Sentai Rambling: Even Super Sentai Villains Have Standards Huh?
Well even one of my favorite villains Radiguet had standards... whenever he uses humanity's stupid decisions to justify his sinister actions... again it's double standard!
Super Sentai villains or any villains in Tokusatsu (even Power Rangers) would have the "Even Evil Has Stantards", a trope I have ignored so much for years. So what does it do? I would talk about some Super Sentai villains who showed the trope "Even Villains Have Standards" Or "Even Evil Has Standards".
What does it mean for "Even Evil has Standards"? Villains Wiki writes:
"Even Evil Has Standards" is one of several important villain–related phenomena borrowed in name from TVTropes.org. It refers to any situation where an evil character takes offense to an action by another villain, for being too extreme/depraved even for them. This illustrates that the former villain does have at least some moral standards/limitations of what they're willing to do, and the latter villain in the situation is more often than not a Complete Monster.
If the "Greater Evil" is a particularly major threat, the lesser villain may join the heroes, temporarily or otherwise, in order to stop it, or if they are the main character become a hero in their own right. Otherwise, it may instigate an active conflict between two antagonist parties, or the more honorable villain may simply execute the worse one if they are particularly more powerful (which is often, as in many cases the "Greater Evil" is a minor villain such as a savage criminal, rather than a major threat in the story). In darker stories with more ambiguous morality, one villain might not even be intended to come off to the audience as clearly worse than the other, but one sees the other as worse based on their subjective sense of judgment. A major villain's allies/minions may also turn against/abandon them based on this principle.
Prime examples of the type of act that goes beyond the limits of what certain evil characters would do often include murdering a child, killing/betraying one's own allies, mass killing of random innocents and/or destruction of an entire city, especially if the killing isn't necessary for getting what a villain wants, and sometimes rape and torture. Having other villains disapprove of something is a common indicator of a Moral Event Horizon. A subversion of this is Pragmatic Villainy where a villain won't commit a certain evil act, not because of standards, but because it's of no use to them.
WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!
While here's the list of Super Sentai series I watched from start to end, I will also mention some examples I have read about as well. So moving on... I'll about a series by series based on my limited knowledge, to talk about even Super Sentai villains have standards (I'll also mention some Power Rangers too).
Below are some examples I can name and I'll mention a few instances:
Even evil has loved ones
The best picture of even evil has loved ones
Villains aren't usually evil for the sake of evil or they just want to be evil, although villains may act like it but there are times we can see that they have loved ones. Sometimes we can see the following types of villainy in the trope.
Although the Baranoia family considers love to be an absurd emotion but they contradict themselves. Queen Hysteria happens to be the embodiment of that contradiction as she was saddened to see her husband defeated and eventually shut down, she cares about her son Buldont, her niece/daughter-in-law Maruchiwa and she even sacrificed herself so her grandson Buldont Jr. will be spared by the Ohrangers. However there are some examples I would also present.
In Bioman, the relationship of Gear shows that even Dr. Man's robots have had more humane qualities than their creator. The Big Three show that they do care about their Beastnoids, treating them as partners than disposable assets. Midseason, the very act of Dr. Man attacking the Beastnoids disgusted Farrah and Monster always had a close relationship with Juuoh. Monster and Juuoh were best friends to the very end. Dr. Man didn't care too much about his subordinates making him more cold than his own creations.
The villains themselves can also be in love and care for the person they are in a romantic relationship like a girlfriend or spouse or just a friend. In Turboranger, Zimba offered to fight in Jarmin's place when Ragorn was really furious with all of them. In Jetman, Gure truly cared about Maria and was even willing to let her go and he was grieved over her. In Zyuranger, we have Griforther and Lami. Later on, we have Bandora when her son Kai appears as a ghost. In Gaoranger, we have Yaibaiba and Tsuetsue. Yabaiba was willing to do anything to revive Tsuetsue after Rasetsu used her as a body shield. In Go-onger, the three ministers (Yogostein, Kegaleisha and Kitadeines) cared for each other in contrast to the later big bad, Yogoschrimaten.
Family also matters like parent, child and sibling relationship. In Kakuranger and Gokaiger, we have examples of fathers who lost their sons in battle namely Daimaou and Warz Gill, both promising to avenge their own sons. Although Daimaou called his son Junior as a fool, he vowed to avenge him nonetheless. During Warz Gill's invasion, Ackdos Gill sent Barizorg to help out his retarded son and when the former died, Ackdos was deeply grieved to the point he wanted Barizorg killed and later, kill the Gokaigers.
Some villains even treat each other as family. Bandora is an evil bitch I mean witch but she still cared about her subordinates no matter how mean she was. For example, she was glad to announce to Griforther that his wife Lami was back with them. Although Bandora was cruel to children, it was later revealed that she had grieved for her own son. In the end, Bandora may have forgotten about her hatred for children after seeing Griforther's and Lami's baby.
Hey he's a Predator and he's gonna hunt you down!!!!
Some villains who had personal rivalries had shown themselves to be more honorable than their comrades with their "I'm the only one allowed to defeat you." or "I want to defeat him in a fair fight." mentality. While some villains had no sense of honor but not all of them had a lack of it. In fact, some of them had it either because their organization demanded it or because they still have some sense of honor left in them.
Changeman had Adjutant Buba who was a menacing villain. Okay I haven't seen much of Changeman but I read some of Shogo B'Stard's summaries. He is the rival of Hayate/Change Dragon and one way or another, both held a grudge against each other. Yet, I have to admit that in the end, Buba was soon disgusted by Gozma's cowardly ways and he cared about Shiima who he was a guardian to. Feeling sorry for Shiima, he chose to "kill" her so she can be restored to her true self and had a one-on-one battle with Change Dragon. After Shiima was restored, he revealed that he wanted to die an honorable death. His sword became a grave marker for that reason.
