I wanted to change things up a bit this week! I’m always thinking up new anime topics to talk about so I came up with Topic Tuesday. I love doing Top Ten Tuesday but I feel like it gets a little repetitive. I need to add some spice to my life (and to all of yours)! No one likes a boring basic-bitch blogger (including myself) XD
While everyone strives to be the hero, (whether that be in anime, movies, books, manga/comics, etc.), I am drawn to the villains of stories. There is something about them that is so alluring, mysterious, and captivating. I’m always wanting to know the inner workings of a villain’s mind. Like what made them become a villain, why do they do what they do, or if they have some heroic redeeming quality about them. There is just this air of je ne sais quoi (something “such as an appealing quality” that cannot be adequately described or expressed) about them. Their finesse is something that a hero could never gain or remotely express. I feel like it is a quality that only villains can really obtain.
Why are villains in anime so alluring, cool, put together, and well thought out? What makes a good villain? What makes them so appealing to the viewer? And why do they not get enough attention/screen time?! So many questions, so little time!
Just like the hero of the story, a villain has to have some sort of appeal to the viewer. That could be a number of things; from the way they look/are designed, to the way they act, think, or move throughout the anime/manga. It’s always something that catches the viewer’s eye, emotions, or thoughts.
The hero appeals to the viewer because he/she is overcoming obstacles/hardships that any normal man/women would face in real life. Writers usually go for the emotional attachment of relatability/seeing ones self in that said hero. This usually shakes the viewer into a state of mind where he/she can also becomes hero one day too. The idea that nothing is impossible if you really put your mind to it.
The fascination of villain’s most often stem from the deeper part of our subconscious. Something that is a bit more “darker.” Over on Moleboi’s page, (https://moleboi.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/what-makes-villains-appealing/) he put the perfect words to describe this “darker psyche” of our minds. “It stems from our Id. The arrogant part of our psyche which, completely selfish, wants our desires to be achieved and will go to any length (destructive or creative) to make them happen. Thus it is in the villains, arrogance in their belief that all their plans shall come to fruition and they remain unstoppable right up to the very moment of them demise that our fondness for such characters emerges. That and their superiority complex which tugs at the heartstrings of the ego a second part of our psyche. The part which is meant to restrain the Id by feeding it tit bits of what it seeks.”
The ego is a wicked thing my pandas, but this is also what makes a villain relatable to the viewer. Those dark thoughts, emotions, wants, needs are in all of us. Whether we want to admit them or not, they are rooted deep down in our tiny little minds. Sometimes the mind can’t help but take delight in all of those nasty thoughts. This is what in turn feeds the ego. The ego then sits and boils underneath the skin, until it festers out into reality. That is when a villain is made.
FanFic Magazine has a great article on why the viewer/fans might even romanticize villains. Maybe this is why I love villains so much? FanFic even breaks down villain’s into three types of categories; The Evil Villain, The Insane/Chaotic Villain, and The Ethical Villain. I never would have guessed you could break down villain’s into their own specific divisions (but it makes total sense now…duh!). If you want to check out that article, (and you should because it is a really interesting read), then just click here: https://fanslashfic.com/2016/01/26/the-bad-guy-always-wins-why-we-romanticize-antagonists/.
Villain’s are often written to be more intelligent than their hero counterpart. That’s probably why they are often one (to a million) steps ahead of the main character. Instead of having brute psychical strength, they have intellectual power and with power comes the ideology that a villain can rule the world. This can also be counted as a character’s strength or an overall weakness though.
As a lovely person named Danny wrote over on Quora (https://www.quora.com/Why-do-people-like-villains-so-much): “Another admirable attribute that many villains have is a devil-may-care attitude. This attitude certainly doesn’t help anyone that gets in their way in their pursuit of whatever they desire, but it does make their lifestyle pretty alluring. They have something that everyone wants more of; freedom. They are truly free to live however they’d like without caring about anyone or anything that’s affected along the way. It’s a seductive concept. But, again, we arrive at the idea of weakness. Weakness to control one most basic desires.”
Villains are not without fault or weaknesses. It is their weaknesses that usually drives them into a corner allowing the hero to beat them. Villains more often than not have no moral constraints generally. They do what they want whenever they want and they don’t give a fuck about the consequences, while the hero will pine over actions/consequences for long periods of time. Plainly so to speak, if the villain is written complex enough they tend to be cooler/more ambiguous than the hero.
Overall, I think villains have more fun than the hero’s. They break all the rules/boundaries set in front of them without really giving it a second thought. I think viewers like rule-breakers/outlaws because they behave in ways we wish we could. This all circles back to my thoughts on our “darker egos.” Feeding those desires and wants/needs we have daily. I find villains oh so clever! We identify with them, we root for them, we sometimes want to see them prevail, and we ALL love to hate them but hate to love them. All characters, fictitious or real, have qualities we can admire or relate to. Simple as that.
What are some of your favorite anime villains? Why do you love them? What is your favorite quality in a villain? Let me know in the comments section down below! ❤
Disclaimer: All imagery and photos come from searching for them on the internet. I have no claim or right to them.