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Post Reply Mysteries in the Understanding of Contemporary Art: Who the HELL is Mary Sue?!
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Posted 5/5/14 , edited 5/5/14

qualeshia3 wrote:


sonic720 wrote:


aidenraine wrote:

mary sue/gary stu is just a myth, perpetuated by those who like to troll and bait beings they feel are lesser than themselves into long, drawn out arguments that most people who know better refer to as "feeding the trolls".

edit to add:
nice writing, by the way. quite humorous.


QFT

They simply don't exist and if they did then lot's of characters would qualify under the vague definition of what makes one. A "bad character" is only bad when the execution is lacking not when they seem too perfect or some other BS.



Stupid question and I'm sorry.

What does QFT stand for?


quote for truth
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38 / M / Oakland, CA
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Posted 5/5/14
That's why I like the term self-insertion fantasy.

It has less baggage, is more descriptive, and sounds kind of dirty to boot! (i.e."Kirito's relationship with Asuna is a self-insertion fantasy. Wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more!")
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Posted 5/5/14


Ah, okay then. Thank you.
Sogno- 
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Posted 5/5/14
a chimp in your toilet? better get out the pet snake..
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Posted 5/5/14

windsagio wrote:
That's why I like the term self-insertion fantasy.

It has less baggage, is more descriptive, and sounds kind of dirty to boot! (i.e."Kirito's relationship with Asuna is a self-insertion fantasy. Wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more!")

Ugh, I actually hate that term. I do agree with you on the baggage that comes along with Mary Sue/Gary Stu, and it's unfortunate that the terms have become so loaded that they automatically invoke defensiveness.

Self-insertion fantasy, though, strikes me as presuming far too much about the audience. For example, it happens that I didn't watch SAO as a self-insertion fantasy, and I'm not doing that with Mahouka, either. To me, the term seems to shut out other readings of a show, which I actually find to be more damaging than Mary Sue/Gary Stu. Mary Sue/Gary Stu only refers to a character, while self-insertion fantasy implies application to an entire show.
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Posted 5/5/14

ShawnHacaga wrote:

I have nothing to contribute on the matter but I'd like to give a round of applause for the writing.



Pretty much my thought here as well. Quite an entertaining read.
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Posted 5/5/14 , edited 5/5/14

GrateSaiyaman wrote:

*SIGH*

For a minute I thought you were serious.


I actually was when I started. Not sure what happened.


AnimeKami wrote:

I might bump this in the future.

High praise! /doffs cap, bows


iblessall wrote:

Also, were you drunk when you wrote this?

If I was, I'd get drunk more often.


iblessall wrote:

Also, in light of your style of writing, you should read this: http://wrongeverytime.com/2014/03/21/sword-art-online-episode-6/

I've seen some of those.


Nobodyofimportance wrote:

I only have two questions.
1) How do you fight off an alligator with a toothpick?
2) How do you intend to tilt a windmill?

1) Very easily, if you're a Mary Sue.
2) My Don Quixote reference was a double entendre?!! I mean... /ahem, that was totally on purpose.


windsagio wrote:

That's why I like the term self-insertion fantasy.

It has less baggage, is more descriptive, and sounds kind of dirty to boot! (i.e."Kirito's relationship with Asuna is a self-insertion fantasy. Wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more!")

Very true. You saying that before clued me in to realizing I was using the term in at least two ways, for overpowered author inserts (the technical Mary Sue/Gary Stus in fanfiction and RP) and "accessible" audience inserts.
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Posted 5/5/14
I should also say that I don't think either term (Mary Sue or self-insertion fantasy) is particularly useful in criticism.

They're just labels. They don't actually tell you anything about the show itself and, as labels, they technically don't care any evaluative weight (beyond the connotational baggage they already possess). They are descriptors, not evaluators.

It's much more useful to say: "Generic Anime Girl A fails as a character because her lack of flaws make her hard to relate with and thus rob her character of the ability to induce genuine emotional connections" than it is to say "Generic Anime Girl A is a Mary Sue."

Similarly, saying: "Some Anime X is a self-insertion fantasy" is not as helpful a statement as "Some Anime X transparently invites the audience see themselves in the role of the protagonist at the expense of the protagonist being an interesting character."
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Posted 5/5/14

iblessall wrote:

I should also say that I don't think either term (Mary Sue or self-insertion fantasy) is particularly useful in criticism.

They're just labels. They don't actually tell you anything about the show itself and, as labels, they technically don't care any evaluative weight (beyond the connotational baggage they already possess). They are descriptors, not evaluators.

It's much more useful to say: "Generic Anime Girl A fails as a character because her lack of flaws make her hard to relate with and thus rob her character of the ability to induce genuine emotional connections" than it is to say "Generic Anime Girl A is a Mary Sue."

Similarly, saying: "Some Anime X is a self-insertion fantasy" is not as helpful a statement as "Some Anime X transparently invites the audience see themselves in the role of the protagonist at the expense of the protagonist being an interesting character."


