Monday, October 14, 2013

Top 10 Anime Antagonists

Top 10 Anime Antagonists
Written by: ClayDragon and Shiggins


Let’s face it, a major part of a show’s appeal is the villain. Be they suave and sophisticated, or insane and genocidal, they’re always one of the more memorable aspects of a series. With this in mind, Shiggins and I have constructed a list of the top 10 anime antagonists. For the purpose of this list, the word ‘antagonist’ refers to the main enemy of a series, and not necessarily their moral alignment.


10.)      Future Rouge (Fairy Tail) (Written by Shiggins)

            Future Rouge:   The earth will crumble, the skies shall burn, and the flames of light shall                                                   be extinguished, for I am the Dragon King: the emperor born from the                                                     Dragon King Festival!

He’s bad. He’s dark. He’s handsome. His name is Rogue and he’s from the future, so get ready to fear him. Although we’ve already met and fought Rogue in the present, this version of Rogue quickly became the major villain of his arc, which is impressive considering everything that had happened already.

Deal with it, Minerva.

Everything we know about him is definitely designed to make you wonder just how epic or scary the future will be. Apparently, the world has been destroyed by thousands of dragons and humanity is on the brink of destruction. When Rogue lost his best friend, the Exceed called Frosch, he went insane and killed his other best friend Sting so as to obtain his powers. He then went back in time (somehow) and started manipulating a princess to create a time portal so she could accidently bring dragons back in time and let him control them.

"You thought it was over, but the games have only just begun."

I know it’s confusing but that’s part of what makes him so fun. Some villains are obvious and can be figured out in just a few chapters. With Future Rogue, you have so many questions. What happened to Frosch? How did Rogue steal Sting’s powers? How did he go back in time? How could such a cool and nice man sink so far down in only one year? All this foreshadowing makes the plot all the more interesting, and that is why he makes it on this list.


9.)        Medusa Gorgon (Soul Eater) (Written by Shiggins)
            
            Medusa:   Do you really want to live in a world of stasis? Where nothing ever changes?                                           You’re a scientist like me, surely you must understand.

We all love a girl who shows some leg. Unfortunately, this one will also bring snakes to life and tear you apart. That, or she’ll just make her androgynous child with personal issues do it for her. She’s a scientist, so you know from that start that she’s going to be a great villain (because all scientists are obviously evil). Add the fact that she is a witch to the equation, and you know that the main characters are in trouble.

She's like a magical, female Orochimaru.

Medusa works undercover as the nurse at the school where almost every character either works or attends classes. Surprisingly fitting for a mad scientist who, among others, literally experimented on her own child Crona so much that the kid went insane. Her magic is snake-themed, as you can probably tell by her name. She also has a thing for magical arrows which makes her abilities even more strange and freaky, like allowing her to control a person’s gravity so that they get thrown around like a ragdoll.

Don't be fooled by her cuteness!

Even after she’s been sliced in half, she refuses to stay down. Appearing in the form of a snake and possessing a little girl called Rachel, Medusa spends the next half of the series as a little girl that was somehow still able to commit dark acts of magic. The best part of this form is that she spends most of her time manipulating and freaking out others with nothing but words and a trap or two.


8.)        Envy (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood) (Written by Shiggins) 
  Envy:   Quit your pathetic blubbering, you idiot! You were trying to kill one of our most                   important sacrifices. Do you understand me?! You could've messed up the                         entire plan! What would we have done then?! Huh?!
 And now we come to a real monster. Someone who isn’t human and doesn’t even has a gender. Envy is a Homunculus and represents one of the Seven Deadly Sins. For those who don’t know, a Homunculus is an artificial person who was literally created through science and experimentation (hence Envy and the rest of the Homunculi not actually being human).

Envy was very pleased with the new script for Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

Envy possesses the unique ability to shape-shift its own body, allowing itself to look like anybody it wants, although it usually takes the form of an androgynous teenager (hence why it’s referred to as an ‘it’). This is one of the biggest reasons Envy is feared throughout the series and is considered one of the toughest to deal with. Envy’s true form is definitely one of, if not the most disturbing sight you will ever see within the series. A giant green lizard-dog monster with six legs and tons of people poking out of its own body to represent all the victims that it killed during the Civil War years ago.

