Does whatever a spider can! Let's discuss Spider-Man: Homecoming!


January 31, 2014

Let's discuss Binbougami Ga!.

Weird punctuation in the title.  This is gonna be a good post.

Anyway, have you heard about that game J-Stars Victory Vs.?  I’m guessing that if you’re reading this blog, you have a faint idea of what that is; for the uninitiated, here’s a primer.  Characters from the much-adored/ballyhooed Shonen Jump, a premiere Japanese comic collection, come together to fight it out in 3D arenas via 3-on-3 tag battles.  So you can have famous heavy hitters like Goku, Naruto, and Luffy on one side going up against new blood and/or old friends like Joseph Joestar, Medaka, and Kenshin.  I’m hoping that the game makes it over to the U.S. -- and, you know, is good -- because with the semi-recent announcement that MAH BOI Tsuna is in the game, my body is slowly but surely becoming ready.

But you know who I really want in the game?  Ichiko from Binbougami Ga!.  It makes perfect sense; people have complained that there’s a dearth of female characters in the game, so she could fill it easily.  She’s got more than enough inspiration for some special moves, so she could translate into the combat space pretty easily.  She’s got MORE than enough personality, so her moves could either be ridiculously over-the-top, or outright comedic (think Faust from Guilty Gear).  Or if nothing else, putting her in the game would certainly put a smile on my face.

Why?  Probably because for one reason or another, I really friggin’ like her anime of origin.  And by extension, probably because I think she’s one of the best Jump characters to pop up in a while -- because there's a lot any given writer can learn from her.


Here’s the setup.  Ichiko Sakura has it all: beauty, brains, athleticism, popularity, all that and more.  And it’s given her a head the size of Jupiter; brash, cocky, and selfish, she spends her days being fawned over by boys, hated by girls, and just loving being her (which is to say, a bitch).  But all that changes one day when she finds a misfortune god hanging in front of her -- as in literally hanging, by a noose.  Said god is the slovenly Momiji, who’s come with a mission in mind.  See, the reason for everything good that’s happened in Ichiko’s life is her absurd amount of fortune energy; she’s creating an imbalance in the world at large, sapping the good fortune of everyone around her just so she can profit.  Momiji wants to steal that energy and restore balance to The Force the world’s fortune energy, but doing so would ensure Ichiko’s life turns to crap.  Naturally, Ichiko ain’t havin’ that -- and so ensues what could easily be called a series of Looney Tunes shorts with about three times more breast jokes. 

I should probably back up and give a bit of context.  If you’ve been reading the stuff on this site for long, you may remember that I ended up naming Devil Survivor 2: The Animation as easily the worst anime I’d seen in 2013.  That still holds true, with one extra qualifier: DeSu2A is probably the worst anime I’ve ever seen, period.  Granted that’s because of some slim pickings these days, as I’m notoriously bad at finishing anime despite easy avenues like Crunchyroll and Funimation’s website.  So if DeSu2A is the worst anime I’ve ever seen -- or if not that, then at least the worst I remember seeing -- then what do I consider the best I’ve seen semi-recently?

Well, that honor would have to go to Attack on Titan.  EASILY.
  

But that's a topic for another day.  Besides, Binbougami Ga! is pretty good, too.

I’ve had this discussion with my brother in the past, but he’s of the opinion that anime isn’t funny.  Far be it from me to agree with a guy who thinks that an anime without screaming angry dudes or an excess of punching is worth anything, but just this once I have to agree.  Not completely, because there are times when an anime or manga has made me laugh.  (And just looking at clips of the Persona 4 anime -- dubbed or not -- has shown that they can indeed be funny.)  But in the grand scheme of things, there’s never been anything that made me fall out of my chair, or nearly choke myself in the way that other things have.  Maybe it’s just a cultural thing, even though I’m wary of playing that card.  Maybe they’re just not to my tastes.

