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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by c@rt00nguy26 View Post
    I really don't understand the continuous complaints regarding the protagonists being ass*****. Do you really expect people who do dirty work in the criminal underworld to be upstanding and sympathetic? Do you really require every show/book to have a virtuous protagonist for it to be enjoyable? It sounds more like a case of those characters not appealing to your particular preferences.
    I don't expect people who work into the criminal underworld to be upstanding and not every protagonist has to be virtuous in order for the storyline to be enjoyable. I think that's looking a bit too much into my complaints, at least in regards to the preferences and being under the impression that a protagonist needs to be virtuous in order for the story to be enjoyable. A storyline can be interesting and enjoyable with a protagonist who isn't virtuous. I like Rock and I wouldn't say that he's virtuous. He just has a stronger sense of morality that makes him feel more human, for lack of a better term, compared to the other characters and seeing him clash with the criminal underworld can be interesting, but I wouldn't say that he's virtuous. There are also plenty of shows with main characters who aren't virtuous that can be enjoyable. In terms of anime, the only ones I can think of are Death Note and Code Geass, although I haven't seen much of either series so I can't say how enjoyable they were to me, but based on what I've heard about both series, it sounds like they made an antagonist kind of protagonist work.

    My problem is that there's really nothing likable about Revy at all to make me want to root for her. She's loud, annoying, cold and just flat out unlikable to me. Now that doesn't mean that she would have to be virtuous in order for me to find her likable. There aren't much of any positive traits about her to make me want to see her defeat the villains. It wouldn't have to be something huge, but just some signs in her interactions with others to show that she can be a good person or something about her to make me care about her in the slightest. In my opinion, they really haven't done that because they're too focused on her shooting everything, yelling at everyone and using her vague troubled background as an excuse for her behavior. At this point, I wouldn't even care if she was killed by one of the villains. I didn't care about her when Roberta was able to shoot at her and if I don't care about the main characters, aside from Rock, then I'm much less invested in the conflict and the action.

    Again, I think that you're assuming too much that this is just a matter of characters not appealing to my personal preferences, especially when I haven't said anything about a protagonist needs to be virtuous since there are plenty of stories where that wouldn't work. There are some books I've read where the protagonist has little to no redeeming qualities and/or are unlikable, but often times, that's usually the point in order to tie into a message or theme of the storyline. However, I don't think that it's too much to expect for the lead character to have at least some positive traits to make the audience want to root for them. Revy has nothing about her that makes me want to root for her and she has no redeeming qualities. That's my main issue with her as a protagonist, especially if the audience is suppose to cheer for her and the Black Lagoon crew when they tend to do some pretty terrible stuff. That's why I couldn't cheer for them in the Roberta arc, especially when Roberta was a much better character in that she did terrible things with killing people, but still had some moments to make her come off as sympathetic in spite of that. It also helps that she was trying to save Garcia and the main characters were perfectly fine with selling a child to the mafia.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by c@rt00nguy26 View Post
    I really don't understand the continuous complaints regarding the protagonists being ass*****. Do you really expect people who do dirty work in the criminal underworld to be upstanding and sympathetic? Do you really require every show/book to have a virtuous protagonist for it to be enjoyable? It sounds more like a case of those characters not appealing to your particular preferences.
    No, but even a anti-heroic (if Revy can even be called that) protagonist needs something to draw the viewer in. They have to be sympathetic or interesting. The one reason I can't get into a show like Game of Thrones is because I can't find anyone who is either. Yet in shows like Breaking Bad, they managed to make someone was wicked as Walter White someone to care about.

