Pretty sure cheesy titles are a staple of this blog now, sorry!
Ah, villains. Love them or hate them they play a vital role in fiction. After all, the hero needs someone to test them and their beliefs. If you ask me, No other art form does this better than anime. Since it is animated there are next to no limits and since the shows have more time than, for instance, a movie they have more time to develop interesting villains.
So, today I want to discuss the journeys down a dark path a couple of anime characters have taken. Before I continue I want to clarify something. If it seems that I’m being a little vague its because I’m trying not to spill major spoilers.
Very few characters run around committing heinous crimes for no good reason. Before you mention Izaya Orihara, yes I know about him. In fact, he is my favourite character from Durarara hands down.
His primary motivation, for the most part, is watching the chaos he helps create unfold. Remember that for the most part, characters like him are the exception, not the rule.
Many think that what they are doing is not only justified but the right thing to do.
Light Yagami from Death Note is the perfect example of this. He didn’t start off wanting to kill every last criminal, but after being given the power to he did just that. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
However, while even Ryuk remarks about how quickly he takes to killing, it takes him a while to become a true villain. Manipulating everyone in arms reach, risking the lives of innocent people and even his own family.
During the period of time where he forgets that he is kira, he is back to his old self. This shows us just how far off the deep end he has gone since getting the Death Note. By the end of his story, he is warped from a straight-A student and decent guy into a ruthless executioner with a God complex.
I had a hard time trying to pick which villain from My Hero Academia to go with. My instinct went for the most sinister one of the bunch, All For One. However, very little is known about his background and since this is about the journey villains take to truly become villains, that won’t work. So, I decided to go for his successor, Tomura Shigaraki.
When Shigaraki was just a child, he was in a dangerous situation yet there wasn’t a single hero nearby, thankfully for him All For One found the young boy and took him under his wing, pretty much adopting him on the spot. From that day he was trained and raised to be All For One’s successor.
A man to be feared, that’s for sure. He has shown a few times to be willing and able to kill anyone who stands in his way to destroy All Might, including the students of UA.
Create a world without All Might. And cause enough destruction to show them all how fragile their justice really is. From this day forward… that’s my conviction. It’s all about All Might
Unlike a character like Light, who walked down that path more or less by himself, Shigaraki was lead by the hand and is still being mentored. His hatred of heroes is partly from the incident as a child and being surrounded by those who also despise them. You could say that he is a product of his environment.
Unlike Light, who we got to see before his journey since Shigaraki started at such a young age we can’t say whether or not he would have lived a relatively normal life if it hadn’t been for the incident.
These are just two examples, I would be here for hours if I discussed every popular villain, but I think I did a half decent job on the topic. I hope you enjoyed this little walk down villain lane.
Remember, you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.