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MHA, JJK, and Demon Slayer: Which Shonen Animation Had the Best First Villain

Published Feb 27, 2023

Tanjiro Yuji, Izuku, and all three faced a starter antagonist that introduced them to the world of shonen fighting. But, one stands out for its unique purpose.

Although they may have different styles and lores, the most popular shonen-action anime titles share some commonalities, such as the need for a “starter” antagonist. Most shonen and other seinen action anime introduce the viewer and protagonist to The world’s fight system. Those first fights often mark the beginning of the protagonist’s journey.

The original shonen ‘big three’ had interesting starter antagonists. These included the Hollow called Fishbone E, Higuma (chronologically), or the rogue ninja Mizuki. Jujutsu Kaisen, Demon Slayer, and My Hero Academia now can be compared with their starter antagonists to find out if Tanjiro (or Yuji) had the scariest or most meaningful first enemy.

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The Sludge Villain Nearly Killed Katsuki Bakugo

My Hero Academia features some of the shinobi’s greatest villains. Still, Izuku Midoriya had to face his first enemy, the unnamed sludge gangster. The sludge villain was a typical petty felon who appeared during a bank theft and then, by chance, took Izuku’s childhood best friend Katsuki Bakugo, making him a hostage. Izuku watched with horror as he tried to show Izuku that he was Quirkless. Izuku was inspired by the sludge evil because it represented how common and bizarre certain criminals are in the world. This allowed him to show All Might that he is a hero in the face of death.

Nezuko Samado Turned to Her Brother

Demon Slayer’s first episode, “Cruelty,” inadvertently introduced Muzan Kibutsuji a supervillain who killed the Kamado clan off-screen. Also, Tanjiro’s little girl Nezuko was made a demon. Tanjiro returned from his coal-selling errand only to find Nezuko among his dead family members. She couldn’t control the demonic hunger she felt and tried to get her teeth into her brother until Tanjiro finally defeated her with an ax. Giyu Tomioka, the water Hashira, arrived. Tanjiro tried desperately to defend Nezuko against him despite his danger. Giyu accepted to spare Nezuko. However, Tanjiro was impressed and calmed down. The tragic fight ended before any blood was shed.

Yuji Itadori’s Brutal Introduction to Curses

Jujutsu Kaisenprotagonist Yuji Itadori has the appearance of a nice Ichigo Kukrosaki. He is a tough, cool high school kid whose life was disrupted by monstrous, supernatural creatures. Yuji, his classmates, and a powerful curse attacked Yuji’s school. Megumi Fushiguro was the sorcerer who saved them. Finally, Yuji swallowed Ryomen Sakuna’s severed fingers. The curse’s power gave him the ability to break free from the monstrous curse. Yuji won the fight and Episode 2 was completed when Satoru went appeared to witness the conclusion.

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The Curse, Nezuko and the Sludge Villain: Who’s Your Best Starter Villain?”

All three villains started were dangerous beings that threatened Tanjiro, Izuku, or Yuji. Nezuko Kazado is undoubtedly the most memorable and captivating villain of them all. Even more surprising is the fact that Nezuko has a name, unlike the two other villains.

Nezuko doesn’t look like any other demon. She was Tanjiros little sister, and she is also the only survivor of the Kamado Massacre. This gave Tanjiro tremendous personal stakes. Nezuko did not just fight her brother Giyu. Tanjiro showed extraordinary courage and resolve in defending his demonic sister while refusing Giyu any harm or to end her.

Nezuko was both an evil and a victim in one package. Tanjiro launched her quest for humanity’s salvation from this new demonic status. Tanjiro needed to prove to others as well as Hashira Sanemi to Nezuko that she is not a villain/monster at all. That makes her far more effective than the sludge villains or first curses.

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