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The Bad Boys of Anime
By His Lordship Chaos
[Cue an SD Dark Schnieder stomping onto the rant with evidently no regard for the opening musical segment!]
SD Dark Schnieder-chan: [grrrr!] "So Mister Beveridge *wants* a 26 episode Kishin Corps series?! Lemme at him! Lemme at him!"
SD Chaos-chan: o.O [trying to hold Schnieder back] "No, Darshu! Don't nuke the webmaster! Not the webmaster!!"
SD Dark Schnieder-chan: "Get off me, you half-pint otaku!"
SD Chaos-chan: [panicky li'l fanboy] "But everyone's entitled to their opinions! Especially the guy who runs this site!"
SD Dark Schnieder-chan: "Well evidently his opinion sucks! Now let me go kick his--!!"
[Cue an SD Eva Braun who abruptly walks into the rant...and then slaps Dark Schnieder across the face.]
SD Eva Braun-chan: [hmph!] "Oh, give it a rest, you whiny demon sorcerer. You really need a hug from your mommy, don't you?"
[Cue the evil demonic battle aura!]
SD Dark Schnieder-chan: [grrrr] "What?"
SD Chaos-chan: [groan!] "Oh no."
SD Dark Schnieder-chan: "MEGADETH!!!!"
[The super-deformed ranting feature has been abruptly terminated. We now return you to our scheduled ranting.]
Yes, with such an introduction as that to today's rant, it can mean only one thing! No...we're not going to have another onsen scene again. Lock away your cute, young & nubile daughters! Hide that mobile suit you've been washing every day with a diaper! Make certain you're fully insured, and that you've left for vacation somewhere in a parallel universe like El Hazard. The bad boys of Anime are coming, and they're worse than Hell's Grannies ever could be. Indeed, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they show up and you're left holding the fizzled-out Beam Sabre?
Anime has always had male characters who really could care less about the integrity of the plot, the psychological drama the other characters are going through, or even the epic "save the world before we're taken over by giant, evil slices of Gorgonzola cheese" crusade. They're in Anime for three things: hot Sake, nubile babes, and the chance to kick the crap out of something.
And naturally most writers out there fear these bad boys so much, they at the very least indulge that latter mass destruction segment. But what's so bad about that, asks the otaku with the Y chromosome. After all, such guys at the very least show they have a healthy testosterone level...provided they're a herd of bull elephants during the rutting season.
These bad boys'll kick you when you down. And then laugh. And then lovingly point their middle finger at you and utter some sort of spell that consequently results in epic property damage and a field team of landscapers throwing up their hands to exclaim in exasperation, "How many more times do we have to redraw the maps?!"
Rurouni Kenshin's resident gangster boy, Sanosuke (you know, the one who carries that sword with a blade about as high as he is), picks fights just because he feels like it. Vegeta, the downright nasty Saiyan warrior, would sooner see a planet destroyed than help "that damned Kakarotto!" Male Maze more than makes up for his whining female Maze counterpart with his hormones from hell and colourful vocabulary that usually results in any censor being reduced to a smoking piece of melted metal. Junpei is one of my favorites: where else can you have a job that entails riding around in a T-74 tank, and stripping hapless Elf-girls nekkid?
Junpei: "Ah! It's good to be alive!"
Chaos: --;; "Don't you people ever sleep?"
Junpei: [hmph!] "You're just jealous of my wild and sexy design."
Chaos: "That's a just a T-shirt logo! And a really stupid one at that!"
Dark Schnieder: "You got a problem with his wild and sexy design, Chaos?"
Chaos: o.O "Um...."
In Slayers, the demon Xellos loves to gleefully play with the cast while implementing some evil plan...of which only Amelia ever seems to complain about. Granted most everyone else complains about Amelia, but that's beside the point! Even hentai has it's poster child for "evidently therapy didn't help me" attitude with Jyako Amano of Urotsukidoji. And as for this column's resident bad boy, Bastard!!'s Dark Schnieder--
Dark Schnieder: [priming a Venom spell] "Get your super-deformed butt back here, so I can kick it, fanboy!"
Chaos: o.O "RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!"
Yet these types of bad boys are protagonists. They're given the chance to waste everything in sight because as heroes they can get away with it.
What more does the Shonen crowd want? How about *evil* Anime bad boys?
Now El Hazard's resident villain, Jinnai, doesn't have the supernatural powers most other guys possess, but he neatly compensates for that by his maniacal cackling. I swear, if we ever put him and Naga into a room together, the room would spontaneously combust just to end its suffering.
