Consider a fantasy story where, as often seems to happen in this genre, a young human is pulled from their world into a world of magic and elves and wizards and prophecies.
But this happens just about every other Tuesday in this world because the resident soothsayer is a little trigger-happy and is spouting off prophecies left and right. So there’s been an influx of teenaged humans without adult supervision and the reigning queen had to set up an investigative bureau and a complaints department just to deal with this problem.
So our human protagonist finds themselves in a dark spooky forest, stuck in some kind of ewok-style trap. Along comes a bearded elf (don’t tease him about the beard, he’s trying to make a good impression on the dwarf lady in charge of his department) who looks up at the net, sighs, and out comes the paperwork.
“If you wouldn’t mind, please state your name, age, and how you came to this realm.”
“How what now?”
“What was it? Wardrobe? Magic portal? Dragged under the bed by trolls?”
“Um…I just woke up here?” They mumble, confused.
“Alrighty,” the elf flips a few pages. “We’ll just skip to section D then. Any inherent magic? Any strange inheritances received lately?”
“No?” The protagonist leans on the net. “I mean, my former roommate gave me their old David Bowie CD collection, but I don’t think that counts.”
The elf nods once or twice, hard to tell if he’s listening or not, and pencils a few things in. “Alright, we’re almost done with the preliminary stuff, then we can get you out of there and down to the Bureau so we can get you home. Current status of parents or parental figures?”
The protagonist cringes. “Um…not applicable, I guess.”
“Oh dear. And your age again is-?”
At this the elf sighs. “Oh no, not another one. Some days I’d like to shake some sense into that soothsayer, really, I would. I swear I am this close to setting myself up as the next evil wizard around here just so I can keep some of these would-be heroes out of trouble.”
He then flings his pencil, sharp as a knife, and down comes the net with Protagonist inside. The elf helps them to their feet and brushes the leaves off their shoulders.
“Alright then, you,” he grumbles, “Lets get you down to the Bureau with the other three prophecy-kids who turned up this week.”
one of my favorite things about my hero academia and mob psycho 100 is that they subvert the “children aren’t seen as children” trope
it’s a popular cliche in action/drama manga for adults to involve what are essentially still young adolescents and teens in very dangerous, very heavy situations and expect them to just…not cry, not feel anything, not be fucking kids about it. these middle school and high school children are supposed to risk their lives, watch their friends die, fight enemies much older and more experienced than themselves, all with dry eyes and a solid resolve
mob psycho and my hero avoid these tropes with characters like arataka reigen and inko midoriya.
in mp100, during the first major arc of the series, the esper kids were in the middle of facing a team of adult espers. reigen was the one to step in and basically say, “you guys know you’re fighting fucking children, right? like…you grown-ass adults are having a serious fight with middle school kids.” and he assures the young teens that he should be the one to take care of things bc he’s the adult.
in bnha, deku’s mom is seen as comically overprotective, but like…she’s just being a mom?? like i’m sure a lot of people were annoyed that she almost prevented izuku from dorming at UA because she was too worried about him, but if you really think about this, she’s completely justified. she’s seen her 15-year-old son break his own limbs, rendering his body bloody, bruised, and completely useless, time and time again, as well as a fellow child abducted by villains while under the supervision of that very same school. what fucking mother in her right mind would allow her child to move out and permanently dorm at UA after experiencing all that??? she eventually concedes but like!! still!! she’s totally right! she’s a mother! she’s supposed to be concerned about her son!
it’s crazy how desensitized we’ve become to parents not acting like parents in shows like this (or parents being absent altogether, ‘cause, y’know…angst and whatnot). like, yeah, i get that a large portion of it is wish fulfillment aimed specifically towards adolescents who want to escape the mudanity of dealing with nosy, overprotective parents and get to see themselves as heroes who don’t cry and blah blah blah, but still.
it’s just really refreshing to see parental figures in anime actually…beparents once in awhile, y’know?
favorite dcu cover trope: heroes reverently having their heads lowered in front of a fellow superhero’s grave while batman is the only one with his arms crossed and a scowl on his face as if he’s mad someone just HAD to go die
Imagine person A is a police officer, person B has a disregard for others and their feelings, but acts as a vigilante (like doesn’t care about casualties and is evil but does things for, the most part, the greater good) and B is always flirting with A
Aries : the freedom fighter, she raises her fist in a call to action for those around her, she is the spark to set a movement aflame, whether standing behind a podium or charging into battle it is a war of principle to throw herself into and bring to victory with a loyal coalition of followers, she is the beginning.
