This essay is about a very common and horribly annoying thing in a good
90% of fanfiction: Typecasting and cliché.
Most anime and manga series often show a one-sided view of characters.
Granted, manga is often much better about that and gives more depth to
not only the characters but the plot as well. But since anime is often
more preferable to some people, they follow the anime version of a
series in writing. This isn't a bad thing, but often they rely on the
one-sided, stereotypical character portrayals, and because of this, a lot of
fanfiction is pretty much the same stuff over and over. Which gets
boring and oftentimes irritating.
One thing that really, really gets to me in fanfiction at least half of
the Dark Kingdom stories I've found. The ones that contain the same old
clichés, things from the anime that I hate to begin with. And as if
serious stories using them isn't bad enough, there are stories that use
those stereotypes as comic relife. Something to laugh at.
I really don't like that. People are free to think and write what they
want, but it just annoys me when everyone typecasts
characters...especially the generals. It's always "Nephrite and Zoisite fighting and
hating each other, Kunzite as this sexy, serious guy who is used as a way to
make fun of Zoisite or something of the sort, jokes at the
Nephrite/Naru thing, Zoisite as Kunzite's love slave, and Jadeite as either this
crazy person or a one-dimensional character just to give the wall color
and throw in occasional comments".
I'm sick of seeing this.
The things that happened above-Nephrite and Zoisite fighting,
Nephrite/Naru, and Kunzite&Zoisite's relationship-being used as comic relief.
They were not funny. Kunzite&Zoisite's relationship is very important to
me and it is in no way "The sexy ice king and his pathetic, flamboyant
love slave". And don't get me started on how much I hate the
Nephrite/Naru pairing. Classic was one of the more serious seasons of SM. SuperS
was the one to use for comic relief, and maybe even R. But the Dark
Kingdom is nothing to make into jokes. I know I'm obsessive and looking
too much into things here, but the way I see it, it was anything but a
joke. The generals were forced to live under the rule of a psychotic
bitch who would kill them for failing or not obeying some stupid rule ("I
warn you, don't even lay a finger on Tuxedo Kamen or else!!!" ><). And
this is the most non-canon thing, but they all had terrible, painful
home lives and are just miserable in this world.
Does that seem like comic relief or joke fodder?
I didn't think so.
I'm not saying they always have to be somber and serious. I've made
them anything but that in some RPGS! But not using the listed things as
comic relief. The Zoisite vs Zoicite thing is often comic relief, and so
is Kunzite's possessiveness about Zoisite at times. Jadeite is much more
serious, angst-filled, and pretty much nothing like than when I first began
writing/RPing as him, still has a bit of the wisecracking pervert
I know I'm just being overly picky and would get many sarcastic,
annoyed remarks, flames, and the like if I tried to discuss this with the
majority of fanfiction authors...they'd look at me as if I were some kind
of crackhead, and either be nasty and tell me to shut up about it or
make fun of me...which is the reason I never try and make much of a
statement about my beliefs.
*sighs* I just wish people could stop being so...closed-minded and
typecasting...then again, someone out there might think I'm bad for showing
Beryl as just some evil bitch and not a human who loved someone she
couldn't have. Well, to me, she cannot be redeemed in any way after what
she did to Zoisite. ><
Typecasting is a very annoying problem in most fanfiction. Mimete is
not just a psychotic, shallow, boy-obsessed teenage girl. Zoisite is NOT
just some vain, vicious killer or a pathetic, naive little weakling.
And even main characters. Rei is not a flaming witch like she is in the
dub or the anime. *Raye gets struck by a bolt of lightening* I myself
keep Rei-chan the way she was in the manga. I really don't like anime
Rei. In fact, anime Rei is already built-in OOC considering she is NOTHING
like the mature, serious girl she is in the manga.
We've all seen it. It's shown up in plenty of bad fanfiction I've seen,
the majority of it MSTed. While it's good to use your imagination,
writing someone completely out of character is a whole other story. If
you're writing the fic as a joke or a parody of some sort, it's not a big
deal. In fact, it can be a good thing in a parody/mock. But a serious
story? It'd just look sad there. Heero Yuy does not cry over anyone
accidentally biting his arm, Yaten is not a soft-spoken, swooning love slave
to anyone, and Belldandy does not curse.
Now keep in mind I am by no means a canon purist. I'm not saying you
HAVE to keep the characters IC all the time. If you want to write about a
depressed, quiet Lina Inverse, you can. Just make sure there's a good
reason for her to be depressed, something that would make her hole up in
her room and cry. If there's enough backstory, then it doesn't even
qualify as writing her OOC.
So basically, there is a way to avoid stereotypes without making the
characters OOC, and a way to keep characters IC without resorting to
stereotypes. I'm not saying everyone should follow this rule. People are
free to write whatever they want. Remember, these are just my opinions.
Despite what I think, there is no "wrong way" or "right way" to do
fanfiction or RPGs.
Comments on this article can be sent to: SaraJNES.