Saturday, April 10, 2010

Top 5 Gundam Antagonists



This list is dedicated to the top 5 antagonists in Gundam (both UC and Alternate universe). Antagonists are an intregral part of the Gundam series, as all whiny teenaged protagonists need someone to push them to their limits. I measured the quality of the villain not by how sinister or powerful they were, but by the deeper dimensions of their character. Were the reasons for their actions justified? How effective were they as villains and as characters? These are some of the questions that needed answering. Note that these are my opinions, so if you disagree just share some of your thoughts in the comments below!

*warning: major spoilers*

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5.  Master Asia
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Shuuji Kurosu. Master Asia. Undefeated of the East. He goes by many names, but one thing's for sure: he earns his place here through pure badassery. This is a man who can destroy mobile suits with his bare hands for god's sake. He's also a former champion of the Gundam Fight, and a master of the style that protagonist Domon uses to defeat his enemies throughout the series. Master Asia really sets himself apart from the rest of the villains on this list with his over-the-top fervor and martial arts ass-kicking. He is responsible for a lot of the terror that occurs throughout G Gundam, but he redeems himself near the end when he realizes the error in his thinking. For his explosive style and unwavering sense of honor, I give Master Asia a well-deserved spot among Gundam greats.


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4. Haman Karn
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Haman Karn was an entry on my Top 5 Gundam Girls list, so I figure I'll just repeat what I wrote. Haman is a major villain in two Gundam storylines, and one of the only female villains at that. She is a cold and ruthless leader who uses manipulation and charisma to get her way. Her natural ability is so great that she was able to rally and lead the entire Axis community at the tender age of sixteen. Clearly, this is a woman who knows how to get what she wants. She's also a powerful Newtype, and a formidable pilot who once bested Char in battle. 

She comes across as an incredibly shrewd and merciless woman, but side-stories based on her past reveal that she is actually the product of suffering and abuse at the hands of the Federation. Tragedy is what pushed her beyond redemption, and it's only at the end of her run that we learn of her regret. I really liked the development she underwent as a character, and considering the impact she left on the U.C. timeline, it's impossible not to remember her as one of the most significant villains in Gundam.


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3. Treize Khushrenada
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Treize Khushrenada is a very multifaceted character. He says he's a lover of war, but he also states on multiple occasions that he abhors causing unnecessary harm. He idealizes chivalry and is a connoisseur in the finer things, but he's simultaneously a manipulative and aggressive military leader. It's this strange contradictory nature that makes him one of the more intriguing villains in Gundam, and it's also the reason I chose him over main antagonist Milliardo Peacecraft, who's basically just a Char clone.

His ideals cause him to clash with Gundam pilot Chang Wufei, who shares a similar admiration for battle. Their rivalry is a highlight of both their characters, and their final battle is a powerful and defining moment for Treize. Ever a man of indomitable conviction, he allows Wufei to land a fatal blow on him because he refuses to cause anyone else harm. It's an almost incomprehensible act, but that's what makes Treize Khushrenada so interesting. He's the horse-riding, tea-sipping gentleman warrior, and one of the best antagonists Gundam has to offer.


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2. Anavel Gato
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Anavel Gato, nicknamed the "Nightmare of Solomon", is one of the most fearsome soldiers in Zeon history. He fights to uphold Zeon's ideals, and is so unrelenting in his pursuits that his power of will alone makes opponents shake in their normal suits. He's also a peerless mobile suit pilot, and his abilities are no better demonstrated than when he wreaks havoc with the stolen Gundam Physalis. He wipes out an entire Federation fleet with the Gundam's atomic bazooka, and whips protagonist Kou Uraki around with just a beam saber and head vulcans. With or without a mobile weapon, he was a force to be reckoned with.

His final moments were particularly memorable for me. The way he fought to the bitter end with that burning fearlessness in his eyes, and the way he chose to go out on his own terms made me develop a deep sense of respect for his character. There weren't many redeeming qualities to him, but he made such a fantastic pure villain that I couldn't help but place him near the top of this list. He did his job as a bad guy after all.


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1. Ribbons Almark
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Ribbons was a mastermind and as macho as men come...

...nah I'm just fucking with you. Can you imagine though? I'd rip my tongue out and feed it to a cat before seriously doing this. Anyway, continue down for the REAL greatest antagonist of all time...


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1.  Char Aznable
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Probably saw this one coming didn't you? Let's just be honest here though; there wasn't going to anyone else taking the number one spot. Char Aznable is an iconic Gundam antagonist, and probably one of the greatest characters to come out of the Gundam franchise. He made the mask badass, before assholes like...
               
...these guys...

...tried to step on the wannabe band-wagon. Char Aznable was famously known as the Red Comet during the One Year War because of his fearsome abilities in battle (destroyed five Federation battleships in blinding speed) and his preference for red mobile suits. He is a brilliant ace pilot and a charismatic leader who has the ability to rally entire colonies of people to his cause in an almost effortless manner. While he is portrayed as a villain throughout most his appearances, he never truly seems to be without his sense of humanity. He cares for his fellow Spacenoid's plight, and its his anger towards their mistreatment that often pits him against the heroes. 


He has a profound respect for his soldiers, and he's shown to carry the guilt of not being able to save his comrades when he loses them into battle. Despite all the admiration he receives as a hero of Zeon, he remains humble and deflects praise when he feels he doesn't deserve it. Based on individual characteristics alone there's plenty to be said about Char, but ultimately, it's his intense rivalry with protagonist Amuro Ray that cements his place as a significant part of the U.C. timeline. Their battles constantly force them to strive for higher ceilings, and it's likely that if this legendary rivalry had never occurred, Amuro would not have become half the pilot, newtype, or man that he was at the peak of his abilities.

