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Old 2009-10-28, 08:11   Link #301
Heatth
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Heh, nice analisys. I don't know if only 6 criteria are enough tough.

Anyway, by you test I would say Tsuruya is as Mary Sue as Haruhi, if not more. Also, Yuki fits in at last 4 of these criteria: 1, 2, 3 and 4.
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Old 2009-10-28, 08:29   Link #302
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Originally Posted by Heatth View Post
Heh, nice analisys. I don't know if only 6 criteria are enough tough.

Anyway, by you test I would say Tsuruya is as Mary Sue as Haruhi, if not more. Also, Yuki fits in at last 4 of these criteria: 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Maybe the anime should be called "The Mary Sues of Haruhi Suzumiya".
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Old 2009-10-28, 08:49   Link #303
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But yeah, Ryoko clearly never panned out as a Mary Sue. Tanigawa may have wanted the readers to take her that way prior to Ryoko's attempt to take Kyon's life (i.e. build Ryoko up as this seemingly perfect girl so that when she tries to kill Kyon, it become a great plot twist for the readers - it's really good writing on his part that adds a lot of drama )
That was my thought exactly, thanks for a good explanation.
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Old 2009-10-28, 13:01   Link #304
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
*snip*
I completely disagree. Your number 1, number 4, and number 5 are all called "being a protagonist", and by your definition I could consider a large amount of beloved and fantastically-written characters Mary Sues.

Haruhi is good at everything because of what she is. This is justified. Her godhood, too, is justified... it's actually a huge problem for everyone else, and the driving force of the plot is to stop her godhood from blowing up everything. Not a Mary Sue.

These are the definitions I use:

-Flawless, and thus inhuman (this is far by the most important one)
-Good at everything they do without justification
-Demands an unfair amount of attention from either the plot, the rest of the cast, or both
-As a result of the three above, poorly written

And if a character has realistic human flaws, I cannot consider them a Mary Sue.

For that matter... a Mary Sue is an utterly negative character type. It cannot be done well, and if a character is likeable and/or well-written-and-characterized, they are by definition not a Mary Sue.

No one in Haruhi pre-Disappearance is a Mary Sue.
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Old 2009-10-28, 13:33   Link #305
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Originally Posted by Kaisos Erranon View Post
I completely disagree. Your number 1, number 4, and number 5 are all called "being a protagonist",
Protagonist don't necessarily always win (number 1). They usually win, but not always. I've read plenty of fights in comic books were the antagonists won (they simply didn't win to the degree of managing to kill the heroes), and I've seen protagonists lose important fights in various animes.

Nanoha lost her first two or three fights to then-villainous Fate.

Shana has been clearly outmatched in plenty of her battles with Hecate.

Goku lost to Cell.

Ichigo got utterly owned by Aizen.



Haruhi and the SOS Brigade never lose. Ever.

Meanwhile, even the likes of Superman and Batman have lost some fights that they've been in. I know, because I read some of them.


Protagonists don't always have, or are, the solution to every problem (Number 4). Quite often, protagonists have to arduously search for the solution.


And finally... protagonists have the perfect, or almost perfect, life? (Number 5) This is coming from a NGE fan?


My 1, 4, and 5 criteria are all perfectly acceptable ones for trying to determine if a character is a Mary Sue or not.


Quote:
and by your definition I could consider a large amount of beloved and fantastically-written characters Mary Sues.
Perhaps being a Mary Sue isn't always a bad thing.

Or perhaps these "fantastically-written" characters are not as "fantastically-written" as you think, Kaisos.

A "fantastically-written" character typically doesn't have everything fall neatly, and comfortably, into his or her lap, and never have to really struggle or work for anything.


Quote:

Haruhi is good at everything because of what she is. This is justified.
Justified or not, it still makes her more Mary Sue-ish.

"Being good at everything" is pretty much one of the key aspects of most Mary Sues.


