Perfection IS Boring – Good and Bad Anime Characters

Wait hold on a minute, haven’t you been writing constantly about how boring is the worst thing ever? How can it be perfect and vice versa?

Well in the very specific example of anime characters perfection is boring in my opinion of course.

I would like you now to think of your favorite anime character, or one of the ones that you like the most. Why do you like that character so much? I’m going to go ahead and make a guess that the character you chose was not perfect.

The reason why we like a lot of our characters is that they have flaws they need to overcome to improve themselves and become better! A character who isn’t perfect is someone we can relate too, empathize with and ultimately connect with a lot better. A perfect character often feels distant and overpowered, too perfect, too normal, too self inserty and ultimately bad.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not condemning all perfect characters as boring, someone like Sakamoto is one of my favourites. It’s just that in general if theirs a character I think is boring then being perfect is a likely reason why.

 

By the way this post was inspired by the creator of one piece Eiichiro Oda so I think I better let him explain. Thanks best guy ever for showing this in your One Piece video!

Oda answers katakuri question about perfect characters in one piece

So yeah perfect characters can be interesting, check out my posts on overpowered main characters if you want to know what I mean (since people who are overpowered are very simillar to perfect characters), but in general I find myself connecting so much better with character’s flaws and tend to find perfect characters difficult to relate too.

Now that this is over I guess I’ve got to back it up with some examples.

Well theirs the obvious perfect character in Kirito. He is a great sword fighter, cares strongly about people, is brilliant with technology, is very clever and can solve problems that mysteries most others can’t. And everyone hates him!

Guts from Berserk often is compared to kirito for being so much better. Guts also happens to be a brilliant swordsman with the same level of power as Kirito in their own respective series. But there are just so many more compelling things about Guts that Kirito lacks.

Guts is a completely flawed individual with little purpose in life. He strives to improve himself and find something else beyond the band of the hawk. He’s anti-social and takes a long time to warm up to people, he’s insanely cruel and violent, enjoying inflicting pain and his mental state is often a mess, clouded by thoughts of revenge against the ones who have mistreated him and his companions.

Which character would you rather be friends with? Well Kirito probably, but which character is more interesting? I certainly know my answer.

 

What do you think about the idea of a perfect character? Are there any perfect characters that I should know about to prove me wrong?

 

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4 thoughts on “Perfection IS Boring – Good and Bad Anime Characters

  1. I love character development, and I love characters with flaws. It just makes them so much more easier to empathise with and relate to. Flawed characters just tend to appear more human and less cardboardish than perfect characters! They’re more complex! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think the main reason perfect characters are (normally) not my perfect is: They don’t have any kind of evolution throughout the story. I mean, if they are perfect they don’t need to change, right?

    So, I’m with you, I prefer characters with flaws. In fact, that’s probably why my favorite Anime is Nana. All characters are way too real. All of them have flaws (and good things ofc). Making the flawed gives space to make a lot of character evolution around them and appreciate it way much more.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah character arcs are very compelling and starting off perfect just doesn’t allow for that to happen without it feeling forced or stupid.

      Yeah it also makes the characters a lot more interesting and having reliability real helps and lets you think about the show so much more!

      Liked by 1 person

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