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.

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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.

In Defence of Kaiji

I read a blog post about Kaiji and the person wrote that Kaiji is an evil series that promotes sin and a bunch of other things. Yes, the characters lie and betray one another for personal gain and greed. Yes, some characters have died or are subject to inhumane human labour. Yes, some characters have lost limbs as a result of losing a gamble. Does the manga promote crime and murder though? I fail to see it.

It’s a work of fiction. Am I as a reader going to go and start deceiving people for my personal gain because I’ve read this series? Of course not. What I got from the manga is an intense and exciting reading experience. Most of the time, you read manga for entertainment. Am I a bad person for reading this series because some characters have died and other characters are in terrible life situations? What series doesn’t have something like this.

Kaiji Itou is a man thrown into unfortunate circumstances. He’s not particularly smart like Akagi, for example, and sometimes loses his gambles. What strikes me about him is his perseverance and desire to overcome his obstacles. This is why many people became interested in the series. I am caught up on the manga and do not think that this has changed. Kaiji still has obstacles he needs to overcome but he has been vigilant and cautious in Part 6 of the manga.

At least in my experience, I feel motivated after reading Kaiji. Seeing Kaiji so determined makes me want to do something. This “something” can be as simple as getting out of bed. Sometimes I look at my life and think, what would Kaiji do? He wouldn’t give up like this. There are many inspirational quotes in Kaiji.

As for the Tonegawa series and comedy spin offs, I think they are fine as long as they are separate from the Kaiji manga (and they are). I’ve read the spin-off manga and watched the spin-off anime. I know that spin-off Tonegawa is not the same person as Tonegawa in the Kaiji series. That being said, spin-off Tonegawa does not change how I view Tonegawa in the Kaiji series. Tonegawa is a separate series and should be seen as such.