Author: Zorez Shahzad
Possible SPOILERS Ahead
The Japanese word “Yami” translates to darkness. Darkness is usually seen as a symbol of terror and mystery. This symbolism often gets implemented into the world of anime as well. The trope of associating the villain with darkness has kind of become a cliché in anime. However, in my personal opinion, associating darkness users with being bad people all the time is kind of excessive.
Today, we’ll be taking a look at some characters from anime who show us different ways in which darkness can be implemented into a show.
Marshall D. Teach or Blackbeard is a major antagonist in the One Piece series. He is extremely powerful and is known as the only man in history who wields the power of two devil fruits at the same time. Blackbeard is an evil character who also happens to wield the power of darkness. But at the same time, in a quite unique way, he proves to us that darkness is not necessarily the root of all evil. Blackbeard was evil from the start, before he even attained the power of darkness. This proves to us that it wasn’t the darkness that was bad, but actually the character himself. Blackbeard actually got the power of darkness by killing and stealing the devil fruit from Thatch. Blackbeard puts his dark energy to some good, or should I say bad, use, and always poses a great threat for our heroes. The power of his second devil fruit actually
comes from the almighty Whitebeard.
After Whitebeard’s death, Blackbeard somehow stole the power of his devil fruit from his corpse. The power of Blackbeard’s second devil fruit is also proof that darkness is not necessarily evil as we see him use such a majestic power in his evil schemes as well just like he used the darkness. Blackbeard is a truly evil and cunning man, who would do almost anything to get what he wants. Whilst being a very evil character, Blackbeard proves to us that darkness is not necessarily evil; it is actually the user himself that is evil.
Fumikage Tokoyami is a character from the My Hero Academia series, and he is the complete opposite of the previous entry on this list. Tokoyami’s name literally translates to, “Eternal Darkness”. But in reality, Tokoyami is a very nice person who wants to protect the innocent people from the villains. Tokoyami’s darkness powers actually come in the form of his quirk, called dark shadow. Dark shadow is a very ominous quirk which can easily go out of control and cause a lot of problems. In My Hero Academia, darkness is associated with evil, which is the complete opposite of One Piece.
In One Piece, darkness isn’t necessarily the root of all evil, but it is actually the user of this darkness. On the other hand, in My Hero Academia, darkness is shown as being the root of all evil, whilst the user of darkness is shown as a good person. Dark shadow is especially quite powerful and uncontrollable in the dark. Whilst using his quirk (especially in the dark), Tokoyami is in a constant struggle. He must fight the darkness inside of him, or his quirk could get too powerful and make him go berserk. Eventually, Tokoyami gets better at controlling his quirk, making him one of the strongest heroes in the series.
Even though My Hero Academia went with the generic path and portrayed darkness as evil, it did so in quite a unique way.
“Yami”, yup, a lot of darkness wielders in anime are named after darkness itself. Yami Sukehiro is an extremely popular character from the Black Clover series. Despite his grumpy and strict personality, Yami is quite likable. Yami proves to us that the terms “darkness” and “evil” are very far from each other! Whilst he can be a little scary from the outside, Yami actually has a very heartwarming personality. He truly cares about his friends and is always ready to sacrifice even his own life for them. Yami is a very strong character!
What makes him really cool is the fact that he is one of the few muscular characters in the Black Clover universe. In a world filled with magic, Yami relies more on brute strength than his magic. That said, his darkness magic isn’t anything short of amazing as well. Yami has an amazing amount of magic power and brute strength which make him one of the strongest characters in the series. Another thing I absolutely love about Yami is that, despite acting dumb, he is actually extremely clever. He has the mindset of a true warrior and manages to come out on top in almost every fight. Yami proves to us that darkness being associated with being evil is all just a big hoax.
Last on this list is Celty Sturluson, a very unique character from the series Durarara. Celty is actually not even a human! She is actually a mythical creature known as the Dullahan. The Dullahan is a headless creature, who carries his head in his own hands and rides his horse. In this anime, Celty the Dullahan has actually lost her head, and has come to Japan in search of her lost head. Dullahans are actually supposed to be very evil creatures, who bring death to people and lore them to the after-life. Whilst Celty used to be like that back in Ireland; she is no longer anything like that.
Celty is a very nice person and, living in Japan, she slowly starts to get closer to some unique individuals. Celty is a very optimistic person and despite being a Dullahan, tries to save as many lives as possible. Celty is actually a character which is associated with darkness, but as you have just read, she is not evil at all. She rides a dark bike, wears dark clothes, has a dark scythe, literally everything about her is ominous, yet she has such a bright personality on the inside. The way this anime takes such an evil creature and presents it with such a virtuous personality is absolutely amazing!