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JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Villains Ranked Worst To Best

JoJo's Bizzare Adventure is one of the most popular anime series around. The era-spanning saga of the Joestar family and their battle against a parade of fascinating foes has captivated audiences worldwide, who love the series for its distinctive art style, clever references to Western music and pop culture, and epic battles featuring the supernatural abilities known as Stands. It's a dizzying kaleidoscope of influences, all working in harmony to create an anime unlike any other.

Fans especially love the anime's villains, and rightly so –- the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure's rogues' gallery is as flamboyant and fantastic as its heroes. As each part of the story takes place in a different era, fans are treated to a vast collection of bad guys major and minor, each with their own colorful personality and unique Stands. 

But which villains reign supreme? Ready your Stand and join us for a journey into JoJo's Bizarre Adventure's dark side.

J. Geil is a blast from the past

One of the many assassins dispatched by Dio Brando to destroy the Star Crusaders in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure's third season, J. Geil has a direct connection to the heroes at the center of the story. It's a dark one: He assaulted and murdered Jean Pierre Polnareff's sister, Sherry. This makes him a more central part of the story than one might expect of a minor villain, and makes Polnareff's interest in offing him both personal and professional.

There are two main characteristics that make J. Geil stand out. The first is his distinctive physiology, possessed, as he is, of two right hands. The second is his Stand, Hanged Man, a potent, light-based power that can jump from one reflective surface to another. J. Geil makes wicked use of his abilities, murdering protagonist Jotaro Kujo's friend, Mohammed Avdol, and nearly killing Polnareff himself. Thankfully, he is defeated thanks to quick thinking and manipulation of his Stand by Noriaki Kakyoin. The sinister impression he made upon JoJo's Bizarre Adventure fans, however, is unlikely to fade any time soon.

Anjuro "Angelo" Katagiri is far from angelic

Anjuro Katagiri is one of the creepiest Jojo bad guys around. Appearing in Diamond Is Unbreakable, he's a life-long criminal, convicted of robbery, rape, and murder by the age of 12. He spent the next 20 years in and out of prison, eventually landing himself on death row. Just before his execution, a mysterious stranger shot him with a bow and arrow, which granted him the Stand Aqua Necklace, which enabled his escape. He proves a formidable foe for Jotaro Kujo and Josuke Higashikata — until they trick his Stand into being captured and fuse the diabolical Angelo with a rock.

What makes Angelo, mostly a stepping stone on the way to Diamond Is Unbreakable's actual villain, worthy of inclusion in this list? Firstly, his depraved criminality that knows no bounds, whether he's committing child murder or biting the face off a dog. Then there's his Stand. Made entirely of water, Aqua Necklace is able to evade detection by merging with puddles and streams, change shape, and work its way into the bodies of Angelo's victims, either possessing or outright killing them from within. It's a gruesome power in the hands of a gruesome man who, fortunately, falls in battle early on in the heroes' quest.

Daniel J. D'Arby leaves nothing to chance

When Kenny Rogers said you had to know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em, he probably wasn't talking about gambling your very soul. When it comes to facing the underhanded Daniel J. D'Arby, however, those rules serve anyone well. One of Dio's assassins, he's dispatched to defeat Jotaro Kujo. While his stand, Osiris, allows him to steal others' souls, he prefers to gamble for them in games of chance — games he inevitably attempts to fix. It's only thanks to Jotaro's incredible ability to bluff in poker that he's defeated and the souls he stole set free.

What makes D'Arby stand out, other than his excellent taste in vests, is that, unlike a lot of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure villains, he isn't the type to be beaten in physical combat. His suave intelligence allows him to steal the souls of half the Stardust Crusaders team and very nearly defeat Jotaro entirely. He is, of course, bluffed into catatonia, folding on four kings during a poker hand in which the hero never once looks at his cards. This fitting end doesn't make him any less interesting, however.

Steely Dan really gets in your head

First of all, Steely Dan gets major props for his moniker, which is an overt reference to the jazz-influenced 1970s rock group of the same name. But it's Dan's Stand, The Lovers, that really puts him over the top. Microscopic in size, it crawls into its victim's ear and attaches itself to the brain stem, where it uses its power to cause any attack on Steely Dan to be reflected back to the attacker, magnified. Oh, and it can also implant Dio's flesh buds and murder its host from within.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure really builds up viewer animosity for Steely Dan during his brief appearance in Stardust Crusaders. By using The Lovers on Jotaro's grandfather, Joseph Joestar, he holds our hero hostage, threatening to inflict pain on his relative if he doesn't obey Dan's bidding. Humiliated, beaten, and forced to rob a jewelry store while the villain gloats, Jotaro is eventually able to make Steely Dan pay, once his companions manage to free Joseph from The Lovers. All this buildup makes Steely Dan's defeat one of the most satisfying dispatches of a bad guy in the anime's entire run.

