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Stock Shonen Rival

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The foil and parallel to the Stock Shonen Hero. Often The Stoic or at least an unemotional grump.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
KantonKage on Sep 16th 2016 at 11:34:09 AM
Last Edited By:
Marusero on Dec 8th 2017 at 11:53:59 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

Most series as of late tend to have a character who the Stock Shonen Hero could play off. Insert the Stock Shonen Rival. This character is usually introduced as a foil for the hero to contrast. While The Hero is carefree and, a Nice Guy, the rival is standoffish and a Jerkass.

This character is usually the Privileged Rival, The Lancer (a trope that The Rival has a lot of overlap with), or a former enemy. Unlike the optimistic Stock Shonen Hero, who believes in The Power of Friendship and easily amasses True Companions, the pessimistic Rival will believe in the power of his own strength. In terms of power levels, the Rival usually starts off stronger than the hero. As the hero gets stronger and slowly closes the gap, the rival may often pull a Face–Heel Turn as he recognize this. Alternatively, he feels the dark side will increase his power which often leads to an one-on-one fight between the two. Often, the Hero's optimism and strong sense of justice will make the Rival question their own reasons for fighting, which may trigger their own Character Development arc.

There's a great chance that the Stock Shonen Hero will triumph over the Stock Shonen Rival in ideals if not in power. In keeping with the shonen Coming-of-Age Story about making friends and determination overcoming obstacles, the Rival represents something contrary to these messages that the Hero must overcome for the story to hit home.

An encompassing trope that's usually some combination of an AntiHero, Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy, Instant Expert, Jerkass —> Jerk with a Heart of Gold, Blood Knight, Heel–Face Revolving Door, Inferiority Superiority Complex, Reformed, but Not Tamed, Revenge, Byronic Hero, Grumpy Bear, Perpetual Frowner with the occasionally Smirk. In some cases may also be a Char Clone. He also tends to be a Chick Magnet and Mr. Fanservice. It may also include visual tropes such as a Blue Is Heroic (Sort of), Evil Wears Black, Tall, Dark, and Handsome, or Red and Black and Evil All Over. He tends to have ice, fire, or lightning powers and more often tends to wield a blade of some sort. His dynamic with the hero tends to be the the blue to the Hero's red, Shadow Archetype.


Examples:

Anime & Manga

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Beyblade:
  • Killua from Hunter × Hunter 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • My Hero Academia while Midoriya is a subdued Stock Shonen Hero he has his 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 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), 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 Izuku can barely match, and has a broody, loner personality to contrast Izuku's friendlier one. Izuku 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.
  • Naruto: 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.
  • Pokémon:
    • Gary Oak. Ash's first rival was introduced as this. Gary was arrogant and loved to rub it in Ash's face however eventually 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 deflect 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.
  • 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 favour of him becoming a Dogged Nice Guy.
  • 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.

Literature

  • 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.

Video Games

  • 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 Heel Face Turn out of resentment. He mellows out considerably in later installments of the franchise, but remains Sora's angstier foil.
  • Pokémon:
  • 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 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.
  • Mega Man (Classic): Protoman 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Western Animation

  • 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.

Feedback: 62 replies

Sep 17th 2016 at 4:29:05 AM

  • Deleted "(terrible draft)" from the title as per How To Write An Example - Aim For A Final Draft Appearance.
  • Examples section
    • Added the word "Examples".
    • Changed media section titles to All Caps.
    • Italicized work names as per How To Write An Example - Emphasis For Work Names.

The OP example is a Zero Context Example and has been marked as such (ZCE). It needs more information to show how it fits the trope.

Sep 17th 2016 at 12:05:50 PM

^ just as we have The Hero and Stock Shonen Hero.

Rivals in other genres may work differently than in shonen, as they're given pretty specific characteristics and plot points.

Oct 1st 2016 at 12:46:19 PM

Also I wouldn't split this up into types at all. Rather focus on what the two types have in common and just build the trope around that

Oct 7th 2016 at 1:50:22 PM

Video Game:

  • Blue from Pokemon Red And Blue is this. His starter is always the one with a type advantage over the players and he generally acts selfish and like a douchebag. He also always seems to be a step ahead of you in getting all the badges and even beats the Elite Four befor you. But in the end Red defeats him of course.

