When people talk about a knife’s edge between pleasure and pain, they are usually talking about their own pain. But these people like to get their kicks from the pain of others. These people will make you scream while they grin from ear to ear.
Schadenfreude [shahd-n-froi-duh; German]: satisfaction or pleasure felt at the expense of someone else’s misfortune. There is nothing wrong with feeling it in small amounts, like seeing something bad happen to your high school bully on social media, but these people take it to a whole other level. From straight up murdering people, to shattering the psychology of their enemies, these sadists are some of the worst monsters anime has produced.
Dio Brando from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
Dio Brando is a total dickbag. The type of guy who would kick a puppy (he actually does kick a dog at one point). Becoming a nigh-invincible vampire did not make him any kinder as his sadistic streak grows along with his power and army of undead minions.
Alucard from Hellsing Ultimate
There is no way to butter this up: Alucard eats people. Remember the beginning of Jurassic Park where Dr. Alan Grant scares a child by explaining how a pack of velociraptors will hunt and begin to eat you while you are still alive? That description works for Alucard as well.
Light Yagami from Death Note
When Light found the Death Note he gained the power to kill anyone by simply writing their name. He decided who lived and who died in a powerful case of the pen being mightier than the sword. The thing is, he really liked it. This is not just a man committing acts of evil for the greater good; this is a guy who gets giddy from murder.
Medusa Gorgon from Soul Eater
Medusa is a powerful witch who initially disguises herself as a kind and caring nurse. In reality she is a scientist who loves to use people as test subjects, including her own child. Medusa seems to have extremely difficulty caring about anything other than herself.
Accelerator from A Certain Magical Index
Accelerator is the most powerful esper in Academy City with the ability to control the vector of any object he pleases. His body also naturally reflects everything (and we mean everything, even UV light). This power made him a target for scientists and assassins, and he decided people would leave him alone if he gained a reputation as a sadistic killer who murders anyone he does not like.
Yuno Gasai from Future Diary
Some people can go from zero to ten real quick, almost like flipping a switch. Although Yuno normally seems like a sweet young lady, her inner self is a textbook definition psychopath (or yandere who will grab the nearest object and use it to bloodily murder you if you set her off. Best not mess around with her precious Yukki.
Naraku from InuYasha
Whereas other sadists specialize in physical torture, Naraku seems to prefer the psychological aspect of it. Sure he will brutally murder you, but only after tearing apart your friends, putting your loved ones’ heads on spikes, and kicking the family dog. Naraku possesses a magic jewel that grows stronger as it absorbs negative and evil emotions so he will go out of his way to make you suffer.
Esdeath from Akame ga Kill!
Esdeath is the highest ranking general in The Empire and she did not get there by being an empathetic woman. She can be kind to her subordinates, but everyone else from enemy combatants to civilians who are in the way are fair game for this sadist. Torturing subordinates who fail her is not off the table though.
Super Buu from Dragon Ball Z
When Evil Buu ate his less evil counterpart (after turning him into chocolate), he became Super Buu. He once liquefied himself, forced his body down a man’s throat, and caused his victim to explode by expanding himself. Along with physical cruelty, Super Buu likes to talk as he fights in order to get into his opponent’s head with some gold old fashioned psychological torture.
Hidan from Naruto Shippuuden
Hidan is a sicko who engages in sadism for religious reasons. He believes that ninjas are meant to be bringers of death and that killing people slower and more painfully makes his god more pleased than providing a quick death.
Malik Ishtar from Yu☆Gi☆Oh! Duel Monsters
As a young boy, Malik was charged with guarding the tomb of the Pharaoh as his family’s legacy. But when he decided he did not like this his mind snapped and he used the pointy end of a magical rod to stab his father to death. Yami Malik is excessively cruel, using his magical powers to psychologically torture his opponents and inflict real pain to them during Duels.
Grell Sutcliff from Black Butler
Grell loves the color red. In fact, he thinks that most people look their best when painted in the red of their own blood. What better job for a guy like that than wandering around every night hacking people to bits with a chainsaw?
Pride (Selim Bradley) from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
You know the impression you get when you stare into a dark room and are sure some horrible monster is waiting in there for you? That monster is Pride. As the first of the inhuman homunculus, he is the strongest and perhaps the most sadistic, at one point consuming one of his brothers just to give himself an edge in combat.
Mayuri Kurotsuchi from Bleach
Mayuri Kurotsuchi is a mad scientist who sees the world and everything in it as his test subject. He often makes a point of testing his new experiments – from brand new weapons to deadly new toxins – on his foes in battle. This tends to be a slow and painful process for the victims so that Mayuri can collect as much data as possible.
Mariko Kurama from Elfen Lied
Mariko Kurama is a 6-year old girl who would kill you as soon as she looks at you. Being a member of the next stage in human evolution, a Diclonius, she is made to be a lab experiment for human scientists from birth. Mariko did not take kindly to this; the only thing stopping her from killing anyone within 10 meters of her are the bombs her captors surgically implanted inside her.