Jump to content

Close
Photo

Let Villains be Villains


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Dalton.T.R

Dalton.T.R

    Jounin

  • Jounin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,727 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:I'm right behind you.

Posted 28 June 2016 - 06:24 PM

What is often the one character that everybody hates, yet secretly admires? That's right, it's the villain. To be honest, there are so many different ways to write a villain that for some writers, they may be some of the easiest and most fun characters to write. Most villains are driven by two major things: Power, wealth or a combination of both. Is this bad for a villain? Absolutely not. In fact, the more wicked the villain's desire, the better the villain is. 

 

Take Scar from the Lion King for example. Easily one of - if not THE most noticeable villain Disney has created. What was his cause of being evil? Jealousy of his older brother and nephew. He wanted to be king, but he was pretty much given the boot once Simba was born. He allies himself with a bunch of Hyenas who help him claim power under the promise they'd never go hungry again. Well, I'm sure pretty much anyone reading this known how the story of the Lion King goes.

 

I've had a few people come to me asking what they thought of their villains and their ideas, but they seemed like they were holding something back so they wouldn't "offend" anyone. Here's the thing. The villain shouldn't give two crappy diapers about who he or she offends. That's something for the hero to worry about...if the story even has a hero, anti-heroes are becoming fairly popular these days.  

 

If you want an example of a decent villain, you're not likely to find it in Naruto with the exception of maybe Orochimaru. The guy is just hands down creepy, uses his followers as his own puppets, and his main desire is to live forever and learn every jutsu ever created. These are arguably very standard but very effective things for a villain. Now, you as the writer do not need to write a back story on every villain on how they got to be that way, and try to make the reader feel sorry for them. That's okay with maybe one or two lesser villains, but a guy who's hell bent of ruling the world with an iron fist and killing anyone who gets in his way? They don't need a sob story. In fact, it's better to just let the reader come up with their own ideas on how they got to be like that...if they even bother. 

 

Take Souron from Lord of the Rings as another example. The guy who becomes the giant fire ball eye in the sky. What was his purpose for being evil? We don't have a clue. All we know is that he's a dark lord son of a b*tch that holds a grudge against everyone, and wants all the other races dead.... no real back story, but he's a frighting villain that everyone fears. I guess he went all in with a straight flush while the other guy had a Royal Flush. It's reason enough to make anyone hold a grudge, right? 

 

If you want your villain to be feared by the characters and your readers, don't even bother giving them a back story. Just give enough information that the reader knows that the villain only wants to kill, destroy, rape, pillage, and burn anything that gets in his way in his quest for power. There are few things more frighting than a powerful enemy you know nothing about. 


Edited by Dalton.T.R, 30 June 2016 - 02:22 AM.


#2 Bryon_Konoha_Ninja

Bryon_Konoha_Ninja

    Magnificient Bastard (aka Cliffhanger Bastard!)

  • Kyuubi
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,904 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Eugene, OR, USA

Posted 30 June 2016 - 02:06 AM

Thank you for saying this, Dalton! Honestly, that's one thing I wish Naruto did more of in the long run. And that's something I want to do for my own Naruto fanfic, to have the villains who do appear just be villains for the sake of it.



#3 Dalton.T.R

Dalton.T.R

    Jounin

  • Jounin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,727 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:I'm right behind you.

Posted 30 June 2016 - 02:20 AM

Thank you for saying this, Dalton! Honestly, that's one thing I wish Naruto did more of in the long run. And that's something I want to do for my own Naruto fanfic, to have the villains who do appear just be villains for the sake of it.

Not a problem! That's why I write these random posts lol



#4 AHK

AHK

    Heaven and Earth Deity

  • Kyuubi
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,464 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Jacksonville, FL
  • Interests:One Piece, Tokyo Ghoul, The Breaker, Fairy Tail, BnHA, Twin Star Exorcists, Shokugeki no Soma, Owari no Seraph, BnHA, Akatsuki no Yona, Noragami, Magi, Akame Ga Kill, Attack on Titan, HotD, SAO, HxH, Ao no Exorcist, NnT

    LuNa, Touken, EragonxArya, MiriShep, NS, SoumaxErina, IzuOcha, RokuBeni, NaLu, ShioonxJinnie, YuxShinoa, HakYona, SaberxShirou, Yatori, MK, EreMika

