How to be a Good Villain

The best villains are known for more than their laugh

When you hear “villain” what do you think of? Perhaps a goon in a cape ramblings about evil plans for world domination. Perhaps someone with wild eyes and a kooky laugh. Most can agree that the one thing you will imagine when you hear the word villain is something or someone evil. Because, that’s what a villain is supposed to be, right? What if I told you that I like villains who AREN’T exactly evil? That villains who go around wanting to take over the world and kicking every puppy in sight could be found in any Powerpuff Girls cartoon and are boring? …Well, that’s what I’m saying right now.

I’m not trying to be a hipster here when I say that the whole “whole domination” motive for villains is getting old. I believe you shouldn’t fix what isn’t broken, and something common isn’t advertantly BAD.  But it’s become such a default mould for villains that it’s often a tempting choice instead of constructing a thought-out bad guy.

I want something a little different and a tad more believeable. What would you even need the entire world for? Nevermind that, the goal itself is nigh impossible unless the character is absurdly overpowered. It’s offputting to see villains with that goal since no normal person would even dream of it, and I want characters I can at least vaguely relate to. It’s like trying to picture how big the universe is, it’s just too grand a scale to wrap my head around and see a point to it. I can relate to wanting to take over a city, but not the entire world.

Typical “I’m evil because I was written that way” villain

Basing an entire villain around world domination is just one problem for designing a villain, and it often stems from just wanting a villain to be evil and stopping there. “Oh, we need someone to oppose the hero? Well, make him heartless, wretched, and eager to hurt anything that comes in his path. That’s original!” How many anime villains have wanted to take over the world or just be a royal pain in the ass for no reason aside from being designed that way? (or maybe a depressing past, but that hardly warrants the birth of a megalomaniac).

Villains who are evil for the sake of being evil lack a real purpose. What’s there to motivate them? I find that the best villains aren’t the demented ones who try to take over the world, but the ones who exist in a sort of moral grey area. They have a set goal in mind that almost sounds just, but their means of achieving it are morally unsound. If anything, they seem like they have misguided morals and could be coaxed back to the right path. What makes them so tragic is that they’re putting so much effort and talent towards all the wrong things. This sort of evil hits a lot closer to home than those who torture the protagonist with sharks and laserbeams for me.

The Moral Grey Area

SO WHAT THE HELL AM I TALKING ABOUT WITH THIS GREY MORAL AREA THING, HUH? Death Note’s Light Yagami is a perfect first example of this. Nice, smart boy with unlimited potential. He comes across a source of power and starts using it for what he thinks is the right thing – killing criminals. It almost sounds like the right thing to do. That is, until he gets drunk with power and starts whittling down the population so that anyone he deems as unworthy gets the axe. Light kills a lot of innocent people, but he’s convinced that his goal is for the greater good. It’s really hard to say if it is. What made his battle with L so interesting aside from the clash of wits was the clash of morals. The story would be a lot different if Light just killed indiscriminately without a goal. KILL EVERYONE Light would be impossible to sympathize with. “I am doing the right thing…” mindset Light has the possibility of convincing others to take his side.

By placing characters in a position that is neither objectively wrong or right, it forces the viewer to really think and decide what they believe to be good or evil.  Shiki does this perfectly, so that by the end of the series it is YOU who ultimately decides which person is the real villain. Both the humans and shiki are equal in terms of morality. Both kill each other out of necessity to survive, although often times they enjoy the killings more than they should or get too carried away. Who is in the wrong: the vampire who needs to kill humans so they survive or the humans who kill the vampires so they won’t murder everyone in the village? Both sides can be argued and neither side is right…It’s intricately set up to be subjective, and I love that.

Time for everyone’s favourite villain this year: Kyubei from Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. Some slight spoilers here, but Show ▼

Despite having good intentions, Kyubei is probably one of the most despised villains in anime to date. If you haven’t seen fanart of him being eaten, shot, punched, dropkicked or blasted to death, you haven’t been around enough. The beauty of moral grey areas is that sometimes the standards set in our society will tend to shift in one way more than another. For poor QB, that would be to the despised side. He’s as much in the not-too-evil-not-too-good Goldilocks area as anyone, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone supporting the little fuzzball.

