19 comments on “The character archetypes I think are the bees’ knees

  1. Interesting very interesting. I never had you pegged for a fan of the yandere but then again I don’t know that much so who am I to guess.

    You mention Yuuko in the Sex Goddess class when I thought she also kind of fits the trickster role as well. She’s sort of a half half which is kind of rare and that’s what made her so great. Maybe I’m over thinking this a bit but I’ve never been a huge fan of Yandere’s but i think I might be if they were partial yandere and half another archetype. Maybe a Yandere/Trickster could be interesting.

    • Well, as much as female anime characters being horribly dependent on male characters kind of bugs me (pretty much all the yanderes I’ve come across are female), my fascination with what’s going on in their minds, as a student who’s going on to study the more deviant mind at university *squee*, kind of overrides that!

      Yeah, Yuuko’s a woman with many different sides to her…

      Have you ever read the Fruits Basket manga? There’s a character called Akito who fits into 3 of my favourite archetypes: Trap, Trickster and Yandere, a very fascinating character! I guess the more sides to a character, the more interesting they can be…?

  2. I love traps. I have an undying love for Hideyoshi of Bakatest.
    and wow, princess princess. seeing them is pure nostalgia for some reason. XD

  3. I like all women, be they doormats, partners in crime, or sex goddesses (in order of hierarchy). But like men with arrogance and confidence, there’s a fine line between sex goddess and an insufferable wench! A woman can have all three, but if the corners of the triangle are not perfectly balanced, then the strongest corner’s flaws are apparent in stark contrast.

    Yuuko and Yoruichi strike a good balance, but Beatrice’s power dominates the other two aspects and makes her a weaker example. As an example of inclusive rather than exclusive logic, take Zero no Tsukaima’s Kirche: would you put her in the same class? She certainly can eat men for breakfast, and has a dangerous sexuality that she’s used offensively. Power and intelligence are debatable.

    • You like doormats? Wouldn’t you much rather a woman with a bit of fire in her? A woman who could give you a run for your money? A woman who’s a challenge? Eh, to each their own…

      So are you trying to say a character needs more than one good quality, or needs a balance of both good and bad to be likeable?

      • I have partners in crime, and sex goddesses, for all those listed! However, I would be remiss to exclude those who have more accomodating personalities. Hence, why I like all kinds. Personally, I would find it weirder if a guy couldn’t think of any appealing characters for each of the low-mid-high tiers.

        I think a character can have one good quality to be likable. I’m just saying that Sex Goddess is kind of like the Saber class, requiring strong, well-balanced stats to pull off.

  4. These are some awesome archetypes, and you’ve gotten me sold on a few that I wasn’t sure I liked all that much! Yuno creeps me out like no tomorrow but I am undeniably fascinated by her. In many ways I also have to agree with rubicorban about how there are fine lines that make a character likeable and not, even within a certain archetype. I’m inclined to like cynics (Kyon is the master!), it’s easy for them to just be jerks.

    • I suppose you can have too much of a good thing… I mean, I love a hero with a dubious moral-code, like Light, to use him as an example once again in response to a comment, but as soon as they start to break their own rules, they’re no better than the common scum-bag!

  5. B-but tsundere! I enjoy them 😦

    Instead of preferring a certain character archetype, I just want a character that has a reason for acting in that particular way. Be tsundere, I don’t mind, but have a reason for it. Yandere? Go on, have a reason. That’s what I like.

    Even the “shell girl”, like Inori from Guilty Crown, is okay if there is a good reason for it. Although, I would probably still dislike the character, since it lacks personality.

    • Do you think every archetype necessarily needs a reason? I mean, I can’t think of a reason (at least not a particularly story-worthy one) for a character to be ‘genki’ as hell, can you? Yet it’s still incredibly popular, as an archetype.

    • Oh, dang. Marow already did that. *shrugs* Whatever, maybe if I’m lucky I can still get…salmoned…wait that’s not lucky, never mind.

      I can’t say I’m a huge fan of traps, though bishies = ❤ (on a purely superficial level). As for tricksters/sex goddesses, I personally dislike manipulation, so I don't tend to like these characters very much. Which is not to say I hate all manipulation, but it usually puts the characters that use it in an antagonistic light, so manipulative main characters aren't really my thing.

