hello! I've been reading your fics lately and I was wondering what you think of Chara being evil? some of your fics seem like they're supposed to be read that way but your most recent ones don't.
Hi nonny! I’m glad you’ve been enjoying my works; and my answer on that is kind of- hm. I’ll stick a tldr at the bottom for you, my dude, but here’s the full answer:
There’s this kind of dividing line in the fandom that’s predominantly followed where Chara either swings well into demonic, or is the complete opposite- “soft chara” kind of stuff. It’s very black and white- which is something I can’t bring myself to agree with, at all.
Personally, I do believe that a friend of mine put it best- “Chara is a product of circumstance”. The allusions and implications in game, the things that we can associate with them or choose to believe is actually them speaking, and the actions we know they’ve taken are all dark as shit. I don’t believe they were a child that came from a healthy place. I don’t think they had any healthy coping mechanisms. I do believe that the Dreemurrs may have been some of the first people to show them kindness- and there’s every chance they couldn’t really adjust to that.
The cool thing about a character like Chara is there’s very little material for them, but there’s enough to justify a lot of different perspectives on who they could have been. You can look at the same handful of context from game and pick up something entirely different from another person. You can look at their future and consider a lot of varying outcomes if they’d lived. You can justify a lot of personality quirks and have them be perfectly valid; yet there’s still a lot of running themes with them that a lot of people pick up and relate to, something that many can associate with on a personal level or find in a good amount of Chara blogs across tumblr.
My only gripe with “Chara is evil” is it’s boring. It is very rarely justified in any way, shape, or form. In my personal opinion, that is lazy story telling; it’s taking the easy way out. It gets a little more depressing than that when suddenly an 11 year old’s Cunning Plan to Eat A Flower suddenly makes them a Hitler sympathizer, or a theoretical physicist, or makes them capable of manipulating other characters into sexually assaulting people.
I’d like to note that these are all things I’ve seen people use Chara for, not just stuff I’ve pulled out of my ass. All of those examples are actually out there.
That’s when the story telling goes from lazy to just kind of throwing whatever you feel like in to emphasize just How Gosh Dang Evil They Are, Look At That Little Asshole Who Is Also 11 And Drew Pictures And Made Macaroni Art. Damn. Just toss them in the pit and leave them to die.
It’s also part of an unfortunate trend of throwing Chara, Asriel, or Frisk under the bus; to justify or completely negate the actions/consequences that befall the other two. That usually gets me a bit as well. Having to force a character to be abusive, demonically possessive or just plain inhuman despite canonly being called a human just so the other two can remain pure- again. Lazy storytelling. It’s ignoring some really important characterization and development that the other two could have, so it’s not just harming the character people feel like slamming into the dirt, either.
Tldr; you do you. I don’t care so long as you’ve actually given it some thought; but there’s a lot of trends in how people approach Chara that actually seriously affect the way other characters in Undertale develop as well, and often that can be fairly negative in itself.