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Likable characters vs well written/interesting characters

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okay first of all Idk what forum type to put this under so yeah. Anyway, I've been thinking about this sort of thing a lot recently because of all the distaste I see for characters like severa, camilla, peri, and tharja. people say they're bad characters because their mean, immoral, psychotic, etc. Personally I like all those characters except tharja mostly because well they were interesting characters in my eyes. I think people need to understand there's a difference between a likable character and a well written or interesting one. Like just because a character is a good person that doesn't automatically make them a good character. I mean just look at characters like kirito or corrin. I dunno if what I'm saying even makes sense but it's something that's been on my mind is all.

Edited by Otts486

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  1. This probably belongs in the General thread, not the Serious section of it.
  2. There is definitely a difference between likable and well-written but the two usually go hand-in-hand. In addition, what makes a character "interesting" actually really comes down to personal preference. You can have a well-written character but that doesn't mean that they are automatically interesting. It just comes down to what you think is "interesting".
  3. On the subject of well-written, there's both a objective and a subjective side to it. The subjective side comes from what you consider to be well-written. There are people who have unreasonably high standards when it comes to writing so if a character doesn't meet their standards, then that person labels it as a bad character, even if objectively, it's a well-written character. On the flip side of the spectrum, you got people with low standards who like characters even if they aren't exactly well-written. There's nothing wrong with both.
  4. Me personally, i tend to lean towards likable characters, even if they aren't exactly well-written. If they are well-written, then they tend to become some of my favorite characters of all time. For example, Fei from Xenogears, Shulk from Xenoblade Chronicles, and Rex from Xenoblade Chronicles are among my favorite characters of all time because they are both likable and well-written (the Xeno series is good at making characters both likable and well-written). On the flip-side, if a character is well-written but boring to me, then i don't really care how good their writing is. An example of that is Chise from The Ancient Magus' Bride. Objectively, she's probably a well-written character. But she's too Goddamn boring for me to care.
Edited by Armagon

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I'm a simple man, I see boobies and butt, I like. Camilla, Tharja, Olivia are all likable characters in my books.

Then there's other characters who people may not think are well-written like Lucina or Gaius but I love them anyways.

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I'll take interesting characters over likable characters. Some of my favorite tv shows don't always have the most likable characters, but here are enjoyable for me.

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22 minutes ago, Armagon said:
  1. This probably belongs in the General thread, not the Serious section of it.
  2. There is definitely a difference between likable and well-written but the two usually go hand-in-hand. In addition, what makes a character "interesting" actually really comes down to personal preference. You can have a well-written character but that doesn't mean that they are automatically interesting. It just comes down to what you think is "interesting".
  3. On the subject of well-written, there's both a objective and a subjective side to it. The subjective side comes from what you consider to be well-written. There are people who have unreasonably high standards when it comes to writing so if a character doesn't meet their standards, then that person labels it as a bad character, even if objectively, it's a well-written character. On the flip side of the spectrum, you got people with low standards who like characters even if they aren't exactly well-written. There's nothing wrong with both.
  4. Me personally, i tend to lean towards likable characters, even if they aren't exactly well-written. If they are, then they tend to become some of my favorite characters of all time. On the flip-side, if a character is well-written but boring to me, then i don't really care how good their writing is.

thanks for the info so is there anyway to fix this? I'm new this so I apologies for my ignorance. I also agree on all points. Personally I think whether or not you like a character is subjective and you can like or dislike a character for whatever reason. However it irks me when people say a character is poorly written just because they don't like them. Obviously like you said the two go hand and hand but to me that seems a little close minded I guess(not the hand and hand part) and that's not to say you can't dislike a character for being poorly written or vice versa(Hell I hate faye for that exact reason) but it's just something that bothers me.

 

edit: also I apologies if I sound hypocritical or close minded here. Again I don't even know if what I'm saying makes sense at this point and I'll try to better explain my points better.

Edited by Otts486

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19 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

Then there's other characters who people may not think are well-written like Lucina or Gaius but I love them anyways.

honestly though lucina and gaius are really good characters in my books. Lucina because she essentially she wants to save a ruined world in order to live the life she was never able to and gaius is experienced and jaded but he has enough charisma and kindness to make him likable. kind of like kokichi now that I think about it.

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18 minutes ago, Otts486 said:

okay first of all Idk what forum type to put this under so yeah. Anyway, I've been thinking about this sort of thing a lot recently because of all the distaste I see for characters like severa, camilla, peri, and tharja. people say they're bad characters because their mean, immoral, psychotic, etc. Personally I like all those characters except tharja mostly because well they were interesting characters in my eyes. I think people need to understand there's a difference between a likable character and a well written or interesting one. Like just because a character is a good person that doesn't automatically make them a good character. I mean just look at characters like kirito or corrin. I dunno if what I'm saying even makes sense but it's something that's been on my mind is all.

