Friday, June 2, 2017

Archetype: Fun and Boisterous and MINE

Nonami is somewhat more troubled
than the usual fun and boisterous type,
what with being a yakuza and all.
But his method of confessing love
to the bewildered doc is typically
straightforward.
In the last post I discussed the common archetype of the stern and aloof hero, who is utterly devoted to the heroine/hero (depending on whether one is reading shojo or yaoi).

The flip side of the coin is the fun and boisterous hero, Bingley's extrovert to Darcy's introvert. Like Bingley, this hero is often guileless and forthright. He is occasionally more intellectual than Bingley and often more perceptive. But he has the same "Hey, I like you! Isn't life grand!" approach to life.

Unlike the stern and aloof hero, he is people-oriented. Rather than only letting one person through the gate, he lets lots of people through the gate! However, he only lets one person in the citadel. Everybody gets to hang with me; only you know my secrets. 

This archetype often has more of a romantic "past" than the stern and aloof hero (although the stern and aloof hero's romantic past may surprise you: T'pring, anyone?). However, once he's made up his mind, he has made it up for good (in her continuation of Pride & Prejudice, Colleen McCullough has Bingley cheat on his wife; I found this utterly unlikely; the Bingleys of the world seem blithe and unconcerned on the surface, but they have a core of pure honesty; to an extent, this is because at their core they don't see the point in making life difficult. Adultery=difficulty; therefore, adultery . . . is not even on the table; in typical guileless fashion, they would be surprised if anyone even brought it up.)

I get a big kick out of this hero type in manga, especially yaoi manga, where it is somewhat more common (the stern and aloof hero dominates shojo). Yaoi often delivers the Bingley-Darcy combo pack, as in What Did You Eat Yesterday? and Beast & Feast, Black Sun, and Open the Door to Your Heart in which the boisterous guy-who-has-travelled-the-world-and-does-everything-from-collecting-antiques-to-working-as-a-fry-cook pairs up with the reserved guy-who-works-as-a-tax-collector (who gets irritated with his boyfriend who has NEVER filed taxes).

This hero is also almost always portrayed as a dog (see image from Beast & Feast, above, the high school years).

Fun and boisterous heroines are less common but do exist--Yuki from Fox and Wolf is a good example. 

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