Journal Entry: Thu May 16, 2013, 7:49 PM
As someone actually faved one of my past Trope Summary journals, I've been inspired to put out another one.
Sliding Scale of Anti-Villains
Just as our heroes may not be so heroic, are villains may not be quite so villainous. Whether they're sympathetic, have a code of honor, or maybe just come off as misguided, their is something that keeps them from being one-note mustache-twirling evildoers. Often the audience, and sometimes even the heroes, may grow to respect or even like their enemy, which can lead to it's own kind of tension. The sliding scale of anti-villains is broken into four categories.
Type I: Noble Anti-Villain
By far one of the most common of anti-villains this is the villain who is undoubtedly evil, just not over the top evil. This villain has standards, likely shown in a code of honor or even making sure that their villainous acts aren't too heinous, and is the most likely to team up with the hero to take down a more underhanded villain who just gets on their nerves. Despite the many admirable traits the character has this is still the most villainous anti-villain as evil is a choice for them and they choose to be the villain. Could become an outright villain if they decide to take off the restraints, but more than likely won't change at all.
Type II: Woobie Anti-Villain
These are villains who don't want to be evil, but circumstances put them in that position. Maybe they have a debt or loyalty to a more evil character, maybe they're doing it just to survive, or maybe they used to be good but just got so much shit shoved onto them that they finally snapped. The point is, being a villain actually causes them distress and they are not this way by choice. They are sympathetic not because they have a good goal but because we see what made them this way and know they don't deserve it. May eventually slip into outright villains, but also may brighten up into anti-heroes as well.
Type III: Well-Intentioned Anti-Villain
Pretty much the reverse of the above these are villains who have a noble and respectable goal in mind but their methods of achieving said goals make them the bad guys. They may even have exactly the same goal as the hero, its just how they go about it puts them at odds. They'll often criticize the hero for being too naive or may find the heroes methods to be too roundabout for their tastes. They may even recognize how atrocious their acts are and regret it but feel that the end will justify their methods. Sometimes, they may not even realize what their doing is wrong in the first place. May become true villains, slip into Type II, or may even become anti-heroes, but most likely will stay the same.
Type IV: Villain in Name Only
As the name suggest this is a "villain" who can hardly be called a villain at all, either having no villainous traits or the few they have being completely overwhelmed by their positive ones. Sometimes this character may be outright heroic but simply on the wrong side, making them a character that the audience wants desperately to change sides. Very common in comic relief "villains", not in the case that they fail horribly at their villainy but in that every attempt they make to be evil they fail because of their natural kindness and generosity. If this character is ever killed, especially by the hero, it is likely to be a real tear-jerker for the audience and maybe even for the hero themselves. These character will never become outright villains as that would likely ruin the story's flow.
Ok, so let's see how long it takes for me to
Listening to: Macklemore - Thrift Shop
Playing: Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective