Summary of this post:
- It’s about heroes from the Shounen genre.
- While I tried to be objective, I’m still a narrow-minded person.
- Author is disoriented at the end of the post.
First of all, it’s not like I watched a lot of shounen in the past that gives me the privilege to nitpick animes or mangas that fall under it. Because I dislike to use “I’m entitled to my own opinion” for something so petty (such as me nitpicking stuffs), let’s just say this has been bothering me for a while now and I just wanted to type it out.
Stuffs you need to know about me in connection to the post:
- I like stuffs that are funny and relatable, so I prefer Comedy and Slice-of-Life.
- I usually watch animes where the quantity of female characters are dominant (regardless of fanservice).
- I enjoy actions that uses modern technology stuffs (Mecha, wasn’t it?)
- I love antagonists more than protagonists.
- Lastly, I watch whatever my friends recommend to me. Resistance is futile.
This is probably common in the Shounen genre, situations where the main male protagonist and the villain have their face-off, and the former starts talking about goodwill, justice, the wrong in what the latter was doing—like he has all the time in the world. May I also blame the villain for even wasting precious seconds listening to the hero preaching instead of killing him right there and then?
Let me just tell you that scenes like that annoy me to no end, but not enough to make me go apeshit and close the video.
What makes me want to do that, however, are situations wherein the hero talks big, and ends up getting his ass kicked. Which is absolutely pathetic. He had time to make long speeches when he cannot even defeat the villain. The story continues and his personality develops (for better or for worse). He makes friends, he gets stronger, he tries to defeat the villain again but failed (after he makes more speeches), he starts to lose hope, his friends help him gather his wits, he promise to protect them, they all go to confront the villain once more, the hero talks about friendship and trust, and finally, finally defeats the antagonist.
I take it’s a reference to “being human”. Making mistakes and getting back up.
There wasn’t anything wrong with that kind of plot. It’s all part of the character development and setting building.
Still, that kind of technicality-based opinion will not help ease ones irritation.
I am fully aware that a lot from the target demographic gets fired up with hero-talks like that, which is why me ranting about it is probably wrong in many ways. So I decided to sight the goods and bads of the few heroes from the Shounen animes I watched, instead of simply listing their bad points.
“Toaru Majutsu no Index” (A Certain Magical Index)
The fact that he’s the first here doesn’t mean it’s him I dislike the most. In fact he’s one of those heroes I can actually tolerate. Touma is a self-proclaimed ‘unfortunate’ person. Well, he is. He is also your typical hero, very kind and caring.
- That kindness actually cross the boundaries of being ‘nosy’. The “I-will-barge-into-your-business-because-I’m-very-worried-about-you” type. This does not only apply to his friends, but also to those people he just met. (Why is this bad? You wonder).
- He talks a lot during fights.
- He is kinda dense.
- His nosiness actually solved a lot of problems. Just look at the Level 6 Shift Project.
- His talks can bend the villains’ wills to fight sometimes. Kinda like the enlightenment.
- He tries his best to fulfill his promises.
- “Fukuo da.”
I find absolutely nothing wrong with an overweight protagonist. If there’s anything I want to complain about his looks, it’s his height. Why is he like half or 3/4 of his leading lady? It would’ve been better if he was an inch or two taller than Kuroyukihime.
- Self-pity. Always. (Which is understandable, so I went through a lot of inner arguments if it’s appropriate to put it here.)
- He starts preaching even before he confirms that the enemy is really defeated. Which ends up to his lost.
- Mood swings.
- That self-pity makes him himself. So it was probably one of the reasons why he was able to understand Chrome Disaster, from an arc in the light novel series. Very useful, if you ask me.
- He gets hold of his sanity well somehow. How ironic.
I just finished watching the full anime earlier. Sigh. I want to bash him a lot but poor kid deserves a fair review from me in the memories of my favorite character Hare, so yeah.
- He trusts easily.
- He sways easily.
- He tries to be a person he isn’t. (He realized it faster though)
- He has gotten corrupted in the middle of the anime.
- He acts like a normal person would in the middle of crisis (a coward, in short). This only applies in the earlier parts of the series though.
- He can forgive.
- He can also talk big. But he usually runs into trouble in the middle of the fight. Rash.
- He is extremely dense when it comes to girls’ advances. There should be an extent to how clueless a person can be.
- Can he actually operate an IS if Shinonono Tabane didn’t arrange that ‘audition’? I felt that was cheating. (No idea, so I just put it here).
- He’s not opportunistic.
- Not a pervert.
KIRIGAYA KAZUTO / KIRITO
“Sword Art Online”
Kirito is very close to being Gary Stu, if not there yet. A very well-made hero.
- He can be quite sentimental.
- His character is probably considered overkill. From Sword Art Online to Gun Gale Online.
- He has Asuna.
- He talks, he wins. He’s actually pretty cool.
- That sentimentality can be a driving force for him to fight.
- Faithful, as far as what I’ve seen and read (up to Mother’s Rosario). Poor other girls from his harem though.
Conclusion, every one of these characters have irritated me at one point, but I can accept that they are heroes of their own series and at the end, they managed to live up to their titles. However, it doesn’t change the fact that while I was watching their animes, it’s not only once I muttered “shut up” and “just fight”. I am probably semi aware which point I’m wrong, and fully aware that I’m very biased.
It’s because I don’t see the need to talk under pressure that I wrote this, but it seems I was disoriented near-end, as usual. I ended up writing their good and bad qualities, when all I wanted earlier was to rant. Was this for the better or…?
So if the last few parts didn’t make any sense, blame Fast and Furious 6.
That’s it for this post. I have a few more male protagonists I want to comment on, like Alibaba Saluja of “Magi” and Zero Kiryuu of “Vampire Knight” but something distracted me and this is as far as I can write right now. I’ll probably make a post for my favorite villains as well.
By the way, my favorite hero is Shiba Tatsuya of “The Irregular at Magic High School”. You might have an idea what it is I look for in a male protagonist if you read the light novel series.