That’s not a concern with this anime.  I won’t say that every joke is perfect, or that even the best jokes will have you laughing out loud, but I will say this: this is an anime that deserves its comedy tag.  It’s legitimately entertaining for all the right reasons -- the nexus of them being that it has a nice little toolset built for itself, and goes about using them.  Want over-the-top characters?  How about a god that turns into a Chihuahua when he gets to indulge in his S&M fantasies, or a banchou-style karate girl who gets explosive nosebleeds after awakening to the male persuasion?  Want extreme situations?  How about Ichiko summoning cute versions of the 12 Eastern Zodiac animals to do battle, or a tennis match where Momiji does her best Luffy impression?  Not to mention this is a thing that happens:


There’s a lot to like about Binbougami Ga! (or Good Luck Girl, if you prefer…even though I think the English title is a significant step down).  The characters are all distinct, and exploding with color in terms of both their design and their personalities.  The whole series comes to life thanks to the dialogue and interplay between these OTT personas, as it should.  Dubbed or subbed, the delivery of these lines is destined to put a smile on your face.  It really does play like Japanese Looney Tunes, if only because the rivalry/friendship between Ichiko and Momiji is freakishly reminiscent of Bugs and Daffy’s clashes.  There’s slapstick, there’s randomness, there’s banter, there’s sight gags aplenty…you know what?  Honestly, this is the show that Family Guy wishes it was.

I’m serious.  I don’t want to invoke (or dwell upon) the specter of a show that’s dead to me, but BG has the advantage in more ways than one.  It starts with the characters, as it should, but it’s structurally sound.  That is, in spite of the madcap action that’s bound to occur from one episode to the next -- pr even one scene to the next -- the thing that supports BG is an underlying understanding of how to build upon itself and its ideas.  A layered approach.  Simply put?  It has FOCUS.  Whether it’s from episode-to-episode, scene-to-scene, or just the show in general, there’s a road map the writers are more than willing to follow.  Granted that’s because the anime could cheat and follow the manga’s plan, but that only retroactively proves how airtight the manga is.  Not to mention that the art is there in its purest form -- seriously, go run a Google search and see what you find.  I’ll wait.


…Did you see Ichiko’s face when she found that poop?  That’s hilarious!

But back on topic.  I’ll admit that there’s more than one way to do comedy, and I’ll accept that you don’t necessarily have to have ironclad “focus” in order to make something funny.  I think it certainly helps, though; it’s possible that people will probably remember and derive their entertainment from single gags instead, but without something cohesive to form around, the jokes are ultimately unsustainable.  Imagine corn on the cob; those individual kernels might taste good on their own, but without something to stick to, they just make a mess, get all over the place, and violate the three-second rule.  

More importantly, if you can digest those kernels in big chunks, then you can enjoy them as a cohesive unit -- a bigger flavor, as opposed to a tiny taste here and there.  With that food analogy in mind (thereby establishing my mastery of the craft), it’s important to note that BG actually has an overarching plot.  It’s a shortened version, given that the anime in its current form only has 13 episodes and the manga’s got 15 volumes, but it still manages to squeeze in a character arc for Ichiko and the people around her.  And in terms of the actual story, there’s some simple, yet genuine and much-appreciated progression.


Ichiko’s extreme fortune energy is established early on -- i.e. in the first episode -- as a heaven-or-hell sort of superpower.  On one hand, using or releasing it in a massive burst can create miracles; she can make plants grow and cure diseases, and her good luck lets her save people from otherwise lethal situations.  On the other hand, her good luck is only there because she’s sucking it from others uncontrollably, meaning the people around her will have bad luck.  Setting aside the fact that she's (rightfully) hated by plenty, her trait means that her butler very nearly dies in front of her eyes.  

That’s some heavy stuff, and you’d think that it’s got no place in a story with its (plot-relevant!) take on the Over 9000 meme.  But somehow, it works.  Why?  Because it was a part of the plan. Because the show is a comedy, but it knows how to weave in elements of drama and genuine emotion.  Because it understands that you can’t have highs without lows, and vice versa.  Why BG gets it and countless other video games, movies, and more don’t is truly a greater mystery than the exact nature of the Nazca Lines. 


Now, am I saying that BG’s swerves into Drama Lane work every time?  No, of course not.  At times the show delivers its more emotional moments with the force of a bulldozer with jet thrusters; subtlety is not its forte, so be prepared for more than a few tears if you give it a go.  Those swerves can be more than a little jarring at times, without question, and it’s important to remember that when all’s said and done, the road leads to a message about friendship, kindness and the like -- probably a turnoff for more than a few people.  But for what it’s worth, in general the show’s got some good flow.  Its elements come together well, managing to both be about something (however simple and well-worn) and be funny visually, audibly, and thoughtfully.  All told, it’s a good show.  No masterpiece, but hey, I’d watch it again.

That all said, I wouldn’t be talking about this series -- long since passed, with no word of a second season yet -- if I didn’t think there was something important to say, let alone give it a place in the illustrious Let’s Discuss archives.  But there is.  As ill-advised as it might be for me to discuss the place and nature of female characters in fiction (again), I think that BG might be on to something.  Admittedly that might just be because we’re all starved for the increasingly-mythical “strong female character” to the point where we’ll take what we can get, but I’m convinced that BG deserves to be a part of the discussion, simply because it does something we can all appreciate.