Nov 25th 2016 at 11:01:00 PM

I'd say this is certainly its own sub-trope of The Rival. Stock Shonen Hero's almost always have these grim sort of rivals. People have a tendency to complain that they're too "edgy" but they're still a staple of Japanese media. Also, I know that pairing the Stock Shonen Hero with the Stock Shonen Rival is invariably a fan favorite ship in every fandom (with a good chunk of wimpification and seme-uke stereotypes invariably added in).

Anime & Manga

  • 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 Kickassing.
  • 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.
  • Pokemon: Paul is an even straighter example than Gary. Paul is an expy of the below-mentioned Silver of Pokemon 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 deflect to Ash after Paul released it for disappointing him. Unlike most characters, Paul is a stoic Perpetual Frowner. His color scheme is made up of purple.
  • Pokemon 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.
    • 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 Pokemon Golden Boys is a counterpart to Silver from Pokemon 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.
  • 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 wih his grandfather. Along with Dan, he created the rules of Bakugan and thus is one of the best players out there. 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.
  • Killua from Hunter X Hunter subverts this trope. He fits most criteria but isn't actually a rival. Killua is 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 Tykebomb but since meeting Gon has learned to be less violent. * * Karin from Yuki Yuna Is A Hero was sent to Yuna's school in order to supervise the Hero Club. She's depicted as the most skilled and powerful Magical Girl at first but soon becomes surpassed by the others, which doesn't do much for her self-esteem especially once the others start inducing Mankai and she left unscathed. She has a somewhat troubled past due to being The Unfavorite in her older brothers shadow. This left her with an Inferiority Complex. She acts more tsundere than outright aloof. Despite her Smug Super attributes and loner elements, it becomes obvious quickly that she is insecure and wants to befriend the others. Within an episode of being introduced she's friends with the other Heroes. Karin's main weapons are katana.
  • Roy from Fullmetal Alchemist downplays this much like Edward does the Stock Shonen Hero. He is an Anti Hero in many respects and has a troubled past due to being involved in the Ishvalan War. This left him traumatized, suicidal, and prone to Drowning Their Sorrows but he wants to become Fuerher to maintain that nothing like that war happens again. Roy specializes in fire alchemy and his abilities can be quite lethal. Roy is a Chick Magnet and is Tall Dark And Handsome. He has black hair and normally is seen wearing his blue military uniform. On the other hand, he is not an actual rival, he's his commanding officer. He and Edward are Vitriolic Best Buds if anything. Roy is the Blue Oni to Ed's Red.

Video Games

Western Animation

  • Zuko from Avatar The Last Airbender plays this despite the fact that Aang is very much not a Stock Shonen Hero (and in many ways inverts the cliche). Considering the heavy animesque nature of the series, Zuko fits quite a bit but isn't an actual rival. 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. 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 Facade that wears off over the series. He becomes The Atoner after his Heel Face Turn and joins Aang and his friends.

Nov 25th 2016 at 5:04:45 PM

As it stands, the tropers advocating for this draft are not being clear on what this is supposed to be beyond "a thing that happens in shonen works", which is not clear enough for a trope. I can see a trope built around the archetypes that Vegeta, Killua, and Sauske share, but adding in characters like Roy and Gary really destroy that concept because they don't share the same sort of storyarc with the main character.

Nov 25th 2016 at 6:56:12 PM

I didn't finish my post (blame procrastination). I doubt Gary counts but another troper listed him already.

Feb 18th 2017 at 2:13:18 PM

It's worth mentioning that this trope has a lot of overlap with Byronic Hero and Char Clone.

Feb 24th 2017 at 1:27:15 PM

  • 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 Heel Face Turn out of resentment. He mellows out considerably in later installments of the franchise, but remains Sora's angstier foil.

