How Anime Makes Bad Villains

character20hd20one20piece20wallpaper-2560x1600Through my adventure of trying to binge read one piece (I’m on chapter 575 if anyone’s keeping track) I’ve noticed one recurring theme that I dislike and it’s been bothering me for such a long time that I’ve started noticing it in other shows as well. That thing is bad villains and a whole lot of them for no apparent reason. If the title mislead you, I’m sorry, obviously not all villains from anime are bad, I’m just here to explain why I dislike the ones that I think are bad.

If I kept up with one piece as it was coming out I’m sure that I wouldn’t of cared or noticed as much but when you mass consume the show in a brief amount of time you start to see patterns which are quite horrible.  This might be a problem that only I have as I don’t really watch/read anime or manga for action – I don’t really like it a whole lot or find it interesting so please note that there’s a lot of bias and subjectivity here, I personally find my complaints valid but that’s only in my subjective view.

People say that the One Piece villains are great but that’s not really what I’m referring too. I’m talking about all of the villains around the main boss who are appalling. I don’t often like unexplained action and prefer plot to continue, so when every single character in One Piece is fighting another opponent who doesn’t matter at all it gets me annoyed. It feels like action for the sake of action, there’s no real need for most of the villains to be there and it just ends up feeling like a whole waste of time. Especially when there are another 500 more chapters to read.

This issue about one piece is probably just an individual problem of mine and comes from my urge to try and catch up to the manga quickly. If you don’t end up invested in the characters or scenarios it’s hard to care about anything as you just want to get closer and closer to the end point.

While these complaints are somewhat valid about one piece it got me thinking about the terrible villains of other shows and why we need them.  Sure action is cool to some people and well animated action scenes or fights are also things that people like about it. As well as this action can advance plot: fighting loads of expendable minions can show the power of the lead villain or it could introduce a problem that the characters need to solve, e.g. A character’s been attacked by bandits and must therefore find the bandit hideout in the forest to protect the town.

As well as this fighting a minion might also be good action because they might learn more about the main villain or their plans. The problems start when the main villain shows up directly in front of the main characters and for some reason they don’t fight. First they now need to beat these ten enemies that are about as tough as the main characters but weaker than the main villain, just to stop their progress. These moments annoy me (due to the fact that it feels like nothing but a time waster) and one piece is full of them.

Whatever you say about these villains being good (e.g. helping to train the characters or to create tension before the final fight) won’t convince me as I can’t view villains in the same way. When I’m watching I’m always thinking “somebody wrote this” and I can’t help but feel that the purpose of situations like this was to waste my time so that every character could have their little fight that holds no overall significance. It’s fine if you like that thing, I do get that it’s good for every character to be fighting to prove that they’re useful or to be interesting to someone somewhere but I can’t help but dislike it.

During action shows villains and the amount of main villains can be a difficult thing to get right and it’s very opinionated which kind works best. It’s also a on a situation basis, what works for one show won’t definitely work for another and it’s very opinionated what the difference is between a useful villain and a useless one.

I refer to these bad villains as villain generation. When a good villain is made that serves a decent purpose I call it villain creation. The difference is that one has thought and time put into him/her and the other one feels like it could have been anything and is just made for no apparent reason. Generating something is often a process that is done automatically so when I talk about villain generation It almost refers to  creating something automatically just for the sake of it.

(Sorry If I offended you by criticizing one piece, it wasn’t my intention to cause people annoyance)


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