Believe it or not, I think we need more Ichikos in the world of fiction.


The show’s leading lady has as many layers as she does colors (barring her unfortunately-hued gray hair -- a sting Yu Narukami knows all too well).  I’m actually having a hard time figuring out where to begin…so I suppose I’ll start with the core thread and work my way outward.  Put in the simplest terms, Ichiko is allowed to do things.  That doesn’t sound too impressive at first, but hear me out on this.  No matter what Ichiko does, she’s doing it with plenty of energy, expressiveness, and bunker-busting levels of force.  That emotional range is important to her character, and our entertainment, because you never know what kind of face she’ll end up making next.  Her jumps in character rarely, if ever, feel forced or awkward; rather, it just shows that she’s taken on a life of her own, and is free to act as natural -- and hammy -- as she sees fit.  She’s allowed to be happy, sad, afraid, angry, confused, freaked out, cocky, love-struck, and yes, bitchy.   

More importantly, she’s allowed to have a distinct role and an impact on the plot.  You’d think that’d be easy for her as the main character, but given that Beyond: Two Souls showed the world just how badly things could turn out…well, I’d say there are still lessons that need to be learned.  Thankfully, Ichiko provides; she has a character arc that shows her the error of her ways and sets her up to become a more well-adjusted person, AND that there are more important things in the world than having good fortune.  Even so, she doesn’t lose that characteristic confidence and hard edge. 


Heh heh heh.  Poop.

She gains character without losing it, allowing her to pursue new avenues in life as well as new comedic opportunities.  This a character who’ll suplex a god to save her butler in one episode, laugh at a poor classmate in another, struggle with her blooming feelings for him later on, con a karate girl, manipulate a karate girl with the promise of girly clothes and hunky boys, then fight said karate girl’s oppressive father on her behalf, and ultimately open her heart to befriend her later on, with tears streaming down her face. 

Ichiko has agency.  She’s allowed to do what she wants, for good or for ill, because it’s her story.  She’s allowed to be rough, and get roughed up.  She’s allowed to show weakness, but her strength can still rub off on others.  She may end up waltzing toward love, but that isn’t automatically a bad thing -- just a natural process, and one that’s A) in line with her character, and B) doesn’t define her character.  Ichiko at the start is different from Ichiko at the end, but whether or not her trials are laden with slapstick it’s easy to feel something for her in a way that’s intended.  The default response is to laugh at/with her, but I think she can still offer up some surprises.  Like so:  


While writing and executing a character (regardless of gender) is never exactly a cakewalk, Ichiko and BG make that shit look easy. It is absolutely absurd that in spite of the delusions of grandeur and millions of dollars thrown at a project, so many people can get it so wrong so easily.  This really is the anti-2Souls, wherein this show doesn’t need a blank-slate-at-best “heroine” -- and there aren’t quotation marks big enough for that one -- that needs to be brutalized for some blunt force trauma “character development” or to justify acting like some revelation in storytelling.  

Actually, the same could be said about Tomb Raider 2013 to some extent, in that the line between conflict and torture porn gets shattered the moment you have a character impaled if you survive a QTE, and GORED THROUGH THE HEAD if you don’t live through another.  And let us not speak of the ever-creatively named Kat of DmC, who I’m pretty sure was only there just in case someone needed some squirrel happy-juice in a can.  


It’s probably a little unfair to take shots at video games because those operate under different rules vis a vis production (thought that’s never stopped BioShock, Mass Effect, the Tales games, several Atlus games, and many more from getting it right).  Instead, I want to try taking a look at things in the lens of anime and manga -- a way to keep the scales even.  See, not too long ago a certain magical fangirl brought up Naruto in a recent comment, and brought up a legitimate point: no matter where you look, whether it’s anime, video games, or otherwise, female characters are always getting the short end of the stick.  That’s exactly right.  And despite its cranium-crunching popularity, I’d like to think that everyone with even a vague knowledge of Naruto knows that it’s got some serious, glaring, unavoidable flaws.

Yep.  We’re gonna have to go there.