On the slightly darker grey section of the moral scale lie characters like Orihara Izaya from Durarara!!. They do some good, they do some evil, but overall they just do whatever tickles their fancy. It’s hard to call them outright evil…but they sure do some evil things. It’s hard to pull off well-rounded characters like that who sometimes bat for the other team, but it really pays off. If you’ve seen Slayers, Xellos also pulls this off quite nicely. He follows Lina around when it suits him, even protecting them at times if they’ll lead him to something of interest. As soon as their interests conflict, oh, it is ON. The flipping from good to bad to neutral really makes these characters unpredictable and great sources of shock value of the non-corny variety.

 

Exceptions

Just making a character with ambiguous morals isn’t the only thing needed for a good villain. I find that most of my favourite villains are in this category, but that isn’t the only thing that makes them stand out. Character design, backstory, how they interact with the “hero” and even how awesome their laugh is dictate what makes a good villain. It’s hard to peg down one ultimate must-have for a character, since characters should be multi-dimensional. Heck, I absolutely adore some villains who are just batshit crazy and like to kill people just because THEY DO. But they aren’t necessarily well-designed now, are they?

 

Now it’s your turn

So you’ve heard my thoughts, I want to hear yours.  Do you think morally ambiguous villains are the best type of villains? Prefer the pure evil type? Have a favourite villain you just want to talk about? Feel free to drum up a discussion, I want to see what kind of evil-doer tickles your fancy! This is my first editorial, but don’t be afraid to speak your mind!

Mini Picspam of Some of Cool’s Favourite Villains:Show ▼

About

A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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93 Responses to “How to be a Good Villain”

  1. Carla says:

    We all love villians
    In my case, I don’t like stereotyped Villians…
    You know what I’m talking about:
    “HAHAHAHA I will rule the world, because I want to”
    I prefer a villian who Know what he/she is looking for, how to get it, and why.
    I love when the goal is not to hurt people, but if in the way they have to do it, they would.
    And it’s so important the perspective that the villain has about himself…
    An example is Light Yagami, who think about himself like “justice”; but he killed inocence people… So there is something wrong there…
    And we have Izaya, Who even admitted be a coward
    I prefer them to have a real perspective about themselves and their goals.
    And finally…
    I love the way they can manipulate people around them; that is inevitable in a good villain

    Sorry about my english ヾ(^∇^)

    • Overcooled says:

      Villains always have a certain charm to then…I love when they manage to twist things so their actions are justified. I like villains who actually have enough power and influence to manipulate others too :3 Otherwise they’re kind of pathetic.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Nice post. It brings up some interesting questions. What I particularly like in a villain is his ability to test peoples morality, pushing them to their limits and see what happens. Like Heath Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight for instance. He’s a perfect example. Completely out of his mind, has a plan and fueled by all out anarchy.

    In a way, Shiki’s Toshio Ozaki fits that discription but it’s his morality being tested, going to a very dark place. The who is wrong: Human or vampire debate, is tough to get an answer out of that. It’s interesting that I still find myself pro-Shiki. LOL 😀

    • Overcooled says:

      Oh yes, I love villains like that too. Villains who make the heroes, and anyone else for that matter, question their motives. Arg, I am kicking myself for not mentioning the Joker in my post, he’s such a legendary villain.

      lol, still pro-shiki? XD I started reading the manga now, which really shows how brutal the humans are…and yet I still side with them haha

      • BlackBriar says:

        And what’s really threatening in a villain is the fact that he used to be a hero. Moreover, your best friend. The purest character who you would think would never fall becoming the darkest enemy you could ever face and attacking you without mercy. Worse, he knows you and your weak spots so you’re gonna get hit where it hurts the most.

        Look at Final Fantasy VII’s Sephiroth. In Crisis Core, he was once the greatest hero ever known only to become one of the most sadistic, ruthless and awesome bad guys out there.

