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View Poll Results: /What do you think of Anti-Magic?
It's the most overpowered ability ever! 9 36.00%
It's the most useless ability ever! 0 0%
It's just a so-so ability. 14 56.00%
What's Anti-Magic? 2 8.00%
Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2012-04-10, 06:38   Link #1
judasmartel
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[Poll]What do you think of Anti-Magic?

Lately, there's an upsurge of stories with Anti-Magic leads since Gakuen Alice (or probably even earlier than that), one of the most prominent probably is To Aru Majutsu No Index.

The question: How does anyone here perceive Anti-Magic:

a) The most overpowered ability ever;
b) The suckiest ability ever;
c) Just a so-so ability; or
d) You don't probably know what Anti-Magic is.

My arguments for Anti-Magic:

Spoiler for What's Anti-Magic?:


Spoiler for It's just a so-so ability:


Spoiler for It's the most useless superpower ever:


Spoiler for It's the most broken superpower ever:


So, guys, what are you waiting for? Vote Now!
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Old 2012-04-10, 07:11   Link #2
Sheba
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Judging from what I have seen in Nanohaverse, it just became an excuse to not come up with intelligent tactics, when you have raised the power level too high and too fast.
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Old 2012-04-10, 07:20   Link #3
hyl
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I would say that it is situational at best.

You can beat out people who over relies on their powers or don't have a normal weakness due their supernatural defences, but it's not usefull against people who don't use them and are physically stronger than you or if they have something in which your cancelling power does not work (for example technology: a gun or people who uses their powers to enhance themselves like superspeed or super strength).
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Old 2012-04-10, 07:27   Link #4
Haak
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Bias poll is bias.

Anti-magic is a trope just like any other. It can be used cleverly and contribute significantly to a character or plot (e.g. Ryougi Shiki or Kamijou Touma or the Equalists in Legend of Korra) and/or can be used as a complete plot device that allows the character to win in the end purely through winging it (e.g. Kamijou Touma, and a certain ending in FSN).
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Old 2012-04-10, 07:32   Link #5
judasmartel
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^ Wha? I guess I didn't explain the argument against Anti-Magic very well. So are you saying that Anti-Magic is a common ability, then? Then vote, please. I just want to know what other people think of Anti-Magic.
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Old 2012-04-10, 07:47   Link #6
Triple_R
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I'm fine with anti-magic as long as its effect is to weaken rather than to totally nullify.

It's kind of like the difference between Magic vs. Superman and Kryptonite vs. Superman (Superman is extra-vulnerable to magic but it's not an instant win over him like kryptonite often is).

Unfortunately, my (little) experience with anti-magic in anime (and anime-related mediums) is that it's usually used like kryptonite in anime. In which case, yes, it often comes across as an over-powered and cheap plot device.
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Old 2012-04-10, 08:02   Link #7
judasmartel
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I believe Anti-Magic isn't really anything new, but I just thought shows with Anti-Magic spawned like mushrooms over the past decade since Gakuen Alice. But then again, these may probably not be as common as I thought.

But yes, I do also believe that Anti-Magic is the ultimate Plot Armor. Only Chuck Norris can beat it. It makes for ridiculously easy and annoying cop-outs when done wrong, but it can be more interesting than most superpower stories (except probably those with Badass Normal leads) when done correctly.
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Old 2012-04-10, 08:05   Link #8
Paranoid Android
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I think it's easily a cheap and poorly designed element that can't be put into any story without causing ridiculous loopholes like 'why doesn't _____ just solve everyone's problem with his/her anti-magic powers". They can be cohesively incorporated but it's very plot specific.

It's like asking why can't the eagles in LotR drop the ring in the volcano at the beginning.

The creators are aware of that. So for the majority of the anime, characters neglect/forget its existence or its uses. Which makes me cringe because it's so forced and incoherent.

I'm here-on no longer talking about anti-magic, but generally overpowered abilities that override everything else that has so far been introduced in an anime.