Take our advice: Don't try and play fetch with him.

So what makes Envy so much worse than all the other homunculus and villains that inhabit the story of FMA? Its kill count. Envy is perhaps best-known to readers as the murderer of one of the most beloved characters in the entire series, taking the form of his wife to make him lower his guard. If that wasn’t enough, Envy is the proud owner of a “Kid-Killer” award, as it once took the form of a military soldier, then shot an innocent child, so a massive war would break out between the government and the people of the region known as Ishval (In the 2003 anime, he killed the main character but that doesn’t count due to it being non-canon).


7.)        L (Death Note) (Written by ClayDragon)
  L:    Justice will prevail!
Simply put, L is a genius. He’s the world’s greatest detective and is renowned for uncovering seemingly unsolvable crimes with ease. At the start of the series, he’s called in to help with the Kira case, and in the span of an episode he’s able to deduce Kira’s location and age simply by utilising a public broadcast and some basic logic. He becomes Light’s main enemy very quickly, and is just as sharp as him when it comes to forward-planning, meaning that the two keep on having to out-gambit one another to stay ahead. It’s a measure of his popularity (and awesomeness) that the show pretty much bombed when he left.

"This is a public service announcement: Who stole my cake?"

One of the main reasons I like L is simply because of his intelligence. When planning against Light, he makes no wrong moves and is constantly putting his opponent on the spot, forcing Light to think of a new way to turn the tables. This is complicated by the fact that Light and L spend a lot of time together without L knowing Light’s true identity, and so Light ends up unable to simply kill L with the Death Note.

"Oh, mystical panda cracker, tell me your secrets."

The dynamic between the two is probably one of the best parts of the show, and it’s one of the contributing factors of the show’s demise after the second arc. It’s made clear that Light is never quite sure if L actually sees him as a friend or not, and due to this he’s usually unsure of how to act around him. In fact, it’s a testament to L’s abilities that even Light isn’t sure of what to do against L sometimes. As such, L is one of the best characters in Death Note, and his intelligence, deductive skills and quirky sense of humour earn him a place on this list.


6.)        Vicious (Cowboy Bebop) (Written by ClayDragon)

            Vicious:   I’m the only one who can keep you alive… And I’m the only one that can kill you.

As a member of a criminal syndicate, Vicious did a number of jobs with his friend and rival Spike Spiegel. However, when he found out that his girlfriend Julia was having an affair with Spike, he took it….less than well. He gave Julia a simple choice: kill Spike or be killed. Somehow though, Spike faked his death in such a way that everyone believed it, except for Julia and Vicious. Whilst Spike and Julia fled to different parts of the Solar System, Vicious climbed the ranks of the syndicate and waited for the day that Spike would return. When it finally happened, he had an epic battle with Spike on the roof of the syndicate building, resulting in one of the best endings to any anime I’ve seen.

Say what you like, he has style.

Whilst most villains have complex or multiple motivations, Vicious is driven by revenge, pure and simple. His obsession with killing Spike is reflected in every action he makes, and yet he never lets this fixation become a hindrance when ascending through the ranks of the syndicate. In fact, his entire reason for wanting to become head of the syndicate is so he can kill Spike, and this is only really made clear near the end of the show.

Seriously, what the hell is that thing?

Despite not being in the show a huge amount, Vicious is a large part of Spike’s backstory, and is a driving force behind Spike’s way of life. As a result, he’s used to show that no matter how much Spike runs, he’ll never be able to escape his past. His sheer tenacity, coupled with his cool katana and weird…vulture…bird…thing make him a definite choice for this list.


5.)        Izaya Orihara (Durarara!!) (Written by ClayDragon)

            Izaya:   It’s kinda scary how much people trust me.