Terunosuke Miyamoto is no paper tiger

Some characters in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure possess Stands so powerful and impressive, they strike fear into the heart of anyone who has to face them. Terunosuke Miyamoto is not one of those characters. Even this minor villain from Diamond Is Unbreakable admits that his Enigma power, which allows him to turn someone into paper if he can identify the mannerisms that show they're afraid, is kind of lame. But, hey, unless we're cheaters like Daniel J. D'Arby, we have to play the hand we're dealt.

What makes this particular baddie so impressive, then, is the mileage he manages to get out of such an unimpressive Stand. When he encounters Josuke and his companions, he very quickly manages to learn their individual expressions of fear, trapping the heroes in paper form one at a time. Then, it's just a matter of deploying a convenient paper shredder to create a perilous situation that is only narrowly averted. Thankfully, Josuke and his team are saved, and they exact a particularly fitting vengeance, trapping Miyamoto in the form of a book, which the hero then donates to a library. He's not the most powerful villain a Joestar has ever faced, but there's no better example of making evil lemonade out of lemons, Stand-wise.

Hol Horse fails upward

Appearing in Stardust Crusaders, Hol Horse has the mien of a cool gunslinger, and his Stand, Emperor, is pretty awesome, taking the form of a pistol with bullets he can redirect. Not bad, right? And yet, he's one of the most ineffective and cowardly villains in the long history of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Hol Horse runs away the moment he lacks villainous backup. Hired by Dio Brando to assassinate Jotaro Kujo, he's several times a thorn in the side of our heroes, but always ends up thwarted.

So, why is he on this list? Well, there are villains who scare you, and villains who amuse you, and Hol Horse definitely falls into that second category. His foolishness and unwillingness to, pardon the pun, take a stand without backup leads to his plans falling through in hilarious ways. Even his demise is ridiculous, as his broken watch leads to him messing up one of Boingo's prophecies, firing Emperor into a pipe at the wrong time and shooting himself instead of Jotaro. D'oh.

Ghiaccio will rock you

The list of Passione members who take on Giorno Giavanna and Bucciarati's crew in Golden Wind is long, but none make quite as much of an impression as this hot-headed, ice-wielding assassin. His Stand, White Album, is not only named after one of the best records of all time, it's versatile and potent, and Ghiaccio knows how to use it to deadly effect. It's simple, at root, allowing the wielder to freeze anything he touches. But when Ghiaccio deploys it to do everything from ice skate to solidify the moisture in the air, it proves a significant challenge for Giorno to overcome. Oh, and it also serves as impenetrable, full-body armor, because all that other stuff wasn't cool enough, apparently.

Of course, like any great power, White Album comes with a weakness: A small air hole at the back of the neck. You might not think that would be of enough significance to be exploitable, but it very much is. Fortunately for the good guys, a conveniently placed splintered lamp post impales Ghiaccio and saves their hides. The killer doesn't go out without a fight, though, attempting to freeze his own blood in order to stay alive long enough to make one last-ditch attempt at victory. It's short-lived, and a chilling conclusion for Passione's most memorable enforcer.

Kars wants to be the ultimate warrior

A member of a powerful and ancient race of superhuman beings known as the Pillar Men, Kars is the main antagonist in the second part of Battle Tendency. He ticks a lot of the Big Bad boxes: He's so evil he kills his own people, he's super-powerful, and he has insane goals of manipulating an ancient artifact –- the Stone Mask, which he creates in an effort to maximize the potential of the Pillar Men's powers -– to become the ultimate life form. Treacherous and relentless, he wields considerable power in his quest to complete the Stone Mask, including an effect called Light Mode that creates chainsaw-esque blades that can cut through solid stone.

What makes Kars really cool, however, is the fact that he actually achieves his goal. That's right: He really does manage to complete the Stone Mask and don it to become the ultimate life form. It's only through a stroke of desperate instinct that Joseph Joestar is able to redirect one of Kars' attacks in order to create a massive volcanic eruption that launches the Pillar Man into space. There, he freezes and drifts away from Earth, doomed to forever float through the void. Though he is defeated, Kars leaves his mark on the franchise as the Stone Mask is the relic that transforms series heavyweight Dio Brando into a vampire.

