What is a Hero?
This is a story about a hero written by Japanese man who is addicted to Kimetsu no Yaiba(Demon Slayer). The first day was about “heroes” themselves.
[Table of Contents]
Four elements that make up a hero
- Four elements that make up a hero
- The presence of friends
- The emotion of anger
- The existence of enemies and nemeses
- What are enemies and evil in One Piece?
Four elements that make up a hero
There are four elements : tragedy (tragic circumstances), friends, anger, and enemies.
What is “tragedy (tragic circumstances)”?
I believe that the greatest element that a hero needs is tragedy (tragic circumstances). For example, this is represented by Masked Rider(Kamen Rider). Do you know the hero?
Takeshi Hongo, a student at Johoku University’s biology lab, is highly intelligent and athletic skill enough to compete in motorcycle races. However, he is spotted and kidnapped by Shocker, a group that plans to use modified humans to conquer the world. Shocker has been trying to create modified humans by adding the abilities of animals and plants to humans. Hongo is turned by Shocker into a modified human with the ability of a grasshopper. When he is about to undergo the final brain modification, he is rescued by Dr. Midorikawa, his mentor in the lab, and together they escape from Shocker’s hideout. Dr. Midorikawa had also been kidnapped by Shocker and was forced to cooperate. However, in order to frustrate Shocker’s ambitions, Midorikawa had planned for Hongo to be modified, and had also prepared a motorcycle, the Cyclone, and an enhanced suit as tools for Hongo to fight Shocker. Hongo and Midorikawa seem to have escaped without incident, but a spider man attacks the warehouse where they are hiding, and Midorikawa loses his life. Furthermore, Ruriko Midorikawa, who has come to see her father, mistakenly believes that Hongo has killed Dr. Midorikawa. In the midst of his grief and loneliness, he decides that he is the only one who can fight the “Shocker”, and becomes a masked rider to go into battle.Quoted from Ishimori Pro official website,
Although it is hard to imagine from the Heisei Era’s Japanese Masked Riders that continue to these days, Masked Rider is a modified human being that Shocker tried to create in order to conquer the world. In other words, he was originally supposed to be an evil being, but with the help of his mentor, Dr. Midorikawa, he was able to escape from the Shocker’s hideout by escaping the decisive brain modification. Despite the sadness and loneliness of no longer being human, he decides to fight for the people.
What we have here is a tragedy. It is a tragedy that a man who was living a normal life is suddenly kidnapped by a secret society, transformed, and almost forced to fight for evil. No matter how much people thank him, he struggles with the sadness that he will never be the same person again. There is a tragedy in the origin of Masked Rider.
Next, I would like to take “One Piece” as an example. One Piece has become popular as a manga for a new generation, but there was an incident that could be called a tragedy at the beginning of the adventure story.
The tragedy depicted in the beginning of the story is the scene where Shanks, whom Luffy adores, loses one of his arms because of him. This incident was a big trigger for Luffy to become a pirate in his childhood.
The story progresses further, and in the “episode of Marineford,” Luffy is struck by another great tragedy. It is the death of his brother Ace. The loss of Shanks’ arm is also a great tragedy, but it is portrayed with a shock that is incomparable to that of Shanks’ death, and Luffy takes this opportunity to grow up and can be said to have been reborn. In the same episode, there was also the death of Whitebeard (Edward Newgate) of the Whitebeard Pirates, which was a period of tremendous psychological shock for the readers.
Tragedy is an essential element in the birth or growth of a hero.
The presence of friends
When we talk about One Piece, I think the context in which it is mentioned is the importance of friends. The parting scene with Bibi in Volume 23, Episode of Alabaster, is very impressive.
For Kamen Rider, there is also Kamen Rider 2nd (Hayato Ichimonji), Toubei Tachibana, and the Shonen Kamen Rider Squad. However, as mentioned earlier, Masked Rider is “a being who is sad and lonely, and fights alone. Therefore, even if he has friends, he is still lonely at the core.
In One Piece, each character has its own background and story, which are told in detail. Although Luffy is the protagonist of the story, each of his friends such as Zoro, Sanji, Nami, and Chopper can be the protagonist depending on the readers. And since each of them has their own tragedies and has grown up to overcome them, One Piece can be said to be an ensemble drama in which all the team members are heroes without any supporting characters.
Just like the popularity of “Sekai ni Hitotsu dake no Hana (song of SMAP very famous idol group)” in the Heisei era, a world that respects the individuality of each person seems to be transparent.
The emotion of anger
When a hero grows up, there is a feeling of anger. It is the same when their own life is in danger, but most of the time, when the lives of their dearest friends are in danger, heroes awaken and gain unprecedented power.
Kamen Rider BLACK RX had feelings of anger (Robo-Rider) as well as feelings of sorrow (Bio-Rider), so it can be said that strong emotions that shake the heart are essential for the growth of a hero.
The existence of enemies and nemeses
In addition, there are “enemies” who are necessary for a hero to be a hero.
In the case of Kamen Rider, it is Shocker. In the later Heisei Rider series, the story developed without a clear justice (especially in “Ryuki”), and this has probably continued to the present day. It can be said that absolute justice no longer exists.
However, at the time of the first Kamen Rider, there was a clear separation between justice and evil. Kamen Rider was justice and Shocker was evil. In order for Kamen Rider to exist, Shocker, the evil one, was necessary. Otherwise, Takeru Hongo, who has been transformed into a human being, would be seen as a monster to humans, and he would become an object that must be exterminated. The self-contradiction of existence.
On the other hand, in One Piece, there is no such thing as an enemy.
Crocodile, Enel, and Gekko Moria are all portrayed as enemies, but it’s not as if Luffy’s existence would be threatened without them. Luffy’s goal of becoming the Pirate King! Luffy’s goal of “becoming the pirate king!”, and Luffy did not crush them in order to achieve some kind of justice. As a result, peace has come to Alabaster and Jaya, but that is not the goal. It’s like Mito Komon. He is the one who goes around solving problems wherever he goes.
What are enemies and evil in One Piece?
In the first place, Luffy is a pirate. And in One Piece, there is a navy. From a worldly perspective, we can say that pirates = lawless group = evil, and the Navy = government agency = justice.
Here, too, we can talk about multifaceted justice.
There is justice that Luffy stands for, and there is justice that the Navy stands for. The Navy generals who wear coats with the word “Justice” written on their backs seem to be the ones who are righteous, but they are portrayed as enemies who want to crush Luffy’s dreams.
The Blackbeard pirates, who are portrayed as uniquely and absolutely evil, can be said to be the enemy, but if they have their own kind of humanity, do we need to understand it? In One Piece, the heroes and enemies cannot be talked about in a simple way as in the case of Kamen Rider. The “friend” and the “enemy” are quite fluid and cannot be fixed.
These are the three elements that are necessary for a hero based on two works, Kamen Rider and One Piece. These elements are also followed in the final story, “Onimei no Blade.
In the next article, I would like to write about the way heroes are portrayed in Japan and the United States.
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