Jump to content
Ottservia

Thoughts on “abrasive”,“mean”, or “immoral” characters

Recommended Posts

This is something that has been on mind for a while now. I don’t quite understand why people dislike more abrasive or immoral characters like Severa, Takumi, Edelgard, Shinon, Sylvain, etc. so much. Personally I love those characters a lot and it’s because they’re abrasive or immoral. The fact that they’re not immediately nice usually shatters the status quo of a story and generates conflict(the core of any story). I just find these characters compelling because they’re mere presence has weight in the narrative. Like them or not, you usually have a strong opinion on them the moment they show up and it’s characters like that which interest me. It takes a lot of work to create a character who immediately generates such a strong reaction from both the audience and other characters like that. It makes me want to learn more about them. Analyze them and break them down so that I can better understand them. I just find these characters compelling because there’s usually always something to break down and analyze with them. But that’s just my opinion.

What are all your thoughts on usually abrasive or immoral characters like that? I’m curious

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on the character really. I'm OK with most forms of abrasive or immoral. Downright mean characters are typically OK in my book as well, and as you say, I enjoy seeing their interactions and learning more about them. Characters like Felix, Hubert, Severa, etc are all enjoyable to me- not my favourite characters usually, but I like them. But there are some characters whose particular brand of nastiness annoys me, like Lysithea. To this day I'm not sure where the distinction lies- whether it's just me being a contrarian, her bratty and hypocritical nature being the place where I draw the line, or the fact that she bullies characters I actually like (Ignatz and Raphael). So I guess I can see both sides of the argument- characters like that are well-written, sure, but that doesn't automatically mean you should or have to like them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

for me, it really depends on the character

about the characters named so far (don't quote me on my thoughts, it's ok to like and dislike different things):
-i don't love nor hate Severa, she's just "Tsundere girl #729 ft/Mommy issues";
-i dislike Takumi due to how he generally behaves;
-i hate Edelgard because she thinks she's has the power to make everyone free and happy despite that's what she thinks and not once does she think about what the other students might think about crests, because she's so obsessed with her purpose;
-i love Shinon for his grudge towards Ike, to the point that he leaves the Greil Mercenaries and faces them after having joined the enemy army, but eventually Rolf manages to break through that thick heart of his;
-i like Sylvain because at least they gave him a reason why he's such a womanizer, and i also shared some of his points of views on certain things (no, i'm anything but a womanizer);
-i like Felix because male tsunderes aren't as common as female tsunderes, and also he's tsundere for a reason, and i really liked how harshly he reacts to those who magnify chivalry, i found that really refreshing, especially in a Fire Emblem game;
-i like Hubert, he's not like "Please step on me my queen Lady Edelgard" 100% of the time, and he can actually have interesting interactions with other characters as well;
-i despise Lysithea because he has no reason to treat some characters like trash in her supports, and she ALWAYS behaves like a child, despite the fact that she wants to be treated like an adult

another example not from a Fire Emblem game: Hojo, Final Fantasy VII
Hojo is absolutely NOT the kind of person i'd like to share a pizza with, but he's such a charismatic (in his own way) mad scientist, and he's so convinced of what he's doing, that i can't but love him

so yeah, as i said, it really depends on the character
 

Edited by Yexin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its really a case by case basis. I'm fine with some characters being abrasive but other characters get on my nerve about it. 

I guess intent is an important factor. Why are they so abrasiveness? Someone like Felix has clear reasons for the way he behaves and when he calls people out he's harsh but usually correct in his criticism. Takumi and Severa are still essentially children and should be given some leeway while Shinon is just an irredeemable scumbag with no justification for his behavior and who's only redeemable if he's around Rolf. And while Sylvain does have reasons for why he acts the way he does he still deliberately sets out to cause harm and doesn't seem too bothered that he causes harm to innocents just as much as those who really do like him for his crest. 

Shinon: He's just unpleasant all around. He's racist, he's an asshole, he's a drunk, he's a traitor and hard to get along with on the best of days. There's very little nuance here. There is no real reason for why he's just a scumbag. There are particular reasons why he doesn't like Ike but he's hardly any more civil to people not named Ike. I guess the lack of nuance just makes Shinon very uninteresting. He's just a prick and little else. He's sweet to Rolf but considering its Rolf I'm not going to give him much credit for that one. 

