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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.