And as if by magic, here is the good list. Same rules, this applies to all villains in a given anime not just one individual.
Rurouni Kenshin: Never seems to have bad villains but mostly forgettable.
Zoids Chaotic Century: One of my best memories of the show but I sadly forget what it was like being so long ago.
Strike Witches: They have the terrifying part down but nothing else.
10. One Piece
Shonen Jump villains didn't do well in these lists but One Piece saves them from being total outcasts; One Piece is one of only two anime to be able to successfully get away with goofy villains, the other being Ultimate Muscle.
9. Air Gear
The nature of Air Gear allows for some creative battles and villains, many of which maintain an air of mystery every time and don't leave you disappointed by the end result.
8. Pretty Cure
Never let the cutesy, goofy villains of Precure fool you, by the time you get to the finale of every season expect the stakes to be high and the fights to be intense, even the movies manage to pull this off. All this from a Magical Girl show but it's not the only one on this list.
7. Card Captor Sakura
You could argue that the cards aren't really villains but the trouble they cause are enough to be labeled as such, even when the ringmaster is revealed, the quality of the villains doesn't drop.
6. Sailor Moon
The major reason Sailor Moon holds up so well is that it has some bloody good villains. Many of my generation got chills from the Dr Tomoe arc, while many feel sorry for Beryl's main henchman as they die one after the other. And as ground breaking as Madoka Magica is, it doesn't have a patch on Sailor Moon.
5. Slayers & Lost Universe
Lina Inverse & Kain Blueriver can easily be billed as invincible but the villains in both shows can easily reduce both to their knees and very nearly destroy the world. That's a sign of good villains right there when an invincible hero is made to look weak.
4. Soul Eater
This anime really knew what it was doing with it's villains, psychologically terrifying both visually and mentally which compliments the art style very well.
3. Every Gundam Series except G Gundam
Gundam villains have always done a good job in making the heroes really scared of death and no hero has ever successfully claimed a convincing victory against them without losing important people along the way or even the hero themselves managing to stay in one piece mentally.
2. Neon Genesis Evangelion
Speaking of mentally crippling, every angel in Evangelion seems to cause extreme psychological trauma for the heroes in almost every fight. It's proof of how well the series holds up even after 20 years since the original.
1. Full Metal Alchemist
But if you want a good set of villains, come to Full Metal Alchemist. I'm of course referring to the Homunculus, the most ruthless villains to ever grace an anime, they are everything villains need to be: Terrifying, capable of worrying the good guys, defeated in an awesome way and just be a bad ass. Even more amazing is that they pull this off twice.
It's double list time, and we kick off with a best and worst villains in an anime, let me clarify that this is based on all villains within an anime not just one individual, with that out the way lets begin.
Black Butler: Alois Trancey is one of the worst characters ever made but one bad villain isn't enough to put a whole series on this list, especially when he isn't canon.
Negima: Fate Averruncus was overused but really the show didn't have enough villains to justify it being listed.
Shaman King: Hao Asakura is a scary guy but I find him annoying, again one villain isn't enough for this list.
My issues with Trigun's villains come from the fact that the early ones don't live up to the standard the series set out. Trigun is an excellent series and it should really grab you straight away and the first few episode villains fail to do that.
Digimon has a problem with originality, the villains are either obviously dark looking devils or goofing comedy villains such as Elvis impersonator Etemon. The sad thing is, Digimon can do terrifying the villains, it's just that the creative team don't seem to use them often and their really good ones like Machinedramon don't last five minutes.
The franchise has a history of some goofy looking villains, the picture of Majin Buu says it all, but the real problem with Dragonball's villains from the original to GT is that older villains are made to look redundant very quickly; considering how terrifying many of them were built up to be only for them to be utterly humiliated later on is a very sad way to go, even Broly gets it bad and he's utterly terrifying.
Bleach has some utterly terrible villains, couple of stand out ones include a professional wrestler and "Mr Self Insert Character" such a horrific standard for a series that started with some great characters only to fall from grace so horribly.
Saying that Naruto isn't any better, for a while now, especially recently, they've made the villains completely boring, I can't pick out anything from Madara, Obito or Kaguya that I actually enjoyed, what's worst is that these are main villains, I'm not even going to begin on the filler ones.
5. Fairy Tail
I love Fairy Tail but my god are some of their villains really bad, I remember finishing Edolas arc thinking "There's a villain called Sugarboy?" other than the Oracion Seis, female villains and big name villains, the rest are really bad and stops me naming Fairy Tail best anime.
