you have to create a hero

  • Darth Revan: If you weren't here, I would have become the galaxy's absolute evil. Unbiased terror scattered throughout the galaxy...that can establish real peace. Don't think that all children are waiting for heroes. There are even kids around the galaxy waiting for a great monster to take the stage. Can you save them? I can! I can save the whole galaxy with terror! While the Republic is fearing Darth Revan, everyone's hearts will unite to survive. Is there any peace other than this!? Can you create peace? Can you save the galaxy with those flimsy robes? Do you have the means to stop the unseen tragedies? You're strong, but so what? You may defeat me, but can you handle it?! THE RESPONSIBILITY?! WELL?! IF YOU'RE GOING TO DEFEAT ME, THEN ANSWER THE QUESTION! WHAT WILL YOU ACCOMPLISH? Why will you kill me now? Do you have a sense of duty like mine? WHY...ARE YOU...A JEDI?!
  • The Exile: *picks her nose for a moment* It's a hobby.
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Joan B. Lee: The Woman Who Saved the Marvel Universe

Joan Boocock was born on August 3, 1924, in Gosforth, Newcastle, England. In the 1940s she moved to New York City, where she married an American GI and worked as a hat model. Working at the agency, she met a young comics editor named Stanley Lieber, who worked under the pen name Stan Lee. The two fell in love instantly and she left her husband for him.

In the early 1960s, Stan Lee was feeling depressed and unhappy with his job and was seriously considering quitting the comics industry. Joan told him "Before you quit, why don’t you write one comic you are proud of?” Lee obliged and together with Jack Kirby, he created the Fantastic Four, the flawed, dysfunctional family of heroes that Lee always wanted to make. The comic was an instant success, reinvigorating Lee and convincing him to stay on at Marvel. He even went on to give his favorite hero, Spider-Man, a love interest based off his wife: Mary Jane Watson. In later years, after the couple’s two children were grown-up, Joan would have a short career as a voice actress, voicing the recurring character of Madame Web in the Spider-Man animated series, as well as having small parts in the Iron Man and Fantastic Four series. In 2016 she had a cameo with her husband in X-Men: Apocalypse. 

The Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, the X-Men, the Avengers, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Doctor Strange, Black Panther. While these heroes were created or co-created by Stan Lee, we may never have had them or the Marvel Universe without Joan. Thank you.

Joan Boocock Lee - August 3, 1924 – July 6, 2017

The 10 Elements of a MAIN CHARACTER

To all the writers who have ever been told “Your characters have to be three dimensional!” or “They should be well-rounded!” and just felt like saying: “What does that even MEAN?! What goes into a 3-dimensional character? Specifically? And how do you go about creating one?!”

Good news. There’s a way. 

Great main characters – heroes, protagonists, deuteragonist, whatever you want to call them – have ten things in common. Ten things that are easily developed, once you know what to create within your character. So no one will ever be able to tell you “needs to be more three dimensional!” ever again. Ha. 

1) Weaknesses: Main characters should be flawed, but I’m not saying this because it will make them more realistic (though it will) – I’m saying they need to be flawed because if they’re not, they shouldn’t be a main character. Story is another word for change, or more accurately, character growth. Not character as in “fictional person”, character meaning “heart and soul”. Story is someone’s character changing, for better or worse. Main characters at the beginning of the story are lacking something vital, some knowledge of themselves, some knowledge of how to live a better life, and this void is ruining their lives. They must overcome these weaknesses, if they’re going to become complete, and reach a happy ending. There are two types of weaknesses: Psychological and Moral. Psychological ones only hurt the main character. Moral ones cause the main character to hurt other people. Easy.  

2) Goal: Characters exist because they want something. Desiring something, and the fight against opposition for that desire, is the lifeblood of story; and because character is story, it’s also desire that can breathe life into words on a page, and begin the process of creating a real person in a reader’s mind. It’s this ‘desire for something’ that sparks that first connection between reader and character. It makes us think “Well, now I have to find out if this person gets what they want.” This is a powerful link. (How many mediocre movies do we suffer through, when we could easily stop watching, because we’re still trapped by that question of “what happens?”) So if this is powerful enough to keep people watching an annoying movie, imagine how powerful it can be in an excellent story. 

Like in Up, the goal is to get the house to Paradise Falls.

3) Want: If the main character wants something, they want it for a darn good reason. Usually, they think that attaining the goal will fill the void they can sense in their lives, the deficiency they can feel, but don’t know how to fix. And they’re almost always wrong. Getting the goal doesn’t help anything; which is why, while pursuing that goal, they discover a deeper need that will heal them. Which brings us to …

4) Need/Elixir: Main characters are missing something, a weakness in their innermost selves is causing them to live a less-than-wonderful life. Through story, these main characters can be healed. Once they discover what’s missing, and accept it, and change the way they live to include this truth they’ve uncovered … they’re healed. Learning this truth, whatever it is, forms the purpose of the story for the main character. The reader, and the character, think the story is about achieving that big tangible goal the premise talks about; really, underneath it all, the story is about someone achieving a big intangible truth, that will ultimately save their life and future. Often, this need is exactly what the character fears or professes to hate. 

Like Finding Nemo, where Dory states exactly what Marlin needs to learn. 

5) Ghosts: 

Not this kind of ghosts.

Ghosts are events in your character’s past which mark the source of their weaknesses and strengths. Because these happened, the character became who they are. All we need to know about backstory are these moments, because who the character became is all we care about. There’s really only one ghost you absolutely need: the source of their moral and psychological weakness. Something happened that knocked the character’s world off kilter, and everything from that moment onward has been tainted by what happened. This moment haunts them (hence the name), and holds them back from uncovering that need that will heal their weaknesses. Pixar are masters of this: the source of Carl being stuck in the past, curmudgeonly, unable of loving anyone new? Ellie dying; his ghost. In Finding Nemo, the source of Marlin being suffocating, protective to the point of being harmful, possessive, and fearful? His wife and 99% of his children being eaten in front of him; his ghost. 

6) True Character: These are the strengths, values, convictions, fears, faults, beliefs, worldview, and outlook on life that make the main character who they truly are. 

7) Characterization: This is everything on the surface of a main character. The way they look, talk, act, etc. All of this originates from those deeper elements of their being, the strengths, values, ghosts, weaknesses, needs, that make them who they truly are. So often, you can think of this as a facade they’re projecting, a way to shield the the truth about themselves, how they wish to be perceived. The story, and the other characters, are slowly going to see deeper than this characterization, revealing more and more of the reasons it is the way it is. 

