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Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

While watching an otherwise competent series (Gundam 00), I realized I absolutely, wholeheartedly hated the lead character. He's not a hero, he's not an anti-hero, he's a character with a 'traumatic backstory,' a love for robots that's bordering mental disorder levels, social skills that would make a wooden log look like Casanova, and perhaps dissociative identity disorder for good measure. I'm still significantly impressed with the series, I just outright hate the main character.

Finding no better term to describe it, I offer 'non-hero,' someone in the limelight for the majority of the media, but whom you really hate - and not because they're designed to be hated. You can see by the prominence this cardboard cutout is given that the creators want you to like him, but it's just terrible to watch.

So, as this kind of a character was new to me, I was wondering if there are other media (movies/series/games) where you love the story but absolutely hate the 'protagonist,' as in you mentally wince when you see them being shoved back on the screen because you're internally thinking - what are they going to screw up next

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

Personally, I don't like silent protagonists. The character that doesn't seem to meaningfully interact with the other characters, making any relationships seem forced. The character that technically has a personality, but the character feels incomplete. The character that seems to be perpetually indifferent towards practically everything except the story's most pivotal moments. The character who's involvement in the story seems to have been entirely by chance; they're "destined to save the world" or "they were chosen", or any other reason that makes them out to be special, but they don't seem to possess any other traits that makes them stand out from other people.

Generally, this archetype is done so the player of a videogame can imagine themselves in the place of the main character, but it doesn't work on me. I can't get more involved in the story when I'm playing a character that doesn't seem involved in the story. Thankfully, this was only really prevalent in the 80s and 90s and has been slowly been dying out in place of real characters.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago
I'm fine with silent protagonists as long as the other team mates can compensate and you have agency via your actions. A good example would be Chrono from Chrono Trigger. He himself only had IIRC one line, in one ending of many, but the story built around him, and the character stories around him were interesting enough that I did not mind his silence per se. One more example would be how few voice lines Snake has in Metal Gear Solid V, but once you figure out why, it made a lot of sense (though it takes a very long time for that realization to happen, something like 60-70+ hours). However, characters who only start reacting like Geiger counters when a plot point arrives would just be badly constructed. I'm looking a bit more for examples where the narrative excluding that character is excellent, I'd agree with End's assessment of Sansa in that regard, for example.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

I'm not sure if this is what you're referring to - because I'm pretty sure this character is designed to be hated - but Masato Kusaka from Kamen Rider Faiz (japanese tokusatsu franchise) comes to mind. I've never seen a character like this. He's really well-written , he has a tragic backstory of his own, he's one of the main characters, fights against the villains for reasons of his own, and is constantly involved in the relationships of the other characters. For many reasons he's usually referred to as an anti-hero. (He's not the protagonist, though).

He is also a complete asshole in every sense of the word and barely anyone calls him out for it. He sets up the other likeable characters against each other just because he wants this girl to like him, he deliberately beats up the protagonist and actually tries to kill him on numerous occasions. He's meant to be working together with our protag, but every time he "saves" him...that's not really what he's doing, he just hates the villains so much that he wants to destroy them all himself.

Oh, and his tragic backstory does absolutely nothing for me, because guess what every other character also has a tragic backstory and his one doesn't really stand out in comparison.

He is an awful, awful character, and he's also really well-written at the same time. I don't really know how to explain it, but I feel that his terrible personality was written like this deliberately. What's really irritating is that he's pretty essential to the plot as well. This guy is one of the most hated Kamen Riders in the whole tokusatsu fandom. [SPOILER if you want to watch the show]Pretty sure everyone cheered when he died.

There is nothing wrong with the plot of the show. Faiz is one of my favourite seasons. The other characters are all pretty great. Kusaka also has some neat moves and abilities - when he transforms into Kaixa, he's actually pretty cool. He can do things that the other characters can't, and they occasionally need to depend on him. But the guy himself - you just want to kick him out of the show.

I could also name a similar character from Kamen Rider Hibiki a few years later (yep, we're still in the same long-running franchise here!) but that concerns more a character who was added as a result of changing directors. The entire narrative changed as a result, and understandably suffered. It was like adding Gary Oak into a show.

Also, I wonder maybe you might be describing a Gary Stu/Mary Sue type of character. Plenty of those around in media, where the protag is supposedly perfect in every conceivable way, and all flaws they have are conveniently ignored by the rest of the cast. Even when they screw up.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

Not a Stu/Sue, a character who's part of the story, yet whenever they appear (frequently), you just expect they're going to do something annoying. That doesn't mean they're going to pick up the Evil ball or the Idiot ball for the episode, but do something incredibly stupid and try to justify it. Case in point in Gundam 00 - there are four pilots, whose identities are meant to be a guarded secret. During combat, one faces off against a robot piloted by someone from his past. What does he do to confirm this? Stop the fight, ask the other pilot to step out of the cockpit, while he does the same. And they both do. This is mind numbingly painful to watch, and while they do hang a lampshade on it later, you just can't help but scream internally at the stupidity of it all. It's like watching a bodybuilder walk into a gym and start hula-hooping. You can try to justify it, but it's just so painful.

