Wick cleanup: Sliding Scale Of Anti Heroes

Total posts: [283]
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Original OP preserved in the note to allow for cleanup instructions.

Cleaning up the sliding scale:

Ok, here's the course of action:

How we will do this:

  • Purge all Zero Context Examples. That includes Type I-V labels.
  • If the label has context, replace it with the appropriate tropes that were split off. The correspondence can be found below.

TypeSplit Trope
Type IClassical Anti-Hero
Type IIKnight in Sour Armour
Type IIIPragmatic Hero
Type IVUnscrupulous Hero
Type VNominal Hero

Start with what series you already know.

edited 22nd Feb '13 12:44:41 PM by lu127

One of the reasons I'm not fond of sliding scales in general. I'd say just cut it and move examples to the specific tropes mentioned (eg, Arthur Dent / This Loser Is You for Type 1), but that's just my dislike of sliding scales talking.
We may have to do just that if this escalates any further.
Azor Ahai
Here are my general thoughts:

I hope it doesn't need to become exampleless, as at least in theory, it seems like a clear enough set of categories (IMO anyway), although I do realize that there might be an issue in it existing alongside the Anti-Hero page.

There's no reason for any of the Sue tropes to be mentioned in Type V or for them to be described ad near Complete Monster/language to the effect that the author is a terrible person for creating them and you're a terrible person if you like the character. Basically, there are some Type V that probably are Villain Sue or Jerk Sue characters, which only means they should be added to those pages.

Really the only thing Type V are likely to have in common is violent methods- Heroic Sociopath and Blood Knight are good points of comparison, but that's probably about the only generalization you can make (and even those aren't necessarily true of all of them).
5 Tyoria24th Jan 2011 08:21:00 PM from Portland, Oregon
rationally insane
I am not sure how many of the problems we're currently having are intrinsic to the page and not to the participants. Antvasima can be perfectly polite and cooperative, but incredibly volatile, often long-winded and tends to interpret things as part of some kind of subversive social agenda. cclospina doesn't say much and makes hugely controversial edits — but I've run into her elsewhere and not had a problem we couldn't work out. Same for Antvasima. They're both just really... stubborn, I guess.

But there do seem to be some issues that it would be nice to have talked about.

What, for example, is the axis of the sliding scale? It would seem to go from "mostly good" to "mostly evil," but Type I doesn't fit. Type I isn't really a set morality. If they are "anti hero classic," it seems like a bad idea to just cut them, but where do they go? Should we call them Type 0?

If good v evil is the axis, does that argue for subjectivity? I'm honestly not sure. I wouldn't have thought so, prior to this, because it's not like any one category has some kind of set Character Alignment, but if people are going to get into edit wars over the classification of a character because they're "not that evil" but "oh yes they are that evil," then I don't know.

Finally, does Type V need a split? It seems to be the most contentious, not to mention the largest category. It contains types that mean well but are just really horrifically extreme in their methods, and types that are totally selfish but wind up being on the side of the angels because they're pointed at greater evils. I think that's rather major.

edited 24th Jan '11 8:29:05 PM by Tyoria

One question to ask-should we not remove the character alignment section? Because the way I see it, I do not feel there is anyway it is relevant nor particularly useful other than interesting, if insignificant trivia.
I was always very fond of this page until I realised it for what it was. The thing is, the Type I section always made me think it was like Character Calculus. You just have to break down the Heroic Archetype into its consituent components. Vary one or two, but not the others, and you've got an Anti-Hero.

So you you've got a hero who saves the day, gets the girl, hogs the screentime, but is kind of a loser. Like Woody Allen, that's a Type I. A hero who is cool, sexy, saves the day, gets the girl, but uses isn't ashamed to use Questionable Methods, is a Type IV (I think? gah!). This way, all the varieties of Anit Hero as a subtrope of the calculus, just as Supporting Protagonist is a variation on Character Calculus. Screentime + Drives the action - morality = Villain Protagonist.

