In honor of “Pride Month,” we will be discussing the word, “Pride” and its meaning. We will be exploring pop culture characters’ most satisfying and joyful achievements or skills that they possessed and whether or not these qualities could be seen as a positive or negative aspect in their personal lives and/or society.
*May contain minor spoilers!
Pride – The dangers of over confindence
What is pride? The word pride I am talking about is not about a pack of lions or homosexuality. Pride is having the abundance of confidence on one’s own skills or traits. People can have pride on certain things like their skills in their hobbies or even their own personality such as being kind or cocky. Showing some pride can be a good thing because it shows how much the person cares about something and it makes them stand out and different. However, pride can also be bad one’s character; it’s also one of the seven deadly sins in life. Having too much pride can change a person and make them do things based on what they do and it may lead to serious consequences.
In anime, the most prideful characters usually do the dumbest things. For example, the most well known prideful character in Dragon Ball is Vegeta. Vegeta has a lot of pride because of his Saiyan race. This is evident in early Dragon Ball Z where Vegeta believes that no one can defeat him since he is a Saiyan and he is a prince in royalty; this causes to Vegeta overestimate his opponents and it leaves him to an embarrassing defeat. In the Saiyan Saga. Vegeta believes he can defeat Goku because he is the prince of all Saiyans and thinks anyone low class will never succeed. Unfortunately for Vegeta, he gets pummeled and forced to surrender after getting beaten up by Goku and his friends.
This is not first time that pride was too much for this short man. Going back what I said, pride can make you do the dumbest things. In the Android/Cell saga, Vegeta faces Semi-Perfect Cell after going through some serious training from the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. At first, Vegeta is so strong that Cell bit more than chew and with this new strength, Vegeta could have killed Cell easily. However, after Cell made a comment that unless he finds and absorbs Android 18, he will never reach his Perfect Form and use his full potential. Intrigued, Vegeta lets Cell continue his search and ultimately becomes Perfect. Still thinking he has a chance, Vegeta fights the newly, Perfect Cell and not surprisingly, he loses. His pride got the best of him and it helped made an antagonist stronger than the heroes.
In other anime, having excess pride can make you become the worst person on Earth. In another Shonen anime like Naruto, the characters who looked down on Naruto thought they were better. If haven’t watched Naruto, I will be brief on the details. In the beginning of Naruto, the protagonist Naruto was called a failure for not passing the Ninja Academy. His own village didn’t expect anything from him and they thought he was weak. One of the most iconic moment about toxic pride is when Naruto faces Neji in the Chunin Exams. Neji makes a comment that the only people born with skills and are geniuses can be Hokage. He sees Naruto as a loser and thinks he will always be one. Unfortunately for him, he ended up losing to Naruto. Naruto showed him that anyone can change their destiny and be anything they want to be.
Overall, it’s one thing to have confidence on your skills, but don’t let the confidence lead you to humiliation when the best you have is the weakest quality. In the anime I am going to talk about, I want to talk about why is it dangerous to have pride.
Black Clover – A magical Shonen Jump series
Black Clover is a fantasy, action-adventure series created by Yūki Tabata and it first started in the manga and first viewed in Weekly Shonen Jump as a Jump Start feature. The anime tells the story about two orphan boys named Asta and Yuno. Asta is a loud mouth gray kid and Yuno is a cool minded and prodigy kid. Both boys dreams of becoming the Wizard King for the Clover Kingdom. The Wizard King was a powerful Wizard who saved the entire nation from an unstoppable beast. The world of Black Clover has many characters who can wield powerful magic and are eager for to obtain a place in the Clover Kingdom. Yuno was born with incredible magic and considered a prodigy, but Asta was born without magic. However, even though Asta has no magic, he has anti-magic which allows to fight and negate other magic users.
Asta vs the World
The pride of the elitist
Revchi: In this world, you won’t be able to do anything. Nothing at all. You should give up on everything. You were born to be a loser…!!
Once a former Magic Knight, Revchi was stripped for his title and left to be an outcast. However, this scarred man desire power and after he sees Yuno obtain the rare four-leaf clover grimoire, he decides to attack the him and steal it. However, when he sees Asta, he shows off his magic chains and attack and binds him. He tells Asta that a guy like him not having any gift for this world should give up and be a loser forever.
