Poll

Which do you enjoy more?

Heroes
2 (33.3%)
Anti-Heroes
4 (66.7%)

Total Members Voted: 6

Topic: Heroes or Anti-Heroes?  (Read 1335 times)

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Offline Star Magician

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« on: June 07, 2014, 03:58:17 AM »
Which is more interesting to you? Which do you identify with more?

Heroes and anti-heroes may have similar goals, or even the exact same goals, but their means may be completely different. A hero would generally take the path that's "most right" or for the greater good despite the negative consequences to themselves. An anti-hero may take a path that correlates to their desires, or that is most convenient to them, despite the negative consequences to others. More simply, an anti-hero is a protagonist who lacks some or all traditional heroic traits.

Examples of heroes:
Superman
Wonder Woman
Son Goku
Odysseus
Frodo Baggins
Super Mario
Link and Princess Zelda
Isaac
Shulk (Xenoblade Chronicles)

Examples of anti-heroes:
Batman
Catwoman
Deadpool
Philip Marlowe
Jay Gatsby
Jack Sparrow
Shadow the Hedgehog
Max Payne
Travis Touchdown (No More Heroes)
Zero (Drakengard 3)

This is something that's been very relevant in video games recently, so it's been on my mind. What are your thoughts?
« Last Edit: June 07, 2014, 10:44:02 AM by Star Magician »


Offline Xazel

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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2014, 05:48:24 AM »
You put some time and thinking into this, huh? From those examples and definitions you gave:

Impulsively, I'd gravitate towards anti-heroes because I think they'd be more interesting and believable, but in the end heroes usually win me out. However, the only time heroes win me out is when they ascend from anti-hero to hero by becoming archetypal.

Some good examples I personally like are: Ouma Shu from Guilty Crown, Tsunayoshi from Katekyoushi Hitman Reborn, Simon from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Raleigh Becket from pacific Rim (even though it was a bit cliche, it essentially had the elements I was looking for), Mifune from Soul Eater (even though he wasn't a main character and didn't have a whole lot of development, he stood out enough to me to be considered an example for this), Ryner Lute from Legend of Legendary Heroes, and Shinya Kogami from Psycho Pass.

In terms of video games, I think the anti-hero element is really important to make that extra impression on the player, especially since games give that experience you can't really simulate anywhere else. In the case of well-received games like FFVII and KH, they both have anti-heroes prevalent in them (Sephiroth, Riku--and Roxas to some extent). Even Golden Sun has examples in the form of Felix, Saturos, Menardi, and the other Mars Adepts who follow in the storyline.

It's just really interesting to see how they develop, and it seems like even though they corrupt, you sometimes can't help but feel bad for them when all is said and done, like when Karst and Agatio ask the party to finish Mars Lighthouse for them, despite being enemies and everything up to that point.

Sorry I wrote a lot and took up tons of space, but those are my thoughts. :x
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Offline Star Magician

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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2014, 10:39:40 AM »
No sweat, detailed responses are a good thing. (:

I chose not to list Felix on the anti-hero because to me, he kinda lies in a grey area between the two. However, part of the reason is that he's completely silent in TLA... The Proxian characters I still classify as villains though (or they could be considered anti-villains).
Sephiroth? I thought he was a villain through and through. Then again, I haven't actually played FFVII past the beginning, so I don't know. Maybe he could also be considered an anti-villain? (no spoilers plz, just sayin')
I don't know any of those anime characters you mentioned.

For me, I've also grown fond of anti-heroes more than heroes. The way heroes are portrayed in most media makes it hard for me to relate to them, especially JRPG heroes. A lot of them fall under this same ol' same ol' feeling because the main characters are very similar.

In some movies, it's a little different because the heroes are sometimes acting out of necessity, desperation, etc. so the heroes are a little more relatable, such as Ellen Ripley from Alien.
In the first Iron Man, Tony Stark can be seen as a quasi anti-hero because of how he acts partly out of revenge, and that's why he's one of my favorite superhero characters.
In Frozen, the character I identified most with was by far Elsa, who can be seen as both an anti-hero and anti-villain (depending on the part of the movie).

This could all mean that because I've also felt a great deal of ostracization in my life, I tend to like characters who are very different from normal people. Anti-heroes usually fit this definition. Normal people, I would assume, would identify better with traditional heroes who act heroically by choice.

However, whenever I take on a choose-your-own-path type role in a game such as Elder Scrolls or Fable, I gravitate towards heroic actions. I even destroyed the Dark Brotherhood on my first Skyrim file lol. Then again, I was also kind of roleplaying as a character from my story. It doesn't help that in many of these games, being heroic is more rewarding though.

Some of my favorite heroes:
Shulk from Xenoblade Chronicles - Despite being a traditional hero (for the most part) he reminded me a bit of myself in the way he is not the strongest person around and gets overly attached to people who show affection to him, which is why he totally lost it when the Mechons killed Fiora in the beginning of the game. He displayed some (arguably) anti-hero traits when he repeatedly swore revenge, but that was never his true desire, even from the beginning.

