Appeal of Chaotic Good and Tragic Heroes

Awesome mechaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Welcome to my first post in a looooooooooooooooooooooong time!! Cyborg’s back ladies, and he’s bringing a post that has been in the works for almost a month now! Enjoy!

When I first thought of this title, my first thoughts were “Oh damn, this sounds kinda prat-ty”, mostly because I am Chaotic Good (Or so I think I am from all the survey’s I’ve read and the material I’ve read). But of course, being me, I said “f**k it” and ran with the title. It is the most apt for this post after all.

To answer some confusions that are no doubt arising amongst some, Chaotic Good is one of the nine alignments of human personality. This website is rather useful in giving information about the alignments as well as providing a handy quiz to find out your own alignment. In order to sum this up if you’re too lazy to read the webpage, I will sum up Chaotic Good for you. Pretty much it’s :”F**k it, let’s do good and f**k all.”

That means Chaotic Good aims to do the ultimate good (as per described by their own perceptions due to Chaotic Good’s individuality) no matter the means of which it is achieved. If he has to carry out evil to attain his goal, it shall be done as the ends justifies the means. Also, Chaotic Good would despise all evil and would do anything to hamper evil.

(Warning, spoilers a-plenty for Fate Zero season 2 and various other manga/anime)

Of course, this statement on the website would offer a better summary but I wanted to type that bit above out anyway. “A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but he’s kind and benevolent. He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree with that of society.” In other words, I fit right into this category (Well, I kinda shift between Chaotic Good and Chaotic Neutral depending on my mood and which personality aspect is in the forefront of my mind but generally, Chaotic Good).

Now, as to why I wrote this post? Very simple. Recently, I’ve been watching a rather decent amount of anime and reading manga after a long period of abstinence (due to my mid-terms). Whilst watching Episode 3,5 and 6 of Fate Zero Season II, something struck a chord in me about the show and kick-started my brain.

Ouch

In episode 3, Emiya Kiritsugu kills one of the competitor in the Holy Grail war in what most would consider an unethical and incredibly dishonourable method. There’s no doubt that those who watched that episode would have many other (stronger) adjectives to describe what he did.

He kidnaps the Kayneth’s fiance and blackmails him into ordering Lancer to commit suicide. In return, he would sign a binding magical contract that prevents Emiya from harming Kayneth. Shortly after Lancer dies screaming curses, Kayneth and his fiance are both killed by Emiya’s lackey through a loophole in the contract (Particularly the bit that says HE won’t harm them. Nothing said about Maiya and her sniper rifle).

I was pretty upset Lancer died. The guy was pretty awesome

Then Maiya finishes the deed

Of course, this all goes down real poorly with the chivalrous and noble Saber to which they erupted into a rather heated argument about Emiya’s methods.

This entire scene (which was perhaps 5 minutes of the ending) was of great interest to me. It definitely gave me plenty of food for thought.

Firstly, there was a section of their argument about their respective methods of fighting. Saber argues that Emiya’s method of fighting was dirty, under-handed and generally unethical. Pretty much, the exact opposite of how Saber prefers to do her battles. Saber follows the unspoken laws of chivalry and her code of honour. However, Emiya justifies his own actions by declaring them as the most apt and efficient method to get results in such circumstances. To win the Holy Grail War, of course one would remove his opponents through any means, as long as they were removed.

This section left me pondering about both Saber and Emiya. They both fought and desired for the same goal and yet, are so fundamentally different. Emiya is akin to a dark spectre, surgically eliminating opponents without leaving any evidence behind whilst Saber is literally the resplendent hero, garbed in shiny armour and charging her foes head on with mighty Exacalibur. One strikes unseen, the other steamrolls her opponents.

I think lines of similarities in this aspect can be linked to many things. For example, the 2 major blocs involved in the Cold War. The Communists and the Capitalists. Each sides understanding of Democracy and how to run a country were very different and yet, it’s for the same goal; to run a nation. Democracy is a form of governement where the people determine national policies. The Communists understood it under their ideals, where all are equal and hence, all run the country with their combined effort (Of course, they never achieved this but it was a noble ideal nonetheless) whilst the Capitalist bloc understood it as representative, where the people vote as to who creates the policies and also votes for the policies. Similar to a certain aspect but lead to one of the greatest periods of continual tension which could have lit the fuse to all-out nuclear war and mutually assured destruction (This part was just some random s**t I made a link to when I wrote this. It can be ignored).

Other further examples of Kiritsugu’s character would be in Episodes 4 and 5. In Episode 4, after being spurred on by the “death” of his friend, Shirley, and the destruction of the village he lives in, shoots his own father when he was no more than a kid in order to stop his father from further researching into Dead Apostles (Vampires) so that no one else would get hurt by his research. Then in Episode 5, he kills his own mentor, who he considers as his own family, Natalia, with a Stinger missile when the plane she’s on becomes infected with Ghouls (Zombie like beings) as well as the bees that spread the infection.

Who wasn’t shocked at this

All that Zombie!

Then he fires.

Well, there’s no doubt of this aspect of him now right? Killing his own family and all. However, he did it with just cause in his mind. He just wanted to do the greater good by doing the lesser of two evils. If the plane Natalia was on was to land, the bees would spread the infection and cause countless more deaths, so he opts to destroy the plane with her on board, despite the fact he considers her family. While the killing of his own father might have been partially driven on by his desire for vengeance, it seems he mostly did it to save more people from dying.