Takumi: I have an easier time sympathizing with Takumi. He's obviously a brat but there are reasons for that. He suffers from multiple mental problems ranging from anxiety, to self esteem problems, chronic nightmares and more. Takumi's behavior stems more from being vulnerable rather than being malicious. Tsundere's being extremely aggressive towards everyone else just to hide their own self doubt often irritates me but in the grand scheme of things Takumi isn't even all that bad with this. He's not very hard to win over and when he's won over he doesn't revert back to a tsundere and force people to prove themselves to him. If Takumi's won over he's often very friendly, sociable and protective of them. Even his infamous snapping at Azura is quickly followed by the two being quite close. 

Severa: Its to a far lesser extend then Takumi but I have an easier time cutting her some slack too. Still she does serve better as an example than Takumi of a tsundere tearing others a new one just because they refuse to be honest with their own feelings and that's not a good trait to have. On the other hand we also see her grow out of this phase during her time as Selena which is nice. 

Hanna: She's just an absolute scumbag. There is no justification for blaming a kidnap victim for getting kidnapped. It did make Sakura sad but that's still Garon's fault rather than Corrin's. And in other conversations her ''I don't minch words'' typically just means that she's an asshole to everyone. 

Hubert: Mister Vestra has one very important trait that makes it okay for him to be a jerk. He's fun about it. Being somewhat of a villain Hubert already has more room to be a jerk but he often is very witty, sarcastic or just fun about it. Hubert seems to be having fun with it, the ways he approaches it are often funny and so I have fun seeing him in action. 

Felix: With him i'm more fine about his behavior because Felix is harsh but fair. The things he calls out aren't defense mechanisms or him overreaction, they are often very real. Dimitri really has an insane side, Dedue getting along with the insanity really can get very dangerous, his fathers priorities are massively out of wack, chivalry in Fearghus does more harm than good and Mercedes really was being patronizing, even if unintentionally. People who don't press any of Felix' buttons such as Annette typically don't get a tongue lashing and he's not above rephrasing himself to sound less critical such as with Ashe. 

Sylvain: In contrast with Felix Sylvain is both harsh and unfair. He's more sociable to be sure but he also deliberately sets out to do harm. Felix doesn't get on people's case if they don't press his buttons but Sylvain is convinced every woman is out to press his buttons and so every woman is a target for him. All and all he's just very malicious about it. 

Edelgard: Aside from trying to take over the world she's not so bad. She's definitely haughty and a bit arrogant but she's not really an unpleasant person to speak with. She's actually the only house leader who's on good terms with pretty much everyone in her house. Even her annoyance with Ferdie isn't nearly so hostile as the relations Dimitri and Claude have with their critics. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on how it's done.

For instance, Serra and Lissa are both bratty characters, Everyone in Fe7 reacts appropriately to Serra being a brat, Her supports take a long time to build and Hector flat-out hides from her in Lyn mode if you visit the house he's in with Serra, she's a brat but everyone reacts like someone would.

Lissa, in addition to arguably being worse, the game tries hard to treat it as "endearing", Robin acts like it's "Cute" and basically from what I've seen, everyone reacts like it's some cute character quirk rather than, well, being a brat. (Also the things she complains about are even worse than Serra, which makes it stand out more.)

So Serra is actually reacted to appropriately in the universe while Lissa feels like a bad cliche that's just annoying.

(Also Serra is introduced complaining about being lost which is somewhat Valid, while Lissa complains about a stone in her shoe because heaven forbid the royal brat just remove it, so Lissa is significantly more annoying to me.)

So if someone is an bit of an ass but everyone reacts like they should then it doesn't bother me while if someone is a bit of an ass but it's treated as just some wacky quirk that somehow doesn't annoy everyone around them then it's just annoying.

Same with a good other characters like Vaike, where they're obnoxious twits but the game tries to pass it off as a funny quirk that only the mandatory posh character would be disgusted by.