        • MikADo says:

          Sepiroth rox 😀

        • Overcooled says:

          Oh, I love how heroes get so devastated when they have to fight an old friend turned bad guy. Especially when it’s totally unexpected. Sephiroth is probably one of the legendary bad guys out there XD

  3. Reaper says:

    I’m with you in the morally grey area. No one is completely good, everyone is a mix of good and bad and it’s not just the person either. Sometimes, in bad situations, the most evil character could be a seen as very good, whilst like peaceful, the good-intentioned characters are despised by the others. I liked how you included Light, the moral compass leading to his good intentions, even if he killed innocents; he justify his own actions as “good”, though he begins to have aspirations to being God, slight sign of power-madness…
    Izaya is probably the best villain because he knows it himself 😉 but he’s an information broker, playing from the shadows not for anyone’s side but when something benefits him aka stamping on schoolgirls’ mobiles for entertainment. That kind of villain isn’t just enjoyable but able to be related; honestly, who wouldn’t want to be something like a Shadow Broker, manipulating an entire city to their own whims? Or even just satisfying what they desire? That blurring between lines/morals is what makes the best villain since we can be relate and actually conceive them in reality to despise them :) (or actually like them, such as Izaya :))

    • Overcooled says:

      Very good point there, Reaper. In real life it’s rare, or even impossible to find someone who is “just good” or “just bad”, people act certain ways in certain situations.

      Izaya may be the hottest thing since sliced bread, but it’s really for a reason. You have to admire someone who has that much power and just uses it to fiddle around with people like playthings. He doesn’t do anything horrible, but he’s not a hero. Very relatable and VERY cool. (There’s a reason he’s always my avatar pic fufufufu)

  4. Hogart says:

    I just love the phrase “good villain”.

    But more seriously, to me the basic good villain:
    – is a good match for their opposition
    – has a personality consistent with their motivations
    – is not defined by a single event or simple quirks
    – has their values challenged, yet retain their conviction

    Big bonuses to my enjoyment if:
    – they have a life outside of their villainy
    – they are not definable purely by tropes
    – they partially succeed somehow or are partially “right”
    – they know what they’re doing (ie have read the Evil Overlord List)

    Yeah, that’s far less eloquent than your own exploration :)

    • Overcooled says:

      Haha, yes, you caught that XD

      That’s a nice, compact guide for a good villain. It really wouldn’t kill for people to actually follow those once in a while. I hate one-trick-ponies who have their entire life or existence revolve around one quirk or instance. It’s such a cheap way to make a character…

  5. Da5id says:

    No Dilandau? And whose the guy at the bottom left of the top picture?

    • Hime says:

      He’s in the top image.

    • Overcooled says:

      What Hime said.

      The guy on the bottom left is Atori from Noein, an anime I’m currently in the process of watching. Pretty good stuff. (Also, he’s pretty malicious).

  6. Mad Chemist says:

    Hmm… you make some really good points about good villains, and a lot of my favorite villains, anime or not, are morally complex in some way. I don’t think that’s all there is to it, though, since two of my favorite anime/manga villains (King Hamdo from Now and Then, Here and There and Friend from 20th Century Boys) are both true monsters who have other qualities that make them fester in my head even after their series are over. With Hamdo I was shocked at both just how evil he was (since the man is a warlord whose army is largely composed of children, and that’s just scratching the surface) and by how deliberately unlikable he was created to be. He was a batshit insane manchild who never comes across as cool or sympathetic, and his brand of evil and insanity was one of the biggest reasons that N&T,H&T was such a memorable and disturbing watch. As for Friend… well, I can’t say too much about the man without spoiling an awesome manga, but I will say that his series discusses what kind of guy would attempt to take over the world and why in very interesting detail.

    I really agree with you about looking for something deeper in villains though. Just like you said, it’s so easy for creators to take the easy way out, stick a bunch of tropes on a character design and call it a day, and villains who don’t rely on these crutches are much more interesting than those that do. Giving villains shades of gray, or even delving into them beyond the surface, is what separates the best from forgettable ones and can be the big push to make a work truly special.

    • Overcooled says:

      20th century Boy is at the top of my manga to-read list…I’m even more excited to read it now.

      Most of the times villains are marketed as being the cool, badass, “kill everything” type…so having a villain deliberately designed to actually disgust you is really a step up. Villains like that are also very well-designed, and they don’t necessarily have to have ambiguous morals, they can just be malevolent villains. A great example of an exception XD But yes, as long as there is something deeper to the villain than just BEING A VILLAIN, they become a lot more memorable.

