There are hundreds of villains in the world of anime, and very few of them work alone.
It might be hard to find the right kind of help, but there are baddies who’ve managed to snag themselves some impressive allies to rally behind them.
From Pokemon to Transformers, there are plenty of henchmen in anime who are known for their cunning tricks and outright need for violence.
Here at ComicBook, we are counting down five of the best - or most beloved - allies out there who fight for all things evil.
If you know anything about the Transformers fandom, then you know that Starscream is synonymous with the word traitor. The witty autobot was formerly a scientist before war erupted and he pledged his allegiance to the Decepticons. However, the villainous group was not bad enough for the deceptive character. Starscream was always trying to undermine and usurp Megatron to take lead of the Decepticons. And, when he could not take down the overseer, he still manages to help Megatron bring ruin upon his race.
If you surrender to Team Rocket, then you still may be in for a fight. The duo stand as the most famous villains from the Pokemon franchise, and their bumbling desire to steal Pikachu made them endearing to fans everywhere. Jesse, James, and Meowth were henchmen to the larger Team Rocket group - but they were by no means the best. Their team often disappointed higher-ups and made them the laughing stoke of the organization. Still, fans fell for the group as Jesse and James brought unapologetic comedic relief to every anime episode they starred in.
When it comes to Dragon Ball Z and the Ginyu Force, Captain Ginyu was were it’s at. The warrior served directly under Freeza and helped the tyrannical real estate broker take over hundreds of planets. Not only is the Captain physical formidable, but Ginyu also has the power to sap strength from any opponent stronger than he is. And, given the henchmen’s unwavering loyalty to Freeza, his dedication comes as a detriment to anyone wanting to oppose the bigger villain.
Death Note fans will understand how terrifying Teru Mikami is. In the anime, the lead Light Yamgami finds himself under more and more pressure as police crack down on the serial killer Kira. Given that Light is Kira, the boy doesn’t want to give anyone reason to investigate him and his use of the Death Note, so he allows Teru to keep it safe. The fanatical boy all but worships Kira and develops a cultish obsession with the lead’s mission. So, when any officer came close to discovering Kira’s identity, Teru would do whatever necessary to keep Light’s secret safe.
As far as henchmen go, Kabuto Yakushi is a bit of a nutcase. The brilliant ninja is an expert as deception, but there is no denying his obsession with Orochimaru. In Naruto, Kabuto is the Sanin’s closest ally and personal doctor. The two work together to perform dangerous human experiments in their search for total immortality. However, when Orochimaru is killed by his youngest pupil, Kabuto isn’t ready to let go. So, naturally, he embeds parts of Orochimuar’s corpse into him and makes the work his master did even more diabolical.