Also Raimi, who tries to kill our entire cast of characters for a frankly BS reason and yet no one really reacts appropriately, so it comes off like the Shepards just don't care, Erik in FE7 also tries to kill our cast of characters, frankly with a more justifiable reason and everyone reacts like you'd expect to a dude who just made an attempt on their lives, Hector even threatens to finish him off if he doesn't speak up.

While Chrom and his Shepards just react on how her personality changed and then a single throw away line of "Tell that to your border guards.." which is the kinda dialogue you generally don't use for "They tried to kill me, one of my sisters and my entire group of people" and tends to in fiction be used for calling back to comedic moments of inconvenience , not attempted murder.

So Erik is a traitorous swine, and the cast treats him like such, Raimi is a frankly terrible commander, who frankly for all we know would cut down traders and such passing through just because Bandits tried that trick before a few times (Which is what I immediately started thinking of on my first play through.) and the cast treats it like a minor inconvenience afterwards, instead of you know, attempted murder. (or successful murder depending on if anyone died.)

So ironically, Erik is a more likable and arguably morally better person to me than Raimi.

 

Edited by Samz707

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with everyone else. It really depends on the character for me and honestly a lot of the time I'm not sure why certain ones rub me wrong while others don't. I love Shinon but Takumi can kiss my tail. I'd never use him if he weren't such a fantastic unit. I'm not a fan of tsunderes for the most part (like Severa) but I love Felix, perhaps because he comes across less as a tsundere to me and more of a well meaning jerk. Hubert, while funny, immediately hit my "Nope" button when he threatens Byleth in their support. This one is less to do with Hubert and more of a personal pet peeve I've found throughout video games though lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Shinon and Hubert are written quite well for being unlikable unlike takumi   which really just does not see reason  and is   judgmental when the first time he appears on screen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not think I dislike or hate them, but I definitely would not say I like them in general. They have to do something that completely horrible like Surtr to make me dislike and hate them.

I like Severa; she is not my favorite character, but I like her as a whole. Takumi is meh and I do not really care about him much. Edelgard is a complete asshole, but I love her anyways due to her drive and charisma outweighing her assholeness. Shinon gives me Takumi vibes, so I guess meh as well. Sylvain is meh too.

Edited by XRay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to like characters like that. Good guys are everywhere, and sometimes they're quite generic. Sometimes an "immoral" character is needed to offer a counterpoint to the main characters' ideologies, and they may even be right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep them coming! Speculative fiction needs more Kanes and Soulcatchers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We all know immoral characters are good examples of what not to be, right?

*crickets*

I like Felix a lot, he's among my faves, but I think he's lacking in self awareness like everyone else. If he has such a problem with chivalry and knighthood as commonly practiced, why did he become a knight? (ok, I know, I know, it's because that's his upbringing) But if he wants to be a hero and save innocent people, we all know that heroes promote from mercenaries, not knights. Almost everything Felix criticizes other people for are problems he has too. He might not enjoy killing like Dimitri, but he has stated he has devoted most of his time and energy to being an excellent killer. Is it better to enjoy what you do if there is wrongness to it, or fail to enjoy what you dedicate yourself to doing? Is it better to love the lord you serve, or somewhat despise him but serve him anyway? Is it better to mull over questions on duty, or not mull over questions on duty but be dutiful anyway? I could go on.

Felix and Bryce...Dimitri and Ashnard?

I don't even know if it's fair for me to like Felix after saying all this, but he's still one of my faves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be honest, they're one category of character that makes me wonder if how I mentally process fictional characters is somehow different from how most other people do, since how much I like a character as, well, a character is oftentimes entirely detached from how much I'd like them as a person, and in fact almost always takes priority where the two opinions may conflict. For example, if Shinon were a real person, I'd want absolutely nothing to do with him, but I love him as a character because what he contributes to the story and the dynamic of the Greil Mercenaries makes things more interesting. When I say that I "like" a fictional character, it's in the latter sense that I mean that statement, and I find this ends up being applicable to a lot of characters who are abrasive or even frankly bad people. This isn't exactly applicable to Shinon, but I also find that it's actually pretty easy for me to forgive a prickly exterior if a character is ultimately a good person at heart... probably in part because I can, in some ways, relate to the feelings that lead to that behavior, even if actually acting on those feelings in that way isn't something I generally do.

Edited by Topaz Light

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...