Blue Is Heroic

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What a fantastic color!

"Do you see it, Zamasu? The future...THE FUTURE IS BURNING BLUE!!"
Future Trunks as he prepares to defeat Zamasu with his new Laser Blade technique, Dragon Ball Z Abridged

While a lot of heroes tend to use red as their primary or differentiating color, there is another color that is used arguably just as often. And that color is blue.

While red is usually used to convey a hero of active action and energizing leadership (usually out of its association with fire), blue on the other hand usually conveys one that is more down to earth, cool-headed and may use his wits and intelligence to lead others (usually out of its association with water).

Where red gets associated with heroes because it's passionate and intense, blue gets associated with heroes because it's trustworthy and resolute.

Blue, especially the lighter-to-medium tones or combined with white, is often associated with calmness, kindness of heart and connection with the heavens, making it one of, if not the most common color to convey good. Thus, when the hero and the villain are color-coded to differentiate them from one another, the hero usually gets blue in some form (ironically enough, villains get red instead).

Another common way of invoking this trope is by, rather than applying the color to the costume, doing it in other iconic features, like Frickin' Laser Beams, Battle Aura, Laser Blade, Sword Lines, Sword Beam, and other forms of Power Glows. This is particularly common in anime, where color coding using the costumes is not used that often. Sometimes, also portraying the hero in an Unnaturally Blue Lighting has a similar effect.

In Video Games that involve some kind of team work (either with other human players, NPCs or controlling all the units directly), blue is also usually the to-go color to indicate the party controlled by the player, in contrast with red for enemies and green/yellow for allies. Specially if said party is supposed to be a heroic one.

May overlap with You Gotta Have Blue Hair in Japanese media, Pink Girl, Blue Boy for contrasting a male hero with his Love Interest, and True Blue Femininity in heroines.

A Sub-Trope of Good Colors, Evil Colors.

When Blue Is Heroic and Red Is Heroic are both applied to the same character you get a Primary-Color Champion.

A Sister Trope to Water Is Blue, Heavenly Blue and Red Is Heroic.

Compare Innocent Blue Eyes, Red Oni, Blue Oni, Heroes Prefer Swords, Color-Coded Characters, Purple Is Powerful and Law of Chromatic Superiority.

Contrast Creepy Blue Eyes, Occult Blue Eyes and Blue with Shock.

Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Ichigo Kurosaki from Bleach zigzags between this and Red Is Heroic. His spirit pressure in his normal Shinigami stage has a light blue color, as well as his Getsuga Tenshou technique. When he activates his Bankai, however, it turns black and red. However, when he activates his Final Getsuga Tenshou, it turns black and blue.
  • Death Note has L as a Hero Antagonist version of this trope. L is usually associated with the blue color, while Light Yagami is associated with red. This usually represented in the lighting they get.
  • Most of the heroes from the Dragon Ball franchise usually portray their Ki Manipulation with this color (Although occasionally some studios have used yellow instead). The most iconic examples, the legendary Kame Hame Ha wave, which is always this color, as well as the Spirit Bomb.
    • The appropriately-named Super Saiyan Blue form achieved by Goku and Vegeta in Super gives off a vibrant electric blue aura, as well as turning their hair blue. It is the most powerful Super Saiyan transformation to date, outclassing their famed Golden Super Mode forms of Dragon Ball past.
  • Saber, from the Fate/stay night franchise. She wears a blue Battle Ballgown. The Visual Novel also usually depict her attacks with blue Sword Lines (as seen in the trope image). The ufotable anime adaptation of Fate/Zero, as well as the upcoming remake of the original Stay Night, also feature that. (The exception would be the Excalibur attack, which power is symbolized by a golden light.)
  • Blue and red are the heroes' favorite colors in the Mazinger universe:
  • Played with in Naruto with Sasuke Uchiha. Before the Time Skip, he was usually associated with blue due to his costume. However, after his Face–Heel Turn, he drops that color almost completely. Even when he gets his most powerful attacks, his Chakra turns purple.
  • Shinji Ikari, the main protagonist from Neon Genesis Evangelion, whose pilot suit is blue in contrast with the other pilots (white for Rei, red for Asuka, black for Kaworu and pink for Mari). When it comes to the main trio of the pilots, Shinji is the most levelheaded one (though he is also somewhat ineffectual due to his timidness), compared to the action-oriented and passionate but also impulsive Asuka, and the cold and logical Rei who is also completely obedient and lack any instincts towards self-preservation.
  • Pokémon: Satoshi/Ash usually wears a blue jacket/shirt and blue jeans as his main outfit per series. His Diamond & Pearl outfit is a black top with very blue pants, while his Best Wishes outfit is a blue top with black pants. He is also associated with the color blue.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: Himura Kenshin is usually portrayed in an Unnaturally Blue Lighting when he's executing his techniques, while his opponents do in different colors.
  • Seiya from Saint Seiya, whose Cosmos and attacks all glow in this color. The Pegasus armor usually gets a blue hue as well, which is specially prominent in the manga. The anime tends to go for a Primary-Color Champion by mixing with some red clothes under the armor and some yellow ornaments.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman:
    • Ken, the team leader, wears sky-blue gloves, boots and belt.
    • Joe, his second-in-command, wears a dark-blue cloak and blue gloves and boots.
  • Super Dimension Century Orguss: Main character Kei Katsuragi's combat outfit is blue and white.
  • Simon, main character of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, whose clothes are prominently blue. Including his hair and his eyes for good measure.
  • The titular mecha of Xabungle is prominently blue.
  • Rosario + Vampire: Kurumu Kurono has blue hair, and is one of the main protagonists.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman sometimes has a blue batsuit (especially the cape and cowl) in some iterations. He tends to be more... stable, when he's depicted in that one (albeit not always).
  • Despite his name, Black Lightning's costume sports a dark blue costume with prominent bright blue trims.
  • Captain America. Albeit his costume is supposed to represent the American flag, blue is by far the most prominent color. This helps to drive home his straight leadership in The Avengers.
    • His fellow Avenger Hawkeye even wears a combination of blue and (royal?) purple, but does not that often appear in a leadership role.
  • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl, both main characters wear blue: Supergirl's outfit is sky-blue and Batgirl's suit is dark-blue (and her first Batgirl costume was indigo).
  • The Fantastic Four. Full stop. All four of them wear iconic blue skin-tight jump suits. They started out with sky blue suits offset by black gloves and boots, under John Byrne the got dark blue (almost black) suits with white gloves and boots, and from then on the look changed again now and then.
  • A-Bomb, Rick Jones's mutated form, resembles the Hulk villain Abomination with the exception of being colored blue. Though he resembles the Abomination, A-Bomb is more heroic than his green colored villainous counterpart and is an ally of Hulk.
  • Miracleman, AKA Marvelman. Partly because he was originally a Captain Ersatz of superhero Captain Marvel, and by extension, an Expy of Superman.
  • Nightwing's traditional costume uses a prominent blue trim, symbolizing his more level-headed attitude in comparison to Batman.
  • Power Girl wears buccaneer blue boots and gloves.
