There are several variant forms of Angst
. There is Wangst
, the angst of whiners. There is Angst? What Angst?
, which is angst that is barely felt by heroes. Then there is Mangst, the angst of stoics
A man who feels Mangst is the kind of guy who carries around a picture of the wife and child
, both of whom were killed by the villain. Every once in a while he picks up that picture..... when no one is looking...
and stares at it for a couple of hours. He never talks to other people about his private pain
because several things keep him closed up about it. First, he's not the kind of guy to get all weepy
(unless you count the occasional bout of Manly Tears
). Second, he's not the kind of person who loads his problems on other people
Mangst usually involves a man trying to fix his problem, right the wrong, prevent his tragedy from occurring to someone else
, seek revenge
, etc. If he's not doing any of those things, it's because something's holding him back. He may have an inner monologue, during which the source of his Mangst gets a regular mention. However, to mitigate potential Angst Dissonance
, the character's monologue often is deceptively calm
One of the things that turns basic Angst
into Mangst is the source of the character's pain. When That One Case
involved someone dying (especially if it was an innocent kid
), the hero will most likely end up Mangsting
. Having one's wife or girlfriend horribly killed
is the most common cause of Mangst. Guilt over some past misdeed, or from failing to stop someone else's past misdeed, can also be a cause
You don't see many women Mangsting
though it does happen. However, female mangsters are more likely to be Broken Birds
who ultimately break down crying and need to be comforted
before all is said and done.
Compare Manly Tears
, which a Mangster occasionally engages in, but only in private. Often accompanied by Bad Dreams
or Drowning My Sorrows
. Very often the fuel which powers a Roaring Rampage of Revenge
. Mangst is generally the cause of a Mook Horror Show
. Often combined with Best Served Cold
— though just as often its combined with Best Served Steaming Hot With Lots Of Screaming
Often referred to as "manpain", outside of this wiki.
Not to be understood
as a Tropemanteau
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Anime and Manga
- Fullmetal Alchemist is a prime example in the manga and second anime.
- To begin with, our hero, Edward Elric carries on his shoulders the guilt of resurrecting his mother as a horrific THING and believing he killed her again, and damning his brother to life as a animate suit of armor in the process. He bottles this up for years and never once asks his brother if he blames him for this, all the while blaming himself. He even carved the date they burned down their home on the inside of his pocket watch so he'll be reminded whenever he checks the time. Note that this started when he was 11.
- There's Roy Mustang. A idealistic young soldier who learned flame alchemy to better protect his countrymen. Then he was brought into a genocidal war where he personally burned alive more of his own (ethnically and religiously different) countrymen than most people ever speak to. He's since becomed determined to change the country by becoming the Fuhrer and putting himself on war trials to save his subordinates. This has to be pointed out to the audience.
- Scar is one of those very people targeted in the Ishbalan Civil War. He lived through a genocide campaign which left his country erased, his people nearly extinguished, his family dead and his brother's arm grafted to his shoulder. Just as insult to injury, the arm also means he can use alchemy with ease; an act that as a former monk he views as sinful. He embarks on a ferocious Roaring Rampage of Revenge that he implies is supposed to end with suicide by State Alchemist. Some monolouging reveals that he's insane with grief for his people and family, and after encountering the daughter of a pair of doctors he murdered, he begins to change because she cuts close to home for him. Notably, his backstory is never divulged by him: Mei Chang has to learn of the Ishbalan genocide by a disenfranchised officer to realize why Scar pities her.
- InuYasha: Kagome, after breaking the jewel of four souls.
- Code Geass: Lelouch, many times, but most obviously over the whole 'massacre princess' incident.
- Naruto, being a series about ninjas with plenty of Angst, is naturally ridden with this.
- Naruto himself engaged in this for approximately one arc of the plot (Pain Invasion). Then he immediately went right back into Wangst, but then got out of the overall angst phase. For now...
- Kakashi is a better example. He doesn't usually talk about it, but his family, all of his original team and many of his close friends are dead. He makes sure to spend time every day remembering them (usually while standing in front of the monument to fallen heroes). However, once his angst is dealt with for the day, he returns to being his snarky cheerful self (albeit an hour or two late).
- Guts from Berserk. He's got plenty of things to Mangst about.
- Shiki from Tsukihime does this in Akiha's route, over Sacchin's death by Mercy Kill, a Tear Jerker in and of itself.
- Conrad from Kyou Kara Maou has lots of Mangst concerning what happened to Julia and the events of the war 20 years ago.
- Shizuo Heiwajima from Durarara!! is a very broken man. Nonetheless, any sort of angsting he does over it is restricted to occasional quiet chats he has with Celty
- In Sakura Wars, Maria, though female, engages in this kind of angst over the death of a former love interest (which she feels she should have prevented). She doesn't talk about it much, but sometimes she'll sit in her room with the door closed and stare sadly at his picture, and she frequently has Flashback Nightmares about it.
