In English, it is a commonality that point of view is always discussed. How does the point of view reflect what the author was trying to get across? How may the point of view show a bias? How may the point of view of the character lead to a certain action? I’ve reached a point in life where I started to look at everything differently. I don’t know if it’s an increased sense of sympathy towards people but I find it odd how I begin to side with the antagonists. Well, not all but there are times where we are made to believe in things and forget everything else. We forget that antagonists are also people (well, depends on the plot) but they have motives. I believe that there is a reason for everything and that people don’t naturally intend to be horrible. In their own minds, their actions are justified. I’m not saying that what they’re doing is morally correct or even humane, but not everyone is just pure evil. Here’s a not so serious example of what I mean.
There’s this Japanese comic called Heroine Shikkaku, or Failure of a Heroine. It centers around an unusual protagonist. If one is familiar with the setup of a typical romance story, they would know that the female protagonist would be considered the underdog that suddenly sweeps the most popular guy in school off his feet with her strong/quirky personality. Somehow along the way, the female protagonist is put up against some friend of worshiper of said popular guy as she makes futile efforts to gain his love and affection. The reader/audience is then forced to believe that the female antagonist is a ***** and hates her guts. They enjoy when she is then left all alone, most likely stuck somehow in an embarrassing/disgusting situation.
With that in mind, Heroine Shikkaku‘s female protagonist is Hatori, that ***** most people hate. Although I would give the plot and character development a 6/10, the idea of putting this unusual antagonist as the “heroine” got me thinking about the other side. In the comic, Hatori is obsessed with her life being like a love story thinking that she herself is the “heroine.” She is the best friend of the popular male protagonist, Rita, and has seen him been in many failed relationships. With the belief that she is the “childhood friend that Rita will soon realize is his one true love,” she waves off his relationships like nothing and continues on her idea that she will be the heroine that will triumph in the end. However, the plot is twisted as the strong/unpopular/”ugly” female protagonist, Adachi, arrives and snatches Rita. As you see the perspective of Hatori fuming with anger, you can see how there is another love line being formed as if it could be its own story. You can’t help but feel sympathy for Hatori as she loses the guy she loves. In any other comic where the quirky girl was made the protagonist, everyone would be hating on Hatori as that one girl ruining everything (she even takes on the role as being the rude and pretty person trying to ruin Adachi’s chances with Rita). The point I’m getting to is that we forget the other side. In our childhood, in media, in movies, in books, in everything, we are made to believe that the antagonist is simply evil. They don’t have development, they don’t have a soul, and they for sure have no emotions except anger and hatred… and possibly a bit of humor. An example of the character everyone hates…
The current series I’m watching is called Gap Dong, a Korean drama revolving around serial killers. The antagonist serial killer is caught but I can’t help but have so many feeeeels for him (although it might be because he is one of my favorite Korean pop stars). He killed 7 women, but I’m sitting there wanting him to be free for some apparent reason (but most likely because I want him to have more screen time). But my heart did break a little when they started saying that he was “No longer human, but a monster.” Ahhhh, although hard to explain in a post I felt sorry for him. I think what prevents us from sympathizing with the enemy is that there is always the option that they are manipulative (I’ll be tricked in about 2 seconds), and the idea of revenge. One cannot forget the fact that he killed 7 women. Because of that, when people look at him, he’s seen only as someone who killed 7 women. But the drama had developed him into more than that and so that is probably why I LOVE him and can’t see him as a monster. OKAY call me crazy and delusional. In a horror movie, I would be the first to die. But, keep the other side in mind next time a story is read to you. Sometimes, the antagonist is left incredibly broken or alone. You can’t help but sympathize with them, or at least pity them.