    I find Revy more interesting than Sympathetic - her jerk attitude is not endearing, but being a over the top jerk is what they call "Crazy Awesome". But sometimes that's simply not enough to get people to get invested in a protagonist. She is immature and amoral, and sometimes even with all the crazy awesome they are, it's just not enough to overcome her shortcomings.
    "Truth suffers, but never dies." - Saint Teresa Of Avila

    “Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.” - Salvor Hardin, Asimov's Foundation.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gatomon41 View Post
    No, but even a anti-heroic (if Revy can even be called that) protagonist needs something to draw the viewer in. They have to be sympathetic or interesting. The one reason I can't get into a show like Game of Thrones is because I can't find anyone who is either. Yet in shows like Breaking Bad, they managed to make someone was wicked as Walter White someone to care about.
    I don't think that Revy could be called an anti-heroic protagonist. I think that Rock referred to himself in the last episode as a villain in training, which I think is pretty fitting. The main characters, aside from maybe Rock, are villains. They don't care what they need to do for a job as long as they're getting paid, even if it's really doing something horrible like giving a kid to the mafia, and there aren't any morally grey lines in them either. Villains as the protagonists can and have worked in other shows and stories, but I don't think it works well here due to how Revy, as well as most of the other main characters, aren't interesting. Rock is still the only interesting character to me in the main cast and that's mainly because he works well as the everyman kind of protagonist and seeing how his sense of morality clashes with the criminal underworld can be interesting too. There's more to him than just constantly shooting and yelling at people. I agree that for a character like Revy, who is a completely horrible person, there needs to be something interesting about them and/or put them in a sympathetic light in order for the audience to feel invested. If they lack anything interesting or sympathetic about them, then it could easily turn off people from these kinds of characters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gatomon41
    I find Revy more interesting than Sympathetic - her jerk attitude is not endearing, but being a over the top jerk is what they call "Crazy Awesome". But sometimes that's simply not enough to get people to get invested in a protagonist. She is immature and amoral, and sometimes even with all the crazy awesome they are, it's just not enough to overcome her shortcomings.
    I initially thought that Revy was kind of interesting with how she looked whenever she mentioned her past, but that didn't last too long for me. They were just too vague about her past this whole time, instead of actually exploring it in more detail to possibly maker her look more sympathetic, which made her a lot less interesting to me. Even if they do explain more about her vague terrible backstory, that wouldn't really make up for her horrible personality. It might make her more sympathetic, but I'd still hate her and find her completely unlikable. I think the main appeal for her is just being over the top crazy awesome with her gun skills, but even that got old for me after the first few episodes due to how one sided nearly all of her fight fights have been. Although, the fact that she often faces off against idiots who don't even know how to aim or shoot a gun makes her less impressive and more lucky than anything else. Even if her gun fights were more appealing to me, that wouldn't really make up for all of her flaws because she really comes off as so unlikable.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Light Lucario View Post
    There are also plenty of shows with main characters who aren't virtuous that can be enjoyable. In terms of anime, the only ones I can think of are Death Note and Code Geass, although I haven't seen much of either series so I can't say how enjoyable they were to me, but based on what I've heard about both series, it sounds like they made an antagonist kind of protagonist work.
    I wouldn't say either of those work as comparison. In Code Geass, Lelouche actually DOES have a virtuous cause that he's fighting for, he just employs unsavory tactics, and he is also more than willing to PLAY the villain achieve a greater good. After all he's fighting against the empire that took over japan, and a huge swatch of the rest of the world, who is led by his clearly evil father(the rest of his siblings who are part of the empire are not so evil). He's fighting for a good cause but he's willing to make sacrfises and manipulate others to achieve his goals. He's more of an "the ends justify the means" sort of man.

    Light in Death Note, kinda starts out similar. He starts out as a kid who thinks he can make the world a better place. However over the course of the series he becomes more and more villainous; its really something of a downward spiral for him especially when he starts developing a god complex. The more villainous he becomes the less likable he becomes; Lelouche made sacrifices, but he felt it was all necessary to defeat the evil empire, where as Light was happy to harm innocent people just to protect himself; Light also seems to take an immense amount of glee when he manages to outwit/KILL the authorities trying to stop him. In the end, you are kind of rooting for the other side to win. You kinda of sympathize with the guy since you know how he started out as a well meaning person, but in the end you want to see him fall; he long ago crossed the line, did far too much harm and is basically going nuts and becoming delusional