- Bleach is full of this, to the point that it's harder to find a character that doesn't have some kind of Mangst going on.
- Zoro from One Piece carries his dead friend's sword with him always and rarely if not never talks about it to the rest of the Straw Hats.
- Wolf's Rain: What do The Alcoholic with a vendetta against wolves, the gangster wolf Anti-Hero, The Chosen One, and the cynical leader of the pack who works the train-yard have in common? They're sure less likely to break down in front of Cheza than Darcia or Toboe...
- Joe Asakura of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman spends the first series with a serious hate on for Galactor. When he was a child, his parents were murdered by a Galactor assassin — who then tried to kill him.
- Balsa of Seirei no Moribito is the rare female example, living her life as The Atoner and never unloading her feelings on someone else.
- Mangst over the death of his fiance is Stig Bernard's motivation in Genesis Climber MOSPEADA. He caries a holo-locket that she gave him, and often looks at it meaningfully before going into battle. He has a monologue or two, too.
- Yoshino from Zetsuen no Tempest. His girlfriend Aika died a year before the plot begins, but because he was in a Secret Relationship with her, he maintains a calm and cool exterior regarding her death. He is so good at keeping this a secret that even though all the other characters know he has a girlfriend and that Aika had a boyfriend, he has managed to convince everyone that said girlfriend/boyfriend are other people. But whenever he is alone, Yoshino often looks sadly at pictures of Aika on his cell phone or old text messages she sent him before her death. Much later in the series, when Hakaze admits she's in love with him, he finally lets her in on the identity of his girlfriend. Hakaze is astonished that he could be so emotionless regarding her death, which leads to a massive emotional breakdown for Yoshino when he tries to maintain his facade but quickly breaks and ends up crying in Hakaze's arms while relating to her how he nearly went catatonic upon learning of Aika's death and his doubt that he will ever be happy in a world without her.
- Marv from Sin City is filled to the brim with Mangst after Goldie's murder.
- Batman. There is a reason his dead parents get mentioned on average every second issue.
- Other heroes tend to either roll their eyes at this or take it way too seriously. The former think his coping mechanism is whacked and he must be dangerously close to insanity because of it, while the latter have gone through much worse (like the Martian Manhunter, whose planet was decimated and family killed, and unlike Superman, actually remembers them) yet still think that Batman's experience was so horrible that it excuses Jerk Ass behavior that wouldn't be tolerated from anyone else.
- Perhaps a bit of Fridge Brilliance on the Manhunter's part, if he's aware of the fact that Batman has total recall (which he very well could, being psychic). In that case, it's not what happened to Batman, but the fact that because he has an eidetic memory, the pain of his parents' deaths has never and will never fade.
- The Punisher.
Film — Animation
- Epic: Ronin's facial expressions show that he's visibly upset over Tara's death well, but he takes it in stride.
- Eddard Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire is a loving father and husband, a firm and just ruler, a decent warrior, and a honest and down-to-earth advisor to his friend King Robert. However, chapters from his point of view show that he is forever plagued with grief over the loss of his sister Lyanna in the civil war some fifteen years ago. He often recalls a promise he made at her deathbed, but the books have yet to reveal what that promise was. Being a stoic, he never shows any of his inner torment to others.
- Seregil in the Nightrunner series has a massive case of this. He basically feels guilty about, well, pretty much everything and studiously resists the efforts of those closest to him to get him to talk about any of it. He just undertakes a variety of efforts to correct any harm he has caused (including some instances that were not his fault). But often he needs to be manhandled by his family, friends and partner when he gets too melancholy and/or does something stupid.
- Odo in ''Star Trek: The Fall''. He was always a stoic character, given to keeping his identity issues bottled up and rarely showing his feelings to others, but after the only person who really, truly matters to him is left missing-presumed-dead, and he no longer believes his home nation would benefit more from his direct manipulation than his absence, he spends his time mangsting away.
- The readers know that Harry Dresden carries around a lot of angst, but he rarely expresses it outside his inner monologue, only admitting it to a few very trusted friends.
Films — Live-Action
- Desmond on LOST does this plenty.
- Derek Reese from The Sarah Connor Chronicles did this a lot.
- His brother Kyle, from the original movie qualifies also, though less so.
- A female (sorta) example of this is Cameron, who shows the closest thing to emotionless angst over the various problems she has, including a private but deep-down fear that she will "go bad" again and try to kill John. In fact, this fear and the conflict in her programming is a defining element of her character. It is mostly internalized and she doesn't talk about it, except very occasionally when she contemplates issues about suicide, or when she asks Sarah if she's like a bomb waiting to go off.