Taurus : the politician, there is no gambling only the eternal tread of fate, she plays the long game, she is the grassroots movement that gains momentum until change is inevitable, this is for her past and her future, this is for the present of those around her, willing to compromise and curry favor, in the end she will be sitting in the Oval Office.
Gemini : the aristocrat, the autocrat, the backroom dealer, whether a philanthropist or a robber baron she is out for blood, this is not someone here to make nice, for better or for worse she will do whatever she must to get what she needs, she will deal with anyone any how if she will meet her ultimate goals.
Cancer : the empress, her family has sat on the throne for generations, it is her duty to preserve what was as she moves into the future, she wields ultimate power alongside the love of her people, adored and feared her will is iron and her word is law, change is either immediate or slow, protecting the nation has been her only goal since she was born and she will defend it to the death.
Leo : the warlord, conquest is both her only fear and her only goal, always moving forward never looking back, to sit on her laurels will be her downfall, she cuts a swath through the land amassing an army and a nation both of little consequence, offense is the best defense, if you conquer your enemy before they know you exist you’ll never have anything to worry about.
Virgo : the diplomat, the wordsmith to weave a net of peace, whether the world is already in chaos and she aims to quell it or whether war looms on the horizon she is there, she is a peacemaker and compromiser until her ideals are challenged, with such an infallible set of parameters it is hard to know her true bottom line, she will not reveal her full hand until you are already defeated.
Libra : the principal, the small setting advisor, to be fair and honest one must be willing to focus in on things, she understands those she speaks with and will speak with anyone, the equalizer where she must she understands the importance of backing down to higher powers, she wants to help the world and will do that however she can, she will be the face of nostalgic hope nobody knows but everyone remembers.
Scorpio : the dynasty, less a person, more a concept, she is what was and what will be, her power ebbs and flows depending on the day, she stretches thin when she must and concentrates on a single instance when she can, she is a winding road made to lead to an inevitable fate lined in fear and sunlight.
Sagittarius : the queen bee, it does not matter where you are in the world you can tell who she is, she is magnetic and intoxicating and her power is vast within its limits, once you are in her bubble it is hard to know the way out, she is singular and exists in those who love her, in high school and in the office she is beloved and feared with no certainty as to what she actually is.
Capricorn : the CEO, the headlines maker, new money in an old world, her scepter is a pen and her army is a hedge fund, she created her power and shields those within it, sometimes you may not agree with all her choices, sometimes you may not understand them, but while she is still afloat decades passed disaster you will see her true motives only in retrospect.
Aquarius : the influencer, the social media darling, the thoughtful twitter account you keep seeing screenshots of but you cannot seem to find, she has millions who listen to her, millions who follow her, she could found her own country based on those who think she is worth watching and listening to, but she has no idea they exist, she would just as easily see them all gone for good.
Pisces : the martyr, whether in a decades old feud or a millennia old war, she is held as the lynchpin to it all, she does not need to be here, she does not need to lead, she does not even need to speak, it was that she existed that love could so freely flow to her and what she believed in, she transcends humanity until she is an idea that has amassed more followers and worth than any person alive, until the next one comes along.
Trope-Tastic: Tadashi + 2. Fake dating/married turns into real dating.
“We’re best friends, right?” Tadashi asked you, swiveling around in his desk chair to face you.
“Of course we are!” You said, looking up from one of his old comic books.
“So that means we do huge favors for one another if they need them, right?” He asked, giving you one of his sweetest smiles.
You put down the book and got off his bed. “What are you up to, Hamada?”
“Nothing bad!” He reassured.
“Uh huh, sure. Out with it, then. What’s going on?” You pressed, both curious and a little scared.
“Well…my second cousin Hana is getting married, and Cass, Hiro and I were invited.” Tadashi explained.
“Okay…?” You said, still unsure of what that had to do with you.
“I was, um, I was hoping you’d come with me as my plus one and…pretend to be my girlfriend.” He asked, sheepishly.
