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-   -   Can you identify with angst free character? (http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=113586)

Guernsey 2012-07-21 19:02

Can you identify with angst free character?
 
Just as the title says, can you identify with a character who rarely if ever angsts? That is not to say that don't have any conflict but they don't dwell on thse feelings for a long time. I myself cannot identify with such characters as I lack of angst to me is jarring even TTGL had Simon angst for a bit before he became awesome. Can anyone identify with such characters?

Archon_Wing 2012-07-21 19:26

This topic is too broad.

But as a generalization, I don't find much interest in characters that lack inner conflict, though certainly as pure action movies they can get away with it being simplified.

Usually the problem is too much angst though, aka "emo".

Triple_R 2012-07-21 19:59

To a limited degree, I can.

I would say that the K-On! girls are pretty angst-free. I get, and can accept why, they're angst-free.

I'd probably have a harder time accepting angst-free characters in a less idyllic world, though. :heh:

RRW 2012-07-21 20:29

well depend really. most of character from comedy/slice of life is angst free.

extreme example of angst free probably Kafuka Fuura

Qilin 2012-07-21 21:00

That depends on what you mean by angst, I guess.

I mean, I'm always a fan of well-written character drama. As such, I tend to prefer characters with some kind of internal conflict. Fate/Zero's Kotomine Kirei and Emiya Kiritsugu come to mind when I say this. Characters that lack such kinds of conflict come off as less identifiable for me.

Subtlety is the key here, I think. I'm all for some character conflict in my anime, but I don't like it being smashed into my face. A few shed tears are good, but overblown hysterics might not be depending on the context.

Kirito 2012-07-21 21:06

Many people's definition of "angst" is different, and it varies from case to case.

I really like drama and conflicts, but I do tend to enjoy characters who live by their own code of ethics and at times will leave their comfort zone to do what they want to do. Like Oreki Houtarou from Hyouka being the prime example with his "energy conserving" life style he desires, but has troubles keeping it because of a girl who's curious all the time.

Guernsey 2012-07-21 21:22

I guess it is a little broad as angst means many things to many people but do you identify with characters who deal with situations without getting over emotinal about it?

GreyZone 2012-07-21 22:01

I really need an explanation for that word. Because in German "Angst" simply means "fear", so it is quite confusing for me, although i see it being used all the time. So can someone take his/her time and explain it to me?

Akito Kinomoto 2012-07-22 00:32

Kuroko Shirai from Railgun. Someone who can switch from jokester to serious in a heartbeat. I don't have the obsession she can have for someone she loves though. She doesn't really emo much either.

I'd be more worried if I couldn't identify with worry-free characters. Let someone represent how you are when you don't got a ton of crap to deal with would ya?
Quote:

Originally Posted by RRW (Post 4266421)
extreme example of angst free probably Kafuka Fuura

No no no no no, she's what we call delusional.:p

Kaijo 2012-07-22 13:33

Not only can I identify strongly with such a character, I highly prefer it. Sure, they can have problems, and go through brief periods where they are unsure what to do about them. But if it stretches on through multiple episodes (even up to most of the series!) and long periods of time, then the character just ends up looking like an emo idiot.

I think the best example I can give here, is Bella from Twilight sitting in the same chair as the seasons rolled through. I mean, seriously? When you have a character like that, whether Shinji or Madoka, I just want to slap the ever-living fuck out of them. I think another example of this, is Twelve Kingdoms. I hear it gets better, but for most of the first season, I got a headache listening to the repeated emo-ing of Yoko and that other chick who got taken out of Japan and into the world of the Twelve Kingdoms. One constantly bemoaned that she was there, and just wanted to go home, while the other constantly whined about not being the chosen one.

A hero should be someone who works to do something about the problems present in a series... not someone who endlessly moans and whines and gets taken along by the plot. As I said, I can take some periods of grief and inaction, but too much gives me a headache.

Simon from Gurren Lagan was brought up, which is an interesting case. He pretty much brushes up against my limits, but thankfully stays within them. Kamina was essentially the pillar in his life, and when that was gone, it was understandable that he'd collapse. He eventually pulled out of it, though, and managed to do what he needed to do.

I think this closely relates to another thread, which talked about whiny magical girls (Usagi, Madoka, etc.) and how he couldn't relate to them. I do think females in anime do get the worst of this; mainly because it feels like most manga/anime writers, being male, are unable to actually write a strong female character. To their perspective, other than hair and boobs, they don't know how to identify a female character to the audience, and so fall back on "well, girls cry a lot, right?" So that pretty much defines how they create the character.