Mars: The weak are the first to go. That’s all it is
Mars appears in the story when the Black Bulls (Asta, Noelle and Luck) and the Golden Dawns (Yuna, Mimosa and Klaus) are searching for treasure in a dungeon near the Clover Kingdom. When he and his squad appears, they try to defeat both teams and claim the treasure. Unlike Revchi, Mars uses his action to do the talking. Mars is incredible and dangerous person who has gained powers from experimentation and betrayal from his past. With body modded with magic stones and experiments, Mars is pretty powerful and can take on two teams alone.
The Royal Silva family (Nozel, Nebra and Solid Silva) [I couldn’t find a quote relating to Asta, but I want to mention them.]
Taking place after the events with Mars and the dungeon, Asta encounters some snobby and royal family and they are related to Noelle. It was mentioned in the story that Noelle is a disgrace to her family because she can control her magic properly and end up hurting herself. She gets mocked by her brothers and sisters for abilities. They may be rich, but they can’t even buy love and respect. It’s one thing to ridicule Asta for his disability, but messing with his friend’s abilities is where they crossed the line.
The pride of the commoner
Asta: I will become the Wizard King
Just like Naruto, Asta will not let anyone get the best. Just because he doesn’t have magic, it doesn’t mean he is going to be someone’s punching bag. If Asta had any pride, it would be his ability to wield anti-magic and disproving everyone that told he can never succeed. In the beginning before he discovered his powers, Asta wanted to gain strength and skills by working out his normal body and prove he is strong without magic. Even though he obtained anti-magic, he still doesn’t hone any particular magic like his friend Yuno or his team mates from the Black Bulls. However, unlike the rude and prideful people I mentioned, Asta’s friend does taunt him, but they do it as a motivation. Yuno is a good example because during the fight with Revchi, as Asta was ready to give up his dream, Yuno makes a comment that Asta is not a loser and he is still considered a rival to him. In the end results, Asta remembered his dream and his rival and he defeated an ex-magic knight without magic.
Also to add more, after obtaining his own grimoire, Asta has to find a guild to join. Unfortunately, people heard about Asta and his disability and he ends up being that one kid that nobody wants to have on a team. Oddly enough, his weird ability catches the attention of Yami, the captain of the infamous Black Bulls. He makes a comment pointing out that Asta’s powers is not normal, but that what makes him different than others. When Asta tells everyone that even without having magic, he wants to be the Wizard King. Hearing this interests Yami and takes Asta as a member of the Black Bulls.
In the many adventures Asta went through, he takes pride of his anti-magic and fought many people who heavily depend on using deadly magic. Whether he fights a group of ice users, Mars and his enhanced elementary offensive and defensive magic and even a royal family is well-known for their powerful skills.
Pride of friendship
Besides proving his might on the prideful, Asta takes pride on having friends with obscure abilities as well. When he joins the Black Bulls, he quickly finds out that these people are weirder than him. He also finds out that these are infamous for causing trouble and doing well on completing missions. Some of these people he meets, he can also relate. People like Noelle for example because she can’t control her magic. She comes from the Silva Family which are royalty and powerful, but she gets rejected because of poor control of her magic. Luck is another person who is different because he has an obsession of fighting powerful people without asking for help for anyone. Overall, Asta is able to be friends with this bunch and use his abilities to help win battles.
Conclusion – The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
Pride plays a double edge sword because it can either benefit you and make you proud of your accomplishments or you can turn you into someone toxic and get disrespect by others. In Black Clover, we see a character like Asta and he takes pride of using his inability to perform magic. He believes he will be the Wizard King without magic and he will rely on skills and his anti-magic. The enemies he encounter represents excess pride that the only attention they get is hate. These prideful enemies gives you the urge to smack them across the face. Fortunately, we have Asta to do the beatings for us. What I like about Asta is that he started off as simple and normal, but yet he ends up surpassing everyone and proving he can fight in a world where magic is necessary. If you think about today society, there are people out there in the world who has become famous, but they started small. It doesn’t have to be a celebrity in movies or artist in painting/sculpture, you can be well-known in the simple things. If you think about people in YouTube, they probably started off small with only a few followers. They might have technical issues or stage fright in the beginning, but as time passes, they become the most trending people online. Don’t be famous for being a jerk. I am not going to mention names, but I am pretty sure you can name some people who are famous for being prideful in works. If we could find people like Asta and teach people modesty, we can teach the world that the bigger the prideful, the harder they fall. In a nutshell, take pride on your work, but don’t get a swell head or you will pop.
I hope you enjoyed my post for this month’s tour. The next person is Mel in Anime Land and her post is scheduled on June 7th.