GentlemanOtoku Explains: The Idiot Hero

Definition: The protagonist of a Shonen story who is often impulsive and makes decisions largely on instinct.

What You Need To Know: As stated above, Idiot Heroes are Shonen protagonists who are often depicted as simple minded and stupidly brave. This is apparent based on their usually calm demeanor in situations that would cause the average person to panic uncontrollably.

If my entire world literally came crashing down on me, I would be losing my S@#t!

Idiot Heroes are very likable, and are able to make friends where ever they go. Their straightforward and unprejudiced stance on life makes it easy for Idiot Heroes to get along with almost anybody. In fact, it is thier undaunted determination and incorruptibility that allows them to inspire others.

Partisanship? What’s that?

In fights, like in life, the Idiot Hero takes a straightforward approach. Many times, his fights come down to brawn over brains. However, in could be argued that the Idiot Hero’s only real area of expertise is fighting. Many Idiot Heroes love to fight, especially if it’s against stronger opponents. Sometimes, especially early on, Idiot Heroes don’t know how to walk away from a fight, allowing their stubbornness to get the better of them.

Fighting three guys that can shoot ice, lava, and lasers with a giant stick? Probably a bad idea.

While Idiot Heroes are the main protagonist in many stories, they are usually just defacto leaders. They gain the position through their extraordinary powers, often being the strongest in a group. It’s up to the others in the group, however, to come up with some sort of strategy or tactic to resolve a problem.

Behind every great Idiot, is a depressed supporting cast

Though, in most Shonen stories, the plan ends up having the Idiot Hero beat-up the main bad guy.



My Western Take: If you want a western version of an Idiot Hero, look no further than The Tick. The animated and live action Tick series do a very entertaining job portraying an Idiot Hero. I’d recommend the animated version for the kids in your life, and the live action version for the adults. Let’s just say, the live action version gets a little blue.

Special Note: Usagi Tsikino (apparently, she’s smarter in the manga)