Well, I've read quite a bit of manga, and watched a bit of anime, in my time, and I've noticed all the
"delinquents" dominating our fair mediums, and thought I'd do some soul searching to figure out why I find these negative role models so entertaining, and the root of the cause is more emotional in my opinion.
This guy makes me emotional.
Now when I say emotional, I don't necessarily mean I go off crying every time I read Yu Yu Hakusho
it just means that these characters play to different spectrum of my brain, and probably yours too reader! Let the Exploration Begin!
Delinquents Play With Our Rebellious Desires
We all want to be a rebel sometimes, whether it's skipping work, or robbing a bank, is a different matter. Anyways, many of my favorite delinquents in manga and anime are total badasses, with disregard for the rules (Onizuka, Kenpachi, Urameshi, Hanamichi), and they totally play off that. When Onizuka ends up with three of his students being whored out to old men, what else would he do, but watch (bad example), until of course they pay him off, even as their teacher he acknowledges they've wronged him previously, and just doesn't care. Now that was an extreme example, but anything from Urameshi's skipping class and smoking, to Hanamichi Sakuragi's beatings of his school's judo club, can feed off our inner desires to just go wild, and get us hooked.
This Guy is a Teacher
Delinquents are Funny
Everyone loves a good laugh, and delinquents usually act as some solid comic relief, even if they're the star of the show. GTO has it's serious moments, but it also has it's moments when I'm rolling on the floor laughing, it's that kind of manga, another example is Beelzebub, which parodies the classic battle manga in a Gintama sorta way, but in a high school setting, and tons of delinquents, and it's brilliantly written to boot. But, my favorite example of delinquents being their own comic relief, is none other than Hanamichi Sakuragi, on and off the court, whether he's boasting of his greatness, or simply moping rejection, so much of what he does cracks me up, it's uncanny. I think this stems from the lack of seriousness and conformity in delinquents, you don't see Kenshiro(Hokuto no Ken) or Guts(Berserk) crack many jokes, or react in an over the top way that doesn't involve killing anything, and it creates really serious overtones.
I stand corrected Guts
Delinquents are Loveable, and Relatable
More often than not, characters in these stories, show a lot of different traits, whether it's sorrow, joy, anger, I can often find a lot of myself in these delinquent characters, because they're so open with their emotions. While Tatsumi Oga isn't a good example this time around, Onizuka finds his way into another one of my paragraphs, because his pure honesty and optimism are so unadulterated, and I see some of my good times with him, and some of my bad times with him, he really shows a whole spectrum of emotion. Another solid example is an unexpected one, Mugen from Samurai Champloo, is a total delinquent, and you always know what he's feeling, and I get excited with him, even when he's cutting up some guy.
You know he'd be skipping school and getting up to mischief if public school existed then
Delinquents are Badasses
I'll end with the obvious one. As a reader I often enjoy delinquent characters because they're the ones most likely to give in to their savage side, and then things just get cool. Kenshin never just beat people up for being in his face, or tortured his conquests, thats something reserved for the Oga's, Guts', Mugen's, and Onizuka's of the world. Go and read almost any chapter of Berserk
and you'll see Guts, murdering everything around him without prejudice, in a glorious and beautiful typhoon of flesh and bigass swords, it's wonderful. Go read a Bleach
chapter with Kenpachi (the Soul Society's delinquent as it were), and you'll see Kenpachi go about everything like a badass, because that's how they roll, they kick ass and inspire so much fear that their other sides are like a shot in the dark, which only makes them more relatable.
You know you love him. you know it.
In closing, whats your favorite delinquent anime/manga, mine's probably GTO or Slam Dunk if we're talking in literal terms, otherwise I'd choose Berserk, drop me a comment and let me know. This week's weekly read will be around sometime too! Look out for that, I read Sket Dance
, and I have opinions and summaries!.
Be prepared for comedy
And now I bid you, kind reader, adieu