Hero baggage. Does it make an anime better?
Posted 10/13/08 , edited 10/14/08
Most animes have a main char that has a tragic past. ( ex: death of one or both parents, memory loss, the weight of a cursed family name, accidentally killed an entire town and now im on the run but gotta save the world first even though they dont like me- ok so thats a stretch lol)
Tragic past does make good anime but does this always make good anime? is it necessary? Whats the point in being so repetitious with such themes? A good anime can have a hero with a well rounded easy life then... BAM! ...uh oh i gotta save the world now, glad i have my[ family, town, parents etc] to back me up...can't it? There are a few out there like that. I mean you can still add the plot twists and turns in a story with out depending so heavily on the main chars tragic past. It gets old after a while. At least for me it does.

ok let discuss! whatcha think ppls?
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Posted 10/13/08
I think that the tragic pasts make the story more interesting. It gives the character more depth to me.. Only a master can give you a deep character that doesn't have an interesting life, and there are very few out there, who are such masters. I don't think they are necessary, but if you want your anime to be great, and you aren't a master at giving characters depth, I think its a good tool to use. People are attracted to tragedy, it'll make the show (or book or movie) even awesomer to watch. I do agree that the repition is boring though, the tragic pasts are good, but you see the same ones over and over, they should give you something different for a change. (And lol, that accidentally killed an entire town, thats from gakuen alice lol, Natsumee, but he's not the main character.)

I don't think that you should depend heavily on their past either.. A person's past influences their life, but their future is more important. There are many shows where the character has a tragic past but its rarely mentioned and doesn't have much to do with the story. Take Death Note, L was an orphan, but you don't really see that until the episode he dies, it doesn't really have anything to do with the plot of the story.

There are animes too, where the main character is defined by his past, but its not necessarily tragic. In Yu-Gi-Oh!, the show is centered on the fact that the spirit in the yugi's millenium puzzle is a five thousand year old pharaoh. But the pharaoh's past isn't tragic, its more heroic, since he saved the world, and this brings up problems in the present.

Sooo, tragic pasts are good! But not cliched ones..
(Why do I always write such long responses? )
Posted 10/13/08
yes, not all writers are good at giving characters depth but too many depend on specifically tragedy to color in the giant holes in the plot... but tragedy does not always equal depth of character. i mean, come on. a char who's parents died and they are on there own for much of their young life- ok... but then there's the anime hero baggage version of " i witnessed my parents brutal death/murder/execution and blame it all on myself because they died to save me and maybe i shouldnt be born and i hate rabbits too!" ( where'd the rabbits come from? lol)

there is depth and then there is grasping for straws at the bottom of a deep pit of desperation.

and yeah its cliched and repetitive.
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Posted 10/13/08
Actually the anime Busou Renkin starts of just like you said Obasan.. Normal kid enjoying life and BAM! he needs to save the world and everyone backs him up. Its a great anime to show that this isnt always true. I agree with you on grasping for straws. Some anime exaggerate the fact of these tragedys but this wont fly with viewers forever. Eventually people have to cycle through mayeb ancient plots or brand new revisions of old anime. I try to stay away from anime like this, well i dont try it kind of just happens especially if that "tragic past" torments them through out the anime (annoying!) . But I would say that cliches in anime are more Culture's fault than anyone else's though. (Alchemy,Revival of the Dead,Dragons,Shinigami,etc etc) That all can be found completely outside the anime world....AH! Great post obasan <3
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Posted 10/15/08
hey there is tragic stuff going on in The Method of Coupling
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Posted 10/16/08
Now, is it a tragic past or tragic future that makes an anime?

We Digressin'!

Hero Baggage- I think its what makes a Hero stronger, it settles te character's motivation for doing everything he/she does or else they do it for nothing.
All Heroes baggage could actually very well be how the get the super strangths and abilities they do...Its what gives them the courage to strive on and laugh in the face of death. QUite literally sometimes. @_@...Whew, epiphany lol.
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Posted 10/16/08
Lol and on a more metaphorical note....

If a hero didn't have baggage, what would they have when they got to their destination?

Nothing.


It makes for a better ending to the story, in the end they resolve the hurt from their pasts and it gives closure to the story. If they just randomly started saving the world but didn't really have the tragic past, the ending just hangs open a bit. And I don't know about you, but I hate unresolved endings! *coughlacordadoro/ourancough*
Posted 10/17/08
hmmm true true..yes yess BUT! what about animes that the character has no hero baggage and then suddenly have to 'save the world' those animes do just fine. the whole anime is about the 'current hero baggage' but not thriving on past hero baggage.
the ending is still sweet because the world was saved (and of course smart writers can make the bad guy pop back up again just in time for a second season lol)
basically let us as the readers/veiwers experience the making of the hero baggage instead of saying "heres the hero of this story and man has he got loads of past problems and now he gotta save the world...poor him"

oh and i hate unresolved endings too!
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Posted 10/17/08
I am saying. There would not be a tragic past if we could experience it with them. Some anime should be just a few episodes longer just to make sense!. I also noticed that everything they show you in an anime can help you like it more. You can see scenery and landscapes to familiarize yourself with the location, all the gadgets and weapons have their explanation and you have as much knowledge of them as the heroes, if not more. I mean, hero baggage isnt ONLY hero baggage. That could have got him to where he is. It could be the reason that some anime arent succesful, just not showing scenery. Psychologically, what can we do? People, love drama but most rather not see it in the making? I personally, want to know wtf heroes go crazy or do stupid things. I want to see the tragedy and i want to feel more connected to some of my fav chars you know?
Posted 10/17/08
yeah! connection to the character... that is the key! dont get me wrong, i can see how it helps with plot, story..the big picture. my beef is the abuse of hero baggage. the repetitiveness of it all.
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Posted 10/18/08 , edited 10/18/08
AH ok ok.... but lets face it ...no hero baggage/no anime...am i right on not?

anyway, i believe that repetiveness is , like i said i think a few posts above that it relates folklore and stuff...maybe just legends modernized??
Posted 11/23/08
mah i kinda had a bitter past lawlz i guess yer could say some people are made to suffer but we continue to live to see how our story ends i believe mangakas get insipraions frm people's life pen them down sketcg them out animate them there comes an anime ^_*
Posted 11/23/08
wanna hear a secret homies o.O ill tell yer there this japanese doll its true that it can cry and its hair keeps growing fer some reasons *shivers* myeh goosebumps are all ovr when as im typing. no shit! i have a half japanese brother he used o live w. his grandpa when he was a little boy there was one night he saw the doll crying and he told his grandpa about it yer know what his grandpa was the one who told him that its hair keeps growing a hair trim was needed from time to time *shiversreallyhard* my brother was petrified he got his grandpa to throw away the doll it was back outside their door the next day morning my brother's face was priceless when he told me i couldnt sleep fer some nights after lawlz
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Posted 11/23/08
um hero baggage is something i guess i is needed for the plot of the story you do need connection to the hero but also to the other charterers in the story and if there is too much baggage i get bored with it fast
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Posted 1/7/09
Thankfulyl most anime out now is actually being released with substance. Linebarrels of Iron is a perfect example of the hero baggage being seen before durin and idk about after the main conflict. it makes an anime....The hero baggage makes later moments more emotional qnd more interesting cause you usually know his "secret"...hmm
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