Hero Profiles are a new set of editorials I will be writing for certain shows, more specifically, certain characters. Bloggers, like myself, have a habit of referring to the main character of a series as the hero. It’s a term that we use loosely for what should properly be called the protagonist. In actuality the word ‘hero’ is a carries a lot of weight. But how do we actually define a hero?
- Has some sort of responsibility to society as a whole
- Performs actions to become a savior for that society
- Believes the greatest reward is the act of heroism itself
These are loose guidelines for identifying a heroic character in any show. There are exceptions to the rule, but these are the key characteristics that separates a run of the mill protagonist from a true hero. In this article I’ll be looking at Kuze Hibiki, the main character of Devil Survivor 2, and identifying wether or not he truly has the makings of a hero.
A hero has some sort of responsibility to society as a whole
As episode 2 progresses, Hibiki’s responsibility become quite clear. Since he has the power to summon powerful demons, it’s up to him to stop evil from destroying the world as a whole. One could argue that the possession of power itself does not entail a debt of duty to those around him. But I am of the Spider-Man school of thought that with great power does come great responsibility. Only a hero can recognize the connection between these two concepts. It provides the foundation for what a layperson would give as the definition for heroism: the act of doing good.
Performs actions to become a savior for that society
Now recognizing that you have an obligation to society is nice, but pointless unless acted upon. Even before Hibiki completely accepts his fate, he uses his abilities to protect those at the shelter. While he hasn’t exactly completed the act of become a savior, he is taking steps toward it. He has accepted his destiny which is enough to fulfill this condition.
Believes the greatest reward is the act of heroism itself
To a true hero, he or she must believe the greatest reward is the ability to be a hero. While there might be other motivations, fulfilling his or her duty gives the greatest satisfaction. Kuze Hibiki’s motivation are quite clear at the end of the episode, he want to save humanity from the demons that threaten to erase mankind. He has nothing more to gain on his quest, but readily accepts the possible results.
Problems with the definition
Looking at the three factors that create a hero, Kuze Hibiki clearly is one. But some may argue that while Kuze Hibiki is indeed a hero, the factors used to define him are not appropriate. Counter examples include those that are protecting the anti-establishment, or leaders of revolutions. They don’t protect or enforce the greater society, often times they serve smaller factions. The factors above are not an objective definition of a hero, as there is no such thing as an ‘objective hero’. A savior to some can be a villain to the rest. In future articles we’ll be exploring this thought more deeply and how the definition of a hero can be satisfied by these outliers.