Although an Anti Hero once referred to a single specific kind of character archetype, over time the term has evolved to cover several very different types which all have one key aspect in common: they serve as contrasts to the traditional flawless, perfect knights in shining armor.
This is a list of the five recurring types of Anti Heroes.
Opposite of Scale of Evil.
Type I: The Classical Anti-Hero
These exist somewhat outside of the scale and thus do not have a set morality, but still tend to be good or neutral, with a few exceptions. Basically, they are protagonists, but do not commit acts of heroism nor are truly ready for it, until given the chance.
- Examples: Ciri, Haru Okumura, Wario, Usopp, Korra, Riku, Kai Hiwatari, Haruhi Suzumiya, Shigeo Kageyama, Kraft Lawrence, Rocky Rhodes, Shinji Ikari, Togusa, Basara Toujou and Waver Velvet.
Type II: Disney Anti-Hero (Knight in Sour Armour)
They have the potential and the attributes, sometimes even title of a hero, but they lack the attitude (being too cynical among other faults) and often don't have the heart of a hero. They do, however, commit acts of heroism.
- Examples: Ann Takamaki, Daredevil (Marvel Cinematic Universe), Geralt of Rivia, Zuko, Urdnot Grunt, Ragna the Bloodedge, Yusuke Kitagawa, Miranda Lawson, Iron Man (Marvel Cinematic Universe), Huey Freeman, Razer, Han Solo, Nathan Drake, Duncan (from Total Drama), Jin Kisaragi, Shizuo Heiwajima, Seras Victoria, Saitama, Alfred Vint Svent, Queen Elsa, Akeno Himejima, Jason Bourne, Aria H. Kanzaki, Black Star and Kinji Tohyama.
Type III: Dangerous Anti-Hero (Pragmatic Hero)
These are very different than other anti-heroes, but no worse than neutral. They are not overall bad and have good intentions, but can be very brutal and murderous to their enemies. They are, by contrast, often protective to innocent people.
- Examples: Lelouch vi Britannia, Tyrion Lannister, Dante (from Devil May Cry), Sherlock Holmes (BBC Series), Laxus Dreyar, Princess Bubblegum, Ellie (from The Last of Us), Sasuke Uchiha, John Marston, Kikyo, Mordin Solus, Yennefer of Vengerberg, Benson (Regular Show), Agent Six, Ryuji Sakamoto, Honey Kisaragi (Cutey Honey), Jessica Jones (Marvel Cinematic Universe), the majority of Night Raid, Makoto Niijima, Homura Akemi, Samara, Killua Zoldyck, Yukiteru Amano, Kurapika, Mikado Ryūgamine, Masaomi Kida, Shiki Ryougi, Saya Otonashi, Yuji Sakai, Integra Hellsing, Yuri Lowell, Wolverine, Lee Everett, Vegeta, Shiroe, Tatsuya Shiba, Yu Kanda, Jack Bauer, Takashi Komuro, Mika Shimotsuki, Heero Yuy, and Shinn Asuka.
Type IV: Vicious Anti-Hero (Unscrupulous Hero)
Same as Type III, but even more antipathetic. They can commit morally reprehensible acts to achieve good ends, that often causes confusion on their standards. Unlike Type III, they show less remorse for their actions.
- Examples: Alexander Anderson, L Lawliet, Jerry (from Tom and Jerry), Brock Samson, Rorschach, Niko Bellic, Javik, Motoko Kusanagi, Morgana (from Persona 5), John Constantine, Booker DeWitt, Kiritsugu Emiya, Raiden (from the Metal Gear series), Levi Ackerman, Joel (from The Last of Us), Sesshōmaru, Accelerator, Batou, Futaba Sakura, Max Rockatansky, Akira Fudo (Devilman), Bryan Mills, Harry Callahan, Shu Ouma, Archer (from Fate/Stay Night), Crona, James Heller, Claire Stanfield, Wilhelmina Carmel, Rock (from Black Lagoon), Saeko Busujima and Shadow the Hedgehog.
Type V: Hero in name only (Nominal Hero)
They are a protagonist, but do very bad things, they are never truly heroic and are only called such because they fight villains who are far worse than they are. They are very morally neutral at their best and mild evil aimed at greater evils at their worst. Some of them are villains that can actually serve very important purposes and need to be kept alive, imprisoned or simply kept around.
- Examples: Bender, Alucard, Kratos, Tom the Cat, Augus, Dr. Venture, Varrick, Kurumi Tokisaki, Deadpool, Guts, Walter White, Yuno Gasai, Jason Brody, Touko Aozaki, Revy, Goro Akechi, Firo Prochainezo, Aria T'Loak, Zaeed Massani, Jack (from the Mass Effect series), Alex Mercer, Tommy Vercetti, Trevor Philips, Franken Stein, Eric Cartman and Seto Kaiba.