Exceptions on the top of my head:
- Alucard from Hellsing. His immortality is overpowered, but he abuses it. And there's never a point in time where the power user acts like he doesn't have immortality. The entire story revolves on how unstoppable he is. He's consistent throughout.

- Ryougi Shiki from Kara no Kyoukai. Her ability extends to erasing everything, including reality/existance. Completely overpowered but the story never put her into a position where she needs to consider it. All she considers is not being a murderer for the sake of that dude. (insignificant generic character whose name I can't remember)

- Amber from Darker than Black. Her ability to reverse time and the side effect. Any severe jeopardizing effect to using anti-magic or abilities that override everything else can remove that imbalance that's ruining the story.
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Old 2012-04-10, 08:26   Link #9
Tiresias
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Depends, really.

In a world where magic and anti-magic, and maybe even Dispel spells, exist for a long time and practitioners of each has adapted ways against the other, it's actually a perfectly viable ability to have.

In a world dominated by magic, the presence of anti-magic as an OCP that the magic-using protagonists struggle to overcome is meh. It's doubly irritating when the writer also give them extra resistance and/or survivability against non-magical attacks, and supremely infuriating with regeneration added to the mix, creating a blatant Mary Sue/Villain Sue.

It's also annoying when the anti-magic not only cancels the spell, but also all the environmental effects and collateral damage. For example, anti-magic that not only killed a fireball spell but also inexplicably and conveniently put of the fire instantaneously before it can damage its target. Also extra annoying when their magic-using enemies keep insisting on direct attacks instead of getting creative with their powers like using telekinesis to throw hard objects or collapse the building where their target lives or sink the ship they're in...basically anything beside futilely firing magic directly at the anti-magic source.
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Old 2012-04-10, 08:30   Link #10
judasmartel
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Hahaha, THANK GOD they didn't make Touma Kamijou physically invulnerable (just a body made of iron, though).

That said, anyone else thinks that TAMNI and ZnT are the only shows that used the Anti-Magic trope correctly?
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Old 2012-04-10, 08:45   Link #11
hyl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by judasmartel View Post
Hahaha, THANK GOD they didn't make Touma Kamijou physically invulnerable (just a body made of iron, though).

That said, anyone else thinks that TAMNI and ZnT are the only shows that used the Anti-Magic trope correctly?
There are other series that also uses them like code breaker, negima, code geass (if you count the geass canceller used by Orange as one) Mx0 and very likely much more but i can't think of any at this moment.

But it's really not that rare of a power.
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Old 2012-04-10, 08:57   Link #12
Tiresias
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...first thing first, what kind of usage count as 'correctly'?
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Old 2012-04-10, 09:23   Link #13
judasmartel
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Originally Posted by Tiresias View Post
...first thing first, what kind of usage count as 'correctly'?
- It has a definite set of rules to define what can Anti-Magic cancel and what it cannot. Touma Kamijou's Imagine Breaker can only cancel magical abilities but not the after effects. He can cancel out magical fire but not the ash and smoke it produces. Accelerator cannot hurt him directly with his Vector Change ability, but he can still hurt him by hurling objects at him.
- For the above case, I find AM cancelling the surrounding magic annoying, because that means his allies cannot use magic as well.
- In some cases, the AM character is inherently physically strong and/or learns martial arts and/or undergoes Special Weapons and Tactics training to compensate for his lack of ability to use the universe magic. This also helps against foes who do not depend on the universe magic to fight. Touma and Asuna are good examples.
- In other cases, AM should be a very rare spell that there are very specific factors that determine which characters get AM or not. Only the descendants of the four noble families of Halkeginia can become Void mages. Touma is the only IB bearer shown in Index, but there are hints that somebody else bore it before him.
- Additional abilities that come along with AM are fine, too. The only additional ability allowed is Power Copying unless it is balanced with something debilitating. Louise has Explosion and Teleportation spells along with her Dispel magic.
- And lastly, in general, if AM turns out to be overpowered by in-universe standards, it has to be balanced with enough tactical unfeasibility to make it useful only when it's a job for Aquaman: Ridiculously long casting times, inability to touch magical objects without serious consequences or inability to make them work, or it works only when the wielder is under extreme circumstances (like when his life is in danger or when he's in dire need of protecting his friends.

