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Overpowered vs Underdog
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Posted 8/24/14
So I've been throwing around an Idea for a story in my head, and I'm debating whether to make the protagonist a seasoned player or a beginner; someone with natural talent or who has to work hard to develop skill. So I've decided to poll the audience.

Which do you prefer?
Someone seasoned at what they do? For example: Layfon - Chrome shelled regios; Shiroe - Log Horizon; Kirito - Sword Art Online (yes I know I mentioned it, but no flame wars okay )
Or a newcomer? For example: Haru - Accel World; Shinozaki - Overdrive; Sawamura - Ace Of Diamond

Someone with natural talent?
For example: Kagami - Kuroko's BasketBall; Sena - EyeShield; Yamato - Suzuka
Or someone who has to work hard to level grind? For example: Hinata - Haikyu; Maruo - Baby Steps; Onoda - YowaPeda

Please explain the reasons for your answers as I will be taking note, and thank you again for any feedback as always.
P.S. sorry if you disagree with some of my examples; incidentally all of these are characters I enjoyed watching so no put down is meant if you feel like I misclassified your favorite character.
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Posted 8/24/14
One-Punch Man is best MC
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25 / M / This Dying World
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Posted 8/24/14
Have you seen OP-Onii-Sama?

Everyone likes him.
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22 / M / Louisiana
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Posted 8/24/14
I generally like people who already have their crap figured out. That way, the story they're involved in has more places to branch out. Otherwise, a large part of the story is inevitably going to be about getting stronger, with character development that's already been done before.

Plus, seeing people win is generally cool, whether or not they were awesome to begin with.

In short, everyone should read One Punch Man lol
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29 / M / South Carolina
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Posted 8/24/14
I've always liked the concept of a character that has natural, yet untapped, potential and has to work fairly hard to unlock said potential. So, its somewhat of a mixture of between natural talent & someone who has to "level grind".

Just seems more gratifying when I see a character slowly but surely progress without all the random & absurd out of nowhere power ups.
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23 / M / With Lucina
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Posted 8/24/14
It really depends on the show.

You got a show like No Game No Life where Shiro and Sora are OP but it works because of the story and why they can't fail at what they do. Like they may at times seem to be pushed to the edge but it turns out to be keikaku doori all along. And the characters are likable because even if they're OP, you can't help but cheer them on because they have the odd quirk or two that makes them funny or relatable in some sense.

Then you get a show like Aldnoah Zero as a recent example. Inaho is OP as fuck. Slaine isn't. Slaine is far far far far far far far (is that enough far's?) from OP. Yet I can't help but cheer on for Slaine who goes through shit but still perseveres.

Then there's Mahouka which is weird for me. I hated Onii-sama's character at first. Its like Inaho but pumped up with god magic to boot. But as time wore on, I just learned to accept that the guy is God. I just learned to not take the show seriously because otherwise, I'd keep hating him. But he is not a liked character. I just tolerate him as just being a deity stuck in a mortal show.
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24 / M / CA
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Posted 8/24/14

Rito2Ru wrote:
Then you get a show like Aldnoah Zero as a recent example. Inaho is OP as fuck. Slaine isn't. Slaine is far far far far far far far (is that enough far's?) from OP. Yet I can't help but cheer on for Slaine who goes through shit but still perseveres.


Pssssssh, Rito-chan.
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25 / M / This Dying World
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Posted 8/24/14
Inaho is not OP.
Posted 8/24/14 , edited 8/24/14
It depends on the show, but generally speaking, I prefer the underdogs.

I think underdogs are a safer bet overall. This is because if an OP character is done wrong, he will be hated, whereas an underdog will only be hated if he's reduced to the level of a massive, indecisive, wimp.

And even when OP characters are done "right" they can still be quite easily hated. This is because their OPness will naturally extend to the qualities which some people dislike - thus creating a character you want to see defeated rather than victorious. For example, the OPness of the main characters from No Game No Life and Problem Children caused me to despise them so much that I couldn't even watch the shows. I personally think it's much harder to create a hated underdog. You don't want to see a character defeated if he's already being defeated on a regular basis. But who knows, maybe that's my own bias talking.
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21 / M
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Posted 8/24/14
I want to say an underdog that worked hard to be a pro would be my choice, since IMO Emiya Kiritsugu from Fate/Zero is one of the most badass characters in anime IMO since he suffered many hardships to become who he is in the series.

However, I think its really mostly the character. I find cocky overpowered characters like the MCs from Hidan No Aria and No Game No Life absolutely insufferable, while others like Oga from Beelzebub and One Punch Man were absolutely awesome.
Posted 8/24/14
Aladdin < All other Shounen MC
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23 / M / With Lucina
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Posted 8/24/14

cay032692 wrote:


Rito2Ru wrote:
Then you get a show like Aldnoah Zero as a recent example. Inaho is OP as fuck. Slaine isn't. Slaine is far far far far far far far (is that enough far's?) from OP. Yet I can't help but cheer on for Slaine who goes through shit but still perseveres.


Pssssssh, Rito-chan.



AnimeKami wrote:

Inaho is not OP.


Hey, let me push my agenda, and you can push yours.
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25 / M / This Dying World
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Posted 8/24/14

Rito2Ru wrote:


cay032692 wrote:


Rito2Ru wrote:
Then you get a show like Aldnoah Zero as a recent example. Inaho is OP as fuck. Slaine isn't. Slaine is far far far far far far far (is that enough far's?) from OP. Yet I can't help but cheer on for Slaine who goes through shit but still perseveres.


Pssssssh, Rito-chan.



AnimeKami wrote:

Inaho is not OP.


Hey, let me push my agenda, and you can push yours.


push harder!

do et.
CaelK 
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Posted 8/25/14 , edited 8/25/14
Personally, I tend to like characters who've been through a lot, so I'd say I have a preference to seeing newcomers evolve into bad dudes. I also prefer those who have to work hard at what they do, as opposed to people with natural talent.

One guy, I can't remember who, said that he didn't like heroes being chosen ones or having ridiculous natural talent. The problem is that it's easy to have all the character's accomplishments framed in such a way that says, "Character X was born special, so of course he'll succeed." It's like saying you can't succeed unless you're born into a rich family or something. He couldn't stand it, and to a certain extent, I can't either. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if you could frame it in a way that says he has natural talent, but that alone is nowhere good enough.

Portraying a veteran's accomplishments can be hard, but I suppose it's all relative. I'm not sure I can explain this well, but if things come across as, "Veteran is powerful, and he wins by the sheer virtue of being a powerful veteran," then I dare say you've turned me off. If instead they're like, "He's really good at what he does, but everyone else can still do stuff to provide narrative conflict," then that's infinitely better, because... oh right - narratives are supposed to have conflict! You might still be able to make the former work, but you'll have to put your conflict elsewhere, or change the focus of it entirely. Comedy might not need too much conflict, after all.

If you're going for something more complex, in my mind, the most memorable characters I can think of usually have to make very hard moral decisions, and even then they get kicked down and outright fail a whole bunch of times. They always seem to get back up and try to right what they did wrong though... unlike certain heroes whose only claim to herodom is that they beat up bad guys.
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21 / M / Washington
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Posted 8/25/14
I tend to root for the underdogs. They have to work harder and that makes their accomplishments more satisfying to watch.
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