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Old 2022-08-04, 07:11   Link #1
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How do you feel about the way things like rape, torture and slavery are justified?

One thing ive noticed is that in most anime/manga where their MC commits rape, torture, slavery, etc, the author will go to great lengths to justify it.

Its just really blatant and low effort. The usual method is to make the victims "bad guys". MC raped some girls? Well, its okay, because the girls were evil, look at the evil facial expressions they made in the previous chapter while ordering the deaths of innocent civilians!

I mean, OK, you want to have the MC do fucked up things...so have him do it? When the author starts resorting to mental gymnastics to justify their MC doing fucked up things, i just cant take it seriously anymore.

Every, single, time. The victims are always some convenient "mwahahha i am so evil!!!" person who makes the most ridiculous facial expressions. You know how Rita from Power Rangers does that ridiculous laugh? This is way worse.

Its the same thing every single time. I can even predict it coming from a mile away. MC is an evil mage that wants to take over a kingdom? Well, the MC is super good at ruling the kingdom, orders his subourdinates not to kill innocents AND the kingdom was corrupt and oppressing its citizens anyway...so the MC was actually a good guy all along!

MC enslaved a girl? Oh, but slavery in this world is actually a good thing, and the MC is a pure and innocent guy who would never abuse his slaves!

MC raped a girl? Well, she was evil and betrayed the MC, so its okay!

MC kept someone alive for years to torture them? But they were evil, so no big deal!

I just cant take a series seriously anymore when the author starts making lame excuses like this. "oh the MC did X...but its conveniently okay because of Y...".
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Old 2022-08-04, 13:32   Link #2
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Well, first off, I think your phrasing of "most anime/manga" here is a bit leading. Most anime and manga do not deal with topics like this. This kind of issue is mostly concentrated in a specific subgenre (mostly shounen power fantasy and RPG-inspired isekai). The wisest advice would be to just avoid this subgenre entirely, or at least specific works that frequently employ this particular tactic.

Besides that... it's basically just authors wanting to have their cake and eat it too. They want to deal with "dark" topics and have a protagonist that is more edgy/"evil" than the typical straightlaced Lawful Good everyman, and so the easiest way to do that is to have them do things we'd otherwise see as crimes. But, at the same time, they want people to be able to relate to them and so understand their internal rationalization, and not necessarily see them as "unredeemably evil." So it's a conundrum -- how can you have a protagonist that does "evil" but still be seen as "the good guy"? And yes, it usually comes down to rationalization -- either the world setting itself justifies otherwise unacceptable behavior, or the specific circumstances justify it somehow. Sometimes this kind of rationalization is also the otherwise-unseen hand of publishers/editors/ratings boards trying to prevent the work from going too far "over the line" (even if the rationalization is silly). (When Web Novels get officially published as Light Novels, and if they eventually get adapted into Anime, you can sometimes see this at play.)

Some of it is just clumsy writing, too. Writing a compelling evil character is often very hard. The author may want to put the reader in a position where they can see why, given the circumstance, the protagonist may do certain things that would otherwise be evil. But if the surrounding circumstances were too contrived/convenient, it lessens the impact of what could otherwise be an interesting look into a character's psyche.

If you consider a work a power fantasy for the author and the reader, having these kinds of rationalizations (even if silly) is what makes it a "safe fantasy." It reminds you that this world is not real, the circumstances are not real, and so you can imagine yourself doing an evil thing that you'd otherwise never do. Sort of like roleplay (and a lot of isekai works are inspired by RPGs). That isn't to say that all works need to be engaged in this way, but it is a way to engage in them for some.

