When I Tell People I’m a Villain Stan

In my last blog post, I wrote that I was struggling to blog. Lo and behold, I came up with this blog post idea. It’s funny how life works sometimes.

Before I get into it, Happy birthday Xue Yang! He is one of my favourite characters of all time.

The Untamed GIF - The Untamed Xue - Discover & Share GIFs

I am a villain stan. When I tell people that I love villains, they often give me disapproving looks or insult my favourite characters. This type of response is so normal that I just laugh now.

I have a type.

There’s this meme I’ve seen a couple of times, and it’s pretty funny.

Image

It’s true. I don’t like all villains. Appearances aside, I don’t like villains that pretend to be good and hide behind a curtain (Jin Guanyao from The Untamed; Zhao Jing from Word of Honor). I also don’t like villains that manipulate, lie, and use others (Light Yagami from Death Note; Zhao Jing from Word of Honor).

I like characters that are outwardly chaotic. Everyone in that fictional world knows they are the villain. Hidan from Naruto Shippuden, Deidara from Naruto Shippuden, and Xue Yang from The Untamed are a few examples. A character with an evil laugh is a bonus.

Deidara joined Akatsuki [Naruto Shippuden] - YouTube

I also love Juuzou Suzaya from Tokyo Ghoul, but I don’t exactly consider him a villain. The lines are blurred because he works for humans and kills ghouls. At the same time, the humans are sometimes painted as the villains.

I also like calm and intelligent villains, like Scorpion King from Word of Honor and Jun Kanzaki from Bloody Monday.

SilverWind - silver-shining.net — his-catness-tchalla: Scorpion King | 山河令  Word of...

Moral Compass?

Back to the meme posted above, I feel that the normal thing to do is to side with the good protagonist, almost as if it’s automatic. I question that! Why should I side with the protagonist? Just because they are good? What if the protagonist is the villain? Whose side are you on? Examples I can think of are Death Note, Moriarty: The Patriot, and Word of Honor.

It’s a fictional story. Does your moral compass even matter here?

endless gifs of wen kexing [6/ ∞] - Tumbex

I don’t need a tragic backstory.

Most villains have a tragic childhood story, like their parents were killed when they were young trope. I don’t think it’s necessary. Sometimes, they can just be evil. I don’t need a backstory on why they turned evil.

I won’t defend a villain or apologize for their actions.

I am NOT a villain apologist. Like I said, I don’t need them to have a tragic backstory. Some people use it to justify a villain’s actions. I am fully aware that what they did was wrong. Again, it’s fictional.

I don’t agree with their actions most of the time.

I don’t. And I don’t think this is a pre-requisite to liking a character. In fact, I don’t even see how this relates to why you should like or dislike a character.

They make the story entertaining. Some series would cease to exist if there was no evil. Rather than admiring a hero’s journey, struggles, and perseverance, I would rather applaud the villain on their boldness.

I don’t expect them to win (or live).

Knowing how most stories go, the villain almost never wins. And sometimes, they die. This is expected, and I’ve already mentally prepared myself for this to happen right from the start. This is just the reality.

Bottom line: Fiction =/= Reality

Back to the responses I get when I tell people I like villains, why do people react like that? The villains are not real. Does me liking a mass murderer in a fictional story mean that I like criminals in real life? Of course not. It would be ridiculous to assume that I do. For the record, I have zero interest in real life criminals.

It’s so easy for me to make the distinction between fiction and reality. Me liking a character that does terrible deeds does not mean I support that behaviour in real life! I really don’t know why this is so difficult for some people to understand.

10 thoughts on “When I Tell People I’m a Villain Stan

  1. This was certainly an intriguing post that caught my attention. I’ve had my own thoughts about different villains on how effective they can be. It’s good that you’re not an apologist or would defend horrible actions if they happened in real life. Sometimes a villain might not be all that evil if one thinks about it if they have legitimate points. You did bring up an interesting aspect of a moral compass about how the story expects the viewer to automatically side with the good guys. I’ll go in a different angle with how some protagonists get away with doing horrible things BECAUSE they’re the good guys or even doing the same things as villain while not getting called out on it. That’s protagonist centered morality and I’ll use a few examples of villainous things that some heroic characters (or at the very least a character on the good side) get carte blanche for doing.

    Shooting an unarmed woman (Deckert from Blade Runner)
    Kissing a girl without her consent (Prince Charming from Snow White and Phillip from Sleeping Beauty)
    Bullying someone to the point where they feel suicidal (Mr. Krabs from Spongebob)
    Eating another character despite calling out a villain doing the same thing (Constance from Redwall)
    Committing genocide on a group by enforced starvation which contradicts his philosophy (Mufasa from The Lion King)
    Physically abusing their daughter, insulting her, and never owning up to her own mistakes (Zamiatou from Faraw! Mother of the Dunes)

    This post did have me thinking about certain villains or heroes. If the story has a good reason for me to care about the heroes, then cool. I also want to have a reason to not like the villains. I also hate when heroes do horrible things and get a free pass just because of protagonist privilege (patent pending).

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s such an interesting thought. I’ve never thought about that before. Right, a story should give us a reason to care about the heroes and a reason not to like the villains. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! It gives me more to think about. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you. Glad I was able to give some insight on the matter at hand. I don’t want my heroes to be immaculate people, but if they do have flaws then make sure it affects them and have them be called out on it. Sure thing! This was a good discussion topic.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Spill the tea: All hail quality villains – evening tea musings

  3. I burst out laughing SO hard at the “my moral compass leaving my body when a villain is sexy” meme! Seriously, I’m still laughing out loud right now as I think about it!! Oh, wow. And yes, Xue Yang is like, the embodiment of chaotic evil. 10/10 post

    Liked by 1 person

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