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Old 2013-07-13, 00:20   Link #1
Marcus H.
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On Character/Plot Development Fueled by Character Deaths [Series Specific Spoiler]

I'm not a fan of character deaths, especially those which seem to happen just to push the plot forward or to throw away a character after it has done its role (i.e. to die). Battle Royale and Survival Suspense themes are also not my cup of tea for the same reasons.

Some of the series that are on the rage recently are Shingeki no Kyojin, Danganronpa and Terra Formars, and Gantz belongs to those who have a decent following too. All of these series had a very high amount of character deaths, with Titans, Terra Formars and Gantz pushing the gore to 11 and Danganronpa featuring students dying in horrific ways. (Oh, I almost forgot the "pie scenes" in Another. Such strawberry-filled goodness.) There's also Akame ga Kill, which is also another Battle Royale series.

What makes this series get the attention they have right now? Is this the beginning of the production of series which had the grit of 80s OVA series? And can a story fueled by the blood of its characters really be that interesting?
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Old 2013-07-13, 00:54   Link #2
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I don't mind character deaths in terms of development as long as isn't use too frequently.

My pet peeve though, which unfortunately happens A LOT in anime though is when said dead characters come back to life whether it be alternative timeline or some supernatural shit. There are a few exceptions like in Steins Gate where alternative timeline WAS THE POINT of the entire series but anywhere else, nope. Dead characters need to stay dead.
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Old 2013-07-13, 00:55   Link #3
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I don't really see a problem. Death is an inevitable part of existence, so it plays a role in everyone's life. Of course, if we're talking about just senseless murders and violence that has other uses, though admittedly it's always used like crap.

What separates decent shows like Titan and mediocrity like Another is that the deaths in Titan actually provide atmosphere and motivation into the characters' mentality, while I felt Another was just killing its characters in increasingly lulzy ways just for the hell of it. It really is about how much the narrative values life, though I guess sometimes Titan devolves into comedy central too.

Gen Urobuchi is of course a master of this outside of Psycho Pass at times, in which each death might seem meaningless, but it sure as hell contributes to the story and serves to develop the characters' in a more meaningful way. It's not just used as emotionally manipulative bullshit shock value (Sup Key!).
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Old 2013-07-13, 00:56   Link #4
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Add Shin Sekai Yori to the rage....

I hate deaths of important characters to give way for another important character to developed.... The same reason I hate TV drama...
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Old 2013-07-13, 01:05   Link #5
Marcus H.
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Quote:
What separates decent shows like Titan and mediocrity like Another is that the deaths in Titan actually provide atmosphere and motivation into the characters' mentality, while I felt Another was just killing its characters in increasingly lulzy ways just for the hell of it.
This is probably what I hated most about Danganronpa, especially after being informed about Monokuma's motivations for pitting the characters against each other.

Spoiler for Danganronpa specific, END. Open at your own risk:


Key is also a heavy offender of this, but it had something else I liked that puts it aside all the other violators.
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Last edited by Klashikari; 2013-07-13 at 07:31. Reason: spoiler tag was not specific enough
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Old 2013-07-13, 01:07   Link #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
This is probably what I hated most about Danganronpa, especially after being informed about Monokuma's motivations for pitting the characters against each other.

Spoiler for Danganronpa:
I think hating Monokuma is a desired effect though just like how Kyubey in Madoka was hated by many. He's clearly an antagonist figure that lacks empathy.

It really depends on how the show goes. If it goes like Mirai Nikki, then I'm going to lose interest really fast.
Quote:
Key is also a heavy offender of this, but it had something else I liked that puts it aside all the other violators.
Key does many things well. Drama* is not one of them.

Melodrama*
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Old 2013-07-13, 01:09   Link #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
It really depends on how the show goes. If it goes like Mirai Nikki, then I'm going to lose interest really fast.
That's a series that you watch for lulzy deaths and if it bores you on the way there isn't much left unless you wanna character fag over Yuno

Quote:
Key does many things well. Drama is not one of them.
Unintentional comedy however, Key can do very well, whilst thier slapstick is hit or miss .
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Last edited by Pocari_Sweat; 2013-07-13 at 01:34. Reason: Big typo regarding Miari Nikki.
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Old 2013-07-13, 01:24   Link #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocari_Sweat View Post
That's a series that you watch for lulzy deaths and if it bores you on the way there isn't much left unlike you wanna character fag over Yuki
I can understand how it wouldn't appeal to people. Life is a very serious thing, and such sensitive issues aren't appropriate for comedy. On the other hand, there's hardly no emotional attachement and many of the characters are obnoxious. Kinda like your generic American horror film where some people even root for the villain


Quote:
Unintentional comedy however, Key can do very well, whilst thier slapstick is hit or miss .
I actually like the comedy. I think it's pretty effective. It's the way it handles people's lives at stake that's the problem. It's a good example of it regularly undermining the narrative.

But I'm biased. I came up with a pie chart for those curious about how I am so critical about key yet I run around with a Key character's avatar. Though I understand it's a lot different from other people. As you can see, I am not impressed with their stories' ways of dealing with the thread's issues.

Images
Sorry; dynamic content not loaded. Reload?
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Old 2013-07-13, 01:29   Link #9
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@Piechart:

Wait, what does PA Works got to do with Key?

I thought you would put in at least Mari Okada or Anohana in there instead?

EDIT: Just remembered Angel Beats .
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Old 2013-07-13, 01:31   Link #10
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If you want to bring up AnoHana, I actually think it handled those issues very well, and in a respectful fashion that went "Wow, everyone's so fucked up because of that, how are they going to deal with it?". But clearly this was a driving force behind the narrative and the advantage of Anohana was that it's part of the premise which means it doesn't have to be forcefully contrived out of nowhere.

