Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Ununnilium: Shinji isn't really an Anti-Hero, IMHO. It's not just a protagonist who isn't heroic, it's someone who does amoral stuff that you're still supposed to root for.

Sean Tucker: I nuked him from the page of my own volition, but this reasoning is basically why I did it..

fleb: Except that's just wrong. See (random passer-by)'s note below. Anti-Hero is a protagonist who isn't heroic.

Seven Seals: Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender would fit the bill perfectly... except he's not a protagonist. But it does show you that villains are a lot more interesting if they're not evil.

Seth: I would say Zuko is a protagonist and an antagonist. He gets enough screen time that during the episodes that feature him you are rooting for him (Save the avatar killing he does) for example his fights against his sister and Zuko alone he is very protagonist like. But in relation to the main story of aang and crew he is an antagonist. And oh my god i think ive gone cross eyed.

Seven Seals: Well, it also shows you that shows are a lot more interesting if the writers don't follow the usual dichotomies to a fault. I'm very much reminded of George R. R. Martin's novels, which do not have "good" and "evil" sides, just different people motivated by different interests. Avatar doesn't go quite that far (the heroes are quite heroic), but Zuko is a good example of a character who's interesting for more than just opposing the heroes.

Seth: Here's my pitch, i would peg Zuko as a Tragic Hero not an Anti-Hero. Anti hero's are good but tragic heroes can also be heroic/nobel/likeable people who serve as an antagonist. It fits, the enty says they can be antagonists and he seems to have the sort of tragic luck and circumstances that make the trope.

Seven Seals: I have to disagree here. A Tragic Hero starts off or develops as a bona fide hero but is destined to failure because of a fatal character flaw. Zuko wasn't and isn't a hero, and although he has plenty of flaws that prevent him from achieving his goals (arrogance and impatience being the most prominent) it's not his character flaws that make him tragic, but his history. If anything, the way he copes with his circumstances makes him admirable and easy to sympathize with: you wouldn't blame someone for just giving up after what Zuko's been through, but he perseveres, for better or (mostly) worse. Zuko is a perfect Woobie because, at the core, he's a good kid who's been dealt a bad hand, and his flaws are just a magnification of his immaturity. It's hard to dislike him for that.

As an aside, it's interesting just how often Zuko is mentioned on this wiki. We've now given him as an example of an Ensemble Darkhorse, an Ineffectual Loner, an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain and (on Save the Villain) an Anti-Hero. He fits some types better than others (Zuko's not much of an Ensemble Darkhorse, for example, because he's not unexpectedly interesting), but he does deserve mention everywhere.

Seth: I'm beginning to think that The Zuko should be an entry. An antagonist who has many heroic traits, you want to win but is doomed to loose ect. But its premature, he has 2 series to do a Heel–Face Turn yet.

Anime Addict: He's not a new trope, but he is complex enough, like most of the Avatar characters, to warrant his own page like the characters of Evangelion. (Notice how often he overlaps with Seto Kaiba?)

seth: I would again disagree that the others do (Didn't you used to post as wiki?) but Zuko could use it. Maybe just extended bio's and descriptions on the page themselves then.

Fast Eddie: Hook an entry for Zuko off of the main entry for Avatar. I don't see how he is the The of anything. If you cannot point to another example of him, he is just ... Zuko. Here. Fill this in: Zuko

Ununnilium: That should probably be Prince Zuko, just to avoid confusion.

(random passer-by): The literary use of the term "anti-hero" does indeed include protagonists who lack the usual heroic virtues, and a protagonist who is ineffectual and indecisive, though well-meaning, certainly qualifies. An antihero isn't necessarily a crazed nihilistic cutthroat who happens to prey on people worse than himself. An antihero can be a scared kid thrown into a situation that's beyond his control, too. Dirty Harry and Mad Max are anti-heroes, but so are Yossarian from Catch-22, Arthur Dent from the Hitchhiker's books, and Al Bundy.

Please see:

The Tragic Hero, in their taxonomy (which seems to borrow tropes and themes from Greek tragedy, oddly enough), would be a sympathetic and perhaps slightly ineffectual protagonist, who possesses nobility of spirit and character flaws in equal measure. Tragic Heroes always die at the end, because it's their fate. It's a rule of Greek tragedy.

