POST WRITING EDIT: So, I have discovered that apparently my sweet innocent inner child is actually extremely NSFW. When you read this, keep that in mind, please, and if it offends you, remember there are three other perfectly pleasant masks producing content here as well.
Today is a very fun post! It is my first Boy post! I’m very excited to share with you my very own Top Ten Badasses list. A little background: This post was prompted by two discussions I had today. In class, Sensei was talking about role models with his students, and how role models could be anyone at all, even video game characters. The idea was to broaden the students viewpoint on what concepts might be impacting their development. This got me thinking about the influences I had as a child. Then, for reasons which shall remain unstated, my good friend and I were talking about a potential Apocalypse and feeding our future lives rather successfully into the plotline of my favorite anime growing up. This got me thinking, and I decided that I wanted to do my very own countdown list!
When I was young, my parents were consistently worried that I never seemed to root for the good guys in movies. When I first watched Sleeping Beauty I cried when Maleficent died. When I watched Godzilla movies, which I adored as a youngster, I never wanted Godzilla to win…always the other enormous irradiated house pest(Go Ghidorah)! What I realize now, looking back, is that I was the poster child for disempowered-goodie-two-shoes-nerd, and as a result the characters that never took any shit from anyone tended to draw my attention. I liked the villains, the anti-heroes, and the dirty rotten bastards. Of course, as I compiled this list, I realized that I really didn’t like characters that were too far on the edge or just plain rotten. But if you were a Scion of The Darkness and found yourself reluctantly fighting for the Forces of The Light, you probably have a fanboy in me. When I made this list, I specifically looked for characters who were either badguys themselves just doing good things, or had been badguys once before and now struggled to overcome their natural asshole instincts to do good things.
I called them badasses.
Some people are excluded from this list, despite being bigtime idols. For instance, Sephiroth doesn’t count because he was pretty much always a villain, and Batman, while he is super dark, was never really a bad guy.
So, without further adieu, I present my top ten badasses list!
#10: Urdnot Wrex
If John Goodman and Godzilla got gay married and adopted a turtle, that lucky screwed up reptile would likely grow up to be just like Urdnot Wrex. First appearing in Bioware’s smash hit Mass Effect, this bitchin’ renegade mercenary stole every scene he appeared in. What I really loved about Wrex wasn’t just that he was the toughest Krogan in the quadrant, but that he was as quick in a conversation as he was with a plasma shotgun. Sure, that useless bureaucrat might have stymied you with paperwork, but Wrex will just threaten to eat her children and you can take what you want from underneath her wee-soaked comatose body.
#9 Elim Garrick
You know, I grew up watching Star Trek The Next Generation with my parents. I loved it. All the speech making by Picard. Qs frequent usage of the Deus Ex Machina trope (which I didn’t get as a cliche back then). And then I tuned into Star Trek Deep Space 9. And I didn’t get it. Things were so much dirtier, and…station-ary. I hated it. But I kept watching because of the lasers and the star ships. And I honestly think learning to love DS9 was a process that significantly broadened my horizons, as a boy, much more than almost anything I can place my finger on. I began to appreciate character as much as special effects. And the character I loved most was the humble tailor, Elim Garrick. He was an ex-war criminal, a master spy, a brutal murderer, and the most suavely dressed lizard on the promenade! He was the first character I ever fell in love with who did awful terrible horrible no-good very bad things for ALL the right reasons. Raise a glass of Canar to Elim Garrick!
Final Fantasy IV is in many ways the first major literary work I ever read by myself. Yes, back in the days of yore, a young lad seeking to unite the four kingdoms, gather the 8 crystals of power, open the path to the moon, and slay an interstellar drag-queen, had to do so using only his elementary school reading skills! No fully voiced cutscenes spoon-fed you the badass. No advanced HUD displayed your next objectives on a beautiful minimap. Oh no! You had to work for your quest details. You had to wander the world, hoping some shit would happen to you, all the while beset by invisible gangs of roving monsters. And at the top of the food chain was the D-Bag in Black himself: GOLBEZ(A)! I remember watching wistfully as the amazingly rendered boss sprite for this armored rape-mage appeared for the first time to brutally slaughter my carefulyl leveled 8-bit retardo party.
