I read Rose’s post on villain stans, where she inspired me to write this post.
When I was younger, I always rooted for the protagonists. But I’ve grown to have a soft spot for villains. So I’m looking at you, Sukuna from JJK. Why? The reasons vary.
They are understandable.
The Akatsuki from Naruto were some of my favourite characters in the entire series. Each one had a great backstory that made you emphasize with them, which in turn makes you want to shower them with love. I guess some would argue that the tragic backstory is cliche now. But no matter what, it gives them more depth.
However, Light from Death Note, a protagonist turned villain, didn’t have an exciting backstory. But it’s his normal backstory that made the story so enjoyable. It’s a good example of how anyone can turn into a villain under specific circumstances.
Another example is Katsuragi Ryou from Liar Game, the main antagonist for Liar Game Season 2. Her backstory involves a closer look at her ability to understand the human mind, which she uses to manipulate the contestants in the game.
She doesn’t have a tragic backstory, but just a girl with talent in psychology. She sees the other side of the coin and embraces human selfishness, which isn’t far off from just regular people to protect herself and get what she wants.
They have charming(?) personalities.
I love villains who are either super chaotic or super mysterious and intelligent. There’s usually never a middle ground for me.
Mahito from JJK has a crazy personality. I think he may be a psychopath. He’s sadistic, immature, and loves toying with human emotions. But he’s also strangely philosophical about human souls.
There’s something about Mahito that’s like… disgustingly sweet. I hated how he toyed and killed Junpei, but I loved it at the same time because he didn’t hold back at all. He knows what he wants, and he has fun getting there. It’s sick but great.
I generally love characters who are mysterious and intelligent, so villains are no different. It’s even better if they’re a villain since I would love to see what goes on in their head as they scheme.
They are hot.
Yes, I’m super blunt. But that is the cold, hard truth. A great example is Sukuna from JJK. Yes, he’s in the protagonist’s body, but you can’t deny that he’s just, well, hot.
Okay, there is a line I have to draw to this.
While their physical appearance plays a big part, their personality must be enough for them to be likable villains. For example, Sukuna from JJK is arrogant, but he’s not dumb.
He has plans, and it’s clear that he doesn’t care about others. Everything is about himself, and every action he takes benefits him in some way.
Sukuna takes Yuji’s body hostage by tearing out his heart and forcing him into a binding vow. He also gives praise when he sees fit. In that regard, it makes Sukuna a valid character rather than being just pixelated eye candy.
Personalities are what make characters and people memorable. It’s what keeps you attracted to a character. Villains are no different.
I can’t think of a villain who’s there just for eye candy.
Thank goodness. But, no matter what their personality is like, I find that they’re usually easy on the eyes. So, I mean, that’s a plus.
The bottom line is to invest in quality villains. Of course, quality villains are written well. But whether a villain is written well or not is subjective. But no matter what, the villain should make sense as a whole and not be an inconsistent character that no one understands.
But if he’s hot… just kidding.