Playing With / Trickster Mentor

Basic Trope: A mentor who uses trickery and subversion to teach their students.
  • Straight: Men-Tor guides the Five-Man Band, though instead of actively helping, he prefers to disseminate information through riddles.
  • Exaggerated: Literally everything Men-Tor says is some sort of riddle.
  • Downplayed: Men-tor is generally a straightforward teacher, but laces his training with riddles that must be understood to get the most out of it.
  • Justified:
    • He's there to train their minds as much as their bodies.
    • Mentor is so good that his knowledge and mastery turned him insane.
  • Inverted: Men-Tor is as literal as possible, directly spelling out what the Five-Man Band needs to do.
  • Subverted: The group comes up to Men-Tor, expecting him to throw out a cryptic riddle for them to solve. Instead, he just tells them what they need to do, no questions asked.
  • Double Subverted: That in and of itself was a riddle - a Secret Test of Character of sorts to get them to question everything.
  • Parodied: Men-Tor doesn't actually know what he's talking about - he later admits that he makes up silly riddles to sound wiser than he really is... HOWEVER, his students always manage to learn a valuable (yet unintentional) lesson on the process!
  • Zig Zagged: Some of the stuff he says is a riddle, other stuff isn't. He figures that's the best way to keep them on their toes.
  • Averted: He's direct.
  • Enforced:
    • "We've got to pad this story arc out to the number of episodes we how about we make it to where they have to spend a few episodes decoding their mentor's instructions?"
    • "Aw hell, I don't like coming up with explanations. How about we make the mentor give these really vague riddles, and then the fandom will guess as to the meanings? Then we run with it and act like we meant that all along."
  • Lampshaded: "Why can't you just tell us what we need to do?"
  • Invoked:*Men-tor decides to start speaking in riddles, as he believes only those who are tolerant enough to withstand his riddles are worthy of his knowledge.
  • Exploited:
    • The Five-Man Band know Men-Tor is a Trickster Mentor, so they pretend to be confused by his riddles in order to get him to train them in the skills they need.
    • The Hero desperately needs a competent mentor and knows about the trope, so when forced to choose between the plain speaking and straightforward Sen-Sei and the riddle-loving Men-Tor, he consciously chooses to latter.
  • Defied: The Hero of the Five-Man Band tells Men-Tor that no riddles will be tolerated.
  • Discussed: "I like Sen-Sei's teaching. He's not like my old teacher Men-Tor who spoke in riddles all the time."
  • Conversed: "You ever notice how mentor figures in the movies can never give a straight answer to anything?"
  • Deconstructed:
    • Men-Tor's reliance on riddles drives away his students, as they dislike having to decode everything he's telling them.
    • Due to Men-Tor's misinterpreted instructions, lack of guidance, or questionable teaching methods, several of his students get badly hurt or die.
  • Reconstructed: The Five-Man Band calls him on it - and it's revealed that not only did they have to solve the riddle, but they needed to have the appropriate reaction to be his students.

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