I haven't seen Kamen Rider, but your character's description seems to fall within the definition of a Non-Hero, so thanks for that. I'm trying to see how common this design is, for me it was totally new to experience this madness. As in if they were to have rewritten that character to - if nothing else - have normal human level social and negotiation skills, I'd rate the series higher than my already admittedly high 8.25-8.75 (the rest of it mostly pulls its weight well)

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

I haven't seen Gundam but it sounds like a case of Idiot Character Syndrome whilst not acknowledging their faults. In that case I would probably add my second example, also in the Kamen Rider franchise:

Kyosuke Kiriya from Kamen Rider Hibiki. There is nothing wrong with the show - until he is introduced. The show already has a set of likeable characters who fight monsters and stuff, all that jazz. Unfortunately, halfway through this particular show, there was a change of directors.

Kiriya is whiny, annoying, contributes nothing to the show, and insists that every little thing he does has to be based on a dare. He refers to himself as "superior" at frequent intervals, practically bullies our likeable protagonist (as well as a few other characters), barges into important meetings just to try and get in on the action...and then he runs away screaming when the villains turn up.

He also gets a ridiculous amount of screentime and practically ruins the second half of the show. There's an episode where our protag is given a special item with magic powers in order to defend himself from monster attacks. Less than 5 minutes later - Kiriya has already stolen it. Never actually apologises or anything. I mostly got the feeling that the entire cast was trying to ignore him. Well, rant over though.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

Oh, it's worse than that. Later they try to explain how that decision (leaving the cockpit) was justifiable, in a way the audience is supposed to agree with (I still don't). The issue is that they don't think their character is an idiot, just 'committed to their ideals.'

A change in directors and visions seems like one good situation in which a non-hero could be created - where the new team has no idea what makes the plot and characters tick and throws in a new one as per their own interpretations - riding rough over the canon. Good example.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

If we’re talking movies/tv shows probably a lot of them. I mean I can think of a protagonist I can’t stand on Game of Thrones. (Sansa) I probably could think of more examples later.

If we’re talking video games, I can’t think of one. Usually if I hate the protagonist, I’m probably not liking the story or the game.

I can take or leave silent protagonists. I typically prefer them though, not for any immersion reasons though, it’s more because they usually got a shitty/mediocre voice actor that I don’t really want to listen to the entire game. That, and I’d rather the company spend their time/money on something more important like the writing, gameplay, etc.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

Wholehearted agreement on Sansa. She's got a teensy bit of redemption in slapping that cousin of hers, but beyond that whenever she shows up I just have to wonder what's going to go wrong now. The current alliance she's made ... well I'm waiting for the crows to come home on that one.

Haven't encountered a non-hero in my sizable game time, usually it is indeed the setting that dissuades me before I get concerned about the protagonist per se. The closest thing that comes to mind would probably be Prototype and whatever idiot was the protagonist in that one, I ended up leaving the game at ~60% completion because I detested all of it by that point.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

I was going to say the closest to an Un-Hero I've played in a game is Hawke from DA2, but I didn't count him since I didn't really care for the story either.

I didn't hate him or the story enough to stop playing, but him being silent would have helped in making me like him slightly more since as I said, crappy/annoying voice acting really hurts the enjoyment value.

Fallout 4 probably would probably be closer, but the protagonist's voice didn't quite annoy me as much as Hawke's, and again I didn't really care for the main story in that.

Still, I'm a little more forgiving with that setting and exploration helps a lot. (So still didn't like the story, but I still enjoyed the game due to the exploration value and setting)

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago
Hawke was terrible, as was most of that game *grumble* recycled assets every third mission *grumble* DA2 was another game I did not complete, though this one wasn't entirely by choice, I hit a bug atleast five hours earlier in the save file which prevented progression unless I reloaded all that while back. I just quit, the story was nothing like DAO

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

By paying attention to the story of Prototype, you've already lost. The story does nothing but ruin a pleasant experience. Just ignore everything and play through the missions just enough to get the powers you want. I'm pretty sure there's a mod that makes cutscenes skippable.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago
Sansa killed her whole family by being the dumbest character in the series.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

I'd take better to calling them an Un-Hero. Non-Hero implies that they didn't do anything heroic. A Non-Hero would be someone that interferes in minor ways for the forces of heroism, but doesn't really do anything big. A protagonist who does not really affect the outcome of the story in any way. Indiana Jones in every movie except Temple, the original Star Wars heroes in the new Star Wars canon, The Narrator in The Great Gatsby, Shepard in Mass Effect, (if you subscribe to the indoctrination theory) Zatoichi in some cases*. Those are Non-Heroes. Un-Heroes are heroes that suck at being heroes. Something that's too hateworthy to be a hero, but has too much screentime not to be. In that uncanny realm between hero and shithead foil to better characters, like Un-Dead lies in the uncanny realm between living and dead, like all the shitty beastman units are called Un-Gor.