Since the posts above pretty much nailed it I'll just say that it isn't that those characters are immoral that makes people not like them, I mean if people didn't like immoral characters than no one would like villains, who everyone has a favorite for.

Examples

Peri: People don't like Peri because of how her personality fits in with the whole cast, and how her psycho nature is treated as just a little condition that people need to understand about her rather than a serious problem that should be solved immediately. What makes it worse is that shes Xander's retainer, which makes no sense given that him of all people shouldn't even be able to look at Peri without being disgusted given his whole "everything is justice" deal he has. To top it off everyone suffers from what we call "the Peri Syndrome" in which they all randomly love her and accept her for who she is looking past her urge to kill innocents.

Camilla: Because it just feels like her whole design was made for the intent of fan service, and not her character traits at all. For me Camilla is the most unimmersive Nohrian sibling, or maybe character in all of fates because all the attention on her is just her privates and not who she is and what she stands for, no one has a problem with her ruthlessness towards her enemies, it is just her portrayal masks any speck of good character that might be in there at all. This may be just me though.

Severa: This one i'm actually OK with, mostly because her supports kinda explain her well. But I'm guessing people just don't like her because she may just be a generic tsundere.

Tharja: Now this is an example of what to much fan service can do to character in a franchise like this, and the community is so split on this it is hilarious. I will say that Tharja in her vanilla game is fine, and is WAY better than Camilla in my opinion.

Reasons:

1. Her Outfit actually does make sense given that Plegia is Egypt based. 2. She isn't bringing attention to herself and her privates, her artwork in support conversations even have her pretty much covering herself with a book and looking creepy. 3. While being immoral, she still has good supports (most of the time) where you can see an ounce of a good person becoming more prominent as they go on. The problem with her is that her popularity goaded IS into depicting her in more "exposed" ways that made people throw her in a category that they later lumped Camilla into as well. So I think that the way Tharja is portrayed is untrue to how she was when originally created.

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1 minute ago, Otts486 said:

thanks for the info so is there anyway to fix this?

The mods will do it when they get around to this.

2 minutes ago, Otts486 said:

However it irks me when people say a character is poorly written just because they don't like them.

Yeah, this is definitely an issue i tend to have as well. Of course, if the character is actually poorly-written, then it makes sense. But people do need to understand that not liking a character doesn't make them poorly-written by default. 

Of course, i did say before that there's a objective side as well. Peri is objectively terribly-written. But then comes the subjective side. You're still allowed to like Peri. Peri being objectively terribly-written does not mean no one is allowed to like her. Likewise, Ike is well-written objectively but that doesn't mean you have to like him. There are plenty of people on this forum who despise him.

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26 minutes ago, JimmyBeans said:

Since the posts above pretty much nailed it I'll just say that it isn't that those characters are immoral that makes people not like them, I mean if people didn't like immoral characters than no one would like villains, who everyone has a favorite for.

Examples

Peri: People don't like Peri because of how her personality fits in with the whole cast, and how her psycho nature is treated as just a little condition that people need to understand about her rather than a serious problem that should be solved immediately. What makes it worse is that shes Xander's retainer, which makes no sense given that him of all people shouldn't even be able to look at Peri without being disgusted given his whole "everything is justice" deal he has. To top it off everyone suffers from what we call "the Peri Syndrome" in which they all randomly love her and accept her for who she is looking past her urge to kill innocents.

Camilla: Because it just feels like her whole design was made for the intent of fan service, and not her character traits at all. For me Camilla is the most unimmersive Nohrian sibling, or maybe character in all of fates because all the attention on her is just her privates and not who she is and what she stands for, no one has a problem with her ruthlessness towards her enemies, it is just her portrayal masks any speck of good character that might be in there at all. This may be just me though.

Severa: This one i'm actually OK with, mostly because her supports kinda explain her well. But I'm guessing people just don't like her because she may just be a generic tsundere.

Tharja: Now this is an example of what to much fan service can do to character in a franchise like this, and the community is so split on this it is hilarious. I will say that Tharja in her vanilla game is fine, and is WAY better than Camilla in my opinion.

Reasons:

1. Her Outfit actually does make sense given that Plegia is Egypt based. 2. She isn't bringing attention to herself and her privates, her artwork in support conversations even have her pretty much covering herself with a book and looking creepy. 3. While being immoral, she still has good supports (most of the time) where you can see an ounce of a good person becoming more prominent as they go on. The problem with her is that her popularity goaded IS into depicting her in more "exposed" ways that made people throw her in a category that they later lumped Camilla into as well. So I think that the way Tharja is portrayed is untrue to how she was when originally created.

peri: Okay I will concede that point because yeah her position in the game's narrative makes no sense but I still find her interesting because given her backstory her personality and actions kind of makes sense.