Of course, I appreciate people might not want to fundamentally reboot the page, but I think it uses part of the page as it is (the Type I-III part), even if it's not a true Sliding Scale. I also suspect, if you keep it as a subdivided sliding scale, you'll just get a lot of arguments. If Type V is just for Complete Monsters who just have a touch of heroism, you'll get all the same arguments you have about the Complete Monster trope.
By the way, why is it that it is implied that you have to be a serial killer to even qualify for type 4?
You don't have to be, simply go considerably beyond a type III in bloodthirsty extremes, but the category definitely includes characters that would qualify as serial-killers or war-criminals.

edited 26th Jan '11 8:12:21 AM by antva

10 Tyoria2nd Feb 2011 07:49:57 AM from Portland, Oregon
rationally insane
What the heck? Are trope pages allowed to have "YMMV" subpages? Whose idea was this?

I am officially sick to death of this entire page.
Well, I wasn't the one who added YMMV, but don't mind it as a compromise solution.

Also, I'm sorry that we're being a bother Tyoria. You've been great.
Azor Ahai
Just wanted to post that this page/trope has become very annoying. It almost seems like it's become a proxy for Character Alignment wank in the form of ranting about characters who fit whatever part of the scale.
13 Tyoria7th Feb 2011 08:54:51 PM from Portland, Oregon
rationally insane
Especially since some people seem intent on listing any character whose morality might conceivably fit within the scale as an antihero.
Azor Ahai
Part of the reason I find it annoying is that I can think of endearing characters at every since point on the spectrum. This really seems to be a case where Tropes Are Tools should be considered.

edited 7th Feb '11 8:58:39 PM by Jordan

15 Tyoria7th Feb 2011 09:11:41 PM from Portland, Oregon
rationally insane
The emphasis should be how the character is used within the story to create an overall presentation, rather than how every particular deed should be indexed and held up to a real-life moral standard.

I think that's what the description aims for, but some of the entries largely miss the point.

It may honestly be too subjective to call.

edited 7th Feb '11 9:13:01 PM by Tyoria

I noticed that the page seems a lot calmer now that the ban-evader is gone.
I agree with Tyoria. For example not every type 4 character needs to be a killer or even be violent, just have an very noticeable streak of maliciousness. After all, you can hurt people in many ways that don't need to be physical
Azor Ahai
Greed of Fullmetal Alchemist comes to mind as a good example. His rather suspect motives make him a Type IV, but he's killed a lot fewer people than many of the heroes  *. And Scar from the same series does kill a fair number of (generally deserving) people, but he doesn't get any enjoyment out killing or inflicting pain.

Also, I think that this part needs to be changed, "for characters who are strictly obnoxious, traumatised, mentally ill, or handicapped, but fundamentally decent, and essentially harmless"

I believe that line and the stuff around it was added by antva(s),etc. as part of his/her belief that various works of fiction smeared mentally ill people as psychopaths. However, I can't really think of harmless crazy characters being treated as anti-heroes, or really all that much mentally diagnoses of anti-heroes (other than obvious cases like Rorschach)

edited 22nd Feb '11 8:45:07 AM by Jordan

19 Willbyr22nd Feb 2011 09:37:52 AM from North Little Rock, AR , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
It may be too hard to define, but I think there needs to be some kind of criteria list that a character has to go through to be assigned a specific place on the scale, not only for this trope but for other sliding scales as well.
Azor Ahai
That somehow reminded me of a thought I had based on two characters. With Belkar of Order Of The Stick and Mugen of Samurai Champloo, their murderousness doesn't really make them dark anti-heroes; it has a lot more to do with motivation. Thing is, in the setting they live in (Dungeons and Dragons/the Japan of samurai fiction), it's practically a rule of the universe that everyone solves all problems with violence.

I'm not sure off-hand how many other characters are like that, but it kind of supports my feeling that motivation plays an important part. I don't think it should be generalized that anyone past type III is a near Complete Monster (which is how I think it currently reads), especially because there are characters treated as heroic who do worse/as bad things as some of the characters listed under IV and V.

