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Let me set the stage for you. August 13, 1998 - I was 12, and Cartoon Network aired the first ever episode of Anime that I had seen. It was called Dragon Ball Z. I became obsessed. I tried to teach myself the Kamehameha and wanted desperately to go Kaio-Ken against the jerk kids on my street.... But alas that never happened, yet my eyes had been opened to the wonderful world of anime. I was already enthralled with american comics at the time, and was shocked to learn that Japan had basically the same thing in form of a graphic novel, which is where my Dragon Ball Z came from. I ate it all up. I remember going to the library and basically checking out the entire graphic novel section and sitting in my room reading through every page.
There was not enough time in the day to read all the manga and graphic novels..
So here I am now, nearly thirty and although I don't read the manga and graphic novels like I did when I was prepubescent... I still find myself binge watching episodes of my favorite anime on Hulu or Netflix (currently consisting of One Piece, Fairy Tail, Absolute Duo, Soul Eater, Bleach & Naruto) as well as seeking out new ovas to watch. If I wake up before my son, I'll sit in the living room with my iPad and stream a couple episodes, or I'll have it streaming while I play Xbox during his nap-time on the weekends. It's one of those guilty pleasures, and I'll always love a good piece of anime.
With this being comic book week, it got me thinking about all the anime that I watched and the manga that I read and I thought I'd share my top 5 anime villians. Here we go!
Soul Eater is one of my favorite binge-worthy anime shows. Although it was short run, only 51 episodes, it held my attention and I think I ran through the entire series in a weekend. It was quirky and unique and the characters were well done.
I am just now getting into the manga story and reading it online, and I'm enjoying it as much as the anime series.
Regardless of how short it was series wise as an ova, I think one of its villains is deserving of my list. I would like to introduce you to Medusa Gorgon.
Medusa is a sinister witch/scientist who developed 'black blood' which enhances madness in people. Her ultimate goal is to unbalance the DWMA (The Academy of for lack of a better term, Reapers in training). She so focused on her goals that she even experimented on her own son, Chrona, who later turned to the DWMA and assisted in ending her struggle against the DWMA... or at least it seemed as if she had been killed. The anime never truly stated that she was defeated, as she was shown to have escaped in the body of a snake. She's on my list for her ability to deceive all the students and faculty at the DWMA for so long. She posed as the Academy's head nurse before it was discovered that she was an evil witch, thus ranking her as my number 5 favorite villain.
Here it is, my Dragonball Z reference. It's what started my anime addiction. I remember watching religiously as it played on Cartoon Network's afternoon lineup called Toonami. Reboot, Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, Thudercats & DBZ. That was my afternoon from 4 to 6, and I never looked back.
Majin Buu when first introduced is playful and almost full of a childlike energy. Although his evil nature is evident in his joy of destroying people. When angered he becomes nearly impossible to stop. Though he has definite anger issues, he has an internal conflict that eventually causes him to expel his inner personalities which then consume him and we are left with the pure destruction of Buu.
Pure destruction Buu claims the number 4 spot for his devastating power and the enjoyment that he gains from destruction and chaos.
At first glance, you'd probably question my choice for number 3 on my list, but if you've seen or read through any of the Date A Live series, you'd know just how dangerous my choice is. Date A Live is a series that I'm literally just getting into, I've spent maybe 5 months reading online and watching the OVA on Hulu, but in that time I've grown to love and fear my choice.
She is the third spirit in the series, and the first villainous one - her name: Kurumi Tokisaki. She is claimed to be brutal and ruthless and has killed 10's or thousands of people. She has a twisted sense of justice, and is ultimately difficult to read on a personality stance, but she is still dangerous. She has power of shadow manipulation as well as over time. Her powers are fairly unique as she can manipulate shadows and create clones that share her power and personality. She can live indefinitely by consuming other people's "time" (their life force), which is why she has killed often and without remorse.
These powers and her slightly psychotic persona give me good cause to place her at number 3 of my favorite villains list.
Fairy Tail. My newest addiction. It has fighting. It has magic. It has dragons, talking cats with wings. What's not to like about it?
Let me introduce you to Zeref: one of those characters that is bad news. When your nickname is "The Killing Mage" and you're described as the most evil wizard in all of history- it kind of sets the tone for his whole existence. Nevertheless, he is a tortured soul, and as you read into his character you see that he is conflicted. He has created demons and ultimately mastered the Dark Arts of black magic. His two personalities that clash throughout the story are: his benevolent side that cherishes life and is unable to control his full power and his malevolent side which holds no regard for human life and has full control of his power. This inner struggle and his curse that kills everything around him instantly just compounds his wickedness. After witnessing the atrocities committed by a different guild or wizards, he abandons all hope for humanity and spends several years contemplating and ultimately decides that he must destroy all of mankind.
I don't know about you... but destroying all of mankind is kind of a big deal. Leaving him as my obvious choice for number 2.
Now before anyone jumps at me about this choice if you haven't seen or read the entire Bleach series, then just skip this section because its full of spoilers. Bleach... This series is my all time favorite, without a doubt. I love the storylines, I love the characters, I love the unique take on good and evil, I love the conflit, I love the struggle to understand ones own place in the world. It's got everything in it.
I've always been a sucker for this style of anime/manga. I remember watching Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X) and I've always loved the classic samurai movies, even some of the new ones although sometimes overdone are my favorite type of movies. You go watch "The Last Samurai" and you tell me that watching Ken Watanabe as Lord Katsumoto doesn't show the power and pride that master swordsmen carried. I love it! And that's how I felt when I read through Bleach and saw when I watch it on Hulu.
Once again, I'm warning you if you haven't gotten through the majority of the story arc, you are going to have the story spoiled, beginning now. Zangetsu is both light and dark. Turn back now if you don't like plot spoilers.
WARNING: SPOILER BELOW
Ichigo Kurosaki is the trifecta. He has Soul Reaper powers, Quincy powers and Inner-Hollow powers that he can use in battle. This is due to his father being a former Soul Reaper Captain and his mother being a Quincy as well as due to his training with Uruhara while his hollow powers appeared.
Recently, it has been released that the above spoiler is true and the zangetsu that we believed to be his spirit form is the manifestation of his Quincy powers not his soul reaper powers. Zangetsu's true form is the white form that has been shown before. Zangetsu is the dual representation of Soul Reaper & Hollow powers. It is the dark side of his soul.
White Ichigo, Hollow Ichigo, Zangestu - whatever you want to call him is pure destructive force. He is brutal, sadistic, arrogant and ultimately his reason for existence is to take over Ichigo's power and body and use it to kill anything and everything. That's a pretty stark difference from the Ichigo that we know who only wants to protect. Zangestu battles with pure unstoppable brute force, ignoring pain and injury. Zangestu is always threatening to take over Ichigo's body if he 'screws up again'.
Zangetsu is my favorite villian for his psychotic nature and for his immense power. He ultimately is what takes control of Ichigo's body when he turns hollow.
There they are. My top 5 anime villains. The villains that I love to watch, and a part of me deep down still roots for.