Quote:
Her godhood, too, is justified... it's actually a huge problem for everyone else, and the driving force of the plot is to stop her godhood from blowing up everything.
Well, that just means it's a problem for everybody else. It's not a problem for her. Quite the contrary, it makes everything much easier for her... at least in most respects.


Quote:
Not a Mary Sue.
I disagree. Haruhi is a Mary Sue. And I say that as a big Haruhi fan.

This is why I don't view a Mary Sue as necessarily a bad character. It's all about how that character type is played.


Quote:

These are the definitions I use:

-Flawless, and thus inhuman (this is far by the most important one)
-Good at everything they do without justification
There was justification for Wesley Crusher being good at everything that he did: he simply had a high degree of intelligence and natural talent. That didn't make him any less of an annoying Mary Sue to many Star Trek fans, though.


Quote:
-Demands an unfair amount of attention from either the plot, the rest of the cast, or both
As far as secondary characters are concerned, yes. But there are cases where main characters are Mary Sues (the very first characters called Mary Sues were self-insertion characters that were basically main characters)... so, obviously, this criteria doesn't mean that a main character can't be a Mary Sue.


Quote:
-As a result of the three above, poorly written

And if a character has realistic human flaws, I cannot consider them a Mary Sue.
Ok... what's Tsuruya's realistic human flaw?


Quote:

For that matter... a Mary Sue is an utterly negative character type. It cannot be done well, and if a character is likeable and/or well-written-and-characterized, they are by definition not a Mary Sue.
Is Tsuruaya likeable? What's Tsuruya's realistic human flaw?

Edit: Tell you what, Kaisos. In the interest of fairness... I'm willing to say that Tanigawa comes just short of making a few of his character's Mary Sues, and it's by doing this that you get the sort of widely beloved characters that actual Mary Sue creators hoped for with the creation of their Mary Sues. Tanigawa has a pretty good idea of when and where to draw the line: Sigh made just about the entire cast look a little bit worse, and that ensured that none of them came off as an effortlessly perfect Mary Sue.

But... I don't know if it's much point in fighting the "Haruhi Suzumiya is a Mary Sue" argument. I've seen it a fair bit on other boards. In fact, IIRC, I once read somebody write "Haruhi Suzumiya and Tenchi Misaki are the two biggest Mary Sues in all of fiction". She gets this reputation because she's good at virtually everything, she never loses, and she gets away with an awful lot of borderline criminal activity.

Instead of fighting the idea that Haruhi, Tsuruya, and/or Kyon are Mary Sues, perhaps it's a better idea to argue that a Mary Sue can be wrote well. Just an idea.
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Old 2009-10-28, 16:51   Link #306
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Originally Posted by Kaisos Erranon View Post
I completely disagree. Your number 1, number 4, and number 5 are all called "being a protagonist", and by your definition I could consider a large amount of beloved and fantastically-written characters Mary Sues.

Haruhi is good at everything because of what she is. This is justified. Her godhood, too, is justified... it's actually a huge problem for everyone else, and the driving force of the plot is to stop her godhood from blowing up everything. Not a Mary Sue.

These are the definitions I use:

-Flawless, and thus inhuman (this is far by the most important one)
-Good at everything they do without justification
-Demands an unfair amount of attention from either the plot, the rest of the cast, or both
-As a result of the three above, poorly written

And if a character has realistic human flaws, I cannot consider them a Mary Sue.

For that matter... a Mary Sue is an utterly negative character type. It cannot be done well, and if a character is likeable and/or well-written-and-characterized, they are by definition not a Mary Sue.

No one in Haruhi pre-Disappearance is a Mary Sue.
Hmmm, while I agree Triple criteria are no the better ones (tough not as flawed as you said), I want to point Yuki's "good at everything traid" is as justifyed as Haruhi's. She has also more flaws then you seens to believe, she sucks at any "social" thing (unlike Haruhi, who can pass as a "nice girl" every time she wants). Just imagine if what happened at Editor In Chief was true,
Spoiler:
if wasn't for Haruhi, she would be in trouble.

