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Why are anime protagonists always ~14 years old?
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22 / F / Black Order
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Posted 6/30/11
it just appealing who would want to watch wrinkly old people fight demons and such it just works
The Wise Wizard
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56 / M / U.S.A. (mid-south)
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Posted 6/30/11

berrytan604 wrote:

it just appealing who would want to watch wrinkly old people fight demons and such it just works

There is a considerable gulf between old and wrinkly and teenagers that still allows for very attractive people.

As mentioned previously, it has a lot more to do with the target market.

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Posted 6/30/11

TheAncientOne wrote:


berrytan604 wrote:

it just appealing who would want to watch wrinkly old people fight demons and such it just works

There is a considerable gulf between old and wrinkly and teenagers that still allows for very attractive people.

You lost if you took offence there...

Back on topic,
Anime protagonists are 14 years old because it gives a lot of freedom to the writers.

1. Lots of room for growth, both Mentally and Physically.
- An example is that if they are "whiny and girl-fearing", then at the end of the series, they can face up to their feelings, or talk to girls, etc.
- You can't exactly have an adult growing in any of these factors, because it would be weird if they suddenly just changed their way of life throughout the series.
- Most people who watch anime are young. It allows them to connect more with the story/character, and therefore, they like the series more, meaning more sales.

2. Gives a sense of innocence
- Especially in Mahou Shoujo anime, the theme is "the inocence of childhood", and this is easily personified by the Grade 3 girls protecting the world...

Also, they are "whiny and girl-fearing" because it makes the situations and plot easier to sell. I doubt people want to watch something like School Days every time they want to watch an anime. once or twice is enough.
Posted 6/30/11 , edited 6/30/11

Hmmm.... Maybe because they are pron to make mistakes and we the viewers learn from their mistakes as a form of life lesson
so that we don't have make them ourselves....Well that's what I think anyway
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28 / F / New York
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Posted 6/30/11
not true.
Not all animes have 14 year old protagonists...
One example: Luffy is 17 (from One Piece)
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M / Crapsack World
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Posted 6/30/11 , edited 6/30/11
There are several reasons why they chose a teenager for a protagonist:

1.) Target market are often aimed at teenagers as ChronicAddict and TheAncientOne had mentioned. A teenage protagonist often attracts teenage audiences.

2.) If the protagonist is a teenager then the teenage viewers can easily relate the protagonist's problems and experiences.

3.) Adult characters always give off a parent vibe. The last thing the viewer wants is some adults patronizing them about life. This is something Marvel comics had learned from DC comic's mistake.
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24 / F / Under The Sea
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Posted 6/30/11
It's the age when high school begins, adventures start, and the age where kids still believe in super heros and Santa Claus.
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21 / F / boku no hero univ...
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Posted 6/30/11
Its the age mangaka's wish they were back to.They're just reliving their youth.Or maybe not. XD
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23 / M / California
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Posted 7/1/11
Well, as you grow older those type of things seems old. Like for me, as time goes on, I started to hate big breasts, when I use to love them very much like 3 years ago.

I use to love anime that has a protagonist at age around 14, but as time goes on, I preferred more mature protagonist.
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30 / M / UK
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Posted 7/1/11
It depends on the source materials - for instance Shonen Jump Mangas target that general age range and hence the fans are more likely to relate to that sort of hero (this is the same with general Shojo Mangas)

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25 / M / BC, Canada =P
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Posted 7/1/11 , edited 7/1/11

berrytan604 wrote:

it just appealing who would want to watch wrinkly old people fight demons and such it just works


Its because of mindset like that anime/manga will never be taken seriously outside of Japan.

Go watch Monster and then come back and tell me if that "appeals" to you or not. Its superior to lulz Death Note in almost every way, the few things its definitely lacking are emotional anorexic transsexual boys and the supernatural element.

Back to topic.

Its not the majority of characters being 13-17 years old that irritates me, its the fact that there is a ungodly amount of it that pisses me off. Must I watch STUDENT by DAY, SUPERHERO by NIGHT over NINE THOUSANDS times?!?!

Its especially hilarious when these anime tries to present itself to be dark and grim, but fails because these same anime constantly stresses trivial things such as first kiss, holding hands, or other high school melodrama as the most important thing in life. What, you just had a INDIRECT KISS with a pink bombshell? Whoop-ba-de-doo, who gives a fuck!

I get it though, anime/manga is just another form of business and every business needs money if they want to continue to exist. In order to do that the anime/manga usually needs to play it safe, in this case it means sticking to the norms and having the anime be geared towards children to teenagers since those are the largest audiences/consumers.

Seriously though, if anime/manga writers can't create decent stories with adults as protagonist, I'd honestly think they fail as a writer.
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M / Side 7
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Posted 7/1/11
With as much anime as there is of course you are going to see similar character traits. Why do you even watch anime Andydono? You aren't watching the right series then. The demographic is for kids and isn't meant to be taken seriously by older people. Most people watch anime because it makes you feel young again. Seeing the good guy beat the bad guy satisfies us and gives us hope in this world where nothing happens. It seems like you would have more fun watching a security camera in someone's room. Nobody would watch a show about a man who no one relates to whose wife left him and kids disowned him while we watch as he sits in he's underwear neck deep in apathy with the climax and ending being nothing happens.
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32 / M
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Posted 7/1/11 , edited 7/1/11
"- You can't exactly have an adult growing in any of these factors, because it would be weird if they suddenly just changed their way of life throughout the series. "

Totally disagree with this. You don't magically stop learning new things or growing as a person when you turn 18 or 21 or whenever one is considered "adult".

Besides that I think the question has been answered pretty thoroughly, target audience, more freedom for writers etc etc
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33 / M / Finland- The Cave...
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Posted 7/1/11

http://satwcomic.com/child-s-play

Explains it.

Its just how Japanice children grow ! ^^
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20 / M / Australia
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Posted 7/1/11

altairian wrote:

"- You can't exactly have an adult growing in any of these factors, because it would be weird if they suddenly just changed their way of life throughout the series. "

Totally disagree with this. You don't magically stop learning new things or growing as a person when you turn 18 or 21 or whenever one is considered "adult".

Besides that I think the question has been answered pretty thoroughly, target audience, more freedom for writers etc etc :P


Although its true adults dont stop learning things as soon as they hit 18-20 or whatever, its also true that children are more impressionable than adults, and therefore have more room to grow.
This reminds me of "The Hero's Journey" Stuff we had to do in English. Boy that stuff was boring...
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