Post Reply The Definition Of Emotional Manipulation
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21 / M / Imouto Sanctuary
Posted 6/1/17
Good morning Crunchyroll, and today I am asking you to discuss the disparaging term of "Emotional Manipulation" often applied to Utsuges like various Key's Work.

Emotional Manipulation? What is that? Well, breaking it down, emotional has something to do with emotions, while manipulation is simply the artificial control of emotion to be this way and that.

One might ask why this is a bad thing, or how one can control your emotions, and I am not sure. I do have theories for when this should properly apply.

First off, this could just be lazy shorthand story techniques that anyone could do, and in any increment of ridiculousness. The cop that dies three days before retirement. The completely monstrous villain who only has a young charge (Daughter, dog) who he has any love towards.

This is my only theory, and the problem seems to be when...

-We become inundated with these one off villains and note victims with their sob stories as to become apathetic to the whole parade of sadness, especially when they continually become more and more over the top. (Naruto in my opinion.)

-When characters could have avoided unnecessary tragedy or otherwise by doing simple actions. (Possibly the basketball scene in Clannad)

-When characters are more or less defined by tragedy, rather than being characters who suffer from it or are born from it. (3 Days from retirement cliche in narmy 80s cop movies, displays of irony, A certain girl from Fullmetal Alchemist)

1. The first reason can apply to episodic villains and such, and may possibly just be an application of the "Dunbar's Number", which states we can only give a damn about so many people. It could also just be a tiresome amount of cliches, where we know who the most plot expendable is will die, and the expectation of death greatly nullifies their impact. This is contrary to having a tragic event come out of left field to swat an otherwise insignificant character, but do this enough times and the audience will get wiser to said antics. It doesn't apply to every film, but it may apply to the writers themselves in this show.

Out of left field tragedies differ, but can break the flow in ways not intended, especially when the character is of a type that is normally being concerned with, such as a generic mook. This can also be poorly inserted or a poorly written expansion of said character, especially when the time for sympathy is long past due, and relies on the audience forgetting the atrocities of what happened 10 episodes ago (Which more or less speaks about the cast in general, and the writing) This is especially annoying if the main characters forget said tragedy in the first place, primarily because of character significance.

2. Having characters do stupid or illogical things is not a bad thing, but if it otherwise contrasts their normal leveled headiness in a way that wouldn't happen, or goes against their established personality and or intelligence, it does seem prone to problems. In essence, having a character act inconsistently is often more grating when we have an intelligent character do things that are stupid, illogical, or otherwise contrast their characters unexpectedly (Plot Induced Stupidity), versus an established comic relief being shown to spout quips of intelligence (Improved Characterization)

Characters often abide by some logic that we are capable of understanding, and most of it is rooted in a common sense that pertains to most humans in these cases, or are otherwise something a human would think in that circumstance. Having them betray their own established sensibility has them break character, and this can be written well, but often happens as a result of not being written well, of authors who forget the own characters they have written.

3. Writing characters to fail, to die, or otherwise suffer horrendously, as pointed out before, makes their tragedies less meaningful to some. This often ties into the first reason, but a small litmus test can be applied. Can you define a character without mentioning a tragedy? Can they be considered distinct from their tragedy?

This is not a test of quality of the character. Sometimes a singular or set of tragedies is so overwhelmingly that it rocks these characters to their very core. At other times, it just makes them less characters and more victims. Victims are stripped of their power of choice, while characters offer a sort of self determination that we forget is being controlled by being well written, and reminded of its artificiality when it stops being natural.

This is distinct from reason 1, which is the recognizing of a tiresome convention in that particular work, a storytelling tool utilized by the author because they do not know anything else. This is less an expectation for us to care about the next villain, but an otherwise lack of characterization to begin with, and finished off with a lack of overall impact.

Fullmetal Alchemist Semi Spoiler v
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21 / F / US
Posted 6/1/17
jackin it for those good vibes
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27 / M / This Dying World
Posted 6/1/17
What about NTR?
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17 / M
Posted 6/1/17

Lowlights wrote:

jackin it for those good vibes

haha yesss ^^^

Im only happy when im emptionally manipulating myself
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