Also, I already said, but she don't stole as much attention as you say. Right, she has two books (4 and 5) focused on her and have much more short storys developing her then Mikuru (and Itsuki). However, she don't drives the plot as you says. She had some storys at Vol.6 and 8, but in Vol.8 Haruhi is developed in the same storys and have some more for her in the 6th book. (Vol. 6 was well divided, one story to Yuki, one to Mikuru, two to Haruhi and one to Tsuruya(shared with Haruhi)).

Also, as I said before, the highligh Yuki is after Disappearance is desired. Otherwise, it would appear the book didn't have any effect in the Status Quo. That is why she is so important, she is still under Haruhi, but, now, she is above Mikuru (exept for character specifc storys).

Sorry for the fanboy rant. Lets back to the usual discussion... that should be general characters. Wasn't we discussing Asakura?
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Old 2009-10-28, 16:56   Link #307
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Is Tsuruya likeable? What's Tsuruya's realistic human flaw?
Most likely the flaw is to take things too far like Haruhi (without Haruhi's jerkiness).
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Old 2009-10-28, 16:59   Link #308
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Originally Posted by Heatth View Post
Hmmm, while I agree Triple criteria are no the better ones (tough not as flawed as you said),
Why is Kaisos' criteria superior to mine, in your opinion?

Kaisos' criteria are far too strict, in my mind.

Almost anything can be "justified" or rationalized - heck, you're doing it right now with Nagato.

If a character is good at everything, that's a Mary Sue-ish trait. Period.

That's why it's generally a bad idea to make a character good at everything... it can make a character seem overbearing and tiresome.

This is why I was glad that Haruhi's weakness as a movie producer was on full display in Sighs. It gave her something that she wasn't good at for a change (or, at least, had some shortcomings at). That makes her a bit more human, and hence relatable.

However, it's the only real exception thus far.
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Old 2009-10-28, 17:13   Link #309
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Hey, I never said Kaisos's was betther then yours!

Please, don't missunderstand me, I think your criteria has some flaws (as pretty much everything). I agree with Kaisos "flawless" (or nearly flawless) is a Mary Sue traid, and that was not in yout list. (tough 2nd criteria is close enough)

I agree with you justifying might not be enough (as everything can be justifyed), however I agree a good justification can make the most idiot ideas/plot good.

Mary Sue-ness is very subjetive. For some, being a Mary Sue already means the character is poor writen (Kaisos thinks like that). Then, I believe no Haruhi character is a Mary Sue(exept , maybe, for Tsuruya, tough it might becasue she hadn't enough screen time yet).

However, for others, like you, "Mary Sue" is just a collection of traids that usually endds in a bad character. Then, some Haruhi characters can be Mary Sues, in my opinion. (I wouldn't put Kyon there, tough).

Btw, your 6th criteria is very good. Some times, just analising mathematicly is not enough. It is a subjetive adjetive, after all.

PP:
Just a clarificcation, I am not calling either criteria, be yours or Kaisos's "good" or "bad". I couldn't without "testing" some character (I don't believe I am doing it, tough). However, neiter seems to me as "wonderful" or "shity".
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Old 2009-10-28, 18:56   Link #310
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As someone previously guilty of writing a Mary Sue character (I was 12, cut me some slack) I can honestly say I don not consider Haruhi a Sue. To me, the main traits a Sue is guilty of is not unnatural skill, power, good looks, etc, but rather ease in relations and plot. A Mary Sue to me has no difficulty whatsoever in getting everything s/he wants, and thus is not very compelling to read.

Haruhi gets a lot of what she wants, but think for a moment: Do you think she wants to put her friends through all the heartache and backbreak they have to do? Do you think she wants her friends to keep all sorts of secrets from her?

And not all of the SOS Brigade even like her. Kyon often cites how frustrated he is with her, Mikuru hates being treated like a doll, Koizumi treats her as a God instead of a peer, and Yuki may not even like her at all. Herr classmates fear her, and avoid her.