8) Arc: If the character is going to change from “Incomplete Person” to “Complete Person” there’s going to be a journey they go on to make that possible. The external story, the pursuit of that big tangible goal the premise is about, is causing an inner journey to take place. What they have to do in pursuit of that external goal will apply pressure to those weaknesses, and pressure causes change. This process has seven steps, but if I write it all here this post is going to be obscenely long. So I might wait and give this its own post.

9) Changed Person: Who is the character going to be at the end of this story? They better be different, or else the story didn’t work. How do they show how different they’ve become? What is the moral choice they make, that spins their trajectory from “the future doesn’t look so great” to “happily ever after”? This should be known right away, maybe even before anything else is settled about the character. This gives a distinct end goal, a way to work backwards, a destination in mind that you can navigate towards.  

10) Fascination and Illumination: The surface characterization, and the brief glimpses of the true character underneath create curiosity in the reader/audience. What the character says, and the implied subtext beneath the dialogue, creates a puzzle the audience wants to solve. Actions they take work the same way; if the writer indicates there’s deeper motivation behind why a character behaves in the way they do, we buy into solving that mystery right away. We can’t help it. “Who are you really? Why are you the way you are? And how is that going to effect the story?” These are all the unspoken, almost not consciously acknowledged, questions that fascinating characters provoke. Searching out meaning, connecting the dots to find the truth – we can’t resist this. We’re not fascinated by tons of backstory and exposition about a character; we’re fascinated by story, by mystery, by the technique of withholding information and having to interpret and hunt out the truth on our own.  So gradually, the story and the characters will force that character to reveal a little more, and a little more, until we have a complete picture of who this person is. Crucial that this information isn’t told up front. Gradually illuminate it. It’s just like getting to know a real person. 

So how does this work in a real character? Let’s take a look at Flynn Rider/Eugene Fitzherbert, because almost everybody has seen that movie. 

Moral Weaknesses: He’s selfish. He’s a little greedy. He’s a little rude. He uses his charisma and bravado to keep people at a distance from the real him. 

Psychological Weaknesses: Insecurity, fear of vulnerability, feels like the real him (Eugene) would be unwanted, unlovable, and have nothing – just like when he was an orphaned kid. Also, he doesn’t know who he wants to be, what he wants to live for. 

Goal: Flynn wants to get that crown. So he has to get Blondie to see the floating lights, so she’ll give it back to him, and then they can part ways as unlikely friends.  

Want: Why does he want the crown? What does it mean for him? He actually states it (reluctantly) in song: “I have dreams like you, no really. Just much less touchy feely. They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny. On an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone. Surrounded by enormous piles of money.” He senses there’s something off in his life, something is missing. But he mistakenly believes this missing piece is money, which will allow him to buy a lonely island, where he can live out his days as Flynn and no one will ever know Eugene. 

Need: “All those days chasing down a daydream. All those years living in a blur. All that time never truly seeing, things the way they were. Now she’s here, shining in the starlight. Now she’s here, suddenly I know. If she’s here, it’s crystal clear, I’m where I’m meant to go.” He wants a crown … he needs to fall in love with Rapunzel. He needs to love something more than himself, and find out that love isn’t something to fear and push away. He needs to abandon the 'Tales of Flynnagin Rider’ ambition, and get a more worthwhile, new dream. 

Ghost: The source of all of his weaknesses can be linked to his “little bit of a downer” childhood as an orphan. Interestingly, he isn’t aware of another facet of that ghost, and Rapunzel points it out to him. “Was he a thief too?” she asks. He looks taken aback, before answering “Uh, no.” Something’s gone wrong. The choices he’s making are not living up to that original role model.  

Characterization: Flynn’s charming, funny, smart, charismatic, and arrogant (in a somehow charming sort of way). He’s also rude, contemptuous, and sarcastic. All traits that help him keep up that 'swashbuckling rogue’ facade, and push people away from the real him. 

True Character: Underneath all that, he’s a Disney prince. That pretty much sums it up.  

Changed Person: “Started going by Eugene again, stopped thieving, and basically turned it all around.” He started the story as the guarded and evasive Flynn, he ends as the selfless and thoroughly-in-love Eugene. 

Fascination and Illumination: Imagine if everything about Flynn had been told, right up front. We know he’s an orphan, we know he’s upheld a fake reputation, we know he’s a kind and loving guy underneath it all, we even know about his “tales of Flynnagin” childhood dream. You know what happens? We like him … but we’re not interested in him. There’s nothing we need to find out. There’s no curiosity. And if there’s no curiosity, and nothing being illuminated, your story’s not going anywhere. So instead, we find out – alongside Rapunzel – more about Flynn as the story progresses. And that is how it should be. 

So!

Developing characters in this way, I’ve found, really reduces worries about how “well-rounded” and three dimensional I’ve made them. They feel real to me. And besides helping me create characters, this ten element technique has also let me analyze characters I like, which is strangely fun. It’s a great way to figure out why a character works, what causes them to be so effective, and how you can go about creating them yourself. 

Yeah, I’m a bit of a nerd. 

But if you want, try it out. Develop a character. Analyze a character. You might find it as useful/fun as I do.

WHY I LOVE U

Venus in Aries: I heard your laughter before I saw you. And then I couldn’t take my eyes off you. And after everyone had gone home we were still running around, or you were running I was just trying to keep up. You work hard, play hard and love even harder, but you like to try on a couple of sizes before you find the right fit. It’s the way you make me laugh at the most ludicrous things, the way you know exactly what you want and are not afraid to go and get it. You make me feel like anything is possible. Our love was like a tickle war turned makeout session, and I still remember the heat when our skin touched. There will never be anyone like you. 

Venus in Taurus: Being with you is like coming home. Like a perfect dream. Like lavender candles and cuddling up to a marathon of our favourite show. You kissing me between every episode. You don’t like playing games and you don’t like being rushed when falling in love. You take your sweet time, worshipping my body and my mind so my heart can’t help but follow. I remember those lazy Sundays, strolling through the furniture store, your hand in mine and we would pretend to decorate our future house. But all we came out with were more lavender candles and a burning lust for each other. You turn the mundane into something truly magical. 