    Really I have a tough time thinking of ANY series that has protagonists like Black Lagoon; characters who are basically criminals but DON'T go out and fight for the greater good. Most anytime you have a villain protagonist they either do have good morals that lead to them fighting the good fight (Heroes who are just on the wrong side of the law), or they are meant to be the villains of the series where you basically are supposed to WANT them to eventually lose (true villains)
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  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monte View Post
    I wouldn't say either of those work as comparison. In Code Geass, Lelouche actually DOES have a virtuous cause that he's fighting for, he just employs unsavory tactics, and he is also more than willing to PLAY the villain achieve a greater good. After all he's fighting against the empire that took over japan, and a huge swatch of the rest of the world, who is led by his clearly evil father(the rest of his siblings who are part of the empire are not so evil). He's fighting for a good cause but he's willing to make sacrfises and manipulate others to achieve his goals. He's more of an "the ends justify the means" sort of man.

    Light in Death Note, kinda starts out similar. He starts out as a kid who thinks he can make the world a better place. However over the course of the series he becomes more and more villainous; its really something of a downward spiral for him especially when he starts developing a god complex. The more villainous he becomes the less likable he becomes; Lelouche made sacrifices, but he felt it was all necessary to defeat the evil empire, where as Light was happy to harm innocent people just to protect himself; Light also seems to take an immense amount of glee when he manages to outwit/KILL the authorities trying to stop him. In the end, you are kind of rooting for the other side to win. You kinda of sympathize with the guy since you know how he started out as a well meaning person, but in the end you want to see him fall; he long ago crossed the line, did far too much harm and is basically going nuts and becoming delusional

    Really I have a tough time thinking of ANY series that has protagonists like Black Lagoon; characters who are basically criminals but DON'T go out and fight for the greater good. Most anytime you have a villain protagonist they either do have good morals that lead to them fighting the good fight (Heroes who are just on the wrong side of the law), or they are meant to be the villains of the series where you basically are supposed to WANT them to eventually lose (true villains)
    Even though I haven't seen Code Geass and I've only seen bits of Death Note, I know that neither of their leads are like the protagonists in Black Lagoon. I was referring to how they both series had villain-like protagonists, but were able to make that angle work due to the writing and the way they depicted both protagonists. There was something about them to make you either feel sympathetic towards them or be interested in their downward spiral due to their own actions. Black Lagoon doesn't really have anything like that going on with most of its protagonists, especially Revy. There's nothing about her that is interesting, sympathetic or make her compelling to me in the slightest. Having protagonists that are criminals that don't fight for the greater good could work if the characters were more interesting or offered something more besides yelling and shooting at everyone that bothers them.

  6. #56
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    I initially thought that Revy was kind of interesting with how she looked whenever she mentioned her past, but that didn't last too long for me. They were just too vague about her past this whole time, instead of actually exploring it in more detail to possibly maker her look more sympathetic, which made her a lot less interesting to me. Even if they do explain more about her vague terrible backstory, that wouldn't really make up for her horrible personality.
    It's just... not that kind of show. Everyone has a reason for being the way they are, but none of them are emotionally available enough to actually talk about those reasons (except for maybe Dutch and Benny weirdly). Balalaika's not going to explain why she's so cutthroat... it's just not that touchy, feely.

    Personally speaking I love all the characters. I think Eda's really funny, I think Revvy's a bit generic but I find her tough attitude enjoyable to watch and she obviously cares about Rock (I think that's a redeeming element honestly), I think Balalaika is super cool. I mean, that's really what the show is about, just having lots of really cool characters. Not in a nonsensical 'rule of cool' (or whatever) way. Just in a take charge, cutthroat, action show kind of way. It''s not a show that's contemplating anything or trying to tell you anything deep about sympathetic people. It's essentially watching an ordinary guy get dragged into hell and have to deal with all the messed up demons who live there. Some of them have shades of nobility, but in order to survive in the criminal underworld they all have to be cutthroat and selfish.

