While not a new genre in the anime medium, isekai has been all the rage for the last handful of years, and the train just keeps on chugging along with new titles or sequel seasons to older ones and putting a new spin on the formula. This even goes for isekai villains, who can be just as unique as the hero, world, or premise.
Sadly, not all isekai villains can stand out among the rest and many fall into predictable patterns, tropes, or clichés. While clichés don't always inherently mean that an antagonist is bad, using them does run the risk of making them less exciting or memorable and there are plenty of examples of that.
8 The Six Arms' Only Purpose Was To Be Brutally & Hilariously Killed Off (Overlord)
Working under the syndicate known as the "Eight Fingers," the Six Arms were the security enforcers tasked with handling any threat to the organization's interests. This band of warriors was supposedly as powerful as the most skilled of adventurers and in any other anime, fighting them would've most likely taken more than a few episodes, but they appeared in Overlord, so they were easily dispatched.
The Six Arms boasted their strength and thirst for violence, but most of them were killed mere seconds after facing the butler, Sebas, by himself. The way this group was dealt with so effortlessly was both brutal and a little hilarious.
7 Kyo's Personality & Motivation Brings Nothing New To The Table (The Rising Of The Shield Hero)
The Rising of the Shield Hero has had a number of antagonistic figures who're both unlikeable and add something to Naofumi's journey, but Season 2's main antagonist, Kyo, is not one of the better ones. While he is a threat and had potential as a summoned hero-turned-villain, his cold-blooded attitude and motivation to make others suffer is nothing that hasn't been seen in other isekai villains.
It seems as though Kyo meant to represent what Naofumi could've been in a sense, with how he treats the world around him, but due to how little time and focus he actually gets before being killed off, he comes off as one-dimensional, just someone who wants to make everyone suffer because he can.
6 Galluk Was Basically Just Diablo's Punching Bag (How NOT To Summon A Demon Lord)
Most of How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord's antagonists aren't really a threat to Diablo, but Galluk is especially non-threatening. A mage of Faltra City's Mage's Association, Galluk's ego would get the better of him more than once, which would cause him to pick a fight with Diablo. Galluk didn't stand much of a chance, though.
Galluk's hatred for Diablo would cause him to lose his position and turn traitor against Faltra, leading to his demise. Galluk's entire character just boils down to him being an arrogant jerk for Diablo to smack around.
5 Wardes Was Pretty Much Just An Obstacle For Saito (The Familiar Of Zero)
A good love triangle can add layers of drama to a romance story, but The Familiar of Zero has a pretty one-dimensional one in the form of Viscount Jean-Jacques Francis de Wardes. Introduced in the latter half of the first season, Wardes was a skilled swordsman of Tristain and Louise's fiancé, but he's revealed to be a traitor who only wanted to marry Louise for her Void Magic.
After killing Prince Wales and being defeated by Saito, Wardes escapes only to be killed off a few episodes later. Despite seeming like a threat, little is known about Wardes' background, making his motivations unclear. As a result, he's closer to just being an obstacle for Saito to overcome more than anything else.
4 The Demon Lord Gets So Little Focus That He's Barely Even A Character (Cautious Hero)
A lot of isekai pits the protagonist against a demon lord and their army in order to save the world from being conquered, and in Cautious Hero, it turns out this is a pretty common occurrence on many worlds. The world of Gaeabrande was in especially dire straits with their demon lord, prompting the goddess Ristarte to summon the overpowered, but overly cautious, Seiya to stop him.
While the Demon Lord's presence can definitely be felt throughout Cautious Hero, he just barely makes an appearance by the end of it and most of his battle with Seiya ends up being off-screen. Due to how brief he actually appeared and how little is actually known about him, the Demon Lord seems like such an afterthought that just barely counts as the main antagonist.
3 Kurt Von Ritzburg Is A Rich Bully Stereotype & Nothing More (Wise Man's Grandchild)
When viewers first met Kurt von Ritzbug in Wise Man's Grandchild, he came off as an arrogant, spoiled rich kid who uses his father's status to get what he wants, and that's really all he amounted to. Kurt instantly despised Shin the moment they met for how talented he was and he continuously made unwanted advances toward Sizilien, who kept rejecting him.
Kurt's pride and superiority complex eventually twisted him and, with the help of Schtrom, he turns into a Demonoid, but he is easily killed by Shin. From start to finish, Kurt was just a one-note rich bully stereotype and nothing more.
2 Apocalymon Comes In So Last-Minute That His Motivation Is All Surface-Level (Digimon Adventure)
Apocalymon was the most potent threat that the DigiDestined ever faced in the original Digimon Adventure. Trapped in a void where he could only watch the Digital World, Apocaylmon grew angry and created many evil Digimon to destroy it. After initially deleting the DigiDestined, the team rises up again and stops him once and for all.
While Apocalymon is terrifyingly powerful, able to De-Digivolve the DigiDestined's Digimon partners and erase them all from existence, his last-minute appearance in the anime makes him and his motivations to destroy both the Digital World and the real one all surface-level at best.
1 Sugou's Character Is Just Evil For The Sake Of Evil (Sword Art Online)
At the start of Sword Art Online's "Fairy Dance Arc," Kirito meets Sugou Nobuyuki, a wealthy businessman and admin of the VRMMORPG ALfheim Online. Sugou has also set his sights on marrying Asuna, whom he has trapped in the digital space. Despite full control of the virtual world and machinations to become a god by controlling the minds of its players, Kirito defeats Sugou in both the game and the real world.
Transparently despicable and creepily disgusting, there's nothing complicated about Sugou or his motivations. He does the things he does just because of his superiority complex and sense of entitlement. In short, he's really just evil for the sake of being evil and his only purpose as a villain is to make Kirito look good.
NEXT: Top 10 Most Lovable Isekai Protagonists, Ranked