How To Make The Perfect Antagonist.

How To Make The Perfect Antagonist.

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00:00
when it comes to the idea of the perfect antagonist this is a very tricky concept to talk about as it has multiple variables that affect the writing of said antagonist and this is the first video i've scripted in forever i don't usually script my videos because it's so time consuming but i really wanted to script this one and hopefully do a good job quote a good antagonist like conflict feeds the narrative as you say without a strong antagonist the story falls away but an antagonist must do more than give the hero something to do
00:31
they have to be focused on what they want end quote that opening statement and quote taken from three writers discussing what makes a proper antagonist stand out and capture the hearts of the viewer is exactly what i want to use today similar to what super eye patch wolf did in his video about what makes a villain feel real here i want to take the time to look at some of anime and manga's greatest antagonistic forces the main examples i'm going to go through in this video aren't the only examples of phenomenal antagonists and they won't be the only ones i use but if not these three in my estimation are by far head and shoulders above most
01:02
and serve as clear-cut examples of how to write the perfect antagonist but before getting into that if you are new to the channel be sure to like comment and subscribe and hit the bell notifications and without further ado cue the intro [Music] introducing your antagonistic force can be done in a variety of ways and is not limited in my view at what
01:38
point within the series one can introduce that character but upon observation of the three prime examples being johan griffith and funny valentine shout out to friend from 20th century boys it is often best to make that force that will be pushing against the protagonist clear from an earlier stage within the story or arc this can be done by having the character given appearance early on without them taking any major action like funny valentine or griffith or with other good examples like frieza from dragon ball z and pain from naruto who were built up by small moments of action in quotes of reference from other characters about how terrifying this antagonist is
02:10
what this does is now set the stage and offers a good amount of hype and build up for the antagonist to then enter and leave his mark this requires a good deal of skill when you're deciding how much you want to reveal before the climax or whether you want the philosophy that makes up the character's core revealed during the climax it can be done either way but when it comes to a morally grey antagonist as is the case with a character like valentine or pain having them converse with the protagonist during the climax can often be their most memorable moment cycle of hatred valentine's speech on patriotism johann's quote about death
02:40
or griffith telling guts about his dream on the hill of swords are great examples of the antagonist cementing their motive during a moment of great tension however an antagonist does not have to be morally gray to be a good one just like a doflamingo and or again frieza these are two antagonists that i would consider more quote unquote pure evil and whatever evil philosophy or motivation they have is made clear before the climax to both the audience and the protagonists themselves essentially the presence of the antagonist should be made clear from the beginning of the arker's story but the motivation or cause of them serving that role can be
03:12
spread or divided across different moments either before or during the climax this is one of the key things that i believe to truly separate the okay antagonist to the great ones you see paralleling the protagonist can show and add a feeling of tension between the two forces as it shows since the two have common ground that there is some sort of relationship between the two as is the case with again naruto versus gara or obitor pain communicating the message that they have shared or similar life experiences and circumstances
03:46
but one was just more fortunate than the other not to fall down a dark path therefore doing one of the key functions of the antagonist and that is to push the limits of the protagonist by making the protagonists see that he is in fact super similar to the very thing he despises it forces him to look within himself to see why is he different and to really question if he's that different to begin with this is sort of like the dynamic of two sides of the same coin if you will and this is done greatly with griffith as he parallels guts in the darkness within along with the ability to stand out amongst other men
04:17
both serving as sources of inspiration for people but what griffith also does is contrast guts which all great antagonists tend to do they contrast their protagonist now the way one can contrast the protagonist can be done in many different ways and on multiple levels aesthetics and appearance can be a subtle way to do so again look at guts and griffith one is dressed in all black one is dressed in all white and it's a simple thing until you realize some of the thematic reasonings behind it and all that stuff but regardless still a good example you can also see this done in the sense of what the character's abilities are
04:47
we see this with kira and josuke in part 4. josuke having the power to heal what he touches while kira has the power to destroy whatever he touches of course there are bigger levels that we're about to get into of doing so but i think having this parallel or contrast in such minor subtle things really shows an attention detail from the author in my opinion now the bigger examples of contrast are in the philosophy or the core of what makes each character special once again guts being a person with no singular goal or ambition as well as a character who takes personal responsibility versus griffith
05:18