    "You still race in the games, do you... guardian?.. For what!? Putting a show on for the masses are we? The young pretender!? To mend and defend... who will defend you the next time we meet!? Have your fun boy... while you can." - Megabyte

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  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Light Lucario View Post
    Even though I haven't seen Code Geass and I've only seen bits of Death Note, I know that neither of their leads are like the protagonists in Black Lagoon. I was referring to how they both series had villain-like protagonists, but were able to make that angle work due to the writing and the way they depicted both protagonists. There was something about them to make you either feel sympathetic towards them or be interested in their downward spiral due to their own actions. Black Lagoon doesn't really have anything like that going on with most of its protagonists, especially Revy. There's nothing about her that is interesting, sympathetic or make her compelling to me in the slightest. Having protagonists that are criminals that don't fight for the greater good could work if the characters were more interesting or offered something more besides yelling and shooting at everyone that bothers them.
    You gave those shows as examples of shows that have main characters who aren't virtuous that are enjoyable. Lelouche is however is a somewhat virtuous person as he is someone fighting for a good cause. His use of unsavory tactics does not mean he does not have good morals, just that he is morally grey; he is the ends justify the means type and believes the sacrifices he makes are necessary for the greater good. And Light starts out with virtuous ideals, he wants to get rid of all the evil in the world, but through his conflict with the authorities he slips more and more away from his virtues, and the more he slips the more villainous he becomes and the less likable he is. In the end, you want to see him LOSE. In both cases Virtue IS tied to how likable the character is... the less virtuous their actions the less likeable they become. Lelouche is at his worst when he does something bad and springs back when he does something good, and Light becomes unlikeable the more he embraces his darkside. So they don't really work as characters who are not virtuous and yet enjoyable.

    Code geass has a morally grey protagonist, not a a protagonist without virtues. And Death Note is more of a series that stars the Villain who you're not supposed to like by the end. You are saying that there are many shows with non-virtous people as protgonists, but that argument doesn't work well when you tlak about shows you haven't watched. Lelouche is too much of a good guy to fit your example(so much so that i don't even think its right to identify him as villain), and with Light, i'm not sure if you would still like him so much by the time you got to the end of the series; he does a lot of horrible and unforgivable things.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aldrius View Post
    It's just... not that kind of show. Everyone has a reason for being the way they are, but none of them are emotionally available enough to actually talk about those reasons (except for maybe Dutch and Benny weirdly). Balalaika's not going to explain why she's so cutthroat... it's just not that touchy, feely.

    Personally speaking I love all the characters. I think Eda's really funny, I think Revvy's a bit generic but I find her tough attitude enjoyable to watch and she obviously cares about Rock (I think that's a redeeming element honestly), I think Balalaika is super cool. I mean, that's really what the show is about, just having lots of really cool characters. Not in a nonsensical 'rule of cool' (or whatever) way. Just in a take charge, cutthroat, action show kind of way. It''s not a show that's contemplating anything or trying to tell you anything deep about sympathetic people. It's essentially watching an ordinary guy get dragged into hell and have to deal with all the messed up demons who live there. Some of them have shades of nobility, but in order to survive in the criminal underworld they all have to be cutthroat and selfish.
    So far, there have only been two signs of her actually caring about Rock with saving him at the end of the first season and in the previous episode when he was freaked out after the little girl offered herself to him. Both cases honestly came out pretty forced to me, especially being willing to save Rock when he was kidnapped, due to how most of their interactions primarily have involved her yelling at him all the time. If there were more moments like her being surprised with how depressed he looked after he was rescued, maybe that would work, but their friendship really doesn't feel too believable to me or be a redeeming quality for her character. It also doesn't help that she still complains about Rock, despite how he's apparently around for nearly a year and flat out lies that he always gets kidnapped, unless that just happens off-screen.

    The characters wouldn't have to actually talk about their pasts in order for the show to deal with them. They could just think about it to themselves because of a certain situation they're currently dealing with and have flashbacks for the series to show their problems. Granted, I agree that it isn't that kind of show to begin with and they're not interested in going that route, but it would give them some depth to make them more interesting. Coolness alone can only make a character engaging for so long and for me. And in this case, it dried out pretty quickly with almost everyone, especially Revy who is an awful person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Monte
    You gave those shows as examples of shows that have main characters who aren't virtuous that are enjoyable. Lelouche is however is a somewhat virtuous person as he is someone fighting for a good cause. His use of unsavory tactics does not mean he does not have good morals, just that he is morally grey; he is the ends justify the means type and believes the sacrifices he makes are necessary for the greater good. And Light starts out with virtuous ideals, he wants to get rid of all the evil in the world, but through his conflict with the authorities he slips more and more away from his virtues, and the more he slips the more villainous he becomes and the less likable he is. In the end, you want to see him LOSE. In both cases Virtue IS tied to how likable the character is... the less virtuous their actions the less likeable they become. Lelouche is at his worst when he does something bad and springs back when he does something good, and Light becomes unlikeable the more he embraces his darkside. So they don't really work as characters who are not virtuous and yet enjoyable.

