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Old 2012-12-27, 02:50   Link #1
Eragon
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Why are girls used for portraying tragic characters so much?

So, I just finished watching Shiki(whose thread, btw, is filled to the brim with hypocrisy) and this thought kept nagging me - I'm sure people who have watched the show know which character I'm talking about.
Why are girls - irrespective of age - used to portray tragedy. For example, take Lucy from Elfen Lied or Ei from Jigoku Shoujo or the the characters from Saya & Diva from Blood+.

Is it because its easier to make a women's life miserable? Or is it because you can tug at the audiences heart strings more effectively with a female tragic figure?


If you think my views are skewed and that guys, too, are used as much as girls for portraying tragic figures then do correct me.
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Old 2012-12-27, 02:58   Link #2
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First of all, I never watched Shiki. I was spoiled... Thank God!!! But I did watch animes where women are the same as you have described.

But... I'm not complete agree there, because you can't deny the fact that there anime as well that males are portrait in such the same way... But since they're girls ( cute, hot, sexy), most viewers are easily affected by what are happening to them.

Personally I share your complaints since in watching romance animes... girls are always the one who cries in the end ... and I hate that!!!!!
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Old 2012-12-27, 03:03   Link #3
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Originally Posted by GenjiChan View Post
First of all, I never watched Shiki. I was spoiled... Thank God!!! But I did watch animes where women are the same as you have described.

But... I'm not complete agree there, because you can't deny the fact that there anime as well that males are portrait in such the same way... But since they're girls ( cute, hot, sexy), most viewers are easily affected by what are happening to them.

Personally I share your complaints since in watching romance animes... girls are always the one who cries in the end ... and I hate that!!!!!
The thing is there's very few shows I have seen where the guy is the tragic figure - the guy from Jigoku Shoujo season 2, Guts from Berserk and probably Soloman and Haji from Blood+
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Old 2012-12-27, 03:06   Link #4
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So there's the question of how effective is a male tragic character compared to that of a female tragic character.

But I don't believe female characters are the only ones used to portray tragic characters. I would consider Kiritsugu Emiya a tragic character.
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Old 2012-12-27, 03:08   Link #5
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I remember Tomoya of Clannad had the most miserable "dream" any male MC could ever have....in a lovers', husband's and a Father's view point...
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Old 2012-12-27, 03:08   Link #6
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It's because tragic females bring about males protective instinct (especially when they're hot, you know it) while tragic males are more often portrayed as whiny or over dramatic by other men, and woman prefer men that can protect them (or Fujoshi, who just want to be penetrated by them) over ones that use their shoulder to cry on.

tl;dr few people actually want tragic males
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Old 2012-12-27, 03:17   Link #7
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Hmm, interesting question.

According to MAL, 9/10 of my favorite characters are "tragic" characters or have a tragic past and it's somewhat skewed towards female characters. I guess it makes sense that an attractive female character is going to be more likely to generate a tragic moe effect towards the male audience, and media in general tends to be catered towards males. Naturally they just won't feel that way to another guy.

It's just a lot easier to make you feel bad for a character by dumping the tragedy wheel on them. (see, Key)

So it's a bit sexist, but I can't really change the way I approach the concepts of male and female. However, since I generally like the concept of the depths of the human experience and rising and overcoming it, it tends to work well to some degree regardless of gender.

Though perhaps I shouldn't say I like tragic characters, since some were in the past. I'm not too fond in never moving past it.

But you can't just stick any tragic past and get to me; in some cases if the character is not understandable enough for me, it'll backfire. For example, Hitagi from Bakemonogatari was a huge fail to me.
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Old 2012-12-27, 03:17   Link #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demi. View Post
It's because tragic females bring about males protective instinct (especially when they're hot, you know it) while tragic males are more often portrayed as whiny or over dramatic by other men, and woman prefer men that can protect them (or Fujoshi, who just want to be penetrated by them) over ones that use their shoulder to cry on.

tl;dr few people actually want tragic males
Thus, the original definition of "moe". Nice explanation, my friend.

But yes, it's actually harder to make a tragic male character without making him look wimpy. But there are exceptions. Some authors have found a way to turn a male character's tragedy into a force that turns him into a walking annihilation machine. Such an example is Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star.

When one thinks being Savior of the World is the most awesome job in the world, it actually isn't, because Kenshiro has suffered a lot because of his fate.
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Old 2012-12-27, 03:17   Link #9
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@Demi - I agree with half of your post and disagree with the other half.
Emiya Kiritsugu as judas pointed out is a very well portrayed tragic character. Guts is as well, as is Tomoya.
Your assertion, which I agree with, would work if only males were watching anime. I imagine there's a sizable female fanbase of anime? If that's true then this could work for them as well, don't you think?

just assume I posted before Archon
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Old 2012-12-27, 03:22   Link #10
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Yes, male tragic characters can be done well. Tragedies can serve as the driving force for any male character to transform into consummate badasses and compassionate, if not ideal, lovers to women.

