>>94728542>I'm coming off my Fullmetal Alchemist high so I'll use a lot of /a/ examples here.
Sounds good. I tend to use a lot of /tv/ examples. >Generic edgelords and "muh abusive childhood" backstories are shitty as fuck, but they wouldn't have to exist if the big bads weren't generic as fuck.
Exactly. I wish more writers knew that there's room in between "One-dimensional maniac" and "Poor, innocent sympathetic baddie who had a bad childhood and loves his momma". You can have a villain be somewhat sympathetic and complex without having him be redeemable.
Just look at Khan from Star Trek. He's lost his wife, been marooned in a shithole for 15 years, and has completely lost control of his anger. It's sad that he is that way, and that all those horrible things happened to him, but at the same time he's a mass-murdering warlord who gets himself and his entire crew killed on a crazed vendetta. Khan's not an poor innocent victim, but you can appreciate that he's a complex character who deserves a little pity.
Even if you want to have a villain who's completely evil and undeserving of pity, there are still ways of making that character complex. Look at Captain Vidal from "Pan's Labyrinth". You know he has father issues, and those lead to his inferiority complex, and those lead to his obsession with having a son to carry on his name and legacy. You know why he's the way he is, but he's still a brutal, murderous asshole who you're glad to see die.>I actually love mustache-twirling baddies in less serious works (Freiza comes to mind),
Oh certainly, they can work well. The Joker (in his better appearances), Top Dollar from The Crow, Aku, etc. It's just that they're completely dependent on really good one-liners and charismatic performances. If the VAs/actors/animators can't make them menacing, funny, or magnetic; then they fall completely flat and become dull.