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Old 2013-09-06, 20:51   Link #61
Triple_R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akito Kinomoto View Post
I'm not attacking Wang's character at all.
You wrote that he trivializes most of his opponents.

I disagree, but for argument's sake, let's say you're right about Wang here - Do you actually think that's a good thing? Do you think it's a good thing when a main protagonist trivializes most of his opponents? Or do you think it's better when a main protagonist's opponents come across as serious, non-trivial challenges?

I want to draw an analogy here - In pro sports, they talk about players who make other players better by how effectively they develop chemistry with their teammates. And they also talk about players who try to do everything themselves, and don't utilize their teammates well. Now, which type of player do you think is better for the team? Which type of player do you think coaches should want more of?

... Now, what type of character is better for the cast, and hence the story? What type of character should writers want more of?

If a character tends to make other characters look useless, is he truly a good character?

Mary Sues/Gary Stues rightly have the reputation of making other characters look useless. That's not a reputation that I think a Wang fan should want to associate with him. I myself don't associate that with him.
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Old 2013-09-06, 21:13   Link #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GDB View Post
If he only experiences losses in the beginning, then gets divine handouts, what was even the point of having him experience loss to begin with?
We could go on and on debating specifics of SAO, but that's best left for the SAO sub-forum. It's only going to get further into spoiler territory from here, and it's probably already arguably too much.

But I will say one thing about this...
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Originally Posted by GDB View Post
Deus ex machina kill stories
There's a whole separate debate about what qualifies as deus ex machina when "god" is literally a named character in the story, but in the end the strong dislike of all semblance of this plot device is, too, an opinion. Divine intervention in situations of hopelessness is a recurring theme in human literature, because it reflects the historical struggle of humanity vs. fate/"God" -- which was, indeed, a major theme in this story and arc. This device was traditionally not liked by critics particularly when the "god" had never been an element of the narrative before.


People throw around these terms like they're obvious and the inherent problems with them are understood and agreed by all, but in practice they're very fluid and are used to describe all sorts of things that people don't like about stories and want to consider "Bad Writing". It's never really as obvious as some people who use the terms like to think.
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Old 2013-09-06, 21:14   Link #63
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I'll just say that I didn't really think of Kirito as a Gary Stu until the second half of the show. Even with his "help" in SAO, the story (imo) believably established that he was advantaged (personal gamer and SAO experience), but those advantages could be disadvantages. The second half tore down this credibility because of his character stats and other advantages that came from SAO. It just really didn't feel like he had to struggle much compared to the first half, and that was not helped by the awful pacing.

Now perhaps the novel is better, but the second half of the anime really let me down.
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Old 2013-09-06, 21:15   Link #64
Akito Kinomoto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
You wrote that he trivializes most of his opponents.

I disagree, but for argument's sake, let's say you're right about Wang here - Do you actually think that's a good thing, Akito? Do you think it's a good thing when a main protagonist trivializes most of his opponents? Or do you think it's better when a main protagonist's opponents come across as serious, non-trivial challenges?

I want to draw an analogy here - In pro sports, they talk about players who make other players better by how effectively they develop chemistry with their teammates. And they also talk about players who try to do everything themselves, and don't utilize their teammates well. Now, which type of player do you think is better for the team? Which type of player do you think coaches should want more of?

... Now, what type of character is better for the cast, and hence the story? What type of character should writers want more of?

If a character tends to make other characters look worse, is he truly a good character?

Mary Sues/Gary Stues rightly have the reputation of making other characters look worse. That's not a reputation that I think a Wang fan should want to associate with him. I myself don't associate that with him.
Wang trivializes them on sheer tactical genius while his limited resources challenge him. He has the roadblock Kirito doesn't. And a better analogy would be Undertaker in his earlier days; damn near unstoppable but still a fan favorite. John Cena is similar but half the crowd hates his guts most of the time. You're thinking character quality and character flawlessness are mutually exclusive when that isn't the case. I can look past how perfect Wang is because he's also rounded out enough to make him believable. But I admit he's the only example I can think of that I'd still call good.
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Old 2013-09-06, 21:17   Link #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
I'll just say that I didn't really think of Kirito as a Gary Stu until the second half of the show. Even with his "help" in SAO, the story (imo) believably established that he was advantaged (personal gamer and SAO experience), but those advantages could be disadvantages. The second half tore down this credibility because of his character stats and other advantages that came from SAO. It just really didn't feel like he had to struggle much compared to the first half, and that was not helped by the awful pacing.