That said, I'm a guy and I don't really know that many girls who are into anime, so I can't say about girls' preferences in anime characters.
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Old 2012-12-27, 03:34   Link #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eragon View Post
@Demi - I agree with half of your post and disagree with the other half.
Emiya Kiritsugu as judas pointed out is a very well portrayed tragic character. Guts is as well, as is Tomoya.
Your assertion, which I agree with, would work if only males were watching anime. I imagine there's a sizable female fanbase of anime? If that's true then this could work for them as well, don't you think?

just assume I posted before Archon
Both Kuritsugu and Guts are tragic in their own way, but I'm not so sure if that's their selling point. In a way, Emiya brought about his own tragedies, he is always the one to pull the trigger. He was skewed with many shades of grey and I believe that's mostly what made him endearing. Guts on the other hand plays role of bad ass far more often than he uses the tragic card. Tomoya...I enjoyed his antics of the first season far more than what he regressed to in AS, but that's just me. In the end, I'm just basing everything on my own subjective opinion, but the most popular male characters rarely tend to be of the tragic variety. I guess directors are just playing their strongest cards.
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Old 2012-12-27, 03:49   Link #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eragon View Post
@Demi - I agree with half of your post and disagree with the other half.
Emiya Kiritsugu as judas pointed out is a very well portrayed tragic character. Guts is as well, as is Tomoya.
Your assertion, which I agree with, would work if only males were watching anime. I imagine there's a sizable female fanbase of anime? If that's true then this could work for them as well, don't you think?
I don't know, 'tragic' isn't the main thing that comes to people's mind for those males characters... I mean sure they'll eventually arrive at it, but not before going through the long line of ABC - 'Awesome', 'Badass', 'Cool'....etc
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Old 2012-12-27, 03:52   Link #13
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Probably because using the males as tragic characters was the old fashion way of doing things. (Old being Greeks and other old traditional stories from millenia or several millenia ago). Everyone had seen that already.
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Old 2012-12-27, 03:53   Link #14
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@Chaos - I guss that's true for Guts, but Kiritsugu was portrayed as the epitome of miserable life, IMO. So was Tomoya in the later stage of the show.
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Old 2012-12-27, 03:57   Link #15
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Originally Posted by Eragon View Post
@Chaos - I guss that's true for Guts, but Kiritsugu was portrayed as the epitome of miserable life, IMO. So was Tomoya in the later stage of the show.

Yes but it seems whenever you ask anybody why they like Kiritsugu or Tomoya, they're more likely to talk about their 'awesomeness' than their tragedies.

I guess essentially what I'm saying is the same as Demi; Those aren't their selling point and probably not what people enjoy/remember them for.
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Old 2012-12-27, 04:04   Link #16
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Actually many scenes considered as "tragic" are left unnoticed unless discussed or has a big effect on the plot or its the plot itself of the story.

Spoiler for Clannad As Ending:

Last edited by NoemiChan; 2012-12-27 at 17:54.
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Old 2012-12-27, 04:46   Link #17
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Ask yourself this:

How do you respond to seeing a "damsel in distress"?
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Old 2012-12-27, 05:31   Link #18
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Originally Posted by GenjiChan View Post
Actually many scenes considered as "tragic" are left unnoticed unless discussed or has a big effect on the plot or its the plot itself of the story.
Yes, for male characters, it pretty much something to this effect, "Why is he so mean/unruly/etc..." "See, he was raped/got betrayed by his best friend/have seen his hometown burned to the ground while his imouto was eaten alive with a side of puppy steak with cute kitten sauce by the big bad..." "Oh crap, that's horrible." "And now he is totally pissed off to the max."
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Old 2012-12-27, 06:10   Link #19
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Btw, I stopped watching SAO at eps 13 -- sometime ago. Now, that the series is done. I am resuming again.

I must say. I am annoyed by the damsel in distress scenario here. Kinda takes me back to Record of Lodoss War. Similar situation. Y'had a girl (Deedlit) with fighting capability in the first half. When the second half came, she becomes a damsel. The stark contrast in the "halves" makes me think: "OK, why can't said girl put up a fight or something?"
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Old 2012-12-27, 07:45   Link #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuu View Post
Ask yourself this:

How do you respond to seeing a "damsel in distress"?
If they are used for that purpose, then they don't really have a will for their own development. Rather, they are used as a vehicle for the character that needs to save them. So usually they aren't interesting unless it becomes centered around some concept of helplessness in the story.

But this has nothing to do with the topic at hand, since dealing with tragedy is a vehicle of their own development.
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