20 Best Anime Demons Ranked and Explained

Best Anime Demons Ranked and Explained

Demons in anime. You can't get much more iconic than that! From Inuyasha to Yu Yu Hakusho, some of the most beloved anime characters of all time have been demons - and for good reason! These supernatural beings capture our imaginations with their insane powers, dynamic personalities, and complex moralities.

As a hardcore anime fan, I live for a great demon character. And over the years, I've compiled my definitive list of the greatest anime demons ever. We're talking the crème de la crème here - the demons that make you pump your fist in excitement every time they're on screen!

So get ready for an enthusiastic, downright obsessive deep dive into 20 of the best anime demons of all time. I'm breaking down exactly what makes each of these icons so gosh darn legendary. Demon designs, character arcs, powers, personalities - we'll geek out over every detail!

Anime Demons - The 20 All-Time Greatest Ranked and Explained

1. Kurama (Series: Naruto)


Claiming the crown as #1 among anime’s pantheon of demons is none other than the legendary nine-tailed fox himself - Kurama from Naruto! As the mightiest Tailed Beast amalgamation of chakra in shinobi history, this vulpine powerhouse has achieved universal notoriety!

At times a malicious force of chaos, yet gradually becoming a steadfast friend, Kurama’s layered relationship with titular ninja Naruto makes for profoundly poignant storytelling. Their emotional evolution from cursed confinement to cooperative coexistence results in phenomenally potent tag-team tactics!

And when Kurama melds his unfathomable reservoirs of chakra with Naruto to access Tailed Beast Modes? Words can’t adequately convey how fantastically feral the fox-infused combat becomes! It’s almost unfair pitting such creative bijū bomb barrages against anyone! Though seeing Kurama cut loose admittedly rocks every time!

2. Nezuko Kamado (Series: Demon Slayer)

Nezuko Kamado

Demon Slayer revelations reveal that Muzan's murder of Tanjiro Kamado's family leaves sole survivor Nezuko transformed into a demon. But thanks to the bonds of love and blood between these siblings, Nezuko remarkably resists the typical tendencies towards violence her kind exhibit!

As such, Nezuko subverting savage stereotypes associated with demons in favor of sympathetic qualities has propelled her to astronomical popularity peaks! Just look at her vulnerability in that tattered kimono and bamboo mouth guard - she's clearly someone needing saving rather than slaying!

And when push comes to shove, Nezuko taps into explosive demonic dexterity and death-defying durability to duel even the strongest enemies! So while her disarming innocence elicits defense instincts, that sweet girl can unleash seriously scary stuff when provoked!

3. Inuyasha (Series: Inuyasha)


Ears twitching above a flowing mane of silver hair, crimson robes billowing through the air - Inuyasha epitomizes the concept of a half-demon! As the product of powerful demon warlord Inu no Taishō and human Izayoi, Inuyasha wields fantastic abilities from both bloodlines!

Channeling his yōkai energies into his signature weapon Tessaiga allows Inuyasha to unleash explosive techniques like the Wind Scar! And accessing his inner beast grants raw brute strength to literally chuck adversaries through mountains!

Yet that formidable fighting fury remains tempered by Inuyasha’s very human heart. His compassion and loyalty towards friends, respect for life, and fierce dedication to protecting humans from peril contrasts starkly from most demonic depictions. And cement his standing as an all-time archetypal example of harnessing duality!

4. Albedo (Series: Overlord)


When transported into a deadly fantasy MMORPG turned real, elder lich sorcerer Ainz Ooal Gown rapidly draws loyal allies from his magical kingdom to ensure continued rule. But no minion remains more thoroughly devoted at his side than Albedo, the infatuated Overseer of the Guardians!

With a celestial beauty belying lethal skill set inclusive of weapons mastery, magical might and battlefield tactics, Albedo serves as Ainz' most stalwart supporter. And the winged succubus exhibits borderline fanaticism in carrying out his commands!

Yet for all her caused cadavers and administrative acumen, Albedo demonstrates delightful personality quirks as well! Her trademark jealous outbursts over Ainz showing favor to female floor guardians make for frequent comedic highlights. And that blend of yandere humor and hazardous hellion capacitance makes Albedo arguably Overlord's most winning warrior!

5. Alucard (Series: Hellsing)


When it comes to depicting a volatile vampire antihero who revels in violence against his own kind, Hellsing's Alucard unquestionably takes a bloody bite out of the competition! He's an aristocratic nosferatu without equal!

