The Theory of Villains with Codes and Honor

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You know what the details I appreciate about JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure? The villains who aren’t too hung up on rhetorically asking “how is it possible for them to lose to such person” as a white background takes over. It’s cheap. Cliché. Unsatisfactory. Instead the villains their hardest to last a bit longer even after being defeated to cause the biggest possible damage to the protagonist, clinging to life until the last ounce of their existence is completely and utterly vanished from the world. However, what I appreciate more are the codes they adhere by despite being their roles. Just because you’re a villain figure does not mean you can forget all about codes.

Villains without a reason to be what they are, can be incredible one-dimensional where the main reason to be evil happens to be being filled with inexplicably immeasurable amounts of inner dark chaos. The good guy, on the other hand, need not as much motive to act as the opposing force, which range from a sense of altruism to a basic state of self-defense against wishing for a world to be overrun my such problematic undemocratic unsettled otherworldly individuals.

For a villain his sole mission of their existence is to cause havoc around the world in their wake. Question is why – with an answer rarely satisfactory, if at all. Reason being because the villain(s) can and no one can stop them. For the villain the matter is strangely more difficult as they need something of a motive or raison d’être for their questionable acts against all that exists to qualify them to be more than general antagonist figures.

And so the villain needs something more, to slightly differentiate himself from other villain figures who wished to bring to an end civilization or change how things are, such as a strong motive or a type of rules. The villain needs to have a set of codes which he lives by. No matter how big or small they are. Such as only using certain methods, a sense of comradeship among his kind despite utter contempt for everything else, a sense of pride, a surprising sense of respect for certain qualities. “Details” who while their career of villainy is considered to be a nefarious profession to everyone else, possibly the villain himself, define the villain’ character.

In such way the villain needs not as much of a reason to explain his role as much as characteristics that define the peculiarities by which he lives by. A code by which they abide by. Be it one that provides the best satisfactory results for the villain or the villain’s downfall in the not-so-long run. Codes, in the villain case, do not mean commendable or morally good but a system of rules which the villain himself, nefarious and questionable in nature as he is, adheres and accepts to be followed when possible. For despite everything that can be said regarding him, there are certain specified codes which the villain dares not desecrate if it can be helped. Such details give the villain “character” arming him with a mysterious feature called depth.

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6 thoughts on “The Theory of Villains with Codes and Honor

  1. So what codes intrigue you and which villains do you really like that fall into that category? Villain-wise…I’m having a hard time thinking of one, but oh wait, the guy in samurai shampoo (can’t think of any current villains for the life of me) who fights Jean and beats up Mugen, but doesn’t kill him even though he clearly could have. It’s odd because he follows this twisted sense of honor, but does some other messed up things (don’t wanna spoil it in case someone hasn’t seen it). But anyways, what do you think?

    • It also has to do with consistency. Villains who would only fight the protagonist when they’re at their full potential to feel they’ve truly beaten them. Villains who only fight strong adversaries. Some type of code that explains their personality.
      Personally, I lead toward villains who stick to their guns but also who have some level of respect for their adversaries regardless of their opposing positions.

      More importantly, one gets to know what the villain’s character is like out of being the opposing driving force in the story.

  2. good villains are usually the ones who stick so firmly to their beliefs, regardless of its relation to the protagonists’. one example is definitely Erika Furude, I think

    • A villain’s role is to be the antagonist to the very end and play the role flawlessly.

      You have to stick to your beliefs whatever they may be, in a story. An villain (or even protagonist) will appear poorly written if he or she constantly changes her mind, attitude and plans every episode. By making the character have a personal code they follow you can give more life and personality to your villain.

  3. Tough post. This speech of yours is truly tough! How can you be so tough?

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