Quoted this instead of the first part, I see the fantasy often as on the part of the author, not on the part of the audience. The traditional origin of the Mary Sue certainly carries this weight (I have some history/connections with the Trekkies).

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Posted 5/5/14

iblessall wrote:

I should also say that I don't think either term (Mary Sue or self-insertion fantasy) is particularly useful in criticism.

They're just labels. They don't actually tell you anything about the show itself and, as labels, they technically don't care any evaluative weight (beyond the connotational baggage they already possess). They are descriptors, not evaluators.

It's much more useful to say: "Generic Anime Girl A fails as a character because her lack of flaws make her hard to relate with and thus rob her character of the ability to induce genuine emotional connections" than it is to say "Generic Anime Girl A is a Mary Sue."

Similarly, saying: "Some Anime X is a self-insertion fantasy" is not as helpful a statement as "Some Anime X transparently invites the audience see themselves in the role of the protagonist at the expense of the protagonist being an interesting character."


Actually, if one were to delve into the anime/otaku culture. There are two terms of classifications for anime. Type A and Type B, for all intensive purpose a description label is not so bad. Since it can identify what type of anime a person will watch instantly.
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Posted 5/5/14

windsagio wrote:
Quoted this instead of the first part, I see the fantasy often as on the part of the author, not on the part of the audience. The traditional origin of the Mary Sue certainly carries this weight (I have some history/connections with the Trekkies).

Aha! I see a fissure between our viewpoints. Arguing authorial intent is always a hugely slippery slope with me, because it assumes knowledge of what the author wanted to do. Now, I very much believe that an author's beliefs and principles will always come through in his writing, but to assume authorial intent...ooo boy, that's not an exercise I place any sort of faith in. But that's just me, so ymmv.

But still, my point about the uselessness of the term in the realm of criticism stands. Just saying that the author intended the piece as a self-insertion fantasy is just a descriptor. It tells you nothing about the piece itself, and has no inherent evaluative status. In fact, it might even be less useful than if you apply self-insertion fantasy to the audience, because just because the author intended something as a self-insertion fantasy is no guarantee that even a single member of the audience will interact with it as such.


AnimeKami wrote:
Actually, if one were to delve into the anime/otaku culture. There are two terms of classifications for anime. Type A and Type B, for all intensive purpose a description label is not so bad. Since it can identify what type of anime a person will watch instantly.

I agree with you there, but that's in the realm of recommendations, not in the realm of criticism. Sometimes the two intersect, but what I was saying was that the terms are pretty useless on their own in criticism. They could definitely be useful in included/excluding audiences, though. Although, as I just wrote above, you're making an assumption about the audience when you do that, which is a dangerous game to play, even if you'll probably be right a lot of the time.
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Posted 5/5/14

iblessall wrote:
I agree with you there, but that's in the realm of recommendations, not in the realm of criticism. Sometimes the two intersect, but what I was saying was that the terms are pretty useless on their own in criticism. They could definitely be useful in included/excluding audiences, though. Although, as I just wrote above, you're making an assumption about the audience when you do that, which is a dangerous game to play, even if you'll probably be right a lot of the time.


When you play the game of forums...

Honestly superficial descriptions, I think is fine. Perhaps if you want to delve deeper in critiquing anime than, no.

More of a see-saw type of thing as to which route a person wants to take if he or she sees fit as a type of evaluation/criticism.
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Posted 5/5/14

iblessall wrote:


windsagio wrote:
Quoted this instead of the first part, I see the fantasy often as on the part of the author, not on the part of the audience. The traditional origin of the Mary Sue certainly carries this weight (I have some history/connections with the Trekkies).

Aha! I see a fissure between our viewpoints. Arguing authorial intent is always a hugely slippery slope with me, because it assumes knowledge of what the author wanted to do. Now, I very much believe that an author's beliefs and principles will always come through in his writing, but to assume authorial intent...ooo boy, that's not an exercise I place any sort of faith in. But that's just me, so ymmv.

But still, my point about the uselessness of the term in the realm of criticism stands. Just saying that the author intended the piece as a self-insertion fantasy is just a descriptor. It tells you nothing about the piece itself, and has no inherent evaluative status. In fact, it might even be less useful than if you apply self-insertion fantasy to the audience, because just because the author intended something as a self-insertion fantasy is no guarantee that even a single member of the audience will interact with it as such.


I think we've had this particular convo before ><

I'd maintain that trying to divine authorial intent is both interesting and important to get to the real narrative of the work. As you say, it's there anyways, and it's important to be aware of it (and look for it) from the start rather than consuming the work in an uncritical manner.

~~

As to your second point, it does tell you some things, it tells you about the authors fantasies and his ideal circumstances, which relate to the overall narrative of his or her world.

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Posted 5/5/14

GoldTStar wrote:

Lmao Kami: "I might bump this in the future."

I'll get through reading after i finish failing this final tomorrow.


exactly my thoughts.
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Posted 5/6/14
hahahaha, this was hilarious. I entirely stopped caring about Mary Sue half way through.
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