Because this thread is also about silent protagonists now, I think that, personally, I can potentially connect with characters that don't talk almost better than characters that do. There's just a very careful art to it. Take Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton for example. They were the greatest comedians of their time, yet their films still had genuinely sad and touching moments. If you took out the dialogue cards, you'd very probably still be able to tell what's going on. Communicating without explicit words is just as valid a form of communication as any.

Take 2016's Doomguy for example. no other media in the world has illustrated such casual disdain, illustrated simultaneous competence and awareness as well as nonchalance, and at the same time created a goofy, witty personality while maintaining that same imposing and intimidating presence. Doomguy has all this without uttering a single word. If he had talked, it wouldn't matter how cleverly he was written, there's nothing that would make him half as endearing and badass as the stark quiet behind the animation.

Doomguy doesn't need to be social, he knows himself and doesn't care. You're perfectly free to engage with him, his personality is readily, vibrantly apparent in everything he does, but conversation is not something he needs or wants. Bethesda has filled out a character that literally needs no introduction, bringing personality back to a silent badass that spawned a long line of one-liner-spewing supersoldiers without making him anything other than the silent badass he always was.

I wouldn't have felt the same giddiness at fist-bumping an action figure, not even if this was a silent moment between Doomguy dialogue. It would have felt quaint, but not quite as intimate and relatable as silently exploring a person's attitude, opinions, and quirks. Outright talking creates a degree of separation. It makes the situation a social thing, rather than pure call-and-response establishment. Coyote and Roadrunner are some of the most complex and interesting characters this side of Batman, and they've only ever established themselves through actions and a few signposts.

I know it doesn't technically count because some do have vocalisation and dialogue in some cases, but take the Styg, the Silent Grandpa from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Raymond Teller's stage persona, Ninja Brian, Groot, Fury Road Max, etc. etc. None of them are protagonists, but given a brief change of story, they easily could be. Hell, I guess Teller, Groot, Mad Max, and Ninja Brian sort of are protagonists, (Or, at least deuteragonists) and sole protagonism really wouldn't be that far off if the world didn't place such serious emphasis on the importance of dialogue. It REALLY isn't needed to create a deep and compelling character.

*Not to undermine the statement that he makes by killing everyone, but a lot of the time he comes between two factions of assholes to kill them, it's pretty apparent that they were either preparing to kill each other or were going to kill each other before Zatoichi interferes. There's quite a few films where Zatoichi does nothing but impart wisdom and kindness to strangers and old acquaintances, maybe save one or two lives, and then climactically walk into the middle of a gang war only to murder everyone by himself. The ending would've been much the same, but the fact that Zatoichi does the killing because he is the one to do it changes the tone significantly. Which is weird, in an era of Wuxia and Chanbara and Westerns, where everything's black and white Zatoichi as a non-hero sort of calls into question the moralss of those kinds of movies in general. If two forces are killing each other, is it right for one righteous dude to walk in and start killing both of them to protect the good guys in a world of gangsters? Do means and motivations matter when the ends are the same?... God, I love binge-watching old movies on youtube...

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

Hmm, Un-Hero doesn't exactly suit this situation, my original example Setsuna did make impacts in the story (as part of a larger team), it's just that I hated his existence. I do like the delineating thought behind Un-Hero from a Non-Hero, but to use set theory, I'm not looking for Hero' exactly, nor necessarily someone who floundered around while the plot moved on. I consider the synthesis ending for ME my headcanon, at the worst everyone's a Reaper, at best, everyone is relatably similar (even if the risk of viruses wiping out every living being is now a possibility). If not that, then the 'best' Destroy ending where you're not quite dead yet.

I loved Doomguy's portrayal, his character development was arguably the gaming industry's best example of do, don't show OR tell. Another good example of a character being explored through their surroundings would be Adam Jensen in Human Revolution when they go to his home and show how he'd been learning clockmaking and reading up on psychology books to come to terms with being a cyborg.

*Haven't seen Zatoichi films, help?

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

*One of if not the first Zatoichi film, (It's the one with the first real dice scene iirc) is about powerful gangsters on the verge of killing each other. Zatoichi is an ex-gangster coming to terms with his disability, and helping people cope with the pressures of a perpetual life of power struggles, as well as helping people outside of/affected by the gangs to stay strong and cope with the tragedy of murder. They were going to kill each other to begin with, and Zatoichi's big adversary in one of the final fights was in the early stages of an unnamed terminal illness.Another one was about gangsters and traditionally powerful families "Negotiating" for a "Middle Ground" while secretly planning to kill each other. (Before having a gang war.)

The only thing that would've changed without Zatoichi is that the Mad Lord may have killed one of the women in the story and an orphanage may have been sacked, but that doesn't have as much to do with the overarching conflict. At least two other films I've seen but haven't been able to parse through the subtitles have had similar plots, with distinct factions aiming to have a go, but Ichi murdering the belligerents. I suppose Zatoichi affects the situation by making damn sure that nobody wins a gang war while he's around (By killing just about everyone until the power-hungry and their mooks stop trying to fight him or each other) but all the same, I feel like those the places he goes would be roughly the same if he hadn't interfered. I may be missing something, though.

