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QUACKCAST 546 - The bad-arse dandy!

Ozoneocean at 12:00AM, Aug. 31, 2021

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Why aren't there more prettyboy bad-ass characters? Pretty girl bad-asses too! This character type is often a hall-mark of Japanese and Korean fiction more than anything else though it DOES show up in Western media occasionally. There is no age-limit to the type, what distinguishes it is that the character is tough and a very good fighter while also being very obviously concerned about their appearance and looking good- they don't just look good and fashionable naturally, they actively work at it.

They're most usually shown as being villains but there are examples of them being heroic too. In Western Media James Bond is on the edge of the trope, The Saint (famously played by Roger Moore) is definitely a pretty boy bad-ass, as is Jason King. There's Vega from Street Fighter 2, Space Dandy, Spike from Cowboy Bebop… As for women, the ladies of Charly's Angles, especially the Cameron Diaz movies are a great example.

The popularity of the trope in Japan could come from a samurai tradition that emphasised a study of “softer” arts along with the more lethal ones, manifesting in flower arranging, poetry writing, painting, calligraphy etc. While many Samurai would look ultra masculine and shaggy, still others were exquisitely groomed, wearing hair ornaments, fine silks and makeup. In the west at times we've had something similar with dandy fencers in the 17th and 18th century, hussars dressed in extravagant uniforms covered in gold or silver braid, furs and rows of shiny buttons. There were the famous Landsknechts, German mercenaries who specialised in using gigantic greatswords and dressed in amazing outfits of slashed, puffy, brightly coloured silk and huge hats bedecked with feathers.

So prettyboy badarse characters are not alien to our culture, they're just not that popular right now. Let's bring them back! What are your fave pretty boy or pretty girl badasses?

This week Gunwallace has given us a theme to The Anaether - Running over the darkened plane, legs pumping, feet eating up the distance, dust flying, pounding on into the dimness, escaping, leaving everything behind… This electronic tune is scene-setting and atmospheric, suggesting speed and distance with its relentless rhythm.

Topics and shownotes


Tantz's prettyboy badass newspost -

Featured comic:
The War Below Us -

Featured music:
The Anaether - - by Lizbeth490021, rated A.

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace -
Tantz Aerine -
Ozoneocean -
Pitface -
Kawaiidaigakusei -
Banes -

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mks_monsters at 10:31AM, Sept. 3, 2021

I find that the pretty boy is very misunderstood especially in most anime. To be honest, I find the badass pretty boy as great as the sweet bruiser. Your fashion sense and looks don't define your entire personality. I mean, if girls can be cute and tough, why not boys?

Jason Moon at 8:24AM, Aug. 31, 2021

The pretty boy badass is only compelling (to me) if he has that internal rage or he is a killer. You gotta be a lone wolf who pushes friends away and turns help away in trying to save the world lol. Squall Leonhart from FF8 takes the layer cake in my opinion. I just grow tired of them being little 17 year olds in most anime material.

Ozoneocean at 8:17AM, Aug. 31, 2021

That's really interesting about Raiden!

Ozoneocean at 8:17AM, Aug. 31, 2021

Was he a dandy AS Zorro ever? Not just as a cover? I sort of thought he was because of the fancy way he dresses. Lestat is definitely one. Dandy men are often coded as gay, I think that's a limitation of our culture more than anything else. Zorro the Gay blade ran afoul of that. It's not wrong to have gay dandys but it IS wrong for dandy=gay just as it's wrong for rugged and dirty=straight.

bravo1102 at 6:29AM, Aug. 31, 2021

I was thinking of the scene where Tyrone Power as Don Diego meets Basil Rathbone as the officer. He really played up the dandy as George Hamilton would in Zorro: The Gay Blade (and his cousin from the Royal Navy, Bunny Wigglesworth who was as my gay friends used to put it "ON FYY-ER")

EssayBee at 6:23AM, Aug. 31, 2021

Not sure if he's exactly a badass, but Dandy-Lion is a master thief. Also, I think it wasn't so much Zorro who was a dandy as his alter ego Don Diego de la Vega. (Like bravo1102 said, it was to throw off suspicion, much like Bruce Wayne's carefree playboy lifestyle, although Diego would really play up how vulgar violence and getting dirty were to him.)

Andreas_Helixfinger at 5:23AM, Aug. 31, 2021

Well, I think Raiden in MGS2 was a cool pretty boy badass. He was a good outside perspective of Solid Snake in the game, which was a huge part of the whole point about him being the one you played as throughout most of the game. An equally capable, though also very insecure, stand-in for Snake, who also happened to have a very feminine look and soft, nasal voice, in contrast to Snake's manly, rugged look and raspy, deep voice. As for Raiden in installments beyond MGS2...hmm... I don't know. He comes off as over-compensatingly OP to me in those games. Raiden was perfectly cool and fine-lookin' the first time we saw him and I'm sticking to that, thank you very much^^

Ozoneocean at 4:45AM, Aug. 31, 2021

I think Zorro was but Tantz was against that. I don't think Bruce Wayne is because he's not a prettyboy as batman... Spiderman may be!

bravo1102 at 12:48AM, Aug. 31, 2021

Zorro definitely though it was a put on to avoid suspicion.

MOrgan at 12:21AM, Aug. 31, 2021

Bruce Wayne/Batman? Post-Ditko Peter Parker/Spider-Man?

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