I have always been a fan of Anti-Heroes. They have always been more appealing to me than a traditional heroes who do everything by the book. I’ve never liked the Paladin like characters that most heroes are. Sure, many heroes do have faults, they still do tend to be very good. As a result they get the appearance of what people would describe as basic, no matter how many quirks or faults they have. A traditional hero is still a traditional hero that fits into a loose mold. If one strays too far out of the mold, they are no longer the traditional hero. An Anti-Hero on the other hand is a bit different. yes, it does still have a mold, but an anti-hero has a lot more latitude.
One of the biggest things with an Anti-Hero is the struggle with morality that they struggle through. In fact, it is this struggle that is often the most interesting part of the story. Navigating what is right and wrong and what will push the buttons of other characters is interesting. Also with the morality of an anti-hero you can get a very varied story in terms of how dark it gets. This is because an anti-heroes morality can range from being nearly a traditional hero. You know a hero who always does the right thing, but will sometimes do what would be considered wrong in order to do the right thing. You can also have an anti-hero who almost does everything wrong and immoral. An anti-hero that is bombarded by the traditionally good characters and just wants to do what they want, but end up doing the good thing.
What Makes Anti-Heroes Shine
I have never been a fan of people who are so outstandingly good that they are seen as angels. That just doesn’t work for me. I prefer characters with a bit more edge than they should rightfully have. I like characters with attitude problems. Characters that aren’t striving to be liked or accepted by some other character or group. There is something freeing about an anti-hero in that they are often doing things for themselves and their own personal agenda. But one of the best features of the Anti-Hero is seeing how they come around to making their decisions and what route they are going to take. There is no certainty to what they will do to accomplish their goals.
Do you prefer anti-heroes or traditional heroes?