To be fair, writing a strong female character who doesn't fall back on angsting a lot, can be difficult. But we have some good examples:

Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail is one. One of the strongest wizards in the guild, with an attitude to match; yet she had her moment in the Phantom Arc, where she broke down some. She allowed herself time to grieve, but snapped out of it for a moment of awesomeness when she ran out of the shower and... well, I don't want to spoil it, heh. Her role in the Tower of Heaven Arc showcased the depth of her personality, too, both as a woman and as a warrior. I think it's partly why she is the most popular character in Fairy Tail.

I bring it up a lot, but Nanoha did it as well. Able to feel a heart-wrenching grief, and wander for a time in the land of "I'm no sure what to do" when there is time for it. But still able to stand up and do what needs to be done. The third season, StrikerS, showcases this very well.

So, maybe I should modify my statement a bit, in reference to the title question: Can I identify with an agnst-free character? I can, but I don't really think there is an angst-free character out there, since mostly all shows have some measure of problem, and all heroes stumble from time to time. It would be more accurate to say I identify most strongly with a character who has some angst, but acts despite that.

For what makes a hero, someone who I identify with... is someone who acts despite the fear. Indeed, the large sense of satisfaction we as an audience get, is seeing the hero standing up despite them being afraid.

RegalStar 2012-07-23 21:57

Angst free characters in an angst free series have no problems, and in fact I find those kind of series highly rewatchable. I can't think off-hand of any example of angst-free characters in non-angst-free series off the bat right now though.

Triple_R 2012-07-23 22:14

Quote:

Originally Posted by GreyZone (Post 4266566)
I really need an explanation for that word. Because in German "Angst" simply means "fear", so it is quite confusing for me, although i see it being used all the time. So can someone take his/her time and explain it to me?

Just to be clear, angst-free isn't the same as "fearless".

Angst-free would be somebody that's consistently happy and/or stoic (i.e. if they're emotionally upset, they manage it really well). Think of the Super Friends.

Angst-free is basically the opposite of somebody like Shinji Ikari and Renton Thurston (in fairness to both, they had some good reasons for being angst-ridden at times).

Dr. Casey 2012-07-23 22:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kaijo (Post 4267709)
I think this closely relates to another thread, which talked about whiny magical girls (Usagi, Madoka, etc.) and how he couldn't relate to them. I do think females in anime do get the worst of this; mainly because it feels like most manga/anime writers, being male, are unable to actually write a strong female character. To their perspective, other than hair and boobs, they don't know how to identify a female character to the audience, and so fall back on "well, girls cry a lot, right?" So that pretty much defines how they create the character.

To be fair, writing a strong female character who doesn't fall back on angsting a lot, can be difficult. But we have some good examples:

I bring it up a lot, but Nanoha did it as well. Able to feel a heart-wrenching grief, and wander for a time in the land of "I'm no sure what to do" when there is time for it. But still able to stand up and do what needs to be done. The third season, StrikerS, showcases this very well.

So, maybe I should modify my statement a bit, in reference to the title question: Can I identify with an agnst-free character? I can, but I don't really think there is an angst-free character out there, since mostly all shows have some measure of problem, and all heroes stumble from time to time. It would be more accurate to say I identify most strongly with a character who has some angst, but acts despite that.

Though I like Nanoha, I wouldn't bring up Nanoha as an example of a believable human being, never mind a believable female. (I'd levy that argument against most of the Nanoha cast, anyway, at least during the original and A's; I thought StrikerS was quite a bit better with characterization.) I actually found Usagi to be quite relatable and believable, minus the cutely exaggerated crybaby persona towards the beginning, and she does mature quite a bit over the course of the series; she's really only whiny during Classic, and by Stars is quite mature and womanly.

Marcus H. 2012-07-23 22:52

Yes, of course! It just means that problems can be fought with a smile on one's face.
Case in point: Toori Aoi. Charisma, cunning and cheerfulness has allowed him to lead his class — and his country as the series goes by — into pushing forward.

Triple_R 2012-07-23 23:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr. Casey (Post 4270366)
Though I like Nanoha, I wouldn't bring up Nanoha as an example of a believable human being, never mind a believable female.

The only thing that I think makes original and A's Nanoha a bit unusual is her being that mature at the age of 9.

But Nanoha's characterization wouldn't be that hard to swallow in any female character 13 or older, imo.

One area where I think Nanoha is more realistic than most magical girls is in how Nanoha earnestly embraces her powers, and quickly recognizes the obvious value in them.

Honestly, I think if your average high school girl was to get magical powers overnight, they'd embrace them; they wouldn't whine about them. Who the heck would whine about being able to transform into a cool outfit, use super powers, and even fly in many instances? :heh:

This is also something that even Madoka Magica, as deconstructive as it was, got right.

