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Post Reply Why do we love anti-heroes and villains so much more than heroes?
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26 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 5/17/17
When it comes to fiction, why do some of us prefer anti-heroes and villains over heroes? Is liking heroes overrated nowadays? What do you think?






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Posted 5/17/17 , edited 5/20/17
Because most heroes have boring personalities and are bound by their "good" morals.
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26 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 5/17/17

trmjkd989 wrote:

Because most heroes have boring personalities and are bound by their "good" morals.


Good answer.
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27 / F / Outer Orbit
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Posted 5/17/17
Not always the case, but yeah, antagonists often tend to be more interesting than classical goodie "hero" characters and indeed they do represent freedom (if a bit bizzare sense of it) and darker aspects of human nature, which is just inherently interesting to explore for most people who do live within society's rules.
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Posted 5/17/17

Elvikun wrote:

Not always the case, but yeah, antagonists often tend to be more interesting than classical goodie "hero" characters and indeed they do represent freedom (if a bit bizzare sense of it) and darker aspects of human nature, which is just inherently interesting to explore for most people who do live within society's rules.


I believe what you said is right,also adding on top of that is that's the reason many people like shows where the protagonist walks a thin line between good & evil such as tokyo ghoul and other shows. So I guess you could say it's easier to relate with someone that has flaws
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Posted 5/17/17

qualeshia3 wrote:
When it comes to fiction, why do some of us prefer anti-heroes and villains over heroes? Is liking heroes overrated nowadays? What do you think?


Ehhh, I mean, the biggest culprit would simply be bad writing. Its debatable whether or not there are more badly written heroes or anti-heroes. I don't think the general sentiment is swinging towards anti-heroes though. People seem pretty tired of Grim Dark(tm) in major media. Case in point, Marvel vs DC movies. DC has had to make *everything* grim and dark and dramatic since the Bale films. Somewhere along the way they forgot people go to hero/superhero movies to have fun.



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Posted 5/17/17
Liking heroes isn't overrated. It's not an idea that's going to be cancelled anytime soon. Antiheroes are just a quick way to inject some grey into a narrative. That grey is familiar to humans everyday lives, becuase very few, if any, narrative we experience is as black and white in its morality than popular fiction.

Also, villains are the heroes of their narratives. Most heroes fight bad guys with the moral majority supporting them. Most villains are fighting for for an idea/concept/goal against the mainstream.

It not always that way though: Goku fights because he's selfish. Sauron only wants to turn people into dinosaurs.
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21 / M / Oppai Hell
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Posted 5/17/17
A great deal of it is cultural backlash and changing mores. People simply got tired of the traditional superman. They grew up, comic sales plummeted. Comics had to adapt by introducing adult elements, and having characters have atypical moral outlooks worked, alongside the blood and guts. Watchmen is an example of what kicked off the Dark Age of Comics. It is hard to deem anyone a villain or a hero, whether it is Ozymandias or Rorschach. Heroes are ideal and divine beings, literal messiahs. Anti Heroes are often flawed in some way, and was originally used to denote characterization from asshole to likable, rather than a wanking reassertion of their original ideas if they were heroes. They introduced controversy, basic to more advance concepts of contemporary moral problems, with Batman and Joker being a prime example of Utilitarianism versus Deontology, with Virtue thrown in.

Some people just want to be assholes as well. They want to follow their own sense of justice, which may be at odds with society, which may include torturing and killing pedophiles, murderers, and anyone else who "deserved" it, such as Dexter or The Punisher, but feel bound by the laws of not exacting their justice, or vengeance. Every time they see a terrorist attack on television, or a child is gang raped, they feel anger but powerless.

Morbidity also plays a part. We are attracted to danger for many reasons, possibly to learn from it. I think Vsauce did a video explaining possible reasons for this, which may be in our innate nature.

https://youtu.be/ZbdMMI6ty0o
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Posted 5/17/17
Villains and anti-heroes tend to be the characters that drive a story. Their provocations, mistakes, and wit mark them as human and bring a level of depth to a story. Vanilla heroes in contrast tend to be good-natured everymen who purely react to the actions of villains and pleas of heroines, and draw people to them by virtue of their own goodness. I don't think it's so much that anti-heroes are loved more than vanilla heroes, it's just that heroes that become interesting tend to do so when they're dipping their toes in anti-hero territory.
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Posted 5/17/17
Anti-heroes approach a situation differently (sometimes in a better way than a hero would) so it's not the same old predictable song and dance every single time. Like for example in a Spideypool issue, Deadpool was hired to protect a bunch of people making drugs in a poor country. Spidey was disgusted that Deadpool would ever take a job like that; until he explained. "We don't all get to be white guys in America. For them, it's make drugs or get killed, or it's get killed or make drugs." Anti-heroes visit territory most heroes wouldn't bother glancing at. BTW, what a great pairing between anti-hero and hero. I think seeing that partnership is a hundred times better than either of them on their own. There should be a bit more of this dynamic imo.
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25 / F / Philippines
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Posted 5/17/17
I like Anti-heroes because they tens to do interesting things and usually, heroes are boring.

Not saying all heroes are boring but most authors tend to just have the heroes rely on the power of friendship/love and not go far for their cause. Like, not killing the villain because 'You'd be just like them' and later there's gonna be another trouble with the same bad guy or the bad guy suddenly becomes their friend despite clearly being written as a psycho. Anti-heroes go farther even if their way isn't right and since the 'heroes' don't bother much with being nice, the creators don't have to bother making everything kid-friendly, even the conclusions. I mean, they don't have to think of an overly happy ending with everyone alive and well giving the show/story some drama and something to think about.

Plus, if anti-heroes are more 'bad' than 'good', seeing how their character development happen will be interesting and fun.
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Posted 5/17/17
I seriously wish we had more of this trope, I flipping hate all the goody two shoes we have.

I'd rather we get a show where the hero starts out good but things slowly spiral into him trying to do good, but in reality what he's doing is worse then the villain ever could..or something.-. I'll edit this post later if it doesn't make sense.
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Posted 5/17/17

HopexLight wrote:

I seriously wish we had more of this trope, I flipping hate all the goody two shoes we have.

I'd rather we get a show where the hero starts out good but things slowly spiral into him trying to do good, but in reality what he's doing is worse then the villain ever could..or something.-. I'll edit this post later if it doesn't make sense.

Have you watched Breaking Bad?
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25 / M / within the world...
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Posted 5/17/17

PeripheralVisionary wrote:


HopexLight wrote:

I seriously wish we had more of this trope, I flipping hate all the goody two shoes we have.

I'd rather we get a show where the hero starts out good but things slowly spiral into him trying to do good, but in reality what he's doing is worse then the villain ever could..or something.-. I'll edit this post later if it doesn't make sense.

Have you watched Breaking Bad?


What is this western stuff you speak of...
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