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The Fullmetal Narcissist's avatar

Eloquent Humorist

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This is a thought I've been having ever since I decided to rewatch Vampire Knight. I was going through the episodes, genuinely enjoying myself, when it hit me... I hate these characters. Zero is kind of interesting, but he's way too angsty... Kaname's an irredeemable douchebag... Yuki's a complete Mary-Sue... So why was I enjoying watching them so much?

The answer was the story. Even thoroughly unlikable characters can interact and play off each other in intriguing ways as long as they're being driven by a really well written, well paced story.

As further evidence of this, the lack of a good story in Guilty took all that support away from the characters. When their worst personality traits were no longer being justified, the showsuddenly became increasingly painful to watch.

And now that I've given it some thought, the same thing is true in a lot of other anime.

Your thoughts on this?
Can a good story really save shitty characters?
Gunzstray's avatar

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50/50

Though I'm inclined to say no.
Lucidly's avatar

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Shitty characters seem to be the result of bad story writing, so no, I wouldn't think so.
Mugetsu Ookamiza's avatar

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there's a difference between bad characters and characters you dislike. you can dislike a character a lot, they can be downright unlikeable to most people even, and so long as they work with the story it's arguable they're not bad characters. bad characters, generally speaking, are a part of bad writing and don't mesh well with the storyline at all.
Shintouyu's avatar

Heroic Lunatic

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Probably not.
Eternal Marionetta's avatar

Witty Phantom

I don't even care.
bittersweet music's avatar

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No

I remember when I start reading Vampire Knight, it was at first interesting and
even the art was kinda unique but

it got worse when she turned to be a vampire and her love for Kaname
I hated it so bad , it was a bad story, bad characters , I don't care what everyone else thinks,
is freaking bad.

and even tough Zero has that kind of attitude I understand him.
I mean the poor suffer about his parents and his twin, he's a vampire and he hates himself about it.
and his desperate way to save Yuki for being bitten/turn into vampire/blah blah ..

I hate the series but most of all, is the protagonist. Period
-Summer Cherries-'s avatar

Questionable Browser

I imagine the story would have to be completely out of this world for me to be able to overlook an insufferable cast. Badly-written characters, however, tend to go hand in hand with badly written stories.
Winniwyn's avatar

Questionable Senshi

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Not for me. I tend to care more about characters than the plot anyways so if a story has badly written or unlikable characters I'm not likely to watch/read it.
Orrin Relyt's avatar

Interesting Hunter

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That is very hard to tell. All I will say is that story is not all you need to make the anime work if you have shitty characters the plot and story just doesn't get in the way of how the characters are going to act with it.
jessifer_dr's avatar

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It depends how many bad characters there are.
Blackrose2015's avatar

Interesting Conversationalist

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Hasn't worked for Naruto and One Piece yet.
KiddtheAssassin's avatar

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If people don't care about your characters then they won't care about what happens to them. You could have ana amazing plot with a really developed world, but if you fill it with underdeveloped people that nobody really cares about then your story can't be saved. Characters are important. People should want your characters to be happy, or to hate them, or want to give them hugs. Anything. But your audience needs to FEEL for your characters.

There is also a difference between your audience hating your character because they're bad and your audience hating your character because they're a bad person. Look at Joffery from A Game of Thrones: that kid is a ********] monster, but he's so well developed you love hating him. You hate him because he's a terrible person, not because he's a terribly written one.
Virgil_Ashwood's avatar

Quotable Genius

Its possible, but unlikely for a good story to outweigh bad characters.
The way I see it, characters make the story happen and are our way of viewing the situation. If they are bad and break our willing suspension of disbelief, the story will suffer greatly.

Then again, it may be possible that the characters -are- bad but have been bad over a long period of time, long enough for the actual events to have more importance than the characters themselves, like in long running series. Eventually the story deviates from individual character development and focuses more on the overarching plot. But even that can be thwarted by how ridiculous a character's motives or personality is compared to their situation.
42rd's avatar

Hygenic Gawker

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If it's really good, I can almost ignore the crap characters.

Like Code Geass.

The characters are s**t.

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