Mainly, Haruhi is struggling to find true happiness, and is failing in doing so, mostly because of her own actions, some of which are even out of her control. To me, Haruhi is suffering and struggling enough for me not to label her a Sue.
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Old 2009-10-28, 19:06   Link #311
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Originally Posted by TakariCritic View Post
And not all of the SOS Brigade even like her. Kyon often cites how frustrated he is with her, Mikuru hates being treated like a doll, Koizumi treats her as a God instead of a peer, and Yuki may not even like her at all. Herr classmates fear her, and avoid her.
Errr, not quite. I are right about Kyon and Itsuki, however, Mikuru never said, or even demonstred hate her treatement. She don't seens to like, sure, but "hate is too strong". For the classmates, we only see a few, and all are trying to be her friends (in the official chart only one is listed as "dislike") tought the really do avoid her. For T&K, both adimire her and wanted to be in Kyon's place. And we don't know what Yuki thinks, so is hard to tell if she likes Haruhi or not. (she seens to like Mikuru, somehow, but you wouldn't tell it from looking at her face.)
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Old 2009-10-28, 20:11   Link #312
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Originally Posted by Heatth View Post
Hey, I never said Kaisos's was betther then yours!
Thanks for the clarification.


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However, for others, like you, "Mary Sue" is just a collection of traids that usually endds in a bad character.
That succinctly sums up my view, yes. A Mary Sue is a specific collection of character traits that usually ends in a bad character, but not always.

Well, to be fair... if any characters hit 5 or 6 of my 6 criteria, they're almost certainly a bad character. 3 or 4, though... that can be manageable.

Quote:

PP:
Just a clarificcation, I am not calling either criteria, be yours or Kaisos's "good" or "bad". I couldn't without "testing" some character (I don't believe I am doing it, tough). However, neiter seems to me as "wonderful" or "shity".
Well... ideal criteria would perhaps be a bit stricter than mine, but a bit less strict than Kaisos'. Both sets of criteria are probably in the ball-park of the ideal criteria, anyway.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TakariCritic View Post
As someone previously guilty of writing a Mary Sue character (I was 12, cut me some slack) ...
It's fairly natural to do that if you're writing stories as a kid, particularly if you're self-inserting yourself as a character. I've done it myself to some degree.


Quote:
I can honestly say I don not consider Haruhi a Sue. To me, the main traits a Sue is guilty of is not unnatural skill, power, good looks, etc, but rather ease in relations and plot. A Mary Sue to me has no difficulty whatsoever in getting everything s/he wants, and thus is not very compelling to read.
"What Haruhi wants, Haruhi gets".

This is a very common line amongst Haruhi fans that comes up a lot in a lot of separate debates, I find.

It might not be quite universally true, but it's awfully close...


Quote:

Haruhi gets a lot of what she wants, but think for a moment: Do you think she wants to put her friends through all the heartache and backbreak they have to do? Do you think she wants her friends to keep all sorts of secrets from her?
No... but she's blissfully unaware of this, with very few exceptions.


Quote:

And not all of the SOS Brigade even like her. Kyon often cites how frustrated he is with her, Mikuru hates being treated like a doll, Koizumi treats her as a God instead of a peer, and Yuki may not even like her at all. Herr classmates fear her, and avoid her.

Mainly, Haruhi is struggling to find true happiness, and is failing in doing so, mostly because of her own actions, some of which are even out of her control. To me, Haruhi is suffering and struggling enough for me not to label her a Sue.
I don't think that Haruhi is lacking true happiness. She usually is having a blast. Her happy moments to sad moments ratio is probably better than it is for your average person.

When I first watched the Haruhi anime, I remember saying "Um... just where's the 'melancholy', exactly?"

Haruhi is lacking a source of deeper true contentment that can settle her down a bit, but she's not lacking happiness, per se.

Haruhi is very close to being a Mary Sue, if she isn't one.
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Old 2009-10-29, 02:14   Link #313
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Originally Posted by Kaisos Erranon View Post
While Tsuruya qualifies in some ways, she has absolutely no plot relevance and, although she steals every scene she's in, she never seems to be intrusive. One of the traits of a Mary Sue is that they steal plot relevance from everyone else. Tsuruya is not a Mary Sue.