4. Panty & Stocking
In a series this colorful and crazy, you stick with complete opposites to the main cast, you kind of expect a series named Panty & Stocking to have a bit more too it than that but you'd be quite shocked to find that under it's anarchic sense of humor it's very grounded.
3. Attack on Titan
I can't help but laugh at the Titans these days, they look so goofy. A series with such shocking imagery fails to have ever lasting impact when another episode depicts the same creatures looking stupid. I remember one Titan running to the Benny Hill theme music in one AMV.
2. G Gundam
In a series so used to playing stereotypes, it can't make a decent villain other than Master Asia who you could argue isn't a full villain. The Devil Gundam doesn't look any better and side villains such as Gentle Chapman, Michelo Chariot & Prime Minister Wong can be best described as an aging drug addict, a rejected Street Fighter II character and an arrogant movie star respectively. Seriously this is billed as a fighting anime, you can do better than this Gundam.
Take your pick from these villains, either clones of Adam Blade or moe girls. Any other choices are quickly killed off. Again this series is crazy yet this is the best you can do with villains? Clones and little moe girls? My God do you lower the standards in anime Needless.
I'm old enough to have been through nearly the entirety of the gaming industry and back in my day, we learned our skills through the arcades.
Weston Grand Pier, nearest arcade to my location in the UK
To bring Arcades into the 21st Century, I have compiled an Achievement List, equaling to 1000G in the same style as X-Box. I'll also list my score at the end, so lets take a look. Bold are ones I've achieved.
50G - Complete an Arcade Game on one coin
50G - Tilt a Pinball Machine by Overclocking the Score
20G - Top an Arcade Leaderboard
40G - Complete the Hard Race Course on a Driving Game
15G - Play an Arcade Cabinet Older than you
20G - Win a Claw Game
20G - Win a Multiplayer Game
10G - Earn £10/$10 on a Coin Pusher
15G - Earn £15/$15 on Slots
30G - Win a Pinball Tournament
40G - Complete an Arcade Shooter
10G - Complete a song on Dance Dance Revolution
40G - Complete a song on Dance Dance Revolution on the Hardest Difficulty
25G - Play a Hundred different Arcade Titles
15G - Win at Air Hockey
10G - Play a Shooting Gallery
10G - Play a Punching Machine
10G - Play Basketball Hoops
10G - Play Skee Ball
30G - Play Pachinko
10G - Won enough tickets for a decent Prize
20G - Play Kentucky Derby
5G - Spent £100/$100 on Arcade Games
15G - Play five Namco Games
15G - Play five Taito Games
15G - Play five Midway Games
15G - Play five Sega Games
15G - Play five Atari Games
20G - Played an Arcade Game using a Trackball
15G - Played a Gottlieb Pinball Machine
15G - Played a Williams Pinball Machine
20G - Played Joust
20G - Played Asteroids
20G - Played Centipede
20G - Played Tetris
20G - Played Defender
20G - Played Donkey Kong
20G - Played Pacman
20G - Played Galaga
20G - Played Space Invaders
20G - Played Pole Position
10G - Played Virtua Fighter
10G - Played Outrun (Classic)
10G - Played Space Harrier
10G - Played Super Hang-On
10G - Played Tumble Pop
10G - Played Puzzle Bobble
10G - Played Afterburner
10G - Played Sega Rally
10G - Played Daytona USA
10G - Played Time Crisis
10G - Played House of the Dead
10G - Played Final Fight
10G - Played Street Fighter II
10G - Played Simpsons Arcade
10G - Played X-Men Arcade
10G - Played Alpine Ski
10G - Played Table Stick Hockey
My Score: 800G
Take the Arcade challenge and see how you match up.
I knew I was going to come round to this remake eventually, especially when the franchise in question is so high up in the anime hierarchy, yes it's Sailor Moon.
For those who are new, Sailor Moon is a Magical Girl franchise about Usagi, a princess reborn on the Earth following the destruction of the Moon Kingdom, but when the same evil threatens Earth, Usagi is given the powers of Sailor Moon, and along with her fellow Sailor Scouts, set out to stop the evil of Queen Beryl and her henchman. Also that this franchise is 20 years old and is the first choice Magical Girl and Shojo series of many Generation X anime fans.
From an opinion of a Generation X fan like myself, the remake is absolutely beautiful, it's clear the amount of care was taken to make the show standout and how closely it follows the Manga plot instead of recycling the long 200+ episodes of Monster of the Week. Four episodes in and already it's made a decent impression on it's fanbase.
So why does it feel so underwhelming?
Well for many reasons.