All in all, for me personally, although I do find these kinds of rationalizations often a bit silly, it isn't necessarily enough to completely ruin a work for me as long as there are other interesting/redeeming qualities. (It depends on what the protagonist does, of course.) But everyone's different, so maybe in your case you just have no tolerance for this trope -- and, in which case, yeah, definitely avoid works that abuse it.
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Old 2022-08-04, 15:09   Link #3
stray
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I uh... think you're basically asking for ryona. Google can help on this one.
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Old 2022-08-04, 15:33   Link #4
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Personally, I've only seen certain branches of anime/manga that deal with rape and torture. And yeah, those tend to frequently be done with characters who were extremely evil, but I think you might have it backwards there: it's not that the authors are trying to justify their rape fetish; they're trying to satisfy their desire for vengeance. Vengeance against people that hurt the protagonist is a huge thing. I suspect this's in part due to the fact that many otakus, authors and readers/viewers alike, had rather rough times growing up. Bullying is a huge problem in Japan and people that aren't "normal" have a tendency to be ostracized and put down beyond anything justifiable by their own actions. This kind of pain can fester, leaving people wanting to get the better of their tormentors or take what's always been "flaunted" in front of them and denied with "undue" disgust (I use quotes as, at least in some cases, this may not be flaunted as much as people think or rejected with as much or as unjustified disgust; this's the way with the persecuted). This can lead to all sorts of problems, a despaired impression that the only way to get what one wants is to take it, that the only way to get the bullies to stop is to make them hurt, etc. Thanks to that, a fantasy of killing or torturing people that'd done horrible things to the hero and making girls into slaves until they learn to love him for who he really is can be quite appealing. Doesn't mean the fans actually think any of this is good for real or would ever consider doing it even if they had the opportunity and assurance that they wouldn't be punished, just that as an imaginary setting there can be a certain satisfaction in seeing a character "like me" hurting people "like them".

Of course, at least with slavery, there are at least some other scenarios that try to have a bit more nuance. Shield Hero, for instance (and I'm guessing from some of what you said that you might have been talking to some extent about this specifically here), didn't look to me at least like it was aiming for some sort of slavery fetish. It was again aiming to some extent at the concept of a hero who was unjustly persecuted, but the slavery was never about that. Instead, the story is looking at the issue of trust, how betrayal and abuse can break it and leave a person unable to trust anyone who has any power to act of their own free will for instance. He couldn't fight for himself, but couldn't trust anyone to stand with him without trying to literally stab him in the back, so he bought a slave and convinced himself that he was acting out of malice toward the one who made him like this. At the same time, the girl later chose to remain a slave not because she knew he wouldn't hurt her, but because she knew that even then he'd struggle to trust her without it. Heck, even when it did break the first thing he says is that she's free, in a manner that suggests he thinks she can now leave him. It wasn't done perfectly, but it wasn't just fetish fuel.

There are also some that might be called "slave in name only" or "kind of like a slave". For instance, in the strange light novel series Mixed Bathing in Another World, you have Ravers, individuals who sell off parts of their freedom for money or goods. There are strict limits to how much work they can be made to do, how long they're subject, what can and can't be asked, etc. to prevent abuses, but it does bear some similarities, especially with those that were bound to the status due to criminal activity.

As far as this side goes, I suspect it might also be due to them having different experiences with slavery than us. I don't know the details, but I remember reading for instance that after Siam abolished slavery it was noted that the institution in question had almost nothing in common with what we in the West use the term for. The amount of abuse possible within the law is very different, and the amount of freedom given to the "slaves" is even more different. Whether this is still immoral or not I don't know because I don't know the details, but at the least it would seem like a different discussion than the Western slave trade.

Heck, the East seems to have differences in racism in general. Which makes sense. Racism against black people had a lot more colonialism, with huge gaps between the technology and infrastructure of the invading Europeans and the native Africans. It was easy for Europeans to write them off as "inferior" or even "subhuman". In relations between nations in the East, all parties were fairly advanced from the start, making it harder to simply say that people from this area are inferior and making it often more an accumulation of negative relations. I've noticed for a long time that a lot of racial frictions in fantasy anime/manga has the persecuted race consist of people from another nation that'd been in conflict with the main nation in the past, resulting in lingering hatred more than anything. It's still racism, and some feelings of superiority remain for sure, but there are still differences in the dynamics.
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Old 2022-08-04, 22:57   Link #5
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Well, first off, I think your phrasing of "most anime/manga" here is a bit leading.
I phrased that badly, i meant that in most anime/manga where the MC does it, not that most anime/manga has rape and slavery.

