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Old 2010-03-27, 09:38   Link #21
justsomeguy
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Originally Posted by Sheba View Post
That's quite a poor question. It's like asking someone to choose between shit or vomit. That someone would rather not have to be confronted to that choice.
That's not quite true. These days, any female character who is competent in some aspect is bashed as a Mary Sue, and the alternative is weak useless females who don't do anything.
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Old 2010-03-27, 09:48   Link #22
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Originally Posted by justsomeguy View Post
That's not quite true. These days, any female character who is competent in some aspect is bashed as a Mary Sue, and the alternative is weak useless females who don't do anything.

I would say SOME. Motoko Kusanagi and Balsa were clearly not accused of being Mary Sues in their fandoms.
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Old 2010-03-27, 15:25   Link #23
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Originally Posted by justsomeguy View Post
That's not quite true. These days, any female character who is competent in some aspect is bashed as a Mary Sue, and the alternative is weak useless females who don't do anything.
I find that hard to believe. They might have a point if the character was competant in all aspects (or atleast all the aspects that matter) but some? And only competant?

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Originally Posted by Sheba View Post
I would say SOME. Motoko Kusanagi and Balsa were clearly not accused of being Mary Sues in their fandoms.
Balsa likely wasn't accused of a Mary Sue due to her extremely human nature. Just my guess.
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Old 2010-03-27, 15:34   Link #24
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Originally Posted by Haak View Post



Balsa likely wasn't accused of a Mary Sue due to her extremely human nature. Just my guess.
This is it.

Going by the quoted post, I would have heard accusation of Mary Sue-ism because she is, you know, competent. Hence I don't buy this alarmism.
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Old 2010-03-28, 01:25   Link #25
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Well, being a Mary Sue DOES also depend on the context of your story. For instance, one of my characters, if just by going by this test, is a MAJOR Mary Sue (over 50 points - holy shit), but when I asked one of my friends about my character design outline, she said she didn't see any problem with it. Then again, my character WAS a demigod.... but that's beside the point.

I think a character can be strong, smart, competent and, yes, good looking, without being a Mary Sue. As long as a character has believable weaknesses that aren't Weaksauce Weaknesses to counteract any abilities that might seem overpowered, they shouldn't be classified as Mary Sue.
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Old 2010-03-28, 03:36   Link #26
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It indeed depends a lot on your setting as well. If you character for example was created for the Ah my Goddess universe, then being a demigod would actually make her weaker than the majority of the cast. But the tests doesn't take those kinds of situations into account.

Best thing of all is making a Touhou OC. Those will probably spike off the charts by virtue of powerlevel alone, yet are completely regular characters in the setting.
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Old 2010-03-28, 04:08   Link #27
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Agreed on the Touhou one... People like Remilia, Yuyuko and Yukari are already capable of laying waste to whole cities, and then there's the poverty-stricken miko who beat all of them.

Oh, and an OC character I thought up? 76 pts, yet he's hardly that strong compared to the others.
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Old 2010-03-28, 16:57   Link #28
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I still need to run my half-tengu through the test. Wonder how high she'll score.
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Old 2010-03-28, 17:01   Link #29
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Agreed on the Touhou one... People like Remilia, Yuyuko and Yukari are already capable of laying waste to whole cities, and then there's the poverty-stricken miko who beat all of them.

Oh, and an OC character I thought up? 76 pts, yet he's hardly that strong compared to the others.
I don't really think those characters are complete enough without doujins to really put them up to the test. The story is mostly an afterthought in the Touhou games after all.
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Old 2010-03-28, 17:14   Link #30
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In terms of powerlevel alone these already spike through the roof. Once you throw Perfect Memento and Bohemian Archive into the mix... I'll give it a shot tomorrow.
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Old 2013-09-05, 23:01   Link #31
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I'm gonna bump up this topic, because this has been tossed around so much to just deride characters you don't like, as was brought up previously. But I also found this interesting link: http://adventuresofcomicbookgirl.tum...cept-of-sue-is

In it, it suggests that the concept itself is a bit sexist, because if a female character is to be competent and successful, that it automatically must be questioned as opposed to a very competent male character that doesn't get questioned as much. And certainly I get those Sue accusations tossed at characters I like a lot. So it really comes to ask, are idealized characters inherently bad?

To quote:

Quote:
Let’s look at what kinds of Mary Sues people will point to. People will claim a female character is a Mary Sue if she is a love interest. Put a female character within a foot of a male character, and people will scream “Mary Sue!” Why does someone falling in love with her make her a Mary Sue? Well, she hasn’t “earned” this awesome dude character’s love. What has she done to show she’s worthy of him? Fans miss the irony that this line of logic makes the male character seem more like the Sue in Question, as he’s apparently so perfect one has work for his coveted love and praise.

