Thank you! Sorry I’m so slow to get to these letters. But I need a quick break from current deadlines…
DISCLAIMER, exceptions are the rule! I am not proclaiming the universal laws of storytelling!
Most of the villains that I’ve come across have one defining characteristic: they are fine. THEY are never the problem and THEY are never looking to change themselves. It’s everything else that needs to come to terms with what they represent, and be transformed in their image, either in the micro or macro level.
The hero however, recognizes that the only way to change the world is to change himself. The hero grows, and becomes more entwined with the world either in a shamanistic outsider role or as a representative of the best of mankind.
The point, is that heroes have a lot of internal monologues or they have friends to confide in. Villains have a world’s worth of people to bring around to their point of view. Thus, the joy of the VILLAIN RANT.
“The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it.”
Number 3 is Hellsing’s Major. He is of course preaching his destruction to the choir. If any of those poor bastards had half a brain cell to rub together they would have run screaming. Like the Thuggee cults of India, The Majors church of eternal battle can only end in death. It’s suicide by S.W.A.T. on a national scale, and of course there’s nothing more romantic than suicide. Hence his “How do I love war? Let me count the ways!” Love poem.
And look up the Thuggee. They are completely fascinating.
Number 2 on the hit list is Ikkyu from Read or Die the OVA. I wish I still had the text for this rant because I’m so proud of it. Ikkyu was a real Zen monk who traveled the Japanese countryside during the 15th century. He is to my mind one of history’s great sex and death goth kid assholes. His writings mark him as drunk, snarky, anti-establishment, and charming as fuck. He is the villain I can most closely identify with, because his theory of aesthetic appreciation as a mark of human value appeals to my own inner demons. On my worst days I can hear Daniel Ramont’s silky voice creating a world he could love by burning away everything he couldn’t.
Number 1 is sitting on hold inside a personal project, but will be released upon the world… someday. It is a fabulous ode to daddy issues. Here’s the gist -
“Today is about to be the most interesting day of your life.”
It’s a copout, I know.