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Why does anime hate genius?
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39 / M / Oakland, CA
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Posted 6/29/12
Really too many examples to count, it seems like 2/3 of action shows have 'evil genius who for some reason hates society and wants to destroy it', and it's different than western 'I want to rule the world' or 'those fools will pay for mocking me!' types.

There must be some base of why geniuses tend to be socially ostracized psychopaths in anime, does anybody know what it is?
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Posted 6/29/12
It's more like "mad scientist looking to destroy the world" kind of thing. Different cultures demand different characters and the Asian community has a somewhat odd view on this... Nothing really to do with "geniuses", but Asians (myself included) tend to become envious of more knowledgeable and better performing people, because everyone wants to be the best in their group. So anime has its own take on this by portraying geniuses as "socially ostracized psychopaths" as you put it, to depict the vast pressure that comes with being the best of the best.

At least that's how I see it, but I totally get what you mean.
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22 / M / in the present
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Posted 6/29/12
Good point. I wonder if that's why shows like Death Note and Code Geass became really popular. Light and Lelouch are very smart and they're able to hold the audience's attention strongly throughout their series.
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47 / M / KC
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Posted 6/29/12
I totally disagree! Okabe saves the world!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FN7nJ9WiT0 :)

More seriously, it's an easy plot device. People are afraid of change, especially of science that they don't understand. So, what could be a better hallmark of change than the "evil genius."

And it isn't just anime. This particular plot device has been in use for a very long time. Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes, Captain Nemo from "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea", even Prospero from Shakespeare's "The Tempest" could fall into this category.
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27 / M / Chicago
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Posted 6/29/12 , edited 6/29/12
because society sucks and geniuses can see that. so naturally we'd be seen as the villains but, really, it's all of you who are just blind to the truth.
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39 / M / Oakland, CA
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Posted 6/29/12
Granting nemo, I'd argue its different.

You have people that are brilliant, charming, and immensely physically attractive (like captain whatsisname from Bleach), just kind of striking out at society out of a general sense of alienation.

Our classic mad scientists are generally exceptionally ambitious, or (like Nemo or Prospero) are rejecting the world in response to some specific wrong done them.

The anime stereotype I'm talking about has no real wrong, excepting occasionally some childhood bullying (which is weird in of itself, who bullies the strong, smart, pretty kid?) But generally wants to destroy society and/or the world, often with an expectation that they're 'the chosen' who will be spared.

Oops, almost missed this:


quote]shinkodachi wrote:

It's more like "mad scientist looking to destroy the world" kind of thing. Different cultures demand different characters and the Asian community has a somewhat odd view on this... Nothing really to do with "geniuses", but Asians (myself included) tend to become envious of more knowledgeable and better performing people, because everyone wants to be the best in their group. So anime has its own take on this by portraying geniuses as "socially ostracized psychopaths" as you put it, to depict the vast pressure that comes with being the best of the best.

At least that's how I see it, but I totally get what you mean.

That is a really good answer, I can see that ><
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Posted 6/29/12
Well, you can either have a stupid villain, a smart villain, or a villain whose intelligence does not play a role. Since a stupid villain is...stupid...you really can only have a genius villain or a 'normal' villain. That's why. No philosophical examination needed.
Posted 6/29/12
because you have to be a genius to come up with smart plans, i highly doubt someone without a degree is going to last long in the taking-over-world scheme.
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39 / M / Oakland, CA
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Posted 6/29/12

bubbamax1990 wrote:

because you have to be a genius to come up with smart plans, i highly doubt someone without a degree is going to last long in the taking-over-world scheme.


More often than not its not even taking over the world, its planning some bizarrely nihilistic apocalypse (ala the first half of Birdy the Mighty) or just... pointless pursuit of strength (ala Aizen).
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18 / F / PLANNET POTATO
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Posted 6/29/12
i personally like the smarter characters XD
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22 / M / 風の山
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Posted 6/29/12
its just obsession. geniuses are just addicts to their obsession.

they were able to quietly obsess due to non social life, in this case, most likely due to a horrid failure at a social life.

anger and hatred aimed at the the social world.

i know personally because i am antisocial by choice. there are many people who are antisocial by being outcast by social conformity.

its basically a case of letting a fire start and leaving it to run wild without control or care of some sort.
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23 / M
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Posted 6/29/12
steins;gate has a mad scientist who's trying to save the world
Posted 6/29/12

windsagio

More often than not its not even taking over the world, its planning some bizarrely nihilistic apocalypse (ala the first half of Birdy the Mighty) or just... pointless pursuit of strength (ala Aizen).


wasnt Aizens goal to murder the king then create a new world ontop of SS? xD but yeah, always something to that effect.
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35 / M
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Posted 6/30/12
The concept of a very intelligent villain is quite common. Just read through this article: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EvilGenius The same can definitely be said for heroic characters who are uneducated, or smart but naive: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DumbIsGood Finally, while it's a little more unusual for the main character to be antisocial or outright villainous, there are more than a few examples of each. So if you're interested, read about difficult-to-like leads -- http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DesignatedHero -- and then read about villainous main characters -- http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/VillainProtagonist .

You'll notice each article talks about all kinds of media. Yeah, these are ideas that show up in all kinds of places.
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34 / M / Orlando
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Posted 6/30/12
Because "evil dumbass" doesn't really sound very threatening....
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