Camilla: Again like peri I think she is an interesting character given how her backstory feeds very well into her personality. Honestly I wouldn't consider a great character because the reasons you mentioned really hold her back but I like her nonetheless.

Severa: She is actually my favorite awakening character and I hate it when people call her a generic tsundere. Granted she is a tsundere but she's far from a generic or cliche one. if you want to see a generic or cliche tsundere go watch something like asterisk war or aria the scarlet ammo. Severa is a well written character because while yes she is abrasive and mean, she has legitimate and understandable reasons for acting the way that she does and her switch from tsun to dere make sense in the times it happens. honestly I could go all day about why I like severa but I'll just leave it at that. I apologies for ranting it's just something I needed to get off my chest.

Tharja: I agree with you here. Personally I don't hate tharja but I don't particularly like her either. and after all the conflicting analysis of her character I've seen, Idk what to think about her from an objective writing standpoint.

What I consider a good character is one that I can relate to and understand. Like if a character is an asshole why are they an asshole? and if the answer is understandable and not something generic or nonexistent then I consider that a good character.

Edited by Otts486

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I haven't played Fates yet but the general impression I've gotten from others is that there's a lot of missed potential with the characters. Break down the elements of what makes a character-- their art, their role/actions in the story, their support conversations, their voice acting, and how they work as a unit in the gameplay-- and consider that a really interestingly designed character can be simply written poorly. This depends on the writer, of course, since as I understand it, Fates had different writers do supports and the main story, so a character like Xander becomes hit or miss. Ideally, there's a consistency between a character's actions, motivations, etc and contradictions or deviations are framed as being irrational or hypocritical, etc.

It gets a little more complicated with characters like Camilla and Tharja due to how they are portrayed not only in their source game, but also in spin-offs. There are things people like about them that are separate to their fanservice, yet because games are primarily a visual medium, things like their outfits, body language, etc are usually remembered and brought up more (by both creators and fans) than a meaningful interaction they had in a support conversation.

Since I have played Awakening, I can say this: Consider "creepy stalker Tharja" vs "troubled loner Tharja". Which do you find to be better written? Stalker Tharja's interests and motivations revolve around Robin (the player!), regardless of what you do. Loner Tharja is slow to trust others but eventually does, develops a sense of empathy, helps solve personal problems in herself and others (or at least tries to), and for many players, they can relate her. A majority of her dialogue in the game (supports) doesn't have anything to do with Robin, so her stalker aspects stand out like a sore thumb after you've gotten to know her through other characters, especially if you've given her an S support with somebody else. The game is literally telling you two different (sometimes contradictory) things about her. It would have been possible for her to be written in a way where she does have an interest in Robin for some given reason that meshes better with her social issues, but the writers missed that boat and continue to emphasize her stalker qualities in other games, often for the sake of fanservice.

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2 hours ago, Armagon said:

Yeah, this is definitely an issue i tend to have as well. Of course, if the character is actually poorly-written, then it makes sense. But people do need to understand that not liking a character doesn't make them poorly-written by default. 

Pretty much this and as I implied earlier I also dislike when people generalize a character’s archeatype. For example I both love and hate the term tsundere. I like it cause it’s an apt name for an archeatype I like but I hate it for the connotations it brings. Like when people notice a tsundere character that character is almost automatically labled as cliche just because they belong to a well worn and easily recognizable archeatype without any attempt to analyze the character based on their own merits and how well the archeatype was executed and utilized to fit in with the character’s development and growth. 

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I doubt I can add much to this discussion but here I go

For me, personally, I don't care if a character is terribly written. I really really really like Gaiden and all of it's characters (except Clair and Clive, they are the worst, absolutely the worst.) but they either have one or two lines at best. They are all likable due to their portraits, stats, and their small text and appearances (Except Clair, she just is the worst.)

I adore Janetta (Jenetta in the official English translation) from Etrian Odyssey 5, she is my favourite Innkeeper. She is great, but she isn't given too many lines as well. She has the normal unvoiced stuff all innkeepers have. However compared to the rest, she is the best. If you idle in her inn, she says movie references, charming little things that add to her character as the ditzy innkeeper. She, like all the other residents in the town of Iorys, has a side quest chain and makes appearances all over the Yggdrasil Tree itself. These side quests add more to her character and flesh her out, giving her more of a reason to be the best thing ever. She makes bread in a dungeon full of giant angry bear bird species that can one shot the whole party...alone. She gives you eggs and likes omelettes, actually though she is the best and I love her so much. 

