They are superior to everyone, absolutely infallible, and really enjoy playing The Sims – we all know those certain anime characters that have that massive inflation that can only be called a god complex. A god complex can come in various forms, but in anime, it is a pretty popular trope. Some may say that god complexes, or “kamidere,” are overused in order to make an easy villain, but when done right, characters with the right traits can be as awe-inspiring as they are terrifying.
20 – Keima Katsuragi from The World Only God Knows
Keima is a god … of dating sims! He proclaims it loudly and often. As it turns out, it is pretty helpful for the plot.
19 – Director Kakuzawa from Elfen Lied
Kakuzawa had some pretty insane delusions that if he were to father the next generation of the Diclonius race that they would one day revere him as a god. Not only would his kin likely resent their rape-y father, but it requires the cooperation of a certain Diclonius female who did not consent.
18 – Basically Everyone from Future Diary
When you put twelve already-unstable individuals in a survival game with godhood at stake, it then becomes faster to point out the characters that do not have a god complex to some degree.
17 – Ken Ichijouji from Digimon
Genius is typically a powerful tool for those who have a god complex, but high intellect is often responsible for its development too. As it the case for Ken Ichijouji. Essentially, because of his sharp mind, he believes that he is the only one worthy of entering the digital world, and then proceeds to assume direct control of digimon via his dark rings.
16 – Rau Le Creuset from Gundam SEED
When ace pilot Rau’s god complex combines with his Providence Gundam, it manifests in one a serious rant about how he is the only one that is fit to judge humanity, who, whether they be Naturals or Coordinators, have committed some truly terrible deeds.
15 – Knives from Trigun
Born as a being that can generate energy, it is only natural that humanity would of course abuse the Plants, the race that Vash and Knives are members of. Due to this, Knives developed a keen hatred of humanity that is further explored in Trigun’s manga. Regardless, in both manga and anime, he treats humans as pawns, intending to ultimately kill them all while having a soft spot for only his brother and other Plants.
14 – Pain from Naruto
Pain, the leader of the Akatsuki, saw his god complex grow with the help of others that regarded him as a god due to his power. Originally he became a ninja to protect others, and then used his role and power as a way to bring peace to his country. It is his growing feeling of responsibility to save the world that fed his god complex, leading him to inflict pain in order to stop violence. Regardless, it worked. The villagers of Amegakure soon revered him as a god.
13 – Aizen from Bleach
It should be only natural for a Shinigami to have a bit of a god complex over humans, but Aizen takes his god complex and amps it up to the extreme, believing that he is leaps and bounds above his peers. His whole arc is about him trying to defeat the Spirit King so that he can ascend to something that not even a god can achieve. As such, it makes sense that the manga chapter covering his defeat is called “Deicide,” the term use to describe killing a god.
12 – Dio Brando from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
Dio Brando doesn’t make his complex as obvious as some other villains like Cars, but he certainly displays all the signs. Dio essentially acts like the world is in his hands, and often, it is. Like any person with delusions of something higher, he uses his brainwashed followers to enact his plan which is the most kamidere thing about him – he wants to reset the universe.
11 – Gendo Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion
Gendo is brilliant and a true master of puppets throughout the series. However, despite this, he has a relatively mild god complex. His only goal is to work towards being reunited with his dead wife, which of course leads him to use and discard people frequently towards this goal.
10 – Griffith from Berserk
Griffith wants a country to rule. While the currently running Berserk 2016 anime hasn’t quite caught up to the manga yet, Griffith gets his country after taking a few steps towards true godhood on the backs of his comrades. While Griffith is, at one point, considerate of others, he will still do whatever it takes to realize his ambition, as showcased by the end of the Golden Age arc in the 1997 anime.
9 – Enel from One Piece
You’d think with all the powerful characters in One Piece, there would be more God-types, but really there is only Enel. He considered himself a true God because of his Devil Fruit lightning powers that allow him to read the thoughts of others. He is also called a God as the leader of Skypeia, but that is just the term they use for their leader.
8 – Eiri Masami from Serial Experiments Lain
Masami is a god complex gone horribly wrong. Within the series, he commits suicide so that he can enter the Wired and then connect all of humanity through it via Lain. However, immediately following proclaiming himself a God, Lain bursts in and confirms his existence only as a delusional human. The tool, Lain, that he hoped to use is now omnipotent, omnipresent, and likely immortal in a big old dose of irony.
7 – Izaya Orihara from Durarara
Izaya loves humans. He loves to watch them, he loves to play with them, and he loves how unpredictable they can be. It is his weird definition of love that causes him to play and manipulate the variety of characters in Durarara to see what would happen. When things are going well, he even goes so far as to refer to himself as a God, but things do not always go well when his manipulation is revealed.
6 – Naoi Ayato from Angel Beats
Once thought to be an NPC, after the SSS Battlefront ousts Angel from her seat as class president, Naoi Ayato shows his true face. In order to keep from disappearing from living out his school life, he was secretly beating the other NPC students. As acting president, he enacts harsh punishment on the SSS in order to punish them for their rebellion, even going so far as to massacre them on the school yard in order to realize his ambition – to become god. Unfortunately he is soon foiled and demoted to comic relief.
5 – Father from Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Cold and pitiless, Father is the homunculus from which all others are spawned. As the main villain of the series, he believes all humans are mere insects and are to be only used as his pawns. His god complex goes to the extreme when he literally drags God down and fuses with it, although his newfound godhood is very short lived.
4 – Gilgamesh from Fate Zero
Gilgamesh sees the world as his garden and finds all other Heroic Spirits beneath him. The fun part is, he’s not wrong! As the first Heroic Spirit and the King of Heroes, this makes other kings literal pretenders. It also doesn’t hurt that his power does indeed dwarf the power of everyone else. So this is one god complex that is completely justified.
3 – Sugou Nobuyuki and Akihiko Kayaba from Sword Art Online
Sword Art Online kind of has a love affair for gifting their villains with a god complex, which has led many fans to realize the trope is just a cheap way to create an easily dislikable villain, as is the case with both the villains from the first and second half of Sword Art Online. Kayaba wanted to create a world that was his and his alone, eventually trapping people inside his game, while Nobuyuki exercised his full control over his virtual world to harass Asuna.
2 – Lelouch Lamperouge from Code Geass
When you think of god complexes in anime, there are really two characters that immediately come to mind. Lelouch is one of them. However, interesting enough, as clever, calculating, and manipulative as he is, he never compares himself to God. In fact, as the series goes on, he believes he is the Devil incarnate.
1 – Light Yagami from Death Note
Who is God of god complexes? It is Light. You know it was Light. Light wants to kill all criminals to lull the world into a forced peace where he will then assume the mantle of God of this new world. He even gives getting the Shinigami eyes a pass because it would limit how many years he could be God of the world.
Did we miss your favorite semi-crazed, godhood-adjacent anime character with a god complex? Tell us about it in the comments section below.