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Plot Twists & Turns You Think the Story Would've Been Better Without

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These moments that change the plot from how it seemed it was going to go; these shocking revelations or unforeseen events that dramatically shift a story in a new direction. Done well, these moments can truly enhance a story and make it well-remembered for a very long time...

This, however, is not a thread about moments that enhanced the story; this is a thread about plot twists or other moments where the story took a sudden turn that you think the story would've been better off not having, and why you think it detracts from the story. 

 

Note: since these moments are usually very important moments in a story, as in spoilers, please state the name of the story and then put the twist or turn itself in a spoiler tag. 

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The ending of Naruto immediately comes to might. Right as the story is ending they introduce whole new clans, characters and themes. 

Spoiler

I'm naturally talking about the introduction of Kaguya and her clan of wacky moon people. Right as the story of Shippuden is ending, right as the fight against Madara is reaching its conclusions some weird alien girl suddenly walks into the plot and insist the story of Naruto is, and always has been about her. Kaguya has been behind every single thing and she's the final villain that needs defeating. This is all done without any sort of foreshadowing and without there really being any need for it. Frankly Kaguya seems more like a desperate measures the investors forced on the writer to ensure the end of the Naruto money train could be delayed for a couple more weeks. This proved to be quite damaging because now Naruto's sequel series is stuck with the wacky moon people too. 

There's also the ending of Mass Effect 3 where the motivation behind the mysterious Reapers is finally introduced. Their motive is so horrible it completely destroyed the Reapers as credible villains and since they are the driving force behind the Mass Effect plot the entire story is dragged down with the Reapers. The grand reveal behind the Reapers is.....

Spoiler

That they really hate the idea of machines rising up and destroying the organic species of the galaxy. So they, a machine race rise up against their masters and proceed to wipe out all organic races in the galaxy so that other machines can't rise up and destroy all the organic. Its inherently silly and the lip service that the Reapers at least leave some organics alive doesn't make it any less pathetic. 

 

Edited by Etrurian emperor

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I think the decision to bring back Palpatine in Star Wars 9 didn't contribute much to the story except making no godamn sense. It felt like the team were running out of ideas and made this cheap "twist"  to nostalgia bait people.

 

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2 minutes ago, Vaieti said:

I think the decision to bring back Palpatine in Star Wars 9 didn't contribute much to the story except making no godamn sense. It felt like the team were running out of ideas and made this cheap "twist"  to nostalgia bait people.

 

I think Palpatine returning did serve a point though its a point that reflects really poorly on the writers of the first two sequel movies. Palpatine was brought back because the trilogy needed a villain after Snoke got killed, and the First Order by definition was not able to fulfill that role...because its the First Order. The First Order proved to be a pathetic villain organisation filled with joke characters and clones of better villains that came before. One of its leading members is an emo teenager, the other is a joke villain, another is a coward and its grand leader was easily butchered by the aforementioned emo teenager. I suspect that the writers didn't believe the audience could accept the First Order really carrying a story by itself. Snoke's mystery gave him the benefit of the doubt but Kylo proved he was not even half the villain we thought he was. 

Because the First Order couldn't be counted on to pose a real threat old Palps was dragged back from the grave. Personally I think they did Kylo a little dirty. Kylo growing from emo teenager with temper tantrums into an imposing supreme commander would be some nice character development, but I can understand why Disney wouldn't have faith in people accepting him as anything but an awkward teenager.  

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13 minutes ago, Etrurian emperor said:

The ending of Naruto immediately comes to might. Right as the story is ending they introduce whole new clans, characters and themes. 

Spoiler

I think in an interview Kishimoto did say he had no idea on how to he would Madara defeated. Kaguya herself isn’t necessarily a bad twist because she can fit into the story if you think It through but honestly I do agree the story would’ve definitely been better without her because Madara makes for a much better final boss. Though I do like how Kaguya and Zetsu kinda hammer home the “defying one’s fate” theme a little more. There’s a video I watched that goes into this a little deeper.

 

 

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Baten Kaitos:

Spoiler

Xelha stays dead.  Kind of cheapens her sacrifice otherwise.

Radiant Dawn:

Spoiler

Micaiah being Sanaki's older sister.  Why NOT have a random Branded street kid take over the realm?