Venus in Gemini: You drive me crazy, I never know where we stand. We spend the most incredible nights together and then I don’t hear from you in forever. Maybe that’s your style, you wanna look me in the eyes and not read my words on your phone. We sit for hours and people watch, making up backstories for them. When I’m with you I have no sense of time, all I can think about is your mischievous smile and the way you play with my hair. Your love is all-consuming, like nothing in the world matters to you more. With you my sense of reason is completely clouded, I’m yours for the night and every other night. If you’ll have me. 

Venus in Cancer: My hero, my sensitive babe. Your heart on your sleeve, that look in your eyes and I was yours forever. When you kissed me I could see our lives flashing before my eyes. Sitting on opposite sides of the sofa. Your nose in a book but your hand on me, like you needed to be connected to me or else you’d die. Every time you catch me staring at you I can’t help the grin on my face. You are fragile and strong, creating this protective space around us where we can just be together. I love how you’re not afraid of your feelings, and how you already named our kids even though we need to discuss it lol. You make it feel so real, like you are the missing piece of the puzzle. 

Venus in Leo: I remember the first time I met you, it all happened so fast. At a party, my friend introducing you and before I knew it your arms were around me. I remember melting into your hug, and the electricity in the air when we finally let go. Everyone else thought it was weird but we both knew, there was no turning back. Being with you feels like running through a field of flowers, faster and faster. Your laughter and your moans echo in my head. My legs feel like giving out but your hand refuses to let go of mine. It’s that smile after you say something clever, and they way you make me feel like it’s just me and you versus the world. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this loved. 

Venus in Virgo: You make me feel whole. Driving down the freeway blasting our songs, I can’t sing but you don’t care. Your hand on the stick shift and for some reason I got all hot inside. It’s the way you wrap your arms around me at the checkout line, like I’m yours and you don’t care who knows. You’re thoughtful and observant, you make me feel like I matter to you. And it’s not an act, you are actually that kind. I’m trying so hard to describe you, but all I can think about is that night when my family fell apart. You drew a bath with bubbles and you held me until the water went cold. Then we ate raspberries (my favourite) and watched Modern Family. And then you loved me until I didn’t feel like I was falling apart anymore. I think that describes you more than words ever could. You’re the one I see sitting next to me on our porch doing a crossword puzzle, in our old bodies. But it doesn’t scare me because your spirit is forever young. 

Venus in Libra: Being in love with you is so easy. Our first date was to the movies. You gave me a red poppy and held my hand the entire time, gently playing with my fingers. My heart was about to beat out of my chest but somehow I was calm, because you were. I love the way you talk so easy, with that breezy confidence. Like you’d never tell me a lie. The way you were charming and kind to everyone from the bus driver to the server at the pizza shop. After talking to each other all night in the park, it was the only place that was still open. My mum still asks about you. I think she loved you more than I did, and that’s saying something. 

Venus in Scorpio: God, the way you tear me apart and then put me back together. Over and over again. You of all people know that life isn’t always chocolates and roses. You’re not afraid of the ugliness of human nature, instead you try to find the silver lining, the beauty in the madness. You demand that I’m honest with you, and in turn you trust me with your own secrets. It created a bond beyond love, or maybe it was love. It just felt different, like it was based in reality and not a love story. You’ve seen me at my worst and still think I’m beautiful, because you see people’s souls. Nobody can hide their true nature from you for you are an expert of reading between the lines. Your animalistic passion penetrates deep, and everything becomes a haze of lust and obsession. Because if you’re not obsessed it’s just not worth it. I would trust you with my life, because you would sacrifice your own for the one you love. 

Venus in Sagittarius: We had just gotten comfortable on the top of the mountain we climbed when you hit me with “Do you think out of seven billion that some people have the same personality?” And you packed my favourite sandwich, tomato, mozzarella and basil. A moment of breathless kisses and triumph. Your strength made me feel strong too, and your devotion made my heart swell. You never stand still but it doesn’t matter, because you take me with you and always make sure I’m alright. You make me feel included, showing me off and introducing me to all your friends. I’ve never felt more proud than when I’m standing next to you. When you told me how much you loved me I knew it was true. 

Venus in Capricorn: The true romantic. What drew me in was that calm stare, you looked like trouble I swear I was gonna faint on the spot. You could keep up with me, and when you took my hand and said “Trust me?” I somehow believed you. But what made me fall for you was how you kept all your promises. Your presence is honest and true, the way you make me feel like I would never be alone, like I would always have a friend. I love falling asleep in your arms to your heartbeat. You’re gentle with me, I can feel your love in every touch. Your love made me believe I could do anything, because I knew you would stick by my side. If I asked you to. 

Venus in Aquarius: Keep it cool, that’s how you roll. Almost untouchable, but you let me touch you. It was like the seasons changed in seconds. You finished that last drop of champagne and said “Let’s get wet”, then we jumped in the pool. And then you kissed me. It felt like breathing underwater, I don’t even think you live in the same world as the rest of us. I texted you at 2 a.m. and you didn’t hesitate. Trapped between your body and the wall, your lips on my neck and I was already in heaven. I never thought you loved me back, until you showed up on my doorstep, whiskey on your breath and tears in your eyes. After that I never doubted you, because I knew then that your love was more than words. 

Venus in Pisces: With you it’s all about the moment, and moments with you are plush and whimsical. Like sitting on a cloud. You are still the only person to ever write me a poem. And when you asked me if I liked it, how you let me see your vulnerable side even though the look in your eyes was sheer terror, you were brave. I was at loss for words so I just kissed you deeply. You see the beauty in the little things, like asking me about what I dreamt last night or giving me cupid earrings so they could whisper sweet nothings in my ear when you’re not around. Your love is poetic, you actually think of me and what makes me happy. Whenever you see something that reminds you of me you always let me know. I can’t help but think how lucky I am to be so cherished.

Compilation of some of my favorite dialogues from the BNHA manga.

I really hope all of these make it into the anime, cause they’re all comedy gold. 

Bakugou: Heh, kid thinks he’s an adult.
Todoroki: reminds me of someone I know….
Bakugou: AH? HE’S NOTHING LIKE ME! AT LEAST I DON’T KEEP ALL MY EMOTIONS PENT UP INSIDE LIKE A CERTAIN SOMEONE!
Todoroki: relax… it was a joke. 

Yaoyorozu: The more I consume, the more I can create.
Sero: kinda like poop
[Jirou punches Sero in the face]

Bakugou: KING OF EXPLODOKILLS
Midnight: I’d suggest trying something different for your hero name…that’s not gonna slide….
Bakugou: fine.
Bakugou: BARON OF EXPLODOKILLS
Midnight: Again…not gonna slide.
Kirishima: How about Blasty McSplode!?!