There are some bad guys that, no matter what they do, you just can’t help but like them. Such is the case with Izaya Orihara. An information broker in the Ikebukuro district of Japan, he’s probably the biggest troll in the anime world. Want an example? Using an online alias, he made a suicide pact with a young girl, then arranged for her to be kidnapped, saved, and brought to a rooftop to meet him, where he laughed at her reasons for wanting to commit suicide and pretty much deconstructed her entire way of thinking. Then he left, and waited to see if she’d still kill herself. That’s right, he used a suicidal girl as a social experiment. And he’s still likable after that.

The most untrustworthy man in anime.

What makes Izaya interesting is that he doesn’t have any special powers or cool weapons or anything that a villain usually has. All he has going for him is his charisma, his insane manipulation skills, and parkour. Even without powers or weapons, he still plays everyone for fools. In fact, his plans aren’t that hard to foil, and yet he makes it so that they hinge on someone facing and accepting their flaws. They don’t, Izaya’s plan works perfectly, and he laughs his ass off.

Yep, that's pretty much him in a nutshell.

On the other hand, if this list was mainly based on the villain’s main motivation, Izaya would be much further down. Fearing the possibility that there might be nothing after death, Izaya plans on starting a district-wide conflict that will cause a Valkyrie to take the main warriors to Valhalla, and he plans to be amongst those taken away. All well and good, except it never really goes anywhere. However, his charisma pulls him up this list, as does his fairly epic enmity with Shizuo Heiwajima. It’s just a shame we never get to see whether or not his grand plan would have actually worked.


4.)        Gilgamesh (Fate/Zero) (Written by ClayDragon)

            Gilgamesh:   What kind of philosophy calls pleasure itself a sin?

One of the seven Servants summoned during the Fourth Holy Grail War, Gilgamesh is initially in the service of Tokiomi Tohsaka, before deciding that his Master isn’t interesting enough. As a result, he decides to make a deal with Tokiomi’s pupil, Kirei Kotomine, and begins to work with him instead. Due to being the ancient king of Babylon, Gilgamesh has a massive superiority complex, and believes that every treasure in the world belongs to him – including the Holy Grail. As such, he’ll go to any lengths to win the War and walk away with his treasure.

"Screw the rules, I AM the rules."

Gilgamesh’s distinguishing feature is his pride, and it’s incredibly obvious that he considers pretty much everyone and everything beneath him. However, his pride may not actually be that misplaced. He’s probably the most powerful Servant in the War, as his two main abilities are overpowered to the point of just being unfair. His Gate of Babylon opens a portal to a huge collection of his weapons, which he then fires at his enemies. His other attack, Ea, is a huge sword that is capable of literally destroying planets. When someone has abilities like those, it’s easy to see how their ego could inflate.

Don't worry, he doesn't always look like this.

However, his one redeeming quality is that he will respect the wishes of those he sees as a worthy opponent, and as such spared Waver Velvet’s life when he defeated Rider. Given that this trait only shows up once though, it doesn’t make his character any more of a decent person. Even so, he’s occasionally described as somewhat akin to an anti-villain. This is despite the fact that he single-handedly pushed Kirei down the path of evil, which eventually led to him becoming the villain of Fate/Stay Night. How that can be seen as an anti-villain trait, I have no idea.


3.)        Freiza (Dragon Ball Z) (Written by Shiggins)

            Freiza:   There are three things I refuse to tolerate. Cowardice, bad haircuts, and                                                 military insurrection. And it is unfortunate that our friend Vegeta possesses all three                                 of these.

You can’t talk about anime antagonists without Freiza being a big part of the conversation. When he was designed by Akira Toriyama, the creator of Dragon Ball Z, he took all of his childhood fears and combined them into this alien monster (Akira must have been scared of men in make-up). Freiza is literally the embodiment of fear and evil, as well as the most well-known of all Dragon Ball villains in history. In fact, he might even be the most infamous anime villain of all time.

"This isn't even my final form."

