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How do you feel about weak protagonists?

How do you feel about weak protagonists?  

15 members have voted

  1. 1. How does it make you feel?

    • I'm fine with it, as long as another close character supports him/her!
      4
    • Puts me off. Give me a badass character instead!
      1
    • Doesn't bother me either way.
      2
    • It depends.
      8


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So looking at two of the titles this season so far, BEATLESS and Darling in the FranXX, both have protagonists/MC that are relatively weak.

Weak as in they sulk quite easily and hesitate (unless they are driven to act due to a crisis, and even that isn't a guarantee)

How do you feel about such characters?

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I think it's fine for protagonists to need help from others and not be able to do much by themselves, a good (non anime) example is Lord of the Rings, where the fact that there are more than one protagonist tells better the fact that cooperation is what's makes you strong, not seeking individual perfection. This teaches all characters how to behave, how to work together and it make it more likely for them to be liked by fans.

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I don't prefer weak protagonists; they're certainly easier for me to empathize with though. It makes sense they get all the hate they do since it happens to weak people everyday in real life, but I can't understand why they get it. The only reason I can understand it is if a weak protagonist has stayed completely static throughout the entire story.

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i find anime where the protagonist is weak while being supported by others to be annoying!!!!!Its ok if he starts weak but desires to be strong so that he doesnt have to rely on others....i find relying on others to be stupid as the main character can easily get betrayed and that betrayal is more brutal than from anywhere else!

But its ok if the character is weak but also has a unique way of being strong like sarcasm or something that makes him to be strong yet weak!!!

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I like flawed people. That being said, if the main protagonist doesn't grow, learn, evolve....it would really detract from the story for me. However, I could understand a relationship where one protagonist is sacrificing their happiness or whatever in order to protect or guide a weaker protagonist if the story is about their evolving relationship. A protagonist doesn't have to be physically or combatively strong. He or she could be tactically adept, scientifically strong, have emotional fortitude, be a political genius or just about anything. 

 

Now the bad ass part... a perfect character cannot grow. You can be bad ass in some things, but too much becomes a Mary Sue to me. I don't like Mary Sues. This is also true of main villians! Many villians are Mary Sues themselves. It seems to be the ultimate endpoint of a villian ~sighs~

This whole thing is what made Tsukasa in dot Hack an odd character for me. Tsukasa ws not really bad ass on his own, suffered from being trapped and used, and was full of fear and terror (understandably so). It is one of the only instances I can think of where a protagonist has had to really rely on others to get through it all.  That was probably weakness done right.

Edited by Beocat
  • Agree 1

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If it's a weak character who learns to become strong throughout the series, then those are personally my favorite kinds of characters because I absolutely love character developments! However, if they are weak and just stay the same from start to finish, then no...Just no. There's a huge difference between the two and I prefer the former.

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In the beginning, it's probably understandable for a character to be weak and it laves room for character development. But it gets annoying if the MC is constantly crying or whining or whatever...they are much easier to relate to at times but even in a book, it's harder to continue with the story if there is 0 to little character development.

Mm if they learnt from their mistakes, or go through harsher realities than they're used to and change according to that, then it would actually make the story very interesting.

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19 hours ago, Alina Corde said:

In the beginning, it's probably understandable for a character to be weak and it laves room for character development. But it gets annoying if the MC is constantly crying or whining or whatever...they are much easier to relate to at times but even in a book, it's harder to continue with the story if there is 0 to little character development.

Mm if they learnt from their mistakes, or go through harsher realities than they're used to and change according to that, then it would actually make the story very interesting.

Totally right 

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I usually like strong mcs. I mean i like the whole weak turning strong road but still i like them strong and anti heroey like. 

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Posted (edited)

There's nothing wrong with a weak protagonist as long as its done right. The protagonist should change during the story. If you have a weak protagonist, they are supposed to change during the story. They're supposed to grow, learn something, gain something, or become stronger. A story that doesn't do this and the protagonist remains the same throughout is a dull/bad one. 

Edited by VPKairi
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ehh I'm ok with it. It would probably get annoying though if the mc in the course of like 20 episodes still hasn't learned anything useful or developed properly

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4 hours ago, VPKairi said:

There's nothing wrong with a weak protagonist as long as its done right. The protagonist should change during the story. If you have a weak protagonist, they are supposed to change during the story. They're supposed to grow, learn something, gain something, or become stronger. A story that doesn't do this and the protagonist remains the same throughout is a dull/bad one. 

Very well put. This can go for a lot of other characteristics, not just being weak. I always think what makes a good protagonist is a character who sets a good example, a character we can learn something from. A character who never sees development simply isn't human enough to relate to, and is therefore poorly written IMO.

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I'm quite annoyed by weak protagonists. Example is Sakura Haruno from Naruto before time skip. I hated her. But she began to be tolerable once she made some character development and improvement. But honestly, the show could have also made done without her.

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5 hours ago, pelden said:

I'm quite annoyed by weak protagonists. Example is Sakura Haruno from Naruto before time skip. I hated her. But she began to be tolerable once she made some character development and improvement. But honestly, the show could have also made done without her.

Honestly sakura never got better imo. She might have hotten stronger but was still stupid af. Same goes for Hinata she was a background character with no development at all. 

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I think that there are quite a few people who incorrectly label protagonists as "weak" ... For instance, Eren Jaeger.
I've seen many people label Eren as being weak just because he's almost died multiple times. However, I think this is what makes him a strong character. He's gone through so much and lost almost everything he ever cared about, yet every time he gets pushed down he always stands back up and keeps going. He's a very strong willed character who may not be the smartest or the toughest or the best at anything, but even though he knows he's not the best he still pushes forward and does his best even when the odds are stacked up against him.

I personally don't have a problem with "weak" protagonists because there's usually something strong about them, even if they're not the best at anything or even very good at anything. My only problem would be if the character stayed one dimensional through out the whole show and never really showed anything strength in any area because then they would be a weak character, both in the way they were written and the way the character was portrayed.

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Posted (edited)

Well I dont want to say that I generally like it, but I think it can be good. Characters that have no real personality or no weaknesses and are just allways badass and unshakable are just flat and uninteresting. I know that was different as I was younger.

EG everybody is hating Yuki from Mirai Nikki for crying all the time but I think its plausible and it gives the series far more depth. Even if he isnt the most liked character anymore then, which obviously is Yuno.

Another example is Mikasa. Everybody likes her becuase she is cool, but except for the end of season 2 she is just super flat (no, not her boobs...), has no real personality except being cool and offers hardly more than being badass in every way.

Also I think there is a giant amount of "sexism" involved. If the whiny mc is a girl/woman and needs support all the time, everybody is like "ooohh poor girl shes so cute" (except if its too exxegerated) and if its a boy/man its like "ffs what a pussy, he is fuckign annoying, just let him die if he cant handle anything alone".

Edited by eCapter

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I love a strong protagonist. Nothing is wrong with a weak one, but I just because the protagonist starts off as weak; doesn't mean he can't develop.

If you take Hero Academy. The protagonist in my opinion is weak, he starts off very weak in strength not able to do much of anything. It wasn't until other characters made their appearance that he began to develop into one of the strongest in the anime. I'm not talking about gaining power, more on the lines of courage and bravery. The character had all this to began with, it wasn't until he met the other characters that he was able to bring it out.

So, I love a strong character and a weak one isn't bad. Though, if they're weak there has to be some development in some way showing how strong they become. Character development is always awesome. 

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