Top 10 Favored Fiends in Anime

There are a host of fantastical and mythical characters in anime and manga. Arguably, I would say that demons are the most widely represented. Like a majority of fantasy beasts, these storytellers draw inspiration from Japan’s rich lore. Depending on the tale, the mazoku can range from evil to good and anywhere in between. Leading the legion, a maō or maou is their powerful demon lord. Despite tons of examples, it is difficult to pin down the demon lord’s first appearance in anime.

In spite of not knowing the answer to the question nobody asked, we set out to pick the top ten demon lords in anime. Our undertaking was not an easy one. Anime gives us some really great bad and equally bad maō. How does one rank these differences and narrow them down to ten?  After a lot of reflection, we came up with a decent list of demons. As always, our list may differ from yours.

As you review the post, please feel free to let me know your favorite anime demon or demon lord. I would love to hear from you.

10. Maou

  • Birthday: Unknown
  • First Anime Appearance: Maoyu ~ Archenemy & Hero, Ep. 1 ‘You will be mine, Hero. – I refuse’ (2013)

Maou is the female lead and 43rd Demon King. She is a member of the Library Clan, a group of demons that seek knowledge. The clan lives in the Exterior Library realm, a place housing a vast collection of data.  Maou wishes to use her clan’s wisdom to unite the demon and human worlds. Traveling to the human realm, the ‘Crimson Scholar’ joins the ‘Dark Knight’ to bring peace to both domains.

A hot older woman, Maou is over a hundred years old. She is a smart woman of average height, with flowing long red hair. Her horns detach, which makes it go unnoticed when getting around in the human world. Maou is resilient and personable. In addition, she is a powerful demon who can stand on her own against foes. Her love interest is a young human, Yuusha.

Caring and innovative, she elects to take the path least traveled to bridge the gaps between rival peoples.  A cute and busty imp, Maou is one of our favorite demons in anime.  

9. Anos Voldigoad

In a previous life, the ‘Demon King of Tyranny’ waged war against those who killed his mother. His rage caused a great conflict leading to mass death and destruction. Weary of war, Anos sacrificed himself to save the world. Two-thousand years after that fateful day, Izabella and Gusta would have a son who is their pride and joy. After a healthy growth spurt, the teenage demon lord attends the Demon King Academy.

Anos is a tall young man, with black hair and similar-colored eyes. He traded in his Mythical Age emo look for a white school uniform. He is the source of vast magical energy, which has the force to destroy nations. Despite his gifts, Anos’ stoic nature prevents going beast mode on the realm unless he is protecting family and friends. Alongside his allies, the ‘misfit’ demon king sets out to unite the world and restore peace.

The ‘Demon King of Tyranny’ is someone who has nothing to prove and this comes out in his character.  Landing in ninth place, Anos Voldigoad is unlike a typical demon lord and this is why he is a fan favorite.  

8. Nazuko Kamado

  • Birthday: December 28
  • First Anime Appearance: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Ep. 1 ‘Cruelty’ (2019)

Before their deaths, the Kamado family led a peaceful and quaint life. The Demon King killed members of the Kamado family, except their daughter and son. A former human, Nazuko is a pleasant and caring girl who happens to be a demon. She idolizes and protects her older brother, Tanjiro. The duo crisscross Japan fighting demons while searching for a way to break her curse. 

Nazuko’s human form is that of a petite, teenage girl. She has hip-length, black hair and dark pink eyes. She wears a pink, asanoha-patterned kimono. In her demon form, Nazuko grows fangs and claw-like fingernails. Her black hair shows streaks of orange, with her eyes becoming a pale pink. Her awaken form adds the feature of horns.

As a demon, Nazuko is an agile and strong beast of a young girl. This may be a side effect of the Demon King’s attack. She has the ability to use her blood as a flame propellant, a technique called the Blood Demon Arts. A sweet girl with god-like power, Nazuko becomes the first demon to join the Demon Slayer Corps.

In spite of her beastly nature, she remains the sweet younger sister that relies on her big brother to look out for her. This is one of the many reasons why Nazuko Kamado is our demon darling of anime.

