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Top Anime Villains: A Requiem

In film, heroes are well positioned to receive adulation and credit. Indeed, it is my perspective that there are many who find it essential for a successful film to contain within its narrative a well crafted hero. However, I feel that it is equally -and perhaps arguably even more- crucial to celebrate the caliber of the villain; and that a powerful, intelligent and charismatic villain is a super ingredient for the grand dish of success. A super ingredient that is not only significant because of the flavour it contains but also because of it's ability to unlock and enhance the accompanying flavours by providing the occasion for valor and justice to surface and flourish. A well crafted villain may then, from this vantage, be elevated to be the Yin to the Yang, an indispensable feature that constitutes one half of this dualistic ideology and the sine qua non for an eventful, impactful and delightful narrative.

As such, this writing will be looking at the top three villains that are currently most prominently perceived in my mind. Without further ado, below are my top three candidates.

1. Meruem( King of the Chimera Ants)

Meruem is the main antagonist of the Chimera Ant arc featured in Hunter x Hunter. A monster that wielded inconceivable power, he is undoubtedly one of the fiercest fighters of the anime with enough might to give credence to his ambition of world domination. Although his individual strength alone is worthy of awe, his omnipotence is magnified further by the outright control he possesses over his Royal Guards whom themselves are beyond the thresholds of top tier hunters in the anime. In addition to raw power, Meruem is also a brilliant thinker that easily outwits professionals in strategy games he is new to with little calibration required.

His strength and intelligence is sufficient to distinguish himself from the sphere of ordinary villains but there is a third quality that, I think, makes him special. He is a sophisticated villain in that he pursues a course of action that stems from a warped sense of justice. His version of justice self corrects as he matures but his constant struggle with himself presents a dichotomy that is realistic and enthralling. Predatory instinct, the desire to rule, love and a full range of human emotions vibrate vibrantly in his decisions and his story reminds one of what it means to be human.

2. Light Yagami

A prodigy that stumbles upon a book that is capable of sentencing humans to death, Light is a decisive, scheming and phenomenal thinker and killer. His intelligence is highlighted from the beginning where he is portrayed as a top student and is evidenced later on by his dealings with the authorities. Determined and resolute, Light kills individuals he has judged to be evil at an unparalleled speed (as compared to previous owners of such books) and seeks to create a better society by murdering the scourge of humanity. His sense of justice is, at the very least, understandable and his moral rectitude is reinforced mostly by his confidence and temerity but also to a significant extent by his fan base that supports his judgements.

However, his version of justice does not tolerate those who seek to oppose him and he executes, perfidiously, police officers and other authorities of justice that declare his massacring to be a crime. The villainous attributes start to surface more flagrantly at this juncture and his decisions become more questionable as he faces greater adversities that reveal his increasingly unbounded will to kill. A complex character that regularly violates the bounds of hero and villain, his unique psyche exhibits an intricate web of human emotions that are not entirely aligned to a singular purpose.


Where better to find villains than in an anime that features a society with an actual occupation for heroes? Stain the hero killer is another sincere and dedicated ideologue that acts for his perceived good of humanity. He kills heroes who are out to make a name or profit for themselves and those he perceives to be unheroic 'fakes'. Although he is quite a force to be reckoned with, the anime makes no effort to portray him as a prodigy but rather, an ordinarily endowed individual whose assiduousness and tenacity makes him stand apart from the rest. His unfaltering determination and unwavering endurance is an appealing combination and his will is so invincible that he presses on undaunted till the bitter end. 

Although there is less complexity in his character as compared to the other two, simple does not equate to trivial, and he nonetheless remains a very charismatic and charming principled villain that never relents in the face of mounting adversity.

That concludes the blog for today. Who are the top anime villains simmering in your mind? Do they share any particular attributes? Feel free to discuss below in the comment section below.

Written by Z

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