Also, I have a very minor quibble with the entry on Elric. It's been many years since I read the Elric books but I don't recall anything about him having to kill people with Stormbringer just in order to live. It made him stronger and healthier, and when for a time he did not carry Stormbringer at all, he became weak and sickly as he was prior to finding Stormbringer in the first place, but he didn't die from it.

Lale: Sorry, Seth, about adding another Avatar example, but hey, it's still a long way away from the volume of entries for Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Seth: There is nothing wrong with Avatar examples. Just really bad ones that don't fit the series. Like the First Girl Wins one or the 15 other examples that i wiped because it doesn't work. This one fits better than any of them.

(random visitor): This page really needs to be split and a new subtrope created to describe the sort of 'Disney Anti Hero' where the backstory vaguely alludes to a character being an Anti Hero and/or Badass but we never see him do anything beyond some pseudo-edgy dialog and acting a bit emo in the course of his heroic duties. Han Solo is an excellent example of this in action. The worst thing he does is shoot someone who's come to kill him, compare with say Marty in Grosse Pointe Blank who kills people for money, e.g. a classical Anti Hero. I don't have the energy to do a new page, though.

Wouldn't it be interresting to have an index page for all Anti-Hero and Anti-Villain related tropes?
Lale: Snape of Harry Potter is not an Anti-Hero. He was a solid bad guy who had a Heel–Face Turn pre-series and became a solid good guy, who just happened to be a jerk. He's The Atoner with angst.

Etrangere: Even as a 'solid good guy' he does enough morally ambiguous things (such a getting innocent people killed as part of protecting his spy cover) that I would say he still counts as an Anti-Hero. He can be both an Atoner and an Anti-Hero.

Lale: True. He never killed anyone innocent — except Dumbledore, which was Dumbledore's idea — although he did stoically watch Charity get killed at the start of Book 7, and no doubt that wasn't the first time. Logically or not, plenty of regular "heroes" undercover have done that.

{{Etrangere }}: Snape claimed in the Half-Blood Prince that it was his information that got Emmeline Vance killed, too. Doesn't mean it was totally true, but it makes sense that, beyond watching innocent teachers and muggles getting killed, and beyond overseeing a school where the students get tortured as practical exercices, he also gave the occasionnal information that led to Very Bad Stuff, even in the unlikely presumption where he managed to avoid doing any such Very Bad Stuff himself. When 'regular hero' Harry see muggleborn people threatened to be deported in DH he soon act to save them (even if it throws his plan to hell). In the context of that kind of Young Adult literature, I think a character like Snape is firmly anti-heroic.
Seven Seals: My clever skills of deduction eventually allowed me to conclude that the picture is that of one Lelouch, from Code Geass. I know I'm in the minority here when I say I know next to nothing about anime, but I still take offense at anyone's picture on such a fundamental article as this. I'm sure Lelouch is a very interesting character, but I doubt he's the archetypal anti-hero, if such a character can be said to exist at all, since there are so many varieties of anti-heroes. In short, what makes him so special, other than being popular? (This is a rhetorical question; I don't need a series recap.)

Citizen: By clicking on it? :P My thought process was something like: Oh hey, here's a good picture of Lulu being ansty. Lulu is an antihero. Anti-Hero doesn't have a picture. Added. I don't think that the picture has to be some "archetypal" example to deserve posting anymore than titles here are required to be serious or whatnot. Now, if your beef is that it's an anime picture in a non-anime-specific page, er... you may have more of a point, and Fast Eddie's caught me on this before. I try, but sometimes things slip through the cracks... >_> If this page can have a quote from a cartoon, though, why not a picture from an anime?

Lale: I think this page should use Han Solo!

Ununnilium: Yeah, I think it needs a more iconically Anti-Hero character. Lelouch doesn't even look like an Anti-Hero in that pic; he looks downright villainous.

Tanto: It's too bad movie clips take up too much space; Han shooting Greedo is a perfect illustration of the concept.

Citizen: Han shot first! ^^

That Other 1 Dude: Well, Han himself is more an embodiment of a Lovable Rogue, but a flash off him shooting first would work great.

Tricksterson: Han would make a good picture but if I was going to pick someone's pick for the iconic Anti Hero it would be Dirty Harry.
fhan: I have some trouble seeing James Bond as Anti-Hero...

