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Mysteries in the Understanding of Contemporary Art: Who the HELL is Mary Sue?!
Posted 5/6/14 , edited 5/6/14
everyone from Kamigami no Asobi.

I feel like... the author didn't put any thinking into making these characters... they feel like robots and been done millions of times over and over.
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Posted 5/6/14

AnimeKami wrote:
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.

I think we are actually trying to say the same thing, just in different ways.


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

You know, we totally have. xD Like pretty much this exact subject, same positions as before.

Hey, at least we know that the other person actually believes what they said in the first discussion, instead of having just been argumentative for the sake of it.
xxJing 
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Posted 5/6/14 , edited 5/6/14
The only problem I have with this Mary Stu format is attitude:

Gary Stu...

Women come to him, easily depressed, essentially above average guy who gets lucky break after lucky break. Made as wish fulfillment for skinny losers.

Gary Fucking Stu!

Proactive, gets women to like him by being a pure badass. Always upbeat with a witty personality. Punches his problems out of existence. Picks up skills to do whatever the hell he wants. Intimidates skinny losers because they would actually need to put in effort to be this awesome.

Candidate for Gary Fucking Stu!:

Not nearly as awesome as Akatsuki, nor lucky as Kirito. But he works his ass off to try to get there. And when he is there, he is much more likely to appreciate his awesomeness, than deny it. The skinny loser who has decided he wants to put the effort into being awesome.
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Posted 5/6/14

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".


Well, the term exists and people uses it to indicate certain characters, so the thing does exist. Of course it's derogatory, but it's not like derogatory terms exist ONLY for the sake of trolling - they exist because some people genuinely doesn't like certain things. From my experience it's a term that makes sense mostly in fanfictions, where there truly are Mary Sues that pretty much anyone can recognize as such. In professional works, even the cheapest ones, it's a trap usually easily avoided - there may be characters that have similar sounding premises (like Batman ) but they usually have something to set them apart and make the viewers/readers suspend their disbelief. Even ostensibly bad characters like Bella from Twilight aren't full fledged Mary Sues. So yeah, I don't think it's an especially useful category when criticizing professional works, but it has a meaning.
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Posted 5/6/14

xxJing wrote:

The only problem I have with this Mary Stu format is attitude:

Gary Stu...

Women come to him, easily depressed, essentially above average guy who gets lucky break after lucky break. Made as wish fulfillment for skinny losers.

Gary Fucking Stu!

Proactive, gets women to like him by being a pure badass. Always upbeat with a witty personality. Punches his problems out of existence. Picks up skills to do whatever the hell he wants. Intimidates skinny losers because they would actually need to put in effort to be this awesome.

Candidate for Gary Fucking Stu!:

Not nearly as awesome as Akatsuki, nor lucky as Kirito. But he works his ass off to try to get there. And when he is there, he is much more likely to appreciate his awesomeness, than deny it. The skinny loser who has decided he wants to put the effort into being awesome.


What about fat losers?
xxJing 
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Posted 5/6/14

Shrapnel893 wrote:

What about fat losers?




I used to be a fat loser, and I was just fine identifying with thin characters so there is really no difference. A loser is a loser. My definition of a loser is all about attitude btw. The character above is a loser. On the other hand this fellow:

Is not a loser in my opinion. Essentially if you start to take pity on yourself, then you are a loser.
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Posted 5/6/14 , edited 5/6/14
I always relate Mary Sues and Gary Stus with self-insertion or self-fulfilment. Any other characters that were not made for self-insertion or fulfilment, no matter how bland or cliché, I wouldn't call Sues or Stus. I'd just call them bad characters.

Self-insertion would be things like generic harem protags, especially if the harem anime is adapted from a game in which you literally ARE the protag. This is literal self-insertion. I find that it's especially bad with reverse harems made from otome games. THOSE protags are Mary Sues.

Kirito is another character outside of "harem anime" (though honestly that's debatable) that I would class as a self-fulfillment character. He is a Gary Stu. No doubt about it. Haruyuki from Accel World has more of his own personality to me, so I wouldn't call him a Stu.