Blazing Sword:
 

Spoiler

Ninian.  Should've.  Stayed.  Dead.  Seems to be a running theme for me.

Final Fantasy Tactics:

Spoiler

Of all the reasons why Mewt's Ivalice had to stay, RItz is worried about the color of her hair.  Really?

 

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2 minutes ago, Etrurian emperor said:

I think Palpatine returning did serve a point though its a point that reflects really poorly on the writers of the first two sequel movies. Palpatine was brought back because the trilogy needed a villain after Snoke got killed, and the First Order by definition was not able to fulfill that role...because its the First Order. The First Order proved to be a pathetic villain organisation filled with joke characters and clones of better villains that came before. One of its leading members is an emo teenager, the other is a joke villain, another is a coward and its grand leader was easily butchered by the aforementioned emo teenager. I suspect that the writers didn't believe the audience could accept the First Order really carrying a story by itself. Snoke's mystery gave him the benefit of the doubt but Kylo proved he was not even half the villain we thought he was. 

Because the First Order couldn't be counted on to pose a real threat old Palps was dragged back from the grave. Personally I think they did Kylo a little dirty. Kylo growing from emo teenager with temper tantrums into an imposing supreme commander would be some nice character development, but I can understand why Disney wouldn't have faith in people accepting him as anything but an awkward teenager.  

Yeah, I get that, what I mean is I would have prefered, like literaly any other solution to the problem, but as the writing of the sequels would have it, it simply couldn't be. If I had been the one calling the shots, I would have had Rey and Kylo join together at the end of The last Jedi and develop a Gray side of the force. this deecision would have made her the supreme leader of the First Order, which would have made it possible for her to try and sort things out more fairly, between the firm and strong leader that Kylo would have been, and her more selfless side. Buuut, it's disney and they would never try that type of risk. I also feel like the whole palpatine reveal would have been actually good if it had been planned from the beginning, but it clearly wasn't and that is imdeed what worsened it.

 

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I may as well list mine:

Code Geass:

Spoiler

This show was a trainwreck with a lot of great concepts executed poorly, but the moment I'll refer to as the Euphemia Incident takes the cake, as it's not even a good concept. I'm talking of course about the moment when Lelouch accidentally uses his Geass on Princess Euphemia; commanding her to "kill all the Japanese" and she goes on a rampage. I have so many problems with this, but I'll just say the big ones:

1. It is so horrendously contrived and out of left-field that it is a full-on Diabolus-ex-Machina (the inverse of a Deus ex Machina). Lelouch has been aware that his Geass will go out-of-control, and it had earlier activated on his own during a confrontation with a bigoted old man, and in that case, Lelouch was able to notice it was happening and cover his eye just in time. But it still terrified him. Throughout the whole conversation with Euphemia, he is extremely careful; either wearing his Zero helmet or looking away from her when talking, yet he looks right into her eyes at the exact worse possible moment, and it activates by sheer chance at exactly that moment? That's just bad. 

2. Euphemia was a very interesting character, and one that was on the verge of doing something that could've brought about a very interesting series of events. Thanks to the Euphemia Incident, however, she ends up stuffed into the fridge all so the conflict can resume. If they wanted to resume the conflict, they could've had it that her plan goes into action and tragically falls apart all on its own; forcing her to reassess her efforts at peaceful reformation. 

3. It completely undoes Suzaku's character development. Euphemia brought him out of his shell and gave him a reason to keep living. With her dead, he just goes right back into his shell and spends a huge chunk of the series largely as he was pre-development. That's just bad writing. 

 

The Legend of Korra:

Spoiler

The reveal that Amon is a bloodbender and a son of Yakone. 

Amon is first presented to the audience as an enigmatic masked non-bender leading a revolution in Republic City to end social inequality between benders and non-benders. We're not really shown that there actually is an inequality problem in Republic City, but Amon nonetheless proves to be a scary and effective villain: strategically brilliant, able to go toe-to-toe with Benders despite not being a bender, able to permanently take away someone's bending (a feat Aang had to learn from an ancient Lion-Turtle; one of the few things old enough to remember "The Era Before the Avatar"), and being extremely eerily calm in every situation he's in. He proves to be a very cool, unique, badass, and downright terrifying antagonist. He even at one point has Avatar Korra completely at his mercy... and he does nothing; fearing she would otherwise become a martyr when, at that point, she was nothing to his plans.