I didn’t even feel bad.
I felt like it was justified. If he could look that awesome, then I really deserved what was coming, as he immobilized me and pulled out his huge black “shadow dragon” to slay my party one by one with the swirling gobs of white liquid which it spewed every round. And he started with the girls of course, but like a real boss, Golbez(a) wasn’t above shadow-dragon jizz killing his sexy brother and the guy he was having frequent hate sex with too. Of course, your pedobear friendly green leather clad dominatrix friend just HAD to show up and cockblock the party. But for those precious 15 seconds, it was just you and Golbez(a)’s black snake. Flash forward 40 more hours of gameplay, and the creepy old moon guy (read: Drag Mom) FuSoYa, smacks Golbez(a) like Ru-Paul slaps an overdosing contestant backstage at the Race, and BLAMO, Golbez(a) is fighting for the good team. Not just cause he wasn’t always such a dick, but because the aforementioned pissed off lunar Drag-Queen had been mind-fucking him for years and that is KINDA his deal, so now, he’s gonna march his black armored ass up there and rip the tits of that bitch! 40 MORE hours of gameplay, and I had my very first orgasm (yea, I’m not ashamed to admit it) watching Golbez(a) rain down every poorly rendered flavor of whoop-ass on Zemus’ wore-out dress-wearin’ ass. Pure joy. If I imagine a perfect end to my life, it would be to die in a life-or-death struggle with an interstellar fashion criminal underneath the surface of the moon after having successfully taken over the world with my giant robot porn-star. Good to have dreams.
#7 Jules Winnfield
Ok, so who really NEEDS me to justify Jules being on this list? In fact, I debated putting him at the top, but for cliche-busting reasons and to hopefully get some troll views and rage comments, I’ve put him lower on the totem pole. The truth was, I watched Pulp Fiction for the first time at my youth pastors house at a weekend retreat called “Discipleship Now”. I don’t think he knew we watched it, in fact, I don’t even know if he owned it or one of the other boys brought it. But I can remember, after having protested that it was against God’s Will (and lets face it, it CLEARLY is…God has NEVER let anything as awesome as Pulp Fiction exist unpunished), and angrily rolled myself into a little ball of closeted homosexual christian sleeping bag, hearing the crazy awesome that is Pulp Fiction begin. Now, like all good Christian white boys in Texas I had been taught to fear and pity African-Americans for all of my life. But THIS motherfucker…THIS motherfucker right here! Jules Winnfield washed me clean of racism forever. I don’t think I’d ever been as amused, awed, and aroused as I was the first time he quoted scripture to me (which at the time I didn’t know was fake). I think it still qualifies as my first fetish sexual experience. He can beset any side of me he wants, in the name of anything that tickles his badass fancy. It is Jules who taught me what it means to “get into character” as well. For that, I am eternally grateful.
#6 Green Ranger
I know every kid loves Power Rangers now, but I still remember when the first series premiered on Kids WB! I was the right gender, the right age, and (clearly) the right sexual orientation to enjoy a television show about androgynous teenagers in tightly fitting rainbow colored outfits who could summon Godzilla monster fighting robots to battle the claymation minions of an Asian Space-Jew and her motley crew of dumpster people. But I wasn’t HOOKED on the show until a long haired Tommy swooped in and became the gold-lame clad savior I needed. The Green Ranger became my obsession. His mighty Dragon Zord wasn’t some lame-o dinosaur that needed to transform with other dinosaurs to be fighting ready. His machine was an elegant fully-functional butt-kicking hunk of plastic all its own! And his outfit was so regal and shapely! I still own the replica costume my father had made for my 12th birthday party, a gift which may ACTUALLY have bought my love and affection for him. Tommy was the first hero I had that taught me a valuable lesson: You get all the cool powers when you are evil. And that truth has served me to this day.