  7. MikADo says:

    muhahahahahahahahahahahahah kak..
    was that laugh good enough? :3

    I love those moral benders tooo
    like Code Geass, Death Note, QB, and Shiki and the like
    just because they give so much to think about

    (just remembered, that Guren Lagaan also had the anti spiral that had similar motives to QB :P)

    and i think people like Izaya and Xellos are not evil, but still are villains, in the fact they can use any method to achieve their goal :3 ? Well thats why they are such lovable characters too 😀 like Maria from Maria Holic and Arakawa Under the bridge

    but the most important thing I think that a villain requires is their own set of values, and their ability to see the world in their own eyes, not of those of society
    and of course some madness is always good for a villain

    the evil laugh too XD

    My favorite villains include:

    Ladd Russo 😀
    Rail Tracer
    Izaya
    Joker
    GlaDos
    QB
    Rhode – D. Greyman
    Kaoru – evangelion (if you could call him a villain)
    Guilgamesh – Fate
    Alukard – Hellsing
    Major – Hellsing
    Kamui – Gintama
    Van – Tales of Abyss
    Jiraia – GIntama
    Xerxes Break – Pandor Hearts
    and others 😛

    • Overcooled says:

      I kept thinking of TTGL, but I was so dazzled by EVERYTHING ELSE that I didn’t even remember what the hell Anti-spiral was trying to do. XD

      Izaya could be arguably seen as not evil, but I think I’d have to say Xellos is more on the evil side. Whereas Izaya has no evil intentions, he just has…intentions…Xellos has some clearly vicious objectives. I mean, he’s a monster. :B

      HOW COULD I, THE ONE WHO SOUNDS VAGUELY LIKE GLADOS, FORGET ABOUT GLADOS?!?! D:

  8. Hato-kun says:

    Good God I could talk for hours. And in all honesty, I love QB. He’s one of the reasons I loved that show.

    Villains are really a tough thing to talk about, even more difficult to understand and pretty much impossible to write. The reason I enjoyed QB so much was because he wasn’t a Human villain, he had a reason for being the way he was.

    Human villains are pretty horrible. Actually, scratch that. It’s the fans that make human villains horrible. The idolize the character too much, and producers know that they’ll do this. They don’t create villains for story anymore, they create villains for fans. It makes me cry.

    Also,

    “…who torture the protagonist with sharks and laserbeams…”

    I believe you mean ‘Sharks with laserbeams’. Thank me later.

    • Overcooled says:

      YES, I want to make people feel like discussing. XD

      I don’t love QB, but he is a damn good villain. I want to destroy him. Non-human villains really produce an interesting feeling. I don’t know how to put my finger on it, but seeing cute things rip the souls out of people can be more disconcerting than if it were a human. o_o

      Ugh, I know what you mean about some villains. villains are often reduced to being fodder for fangirls and fanboys as opposed to..I dunno..progressing the plot? Serving a purpose? They’re cool and all, but about as deep as a paper plate.

      Yes, I will have to change that *raises pinky finger*

  9. Foshizzel says:

    Holy crap awesome editorial OC!

    Well for me world domination villains are old and busted! New ones like just like Izaya are more interesting to watch, I love the unpredictable ones the most.

    Another series that tends to have the insane villains would have to be both Index seasons, there are a few world domination types that half over the top laughs and are often power hungry.

    And what about the “villains” like Accelerator? They start out as bad guys then suddenly have a change of heart, like when he meets Last Order. Those types are kind of fun for me as well, they really aren’t good after that but realize they have well something to protect.

    Course not everyone likes their villain’s to suddenly do a 360 going from I WANNA KILL YOU to Meh fine I wont this time.

    My favorite baddies
    Crocodile- One piece
    Tyki Mikk- D. Grayman
    Millenium Earl- D. Grayman
    Izaya
    QB
    Jiraia- Gintama
    Accelerator- (sometimes evil haha)
    Vent of the front- (IndexII)

    Thanks! for that fun read Oc!