Later, they introduce another antagonist: Tarrlok: the unofficial leader of the Republic and the bloodbending son of Yakone: a bloodbending crime boss whose bending was taken away by Aang. Okay, this is neat: two rivalling villains: a bloodbending ruler and product of his father's vengeance, and a masked revolutionary non-bender. This is very cool, and seeing Amon beat Tarrlok is very cool. Then, in the last episode of season 1, the reveal happens: Amon is actually Tarrlok's older brother and another bloodbender, as well as another product of his father's revenge vendetta against the Avatar and Republic City.

…Why? Seriously; why? There were several ways to explain him taking away a person's bending; him somehow doing it through bloodbending just raises more questions than answers. But, more importantly, it makes the primary antagonist of the story go from unique to redundant. Where before, we had a masked revolutionary that was a bit of an underdog compared to the villains we saw in ATLA and who stood out as a unique antagonist, we suddenly have an OP bloodbender who's the second bloodbending antagonist in this season; third if we include their dad's appearance in flashbacks. It also makes his previous feats less of an accomplishment: it's outright stated that he subtly used bloodbending to make all his opponents' attacks miss him and give him the edge in fights; weakening those accomplishments. It also makes defeating him way too easy, as all they have to do is trick him into exposing his bending in front of his Equalists and suddenly, the revolution's over. Why? Were they just so desperate for a way for Korra to defeat Amon and his Equalists?

 

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10 minutes ago, eclipse said:

 

Blazing Sword:

  Reveal hidden contents

Ninian.  Should've.  Stayed.  Dead.  Seems to be a running theme for me.

 

Spoiler

Yes I agrre it seems like a rather commonish trope in writing to pretend to have that big dramatic loss, just to take away everything from that moment by reverting it completely. I like it when stories clearly show that somethings are simply irreversible (especially in a game with perma death), and that all actions have unavoidable consequences. I don't get why writers think that eveyone needs to have a golden or happy ending, since it really isn't that way in life. Tragic texts and stories have always been my favourite personnaly, and man do I love it when a good story hits me in the feels with something like this, although there are times where it has been overdone, and ends up making you indifferent to these events in the story.

 

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1 hour ago, Vaieti said:

 

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Yes I agrre it seems like a rather commonish trope in writing to pretend to have that big dramatic loss, just to take away everything from that moment by reverting it completely. I like it when stories clearly show that somethings are simply irreversible (especially in a game with perma death), and that all actions have unavoidable consequences. I don't get why writers think that eveyone needs to have a golden or happy ending, since it really isn't that way in life. Tragic texts and stories have always been my favourite personnaly, and man do I love it when a good story hits me in the feels with something like this, although there are times where it has been overdone, and ends up making you indifferent to these events in the story.

 

Spoiler

To me, fake-out deaths can be done well, but usually there has to be more to it then, "You suffered the loss of this character... Surprise; they're actually alive!" For me, there usually has to be a reason why they didn't actually die, and the fake-out itself has to have ramifications. 

 

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2 hours ago, Etrurian emperor said:

The ending of Naruto immediately comes to might. Right as the story is ending they introduce whole new clans, characters and themes. 

im gonna on up ya there and say that well the sasuke retrieval arc was a solid story, i feel it did more harm then good overall to naruto.

Its primary strength before that point was that you had a group of dysfunctional idiots for varying reasons being forced to work together and thus grow from that forced interaction. And well sasukes decision wasn't out of the blue or anything it kinda killed that emotional core and led to a lot of shippudens problems, such as the extreme flanderization of naruto and sasukes relation and characters (to the point that they honest to god did resemble the least charitable interpretations of them), and the sortta fridging of sakura that lasted for most of the rest of the series. to the point that when madara showed up it really felt like things had lost their way. in my experience anyways.

also, almost all the twists in the later half of bleach despite kinda making sense, still rather sucked.

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9 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:
  Reveal hidden contents

 

To be fair, that one did.

