I’ve been recently reading Fist of the North Star, appreciating the great manly man art in display. It occurred to me that it’s hero Kenshiro, has a great deal of sadness and angst to overcome. Already stuck in a post apocalyptic wasteland, losing loved ones and close friends, having to fight his own family due to the rules of the Hokuto martial arts, Ken deals with a great amount of hardship on top of having to be struck with the tragedies that naturally follow him. Yet he doesn’t break or sulk in a corner. He feels sadness and yet it seems to strengthen him rather than cripple him.
Something like that almost seems impossible now, feeling of angst and sadness becoming a strength, rather than a flaw. In most cases it would cause characters to curl up and feel helpless, or drive them to a vicious cycle of vengeance. There are of course exceptions to this, but it’s funny to think that the general feelings that caused Shinji Ikari to cry in a corner, only a decade ago caused Kenshiro to beef out and become Kung Fu Action Jesus.
Perhaps angst will change characters yet again differently in some Future Anime.