Shouji: I’ll tell you now…I don’t have anything interesting in my room…
Mina: …more like you don’t have anything PERIOD!!!
Todoroki: ….Is this what they refer to as “minimalist”?

[Yaoyorozu offers to tutor people]
Kirishima: [to Bakugou] Talk about a gap in personal virtue
Bakugou: I’m plenty virtuous too fuckmunch!! Why don’t I tutor you till you’re a puddle of blood?!?
Kirishima: Ohh i’ll take you up on that! 

Todoroki: Bakugou, what are you going to do about the provisional license supplementary lessons?
Bakugou: THAT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS
Todoroki: Well then, I’ll leave you to your cleaning. Enjoy!!
Bakugou: DAMN IT!!!

Keep reading

Reasons to watch the LEGO Batman Movie
  • It’s so meta. Batman narrates through the opening logos and they show clips from the other adaptations of Batman and talk about how Joker and Batman have been fighting for 78 years. My personal favorite is when Alfred calls Batman out for all the Brooding™ he’s done since 1966.
  • It’s freaking hilarious. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s the funniest movie I’ve seen in years. The jokes always hit the mark and even just how the characters act are enough to get huge laughs.
  • The characters. Batman is of course amazing but there’s also Robin who’s a literal ray of sunshine, Alfred who is the coolest butler ever and so much more, one of the best adaptations of Joker, and Barbara Gordon who is such a competent leader and fighter and so amazing in general.
  • Batman’s and Joker’s relationship. Having Joker portrayed as wanting validation from Batman that he is his greatest enemy but Batman not reciprocating those feelings creates one of the funniest, most amazing hero-villian dynamics ever to be put to film. 
  • It’s actually emotional. Amongst all the hilarity and action scenes the movie does take time to address the concepts of loneliness, confronting one’s fears, if you are really a good person or not (or if you’re in between), and the nature of family. It gives so much depth to Batman that is hardly seen in other adaptations and that’s what makes it so great. 

HERE IT IS: THE FINAL RPG WORLD COMIC!

A recent episode of my show OK KO!, “A Hero’s Fate” is a fully-absorbed finale of my old comic RPG World. RPG World was a comic that I made when I was a teenager(Starting in August 2000). A lot of people ended up liking the comic and I was a little too young to take that fact seriously. I never finished the comic’s story because… I was a flighty teenager and I ended up going to animation school. After a fruitful decade-plus of working in animation, I was thrilled to return to my old characters.

If you were a fan of RPG World, please seek out this episode and watch it! It’s a special treat just for you!

Originally the story wasn’t going to have any specific call-outs to the comic but the storyboard team for the episode, Ryann Shannon and Parker Simmons crafted a narrative around Hero and KO learning to value the people in their lives AND their heroic ambitions.

Ryann created an epilogue to the episode which showed Hero returning to comic form to finish his story. I felt very embarrassed by this but it made so much sense in the story’s context. I leaned into it and using her rough version as a guide, drew the full ending page myself. I rummaged thru my supplies and broke out the same set of pens I used to ink the comic with, and scanned it on my same old scanner. I tried to emulate my coloring style from back then(MAN ALIVE I was SO into gradients)… I used to do the comic three times a week so doing it again was a surreal experience. 

The whole thing has ended up being very cathartic. Knowing that Hero and Cherry will live on in endless worldwide repeats of this episode is mindblowing.

p.s. If this post inspires you to go look up and read RPG World, I pre-emptively apologize for my clumsy and possibly offensive teenage writing and artistic skills. I barely knew what I was doing! I’m shocked that people even liked it!

“Do whatever you want to do, and be the hero of your own story.”

@therealjacksepticeye #HowDidWeGetHere


I went to the first ever jacksepticeye tour and

It was incredible!

Jack, you and your team should be proud of what you all have created. I hope to meet you someday. Congratulations!

The 9 Elements of a VILLAIN

If we’re being honest, one character is always the most fun to develop when you’re writing a new story. It must be the main character, right? The person you’re going to follow throughout the story, the one that means the most to you?

Nope. It’s the villain.

Villains are just FUN. You get to creep into the darkest corners of your writer brain and conjure up the most unashamedly detestable human being you possibly can. 

This is how we look when we begin creating a villain. 

But sometimes, it can be difficult to to make sure they’re fully believable humans. So here are the nine elements that have helped me out when developing these terrible people … 

1) Hero’s Shadow:

The relationship between the main character and the villain is the most important one in the story, because it is the source of all conflict. Without the villain causing trouble, the main character wouldn’t have the chance to be a hero. Without that trouble, the main character’s weaknesses wouldn’t be pressured, which means they couldn’t change. The villain is a condensed and magnified embodiment of the inner weakness that the hero is battling. They’re the SHADOW of hero, the example of what will happen if the main character goes down the wrong path. Both are facing the same problem in different ways. For example Darth Vader and Luke.  

2) Conflict Strategy:  

In the pursuit of stopping the hero from achieving their goal, the villain is going to attack them on 1) a personal relationship level 2) a societal level and 3) an inner level. They’re going to attack the people around them, they’re going to cause consequences for the community surrounding them, they’re going to get into their head and plague them. Because the hallmark of a villain is that they’re the person who’s perfectly suited to attack the hero’s greatest weakness. Villains should have a distinct set of tactics to destroy the main character, on at least two levels. 

3) Flaws: 

This one’s expected. Of course a villain has flaws, it’s in the job description. But flaws do not equate to ‘He kicks turtles every morning before breakfast’ or 'His favorite hobby is butterfly stomping’ or, more within the realm of possibility, “He wants to kill the hero”. These are evil actions, NOT flaws. A lot of villains, particularly in movies, will be given horrible things to do without any explanation for WHY they do them. And it’s pretty easy to give them reasons: just give them human weaknesses! That’s it. Whether the actions they take are as small as theft or as big as blowing up a planet, these actions stem from recognizable HUMAN FLAWS. So like a main character, a villain needs mental and moral flaws.  

Yup, even Maleficent has human flaws. And she’s a dragon part of the time. 