“Last year at the family reunion, Great Aunt Martha and Cousin Agatha were trying to set me up their friends’ and neighbors’ granddaughters and stuff. I want to avoid that as best I can. Plus, I want you to meet my family.” He explained with an apologetic smile.
“Isn’t this a little extreme? Can’t you just say you don’t want to be set up with anyone?” You asked.
“You haven’t met Great Aunt Martha. It’s impossible. It’ll be really fun, I promise. Food, dancing, a weekend away, you love all that. Please?” He pleaded, grabbing your hands and giving you his best puppy stare.
Keeping your best poker face, you considered the offer for a moment. He made a great point about you loving weddings, but…would you be able to stand it? Keeping your feelings for Tadashi hidden had become hard enough since the day you realized you loved him. You weren’t entirely confident you could make it the weekend without getting caught up in the whole thing and ending up hurt.
Sex scenes are television currency. Sex scenes that empower the female gaze are the gold bars of 21st century entertainment. Pushing the limits of sex on tv, and earning a reputation for it, can be priceless.
But I think there’s more to Outlander regularly showing Jamie’s mostly-nude body that goes beyond just breaking the mold for the sake of ratings.
Jamie endures. Physically. We see this so many times throughout the series; Jamie’s body is traded and speculated upon as a commodity, a bargaining tool, a defense system, a refuge, a source of sensual pleasure. He himself uses his body in this way - he is self-sacrificial and self-aware, and plays on others’ perceptions of his social desirability as well as his superior physical abilities to create capital for himself and for his dependents. We are not made to forget Jamie’s intellect and honour, but are reminded, often, of his physical strength, his prowess, his durability. About how much he is desired and feared for his body, and how he uses that desire and fear as tools to ensure the safety of the ones he loves - a trope, sure, but one necessary to support his ability to withstand the surplus of fictional slings and arrows thrown in his path.
In order for Jamie the Hero to work for us, the audience, in order for his trials to fall short of hyperbole and successfully cross the Bridge of Believability, we need to reasonably expect him to be able to survive in the 18th century - a time characterized by bloodshed, war, famine, and untreatable illness - as well as endure the drama upon which his character arc is built. Unless we can trust that he will not be physically broken by the outrageous events of his storybook life - that he can be raped, imprisoned, shot, stabbed, and still remain solid, whole, an implacable source of safety, sensuality, and comfort - unless we can trust him to make it, to protect the core characters around him (we always know he’ll save the day, right?) - we won’t invest.
We need to believe that Jamie is the King of Men. That he can survive the most tremendous pressure because he is morethan average. That he is sexually desirable to an unprecedented degree; that he can fight to defeat any foe. We need to see his physical power, his potential for devastating violence, proof that he can keep his gaggle of dependents safe from the (many) antagonists set on their demise simply because he is actually physically capable of doing so.
Because without this belief in Jamie - or perhaps this successful suspension of disbelief - the conflict-driven narrative of Outlander risks becoming ridiculous, untenable, and ultimately susceptible to losing viewer/reader buy-in.
So while the glimpses of Jamie’s shirtless torso draw cheers from the crowds and the lingering candlelit rearview bedroom angles garner screen shots to plaster all over the internet - they also serve a greater purpose: audience investment in bridging the gap between the impossible and possible. We see Jamie’s size and strength in these scenes, without padding, without artifice - he literally fills our screens, making it impossible not to acknowledge not only his desirability and efficacy and resulting social capital, but also the physical proof of a capable, enduring, reliably solid, unquestionably believable hero.
you know, when people say tony isn’t inherently good morals because he only started his superhero thing after he got hit with his own shrapnel and it affecting him, well…
might I remind you that peter parker didn’t start being spider man until after a mugger killed his uncle and it affected him
might I also remind you that steve rogers didn’t start doing anything useful with his abilities until it was his friend who was at stake and he needed to save him
stop acting like some heroes are better than others just because they didn’t have some personal tragedy that drove them into action? Like majority of superheroes have some tragic backstory that jump starts them, that’s literally the genre trope
you think bruce wayne would have become batman if it wasn’t his own parents that died in the alley??
