Yo. I know I'm still a novice to this wiki, but I've been writing for quite some time now, and I've got some free time, so I decided to start this blog of different types of characters in fiction that I like experimenting with all the time in my writing, both fanfiction and non fanfiction. Keep in mind, I by no means consider myself to be an expert writer, (in fact, I'm overly hard on myself at times), so if anyone sees any information I missed that you think should be here, don't be afraid to mention it--I'll even credit you with the info when I add it!
Anyways, this blog will be split into three major categories: General character types, (the ones that aren't restricted to Protagonists or Antagonists), Antagonist character types, and Protagonist character types.
Okay, here's a common mistake I see in a lot of people's perception of the antagonist. Many people seem to believe that the Antagonist always has to be the primary villain; however, this is not the case. In fact, in the most technical of terms, the antagonist doesn't have to be the vilain at all. The antagonist is simply someone who opposes the protagonist. You can have a protagonist character, but if he or she happens to oppose another protagonist, usually, (but not always), opposing the main protagonist, then they're an antagonist, even if it's only briefly. Yes, characters can swap back and fourth between being a protagonist and an antagonist depending on the situation and/or their goals.
The protagonist seems very simple, but it can also cover quite a bit of ground. In most technical terms, the protagonist is the main character of the story, or the character that the story is focusing most on. Often times this is the hero, but that's not always the case. A Villain, Anti-Hero, Anti-Villain, Tragic Villain, or Byronic Hero can also be a protagonist. Furthermore, most stories tend to have multiple protagonists. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a story that has only one protagonist, but I suppose it would be possible.
The Deuteragonist is the character in the story who has the second most relevence, right after the protagonist, and right before the tritagonist. Not much to say here, very simple concept. They can also be an antagonist at times, just like protagonits can be, depending on what the author is trying to do with their character. Think Sasuke Uchiha in Naruto. In fact, pretty much all rival characters in anime. Bleach is an exception, cause there's several rival characters, (Uryu, Renji, AND Grimmjow). I'd say, for Bleach, Rukia might be the closest thing that the series has ever had to a true deuteragonist, but even that's a bit sketchy. If you're looking at Yu Yu Hakusho, I'd say Keiko would probably be the deuteragonist.
The Tritagonist is the character in the story who has the third most relivence, right after the protagonist and the deuteragonist. Like with the protagonist and deuteragonist, the tritagonist can be any type of antagonist, should the story demand it.
A foil is a type of character who contrasts with another character, (usually a protagonist, but can be an antagonist), in order to highlight qualities of that other character, both positive qualities and negative qualities. I find Foils are very common; hell, most antagonistic characters can also count as Foils, due to their beliefs often times contrasting the protagonists' beliefs, thus highlighting the beliefs of the protagonist. A good Foil would be Shogo Makishima from the anime series Psycho Pass, (first season). He's someone who isn't affected by the Sibyl System, and thus acts as a criminal to prove how flawed the Sibyl System is, contrasting himself with the main character, Akane Tsunamori, who wants to essentially do the same thing, but from the inside; he helps to highlight her desire to bring down the Sibyl System from the inside do to her righteous personality.
Antagonist & Protagonist
Everyone knows what the generic hero is. He's the Superman, Captain America, and Goku hero, the boyscout who fights for truth, justice and the American way, right? Yeah, not much to say here. I find these types of characters to be very boring personally. Another example of this type of hero is Shirou Emiya from Fate/stay night.
A Tragic Hero is a Hero whose story ends in tragedy, often times, (although not always), ending in their deaths. I find a lot of the versions of the story of King Arthur tend to end this way, especially what they alluded to in Fate/Zero regarding Saber's character. I find it to be a much more interesting, and much more realistic, version of the generic hero, where their naive, idalistic beliefs are often challenged, and they end up losing and succumbing to tragedy. It's the opposite of the tragic villain.
The Romantic Hero, created during Shaksperian time, is a literary archetype referring to a character that rejects established norms and conventions, has been rejected by society, and hs the self as the center of his or her own existence. A good example, and the most classic example, would have to be Shakspere's Romeo from Romeo & Juliet. The only version I can think of from anime would be the anime version of Romeo & Juliet, but that version wasn't the best.
Here's, in my opinion, the best part of this blog; the types of antagonists and protagonists. The Villain is very simple. A type of antagonist who is irredeemably evil. This seems to confuse a lot of people, for some reason, because most see all antagonists as villains, but this is absolutely not the case. As I've explained before, being an antagonist simply means to oppose the protagonist, in any way. However, villains are irredeemably evil. Think all DBZ villains. In fact, a lot of Shonen villains, I find, are like this. That being said, you can still add depth and sympathy to them, which you definitely should, but that doesn't change the fact that they're irredeemable in the end.