In this case (Not like some of his other movies, which are alot more clear-cut and better explained) he's like the opposite of another Non-Hero, The Dude Lebowski, who is aware of the terrible things happening around him and seeks to change his circumstances by not getting involved, but winding up tied up in the situation, where Zatoichi gets involved, but in a way removes himself from the situation, if only by removing the situation itself.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago
Yep, Lebowski would count as an impotent protagonist, but I'd treat him as a non-hero if you hate him being on screen. Since he's arguably the point of the movie (the question it's trying to solve), I doubt I'd actively hate him.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

Oh, no, I don't hate him or Zatoichi, it's just that from the definition of a protagonist who acts heroically but fails to meaningfully alter a situation, they both fit. The same things would've happened, but what they primarily do is offer interaction and a viewpoint. I've spent a far too many campaigns in Warhammer Total War zerging dwarves with those puny useless Ungor to consider Non-hero more catchy/fitting.

Ungor are the Un-hero I deal with the most often. You'd think that because they're still minotaurs, they'd at least serve as something more dangerous than meat shields and arrow-distractors, but that's just not how it happens. Unless I'm missing something, Ungor make maneuvering a hassle for the other guy while you prepare your more specialised monsters to actually turn the tides of a battle. I know of very few units I'd actually be comfortable with sending Ungor up against without advantageously manuevering them, outnumbering them, or having a plan in mind to incorporate someone bigger.

Yet they're so cheap, and so expendable, that I still end up buying so fucking many of them. They're a ubiquitous unit, and a major point of exasperation, and I can see why the other beastmen beat the shit out of them all the time. Beastmen might be my favorite faction for set battles, but I do like playing Orcs in campaign better, because even your meatshields are burly and your little guys all have special gimmicks. In other words, explicitly because they don't have Ungor, and I don't end up with several units of these pasty tiny Ungor that I have to keep kicking out to make room for awesome shit.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

  Ooooh, moeaaagare GUNDAMU! I didn't like Gundam 00 that terribly much, the characters just didn't do it for me. I prefer the original, War in Your Pocket and IBO (just finished it, I feel very heavy now) much more. Oh, and Unicorn is great too!

  When it comes to heroes, I can appreciate anyone as long as they try their best. I'm a sucker for those Astro types. All nature loving, let's-be-friends, slightly unrealistic ideal mindset kids. I remember being fond of Ven in Birth by Sleep ("The name's Ventis, but you can call me Ven!"), the ever-heroic Hazama Masayoshi in Samurai Flamenco and darling  Gon in HXH. These characters are really very simple, but they strike me as endearing. They try hard and they don't always succeed. That's also part of the reason why I liked Tidus in the end of things: Crap happened, but he had a good attitude.

  Then again, a character doesn't always have to be gung-ho and borderline autistic to be great. Am I the only one who likes Shinji Ikari? I felt like he was realistic. Whiny, wimpy, depressing...Yep. But he's real. Like, everyone he's ever tried to be close to has pushed him away and reminded him that he wasn't enough. That's soul breaking. Gah.

  And finally, I'm a sucker for those super smooth, wicked smart, fashionable, determined (and possibly deluded) anti-heroes. Tezuka's Rokuro Makube is one of my favorite characters ever. He's clever. He's pretty. He's convinced that humans can be demons, and he's so scared of the world that he's bent on taking over it. Michio Yuki from MW is basically a hyper evil, hyper gay version of that (he is a terrible person but oddly likable). I guess that I wish I was super cool-clever like those fellas. 

   I just realized that I don't really like Yusuke from YuYu Hakusho. He's kind of a Gary Stu. Augh, man. I hate characters that have everything handed to them, or ones that act without reason. That's just bad writing. 

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago
I dove into 00 for it had the highest ratings and was relatively new, so I anticipated good quality animation (not that old animation is necessarily bad, Legend of the Galactic Heroes holds up remarkably well for a 30 year old sci-fi show). Favorite characters as of Season 1: Sumeragi Lee Noriega and Tieria Erde

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago
After watching more of Gundam 00, I have come to a clear conclusion. Whoever was writing the military maneuvers, tactical engagements, and politics was a goddamn genius. Whoever was writing the character development side needs to be sent into a corner wearing a pointy white cap with a D for Dunce written on it. If there were ever a series that deserved a remake (Like Brotherhood was for FMA), this one does. Throw in some logic on the economics, relative power levels, and actual characters and more intelligent use of future tech, I'd say 00 has the potential to be one of the finest animes of all time. Buried beneath the cringe-worthy human interactions and disappointingly shallow motives is one hell of a story. Fav characters - Sumeragi, Col Smirnov, the Forecasting Colonel, and Tieria Erde

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

Exactly. T'was a shame. I was like "Omigod! That's so cool! How did they think of that?" but then a character would, uh, be themselves, and I'd just be disappointed. I'm just gonna crawl back into Haikyuu, where everyone is hyper and cool all the time.

