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Old 2009-04-04, 18:37   Link #1
Exar Kun
The Abyssal Sith Lord
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Yavin IV / Poland
Well developed antagonists

I'm searching for an anime, where the opponents get almost as much character development and screen time as main characters. To the point where during some sort of decisive confrontation you want the "bad" guys to win, or at least waver whom to favour.

Examples of what I mean:

- Death Note (Light & L)
- Code Geass (Lelouch, Karen & Suzaku)
- Naruto (Naruto & Sasuke)

Anime genre doesn't really matter, but please try to avoid spoilers.
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Old 2009-04-04, 20:23   Link #2
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Since your list include antiheroes that might not exactly be the "main" villain, or where the concepts of villain and hero are blurred:

Nanoha and Nanoha A's: These two series play on the fact that the "enemies" of the main character have particular reason to fight, so you end up rooting for them. They are all very well developed. They are also incredibly cute ^^ (don't judge Nanoha by the first episodes, this show is a lot more than it appears at the beginning)

Coyote ragtime show: The 12 sisters are so cool that you'll definitely root for them at least to a certain degree.

Dennou Coil: we can't really talk about villain and heroes here, however the series focuses more on the "girl who is in the wrong" side than the main character. It's a very cool girl btw, in one episode she defeats all of her opponents in a single match.

Escaflowne: One of the "villain" has particular reasons to fight, if you like psychotic characters you'll love Dilandau. Folken is also a very good character.

Get Bakers: There is one of the most cruel yet irresistible character there. Cloud Akabane is anything that a true Villain should be, but he's so cool that you'll end up loving him. He will ally with the main characters in some episodes, but ultimately he works on his own, and killing is still one of his pleasures.

Legend of Galactic Heroes: A very great anime series. In this case i can't even say who is the hero and who is the villain. There are two great men, on both sides, the whole story revolves around them, their achievements, and their battles.

Last edited by Jan-Poo; 2009-04-04 at 20:47.
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Old 2009-04-04, 20:38   Link #3
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Yea I'll second Nanoha, the story basically develops both protagonists and antagonists together.

Busou Renkin, the antagonist could literally steal the show towards the end lol, the fabulously evil Papillon-sama is godly awesome!
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Old 2009-04-05, 02:47   Link #4
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Higurashi. Actually saying there is an antagonist at all is a bit of a spoiler, but I think the show really does a great job with all the characters involved, villian and hero alike.

Scrapped Princess. I really liked the time the devoted to the opposition--it basically made the ending much more meaningful because you knew both sides of the confict.

Magic Knights Rayearth. Throughout most of the show, I wasn't too impressed with it how the opposition was shown, but the ending completely pulled it together for me and I found myself quite happy.

Princess Tutu. Despite the dubious name, I found the characters to be really entertaining and interesting because none of the four major characters are static and they've changing agendas. Much like the name, the first few episodes were hard to bear, but after it started going, its like the crew executed things amazingly well in every way--pacing, again development, just everything, right down to the ending. Most shows tend to start off alright, peak early, then go down hill, this one just gets better until the end.
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Old 2009-04-05, 17:33   Link #5
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Suigintou from Rozen Maiden series is a very well-developed antagonist and a fan favorite (my favorite as well), though I'll point out that she gets more development in the sequel season, Traumend, and especially the prequel, Ouverture. The first season only scratches the surface. But she's definitely much more sympathetic than she initially appears.
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Old 2009-04-05, 18:34   Link #6
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Old 2009-04-05, 21:42   Link #7
Shadow Kira01
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I can only think of a few:

Blassreiter (Joseph vs Xargin)
Ga-Rei -Zero- (Kagura vs Yomi)
Gundam Seed Destiny (Kira vs Shinn)
Gundam Wing (Heero vs Zechs)
Nabari no Ou (Raimei vs Raikou)
Rurouni Kenshin: Ishinshishi e no Requiem (Kenshin vs Takimi)
Shining Tears x Wind (Souma vs Kiriya vs Saionji)
Tokyo Majin Gakuen (Tatsuma vs Tendou)
Vampire Knight (Zero vs Kaname)
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Old 2009-04-05, 22:57   Link #8
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You'll want to look into Ghost in the Shell, both of the seasons have got fantastic villains, though the second season in particular.
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Old 2009-04-06, 06:27   Link #9
Exar Kun
The Abyssal Sith Lord
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Yavin IV / Poland
Wow. Didn't expect such a large feedback. More so, that I have yet to see most of the titles you mentioned. Thanks a lot everyone.
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Old 2009-04-06, 07:16   Link #10
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Australia
Age: 33
Ga-Rei -Zero- majorly seconded for the purpose of suggestion. Get to episode two. ^_^

Scrapped Princess also works. As mentioned above.

Rozen Maiden series also given another tick. Suigintou is really well developed later on.

No new suggestions other than those from me. We sadly lack three-dimensional baddies in anime.
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Old 2009-04-06, 09:04   Link #11
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I came to develop more respect for Kuhouin Renjou, the patriarch in Kure-nai, as the show progressed, despite the horrible secrets his family protects.

I agree with Woodchips that, on the whole, antagonists in anime tend to be pretty stock characters with shallow motivations. Even otherwise strong shows like Noein have bad antagonists, in that case a greedy, corpulent, corporate executive.
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Old 2009-04-06, 11:59   Link #12
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I'll definitely second Kure-nai's protaganist. I wasn't expecting to be able to empathize with him at all, but could a bit towards the end.
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