Episode 546 - The bad-arse dandy!

Aug 30, 2021

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.

Topics and Show Notes

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

Links

Tantz's prettyboy badass newspost - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2021/aug/13/pretty-boy-badass/

Featured comic:
The War Below Us - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2021/aug/24/featured-comic-the-war-below-us/

Featured music:
The Anaether - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_Anaether/ - by Lizbeth490021, rated A.

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Pitface - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/PIT_FACE/
Kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/

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