who's focused on one goal with one great ambition who will put the responsibility or consequences of his actions on others if it is convenient but if there was a clear-cut example that would require less of an analysis in a contrast of philosophy would be the one between johann and dr tenma tenemo believing all human life is equal and one shouldn't prioritize the life of one over another all because the one is a more important individual to society versus johan who simply puts it aside
05:51
[Applause] having some parallels and contrast on not only the appearance or design of the characters but more so the ideologies and morals of the protagonist and antagonists adds a rich sense of quality within the themes of a series or arc and also adds a deep emotional connection to the outcome of confrontation making it memorable and truly showing of the immense quality of the antagonist that has been built up for the very [Music] moment now going back to the point i just made about paralleling and contrasting the
06:25
protagonist i think that truly pushes the protagonist to his or her limit forcing the character to either hold on even tighter to what he or she believes in or to violate the heroic aspect of who they are to overcome this foe tenma's close to violating his stance on human life and even takes a life during the story something he was incapable of doing before his quest to take down johann but the circumstances johann pushed him into causes tema to decide what he would consider the lesser of two evils and as a man who dedicated his whole life to saving other lives
06:55
would now have to take a life to save even more it was tenma who saved the ohana and created the monster see what i did there then i'll pushes him to decide now what a true hero is but think about this for a moment all those deep aspects of tenmo would not be true without johan johan is required to be the way he is within the story to prompt tenma's development as a character johan contrasting tenma the way he does and forcing them to grow only speaks to the greatness of johan as an antagonist therefore fulfilling what makes a great antagonist
07:25
well great he has already been built up from the beginning of the story and now by serving as a clear contrast to tenma johann forces temma to develop or collapse as a character pushing him to the brink by forcing the protagonist to react and grow not only pushes the narrative of the story but elevates the quality of the protagonist and in termed the story as a whole let me give you another example this is shown again with funny valentine as he reveals his patriotic motives behind why he is causing all this chaos to johnny during the peak of the conflict or the climax of the confrontation if you will
07:56
valentine then challenges johnny with the quote unquote this is for the greater good mentality showing his humanity and being fully aware that the actions he's committing aren't pure and sturdy deeds done dirt cheap this causes johnny to come to a crossroads whether he will also strive for the greater good valentine has in his mind or to punish valentine for his immoral actions this helps truly give part 7 an overall higher quality as all the actions done up to this point have been to stop valentine but now forcing the protagonist to look at this objectively and now from his emotional and moral point of view now adds even more to the
08:28
climax that part 7 has been building up the whole time once again pushing the protagonist pushing the narrative and enriching the themes and actions within the story now just so i could give another example with slightly different circumstances and to make the point a little bit more clear i'll give the third example besides i love talking about berserk so it's time to talk about griffith again if there was ever an example of an antagonist pushing the narrative and more so the protagonist it would be griffith as a man with great ambition and goal griffith pushes guts before even becoming the antagonist of the story pushing guts to seek his own
09:00
dream and leave to be an equal to griffith in turn this pushes the narrative of the story as it is this turning point in guts's character prompted by griffith that sets off a chain reaction that leads to the eclipse so even from an early stage griffith is pushing the protagonist and while pushing the narrative because the entire golden age arc is pretty much guts and griffith running up on an entire kingdom but in an ironic turn of events it was griffith the man with ambition who was pushed to the brink he then committed the unforgivable act of sacrificing the ban of the hawk and violating koska in front of guts
09:30
this is where things truly take an interesting turn when you look at it because it was griffith who pushed guts to improve and to no longer just be a killing machine without a goal or ambition this is what led guts to leave which is what pushed griffith to the state he was in when he sacrificed the hawk which in turn then pushed guts back into being the vengeful killing machine and now guts is forced to once again grow and regain all of the things he lost to griffith and the god hand to sum it up a little bit there's a lot of pushing and shoving on both sides as shown with other examples but mostly
10:01
this one is that the protagonist can also push the antagonist as hard as the antagonist pushes the protagonist which in turn only helps the overall drive within the series and once again makes the two better but in a way also inseparable from one another it's essentially a game of pushing one another until ultimately one force comes out on top now this one ties into the last one very much but i think they're still distinct enough and equally important points that need to be brought up separately now all of the things that i brought up earlier about johann valentine and griffith are only
10:38
possible because they are the dominant force within the story when they are the driving force there are times as i brought up with guts and griffith that both of them can serve as the driving forces within the story which is perfectly fine but usually you want the antagonist to be the dominant force out of the two being the dominant force within the story requires the protagonist to grow but it also adds a sense of true fear and terror to the antagonist in the story this causes whatever conflict is happening at the moment to truly feel more tense because if the antagonist is the