1. The Legacy of the original series despite it's flaws, still holds a special place in the hearts of it's fans and still holds up very well despite looking somewhat dated.
2. The Market is saturated with Magical Girl shows including the powerhouse Precure, Aikatsu and Pretty Rhythm franchises.
3. The format chosen to release the episodes is twice a month which isn't ideal when rival shows release every week.
4. Early showings relegated the Male fanbase within it's native Japan which makes up a surprising amount of the fanbase.
5. The show is a little too well done, which makes it too safe.
The hype generated by the Marketing for Sailor Moon Crystal didn't produce the same level of hype upon release; the same issues befell Dragonball Z Kai which came out to huge praise but disappeared very quickly afterwards, and unless Sailor Moon Crystal picks up a momentum later in the series it's going to face the same fate and we may not find that out for well over a year.
Finally the format of release is not ideal, no fan wants to wait too long for their favorite character to appear on screen and considering the target audience which would consist of young girls and preteen girls as it's primary focus, it doesn't take very long for an episode to lose impact during a two week gap.
Word of mouth within schools is how a show becomes popular but it doesn't take long for an episode to lose impact and if you're the unfortunate kid who missed the episode, by the second week your school friends will be talking about Precure or Aikatsu instead of the episode you've only just caught up with, this is especially important for a female audience who can switch focus onto another product very quickly; the format isn't as bad as Gundam Unicorn's whose air times were random, but bad enough that it can't hold it's fanbase for very long.
Final Verdict: It's strikingly beautiful but struggles to maintain a solid fanbase among a sea of strong rivals, legacies and poor format choices. It still has time to fix these issues but for now it doesn't do enough to keep my attention as well as it's millions of viewers.
Yeah I had to follow through with this one, it wouldn't feel right if I didn't, so lets go. *Updated 30th August 2014 - New picture, honorable mentions and new entry*
Professor Layton & the Eternal Diva: This film was surprisingly good and mixes in the video game elements surprisingly well.
Fatal Fury: Somehow manages to be half decent despite being extremely cheesy
Variable Geo: An anime about fighting waitresses, nuff said. Still too cheesy for an actual place in the top ten.
10. Sakura Wars
This would've been so much higher if the dubs weren't so terrible. Steampunk mecha with a set of lovely ladies in the most fashionable military outfits ever made, stay tuned later on as reviews of the OVAs, Film & Series are to come.
9. Viewtiful Joe
The animation style is very Americanized yet it works like a charm very much in the same way as Gainax do with Panty & Stocking. It wasn't perfect but offered new art direction than the typical anime style used since the 90s & 00s.
8. Final Fantasy Unlimited
Sadly Advent Children is disqualified for technically not being an anime, sorry I just don't count it as one; however Final Fantasy Unlimited makes up for it being missing. It makes a change to see a Final Fantasy that doesn't involve pretty boys or a link to Final Fantasy VII, it deserves to stand on it's own. Now if I can just find a boxset, I'll be in business.
7. Anything by Key
Not my cup of tea but every series adapted from the games is still a beautiful watch and highly emotional and will leave a mark on your heart for years to come.
6. Inazuma Eleven
I never thought an RPG based on Soccer would do so well as an anime series, I still really enjoy watching those killer moves and if I see one I usually see all of them. This series is a good lesson in spectacle.
5. Fate/Stay Night
Apart from a few lines of terrible dialogue, Fate/Stay Night can definitely stand up to the big wigs of anime. With a host of memorable characters and some interesting bits of history it's more than enough to satisfy the shonen crowd.
4. Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie
Never has a franchise gone through so many changes in fortune, but Street Fighter's animated film is the best were ever going to see for a fighting game adaption, it gives us exactly what we expect and it only takes the first few minutes of Ryu & Sagat's battle to get us hooked.
3. Persona 4
New entry for this old list, an array of intense story telling with equally intense character writing mixed with one of the finest art styles in recent years makes for a near perfect anime.
2. Sengoku Basara
Capcom has far too many awful habits for my liking but Sengoku Basara was the dark horse of my anime watching last year, it's over the top, historically skewed and awesome, enough to make you want to cry "Your Lordship!"
1. Pokemon: The 1st season & the Diamond & Pearl series
How can I not put Pokemon down, it's anime perfection and built the lives of so many otaku. A natural blend of endless art set in a universe of unique creatures; Pokemon will remain with anime fans until the end of time. A lot of people will argue that Pokemon has not been good since Johto, but Diamond & Pearl was the only saga that came close to the original formula.
So that's your lot, some surprises and some no surprises, you be the judge.