Now perhaps the novel is better, but the second half of the anime really let me down.
Yeah, I'm inclined to agree. I myself liked the first half of SAO.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Akito Kinomoto View Post
Wang trivializes them on sheer tactical genius while his limited resources challenge him. He has the roadblock Kirito doesn't. And a better analogy would be Undertaker in his earlier days; damn near unstoppable but still a fan favorite.
Hulk Hogan defeated The Undertaker about a year into The Undertaker's career. Yokozuna also won a Casket match against him at Royal Rumble 1994. Even early Undertaker had some significant losses.


Quote:
You're thinking character quality and character flawlessness are mutually exclusive when that isn't the case.
Wang is not flawless. You yourself already admitted that by previously calling him near flawless. So people can still hold that character quality and character flawlessness are mutually exclusive. You have by no means demonstrated that this is not the case.
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Old 2013-09-06, 21:46   Link #66
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Truly, I am a bit tired with the "typical" Shounen's protagonist. As long as everything make sense, a Mary-Sue or Gary-Sue character would be acceptable to me (Remember Tatsuya and Myuki from Mahouka Kokou no Rettousei when writing this).
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Old 2013-09-06, 21:55   Link #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
I'll just say that I didn't really think of Kirito as a Gary Stu until the second half of the show.
I still don't think of him as one. Remember how he tried to get past the World Tree and he was unable to do it on his own? He learned that will power and his own strength just wasn't enough and had to rely on Lyfa and the others for help that time.

Yes,in general, he does have a lot of power and I can see why to some it seems like too much. But just giving a character a lot of power won't make him "perfect", morality-wise. It's about the decisions he makes with this power.
And Kirito does not always make good decisions in the series. He also has two major personality flaws that negate him being a Gary Stu:

1. He tries to put the world on his shoulders and beats himself up when he fails.
2. He has anger issues.

1. means he has a savior complex-he even admits to himself in the novels that he's "arrogant" for thinking he can save everyone on his own. And of course, he doesn't save them all. Thousands died before he was able to clear the game. He blames what happened to Sachi on himself...and that whole experience made him so paranoid, he refused to open up to anyone for two whole years.

2. When Kirito gets outraged, he loses control of his actions. He actually killed one of the Blood Knights and he almost slit Sugou's throat in the real world. Though he didn't in the last moment, he was really thinking about it. Had someone come along at the wrong time, they would have witnessed what would only look like a" punk kid about to murder a middle-aged man". That was taking an incredibly dangerous risk on Kirito's part. When he is composed, he can plan strategies that normally work....but when he loses it, he does very stupid and reckless things.
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Old 2013-09-07, 00:34   Link #68
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I think Korra from the Legend of Korra is a pretty good example of an original character has a lot of the worst characteristics of Mary Sues. She pretty much blatantly violates at least 2 of Triple R's tenets of Sue-ish (which I also agree with).

1. Everyone loves her. Seriously, every single character in the show is either respectful of her or loves her. The only people who hate her turn out to be villains. Asami basically has her boyfriend stolen by her while they were still going out, but there's basically no fallout from it. Lin started out being antagonistic towards Korra but pretty much was in her cheerleader camp after a few episodes.

2. She has no character development. She starts out as a selfish, hot-headed girl with overpowered abilities in the first episode, and by the last episode, she's the exact same person. There was a portion in the middle where it seemed like her hot-headedness and ego got the better of her and she lost her bending, and she might grow as a character. However, during the finale she makes the same terrible decisions driven by ego/hot-headedness but this time she gets bailed out by Deus Ex Machina. Also, she steals Asami's boyfriend and doesn't even feel bad about it and somehow Asami is just fine with it. She learns air bending without needing to become spiritual just because she's the main character.