    • Overcooled says:

      Aww, thanks Fosh. I was so nervous posting this at first! XD

      I prefer villains who can surprise me by changing and evolving than predictable, world-dominators -.- I didn’t watch Index, but the side-switching thing is only good if done correctly. If someone hugs them and they magically decide to be good, UR DOING IT WRONG.

      • Foshizzel says:

        Welcome! 😀

        True and that’s fine most people pass on Index which is alright, not like this is the first series to have a baddy switch sides! I mean take Vegeta from DBZ he kind of did the switching thing after freeza saga.

  10. Balloon Thief says:

    Personally I really hate the villains that think there doing it for the right reasons. Just because you can morally justify it, doesn’t mean you aren’t delusional. It actually means you probably are delusional. I also dislike this style of bad guy because I can’t relate at all to how they think. My favorite part of these style of villains are their intelligence. The plans end up being so intricate that even though I disagree with the motives, I’m really interested in how they try to accomplish them. Also since these bad guys are so intelligent there are chances that they might realize before the end, and become a super pro good character.

    The characters like Izaya and the Joker are a whole different story. They are my favorite. Their actions and motives seem infinitely more logical to me than the morally justifying villains. They work on a very simple motivation that I understand. They don’t want to be bored. With Izaya he toys with people so he can see if he can read them and to direct the flow towards more outrageous(entertaining) city. The joker is similar because he gets most excited when people think they will die. It makes that he’d like to try to kill people. The riddler is a villain because he has a personal vendetta against Batman. I like these characters because one they are more random and creative. And two I think very much like them. Except for the killing. I am motivated very much by my own quest to be entertained and not bored. Not by morals and the like. So I like these characters because they remind me of myself.

    Oh and I like the bad guys that are good at fighting. Those are fun.

    • Overcooled says:

      I love that sort of delusional “but what I’m doing is right!” villain. They’re so misguided, and yet so driven. :3 Some are harder to relate to than others, but really it’s all about someone trying to do the right thing. That tends to garner a little bit of sympathy from me.

      Characters like the Joker and Izaya don’t see anything wrong with their behaviour though, even when it hurts others. They justify their actions for the cause of “fun” replacing “morally correct.” They’re different from other villains in that sense, but they’re still delusional if they think being that reckless isn’t without harm.

  11. Bass says:

    Excellent post, you raised some really good points.

    Villains who play with the line of moral ambiguity are the best and series that have villains who are as equally appealing as the heroes tend to be really memorable to me. One series that comes to mind is D.Gray-Man, since the heroes and villains actually have equal right in their fight for power.

    The manga has been progressively exploring this theme and the villains from DGM have as much appeal and fanfare as the heroes, if not more. If you haven’t seen it, you should definitely check out the manga.

    We always need our Yamato to our Agon, there’s a balance needed to gather some perspective on villains. But generally, if they are written well, I don’t care where their morals lie, as long as they fit into the story’s context.

    Besides, who doesn’t love MojoJojo lol

    • Overcooled says:

      Awww thank you, Bass-kun! n_n

      D. Gray Man does a good job of having villains flipping sides and making you actually sympathize with the villains. Especially with Allen’s position tying everything together. I’m up to date with the manga and I’m really curious where he’s going to go from here. Poor Allen D:

      Haha, we all need a little mojojojo here and there, that is true XD

  12. cassi says:

    I love villains. I have to disagree even villains who are evil for the sake of being evil but have fun with it are entertaining. Honestly, the world domination thing is more an American comic thing. I love Lex more than Superman and the Joker more than Batman. Why? Because they are more interesting than the heroes. They do what they want. They are the other more intriging side of the hero who struggles and pouts and tries to do the ‘right’ thing.

    Villains need a good motivation. Their reasons for doing what they’re doing have to be clear. A more developed villain will always be more interesting than the one who laughs and shots people for no reason. But the same thing can be said for any character. One dimensional characters are boring. Period. No matter if they are the protagonist, the hero or the villain.
    Izaya, the Joker, Lex, Crowley, Alastair, Kyubei, Rociel are only a few of my favorite villains but I would describe Light and Lelouch as anti-heroes.

    But nobody comes even close to my personal favorite:
    Seishirou Sakurazuka (Toky Bablyon, X) he’s not a nice guy and he knows it, he kills people but loves to have ice-cream after it, he claims to have no emotions but doesn’t even realize that’s a lie.

