I’ve compiled a list of cartoon, anime, and video game characters who were never gag characters, but for a variety of reasons have become story characters!
We’re going to dissect their common appeal, characteristics, and even more, the process of becoming a story character, and we’re going to dissect them in depth.
A story character = a beloved character.
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If you just look at the term “story character” you might get the impression that it’s just a character that’s funny, does funny things, or gets laughed at.
You might even get the impression that you’re somehow looked down upon.
But that’s not true.
It’s just a matter of convenience, but in reality, a story character is a “beloved character” that receives a lot of love from fans.
However, it’s not a straightforward way to get fans to like you, it’s more of an affectionate way to get them to like you.
The general trend is that the creator is not the intended likable one, but rather that he or she is liked and enlivened away from that control, and it’s typical for them to be played with in a ridiculous way at first, but then dominate the conversation as it goes on and eventually become the face of the work.
So what kind of characters are loved and in what way?
I’ll give you some specific examples.
Characters who aren’t supposed to be liked
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There are various patterns in the story characters, but they are basically created by the reader/viewer, not the author.
There are many cases where a character who is normally disliked by the readers/viewers is liked by them for some reason…
The most prominent example of this is Muska from Castle in the Sky.
She is one of the few “unpleasant characters” in Ghibli films that do not have many pure villains.
At the time of its release, and when it began to be broadcast on television, she was hated by many viewers in her role.
This is normal as he treats the heroine, Sita, as if there are no human rights, compares people to trash, and is arrogant and disrespectful to all people, not just the main character, Pazoo.
However, as time went on and viewers watched the film repeatedly, they found his original lines and evil-hearted attitude amusing, and the internet spread his sympathy quickly, and before long, he became an iconic figure in his work.
Besides him, other beloved characters such as Kibutsuji Muzan from “Blade of Annihilation” and Sephiroth from “Final Fantasy VII” are the main character’s enemies.
They are not treated as story characters in the game, but rather they fulfill their position as the last boss or nemesis, and are made into story characters based on the user’s interpretation rather than the creator’s.
What they all have in common is the assumption that they are not supposed to be liked.
It’s hard to ignore the fun because it’s a trend that is out of the author’s control and created by the readers/viewers themselves.
For this reason, when an official goes with the flow and treats a character as a story, many people lose interest in the story.
On the other hand, characters created by creators with the intention of being liked by readers and viewers rarely become the characters of a story.
Those characters mainly fall into this category, such as the main character, the hero, the heroine, the sub-characters who support the main character, and the cool villains, and they are usually liked by the majority of fans, but they are distinctly different from the story characters.
Also, when an author wants to make a character into a story, they use expressions such as “gag character” or “third-ranked character,” and these characters don’t usually get the same kind of attention as the story characters.
However, in rare cases, there are cases where the author intended to create a story character.
For example, the character of Petelgeuse Romani-Conti in “Re:Zero to Hajimaru Isekai Seikatsu” is not the same as the author’s intention. This is a rare example of reader/viewer excitement being matched.