      As for my own favorite trope…I think I'm gonna have to go with the "lonely hero/heroine," as generic and lame as that is. I just always find myself naturally drawn to those characters that help/fight for other people for selfless reasons. Often they're superficial, done poorly, or are in fact perversions of the whole ideal that founds them (e.g. they help other people for their own sense of satisfaction, and thus for selfish reasons. *rolls eyes* How many times have we heard THAT one before), but when done right, I can't help but look up to and admire those characters.

      • It is kind of interesting when the main character has antagonistic qualities though, don’t you think? I grew tired of goody-goody main characters all the way back before I even hit double digits!! And I reckon I’m not the only one- look how popular Light and Lelouch are!

        Are you drawn to the lonely hero/heroine because you see aspects of yourself in them?

        Are you watching Hyouka at the moment? I believe Oreki definitely fits into that category, yet he has antagonistic qualities too. If you are watching the show, what do you think about him?

  6. @Marow Well, I’m not quite sure he fits the bill (he’s a little more of an enigma), but…

    @Ty-chama Well…let me put it this way, I think a good protagonist doesn’t *need* antagonistic qualities (though yes, anti-heroes in general can be quite interesting!). See, I don’t think a lack of “bad” things in a character makes them a goody two shoes. I actually think Hotarou is a good example of this. Aside from being a little selfish, Oreki (I feel) doesn’t actually have any real antagonistic traits. And yet, because of all the character growth/development/change he goes through, he remains an interesting character and a worthy protagonist.

    I definitely agree, though, that some “fighter for justice” who goes to save the princess and beat up the bad guys is boring. What I’m talking about isn’t a law enforcer (so perhaps “hero” was a poor term to use), but a selfless person. I don’t know, I guess it might just be me. But considering how much of our world (and, by extension, most of the worlds we create in fiction) runs on reciprocity and exchange, aren’t characters that would willingly forgo that kind of interesting? I will certainly admit again that these characters are often poorly done. So I guess it’s more the concept that I like, rather than specific characters. Like I said, though, that might just be me.

    “Are you drawn to the lonely hero/heroine because you see aspects of yourself in them?”

    Well, you’ll never get me to admit that I see myself that way, but…

    And on that last note, though I realize I already partially answered it. Yes, I’m watching Hyouka. As for what I think about Hotarou…Well, I like him, certainly. I would argue that most of his actions are in self-interest, however. When he helps Chitanda, I’d say it’s primarily due to his crush on her (though it could also just be due to him not being able to refuse her). And in recent episodes (well…semi-recent, at least, like the arc with Irisu) he was acting in self-interest, attempting to find things out about himself. I don’t really consider selfishness an antagonistic trait, however. We all have *some* of it in ourselves, I think, and having a nominal amount of self-interest is simply considered common sense. I guess that’s part of the reason I gravitate towards selflessness. It’s like, what would make someone abandon common sense/logic? Are they crazy, false (acting in self-interest for a feeling of gratification or whatever), have an epiphany of some kind, or…is that just the way their mind works? Finding that out, and seeing how these characters interact with the rest of their world is something I’ve always found fascinating.

    • OK, you have me sold on characters that fight for others at the expense of themselves. What I like about main characters with antagonistic qualities (aside from the fact they’re a little more interesting than the average goody-two-shoes main character) is that I love a good ol’ twisted mind, I think I mentioned how I love to analyse them and theorise how it got that way, and whilst a hero with selfless qualities isn’t likely to have a twisted mind, per se, it will still be deviant in that it is far from the normal mind-set to have, especially in modern-day societies, therefore, is still fascinating to unpick, as you pointed out. However, I cannot for the life of me think of many characters that act so selflessly, would you mind giving me a couple of examples?

      PS: Hotarou definitely has antagonistic qualities! Did you see how he blackmailed the Executive Committee President into doing his bidding? I call that manipulation! Hardly a desirable quality in a hero!

      • That’s the thing, really, and probably a part of the reason I like this archetype (because it’s rare and therefore special). It’s very difficult to find “pure” examples, and for the life of me I couldn’t think of one throughout the whole discussion. In thinking about it, though, why not take Kenshin as an example? You could interpret his repentance for killing in various ways, but I think it wouldn’t be a stretch at all to suggest that there’s some significant selflessness in him, at least up to the Kyoto arc.

      • You never do find out why Kenshin decided to repent (at least not in the series, that I can remember), but there’s probably some kind of reason, e.g. he met someone that inspired him to change his ways, his conscience kicked in, etc. I mean, can a character do a complete 180 and become completely selfless? Does a completely selfless character even exist?

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