like seriously, every hero has a personal reason for them to go into action, that doesn’t make them bad or selfish or wrong
i love how much jim respects women and deconstructs gender stereotypes and the hyper-masculine hero trope in general
he loves cooking and cleaning and taking care of his household, a typically feminine role, not because his mom made him do it–she in fact sucks at cooking and rarely has time to clean–but because Jim just genuinely enjoys doing it.
he’s nurturing and compassionate. he enjoys taking care of his mom and best friend. he enjoys getting up early to pack his mom and best friend lunches. jim is shamelessly the Mom FriendTM.
his hardworking, single mother is literally his hero and he would do anything for her
“i am james lake, son of barbara”
the only time he’s ever willingly gotten into a fight with the school bully was when said bully insulted his mom. jim literally knocked him out and delivered the most iconic line: “she’s a doctor actually.”
he calls his best friend, toby, out when he mistakenly thinks toby’s insulting another woman, “okay so she’s not your type, you don’t have to be rude about it”
also gets fed up with toby when toby tries using ‘winning older girls’ as a reason jim should run for spring fling king
the gender roles are reversed between him and his crush, claire
she’s bold and confident. she takes the initiative, she asks him out, and its not until he’s sure she’s comfortable that he makes any real advances toward her.
claire’s also “the popular girl” but jim doesn’t care about her status. he doesn’t care about popularity. she’s not a prize to be won. he admires her as a person, and an equal.
claire’s also sorta “the smart girl” but she’s never just “the info dump” and jim doesn’t view her as such either. he doesn’t depend on her to tell him whats going on, like a lot of other male heroes i can think of.
between the two of them claire is more likely to be charging headfirst into the fray while jim is losing hair watching her. claire and toby both probably give jim gray hair by the time he’s 20.
jim is not brash and bold. he values safety. he’s constantly thinking about the danger around him. he’s patient. he works hard in training to be prepared for fights ahead of time. he takes his job seriously.
he actually reads the book. a lot of male heroes dismiss what the book has to offer, preferring to rely solely on their brawn (or, again, a “smart girl” to tell him what’s up), but jim doesn’t. he actually uses the book along with his combat training.
jim’s sensitive too. he literally cries.
he’s just really well-balanced?? he doesn’t lean extremely traditionally masculine or traditionally feminine. he likes cooking and taking care of his home, but he’s also into bikes and scooters and baseball. he’s an actual, well rounded person.
i can’t think of any one label you could pin him under except maybe “stressed”
So, my friend and I were joking the other night about Mashima’s love for western superhero comics and how that shows in Fairy Tail. Then I thought what is the one superhero trope Mashima loves to use? Get to the superhero by going after the girl. The hero then goes into “complete badass mode” to get the girl back/avenge her…well this has happened to all the big ships. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
I wouldn’t be surprised if he uses this scenario again. And to be honest, I don’t care, who doesn’t want to see these guys opening a can of whoop-ass (of course, he does it with the girls too and that’s also cool). ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ
I just gotta say that the Big Ghost Christmas Truce is probably the most happiest thing for me in the show. Especially since this is an episode where the whole town and his friends+families blame him for their holidays being ruined, it’s just … *gets a tissue and to dry tears*.. so satisfying to see that yeah, Danny ends up having people by his side to help him after all, people you wouldn’t expect.
i love that cartoon trope where hero fights alongside enemies together to defeat one thing. when skulker says “but all ghosts share the truce, even half ghosts like you”, i am so WEAK. *wipes tears from eye* it always makes me overjoyed whenever danny is like, “included” as one of the ghosts. im so emotional
ohH MY GOD tHEY ALL look SO SAD AND feeL SO BAD FOR HIM. they do all secretly care about that lil fucker
looK HOW hAPPY HE IS wheN HE FINDS OUT ALL THE GHOSTS ARE GONNA HELP HIM !!!!!!
and then they all use their special powers to fix christmas for him and the whole town! he’s so happy!!!
th e LUNCH LADY GIVES HIM FOOD AND SKULKER giVES HIm tHE HAT AND PRESENTS
thE BOX gHOST WaVES GOODBYE TO HIM!!! jesus how cute
this is the closest canon thing to all of my Danny’s Ghost Friends Squad headcanons and ill always hold it close to my heart.
you know how emotional i get over those cartoon ghosts