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I uh... think you're basically asking for ryona. Google can help on this one.
Huh? Thats not what the thread is about at all.
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Old 2022-08-04, 23:09   Link #6
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Originally Posted by BWTraveller View Post
Personally, I've only seen certain branches of anime/manga that deal with rape and torture. And yeah, those tend to frequently be done with characters who were extremely evil, but I think you might have it backwards there: it's not that the authors are trying to justify their rape fetish; they're trying to satisfy their desire for vengeance. Vengeance against people that hurt the protagonist is a huge thing. I suspect this's in part due to the fact that many otakus, authors and readers/viewers alike, had rather rough times growing up. Bullying is a huge problem in Japan and people that aren't "normal" have a tendency to be ostracized and put down beyond anything justifiable by their own actions. This kind of pain can fester, leaving people wanting to get the better of their tormentors or take what's always been "flaunted" in front of them and denied with "undue" disgust (I use quotes as, at least in some cases, this may not be flaunted as much as people think or rejected with as much or as unjustified disgust; this's the way with the persecuted). This can lead to all sorts of problems, a despaired impression that the only way to get what one wants is to take it, that the only way to get the bullies to stop is to make them hurt, etc. Thanks to that, a fantasy of killing or torturing people that'd done horrible things to the hero and making girls into slaves until they learn to love him for who he really is can be quite appealing. Doesn't mean the fans actually think any of this is good for real or would ever consider doing it even if they had the opportunity and assurance that they wouldn't be punished, just that as an imaginary setting there can be a certain satisfaction in seeing a character "like me" hurting people "like them".

Of course, at least with slavery, there are at least some other scenarios that try to have a bit more nuance. Shield Hero, for instance (and I'm guessing from some of what you said that you might have been talking to some extent about this specifically here), didn't look to me at least like it was aiming for some sort of slavery fetish. It was again aiming to some extent at the concept of a hero who was unjustly persecuted, but the slavery was never about that. Instead, the story is looking at the issue of trust, how betrayal and abuse can break it and leave a person unable to trust anyone who has any power to act of their own free will for instance. He couldn't fight for himself, but couldn't trust anyone to stand with him without trying to literally stab him in the back, so he bought a slave and convinced himself that he was acting out of malice toward the one who made him like this. At the same time, the girl later chose to remain a slave not because she knew he wouldn't hurt her, but because she knew that even then he'd struggle to trust her without it. Heck, even when it did break the first thing he says is that she's free, in a manner that suggests he thinks she can now leave him. It wasn't done perfectly, but it wasn't just fetish fuel.

There are also some that might be called "slave in name only" or "kind of like a slave". For instance, in the strange light novel series Mixed Bathing in Another World, you have Ravers, individuals who sell off parts of their freedom for money or goods. There are strict limits to how much work they can be made to do, how long they're subject, what can and can't be asked, etc. to prevent abuses, but it does bear some similarities, especially with those that were bound to the status due to criminal activity.

As far as this side goes, I suspect it might also be due to them having different experiences with slavery than us. I don't know the details, but I remember reading for instance that after Siam abolished slavery it was noted that the institution in question had almost nothing in common with what we in the West use the term for. The amount of abuse possible within the law is very different, and the amount of freedom given to the "slaves" is even more different. Whether this is still immoral or not I don't know because I don't know the details, but at the least it would seem like a different discussion than the Western slave trade.

Heck, the East seems to have differences in racism in general. Which makes sense. Racism against black people had a lot more colonialism, with huge gaps between the technology and infrastructure of the invading Europeans and the native Africans. It was easy for Europeans to write them off as "inferior" or even "subhuman". In relations between nations in the East, all parties were fairly advanced from the start, making it harder to simply say that people from this area are inferior and making it often more an accumulation of negative relations. I've noticed for a long time that a lot of racial frictions in fantasy anime/manga has the persecuted race consist of people from another nation that'd been in conflict with the main nation in the past, resulting in lingering hatred more than anything. It's still racism, and some feelings of superiority remain for sure, but there are still differences in the dynamics.
I dont think its a coincidence that the MC is always justified. If the author just wanted vengeance, he could write a scenario where the MC gets revenge on soldiers who were just doing their jobs, or things like that.

But no, the soldiers werent just normal people doing their jobs, they are cartoonishingly evil villains that rape and murder, so when the MC tortures them to death, its OK.

And all these slavery series...not just shield hero...they always do the same thing. MC is a pure and innocent good guy who would never abuse his slaves and the girls always falls in love with the MC near instantly so its not REAL slavery. And slavery in this world is a good thing because of [convenient reason here] so its not like real life slavery okay?

You can practically imagine the author sitting there thinking "OK, i want slavery in my manga, and i want my MC to own slaves, but i want him to be a good guy...how do i make him look like a good guy...?".