Posted 30 June 2016 - 02:27 AM

Meh, it depends. Sometimes, the ruthless, cold-blooded killer is awesome, sometimes the villain that has been through some kind of hell is excellent as well. Obito was a fantastic villain to me, by far the best in Naruto, because he was relate able in a sense, but broken enough to be out of reach. I legit felt bad for the guy at many parts in the story. Every other villain I felt was lacking, especially Madara and Kaguya. Madara was cool, but he really didn't make much sense, he had to rely on the power of a rival that trounced him to even be on his rivals level, and then got clowned by something he thought he created. The real issue with the villains in Naruto is that they were all just puppets of someone else.The only break in that chain was Obito, because there was a point in time that Obito could have slaughtered Madara with no difficulty, and was literally in charge of Madara himself for a large stretch because he couldn't be challenged by him.

 

The problem in Naruto is that Kishi, with the exception of Obito, was terrible at writing villains. Sasuke was the most garbage villain I've ever seen, and is the pinnacle of Kishi's failures. But as it turns out, Kishi was terrible at writing characters themselves, so that's to be expected.

 

Another issue, is that Kishi tried to define the world in black and white, which helped in his failure of character and world building. The most mind boggling of this was the notion of hatred and how Kishi portrayed it as something that needed to be eradicated entirely, yet at the same time had characters like Hashirama, Jiraiya, Minato, Naruto etc want to change the world for the better because they hated the way the world works.

 

So in essence, Kishimoto is a terrible standard bearer in terms of writing and characters. Others authors, like Oda, Kubo, Horikoshi, Ishida are all better in both aspects, and all have excellent villains in their stories.  


EXL5X4B.png

"I am the One-Eyed King."

 

 


#5 Dalton.T.R

Dalton.T.R

    Jounin

  • Jounin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,727 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:I'm right behind you.

Posted 30 June 2016 - 03:27 AM

Meh, it depends. Sometimes, the ruthless, cold-blooded killer is awesome, sometimes the villain that has been through some kind of hell is excellent as well. Obito was a fantastic villain to me, by far the best in Naruto, because he was relate able in a sense, but broken enough to be out of reach. I legit felt bad for the guy at many parts in the story. Every other villain I felt was lacking, especially Madara and Kaguya. Madara was cool, but he really didn't make much sense, he had to rely on the power of a rival that trounced him to even be on his rivals level, and then got clowned by something he thought he created. The real issue with the villains in Naruto is that they were all just puppets of someone else.The only break in that chain was Obito, because there was a point in time that Obito could have slaughtered Madara with no difficulty, and was literally in charge of Madara himself for a large stretch because he couldn't be challenged by him.

 

The problem in Naruto is that Kishi, with the exception of Obito, was terrible at writing villains. Sasuke was the most garbage villain I've ever seen, and is the pinnacle of Kishi's failures. But as it turns out, Kishi was terrible at writing characters themselves, so that's to be expected.

 

Another issue, is that Kishi tried to define the world in black and white, which helped in his failure of character and world building. The most mind boggling of this was the notion of hatred and how Kishi portrayed it as something that needed to be eradicated entirely, yet at the same time had characters like Hashirama, Jiraiya, Minato, Naruto etc want to change the world for the better because they hated the way the world works.

 

So in essence, Kishimoto is a terrible standard bearer in terms of writing and characters. Others authors, like Oda, Kubo, Horikoshi, Ishida are all better in both aspects, and all have excellent villains in their stories.  

I think more than anything it just depends on the story they're in. My villain. Shadow Snake, one of the original members of the Seventeen Assassins from my book series, aside from his ancient enemy, Night Blade, he's the most powerful character I have thus far. He's resurrected by a demonic cult, and serves as their "leader" as his ultimate goal is also their own. He just wants to kill and destroy everything for no apparent reason, and his background is kept at a mystery. The only thing I let my readers know is he's really powerful, and that he's not to be messed around with. 


Edited by Dalton.T.R, 30 June 2016 - 03:28 AM.


#6 HalfDemonInuyasha

HalfDemonInuyasha

    Mercenary

  • Jounin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,597 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Albany, NY

Posted 30 June 2016 - 03:43 AM

Yeah, all the attempts made to make readers feel sorry for practically every single villain in Naruto (I think it really started after Nagato) is why it really made me miss the earlier Akatsuki members and their fights - guys like Deidara, Sasori, Kakuzu, Hidan, and Kisame were really JUST villains who were unapologetic of, or even enjoyed, their villainous actions. The only one to have a slight backstory being Sasori in regards to his parents being killed by Sakumo Hatake, Kakashi's father, in a previous war, but it's not like it was constantly dwelled upon rather than just getting back to the fighting (and even Sasori's story was really more for developing Chiyo than anything).