3. Everyone follows her stupid plan at the end, even though it's the same stupid plan that lost her her bending in the first place. Iroh is supposed to be a veteran and had already laid out a much more sensible plan but Korra basically tells him she wants to fight Anon 1v1 and he pretty much just agrees with it immediately.

4. She's always right. For the first 3/4th of the series, there was a major overarching theme being developed where Korra's idealogy was challenged. The whole bender vs non-bender thing was something that could be explored with a lot of depth, and it seemed like beating Anon would require defeating his ideology too. Korra was not totally in the right, especially since she herself is an embodiment of the privilege that benders have in this world. However, in the last 2 episodes Anon is revealed to be a blood bender, and his views are basically immediately invalidated and the whole clash of ideologies is never brought up again while all the non-benders in his camp immediately realize the folly of their ways.

It's almost like the first half and the 2nd half were written by completely different people. Maybe it was because they had only 12 episodes and by the time they were halfway through they realized they couldn't actually wrap up everything they were doing in the time remaining, so they decided to just deus ex machina their way out of their plot and character developments in favor of action and fighting.
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Old 2013-09-07, 07:48   Link #69
Akito Kinomoto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Hulk Hogan defeated The Undertaker about a year into The Undertaker's career. Yokozuna also won a Casket match against him at Royal Rumble 1994. Even early Undertaker had some significant losses.

Wang is not flawless. You yourself already admitted that by previously calling him near flawless. So people can still hold that character quality and character flawlessness are mutually exclusive. You have by no means demonstrated that this is not the case.
Unstoppable/Modern Cena lost his last match against JBL and lost the undisputed title to CM Punk. He still draws more heat than most heels.

My mistake on being lazy with not typing near-flawless though you did say there were characters you found good but still Mary Sues nonetheless.

Admittedly I should have said Wang is the exception and not something writers should try to go for because they don't have Yoshika Tanaka's talents.
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Old 2013-09-08, 13:20   Link #70
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Mari Makinami is arguably a very interesting example to the point whether or not I think they did it on purpose.

She's highly competent, manages to steal a mech that only a few can pilot and is just shoehorned into the story and is able to give the MC life changing advice even when they don't know each other and somehow manages to get accepted by everyone. She ultimately adds nothing to the plot, but still manages to get entire chunks of the movie devoted to her.
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Old 2013-09-08, 14:04   Link #71
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Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
Mari Makinami is arguably a very interesting example to the point whether or not I think they did it on purpose.
Preeetty sure they did that on purpose. Hell, her name's already Mari
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Old 2013-09-09, 04:11   Link #72
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My 2 cents on this discussion so far:

I don't agree with the "sexist" comment at all.

In a harem anime, even if the guy is completely useless, the girls still need to "earn" his affection: not because it is sexist, but because he is the only relevant guy.

It is not sexist since the same can apply to reverse harem: even the girl is nothing spectacular, the guys need to "earn" her affection just because she is the only relevant female.

As of the whole debate on Mary Sue characters:

I don't believe there is a way to say whether he/she is a sue character, as most main characters have some sue characteristics: whether it is too much or not depends on the audience personal tolerance. For example:

Spoiler for railgun spoiler:


Spoiler for LOGH spoiler:


I didn't watch SAO, so I have no idea what Kirito do. But given others comment he is probably a 60-80/100 Stu?

