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Cleanup thread: Magnificent Bastard

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  • Why do a cleanup?: This trope definitely exists and has has a well documented history of use. That being said, it frequently gets misused to a character who meets one of the components, namely that they are smart, charming while not necessarily even being a villain, or create good plans. While these are components, there is also a certain personality required, not to mention that all of the above are required to be present for a character to be a true Magnificent Bastard. As the trope attracts interest, it unfortunately brings in a lot of misuse and I thought the best way to rectify this would be a Perpetual Cleanup Thread, as is being done and has seen success with Complete Monster.

  • What makes a Magnificent Bastard: Below are a list of the individual components to make this character. Note that they must all be present, not just some, which has lead to frequent misuse:
    • Must be intelligent: Goes without saying, to be a Magnificent Bastard, the character has to be smart in the first place and use their brain to work towards whatever their end goal may be;
    • Must be a Bastard: While going overboard in how vile the character is can be detrimental, a key aspect is the Bastard part of the trope, whether the character is an out-and-out antagonist in the work, some manner of Villain Protagonist, or something in between, they at least have some unscrupulous qualities to qualify for this trope;
    • Must not be too detestable: Again, there is a ceiling on how bad the character can be before they just become too nefarious, blocking out the Magnificent part of the trope. A genocidal racist or child-raping Sadist aren't going to make the cut;
    • Think on their feet: In addition to being a Chessmaster, a Magnificent Bastard, if the character deals with situations in which their initial plan is ruined, has to be able to pull a Xanatos Speed Chess and at least come up with a competent strategy to make up for lost time, otherwise they fail for being unable to think in tough spots;
    • Have charm: Even if they don't necessarily make every character they meet fall in love with them and can even be detested by others, the audience has to find an amicable social relation to the character, or they are failing to make the impact required for this trope.

  • What to do if a character is listed on a page but has not been approved?: They need to be removed, all candidates need to come through the cleanup thread first. The character could well count but they need to be analyzed properly and voted on first.

  • Do we list Playing With this trope?: No, while this, like any other trope can be played with, we only want examples that explain it being Played Straight.

  • What do I do if I want a character to be listed as a Magnificent Bastard?: The greatest success Complete Monster saw for its cleanup effort was from the invention of the effort post format, so, borrowing from that, a troper wishing to propose a Magnificent Bastard will create such a post in the following format:
    • Begin by describing The work, this will help establish the setting the character is in and for the reader to understand what kind of a scenario they are in;
    • Summarize The character's actions, this will provide a listing for readers to understand what they do and how it applies to this trope because charm and lack of smugness are so crucial, this is a good time to be incorporating exactly the flavour of how they operate to explain this;
    • List circumstances in which the character must Think on their feet, these are times where a wrench might be thrown in their initial plan and they have to adapt on the spot or even come up with a new scheme all together, this is also a good time to explain how the villain reacts to defeat when they have to face it, a true Magnificent Bastard won't break down into tears at the thought of death, they should have known such a possibility could occur and be able to handle it with more dignity;
    • The competition, similar to the Heinous Standard dealt with for a Complete Monster, this section is to deal with how successful the character is in carrying out their plans compared to other characters. While, as a villain, they probably are going to lose in the end, it is good to explain how other characters handle the same situation. There is no exceptionalism case to be made for this trope but explaining the variety helps the reader have a better understanding of the proposal.

  • How do you know when the character's arc is done so they can be proposed? When their tenure as a villain or antagonist finishes. This could happen in a single Story Arc in an entire work, a single work of a franchise, or the whole series in general. We'll show lenience to Long-Runners with constantly recurring candidates or series with outstanding continuities (ex. comic books), and it's entirely possible to count in a work or two but not in general for a reason like Depending on the Writer.

  • What about candidates evil because of external sources? Those Made of Evil can qualify if they show enough individuality and tactical acumen — in other words, they have the personality to fulfill the magnificence requirement. Conversely, those brainwashed, especially if they're a better person without it, may fail the individuality aspect and cannot count.

  • What if they are under orders from a higher-up? Depends. If the boss created the plans down to the letter and the candidate is just following them, sounds like we should discuss the boss instead. However, if the candidate takes creative liberties with the orders, adds their own charm and flair to them, fills in holes in the orders, and/or actively deals with obstacles their boss did not talk about, the candidate shows enough individual thinking to qualify.

