The Most Villainous Villians – Otaku Digest
Welcome otakus near and far to the latest instalment of Otaku Digest. Here, we look at all the things that are weird and wonderful about anime and we may soon even look at otaku culture as a whole.
Anime knows how to make characters – can we agree? There is a way that creators make these characters so that we can connect with them. Whether it is to connect with them emotionally, spiritually or even just to know their story and understand them, it is done usually to perfection. They somehow always manage to create dynamic characters who you feel sorry for, love and laugh with. But there is something they do even better – villains.
Anime villains have to be some of the most calculating, violent, evil and diabolical characters ever created. Perhaps it is because anime can have more free reign (not as bombarded with age restrictions) to fully portray the evil of these characters through animation, but even the more psychological villains are terrifying.
In keeping with today’s villains theme, we are counting some of my top villains of anime. Please note there is no rhyme or reason for these selections, they are simply my opinion of who is the worst of the worst. Also MILD SPOILERS for those who have not seen Berserk, Cowboy Bebop and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.
#3 Griffith – Berserk
We all know why Griffith, the seemingly golden boy of the Berserk series (ok not really but sort of) is on this list. There are a few scenes in the films I cannot stomach but the ending of the second Berserk film is one of them. I highly recommend viewer discretion if you are going to go off and watch it.
I will not go into Griffith in much detail since he is probably one of the most infamous characters in anime and manga history (mainly for the ending of that film). He is placed at number three since he need only be mentioned to make my skin crawl. He is portrayed from the beginning as an ambitious young man who wants nothing but power. More precisely he wants to create and rule over a great kingdom. He will do anything for power and walk over anyone to do it. This is evident in his actions following his forceful relationship with a princess. He was caught in this affair, imprisoned and very graphically tortured till he lay but a shadow of himself. Even with his friends rescuing him, Griffith cannot accept what he is and agrees to a deal with the God’s Hand Demons. That is where we end our Griffith entry for this list since the events following this are too horrid to speak of.
I do advise caution if you are going to view the events of the second film, it is at the end but it will leave a lasting impression.
#2 Vicious – Cowboy Bebop
No shock that we have a Cowboy Bebop character on this list since it is my favourite anime. However, Vicious is a villain that deserves a place on this list. You know that old saying of keep your friends close but your enemies closer? That is the ultimate saying for Vicious.
An ex-soldier who is now the most infamous gangster of the syndicate, he literally ripped his own friendships apart, and why? Because he was threatened that his hold on his then lover, Julia, would be broken because Spike had fallen in love with her. He blackmails Julia into killing Spike by giving her the ultimatum of kill him or die herself. This is where the anime kicks off, with Spike faking his own death and picking up as a bounty hunter.
Every part of Vicious’s design screams evil; he is cruel and cold with a dark demeanour and a low, cool, monotone voice. He’s not afraid to kill anyone in his path, he cares for no one and is ready to dispose of anyone who he chooses. No friends or partner is safe from Vicious’s violent nature. Although he was only in maybe five episodes of the anime, he harbours every piece of Spike’s past. He looms in the darkness waiting for his moment to strike.
#1 Shou Tucker – Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
There are some really evil characters in the realm of anime and there are even some very noteworthy ones in the Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. I originally had Father or even Lust at the top of this list but then I remembered this man. This man literally makes my skin crawl with disgust. There are few anime episodes that I cannot bear to watch but whether it be the original series or Brotherhood, I cannot stomach the Shou Tucker episodes.
For anyone who has never seen these, I will not spoil the horrific end for you, but it is gut wrenching. We are introduced to Shou Tucker as a struggling researching alchemist who was celebrated for creating the first talking chimera. He lives with his daughter Nina and her dog Alexander when the Elric brothers pay him a visit. Desperate to recreate his work, we discover a darker side to Shou Tucker and the lengths he will go to in order to keep his alchemist status.
The above characters are my top villains of the anime world. I know there are many more dishonourable mentions out there that have done maybe even worse than these ones. However, they are my most notable, evil and skin crawling villains of anime.
Who are your top anime villains? Let me know in the comments!