Spoiler

Had Ninian stayed dead, Eliwood would have to face the fact that in his quest to defeat Nergal, he had to sacrifice something important to him - a bit ironic, since Nergal lost Ninian as well.  Since Roy's mom is assumed to be dead, it would mean that Eliwood powered through the loss of two women that he cared for, which would've taken quite a bit of internal strength!

It's also a cautionary tale about relying on power to get through everything.

 

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4 minutes ago, eclipse said:

To be fair, that one did.

  Hide contents

Had Ninian stayed dead, Eliwood would have to face the fact that in his quest to defeat Nergal, he had to sacrifice something important to him - a bit ironic, since Nergal lost Ninian as well.  Since Roy's mom is assumed to be dead, it would mean that Eliwood powered through the loss of two women that he cared for, which would've taken quite a bit of internal strength!

It's also a cautionary tale about relying on power to get through everything.

 

Oh; I was just talking about in general, not Blazing Sword specifically. 

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3 minutes ago, vanguard333 said:

Oh; I was just talking about in general, not Blazing Sword specifically. 

Gotcha.  Though both the justifications and ramifications need to make sense.  Doing it solely because it's a plot twist doesn't do it justice.

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29 minutes ago, eclipse said:

Gotcha.  Though both the justifications and ramifications need to make sense.  Doing it solely because it's a plot twist doesn't do it justice.

Thanks. That's what I was trying to get at. I probably should've been more clear. 

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I've wrestled with this one for years, but Final Fantasy 8's twist

Spoiler

of Guardian Forces causing Alzheimer's, and the main cast being all kids who grew up in the same orphanage(Besides Rinoa).

On one hand, that's fucking stupid.

On the other, it definitely helps explain several character traits. Quistis's big sister instinct causing her to be awkward about Squall and thinking she's in love, Irvine's hang-ups with assassinating Edea and his general insecurities that none of his friends remember him, Zell being realistically the most well-adjusted member of the team, and then Squall and Seifer and their respective issues about nobody wanting to adopt them. It all ties into themes of people being unable to communicate feelings and learning to grow up, which is a big part of FF8.

Half of me thinks "This is a dumb twist, get rid of it." The other half thinks "This could have been a fine twist if if was hinted that these people knew each other and were naturally drawn to each other, and there was more than one throw-away line from a side character about the dangers of GFs".

 

Edited by Slumber

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Kingdom Hearts 3:

Spoiler

Rewriting Master Xehanort into a misunderstood villain at the last moment. Despite all the years he has spent ruining people lives and hearts just to fuel his curiosity of what happens when the darkness wins. To be forgiven by Sora and company.

Batman Beyond:

 
 
 
1
Spoiler

Terry Mcginnis being Bruce Wayne's biological son. I feel it takes a lot of what Terry did as Batman to be written off as some grand plan to ensure that the future will have a Batman. Him having Batman genes in him cheapens a lot what made him unique earlier.  

Star Wars Rebels:

Quote

The World Between Worlds/time travel. It felt like a get out of jail free card for dealing with Ahsoka possible fate with Darth Vader. Just to be moved permanently on the sidelines never able to interact in the Original and sequel eras.  I'm weary with the idea of time travel in Star Wars, but that pushed it into do not want territory. 

Mass Effect 3 and Naruto endings also get to me.

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9 minutes ago, Jingle Jangle said:

Batman Beyond:

Spoiler
 
 
 
1
  Reveal hidden contents

Terry Mcginnis being Bruce Wayne's biological son. I feel it takes a lot of what Terry did as Batman to be written off as some grand plan to ensure that the future will have a Batman. Him having Batman genes in him cheapens a lot what made him unique earlier.  

 

Spoiler

Yeah; I didn't like that reveal either. It kind-of undermines the idea that Terry is a complete newcomer to Batman's world and it undermines his achievements. 

Funny enough, apparently it wasn't planned; it came about after a fan pointed out to them how it is incredibly improbable (genetically speaking) for a brunette (Terry's dad) and a redhead (Terry's mom) to produce two dark-haired kids (Terry and his brother). At the time that fans pointed this out to the writers, it was a popular fan-theory that this was the reason Terry's parents were divorced: the dad suspecting infidelity after noticing that his sons don't look like him at all. 