Where are the series where the MC owns slaves, treats them as tools, where the slaves want freedom and resent the MC for treating them like property? There doesnt appear to be any, because it makes the author look bad. I dont think its just a cultural difference either, i am sure that Japan is well aware of what the common depictions of slavery are...the author just doesnt want to make his MC look bad. There ARE typical depictions of slavery where the slaves are treated as tools, abused, etc...its just that the MC is never the one who does it. Its always "bad guys" (and naturally the MC steps in to save the day).

And then you have series like Re:Monster where the author goes to great lengths to justify his MC confining and drugging people till they agree to become his sex slaves, because they were bad people so its okay.

I just think that its lame that the author wants to put X in his series but wants to make his MC look good doing it and starts coming up with all kinds of flimsy excuses to justify it.
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Old 2022-08-05, 03:55   Link #7
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I assume that the market for stories with a protagonist that is irredeemably evil and completely unsympathetic is much smaller than the one for stories with an evil protagonist you can still relate to, and probably publishers also push in this direction so they don't gain too much bad press. Same reason why in almost hentai I read where the protagonist forces himself on a girl it turns out she already loved him so in the end it was OK.
The series with the most evil protagonist I ever read is probably Maou no hajimekata where the protagonist does objectively evil things to good people too but even there the author gave him some attenuating circumstances so readers can relate to him.
Regarding slavery, in all the series I read it's either something bad that the protagonist has to fight or an excuse to collect girls and I never expect anything different when I approach a new work.
All of this works for me because I prefer stories with a protagonist that is good or at least has so,e chances of redemption, but I can see how someone looking for stories about truly evil guys may feel frustrated. Maybe it's easier to find such stories among web novels, assuming the language isn't an unsurmountable obstacle.
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Old 2022-08-05, 07:13   Link #8
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They don't need to be irredeemably evil, just ruthless. For example, a warlord that burns a village down because he's determined thats the best way to hurt the enemy. Instead of the MC burning the village down because the village was conveniently evil.

There is actually a series that does that...saga of lion coeur...i thnk this is the only one ive seen where the author doesnt try to make excuses like "oh yea those girls were evil so the MC raped them". Unfortunately, the war scenes are badly written...the MC's faction has a fortress and their army is outnumbered, but for some reason they decided to engage the invading army on an open field instead of using the fortress? That just doesnt make sense...

And I liked Maou no hajimekata until the author started making excuses like "oh the kingdom was corrupt and starving its people, the MC improved things dramatically after taking over". Like, bruh...its just way too convenient of an excuse, same with Overlord....and Overlord has turned into a giant meme where the fanbase goes nuts praising Ainz as an amazing ruler that saved the kingdom, the lizardfolk, the dwarves and who knows what else...
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Old 2022-08-05, 08:53   Link #9
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I dont think its a coincidence that the MC is always justified. If the author just wanted vengeance, he could write a scenario where the MC gets revenge on soldiers who were just doing their jobs, or things like that.

But no, the soldiers werent just normal people doing their jobs, they are cartoonishingly evil villains that rape and murder, so when the MC tortures them to death, its OK.

And all these slavery series...not just shield hero...they always do the same thing. MC is a pure and innocent good guy who would never abuse his slaves and the girls always falls in love with the MC near instantly so its not REAL slavery. And slavery in this world is a good thing because of [convenient reason here] so its not like real life slavery okay?

You can practically imagine the author sitting there thinking "OK, i want slavery in my manga, and i want my MC to own slaves, but i want him to be a good guy...how do i make him look like a good guy...?".

Where are the series where the MC owns slaves, treats them as tools, where the slaves want freedom and resent the MC for treating them like property? There doesnt appear to be any, because it makes the author look bad. I dont think its just a cultural difference either, i am sure that Japan is well aware of what the common depictions of slavery are...the author just doesnt want to make his MC look bad. There ARE typical depictions of slavery where the slaves are treated as tools, abused, etc...its just that the MC is never the one who does it. Its always "bad guys" (and naturally the MC steps in to save the day).

And then you have series like Re:Monster where the author goes to great lengths to justify his MC confining and drugging people till they agree to become his sex slaves, because they were bad people so its okay.

