Let's get serious this week, Vice-Troop. We’ve tackled some big topics before, but this one blows 'em all away. On this edition of the TOP 5, we’re celebrating all things rugged, burly and unrefined.
Hopefully, you all are ready for…
I don’t know if you’re all old enough to have seen GOLDENBOY, but as far as borderline-smut goes, this is about as good as it gets. Kintaro is a very capable man. A secret genius who left college before graduating (though he completed all necessary credits and then some), Kintaro is a free spirit, a student of life... and an enormous perv.
Kintaro is a natural at anything he attempts, he knows karate (though he hates to use it), he can outrun a motorcycle on his bicycle (going downhill), and the ladies can’t resist him (eventually).
Though he may seem like a boob at first, Kintaro’s devotion to bettering himself has made him into something of a superman. He is on an unending quest for knowledge and there’s nothing he won’t excel at! Most manly of all, as soon as he masters his latest pursuit he’s gone - - onto the next challenge with notebook in hand!
Most importantly, he fearlessly rocks the mullet-ponytail. BRAVE.
Guts is a big, angry wall of scarred-up muscle who cuts dudes apart with an enormous broadsword. Oh yeah, and he has a crossbow for an arm. His physical appearance alone secures him a spot on this list but, of course, that’s only the beginning.
He’s fought demons and won (easily, in some cases), played a part in massive political upheavals, devotedly followed a dude he was kind of in love with (bromance is the manliest of all the romances), and then totally broke up with him to pursue his own manly, murderous path.
At its core, BERSERK is a story of dedication, conflict and personal resolve. Feelings.
Guts manages to feel about a billion complicated things, but what you’ll mostly remember him for is the crazy, teeth-gritted, freak-out RAGE. Like a Japanese Incredible Hulk with a sword, Guts uses his feelings to bisect his enemies. This man is showered in blood more frequently than water.
Oh right, and one time he stabbed a small child in the chest without hesitation.
NUMBER THREE == M.D. GEIST (M.D. GEIST)
Geist is a mercenary (I guess?) from the future who was killed (??), only to wake up a while later and kill everyone around him for some reason. Oh, then he stands naked in the desert and crushes a watch.
According to the (barely) expository text on the screen in the opening scenes, M.D. Geist possesses a “SUPER MUNDANE” fighting ability. If you’re not convinced yet, you’re an idiot.
But oh yeah, he also cut a guys arms off, stole some football-knight-looking robot armor, refused to sleep with a willing floozy (too tough to boff), and then doomed all of mankind for no reason. He is seemingly only motivated to do the most violent and absurd thing possible at all times. The whole affair feels as if it were written by a misogynistic 14-year-old with brain damage.
If you’re not following, "stupid shit" often tends to equal "manly shit."
M.D. Geist is a man who doesn’t take orders, no matter how reasonable they may be. And I guess he can’t die? Also M.D. stands for "MOST DANGEROUS…!"
If this were the TOP 5 most dangerous, he’d be number one.
Kenshiro is the classic shonen hero: complete with endless muscles, tough scars, a chip on his shoulder and the biggest eyebrows you’ve ever seen on a human face. In one particularly incredible scene in the FIST OF THE NORTH STAR movie, Ken gets out of bed and the bed then explodes!
That’s right. This man creates enough terrifying force by just waking up that the thing supporting his body shatters into a thousand pieces. Probably out of fear.
There’s also the fact that when Kenshiro punches someone, they explode. Like, every time. That’s not his forbidden ultimate technique; it’s his every day. This is a man who frequently flexes his shirt off, shaves his beard with a hunting knife, and beats up tanks for the sake of righteousness.
Yes, unlike Geist, Kenshiro is a crusader for justice and a brighter tomorrow. In fact, Ken is almost the anti-Geist, but no less ridiculous in most ways. He’s still a pile of muscles on a mission, and one of the first things you’ll notice about shonen anime is that the mission never really matters. It’s about the journey, and Ken’s is an epic one full of betrayal, Apocalypse, volcanoes and lots of popping heads.
It’s hard to imagine anyone more stoic. Except maybe….
Holy shit. There is no one manlier than this guy. Duke Togo, A.K.A. Golgo 13, barely speaks. In fact, he doesn’t do much of anything besides snipe the shit out of dudes. He famously never misses and always kills his mark. In fact, his talent for his job (shooting people) borders on the supernatural - - an idea which is, unbelievably, explored in the manga!
Togo is also the only man on this list who actually “does the deed”, and he does so with reckless abandon. He could be considered the Japanese James Bond... if James Bond was an insane murderer with no remorse, zero charm and a face without emotion.
Togo also possesses a strong set of eyebrows (pupil dusters), and totally seems like he might have been created by a pubescent teenager. He’s like a greatest hits of every manly shonen ideal, melted down into one absurd, dangerous, violent man of mystery.
And before you ask.... yes, the comics do make specific mention of his junk...
Togo is infallible, unbeatable and verging on godly but, despite all this, he seems completely uninterested in the usual boasting and flexing that tends to accompany this sort of prowess. Duke Togo doesn’t need to try to impress you, much in the same way that a hurricane doesn’t care what you think.
His most uttered phrase in the manga is “…” and his facial expression rarely (never) changes. GOLGO 13 is unimpressed with everything. This is what makes him number one: he's the best and he doesn’t care what we think.
Your favorite toughguy didn’t make the list? Let me know who you think I overlooked in the comments section below.
Alex Eckman-Lawn is an illustrator and comic artists from Philadelphia. Check out his site - -alexeckmanlawn.com - - rumble with his Tumblr - -dudenukem.tumblr.com - - and hit up his Twitter: @alexeckmanlawn