Here is a new example:

Spoiler for gun x clover spoiler:


In short, no, i don't believe having a sue-ish character automatically make the story bad, same with most other types of characters: having a "realistic character" (character that you probably meet every day on the street) have problems as well: if he/she is so "realistic" why is the story center around him/her? That happen when people accuse XYZ show/character is bland; having a weak character also have problem: it make audience grind their teeth to see such useless person in action. IMO, it is all about the writings. Accusing Sue-ish character ruin a story is similar to people who claims winning a lottery ruin their lives: it is not the lottery (sue character) that ruin your life (the story), the sole fault lies with you (the writer/the story writing) alone.
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Old 2013-09-09, 06:07   Link #73
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this is one case;

character A pour a milk in a bowl of cereal, it became a breakfast.
character B pour a milk in a bowl of cereal, it became a set of full course dinner
character C pour a milk in a bowl of cereal, it became a disaster at the level of nuclear meltdown.

for me :
character A is a normal but boring character.
character B is author favorite.
character C is Homer Simpson.

so i prefer character D ; who cook seriously. using all ingredient to make a delicious cuisine.
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Old 2013-09-09, 19:46   Link #74
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so i prefer character D ; who cook seriously. using all ingredient to make a delicious cuisine.
So Yugo Hachiken?
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Old 2013-09-11, 18:00   Link #75
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It seems that the female gender is much more quickly labeled a Mary Sue...
Before reactions flair, let me say that I'm well aware of Gary Stus. Just note that- if you look at my butchered username- I happen from the Sonic/Dragon Ball Zverse before branching out. In these respective franchises, it took heavy debate just to convince a few people that several male characters were Gary Stus (despite in two cases actually being referred to as immortal, nearly perfect Ultimate Lifeforms) but when we had even barely competent female character (with strength or social class or relative proximity to the main characters), the terms "Mary Sue" flew left and right at staggering speeds.
Comparing 20 page debates on whether male characters are Stus with heavy and fierce criticism towards the accusers and defending the male characters only for CULTURAL MARXISM!!!1!!! to take its toll and, 5 years later, people begrudgingly admit that the male character is kinda, sorta like a Gary Stu but not in all aspects!!!... but this female character who can defend herself, oh dear god, kill this sue with fire!!!
So perhaps some fandoms simply are more liberal with their usage of the term, damn liberals, the Satanic Muslim feminist communist fascist anarchist anti-God SOBs. It's their fault that men can't be the all-powerful master race of complete competence and glory. Why can't they accept that women's place is in the kitchen making babies or cheering on their male companions- why should they even be in fiction?! Why does fiction have to have women at all? It's all a Zionist-Maoist-Lennonist-Bieberist plot to destroy the Church and the Family, I tell you.

In all seriousness, in studying the phenomenon there are certain instances where a character who is otherwise a Mary Sue/Gary Stu is "saved" by some sort of device. Think of Superman- he's the ultimate Gary Stu except he has a weakness- Kryptonite. This allows there to be diverse plots. If you introduce Kryptonite, you cripple the second most powerful fictional character in history. Sure, it's a plot device now, but it does prevent him from become an outright Gary Stu. Also, he is wish fulfillment. When the purpose is wish-fulfillment, sometimes I do have a soft spot. When it's so poorly written, then there's a problem ala Crisis-age Superman/Superman Prime where he was literally God.
That's just a typical non-anime example but I hope it gets the idea across. One of the better reasons why I do see some women being labeled Mary Sues legitimately is because some authors decide to create competent females but decide that omnicompetence with an added dosage of sexual satisfaction is "competence."

But that's not it either.

Character matters the most of all- particularly, how things respond to the character. If this perfect character is also so awesome that the Laws of Physics unconvincingly warp just to allow them to do their awesomeness unabated then you're probably dealing with a Sue.
If this character is so beautiful that light itself shines brighter around it and somehow calls to notice their curves/definitions and turns the most flat, apathetic grump into a nearly dogmatic follower of the character (either by sight of their face or by the perfect sound of their voice) or if they need to destroy a black hole and come up with an idea on the fly that doesn't make sense and it somehow DOES destroy the black hole and they're forevermore worshipped as smarter than Einstein x5000, then...