- Giles on Buffy tends to do this quite a bit. Notably, he did this when Joyce Summers died. He sat in his house, drinking scotch and listening to Tales of Brave Ulysses, a song that both he and Joyce had enjoyed.
- Buffy pulls this in season five, and it's part of Riley's own angst. When her mom is sick, she waits until she's alone to cry about it, and turns the music up real loud, to boot.
- Faith in season 4 of Angel: after being defeated by Angelus, and just narrowly escaping, she cries while taking a shower of mangst and takes her frustrations out of the tiles.
- Patrick Jane epitomizes this trope: intense tragedy about which he generally will not speak, revenge seeking, and a single bout of Manly Tears - all wrapped up and hidden behind a Jerkass Façade with a side helping of The Atoner.
- Leroy Jethro Gibbs; for the first three seasons neither the audience nor the other characters are is aware of the fact that his first wife and child were murdered by a Mexican thug after witnessing a crime. Gibbs being Gibbs, the drug lord has been more than dealt with. The emotional issues, though...that's another story.
- In The Wire Omar Little, the ultimate badass, does this quite a bit. When his boyfriend is brutally tortured and murdered, he channels his pain into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. He does the same thing in the fifth season when his friend Butchie is murdered to get to him. It doesn't go well.
- Most of the major male characters on Spartacus: Blood and Sand, especially Spartacus himself. Although the death of his wife has made him a Crusading Widower leading a Gladiator Revolt, he does not use it as a rallying cry and indeed generally only speaks of her to the people he is closest to. It does interfere with his subsequent romances though, as he cannot get past it, nor does he even seem to want to try.
- The Winchester brothers from Supernatural can be like this, though most of the time it's just Wangst.
- Bobby, however, fits this trope to a tee. He secretly mangsts about the death of his wife and her zombification, which he mainly deals with via alcoholism and gruffness. One good thing about the Bobby character is that he tends to get the Winchesters to man up and not be so wangsty. And Meg seems to mangsts a little about Lucifer's death, although of course, she might just be acting.
- When John dies to save Dean's life, Sam keeps asking Dean if he's all right and tries to get him to express himself, but Dean just refuses to talk about it. When he's alone, however, he smashes his beloved car.
- Cain from Tin Man. Considering he's an Darker and Edgier counterpart to Nick Chopper from the original Oz books, this makes sense. Eight years in a metal coffin with the holographic recording of his family's torture on an endless loop...Yeah, he's got some of this to burn off.
- Vince of The Cape, who started out as a devoted and loving father but is framed and supposedly killed. The only things he can do for his family now is to protect them as a costumed vigilante and occasionally give his son "messages from his father".
- Vorenus from Rome. His total stoicism is ironically the cause of much of his angst, since he has trouble adjusting to civilian life with his family after years of fighting in the army.
- Harold Finch (of Person of Interest) had to fake his own death because the government is after him to kill him and anyone connected to him because of the wildly powerful computer system he built for them, letting his fiancee believe him dead so she will be safe and can occasionally be seen gazing at a photo of her or very occasionally watching her from a distance.
- Justin of Wizards of Waverly Place, when he lost Juliet.
- Oblivion, the opening song of Crack the Skye by Mastodon absolutely drips with this trope.
- The entire album pretty much falls under this trope.
- The Rolling Stones: Paint It Black. Classic.
- Sludge Metal band Crowbar is pretty much the musical embodiment of this trope.
- Squall from Final Fantasy VIII deconstructs this one pretty brutally. So he never met his parents, never really got along with the other orphans, and was abandoned by his "sister". Sure there's the traditional manliness where he's always there for his True Companions, no matter what, even if he won't say that he cares for them, but the solution to his personal problem? Never have close relationships again. He gets better, because Love Redeems.
- Auron of Final Fantasy X has a laundry list of reasons to cry himself to sleep every night, were he so inclined. But the only way you'll hear about them is from comments by others, recordings by Jecht, the echoing visions of Zanarkand (which he seems to resent), and direct questioning by other characters. Only ONCE in the entire game does he ever volunteer any hint of his pain... then he walks away like a badass, ending the conversation before anybody can dump their pity on him.
"Legendary guardian? I was just a boy. A boy about your age, actually. I wanted to change the world, too. But I changed nothing. That is my story.
- Snow is definitely in this territory as of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII after Serah died in the previous game. He drowns out the pain by simply focusing on managing the city of Yusnaan, and working on absorbing the ungodly amount of Chaos that threatens to engulf the city.
- Heidern fits the article description word for word. Yet he is currently commanding a top-rate mercenary squad and raised an adopted daughter with a Superpowered Evil Side. And he kicks ass.
- The World Ends with You has Beat. He beaks out into Manly Tears on Beat Day 4, but all and all he's doing it to save his dead little sister.
