Anyone else tired of main characters who are idiots?

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Anyone else tired of main characters who are idiots?

Postby Jasta85 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:41 pm

This is partly a rant but I'm also trying to figure out why this is such a popular trend. I think it started off with series like DBZ where the main character was honest, pure hearted, and generally an idiot who sticks to his ideals and friends no matter what (even when common sense says not to). Series like naruto and one piece followed this trend and it branched out.

However, in recent years I've seen a trend of main characters who are simply idiots with pretty much no redeeming characteristics what so ever, and even worse they're so shallow and have zero character development throughout the series (I almost feel that way about luffy in one piece but the fact that one piece is so tongue in cheek anyway makes it forgivable, and even everyone in the series knows he's an idiot, they just deal with it).

I think the most recent series I saw with a baka main character was Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, where the main character (the guy with golden threads coming out of his head or something, I think he was the main character anyway, never finished the series) was such a overwhelming moron I couldnt keep watching the series past ep 2. I literally wanted to throttle him for the sake of humanity's future. I think the thing that probably makes me the angriest is the fact that the idiotic main characters always end up the series's hero and get all the woman, only because they are the main character, not because of any intelligent action on their part.

I'm trying to figure out what the popular appeal of these characters are these days? Some of the most famous and successful series (Death Note, Code Geass, Hellsing, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell) have main characters who are intelligent, cunning or just plain badass. Is it just easier to write a story with an idiot as the main character or is there some subconscious appeal to it that I'm not aware of?
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Re: Anyone else tired of main characters who are idiots?

Postby Zanzaben » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:04 pm

Well I would say that there are multiple reasons for having you main character be an idiot,
1) it's is a lot easier to write the story when the main character doesn't need to have common sense.
2) Many people like to laugh at them.
3) Some people can feel better about them selves for not being that stupid.
4) It makes for an overall fun anime designed to get a laugh once a week.
5) Smart people never accidentally grope girls so less fan service.

I personally don't hate it but when a series come along like Geass or Death Not I definitely get much more into those.
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Re: Anyone else tired of main characters who are idiots?

Postby ibabrak » Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:55 am

Zanzaben wrote:I personally don't hate it but when a series come along like Geass or Death Not I definitely get much more into those.

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Re: Anyone else tired of main characters who are idiots?

Postby ZephyrStar » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:00 am

They write those spineless characters so that the average (socially awkward, foreveralone) male can imprint themselves into the position while watching the show. Mainly they do this in harem anime. And that's what sells. Irritating isn't it?
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Re: Anyone else tired of main characters who are idiots?

Postby NYCarrieW » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:30 am

Agree with ZephyrStar; anime is profit, otherwise people wouldn't make it (right forget about all that "making fans happy" - no, it's a business industry and they need to generate revenue)
Aside from that, I guess anime makers think an anime would be more popular if the protagonist is "Average"?? because it appeals to the general public? (Though I guess it has done the opposite effects)
You watch these anime for a quick laugh in a while; but I think animes like Death Note and Code Geass are definitely better than those with downright dumb characters that frustrate me so much that I want to smash them in the face. (Big fan of Code Geass - character design and plot and EVERYTHING ABOUT CODE GEASS IS JUST KICK-ASS AMAZING!!!)
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Re: Anyone else tired of main characters who are idiots?

Postby TEKnician » Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:45 pm

Renton from Eureka Seven was a HUGE idiot and was naive to almost everything important around him. SUre, he wanted to be a hero, but he was always doing it for the wrong motives and the wrong impression. Thats one reason i liked the show so much. SO much character development.
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Re: Anyone else tired of main characters who are idiots?

Postby Jasta85 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:25 pm

Character development is a big thing. There are a number of series where the main character starts off as a limp noodle but eventually grows a brain and some balls and ends up as a half way decent hero (ah my goddess is one example, although it took like 200 chapters for it to happen heh).

But then there are the series where there is zero character development and the main character is just as worthless at the end of the series than at the beginning yet somehow ended up the hero (sora no otoshimono anyone?).
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Re: Anyone else tired of main characters who are idiots?

Postby Kimberly » Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:09 pm

Yeah, and then there are some that are incredibly smart one episode, and then go back to being a total idiot again the next.
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Re: Anyone else tired of main characters who are idiots?

Postby Mkid » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:52 pm

im sick of it to an extent. I mean i still love naruto, Soul Eater, and Dragon ball z is amazing.
But i agree a little bit tired of idiots.
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Re: Anyone else tired of main characters who are idiots?

Postby dacXlee » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:18 am

I like idiotic characters if it fits a parody-like or whatever concept.
Such as Keroro Gunsou and Excel Saga.

I like the clever ones too, but not the ones who pretend to be "oh so deep and intelligent", but end up being boring and cliche. Evangelion, for example, was not so bad, but it was a little bit that way.

If you want a lot of character development, I suggest anything by Satoshi Kon, Gungrave, Ergo Proxy and Lain.

And then, how about characters that are clever, but sometimes intentionally act a bit foollish? Such as Vash the Stampede (Trigun is one of my favourite cartoons EVER) or Lupin III? I find them quite charming. But now, that requires good skills to achieve it.

Anyway.
As long as the trend is gonna last, they are gonna make those stupid characters. But then, that's only mainstream. When has the mainstrem been any better than the underground or the "less mainstream"?
Simply, follow what's less known, then you'll find a lot more interesting stuff.
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Re: Anyone else tired of main characters who are idiots?

Postby jpri » Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:55 pm

I think it sometimes makes more a more comedic show. I'm more tired of the ones that are made out to be know it alls
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Re: Anyone else tired of main characters who are idiots?

Postby Athena » Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:34 pm

Are we speaking mainly to male characters? Because I think a facet of moe is a clumsy not-the-sharpest-tool-in-the-shed main female character. In fact, clumsy female characters who then go onto do amazingly brave things is a trope throughout magical girl anime in specific, and shoujo anime in general... for at least thirty years.
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