...And one of the other traits of a Mary Sue is that they are flawless. Kyon? Flawless?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

The only thing really Sue-like about him is that he's clearly an avatar for Tanigawa, except less self-deprecating. And that alone doesn't make him a Sue...

You want a Mary Sue? Check out post-Disappearance Nagato.

Hijacks the plot? Oh yes. Entirely too much.
Flawless? Aside from her emo fallout... pretty much, yeah.
Beloved by everyone? Haruhi should not be this overly protective of anyone. WHERE did that come from?
Poorly-written and developed? Given that her only point seems to be to serve Tanigawa's Nagato-fetish, she's already really finished her development at that point, and she really doesn't DO anything other than serve as the center of Kyon's attention up until Vol. 7... yeah.

Nagato after her own development novel is one of the biggest Mary Sues I've ever seen, and that's why I don't like her at all.
But Nagato's awsome.

She can get away with it.
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Old 2009-10-29, 04:44   Link #314
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I'm not really sure it's fair to label Tsuruya as a Mary Sue, as she doesn't get enough screen time for us to find out any character flaws she might have. Maybe she is, but I'm not terribly convinced myself.

Oh and Triple_R? You wrong that Haruhi only sucks at one thing. Haruhi sucks at TWO things: Directing movies (even though the movie was apparently still a success), and playing strategy games. Seriously, she was a TERRIBLE player in the Day of Sagittarious storyline, and this was outlined a lot better in the book than it was in the anime as Kyon actually went into very specific detail as to why she was such a bad player.
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Old 2009-10-29, 08:46   Link #315
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I'm not really sure it's fair to label Tsuruya as a Mary Sue, as she doesn't get enough screen time for us to find out any character flaws she might have. Maybe she is, but I'm not terribly convinced myself.

Oh and Triple_R? You wrong that Haruhi only sucks at one thing. Haruhi sucks at TWO things: Directing movies (even though the movie was apparently still a success), and playing strategy games. Seriously, she was a TERRIBLE player in the Day of Sagittarious storyline, and this was outlined a lot better in the book than it was in the anime as Kyon actually went into very specific detail as to why she was such a bad player.
Thanks for the info... aside from Sighs and a bit of Melancholy, I haven't read the novel portions that already have animated material out for them (I found the novel material that I read so identical to the anime versions that, frankly, I didn't see the point in reading it; KyoAni are indeed very faithful with their adaptations).

I will say that Haruhi certainly didn't come across as very good at military strategy and tactics in Day of Sagittarius. That is a weakness of her's that I had forgotten, yeah.

Spoiler for Slight source material spoiler:
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Old 2009-10-29, 08:47   Link #316
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Nagato is Nagato.

I like to think of it as Nagato just happening to fit into the Mary Sue trope, rather than being made to be a Mary Sue from the get-go.

That said, she's still one of my favourite characters in fiction, and I would like to think that I have sampled a wider variety of fiction than most people my age. And no, my fiction does not include the likes of Twilight and Harry Potter.

Quote:
And if a character has realistic human flaws, I cannot consider them a Mary Sue.
In the first place, Nagato isn't human. And I think it would be a million times worse if an author purposely gave a character human flaws just so he/she will not be a Mary Sue.
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Old 2009-10-29, 08:55   Link #317
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Nagato is Nagato.

I like to think of it as Nagato just happening to fit into the Mary Sue trope, rather than being made to be a Mary Sue from the get-go.

That said, she's still one of my favourite characters in fiction, and I would like to think that I have sampled a wider variety of fiction than most people my age. And no, my fiction does not include the likes of Twilight and Harry Potter.



In the first place, Nagato isn't human. And I think it would be a million times worse if an author purposely gave a character human flaws just so he/she will not be a Mary Sue.
"Human flaws" may not be the right term for it. "Weaknesses", or "limitations", is perhaps more accurate, as it pertains to non-human characters.

