Anime Cliches 15: The Blood Knight

Type: Character Cliché

What Made it Popular: No concrete originator, Blood Knights have always been popular figures in legends, tales and history.

Cliche Level: Low

Where can you find it: Bleach, Sekirei, Fate Stay Night, One Punch Man, Hellsing etc. It is very rare to find them outside the action genre.

Description:

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People are normally scared of battles and wars, and with good reason as death is a very real possibly there. Humans in general try to avoid being put into dangerous situation like that, but if one is forced into such a situation then it is not uncommon to panic, cry or mentally break down.

This is not the case for the characters we call Blood Knights. They charge into the battlefield with a smile on their faces, the time of their life has finally come, the battlefield is the place where these characters truly feel ‘alive’ as they cut down their panic stricken foes one by one. The appearance of a Blood Knight itself is an object of terror and dread, other sane characters fear him as they cant understand his motives, they view them as savage animals who wants to do nothing more than to fight and kill.

These characters pretty much go by the rule: Live and die on the battlefield, they enjoy fighting above all else, the harder, the tougher, the more challenging the opponent the better it is to them. They have little interest in material gains and do not really hold any personal grudge to the people they attack/fight. One day you can be drinking with them as friends, the next day they might come to ruthlessly fight you to the death. Some of them have a personal code of honor, such as do not kill the weak, do not kill those who are unarmed, do not turn your back on enemy etc. But this does not always apply as there are plenty of Blood Knights who believe that there are no rules on the battlefield. These characters may also limit themselves and rarely fight seriously or go all out, they prefer to savour fights for as long as they can, many of them have the wish of “dying in the most glorious way possible”.

Blood Knight characters usually serve as the primary badass in their show, or the strongest henchmen of the villain. They don’t tend to care if the ones they are fighting/fighting for are good/evil or neutral all that matters is the fight itself. In a more serious show they are painted as terrifying instead of badass or as a character who deserves pity, since fighting is the only way they can live and express themselves.

Variations of Blood Knights:

  1. The “Bro” Knight: This Blood Knight is the typical example of the one I mentioned above, a Blood Knight who is friendly and carefree when outside of the battlefield, but deadly and serious once in combat. (Lancer from Fate Stay Night is a good example of this)
  2. The Wandering Master: This is a type of Blood Knight that wants to master his fighting techniques, and to do this he will fight anyone who he deems a strong opponent.
  3. The Pretender: This is a Blood Knight who pretends to be normal or rather, he is a blood knight in the making who cannot come to terms with the fact that he enjoys violence, war and death. He pretends to be a normal person whenever possible and reacts as such, but his expressions and emotions can betray his true feelings.
  4. The “Knight”: A Blood Knight who hides under the mask of a chivalrous and honorable knight
  5. The Junkie: Fight addicts who usually fight with their bare hands rather than weapons. They are typically a brawler type of character or street fighter, someone who doesn’t actually practices a martial art or someone who is not a soldier with training. The Junkie is the least likely blood knight to kill his foes. (Ben-to or Adam Blade for example)
  6. The Indiscriminate Killer: The Blood Knight closest to the archetypical psychopath, these Blood Knights are usually completely devoid of honour, save for the ones they recognize as strong, they will kill children, old people, women, puppies or anyone who gets in their way. Though that say they usually contain themselves when not fighting, but they are still an explosion waiting to go off. (Karasuba)
  7. The Masochist: Self explanatory, a character who likes feeling pain, so he intentionally seeks battle and danger. This type of Blood Knight will not shame away from putting their limbs into the reach of their opponents arms or letting the opponent take some hits at them. These characters are usually immortal or regenerative, sacrificing a limb to gain an advantage is common tactic for them. (Shalltear Bloodfallen)
  8. The Sadist: Self explanatory, someone who enjoys torturing or inflicting pain on others. (Shalltear again)

Why it’s bad: This is a cliché that I personally like, so I might be a bit biased. But the only way to really fuck up a Blood Knight is to make him a completely 1 dimensional killing machine. He won’t be either interesting or badass that way. Though otherwise unless this type of character suddenly receives a surge of popularity, it is not in any danger of being hated.

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