  • What about Character Development? An MB is something a character can develop into... a nice person who plots well might become more morally grey as the work goes on and hits the "Bastard" criteria, thus making them viable. Likewise, a Smug Snake might shed their ego, become more understanding of the threat others pose and gain the personality or "Magnificent" criteria, likewise making them viable. Conversely, a character who looks like this trope might suffer from a Sanity Slippage or just get outed as not being as smart as they thought they were and become incompatible with MB.

  • Can an MB be a good guy? Not in the conventional sense... it is required they have at least some dubious traits lest they fail the "Bastard" criteria. That being said, a character who pulls a Heel–Face Turn or eventually stops taking villainous actions is still fair game: as there was a point in time where they were both "Magnificent" and a "Bastard" at the same time and they've merely adapted as time goes on. Now... if such a character begins showing other issues (i.e.: becomes prone to freak outs or starts getting outwitted) then they're compromising their Magnificence and will probably be deemed a cut. What's important is stylishly operating while at least for some time being willing to take at best underhanded methods to see a job done. A Heel–Face Turn in itself isn't a disqualifier but they do have to have been "Magnificent" and a "Bastard" at the same time and afterwards can't start slipping on the former front.

  • Is there a timeframe rule like with Complete Monster?: Yes, please wait two weeks until after the work has concluded before proposing a character (again, usually using the North American airdate). As is the case with CM, we want to give a reasonable time frame so that everyone interested in seeing the work has done so and can participate in the discussion without having anything spoiled.

  • What about groups like with Complete Monster?: This is a point of divergence between the two tropes. While CM does not allow for a single entry encompassing more than three characters lest their heinousness for crimes becomes too watered down, with MB as long as they are treated as one "unit" it is acceptable to lump all characters provided they share acts of charm and intelligence.

  • Can I propose my own work's character as a Magnificent Bastard?: No, this is a YMMV subject and the creator of a content is way too biased to be able to evaluate the criteria we're looking for without a second opinion taking over. That being said, you are more than welcome to encourage someone to consume your creation and if they feel a character counts, are more than welcome to suggest them.

Thread rules

When voting a troper must specify the effort post they're voting on and cannot merely vote on "Everything I missed" as in the past it has indicated the poster didn't read the effort post and is guessing instead of analyzing.

Resolved items

In general, a character listed on this trope is considered "settled". This means they should not be challenged unless information used to list them was incorrect or information was missed in the initial discussion.

This especially applies to the characters listed below, whom have been discussed excessively and repeated attempts to get them listed/cut may result in punitive action for bogging down the thread.

Definitely an MB

Definitely not an MB

  • South Park: The show's frequent use of vulgar comedy and mean-spirited humour leaves any potential candidates devoid of the dignity or charm to qualify.

Edited by 43110 on Jun 2nd 2021 at 12:22:03 PM

TiMBer1566 The Dragon from Virginia Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
The Dragon
Jun 10th 2021 at 1:26:57 PM

Wait hold on, this game isn't out yet? But I've been hearing about it since 2014...

"For I am the Dragon, Dracul! I am the Prince of Darkness! That... that is my vengeance"!"
AustinDR from Fresh and ready for life.
Jun 10th 2021 at 1:28:24 PM

Because the creator procrastinated a lot and thinks adding new Easter eggs is cool above finishing a game.

This playdate is over!!
Jun 10th 2021 at 1:31:56 PM

And he's apparently (from what I've heard) inefficient when it comes to coding.

Edited by ImperialMajestyXO on Jun 10th 2021 at 1:32:08 AM

Complete Monster quotes cleanup
jjjj2 ... from Hallownest
Jun 10th 2021 at 1:37:49 PM

[tdown]Ryoba. Psycho-yandere's being possible rapists are a big no-no here. Even putting aside that, kidnapping someone so they'd love you is a strong indicator on the charm needed for this not being there. She might have charm, but it's not the type that would make you "magnificent."

You can only write so much in your forum signature. It's not fair that I want to write a piece of writing yet it will cut me off in the mid
Jun 10th 2021 at 2:04:34 PM

Now that I think of it, this wasn't my best nomination. Thank you for your opinions. grin

Jun 10th 2021 at 2:04:41 PM

Ryogba sounds like a firm no.