What I like about Anti-Magic is that in an adventuring party setting, its wielder can act as the Meat Shield while his allies rain down destruction from the heavens on their foes.
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Old 2012-04-10, 09:47   Link #14
Tiresias
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Eh, afraid I can't answer the question since we have differing views on a 'correct' example (for me, Touma counts under "Also extra annoying when their magic-using enemies keep insisting on direct attacks instead of getting creative with their powers like using telekinesis to throw hard objects or collapse the building where their target lives or sink the ship they're in...basically anything beside futilely firing magic directly at the anti-magic source" TL|DR, he only thrives because his enemies always hold the idiot ball)
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Old 2012-04-10, 11:06   Link #15
judasmartel
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Well, yeah, it's rather annoying to see mages keeping on casting the same spells despite knowing that it will not work no matter what. At least they should have been smart enough to use their magic to indirectly hurt the AM wielder.

I think that's why I prefer Dispel than passive Anti-Magic. But yeah, mages still insist on casting their spells despite knowing they can be dispelled. Oh well.
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Old 2012-04-10, 12:47   Link #16
DisarestaX
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I guess that AMF(Anti magic Field) in the Nanohaverse fits the bill lol.
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Old 2012-04-10, 13:07   Link #17
Haak
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Originally Posted by judasmartel View Post
^ Wha? I guess I didn't explain the argument against Anti-Magic very well. So are you saying that Anti-Magic is a common ability, then? Then vote, please. I just want to know what other people think of Anti-Magic.
Basically there's no "Depends on the situation" or "All/none of the above" option which is why I can't vote. Sometimes it can be broken, sometimes it can be useless and sometimes it can be just like any other ability and sometimes it can be all of that at different points within the same show. And then sometimes it doesn't even matter how broken or useless it is, since it's importance is more to do with the character (e.g Ryougi Shiki, Kamijou Touma) than the plot. That's why it's impossible for me to say.
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Old 2012-04-10, 13:49   Link #18
Vexx
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Broken poll - see Haak for explanation

Basically, its a "debuff" like many games have written into their mechanics .... so whether its a piece of crap or a nice tactical tool really depends on how it is implemented and whether it is used just to get around poorly written situations. So it really is dependent on the details (which is the missing option).
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Old 2012-04-10, 14:25   Link #19
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In cases like Index, where it's a sole plot device so that the hero may stand a chance against overpowering opponents leading to moments of sheer GAR from outlasting and outwitting your enemies, it's not bad if they find a way to bring some variety. Despite his trump card, he is fairly vulnerable.

In cases like Nanoha StrikerS where it's just to nerf the main characters (and interestingly, this nerf was to replace another nerf which initially made people happy but had a net gain of 0. ) so you can hope to give your thrift store villains a chance at credibility, it's terrible. Of course, compared to its usage in the following manga, it's a masterpiece. It's the equivalent of activating cheat codes to reduce your enemy's stats.

It's similar to any "dampening field" or "disabler" in sci-fi
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Old 2012-04-10, 14:43   Link #20
Vexx
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Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
In cases like Nanoha StrikerS where it's just to nerf the main characters (and interestingly, this nerf was to replace another nerf which initially made people happy but had a net gain of 0. ) so you can hope to give your thrift store villains a chance at credibility, it's terrible. Of course, compared to its usage in the following manga, it's a masterpiece. It's the equivalent of activating cheat codes to reduce your enemy's stats.

It's similar to any "dampening field" or "disabler" in sci-fi
Yeah, I meant to mention StrikerS as a series-breaking awful use of the idea. The writers grew the characters to "11" (Spinal Tap reference) and then realized they'd written themselves into a corner. There were better anti-magic solutions but no, they wrote one of the most baffling pieces of junk ideas I've seen in a while.

"I'll dial my senior forces down to 7 so we don't accidentally win before the series is over"... <facepalm>
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