Not much is known about his past but in a way, that’s a good thing because we don’t need to waste time trying to understand or sympathise with him. He’s not some poor boy who lost his family or got turned mad by the death of a girlfriend. He’s an asshole and he’s really good at it. In his first scene, he kills children and old men instantly with zero compassion or mercy, and that pretty much sets the tone from there on out. He is also hated for committing mass genocide on a planetary scale, including the main character’s entire species (except the obvious few).

He's talking to you.

Freiza is also the holder for the longest anime battle in history, where he fights Son Goku on the alien planet Namek for multiple episodes (his claim that the planet would explode in five minutes was somewhat off). During this awesome fight, he killed tons of characters, took many beatings, unleashed an awesome barrage of techniques and became known for constantly transforming into a new form in order to get stronger and stronger. Seeing Freiza finally fall at the hands of Goku is possibly one of the most satisfying experiences ever put to paper.


2.)        Yhwach (Bleach) (Written by ClayDragon)

            Yhwach:   Conflict is always such a bitter affair.

As the Emperor of the Vandenreich, Yhwach (pronounced Juhabach) is not only the progenitor of the Quincy race, but also their main Commander in their war against the Soul Society. Given the obvious parallels between the Vandenreich and the Third Reich of Nazi Germany, it’s not too difficult to see Yhwach as Bleach’s version of Hitler (except Yhwach has a much better moustache). As the head of the Quincy army, Yhwach leads an invasion into the Soul Society, where his top soldiers pretty much destroy the Soul Reapers whilst he faces off against the Soul Reaper Captain-Commander, Yamamoto. Well, sort of. He uses a decoy in order to soften Yamamoto up, and then steals his Bankai, bisects him, cuts his arm off and nukes the corpse.


Yhwach laughs at your attempts at overkill.

He then goes on to nearly kill Ichigo, and it’s only due to a (as-yet-unexplained) stroke of luck that he was pulled back to the Vandenreich base before he could go any further. From there, he rallies his troops, waits until Soul Society is in the midst of training for their next battle, and replaces the entirety of the Soul Society with the Vandenreich base, cutting off and confusing the Soul Reapers.

Yet another addition to the list of Anime Characters with Oversized Swords.

Before I begin talking about why I like Yhwach, I’d like to set one thing straight. I like Aizen; he’s a good villain with a number of interesting plans and effective strategies. However, Aizen’s plans were always complex and sometimes overly complicated. In contrast, Yhwach’s strategies are clear-cut and simple, and he clearly just doesn’t give a damn about the rules of war. In fact, where Aizen spent a huge amount of time trying to negate Yamamoto’s Bankai and defeat the Captain-Commander, it took Yhwach 6 chapters to engage and kill Yamamoto. In my mind, this is what makes him a better villain than Aizen – he doesn’t go for complex plans, he doesn’t try to manipulate everyone, he just stacks the odds in his favour, goes in with simple plans and still makes everyone look like total weaklings. Oh, and he defeated Kenpachi. Off-screen. Without getting hurt. That is impressive.


1.)        Orochimaru (Naruto: Shippuden) (Written by Shiggins)

            Orochimaru:   In order to obtain every possible technique and truth, it would require                                                     an eternity. Only one who understands everything after spending such time                                             on this can be fittingly called the Ultimate Being.

One of the all-time perfect villains of anime, in my opinion. He’s creepy. He’s evil. And he has a tongue that could strangle any boy that tries to escape his dark dungeon. He’s Orochimaru and if you’ve even watched the series once, you’d understand why he is on this list.

*Insert obligatory pedophile joke here* 

The closest thing to a reason for him being evil is that his parents died when he was a kid and he wants to become immortal so he can obtain every jutsu. Some theorise that Orochimaru wants to bring his parents back but I think it’s obvious that they’re just wishing he had a redeeming feature. Although some people might call him feminine, the closest he gets to acting like a girl is when he talks about his main goal - taking Sasuke’s body so he can use the Sharingan to obtain every jutsu. You’d expect that to get annoying after a while, but it actually gets more tolerable as the series goes on. Hearing him talk about his experiments or how he is going to collect every jutsu in the world is an enjoyable treat when it happens.