4) Counter Goal: 

All characters exist because they want something. And what do villains want? To get whatever the main character wants (for very different reasons), to stop them from reaching their goal, or another goal that directly conflicts with the hero’s goal. As long as that big tangible thing they want locks hero and villain in battle, you’re good. Think 101 Dalmatians: Cruella and the good guys are fighting over the puppies.  

5) Surface Motivations:  

Why is it that villains always have a team of followers? Because villains never outright state their true motivations. They always have a cover story, and that cover will paint them as righteous. Villains want to look like the good guy. So their real Hidden Motivations are defended by twisting perceptions of Good & Evil, by portraying evil acts in a positive light, by indulging their followers selfish emotions and desire to feel like “one of the good guys. " 

Take Gothel for example: she’s a loving mother who wants to protect her daughter from all the world’s darkness. (Sure you do, Flynn stabber.)  

Surface Motivations never stand up to logical scrutiny and a functioning moral compass, but giving your bad guy a compelling argument against your good side always makes things more interesting, which brings us to …

6) Counter Statement:

The main character needs to learn some kind of truth that will enable them to fix their lives, overcome their weaknesses, banish their ghosts. It’s whatever statement about "how to live a better life” you want to prove with your story. Your villain has other ideas. They don’t agree with that statement, have other beliefs about living life well, and represent an argument against it. For example, Voldemort: “there is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it." 

Although your argument isn’t very convincing, Voldy. I mean, you’re living in the back of some guy’s head.

7) Characterization: 

This is everything on the surface of the villain. The way they speak, the way they look, the way they act, their role in life, their status and power. This is the facade they project for the world to see, a calculated effort to control how they are perceived. This is closely connected to that surface want, because that surface is what they wish people to believe about them. Over time, the reader and the other characters are going to be able to see through this mask and see what it conceals. My favorite Disney example of this is Mother Gothel: on the surface she’s this bubbly mom who loves Rapunzel and wants to protect her from the harshness of the world. 

You can think of this as the text … 

8) Hidden Motivation: 

And this is the subtext. That surface motivation they want the world to believe is a mask concealing their true motivation, which is always rooted in their flaws,  selfishness, and skewed beliefs. 

9) Ghosts, Justification, Self-Obsession: 

These three are closely related, so they get counted together.
Like main characters, villains have GHOSTS: events from their backstories that knocked their worldviews out of alignment, that marked the beginning of their weaknesses, that haunt them still. Because these happened, the originally benign person allowed themselves to turn into someone who could occupy the job of "villain” in a story. Usually, these events are genuine misfortunes and are worthy of sympathy, just like the ghosts of a main character. Think of Voldemort growing up in an orphanage talking to snakes.

BUT! When it comes to ghosts, the major difference between a hero and a villain is HOW THEY DEAL with these unpleasant past events. Both have suffered, but react to suffering in very different ways. A villain will be consumed by these events, obsessed with the real (or imagined) persecution or disadvantage they’ve endured, convinced that all personal responsibility is nullified by their status of injured party. Past tragedies become a talisman that grants immunity from decency. 

This scene from A Series of Unfortunate Events sums it up.  An adult makes an excuse for a terrible person by saying he had a terrible childhood. And Klaus replies: 

Yes, maybe they’ve both lived through tragedy. But THE KIDS aren’t hurting others because of it. 

Because villains, who are constantly victimizing heroes, are completely convinced that THEY are the true victims here. No matter what they do, no matter what they are, they blame everything on that ghost, whether it was another person, society, or circumstances. And later they blame the hero, who they see as the REAL villain. For example, Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame:  

“It’s not my fault, I’m not to blame”

So! WHY are villains like this?

SELF-OBSESSION! Yup, villains spend an unhealthy amount of time thinking about themselves and their plights and their plots. Think of any villain and it’s not hard to see the inherent narcissism behind everything they do. Like willingness to take action is the nonnegotiable trait of a main character, self-obsession is the trait that all villains seem to share. 

So! Developing villains in this way has worked out for me so far. If it looks like it might be helpful for you, give it a try.

And in the spirit of creating someone to torment our main characters and ruin their lives, here’s one more maniacal laugh for the road:

Quirks in BNHA are fucking wild

I really want to sit down and brainstorm about what the hell society is like? Because Mutation Quirks are a Thing, and you’ve got people running around who are all wildly differing in physicality.

Like the Pro Hero, Cementoss. He’s a fucking rectangle. He’s a block of cement with a face. That’s a person. That’s what he looks like. Tokoyami has a bird’s head

More then that, there’s the underlying question of ‘How do they work?’. Now, we all pretty much accept that there’s probably no real explanation and that’s okay, suspension of disbelief.

But Bakugou’s quirk is explained. He creates nitoglycerin in his palm-sweat and he can make that explode. This is because his mother’s quirk let her secrete glycerin (which is great for her skin), and his father had an oxidizing-sweat quirk. Bam, they combined, it’s explosive sweat. That makes some level of sense.

So if you can have a semi-plausible explanation for one quirk, what the fuck is Uraraka’s? Shoto’s? TOKOYAMI’S?!

Sero has fuckin’ cellophane tape dispensers for elbows in a universe where a man can send you to the moon with a single punch.

Okay but you guys know what this all means in Sci-Fi right now? 

The latest Star Trek Captain and First Officer are women of colour. 

The main leads in Star Wars are women, and men of colour. 

Wonder Woman and her tribe of Amazonians (many of whom are woc too) are on the big screen breaking all the records. 

The Ghostbusters are all brilliant women who ain’t afraid of nothing. 

And now the Doctor is female too! 

Women are taking Sci-Fi back! It’s ours again, we created it and now we get to have it! Little girls can dress up as all their heroes and be excited by that!

White Men are going out! They’re no longer always centre stage and it’s fucking fantastic

It’s such a good new move and I’m like…. I’m so happy to be alive to see this happen!!

