6 Villains That Saved the Day
by Lynzee Loveridge,
The heroes might be the stars of the show, but a work of fiction is really made by an awesome antagonist. Someone the audience loves to hate or finds catharsis through a villain's disregard for the rules in lieu of getting what they want. The audience grows attachment to these ne'er-do-wells creating a whole new conundrum. The writers either have the villain stick around permanently by switching sides or are faced with killing off their one of their show's greatest draws. Sometimes they do both, giving the character a chance a redemption a'la Darth Vader so the bad guy can go out on a high note.
6. Grimmjow (Bleach) Extremely violent and boasting a short fuse, Grimmjow caused more than his fair share of problems for Ichigo and Co. as they fought against Sōsuke Aizen's army. Despite his brutal nature, he shows some semblance of an honor code. When Orihime is asked to heal his arm by Aizen, Grimmjow makes a mental note of it. Later, Loly and Menoly are attacking Orihime after Ichigo's defeat. He pays back the favor for his arm by killing both of them. He continues to protect her, even from Ulquiorra, while insisting that she heal the injured Ichigo. The latter is motivated by a desire for a fair fight against his rival and he quickly goes back to his violent ways once Ichigo's strength is satisfactorily restored.
5. Ayaka Steiger (Kurau: Phantom Memory) Ayaka's original mission is to capture Kurau Amami, a Ryna sapien with extraordinary powers working as a freelance operative. Steiger is a member of the Global Police Organization (GPO) working under Commissioner Saitō and has aspirations of reaching the same heights as her deceased father. Her attempts to capture Kurau are a constant hindrance but that changes when Ayaka discovers the real culprit behind her father's death. She switches her allegiance and instead works to help prevent the GPO's hidden agenda: creating an army of super soldier Ryna sapiens.
4. Amiboshi (Fushigi Yugi) Amiboshi was first introduced to the Suzaku warriors as Chiriko, since he's a deadly-flute playing spy. His entire purpose was to keep Miaka from successfully summoning Suzaku by playing a song that should have killed everyone if the real Chiriko hadn't shown up. This is based on a shōjo manga though, so there's always a chance for redemption. He falls into a river and develops amnesia before being reunited with the Suzaku warriors. This "new" version of Amiboshi is living a simple life and comes to the aid of Miaka when she's injured, later rescuing her from the villain Tomo.
3. Abelia (Now and Then, Here and There) Abelia was living her life in dystopian Hellywood as the trusted right hand of insane King Hamdo. She watched him throw irrational fits of anger directed and child troops and disregard her military strategies in favor of his own emotionally-motivated desires and paranoia. Towards the end of the series, that paranoia finally wears thin on Abelia's sympathies. A flood of water begins to overtake Hellywood and the world. Hamdo finds himself swept up in the ensuing waves crying out for his commanding officer's assistance. Abelia instead allows him to drown
2. Lunatic (Tiger & Bunny) The "dark hero" has moral values about criminals comparable to Light Yagami. He believes only in his own sense of "justice", and that means killing murderers and other sinners regardless of repentance. Kotetsu and Barnaby find themselves having quite a bit of trouble capturing the vigilante as he continues to set suspected murderers on fire. The only upside to Lunatic's "justice" is that he heavily researches his victims to ensure he's exacting retribution on the right people. Kotetsu finds himself accused of murder by the city he's sworn to protect with a fake Wild Tiger and other heroes on his tail. Lunatic rescues Kotetsu from his assailants after looking into his files revealed his innocence.
1. Nephrite (Sailor Moon) You can always count on plenty of backstabbing among Sailor Moon villains. The growing animosity between Nephrite and Zoisite was no exception, with Zoisite ready to take the reins of the Dark Kingdom's plot but becoming increasingly frustrated as Nephrite was allowed to fail again and again. He was also becoming suspiciously interested in Usagi's friend Naru, who also had her own romantic feelings for him. Zoisite decides to take advantage of Nephrite's budding feelings by targeting Naru. The once haughty villains shows his true colors by taking multiple attacks for Naru and ultimately saving her at the cost of his own life.
The new poll: Which male anime character looks best with long hair?
The old poll: Which female character looks best in a ponytail?
- Sailor Jupiter (Sailor Moon)
- Haruhi Suzumiya (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)
- Yoko Littner (Gurren Lagann)
- Mitsuki Hayase (Rumbling Hearts)
- Winry Rockbell (Fullmetal Alchemist)
- Hitagi Senjōgahara (Monogatari Series)
- Popura Taneshima (WORKING!!)
- Yoruichi Shihōin (BLEACH)
- Akatsuki (Log Horizon)
- Eli Ayase (Love Live!)
- Isuzu Sento (Amagi Brilliant Park)
- Mio Akiyama (K-ON!)
- Eru Chitanda (Hyou-ka)
- Erza Scarlet (Fairy Tail)
- Sasha Blouse (Attack on Titan)
- Kyoko Sakura (Madoka Magica)
- Belldandy (Ah! My Goddess)
- Gou Matsuoka (Free!)
- Kyuubei Yagyuu (Gintama)
When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as the Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her son on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.
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