11:09
dominant force it makes us the audience very aware that there has to be growth from the protagonist in order to even compete adding a sense of urgency and once again true fear of what could happen if the antagonist is just too much bondrewd from maiden abyss a truly terrifying foe but why is that is it his sick and twisted experiments well yeah but it's more than that it's the fact that no one can really stop him if bondrewd wasn't the dominant force then whatever acts of evil he commits truly has no weight since the protagonist can just step in and remove
11:41
all sense of danger why do you think it's so difficult for superman to be compelling unless doomsday or some other being of that power or greater power is present because superman is the dominant force and therefore it doesn't really matter what any villain does because they could just easily be stopped and after a while that gets boring but flip the script and make superman the antagonistic force instead of the protagonist of the story see what i mean but going back to bondrewd it's evident that he is the dominant force and it will require everything the protagonists have to defeat him this does two things again one it
12:12
pushes the protagonist in the narrative but two it demands the audience to respect the antagonist if you don't respect or see danger in the antagonist of the story or arc that story or arc falls apart the conflict between the protagonist and antagonist needs to be big super climactic and memorable but if the conflict is underwhelming or dealt with poorly it can easily sully everything that has been built up to that point making the antagonist the dominant force truly adds the biggest emotional value to any confrontation or story while elevating the protagonist to new heights some simple examples of this being done
12:44
is with frieza pushing goku to turn super saiyan doflamingo pushing luffy to achieve a new form and naruto being pushed by pain to achieve sage mode these are examples more based around power but those three antagonists were the dominant force until the protagonist was pushed above their level in the final confrontation being the dominant force out of the two throughout the beginning up until the peak of the climax truly makes the antagonist feel like he is in control of the events that happen therefore having an unforgettable chokehold on the plot and narrative allowing the antagonist to not even need
13:13
to be present but his impact is still lingering as long as the dominant force is still him friend from 20th century boys johan from monster and i guess if you want to throw an errand from attack on titan currently all fit that description unless you're one punch man having the antagonist be the dominant presence adds an immense amount of danger suspense and intrigue to the moment now this one might go a bit unnoticed but i think it's extremely essential in really adding a sense of natural conflict and a realistic motive for conflict in the first place
13:47
the antagonist must have a reason to do what he is currently doing or what he has done and it must be that goal or desire that causes conflict with the protagonist and the goals and desires the protagonist has if the protagonist only wants to defeat the antagonist because he sees the antagonist as evil and that's the only thing that's there it falls flat and once you try to see more substance behind the conflict it runs shallow and in turn does not have the same emotional impact or the need to push one another but if the protagonist's goals and ideologies contrast and conflict with the antagonist
14:18
now the need for conflict has more substance and more is on the line the conflict now seems natural and the antagonist now feels like his own character and not just some force the audience can relate or sympathize with griffith is relatable inhuman because of the flaws he demonstrated when trying to accomplish his goal same applies with johann and valentine without their own personal goal there is no build up there's no pushing of the narrative there's no contrast or parallel with the protagonist and ultimately there's no real need for conflict going back to the quote that i opened up the video with
14:49
the antagonist must do more than give the hero something to do they have to be focused on what they want and the goal itself matters for sure but if there's no gold period outside of just being evil for evil sake then the antagonist has no real foundation to build off of there has to be a desire and a goal that portrays the philosophy and internal desire of the antagonist and this isn't only the foundation for the antagonist but it's also what allows the story itself to flow more smoothly then when the final confrontation happens the level of emotion is so intense because now what we see is if the
15:20
protagonist can prevail and if all we've learned to love about our protagonist will stand in the end or will the antagonist become the winner and prove his goal in ideology was the stronger one i think if no time is given to the antagonist or for the audience to see the antagonist accomplish their ideologies and goals and finding out the reasoning behind why they have said goal when the final confrontation does happen it tends to fall flat i think the true emotion behind why this final confrontation has to be so big and as to why it's very important for each one to have their own sense of
15:52
justice when it comes to the protagonist and the antagonist is put into context when doflamingo said [Music] sorry [Applause] hopefully you enjoyed this video i really try to do better than what i tend to do on most of my videos and again if you are new to channel make sure you like comment subscribe turn on the bell notifications that will notify when a new video pops up on some of your favorite anime manga or whatever content as always this has been the mask man hope everyone has a blessed rest of the day
16:22
and peace

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