If nothing else, Naruto has its share of female characters; thanks to the show’s motif, the three-man teams tend to have to guys and one girl.  The problem is giving those girls something to do, or even a presence -- and it’s that little stumbling block that almost makes me wish there weren’t any girls at all.  Sakura has it bad; I can remember a time when the story was setting her up to be the team’s brain as well as its heart -- maybe not the most physically skilled, but with more than enough mental prowess, knowledge of tools and traps, and illusionary ninja magic to compensate.  Likewise, I can remember a time where Sakura had her back against the ropes, but rose up to either push back an enemy offense, or prove herself and her mettle in a way her buddies Naruto and Sasuke couldn’t.   I thought she’d turn out to be a solid character -- completing the trio set up in the mythos time and time and time again.

It didn’t even come close to panning out.

It’s almost as if the story gave up on her before the halfway point.  I’d like to think it has something to do with the scale and spectacle of the series going way the hell off the rails; what was once a show about ninja tricks and strategy over brute force (seriously, I don’t think there’s a better moment in the entire story than Naruto’s shuriken trick against Zabuza) has now become a show where brute force, massive screw-you energy attacks, and heretofore-unexplained special abilities rule the day.  I know the series was originally supposed to be about wizards, but given that Naruto can apparently do Spirit Bombs now, I’d say the story’s gone a little off the deep end.  Because when I think "stealth and subterfuge", the first thing that comes to mind is a nuclear blast.   


So in that regard, Sakura is useless, and she became useless almost as soon as Naruto and Sauske almost simultaneously found their signature techniques.  I’ve heard that she’s supposed to represent “human weakness” in the grand scheme of things, but that just sounds like creator Masashi Kishimoto just wanted to retroactively cover his ass.  Or was the assumption that people would like seeing one of the core three characters turn into a weepy hanger-on to a pair of hunky boys, one of whom hasn’t even registered her presence since the start of the series?  Or was the idea that in order to make the other characters look good, someone had to look bad?  Even when Shippuden started and it finally looked like Sakura was back on track, she ended up slotting right back into the same position -- only WORSE, because despite training and harnessing super-strength, she was convinced she couldn’t do anything and had to step aside.  Sweetheart, if you wanted to stop Sasuke, you just had to break his arms and/or legs.

But even if Sakura was set up to be the fall girl -- even if that was okay, and not at all sketchy or outright dumb -- then what’s the excuse with everyone else?  The most Hinata’s ever done -- that I know of -- is love Naruto and almost die.  The Naruto games pretty much had to make up moves for Ino, because there was nothing to base them off of besides “she works at a flower shop”.  By the end of this sentence, I’ll have done more with Tenten than a decade of canon.  The only ones that aren’t fall guys or plot devices -- that I know of -- are Temari and Tsunade.  Two characters out of what has to be a cast at least four dozen strong is not a good percentage.  Then again, I’m convinced that Naruto would be at least eight times better if it was about Shikamaru and his team, so I’m probably not the most neutral on the subject.


Still, I don’t think I’m too far off-base here.  I know I’m not the only one who thinks of Sakura as a problem character, and I suspect I’m not the only one who’s wagged his finger at the treatment (or lack thereof) of the Naruto ladies in the canon.  It’s true that they’re there, and that’s something to be thankful for, but they’re only there to act as support in the worst possible way -- to hold up the boys’ wrestling ring that’s built atop their backs.  So when all’s said and done, I would probably not go to Naruto if you’re looking for a fair representation of female characters.

But that just makes BG all the more airtight -- and all the more baffling.

The show has no right to work as well as it does.  I’m glad it does, of course, but the fact that it’s so well-executed where others have failed defies belief.  This is a show where its lead character straddles the fine line between bitchiness and outright villainy, cares about things like looking good and taking note of the occasional hunky boy, and as the icing on the cake -- clearly proof that she’s a worthless and hate-worthy character -- she’s improbably buxom and either points it out, or the show points it out for her.  Nothing about this show should come together, especially in light of modern sensibilities and the continuing quest for a “strong female character”.


So try-hard…

But it does work.  And you know why?  It’s because this show’s got balls.

Much like its leading lady, BG is unapologetic from start to finish.  It’s direct, has a plan in mind, and strides forward with conviction.  It’s effectively kicking doors down and shouting at the top of its lungs, and woe to anyone that tries to get in its way.  It’s not trying to be a revelation.  It’s not trying to be the savior of female characters, and falling flat on its face for trying.  Nor is it so haphazard that it’s content with leaving its girls as mere placeholders while the real action happens a thousand miles away.   It keeps things simple.  Keeps them natural.  It has its toolbox, and it makes use of all its tools as needed.  All according to the plan.  And when all’s said and done, the plan works without a hitch.

