Kizumonogatari, which told the origin story of Nisio Isin’s representative “Monogatari” series, is now in theaters (as of 25 January 2017) and its protagonist, Koyomi Araragi, is a kind of hero not often found in other works.
He is a high school student who doesn’t really stand out in his class, but due to an incident he is suddenly transformed into a vampire who is practically indistinguishable from a human, and becomes almost invulnerable. But leaving those traits aside, he is “undisciplined”, “cowardly”, pessimistic” and a “pervert”. “Save the world and save the girl. This greed is what represents today’s heroes.” This phrase shows us how his value system strays quite a lot from the usual heroic path.
But in his core, there is a desire to save what is worth saving. He hides a strong sense of justice within himself. The fact that his parents work in the police probably has something to do with it, also. However, there are many times when his sense of justice backfires on him, and he spends the rest of his time reproaching himself…
Searching through the “hero database” of our research lab, I find that he matches these keywords: “moral obligation” and “individuality”. That makes sense, because Araragi’s “negative” personality could be a sublimation of his “individuality” through the foundation of a strong “moral obligation” (essentially a “sense of justice”). He is weak despite being strong. His weakness makes him strong. The frequency of this vibration is so wide that it gives him a great charm.
Inspector Zenigata is an example of a similar type of hero. One might be tempted to compare Araragi directly with Lupin himself, but Araragi hasn’t got that same “self-confidence” with Lupin has. Also, all three of these characters have sharp minds, but both Inspector Zenigata and Araragi have a naive spot which Lupin does not have.
However, if Inspector Zenigata was attracted to young girls he wouldn’t be so charming, and if Araragi was so hot-blooded he wouldn’t be as funny as he is. The sublimated aspects of their actual personalities, that is to say, the “negative” aspects, get expressed in different ways depending on the person. To put it another way, each person expresses themselves in their own way.
*”Hero Database” evaluates a hero in terms of “13 characteristics” and “6 hero attributes” based on FRI’s quantitative research.
(Article by: Yusuke Maeda)
Fields Research Institute (FRI) conducts research in entertainment.
This article was written by a member of FRI, through the original coverage of his/her interests observed in their daily lives.