The result of too much plastic surgery.

Equipped with a sidekick who has an eye for all things medical, and a group of villains that clearly won’t last long, Orochimaru makes himself one of the biggest threats of the series simply because of his ability to always come back with a new plan. We have seen him stabbed, punched, disabled, sliced, transform and he always manages to revert to his original state to cause chaos and seek out the body he wants. As a result, he's a perfect candidate for the number 1 spot on this list.

Do you have any suggestions for a Top 10 list, or an anime you want reviewed? Please leave your suggestions in the comments below!


"Does this bug you? Does this bug you? Does this bug you? Does this bug you?"



ClayDragon:
ClayDragon is currently studying Physics at university, and is constantly bewildered by it. The main method of contacting him is his Gmail account at kyleroulston1993@gmail.com. The alternative is his Skype account at kyleroulston1993. When not playing games or reading, he can be found with his head in his hands whilst trying in vain to understand quantum physics. He hungers for souls.
Shiggins:[Admin]   .
Shiggins enjoys all strange forms of communication, especially those including cosplayers saying hello to him. However, until that wonderful day comes, you can also contact him on his Skype; shigginsishere. He can also respond to you if you contact him through GMails at shigginsishere@gmail.com.

16 comments:

  1. Spoil for me @ Rogue but... FINALLY, someone recognize the superiority of Orochimaru-sama as a villain (lately, they're all worshipping Madara or even worse ! Obito, which is quite pathetic) ! He was insane, I loved him for that. But **spoil aleeeeeert**, even now he's "on the good side", I still love and find him interesting. I just wish I understood if he's really back to life or if he's still kinda dead...

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    1. Oh sorry for Rogue. On the bright side, more to come about him so we haven't spoiled everything!
      As for Orochimaru, he is the ultimate Naruto villain! And what's better is that he's not a Uchiha like every other evil dude in the series! And don't worry, I'm not convinced by his "good side" act. In fact, me and Claydragon have many theories and all of them point to Orochimaru being truly evil again.

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    2. Don't worry, it's not as if I was following the manga since the anime stopped x).

      The best about Orochimaru was his Toccata-like theme in the anime. When you heard it, you KNEW shit was about to happen. Now, I couldn't even recognize the bad guys themes if I heard them... tsss...
      Mmmh, A LOT of people are conviced Orochimaru is not totally good now, and that he's maybe the final enemy (Suigetsu's reaction when he found the scroll makes them think so even more), but I dunno... I kinda like him like he is now... I even loved him as a travestite in Naruto SD. I don't want him to suffer, now that his soul may be redeemed. Now, this would be crappy for a lot of people, but what I find interesting is that for once, it wouldn't be thanks to Naruto, but thanks to Sasuke ! He would be the first character Sasuke has done some good for.

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    3. I loved Part 1's music! I realised recently that Shippuden hasn't really used any original music for years. (Seriously, the anime is a disgrace now. Utterly pathetic.)
      I honestly preferred him as the evil monster with no redeeming qualities but we'll find out soon I'm sure. I can see him being the final adversary though. And yes, he was hilarious in Naruto SD (although Claydragon disagrees).
      Interesting idea about Sasuke but that would mean that by being bad, he did good. It would be a strange combination.

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  2. Yhwhwarghphlbach is number 2? A bit too soon if you ask me. He hasn't been around much yet, and I'm sure Kubo will get to him eventually. And throw something stupid like a last minute redemption.
    Orochimaru is number 1, huh. I didn't see that one coming. Let me introduce to you a quite similar character, and he came first.
    Hisoka from Hunter X Hunter.
    Orochimaru has a snake theme going, but Hisoka has a clown/magician theme. There are parallels between the both of them, only HxH came first.
    During the Hunter/Chunin exam, the villain is shown in the first part, looking evil. In the forest stage, the main character confronts the villain, putting up a good showing despite the villain being leagues ahead. The villain is shown to already being a top-notch pro. The villain shows an interest in a black haired main character and wants his body.(but for different reasons)
    Hisoka really likes fighting, and wants the main character, Gon, to grow stronger so he can...fight him in...battle.
    Hisoka has more awesome death stares, and is more blatantly pedophilic: http://www.mangareader.net/207-14070-7/hunter-x-hunter/chapter-61.html
    Oh dear.
    http://www.mangareader.net/207-14168-2/hunter-x-hunter/chapter-159.html
    Tell me this isn't funny