Personally, I support Emiya’s mentality. So what if you’re methods are unethical, inhumane and diabolical. In the end, you still got what you wanted, which is to bring good, despite your methods. It’s kind of ironical in this aspect. To save many by killing some.

On the other hand, such methods degrade yourself as being “human”. You have been reduced to a feral level, where all methods are considered as only important thing is the objective. All semblance to civilized manners, ethics and morals are tossed out the window. Over time, it might lead to the destruction of self and your human identity. But such a dire consequence does not seem to be happening on Emiya. Perhaps his will to achieve his goal is indeed that strong. He’s certainly a cold hearted bastard who only has his ultimate goal in mind. And I disagree on him completely discarding honour but I see how essential it was for him to kill Kayneth despite Kayneth already being defeated. I still have a part of me that still believes in Justice and Honour after all so that scene gave me one hell of a internal debate.

It is (incredibly) evident that Emiya is certainly a Chaotic Good character. In fact, he is a rather extreme example of one (Then again, most Chaotic Good characters are rather extreme in their methods and ideals).And I like him so much for that. He’s fighting to give the world peace and to end all conflict, to bring about absolute good by staining his hands with unspeakably evil. It’s almost as if he’s martyring himself for his cause. Isn’t that, by itself, also incredibly noble? Isn’t he still human to sacrifice himself in such a manner to bring benefit to all?

There are of course, many other examples of Chaotic Good characters. Say Kyuubey, everyone’s favourite magical animal. To save the world by destroying the lives of girls with dreams.

I’m loving this artist

Now, time to link this to the other half of this post. Tragic Heroes. That one character you just can’t seem to hate for the strength of his humanity is that strong. In a certain way, they tend to exemplify all that is good about human behaviour and yet, they suffer immensely for it. Perhaps it’s Yin and Yang is f******g them over? If you do good, bad will bring itself upon you? Let’s give a rather mild example, Yuzuru Otonashi from Angel Beats. He had been lost and unguided for his whole life, spending every day earning money to pay for his unhealthy little sister. When she passes on, he dedicates his life to becoming a doctor so that he can save lives and that the patients get to enjoy a normal life, something his sister could never do. However, shortly before he becomes a certified doctor, he dies in a train accident. But his final actions were to donate all of his organs so that even in death, he could save lives.

However, following the plot of Angel Beats, he ends up in an alternate dimension of sorts where kids who were never able to enjoy their teenage years and died early get a chance to do so. (This is going to drag on for a bit eh). In that new dimension, he spends his time helping the other teenagers find fulfilment so that they could move on and he ultimately stays behind in that dimension after all his friends move on, so that he could continue guiding those who arrived there to enjoy their life. He chose to do this shortly after finding out that Kanade, whom had originally been their “enemy”, was actually the girl his heart had been donated to, so that she may continue living her life.

It is a rather tragic story, but one that uplifts your spirit at the same time. It just resonates in me whenever such a character appears.

Ass :3

Now, who are Tragic Heroes linked to Chaotic Good characters? Well simply, there are quite a bit of Chaotic Good characters that end up as Tragic Heroes. They just seem to fit the role so well. They’re characters who might have (probably they do since it’s fiction as the plot would be a bit bland without such a back story) dark and troubled past and yet, didn’t choose to go down the easier path of being “evil” and instead, they desire so change circumstances so that others would not have to endure their pain and/or alleviate their situation. Whilst this does not hold true to all of such characters, that is the general idea. A person with a dark past where great pains have been heaped onto them and yet, they still want to bring good to the world and spare others from their pain.

20120515-143246.jpg

One of the most recent examples of such a character that I saw in an anime is Luscinia from Last Exile: Fam of the Silver Wing. Luscinia, Premier of the Ades Federation, wanted to bring about world peace by dragging the other countries under his governance through the means of war, wiping out all opposition. Yet he started the whole scheme inspired by the last ruler of the Ades Federation who had the same dream but was assassinated when she had nearly achieved her goals. Despite being stricken with grief that he was unable to save her as her bodyguard, he had decided to carry on her dream and forged it into his own. It was probably one of those times where I felt really upset when the “bad guy” died.

There are of course various other examples of such characters that fuse the role of a Tragic Hero with Chaotic good (and sometimes by extension, Chaotic Neutral). Kariya Mato (also Fate Zero eh), where he wishes to save Sakura by winning the Holy Grail through any means (and perhaps to punish those who harmed her).

To sum up all that text orgy , I wrote this post mainly as a way to express my thoughts brought about by such characters (Mainly Emiya Kiritsugu though. His back story just boosted Fate Zero to become my favourite anime thus far). I just find them deeply interesting and I seem to be able to relate them rather well. By far, they tend to be my favourite characters. So, this is on the overall, a post dedicated to such characters. The forgotten or unappreciated heroes, fighting from the darkness, flitting between the sides of “Good” and “Evil”.

P.S – This is a new personal record for the most amounts of words in an individual post. 2298 words.

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Posted on May 15, 2012, in Anime, Manga, Otaku-ism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. you should really put a spoiler warning in BOLD then its more ovbvious

  2. Great insights and thoughts about the mentality of Kiritsugu. Never would’ve thought about it in that same manner hahaha. Just wondering, what are the last few pictures from (the ones that aren’t screenshots of Fate Zero)?

    Keep up the great reviews!

    • Thanks man.

      Truth to be told, I don’t even know where I got those pictures. Probably from an imageboard that I’ve come across. You could use TinEye and find the true source 😀

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