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Magnificent Bastard cleanup thread

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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:
    • Being 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 ó 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Edited by 43110 on Jul 21st 2019 at 9:45:52 AM

SkyCat32 The Draftsman of Doom from Nakatomi Plaza Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
jjjj2 What's up Danger? from somewhere over the rainbow
What's up Danger?
Mar 25th 2020 at 8:50:32 AM

Classic Spaghetti Western. I'd say Harmonica is a dark enough Anti-Hero to count. [tup]

Edited by jjjj2 on Mar 25th 2020 at 11:50:44 AM

Finally beat the Radiance.
43110 People need to be properly guided. from Jupiter, The Man Relationship Status: Consider his love an honor
People need to be properly guided.
Mar 25th 2020 at 9:01:07 AM

Is he? Wobbles is part of Frank's gang so I'm not inclined to take roughing him up alone as enough. How rough is his treatment of Jill? I never got around to watching this one so I'd like a clearer picture of how bad he can get to make it clear he's not just a Guile Hero.

Pending MB writeups MB Drafts MB Dates
Mar 25th 2020 at 9:12:19 AM

I should probably also point out that Frank being a Complete Monster isn't automatically disqualifying, since it's possible (albeit difficult) to be both. What is disqualifying is the fact that he's a rapist.

Complete Monster quotes cleanup
Mar 25th 2020 at 9:17:15 AM

On Wobbles: Wobbles is mainly an indirect member of the gang as he doesn't go out and do dirty work; more an associate. With Jill, Harmonica is mostly cold and curt with her. Harmonica's mainly a stone-cold gunslinger, like The Man with No Name.

"I'll show you the Dark Side." CM actors and kills
Mar 25th 2020 at 9:22:18 AM

Based on the EP, [tup] to Nick.

Any other kid or teen characters count as MB s? As mentioned before, I have Fillmore! on my To-Do List.

jjjj2 What's up Danger? from somewhere over the rainbow
What's up Danger?
Mar 25th 2020 at 9:44:05 AM

The effortpost for Harmonica also states that he prioritizes his own personal vendetta with Frank over actually seeing him dead. This is selfish enough in my mind, coupled with the fact that he's a killer, it's a spaghetti western, he's cold with Jill, that it makes him dark enough to count.

Finally beat the Radiance.
43110 People need to be properly guided. from Jupiter, The Man Relationship Status: Consider his love an honor
People need to be properly guided.
Mar 25th 2020 at 9:44:16 AM

Iíll give a tentative yes to Harmonica then.

Pending MB writeups MB Drafts MB Dates
miraculous The Napoleon of crime from South Africa
The Napoleon of crime
Mar 25th 2020 at 9:52:18 AM

[tup]harmonica

"My horror at his crimes was lost in my admiration at his skill"
Riley1sCool Still the best Star Wars villain. from On the planet. In space. Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Still the best Star Wars villain.
Mar 25th 2020 at 10:17:35 AM

"However, he only marginally treats Jill better than Frank does, as shown in the scene where he advances on her and tears off part of her dress."

Having only seen the opening scene of the film (And what an opening it is), can someone clarify more on this for me?

"To defeat an enemy, you must know them. Not simply their battle tactics, but their history, culture, art."
Mar 25th 2020 at 10:47:44 AM

[up] This is why Harmonica's a bit of a tough one for me... I'm iffy on if he's enough of a "bastard" unless one takes into account his treatment of Jill in that scene, and said treatment of Jill is a bit skeevy, tbh. Yes, there's a solid argument and interpretation that he's only doing it to distract assassins sent after them with Male Gaze, or maybe trying to convince the assassins they are lovers and make them drop their guard (which are just interpretations, mind, I do not believe anyone has a solid Word of God on why he did it), but even still, roughly shoving her around, ripping her dress in various places to reveal more skin then sending her out in the line of fire of assassins so they'll be distracted by her sexy parts (depending on which interpretation you'd like to take) is....hrmm, honestly don't know, might have to abstain on this one.

Harmonica's otherwise a great character, but I don't think I'd call him enough of a bastard—considering everyone else he kills or threatens is murderous and trying to kill him and he does so with just a quick shot of the gun—unless you take that scene with Jill into account, but said scene is kinda ehhhhhh iffy to me.