I just think that its lame that the author wants to put X in his series but wants to make his MC look good doing it and starts coming up with all kinds of flimsy excuses to justify it.
Either you're missing my point or we're talking about different stories, again pointing to Flame's statement about "most" anime/manga. But again, I think to some extent the point isn't always justification but rather getting a satisfying vengeance. Imagine you're a guy who grew up bullied and ostracized. Everyone takes advantage of you and persecutes you while laughing. People you thought friends gleefully betray you with smiles on their faces. You simply try to be friends with a girl and she treats you like a creep while treating a guy who doesn't even hide his predatory desire like prince charming, and the other girls sneer at you for thinking someone like you had any business talking to someone like her. What do you think would be more satisfying, a story where the "hero" beats and tortures some guys who unfortunately ended up hurting him in the process of doing their jobs, or a story where a guy turns a girl who ruined his life with false accusations into his personal slave? There's a sadly big audience for stories about wronged people getting vengeance on those that hurt them, and at least in my experience, more series seem to be about giving people exactly what they want, vengeance on the villains who laugh about their mistreatments, than about making it "OK" to torture a cute girl.

That's not to say there aren't plenty of the other kind. There's the slave harem series currently airing, which indeed just treats slavery as something that people are happy to be in, or Skill Taker, where the first girl the hero meets is a free waitress but within a chapter or two comes up to him with a happy blush as she asks to be made his slave. This is indeed just indulging a fetish, and there's nothing more to it than that. There are markets for weird fetishes, and so you're going to find stories that aim at them. There are even stories where the "hero" has to break his slaves in, gradually forcing them to accept his position as their master and learn to love him.

But as Lex79 indicated, there's just not as much of a market for the sort of thing you're asking for. There's a market for slave fetishes. Heck, there's even a market for people who want to be slaves. There's a famous old isekai where a guy is summoned as a girl's slave and at the start she treats him like dirt, demeaning him at every turn, only showing what concern is "appropriate" for a "master", beating him for the slightest mistake, and the story is to a large extent about him showing her the error of her ways, becoming so impressive that she can't help but respect and eventually love him, and as the seasons progress the scale and nature of her abuses shift. But again, this sets the main character as the boy made a slave. Heck, there are even stories where from an outsider's point of view the hero's actions are clearly evil, but it's treated as cool and the morality is handwaved.

What you're asking for would make it extremely difficult to make a hero that people would want to see, and frankly makes the slavery and torture at best incidental, a pragmatic act to achieve a different goal. And even then, if the main character is treated as the "good guy" then that pragmatic goal is treated as justification, and there really isn't as much of a market for watching the legitimately unsympathetic "bad guy".
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Old 2022-08-05, 10:52   Link #10
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Huh? Thats not what the thread is about at all.
Ryona is probably the only genre where you're really going to find the representations of rape and torture that you seem to be looking for though. In most circumstances partaking of either of the two would make the protagonist irredeemable for a majority of the audience. There's some eroge that could probably be a better bet as well, because you're generally not going to find anyone remotely comparable to a protagonist like Rance in an isekai intended for a wider audience. There's stuff like Redo I guess but that's series is also kind of a shitpost and more of a revenge story than anything.

As far as slavery goes for me it sort of depends how its presented in the story especially since slavery wasn't all that common in the medieval European setting most isekai take place in. Shield Hero does okay with it as does Isekai Meikyuu de Harem wo but then Realist Hero was pretty tone deaf and a lot of other isekai just don't know how to approach it. Its better when its just sort of there as an element of the story, I think.

I'm sort of curious but what is your take on stuff like Sexual Assault Online where Reki introduces basically every villain with an attempted rape scene?
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Old 2022-08-05, 16:52   Link #11
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Ryona is probably the only genre where you're really going to find the representations of rape and torture that you seem to be looking for though.
Well, not to speak for them, but I didn't interpret it as though they were actually really looking for shows where the protagonist did these kinds of things without the attempt at rationalization... but just saying that they find it silly that shows introduce these kinds of elements in the first place only to rationalize it away with flimsy/convenient logic to make it seem "not so bad."


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I'm sort of curious but what is your take on stuff like Sexual Assault Online where Reki introduces basically every villain with an attempted rape scene?
A point about this is that even the author himself has apologized for this, recognizing that it was a sign of their immaturity as a writer at the time. And I think fundamentally, as I suggested before, that is probably an issue a lot of the time with works like this. A lot of these stories were written by true amateur writers (basically original fanfic posted online) that only later got popular and then published, and SAO was definitely in that category (along with things like Shield Hero also discussed in this thread).

