Hey guys, it’s Lee Neuschwander, and I hope most of you have seen the new Star Wars movie by now. However, if you are one of the brave few who have not seen the movie yet, we wish you the best of luck in continuing your fight against the ocean of spoilers; keep calm and may the Force be with you.
Last time I said I’d be talking about new Anime story ideas I would like to see in the next season of releases. Now, I really like Anime, so I could easily talk to you guys for four plus pages. For the sake of the Blog, I’ll keep it to the usual length. Sigh.
There is some really good Anime this season, but one that really struck me as being above the rest include Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, One Punch Man, and my personal favorite, Overlord. Each of these shows has main characters that break the standard for the Anime MC role. All in a good way.
Before we get into what’s on my Wish-List, I’ll explain why these shows are on my good side.
Iron-Blooded Orphans holds a special place in my heart as the Gundam series that brought back the cold-blooded, Mikazuki Augus, Anime’s main character who pilots the Gundam frame “Barbatos”. In the very first episode, we learn Mikazuki is an emotionless killer who will do whatever is asked of him from secondary character, Orga Itsuka.
Some might say having an emotionless MC is a bad thing, however, when it comes to the Gundam, an emotionless MC is a necessity to be considered good by the fan base. Iron-Blooded Orphans delivers exceptionally well on this, and gives us an MC that breaks away from the traditional Anime hero-mold in the most badass way.
Arguably, One Punch Man is the most popular Anime from the newest season of releases. For good reason. Anime is based off the concept that the MC is so ridiculously over-powered that no one can stand against him. Usually, we see how MC develops something that has become known as an ‘MC plot armor’ where no matter what happens, you know the MC will make it out alive.
As a result, those shows become somewhat stale because you know the hero makes it out alright. One Punch Man makes invulnerability the center-point by pushing far past the reasonable limit as to be ridiculous on purpose. It ends up working as a comedy element, which makes it even more entertaining in the process.
Finally, there’s Overlord, my personal favorite from the new batch. The main character is similarly overpowered, but with a twist. A twist that makes the main character, Lord Ains, not the good guy. Instead, you might say, the MC is the ‘villain’. In Overlord, Lord Ains is the overpowered evil overlord of the story and goes about reaching his goals by any means, peaceful or violently dark. I absolutely love this change in MC perspective because we get to see an Anime without a stereotypical hero who gets stronger facing off against villains. A villain already as strong as possible, broken in gamer terms who goes about doing what he wants to do instead of according to a preordained plot. This show does a great job exploring a new angle of storytelling, but I would like to go a step further.
OK, here we are, finally at the Wish-List part. Now, having shown you guys the elements of these shows that relate to main characters and plot development, I want to talk about what I would like to see using some of these elements. Some ideas I would love to see implemented in Anime are stories told from the main antagonist’s perspective where the MC is actually the primary danger.
To explain further, imagine watching a battle take place where the hero is fighting against the monster or enemy, and then after the fight ends, instead of breaking back to the character development of the hero’s party, we get to see a similar dynamic from the main villain. So far, the only show I’ve seen where we get a look into the social circle of the bad guys was with Akame Ga Kill. In that show, they showed the side of the good guys with Night Raid, but they also showed relationships within the enemy ranks amid the Jaegers.
My second concept is a show were the MC is the main threat. Now, this doesn’t mean the MC is the villain necessarily, but the MC is the biggest danger the protagonists will face. To clarify, let’s say the story takes place like usual, and the MC is pushed to the point of defeat. Then the MC’s hidden powers awaken allowing him to easily defeat the enemy.
The twist is, their power isn’t controllable, and the MC then kills members of his/her own team. I feel this would be a great way to throw a new angle into the camaraderie we usually see between MC’s and their supporting characters. How would you feel if the hero you believed would save your world from the enemy starts killing the very people they swore to protect? Along similar lines would be one of the supporting characters, perhaps the love interest, knows s/he has the power to defeat the enemy, but knows they can’t control it and then, s/he manipulates the MC into using that power to complete their own agenda.
An example might be if Nyu from Elfen Lied was the MC instead of Kouta, being torn between allowing Lucy to save people, or not. Another could be, if Yuno from Future Diary could turn off her killer tendencies when helping Yuki. The resulting conflict would be a great source of complex character development I think Anime could use more of.
As you’ve probably guessed by now, I could go on and on with such ideas. Any one of them is a wish-list in itself. In saying that, I’ll end it here. If you want me to talk more about Anime-related stuff, please feel free to comment. Next week, I feel like talking about games I’d like to see get more activity in the competitive world of E-sports.