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- Shun from Bakugan. Shun is one of the calmest and quietest characters in the franchise. He is also a loner who wishes to become a ninja. He trains with his grandfather. Along with Dan, he created the rules of Bakugan and thus is one of the best players out there. Unlike most, Shun uses wind attributes. Shun has long, black hair and dresses in either purple or green depending on the season. Shun has a troubled past due to having an Ill Girl mother. In the Japanese version she dies but the English dub censored it and had her fall into a coma instead.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky Kai from Beyblade is this to Takao. He's considered one of the best bladers in the world but is never allowed to beat Takao. He also has a Heel–Face Revolving Door and is very asocial. Kai is stoic but has a soft spot for his team. His main Beyblade is a fire type and he sports a Scarf Of Ass Kicking.
- Kyoya from Metal Fight Beyblade is Gingka's main rival. He is a very cocky and arrogant boy. He was originally the leader of a gang called the "Face Hunters" who would bully others and steal their Beypoints. Similar to Kai, Kyoya never beats Gingka. While Kyoya's colour palette isn't exactly dark, he favors darker tones like brown and black in contrast to the brighter primary colours of the others.
- Grimmjow from Bleach, despite his limited appearances. He always had a desire to defeat Ichigo at his strongest after getting scarred by his Getsuga Tenshou and briefly fought for the good guys in order to fight him one more time.
- Shaoran Li of Cardcaptor Sakura is a Deconstruction. He starts off as this to Sakura, though as time passes more dents in his stoic antisocial attitude start to appear. Midway through the series he actually starts to gain a schoolboy crush on Sakura, with his rivalry towards her slowly fading in favor of him becoming a Dogged Nice Guy.
- Dragon Ball.
- Vegeta is one of the Trope Codifiers. He started as a Arc Villain and after he was defeated by Goku and co. He would then make it his life purpose to surpass Goku and later pulls a gives into evil in an attempt to defeat Goku. He would later regret his actions and pull a true Heel–Face Turn.
- Piccolo could qualify as well. At one point he is Goku's Arch-Nemesis where he treated Goku as a Worthy Rival. However he comes to pull Heel–Face Turn where he remains very stoic, serious and calculating to contrast Goku's Book Dumb and impulsiveness.
- Fairy Tail has two:
- The first is Gray Fullbuster who introduced as Natsu first rival. They would constantly bicker and fight before being broken up Erza.
- The second is Gajeel Redfox, who is introduced as a villain. He's also a more much straighter example as his origins are very similar to Natsu. As both were raised by raised and taught by dragons.
- Haikyuu!!: Subverted with Kageyama. Compared to friendly, energetic, inexperienced Hinata, Kageyama is an acknowledged prodigy who thought himself better than his teammates, has an antisocial personality, and a terrible temper. He decimates Hinata's team in the prologue and Hinata swears revenge upon him. However, when they end up on the same team (rendering their rivalry pretty much moot), he defrosts and learns The Power of Friendship alongside Hinata, eventually becoming less of rivals and more of close friends with him. Their hair colors and names even contrast.
- Subverted with Killua from Hunter × Hunter. He fits most of the criteria, but is actually Gon's best friend. Killua has elements of an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy and is very much a Blood Knight who enjoys fighting. He was raised to be a Professional Killer but wants to quit and have a more normal life. Killua used to be a Sociopathic Hero and was a Tyke-Bomb but since meeting Gon has learned to be less violent.
- In My Hero Academia, where Midoriya is a subdued Stock Shonen Hero, he has his stock rivals:
- Bakugou is first as Midoriya's childhood friend turned bully. He is very arrogant and initially looked down on the quirkless Midoriya. However he's the Hot-Blooded one (and so rude that he actually fails his hero tests because he gets close to brutalizing the people he's supposed to be saving) and wears orange in contrast to much more calculating, dark green wearing Midoriya. Intrerestingly, while he's pretty blatantly set to follow the "Rival Turned Evil" path a la Sasuke Uchiha below from the get-go (to the point even the people In-Universe point this out and treat him like a ticking time bomb), he completely defies it when the villains' organization offers him membership early on.
- Todoroki is the son of one of the second-best hero in Japan and is pressured to follow in his father's footsteps, has a Dark and Troubled Past, possesses tremendous power that Midoriya can barely match, and has a broody, loner personality to contrast Midoriya's friendlier one. Midoriya acts as his Warrior Therapist during their fight, and Todoroki starts to work towards amending his familial issues and becoming more social. He becomes one of Midoriya's closer friends and friendly rivals in the process.