An Anti-Hero is a type of character who has heroic aspirations, but are using evil, and sometimes immoral, methods in order to achieve them. They often have the sympathy of the audience. They can be the main character, or they don't have to be. A great example of an anti-hero is Light Yagami from the anime Death Note. He wants to reduce crime in Japan, and uses the death note to kill criminals, which does reduce the crime rate until he dies. Another great example is Kiritsugu Emiya from the anime Fate/Zero. After the tragedies of his younger years, he sets out and becomes a viglante, killing mages around the world, becoming known as the "Magus Killer"; however, this is only so he can enter in the Holy Grail War and acquire the Holy Grail to end all wars.
The anti-villain is the opposite of the anti-hero, a character who has evil ends in mind, but is willing to commit good acts in order to achieve them. They often have the sympathy of the audience. Can't really think of any examples of Anti-Villains from anime, cause I don't see them too often. I guess Vegeta technically qualified at one point. He started out as a straight up villain, but eventually joined the Z warriors. At first, however, he still had very much evil intentions, but was still helping the Z warriors in order to achieve them. It wasn't until later that he became more of an anti-hero, and the rival.
A tragic villain is a villain who is seen as evil throughout the course of the story, but they have understandable, and even justifyable reasons for doing what they did, obtaining the audience's sympathy, and they often times die in the end. My two favorite examples of Tragic Villains from anime are Itachi Uchiha from Naruto and Naruto Shippuden and Gin Ichiamru from Bleach. Itachi was a member of the ANBU Black Ops, but became a double agent for the Uchiha family who were planning rebellion against the village, but really served the village, giving information about his clan to the village. In the end he was forced by the Hokage to murder his whole clan to avoid future rebellion, but he couldn't kill his brother; basically, he loved his village more than his clan, but he loved his brother, Sasuke, more than his village. Because of this he left the village as a rouge ninja and joined the Akatsuki, so he could return to the village occasionally to keep an eye on not only it, but also Sasuke, constantly protecting them both with the world, and even Sasuke himself, viewing him as the villain.
Gin Ichimaru was in love with Rangiku Matsumoto, and one day noticed the evil's that Sosuke Aizen committed, specifically acts against Rangiku herself. Being the only person, seemingly, who could see through Aizen's facade, he became a traitor to the Soul Society so he could get close to Aizen and kill him, the only way possible; by earning his trust.
A Byronic Hero is my favorite type of character, but is very difficult to write. Created by the author and poet Lord Byron, the Byronic Hero is considered by some to be an alteration of the Anti-Hero, and by some an alteration of the Shaksperian Romantic Hero. While the latter was Lord Byron's intention, I consider it to be a combination of both the Romantic Hero and the Tragic Hero, because it's very similar to both, with new additions added to it. Like an Anti-Hero, a Byronic Hero is a character who is trying to achieve an end which is good, but uses rather immoral means in order to achieve them. Like the Romantic Hero, a Byronic Hero rejects established norms and conventions, has been rejected by sosciety, and has the self as the center of his or her own existence. Other aspects that define a Byronic Hero is that they're often extremely selfish, arrogant, and self destructive, especially if they happen to loose, or they think they might loose, and are extremely intelligent. However, the biggest new addition is that a Byronic Hero has been wronged majorly in the past, on a large scale. My favorite anime character of all time is Lelouch vi Britannia from Code Geass, who is also a Byronic Hero. Born the 17th Prince of the Holy Britannian Empire, who were trying to conqure the world, and for speaking out against his father, the Emperor, he was banished to Japan, just before Britannia conqurered Japan. Growing up, Lelouch wanted to destroy Britannia, and he finally got the chance. Although he has many selfish reasons, such as wanting revenge due to him and his sister being banished, and to create a world for his sister to live in peacefully, who was blinded due to the trauma of watching their mother die. He's extremely intelligent, very arrogant, and has shown self destructrive behavior at multiple times during the series.
The reason Light Yagami from Death Note, a character whom is compared to Lelouch quite often, is an Anti-Hero and not a Byronic Hero should be obvious after all this information. Yes, he's intelligent, arrogant, and selfish. Yes, he wants to do something good with immoral methods and is very self destructive. But he has never really been wronged in a major way in the past, on any scale.
Well, that's pretty much it. As you could tell, the majority of the types in the second section of the article had to do with villain types. That's for two reasons. One, there's more villain types than hero types, and two, I think that villains are automatically infiitely more interesting than heroes anyways. Like I said before, if I missed any information be sure to let me know, (as well as any hero and villain types, as well as general character types, that I might have missed), so I can add them. And I hope you enjoyed this blog.