Klavice That's Robophobic! from Where a wholesome robot girl is. Relationship Status: Seeking boyfriend-free girl
That's Robophobic!
Jun 10th 2021 at 2:10:34 PM

No to Ryoba.

I fell on my head and now I have a concussion, so I'll probably be taking some time off from this thread to recover.

Official curator of the Danganronpa Cleanup. Using "this troper" or "imagine" is an annoyance. Don't do it.
jjjj2 ... from Hallownest
Jun 10th 2021 at 2:11:49 PM

Hope you feel better Klavice.

You can only write so much in your forum signature. It's not fair that I want to write a piece of writing yet it will cut me off in the mid
43110 You should start singing for yourself now. from Mars Relationship Status: Abstaining
You should start singing for yourself now.
Jun 10th 2021 at 2:14:28 PM

No to Ryoba. Sorry Klavice, take care of yourself!

Pending MB writeups MB Drafts MB Dates
Ordeaux26 from Canada Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Jun 10th 2021 at 2:15:30 PM

Yeah Yandere Dev is completely inept.

DreamWorks MB's
227someguy I hate spoilers
I hate spoilers
Jun 10th 2021 at 2:21:29 PM

Get well, Klavice. I don't usually comment on these types of things, but take your time.

Everyone look at my sandbox
Bullman The Devil in Prada Relationship Status: Longing for my OTP
The Devil in Prada
Jun 10th 2021 at 2:23:33 PM

No to Ryoba.

Sorry to hear that Klavice. Take care of yourself.

Fan-Preferred Couple Cleanup
nwotyzal When you forget an S
When you forget an S
Jun 10th 2021 at 2:29:01 PM

[tdown]Ryoba with prejudice (it's creator is one of the few people I can, without a doubt, call a loser)

[tup]the Romulans & Erinyes

@Klavice take care man

SkyCat32 The Draftsman of Doom from Kyoto Prefecture Relationship Status: Longing for my OTP
The Draftsman of Doom
Jun 10th 2021 at 2:36:31 PM

Yes to Erinyes.

No to Ryo.

Refua Shlema, Klav.

I will take a potato chip...and eat it!
therealjackieboy from Austin, TX Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Jun 10th 2021 at 2:47:28 PM

Get better, Klav


What's the work?

Appleseed, a manga by Masamune Shirow, is one of his earliest sci-fi mangas to achieve success… until that other sci-fi manga would later come and achieved far greater success, but that’s beside the point.

So you know the gist by now. Post-apocalypse show set in the utopian city of Olympus, full of bioroids and humans-alike, but it’s also swarming with crime. It’s up to couple Deunan and Briareos to take down these no-gooders and protect their city.

Unfortunately, the series only lasted four volumes. There would’ve been more, but Shirow lost his notes in an earthquake, and decided to just end the series rather than rewrite everything again. Speaking of which, we’ll be looking at Volume 3 for this candidate.

Who is She?

Artemis Alpeia is a hybrid combat bioroid created with a mix of human and feline DNA, and as a result, is a more feral, cat-like android. Nevertheless, she proves to be far smarter than she lets on.

What does she do?

Having escaped the Olympus laboratory and resided in the war-torn New York City, Artemis survives by killing and eating people and dogs. When she’s caught by ESWAT to be returned back to the lab, Artemis wakes up, fends herself against a squad of soldiers, and crashes the helicopter taking her back, escaping from the wreckage. Getting into a chase with ESWAT, Artemis is able to display some quick thinking skills and acrobatic agility to make a daring escape. She even lures Briareos to a marketplace, where she swipes a gun off some stand and shoot him in the eye when he almost catches her. After hiding for a bit behind another stand, Artemis finds ESWAT giving up and heading home.

Later found at the end of the volume to reside in an open jungle area on the outskirts of Olympus, with the ESWAT bioroid Fang tasked with retrieving her, Fang finds that Artemis has planted dozens of traps along the way, which almost kills one of his men, Magus. Artemis, who is surviving by hunting fish with a bow and arrow, is found by Fang and his men. But, she had planted traps right by her, and Magus almost ends up drowning as a result. Artemis kills one of Fang’s men with a poison arrow and makes a break for it, with Fang hot on her tail. Arriving at a tourist spot, Artemis covers herself in plaster in an attempt to blend in as a statue and lose Fang. Problem is, covering yourself in plaster isn’t good for you, as Artemis finds out while trying to hide from Fang.