I think the broader point is that, if you're going to deal with difficult topics like this and do it well, you need to do your research and be very careful in how you do it. It takes very skilled work. And, for SAO for instance, I think it's clear that amateur Reki was not very skilled at writing compelling villains, and so often fell back on the rape trope. In a way, Progressive is a sort of attempt to rectify some of the weaknesses in his old writing and show that he's grown a bit as an author since his amateur fanfic days.

But here too, I think a work can have its clumsy/poorly-written aspects but otherwise still be interesting on the whole, and that's really why SAO worked for a lot of people, even if the over-abuse of the rape trope and poorly-written villains was a common complaint (even among fans) at the time.
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Old 2022-08-06, 07:58   Link #12
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Well, not to speak for them, but I didn't interpret it as though they were actually really looking for shows where the protagonist did these kinds of things without the attempt at rationalization... but just saying that they find it silly that shows introduce these kinds of elements in the first place only to rationalize it away with flimsy/convenient logic to make it seem "not so bad."
I'm probably too cultured when it comes down to it, my avatar was from Dohna Dohna for 6 months and I was contemplating a switch to Holy Knight Ricca soon. And isekai is usually just popcorn watching for me so unless its particularly tone deaf I let a lot slide.
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A point about this is that even the author himself has apologized for this, recognizing that it was a sign of their immaturity as a writer at the time. And I think fundamentally, as I suggested before, that is probably an issue a lot of the time with works like this. A lot of these stories were written by true amateur writers (basically original fanfic posted online) that only later got popular and then published, and SAO was definitely in that category (along with things like Shield Hero also discussed in this thread).
To a point I can agree with that but even experienced authors are mostly writing to tropes and when things like the slave harem have become sort of cliche it massacres what nuance is left. Also, the tone can vary wildly depending on when an isekai started publishing which becomes a bit more noticeable when fairly early isekai get adapted late (Jobless Reincarnation or Isekai Meikyuu de Harem wo for example).
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Old 2022-08-06, 09:08   Link #13
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Possibly a slightly different thing, but I myself do wish that I could see more vengeance stories that don't involve torture, slavery and rape, but rather focus on remorse. My high school and junior high life was more than bad enough that I can appreciate the feeling of wanting to get back at one's tormentors. However, I've always found it far more satisfying to see the cruel characters come back sincerely regretting their actions and wanting to apologize. For extra emphasis, could even have them invite the hero to do to them things similar to what they'd done to him, or otherwise hurt them. Seeing a bully feel like they deserve to be punished just feels way better than seeing them actually punished.
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Old 2022-08-06, 09:33   Link #14
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They don't need to be irredeemably evil, just ruthless. For example, a warlord that burns a village down because he's determined thats the best way to hurt the enemy. Instead of the MC burning the village down because the village was conveniently evil.

There is actually a series that does that...saga of lion coeur...i thnk this is the only one ive seen where the author doesnt try to make excuses like "oh yea those girls were evil so the MC raped them". Unfortunately, the war scenes are badly written...the MC's faction has a fortress and their army is outnumbered, but for some reason they decided to engage the invading army on an open field instead of using the fortress? That just doesnt make sense...

And I liked Maou no hajimekata until the author started making excuses like "oh the kingdom was corrupt and starving its people, the MC improved things dramatically after taking over". Like, bruh...its just way too convenient of an excuse, same with Overlord....and Overlord has turned into a giant meme where the fanbase goes nuts praising Ainz as an amazing ruler that saved the kingdom, the lizardfolk, the dwarves and who knows what else...
If I remember correctly Wortenia Senki also did the same. There is also Sex and dungeon where the protagonist levels up by having sex and so he brainwashes girls into loving him until
Spoiler for later developments:

Sometime protagonists do ruthless things but it's more an exception than a rule. And almost invariably the net result of their actions is positive, even if they are stated to be evil.
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Old 2022-08-06, 12:22   Link #15
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If I remember correctly Wortenia Senki also did the same. There is also Sex and dungeon where the protagonist levels up by having sex and so he brainwashes girls into loving him until
Spoiler for later developments:

