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Is anyone else bothered by the "I will not kill no matter what" main characters?

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May 17, 2:38 AM

Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 330
Anime and manga characters are way too forgiving to the annoying level, yes.
May 17, 2:49 AM

Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 427
It's typical for anime with op mc lol
May 17, 2:58 AM

Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 1237
Tuvokfan said:
I truly despise these main characters and nearly always insta-drop shows that have these types of MC's. Here are my reasons.

1. It means the main character is always holding back. No matter how intense the fight you always know that the main character is trying not to kill his enemy and this really kills the tension.

2. It breaks the immersion. There is no way it is possible to realistically "knock out" enemies reliably enough without seriously injuring or killing them. If someone is hell-bent on killing you, killing them is basically the only way to deal with it.

3. The moral logic of "I will not kill no matter what." is fundamentally flawed. By refusing to kill you are putting yourself at a massive disadvantage and endangering those you are protecting. For example
by refusing to kill an obvious villain you are dooming many innocent people to their death. If you don't kill an enemy that could have been killed, anyone that said enemy kills afterward is your responsibility, it's a simple truth.

4. The main reason I hate main characters like this is that it is just so boring to watch. In a good anime or piece of media in general, whether or not to kill someone is a HUGE choice and sets up moral dilemmas that add a lot of complexity to the story. It feels like when an author writes a main character that refuses to kill no matter what, it is completely cops out of this conflict. In American political terms it’s like someone voting either just democrat or just republican without even looking at who is running. It’s not good storytelling. In addition to this it slows down the pace of the story and a lot of times, because the final blow is never driven home the villains build up and clog up the narrative. I personally prefer a main character that gets the job done and does what he has to do in order to protect those he loves to some wishy washing self-contradicting MC with childish morals.

However I do think exceptions must be made for lighthearted action shows like boku no hero academia, one piece, ext. These shows seemed to be more focused on adventure and being epic and are pursuing any kind of realism whatsoever so its fine. I am talking more about action shows that have a lot of characters dying.

Do you agree with my frustrations or do you think I am being overly harsh?
It depends how is done. For instance in Trigun is done pretty good.
May 17, 3:38 AM

Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 227
I have never been a fond of such character as long as I can remember, but personally I don't have problem with that, sometimes I just let it pass if I find it annoying
May 17, 3:45 AM

Joined: Aug 2018
Posts: 41
It bothered me in Trigun but I like this series anyways.
May 17, 3:51 AM

Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 496
No, i love my cinnamon rolls pure and good, and i don't care much about real life logic in fiction

May 17, 3:59 AM

Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 2891
Anime never did it all that well anyways. Stick with the likes of The Punisher.

May 17, 4:22 AM

Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 369
They suck a$$. They are bad written and like you said they are boring af.
𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘥𝘰𝘯'𝘵 𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘪𝘵 𝘥𝘰 𝘺𝘰𝘶?
𝘐'𝘮 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘴𝘵𝘶𝘤𝘬 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘺𝘰𝘶.

¡ǝɯ ɥʇıʍ ǝɹǝɥ uı ʞɔnʇs ɹnoʎ
May 17, 7:27 AM
Yare Yare Daze

Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 304
It depends on the character and the anime/manga. While I agree with the statement that they're mostly boring, I also think that they can add some interesting aspects if there's another character who wouldn't be afraid of killing. Of course, there needs to be a character like that in a show for this. If an anime is full of people who don't want to kill, then there's no one to be the opposite pole of.

Personally, I love characters who are good at heart, but don't hesitate to kill an enemy who hurt/killed their friends. Good guys going on a rampage after a loss are superb, but I also enjoy to see some sadistic characters who like to kill for their own excitement.
"Sometimes not being punched hurts worse."
May 17, 7:29 AM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 119
I've played 6 ryu ga gotoku games so no, I'm not bothered by that at all. It *can* be bothersome but it depends on how it's developed.
May 17, 11:40 AM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 8
The problem is that they do the characters to terrible levels, most of the time they dont even have a reason other than "because I wanna be a good guy" or "he can be my friend".

The reason for characters like on trigun or doctor who (examples I saw people commenting on this thread) while they folow the path of no killing, they have reasons for it, both in these two examples the MCs did someone they regret in the past and simply dont want to repeat them again and when facing enemies, they always give chance of surrendering.
But for example, on doctor who, if they accept, the doctor helps them, but if they refuse and keep going their evil deeds, the doctor stops them, even commiting genocide of an entire race to save thousands of races.

The issue is problably how anime is full of teenagers with 6-7 year old minds. They are either extremely immature, to the point where they mature just one tiny itsy bit, it seems like they matured into "adults" already.

This is why I prefer gray/dark characters overrall, they know the repercussions, they went trought difficult times and learned what can happen when good men do nothing, but also they try first the carrot and then the stick.
May 18, 1:51 AM

Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 1027
It completely depends on the context and I find the best example of a character like this not in anime, but a television series.

Gabrielle, from Xena: Warrior Princess.

At first, completely opposed to fighting, though being around a former warlord and getting attacked daily leads her to learning how to fight defensively. After killing someone by accident (okay, maybe two, one is debatable), she goes the full NO VIOLENCE route and it's cringe and the show is slanted in a way to show how cringe it is because it's impossibly impractical. So she switches to a deadlier defensive weapon (a pair of sai replacing a staff), and will fight willingly, realizing the futility of "the way of peace/love" in a world that doesn't work that way.

The highlight is when she goes full berserker and takes out an entire battalion (they had it coming).
May 18, 5:24 AM

Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 226
Killing IS a big decision. You're right about that. Taking a life isn't a small deal, no matter the circumstances and no matter the reasons involved, I imagine doing it will irrevocably change a person, probably for the worse.

I don't hate characters that refuse to kill, as long as they (and their reasons for it) are well written. If it's just some vague "code of honour" thing, well, that's debatable.
Modified by CallMeHoot, May 18, 7:18 AM
Like I told my last wife, I said "Honey, I never drive faster than I can see. Besides that, it's all in the reflexes." - Jack Burton
May 18, 5:26 AM
BL connoisseur

Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 1183

Yes, it's an annoying trope and one of the biggest reasons why I could never like Edward Elric and Roy Mustang.
May 18, 5:44 AM

Joined: May 2015
Posts: 4389
>Overlord's pfp
>Those favorites
The edge is strong in you
Planetes said:
Living alone and dying alone... alone... How could anyone be satisfied with that? It's stupid... Space is too big to face all alone.
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