Seeing many anime of the genre shounen, you end up noticing a certain pattern after a while. All the main protagonists have a tendency to have a very similar physical appearance, a very similar history and very similar behavior, only varying the degree of emotional intelligence, protagonism and insolence.
In this article, I will introduce you to the basic recipe of how to assemble a main character in case you ever want to write your own manga shounen or maybe create an anime shounen. Check out the items below to shape your protagonist to fit the pattern:
Rule # 1: Appearance and style of dress©
You must have spiky hair with bangs covering your eyes. Hair color is up to you, but if you want to look pretty standard, dye your hair blue, brown, red or any other extravagant color.
Black or blond hair is an extra or secondary character (Sasuke and Naruto being an exception).
The outfit doesn't have to be too flashy (leave it to the main antagonist). When he is not at school (if it involves school), a plain T-shirt and jeans along with a pair of sneakers are enough.
Rule # 2: My parents are dead or too useless ©
Feel free to use and abuse this element. Originality is a sucker thing. Now seriously, taking most of the protagonists who are orphans, it was already possible to set up a new GAASP unit with them.
Don't mind developing a family for this guy except for flashbacks or short scenes because his parents must be dead or as useful as an ejector seat in a helicopter.
Rule # 3: As delicate as an elephant ©
The standard of every protagonist is to have such a short temper, to the point of wanting to make trouble for little. Man, what in the anime is considered “normal”, in real life would be reason to enter a sanatorium. Its protagonist must have the emotional intelligence of a 5 year old child.
Bonus if he always makes decisions without thinking twice that he ends up giving positive results. The otaku like impulsive behaviors that only work because of the plot.
Rule # 4: A chair is smarter than this guy ©
In addition to the standard “sit in the back of the room on the left and admire the landscape outside instead of paying attention in class” (again, if it involves school), your protagonist must be the worst student in the class or be among the students mediocre. Remember, the more shounen the stupid the protagonist will be.
It is generally understood that the reason for the low grade is because of the adventures that your character is involved in, but it can be observed that when they have free time, they do absolutely nothing.
If you just focus on fighting, having the protagonist as a guy who doesn't live in society, make him be very naive.
Rule # 5: As deep as a dish ©
Your motivations, your ideals, your philosophy of life will always be somewhat superficial and rather futile motives. Unless, you are writing a manga about a more abstract and not so shounen. In this case, the opposite extreme applies.
Rule n ° 6: Protagonism is love, protagonism is life ©
This is another important element in building the character. Protagonism.
Basically it is when the author shapes the plot in favor of the protagonist, even if he has to contradict the story and the rules created by himself.
Invent new techniques in the last hour, make the character catch like a stray dog and then he can win the fight with one stroke and don't forget to buffar him to the point where he became quite appealing.
No matter how well trained and prepared his opponent is, no matter if the enemy has more battle experience than the protagonist who is a novice, he will always beat the antagonist.
Regardless of whether the antagonist has a more lethal technique and is less likely to survive, his protagonist will always survive. If he is injured or dies, he will always have the assistant to give heal or ressurect.
Rule # 7: Persistence and insistence do not go hand in hand ©
As a consequence of the fourth rule, your protagonist will never give up, regardless of the seriousness of the situation. However, he will always insist on the same shit and worse, he will make it. This applies to battles when the protagonist uses the same previous technique against the opponent that he was unable to defeat using that technique.
Rule # 8: Romeo, Romeo. Why are you, Romeo? ©
Romance is where you put your storyline and character development skills to the test (especially in harem). And to pass the test, do the opposite of good development and elaboration.
Why develop a concrete novel? what are you going to create a character compatible with your protagonist? why make your protagonist stop messing around? WHY WATER LOADS you will listen to your fans, who have a sense of shipping best than you?
Just make him so stupid as to ignore or not notice when someone likes him. More shounen than that, impossible.
Rule 9: But, O man, who are you, that you answer to God? ©
Your protagonist will always be right. Ever. No matter how clever he is or how much he doesn't understand the context of the situation he finds himself in, he will never be wrong. Anyone who contradicts him, no matter how much he knows what he is doing, is either alienated or evil.
Follow these rules and thus, you will have your protagonist from shounen, ready to be part of yet another repetitive and cliché work that does not differ in any way from the other works. Have a good time.
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