Two of the baddest and best posterchildren for severely needing a hug would be X's Fuma and Fushigi Yugi's Nakago. Perhaps we could throw in FFVII's Sephiroth too! Granted these guys would as soon annihilate the rest of the cast and then come after you before ever paying attention to just whose side they were supposed to be on, but since they're the ones with the freaky killer psychic powers, are you going to argue with them? Now that we've established who these bad boys of Anime are, we are left with a perplexing question: what is the allure such characters have? Why do we always cheer and admire them?
Xellos: ^^ "Sore wa...himitsu desu!"
Chaos: "It is not a secret! Geez, you let one demon into the rant and suddenly everyone wants top billing for a cameo."
Xellos: [opening his eyes...and thus ready to smite somebody] "You care to make something out of it with a Mazoku, fanboy?"
Chaos: ^-^;; [large Bambi eyes] "Did I ever tell you I loved your work in Slayers Try?"
The question certainly boggles the mind, right up there with this philosophical conundrum: if a tree falls in the forest, and Lina Inverse Dragu Slaves it, would there be any survivors left to notice?
In all honesty, I think we like these guys because they are utterly rebellious--and can get away with it. Most Anime villains (or even heroes) would stop upon seeing such a character, and then graciously excuse themselves before screaming like a girl and then catching the first taxi cab to Cephiro. Yes, it's good to know people fear you more than they fear the demonic marshmallow thingy, Mokona.
I mean, why bother walking around armed with a knife when you can simply point your index finger at someone you don't like and then blow said person up with a happy grin on your face? And then you can roast marshmallows (or a demonic marshmallow-thingy) over the bonfire that's left. Incidentally, it rather frightens me to notice just how many of these guys actually possess some sort of supernatural power.
One of my favorite scenes in Urotsuki Doji is where Jyako Amano is fighting a monster, and it winds up tearing one of his arms off. Yet this proves to be just a flesh wound as, in classic Evil Dead style, Jyako proceeds to mouth off the monster and then blasts it with his one good hand. Wasting the creature is so much fun that the severed hand feels left out, and proceeds to float into the air and join in the smite fest.
At the risk of stating the obvious, the school infirmary is subsequently left with a large scorch mark on the floor, and many unsightly bits o' monster entrails that I just know the janitor would rather quit his job over than clean.
Fortunately, you don't have to worry about your lovely young daughter bringing one of these guys home. Why, do you ask? Well...given their personalities, these guys would just rather fling said female over their shoulders and then run off with her. Granted it varies from person to person as to whether this is before or after they've stolen your beloved Gundam from it's 10-storey garage.
You can't really say you love them, what with them stealing your beloved mecha o' the Anime and scuffing the paint job (not to mention making off with the hood ornament). And you really can't shoot them either. Such nasty characters have the disturbing tendency of being rather indestructible, and will quite easily come walking out unscathed from their smoldering crater to happily de-atomize you.
And naturally this means challenging them to a deathmatch is not really in your best interests. Not unless you're Yakumo--but that poor immortal 'Wu' gets decapitated, disemboweled, impaled, eaten and crushed enough times in a single 3x3 Eyes episode, so perhaps it's still not in your best interests anyways.
Thusly there's only one thing we hapless other nice guys can do to in the face of such adversity: I hear Jurai's pretty good to visit this time of year....
So how do you defend yourself, or your girlfriend, if you find yourself up against one of Anime's gleeful bad boy characters? Well, you'll need just one thing as it turns out: cue Tira & Chocolate Misu!
Chaos: [sweatdrop!] "What?!"
[Enter the scantily-clad, S&M babes of the Bakuretsu Hunters!]
Tira: [with whip!] "WOH HO HO HOH HO!! Ara, Chaos, it looks like you'll have to be punished again!"
Chaos: o.O "ME?!"
Yes, do recall that one crucial rule in Anime: no matter how good you are, there will always be a female out there who can whip your butt viciously on a whim. It's the best of both worlds. Either the token Anime bad boy will fight her and lose, or else be more than thrilled to call her the Queen. So, problem solved!
Chocolate: [chasing after Chaos] "Get back here, Chaos! There's no escaping my whip!"
Chaos: o.O [frantic li'l fanboy] "Wait! WAIT!! I'm not an Anime bad boy! Why am I getting whipped, and not Dark Schnieder?!"
Dark Schnieder: ^^ "Because as the token Anime bad boy, everyone likes me! It's the job of the lowly comic sidekick to get punished."
Tira: "Call us the Queens, fanboy!!"
Chaos: "Curse our ranter! Curse him!"