  • Spider-Man has a largely blue costume, although the shade changed over time. In his very first appearance in Amazing Fantasy the costume was more red and black, but soon after the black (with blue highlights) became blue (with black shading). It should be noted that in his darker days, he has been known to wear a black costume to reflect just how mean he's gonna get.
  • Supergirl wears a female version of the Superman costume. She has worn many different costumes through the decades, but they are always blue (with two exceptions: one of the Linda Danvers' outfits and her Red Lantern uniform). In Krypton No More she wears her "hot pants" seventies blue costume.
  • As part of his Primary-Color Champion status, Superman's suit is prominently blue. Specially after the New 52, where he dropped the red underwear. Although the big red cape is just as prominent, the blue suit conveys more Superman's gentle and kind nature. A Fan Nickname for Superman is "The Big Blue Boyscout".
  • Dr. Manhattan, from Watchmen, is a pretty unique tragic, borderline Anti-Hero example.
  • Cyclops, the team leader of the X-Men, is usually depicted in a blue spandex in more modern versions. Another iconic example in the same series would be the Beast, with his blue fur, which matches his intelligence and kind nature. Iceman has been known to wear white-sky blue combinations, and one of Jean Grey's most-loved costumes was the blue-orange combo she got from Jim Lee.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animation 
  • Played with in Wreck-It Ralph. Fix-it Felix Jr., the Adorkable Nice Guy is dressed all in blue, in opposition to Ralph's red. In the Fix-It Felix Jr. game, they're The Hero and the Big Bad respectively. However, the story of the movie itself is about Ralph trying to move away from his role as a villain and trying to become a hero of his own. Felix, on the other hand, moves to a Lancer role, but without losing any of his heroic traits.
  • Zootopia: Like other members of the Zootopia Police Department, Judy wears a blue uniform. Nick also wears a blue uniform after becoming a cop.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Noble Savage Humanoid Aliens Na'vi from Avatar are blue skinned.
  • Zig-zagged in Jurassic World with Blue the Velociraptor. Blue has a blue color scheme, but isn't exactly heroic. However, that's because of her and her sisters' natural predatory instincts, not out of pure evilness. Blue and her sisters turn on the humans, but don't try to hurt Owen. And when confronted with the I. rex, she and her sisters fight it off to protect Owen.
  • The Master of Disguise subverts this, as it's actually the villainous Devlin Bowman whose surroundings are often lit with blue lighting, and he wears blue shirts under his white suits. Word of God was that this was a stylistic choice to have seens with Bowman feel cold and menacing (as opposed to the Disguiseys' world which had lots of warmer colors like red and gold).
  • Probably the most iconic example in the medium is the blue lightsaber from the Star Wars series, usually associated with the Jedi, in contrast with red lightsabers for the Sith. With the exception of Return of the Jedi, when green was used instead due to technical difficultiesnote , the main heroes have always used a blue one more often than not.
    • Played with in the prequel trilogy with the the laser beams from the Clone army, and during the Anakin Vs Obi-Wan duel. Considering how blue is used prominently as the color of good in this series, this helps to establish the morally messed-up situation of the Clone Wars. Especially in the duel. General Grievous, who is absolutely evil, uses blue and green lightsabers, but this is justified by the fact that he takes these from the Jedi he kills. In fact, he has a whole collection of them.
    • Subverted in a crapload of non-movie material. Lightsaber blades come in many colors, not just blue, green, or red. Yellow, orange, gold, even black and white have been seen in the novels, comics, video games, and television series.
  • In the TRON universe, the User-believer (heroic) Programs (and protagonist Users) have bright cyan Tron Lines. Becomes a plot point in the filmed sequel where after being Reforged into a Minion, Tron's circuitry is bright red. When he breaks free of Clu's corruption, his circuits revert to their original blue
  • X-Men Film Series: Blue is commonly tied to gentleness, tranquility and intelligence, which are the hallmarks of Professor Charles Xavier—the franchise's Big Good—so naturally it's part of his Color Motif. Fittingly for a man with an androgynous disposition, blue is also linked to masculinity and femininity; his parental authority is rooted in the blend of his Team Dad and Team Mom aspects. In his very first on-screen appearance, he wears a blue suit. In X-Men: First Class, Charles is introduced as a scholarly kid in blue-and-white pajamas whose instinct is to be charitable towards a starving mutant girl, laying the foundation of his future ascent into an All-Loving Hero and a Guile Hero. As an adult, blue is routinely incorporated into his apparel, and he's the Allegorical Character for serenity. In X-Men: Days of Future Past, his past self is subjected to a Palette Swap that marks the return of his familiar blues and greys to designate that he has taken up the mantle of being a hero again. In X-Men: Apocalypse, he's only garbed in blue after he concludes his transition from a schoolteacher to a leader of mutantkind.
  • Evil Dead: Ash Williams, the main Anti-Hero of the series, is almost always shown wearing a blue shirt.