50 book asks
  • the adventures of huckleberry finn: do you think kids or their parents are responsible for their beliefs?
  • the alchemist: what are your current plans for the future? will you be upset if they don't work out?
  • alice's adventures in wonderland: how do you react to absurd situations?
  • and then there were none: do you think murderers deserve to die?
  • artemis fowl: how much do you depend on technology?
  • beowulf: is it always worthwhile to hear both sides of an argument?
  • the canterbury tales: if someone is hypocritical, do you point it out?
  • cat's cradle: do you think it's better to believe a lie than to live with an unpleasant truth?
  • charlotte's web: what's your favorite art form?
  • coraline: if you could change your family, what would you change?
  • the crucible: how heavily do you depend on others when forming opinions?
  • fahrenheit 451: do you think there's any knowledge that should be kept secret?
  • the fault in our stars: if you could have one conversation before you died, who would you talk to and what would you say?
  • flowers for algernon: how much potential do you think you have?
  • frankenstein: is it wise for humans to attempt to create life?
  • the giver: talk about a favorite memory
  • the great gatsby: what would you sacrifice for money?
  • harry potter: if you could bring someone back from the dead, would you? if so, who would it be?
  • the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy: what do you think is the meaning of life?
  • the hobbit: do you think the average person has the potential to be a hero?
  • holes: if someone poor stole from someone rich, who would you sympathize with?
  • howl's moving castle: how quickly do you form opinions about other people?
  • the hunger games: would you kill someone if they planned to kill you?
  • identical: how clear is your perception of reality?
  • the importance of being earnest: are you flattered or annoyed by gentlemanly behavior?
  • inferno: do you think you belong in hell? why or why not?
  • jonathan livingston seagull: is perfection a good goal?
  • the joy luck club: describe your family
  • jurassic park: do you think it's wrong to use animals as attractions and accessories?
  • the kite runner: if you could, what social issue would you spread awareness about?
  • les misérables: do you think people should revolt if the government is corrupt?
  • life of pi: if you were stranded, would you be able to take care of yourself?
  • the lightning thief: what would you be the god/goddess of?
  • the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe: if you could start a new life in a new world, would you?
  • lord of the flies: what motivates you best?
  • lord of the rings: is it important to work for the greater good of the world?
  • of mice and men: would you kill your closest friend to save them from a worse fate?
  • the perks of being a wallflower: does listening to other people's problems help you or weigh you down?
  • the phantom of the opera: how much do you judge others on physical appearance?
  • pride and prejudice: are you romantic?
  • the princess bride: what's your best feature?
  • a raisin in the sun: what is your most important possession?
  • romeo and juliet: have you ever done anything ridiculous for love? what?
  • stargirl: do you value uniqueness?
  • the taming of the shrew: would you be willing to be in a relationship with someone who is very dominant?
  • the tell-tale heart: is there anything you feel guilty about right now? what?
  • to kill a mockingbird: do you believe something has value simply because it's beautiful?
  • twilight: how consistent are your feelings about people close to you?
  • watership down: do you think your right to life is any greater than an animal's?
  • the westing game: if you died now, what would you want to happen to your possessions?
100 reasons NOT to kill yourself

1. we would miss you.
2. it’s not worth the regret. either by yourself if you failed or just simply left scars, or the regret everyone else feels by not doing enough to help you.
3. it does get better. believe it or not it will eventually get better. sometimes you have to go through the storm to get to the rainbow.
4. there’s so much you would miss out on doing.
5. there is always a reason to live. it might not be clear right now, but it is always there.
6. so many people care, and it would hurt them if you hurt yourself.
7. you ARE worth it. don’t let anyone, especially yourself, tell you otherwise.
8. you are amazing.
9. a time will come, once you’ve battled the toughest times of your life and are in ease once again, where you will be so glad that you decided to keep on living. you will emerge stronger from this all, and won’t regret your choice to carry on with life. because things always get better.
10. what about all the things you’ve always wanted to do? what about the things you’ve planned, but never got around to doing? you can’t do them when you’re dead.
11. i love you. even if only one person loves you, that’s still a reason to stay alive.
12. you won’t be able to listen to music if you die.
13. killing yourself is never worth it. you’ll hurt both yourself and all the people you care about.
14. there are so many people that would miss you, including me.
15. you’re preventing a future generation, YOUR KIDS, from even being born.
16. how do you think your family would feel? would it improve their lives if you died?
17. you’re gorgeous, amazing, and to someone you are perfect.
18. think about your favourite music artist, you’ll never hear their voice again.
19. you’ll never have the feeling of walking into a warm building on a cold day
20. listening to incredibly loud music.
21. being alive is just really good.
22. not being alive is really bad.
23. finding your soulmate.
24. red pandas
25. going to diners at three in the morning.
26. really soft pillows.
27. eating pizza in neww york city.
28. proving people wrong with your success.
29. watching the jerks that doubted you fail at life.
30. seeing someone trip over a garbage can.
31. being able to help other people.
32. bonfires.
33. sitting on rooftops.
34. sweing every single country in the world.
35. going on roadtrips.
36. you might win the lottery someday.
37. listening to music on a record player.
38. going to the top of the eiffel tower.
39. taking really cool pictures.
40. literally meeting thousands of new people.
41. hearing crazy stories.
42. telling crazy stories.
43. eating ice cream on a hot day.
44. more harry potter books could come out, you never know.
45. travelling to another planet someday.
46. having an underwater house.
47. randomly running into your hero on the street.
48. having your own room at a fancy hotel.
49. trampolines.
50. think about your favourite movie, you’ll never watch it again.
51. think about the feeling of laughing out loud in a public place because your best friend has just sent you an inside joke.
52. tour survival will make the world better, even if it’s for just one person or 20 or 100 or more.
53. people do care.
54. treehouses.
55. hanging out with your soul mate in a treehouse.
55. snorting when you laugh and not caring who sees.
56. i don’t even know you and i love you.
57. i don’t even know you and i care about you.
58. because nobody is going to be like you ever, so embrace your uniqueness!
59. you won’t be here to experience the first cat world emperor.
60. WHAT ABOUT FOOD?! YOU’LL MISS CHOCOLATE AND ALL THE OTHER NOM THINGS!
61. starbucks.
62. hugs.
63. stargazing.
64. you have a purpose, and it’s up to you to find out what it is.
65. you’ve changed somebody’s life.
66. now you could change the world.
67. you will meet the person that’s perfect for you.
68. no matter how much or how little, you have your life ahead of you.
69. you have the chance to save somebody’s life.
70. if you end your life, you’re stopping yourself from achieving great things.
71. making snow angels.
72. making snowmen.
73. snowball fights.
74. life is what you make of it.
75. everybody has a talent.
76. laughing until you cry.
77. having the ability to be sad means you have the ability to be happy.
78. the world would not be the same if you didn’t exist.
79.its possible to turn frowns, upside down
80. be yourself, don’t take anyone’s sh*t, and never let them take you alive.
81. heroes are ordinary people who make themselves extraordinary. be your own hero.
82. heing happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. it means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.
83. one day your smile will be real.
84. having a really hot, relaxing bath after a stressful day.
85. lying on grass and laughing at the clouds.
86. getting completely smashed with your best friends.
87. eating crazy food.
88. staying up all night watching your favourite films with a loved one.
89. sleeping in all day.
90. creating something you’re proud of.
91. you can look back on yourself 70 years later and being proud you didn’t commit.
92. being able to meet your internet friends!
93. tea/coffee/hot chocolate.
94. team starkid.
95. cuddling under the stars.
96. being stupid in public because you just can.
97. if you are reading this then you are alive! is there any more reason to smile?
98. being able to hug that one person you havent seen in years.
99. people care enough about you and your future to come up with 100 reasons for you not to do this.
100. but, the final and most important one is, just, being able to experience life. because even if your life doesn’t seem so great right now, literally anything could happen!

