Who loves villain raise your hands! And while I can’t see your hands though I’m pretty damn sure that you all agree with me that villains like the protagonist is equally important to characterize properly. For me their purpose is not just to serve conflict to the MC but also provide another perspective of the plot. I always love dissecting characters persona. The grayer the representation the better for me! It’s so interesting to know the depth of their thinking and logic behind their goals. I already mentioned this post about villains years back, but I haven’t highlighted the type of villains I observed from watching/reading! So here you go:
The just plain evil – the cliché type! The one who’s main purpose is to wreak havoc and cause chaos to MCs life (or the entire world because there’s nothing eviler than spreading like archetypal malevolent mastermind involving innocent people!) I remember a twitter friend (I forgot who sorry!) asked if we know a villain who just simply evil. Like there’s no deep reason on why he was evil. I couldn’t think of any at that time because even weak characterize villains I read still have some sort of crazy sense behind his evil deeds. (Maybe Avari from Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamers series). The idea is simple but isn’t always bad! (no pun intended!)
The injustices mold a villain – the world can be a cruel place to live! Now, these types of villains are often given very in-depth backstory: an insight as to why he has become like that. Sometimes we accept that the ruthlessness they received from these people because there was a reason! We understood how their character arrived to such development! Like for example, the very infamous Shishio Makoto from Rurouni Kenshin. He was hired assassin by the government; he held secrets and killed tons of people. But when the Tokugawa era ended and they didn’t have any use of him, they ditched him, tried to kill him by burning him alive! When he managed to escape, he vowed revenge, aimed to pull down the existing Meiji government! Was Shishio evil? Sure! But I can’t really blame him. I wouldn’t do that myself though…but they handed him the fuel to burn them with—if you know what I’m saying! (oh, no pun intended again)
The redeemable type! – These probably the most used type because most plots want to give villains some sort redemption at the end of the day. Despite the evil things he has done, he wasn’t painted completely evil. Like type no. 2, they have great backstory and the same backstory made you empathize with them. Unlike those villains that involve innocent people, the redeemable type usually after the people who wronged them. An example? Mukuro Rokudo from Katekyo Hitman Reborn. He hated the mafia world because how they experimented on children like him—like guinea pigs. But the good thing about these types is they can be an ally! You know what old proverbial saying, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
That’s it for now, tune in next time for the second installment! Now I turn over to you! What are your favorite types of villains?