Characters: Anti-heroes, Lelouch and Light Yagami

The anti-hero is the exact opposite of the usual protagonist. Anti-heroes arn’t very common in anime. They are idealistic and want nothing but justice, even if that implies killing another human being. For some reason I have come to love them ( If their character is written correctly ).

There are diffrent types of anti-heroes, in this post I will be talking about my personal favourites, Light from Death Note and Lelouch from Code Geass.They punish evil using evil, bestowing fear upon the innocent to keep the order. Some would say that what they’re doing is wrong, and some agree with their methods. Taking a look at Code Geass and Death Note it looks like the protagonists are trying to become the dictators of the entire world. Truth is, what they’re doing is neighter wrong nor right. Killing innocent people may not be fair, but letting evil prevail isn’t fair eighter.

Death note and Code Geass were the anime that kept me watching no matter what. Once I started watching, I couldn’t stop. Those are the two anime that got me into anime. If you did not see them reccomend you do. They’re a top priority!



16 thoughts on “Characters: Anti-heroes, Lelouch and Light Yagami

  1. So the thing about normal protagonists is that they’re typically average characters that the audience can relate to. If you’re trying to create an idealistic anti-hero, you really have no way of making them a normal person because they’re effectively antagonizing the entire world and have to have the personality to deal with that. I’ve always liked the idea of the anti-hero because the very core of their design is that their actions are morally ambiguous. They make you question your ideals and beliefs, and really think about your views of the world and other people. As opposed to a standard protagonist that is designed to make you agree with their values and beliefs.

    • Well said!

      A typical protagonist is no fun. A typical shounen protagonist would protect his friends and fight the bad guys which is simply stupid!

      Its kind of sad how Code Geass and Death Note ended. I was very dissapointed to see my favourite characters die, but that was to be expected.

      • >A typical shounen protagonist

        Well there’s your problem right there. Nobody watches shounen for the characters and plots. They watch it to see people get the piss beaten out of ’em in a flashy and over-the-top style.

  2. >trying to become the dictators of the entire world.

    Which is exactly what Light was trying to do. Let’s face it, Light was an omnicidal megalomaniac whose vague ideas of ‘justice’ boiled down to ‘Whatever I feel like at the time.’ And, let’s face it, to Light /every/ crime is punishable by death.

    Sure, he was a decent guy waybackwhen, but in reality he lived and died as a genius with a serious god complex.

    Not going to comment on Lelouch because I’ve haven’t seen enough of Geass, nor am I particularly planning on it.

    If you want well-done antiheroism, look at Yukiteru from Mirai Nikki or Ulfric Stormcloak from Skyrim. Yuki is killing people to become God, all so he can create a better world. Not a ‘give me all the power’ world like Light, but a legitimately better one.

    Ulfric? Yeah, he’s a hateful and racist sonuvabitch (Grey Quarter, Windhelm). But he sees that his people’s way of life is being ripped from them and he’s not going to put up with that. Yeah, he killed the High King, But, despite all the empire’s complaining, he did so in an honorable, traditional fashion.

    You could probably even lump the Empire in Skyrim in there. Yeah, they sold your right to religious freedom, but if they didn’t, the Thalmor were going to absolutely wreck all of Tamriel’s that isn’t there’s.

      • Pretty much, yeah. And it all depends on which side of the story you take, too, which is another big part of anti-heroism.

        Did Ulfric /murder/ the High King, or did he challenge him to a duel?

        Did Tullius sell our souls to elves or was he just trying to save his people?

        Hell, even Alduin counts in some weird fashion. Is he really trying to harm mortals or is he simply trying to do his job (which is end this world, then begin the new one)?

  3. Ahh, anti-heroes, love them. The “normal” hero doesn’t truly exist; I think heroes tend to lean towards the “anti-hero” side. As you stated, justice by any means necessary. The criminals must be punished even if it means taking some innocents down with them. There seems to be a love/hate relationship in the blogosphere when it comes to Lelouch and Light. I actually liked both of the characters. Yes, Light went a little wild but he was punished for it in the end. Lelouch was fueled by anger but he did have a heart, I think Light lost his.

    • >punished for it in the end.

      That’s one of the big reasons I liked Death Note. The ‘bad guy’ (villain protagonist, technically) didn’t get off scot-free. He got shot a whole bunch and ran away to think about his life in the final moments of it.

      Part of me hopes he realized just how badly he fucked up and another part hopes that, despite all the evil he’s done, he doesn’t have any regrets. I’m not entirely sure which would be more true to the character.

    • Yea, Light lost his heart towards the middle of the show but that’s because nothing else mattered except for his dream , a fair world without any criminals. At the begining of the show he said that he doesn’t care what heappens to him as long as he can change the world. Turns out he did care about himself when he was running away from everyone at the moment when they proved he is kira.

      As for Lelouch, he also fucked up by the end of the show but he realized he was wrong and accepted his sentence, the zero requiem.

      They’re both memorable characters and they both made the same mistake. They manipulated the people who trusted them and in the end they thew them away.

      • >a fair world without any criminals.

        I’m sorry, but you misspelled god complex.

        and that is my smartass comment for today

        now i want to do a post on archetypes…

  4. Pingback: Liebster Blog Award « Black Strawberry

  5. Interesting post. I’ve always liked this kind of character but they are very uncommon and there hasn’t been a good one for a few years. I’m sure another one will come along eventually but only time will tell.

    I wonder if it’s possible for a character like this to exist in a situation which doesn’t involve world domination or at least the domination of a country.

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