Lale: Say what?! Who added that? James Bond may be a pompous jerk who can get away with anything, but that's part of being The Ace. He's as classic an action hero as they come; there's nothing "anti" about him. Cut.
Citizen: Okay, that John Constantine spoiler block is "liek xbox hueg". It's turning into its own entry! Trimmed.

Anticitizen Two: the random passer by is correct, this article has become seriously misdirected. The kind of anti-hero currently being featured on this page is but one flavor of anti-hero. Just because Shinji is whiny and nobody likes him (which, incidentally is why he is whiny) doesn't mean he's not an antihero. Not all of them have to be Spike v1.0.

fleb: In that light, I just (re-)added him.

Marikina: Does Batman warrant further inclusion into this trope? His standard heroic qualities seem to surpass his anti-heroic qualities, making him more of a Faux Anti Hero, if such a trope exists. "Knight's End" is a particularly noteworthy example, in where Catwoman notes that its Wayne's Batman's insistence to Save the Villain that distinguishes him from the more anti-heroic Jean Paul Valley's "Az-Bats", and ultimately proves who's the real Batman between the two.

Filby: I agree - he doesn't belong here. He's not an anti-hero, he's a hero who dresses like one.

(another random passerby) I don't think many of the GTA protagonists are Anti-Heroes. They'd probably fall under Villain Protagonists instead. The only one who is an Anti-Hero is CJ from San Andreas.
That Other 1 Dude: Suzumiya Haruhi isn't really an Anti-Hero as while she is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, she's doesn't really pro-active enough to qualify as a "Hero", she's mostly just search for her own entertainment.

fleb:Cut this to make room for the much shorter, punchier Foundation quote.
"There is good, and there is evil. There are those who commit crimes and those who stop them. The two sides are opposite, as different as day and night, and the line between them is clear. Or at least, it's supposed to be..."
Robin, Teen Titans

Citizen: Here's another one for the dustbin, then.
You both have childlike ideals. Believing in simplicity and shouldering the role of a criminal fro the sake of that ideal. Turning yourselves into the greatest evil to eliminate all the small evils in this world. You and Kiritsugu act like the saviors we call 'anti-heroes'.
Kotomine, Fate/stay night (game)

Vampire Buddha: Made a couple of cuts...
* Gokudo, probably most extreme form of antihero. He is almost evil guy forced to be hero when all he wants is money and nice girls. He is lacking any heroic features, and does not think much before leaving his friends in dangerous situations. He only fights dangerous enemies because his party forces him to do so, sometimes literally swinging him when he holds sword. His frien Rubet and demon prince (princess, and villain) also lack heroic traits but at least they have some other motives besides money. generally entire series lack permanent villains or heroes, because nearly everyone acts because of selfish reasons and are ready to switch sides anytime.

Because I have no idea who this Gokudo chap is. He may very well be an anti-hero, but if he is, the person who added that example should have the decency to say what show he's from.

From the Evangelion example:
*** They're both anti-heros, opposite sides of the coin. Shinji a nice (if kinda weak-willed) guy who can be pushed into doing a dangerous job because that's what people expect of him. Asuka's very strong-willed and quite obnoxious, but she'll volunteer for a suicide mission because it fits her self image (she is the best and the best should do the most important things). They're both anti-heros because their motives aren't heroic (they're both doing it for themselves, just for opposite reasons).

I folded some of the natter into the main bullet point; this paragraph is now unnecessary.
For Bleach why is Ichigo listed as an anti-hero? In what way are his goals non-traditional? He's pretty much a typical hero, and his powers being evil, especially considering he didn't willing choose for them to come from an evil source, make him an anti-hero? It has always been a characters goals, action and personality which make them an anti-hero.

Anyone who watches Sons of Anarchy care to way in on whether Jax counts as anti-hero or anti-villain?
Esteemed Leader: I'm going to cut Johnnythe Homicidal Maniac because he's not a hero in any way shape or form, just a... well, a homicidal maniac.
Beforet: Does Ender really count? I don't think killing two thugs in self-defense(and without knowing it) should qualify. And he didn't know that he was commiting genocide and even then he thought that they were a serious threat to the Earth. I won't delete, just bringing it up.