7. Lord Sullivan

  • Birthday: Unknown
  • First Anime Appearance: Welcome to Demon School, Iruma-kun, Ep.1 ‘Iruma-kun from Demon School’ (2019)

Lord Sullivan is a powerful demon, who is over a thousand years old. Desiring to have a family and heir, he adopts a human grandson. He becomes the archetype of the doting grandparent. As the principal of Babyls Demon School, he goes out of his way to help Iruma fit in with his classmates. Despite his over-the-top antics, Lord Sullivan is a chief candidate for the new Demon King.

By all appearances, Lord Sullivan is an eccentric old man. Minus his yellow horns, he is a tall gentleman with thinning gray hair and a mustache. His yellow eyes hide behind glasses. A fur-collared suit coat frames his lanky figure. Lord Sullivan’s geezer style masks a powerful magic user.  When needed, Grandpa can go beast mode on any foe. Lord Sullivan can His age and skills earned him the title of being one of the Three Greats.

Welcome to Demon School is a fun romp, with some fun lovable characters. Breaking the demon lord trope, Grandpa’s approach to life is whimsical. This refreshing take is what lands Lord Sullivan as our seventh-best demon lord in anime.

6. Rias Gremory

  • Birthday: April 9
  • First Anime Appearance: High School DxD, Ep. 1 ‘I Got a Girlfriend!’ (2012)

Born in a powerful demon clan, Rias Gremory is the ‘Crimson-Haired Ruin Princess.’ She is a first-year student at Kuoh Academy and the story’s main female lead. Charming, classmates refer to her as one of the Academy’s Great Ladies. Regardless of social status, she is kind to everyone. Rias is also quick to defend those in need. She is humble and never flaunts her power or lineage.  

Rias is a curvy siren sporting long flowing red hair and lipid blue colored eyes. She is the eldest daughter of Zeoticus and Venelana. The ‘Crimson-Haired Ruin Princess’ can use the Power of Destruction. This ability wipes away anything in its path. She is also able to use specialized fighting techniques, Crimson Dragon Princess of Annihilation and Beast Ruin Princess of the Forbidden Night and True Darkness.

Originally, the series planned to omit the ‘Crimson-Haired Ruin Princess.’ Lucky for us, Rias Gremory rose to the heights of being one of our best demons in anime.

5. Calcifer

  • Birthday: Unknown
  • Movie Appearance: Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

The fifth entry is our list’s only non-human form demon. A fire imp, Calcifer was a star that fell to earth. Fading from existence, the star agreed to serve Howl. Their pact would have the Fire Demon providing the Howell’s castle with power and heat. In turn, Howl promised to keep Calcifer safe. Calling the castle’s hearth home, the moody and selfish fire demon shows glimpses of caring for others.

Movie or novel, Howl’s Moving Castle never hands us Calcifer’s true age.  He is an orange-colored fire, with licks of flame serving as arms. Much like any fiery blaze, Calcifer relies upon a fuel source to give him strength. Without regular table scrapes or pieces of wood, it is game over for the fire demon.  He also has a gift for uncloaking hexed objects to see the people trapped within. This ability leads Calcifer to make a pact with Sophie.

Both powerful and powerless, the Fire Demon is the symbol of the movie’s central theme. The drive to overcome our own weaknesses is why Calcifer is a great character.

4. Krebskulm ‘Krem’

  • Rebirth: Lyferian Calendar year 164
  • First Anime Appearance: How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord, Ep. 10 ‘The Demon Lords’ Resurrection’ (2018)

Krebskulm was a mighty demon lord, hellbent on taking over the world. God defeated the beast and sealed her spirit away in the women of the Galleu clan. A botched resurrection would see her come back as a 100-year-old loli. Still a powerful being, she now sees the world through a child’s eye. Seeking friendship with Diablo’s party and enjoying cookies. Her change of heart is the reason why Krem creates a servant pact with the ‘Demon Lord from Another World.’

Upon her rebirth, Krem was an imposing demon but this form quickly gave way to reveal a 100-year-old loli. She has long blonde hair, parted by two horns and framed by elf-like ears. Her body is that of a child, with an added lizard tail feature. Cuteness aside, she is both physically and magically strong. These abilities would far surpass Diablo’s in a PvP matchup. Despite her skills, Krem is a kid at heart.

A fun-loving demon lord, she is kind and protective of her friends. These qualities and much more make Krebskulm one of our favorite anime imps.