For characters like Lucina, who I used to like, she is appealing to people because she is...bland. She is so bland that you can give her any trait, you can insert whatever you want on her, that's her existence. She is meant to be a wet board, whether you slept with Chrom or not, she is a wet appealing board, her limited character is limited to show 0 flaws, she herself cannot fail as a character as she has no flaws...because she has very little character to begin with. 

Camilla is literally tits. She doesn't actually have a character, she just doesn't, she is just tits. 

Characters who are extremely developed like Bayonetta are great due to being one thing and then developing from it. You know who she is, you know what she wants, you understand her completely throughout the whole game(s). But that doesn't mean a developed character is the best, like goddamn Lin from XCX. She is annoying, she is supposed to be the brains and the smart one but she is written so stupidly that you want to bitch slap her into oblivion. She isn't that well developed till later too, and her best lines are only in the beginning with the very little good coming from her quick jabs and other stupid things. If she wasn't in a serious game, she would be so much better as her writing would make sense...but she doesn't make sense in XCX. Elma though....much better. 

If this somehow made sense, uhh how?

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4 hours ago, Armagon said:

The mods will do it when they get around to this.

Then let's bump it up the to-do list a bit! ACTIVATE SUMMON POWERS! @eclipse

4 hours ago, Otts486 said:

Camilla: Again like peri I think she is an interesting character given how her backstory feeds very well into her personality. Honestly I wouldn't consider a great character because the reasons you mentioned really hold her back but I like her nonetheless.

Severa: She is actually my favorite awakening character and I hate it when people call her a generic tsundere. Granted she is a tsundere but she's far from a generic or cliche one. if you want to see a generic or cliche tsundere go watch something like asterisk war or aria the scarlet ammo. Severa is a well written character because while yes she is abrasive and mean, she has legitimate and understandable reasons for acting the way that she does and her switch from tsun to dere make sense in the times it happens. honestly I could go all day about why I like severa but I'll just leave it at that. I apologies for ranting it's just something I needed to get off my chest.

Tharja: I agree with you here. Personally I don't hate tharja but I don't particularly like her either. and after all the conflicting analysis of her character I've seen, Idk what to think about her from an objective writing standpoint.

What I consider a good character is one that I can relate to and understand. Like if a character is an asshole why are they an asshole? and if the answer is understandable and not something generic or nonexistent then I consider that a good character.

Camilla's one of those strange characters where you feel she could have been great, but the writers just kind of…stopped trying. As it is, she has interesting untapped potential in her backstory during the Concubine Wars - let's be honest here, she's mentally (Self-Censored) up, if only we could at least understand what actually drove her to that point. Regrettably, we can only speculate…and cringe at how they keep degenerating what little character she had with each successive appearance(FEW Camilla, I'm looking at you).

If you haven't already, go marry Selena and Subaki and get Selena-Caeldori A Support. It's almost literally the only serious moment of growth she has in Fates, and it's great to see. Plus you get to watch her cry. Somehow I can't get over how enjoyable it is to watch her cry. It's not even Awakening, I just like watching her cry in Fates.

As for Tharja, from an objective writing standpoint she's very interesting, though as Armagon said it's a matter of personal preference. I recommend watching 'Tharja: How Awakening made a good, bad character' by Ghaast on YouTube, as it goes into some very good detail on her character and personality and makes a very educated judgement rather than just throwing around this and that like most casual internet forumgoers will do - heck, it turned my negative opinion of her around. He also did videos on how Camilla has a mental disorder and on how Peri is pretty much the absolute worst mistake in all of Fates(and if you ask around that's definitely saying something). I will agree Peri is an ok character on her own, but she definitely does not belong in a Fire Emblem game, much less on the good guys' team. He doesn't have one for Severa, but he digs into her relationship with Cordelia in his video on her, so that's two waifus one video something, I guess.

On Topic, I'm not really certain what exactly it is about characters that grab me - sometimes it's the personality, like Fuuko in Conception 2(relatively very normal girl in this fantasy world environment), sometimes it's actually the VA, as Heroes Palla managed to show by somehow skipping into my heart, and yeah, I'll admit, sometimes it's the looks, though it isn't always for boobs, like Cordelia.

48 minutes ago, Kazuya said:

Camilla is literally boobs. She doesn't actually have a character, she just doesn't, she is just boobs.
(Edited because I'm uncomfortable about that word, sorry)

Check abovementioned video on Camilla. She has a character, it's just…not really much better than just being eyecandy. There's a reason she was the main sibling I heavily rewrote when I first started working on writing set in Fates' world.