- Sasuke is the another notable example and is a Trope Codifier amongst modern manga, much like Naruto is for the Stock Shonen Hero. As a Privileged Rival, he unconsciously felt superior to his Naruto until he slowly closed the gap. Amongst his true target being more interested in his rival while dismissing him as nothing which lead to a Face–Heel Turn. Also after his journey as a villain and a final fight with Naruto. He goes back to be a good guy. Sasuke has black hair in contrast to Naruto's blond, his clothes are usually black or blue, and he's known for using fire and lightning.
- Neji also shares many of the traits, being a "lesser" family member from one of Konoha's most prominent clans. In order to Screw Destiny and rise above his birthright, he trains religiously and snubs everyone else in his life, which has made him jaded and condescending. Unlike with Sasuke, Naruto manages to break through to him and bring him down a few pegs, making him more sociable and less cold by the time they're in their mid-teens.
- Gary Oak, Ash's first rival, was introduced as this. Gary was arrogant and loved to rub it in Ash's face however eventually that was toned down. He has his own fan club (of fully grown women at that) that followed him around. Gary has since become a budding Pokemon Professor, much like his grandfather, and has lost his attitude. A good portion of his behavior was actually dub-exclusive. In Japan he was more friendly and respectable for the most part (much like his current personality), while 4kids made him more similar to his game counterpart, Blue Oak.
- Paul is an expy of the below-mentioned Silver of Pokémon Gold and Silver, and it shows. He is an overconfident trainer who openly boasts about how superior a trainer he is compared to others. He doesn't care for socializing or making friends, just training. Paul has very harsh training methods but most of his Pokemon are loyal to him and he treats them well enough. Chimchar was the exception. He verbally abused it and forced it past its limits in order to harness the Blaze ability. This spurred Chimchar to defect to Ash after Paul released it for disappointing him.
- Pokémon Adventures:
- Blue was originally more like his game counterpart but after a few chapters changed into a more serious and stoic character. He and Red originally didn't get along well but later became friends. Blue's clothes have changed from mainly purple, to mainly black, to mainly brown but they're always darker than Red's bright red attire. Blue's starter is a Charmander, which is a fire type.
- Silver has shades of this but in a different way from his game counterpart due to Adaptational Heroism. Silver is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold instead of just a Jerk Ass like in the games. Similarly to Blue, he's rather stoic and can play The Comically Serious. He has a Dark and Troubled Past of being kidnapped as a very young child.
- Black from Pokémon Golden Boys is a counterpart to Silver from Pokémon Gold and Silver. He shares all the qualities of his game counterpart. He's a jerk who only cares about strong Pokemon and goes as far as to abandon his Chikorita for being too weak.
- Ren from Shaman King is a haughty, aloof aristocrat to contrast the cheerful, laid-back hero Yoh. He's the first real threat Yoh faces, and initially outclasses him in raw power While Yoh believes in treating his spirit partner as a friend and equal, Ren views his spirit as no more than a tool before inevitably being pulled into Yoh's group of friends.
- Ryōga Hibiki from Ranma ˝. To contrast his rival, Ranma Saotome, who's happy go-lucky, larger than life, and carefree, Ryōga is very melancholic, stoic, and brooding. For a long time there was nothing Ryōga was concerned with more than getting even with his rival, but eventually he comes to see there is more to life than this, once he experiences love. Over time the two of them become more akin to friends and even Bash Brothers, although they still remain the rivalry and treat one another as Worthy Opponents.
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: Seto Kaiba likely shares Trope Codifier status with Vegeta. Conditioned by his Dark and Troubled Past to consider victory as the measure of one's worth, he became an arrogant, asocial, and utterly ruthless Duel Monsters tycoon. He was Yugi's main rival throughout the series ever since he gave him his first loss, acting as the "cliche emotionally void antagonist" most of the time, yet often working with him to oppose a greater threat.
- Before we even had Killua, we had Hiei from YuYu Hakusho, a cold, cruel, arrogant and pragmatic little guy who started out as an antagonist, eventually evolving into a begrudgingly respectful rival figure to Yusuke.
- Subverted with Yuno in Black Clover. He's introduced as this type of character (tall, handsome, cool-headed, aloof, smart, very talented) but it quickly turns out that he just became very reserved and stoic in an attempt to leave behind his weak crybaby past, and not only does he care deeply (and, by genre standards, pretty openly) about his rival and childhood friend Asta, he's also one of the few people who actually believe in his ability to make it big and views him as his main motivation.