& if that isn’t enough:

-depression hotline: 1-630-482-9696
-suicide hotline: 1-800-784-8433
-lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
-trevor project: 1-866-488-7386
-sexuality support: 1-800-246-7743
-eating disorders hotline: 1-847-831-3438
-rape and sexual assault: 1-800-656-4673
-grief support: 1-650-321-5272
-runaway: 1-800-843-5200, 1-800-843-5678, 1-800-621-4000
-exhale: ater abortion hotline/pro-voice: 1-866-4394253
-child abuse: 1-800-422-4453

UK HELPLINES:
-samaritans (for any problem): 08457909090
e-mail jo@samaritans.org
-childline (for anyone under 18 with any problem): 08001111
-mind infoline (mental health information): 0300 123 3393
e-mail: info@mind.org.uk
-mind legal advice (for people who need mental-health related legal advice): 0300 466 6463
legal@mind.org.uk
-b-eat eating disorder support: 0845 634 14 14 (only open mon-fri 10.30am-8.30pm and saturday 1pm-4.30pm)
e-mail: help@b-eat.co.uk
-b-eat youthline (for under 25’s with eating disorders): 08456347650 (open mon-fri 4.30pm - 8.30pm, saturday 1pm-7pm)
-cruse bereavement care: 08444779400
e-mail: helpline@cruse.org.uk
-frank (information and advice on drugs): 0800776600
-drinkline: 0800 9178282
-rape crisis england & wales: 0808 802 9999 1(open 2 - 2.30pm 7 - 9.30pm)
e-mail info@rapecrisis.org.uk
-rape crisis scotland: 08088 01 03 02 every day, 6pm to midnight
-india self harm hotline: 00 08001006614
-india suicide helpline: 022-27546669
-kids help phone (canada): 1-800-668-6868, free and available 24/7

SUICIDE HOTLINES;
-argentina: 54-0223-493-0430
-australia: 13-11-14
-austria: 01-713-3374
-barbados: 429-9999
-belgium: 106
-botswana: 391-1270
-brazil: 21-233-9191
-china: 852-2382-0000
(hong kong: 2389-2222)
-costa Rica: 606-253-5439
-croatia: 01-4833-888
-cyprus: 357-77-77-72-67
-czech republic: 222-580-697, 476-701-908
-denmark: 70-201-201
-egypt: 762-1602
-estonia: 6-558-088
-finland: 040-5032199
-france: 01-45-39-4000
-germany: 0800-181-0721
-greece: 1018
-guatemala: 502-234-1239
-holland: 0900-0767
-honduras: 504-237-3623
-hungary: 06-80-820-111
-iceland: 44-0-8457-90-90-90
-israel: 09-8892333
-italy: 06-705-4444
-japan: 3-5286-9090
-latvia: 6722-2922, 2772-2292
-malaysia: 03-756-8144
(singapore: 1-800-221-4444)
-mexico: 525-510-2550
-netherlands: 0900-0767
-new zealand: 4-473-9739
-new guinea: 675-326-0011
-nicaragua: 505-268-6171
-norway: 47-815-33-300
-philippines: 02-896-9191
-poland: 52-70-000
-portugal: 239-72-10-10
-russia: 8-20-222-82-10
-spain: 91-459-00-50
-south africa: 0861-322-322
-south korea: 2-715-8600
-sweden: 031-711-2400
-switzerland: 143
-taiwan: 0800-788-995
-thailand: 02-249-9977
-trinidad and tobago: 868-645-2800
-ukraine: 0487-327715

just in case you’re having a hard time.

stay strong.

Symbol of Hope in the Absence of Peace

@swiftwidget and I were talking about the newest chapter which lead to her Symbol of Hope post, and I’d like to add my thoughts which emphasize her points. (EDIT: This got longer than expected!!!)

First, the closing lines of chapter 154:

LET US MOVE BEYOND DESPAIR!!

Despair. The complete loss of hope.

Izuku. The boy no one saw coming. Toshinori never imagined finding his successor in such a way. Revealing his weakness, his uncertainty, his fear. But time and time again, Izuku was there. He disrupts the wavering peace and creeping despair, bringing about hope. 

Bakugou. Uraraka. Aizawa. All Might over and over. Todoroki. Iida. EVEN STAIN!* And most recently, Lock Rock, Eri, and Mirio.

Izuku brings hope wherever he goes.

He twists their apparent fates. 




Bakugou would have died because of the sludge villain. No one else was acting to save him, even All Might!! But because of Izuku, a quirkless boy, his leap into action caused All Might to surpass his current limits and save them both. The catalyst for change.

Uraraka she could have been seriously injured or died during that exam! There may have been safety measures taken into account, but that giant robot was barreling towards her. Everyone else was running away. Except Izuku.

Aizawa, ready to expel a boy for repeatedly destroying his own body, is amazed by Izuku’s drive, endurance, and willingness to learn and better his control over his self-destructive quirk. He gave Aizawa hope - surpassing his expectations again and again. USJ. Summer Training Camp. Kamino. Overhaul’s hideout. Aizawa holds an immense amount of hope and pride in Izuku, even if he scarcely admits it.

All Might:

Do I even need to say more?

The hope he gives to the others is blatant and I want to mention Stain again.

Stain! 

Stain was disillusioned. Heroes, villains, they were all the same, falling to their vices. Pride, greed, revenge, etc. Iida only proved his point that today’s heroes are a far cry from his ideal version of a true hero, “All Might.” In Stain’s eyes only a select few were deemed worthy enough to call themselves heroes… Finally ready to turn his back on even children, still learning and growing, here comes Izuku! Bringing hope to Stain and Iida alike. 