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28 minutes ago, SoulWeaver said:

Then let's bump it up the to-do list a bit! ACTIVATE SUMMON POWERS! @eclipse

Camilla's one of those strange characters where you feel she could have been great, but the writers just kind of…stopped trying. As it is, she has interesting untapped potential in her backstory during the Concubine Wars - let's be honest here, she's mentally (Self-Censored) up, if only we could at least understand what actually drove her to that point. Regrettably, we can only speculate…and cringe at how they keep degenerating what little character she had with each successive appearance(FEW Camilla, I'm looking at you).

If you haven't already, go marry Selena and Subaki and get Selena-Caeldori A Support. It's almost literally the only serious moment of growth she has in Fates, and it's great to see. Plus you get to watch her cry. Somehow I can't get over how enjoyable it is to watch her cry. It's not even Awakening, I just like watching her cry in Fates.

As for Tharja, from an objective writing standpoint she's very interesting, though as Armagon said it's a matter of personal preference. I recommend watching 'Tharja: How Awakening made a good, bad character' by Ghaast on YouTube, as it goes into some very good detail on her character and personality and makes a very educated judgement rather than just throwing around this and that like most casual internet forumgoers will do - heck, it turned my negative opinion of her around. He also did videos on how Camilla has a mental disorder and on how Peri is pretty much the absolute worst mistake in all of Fates(and if you ask around that's definitely saying something). I will agree Peri is an ok character on her own, but she definitely does not belong in a Fire Emblem game, much less on the good guys' team. He doesn't have one for Severa, but he digs into her relationship with Cordelia in his video on her, so that's two waifus one video something, I guess.

On Topic, I'm not really certain what exactly it is about characters that grab me - sometimes it's the personality, like Fuuko in Conception 2(relatively very normal girl in this fantasy world environment), sometimes it's actually the VA, as Heroes Palla managed to show by somehow skipping into my heart, and yeah, I'll admit, sometimes it's the looks, though it isn't always for boobs, like Cordelia.

Check abovementioned video on Camilla. She has a character, it's just…not really much better than just being eyecandy. There's a reason she was the main sibling I heavily rewrote when I first started working on writing set in Fates' world.

People always say "she has a back story, she has this and that" but she doesn't. She is nothing more than sex appeal due to the writing in 14, but this is nothing new. You already know what I will say, and I know what you will say in response. 

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When in doubt, use the Report button.  It isn't the "get in trouble" button, it's "get the mod's attention" (but do make sure that if you're trying to get someone in trouble, that it's an actual rules breach).  Moving stuff like this is what I'm here for!  Sometimes, SF will glitch out and you'll your post, multiple times.  Hit Report, explain that it's an accidental double-post, and someone will remove the duplicate.  No, you won't get in trouble if it's an actual accident!

Interesting that you brought up Tharja, because she has a lot of depth to her.  Even her treatment of Noire has its own place (I still despise Noire/her father's support, but not for the same reasons as most).

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A lot of the characters listed do suffer from being poorly written if you ask me. I'd certainly agree that Camilla and Tharja have some very interesting concepts but those concept are then brushed aside so the writers can focus on infinitely less interesting fanservice aspect of their character.

Camilla wanting to sleep with Corrin isn't all there is to Corrin. She has a tragic backstory and the mental instability to go along with it and she really is extremely devoted and doting to her Family. That makes an interesting character but these concepts often take a backseat to Camilla's lust for Corrin. Supports like the ones with Arthur, Silas and of course Corrin focus on that aspects exclusively while Niles is the only support where Camilla really goes into detail about her past and how it affects her. 
Camilla is poorly written because the writers go out of their way to make her creepy crush on Corrin more important then what's actually interesting about her. For fanservice. 

Same with Tharja. She's a lot more interesting when she helps the other characters with their personal problems like with how she helps Gregor and Libra yet its her stalker tenancies that were made Tharja's more defining feature. For fanservice. 

4 hours ago, Kazuya said:

For characters like Lucina, who I used to like, she is appealing to people because she is...bland. She is so bland that you can give her any trait, you can insert whatever you want on her, that's her existence. She is meant to be a wet board, whether you slept with Chrom or not, she is a wet appealing board, her limited character is limited to show 0 flaws, she herself cannot fail as a character as she has no flaws...because she has very little character to begin with. 

I think people are generally to quick to call Lucina bland. Lucina's problem is that she's more like the older FE characters that's not only stuck in the more expressive Awakening cast but especially with the wackiest of the bunch. Lucina has a defined personality and some deeper layers but she just doesn't immediately shout all she is from the rooftops like other characters. I can see how that can appear bland when compared to a serial womanizer, a larper and Batman but that doesn't make it so. 