Artemis is taken back to the Olympus laboratory to be experimented on, where she’s found to be the key to solving Gaia’s problems; mainly, she has the capability to “preserve and protect the wild side of human nature” with the code she contains. But she’s allowed to live in Olympus with Hitomi, even offering her a frog leg to eat. In the final volume’s epilogue, Artemis is shown to have given birth to three offspring, just as wild and zany as her.

Is she charming? Intelligent? Able to think on her feet?

Artemis is such a unique character to Appleseed. A feral bioroid who possesses a cunning, yet animalistic mind, Artemis is able to get by through fast reflexes and her strength. She’s more than just a savage beast, as shown through her traps, acrobatics, and more. She doesn’t speak, but her actions totally define her.

And while she doesn’t exactly succeed in escaping the Olympus labs, she’s shown to have now become a stable citizen of Olympus with the potential to keep the city in balance through her coding, showing that she can be important, friendly, and civilized when she has to.

Is she a bitch? Too much of one?

She’s more of a Molly tbh.

In all seriousness, her eating humans and dogs at the beginning was just a survival tactic (post-apocalypse New York is such a shithole, people can barely survive), as she’s shown to eat regular animals just fine. Though her killing of humans at the beginning, as shown through what’s left of her victims, is quite brutal, almost Predator-like in her killings.

Other than that, Artemis is shown to not be so awful at the end when she's around Hitomi and Deunan, and like I said, she’s shown to adjust to society fine at the end, even if she still eats like… well, an animal.

The competition?

There really aren’t many candidates in the manga surprisingly enough. Most villains come in packs and lacking in name or identity, and some villains aren’t as clever or vile as they could’ve been.

Artemis really stands out from the crowd. She’s not exactly villainous, but she’s not a paragon of purity either. She’s just a smart animal-hybrid doing what she can to survive, all while looking badass in the process.


An interesting character in the manga that I think is a keep.

Edited by therealjackieboy on Jun 10th 2021 at 2:55:25 AM

"Objection, your honor! The podrace was pretty cool."
jjjj2 ... from Hallownest
Jun 10th 2021 at 2:58:24 PM

Interesting find there. [tup]Artemis.

You can only write so much in your forum signature. It's not fair that I want to write a piece of writing yet it will cut me off in the mid
GeorgieEnkoom Emperor Georgie Artémis Enkoom Evulz II from Somewhere.
Emperor Georgie Artémis Enkoom Evulz II
Jun 10th 2021 at 3:41:36 PM

Aye to Artemis. Silent MBs are always interesting finds.

Edited by GeorgieEnkoom on Jun 10th 2021 at 12:41:54 PM

The more money we come across, the more problems we see.
DemonDuckofDoom from Some Pond in Hell Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
G-Editor Munin from Deca-Dence Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Jun 10th 2021 at 3:50:08 PM

[tup] to Artemis

Take care of yourself Klavice

the cutest complete monster ever
Jun 10th 2021 at 3:55:13 PM

[tup] to Fujiko Mine and Daisuke Jigen, Jorge Salcedo, Desmond Hume, Sub-Commander Selok and Admiral Mendak, Enriyes and Artemis.

43110 You should start singing for yourself now. from Mars Relationship Status: Abstaining
You should start singing for yourself now.
DoodSlayer136 "What is wrong with you people!?!" from If I told you, I'd have to kill you Relationship Status: Waiting for you *wink*
"What is wrong with you people!?!"
Jun 10th 2021 at 4:27:45 PM

I still don’t know what to put here.

“What’s the work?”

Skylanders Imaginators is the most recent entry in the Skylanders series of video games, in which a team of various heroic monsters battle the evil forces of Kaos, all with the power of merchandising.

In this game, Kaos, having abandoned the dark magic he used to harness thanks to the previous game, has taken up Imagination magic, which was used by the Ancients to create Skylands, and uses it to create a band of minions known as the “Doomlanders”. After the first couple are beaten, he decides to seek out a helmet that’ll apparently give him all the knowledge he needs on creating minions. Only, after stealing it and putting it on, he finds out that his help is a lot more sarcastic than he predicted. Which brings us to our subject:

“Who is Brain?”

