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Old 2017-11-26, 07:05   Link #1
False Prophet
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Why personality has more impact than purposes?

Okay, I make myself a fool by asking this, but I still have to do it.

Why does the character's personality has a much bigger impact on the audiences rather than the purpose behind his action? Or more explicitly, why people are less tolerable of a jerkass than a villain?

Moral relativism? The charcters' actions don't impact us in real-life, so we are less concerned with his/her intents?

(Of course, I could always be confused around "intents", "tendency", "moral", etc. Feel free to call me out.)

And if you think about it, the most iconic 'villains' in history always had both an insidious purpose and an unpleasant personality.
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Old 2017-11-27, 10:34   Link #2
0cean
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It's because what's good and what's evil changes with time. Morality is transient. Not wanting to hang around jerkasses, however, is timeless.
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Old 2017-11-27, 23:33   Link #3
dragon1412
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I thinks it's more about the relationship between personality and the goal, jerkass personality have mostly petty goal, and for grand goal, they required a bit more serious personality.
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Old 2017-11-28, 07:03   Link #4
Fireminer
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I can actually relate to the question asked here after watching so many Korean and Latino drama - the antagonists always had it over their heads and treated the protagonists like trashes, while common sense dictated that they would had achieved their objectives had they just faked to be polite.

It seems to me that many moviemakers make theỉ antagonists jerkass as a shortway to say: "Here is the bad guys. Hate them." It's not unlike making the Empire officers in Star Wars wearing Nazi-like uniforms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0cean View Post
It's because what's good and what's evil changes with time. Morality is transient. Not wanting to hang around jerkasses, however, is timeless.
Isn't the definition of what is a jerkass is also a part of the moral code?

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Originally Posted by dragon1412 View Post
I thinks it's more about the relationship between personality and the goal, jerkass personality have mostly petty goal, and for grand goal, they required a bit more serious personality.
I think I agree with you, but I still don't fully understand how the scale of the goal is related to how much we like a character. Escapism?
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Old 2017-11-29, 04:02   Link #5
relentlessflame
 
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If someone is basically a "good person" doing the wrong thing, you're more likely to give them the benefit of the doubt. Even if they're doing the wrong thing, you might believe their heart is in the right place and their decisions were forced upon them or are a consequence of their circumstances. Typically people would expect that, given time, this person would see the light and come to their senses.

If someone is a "bad person" doing the wrong thing, you don't typically give them the benefit of the doubt because you have a strong negative emotional reaction to them. Even if they do something for a logical reason and arguable "good," you're more likely to assume there's some sinister motivation behind it that we're just not seeing yet.

Basically, it's hard to judge actions/motivations without judging the person performing the actions (and their visible attitude/behavior). Because we're trained to look for these sorts of common "tells" about people, viewers are less likely to second-guess their gut feelings about "evil" characters.

That being said, there are of course a lot of examples of stories where someone goes from "good" to "bad," or sometimes from "bad" to "good," as part of their character development. Being able to pull that off well, and make it believable to the audience, is tricky -- particular when you're dealing with a medium cut short for time (like a movie, or a light novel series adapted for TV anime).

I'd also add consideration for cases where an antagonist isn't actually evil but just seemingly opposed to the protagonists and their goals -- sort of like a stumbling block or hurdle. These are cases where the audience is supposed to feel conflicted because they realize on some level that the antagonist probably isn't a bad person and may have valid reasons for their actions. You see this a lot in anime with school-aged protagonists and adult "villains" that get in their way; nigh-inevitably there's a moment near the end of the story where we come to see how they were just looking out for the protagonists all along and showing "tough love" or whatever.
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Old 2017-12-01, 05:54   Link #6
0cean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
If someone is a "bad person" doing the wrong thing, you don't typically give them the benefit of the doubt because you have a strong negative emotional reaction to them.
You think so? I'd say it's really easy to like evil characters that do bad things. Like Golgo 13 who's a hitman that kills for a price. Or Alucard (Hellsing) who's a Vampire getting a thrill slaughtering people.

As long as they are charismatic it doesn't matter if they're the devil in person. It's even possible to make characters likeable who's single joy in life is torturing little children. Like picking out their eyes and cutting off their tongues. For fun. (See Corpse Party)

What is impossible to pull off, however, is to make a jerkass likable. I mean, to a certain point characters that are morally perfect are revolting. Those damn goody two-shoes. What a jerkass for always doing the right thing. Hope he dies in a fire.
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Old 2017-12-01, 14:19   Link #7
IceHism
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It’s more like one’s more interesting than the other. And the jerkass isn't very interesting. Do you like Shinji in Fate or kotomine kirei for example.
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Old 2017-12-02, 01:47   Link #8
Akuma Kousaka
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Someone already answered the elaborated question, but as to the topic itself, a character with a well-defined personality but little relevance to the story is more palatable than a personality bankrupt character tied to the plot. The former has agency that can lure your interest into their own thruline, the latter is divorced from sentience to be little more than a cog in the machine

Though I was under the impression people enjoyed Kirei Kotomine partly because he's a great villain. Does anyone remember Lancer's Master from Fate/Zero? I don't
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Old 2017-12-02, 11:19   Link #9
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Because as grand and epic a person's tale may be, there's no reason to further feed their ego.
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Old 2017-12-03, 11:32   Link #10
0cean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IceHism View Post
Itís more like oneís more interesting than the other. And the jerkass isn't very interesting. Do you like Shinji in Fate or kotomine kirei for example.
Oi, oi... those two are my favorite characters in the Fate universe. Unironically.

But you need Heaven's Feel to get why Kirei is awesome and you need hollow ataraxia to get why Shinji is awesome. #WakameParadise #HaremEnding
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