3. Sadao Maou

  • Birthday: Unknown but June 23 to the public
  • First Anime Appearance: The Devil is a Part-timer!, Ep. 1 ‘The Devil Arrives in Sasazuka’ (2013)

The prime character, Sadao Maou is the Dark Lord who gave up his past to become a fast food worker. While in the underworld, he declared war on the humans of Ente Isla. His goal is to unite demons and humans under one banner. The Hero Emilia Justina laid his plans bear, causing the Dark Lord and a couple of his generals to flee to our world. Japan’s newest immigrant seeks to carve out a living for himself and his crew while taking over the fast food industry.  

The Dark Lord is an imposing figure, standing almost 10 feet tall. He has reddish-colored eyes and unkempt black hair. He has a pair of yellow horns growing from aside his head. Overall, Sadao’s attire mirrors his regal standing. In his human form, the Dark Lord is a less imposing young man. He has greenish hair but retains a red eye color. As a human, he now wears either his MgRonald’s uniform or street clothes. 

As the Demon King, Sadao can use demon magic. This skill boosts his offensive and defensive fighting abilities. While on Earth, he has the ability to transform from a Demon Lord to a human. Aside from his brute force, Sadao is a natural-born and charismatic leader. Combined, these qualities lead him to seek out peace for both humans and demons.

The Dark Lord is someone searching for their place in the world or underworld.  Over the story, he grows from a life of expectations to forging his own destiny. The merits of Sadao Maou make him our third most popular demon lord.

2. Rin Okumura

  • Birthday: December 27, 1995
  • First Anime Appearance: Blue Exorcist, Ep. 1 ‘The Devil Resides in Human Souls’ (2011)

A slacker by nature, it is hard to imagine Rin Okumura being the son of Satan. Fleeing a hit squad from the True Cross Order, his mother would die but not before giving birth to him and his younger twin brother. Father Shiro Fujimoto, an Order Paladin, adopted and raised the twins. A teen, the death of Shiro forces Rin to learn some hard truths about his own nature. With no desire to be a tool of Satan, the teen attends True Cross Academy to become an exorcist.

A Nephilim, Rin’s human form is that of an average teenage boy.  He is average height, with dark blue hair and matching eye color. He appears unkempt and frumpy. In his demonic form, Rin gains horn-like blue flames floating above his head, elven-shaped ears, and fangs.  The ‘Son of Satan’ is powerful and a welder of blue fire, with his major weakness being against the Holy Water. Alongside classmates, Rin sets out to fight the forces of evil.

Born the ‘Son of Satan,’ Rin Okumura starts off life with a bad-dealt deck of cards.  He is able to weather this storm with the support of family and friends. This is the central reason why Rin Okumura is a top ten demon character in anime.   

1. Sebastian Michaelis

  • Birthday: Unknown
  • First Anime Appearance: Black Butler, Ep. 1 ‘His Butler, Able’ (2008)

Drum roll, please… anime’s favorite demon is Sebastian Michaelis. He is the senior servant of the Phantomhive estate.  Offered as a sacrifice, Ciel Phantomhive summoned the demon butler to slay the cultists. For his services, Ciel would hand over his soul to the beckoned estate manager.  Sebastian Michaelis would protect and tutor the young lord while waiting for the day he is able to eat the earl’s soul. Despite their looming pact, the ‘Black Butler’ is Ciel’s proxy father figure. 

Sebastian’s human form is athletic, tall, and well-dressed. He has black hair, amber eyes, and pale skin. His left-hand sports the mark from the compact made with Ciel. In contrast, Sebastian looks menacing in his devil form. Regardless of how he looks, this demon butler is both powerful and smart. But one would have to be to traverse the mysteries of the Phantomhive estate. 

Despite appearances, this is one demon who is out for himself. Knowing this fact, his faux persona makes him a truly evil being.  This is the chief reason why Sebastian Michaelis is the best demon in anime.  

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Hey, everyone, I’m Louis or Carolina Comic Geek as I’m known by my Pinterest subscribers. A longtime anime fan, my first introduction was with Genesis Climber MOSPEADA. I enjoy writing and honestly was stoked to be a guest writer for 9 Tailed Kitsune.

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