Compare a number of Naruto's sympathy-starved villains to someone like Frieza in DBZ. That guy was made out to be a universal force/threat and someone that Goku and co. were urged desperately not to try to fight, and even had it eventually proven why they shouldn't have once they all start getting owned by him bit by bit, and even Goku's attempts to get him to change at the last minute are always thrown back in his face until he has no choice but to "kill" him, and from what can be easily inferred, Frieza didn't have some sort of tragic moment in his past that turned him into a power-hungry/abusive tyrant - he was always like that.


2e5.gif


#7 alexander

alexander

    Elite Jounin

  • Elite Jounin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,158 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Far away from Japan

Posted 30 June 2016 - 04:03 AM

it's all very subjective. I for one think Loghain from dragon age Origins is one of my favourite villains of all time, and in my game I even turned him to the hero's side (lol, my warden used talk-no-jutsu). There is just something brilliant about antagonists that have very real causes to do what they do, and are so impactiful when despite being opposed to you, you can clearly see why they take the actions they do, or hell, even sympathize with their own struggles.


tumblr_noy9ox76Ku1rr9dcxo9_250.gif


#8 Phantom_999

Phantom_999

    Heaven and Earth Deity

  • Kyuubi
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,980 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Canada

Posted 01 July 2016 - 12:08 AM

Here's the thing for me. It's all a matter of execution.  villains  both who are purely evil for the sake of it and villains who DO have sympathetic backstories are both well written in my books as long as the execution is correct. first off let's talk about villains with sympathetic qualities and have some redeeming features to them.

 

First off it's not a bad thing at all, because such qualities add depth to the villain and may make them more relate-able in some ways. What's not okay is to use those as justifications to give them freebies on the atrocities they committed or use that to redeem them with out repentance or responsibility for what they've done. for instance, Obito. Started a war. Killed countless people. Orphaned Naruto. Killed his master. TRIED to kill his best friend. Wanted to destroy the world. What happens? He's viewed as a hero in Naruto's eyes, and gets to spend eternity in the afterlife with his beloved Rin, Who may I add is the very (poorly written) reason he did all those things. That's kind of like saying Tai Lung from Kung Fu Panda as an example, (not a good one I know) deserved to be the Dragon Warrior because he was denied the one thing he was training for his whole life and had to deal with a emotionally distant parent, DESPITE the fact that him attacking the valley and almost killing his father figure was completely unjustified and overreacting on the deep end of the scale. Again A villain with some sympathetic and noble traits is not a bad thing, it is a question of do they get a free pass for their villainy because of it, OR covert to the good side because of flimsy, unbelievable reasons that even a toddler can debunk and disprove the logic of.

 

Pure Evil villains. Hmm I don't doubt that they are really entertaining to watch, and granted some of my favourite characters in any media or franchise are villains, so there is no need of an explanation for it. My question is this though. Getting past how cool and awesome the idea of a purely evil villain is, are they truly interesting as characters? Sure the fun may be speculating on their origins and what their drives and motives are, but it is just that. Speculation, not fact. If there is nothing to know about the villain, then is there truly an interest to begin with? It's exactly the same as a hero that does good for the sake of being good. Both are awesome to watch. Some of us may secretly wish to be like them. BUT they are just 2 opposite ends of a spectrum, and to be truthfully honest, the awesomeness aside their characterization and development would be bland because you can pretty much predict how they behave. but that is just my take on it. It's my two cents so if I am wrong in one way or another  please speak your mind. That said, I do Love both Heroes and Villains that are in the straight black and White morality,not because it is complex but that they represent ideals. Ideals that are pretty much infallible :smile:  


Edited by Phantom_999, 10 July 2016 - 12:44 PM.

3fbe3276d61acb2079b56cd2212a341c14963200


#9 NaruSaku fan in Kentucky

NaruSaku fan in Kentucky

    Kyuubi

  • Kyuubi
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,024 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Likes Kentucky Basketball, NaruSaku and Godzilla.

    Dislikes Sasuke SasuSaku NaruHina and the Louisville Cardnials.

Posted 03 November 2023 - 12:50 AM

I am bumping  this thread because I wanna say what RetrospectGreg said.... "you can't have all your villains be Vader, somebody's gotta be Palpatine."


509356167_759751.gif?4





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users