Edit- not sure if that made sense. I guess my issue sort of boils into the fact that some I Vs actually are fundamentally decent (in fact, even a couple of Vs are fundamentally decent). Sort of like Character Alignment, it's not a straightjacket.

edited 22nd Feb '11 12:12:01 PM by Jordan

Raven Wilder
This is kind of off-topic, but does anyone else think Sliding Scale of Anti-Heroes should be merged with the Anti-Hero page? I mean, I know a bunch of times I'll see Anti-Hero listed on a works page, and the example will talk about how a character was Type III or Type IV or something, but if you click on the link to Anti-Hero you see no mention of type numbers.
"It takes an idiot to do cool things, that's why it's cool" - Haruhara Haruko
22 VampireBuddha23rd Feb 2011 06:06:36 AM from Right behind you. Just keep typing. , Relationship Status: Complex: I'm real, they are imaginary
You know, I've actually been meaning to suggest exactly that for some time. Life tends to get in the way.

Right. There's Antihero. It's a page on antiheroes, and has examples. One would rationally expect all information about antiheroes to be contained on that page.

Except that there's also Sliding Scale Of Antiheroes. This also has quite a lot of information on the various permutations of antiheroes, and lists examples. Except, you know, all that information should, by rights, be on Antihero.

Looking at the pages, it seems that Antihero isn't really a trope; rather, it's a supertrope that includes multiple different types of heroes who aren't pure Knights In Shining Armour. There is probably enough information and examples of each subtype to give a trope page to each one.

So here's what I propose:
  1. Merge Antihero and Sliding Scale Of Antiheroes into a single page that describes the general concept of an antihero, its precedents and the historical context in which each type arose.
  2. Have a short description of each type, along with no more than three well-known, particularly illustrative examples, to be selected by discussion.
  3. Make separate pages for the various types of antihero, which go into considerably more detail on how each type works and why it differs from a traditional hero. On these pages, all the other examples can be listed. I suggest creating the following:
    • Classical Antihero: Type I, antihero as loser. The guy with personal problems who has to struggle to beat the villain. Examples include Peter Parker, Shinji Ikari.
    • Disney Antihero: Type II. This guy is a decent chap who saves the day, but makes snarky comments along the way and lacks tact. Examples include Warren Peace.
    • Dangerous Antihero: Type III. Intends to do the right thing, but doesn't much care about who she hurts. May cause more trouble than if she'd just left well enough alone. Examples include Atem.
    • Vicious Antihero: Type IV. She's in it purely for herself, but does have some redeeming features. Examples would probably include Scrooge McDuck, prior to character development.
    • Evil Antihero: Type V. Would be a villain, except their enemies are even worse. Examples include Alucard
  4. ???
  5. PROFIT!

Examples are up for discussion, and we can always come up with more categories.

Also, these would not be put on an axis; rather, they would simply be listed on the main Antihero page in probably alphabetical order, to help avoid arguments about how evil a character is. Furthermore, it would be entirely possible for a character to fit into more than one antihero trope, which should help end edit warring.


edited 23rd Feb '11 6:07:01 AM by VampireBuddha

23 Willbyr23rd Feb 2011 06:12:57 AM from North Little Rock, AR , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
That's a pretty decent breakdown of the scale...needs some tweaking, but it's a lot more succinct than what we've got now. I don't know that I'd bother with making separate pages for the different types; the examples can be broken down by the type they'd best fit on the Anti-Hero page, with a separate folder for characters whose place on the scale varies wildly such as Batman or Wolverine.

edited 23rd Feb '11 6:15:33 AM by Willbyr

Azor Ahai
Sounds like a good summary.

Edit- and yeah, it probably wasn't a good idea to have this page along with the Anti-Hero page, although the "types" are a good guide to the varieties of anti-hero. So basically, I like the ideas suggested in the posts above.

edited 23rd Feb '11 7:44:19 AM by Jordan

I like this idea.
BTW, I'm a chick.

Page Action: Pragmatic Hero
15th Apr '12 7:44:00 AM
What would be the best way to fix the page?
At issue:
The Pragmatic Hero YKTTW is suffering from a problematic description. Here are some options to consider.

These options are not mutually exclusive.

Total posts: 283
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