The last of the Ancients and a literal floating brain, who manages to turn Kaos into an honest-to-god threat.

“What’s he do?”

His backstory, as he casually mentions later, reveals that he was the only evil member of the otherwise benevolent Ancients, having been sealed away by them using dragon magic. This ended up backfiring, as it’s implied that the Ancients were wiped out by something while Brain survived in captivity, scheming to find a way out.

When he meets Kaos, he happily aids the sorcerer in his plans to make the ultimate army, using his knowledge to gradually improve the Doomlanders, as well as tip Kaos off on locations to make his minions stronger, like gathering the drinks Pop Fizz uses or unleashing a giant guacamole monster on the Skylanders. After a while of Kaos failing to kill the heroes, Brain then pulls his trump card: The prison he’s sealed in is at a nearby casino, and tells him that he can truly help if he frees him. However, the Skylanders were spying on him and Kaos, and make it to the casino to open the vault and capture Brain themselves.

Thankfully for him, this ends up backfiring on the heroes, as it turns out that the jar he’s trapped in is fully mobile, something he uses to immediately haul ass outta there to Kaos, fully intending to uphold his end of the bargain. Upon Kaos opening the jar, Brain wastes no time in using his massive amounts of power to hypnotize a massive chunk of Skylands, happily allowing Kaos to control them all. He also puts up an impenetrable forcefield just in case, alongside revamping Kaos’s castle. Unbeknownst to him, however, is that Spyro (forgot he was in this series, didn’t you?) is immune due to being a dragon, and after freeing his close friends of the mind control, they hatch a plan to break into Kaos’s lair via a giant cake.

This ends up working, albeit not after Brain points out how goddamn suspicious it is that Kaos’s enemies are delivering him a cake even if he’s won, which Kaos just brushes off. After finding out Brain was right, Kaos then reveals to his enemies that not only did he and Brain turn the lair into a death trap, Kaos also made beefy clones of himself as backup. After the Skylanders overcome those and reach the duo, Kaos demands that Brain powers him up to fight them, to which Brain, at this point tired of Kaos’s bullshit, apathetically does so.

Halfway through the fight, however, Brain finally gets fed up with how much of an asshole Kaos has been to him, and powers up the Skylanders to fight Kaos on an even level, earning them victory. Still being confronted by the heroes afterwards due to aiding Kaos, he manages to bargain his way out of a punishment by offering his assistance to them, being an all powerful being and all. The Skylanders, no stranger to a Heel–Face Turn, accept his offer, and he joins Skylanders Academy as the new professor, using his knowledge to point towards various crimes around Skylands, which comprises of the post-game content.


Personality’s no problem, he’s an Affably Evil cosmic being that’s happy aid the guy who’s freed him for no extra cost, never really showing a personal endgame other than freeing himself, and even then he still helps Kaos out of gratitude. He does get more rude and sarcastic towards him at the end, but that’s because Kaos was treating him like dirt throughout the entire game, so really it’s understandable. He also takes to his bargained redemption extremely well, even admitting that doing good’s more fun than he expected. The one problem is that the guy openly has an ego, but he’s happy to compliment someone when he wants and is able to back up his claims, so it’s nowhere near obnoxious.

As for cunning, the guy’s able to turn Kaos from a bumbling dumbass to a competent threat, convince the extremely stubborn villain into freeing him, happily takes advantage of the Skylanders freeing him to hightail it outta there towards Kaos, casually take over Skylands and beef up his lairs defenses, also staging an attack on the dragons that imprisoned him in the first place, and proves to be a monumental help as a good guy, not to mention being smart enough to offer his assistance to save himself. I’d say he passes.


Helps Kaos hypnotize Skylands into obeying him. Easy pass.


How’s he looking?

If it ain't broke, then I'll break it for ya!
jjjj2 ... from Hallownest
Jun 10th 2021 at 4:32:10 PM

[tup]Kaos. Brain, heh missed my brain there...

Edited by jjjj2 on Jun 10th 2021 at 7:45:07 AM

You can only write so much in your forum signature. It's not fair that I want to write a piece of writing yet it will cut me off in the mid

Total posts: 49,829

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