A while ago, we discussed some of the unexpected villains in games and in anime and manga. And in this extra piece, we’re going over special mentions that don’t fall in any of the aforementioned categories. Beyond the fourth wall and through plot twists, once again we explore the real of unexpected antagonists!
And of course, spoilers beware!
Shiho Kashiwagi – To-Love-Ru
Shiho Kashiwagi, author of a manga named Cocoa! and Kentaro Yabuki’s ex-wife. And the anti-christ to the To-Love-Ru fandom, the one responsible for the series’ abrupt ending before the re-launch as To-Love-Ru Darkness.
How? Simply by being–no words measured–an absolutely horrible human being.
Kentaro Yabuki, best known for Black Cat, based one of the main female leads, Haruna Sairenji, on Shiho during the time they were still married and had a little daughter. Haruna Sairenji is your typical girl-next-door, apparently the impression he had of Shiho at first. Only…Haruna seemed to get less screentime as the series neared the finale, and local darkhorse Yui got more. At first, it seems they’re just favoring the fan-favorite and pandering to the fans, but behind the scenes, something dramatic was taking place.
Shiho hardly did any housework, neglected their daughter and spent most of her time online on sites like Nico Nico Douga. Come January 2009, while Yabuki is bed-ridden with the flu, Shiho disappears, kidnapping their daughter. It turned out their daughter was left in Shiho’s parents’ home while Shiho was having an affair with Nico Nico Douga celebrity Ine Nakamura, famous for wearing a horse mask in his videos.
The following month, Shiho returns upon Yabuki’s request “for the sake of their daughter,” and while she did return to Tokyo, she quickly made off with their daughter once again, this time taking a laptop and Yabuki’s credit cards. By the time Yabuki froze the cards, a large sum of money was already taken out. Yabuki searched for Shiho and their daughter everywhere, to no avail.
March 2009, Shiho demanded a divorce over their clashing personalities, as well as a large amount of Yabuki’s assets, but changed her position when evidence of her riding the celebrity horseman of Nico Nico Douga was found, and instead demanded money for Yabuki’s custody rights of the daughter. There’s also been a recurring dispute over Haruna’s character rights, as Shiho thought the rights should be hers because Haruna was based on her.
Yabuki then acted like father of the year, swallowed his rightful anger, gave in to Shiho’s every demand to put an end to this drama, simply so his daughter wouldn’t be hurt by this whole debacle. This whole chain of events resulted in the series’ abrupt ending and hiatus that lasted until the release of Darkness.
Hans – Frozen
No, there won’t be any “Let It Go” mentions or jokes here. Oh wait…
Ahem! Anyway, for the first time in forever: a villain that no one sees coming in a Disney movie. For decades, the villain has been established from the beginning, or there are some hints before the climactic reveal about who the villain is. With Frozen, it’s actually a very impressive case.
Hans is first introduced at a ball in Elsa and Anna’s castle, singing in a duet with Anna about how love is an open door, as they both fall in love with each other at first sight. This “Love at first sight” is then defied by Elsa as she states that Anna can’t marry a man she just met, and the ensuing argument between the two sisters culminates in the accident that kickstarts the second half of the movie. While Anna heads out to search for Elsa, Hans is left in charge of the kingdom to help control the panic. At this point it seems the main villain is going to be the Duke of Weselton, who views Elsa’s powers as evil and wants to exploit Arendelle’s riches.
When Anna returns to Hans with her heart freezing, a curse that can only be broken by true love, Hans reveals his true colors. A ruthless sociopath that faked love at first sight towards Anna to marry her and seize a position of power in Arendelle. Rather than building a snowman, Hans wants to build a kingdom of his own by seizing Arendelle’s throne.
This PG-13 Game of Thrones noble faked love at first sight. Damn.
He then leaves Anna to die and uses the curse and her presumptive demise to drive Arendelle against Elsa, twisting the actual facts to make it look like Elsa intentionally froze Anna’s heart. He is also ready to behead Elsa himself when she has a freak out over being told she caused Anna’s death.
It is only when rewatching Frozen that there are some bits that foreshadow Hans’ true role in the series. Such as Hans’ haste to agree with Anna when she says “I am COMPLETELY ordinary”, Elsa and Kristoff’s alertness in regards to him and pretty much the entirety of “Love is an open door” where it can become noticeable if one is attentive to details that he’s playing chameleon and matching himself to Anna so it becomes easier for her to fall into his trap”. It’s amazing how Disney made it so the least amount of foreshadowing was given, so the plot twist could hit the viewers with full force.
The most impressive case of unexpected villain yet.
The Nicelanders – Wreck-it Ralph
The Nicelanders–the distressed citizens that Fix-it Felix must save from “bad guy” Ralph. The citizens that treat Ralph like absolute crap when all he is doing is his job, and he has the right to be angry and wreck stuff. Wouldn’t you want to get back at the people that kicked you out of your house without asking you about it? That’s only Ralph’s script, however. In reality, Ralph is a kind-hearted fellow. A kind heart the Nicelanders don’t see.
The impetus of the movie’s main conflict was them not inviting Ralph to the game’s 30th anniversary, despite the fact he plays a crucial role in the game. But nope, bad guy must be treated horribly by the high and mighty civilians.
To put things in perspective, even though Bowser kidnapped her multiple times, Peach still had the heart to give him a cake by the end of Bowser’s Inside Story after Bowser saved the Mushroom Kingdom. Oddly, Bowser was even in Ralph’s meeting with the other “bad guys” at the start of the movie, and he’s totally ok with being the villain because whenever he isn’t being an antagonist towards the Mushroom Kingdom, he’s joining in with Mario and Co. at parties, go-kart, sporting events or defending the Mushroom Kingdom from a threat that he isn’t in charge of.
Ralph? Lives in a literal dump, sleeps in a bed of bricks, gets treated as a pariah and, as mentioned above, doesn’t get invited to the 30th anniversary of the game he’s a vital part of as the gameplay scenes taking place after Ralph goes turbo prove. Which probably wouldn’t have happened if the Nicelanders bothered to treat him like a human being in the first place.
To say that Ralph was taken for granted by the Nicelanders would be the understatement of the year.
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