Yes, I know what a lot of people think about the end, but the anime isn't just the QQfest and lolfest popular opinion would have you believe.
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Old 2013-07-13, 02:48   Link #11
Marcus H.
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Quote:
EDIT: Just remembered Angel Beats .
Angel Beats is okay when it comes to needless deaths because it does have black comedy elements and the entire setting is the Afterlife.

There are some series which use death for the sheer shock value it gives (Muv-Luv is a great example of this).
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Old 2013-07-13, 06:41   Link #12
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If the premise of your show is that humanity is fighting for its very survival against a monstrous menace, then it's kind of important to actually show a fair number of humans dying at the hands of said menace. Otherwise, the show is simply not living up to its own premise, and the menace would come across as pathetically lame. People watch shows with premises like this because such shows are often exciting, gripping, and suspenseful - The character deaths typically adds to that.

If a core element of your narrative is "murder mystery", then you kind of need a murder. People have liked murder mysteries for ages - They're often nice intellectual exercises and challenges.

If your narrative is centered around a major intergalactic war between two (or more) highly advanced militaries then basic believability begs for at least some character death. This of course would include countless Gundam shows. People watch such shows because they like war narratives and/or they like seeing big, flashy super-robots in explosive combat.


Character death isn't just beneficial in certain types of narratives, it's essential. If you go into one such type of narrative, and get heavily attached to a non-main character, then you're doing so at your own risk. Of course, in some cases, the whole point is conveying a sense of lost and sadness to the audience itself so that they can better connect to what the major characters themselves are going through. So in some cases its good if the audience is heavily attached to a character that dies because then they get to feel what some of the surviving characters are probably feeling.


Life isn't nothing but sunshine and roses. Sometimes life is like that, but often its not. So our fiction should be at least as varied as life itself is so that it reflects a full range of human experiences.

So I don't have a problem with character death. That being said, I'll certainly grant that sometimes anime shows can get into senseless gorn territory. In retrospect, that's how I feel about Another and BloodC.
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Old 2013-07-13, 07:00   Link #13
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Originally Posted by GenjiChan View Post

I hate deaths of important characters to give way for another important character to developed.... The same reason I hate TV drama...
Ah, so you hate Jojo's bizarre Adventure and Fist of the North Star, got it.
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Old 2013-07-13, 07:33   Link #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
This is probably what I hated most about Danganronpa, especially after being informed about Monokuma's motivations for pitting the characters against each other.

Spoiler for Danganronpa specific, END. Open at your own risk:
I would rather discuss in the game thread, but I sincerely think you are -really- misunderstanding the motive and the plot of DR if you conclude everything in such fashion.

And frankly, please AVOID throwing spoilers like that. If it wasn't for more specific spoiler tags, some people might just get the end spoilers instead of mere "mild ones".
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Old 2013-07-13, 08:15   Link #15
Marcus H.
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^ No. I understand everything, that's why I hated the notion of Danganronpa.

In fact, how people seem to enjoy the story of Danganronpa makes me wonder how they were able to stomach the violence. DR was the reason why I created this thread, but there are other series with similar themes which may have incited my rage in the past as well.
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Old 2013-07-13, 11:09   Link #16
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Such horrible and/or terrible things are occasions to test the characters, what they truly are in the dark.

There is a reason why war stories or zombie apocalypse tales are so popular, it takes the most ordinary people, your peasant from Arkansas, the snob from Paris or the schoolgirl from Tokyo or that little girl in Singapore, then it throws them from their comfortable daily lives into sheer terror, horror and suffering, where their social norms are shaked , even shattered. Some will rise and become a worse or a better person, some will give up, other will take up the fight to earn their happy ending. It's something like, "Look, someone dear to you died, what will you do from it?".

But in the end, they are not the same person anymore. Think of Frodo and Sam, they were not the hobbits doing hobbity things anymore by the time they reached Mount Doom. One old example is Gilgamesh when Enkidu died.

This is why various people enjoy those stories, because such circumstances strip them naked of their daily comfort, expose them for what they are and force them to up the game.

PS: Schadenfreude is a bonus.
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Old 2013-07-13, 14:10   Link #17
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From my first impression of Danga Ronpa, it has a lot of over the top and possibly very cool characters to face this situation. In other words, the premise is already otherworldly, and of course this puts pressure on our fairly ordinary protagonist. If these people run the risk of death, what chance does he have of surviving?
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Old 2013-07-13, 14:14   Link #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
^ No. I understand everything, that's why I hated the notion of Danganronpa.

In fact, how people seem to enjoy the story of Danganronpa makes me wonder how they were able to stomach the violence. DR was the reason why I created this thread, but there are other series with similar themes which may have incited my rage in the past as well.
No offense, but the way you summerized the spoiler was rather unsettling for me. I think it would be best to continue the DR discussion in the game thread, which I did by quoting the spoiler over there.

Last edited by Klashikari; 2013-07-13 at 14:35.
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Old 2013-07-13, 14:19   Link #19
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. If these people run the risk of death, what chance does he have of surviving?
Would you have bet one kopeck on Sam Gamgee, Merry and Pippin if you didn't read or watch LoTR?
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Old 2013-07-14, 17:55   Link #20
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The death-fueled plot in the first half of Sword Art Online worked pretty well since the characters getting killed every other episode were as far as you can get from redshirts. In hindsight the main characters had to survive but at the time imperiling the non-faceless did a good job at making the threat more personable.

Key anime are good about reaching death save for something at Clannad After Story's end and almost always fail after the fact.
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