Of course, there are plenty of other ways they could've handled it without infidelity besides making Terry Bruce's son via some planned operation. For just one example, Terry's dad could've had a genetic mosaicism (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosaic_(genetics)) or something like that. 

 

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6 hours ago, eclipse said:

Final Fantasy Tactics:

Spoiler

Of all the reasons why Mewt's Ivalice had to stay, RItz is worried about the color of her hair.  Really?

It's actually Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, not Final Fantasy Tactics.

I disagree that this is actually a plot twist, or at the very least that it's bad. I'd say the twist is that the heroine of the game sides with the enemy, rather than the protagonist at first. The whole hair thing is motivation. Plus, the hair actually makes sense when you take a step back. She was bullied for having white hair. This makes sense when you take into account that all the main characters are just kids. Tweens at the most. Being incredibly self-conscious about these kinds of elements is natural at that age. I'd argue that by having her reason be so superficial, it helps the game's overall themeing. Mewt has a very real reason for wanting to stay in a dream world. His dad's a worthless drunk and his mom is dead. Meanwhile, Ritz just wants to escape being bullied for having a weird physical trait. They're two sides of the same coin. A seemingly pointless reason that a character clings to because she isn't mature enough to grow beyond it, and an actual strong reason that takes mental fortitude to overcome. It's a story about maturing, coming to terms with who you are and what your situation is. If Ritz's situation was equally as serious, it would've taken the spotlight away from Mewt. It injects a more human feeling element into the game, at least in my opinion. 

 

Now a twist that I will always say is bad is the "suddenly this other bad guy appears" subversion that ruins build-up. Twilight Princess has this, Sonic Lost World has this, it generally sours a game experience. 

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30 minutes ago, DarthR0xas said:

It's actually Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, not Final Fantasy Tactics.

I disagree that this is actually a plot twist, or at the very least that it's bad. I'd say the twist is that the heroine of the game sides with the enemy, rather than the protagonist at first. The whole hair thing is motivation. Plus, the hair actually makes sense when you take a step back. She was bullied for having white hair. This makes sense when you take into account that all the main characters are just kids. Tweens at the most. Being incredibly self-conscious about these kinds of elements is natural at that age. I'd argue that by having her reason be so superficial, it helps the game's overall themeing. Mewt has a very real reason for wanting to stay in a dream world. His dad's a worthless drunk and his mom is dead. Meanwhile, Ritz just wants to escape being bullied for having a weird physical trait. They're two sides of the same coin. A seemingly pointless reason that a character clings to because she isn't mature enough to grow beyond it, and an actual strong reason that takes mental fortitude to overcome. It's a story about maturing, coming to terms with who you are and what your situation is. If Ritz's situation was equally as serious, it would've taken the spotlight away from Mewt. It injects a more human feeling element into the game, at least in my opinion.

Every other issue is pretty serious, and then there's Ritz, who already had the solution, twice over (dye her hair, hang out with other people 'cause it's harder for bullies to take on a group).  I'd say that Mewt's is the second-worst, to boot.  I won't blame Ritz for siding with Mewt, but IMO it was for a pretty petty reason (and this is from someone who was a teenage girl once upon a time).

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Admittedly, I haven't played the game myself, but I'm not of a fan of Metal Gear Solid Peace Walkers reveal that

Spoiler

Operation Snake Eater was set up by one guy.

America throwing their best soldier under the bus because an earlier mission didn't go as planned and they were far more interested in getting a ton of money? The final straw in a long line of abusing said soldiers loyalty and not caring about what she sacrificed? An excellent reason that kickstarted Big Boss's road to villiany and his goal to lock the world into an eternal war so that soldiers will always have a purpose and won't be treated as disposable pawns by constantly wavering governments? Nah, the whole thing was arranged so that a petty man could take out one person he didn't like.

To be fair, it doesn't completely invalidate Metal Gear Solid 3's ending, as The Boss is shown to have been screwed over by her country multiple times in the past despite her loyalty and skills, but this twist just comes off as unnecessary and weakens a lot more than it builds.