The idea that woman has to “earn” any power, praise, love, or plot prominence is central to Mary Sue. Men do not have to do this, they are naturally assumed to be powerful, central and loveable. That’s why it’s the first thing thrown at a female character- what has she done to be given the same consideration as a male character? Why is she suddenly usurping a male role? “Mary Sue” is the easiest way to dismiss a character. It sounds bad to say “I don’t like this female character. I don’t like that this woman is powerful. I don’t like it when the plot focuses on her. I don’t like that a character I like has affections for her.” But “Mary Sue” is a way to say these things without really saying them. It gives you legitimacy.
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Old 2013-09-06, 00:21   Link #32
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That's why I take all Mary Sue accusations in original fiction with a grain of salt.
As much as I dislike her character I'm not even totally convinced that one of the more commonly touted examples, Bella Swan, is one.
In general I think it has turned into an accusation thrown on to female characters people don't like.
I don't think the concept is that relevant to original fiction.
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Old 2013-09-06, 00:37   Link #33
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"Mary Sue" is used by vast majority when they have no actual valid argument, but want to criticize a story they simply don't like.
"Useless" is very much used in the same way. Same goes for "D.E.M".

I don't pay attention to these self-proclaimed internet connoisseurs.
So many "story telling experts" out there!
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Old 2013-09-06, 02:22   Link #34
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Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
In it, it suggests that the concept itself is a bit sexist, because if a female character is to be competent and successful, that it automatically must be questioned as opposed to a very competent male character that doesn't get questioned as much. And certainly I get those Sue accusations tossed at characters I like a lot. So it really comes to ask, are idealized characters inherently bad?
Eh, but isn't there the term "Gary Stu" for male characters? I don't really buy this notion of inherent sexism in the term.

But yes, the thing with Mary Sue is, it's a shame that the term gets a bad connotation. Aside from people throwing Sue accusation around, what I find not less regrettable is how a lot of people defending against such accuses excessively. The fact that everyone has different definitions of Sue dillutes the issue even further (though this one can't be helped, as such is the nature of contemporary terms).

Personally, I use the term Sue in a bit looser term, but I also think Sue or Sue-ish characters are fine if they're used well, or if the nature of the work allows the usage of one. As such, I guess I'm more deliberate in using and more accepting against some accusation. For example, I thought of Kirito from SAO as a Gary Stu, but that doesn't mean I hate him. I love the guy, kind of how children loves Batman or Superman.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aohige
I don't pay attention to these self-proclaimed internet connoisseurs.
So many "story telling experts" out there!
This touches on another tangetial issue to the topic. Some criticisms are fine, but remember to stay grounded, and mind manners. Too often I see discussion in the internet resort to jabs and belittling the other party (which discussions revolving around Sue usually breaks down to). Makes either side equally low in my eyes.
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Old 2013-09-06, 03:06   Link #35
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Put a female character within a foot of a male character, and people will scream “Mary Sue!” Why does someone falling in love with her make her a Mary Sue? Well, she hasn’t “earned” this awesome dude character’s love. What has she done to show she’s worthy of him? Fans miss the irony that this line of logic makes the male character seem more like the Sue in Question, as he’s apparently so perfect one has work for his coveted love and praise.

The idea that woman has to “earn” any power, praise, love, or plot prominence is central to Mary Sue. Men do not have to do this, they are naturally assumed to be powerful, central and loveable. That’s why it’s the first thing thrown at a female character- what has she done to be given the same consideration as a male character?
I can safely say that I have never, ever looked at that situation in such a way. In fact, it genuinely confuses me.

I've watched anime with bland male lead characters who attract women for little reason except for the sake of a harem or love triangle. Take Ichika from Infinite Stratos. Nothing exceptionally great about him except the fact that he has a special power that puts him on par with female fighters. But all the girls are wet for him, because, er, he's the main character I guess?

Especially the line "What has she done to show she’s worthy of him?" simply throws me off. I don't know about others, but all I could think about when watching Infinite Stratos was "What has he done to show that he's worthy of all these beautiful girls' infatuation?"

If anything, I'm more critical of male characters who are the focus of a harem than female characters, because as a man I want to identify with him, but making him some guy who attracts tons of females without even trying or even being downright abusive often alienates me from his character. Ironic how the concept of a Mary Sue (or Gary Stu) is supposed to help me insert myself into a male character, but it usually does the exact opposite for me.

It's not just extremely bad harems like Infinite Stratos or Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga nai that do this. Many anime that I have found to be mediocre, good or great tend to follow this annoying trend where potential love interests are forced into the picture where only one or two would have sufficed. Examples include Kamisama Dolls, Astarotte no Omocha, and Kore wa Zombie Desu ka.

I believe the author of that article is writing from an extremely culturally limited view, particularly a western one brainwashed by radical feminist culture. I'm sure there are lots of people who don't view a female character falling for a male character in the way she accuses.
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Old 2013-09-06, 03:22   Link #36
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Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
Eh, but isn't there the term "Gary Stu" for male characters? I don't really buy this notion of inherent sexism in the term.

