GentlemanOtoku Explains: The Thinking Hero

Definition: The protagonist of a Shonen story who uses strategy and tactics to win battles

What You Need To Know: Despite their moniker, Thinking Heroes are not the polar opposites of Idiot Heroes. Often times, both type of heroes use their ridiculous strength to overpower opponents. They’re also firm believes of honor before reason, though this only applies if the Thinking Hero is a protagonist.

The best strategy is overwhelming force, duh.

Thinking Heroes are moodier than other hero types, and tend to hide their true emotions. A common obstacle they have to overcome is learning to accept their feelings concerning a specific topic. A least once in a story, a Thinking Hero may blame themselves for the death or abduction of a comrade.

Survivor’s Guilt, nothing funny about that (LOL)

If the Thinking Hero is a supporting cast member, they will be less inclined to adhere to honor before reason. They may even come off as ruthless during a fight. Thinking Heroes in a supporting cast are also more intelligent than their protagonist counterparts, but their fighting prowess varies.

In life, it really does help to have at least one smart friend

At the end of the day, however, most Thinking Heroes agree that the most logical solution to a problem is beating-up the bad guy




My Western Take: Western audiences really like Thinking Heroes. Batman, Doctor Who, Katniss Everdeen, etc. They entertain you with their genius problem solving, but make you sympathetic through their complex personalities. It seems that the Thinking Hero is one of the fictional archetypes that transcend cultural barriers.


Special Note: Piccolo (Cunning on the Outside, Cuddly on the Inside)