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    1. It's true that Yhwach hasn't been around long, but it's the fact that he's done so much in the short time since he was introduced. Plus, he seems to be more of a competent villain than Aizen was. With regards to his redemption, he's already committed genocide, racial purges, killed one of the most powerful characters in the series, and has attempted infanticide, as well as the parallels Kubo has drawn between him and Hitler. I very much doubt he's likely to be redeemed.
      Speaking of Hisoka, there's a very good reason he isn't on this list: neither myself or Shiggins have seen Hunter X Hunter. Once we get round to seeing it, it's entirely possible that we might end up thinking that Hisoka should have been on this list, but we decided to only add villains from shows that we've actually seen.

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    2. I haven't watched Hunter X Hunter yet but I was wondering if you would recommend the original anime or the remake that started two years ago?

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    3. I would recommend the manga, but the art really fluctuates between great and scribbly. Personally, I recommend the 2011 anime, as it has now covered more of the manga while the 1999 stops at a certain point. The 2011 version is very faithful, but early on it suffers from censorship.

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    4. Also, the manga's is actually pretty okay for the first 184 chapters, then it becomes terribly scribbly, as in "a 5 year old could draw like this". The author, Togashi, is notoriuos for taking hiatuses, and he said that he would redo all the scribbly art he sent for the chimera ant arc and release that for the volumes.
      The official VizMedia translations for the volumes are said to be the most accurate.
      The 1999 is not that impressive for me. From what I've seen the visual and sound recording quality is not so good, but it has its fans. They did not want to make fillers, so they release OVAs instead.

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    5. The 2011 version was made a year before Togashi's biggest hiatus. Now it feel like he'll never come back.
      The Hunter Exams Arc in the 2011 has some changes.(The only biggie I remember is Kite being only introduced in the Chimera Ant arc.There are not much censorships post that. As of episode 99, it is now a late night TV show, so the violence will now be more free.Also, check everyone's gender first. Kurapika's a guy.

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  3. Loved the TeamFourStar references.

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  4. Oh, wait a minute, you used a silly line from the Funimation Z Dub? How disappointing. Freeza sounded totally out of character in that dub.
    Z Funimation: An old lady that does not sound like a snake at all.
    TeamFourStar: A high class arroungant douche. Perfect.
    Kai Funimation: A high class arroungant douche. Also perfect.
    Japanese: Actually pretty awesome. Like a badass mafia boss. And unlike Z funimation, this guy can actually scream and act.

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    1. Yes, our favourites are TeamFourStar and Kai too but we chose that quote because Funimation Z is the more well-known dub.
      Fun Fact: TeamFourStar's voice inspired Kai's voice.

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  5. Does "monster"s Johan not even get an honorable mention? Anyone who can commit murder with NO EMOTION deserves something. And what was he killing for? So that he could have the perfect suicide. A death with none to remember him and no evidence. Give his character even the slightest look, and if you don't get a chill from the calm, cold stare of a pure evil monster there's a problem. You think #1s backstory is bad? Try being a social experiment. Johan was a orphan who was trained to be the next hitler, and when the orphanage/exexperiment resulted in a revolution, he watched. Just sat there and calmly watched as people murdered each other. The characters psychology is flawless.

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    1. When we made this list, we hadn't heard of Johan. In fact, I still don't know the full details about him but... that all sounds very awesome! I'll remember that!

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  6. Neh, Orochimaru should not be on the list or not that high on it, maybe at the end, because let's face it, ever since Part II his character has been demotivated, revealing his main reason to become one was (again) because his parents were killed (probably by Konoha).

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