What is it?
The Anti-Villain is the opposite of an anti-hero: While the anti-hero often fights on the side of good, but with selfish motives; the anti-villain plays a villain's game, but for a noble cause... at least in their eyes. They may be personally more noble or heroic than an anti-hero but the means to achieve their ends are often considered immoral, unjust, sometimes even evil. Sometimes, they may simply be a villain with gentlemanly qualities, a code of honor or some sense of justice. Anti-villains will occasionally side with their rivals (usually the protagonist) if a greater threat than themselves comes or it is in both of their best interests. Oftentimes, if they do join the protagonists, they are distrusted. These villains are also often considered "grey" characters due to their moral ambiguity. It is possible to be both an anti-villain and anti-hero at the same time, depending on the character's goal and their methods of attaining it.