Maskman had a couple of honorable villains. "Prince" Igam wanted to restore the Igam's family honor but she had been doing it wrong. When the stray villain Kiros arrived demanding that he can have Ial, Igam was disgusted by the idea. Fuumin was another villain with a sense of honor... she was always a loyal ally to the Igam even after Igam's true gender was exposed. Oyobur himself also had principles that made him both reject Kiros and become Emperor Zeba's loyal subordinate even unto death.
Liveman had the examples of Dr. Obler and later Dr. Ashura. Dr. Obler first existed as a frustrated youth who was accelerated many levels. He was written off early on where he showed he still had signs of his humanity. I mean, I wanted Dr. Obler to kill his mother which he fortunately did not do, showing he still had humanity within him. Later, Dr. Ashura who was a former bandit (with some kind of severe weakness in Math) was another character with a sense of honor. In the end, he chose to die in battle to save the Livemen. His death really was very emotional for me.
Demon Boxer Jin in Dairanger also had his standards. Although he was a deadly assassin who killed martial arts teachers, it was only because he was severely mistreated by one. Even if he fought against Ryou, he showed some honor like when he should be the only one to defeat Ryou. Even if he used a sneak tactic such as a deadly tattoo (a trope carried over into Lightspeed Rescue and Akibaranger), he was adamant about being the only person to defeat Ryou.
The Nezire in Megaranger usually had a sense of honor namely Yugande and Shibolena, Dr. Hinelar had some but he gradually lost it. When Gurail arrived (but he had loyalty towards his master Javious), the Nezire commanders were disgusted by his cheap shots and below the belt tactics. When Gurail eventually manipulated his comrades for the greater glory of Javious, Dr. Hinelar backfired at the former. Yugande had an honorable rivalry with Kenta/Mega Red. Shibolena was actually the most loyal subordinate of Dr. Hinelar as well.
The Balban in Gingaman had some honorable members namely Sanbash and Budoh. Sanbash chose to settle his battle with Ryoma/Ginga Red one on one. Budoh himself believed in fair fights and chose to die at the hands of Ryoma/Ginga Red rather than commit seppokou. Compared to the treacherous Illies, Budoh was more honorable.
In Timeranger, even Dolnero the recurring main villain had a sense of honor like he didn't condone to wanton destruction and instead, chose to stick to money making schemes. Although he was a cheat and a thief, he did agree to give some of his blood to provide an antidote against the alien criminal Emboss. Dolnero cared about his subordinates especially Gien who was falling into fits of insanity. Later on, he got dethroned thanks to some manipulation done by the hero wannabe Captain Ryuya who ended up taking his seat for a short time.
The recurring villains in Gekiranger namely Rio and Mele were also honorable villains. Although they were rivals with the Gekirangers, they didn't believe in being dirty most of the time and chose to settle the fights like a standard martial arts tournament. Even for an evil martial arts school, the Rin Juken wasn't as evil as the later villain, Long (who becomes the final villain) who was responsible for the manipulations behind the scenes.
Juzo in Shinkenger may be a cruel mass murderer but he had a degree of honor when it comes to his rivalry with Takeru Shiba. In contrast to Takeru vs. Kiros in Maskman, Juzo wouldn't want to kill a wounded or disabled Takeru Shiba. When Takeru Shiba got poisoned, he even had the decency to administer the cure and waited until his opponent was well enough to fight. He was quite the contrast to Akumaro who was a sneaky demon.
Villains with a noble cause gone horribly wrong
Somehow, I can't help but compare him to Masato Kusaka in Kamen Rider Faiz
Some villains in Super Sentai had a noble cause gone wrong. The first time I started to take notice on that was in Dekaranger, when Hoji had his Hard Boiled License test. During that time, Hoji had to deal with his girlfriend's brother who had a string of crimes. What did Clord, his girlfriend's brother want? As you see, Hoji's girlfriend Teresa was sickly and Clord killed young girls to develop the cure in contrast to other Alienizers who were after cold hard cash or domination.
In Timeranger, I still bring up the matter of Ryuya who some Timeranger fans call the main villain though if you want to think about it (thanks for the idea Fantasy Leader), the real main villain is fate itself. He was a huge hero wannabe and he did some things to pull the strings, to prevent further destruction. I mean, he purposely sent the equipment and mecha or made sure every last of the prisoners were recaptured. However, he showed he was a huge hero wannabe when he revealed that he allowed the main villains to escape. His actions did change time for the better namely a cure for the Osiris, Yuuri's family is alive, Domon is back in action but he also had a mixed bag villainy. As you see, Ryuya while he attempted to change the future for the better, he manipulated Naoto to his death (the scene made me wish the Overlord of Darkness manipulated Hojo to his death in Agito... devil face). Later on, he was revealed to be just wanting to live, not wanting to take over the world and that overall, he still cared about law and order but his selfishness and stupidity got the best of him. So I can't count him as a complete monster either due to how complex he really is.
The Gaiarcs in Go-onger had their noble cause for their people that was, to turn the Earth into a polluted paradise for their own kind. While it's wrong to pollute the Earth but the recurring Gaiarc villains Yogostein, Kegaleisha and Kitadeines were doing their villainy for their people and not for their own power. The three ministers cared about each other. When Yogostein died, it deeply saddened his two comrades. When Yogoschrimaten showed himself as no laughing material, both Kegaleisha and Kitadeines were disgusted by his lack of concern and being too power hungry.
Overall, that's what I can name for my rambling for now. I'm not going to mention that much either. Still, feel free to give your own examples or show your objection.