Edited by Ravok on Mar 25th 2020 at 10:48:03 AM

43110 People need to be properly guided. from Jupiter, The Man Relationship Status: Consider his love an honor
People need to be properly guided.
Mar 25th 2020 at 10:55:55 AM

Okay with someone else who's seen this weighing in, I honestly think I'm going to lean the 'no' route. If he's just using Jill to distract enemies then all he's really got to his name is acting rough and being a dick to the bad guys under Frank. Furthermore I don't care why he wants to kill Frank, removing a CM from the Earth is never a bad thing and it's the same reason I said no to Tom Robinson.

Nevermind, misread what you said Ravok, regardless, I'm amending to an abstain.

Edited by 43110 on Mar 25th 2020 at 1:57:42 PM

Pending MB writeups MB Drafts MB Dates
Riley1sCool Still the best Star Wars villain. from On the planet. In space. Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Still the best Star Wars villain.
43110 People need to be properly guided. from Jupiter, The Man Relationship Status: Consider his love an honor
People need to be properly guided.
Mar 25th 2020 at 10:59:15 AM

Alright, with Ravok and I abstaining that's making him 5-1. Everyone else wanna start weighing in so we can establish a direction?

Pending MB writeups MB Drafts MB Dates
miraculous The Napoleon of crime from South Africa
The Napoleon of crime
Mar 25th 2020 at 11:07:07 AM

Switch to abstain.

"My horror at his crimes was lost in my admiration at his skill"
Mar 25th 2020 at 11:17:00 AM

That dress thing actually make Harmonica sound like TOO much of a bastard.

Hmm. Abstain.

SkyCat32 The Draftsman of Doom from Nakatomi Plaza Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
The Draftsman of Doom
43110 People need to be properly guided. from Jupiter, The Man Relationship Status: Consider his love an honor
People need to be properly guided.
Mar 25th 2020 at 11:36:55 AM

Don't know if we've seen something like this before: without it, he sounds like a Guile Hero through and through and I'll restate that I don't care why he's going after Frank when the end result is stripping the world of a nasty bastard but with it... well, it doesn't age well.

Pending MB writeups MB Drafts MB Dates
Mar 25th 2020 at 11:42:48 AM

Going to give a cautious no to Harmonica.

jjjj2 What's up Danger? from somewhere over the rainbow
What's up Danger?
Mar 25th 2020 at 11:46:24 AM

Keeping my upvote. We have a Jojo keeper who did weird sexual things with heads hands, if I remember correctly. Now granted it is Jojo and the tone is completely different...

edit: Oh hands instead of heads. Well still keeping my upvote.

Edited by jjjj2 on Mar 25th 2020 at 3:29:25 PM

Finally beat the Radiance.
Riley1sCool Still the best Star Wars villain. from On the planet. In space. Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Still the best Star Wars villain.
Mar 25th 2020 at 12:26:06 PM

He likes hands, and I think it's a somewhat different scenario. (Although I myself would be happy to see Kira taken down.)

"To defeat an enemy, you must know them. Not simply their battle tactics, but their history, culture, art."
43110 People need to be properly guided. from Jupiter, The Man Relationship Status: Consider his love an honor
People need to be properly guided.
Mar 25th 2020 at 12:30:28 PM

Gonna disagree there, Kira has a fixation but itís part of JoJoís zany humour and he has dinner with them. Heís not using disembodied hands to jerk himself off or anything distasteful, Harmonicaís issue lies with him abusing a woman and throwing her into the way of danger to distract targets.

Pending MB writeups MB Drafts MB Dates
jjjj2 What's up Danger? from somewhere over the rainbow
What's up Danger?
Mar 25th 2020 at 12:35:06 PM

This is the last I will post about it, I didn't think they were the same, I just felt we have keepers who do iffy sexual things.

Finally beat the Radiance.
Mar 25th 2020 at 12:43:17 PM

The fundamental fact is Harmonica is pretty clean cut by Leone standards. He uses Jill as bait, but intends on no harm to come to her, and he doesn't allow Frank to kill anyone under his watch except Morton. Harmonica is a straight Guile Hero...compare Blondie/The Man with No Name who guns down pretty innocent bounty hunters going after Tuco and abandoning Tuco in the desert.


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