Last edited by SkyHejhogianMaestro; 2013-09-11 at 18:29.
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Old 2013-09-11, 21:41   Link #76
Chiibi
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Yeah, I always find the "this character is beautiful=Mary Sue". That's totally ridiculous. It's anime. Finding a protagonist who isn't very attractive, let alone UGLY is extremely rare. They're out there, sure...but if you compare the ratio of ugly protagonists to pretty ones, (both male and female) the difference is significant.

On the other hand, if the character is continuously described as "beautiful" over and over AND OVER again in writing, this is Sue material without a doubt, I'm talking about you, Stephanie-f*cking Meyer.
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Old 2013-09-19, 09:38   Link #77
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I'm talking about you, Stephanie-f*cking Meyer.

You mean like this?

Spoiler for Bella vs Myers:


~~~~~

Also, for anyone who really need to see a Gary Stu look like, I think the manga "ID, a blend of fantasy" is the best example of them all.

The MC, an asian sword-type guy who found himself in a western classic fantasy setting (I.E Dwarven Warrior, elf mage, etc)...

The idea was interesting....then their first battle literally was along the line where everyone sat in there wowing as he went off to demolish an entire enemy group with his sword skills.

The elf chick, of course fell for him on the spot. Everyone is amazed.

Then he tried elemental summoning....and summon the queen of air on the first try...even though most of the cast...who fell for him...

Finally he met some people who can beat him....only to find out later is because he found a way to time travel and taught those people how to fight years ago...

Some Dragon queen fell for him too...I stopped reading.

I think the ultimate line between Gary Stu/regular character is how people are around him like. If it is a totally solo char like Batman, then there isn't much effect. It is the story of the lonely fighter against crime. If you have an entire cast of characters (I.E Justice League type) and then all they do is sit there and go WOW how cool superman is....then we have a Gary Stu beyond the doubt.
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Old 2013-09-19, 11:04   Link #78
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Originally Posted by Chiibi View Post
On the other hand, if the character is continuously described as "beautiful" over and over AND OVER again in writing, this is Sue material without a doubt, I'm talking about you, Stephanie-f*cking Meyer.
Ironically (or maybe not ironically at all but purposely) "Bella" literally means "beautiful" in Italian.

The character "Bella Goth" from the sims was given that name precisely because she was meant to be the most beautiful woman in town, just like every other character's name is a pun of some sort.
Except the sims is purposely facetious and silly.
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Old 2013-09-19, 17:36   Link #79
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Originally Posted by ArchmageXin View Post
You mean like this?

Spoiler for Bella vs Myers:


~~~~~

Also, for anyone who really need to see a Gary Stu look like, I think the manga "ID, a blend of fantasy" is the best example of them all.

The MC, an asian sword-type guy who found himself in a western classic fantasy setting (I.E Dwarven Warrior, elf mage, etc)...

The idea was interesting....then their first battle literally was along the line where everyone sat in there wowing as he went off to demolish an entire enemy group with his sword skills.

The elf chick, of course fell for him on the spot. Everyone is amazed.

Then he tried elemental summoning....and summon the queen of air on the first try...even though most of the cast...who fell for him...

Finally he met some people who can beat him....only to find out later is because he found a way to time travel and taught those people how to fight years ago...

Some Dragon queen fell for him too...I stopped reading.

I think the ultimate line between Gary Stu/regular character is how people are around him like. If it is a totally solo char like Batman, then there isn't much effect. It is the story of the lonely fighter against crime. If you have an entire cast of characters (I.E Justice League type) and then all they do is sit there and go WOW how cool superman is....then we have a Gary Stu beyond the doubt.
Oh yeah, MC of ID is totally a Gary Stu. Some of the other stuff the MC does in ID is that he comes across a special sword, which turns out to be one of the most powerful swords in existence, and of course the sword's spirit is a cute girl who's also vying for his attention. He also merges with one of the ancient dragons so he's half dragon too. It's like the author purposely went out of his way incorporate as many sue-traits as possible.
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Old 2013-09-19, 19:15   Link #80
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How dar dis dizcuson go on with no metion of I you'r most magificant Quen, Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way! /dramatik goffik pose


Sorry couldn't resist, the entire topic just gives me hives.
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