There are many kinds of villains. There are villains we love to hate, villains we hate, villains that ruin a series, villains that define a series, villains we sympathise with...
And then you get these guys.
There is no sympathy with these monsters.
Because that's what they are.
See, I just read the 56th and 57th chapters of Medaka Box. Perhaps you've heard of it? It's a brilliant deconstruction made by the man who brought you Bakemonogatari of what happens when a Mary Sue goes around solving everyone's problems, only there are other Sues that, frankly, don't want their problems to be fixed.
And these two chapters sent shivers down my spine.
With one character.
Just one, new character. Kumagawa Misogi.
- Terry Pratchett, Night Watch
He'd stand there amid the carnage, blood on his hands and stolen jewellery in his pocket, and with an expression of injured innocence declare, 'Me? What did I do?' And it was believable right up until you looked hard into those cheeky, smiling eyes, and saw, deep down, the demons looking back...Of course, by then, you'd taken your eyes off his knife.
This guy appeared at the end of chapter 55 standing amongst the bodies of several powerful named characters. He's covered in other people's blood, and holding a massive oversized screw in his hand.
Not just that. Look at his face. His posture. His hands.
I don't read Japanese, but I can tell you what he was saying.
He could be holding a bloody knife in one hand and a bloodstained purse in the other while standing in an alley next to a bleeding woman on the ground, and he'd be saying the same thing with the same expression.
"Who, me? What did I do?"
That sets off warning bells in anyone's mind, but over the course of these two chapters, you realise what he actually is.
A Complete Monster.
This is Kumagawa Misogi
This is Johan Liebert.
This is Frieza.
This is Envy.
This is Father.
This is Kimblee.
This is Tucker.
This is Orochimaru.
This is Hidan.
This is Haguro Dou.
This is Light Yagami.
These are just the ones from anime I've seen. These are villains with which there is no forgiveness. There is no sympathy. Their excuse for their actions is meaningless, because that's just what they were looking for. And don't give me any crap about how Light had ideals. So did Peter Sutcliffe. A serial killer is a serial killer.
The thing is, these guys will kill you. And they'll enjoy it.
There's no redeeming these bastards.
There's no forgiving them.
They are unforgivable.
The only mercy they are worthy of is a cold knife through their throat.
Now, Kumagawa Misogi invoked one reaction from me: FEAR.
I was afraid of this guy.
The Monster Himself
This is in a comedy manga about a mary sue who solves everyone's problems.
And I was terrified.
I hadn't felt like that since I read Monster.
These guy's know that they're evil bastards.
And they love it.
Some may try to think that they're 'cleaning' the world, or that they're in the right.
But the fact is that you'll never convince them to change.
And it's terrifying.
Because the only way to stop them is a prison cell or a bullet through the skull.
These are incredibly hard to pull off. I mean, flat characters are boring and unrealistic, but if you sympathise with them, then they're not Complete Monsters.
And a poorly done Complete Monster doesn't work. These villains are All Or Nothing. Fear or no reaction.
See, this is what Aizen TRIES to be, except we're not afraid of him. He doesn't evoke fear from the readers, just annoyance. We don't want him dead or forgiven, we want him out of the way so Bleach will either end or be interesting again.
True Monsters define a story.
You never forget them.
What about you guys? Do you enjoy a good Complete Monster?