Mar 28th 2017 at 1:46:54 PM

I've come up with a few more examples:

  • 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 "cliché emotionally void antagonist" most of the time, yet often working with him to oppose a greater threat.
  • Mega Man Classic: Protoman is the Flawed Super Prototype of Dr. Light and Mega Man's older 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.
  • Kid Icarus Uprising: Dark Pit is Pit's Evil Knockoff intended to serve in the Underworld Army, but refuses to declare loyalty to any side. 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. 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.

Here's a few other examples that may fit, but I admittedly don't know them well enough to elaborate on them:

Mar 17th 2017 at 6:17:59 AM

^ I don't think Snape fills that rival role, that'd be Draco Malfoy.

Mar 17th 2017 at 6:23:20 AM

That's more evidence that as it stands, the tropers advocating for this draft are not being clear on what this is supposed to be beyond "a thing that happens in shonen works", which is not clear enough for a trope.

Mar 17th 2017 at 7:57:29 PM

^^^ I don't think Magnus has anything to do with this trope either. Dark Pit comes closer, but not enough to really fit.

^ I think that there is a very specific character type that is at play here, but people just see the title and put characters that don't really fit. Like Zuko, who isn't a rival, doesn't have the personality, and whose character arc is pretty much the opposite of the one described in the draft.

Mar 17th 2017 at 9:39:08 PM

  • 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.

Mar 18th 2017 at 9:33:54 AM

The examples don't seem to have much in common with each other beyond being The Rival or being a Privilieged Rival. The other traits vary wildly from cool loner type to cocky wild type. Or just arrogance?

Is this Arrogant Rival? Or Self Interested Rival? if this is going to go further it needs to come down on what the acutal unifying trait is, and write the examples to highlight that trait, instead of being mini character bios.

Otherwise its pretty hard to see personality similarites between Snape and Gary Oak, and saying they're both rooted in Vegeta.

Mar 18th 2017 at 5:30:48 PM

Okay, I'm just throwing it out there, I admittedly just perused a few pages and dredged up a few potential examples I thought would fit. I personally saw this trope as "Rival character who has an aloof and troublesome personality in contrast to The Hero's spirited and friendly personality".

Mar 18th 2017 at 7:06:42 PM

my worry with that is that its pretty much Red Oni Blue Oni with The Hero as Red and The Rival as Blue.

DO we need Blue Oni Rival or is that almost redundant

Mar 18th 2017 at 7:29:46 PM

Red Oni Blue Oni is already about rivalry.

I still think this trope could stand, though, with caveat: the guys has to be a rival to the hero (especially a shonen one).

Mar 19th 2017 at 9:22:08 PM

Okay, I've revised my earlier to post to further elaborate on the examples that I'm more sure of. Any improvements are welcome!

May 7th 2017 at 11:45:36 AM

YKTTW Bump, and example:

And just to make sure they're taken into consideration, I'll reiterate some of my earlier examples:

  • 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 "cliché emotionally void antagonist" most of the time, yet often working with him to oppose a greater threat.
  • Mega Man Classic: Protoman 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.
  • Kid Icarus Uprising: Dark Pit is Pit's Evil Knockoff intended to serve in the Underworld Army, but refuses to declare loyalty to any side. 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. 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.

Jun 10th 2017 at 10:19:45 AM

but these examples don't center on the same tropes.

Is it that The Stock Rival is emotionally void? Is it that he's arrogant and outspoken? Is it that he has a superiority complex?

Like the Stock Heroes are all strong sense of justice, somewhat book dumb, always up for a challenge pretty consistently even if other traits change.

Some of these rivals have traits that are opposed to other examples.

Jun 11th 2017 at 8:09:58 PM

^ The Stock Rival is an antithesis to the Stock Hero but can also parallel him. I think the default is that he's stoic or at least an unemotional grump.

Jun 14th 2017 at 11:19:26 AM

^ Yeah, what he said.

Jul 28th 2017 at 5:34:40 PM

Aug 13th 2017 at 3:24:53 AM

  • 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.

