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Villains that don't go "Too Far"


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It's really hard to come up with a title to describe this!

Basically, I am looking for stories with villains that are just slightly below the limit. Villains that are just slightly good enough to be the lesser evil. Villains that are despicable right bastards, but probably better left off as they are. Villains with conniving plans that outwit the heroes and win, because they tempered their ambitions and are doing just enough to stay legal or to be overlooked.

Consider, for instance, villains who absorb too much power and go crazy, or turn into monsters. Instead of that, I'd like villains who stop before it's too late, who do not give in to temptation. Who keep the power and victory, without the crazy and destruction, avoiding the negative consequences for them and the world.

A villain who wins, and does not necessarily make the world a worse place. A person you love to hate, because they are reprehensible and trick us constantly, but ultimately necessary or better for the place.

I'm going to spoil Monster Girl Quest in order to better describe what I like:

Spoiler

Consider Ilias. At the very end of the game, it is revealed it was all her plan, all other evil beings were defeated, etc. etc.
The only one left was Ilias. At this point she tries to "reward" Luka, and he refuses, leading to a fight where she gets defeated.

At this point, if she instead just returned to what she was doing at the start of the game, idling, she'd have been my perfect villain. Why throw it all away at the very last moment when you've won everything? Ilias had done just enough that fighting her wouldn't be worth it, but instead, she went and provoked Luka.

I'm going to spoil Ace Attorney 6 for the same reason:

Spoiler

Consider Justice Minister Inga, if he had succeeded with his plot. An utterly detestable bastard, but ultimately everything would've been better if he'd won. In fact, I even got the impression he might repeal the DC Act if he took power, from the way he first describes it (that he might or might not have introduced it, but since it's the law, he's "gonna enforce the damn thing"). And Rayfa, though spoiled, would certainly be loved and free.

Inga, if he'd won, would be my favourite villain ever.

I'm going to spoil Psycho-Pass for the same reason:

Spoiler

I really liked the Sibyl System, and that Akane very much mirrored my views when she discovered the truth. Villains like it would be great.

 

This recommendation can be from anything: Visual Novels, Anime, Manga, Light Novels, or other things you might think of.

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I'm not entirely sure if it's what you are looking for, but since you mentioned Psycho Pass I think its equally applicable. The book Brave New World by Aldous Huxley has an even more methodical and pathological system of human societal organization. And it also fits the criteria where the villains (the system and the select few people predetermined from birth to be in the 'World controller class') don't do anything crazy that could put the system at risk of collapse.  

I would also argue that Gendo Ikari in Neon Genesis Evangelion perfectly fits in your desired category.  

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43 minutes ago, Mr Poltroon said:

I've actually played Umineko, though I'll freely admit like 60% of it went over my head when I played it.

Could you explain what you mean? Adequately spoiler-tagged, of course.

Basically

Beatrice is the villain, she constantly fights against you and makes both you and Battler feel like shit, but she actually loves him and in the answer arcs become her ally and lover. There is also Lambdadelta, who is basically a villain, but instead of working against the Ushiromyias, she joins them in the final battle to save them. Even Bernkastel, although being mean till the end, does have her reasons, as she is the witch/person who was trapped in the loop in Higurashi, being sentenced to death and suffering for more than 100 years.

At least that is what I got from your post

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I'm not 100% sure about what you're asking for, but, perhaps, Shinsekai Yori? I try to be vague, but it's still a spoiler that only gets revealed at the very end, so I'll use the spoiler box.

Spoiler

The main villain there does some really, really awful things, but they have some pretty good reasons for what they do. In a sense, I'm not sure who is the lesser villain in this story: the MC's side or the villain's.

I'll make another post if I think of anything else. For now, nothing else comes to mind.

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7 hours ago, Dreamysyu said:

I'm not 100% sure about what you're asking for, but, perhaps, Shinsekai Yori? I try to be vague, but it's still a spoiler that only gets revealed at the very end, so I'll use the spoiler box.

Going to have to second this. I still hate Squealer though... But he definitely had good reasons.

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To be honest, since my favorite villains are usually the ones who are either crazy competent or crazy over the top, I couldn't really think of much to say here.

Electro-Arms - One of the main antagonists both achieves precisely his greatest desire and 'stops there' in one of the paths.  

 

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