As the trump card of the Hellsing Organization's campaign to drive demons from London, this sinister slayer boasts criterion vampiric skill sets of immortality, metamorphosis into hellish battle forms, mesmerizing mind control and more. But his maniacal moxie and arrogant attitude effectively convert such common creature of the night tropes into a cocksure icon!

Clad in imposing red Victorian faille, Alucard exudes amoral authority. And his SMG slaughter of opponents frequently flows almost orgasmic ally! No monster could be more monstrous...or magnetic!

6. Calcifer (Series: Howl's Moving Castle)


Demonic beings come in endless shapes and sizes across the anime multiverse. But Hayao Miyazaki's whimsical fantasy juggernaut Howl's Moving Castle presents an impish ladle of sentient magical fire as one of Studio Ghibli's most delightful devils!

Voiced spiritedly by Billy Crystal in the English dub, flicker sprite Calcifer cracks wise while providing the pyromantic power necessary for wizard Howl's ambulatory architectural abode to...well, amble! By burning brightly within the castle's core, this diminutive demon furnaces their movements.

Forced into this arrangement due to a past pact, Calcifer simmers with sarcasm over his ill-defined indentured circumstance. Yet his compliance speaks volumes to Howl honestly treating him exceptionally well for a supposed slave. And their heartfelt kinship kindling makes for fantastically feelgood firestarter fun!

7. Sebastian Michaelis (Series: Black Butler)

As an eminent nobleman's superhuman manservant, Sebastian Michaelis carries out his tasks as butler, bodyguard and talent tutor with preternatural perfection and panache. But as a Faustian demon bound by contract, readers know this devilishly handome fellow aims to claim his ambitious master's soul once his service ends!

Beyond being impeccably well-tailored eye candy, Sebastian's refined persona, chessmaster manipulation and not-infrequent displays of ruthless demonic strength make him an eminently watchable character. And seeing how he subtly influences his troubled charge towards a checkmated fate makes revisiting their layered relationship delightfully rewarding.

Factor in weaponized silverware skills and a feline fan club to boot, and Sebastian claims a spot as one exceedingly esteemed hellspawn servant!

8. Chrono (Series: Chrono Crusade)


Boasting a distinctive blend of divine, demonic and human attributes as part of his intricate backstory, Chrono from Chrono Crusade proves an atypical and intriguing member of demonkind. Further cementing his uniqueness is the benevolent role he plays as companion guarding soul-bonded contractee Rosette Christopher from threats both terrestrial and damned.

Make no mistake, though - when combat calls, Chrono brings beastly brute force! Between his umbrakinetic wings serving as portals to an inky void, penchant for materializing menacing swords from thin air, and a final Berserker-esque form unleashing his full might - this devil has no shortage of devastating tricks at his disposal!

That balance of disarming personality and substantial punitive powers makes Chrono equal parts enjoyable company and walking WMD! Finding another demon anywhere near as distinct and dynamic would be...well, a devil of a task!

9. Rin Okumura (Series: Blue Exorcist)

Rin Okumura

Nothing cements a memorable demonic identity like being the unwilling progeny of Satan himself! Such is Rin Okumura's volatile status quo in supernatural action series Blue Exorcist!

As the son of the lord of Gehenna, Rin's very blood gives him access to frightening combat capabilities when drawing from his darker half! Channeling those vibrant blue flames into various attacks allows him to square off against all manner of Angel, Demon and Exorcist alike!

Yet what resonates about Rin's journey is his steadfast commitment to claiming control over this catalytic curse of a birthright. Rather than become the harbinger of Armageddon his father intended, Rin pursues training as an Exorcist, striving to utilize his innate gifts for righteous ends. And seeing him struggle towards mastery of his inner darkness for heroic aims is most heartening!

10. Akira Fudo (Series: Devilman)

Akira Fudo

When timid teenager Akira Fudo merges with ancient demon warrior Amon in Go Nagai's Devilman, he adopts a radically fierce fighting form! With a hulking physique, massive claws and bat-like wings unfurled, Devilman unleashes pyrokinetic carnage against invading hellspawn adversaries!

But what makes Akira so iconic is the dramatic dichotomy between his gentle human personality and his ferocious Devilman alter-ego. By day, he strives to protect innocents from demonic forces. By night he unleashes the robust chaos needed to have a chance against said demons!

This dynamic allows Akira to personify Go Nagai's central narrative concept for Devilman - exploring the primal bloodlust that dwells within humanity, contextualizing how releasing it against literal "demons" can still consume moral persons. Akira's struggle as Devilman externalizes this ideological conflict to compelling effect!

