This is a character who brings into question various philosophical concepts, and discusses them at length. This is usually a supporting character, but can sometimes be the main protagonist, depending on the scenario. In either case, other characters tend to flock to them, looking for answers. While usually highly intelligent, the Philosopher differs from The Smart Guy and The Strategist in one vital area; while the philosopher is clever, his great thoughts rarely amount to any direct, effective action.
It's up to the more practical heroes to make sense of what he's saying and implement a plan. A straight fantasy tale will usually make the Philosopher sage-like, a valuable source of information for the characters. If it's a video game, this is probably the guy to talk to if you want a hint as to what to do next - though he'll probably tell you in a roundabout way. Instead of saying "Go to the harbour," he's likely to muse out loud that all life comes from the sea. Usually male, he's generally a mage, a sage, or a bookkeeper of some sort. In action series, though, the Philosopher might be surprising - in superhero teams anyone can fall into this category, as even the most vicious and seemingly cynical member of the team can suddenly start quoting Socrates.
In a comedy series, particularly Sadist Shows and dark comedies, however, The Philosopher is extremely rare and if they do exist, may vary from the Only Sane Man to the Butt-Monkey. Perhaps due to the assumed anti-intellectualism of television culture, or simply the perception that people who like to ponder the nature of life never get around to doing anything useful, the fact that this character "thinks too much" is likely to get him punched or killed off, mostly if the philosopher is a Wide-Eyed Idealist cynics are often portrayed as Deadpan Snarkers.
An alternative tactic is to have said idealist ponder something at great length while coming to no useful conclusion, whereupon The Ditz or other appropriate character type will pipe up with a mind-numbingly simple and effective solution. Another version is the tragic philosopher, someone who understands life at a deeper level because life has made them suffer for that knowledge.
This can go one of three ways; he is either motivated to change the world around him, using his personal angst as proof that the world is basically unfair and needs to be remodeled, and, in the process, becoming a Well-Intentioned Extremist. Or, he is totally paralysed by "knowing too much", and virtually useless, unless the hero can snap him out of it.
Still another, more extreme one, is, of course, the Straw Nihilist. A tragic philosopher is difficult to write without descending into Wangst , however, as he's not only angsty, but pretty verbose about it.
A Celebrity Philosopher Explains the Populist Insurgency
Many people find this type of character to be annoying or heavy-handed, but keep in mind that this trope is not, intrinsically, a bad thing. When written well, this character can give another layer of importance, or meaning, to the overall story. When done sloppily, however, this can fall into Fauxlosophic Narration , which can often contain an overload of Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness. When writing about people like this, tread carefully, for it can be a very fine line. Compare The Fatalist. The Warrior Poet may have aspects of this Indeed, if the Philosopher holds his own in combat, they'll often overlap.
He may also be an Erudite Stoner. If he holds a position of power, he would be a Philosopher King. These characters are particularly prone to Leaning on the Fourth Wall and other ways of invoking Metafiction , especially through discussing The Power of Language. Community Showcase More.
Follow TV Tropes. You need to login to do this. Get Known if you don't have an account. Comicus : I coalesce the vapors of human experience into a viable and meaningful comprehension. Dole Office Clerk: Oh. A bullshit artist. Anime and Manga. Itsuki of Haruhi Suzumiya. Not only effective as the Philosopher but nearly as difficult to follow as his ancient Greek forerunners.
Just trying to make sense of what he's saying is a mental workout, for the audience as well as Kyon.
Kyon himself is a more down-to-Earth version of the Philosopher especially in the books , but unlike Itsuki, usually keeps it to himself. Shamisen deserves an honorable mention. Although he only has one speech, he's a good enough philosopher that upon being introduced he manages to sidetrack the brigade members into a debate over the nature of conversation and away from the fact that, you know, he's a talking cat.
Sasaki exemplifies this trope, so much that even the aforementioned Itsuki is impressed. You have to admire someone who can come up with a clever and confusing speech about light and quantum mechanics on the drop of the hat while talking about schoolwork. Yu Yu Hakusho : And speaking of characters named Itsuki His personality is arguably a response to the Koan , "What is the sound of one hand clapping?
It always involves him looking at a full moon, maybe with a Pokemon from Ash's team and his advice is quite helpful — Chimchar got used to being with the more friendly atmosphere after one of these moments. This makes the kitty not be as bad as he seems sometimes. Most of them also fall into the second category of "tragic philosopher" or " Nietzsche Wannabe ", except for the fact that everyone else is too psychologically messed up to save them. Asuka lampshades this after Rei delivers her oft-quoted "mankind has always feared the darkness" line. Aion, the villain of Chrono Crusade has a tendency to go into long speeches about how demons need to "break free from the system".
Chrono is presented as Aion's much more emotional and less rational counterpart, but when the plot calls for one of the heroes to be philosophical it's normally him. By the end of the manga they're trading speeches back and forth. In Princess Tutu , Edel leads the heroine and occasionally other main characters through the plot with a series of riddles musing on emotions and fairytale tropes.
Drosselmeyer, himself, can get rather philosophical when he wishes. Herakles aka Greece from Axis Powers Hetalia looks like a relaxed slacker, but if you read his lines carefully, you'll see that he can have quite the trains of thoughts under the Cloud Cuckoo Lander facade. Mahou Sensei Negima!
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She usually engages in Walls of Text only to find that everyone else is ignoring her. Amon Garam of Yu-Gi-Oh! He later puts some of his own thoughts into action. These characters are staples of the films of Mamoru Oshii , at times taking up the majority of the cast.
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Graham Specter of Baccano! He never stops talking, and while he's talking, he philosophizes. However, he will change his philosophies and contradict himself in the same few sentences or sentence sometimes. Naruto plays with philosophy from time to time. Characters like Neji, Gaara, Rock Lee, Pain, Obito, Madara, Kakashi and Naruto himself amongst others will now and then exposit musings on war and peace, destiny and free will, hard work, bonds and other such topics.
Fullmetal Alchemist has many characters muse on the meaning of life and what it means to be human. The most notable example, however, is probably Mad Bomber Solf J. Kimblee, who combines Rousseau Was Right with a dose of Social Darwinism for a truly unusual outlook on life.
A lot of the characters in Vagabond could qualify as this, notably the monk Takuan and the protagonist Musashi as time goes on and he becomes wiser. One of the most magnificent scenes in anime displays one of this in Hellsing Ultimate. Captain Bernadotte's late grandfather displays not just a magnificently directed and executed speech in his brief scene of origin, but in the same time showers tropes with everithing it touches on; Grandpa is a philosopher who probably set the entirety of Bernadotte's life expectations down in a Golden Moment of many levels. Grandba is being painfully truthful with his grandson, and tells him why eight generations of their family were mercenaries, and also, why will he be one as well.
With his speech grandpa also turns out to be the, and describes himself, the family as the scum of society while foreshadows the same for Bernadotte.
Grandpa goes over a whole range of moral dillemmas that could probably give him and the family an excuse, but then throws all of those out, deeming any people acting based on any of the mentioned morals as just a bunch of clueless folks who would be okay with chump change that could give them basic comfort, thus averting them from killing eachother. At this point, being honest about only fighting for money already seems like an almost positive feat, but at least it elevates the mercenary family and company out of the clueless masses.
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