZONE.
      • And, in the world portrayed in the cards themselves, it seems that Invader of Darkness fits the Big Bad role pretty well. He even has a Badass Cape. However, close seconds would seem to go to Dark Lucius, who one could argue crossed the Moral Event Horizon in Sakuretsu Armor.
      • Note that the giant monster from Sakuretsu Armor is the same from the equip spell Falling Down, who is actually Warrior Dai Grepher, tainted by the dark power of the Archfiends. And yes, he later becomes Dark Lucius as he gains control over his new power.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho breaks these up by season as well (except the first, where the villain in turn depends on the case Yusuke is in):
    • Sakyo in Season 2. Although Younger Toguro looks like this as well, he's more the Dragon-in-Chief.
    • Sensui in Season 3. He is the leader of the villains, but another Big Bad could be Elder Toguro, who, seeing himself as Sakyo's successor, gave Sensui the idea for the Evil Plan.
    • The three main rulers of the Makai world. One of them is revealed to be Yusuke's ancestor.
    • In the manga, it's revealed that alot of the early villains had been pawns in an enormously elaborate publicity stunt overseen by King Enma, the true villain.
    • Yakumo in Poltergeist Report.
  • The little known manga Kagerou Nostalgia has Lord Gessho Kuki, Shadow, who is responsible for pretty much every horrific thing to occur in series. May actually be the host of an even Bigger Bad to boot.
  • Fei Wong Reed in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. For a long time he appears to be doing nothing at all, apart from watching the heroes on magic TV and remarking about how all is going according to his plan; he appears to be a remarkably useless villain. However, that's because we're actually coming in halfway through his plan. As it turns out, three of the four original main characters were his servants.
  • Onimaru Takeshi in Yaiba, your typical Dark Overlord. Also Kaguya and, during the Pyramid and Underworld arcs, Boss.
    • In the last arc, there's also the Platina Company.
  • In the most recent arc of Shakugan no Shana main character Yuji becomes the Big Bad after ascending to Snake of the Festival.
    • Subverted. The Snake of the Festival and Yuji succeed in creating a new world for Crimson Denizens to live without having to consume humans' Power of Existence. Many, if not all of those consumed by Denizens, are returned to existence. The Crimson Lords' and Flame Hazes' fear that this destroy the world proves to be without merit, and the eternal war between the Denizens and Flame Hazes end. The Flame Hazes are now free to be actual people instead of walking weapons whose only purpose is fighting, something Yuji desperately wanted for Shana, who he does end up in a relationship with. Everything went exactly according to the Snake and Yuji's plans.
  • Windaria The king of the Shadowland appears to be this but its actually Lagado.
  • Sekidousai in Inukami! whose inventions form the basis of early plots and those Evil Plan drives the second half of the show.
  • The Pope, a.k.a. Gemini Saga, in the Sanctuary Arc of Saint Seiya , Hilda in the Asgard Arc, and the respective titular villains of the Poseidon and Hades Arcs. The movies have their own Big Bads as well.
  • Millions Knives in Trigun.
  • Voltes V: Emperor Zu Zambojil, Dirty Coward extraordinaire.
  • Rain Devila in Wedding Peach is behind all the demons who attack Momoko and her friends until her own Heel Face Turn in the end.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple presents us with Saiga Furinji, the eponymous One Shadow in the Yami organization's One Shadow Nine Fists group--essentially, the strongest martial artist in the organization--who is also the son of the series' Big Good, Hayato Furinji, and the Disappeared Dad to Hayato's granddaughter Miu. However, it seems Saiga may be a complicated case of this, as he's been shown to still be a Martial Pacifist despite being the leader of a group that advocates murderous martial arts.
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