Cliches of Antiheroes



In the original comics, Thanos did it to woo death. It’s way more appealing imo than the movies because it’s just so chaotic evil.

Especially considering that Death told him to bug off afterwards.


I hated Light too. He had good intentions but I would have liked it if the creators kept him true to his original goal. In the beginning he was against killing innocent people but as the series went on, he was keen to throw anyone under the bus. He would have been an interesting anti-hero if he actually used his wits to outsmart everyone coming after Kira rather than kill them off.


I rooted for Mello tbh.


Took me a while to recall which anime you’re talking about. Code Geass lol. He wasn’t exactly protecting his sister. More like building an entirely new world by destroying the current one. But there is so much more to Lelouch than that. His actions actually pit him against his sister at one point. His ideals are actually pretty logical. More on the lines of ‘terrorist to one person is a hero to another person’. He fought for the oppressed people but didn’t really care for them. His endgame was simply to bring down the people who wronged him and his sister but the means he used had no moral ground.


I actually liked his descent into villainy. But I disliked him from the get-go. He seemed like a spoiled egomaniac from the beginning to me. I didn’t feel like he killed the “bad guys” to make the world a better place. It seemed like he did it because it made him feel as important as he thought he was. That was just my take from it, though (and it’s been a while since I watched it).


I find these days the lines are very blurred between “imperfect” heroes and outright anti-heroes.

In (stereotypical, granted) oldschool fiction the hero was just the immaculately good guy. Everything that was regarded socially unacceptable wasn’t something he (because, let’s face it, they also were 98% male) would do: no drugs, no swearing, no sex. Help all the weak, and the women, and the children. Care about everyone, punish all evil, never lose, always stand on the moral highground - don’t fight for revenge, fight for justice - etc.

And at some point (well, more like a gradual development and all that) writers went and said: hang on! Such people don’t exist. This is not how reality works. Maybe we want our fiction to be better grounded in how the world really works, want them to be more relatable.

So heroes got negative traits. Maybe the occasionally used bad language (gasp). Or were actually a bit of rogue with the ladies (doublegasp). Or maybe even grudgingly teamed up with some vaguely bad guy to defeat a bigger bad guy (scandalous!).

And then you take that concept even further and you have an anti-hero. Maybe the protagonist isn’t anymore the good guy who teams up with the vaguely bad one, but it’s the vaguely bad one who is forced to team up with the good guy (and probably becomes a better person through this). And so on.

So, sure, there’s still many anti-heroes that are easily identifiable by being very far away from the concept of classic heroes. But there’s also a lot right now that are kinda in the middle - maybe some a bit more anti-hero, maybe some a bit more “proper” hero - and the differences are basically down to how they are presented or how the audience feels about them.

Anyway, we were talking about tropes; in that case - it’s usually about the anti-heroes abandoning their anti-heroism. It’s too often done in a cheesy way - like their love interest teaching them to give up on their vengeance or something. That’s something that I usually find badly done.


There are different ways to look at it. He was shown as a bored teenager anyway. He needed the attention. But he seriously pissed me off when he was willing to sacrifice his own sister to save his own ass.