- Asuka Langley Soryu of Neon Genesis Evangelion is both a rare female example and a deconstruction of the trope. She is introduced as an abrasive presence for series protagonist Shinji Ikari (who is about as far from a Stock Shonen Hero as one can get), and her main goal in life is to prove herself the best through her EVA piloting skills. She prides herself on being The Ace, and thinks of herself as the hero, with her color scheme driving the point home. However, as Shinji begins to surpass her abilities, Asuka does not become that much friendlier towards those surrounding him, but instead loses her self-esteem, shuts herself out, and crosses the Despair Event Horizon.
- Viral of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. An abrasive Ace Pilot, Viral starts the series as a recurring antagonist with a personal grudge against Kamina and later Simon, becoming The Rival to both. Throughout the series, he becomes a Diminishing Villain Threat, but performs a Heel–Face Turn when an even greater threat shows up. To drive the point home, his name is an anagram of "rival".
- While the show is for a seinen demographic and is a deconstruction of shojo series, Puella Magi Madoka Magica has two characters with shades of this trope.
- Homura Akemi is a Dark Magical Girl depicted as the taller, prettier and more aloof foil to Stock Shoujo Heroine Madoka Kaname. Initially depicted with shady motives, her primary goal is to prevent Madoka from being a magical girl. In the end, it is revealed that Homura was Good All Along and is Madoka's best friend, as she herself is essentially revealed as the Deuteragonist of the series. However, she performs a Face–Heel Turn in Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion and becomes a direct dark counterpart to Madoka's goddess form.
- Kyoko Sakura plays the trope a bit straighter, and is an expy of the aforementioned Asuka. Kyoko is The Rival to Sayaka, a typical "love and justice" magical girl, and is depicted as highly competitive and Hot-Blooded. Throughout the series as she continues to antagonize Sayaka, Kyoko gradually softens up and performs a Heel–Face Turn, and becomes a friend to Sayaka; the two are depicted as Smash Sisters in Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion, much like the dynamic between other hero-rival pairs in anime.
- In The Grace of Kings, one of the two main protagonists, Mata Zyndu, is the grim honor-obsessed Blood Knight Mata Zyndu, who wants to avenge the slaughter and betrayal of his noble family. The other protagonist, Kuni Garu, is not a Stock Shonen Hero, because he's a clever and somewhat book smart Guile Hero. However, he is very cheerful and good and making friendships. While Kuni and Mata start out as friends, as Kuni accumulates greater power, Mata comes to resent him and become a Rival Turned Evil.
- Blue from Pokémon Red and Blue is this. Blue's original shirt was purple, however the remakes changed it to a black shirt. His starter is always the one with a type advantage over the players and he generally acts selfish and like a Jerk Ass. He also always seems to be a step ahead of you in getting all the badges and even beats the Elite Four before you. But in the end Red defeats him of course. Blue is also described in the original manual as being an ex-friend of Red's who pre-game Took A Level In Jerk Ass and started a rivalry between the two.
- Silver from Pokémon Gold and Silver loves battling and is a loner who takes pride in only powerful Pokémon. Silver is more of a Jerk Ass than any other rival thus far and goes as far as to shoves the protagonist, and anyone else in his way, several times. He's a Sore Loser who complains that you're weak even after he loses. It turns out he has an Inferiority Superiority Complex due to not wanting to be perceived as weak like his dad Team Rocket's ex-boss, Giovanni. Over the course of the game he mellows down into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. Silver's clothes are heavily black and he is an Evil Redhead (at least originally).
- Gladion from Pokémon Sun and Moon is one of the two rivals in the game. He contrasts with happy keet Hau by being a dark, gloomy character. He wears mainly black clothes and is a loner. Gladion has a Dark and Troubled Past where he ran away from home due to his mother turning abusive and evil. His father also disappeared years prior. Eventually, Gladion mellows down to a degree as the story progresses.
- Kid Icarus: Uprising: Dark Pit is Pit's Evil Knockoff / Shadow Archetype intended to serve in the Underworld Army, but refuses to declare loyalty to any side. He wears black, wields a prototype of Pit's Sacred Bow as his Weapon of Choice, and is known for his lack of respect for the gods and disdain for Pit's Black and White viewpoint. He spends most of the game determined to defeat Pit and prove he's not a mere copy, but just as often takes swipes at the Underworld forces, hinting that he's not as bad as he seems. He ends up making a complete Heel–Face Turn after Pit's three-year imprisonment in the Chaos Ring, during which he was "less than nothing", leaving him unable to deny his nature as Pit's doppelganger.