    • Overcooled says:

      Villains have a sort of natural appeal for being the rebel against the hero. I don’t mind the occasional nutjob, pure evil villain, I just tend to prefer the one with more complex moral standings. But it may just be complexity in general that I crave, because the need for development is apparent for all characters, as you say. Not just villains.

      Haven’t read Tokyo Babylon X but he sounds like one hell of a guy.

  13. Dan-go says:

    and then the worse villain of all…OC…cuz the sadistic she (in the broadest sense of the term)- Devil of metanorn, never showing mercy on the poor resident readers of metanorn.net

  14. Sabine says:

    I´m bad at handel those villains who think they are doing the right thing, them who thinks it´s right and who isn´t 1000% pure evil in the stereotypical category. That´s becouse I usually don´t think that okay, I´m on the good side, the good ones have Always right. I feel pity for the evil ones, I may become really sad of the fact that maybe no one can understand that so called villain and the blind good crew fight for the stupid “justice”. (It´s times when I hate the good ones xD)

    I usually go for the other part and feel pity for them, hoping they aren´t treated so bad. In echi animes I´m usually on the guys side and hate the stupid girls who Hits him 24/7 of something he havn´t done. Same thing it is in the villains, if the “evil” one is not pure evil I usually hate it when they say blindly that “He/she is evil, we have to stop him and kick his/hers ass.” Who is evil and who is not? I would take the side of the villain if it would start to be all too stupid and blind in the heroic good-ones, when they would not care about the villain and wonder Why the villain does those things, who surelly have a reason to do the things he/she does, if you only would stop killing he/she and try to understand the villains mind better.

    But when it´s a villain who really Is evil (like Kyubei) then I hate them over everything. ´kay a bad example, Kyubei believed he did right, but I mean if there is a villain who they make so that the watchers Really Hate he/she, then I´m at the front row becouse I have a strong opinnion of what is fair and unfair, what is the right thing to do and bad. So if there´s a great villain in my opinion, they they make a villain they have made so that everyone Really for real Hate the one. Then it´s not usually fun to watch the anime (when the taste of a “good” villain is gone xD), but they have succeeded in what they wanted, to do a ultimate villain.

    • Joojoobees says:

      Very interesting to bring up abusive girls from RomComs in this context. They certainly think they are in the right, despite the audience’s knowledge that the male getting beaten didn’t mean any harm, so this fits the idea expressed by OverCooled of moral ambiguity.

      Just to throw another favorite of mine into the mix: I always thought the King of Kou, from 12 Kingdoms was an interesting villain because his motivations are both selfish and difficult to understand. For example, he hates the strangers (kaikyaku) because they are born of a woman’s stomach, which he declares an “abomination”.

      • Overcooled says:

        The heroes usually try to understand the villain and either reform them or save them, but in the end they usually have to kill them :/ Poor villains, indeed. No one accepts their ideas. I like when villains either have your sympathy or make you really hate them for being so evil (out of good design).

        And adding romance anime in the mix is an interesting spin on things. The girls aren’t necessarily villains, but it is one of those situations where everyone is trying to do the right thing..but no one gets along in the end. That might be more of a “misunderstanding” type of thing though.

        Oh wow, that 12 Kingdoms villain sounds…intense. I guess he wasn’t born from the womb? So many villains I’m learning about from this post!

  15. Hime says:

    I’m really torn between who I like more, a more dimentional villian or a bat-shit insane one. It depends on show, I guess. The latter are so much more fun to watch because they are so over-the-top-crazy, but almost nothing beats the quiet “Just as planned.” moment when the bad guy gets the upper hand.

    It’s probably greedy to ask for both but my perfect anime would have a well constructed sauve evil genius at the helm but equipped with a fun psycho sidekick for random injections of hilarious insanity.

    • Overcooled says:

      I do love a good batshit insane villain every now and then haha. But once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. But oh man, I would love both working together…XD

  16. TRazor says:

    Villains are who you make them to be. All characters are written as either protagonists, side characters or antagonists. If I’m not wrong, there is an difference in character:

    Antagonists = Anti-heroes

    An anti-hero is someone who has an objective that clashes with that of the protagonist. Whether he is a villain or not, is upto your interpretation. If an anti-hero does evil things, then he is considered a villain. Kyubey, for example, is not a villain in my book. He is a wonderful antagonist, but not a villain.