  I heard that studio IG will be making a remake of the Galactic Heroes. I'm boarding the hype train.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

Yeah, a bit skeptical about the remake, but not turning down my hopes just yet.

Haikyuu blew away my previous standards of art, particularly about pacing. Excellent story, excellent character development, for the most part excellent job explaining what's happening and helping the viewer build expectations. I really look forward to what happens next in Haikyuu 4

E: Also, for the most part an excellent job making all the victories believable and the losses meaningful

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

Oh Really Setsuna is getting to you? Then your gonna love iron blooded orphans

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago
The Trinity kids? I'm fine with them, they had a clear motive and they were intended to be disliked. They'd be somewhere between anti-hero and anti-villain (intending to do good things, but they were created to mess things up, but they don't know that, ending up as villains and foils). Setsuna on the other hand was meant to be the 'spirit of Gundam,' he had things to live up to, and he did not.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

No. Iron-Blooded Orphans it a different timeline within the Gundam franchise. Just like the original Gundam, Gundam Wing, and Unicorn. I believe Unicorn is the most recent iteration (continuation of the events during Gundam) though I could be wrong.

Anyway, the main protagonist of Iron-Blooded Orphans is Setsuna taken to an extreme. His name is Mikazuki Augus

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago
To be honest, I think I've got what I came for (understanding what's unique about the Gundam franchise) from 00, I doubt I'll be getting into the other seasons. Will be moving on to Hajime no ippo and Uchuu kyoudai and maybe Monster after this.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

Omigod...Stryker, you are amazing. Those are like, my 3 favorite things. Oh gosh, oh God.

Hajime no Ippo is the best sports anime ever, and I'm not just being a fangirl. It's got love, guts, and the manga has some beautiful art. 

I thought nobody cared at all about Space Brothers, which is a shame, because it's just so good. Mutto is a fuzzy-headed gift from God. It's so funny, so well done. It's feel good, ya know? It's about following your dream, in a realistic way.

  And I haven't seen the show, but I know that pretty much anything Naoki Urasawa has done is amazing (I suggest reading Pluto, it's exemplary and emotional as all get out). Hey! Are you one of those scrubs who like their orange juice smooth like lake water? Then get outta here, cos' these stories be pulpy! But no, really, Monster is incredible. It's full of amazing characters and twists and turns and an antagonist so fine, so broken, so evil, that my heart shattered and my mind broke. Good times, thumbs up.

ALSO! All these series are a bit longer, so Iif you're feeling for something shorter (but still amazing), I suggest Now And Then, Here And There. Nobody knows it, and it's a shame. It looks cartoony but there are some really humanly terrible things that happen in there. It's lovely music, stellar writing and exceptional dub makes for an emotionally exhausting 12 episodes. It's like IBO, if IBO was the Grave Of Fireflies. I suggest you take a gander, sir.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

How much of Hajime would you recommend? I understand the core series, also the highest rated, is 75 episodes or so, and then there are atleast two additional series also with a ton of episodes. I'm not at all a sports fan, but Haikyuu made me realize that there are some excellent stories to be told that way (plus I'm pretty much trying to watch all the top animes, working my way down the top 100 from MAL).

Yeah, I'm a strong space fan, I consider Planetes to be a hidden gem as well (seriously, garbage collectors in space, and despite possible expectations, it's amazing!).

Gundam 00 has made me realize I've been swimming in dark waters for long enough, will be looking for a change in scenery, so Hajime's next on the watch list. For the same reason, will be keeping Now and Then on my long term watch list, too much back to back darkness can be overwhelming.

As a designer, I love anime because everything is intentional, every character action, animation, story point, music selection, and so amongst all forms of non-interactive visual media, I find myself enjoying anime the most (both as a designer and a viewer). By any chance, have you seen Shirobako? It's another of my favorites which I feel deserves more love, and which I'm sure any artist/animator/designer will enjoy wholeheartedly.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

The first Ippo series is great. Outdated animation, but I can roll with it. The next series...Well, they aren't baaad, like, not even just "not bad", but they just aren't quite as good as the first. I suggest the first series, and then if you're really just that in love with Ippo's punchy escapades, there's no harm in moving on. The first should be enough, though (The Fighting. I believe it's called). Ippo is the perfect way to lighten up the scene, by the by. You just can't help but cheer for the boy!

OOOH Top animes! If Revolutionary Girl Utena happens to be on the list, tell me your thoughts after you watch it.

Shirobako is great. I wasn't the biggest fan in the world, simply because I'm more for plot-n-character shenanigans, but there's no denying that it was something to appreciate (I'm endlessly amused at how high-speed car chases take place of the action scenes). It was interesting to see how the whole anime/development thingy worked. It does deserve more love. I like it when I can watch a show and learn things (Thus, my love for Haikyuu and various other sporty cartoons. Ooh! Silver Spoon!).