Sep 19th 2017 at 9:30:29 PM

there was a weird big block of nonsense in between a pothole in the yugioh entry. I took it out

Sep 21st 2017 at 7:56:45 AM

Went through the description to fix some grammatical errors (and potholed a common rival plot point to Rival Turned Evil).

Should Kaiba and Vegeta get a shout-out in the description as codifiers, similar to Goku on the Stock Shonen Hero page?

I also feel like the description should be expanded a bit, since the one on the Hero page describes not only the character archetype, but its history and point in the narrative (to be a relatable character in a coming-of-age story) Here's an attempt to display the point of the stock rival — to prove the strength of the hero and his convictions.

"This character is usually the Privileged Rival or a former enemy. Unlike the optimistic Stock Shonen Hero, who believes in The Power Of Friendship and easily amasses True Companions, the pessimistic Rival will believe in the power of his own strength. In terms of power levels, the Rival usually starts off stronger than the hero. As the hero gets stronger and slowly closes the gap, the rival may often pull a Face Heel Turn as he recognize this. Alternatively, he feels the dark side will increase his power which often leads to an one-on-one fight between the two." Often, the Hero's optimism and strong sense of justice will make the Rival question their own reasons for fighting, which may trigger their own development arc.

There's a great chance that the Stock Shonen Hero will triumph over the Stock Shonen Rival in ideals if not in power. In keeping with the shonen coming-of-age story about making friends and determination overcoming obstacles, the Rival represents something contrary to these messages that the Hero must overcome for the story to hit home.

Also adding to the hero Academia example:

  • 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 Izuku can barely match, and has a broody, loner personality to contrast Izuku's friendlier one. Izuku 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.

Yeah, I also doubt Gary Oak's inclusion on this list. He's a rival in a shonen but not a Stock Shonen Rival, ya feel? There's a lot of other entries that I doubt, but not as familiar with them to know.

Sep 20th 2017 at 9:01:47 PM

^ i like it

Also, yeah Gary from the Anime is more of just a straight Privileged Rival. Some of the other versions of Blue/Green I think count.

Sep 25th 2017 at 12:50:00 AM

Also, I think the "not really a rival, but shares some traits" examples (eg. Hunter x Hunter, Avatar) should be culled — if they're not a rival, they're not this trope, and there are a host of Foil tropes that will fit them better.

Sep 27th 2017 at 11:38:55 PM

^ I'm inclined to disagree. I think it's more important to list examples that hit the spirit of the trope instead of just the letter. For example, The Lancer is known to have a lot of overlap with the rival as it is; many Rivals have fought alongside The Hero frequently enough that they can be considered Lancers, and and many who started out as Lancers have the "brooding, aloof" demeanor associated with Rivals to the point they be considered part of the archetype. I prefer we go the Lumper route by way that Tropes Are Flexible.

Oct 2nd 2017 at 6:31:38 PM

The trope's name is literally Stock Shonen Rival — hence, they have to be a rival to qualify. If an example about X is prefaced with "Not really an X, but" then it's not an example. Lump when there's no better option, but in this case we don't need to lump characters like Zuko in with this trope because there are other Foil tropes that sufficiently capture his contrast with Aang.

Oct 3rd 2017 at 4:22:09 PM

^ This is why I'm still against the draft; it isn't stock if you allow "in spirit" examples. Examples Are Not Arguable.

I can see a trope built around the archetypes that Vegeta, Killua, and Sauske share, but adding in characters like Zuko and Gary really destroy that concept because they don't share the same sort of storyarc with the main character, or even the same personality traits.

Oct 3rd 2017 at 5:22:41 PM

These are the examples I'm skeptical about, based on the writeups and my own familiarity:

  • Grimmjow (Bleach): Seems more like a normal Rival or a Sitcom Archnemesis if he only shows up sporadically and wants to beat Ichigo.
  • Gray (Fairy Tail): I'll argue he's downplayed instead of played straight — he has the dark past, ice powers, appearance, and deliberate contrast with Natsu, but is his Vitriolic Best Bud more than a true rival.
  • Bakugou (My Hero Academia): The Rival, but not the Stock Shonen Rival. The polar opposite of this trope in appearance and personality. Unlike Todoroki, who has the straightforward Warrior Therapist-fight-with-the-Hero, Bakugou's relationship with Midoriya appears to take a different route.
  • Gary Oak (Pokemon): Total opposite in terms of personality and does not share the same story beats.
  • Shaoran (Card Captor Sakura): Is the hero of a shoujo, for one. Write-up needs more information as to how he's like this "at first", rather than focusing on the Defrosting Ice King aspect.
  • Asch (Tales of the Abyss): A "not really a rival, but" example.
  • Zuko (Avatar): Another "not really a rival, but" example.

