• Member Since 13th Mar, 2017
  • offline last seen Feb 15th, 2018

Sofa King Zill-E


More Blog Posts20

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  • 211 weeks
    So What Is Going On With Sofa King Zill-E?

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Aug
27th
2017

Toguro, Or How To Create An Effective Villain · 3:25am Aug 27th, 2017

If you haven't watched the anime Yu Yu Hakusho, I warn you, spoilers about in the following entry. If you haven't watched it, by all means, do so, I do recommend it, as it is a classic anime and well worth a binge.










Okay, so you've had your chance to leave, so I take it that if you are reading these words, you've either watched Yu Yu Hakusho, or don't care if I spoil things. Either way, I'm going to continue.

So, Toguro. I have to say, he is one of my favorite anime villains. And there's a reason for that: In spite of the fact that he breaks a major 'anime rule', he is one of the best, most effective villains in the series, and if you've watched the entire series, he's probably the villain you remember most, and most fondly.

How does he break the rules? I'll explain.

One of the simplest rules around is that, outside of DBZ, the main villain of the arc is never a basic brute force bruiser. Yes, they're the most powerful, but that is typically because they have a unique and unusual set of powers, combined with a lot of raw power to back those abilities up. Raw strength is never all the main villain of the arc has up his sleeve. Toguro, meanwhile, is raw strength embodied. In fact, the best way you can describe Toguro is 'He's a DBZ character who accidentally wandered onto the set, and no one had the guts to tell him he was in the wrong place'. But at the same time, that absurd raw power is part of what made him so great as a villain in the series.

See, all throughout the series, Yusuke (The lead protagonist) regularly gets his @$$ handed to him by guys who are stronger than he is. During the 'Saint Beast' arc, Yusuke fights a guy several times more powerful than himself, and has a trick that lets him constantly replenish his strength (His combo of 'Prism of Seven' splits him into seven equally powerful bodies, and 'Prism of Seven: Restoration', where one body devours the other six to regenerate power), so while Yusuke has a severely limited ammo supply, his opponent can go all day and all night without worrying about running out of stamina. 95% of that fight is Yusuke getting shot full of arrows. Likewise, in an earlier battle against a soul-eating oni, Yusuke's attacks cannot do any damage to the oni's invulnerable skin. Yusuke has to use a clever trick to force the oni's mouth open and shoot a Rei Gun shot down his throat. Against Hiei, Yusuke has to use a clever trick to hit Hiei from behind to deal with his opponent's godlike speed. And...

Look, I'll summarize: Yusuke keeps getting put up against more powerful opponents, and uses his wits to overcome them. That sums up like, 75% of his fights. And until the Dark Tournament Arc, that works just fine, barring the 'Saint Beast' arc.

Then Toguro comes along, and basically German Suplexes the premise of the entire series. In the first fight against him, Yusuke and Kuwabara can't do squat to him, and basically use a combination attack to seemingly defeat him. They basically do what they've done to villains the entire series thus far. And then everyone goes home happy.

However, remember how I said 'seemingly' a little while ago? It's because Toguro threw the fight. This is what kickstarts the entire arc, and this is also part of what makes this entire arc so incredible and game-changing for the series: The heroes did to Toguro what they try to do with every villain, and... It. Did. Not. Work. He is just too strong. Tricks don't work on Toguro. Tactics don't work on Toguro. Speed don't work on Toguro. Toguro's raw power makes every other character's 'gimmick' useless. Toguro doesn't have a gimmick, unlike every villain in the series so far. He doesn't need one. All Toguro has is strength. But the sheer volume of that strength is what makes Toguro so dangerous. Especially since, unlike most series where the 'Team' has one guy who has raw strength as an ability, they instead have a Kuwabara, who, while pretty good in his own right, isn't the same thing.

During the Dark Tournament arc, we see a fair number of opponents with one gimmick or another, but Toguro stands above them all. He could beat any of them. He could beat all of them at once. During the arc, he uses brute strength to defeat a team whose theme is literally 'Brute Strength From Being Really Huge And Jacked'. He one-shots all of them effortlessly. And until the final fight, never goes above 3/5 of his full power.

More to the point, his personality is strikingly dissimilar to his abilities: He's intelligent, cool-headed, and displays several times a kinder nature than his actions in combat would imply. This makes him even more dangerous, but it also puts him at odds with every other villain in the series so far. He'd probably be the hero in any other anime or manga. He is the anti-thesis of every villain in Yu Yu Hakusho to this point. In fact, he's the antithesis of the entire series.

No one can do Brute Strength like Toguro. A great character with a great personality, a tragic backstory, and his defeat is the culmination of a great arc.

So, to all you writers out there, I have a message. If you're thinking of putting a villain in your story, remember Toguro: Sometimes, the best villain is one who isn't just the opposite of the main character, but one who turns the entire story on its head.

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Comments ( 6 )

in my opinons the greatest villens are often fallen heros like the saying goes you either die a hero or you live long enough to become a villen

Gotta agree it's just so hard to find a good overwhelming powerful villian whose of good stock now adays

Never seen the show, but he sounds a lot like The Goon. The guy beat down dragons, golems, and other mythical creatures, survived the mafia "sending him a message" into his torso about twenty times, and is generally the most feared enforcer in the city. Only thing is, his "boss" was a man he beat to death with a rock as a child after the guy got his only relative killed. He stole the man's ledger and began collecting on all the debts listed, claiming the Mob boss went into hiding and was using him as a proxy. Only one man caught on before the Nameless Doctor strolled into town.

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Same that's why I loved the link joker arc in Vanguard all but one of the villians are heros who got taken over. I also loved that one of them was forced to willingly fight in order to keep her memories of the main hero

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