But yes, the thing with Mary Sue is, it's a shame that the term gets a bad connotation. Aside from people throwing Sue accusation around, what I find not less regrettable is how a lot of people defending against such accuses excessively. The fact that everyone has different definitions of Sue dillutes the issue even further (though this one can't be helped, as such is the nature of contemporary terms).
I guess the what they were trying to get at is that a "gary stu" character tends to get accepted more. You'll fine them labeled as "alpha males" or badasses that always beat the bad guy and get all them women and stuff. And then again, me personally, I usually like characters like that, except maybe like Superman. I love characters like Akagi. They do serve as some kind of wish fulfillment, which I see nothing wrong with. But I guess it's harder to have such a female character be wish fulfillment, at least as a self insert? I don't know.

Quote:
Personally, I use the term Sue in a bit looser term, but I also think Sue or Sue-ish characters are fine if they're used well, or if the nature of the work allows the usage of one. As such, I guess I'm more deliberate in using and more accepting against some accusation. For example, I thought of Kirito from SAO as a Gary Stu, but that doesn't mean I hate him. I love the guy, kind of how children loves Batman or Superman.
I don't really see him as such. It's more of a problem with the story being lame and having simplistic solutions and explanations for everything.
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Old 2013-09-06, 03:25   Link #37
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I still think that the term in the first place makes way more sense when you think of it in the context of fan fiction -- when a fan creates their own character to insert into an existing universe, and said character is so overpowered/perfect that they would overshadow all the established characters. That's who the original "Mary Sue" was, and I think that explanation is the easiest to grasp.

It's harder to apply this to the protagonists in the original work because, by their very nature, stories tend to focus on the heroes, and the heroes tend to be more important and influential than other characters (and that's why the story is focused on them). The way you counter that in original works is, of course, showing that they're human too and they do have flaws, and that their flaws do have consequences. And actually, many of the popular examples people like to point to do have flaws that have consequences in the story... but some people just don't feel they're flawed enough to be believable as characters, and seem too perfect to be true -- but obviously, this is somewhat subjective.

I don't usually apply this sort of "Gary Stu" label to harem protagonists because they are usually deeply flawed, even pitiable characters whose only redeeming traits tend to be their kindness, and their ability to -- by necessity of the genre -- attract a bevy of potential mates. And, further, as much as the audience is supposed to envy the situations they may get themselves into, I don't think they're fundamentally supposed to see themselves as him. (Perhaps think they'd be better than him, because they'd actually make a choice?) I suppose if you think of it as the stereotypical sexist male fantasy, it isn't the harem protagonist of your shounen male harem romantic comedy that's the "Gary Stu", but the protagonist of your average "hentai" anime...

So anyway... I think it's a term that means a whole lot of different things to different people, and the quote posted regarding Mary Sues is also another perspective that some may apply to the way some people (mis)use the term. Personally, I just tend to avoid the term all together.
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Old 2013-09-06, 03:51   Link #38
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I think the ultimate problem is that wish fulfillment is viewed as something bad inherently, which is sort of bizzare because this is fiction. And the main characters need focus, otherwise they wouldn't be developed, so it's quite odd to me really.
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Old 2013-09-06, 04:01   Link #39
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I think the ultimate problem is that wish fulfillment is viewed as something bad inherently, which is sort of bizzare because this is fiction. And the main characters need focus, otherwise they wouldn't be developed, so it's quite odd to me really.
I think the problem isn't really "wish fulfilment" itself, but rather whose wish is being fulfilled and in what way. It's fundamentally no different than how people accuse a show of being "otaku-pandering" (or "fujoshi-pandering"). The insinuation is almost always "they're pandering to an audience who is less sophisticated than I am", and it's usually also based around broad stereotypes of who they think the audience is (and trying to distance themselves from said audience).

No one complains when their own wish is being fulfilled in entertainment; that's when they call it a good show.
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Old 2013-09-06, 05:14   Link #40
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This touches on another tangetial issue to the topic. Some criticisms are fine, but remember to stay grounded, and mind manners. Too often I see discussion in the internet resort to jabs and belittling the other party (which discussions revolving around Sue usually breaks down to). Makes either side equally low in my eyes.
It's far too often used as a lazy excuse rather than being used in the correct connotations. Instead of actually addressing the contextual criticism, "oh it's badly written" or "it's Mary Sue" or "It's Deus Ex machina".

It wouldn't be so bad when it's actually broken down to the actual "whys", instead of lazy inaccurate labeling.
You know exactly what I'm saying. It's like they don't really have a voice on their own, and cannot seem to express exactly what bothers them about the story.

Also, you're getting me wrong. I don't make discussions over someone claiming a character to be negatively "Mary sue", because of precisely what I said: I don't really bother to listen to them anyways. I'll read an actual constructive criticism if it peaks my interest, but less likely to be involved in discussion regardless. Really, too tired of "story experts" out there to bother.

In general I'm less critical of works because... well, if I lose interest in it, I stop reading/watching in the first place.
And at that point, I couldn't give a flying hoot.
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