Oct 4th 2017 at 6:22:40 PM

^ Agreed on all fronts.

Oct 6th 2017 at 6:58:44 AM

I'm sorry, but again I must disagree. Just because "Stock Shonen Rival" is the name we're giving this trope does not mean that the archetype exclusively describes rivals. Going back to the Zuko example, the one major thing that means he technically isn't The Rival is his goal being "capture The Hero for my nation" instead of "defeat The Hero to prove I'm stronger". Apart from that, almost everything about him, from his pessimistic, grumpy, prideful personality, to his role as Aang's frequent opponent, parallel, equal, and opposite, indicate that he can be considered part of the same archetype defined by the likes of Vegeta and Kaiba. Again, I believe its unnecessary and limiting to insist that every example must perfectly hit every last mark in the description to quality. Follow the spirit, not the letter.

Oct 8th 2017 at 9:27:16 AM

But the spirit of the trope is foremost the rivalry as because of or exemplified by the contrast, not the contrast itself. The trope for the contrast itself is Foil or a more specific trope like Red Oni Blue Oni. Kaiba, Vegeta, and Sasuke are Foils to Yugi, Goku, and Naruto in that they're broody, aloof, and prideful while the latter are plucky heroes. But they're also Rivals, in that their primary purpose in the story is that Yugi, Goku, and Naruto have to defeat them consistently to become stronger, strengthen their ideals, etc. etc. Zuko is a complete Foil to Aang, an antagonist early in the story, and critical to Aang's development as a person, but he's not a rival for the reasons you have already explained.

Oct 9th 2017 at 6:54:50 AM

I get where you're coming from, but I can't help but see things in a different way. For me, the spirit of the archetype is defined primarily by the character's aloof, brooding, prideful nature. While a combative relationship with The Hero is a key component, the exact nature of the relationship strikes me as more open to interpretation. As said before, The Rival and The Lancer have a lot of overlap, and as such there are many Lancers with the same personality and contrast with their Hero co-stars, which inevitably causes the two to come to blows and eventually bring out Character Development in each other the same way a more straightforward rivalry would; the two leads from Digimon Adventure come to mind in the regard.

Oct 9th 2017 at 8:28:58 AM

We're going in circles. "Aloof, brooding, prideful Foil" is not this draft as written. This draft as written emphasizes the importance of the rivalry both to the Hero and to the story. If you would like to create a trope for an aloof, brooding, prideful foil (or use the many tropes we have that are related), by all means go ahead, but this trope was written for a rival. As said before, needlessly broadening by allowing "in spirit" examples defeats the point of having a "stock archetype."

Besides, The Lancer and The Rival are about very different things. The Rival is about someone the hero has to consistently beat to advance, The Lancer is about someone on a team who contrasts with the leader. Just because there are a few characters who are both does not mean that the two tropes can be conflated so easily. I'm not familiar with Digimon Adventure, but Matt can certainly be both a Rival (even a Stock Shonen Rival) and a Lancer. Doesn't mean the same can be said for characters like Zuko.

Oct 9th 2017 at 11:03:20 AM

When Stock Light Novel Hero gets launched, we should link it. Maybe with the following description.

This character tends to have a lot in common with the Stock Light Novel Hero, with the common exception of the LN Hero often accepting The Power Of Friendship, usually by way of his Battle Harem.

Oct 9th 2017 at 5:49:48 PM

^^ I appreciate your input, and I'm terribly sorry to continue the circle, but... I'm just not sold.