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5 hours ago, Kazuya said:

I doubt I can add much to this discussion but here I go

For me, personally, I don't care if a character is terribly written. I really really really like Gaiden and all of it's characters (except Clair and Clive, they are the worst, absolutely the worst.) but they either have one or two lines at best. They are all likable due to their portraits, stats, and their small text and appearances (Except Clair, she just is the worst.)

I adore Janetta (Jenetta in the official English translation) from Etrian Odyssey 5, she is my favourite Innkeeper. She is great, but she isn't given too many lines as well. She has the normal unvoiced stuff all innkeepers have. However compared to the rest, she is the best. If you idle in her inn, she says movie references, charming little things that add to her character as the ditzy innkeeper. She, like all the other residents in the town of Iorys, has a side quest chain and makes appearances all over the Yggdrasil Tree itself. These side quests add more to her character and flesh her out, giving her more of a reason to be the best thing ever. She makes bread in a dungeon full of giant angry bear bird species that can one shot the whole party...alone. She gives you eggs and likes omelettes, actually though she is the best and I love her so much. 

For characters like Lucina, who I used to like, she is appealing to people because she is...bland. She is so bland that you can give her any trait, you can insert whatever you want on her, that's her existence. She is meant to be a wet board, whether you slept with Chrom or not, she is a wet appealing board, her limited character is limited to show 0 flaws, she herself cannot fail as a character as she has no flaws...because she has very little character to begin with. 

Camilla is literally tits. She doesn't actually have a character, she just doesn't, she is just tits. 

Characters who are extremely developed like Bayonetta are great due to being one thing and then developing from it. You know who she is, you know what she wants, you understand her completely throughout the whole game(s). But that doesn't mean a developed character is the best, like goddamn Lin from XCX. She is annoying, she is supposed to be the brains and the smart one but she is written so stupidly that you want to bitch slap her into oblivion. She isn't that well developed till later too, and her best lines are only in the beginning with the very little good coming from her quick jabs and other stupid things. If she wasn't in a serious game, she would be so much better as her writing would make sense...but she doesn't make sense in XCX. Elma though....much better. 

If this somehow made sense, uhh how?

Going to challenge you there that Elma is any better written than Lin. She continuously and needlessly lies to all her supposed friends and holds an incredible four standard as to what's acceptable for her and for everyone else. Only once, at the very end of the game is she semi-called out on anything and even then it's brushed away immediately. I'd love it if her hypocrisy was an actual acknowledge trait, but she suffers no consequence for her actions and the narrative still treats her like the cool, wise commander that always does what's best for everyone when reality she covers her own ass and treats humans like a bunch of puppies to play with.

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I've always defined "well-written" as there being consistency between the narrative tone and the audience reaction.

In that sense, most characters that are "well-written" are also characters I like.  Sometimes, however, I wind up liking characters for the wrong reasons.  And other times, I just like a character's "aesthetic", I guess.  Typically speaking, I don't like poorly written characters.  And I think usually in the 3DS FE era, the "poorly written" characters are those that are gimmicky for the sake of comedy, but fail to make people laugh.

An important caveat here is that it's not always obvious what the narrative tone is supposed to be.  For example, some would argue that Tharja's entire purpose is to be an over-obsessive gothic lolita who wants to jump your avatar's bones, but there's actually more to her than that.  The majority of her supports actually don't even mention Robin, and she is helpful to others, if sometimes standoffish.

I feel a lot of fans are at fault for slapping inaccurate assessments on characters.  Or at least, those that aren't entirely comprehensive.  This is a particularly big issue with the avatars; people think that if they've seen a few avatar supports, they've seen them all, which is never true.  And I think my case with Tharja is proof enough of this.  Sometimes I even think that FE critical FE fans only define "well-written" as "this character isn't a bad guy" because they always seem to criticize those that aren't necessarily good people on the grounds that they're not good people.

Until I've seen everything a character has to offer, I will not assert whether said character is good or bad.  I will have an opinion, of course, but I try to avoid saying "this character is badly written" until I've turned every stone, so to speak.  I'd say that I almost never like characters who are poorly written, but do sometimes appreciate unlikable characters that are well-written.

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7 minutes ago, Ertrick36 said:

I've always defined "well-written" as there being consistency between the narrative tone and the audience reaction.

In that sense, most characters that are "well-written" are also characters I like.  Sometimes, however, I wind up liking characters for the wrong reasons.  And other times, I just like a character's "aesthetic", I guess.  Typically speaking, I don't like poorly written characters.  And I think usually in the 3DS FE era, the "poorly written" characters are those that are gimmicky for the sake of comedy, but fail to make people laugh.

