The motivation has to be good and sensible, but they don't need a background. Its what makes Joker great before The Killing Joker came out, or what makes Hisoka from Hunter x Hunter great (minus that story Ishida wrote for him). Being entertaining is the same thing as being "good", unless its the kind of entertainment where you laugh at it because the writing is so bad. Having your villain stay mysterious can give him or her or it a captivating aura that makes them interesting.Doctor. wrote:But that's exactly what he needs. A villain can be entertaining, but if he doesn't have a good motivation and a compelling background, then he isn't "good", he's just "entertaining". Sure, this doesn't mean that every villain needed to be some good guy turned bad, they could have been evil from the start, but Dragon Ball villains lack depth regardless.Kakarotto92 wrote:I hate this preconceived notion that a villain needs to have complex, deep, gritty or sympathetic motivations or backstory in order to be considered a "good villain".
Also, you're right that just because you TRY to be deep and complex, that doesn't make a good villain, but just because you TRY to have a deep and complex villain doesn't mean that he'll actually turn out to BE one.
Every villain ever thinks he's top dog though. From Walter White to Darth Vader, being arrogant can lend itself to making a good character, even if its their only sole and/or good character trait. Like Gyp Rosetti from Boardwalk Empire. I don't need them to spout some philosophical thesis on the human condition. That has never been a requisite for what separates good and bad writing. And imo, I'm fine with all the DB villains' personalities, Freeza is the only one that makes me go meh because all he does is get mad. With King Piccolo, he had those quotes about how he cared about his family and Cell and Buu liked making a spectacle of things, so I find them entertaining and interesting. I just find Zamasu a little hypocritical though, because I wonder what good his godhood means if he intends to kill all mortals.ekrolo2 wrote:The problem is that 95% of Dragon Ball villains ARE nothing but evil purely for the sake of evil and that would be fine if they at least had an interesting personality to back it up but they don't. Piccolo Daimao is an arrogant asshole who enjoys to kill people because he thinks he's top dog, that's the same as Freeza which is the same as Vegeta which is the same as Piccolo Jr which is the same as Cell which is the same as Super Boo which is the same as Super 17 which is the same as most of the Shadow Dragons.Kakarotto92 wrote:SaiyanZ wrote:Nah, I think Cell and Buu are better so far, because of how they ran through the entire cast, not to mention their humor. Zamasu and Black are certainly the villains whose ideologies are a bit more forefront and philosophical, but that doesn't make them better yet.This!precita wrote: Sometimes just having a pure evil character who kills without reason or conscience can be just as entertaining as a complex character.
I hate this preconceived notion that a villain needs to have complex, deep, gritty or sympathetic motivations or backstory in order to be considered a "good villain".
Villains with more simple and selfish motivations and goals can be just as (if not more) interesting and entertaining. They also aren't any less realistic, specially when you think about human history and society (both modern and pre-modern): power-hungry warlords and emperors, greedy capitalists, gangsters, mafia families, sadistic psychopaths who take pleasure (sometimes erotic) from watching human or animal suffering, the list goes on and on. Do any of these real life villains have any complex or deep philosophical motivations/reasons to be as they are? No, most of them are either straight up mentally ill or just lack ethics and emphaty. On the other hand, some of the best villains in fiction are just nihlistic lunatics who want to spread chaos and watch the world burn.
Then you have examples like Naruto, which despite Kishimoto's efforts to make his major villains (specially during Part II/Shippuden) these complex, philosophical and sympathetic ambigous characters, in the end they all turned out mediocre and boring villains after a while (with the exception of Nagato). At some point Naruto didn't even had villains anymore, just antagonists with a different worldview from the protagonist. This isn't necessarly bad, but the way Kishimoto executed it left much to be desired, to the point that, his more simple and standard villains like Orochimaru and most Akatsuki members ended up being much more effective and entertaining as villans than Obito, Madara or Kaguya (which in the end were all just bad rehashes of Nagato/Pain).
Give me Freeza, Piccolo Daimao, Cell or Buu any day over Shippuden's major villains.
TL;DR: Just because something tries to be deep and complex doesn't automatically mean it's better.
The only guys who stick out are Baby, Black, Fat Boo and Beerus. Don't even get me started on the movie bad guys cause a lot of them have even LESS going on than the main ones. As Doctor said, just because something is entertaining doesn't make it good. I can find the Cell arc entertaining but if you ask me quality wise what I think of it, I'll call it what it is: a gargantuan piece of shit. But you're also right that just because something tries to be deep and complex doesn't make it automatically better either.
Ultimately it all comes down to execution, but given how Super is Regression/Stagnation: The Show, I'll fucking take something that breaks from the general shit tier that is the villain roster of the DB franchise even if it doesn't go down in the history of anime as the greatest thing ever. Just the fact they're trying shows that there is someone involved in this thing with the beginning of an inkling of a fucking clue.