Sip sip, bitches

After the original series, Char continues to involve himself in war affairs. He mentors Kamille Bidan as a member of AEUG, and he leads the Second Neo Zeon movement in a final effort to have his ideals realized. Though his actions lead to his mysterious disapperance as a result of the 'Axis Shock', his lingering spirit continues to influence the U.C. universe in the form of Zeon remnants and actual clones. And really, if anything is a testament to Char's lasting impact, it's the countless number of 'Char clones' that have appeared since his departure. It seems we just can't handle a reality without him anchoring the villain role somehow, which is fine, because he brings it three times faster than anyone else. He's Char Aznable, the greatest Gundam antagonist of all time.


Check out my other Gundam Top 5 lists~


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27 comments:

  1. I agree with all of these, especially the original badass Char. I would like to give commendation to Hamman though, being the hawtest badass villain in any war drama series...


    [[Continues to gawk at Hamman... XD

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  2. i completely agree on this list "the true pure antagonist "in all of gundam universe

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  3. sciccoro>treize anytime.

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    1. Come On......Scirocco was a complete joke,the only thing good about him was that derp face he made before he died

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  4. Normally I appreciate everyones opinions but...damn I hated Scirocco. He was a big, wily asshole..

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    1. you are a fool! Paptimus Scirocco is one of the greatest chareters in the entire gundam universe! he's in the top five most powerful newtypes ever up there with char and amuro and kamile as well as being a amazing moble suit designer. he was THE original tank with his the O. and i am shocked that he was not on this list, he could kick everyone's ass on this list! exept char that is but i guess it all depends on whos piolting what suit but as a pilot he was astounding. he deserves at least 5th place! i mean the dude designed all of his suits not to mention that the O was tremendously powerful especially in that era.

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  5. Great list bro, almost vomited when i saw the no1 on the list. Thank God it's Char. Red comet is the original badass pilot no gundam pilot wanna mess with.

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  6. I would probably put Chairman Gilbert Durandal at #5. he was a master plotter, and he almost got the tyranny he wished for.

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  7. .... Where's Rau??? He should have been up here as well!

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  8. I'm sorry but Char is absolutely boring antagonist with poorly written motives and massively undeserved reputation.

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    1. Absolute blasphemy. I'm open to that opinion however; I can see him being a bit over-rated by long-time fans. I still stand by my love for Char though.

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  9. Aw, no Gym Ghingham?

    I didn't really like what ZZ did to Haman, but at least the character didn't change for the worse as much as Yazan did.

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    1. she's pretty dangerous and badass and her dynamic with Judau (he reminds her of her younger self and is one of the first genuinely idealistic people she's met in years

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  10. I'd like the honorable mentions go to Lady Une and Dr. Durandal. But I would like Rau Le Creuset to be in this list.

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  11. I agree with the list of antagonist except treize, I'd replace him with Milliardo Peacecraft instead

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    1. I definitely would not put Milliardo anywhere on this list. He's almost a carbon-copy of Char, and that's likely the point. I liked Treize because he stood out despite not being the main villain.

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  12. IMO, the reason why gundam 00 season 2 failed was due to the inflation of enemies in the series. With all the A-Laws retards along with the Innovator lackeys, the show failed to bring its prequel's 'badassery' of antagonists into a significant light. It's like, one moment, you have Regene Regetta, then Devine Nova, then Bring Stabity, then Ribbons...even the purely evil villain Ali got killed off just like that. Ali is a great villain not because of him being a schemer, manipulator nor revenge-freak, but just pure evil which loves war. One of the few enemies we loved to hate.

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    1. He might have a little basic but I don't think Ribbons was bad villain. You have to look at him in the context of seasons 1 and 2 together. Not just season 2 by itself.

      To me Ribbons seems like a classic case of hubris. He's ex-meister who became so disillusioned by humanity's atrocities on itself that he believed it needed a supreme ruler to guide it properly. His convictions, no matter how well-intentioned at the beginning, eventually lead to his downfall ironically by his first believer (Setsuna).

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  13. Lol! Graham Aker/Mr. Bushido was one of the main characters of the 00 series. His skill in the Flag pretty much overwhelmed the raw power of the Gundams - whose technology was far more superior than the unit he was piloting.

    He goes toe-to-toe with the Exia and lives to tell the tale.
    He goes against the Dynames, and ended up having to retreat due to orders given by his superiors.
    Let's not forget his role in the ELS invasion.
    Finally, the huge scar on his face actually gives him a reason to wear a mask.

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    1. I liked Graham Aker a lot. Him and his Flag were one of my favorite aspects of the 00 series. The moment he turned into Mr. Bushido is when he completely dropped off the map for me. He became a completely different character. No longer that selfless, charismatic, confident pilot who took on a Gundam with a flag. He was just some revenge-crazed mask-man. I was so angry that they did that to him, and I was glad to see that he came back to his sense in the movie.

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  14. When i scrolled down and saw ribbons as first before i noticed char,I was wondering"where is char? And is the author out of his mind to put ribbons instead of char as first"

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  15. Is there a top 5 char clone list?

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    1. Where is Rau? He was a freaking mastermind in SEED.
      What about Ali Al-Saachez from Gundam 00?

      "PRINCE ALI MIGHTY IS HE ALI AL-SAACHEZ!!!!!"
      "SIEG ZEON!"

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  16. Here's my take on this:
    1. Char Aznable
    2. Frost Brothers
    3. Rau le Creuset
    4. Anavel Gato
    5. Ali al Saacheez

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  17. Master Asia was a pure badass who deserved his spot as an all-time great villain. He destroyed mobile suits with his own hands. How many guys on that list could do that?

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