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago
(double post)

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

Will be seeing the first season of Ippo in that case

I do not like mind screw as a genre. It's just too vague, it's throwing an unnecessary chore on the audience 'hey, we made this, and while making it we were thinking this, but you can misinterpret it in seven ways till sunset, so we're going to let you go wild.' I understand Utena is a mind screw, so it's not on my list, neither are any yokai materials (I saw two episodes of Mushishi and it was way too slow for me, should I reconsider Mushishi?), nor anything _monogotari.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

Hehe, I suppose I understand. I adore Utena personally, I'm just reaaally weak for those crazy sort of things. Not ALL crazy things! I like the look, the music, the symbolism...I have a keychain of Pink Haired Gay Guy and the soundtrack with all the battle music. It's basically overly-aesthetic Rose Versailles/Demian Sailor Moon on acid. If anybody dislikes it, I will totally get it.

I don't like Mushishi. Normally I like those sort of slow stories, but Mushishi was painful. PAINFUL! I too watched 2 episodes and I mean, if they at least spiced up the color palette a little, I might've lasted, but non, mon amie, I failed. I believe the rest of the episodes are like that.

I'm not much for yokai things, unless it's The Eccentric Family or Natsume's Book Of Friends (and even then, only a little at a time). Couldn't get into monogotari, I jut don't understand why everyone loves it. never caught me.

I'm definitely more of a Scifi fan, or just a...psychological color acid fan (NOT ALL you see). I love Masaaki Yuasa. Looking at his art and stories makes me feel understood. Kaiba is how I wish my soul looked. Ping Pong? Probably in my top anime all time, yup. Not pretentious, not preachy (which much of Matsumoto's work borders on), just real.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

May try Utena some day when I feel the need for something really new, otherwise my stance on mind screws remains.

_monogatari was pretty much an escalated contest amongst the production team on how little animation could they use and get away with. It was 90% basically a screensaver with text for a large part interspersed by hideous hard cuts to 'blank card / red card' that grated my patience. They were riding on Madoka's coattails too much in how they did the clothing styled animation, but not in a meaningful way. The plot itself was bad, and the fanservice was infuriatingly overpresent (I don't like it in general, here it was dialled up to 11). I even skipped a couple of seasons to the later ones to try an episode and see if anything had changed at all - nope, nothing. The only series with fanservice that was reasonably watchable was No Game No Life, and only because the non-fanservicy part of it was so strong.

When an anime is too slow, I usually speed up the play count, I watched the original Fate/Stay Night at 3x, it had that much wasted time (slowing down to normal during fights for obvious reasons). Mushishi looks like a 3x to me, should I ever go back to it. Fun thing is speeding it up makes it more watchable AND saves time overall, bonus.

Ping Pong's another thing that's been skirting the edges of my radar, the animation style seems jarring to me, so not too eager to watch it.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

For some reason I liked Mikazuki more, but that's probably because Orga and him make a good pair.

I love IBO and all...But there are definitely some issues. It a lovable cast but it's so gosh darn melodramatic. I mean, I know it's space and people die, but not allll those fellas had to go out! Geez! The deaths felt like more of a "Let's make the audience cry" thing than a plot things sometimes.

I guess Mari Okada has a tear quota to fill.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

Oh, also, the new Unicorn is a longer remake of the original 1976 6 episode Unicorn. So the series already ended, but, like, they remade it. 

I like Angelo Sauper because he is an annoying stupid dog boy ("The purple one!" I scream, pointing at the screen. "Omigod, it's the purple one! He's back!")

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago
00 was the only one in an existing Earth setting, I'm not a fan of far future settings because they usually get future tech really, really, really wrong. As in if you keep track of tech and trends as I like to, watching a far future setting is a chore because of how many things they get consistently wrong (they underestimate humans voluntarily going mass modifications, miniaturization of tech, and don't appreciate the difference between artificial intelligence and artificial consciousness - which is the difference between a bow and a bowman).

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

It's kinda fun to see how really old Scifi works view the future. Like Astro boy was written in the 50's and the story takes place in 2002 (I think? It goes around a bit). I know it's a kid's story, but it's still pretty funny.

IBO introduces a lot of topics (Planet colonization, Earth tube thingies, human trafficking, the pretty rad looking Alaya Vinjana system, hot-cute robo people) but they mostly exploit it for the sake of moving the plot forward or making you cry. IBO does that. My feelings have been monopolized by a Japanese toy company.

I feel like we're making IBO look pretty bad here. It's actually pretty good (or at least addicting), it just has some VERY VISIBLE issues of the standard Mari Okada set.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago
I loved the Astro Boy game for the GBA, it was really something special for the time (true ending requires you fly low in one mission without any major signposting about it to unlock that route). Seveneves is a good book for modern sci-fi (well the first half, I didn't touch the second half with a seven foot pole, it was pretty much an entire second book lopped onto the first but made a lot less sense)

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

I own that gosh darn game. I'm a huge  so Tezuka fan when my friend got it for me, I flipped out. It's so pretty, so nice sounding, so addicting (It's a treasure platformer, what can I expect). I just gotta say that the level design is downright painful at times. That's just a shame.

