October 17, 2011

The Mighty Archetype: The Goofy Guy Who Secretly Kicks Ass

The Mighty Archetype 1: Broody Jerks with Hearts of Gold
The Mighty Archetype 2: The Hero Who Hides Behind a Smile

This archetype appears first as that guy you're not entirely sure you can take seriously. He's a mixture of comic relief and idiot, and you start wondering if he serves a purpose other than to amuse and/or annoy readers. But then something happens, and you catch a glimpse of something more behind the fool's smile.

And when the shit hits the fan, it's this guy who pulls out the guns and shocks everyone by kicking some srs ass, often enough to turn the tide.

Exhibit A: Kisuke Urahara from Bleach

*Official art by creator Kubo Tite*

        Urahara was once one of the thirteen captains of Soul Society, the place where souls go after they die. As a captain, he commanded an entire division of soul reapers. But he was framed for a series of murders/experiments and forced to flee Soul Society. Now, he runs a shop in the real world and presents himself as this goofy guy in a hat and sandals who often behaves in typical comedic relief fashion. But he has also proven to be one of the most helpful and powerful of the MC's allies.

Exhibit B: Tobi/Madara from Naruto

*Official art by creator Masashi Kishimoto*

        Tobi is introduced first as a rookie on the bad guy team--and not a very good one. He's funny and melodramatic and kind of a coward. His fellow antagonist view him as a troublesome comrade. But as the story progresses, you learn that his real name is Madara and he is, in fact, the one pulling all the strings. He becomes the series' main antagonist.

What's cool about this archetype is that not only can it take the role of either a protagonist and antagonist, but oftentimes, their alliances are deliberately ambiguous. The mystery of who they really are behind the antics creates tension in everything they do--are they helping the protagonist out of a good moral compass or do they have ulterior motives? And why the idiotic front in the first place? What do they have to hide?

Of course, sometimes, they are simply what they are--idiotic and fun characters who can also kick butt. (See Yamamoto below lol)

What do you guys think of this archetype? Who else fits it?

For today's bit of artwork, Yamamoto Takeshi from Katekyo Hitman Reborn. He behaves like an idiot, but if he's holding a sword, then bad guys better run =P He's one of my favorite characters because he's just that awesome. And I'm convinced there's more to him than how he presents himself.

♥ My CP Ani also has a great post about archetypes in general
♥ My fellow writerly friend Patricia has a new blog called Swimming in Words. Please support her by following and poking her to update =P

Have a great week, all! And I hope you guys aren't tired of this archetype series yet because I've got a lot more coming :D

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