Vanilla Ice takes it to the extreme

Vanilla Ice's name is one of the more on-the-nose musical references in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, but make no mistake — this guy means business. His most impressive characteristic is his slavish devotion to his boss, the vampire Dio Brando. Let's face it, as a top-line villain, you can't do much better than a henchman who is literally willing to slice off his own head to make you happy, as Vanilla Ice does for Dio Brando in Stardust Crusaders. He's immediately resurrected as a vampire and goes on to viciously attack the Crusaders, beating Iggy to death and nearly taking out Polnareff, one piece at a time.

When he's not busy sacrificing his life or engaging in animal cruelty, Vanilla Ice wields the powerful Stand Cream, which, yes, is named for the 1960s rock band featuring Eric Clapton. Cream creates a sphere of void that swallows its user, making him invincible and wiping out anything it comes across. While it does have the weakness of making Ice unable to see while he's using it, Cream proves very potent, and it's only thanks to Vanilla Ice's lack of experience with his vampiric form that the Crusaders are able to defeat him once and for all.

Wamuu is the Pillar Men's warrior king

Really, just look at this guy. Even among the mighty Pillar Men, his physique stands out — especially since Wamuu has no problem showing it off in a variety of poses. If his body is impressive, however, it's his heart that really sets him apart. While he's indisputably a villain, he possesses a clear moral code and a respect for the honor that comes with battle. He's a man of his word, uninterested in the immortality that motivates Kars and keen on respecting the enemies who prove themselves against him. He also refuses to harm children, which really makes him stand out in the world of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure villains.

Simply put, while Kars might be Battle Tendency's biggest threat, Wamuu is its most interesting. He uses his Divine Sandstorm power to defeat Joseph Joestar, but accepts the hero's challenge of a rematch a month later. Then, he faces Caesar in a massively compelling fight that ends, thanks once more to Divine Sandstorm, in the hero's demise. His final battle with Joseph, a lengthy and violent chariot race, is one of the more exciting moments in the series, and though it leads to Wamuu's defeat, it leaves a lasting mark on Joseph, and the minds of viewers.

Dio Brando is king of JoJo villains

The shadow Dio Brando casts over the events of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is huge: He's the series' most important villain, the antagonist for numerous generations of the Joestar family, and quite possibly one of the nastiest bad guys in anime. His list of transgressions prior to using the Stone Mask to become an immortal vampire is heinous enough, but things only get worse once he comes into his power. Said power includes eye lasers, healing abilities, a freezing touch, and topping it all, his time-stopping Stand, The World. Simply put, Dio Brando is bad news.

He's also the main villain in two separate JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series, first in his attempt to usurp the Joestar fortune in Phantom Blood, and then in a reincarnated (and much more buff) form in Stardust Crusaders. Through it all, he displays a ruthlessness, cunning, and bloodlust that sets him above and beyond every other bad guy in the series, taking countless lives and wreaking endless havoc. Oh, and he's the reason the Joestars develop Stand powers, which play a pivotal role in the show from the moment of their introduction. Every JoJo's Bizarre Adventure villain has his or her own importance to the story as a whole, but for sheer impact and evil, there's no beating Dio Brando.

Yoshikage Kira is a villain you have to hand it to

There's no beating Yoshikage Kira for villainy. Unlike other names mentioned here, he has no ambition to take over the world or achieve immortality. Ultimately, he just wants to be left to his own devices — which include being a serial killer who cuts off women's hands. Yeah, he's that twisted, which makes the fact that he possesses one of the most powerful Stands in the series all the more horrifying. His explosive abilities, all taking their name from Queen songs, allow him to detonate his victims, either directly in the case of Killer Queen, or remotely, with Sheer Heart Attack and Bites the Dust.

There are certainly more flamboyant villains in the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure pantheon, but it's the juxtaposition of the mundane and the insane that makes Yoshikage Kira one of the best around. On the one hand (see what we did there?), we spend time watching him live a normal human life, taking walks in the park, and being generally comprehensible. Then, however, he indulges his most twisted tendencies, unleashing Killer Queen in pursuit of his sadistic desires. He shows us the kind of monster that can exist under the most mundane of surfaces, and that's why he's an unforgettable villain.