An important caveat here is that it's not always obvious what the narrative tone is supposed to be.  For example, some would argue that Tharja's entire purpose is to be an over-obsessive gothic lolita who wants to jump your avatar's bones, but there's actually more to her than that.  The majority of her supports actually don't even mention Robin, and she is helpful to others, if sometimes standoffish.

I feel a lot of fans are at fault for slapping inaccurate assessments on characters.  Or at least, those that aren't entirely comprehensive.  This is a particularly big issue with the avatars; people think that if they've seen a few avatar supports, they've seen them all, which is never true.  And I think my case with Tharja is proof enough of this.  Sometimes I even think that FE critical FE fans only define "well-written" as "this character isn't a bad guy" because they always seem to criticize those that aren't necessarily good people on the grounds that they're not good people.

Until I've seen everything a character has to offer, I will not assert whether said character is good or bad.  I will have an opinion, of course, but I try to avoid saying "this character is badly written" until I've turned every stone, so to speak.  I'd say that I almost never like characters who are poorly written, but do sometimes appreciate unlikable characters that are well-written.

I'm not so sure about that. I think the most unabashedly obnoxious playable character in the series is Shinon, who starts out as a dick and remains a dick throughout, even in the sequel. He has some per the dog moments with Rolf but all in all is still an unrepentant racist jerk. Yet people don't hate him. I mean...I don't see anyone loving him either, I expect most people are pretty ambivalent towards him. But if unlikeable character = character worth complaining about, then I reckon I would have seen some hate thrown his way by now. Of course he doesn't come from the modern games that get a lot more flak for their writing (and are also just more widely played), so maybe that's the reason.

Edited by Jotari

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6 minutes ago, Jotari said:

I'm not so sure about that.

What part of my post are you referring to that you're not so sure about?

If it seems like I'm mostly referring to the 3DS games, it's because I am.  I don't know much about how people feel about the older games' characters except for tidbits such as people either love or hate Soren, and people think that Catria is one of the best units in Mystery of the Emblem Book 2 (an opinion I certainly won't argue against).

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14 minutes ago, Ertrick36 said:

What part of my post are you referring to that you're not so sure about?

If it seems like I'm mostly referring to the 3DS games, it's because I am.  I don't know much about how people feel about the older games' characters except for tidbits such as people either love or hate Soren, and people think that Catria is one of the best units in Mystery of the Emblem Book 2 (an opinion I certainly won't argue against).

Ah, sorry, should have bolded. I meant this bit.  

Spoiler

Sometimes I even think that FE critical FE fans only define "well-written" as "this character isn't a bad guy" because they always seem to criticize those that aren't necessarily good people on the grounds that they're not good people.

 

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that's why I dislike about fates...too much quirk. It doesn't fit with FE...well generally Fates.

I played Echoes first then Fates after... the character in Echeos feel much "human". I like how Jedah was "manipulating?" Celica.

I like them all, also you can put them all of them on the field. In Fates you are limited to x character in battle.

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8 hours ago, SoulWeaver said:

Camilla's one of those strange characters where you feel she could have been great, but the writers just kind of…stopped trying. As it is, she has interesting untapped potential in her backstory during the Concubine Wars - let's be honest here, she's mentally (Self-Censored) up, if only we could at least understand what actually drove her to that point. Regrettably, we can only speculate…and cringe at how they keep degenerating what little character she had with each successive appearance(FEW Camilla, I'm looking at you).

agree 100% though while warriors camilla is flanderized to the point of no return I honestly find the creepiness charming and somewhat hilarious especially in her supports with frederick and chrom.

8 hours ago, SoulWeaver said:

If you haven't already, go marry Selena and Subaki and get Selena-Caeldori A Support. It's almost literally the only serious moment of growth she has in Fates, and it's great to see. Plus you get to watch her cry. Somehow I can't get over how enjoyable it is to watch her cry. It's not even Awakening, I just like watching her cry in Fates.

I have yet to do the pairing myself but I have seen a video on it and though I don't remember much of it it is a very good conversation and really showcases how much severa has grown. Also yeah I agree about the crying thing I actually find it somewhat cute. I like how after all her walls are broken she just sort of let's it all out. The fact that she's usually always so abrasive makes it immensely more satisfying.

8 hours ago, SoulWeaver said:

As for Tharja, from an objective writing standpoint she's very interesting, though as Armagon said it's a matter of personal preference. I recommend watching 'Tharja: How Awakening made a good, bad character' by Ghaast on YouTube, as it goes into some very good detail on her character and personality and makes a very educated judgement rather than just throwing around this and that like most casual internet forumgoers will do - heck, it turned my negative opinion of her around. He also did videos on how Camilla has a mental disorder and on how Peri is pretty much the absolute worst mistake in all of Fates(and if you ask around that's definitely saying something). I will agree Peri is an ok character on her own, but she definitely does not belong in a Fire Emblem game, much less on the good guys' team. He doesn't have one for Severa, but he digs into her relationship with Cordelia in his video on her, so that's two waifus one video something, I guess.

