>What makes a good Villain
November 4, 2010 Leave a comment
>Let me start off by saying, there are two type of villains in this world. There are good villains, and then there are Bond villains.
The Bond villains capture the main characters, leave them tied up over a pool of sharks and then.. they leave the room. This is already the biggest mistake any villain can make. Most often, the terribly written villains will start off in a monologue explaining their plan to the heroes/heroines, or even going into a sob story about their past life. These villains alone could ruin an anime altogether, and I’ve seen it happen one too often. These villains simply don’t know what they’re doing or why they do as they do. It simply doesn’t make any logical sense.
So what does make a good villain?
The good villains are the lowest of the low. The scum of all characters. They show no mercy to their victims, be it children or even unborn babies. These are the ones that make you want to hate them. They have no sympathy to anyone. Most of all, they are founded on two main aspects: Their motives and their actions. Motives are crucial to a villain. If they have no reason for being bad, they’re just wasting their time. Very stupid. Now I’ll accept motives of a villain for wanting either A) More Power/Personal desires or, B) World Change. These are normal, or, humane if you will. The motives that bother me the most is being bad for the sake of being bad, or doing it for fun. Great villains don’t see themselves as villains. They see themselves as the next messiah or as the right person to bring change into the world. Doing it fun seems rather silly. It gives the audience the idea that the Villain must be so badass, he’s doing it all just for fun. It’s not a matter of morality or not, but what they classify as “fun”. Is torturing hamsters and kittens all that fun? It’s not villainous, just very sick-minded.
Great villains must also act, and act fast. Too often, they will sit around, observing the main characters defeating their minions, one by one, as if that’s all they have in their arsenal. This isn’t even trying. Proper villains will throw everything they’ve got at them, doing whatever it takes to take down their foe. Of course, they need to pull the right moves, or all their effort has been put to waste. The second they start killing off their own companions, they’ve already signed their own death certificate.
One of the villains I admire is Izaya from Durarara. Granted, his motives aren’t very strong, he simply does what he does to make things “interesting”. However, it’s what he does that counts. Constantly, he’ll be the one pulling the strings behind the conflicts behind characters, screwing with their lives in horrible ways. He’s very sly and sneaky little bastard. He’s not even afraid to confront and piss off one of the most strongest characters in the series, Shizuo. His role in Durarara is part of what made the series so fantastic and an engaging watch. Whenever you saw him on screen, you knew he always had something up his sleeve.
Or let’s take Koichi Shidou of High School of the Dead. A ‘scum’ villain who will commit any villainous act in order to proclaim himself as a ‘god’. Throughout the series, he’s constantly sacrificing the lives of his students, in order to push himself to the top. A man who believes in survival of the fittest, willing to leave any injured student behind. At one point, he’ll even brainwash his students to engage in an orgy on the bus. Really fucked, but he made out to be a fine, interesting villain, not to mention that he had one of those faces that everyone wanted to punch.
Most villains just aren’t so “bad” really. They’ve simply “misunderstood” people. It’s rare to find a great villain in anime nowadays. If anything, the most interesting villainous people I’ve seen recently are the soldiers of Estaboole of Legend of Legendary Heroes. Now these people don’t like to screw around and do nothing. They’ll go as far as murdering parents in front of their kids. It’s just a real damn shame that there aren’t too many well-written villains.