Because of who and what she is, it makes sense for Nagato to be perfectly efficient. That is, to say, for her to not make any mistakes of the 2 + 2 = 5, variety.

But also because of who and what she is, it might be wise for her to have certain limitations. And she does in fact have at least one: socializing. She does have friends who like her, which is good, but she doesn't always express herself easily.

Basically, she's perfect at what she does, but she's not perfect at everything (because many things lie outside of the boundaries of her mission). This, imo, is why Yuki Nagato is not a Mary Sue.

Although, in fairness, I can see why Kaisos considers her one post-Disappearance.
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Old 2009-10-29, 09:00   Link #318
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"Human flaws" may not be the right term for it. "Weaknesses", or "limitations", is perhaps more accurate, as it pertains to non-human characters.

Because of who and what she is, it makes sense for Nagato to be perfectly efficient. That is, to say, for her to not make any mistakes of the 2 + 2 = 5, variety.

But also because of who and what she is, it might be wise for her to have certain limitations. And she does in fact have at least one: socializing. She does have friends who like her, which is good, but she doesn't always express herself easily.

Basically, she's perfect at what she does, but she's not perfect at everything (because many things lie outside of the boundaries of her mission). This, imo, is why Yuki Nagato is not a Mary Sue.

Although, in fairness, I can see why Kaisos considers her one post-Disappearance.
To be fair, maybe I should read some of the later books. I have been holding off reading them since I prefer to watch the animated form, but judging by how long it's taken Kyoto to animate them... I might end up watching it with my grandchildren
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Old 2009-10-29, 09:12   Link #319
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To be fair, maybe I should read some of the later books. I have been holding off reading them since I prefer to watch the animated form, etc...
I agree. While I've been critical of many of the gimmicks and games that KyoAni likes to play with this franchise, there's no question that when they actually get serious and simply try to do the best job possible in adapting the source material, they're fantastic at it. I genuinely consider animated Sigh superior to the novel source material (an incredible accomplishment), and I've read that many people feel the same way about Day of Sagittarius.

This is precisely why I was hesitant, until recently, to read further into the source material. However...


Quote:

but judging by how long it's taken Kyoto to animate them... I might end up watching it with my grandchildren
Yyyeah... this is a lot of my thinking too. I'm thinking that it'll probably be 2011 at the earliest before we get anything post-Disappearance, so might as well read it now rather than waiting two years or more for it. By the time it is animated, I might have forgotten a lot of what I read anyway.

So, I would recommend reading further into the novels, when you get the time to do so.
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Old 2009-10-29, 09:18   Link #320
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
"Human flaws" may not be the right term for it. "Weaknesses", or "limitations", is perhaps more accurate, as it pertains to non-human characters.

Because of who and what she is, it makes sense for Nagato to be perfectly efficient. That is, to say, for her to not make any mistakes of the 2 + 2 = 5, variety.

But also because of who and what she is, it might be wise for her to have certain limitations. And she does in fact have at least one: socializing. She does have friends who like her, which is good, but she doesn't always express herself easily.

Basically, she's perfect at what she does, but she's not perfect at everything (because many things lie outside of the boundaries of her mission). This, imo, is why Yuki Nagato is not a Mary Sue.

Although, in fairness, I can see why Kaisos considers her one post-Disappearance.
I agree with everything here, including that last line.

Trying to explain more the "Nagato sucks at socializing", she pratically only express herself to Kyon, having to have someone to talks for her in any other situation (kyon most of time, Haruhi at Vol.8). And she don't do it right even to Kyon, he has to guess pretty much everytime. s
Spoiler for "Vol.7:

Another exemple, less spoilerifc, was in Day of Sagitarious, when she wouldn't say she did, indeed, wanted to the Computer Club if Kyon haven't asked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisofrime View Post
To be fair, maybe I should read some of the later books.
Yes, you should. OR, maybe, you should wai for one more year, for the Disappearance. The adaption is really very good, so you don't lost that much don't reading. (but lost a bit)
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