The way I see it, there are two major ways to define an archetype: Who the character is, and what the character does. By no means is this black and white, but when I think of this archetype, my mind goes to the former reasoning, since the Shonen hero and Light Novel hero are also primarily defined that way. Again, don't get me wrong, I know that you cannot really have a rival or a lancer without a hero, but even after looking through the draft again, I cannot help but feel this interpretation holds some water. My ideal trope philosophy is "specific description, broad scope", and were it up to me and it were deemed absolutely necessary, I'd have the description tweaked ever so slightly to reflect this.

Oct 9th 2017 at 6:49:20 PM

In my opinion, the description is fine. The typical lesson of shonen works is that growth only comes via hard work, no matter how talented or privileged a person is at first. The rival, thus, starts as someone who demonstrates the harsh and unfair system where people with talent either oppress or outshine those without it. The person without talent thus learns valuable life lessons which let them grow both physically and mentally, until they've proven their worth.

Oct 9th 2017 at 8:46:39 PM

Because antagonist is a misleading word. Not all rivals are antagonists and not all antagonists are rivals.

Oct 9th 2017 at 10:29:20 PM

^^^Ah, that's a good point. Can actually be added to the description, really.

^^^^Still not sold, either. This trope, from its very conception, was about the shonen rivalry summed up in ^^^ (the earliest examples are gathering shonen rivals and extrapolating their common traits, which just happened to be talented/aloof/prideful). That way, the trope is no longer about the rivalry but rather about the character themselves. How would you rewrite the description to reflect that, then?

What do others think? Expand the trope to "aloof prideful foil" or keep it about "shonen rival"?

Oct 9th 2017 at 11:53:53 PM

Aloof, prideful foil could be spun off into a different trope, and keep this trope about the Shonen rival.

Oct 10th 2017 at 12:01:52 AM

Well, you all know where I stand;

Expanding the trope allows the strictly defined Shonen rivalry to be made into an Internal Subtrope.

Oct 10th 2017 at 8:33:17 AM

^^ I think that's a good idea. One problem I can foresee with these "Stock X Hero" tropes is that, over time, the basic archetype will probably evolve. Deku of My Hero Academia is nothing like Kenshiro of Fist of the North Star or most protagonists of Jo Jo's Bizarre Adventure.

Oct 10th 2017 at 11:56:32 AM

Surprised I hadn't replied to this.

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.

Oct 10th 2017 at 8:21:35 PM

^^ Has the newer waves of shonen heroes suffiently evolved to distinguish between subtypes (eg. Type 1: Oldschool, Type 2: Modern)?

Oct 10th 2017 at 9:03:00 PM

I'd say yes. The Rival has changed as well. Arguably, Shin from Fist of the North Star and Dio Brando from Jo Jo are the Ur Examples, but the trope makers and codifiers are Vegeta from DBZ and Hiei from Yu Yu Hakusho. Unlike their predecessors, they make a Heel Face Turn instead of staying villains.

Sasuke from Naruto was originally absent the story's first draft, but was demanded by the manga's editor. He was deliberately constructed to set a new high bar and codifier for the trope by combining traits of all rivals before him, and it succeeded.

Modern examples are now Bakugo from Hero Aca and Yuno from Black Clover, who, like Sasuke, are childhood friends of the protagonist instead of recruited villains.

Oct 18th 2017 at 8:59:03 AM

^ Yes, but not all antagonists are villains.

^^That's what I like about archetypes like these: they have room to evolve into various sub-types.

Oct 18th 2017 at 12:37:38 PM

Correct; the draft doesn't describe villains. Seto Kaiba is an example of someone who was introduced as a villain, but he's also present as a recurring Anti Hero. He remains an antagonist due to being The Rival to Yugi, and Joey being his Unknown Rival. Then there's Killua, who never serves as the villain for Gon, despite the two of them frequently putting extra competition between each other for fun. His brother (and family, and butlers) occasionally serve as villains, partly to externalize Killua's internal conflict of friendship versus self-preservation.

Nov 6th 2017 at 9:17:17 PM

Well if no one else is gonna launch this....

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