What makes an anime or manga character badass?

2017-12-30 23:25:46

Badassery is something that many characters, particularly in Shonen mangas, have.

Whether you look at characters as powerful as Goku from Dragon Ball or as human as Okabe from Stein's gate, from classics like Naruto from Naruto to parodies like Saitama from One Punch man, something these characters have in common is badassery.

What is the thing that all these characters have that makes them badass? It's not strength, backstory, effort (cough Saitama cough), dignity (Sniper King), or really anything I could find. There are badasses who lose in a badass way.

Also, how has the concept of badassery changed over time? That would help clarify things a lot.