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Post Reply Is there something wrong with wanting a realistic/human character?
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Posted 2/12/17 , edited 2/12/17
I get the feeling that people want those unrealistic badasses who have no ounce of character development far too much. Makes me wonder if there is anything wrong with wanting a realistic badass or just a realistic character. I know that realism isn't always a good thing in fiction but come on! It's just frustrating for some people to not have a character they can relate to. It doesn't have to be about anime and manga. This can go towards video games, novels, comics, television, and films as well. Pretty much any work of fiction. Like what is wrong with a human character? I get that fiction is meant as an escapism from the everyday world called reality. Still can there be a balance or something? What do you think? Am I asking for too much?


I feel like this would be beneficial for when I write my own stories. I often dream about writing realistic characters yet it's a challenge. What are your thoughts on this?

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Posted 2/12/17 , edited 2/12/17
I don't think many people argue that realistic/human characters are bad. It's usually the opposite. So no, there is nothing wrong with it.

I'm kind of wondering though how far you mean "realistic".
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Posted 2/12/17 , edited 2/12/17

TheAngryLittleAlchemist wrote:

I don't think many people argue that realistic/human characters are bad. It's usually the opposite. So no, there is nothing wrong with it.

I'm kind of wondering though how far you mean "realistic".


A character with flaws that make them stand out and something about the character that can make you relate.
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Posted 2/12/17 , edited 2/12/17

qualeshia3 wrote:


TheAngryLittleAlchemist wrote:

I don't think many people argue that realistic/human characters are bad. It's usually the opposite. So no, there is nothing wrong with it.

I'm kind of wondering though how far you mean "realistic".


A character with flaws that make them stand out and something about the character that can make you relate.


Ok. Yeah I don't see where anyone is complaining about that and i think that's more so a positive to a show.

When you get into race/sexuality that is where there is a clear counter culture(like with Ghost Busters and Star Wars etc)
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Posted 2/12/17 , edited 2/12/17

TheAngryLittleAlchemist wrote:

Ok. Yeah I don't see where anyone is complaining about that and i think that's more so a positive to a show.

When you get into race/sexuality that is where there is a clear counter culture(like with Ghost Busters and Star Wars etc)



I'm glad no one is complaining. But to constantly want a unrealistic character with no character development is sorta sad to me. Maybe some people take escapism too far.
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Posted 2/12/17 , edited 2/12/17
Actually, I prefer the shows with relatable characters. Those Anime are the ones that stick with me the most. If I feel like I could be friends in real life with at least one character in a show, it's done a good job. ... Most Anime that come to mind are older shows. (Not just cause of the "newness factor.")
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Posted 2/12/17 , edited 2/12/17
Realistic Badass is an oxymoron. If you meet a badass irl, chances are they are behaving very abnormal.

I think this question requires better framing, as there are some circumstances where either type is good. You can have RealisticBadasses that don't develop, and you can have caricatures that develop depth, but remain 2D.

In artistic circles I find that writing Flaws into characters for the sake of Realism actually strips them of depth, as then every decision and choice is a deeply personal matter that etches itself into the character's soul. Then there's worshiping the altar of Character Development to the detriment of other things that make anime great. While it is now primarily a character driven industry, development is optional.

So really, its about context.
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Posted 2/12/17
I don't think that there is something "wrong" with wanting a realistic human character. However, I do kind of think that it's wishful thinking, particularly in anime. Outside of the Slice-of-Life genre, people always have something heinously out of the norm going on with them. At this point, being "normal" is like a unique trait for a character to have and when it actually comes up it seems like something crazy. Like just this season Interviews with Monster Girls has an unrealistic premise but part of the draw of the protagonist is that he's like a normal guy. Same with Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid. Ridiculously unrealistic premise, but Kobayashi is a realistic character (independent, single woman employed as a computer programmer) who is in the middle of all of the abnormality. I think that the dichotomy of those situations make for interesting character development too. Every character in every show doesn't need a super power or need to be a massive pile of muscle or have some ridiculously crazy backstory just to be a good protagonist. As for you saying that you are trying to write your own stories with realistic characters, I think that's pretty cool. I'm sure that watching all this anime and everything has helped to see what works and what doesn't in terms of character development, plot pacing, etc.
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Posted 2/12/17 , edited 2/12/17

H_Guderian wrote:

Realistic Badass is an oxymoron. If you meet a badass irl, chances are they are behaving very abnormal.

I think this question requires better framing, as there are some circumstances where either type is good. You can have RealisticBadasses that don't develop, and you can have caricatures that develop depth, but remain 2D.

In artistic circles I find that writing Flaws into characters for the sake of Realism actually strips them of depth, as then every decision and choice is a deeply personal matter that etches itself into the character's soul. Then there's worshiping the altar of Character Development to the detriment of other things that make anime great. While it is now primarily a character driven industry, development is optional.

So really, its about context.


Sorry about that. I didn't know it was an oxymoron.

So, when is it good to give a character flaws?
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Posted 2/12/17
The only thing I don't want in a main character they unrelatable. This usually means what the majority of anime main characters are, high schoolers who make poor decisions based on emotion without all the facts. Other than that it's all about how the characters fit the context of the story. Shinji Ikari works in Neon Genesis but wouldn't work in Iron Blooded Orphans, just as Mikazuki Augus wouldn't work in Neon Genesis.

But I do want to ask, What does character development mean? A character who's thoughts and feelings change over time? Because that's not exactly realistic. Most people change opinions but fundamentally remain the same in behavior and habit.
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Posted 2/12/17

camay1997 wrote:

The only thing I don't want in a main character they unrelatable. This usually means what the majority of anime main characters are, high schoolers who make poor decisions based on emotion without all the facts. Other than that it's all about how the characters fit the context of the story. Shinji Ikari works in Neon Genesis but wouldn't work in Iron Blooded Orphans, just as Mikazuki Augus wouldn't work in Neon Genesis.

But I do want to ask, What does character development mean? A character who's thoughts and feelings change over time? Because that's not exactly realistic. Most people change opinions but fundamentally remain the same in behavior and habit.


What makes a character development realistic then?
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Posted 2/12/17
How does one search for the right flaws to give their character?
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Posted 2/12/17

qualeshia3 wrote:

How does one search for the right flaws to give their character?


Most stories feature one flaw a character has to overcome in order to resolve the story. So it needs to be an obstacle preventing them from taking the shortest route to solving the problem. In trying to make it realistic the flaw is not everyone reacts to stimuli the same way. So some people will relate, and some won't. I'd advise to establish what your character is trying to overcome and generate a flaw that suits eliminates the easiest solutions in the context of the characters and settings. I know that kinda seems like I said the same thing twice.
Posted 2/12/17
Entertainment

It's not so entertaining to watch realistic things, unless it's really a compelling story or the character is somewhat funny or cynical.
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Posted 2/12/17

camay1997 wrote:


qualeshia3 wrote:

How does one search for the right flaws to give their character?


Most stories feature one flaw a character has to overcome in order to resolve the story. So it needs to be an obstacle preventing them from taking the shortest route to solving the problem. In trying to make it realistic the flaw is not everyone reacts to stimuli the same way. So some people will relate, and some won't. I'd advise to establish what your character is trying to overcome and generate a flaw that suits eliminates the easiest solutions in the context of the characters and settings. I know that kinda seems like I said the same thing twice.


Some flaws can become character driven plots? Interesting.
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