Also, Ping Pong is definitely worth a watch. It looks pretty crazy, but I assure you there is no mind-screw thing going on there. It's like Game Of Thrones in the sense that there's no clear MC, and it's shockingly human. I personally think the style gives it more life.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago
Astro Boy: Omega Factor, that's the name. It's probably been a decade since I've played it, so I don't remember the level design anymore, but the fact that it still exists in my memory means it was outstanding. That, Megaman Zero (3 and 4), and Megaman Battle Network (3 and 4) were excellent games from the GBA era (of course there's also Advance Wars, the Fire Emblems, Mario and Luigis, and I'm sure I'm forgetting a ton more). Amazing, Megaman Battle Network was made by Hideo Kojima.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

I adore Omega Factor. I think I'll pick it up again, it's in my backpack somewheres. I always get a rush when I recognize a character in that game.

The GBA SP is my favorite console, I think. You can play all those GB, GBC nd GBA games! It's my first and the game selection is stellar. My favorites include Mario Tennis Power Tour, Sword Of Mana, those goofy Wario Ware things, Summon Night Swordcraft Story 1+2, Harvest Moon (the girl version, I will stay devoted to my sweet Cliff forever and always), those surprisingly good Hamtaro games, Survivor Kids, FF Tactics, my beloved Mother 3...The list is nearly endless...

Also! I love Megaman Battle Network, but I've never played a real Megaman game before! Can you suggest any?

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago
FFTactics Advance was another masterpiece of the time, though I haven't played most of your others on your list. I'm no authority on what a real Megaman game is, but I enjoyed Zero 3 and Zero 4. That said, my personal preference was far more towards the tactical simplicity with strategic depth that was chip choice and positioning, chip usage and chip burning in Battle Network. Come to think of it, I'm shocked no one's repeated that mechanic in the swarm of Mobile games that world has seen.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

I know, right? I adore it. There's something addicting about simple strategy. Something where the gameplay is simple enough, but the possibilities make you think. That's kinda what got me addicted to Shin Megami Tensei games. I also find that a lot of simple strategy games have a certain charm to them (MBN, for example. It looks so nice).

FFTactics Advance is a gem. I really, reeeally like Akihiko Yoshida's art style (But sometimes, I wonder where the noses went). The story isn't exactly the best, but it darn don't matter 'cos your so busy oogling at the pretty art and CLAIM'N YER TURF to notice it. I honestly love the world of Ivalice.

The only class I remember having true trouble with was the Beastmaster. I felt pretty extra difficult to do just that, but it should be noted that you can complete the game with all the basic classes. I also seldom used any Nu Mou guys.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

Regarding Megaman in general - the first 6 games are all on the NES, all ancient and very, very hard. I played maybe the first 3 and enjoyed them a lot, but the first one has a very high difficulty curve. Megaman 2 is probably one of my favourites in the series though, it has some awesome music. It's also a bit easier for some reason, so if you try the NES ones out first then it might be a good idea to start out with that one first. Be prepared to die a lot in 8-bit territory!

After that, you have Megaman 7, which I found enjoyable (although most people don't seem to like it that much, the intro scene is rather long). I skipped a few games when I played it, but suddenly found that the levels were easier and that the bosses suddenly took a gazillion hits and were a lot harder IMO.

The really good one, however, is Megaman X. I never got very far in it, but it has an awesome design, music, and characters in it which keep me coming back to it. I'd highly recommend it if you don't mind going that far back in videogame history (SNES).

I've never played Megaman Battle Network or any games after Megaman X (I think there might be a Megaman X-2, possibly X-3 and some others). However if you're going into an official Megaman game for the first time, it's important to know that your performance in the game is pretty much dependent on the order you do each stage in. (Not sure how Battle Network handles this, but basically all the stages are available to you at the beginning of the game, and you have to clear all of them one at a time, but you can choose which ones to do first.) 

Every time you clear a stage and beat the boss, Megaman will gain a special ability. Usually, a specific boss in another stage will be weak to this ability! So you can see why some people would approach the stages in a specific order. (In Megaman 2, once you beat Metalman, his ability is pretty good against all the other bosses...there's also one ability which allows you to stop time, making another stage enormously easier.)

Drat, writing this out is making me want to go back to Megaman now.

Depending on which game you play (especially if it's one of the NES ones), you may start with one of the power-ups like the slider - I remember they introduced the charger blaster in a specific game and I would do extremely badly before realising I had it. Megaman 7 gave you a slider attack which I found essential to get past most of the bosses or even dodge any of their attacks. Did my head in until I realised it was there.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

  Oh, gosh, thanks a million, Saika! This detailed explanation certainly helps me a bundle. I certainly don't mind heading back to the past, maybe I'll tackle Megaman X for SNES first. I'll think strategically about my power grabbing then. Thanks!

