TangleCast 45: What’s More Than A Conqueror?

Everyone wants to win. Everyone wants to be a hero. That’s why we love anime about heroes who conquer all odds. But what’s left for the good guys to do once they conquer? When all the odds have been even-ed? Are they heroic in the off-hours? Does one eat, drink, and do everything else as a hero? Join Matthew of Team Anchester as he questions what it means to be more than a conqueror by examining One Punch Man, Naruto, and Attack on Titan.

Here’s this week’s CQ (Cast Question): Which anime hero pleasantly surprised and inspired you with their heroism? What made them heroic in your opinion?

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Matthew G

Matthew G is interested in things. Many of them anime-related. He’s also trying todevelop a taste for manga as time allows. Since his start as a long-winded, scatter-brained hobby blogger two years ago, Matthew has become the swashbuckler-in-chief for Team Anchester of the TangleCast, where he can be found taking shonen far too seriously, staring squinty-eyed at modern culture, and harping on the supremacy of God. So, like, your grandpa + anime.

9 thoughts on “TangleCast 45: What’s More Than A Conqueror?

  1. Hmmm, it took me a minute to think about it but some characters that really stood out to me for their heroism are:

    Luffy from One Piece. He’s a shining example of someone who will give it all for his friends. He considers them his family and he will fight anyone and do anything for them.

    Only because I remember recently, Taichi from Digimon. I finished watching the Tri movies/episodes recently so it’s fresh in my mind. He really put his effort in keeping the team together when pretty much the world was going to END. He gave them encouragement and hope to keep fighting and coming up with a plan to win even when they knew they couldn’t (but they did, because….anime.).

  2. This is probably a bit too early and spoilery in the season to mention this but Emma from The Promised Neverland has really inspired me, mostly due to the fact that her compassion and optimism are seen as ideals to be attained rather than ridiculed and thrown away in the story. Also, she makes it a point to save everyone from their situation instead of just herself/a few select others.

  3. I’m gonna go straight up hero AND slice of life with my response. The main character of my favorite series, Oregairu, is named Hachiman. Fans of the series have fun coloring him as a hero—”hachi” means “eight,” and they call him 8man and compare him to Batman, the idea being that he’s the hero his high school doesn’t deserve, a martyr of sorts who takes the blame purposely on himself to help others (a la Batman in The Dark Knight). However, this is method is more a defense mechanism than a heroic act, and his fellow club members are deeply unsettled by his acts, most of all because they lead to him being hurt. Toward the end of the series, though, we get to the “heroic” part as Hikigaya finally get uncomfortable, finally lays all his insecurities and cares aside, and really opens his heart to make a connection with people he cares about at the risk of being rejected. It’s that simple, everyday kind of courage, to do what’s right even when you know it could pain you, that offers us an glimpse of how to be a hero in our normal lives.

  4. I enjoyed this cast. Encouraging thoughts.

    For heroes who surprised me, the protagonist who takes the cake for surprisingly heroic is definitely Barusu, I mean Subaru, from Re:Zero. He’s one of the most obnoxious anime protagonists I can think of, a jerk and an idiot who somehow ends up surrounded by people who are much kinder, smarter, stronger, and/or more interesting to watch than he is. But then the arc with the evil wolf monsters happens and he displays unexpected selflessness and cleverness. Unfortunately, he goes right back to being an idiot jerkface afterward, only to surprise me again with unforeseen smarts and nobility during the Hunt for Flying Magic Moby Dick / evil cult arc. Sakuta in Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai (that title still makes me chuckle) is a protagonist who, though not nearly as awful as Subaru, has some abrasive qualities and makes at least one choice that really irked me, yet turns out to be empathetic, honorable, courageous, and determined to an inspiring degree. I also need to give a shout-out to Fate/Apocrypha, where something like two thirds (maybe even three fourths?) of the entire cast (and wow did that show have a large cast) turned out to be better, more heroic people than I anticipated. Finally, the eponymous character of The Devil Is a Part-timer also became a better person than one might have supposed based how he started off the show.

    Regarding slice of life, first we need some definitions. I would define slice of life series as those that focus on characters living what are ultimately ordinary lives; the characters may be exceptional in some respect, and certain aspects of their lives may be exaggerated for comedic or dramatic effect, but ultimately the show depicts people who could mostly exist in real life doing and experiencing things could mostly happen in real life. Of such shows, I would distinguish between ones with plot and ones without plot. The ones with plot tend to focus on the growth of a character(s) and/or relationship(s) and blend comedy and mild drama, while the ones without plot tend to skew heavily comedic / absurd. That said, I usually prefer slice-of-life-with-plot. On the plot-less comedy side, I think Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto and Bananya would count. For slice-of-life-with-plot (in the form of character/relationship development), I’d cite Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san, Usagi Drop, My Love Story, Kimi ni Todoke – From Me To You, Shirobako, Seiyu’s Life…and I’d better stop there.

    1. Wow that’s a lot of character examples!
      Also, that’s a lot of slice of life examples…😳. Nana was my first slice of life on recommendation but I was so disappointed in the ending that it kinda turned me off to them. So, which of the SoL anime with plot that you mentioned would you recommend first to someone who needs to be rehabilitated to the genre?

      1. I mean, I like all the ones I mentioned, else I wouldn’t have mentioned them. 😀

        For no-plot-just-comedy slice-of-life, Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto is hilarious, but the humor is of the absurd / silly variety, which doesn’t appear to everyone.

        For slice-of-life-with-plot, maybe start with Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san? Not that it’s necessarily superior to any of the others that I mentioned (they all have their own strengths), but it’s probably closer to the platonic form of the slice-of-life anime than the others. It’s comedic snippets of daily school life, yet with just enough character / relationship development that I wouldn’t call it completely plot-less.

        1. I may start Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san first then. I remember seeing posts about it when it first came out and thinking it looked really good. 👍 Thanks!

  5. Tyler (FB): I was really proud of Makoto Naegi with his growth over the course of Danganronpa, culminating in the final trial becoming a hopeful inspiration to the fellow survivors. Then over the next couple series he is able to resolve his problems with logic and appeals to humanity. To my knowledge he doesn’t once use violence to overcome an obstacle.

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