Anime has been a popular genre for decades, captivating audiences with its unique storytelling, stunning visuals, and diverse characters. However, while some anime characters have become iconic and beloved, others have been criticized for ruining the series they are a part of.
In this article, we will explore the impact of poorly written anime characters on the overall quality of a series, and why it is important for writers and creators to pay attention to the development of their characters.
Lack of Depth and Development
One of the biggest issues with poorly written anime characters is the lack of depth and development. When a character is one-dimensional and lacks complexity, it can be difficult for audiences to connect with them and invest in their story arc.
For example, in the anime Sword Art Online, the character of Asuna initially appears to be a strong and capable fighter, but as the series progresses, she becomes more of a damsel in distress, relying heavily on the male protagonist Kirito to save her. This shift in her character is jarring and undermines her initial strength, making it difficult for viewers to take her seriously.
Another common issue with poorly written anime characters is the inclusion of forced romantic relationships. When characters are thrown together without any real development or chemistry, it can feel contrived and unconvincing.
A prime example of this is the relationship between Sakura and Sasuke in Naruto. Despite Sakura’s unrequited love for Sasuke, he shows little to no interest in her throughout the series, yet they end up together in the end. This forced relationship feels unearned and unsatisfying for viewers who have invested time in these characters.
Stereotyping and Clichés
Stereotyping and clichés can also be detrimental to anime characters. When a character is reduced to a trope or stereotype, it can feel lazy and uninspired. It can also perpetuate harmful stereotypes and reinforce negative perceptions of certain groups.
For instance, the character of Lucy from Fairy Tail is often sexualized and objectified, despite her complex backstory and abilities as a powerful wizard. This reduces her to nothing more than a fanservice character, undermining her potential as a strong and independent female character.
Lack of Agency
Finally, poorly written anime characters can suffer from a lack of agency. When a character’s actions are determined solely by the plot, it can feel like they are simply going through the motions, rather than making active decisions that drive the story forward.
An example of this is the character of Mikasa from Attack on Titan. While initially presented as a strong and capable fighter, she becomes increasingly passive and reactive as the series progresses, often deferring to the male protagonist Eren for guidance and direction.
In conclusion, poorly written anime characters can have a significant impact on the overall quality of a series. When characters lack depth and development, are forced into contrived relationships, are reduced to stereotypes and clichés, or have a lack of agency, it can be difficult for viewers to invest in their stories.
Therefore, it is important for writers and creators to pay attention to the development of their characters, ensuring that they are well-rounded, complex, and have agency in their own stories. This will not only make for a more satisfying viewing experience for audiences, but also help to elevate the medium of anime as a whole.