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

If we’re talking anime, I’d say Eren Yeager from Attack On Titan is pretty annoying for a protagonist even though I like the story.

Arguably ALL of the main characters could die like flies in that show since I’m not really invested in any of them and I’d still be interested in watching the story.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago
I'd borderline agree. Mikasa and the guy who looks like a girl but is good at strategy are the better characters (Mikasa by an overwhelming lead), and yes it's the overarching plot and dark theming that keeps me engaged.
E: Armin, like Armin hammer (ba-dum-tss)

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

I enjoy Attack on Titan a lot (watching Season 2 currently airing now), but I cannot stand Eren for the life of me. I don't have a problem with the rest of the cast, but Eren is one of the worst shounen protagonists I have ever had the misfortune to see on screen. He has very little going for him at all other than "KILL ALL TITANS" and his character doesn't go any further than that.

I mean, if you're going to write a character obsessed with revenge, then fine. But give him some kind of personality aside from that. If it wasn't for his transformation powers then he'd probably become very boring instead.

Armin is great though. 

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago
You've heard the theory of him just being the viewer's will manifested? Humans losing, Mikasa about to die? Here, have a Titan step in. Need to get the squad out of the walls and need a distraction? Need that wall plugged with a Titan sized boulder? Here, have a Titan. Need to finally get serious about the Female Titan and things are going to hell (twice)? Here, have a Titan.

Yeah, he's terribly boring as of now, and a good example of a non-hero

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

Another good example is Jar-Jar *You KNOW he was meant to be liked but WOW was he unnecessary and thanks to the critics and peoples complaining, Jar-Jar got far less screen time.*

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago
I hear that was an aborted arc, he was meant to have been a super powered Sith Lord who was feigning stupidity, but they copped out at the last moment. A lot more story beats would have made sense if he was a Sith Lord. Though he wasn't exactly a core protagonist, he's a great example of a character you cringe at when you see them walk into the screen

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

SPONGEBOB....Now he may be a good hearted guy and originally he wasn't as outright REVILED in my eyes as he is at present....Then the creators flanderized him and suddenly he's someone you WANT to personally feed to a conveniently placed wood chipper, followed by burning the remaining pieces.

And the like only stretches to the original seasons *Before Hillenberg left*

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago
Hmm. I suppose in a long enough running series, atleast some characters will go through this phase. The Simpsons have had their fair share of characters going from amazing to okay to terrible and back. The new seasons (I stopped at 26) were horrendous from the few episodes I could bring myself to see.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

I remember watching some Simpsons episodes from later seasons. They were doing it all musical-style like Family Guy are fond of doing. It just wasn't very funny and it felt like the writers had run out of ideas.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

I mean, shit, you'd think there'd be a resurgence of ideas or some shit, but I guess the Simpsons Renaissance was shunted off to other series like Futurama.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago
Atleast we got Rick and Morty to fill in for Futurama

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

I was just thinking of something related to this topic

Quite awhile back someone on a lesser forum was going on about this protagonist from this one show and how they hated this character and wanted to see him get his comeuppance.

So they watched this show for EIGHT FUCKING SEASONS.

If I actually cared enough to interact with this person, my question would have been, why the hell would you watch something that long with a very prominent protagonist that you absolutely hated?

I mean this show wasn’t like Attack On Titan where it had an interesting setting to fall back on. It was primarily driven by said protagonist so it pretty much revolved around him. And unlike a video game, it isn’t like you feel obligated to “play through the pain” just to get your money’s worth.

So anyone ever do this? I really can’t imagine watching a show for that long if I hated protagonist so much.

I suppose it also ties into this whole idea of we're supposed to hate Walter White and not root for him in Breaking Bad.

Well why the fuck aren't we supposed to root for him? I mean he's the main character. If I hate him so much, then what's the point? I'm certainly not watching it for Jessie's story.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

I'm assuming those weren't British TV seasons (3 episodes each usually). Maybe they were watching it for the peer pressure, otherwise to stay with something that long, you need to be able to make your peace with it. I've finished 00, and while it direly needed improvement in the human development part, at the end I was sad to be moving on from it all.

Re: Walter White and "bad protagonists," they do surprisingly well on IMDB scores, a large part of the top 250 are heists/crime movies. Clearly a lot of people out there like watching bad people do bad things in good ways.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago

The TV show the other person was watching was Dexter. They didn't like him because he was a serial killer, which just raises the other question of why the hell would you then watch a show about a serial killer in the first place?

Wasn't like Dexter was even a proper serial killer, he was more of a vigilante than anything else.

Hero, Anti-Hero, and the Non-Hero

4 years ago
That's disappointing, because though I haven't seen that show myself, I understand it was entirely character centric. I guess that person wasn't being true to themselves, no one would last that long for that kind of a series unless they were indeed taking something away from it. It's not as if the world has any shortage of things to watch these days.