There is one last thing I want to note about the series, though.  It’s true that Ichiko makes a strong case for herself and her show at large, but here’s something that’ll really blow your mind: she’s not the only good female character.  She’s the workhorse, no question, but part of the entertainment factor comes from seeing her clash with the equally-absurd Momiji, pitting the ultimate good luck against the ultimate misfortune.  Karate girl Ranmaru is equal parts masculine and feminine, striking a solid balance between the two while exaggerating both to a fever pitch.  Hell, you could make a pretty good argument for some of the side characters, brief as their appearances may be.  So basically, this seemingly-stupid anime has -- as far as I’m concerned -- beaten out plenty of challengers just by way of being willing to have fun.

And at the end of the day, isn’t that something we all want from our stores?


So, nearly four thousand words later, what’s the bottom line?  For all its trappings of stupidity and goofiness, Binbougami Ga! -- like any good comedy -- is smart enough to make everything come together for a cohesive and plenty-entertaining product.  Merely the fact that it exists is a stroke of good fortune -- for viewers and creators alike.

And there you have it.  I’m satisfied, and I hope you’ll give at least the first episode a look if you haven’t already.  I certainly think it’s worth it.  Granted, I’m sure it’s not the only anime out there that’s got something to say about female characters.  I’m sure there’s a big name out there that’s worth an even closer look into its


NoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!    

Come on!  More despair?  This soon?  Already?!

6 comments:

  1. I'm out of touch with Anime. The only series I watch regularly is Hunter X Hunter and manga wise I keep up with the big three (Naruto, Bleach and One Piece) on a causal level. I maintain a Crunchyroll account so I've watched Attack on Titan, Sword Art Online, and even two Shojos: Chihayafuru and My Little Monster. (I'm open minded like that.) MLM's male lead delegates an astonishing string of WTFs every episode. The female lead is atypical for Shojo as well, it makes for a great reach across (and probably contributed to the show only getting one season, grr.)

    http://www.crunchyroll.com/my-little-monster

    Recently I blazed through Revolutionary Girl Utena for a taste of old school weird and I need to motivate myself to finish Slayers (Cause Lina inverse is great even if she is a bit of a Sue.)

    As such this looks like it may scratch my itch for something that falls between "Gintama" and "Melancholy of Haruhi". I'll have to give it a look.

    In defense (and I clench my teeth saying this) of Sakura, she's not as bad as you make her out to be. She's done a lot better for herself once she became "Tsunade part two". I have a lot of respect for a series that makes their 'medics' the heaviest hitters in the series. No one contests that if they aren't using their precious reserves to save lives they can Blodia Punch the tar out of anything poor sod can get their hands on.

    Most of Sakura's issues stem from Naruto's poor treatment of sub characters. That said, there is a a great deal of forward progress regarding female characters in Anime.

    ReplyDelete
  2. True enough. I'm not even going to pretend like anime gets female characters right all the time, but if I had to point to a medium that has at least a BETTER chance of pulling them off, it'd be anime/manga before, say, video games. Long before, the way things are looking now. Merely the fact that shojo is an acceptable and appreciable genre says plenty.


    Hmmm. Note to self: check out My Little Monster. And also, Ano Natsu de Matteru. I've been looking to check that one out for a while now.


    More on topic? I admit that I "gave up" on Naruto a long time ago, and I'll usually only pay attention to it if there's an update slapping me in the face from one of the sites I frequent. So I have a vague awareness that Sakura's done stuff semi-recently, but there's always going to be that stigma, isn't there? There could have been so much more done with her -- like everyone else, especially poor Tenten -- and maybe that's what bugs people the most about her role in the story. It sure bugs me, at least.


    That aside -- best part of this post? Being able to listen to the Attack on Titan theme as I respond to this comment. That song is just TOO GODLIKE.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ooooh! A manga I remember hearing from the guys behind Weekly Manga Recap! Very cool. Too bad I haven't read it yet since I'm juggling a billion things at once. But the premise seemed really cool, so it's something I'll try when I'm bored one day.


    Anywho.


    Not long after I made that post, a friend of mine gave me the run-down of Naruto again. Then I learned Karin became a stalker bitch again. ... Sasuke just needs to fucking die. I don't care what happens to the rest of the story, just make that asshole suffer forever in the tenth circle of hell: Lucifer's bowels. He is so far beyond redemption, he circled the world twenty times one way, turned around and walked forty time around the other way before taking a rocket and flying off to Titan to continue sixty more walks around Saturn's moon. But putting my hatred for my ex-favorite character in that series aside, back to the point of his post. Female characters.