Metal Gear Solid 2:

Spoiler

Hal being raped by his stepmother, causing his father to drown himself and give Emma her crippling fear of water when she was dragged under as well (it's ambiguous whether that was an accident or intentional. Especially when Huey turned out to be a humongous bastard in MGS V). It's relevant to the story, so it's not a terrible twist, but it comes off as using rape as a cheap way of adding drama to Otacons character, when he was already established to have a sad backstory, and Emma's death is tragic even without this detail. The darker side of his guilt complex trying to make it sound like it was consensual doesn't help.

 

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Kirby's Return to Dreamland

Spoiler

When Magolor betrays the Kirby crew, I just felt empty, like everything I had done, all this fun I had was for nothing but to get Alderraned out of nowhere. Things like this are why I have trust issues.

Super Paper Mario/Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/Ultimate

Spoiler

Everything involving Mr. L. and the notion of Luigi being "killed off". I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate the writers for coming up with it. I hate the executives who approved it. And I hate the quote-unquote "fans", the BBC, and Kotaku, etc. for perpetuating it. Long story short, I have zero respect for anyone who disregards this precious boy. There is a fine line, and they have crossed it! I hate everything, except this. This is wholesome.

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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

Spoiler

Chester V's villain reveal. Think about how heartbreaking this must've been for poor Flynn. Chester was his idol, and to just manipulate him for the sake of a cheap twist? Not cool. In addition to seeing it as a big "f*** you" to scientists kids look up to (a terrible message), he's also cruel to animals, nor above murder, or commercial cannibalism a la Soylent Green. Needless to say, I was uber glad to see him die. Scum like that, the world is better off without.

Stranger Things (Season 2)

Spoiler

Bob Newby. Why did you have to die and be the subject of torture porn? You were too good for this sinful Earth, my crutch in a world filled with bad people! I boycotted the series for you! #JusticeforBob

 

Edited by Morgan--Grandmaster
Technical glitches

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I have another one: pretty much any mystery drama where the twist is the culprit must be left-handed, or the character being left-handed signals that they're the culprit. https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ASinisterClue

Once or twice is okay, but it's everywhere and used all the time, which is especially jarring considering the almost-complete absence of left-handed characters as anything else; especially heroes (Link is pretty much the only notable one, and even then, he was jarringly made right-handed in Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild). It's almost as if the media industry is saying, "A left-handed person as a good person? Audiences won't buy that. A left-handed character as a villain? Absolutely; that's completely realistic." I thought we were passed the days of stereotypes like these about left-handed people. 

 

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Does the start of My Hero Academia count as a plot Twist?  I really hate the whole "yes, people whitout a quirk can be Heroes, if they got a super powerful quirk somehow"? And while that is bearable, what happen in the joint training arc it's not

 

turn out it was actually 7 op quirks, and just one of them was good enought to make All Might the greatest hero ever, so it was not necessary to give Midoriya the fucking Omnitrix.

I am more tolerant for the start of Black Clover because the kid only got a special weapon, not a superpower, but then the witch forest arc happen.

 

turn out the weapon allow Asta to transform into a badass OP demon form and he is the only one that can do that. Even worse when they introduced "anti magic spells" wich makes the MC having no magic a technicality.

There is no need of further powerup. The Touman defeated things that can solo the BC universe using more or less the power set that Asta had when Black Rover was the OP. Anything beyond that was unneded.

 

 

In general i hate when the MC is introduced as an underdog and then we are expected to still think of him as the underdog after he get special snowflake powers that are clearly way better than what the average Joe get. It's not that difficult. Goku was a 100% average Sayan untill he trained harder than everyone else. He did not became SSJ because he is special but because he was the first that got strong enought to unlock it, and every other sayan could do that.

You can have either an underdog or a chosen one, both work but they don't work when used togheter.

Edited by Flere210

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5 hours ago, Flere210 said:
Spoiler

turn out it was actually 7 op quirks, and just one of them was good enought to make All Might the greatest hero ever, so it was not necessary to give Midoriya the fucking Omnitrix.

 

I don't really think that's correct. What Deku was given allows him more variety but its also pretty mundane. 

Spoiler

His next power is a floating quirk which is so underwhelming that Bakugo laughs at it being such a lame power. The Black whip also doesn't seem to be all that special. 

 

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