Sometime protagonists do ruthless things but it's more an exception than a rule. And almost invariably the net result of their actions is positive, even if they are stated to be evil.
Think I heard somewhere that even that one doesn't deviate from this, in that the light novel eventually reveals that
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Please note that, having not read the LN, I cannot confirm or deny this.
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Old 2022-08-06, 15:01   Link #16
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I haven't read the novel yet so I have no idea if it's true...but I wouldn't be surprised if it is.
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Old 2022-08-06, 15:09   Link #17
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To a point I can agree with that but even experienced authors are mostly writing to tropes and when things like the slave harem have become sort of cliche it massacres what nuance is left. Also, the tone can vary wildly depending on when an isekai started publishing which becomes a bit more noticeable when fairly early isekai get adapted late (Jobless Reincarnation or Isekai Meikyuu de Harem wo for example).
True -- it's not like even experienced writers are immune from exploring tropes. You would like to think that maybe the more experienced writers would become a bit better at writing justifications that are not so silly/flimsy, or not just constantly reusing the same trope over and over rather than showing more depth/variety... but sometimes stories can be good (or at least popular) despite some seemingly glaring "flaws."

And yes, the point about the age of the work is definitely valid too. A lot of these kinds of works are both inspired by something and also wanting to be different than what's out there in some way, so as certain clichés become "played out," they tend to develop in different ways. The tropes and the way they play out can certainly date the work.
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Old 2022-08-07, 00:37   Link #18
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I dont have a problem with slavery, rape and torture (as morally reprehensible those are) when they are shown in manner showing that this is the kind of thing that happens since the dawn of humanity. My problem is when they are used in an exploitative manner, like why I eventually tuned out of show like Redo of Healer. In the case of Shield Hero, its problems lies not in slavery but somewhere else (its own writing, especially the uneven treatment of the other heroes, who should be more nuanced).

I have seen grognards praising the early 1990s oavs era as some kind of Golden Age of animation, because of what? Violence and erotica? I counter argue that those oav are mostly forgotten for a good reason: they are not as groundbreaking as grognards think those are.

Works featuring those tropes that stood the test of time offered much more than that. Berserk and Akira are more fondly remembered than Wicked City (as much as I adore Yoshiaki Kawajiri) because there were a purpose and a message behind them.
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Last edited by Sheba; 2022-08-07 at 00:47.
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Old 2022-08-09, 01:52   Link #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stray View Post
Ryona is probably the only genre where you're really going to find the representations of rape and torture that you seem to be looking for though. In most circumstances partaking of either of the two would make the protagonist irredeemable for a majority of the audience. There's some eroge that could probably be a better bet as well, because you're generally not going to find anyone remotely comparable to a protagonist like Rance in an isekai intended for a wider audience. There's stuff like Redo I guess but that's series is also kind of a shitpost and more of a revenge story than anything.

As far as slavery goes for me it sort of depends how its presented in the story especially since slavery wasn't all that common in the medieval European setting most isekai take place in. Shield Hero does okay with it as does Isekai Meikyuu de Harem wo but then Realist Hero was pretty tone deaf and a lot of other isekai just don't know how to approach it. Its better when its just sort of there as an element of the story, I think.

I'm sort of curious but what is your take on stuff like Sexual Assault Online where Reki introduces basically every villain with an attempted rape scene?
Again, i am not looking for recommendations with rape, slavery, etc.

The thread is to discuss why authors who have their MC do these things almost always go out of their way to justify it with cheap copouts like "the girls were evil, so there was nothing wrong with the MC raping them" and "the kingdom was oppressive, so the MC actually improved things by killing the king and taking over".
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Old 2022-08-09, 10:56   Link #20
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As I said, a very large portion has to be recognized as not "justification" but actually a crucial point. There's a huge market for indulgence of the oppressed victim's fantasy of oppressing their oppressor. The fantasy doesn't work if the enslaved/raped/tortured party isn't an oppressor or traitor; the audience isn't looking for an excuse to hurt a character, they're looking for a character that they would enjoy hurting.

It's like justifying the creation of a frozen dairy product by making it sweet and chocolate instead of some other flavor. It's not that the little kid you're serving wants an excuse to eat ice cream, it's that the kid wants to eat CHOCOLATE ice cream. The sweetness and flavor is what makes the frozen milk worth eating, not what makes people think it's okay to eat.
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