The Newbies Guide to GAR

The Newbies Guide to GAR

aka “Moar Manly Than You Will Evar Be”
by Ariolander, Hentai PhD.

Introduction:

The online community of anime fans has its own language of sorts with terms like Moé, Tsundere, Yandere, Trap, and Fap being thrown around with many not knowing what they are or where they come from. Some are imported from our Japanese counterparts. Some are onomatopoeia popularized by webcomics. For those who don’t know, I am sure a lot of you are wondering what these terms are, how they came about, or are a bit confused because of conflicting usage.

This guide is dedicated to ImoutoChan because you were so confused.

The Definition:

Main Entry: gar
Pronunciation: \ˈgär \
Function: interjection
Etymology: euphemism for God
Date: 2001
A term used towards male characters and individuals who are so overwhelmingly manly that your own masculinity is absolutely *buried*, leaving you naught but a whimpering, swooning girl-child before them.

“Episode 14 left me totally gar for Archer.”
“You are gar for badasses, but gay for traps.”

The Origins:

Like many internet memes from lolcats to Rick Rolls, this term can be traced directly back to 4chan – specifically the /a/nime board. According to legend, a guy expressing his (yaoi?) love for the character Archer (Fate: Stay Night) wrote as a typo “I’m GAR for Archer”.

Some say it was intentional with GAR being a combination of the words Gay for Archer. Intentional or not, the comment was expressed because of the heroic and manly last stand that Archer displayed during his fight with Berserker. This kind of iconic “last stand” or “epic battle” would become a signature for all GARs to come.

The Virtus:

Since then the term has evolved into what some would call the modernization of Virtus, or the personification of the Roman virtue of virtus.

It does not mean virtue in general, but something more akin to valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth of the perceived masculine strengths. The term itself is probably a derivation from the Latin word “vir” meaning “man”.

Archtypes of GAR:

There are many kinds of GAR characters. They can be grouped into two main categories: The “Hot” GAR & the “Cold” GAR.

Hot Blooded GAR is associated with characters who express their manliness in the heat of the battle – able to stand up and face even the most dire of the situations. It’s a common feature among mecha pilots and as examples we have GaoGaiGar (which conveniently has GAR on it’s name) and the more recent Kamina/Simon in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.

In the opposite direction we have the Cold Blooded GAR, who express their badass attitude through their cunningness. They usually plan ahead every moves before acting, in blatant contrast of the “Shoot 1st, think later” attitude of Hot Blooded Gar. As examples we have Colonel Mustang from Full Metal Alchemist or Akagi from Legend of Mahjong: Akagi.

Misconceived GAR-ness:

There are some who propose there are other kinds of GAR, but there has yet to be consensus on these “new” GAR types and for the most part their supporters are fools.

Someone would propose that there is such thing as a “Female” GAR. Whereas despite their female status, they can emulate a manly aura in their actions and attitudes that surpass the real males around them. Proposed examples include Claire from Claymore and Revy from Black Lagoon. Even if they are manly for women, they directly contradict the concept of Virtus.

While they indeed are manlier than most women, those women aren’t exactly prime examples of men or what men should strive to be. None of these Female GARs have even come to approach their male GAR counterparts in terms of manliness and until one of these women can rival “true” GARs such as Kamina this argument is mostly moot.

Another commonly proposed GAR-type is the “Laid Back” GAR. Supporters contend that while normally not GAR when forced into action, characters like Shunsui Kyoraku from Bleach or Ken Matsushiro from Yakitate! Japan can rival the most veteran of GARs.

You are either GAR or not. You can NOT have a so called “Laid Back” or Part-Time GAR. That whole concept that you are GAR because you are forced to be retarded. You are either born GAR or grow into GAR. You can not simply switch your GAR on and off as it pleases you.

In Summary:

GAR is the epitome of manliness and the antithesis of all that is moé…

The best way to describe GAR is this:
“As a Man among Men from a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the manliest. To qualify for the title ‘GAR’ you must score at least an 11.”

It is one thing to describe a character’s attributes calling them courageous or manly. More important than any single attribute is the character’s actions & aura. Acton speak louder than words and the actions of a GAR should speak for itself. Simply the aura of a “true” GAR is known to drive many men to their knees balking in tears from simply from the strength of their presence.

TL;DR?

What GAR is:

  • Valor
  • Excellence
  • Courage
  • Character
  • Worth
  • Manliness


What GAR is not:

  • Moé
  • FABULOUS
  • Insane
  • Female
  • Part-Time
  • Weak
The Newbies Guide to GAR

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