    It all comes down to one’s interpretation of a character.

    • Overcooled says:

      Morally ambiguous character might probably be better described as anti-heroes or antagonists than villains, but it’s all a case of how you categorize things. I just lumped antagonists in with villains, but you’re right, there’s a clear difference.

  17. Tofu says:

    No this just doesn’t feel right. A mini picspam of your favourite villain yet there is no Izaya pic’z!?!?! :O This can’t be happening, I expected a chunk of fangirling over Izaya and your picspam filled with Izaya OC!! xD

    Though my favourite villain would have to be Viral from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann who becomes good in the end though.

    • Kyokai says:

      That’s because he’s already there in the post and common knowledge. xD

      • Tofu says:

        Not good enough! XD

        • Overcooled says:

          Haha, I didn’t want to spam Izaya. Kyokai is right, everyone is probably sick from all the obsessed rants about Izaya out there including my own XD So I let him take the backseat this time. Don’t worry, I’m not sick or anything, Tofu :3

          • Tofu says:

            That’s a weak excuse! >:3 You must stand up for what you love and continue to shower those around you of that love like what I do with Mio!!! MWAHAHAHAHA! <3

  18. Kyokai says:

    Good stuff, Cool-chan! <3

    I think villain (whatever type) of any series is as important as the main protagonists. There are times (as in Dark Knight), they make or break a plot.

    For me the ideal villain is someone who plots and has a grey area rather than just being batshit crazy (like Lio from KnK). Needs to have a brain for me to notice and if there’s an evil laugh/character craziness, I’m all for it like Light, Araya Souren, Izaya, Alucard and Greed.

    • Overcooled says:

      Uwaa, thank you Kyokai-sama!

      Villains are just as important as the heroes in my eyes as well. What would a good hero do without any opposition?

      Oh yes, I like my villains on the clever side too. Greed was my favourite FMA character and a great villain! Ahh, FMA brings back good memories.

  19. zabobinator says:

    Ooooh, I liked this post!

    I definitely agree with you about the villains/antagonists having a moral gray area. I become so much more involved with the action when I have a hard time deciding what truly constitutes “evil.” Very mentally stimulating.

    Then again, bat shit crazy villains are pretty great. Hehe.

    Also, the villains who have some sort of trauma or weakness are rather believable too. Sometimes these things give them a warped sense of the world and it’s a lot easier to sympathize with them. I guess this sort of ties in with the moral gray area though…

    • Overcooled says:

      Why thank you! I’m so glad people like it and are sharing their thoughts. I’m learning so much about our commenters~

      I like my villains to be complex because it gets the gears turning, yes. Crazyass villains are always good for fun though XD

      Villains with a past trauma can probably be lumped into the moral gray area type of villain because they have a reason, it just depends how logical that reason is for them to commit crimes. If it’s like “well, my parents died in a fire so I must destroy the city” (which is true for Clive in Professor Layton and the Unwound Future lol) then the trauma isn’t really justifiable :/ They’re just evil pricks. If it’s well-written though and a bit more ambiguous, it works.

  20. Namika says:

    I think, Light is one of the most well-composed villains. And I definitely think that it’s best to create a villain who has a purpose for being evil, rather than just being evil. I think, if a villain struggles with himself about his own actions, it makes him much more interesting. Like, Lelouch(though he’s not really a villain) from Code Geass. He was a really interesting character.
    On every aspect, I totally agree with you and saying any more would be ridiculous 😀
    Awesome idea for the editorial!!

    • Namika says:

      Though sick and crazy villains are really awesome too >.>

    • Overcooled says:

      Light is a really well-composed villain, for sure. He’s the main character so he gets a ton of development, while other heroes sometimes get left in the backburner :p

      Ahhh, thank you Naminyan, it looks like everyone at Metanorn loves villains XD

      • Namika says:

        While other heroes are interesting as well x(

        Heheee~ well, what can I say? It’s the way we are xD

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