After sifting through numerous aniblog posts that began piling up after my two-week break, I found Yerocha’s fun blog carnival post about an ideal anime/manga five man troupe. I’m a little late to the party, but I’d still love to squeeze in my cast ^_^
A lot of old-school shows that I’ve watched back in the day had the traditional Five-Man Band formula (The Hero, The Lancer, The Smart Guy, The Big Guy, and The Chick/Heart) with shows like Flame of Recca and Yu Yu Hakusho as prime examples . Nowadays, I haven’t seen much of this trademark team, what with the rise of more popular archetypes like the Anti-Hero, the various -dere types, and “The One Guy” in harems. So, to bring back the old days, my cast will stick to the traditional Five-Man Band. As for the story to go with it, let’s have a classic shounen-style tournament that will decide the fate of the world!
Usually the series’ protagonist, as well as the team leader. A man with impeccable resolve and genuine fighting spirit. Can be brash and reckless at times, causing trouble for himself and the team, but he always comes through in the end. He’s the underdog, yet refuses to believe it. His will to fight and sense of justice can be felt by his comrades, making him the team’s driving force. He’s the “good” guy, who will always try to uphold his morals, and will never resort to cheap tricks and dirty tactics. Simply put, the hero is the hero.
To lead my five man troupe, I’ve chosen the Ally of Justice himself, Emiya Shirou of Fate/Stay Night fame. No one would dare question his resolve and sense of justice, and he really does fit into the hero profile to a T. I mean, the guy would sacrifice his own gut for a person he barely knows. Granted, it’s because of his twisted morals, but that’s his morals as a hero and it took the hatred of the entire world to make him rethink it. Shirou doesn’t really get much credit when he has Saber as his sword but I think that with Saber out of the picture, and given a team dynamic, he would perform better.
The team’s number two guy. Oftentimes he’s the rival (either in strength, in love or both), as well as the closest ally to our hero. Initially strong, he always trumps the hero in every way early on. He holds the same degree of determination as the Hero, but after some time, or some display of heroism by the hero, he’ll start questioning his own resolve. He’s the person most likely to flip to the other side at one point in the story. At times he’ll have the team’s back when the hero is out in the front lines. He shares a certain level of respect and trust with our hero, enough to get them fighting side-by-side with each other. At the end of the day though, he’s the foil to our hero.
I’ve bestowed the title of the Lancer to the Lizard Knight Amamiya Yuuhi from Wakusei no Samidare. Despite being a protagonist in his own series, the cold, calculating and cunning Yuuhi is almost the complete polar opposite of Shirou, which makes for a nice chemistry between the two. If Shirou is the all-in brawler type when it comes to fights, Yuuhi is the tactician who relies on traps, tricks and conservative methods, much to the distaste of both characters. I can totally see Yuuhi butting heads with Shirou whenever Shirou goes overboard in saving someone at the team’s expense, which could lead to an intense slug fest between the two.
The Smart Guy
Exactly as it sounds. The smartest guy in the entire team (besting even the Hero/Lancer), possibly the one coming up with strategies in fights as well as the one who analyzes enemy weaknesses. Usually not the combat type, but able to hold his own when cornered. His repertoire may include but is not limited to; academic prowess, street smarts, psychobabble, technological know-how, and boyscout preparedness.
I had a hard time thinking of a good “Smart Guy” to put into the team. My first choice was Orihara Izaya from DRRR!! but he doesn’t really strike me as someone who’d use his intellect in favor of the team. After some thought, I’d decided to have the secretary of Ohtori Academy’s Student Council, Miki Kaoru from Revolutionary Girl Utena, reprise his role as this team’s brainiac. He’s a literal smart guy, taking up college level subjects at the age of 13, while also being a talented fencer. Although he’s not a very notable guy in this field, what made me choose him is how effective of a smart guy he was in Utena. Given his friendly nature, I can see Shirou taking a liking to him, while Yuuhi takes him as an intellectual rival.
The Big Guy
If the Smart Guy is the brains of the group, the Big Guy is the brawn. The strongest member of the team in terms of sheer power. Doesn’t necessarily have to be a muscular giant, but he’s the most imposing to look at. Not the brightest in the team, but does’t mean he’s dumb either. He’s the team’s clean-up hitter, taking multiple opponents at once. In fights, he’s the type to smash the opponent head-on. Usually the one who most often falls for the enemy’s traps, much to the irritation of the Smart Guy. The best way to describe him would be the phrase – actions speak louder than words.
This time around I have the seventh head of the Kyoutouryuu school, Yasuri Shichika from Katanagatari as my Big Guy. With his masterful sword-less style technique, he can easily beat everyone above (even our hero) as well as take on a complete army by himself. He is, however, prone to trickery and practical defenses, and without Togame’s guidance, he has also had his fair share of tough battles requiring his own strategy. He knows only a bit about the world outside his home island, so his human interaction skills aren’t really well adept. In fights he admits that “he’s not really good at thinking” and relies whether on his Kyoutouryuu or his pure power. He was more of a hired gun in Katanagatari so seeing him in a team should be interesting.
The glue that holds the team together. Doesn’t have to be a woman, but most often is. He/She helps a team member up when they’re down, uplifting their spirits. Breaks up fights between fellow teammates. Possibly the most empathetic of the bunch, keeping everyone’s emotions intact when the event calls for it. Almost never joins the fights, and is instead at the sidelines, cheering our guys on.
Again another hard one for me. I really wanted to have a woman in my five man troupe, but looking at the rest of the cast, they’re not really men who’d appreciate the cute encouragements of, say, Yuina from Hanasaku Iroha (which was real candidate for me, lol). So if girls ain’t the answer, the next best thing I could think of is the Glass of the Gods, Sasakura Ryu from Bartender. I mean, who better to bring the team some “spirits” *badum-tss* On a more serious note, I think that most would agree that Sasakura Ryu is one of anime’s best mitigators, and what better way to resolve disputes between men than to resolve it over a drink. He’s also proven to be a good listener, as well as someone you can really talk with, so even if it’s Shirou talking about his borrowed ideals, I’m confident Ryu will have something to say about it.
The Big Bad
The head honcho. The final boss. The private benefactor behind the scenes. He’s the series’ main villain. Possibly a leader himself, commanding a team of sub villains that the hero and his team have to face before getting to him. He’s calm, yet ruthless. Not afraid to sacrifice lives, even the lives of his own men if it’s to serve his purpose. He’s smart, possibly smarter than the team’s Smart Guy. He’s strong, but strives to be even stronger. He may or may not carry a hatred for mankind. He’s not evil just for the hell of it, he has his origins, and whatever twisted origins he has is what makes him the Big Bad.
My pick is Rau le Creuset from Gundam SEED. An effective leader and tactician, as well as an accomplished pilot. His allegiance with ZAFT was nothing to him but a mantle to orchestrate his plans from, whereas his true allegiance was with himself. His origin story also fits the bill for something “twisted”, being only a genetically engineered clone born from the puritan natures of man. Rau’s selling point for me though was his desire to eradicate mankind, taking it upon himself to be both judge and executioner, believing that man would eventually lead himself to ruin anyways. I can’t say for sure how effective Rau is on the ground as a tactician, but if he can command as well as he can when he’s in space, then we’d have ourselves a war.
And…there you have it! My ideal anime/manga cast for a traditional Five-Man Band. I’d love to toss in a couple of characters like Kumagawa Misogi from Medaka Box and Ryougi Shiki from Kara no Kyoukai into the mix, but I’m not to sure as to what role they would play in this.