Actually yes I have seen all those videos by ghast and that's one the main reasons I stated thinking on this in the first place. The tharja video is pretty much the whole reason I don't dislike her but I guess I'll have to read more of her supports myself in order to arrive at my own conclusions. I do agree with his analysis on peri and camilla but I don't agree with his conclusions on them. Like you said peri is a good character on her own but in the context of the story she is in it makes no sense why she's there.  

4 hours ago, Ertrick36 said:

I feel a lot of fans are at fault for slapping inaccurate assessments on characters.  Or at least, those that aren't entirely comprehensive.  This is a particularly big issue with the avatars; people think that if they've seen a few avatar supports, they've seen them all, which is never true.  And I think my case with Tharja is proof enough of this.  Sometimes I even think that FE critical FE fans only define "well-written" as "this character isn't a bad guy" because they always seem to criticize those that aren't necessarily good people on the grounds that they're not good people.

Until I've seen everything a character has to offer, I will not assert whether said character is good or bad.  I will have an opinion, of course, but I try to avoid saying "this character is badly written" until I've turned every stone, so to speak.  I'd say that I almost never like characters who are poorly written, but do sometimes appreciate unlikable characters that are well-written.

This times 1000

 

also on the first paragraph. It's another reason I've been thinking on this topic a lot recently and I hate to name names but honestly it has a lot to do with blazing knight. I mean he is a good youtuber and all but sometimes his opinions just confuse me. Like he hates severa for being unpleasant and tsundere yet he likes maribelle even though she's unpleasant and is somewhat tsundere. That's not to say I dislike maribelle no I think maribelle's great but ugh. It's really his overrated character list that sort of ignited this fire in me and I could go on all day on how much I hate that video but I digress. Also for whatever reason I almost never find myself disliking unlikable but well written characters because I appreciate that they are well written. It sort of clashes and then sort of becomes indifference. It's weird but whatever

Edited by Otts486
adding a new thought

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In general, it's nice to have a character be both likable and well-written, but it really depends on the work on question whether or not one can work without the other.

For instance, Atton Rand from Knights of the Old Republic 2 starts out looking like a more cynical and jaded Han Solo (in contrast to how Mission Vao from the previous game is a younger, more idealistic twist on this archetype), but after learning about his backstory and why he has certain habits, he becomes increasingly more interesting, while still not remaining the most likable of characters. Meanwhile, Game of Thrones doesn't interest me, despite being undeniably well-written, because it could be summarized as "evil people doing evil things" (yes, I know there is a heck lot more to the series than that, but that's the general impression I get whenever I see it mentioned). While both examples are very dark, the former interests me because you can still be a good guy and do great acts of kindness and heroism despite how broken the universe is and how many "good" choices can backfire on you, while the latter has very few characters you can reliably root for.

As for Fire Emblem I honestly think that the support system is a very sharp double edged sword. You're limited to how many supports you can have in the GBA games, and some of them build very slowly, while in Awakening and Fates, there are so many that it's nearly impossible to see them all without looking at a wiki. Neither does it help that, most noticeable in the 3DS games (although all of games are guilty of this), many of the supports can vary wildly in quality. Seriously, you can easily go from one of the best written supports you've read to something that was written and edited in 5 or 10 minutes. It's for this reason that despite greatly disliking the opinion that some characters "are just anime tropes," I can't blame anyone for having it.

Edited by Hawkwing

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5 minutes ago, Hawkwing said:

As for Fire Emblem I honestly think that the support system is a very sharp double edged sword. You're limited to how many supports you can have in the GBA games, and some of them build very slowly, while in Awakening and Fates, there are so many that it's nearly impossible to see them all without looking at a wiki. Neither does it help that, most noticeable in the 3DS games (although all of games are guilty of this), many of the supports can range wildly in quality. Seriously, you can easily go from one of the best written supports you've read to something that was written and edited in 5 or 10 minutes. It's for this reason that despite greatly disliking the opinion of some characters "are just anime tropes," I can't blame anyone for having it.

I can agree with this. The one thing I dislike about the whole "anime tropes" argument is the examples people cite when making it because they only cite characters like severa or tharja when in reality there are way more anime tropes in these games. Tharja, camilla, and severa are usually only cited as examples because they're the most easily recognizable and pretty much the only tropes these guys know. As for other anime tropes seen in these games take sumia for example she's your typical one note try hard moe deredere. Heck her japanese support with chrom has her giving him boxed lunches which is as stereotypical as a deredere can be 

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