    The more I think about it, the more I dislike stuff like the Bechdel test. It's not just because point 3 can be interpreted in a billion ways, the test only focuses on what a female character says. It ignores her actions, her motivations, and her role in the story. I'd like to root for a legendary military officer who helped in the efforts to take down a terrorist group, even if she's a loving and committed wife and mother when the uniform is off. I'd like a female civilian who can hold her own in a psychologically manipulating conversion with the big bad when she's protecting other captives like her. I'd like a high school girl who can hold her own during the most awkward years of life and have an awareness of what's around her and a drive to take action when she feels impassioned with some kind of everyday injustice. I don't care if she talks about men with other girls - for business reasons, plot progression, or explaining conflicted feelings - just make a female character feel relevant and important. Just being damsels in distress and love interests are options too often used and often in a boring fashion. But that's a whole other can of worms.


    Anywho, a good write-up. Thanks for the shout-out, though "magical" is an... interesting description of moi. lol o_O

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, I had to use SOME kind of adjective to describe you. Possible alternatives: dazzling, electric, ultraviolet, dynamic, meteoric, and/or (possibly) blistering. In the good sense, natch.


    It's probably worth mentioning that I've pretty much given up on Naruto at this point (if I haven't already); I pretty much drew the line when Naruto got some spiffy new power-up, and then almost immediately after went into a training arc to get an even spiffier new power-up, because of course he does. So I can't really bring myself to hate Sasuke as much as you or others, buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut I know what you're getting at; even before I gave up, the direction of his character was...well, let's call it "troubling" and leave it at that. No telling where he's going to end up when all's said and done, but I'd like to think that it'll all pay off in the end.


    Or maybe "hope" is the word I'm looking for.


    Now, to be fair to others, I don't think that being a love interest or a damsel is an immediate dead end. It's true that those roles are abused beyond belief, BUT there are things that can be done with both. But that right there is the clincher. Something has to be done besides going with a basic role/archetype and leaving it at that. (The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword gets it right in a big way.) Everything you've proposed? That works. That's "doing something more". That's what all of us, male or female, want. Why it's SO RIDICULOUSLY HARD to get this out of others -- why we're more likely to have a Sakura instead of an Ichiko -- is beyond me. I don't know...maybe some people are just a bunch of silly heads.


    Then again, I actually tried to watch Infinite Stratos. So who am I to call others silly?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Haha, "blistering". Well with how much I'm destroying and attacking one of your favorite games ever, I'm not surprised you'd think I'm a screaming harpy on fire. XD


    I guess I sounded like I declared damsels to be a dead-end because of my bad luck in fiction lately (excluding Persona 4 to some degree). It feels that every female that gets captured in 90% of stories is just played terribly straight. Having male damsels helps balance things out a bit and having said captive decide to take some self defense classes is good, but it doesn't feel prevalent enough to make my view of the trope less chaotic like a thunderstorm. Though I haven't played Skyward Sword, didn't Zelda have a whole quest of her own, making her proactive in her own right? Otherwise, I can't name many okay damsels. As much as I liked Elize and Teepo, I sighed when they got kidnapped twice in Tales of Xillia. (At least they kick a ton of magical ass in combat.)


    But at least it's not the combo of "you saved my life, guy, so I'm in love with you for no other reason". ... ... ... Geez, even my own fanfic...


    Anywho. Thanks for the vid. Finally! That made my morning. Although he probably couldn't give too many examples, but even the abhorrent 'Showgirls' passes the test while the Harry Potter films probably fail. Let that sink in for a moment.

    ReplyDelete
  6. ...I don't know what this "Showgirls" is supposed to be, but it sounds depressing. To paraphrase a certain Super Kami Guru.

    Anyway, you've got the gist of Skyward Sword Zelda down. The expectation is that she's just getting strung along the entire game, and you -- as Link -- have to catch up to her and save her because...well, that's just a thing you do. But it turns out she's the one stringing you along, as revealed in a cutscene that's damn near heartbreaking. (Why do people hate Skyward Sword again?) That aside, playing damsels/love interests straight is just kind of a go-to for storytelling, and something that I suspect writers have to un-condition themselves to fall back on. So I wouldn't be too ashamed to admit you've got something like that in your fanfic. I'm guilty in a whole LOT of ways...but I'll get to that.

    On the subject of "blistering": the only reason it came to mind was because of Tales of Graces f. A good reason, yes, but let it be known that I have a certain virtual manly-man to thank for that.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYOazABtwdQ

    ReplyDelete