Odysseus from The Odyssey - What I like about Odysseus is how he's abnormally strong-willed and cares for his country and the good people who reside there. It took him 20 years, and he fought many struggles with the forces at play, including his own human nature. Though he slaughters his enemies ruthlessly in the end, and even encourages his son to do it with him, they were wicked, corrupt, power-hungry leeches to whom I would do the same.


Favorite anti-heroes:
Zero from Drakengard 3 - From the beginning, Zero seems to be a classic villain more than anything else. She's rude, uninhibited and pretty psychopathic. But she has reasons for doing what she's doing, and... it's very spoilery. Just sayin'

Laharl from Disgaea - A demon prince whose weaknesses are love, compliments and sexiness... Laharl's (mis)adventure in the first Disgaea game is full of emotional moments that open up his eyes to things he's always been trying to distance himself from. He's cold, pushy, arrogant, and yet, still lovable all the same.

Jack Sparrow - Mostly because he's funny. Just sayin'


Other:
Felix from Golden Sun - Like I said, he's kind of in a grey area. On one hand, he's questing with Saturos and Menardi to save the world, but on the other, he's misleading his best friend Isaac just like they are, and not telling Isaac and the others the truth of what's going on. In the second game, he takes on a pretty straight-forward hero role, even though he still is avoiding Isaac the entire time.

Jr. (Rubedo) from Xenosaga - kind of an in-between character as well, since he's consciously on the heroic path, but subconsciously has an appetite for destruction. It's all in the way he was created as an artificial human and weapon to harness the power of (spoiler). He also has a reputation for being pretty self-centered and he's easily provoked, but he's loyal to his closest friends.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2014, 10:44:50 AM by Star Magician »


Offline Scorpio

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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2014, 04:06:12 PM »
It depends on the story, to me at least. Most of the time, I like characters like Uncharted's Nathan Drake who acts out of self interest, but still ends up being very heroic. I guess I like the in between characters.

Offline Ailanthus

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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2014, 04:04:31 AM »
I prefer Heroes, always wanted to be one after all.
I like it when somebody is willing to risk it all to do what's right simply because it's good.
Guess, I like it even more when they fail though. In the end nothing beats tragedy.
I'm a bit in between since a lot of greats are more on the anti side, but true heroism is quite admirable.
How sad it is that we give up on people who are just like us. ~ Fred Rogers

Offline Star Magician

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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2014, 06:51:35 AM »
I don't think I could be a hero, myself. Even if I took a heroic path, it would be more like Tails than Sonic, or more like Otacon than Snake, the brains behind the hero's endeavors, always working in the shadows if you know what I mean.

Do you guys have any more favorites you'd like to share?

Offline Xazel

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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2014, 06:45:46 AM »
Do you guys have any more favorites you'd like to share?
I'd list a bunch from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, but I don't want to elaborate and spoil their character developments.

Really, the atypical heroes are the ones I like, because they're not as generic and more difficult to predict, which keeps me interested. It does this while maintaining believability though, which really sells it for me. Uh, some examples... one of the characters from Psycho Pass (again, don't wanna spoil). Hm, oh: Tsunayoshi from Katekyoushi Hitman Reborn. I'm assuming this series won't interest a lot of people here, and for those who it would, they probably already watched it. I like Tsuna because he starts off kinda pathetic and relatable, then becomes BA rather quickly and fairly well. The characters are very likable also and many foils help Tsuna to grow.
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Offline Star Magician

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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2014, 10:22:59 AM »
I don't know any of them, so I can't really comment ._.

Offline Ailanthus

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« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2014, 02:16:51 PM »
Vash the Stampede'll probably be on the top of my list for a long while yet.
He's not even really trying to be a hero, he just doesn't want to hurt anyone.
How sad it is that we give up on people who are just like us. ~ Fred Rogers

Offline Xazel

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« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2014, 08:22:07 AM »
Vash the Stampede'll probably be on the top of my list for a long while yet.
He's not even really trying to be a hero, he just doesn't want to hurt anyone.
Yeah, those ronin/wanderer types can be interesting too. I think the two protagonist guys from Samurai Champloo were kind of like that, but Vash was kind of in his own category. It actually reminds me a lot of Himura Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin.
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Offline Nyran

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« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2014, 04:31:35 PM »
The Anti-Hero is a very diverse thing, and can be handled differently, poorly or properly. The same case can be made for heroes. However, I find that as the anti-hero formula becomes more and more popular, the more tired it gets, and the more that you can see all the poor portrayals.

I chose heroes simply for the fact that, even if a hero is a lame, boring, flat, or meh character, you can still make the case that they're at least doing the right thing, or have their heart in the right place.

With Anti-Heroes, their tendencies can very easily be regarded as nothing more than pointless angst, or conflict with a hero character for nothing but the sake of conflict.

I dunno if that made sense, but I just sorta feel like Anti Heroes are easier to make annoying than heroes.

Offline Star Magician

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« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2014, 10:00:32 AM »
Anti-heroes can be much more diverse than you think. Take a look at the examples I gave in the OP. Only two could potentially fall into the annoying angsty category (Shadow and Travis). Jay Gatsby and Philip Marlowe are from early 1900's literature, and they are both very mature adults. They just do things that traditional heroes wouldn't do in order to meet their ends.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 10:26:13 AM by Star Magician »