Madoka and Sayaka admired Mami for her flashy heroism, and all three recognized how super powers could be put to good use.

So thankfully magical girl anime is starting to shift away from this bizarre notion that having super powers (in and of itself) is something to complain over.


Quote:

I actually found Usagi to be quite relatable and believable, minus the cutely exaggerated crybaby persona towards the beginning, and she does mature quite a bit over the course of the series; she's really only whiny during Classic, and by Stars is quite mature and womanly.
I think that Usagi is pretty well-balanced for a magical girl lead. I've certainly seen worse. And Luna could be a harsh taskmaster at times. With Sailor Moon, some of the complaining she did was justified I think.

Guernsey 2012-07-23 23:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by Triple_R (Post 4270437)
The only thing that I think makes original and A's Nanoha a bit unusual is her being that mature at the age of 9.

But Nanoha's characterization wouldn't be that hard to swallow in any female character 13 or older, imo.

One area where I think Nanoha is more realistic than most magical girls is in how Nanoha earnestly embraces her powers, and quickly recognizes the obvious value in them.

Honestly, I think if your average high school girl was to get magical powers overnight, they'd embrace them; they wouldn't whine about them. Who the heck would whine about being able to transform into a cool outfit, use super powers, and even fly in many instances? :heh:

This is also something that even Madoka Magica, as deconstructive as it was, got right.

Madoka and Sayaka admired Mami for her flashy heroism, and all three recognized how super powers could be put to good use.

So thankfully magical girl anime is starting to shift away from this bizarre notion that having super powers (in and of itself) is something to complain over.

Well, it is real break from the heroines of old but the other extreme is just as jarring. there are some cases where the heroine wanting to be normal is justified, there is a fanfic called Sailor Nothing where the heroine wanting to be nomral is portrayed as good thing. She earned it though after all she been through.

gsilver 2012-07-24 00:10

Watching a particularly bleak series/movie with a particularly upbeat hero can be disturbing at times. When I see characters like Shu (Now and Then Here and There) or Gen (Barefoot Gen) go though the things that they do, without ever really angsting, I have to say "what the hell is wrong with you?"

GreatTeacherKen 2012-07-24 21:30

Yes. One of the reasons Yotsuba&! appeals to me so strongly is because it gives me a nostalgic feeling. Though I wasn't as energetic as she is, I remember doing some very Yotsuba-ish things in my childhood like the whole 'water gun massacre' and although I haven't done everything Yotsuba did in the series, I have a feeling that if I had the chance to I might've. And the way she thinks is believably and humorously child-like.

I think it depends on the subject matter of a series though. A lack of angst from characters who star in a series with a very grim subject matter can come off as jarring, especially if their lack of apparent angst is never pointed out or explained.

MisaoFan 2012-07-24 21:50

It doesn't matter if the character is angst free or not, since I particularly care for characters' personalities and antics. I really enjoyed Toori's antics in Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere.

Last Sinner 2012-07-24 23:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by gsilver (Post 4270498)
Watching a particularly bleak series/movie with a particularly upbeat hero can be disturbing at times. When I see characters like Shu (Now and Then Here and There) or Gen (Barefoot Gen) go though the things that they do, without ever really angsting, I have to say "what the hell is wrong with you?"

I have to refute you on Shu - big time.

Consider Now and Then, Here and There. Hellywood is hell brought to reality. Hamdo makes King Jong Il, Hitler and other recent dictators pale in comparison to him. Everyone was merely a means to his ends to consume and control. To be a soldier in his army was to throw away all humanity, morality and do anything to continue your miserable existence. That's pretty freaking harsh and to overcome that, you do need an optimistic, defiant person like Shu to cut through that. It's a very heavy series as is. How the hell do you think a glum protagonist would work in that scenario? What would there be to believe in or be inspired by? Shu was necessary to be able to give those around him hope that the possibility of not following Hamdo was one that could come to pass. His continually positive nature was a necessity, as to forsake hope and optimism was to cave into the ways of Hellywood.

In answer to the OP - depends on the context. I can't identify with the -K-ON girls AT ALL because high school for me was the complete opposite of what they went through. I can't fathom anyone having a school life that calm, trouble-free and without scarring/defining incidents. But then again, that's the whole point. Angst is a double edged-sword - it is necessary to a point but beyond that point it makes a character unlikeable. Some may say 'Why is Mr. Optimism like this?' I say 'Why is Negative Clancy even worth following if he's always a killjoy that has next to no redeeming features and whines more than a newborn baby?'


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