    Code geass has a morally grey protagonist, not a a protagonist without virtues. And Death Note is more of a series that stars the Villain. You are saying that there are many shows with non-virtous people as protgonists, but that arguement doesn't work well when you tlak about shows you haven't watched. Lelouche is too much of a good guy to fit your example, and with Light, i'm not sure if you would still like him so much by the time you got to the end of the series; he does a lot of horrible and unforgivable things.
    Fair enough. I was thinking with those examples more about villain-like protagonists rather than characters without virtue exactly and those were the only two anime series that I could think of off the top of my head that I thought could fit the bill, but that's what I get for using series that I'm not familiar with beyond bits I've seen and heard about from other people. Although, I thought that Light's god-complex started off relatively early since he declared that he would become a god, or something like that within the first few episodes of the series, so I don't know how much virtue he really started off with. Regardless, I shouldn't have used shows that I'm not too familiar with as examples, but I was just trying to think of cases where I thought protagonists that either are villains or villain-like qualities could be made be engaging leads and those were the only ones I could think of off the top of my head. The characters in Black Lagoon are villains, but nothing really interesting about them to make it work for me, even though I'm pretty sure that the concept of villains being lead characters can provide something interesting or make them sympathetic for the audience to make them more engaging.

  9. #59
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    Greenback Jane is cute/great/funny which Kelly Sheridan(voice of my favorite female characters Ukyo/Sango/Sal(MegaMan NT Warrior)/Louise Halevy) was amazing/funny as Greenback Jane.

    I find Revy interesting and I so find her obnoxious jerky nature so enjoyable, but does love to cross the line at times on her increasing jerk-o-meter like attacking poor Rock, being a playground bully attacking poor Garcia, and ignoring poor Greenback Jane's cries for help.I do love her excellent shooting style.I may enjoy Revy, but other annoying jerky/witchy female characters that are unlikable for me like Iris, Talho/Maeter(Eureka 7), Sakura/Ino/Tokiko, Nina(Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion/R2), Eva Heinemann, and Tokine/Tokiko so irritate me though.

    On villain protagonists, both Light Yagami/Black Star were such horrible unlikable villain protagonists that I so disliked, but other villain protagonists like Arsene Lupin III, Lucy(Elfen Lied), Black Lagoon: Balalaika/Revy/Dutch/Benny, Haruhi Suzumiya, and Michiko(Michiko to Hatchin) are so awesome/enjoyable.
    Last edited by Radical; 07-20-2014 at 07:26 AM.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radical View Post
    I find Revy interesting and I so find her obnoxious jerky nature so enjoyable throughout the series, but does love to cross the line at times on her increasing jerk-o-meter like attacking poor Rock, being a playground bully attacking poor Garcia, and ignoring poor Jane's cries for help.I do love her excellent shooting style.I may enjoy Revy, but other annoying jerky/witchy female characters that are unlikable for me like Iris, Talho/Maeter(Eureka 7), Sakura/Ino, Eva Heinemann, and Tokine/Tokiko so irritate me though.
    I can't really see how her obnoxious jerky nature could be considered enjoyable. I can see why people might like how she constantly fires guns at people if they really like one-sided action, but her behavior towards other people makes her look far too horrible to simply be balanced out with shooting guns for me and I don't really find watching a jerk like her enjoyable. If she was getting karma payback like other jerk characters tend to get more often, then maybe she'd be more tolerable or at least I'd get some satisfaction from seeing her get karma payback for being an awful person, but I don't see how her obnoxious jerk nature could be seen as enjoyable. All that does is make her look completely unlikable and really bring the show's overall quality down a lot for me.

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