Brings me to another point: in order to be a Sue or a Stu, you have to have a lack of personality. This is so viewers can imagine themselves as the character, and give the character their own personalities.

I can still enjoy an anime with a Stu or a Sue. Hell, I can even still like a character who is a Stu or a Sue. I don't hate Kirito, but I'd never call him a good character.
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Posted 5/6/14
*chuckles*

Having survived a decade and a half of this debate in fandom, it tickles my heart a bit to see it again.

That being said, lots of talk about Kirito, but I submit Kira "Jesus" Yamato (Gundam Seed) as my example of a Stu as a negative.
xxJing 
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Posted 5/6/14

rcsatcrunchyroll wrote:

*chuckles*

Having survived a decade and a half of this debate in fandom, it tickles my heart a bit to see it again.

That being said, lots of talk about Kirito, but I submit Kira "Jesus" Yamato (Gundam Seed) as my example of a Stu as a negative.


Kira was undoubtedly the worst. Especially since he worked his way up to super preachy obnoxious Gary Stu. He had his fair share of flaws in GS, but in GSD he was literally like the golden boy savior. He had so much luck and deus ex machina in his hands that he even replaced Shinn as the main character, who was supposed to be the main character. Kira's involvement in GSD is still one of the most infuriating things I have ever experienced in an anime narrative.

On second thought though I give Kirito a hard time but he wasn't all that bad of a main character. I think he was just written sloppily. I mean I totally digged his 'martyr' act in episode 2, and even his 'must save myself' attitude in episode 1. The problem is, those things don't really ever come back to bite him, he just mopes about them, that is about it. Meh, it was a good story executed poorly. I can't help but complain about these things because it's like a turd on top of a perfectly good sandwich. A lot of anime fans can ignore the shit, but I just keep smelling with every bite.
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Posted 5/6/14 , edited 5/6/14
......Gundam used to be about dudes like Char.

Kira is when I started to reeeeeeeeeeally wonder where Gundamn was going........


It is fannon that Insomnom-nom was up at 3 in the morning, a half-bottle of whiskey and a case of empty Red Bull next to him when he wrote this.


Always thought Mary Sue came from an American newspaper comic though? Like, and actual character was named that.
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49 / M / KC
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Posted 5/6/14
Mary Sues/Gary Stus are just a particular form of storytelling, let's just call it the "Perfect Proxy". In other words, the main character is pretty much meant as a wish-fulfillment proxy for reader, and the proxy is generally to perfect, overpowered, whatever. These stories are generally not about character development but rather adventure.

By itself, a Perfect Proxy does not indicate a story is bad, but there are plenty of people that will claim it does. Really, it's a matter of taste. You either like this type of story or not.
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Posted 5/6/14

maxgale wrote:

......Gundam used to be about dudes like Char.

Kira is when I started to reeeeeeeeeeally wonder where Gundamn was going........


It is fannon that Insomnom-nom was up at 3 in the morning, a half-bottle of whiskey and a case of empty Red Bull next to him when he wrote this.


Always thought Mary Sue came from an American newspaper comic though? Like, and actual character was named that.


Mary Sue comes from Star Treck fanfic/zine culture, some point in the early '70s (not exactly sure when)
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Posted 5/7/14

deadpanditto wrote:
By itself, a Perfect Proxy does not indicate a story is bad, but there are plenty of people that will claim it does.


In original works, this is a common storytelling device, 'tis true.

In fan fiction, though, it tends to be intrusive and unwelcome.
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Posted 5/7/14

rcsatcrunchyroll wrote:


deadpanditto wrote:
By itself, a Perfect Proxy does not indicate a story is bad, but there are plenty of people that will claim it does.


In original works, this is a common storytelling device, 'tis true.

In fan fiction, though, it tends to be intrusive and unwelcome.


It is even more common in fan fiction, so I'm guessing there is little fan fiction you like because of this.
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Posted 5/8/14

deadpanditto wrote:
It is even more common in fan fiction, so I'm guessing there is little fan fiction you like because of this.


In terms of reading it, this is true; I am very picky, and I more or less have to be. There is good fanfic that still has self-insertions / Mary Sues, but stories that meet the bar there are few and far between.

As far as writing it, well, that's another story for another time.

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