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Why do we love anti-heroes and villains so much more than heroes?
Posted 5/17/17 , edited 5/17/17

trmjkd989 wrote:

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


For example: Sorey from tales of zesteria, his extreme goody two shoes personality makes the character boring.

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Posted 5/19/17 , edited 5/19/17

trmjkd989 wrote:

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


I think that's the notion pushed by Hollywood. However, I know that Hollywood is a wretched hive of scum and villainy. IMO, people tend to love them here in the West because they get so glorified by Hollywood. I think the distaste for so-called "boring" personalities is largely an acquired distaste. Furthermore, it's entirely possible to have an interesting, quirky personality while still being bound by your morals.

On the other hand, I think there is some truth the the claim that anti-heroes appeal to our juvenility. If they can achieve the greater good while eschewing social norms and rules, that vindicates our inner adolescent and childish rebellion against society. "SEE! I can be an uncooperative, rebellious delinquent and still be a good person! Take that Mom and Dad! TAKE THAT PRINCIPAL SKINNER!". The anti-hero lets us tell ourselves that and assuage our burning consciences.
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Posted 5/19/17 , edited 5/19/17

MasterBismuth33 wrote:

Maybe they just make the heroes boring. A hero does not need to be boring. Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon was not a boring hero at all. I recommend everyone to watch it.


Great movie. I agree. You can be "Lawful Good" and still be an interesting person.
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Posted 5/19/17 , edited 5/19/17

karatecowboy wrote:

I think that's the notion pushed by Hollywood. However, I know that Hollywood is a wretched hive of scum and villainy. IMO, people tend to love them here in the West because they get so glorified by Hollywood. I think the distaste for so-called "boring" personalities is largely an acquired distaste. Furthermore, it's entirely possible to have an interesting, quirky personality while still being bound by your morals.

On the other hand, I think there is some truth the the claim that anti-heroes appeal to our juvenility. If they can achieve the greater good while eschewing social norms and rules, that vindicates our inner adolescent and childish rebellion against society. "SEE! I can be an uncooperative, rebellious delinquent and still be a good person!". The anti-hero lets us tell ourselves that and assuage our burning consciences.


You're partially correct on the heroes bit. Hollywood tends to borrow pretty heavily from the Everyman concept of making their heroes as close to their intended audience as possible while still being just generic enough to avoid putting off as much of that audience as possible. They aren't alone in doing that, though, just watch any number of forgettable anime titles for similar characterizations. It's doubtful there's some sinister motive behind that trend, it's just a really common and tired cliche.

I have a fond memory of Tenchi Muyo not because it's a particularly great or special anime, but because it's the first harem that I watched. I wasn't particularly put off by the blandness of the character because I hadn't experienced much in that genre at that time. The same goes for any number of generic Everyman thrust into a situation out of his control. Any story that focuses on the journey over the development of the character tends to fall into this to some degree or another.

And you are correct on anti-heroes tendency to play into juvenile wish-fulfillment fantasies. 90s comics having some notorious examples.
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Posted 5/19/17 , edited 5/19/17
We tend to see ourselves through the flaws of a character and the steps they take to overcome them. "Classic Superman" tends to be an example of a hero which doesn't really have flaws and the lack of focus on character takes away a lot from our enjoyment of the character. It feels distant and hard to relate to.

The same can be said for pretty much all characterization. Give your character real flaws which are central to the character and have them work to address those flaws throughout the story. That will make them easier to relate to and make them feel more real.
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Posted 5/19/17 , edited 5/20/17

MasterBismuth33 wrote:


karatecowboy wrote:


MasterBismuth33 wrote:

Maybe they just make the heroes boring. A hero does not need to be boring. Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon was not a boring hero at all. I recommend everyone to watch it.


Great movie. I agree. You can be "Lawful Good" and still be an interesting person.


Exactly.

Edit: I just took the D&D moral alignment test. My alignment is Lawful Good.



I hate those things. Every one I took put me at true neutral, when I wanna be neutral good. I'm not some apathetic, depressed mystic or something!
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Posted 5/19/17 , edited 5/20/17

karatecowboy wrote:


MasterBismuth33 wrote:


karatecowboy wrote:


MasterBismuth33 wrote:

Maybe they just make the heroes boring. A hero does not need to be boring. Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon was not a boring hero at all. I recommend everyone to watch it.


Great movie. I agree. You can be "Lawful Good" and still be an interesting person.


Exactly.

Edit: I just took the D&D moral alignment test. My alignment is Lawful Good.



I hate those things. Every one I took put me at true neutral, when I wanna be neutral good. I'm not some apathetic, depressed mystic or something!


I just took the test and got neutral good.
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Posted 5/19/17 , edited 5/20/17
I love heroes, but when they make all heroes feel the same nowadays and/or make a plot that would work better with an anti-hero or villain as the main focus it gets boring.
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Posted 5/19/17 , edited 5/20/17

ronin99 wrote:


I just took the test and got neutral good.


Well, then you're in a good place (see what I did there?)
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Posted 5/19/17 , edited 5/20/17

DragonFan1 wrote:

I love heroes, but when they make all heroes feel the same nowadays and/or make a plot that would work better with an anti-hero or villain as the main focus it gets boring.


You know, your comment makes me think: It entertainment they sure seem to neglect the Tragic Hero a lot these days. At least, in my estimation. What do you think?
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Posted 5/19/17 , edited 5/20/17
Well, I'm not so sure about that. There's at least one new show I know this anime season where tragedy involving such a hero is likely to occur. But that's just me thinking off the top of my head.
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Posted 5/19/17 , edited 5/20/17
Because some villains are cool looking
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