#5 Uchiha Sasuke
Uchiha Sasuke is one half of my favorite anime couple: Naruto X Sasuke (Narusasu). These two rivals have so much sexual emotional tension between them you could cut it with a kunai. I used to idolize Sasuke in much the same way Naruto did. He was so suave, so smooth, so cool and collected. Of course, I missed the point entirely that my big dopey crush makes me NARUTO and not Sasuke, but that didn’t stop me from slapping my sexy black haired, red-eyed, emo crush on the list. What I think inspires me most about Sasuke is that he always fights smart, not hard. He is clever, one step ahead. Before I came across Sasuke, I always thought the biggest lightning bolt was what you shot for; and don’t get me wrong, Sasuke does shoot giant lightning bolts and fireballs (my two fetish elements). But he also analyzes, reacts, and finds just the perfect way to fuck his opponent cleanly in the ass. Sometimes that takes a giant flaming snake to the testicles. Sometimes it’s just that single subtle katana sliding right up your butthole that says, “Hey baby…I’m inside your MIND…and also your anus.”
#4 Magus (AKA Janus Zeal)
Remember Golbez(a)? From before? How I had my first little happy time in my pants when I watched him fighting the bad guy after having been such an amazing boss himself?
Well, take that reaction and multiply it times a ga-freakin’-zillion for Magus from the masterpiece game Chrono Trigger.
I seriously probably spent the majority of my childhood playing and replaying this game. Never mind that Magus is the incredibly sarcastic and amazingly cool looking mid-game boss character. Flash-forward a few more measly dozens of hours worth of wasted childhood and he doesn’t just switch teams, he JOINS your team as a full-fledged member. I mean, sure, he’s a dick about your friend dying, and not killing him for the insult means that your other friend will be forced to live out the remainder of his miserable existence as an amphibian with a speech impediment and a sword-to-penis ratio crisis due to a curse Magus himself put on him for no good reason, but those long flowing blue locks, that sexy vampire-white skin, and his near sexual obsession with his dead sister and the ghost of his lunatic mother makes him a MUST HAVE for any young gay fantasy boyfriend collector. Throw in his Heavy-Metal inspired and hilarious trio of henchmen (Ozzie, Flea, and Slash), and you’ve got a total package event. Never mind that it is entirely possible the cape he wraps himself in is just the tattered remains of the paisley blue onesy his mother forced him to wear until he was nine, or that his metal/leather/fur briefs+vest ensemble looks like a hobo shit on his chest and rather than cleaning it he had it tanned and hardened, this guy carries around a mother-fucking SCYTHE and floats when he runs! He can cast every spell worth casting in the game, and, in addition to just plain vaporizing your enemies, as a free service to you the player, he is also a complete verbal dick to anyone unfortunate enough to cross you. Magus was the first character that ever taught me that a good guy doesn’t have to be a NICE guy. The rest, is history.
#3 Colonel Jade Curtiss
This little treasure was something I found that I wasn’t even looking for. I mean, on the box-art of a cheap video game from Japan, who thinks, “OH BOY! I can’t wait to see what the middle aged dude in glasses wearing the turquoise sailor suit is gonna do!” But you know what? Jade Curtiss makes turquoise sailor suits the very hallmark of badass. I actually have a tiny figure of Jade I bought in the back alley of an anime convention one year, and I carry him everywhere I go just to remind me to be as elegant an asshole as he is. First thing that happens to Jade, right out the gate, is he has all his nifty god-like magic powers(which he earned by killing enough people in a war to earn him the nickname “The Necromancer” in addition to his rank as a Colonel) sealed up inside of him. Does he sit down and cry about not being able to call forth the primal forces of nature at-will to destroy his enemies? No. He pulls out his expandable spear and stabs the motherfucker who attacked him through the heart! Then, he prostrates himself before royalty to get their approval, jumpstarts his land battleship (that’s right, you heard me, this mofo has an aircraft carrier that drives around ON LAND), and still has time to rape/interrogate all the info you could possibly need from his “European” childhood best friend. Jade Curtiss is the Necromancer I want to be, and the lesson he brings is that being a douche bag isn’t any excuse for poor manners.