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 

    Mythology 
  • The heroic god Vishnu and his avatars from Hindu Mythology are blue skinned.

    Religion 
  • The Virgin Mary is typically seen in blue in apparitions. Our Lady of Fatima (1917) appeared to the children wearing a gown and mantle of white with gold trim and a crown. Our Lady of Lourdes (1858) appeared to Bernadette wearing a simple gown and mantle of white with a blue sash. Our Lady of Guadalupe (1531) appeared to Juan Diego wearing a gown of rose and a mantle of blue with gold stars. Blue has been a color associated with royalty, peace, and nature.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Ultramarines, lauded as the most honorable of Space Marine Chapters, have — guess — ultramarine shade of blue as their primary color.
    • Inverted with Tzeentch, whose main color is blue and who's a Smug Snake-esque God of Evil.
    • The World Eaters, now feared as a force of Ax-Crazy Blood Knight berserkers, used to be gray-blue before their Face–Heel Turn. Their armor is now entirely red and brass, the colors of the Blood God Khorne.
    • The Space Wolves, among the most heroic (by modern standards) Chapters, have armor that's somewhere between light blue and grey.

    Video Games 
  • In the single-player campaigns of the Age of Empires series and its spinoff Age of Mythology, you always control a blue army. The one exception is in one of Arkantos's dreams.
  • The Knights of Justice from Black Moon Chronicles use blue everywhere, to the point where they all use You Gotta Have Blue Hair in a Medieval European Fantasy.
  • Alucard in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is a heroic vampire that favors an embroidered teal longcoat and is generally associated with blue, in contrast to his father (who dresses in red).
  • Kasumi, main heroine of the Dead or Alive franchise. Her most iconic outfit is a blue kimono.
  • Elsword: Chung, one of the playable characters, is color coded with blue, and unlike the main protagonist Elsword, Chung is more heroic, noble and innnocent (being a prince helps).
  • Cloud Strife, from Final Fantasy VII displays a blue Battle Aura in the compilation works.
  • The Fire Emblem series. With a couple of exceptions, the main protagonist is always depicted with a distinguishable blue hair, with blue clothes to boot.
  • Guilty Gear: Ky Kiske is primarily associated with blue and he's the more straight-up heroic (to a fault) out of the two main protagonists.
  • In Highborn, the Highborn army and buildings they control are blue. It's even Lampshaded by some of the characters, who occasionally say something to the effect of "Oh, he's blue, so he's on the Highborn side". When you play as the Decay in the third chapter, they become blue and the enemy Highborn become red instead.
  • Just Cause 2 invert this with the Roaches, one of the three allied armies that can help Rico Rodriguez in his mission. While the Reapers (red) and Ullar Boys (yellow) serve as the freedom fighters and are morally ambiguous at best, the Roaches are a criminal gang that dress in blue outfits and are considered the worst of the three.
  • BioWare games with a Karma Meter (Knights of the Old Republic, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Jade Empire, Mass Effect) will use blue backgrounds for "good" or traditionally heroic characters and red for more anti-heroic or amoral characters. Your character will start out with a gray background and it becomes more blue or red depending on your characters' in-game choices.
  • In the world of League of Legends, the two most important nations are Noxus and Demacia. Noxians, who wear red, value strength in any form and see brutal ambition as positive thing. Demacians value justice, benevolence and selflessness. They wear blue.
  • Though he's associated mostly with green, Link from the The Legend of Zelda series usually gets blue as a prominent secondary color by the Master Sword, whose hilt is purplish-blue, and all his forms of Sword Lines, Sword Beam and such, light blue. Also, the Hylian Shield.
    • Played completely straight in Breath of the Wild. Albeit the player can put different clothes, blue is by far the most common color in his wardrobe, and he is shown with the Champion's Tunic, a blue shirt, in the promotional material. Zelda and the Champions also wear their own Non-Uniform Uniform variants with the same blue motif.
  • Mega Man, also known as the "Blue Bomber" because of the color of his body, which is mostly blue. Same goes through his other incarnations in the Sequel Series. Notably, they always tend to be innocent or noble-minded in contrast to other characters, although it never stops them from getting stronger.
    • Downplayed in Mega Man Star Force, where Omega-Xis (the MegaMan incarnation of the series) had more selfish motives, at least at first, and he seems to be quite a brash Blood Knight.
    • Subverted in Mega Man Zero: The hero Zero is red, and the Big Bad Copy X is blue (and the antithesis of real X in almost every way).
  • Solid Snake from the Metal Gear series. His sneaking suits are usually dark greyish-blue, specially in Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.
  • Beck from Mighty No. 9 has a predominant color of blue in his color scheme partly due to being the Spiritual Successor of Mega Man.
  • Mortal Kombat: Several heroic fighters are associated with the blue color:
    • Raiden, the Thunder God protector of Earth is dressed in both white and blue. When he goes the Knight Templar route, he ditches these colors for black and grey.
    • Kurtis Stryker wears blue as part of his cop uniform.
    • Princess Kitana is also dressed in blue, although she is introduced as one of Shao Kahn's minions, she turns on him and assist the Earthrealmers.
    • The second Sub-Zero, in contrast to his older brother and predecessor, is devoted in defending Earthrealm alongside its champions.
  • Onmyōji: Seimei's default attire is mainly light blue and he has a kind, calm and level-headed, if not stoic personality.
  • In Blizzard games Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm, the player team is always blue, and enemies are always red. Yes, players from BOTH teams see themselves as blue. Which kinda makes it difficult to root for some teams on championships when they are colored red, since, when playing, you always want red to fail.
  • The main hero from Persona 3 is associated with dark blue.
  • In PlanetSide 1, the New Conglomerate freedom fighters deck out all their equipment in blue trimmed with gold highlights. In comparison, the oppressive Terran Republic has black and red equipment and the fanatical Precursors-worshiping Vanu Sovereignty uses purple and cyan. Averted in the sequel which trends towards Grey and Gray Morality, where the NC are backed by Mega Corps and Private Military Contractors only in it for the profit margins, and the Terran Republic is a democracy forced into drastic measures.
  • Sparkster, the main protagonist of the Rocket Knight Adventures series, has a light blue armor which is put in contrast with his Evil Counterpart, Axel Gear, who wears a suit of dark purple armor (Red in the 2010 game, Rocket Knight), as well as the green armor of Emperor Devligus Devotindos' Pig Soldiers in the original game, and the purple armor of King Gedol's Lizard soldiers in the Genesis sequel, Sparkster: Rocket Knight Adventures 2.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog. His blueness represents freedom and clear blue skies, as well as his generally easygoing nature. This is put in contrast with Eggman's redness as well as Knuckles' intense red and Shadow's red accents.
  • Raynor's Raiders in the StarCraft games are blue-armored (in the first one. You sometimes play as the red Sons of Korhal, but go back to blue once you leave them after their Face–Heel Turn).
    • Enter The Daelaam, the whole Protoss Fleet in StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void where you are permanently blue in the bulk of the entire campaign fighting the forces of Amon.
      • Ditto to their allies, the Terran Dominion and the Kerrigan-controlled Swarm are sky blue and indigo respectively.
  • Although Mario and Luigi are mostly associated with red and green, respectively, both brothers wear blue overalls. Likewise with Princess Peach, who is mostly associated with the color pink, but she always wears her sapphire blue earrings and brooch.
  • Inverted in Supreme Commander, where the blue-painted UEF are the most morally ambiguous of the first three factions.
  • The Alliance campaign of Warcraft III gives you blue-armored units (unlike Warcraft II and Starcraft, there are no faction-specific colors).
  • The generally-heroic Ultramarines of Warhammer 40K, as their name indicates, have blue armor. To a lesser extent, the Space Wolves (who use grey-blue) who are more Chaotic Good.
  • Shulk from Xenoblade, by the blue Laser Blade of the Monado (both the original and the replica) and, specially, the intense blue glow of his eyes each time he has a vision of the future. This eye glow eventually evolves into a full-fledged blue Battle Aura.

    Web Comics 
  • Ben Remmy from Façade. His whole body is blue.
  • In Homestuck, both human protagonists are blue-themed.

    Web Original 
  • The shield of the Knights of Fandom is blue and white. This is partly because they are situated on Tumblr, which uses the same color scheme, but it was also deliberately chosen for this trope.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • The Trope Codifier is probably the wargame Kriegsspiel, which was developed as a teaching tool for Prussian army officers. Since the color of the Prussian uniforms was blue, it became the default color for friendly units and red the color for hostiles.
  • Americans portraying themselves as heroes in the Cold War will have the United States represented by blue mostly due to the Soviet Union officially using red to represent itself (red being the color of communism and all.)
  • A lot of police forces around the world choose some shade of blue as the primary color for their uniforms.
    • This dates back to the founding of the Metropolitan Police in London. There was a huge public opposition to having a government controlled force of men on the streets. In one of the earliest experiments with PR, the uniforms were designed to be Navy blue instead of Army green, which had the connotations of a defensive force rather than an occupying army.
  • In Spanish, there's the term príncipe azul. It literally means "blue prince," but it's often used to mean "knight in shining armor" or "prince charming."
    • The Italian language has an equivalent of this expression: "principe azzurro."

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