- The King of Fighters: Iori Yagami is one, for the hero Kyo Kusanagi. He comes from the Yasakani clan who themselves are rivals to the Kusanagi clan, and Iori himself seems to be obsessed with nothing but killing Kyo with his own hands. The two share several techniques, as well as flame powers, but Iori's cursed due to his ancestors making a pact with the mystical entity Orochi. Iori sees his rivalry with Kyo in a deep personal level, but Kyo himself doesn't think of Iori beyond a person that he'll fight over and over. Several characters in the story even question Iori's rivalry or make fun of it. On rare occasions, however, Iori is often forced to cooperate with Kyo under Big Good Chizuru Kagura's urging.
- Riku fits the archetype in the first Kingdom Hearts game. At the beginning of the game he's the stronger, prettier, aloof best friend who competes with Sora constantly and ends up pulling a Face–Heel Turn out of resentment. He mellows out considerably in later installments of the franchise, but remains Sora's angstier foil.
- Kirby: Meta Knight is a stoic Dark Is Not Evil Challenge Seeker who has been both The Rival, Aloof Ally, and Stealth Mentor to Kirby, oftentimes all in the same breath.
- Mega Man (Classic): Proto Man is the Flawed Super Prototype of Dr. Light and Mega Man's Aloof Big Brother. He is known to have a more independent mind in comparison to other robots of his time, which is implied to be connected to his faulty power core. He left Dr. Light's service long ago and chosen to accept his eventual demise rather than risk losing what makes him who he is. He was first seen as one of Mega Man's enemies in Mega Man 3, but made a Heel–Face Turn near the end, acting as an Aloof Ally but still preferring to strike out on his own.
- Shadow from Sonic the Hedgehog is one of the most well-known cases of this (and is likely some level of a Shout-Out to Vegeta), to the degree where he's heavily mocked for how much Darker and Edgier he is compared to other Sonic characters. Shadow is an Anti-Hero (though originally treated as an Evil Counterpart to Sonic) and an Anti Anti Christ created to destroy Earth. His mostly black-and-red color scheme contrasts with Sonic's blue. Shadow is one of the strongest characters in the franchise and can easily turn into a Person of Mass Destruction if given enough Chaos Emeralds. While he doesn't have a traditional family due to being an Artificial Hedgehog raised by humans, the closest thing he had to family were murdered in front of him which resulted in his Dark and Troubled Past and bitter personality. Even when he's happy, he still maintains some level of grumpiness and he's very serious (Characterization Marches On aside). Despite his stoic behavior, however, he is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who cares about his friends.
- Asch from Tales of the Abyss is angry individual and hates his clone Luke for unwittingly taking his life away from him. While he's technically not a rival, he's more of a Wild Card. He loves deriding him with insults.
- Seifer Almasy in Final Fantasy VIII, although his and protagonist Squall Leonhart's personalities are flipped from the usual dynamic (Squall is aloof, quiet, and antisocial while Seifer is smug, crass, and arrogant).
- Eugene Chaud from Mega Man Battle Network, who treats Lan and Megaman.EXE's determined teamwork with snobbish derision while he himself isolates himself from his friends to perfect his netbattle technique and duty as a net official.
- Miles Edgeworth from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Phoenix is a scrappy defense attorney who gets no respect and often suffers the abuses of the snobbish and condescending prosecution. However, that never deters him from getting a victory for his client and professing the belief in a client's innocence and true justice. Edgeworth starts off the series as the diametric opposite, being a haughty and cold-hearted prosecutor who has had several accusations of corruption behind the bench and legal ruthlessness. After being unbeaten for several years, Phoenix comes along and undoes everything, leading him to reconsider his path in life for the better. It also helps that they were once childhood friends before a traumatic event in Edgeworth's life set him on the course that brought them back together as adults.
- Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender plays this despite the fact that Aang is not much of a Stock Shonen Hero (he has many traits in common with archetype, but in many other ways inverts the cliche). Considering the heavy animesque nature of the series, Zuko fits quite a bit, his character arc resembling the rival's arc in all but name. Introduced as an older, more aloof antagonist who wants to capture Aang, over the course of the series he learns to become less angry and more nice. He is a firebender who normally wears red clothes and has black hair, later adding dual swords to his arsenal. Zuko is the prince of the Fire Nation and son of the Fire Lord, however he was exiled and now desires to capture the Avatar so he can return home with honor. He has a Dark and Troubled Past due to having an emotionally distant and abusive dad, a cruel and unloving little sister, his mother running off, and being a White Sheep in his Big, Screwed-Up Family. Despite his angry demeanor who spends most of the series being a Perpetual Frowner, it is really a Jerkass Façade that wears off over the series. He becomes The Atoner after his Heel–Face Turn and joins Aang and his friends.