11. Hyakkimaru (Series: Dororo)


On the surface, Hyakkimaru from retro revenge tragedy Dororo seems less a traditional anime demon and more a victim of demonic cruelty. After all, opportunistic demons claimed his limbs, organs, skin and more shortly after birth! Yet in vanquishing those that disassembled him, Hyakkimaru steadily becomes the very sort of supernatural scourge he hunts!

With each demon felled, Hyakkimaru reclaims another piece of his biological functionality. But succeeding in his crusade comes at the cost of adopting increasingly inhuman instincts and perspective himself! By reassembling his physical form, Hyakkimaru sheds his humanity bit by bloodstained bit!

This steady downward spiral into ruthless revenge and monster hunter exhibiting monstrous qualities casts Hyakkimaru as a phenomenal modern Frankenstein figure! And it amplifies that classic ethical question - at what point do brutal actions against heinous evil irreversibly corrupt noble intentions?

12. Yoko Kurama (Series: Yu Yu Hakusho)

Yoko Kurama

Few anime demons have dual identities as distinct as Yoko Kurama from Yu Yu Hakusho. By day, he's the brilliant, kind-mannered human Shuichi Minamino. But should he revert to his former fox spirit form, the ruthless bandit Yoko emerges, unleashing thorned plants and yoki energy to dispatch foes with cruel efficiency!

The contrast between Kurama's thoughtful, strategic human persona and Yoko's bloodthirsty trickster nature makes for one hugely dynamic demon. And given that Kurama opts to retain his humanity by story's end, it's affirming to see him strike a balance between these two aspects of his identity.

Also...Yoko Kurama might just be the most drop-dead gorgeous anime demon ever animated! Those piercing golden eyes, the luxurious silver hair - he's certified bishōnen eye candy if I've ever seen it!

13. Sadao Maou (Series: The Devil is a Part-Timer!)

Sadao Maou

There's delightful comedy to be mined from taking the Lord of Darkness himself and dropping him into a mundane human setting - which The Devil is a Part-Timer! capitalizes on brilliantly with protagonist Sadao Maou.

Having been thwarted in his demonic conquest of Ente Isla, this Satan figure is forced to assimilate into modern Japan, taking a part-time job at MgRonalds. And while he occasionally reveals his true power - sprouting wings and volcanically vaporizing foes - Sadao largely leads an ordinary life struggling to pay rent like the rest of us!

By presenting the mundane struggles of an exiled demonic overlord figure, The Devil is a Part-Timer! succeeds grandly at humor while also making Sadao sympathetic in the process. And given the continued potential for sinister elements to re-enter his new life, this Devil King's humorous humanity remains frightfully fleeting!

14. Meliodas (Series: Seven Deadly Sins)


You can't talk legends among anime demons without bringing up Meliodas, the Dragon Sin of Wrath! As the protagonist of mega-hit fantasy series Seven Deadly Sins, this diminutive warrior deceives with his adolescent looks. Because behind that easygoing, flirtatious attitude lies astounding demonic strength!

As heir to the Demon King himself, Meliodas boasts nearly unmatched levels of dark power once he taps into his true demonic abilities. We're talking reality-warping black flames, bloodcurdling curses, thunderous punches that obliterate mountains - this guy is the complete package!

Yet what elevates Meliodas among other demons is that while he unleashes the full force of his satanic strengths in combat, he strives to maintain his own moral code. He enjoys life to the fullest and cherishes his friends rather than giving in wholly to demon instincts for domination and destruction. And that internal struggle makes for complex characterization on top ofpulse-pounding fight scenes!

15. Sesshōmaru (Series: Inuyasha)


While titular half-demon Inuyasha has incredible power, his full-fledged demon brother Sesshōmaru shows what someone with complete mastery over their hellish strengths can accomplish! As a powerful Daiyōkai boasting poison claws, tissue regeneration, flight and a dimension-slicing sword, Sesshōmaru rules over his domain with elegance and grace.

But it's the subtle evolutions in Sesshōmaru's personality over the course of Inuyasha that cement him as such an iconic character. He starts off as a prideful demon who views compassion as weakness and reviles his half-demon sibling. But exposure to human companions like Rin gradually unlocks the empathy within this icy killing machine.

By the story's end, Sesshōmaru has transitioned into a reliable ally and caring guardian figure. And watching this aloof über-demon incrementally defrost his frosty exterior to become a fully-realized person stands as some highly gratifying character development!