#2 Alan Shore
Those of you who don’t know who Alan Shore (played by the brilliant James Spader alongside genius William Shatner as Denny Crane) is need to stop reading my post, go find a copy of Boston Legal (all seasons), and lock yourself in a room with some kleenex and a bottle of lube and enjoy yourself to any and all of his closing arguments. Alan Shore is the reason I finished college. I had dreams, at the time, that a Rhetoric Major might rise up and give world shattering speeches that would reach millions of ears and open the minds of an entire generation of young people to the wonders of good reasoning and theatrical argumentation. Sadly, I know now that this idealized character is too fragile to survive the choking environment of public speaking we foster now, with 24 hour news cycles, and twitter character limited micro-updates. The lofty ideals of reason have little place in our discourse. But, Alan Shore taught other lessons as well: like that there isn’t any defeat that a prostitute, some incredibly expensive scotch, and a cigar on a high-rise balcony with your millionaire best friend, won’t fix. So here’s to you Alan Shore! You taught me to win AND to lose.
#1 Dark Schneider
This is it. The Number One (Anti)-Hero from my childhood. I can still remember switching the VHS tapes so I could rent this precious little gem from my local BlockBuster Video store. Afterall, he looked like Magus but in Anime form! Of course, as a nervous over-Christy thirteen year old with a repressed rage problem and a fascination/disgust with the immoral, this Anime (called Bastard!! go check it out) was irresistible. So, trading out Rainbow Brite for Dark Schneider was my first intentional sin. I can still remember waiting up that night until my mother was firmly rooted in her nightly struggle between REM sleep and choking sleep apnea induced death. I saw the credits come on, and ground my gay little teeth through the gratuitous female nudity and panty jokes until…
HE arrived: The Wizard of Fire, the unstoppable Dark Schneider!
My life changed forever that day. And if I can be serious here for a moment, looking back on it, what Dark Schneider really taught me was that being true to your personal convictions is where real strength comes from, and that without self-determination no hero is worth the shiny plate armor the village people hot glue him into. Throughout his brief time in distribution (there are just six episodes because the animator was sent to prison for sexing up kids in Thailand…but you know…details!), Dark Schneider never let ANYONE tell him what he could or couldn’t do. If he wanted to kill someone he did. If he wanted to beat the crap out of someone and force them to join his side, he did. For a slowly smothering closeted Christian boy, Dark Schneider, that hyper-heterosexual buffoon, taught me that I could take responsibility for my OWN morality, and fight for it without having to play nice. Its taken me nearly a decade to realize what an impact this ridiculous anime had on me, but god dammit, I guess I can’t say boobies and heavy metal never did anything positive for me anymore!
Honorable Mention: Piccolo
So, I had to include the green skinned hemaphrodite, just because I was so obsessed with him as a kid! Now, admittedly, looking at it, he is a crushing condemnation of the whole idea of a bad guy becoming a good guy. As a bad guy, he is unstoppable, feared and totally respected. He falls in love with ONE little monkey boy (which, btw, is totally not creepy because he doesn’t technically have genitals…or possibly has both sets so he could be, you know…whatever the kid wanted once puberty hit), and BLAM! All his cred is gone. He spends the rest of the series talking a good game but functionally only existing to give the other big-boy villains street cred as they punk him over and over again. But still…his cape and bedazzled hat are amazing, and his sarcastic gravelly side comments made DBZ much more watchable. Nevermind if the writers totally switched all of his good plotlines to Vegeta mid-writing….I’ll always love my green bean!