Historical question: earliest (non-villainess) exiled/banished manga?

Dex-chan lover
Joined
Jan 9, 2023
Messages
1,837
I have a raging fanboy mild intellectual interest history as it pertains to the evolution of the present, and given the modern ubiquity of exiled/banished manga, I'm curious about the oldest titles that laid down the tropes we see to this day. Unlike the broader genre of, say, isekai, which has strong historical roots and presence in global literary traditions, the exiled/banished genre seems to be (from my admittedly limited perspective) a spontaneous, indigenous creation of the WN/LN/manga pipeline. Did they evolve independently of the villainess genre? A natural evolution by extending those tropes to more traditional shounen stories?

(Yes, I'm aware that exile is a fundamental part of many mythological tales. Without citation, I'm pretty certain the vast majority of those tales had exile as a direct result of a f***-up by the hero, rather than overt stupidity on the part of the exilers)

So...what are the oldest example of this genre that y'all know of? Non-villainess titles would be better since IMO there's a fundamental difference between villainess tales and exiled/banished stories (open to being proved wrong, of course!), but if they help chart the evolutionary path, lay 'em on.
 
Group Leader
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
503
The banished trope in third millennium eastern works actually predates the villainess genre and it is a continuation of the "weakest but actually strongest" trope, which is the central element of many early power fantasies including isekai.

It is used as the starting point of villainess works because "breaking the engagement to stay with the player" is the most cliché ending you can use; since the villainess-now-main-character can't die, bar traveling back in time or a reincarnation, exile is used instead to bring forth the story.

I don't know which is the "oldest" work, but if you search around the years in which Sword Art Online started becoming popular you will certainly find some of the trash seeds that would sprout in current day garbage entertainment.
 
Dex-chan lover
Joined
Mar 6, 2019
Messages
165
Well, as a hero starting from an exiled/banished position in a non-isekai manga that with no doubt influenced somehow in later manga titles, there's one of the historical manga stories called "Shingen Takeda, the Tiger of Kai". From the same era you have the adaptation of King Arthur epics (the one that has an anime adaptation) that's linked with revenge. But if you want to pinpoint about the rage of that sub-genre in nowadays titles, they come from certain hentai authors which used a certain amount of NTR and humiliation from the beggining of the past decade. Nowadays manga authors (and their editors) just copy&paste anything that sells because they have no notion of plagiaration and near zero imagination/writing skills.
PS: besides doujinshi, there're also some eroge that took the same approach.
 
Contributor
Joined
Jan 8, 2023
Messages
946
For me it feels like the exiled/banished trope originates from the cinderella trope, where the families don't like the MC/real hero of the story. We saw each gradient of this trope to find an abandonned sibling/child trope. Evoluting again to be an exiled/banished trope from a group or society.

Feels like almost always the MC who is exiled lives a hero's journey again, even if he is overpowered. This setup helps to have an already overpowered MC who hides/doesn't care/is insecure traveling and experienciating a new beginning...
 
Dex-chan lover
Joined
Apr 15, 2018
Messages
740
The oldest, popular non-isekai revenge story I can think of that plays out beat-for-beat like a modern "unjustly punished and now out for revenge, and also actually secretly the best/strongest" power fantasy is The Count of Monte Cristo. Hell, one of the first things the Count does after finding his fortune is buying a Greek loli slave who spares no time falling in love with him.

It also helps that the Count of Monte Cristo was basically a Light Novel series of its time. I'm sure if you dug around similar 19th century serialized fiction/pulp you'll find a lot more stories similar to it.

How influential this actually was to the Japanese and how much it is just that humanity universally has a thing for rightful revenge plots, showing off your superior status to people who slighted you in the past, super-skilled but "relatable" everymen and slaves who actually really, really love you (let alone when all four are combined), I can't say.
 
Last edited:
Active member
Joined
Aug 17, 2020
Messages
94
I would say the Ramayana is probably one of the earliest examples. Rama is exiled for fourteen years after a plot by envious rivals. Rama is a prince and the pictorial renditions of the banishment scene almost has an engagement-annulment vibe. And yeah, Rama turns out 100% to be one of those super-OP character that no one in their right mind would dare offend. He's a literal incarnation of God (an avatar of Vishnu)!

This exile thing is so common in hindu myth that it has a name, referencing the Ramayana; "Vanvas". I would say the spread is pretty even between voluntary, self-inflicted and the sought-after "stupid rivals".

Interestingly, the Ramayana also has one of the oldest isekai-like stories where Rama travels to a sci-fi-like Otherworld and has many adventures. I use "like" here because these stories are so old that our modern terminology really doesn't fit.

Specifically Manga, though, that one is tougher. Not sure if Eiyuu Gaiden Mozaicka really counts, but it does have many of the scenes you would expect from the genre. This question caught my interest, will post again if I find something interesting.

EDIT (after some hours research):

The earliest examples of the tropes in comics seems to be inspired by 60s-70s Wuxia. The elements such as "underestimated hero", "wrongfully banished", "revenge", "weak to strong" and "petty-and-sinful rivals" are pretty much staples in both modern and old-school wuxia. Although combining them into a japanese-style "magic and swords" seems very contemporary. Early examples of these tropes in japanese media I've found are Return of The Condor Hero, Riki-Oh --really, it has most of the tropes if you think about it-- and Fist of the North Star (ditto). But the contemporary take on it, yeah, seems rather new.

Prior to around 2017 the vast majority seem to be Saintess or Villainess isekai (eg The Saint's Magic Power Is Omnipotent and all those).

If you count The Rising of the Shield Hero as an exile/banished story, that's probably one of the earliest (2014) in manga.
 
Last edited:
Active member
Joined
Aug 17, 2020
Messages
94
[snip]

How influential this actually was to the Japanese and how much it is just that humanity universally has a thing for rightful revenge plots, showing off your superior status to people who slighted you in the past, super-skilled but "relatable" everymen and slaves who actually really, really love you (let alone when all four are combined), I can't say.
Akira Kurosawa's use of ronin in this role was directly influenced by 19th-early-20th c. adventure novels (Kurosawa specifially mentioned Dashiell Hammett in interviews) so considering his influence on anything visual, it's almost certainly direct. Yoyimbo is a pretty obvious connection in my opinion, even though the plot isn't an exiled-revenge plot it has many of the same scenes and setups.
 
Dex-chan lover
Joined
Jan 25, 2023
Messages
5,186
Gokudo is the first 2000s anime banished trope.

Char does not count as banished because he is already on the other side.
 
Dex-chan lover
Joined
Jan 25, 2023
Messages
5,186
Now and then, Here and there. Akitaro Daichii. "I'm banished from the Kendo club so I learned the harsh reality in another world."
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top