16. Yuji Itadori (Series: Jujutsu Kaisen)

Yuji Itadori

Jujutsu Kaisen's Yuji Itadori has one of the most badass-yet-tragic demon setups in recent memory. He starts off as an athletic, kind-hearted high school student - but after swallowing the rotten finger of ancient sorcerer Ryomen Sukuna to save his friends from a deadly Curse, he becomes the vessel for this crazy powerful being!

Now whenever Yuji taps into Sukuna's Cursed Energy, it is spectacularly demonic. We're talking four additional arms equipped with enormous Absorption blades, utterly merciless attacks enhanced by reverse Cursed Technique, and off-the-charts output capable of wiping out Special Grade Curses with ease!

Yet despite housing this literal king of Curses within him, Yuji retains his empathy and compassion, striving to master Sukuna's power without losing himself. This dynamic makes for a protagonist as complex as he is badass. And his innately good-natured struggle with his demonic alter-ego keeps escalating to new heights of hype!

17. Power (Series: Chainsaw Man)


Chainsaw Man has no shortage of distinctive demons, but the blood-crazed fiend known as Power stands out from the pack. Her name sums it up perfectly: she's powerful, and she knows it!

As a "Blood Fiend" type Devil loosely based on Makima's pet dog, Power has feline mannerisms and exhibits a playfully petulant persona. Which serves to make her increasingly unhinged violent outbursts all the more disturbing!

With her dual-wielding katana skills, Curse energy blasts, and ability to revive upon death so long as blood is available, Power is lethally mischievous bundle of trouble. She may be obstinate and arrogant, but her inherent adorableness and surprising vulnerability at times endears her to characters and viewers alike!

18. Natsu Dragneel (Series: Fairy Tail)

Natsu Dragneel

Whoa, a Fairy Tail demon! What's not to love here? Natsu Dragneel is the fire-breathing, trouble-making protagonist of this fantasy epic, and he's easily one of the most hot-blooded characters around.

Natsu starts off as a normal (albeit rather destructive) fire mage. But later in the story, we learn he's actually "E.N.D." - Etherious Natsu Dragneel - one of the most powerful demons created by the dark wizard Zeref!

After this insane plot twist, Natsu gains the ability to enter a new demonic "Dragon Force" mode. We're talking raging flames, draconic scales, and some downright beastly attacks! His sheer power in this form is off the charts, making him a total monster on the battlefield.

And that's what makes Natsu so gosh darn memorable. He's not your typical demon - he's a rowdy, lovable goofball who will risk life and limb for his guildmates. And when he does tap into his demon side in climatic showdowns, it makes for some of the most hype moments in the whole series!

19. Rem (Series: Re: Zero)


At first glance, Re:Zero's Rem seems anything but demonic - she's a soft-spoken, loyal sweetheart! But don't let those adorable facial markings and maid uniform fool ya - this girl's got some legitimately terrifying demonic power locked away!

As an Oni, Rem boasts superhuman strength, speed, stamina and endurance even in her human form. But when she activates her "Horned Oni Mode", hoo boy - things get wild! A huge magical horn springs from her forehead, amplifying her physical might to insane levels!

What makes Rem so beloved is the stark contrast between her cute, compassionate side and her utterly merciless combat capabilities. She dotes on love interest Subaru one minute, then morphs into a whirlwind of dismemberment against foes the next. And you can bet it makes for some of Re:Zero's most crowd-pleasing moments!

20. Hiei (Series: Yu Yu Hakusho)


Oh Hiei, you deliciously dark anti-hero, you! This perpetually grim swordsman steals the show in Yu Yu Hakusho with his cold demeanor and ruthlessly efficient fighting style.

As a denizen of Demon World, Hiei boasts some fantastically demonic qualities. He's got a parasitic third eye that augments his psychic powers and flames. He's a lightning-fast dual wielder that utilizes the gruesome Dragon of the Darkness Flame. And he can shift into a transformed Jaganshi state that further boosts his abilities!

Over the course of the series, Hiei goes through a compelling character arc that sees him soften up and forge genuine bonds with his Spirit Detective teammates. But throughout it all, he keeps that no-nonsense, badass demon edge that makes him such an enduring fan-favorite.

The Verdict: Kurama Claws His Way to #1!

There you have it folks - after 8 epic entries in the franchise that made him famous, the legendary Kurama ultimately stands supreme as #1 among anime’s absolute best demon characters! Though slots like #2 Nezuko and #8 Chrono certainly gave this vulpine juggernaut a run for his money!

But now I turn it over to you! Agree with these Top 20 titles, or feeling a few formidable fiends got unfairly snubbed? Let everyone know which anime demon deserves more recognition in your opinion! Because as today’s blog post proves, devilishly divine discussion shall never die!

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