- Betrayal at Krondor has Gorath, whose entire life has been tough decisions upon tough decisions (with the occasional sprinkling of disaster and tragedy), but - as befits a badass 260-year-old dark elf chieftain - keeps a tight lid on it, because he's wise and tough enough to draw whatever conclusions need drawing, take it like a man, and move on the next objective already.
- Female example, (well, sort of...) Samara from Mass Effect 2. She gave up her retirement and half her life to go hunt down and kill her daughter, a Depraved Bisexual who kills people by having sex with them. If you try to console her, she gets slightly pissy.
- Garrus Vakarian as well. Has had his life fall apart and by the time Shepard finds him he's hold up and being assaulted by mercenaries. What does he do? He channels it all into being Space Batman and turns his disappointment in having his former Band of Brothers killed into unrelenting hatred for the one who betrayed him and even then Shepard can teach him to forgive.
- BioWare shoots for this pretty often, especially on their Mr. Fanservice. Sky is hunting Gao the Greater's slavers (and tends to extend the vendetta to any slaver). Carth Onasi is hunting his Smug Snake of a former commander who turned his planet into ash, killed his wife, and turned his son to the Dark Side.
- Max Payne deals with the death of his wife and child by shooting up entire armies of mobsters and thinking in metaphors.
- John Marston displays shades of this trope. He tells people that his wife and child are being kept by the government (and he does it in copious amounts), but channels it into anger against the government.
- Gears of War, or more exactly, Marcus, Dom, and Cole. Marcus does it because of a shitty childhood. Dom's kids were killed, his brother, and he had to euthanize his wife. Cole never got to say a lot of things to his Momma. Now that she's dead, he still writes her letters to tell her things so that he can vent his problems. Not too sure about Baird though; he's just an asshole hiding his problems with Deadpan Snarkery.
- Alistair in Dragon Age: Origins, on the death of his mentor. Sten keeps his very much to himself. Oghren vacillates between this and Angst? What Angst?, though he can descend into Wangst. Loghain, if he lives to be The Atoner, though he'll more often deflect it with bitterness. Nathaniel Howe in Awakening, over the actions of his father in Origins.
- The Warden themselves can be played as this. Notable examples being, the Human Noble having their entire family murdered by Arl Howe, the Dwarf Noble was framed for the murder of their older brother and exiled and the Dalish Elf's best friend ending up a ghoul after being infected with the Darkspawn Taint.
- If having played a male Warden who pursued a romance with Morrigan, this is invoked by your companion Ariane in Witch Hunt when she notices that The Warden unconsciously fiddles with the ring that Morrigan gave him when he thinks no-one is looking.
- It continues into Dragon Age II. Hawke has his/her younger brother/sister killed during the introduction, which deeply affects both of them and their mother in different ways. Aveline has a female version of this as her husband Wesley also dies during the intro, though a bit of Character Development through the first two acts actually let her get over it. Fenris was an elf slave of a Tevinter Magister, who underwent a ritual that grafted lyrium into his skin like tattoos, which are actually quite beautiful and grant him phenomenal melee abilities, but were so agonizing they completely wiped all memory of his life; Fenris is a very, very, VERY angry elf. Finally there's Varric, betrayed by his brother and left to die at the end of Act I, with his Companion Quest in act II being raw revenge where you convince him to either kill Bartrand or care for him in his now-maddened state. He plays it off as Angst? What Angst? but the occasional slip shows it really does have him broken up.
- Boone, from Fallout: New Vegas could well be the poster boy for this trope. His pregnant wife, Carla, is dead, he's not speaking to his best friend (who may have feelings for him), and he's still hurting about having been at Bittersprings and being forced to kill dozens of non-combatants, including women and children. Yikes.
- Jim Raynor spends pretty much all of StarCraft II in this state over Kerrigan getting turned into the Queen of Blades
- Aya Brea from the Parasite Eve games tends toward this. An elevator ride toward the end of the first game demonstrates it nicely: while waiting for it to stop, she briefly indulges in a private "woe is me" moment, but as soon as those doors open, her gun's ready and she says what amounts to "welp, back to work."
- Virtually anyone who deals with angst in the Sengoku Basara series has this, since even the women possess manly souls. Mitsunari might be the only exception, being extremely vocal about his feelings of despair.
- Believe it or not, Asura from Asura's Wrath fits this perfectly, and is probably one of the most well written examples of this. His anger and own bouts of Mangst can be attributed not just to his Wife being Killed and his Daughter being kidnapped and being imprisoned for 12,000 years, but also at the cruelty done by his former allies, that killed and kidnapped said wife and daughter, to regular humans and the suffering of the planet of Gaea's people. And when a Little girl that looks just like his daughter get killed in a bomabing raid by one of his former allies, he goes into both this and a massive rage AT THE SAME TIME!
- The Interactive Fiction game Tears of a Tough Man featured the dead-girlfriend variety.