Protagonists to Villains:
Anime Heroes That Would Rock as Villains
by Jack Dalton Allistar
Ahh, the heroes of anime. They’re always so…good. But what about the “heroes” off the beaten path? The world of anime would be a very dull place without them. They’re ruthless, unpredictable, and leaps ahead of the usual suspects taking center stage. With that in mind, here are the protagonists of anime and games that, though great at what they do, could be the ultimate adversaries.
Veer away if you’re not into spoilers.
1. Alucard (Hellsing & Hellsing Ultimate)
If you haven’t treated yourself to the vampire’s adventures, get cracking because this tall, dark, and bloodthirsty monster takes everything you think you know about vampires and decimates it. Edward who? He’s violent and sadistic, a true and total monster. Even the woman he answers to can barely stop him once he decides to really play with his food. Alucard’s dialogue is visceral, threatening bodily harm within seconds of declaring he doesn’t like you. Those aren’t empty threats either. If he spares you, it’s only on a whim–think Seras Victoria. Even with all of this going for him in the villain department, there’s something delightfully blasphemous in an antagonistic Irish priest.
2. Allen Walker (Gray-Man)
This protagonist has so many tragedies defining his life that he’s become a walking time bomb. Allen Walker grew up as a deformed orphan and, after the death of his adopted father, Allen wishes to bring him back to life. But once his hubris forces him to kill his resurrected father, Allen’s arm becomes a gigantic weapon. As he kills his adversaries in a flash of blades, crosses, and white hot flames, nonsensical phrases such as “Good night” come from his mouth. Oh, and he’s secretly a member of the Noahs, a group of super-powered beings who teamed up with the series’ main antagonist, the Millennium Earl. D. Gray-Man creator Katsura Hoshino made a hero so tantalizingly close to breaking down, you wish he’d already head the Noah Clan.
3. Maou Hataraku, otherwise known as Satan (The Devil is a Part Timer!)
As entertaining as the actual show is, I would have loved to see more of the Satan that was instead of the one we get flipping burgers. There are glimpses of the devil inside him every once in a while, but most of the time, “Maou” seems perfectly content to live as a normal Japanese teenager. I like to think of him as “diet Laharl”.
4. Sebastian Michaelis (Black Butler)
Sebastian is a demon butler forced into servitude by young Ciel Phantomhive. Most of the show panders to those who love their men English and sparkly, but I love it for the quiet, dark moments where Sebastian reveals his inner devil while retaining his polite facade. As a sniveling businessman whines to be released from the Hell that is the Phantomhive Mansion, unaffected Sebastian whispers, “Where do you think you are now?” Cue the man realizing he’s actually trapped inside an oven, and all the while, Sebastian muses on tomorrow’s dinner plans.
5. Ragna the Bloodedge (The Blazblue series)
When you’re playing as the villainous bastard Hazama in the story and arcade, the final boss–usually Hazama himself–is replaced by Blazblue’s “Grim Reaper”. Ragna is everything a brooding and quick-tempered anime protagonist should be, but he’s also a raging monster in the face of Hazama, his most hated opponent. He’s a wanted criminal with a bounty higher than the entire One Piece cast. From the perspective of Hazama, Ragna becomes the antagonist, and even where Ragna is the focus, he’s still treated as the big bad wolf. People are fearful at the mention of his name. Sure, the Azure Grimoire replacing his arm was invented by Hazama, but how many times have experiments gone wrong and caused the antagonist to become stronger? If you twist it around enough, you can actually consider Ragna the Bloodedge as much of a villain in the story as Hazama.