A boy like this… He has the makings of a true hero. A hero who follows the teachings of All Might.

And GUESS WHAT! If it weren’t for Izuku butting his nose in, Iida would have died and Stain would likely still be at large, still lacking the audience he needs and wants for his message. Without Izuku, there wouldn’t have been that recorded confrontation with Endeavor. Stain would still be in the back streets, voiceless, preaching to victims who would fall by his hand.

Stain saved Izuku from the noumu. He didn’t have to. He could have easily taken another hostage. But IZUKU proved himself to be a true hero in Stain’s eyes. Someone worth saving. A budding seed. Hope for the new generation of heroes Stain was trying to create. Stain’s roles: “[False] Hero Killer” and “[True] Hero Breeder”




Izuku truly is the Symbol of Hope. Of change. Defying fate. Hope is not something that can be seen. If you are certain of something you can’t have hope. It is the time of uncertainty when hope is most needed. 

Sir Nighteye made a mistake in looking into All Might’s future. 

All Might needed hope. Hope that he would recover, return to being a hero. Instead, Sir gave him certainty. The certainty that All Might would fall and die at the hands of a villain. And what did Toshinori do? He accepted his fate. He did not hope to change it. He would fall, and he would die, but he would try his hardest to save those he could. HOWEVER, amidst the certainty that he would die… Izuku was there. Toshinori had hope. He had a need to survive. Rather than placing his life in the hands of certainty, he tossed that certainty aside and trusted in hope.

And he lived.

Because of Izuku.

Izuku “Deku” Midoriya. 

“The Hero Who Doesn’t Give Up”

The Symbol of Hope.

Rich kids doing rich stuff

Momo: *casually mentions to Jirou exactly how many houses her family owns*
Jirou: (unironically) “…if I were to visit, would you consider adopting me into your family?”
Momo: “…a-are you proposing??”

Bakugou: *rarely wearing the same clothes twice, thanks to his parents*
Kirishima: “…can I borrow a shirt?”
Bakugou: (happy for his bf to wear his stuff) *showers him with fashion…but in an angry way*

Tenya: *discuss about his savings and considers buying a house at sixteen just to make a good investment for his retirement plan*
Ochaco: “…You’re so smart! I can’t even figure out how to make my health insurance work to be honest…”
Tenya: *immediately creates a trust fund for her*

Todoroki: *has never had money issues because of his father*
Deku: “My life as a hero would probably be difficult, because I cannot disclose my bond with All Might, and I will have to live in poverty if it means protecting my loved ones from the media.”
Todoroki: “Let me quickly ditch my expensive life to love you unconditionally and follow you everywhere.”

masterofenthropy  asked:

Hi HeyWriters! I was wondering: do you have a tip to create a weak point on main characters? I´m making a story, but I´m having trouble since my main character is TOO overpowered. Could you help me with this?

(All of this is written under the assumption your character has superpowers or “special” abilities, so forgive me if you meant a different kind of power.)

I created a character concept when I was twelve. She had all the superpowers of my favorite heroes and then some. As time wore on she gained more and more until eventually my adolescent brain invented logic and realized she was actually ridiculous. Here’s how I depowered this character, who’s name is Ace, without completely ruining her coolness.

Step One:

Don’t be greedy. Any ability that does not contribute to the story needs to go. It’s taking up space that could be filled with credibility. I decided early on that Ace didn’t need most of her abilities, and by the end of the story she only relies on a few to get the job done. Also, if a character can do more than one thing that are all basically the same thing some of those should probably go (invisibility and camouflage, superspeed and teleportation, etc.). 

Step Two:

Apply real-world science. If you try to make your depiction realistic, you’ll want to have an idea of how these abilities might work and how they might not. Of course, you should suspend disbelief for some things if they’re truly essential to your character, but others can be adapted. For Ace there are some powers that only work under the right circumstances, and others that her body rejects or that give her physical pain when she uses them. Most importantly, special strengths come with special weaknesses. Sensitive hearing means loud noises are more jarring or harmful, regeneration means metabolism speeds up and the person needs to eat as much as a body builder. Any superpower you pick out will have a drawback, I guarantee it; if not a physical one than a social one (I’ll get to that).

This scene from The Incredibles is an excellent demonstration of superpower drawbacks.

Step Three: 

Consider how the character feels about all this power and why they obtained it in the first place. Ace was not born with abilities, but over time she chose certain powers for the purpose of defending herself or others. Some of her powers fade away when she stops using them, like any skill you fail to practice, and some abilities she just plain old refuses to use for personal reasons. Some are too difficult or time-consuming for her to master, and some even trigger memories of her traumatic past thus she discards them. This way she has a choice in the matter and her choice is not to bite off more than she can chew or what she doesn’t want in the first place. 

Step Four:

How do other characters feel about all this power? Perhaps some or all of your character’s powers intimidate, frighten, or anger others in the story. One of Ace’s friends dislikes how unstoppable she is, and others are taken aback by some of the things she can do or how she looks when she does them. On the whole, she hides what she can do or picks small things to do instead of big things, downplaying her own power when necessary. How your supporting characters react to the force of nature that is your MC is the most important aspect of her power.

Here’s an example from the X-Men of how other characters might react. 

For additional opinions and advice, read this https://mythcreants.com/blog/five-characters-that-are-too-powerful/ and take to heart its ending line: “There’s only one fix that avoids all the pitfalls of overpowered heroes: refrain from making them really powerful in the first place.”

Yes, Ace is a flawed concept and all the advice I just gave is only a patch kit for that flaw. However, overpowered characters continue to excite readers and viewers alike, so I would never suggest we dispense with them altogether. Just, when you’re getting a headache from how overwhelming your character is, it’s good to consider dialling it all back and focusing on the power of their personality instead.

—————————————————-

Super apologize for taking so long to respond, and thanks for asking in the first place.

things i love about my hero academia

(not all of them because then this would turn into a 500 page journal that could be published and sold and no one would buy it because no one is as much of a nerd as i am)

  • our main protagonist is not a traditionally masculine hero. he’s small, he’s weak, he’s a crybaby, he’s sensitive. especially in the shounen genre, this is a pretty rare thing to see, and even as Izuku grows as a person and becomes more confident in himself, he’s still shy and anxious.
  • he’s also a fanboy!! and not in a bad way!! it’s his fanboy nature that allows him to express himself and show how smart, intuitive, and observant he is
  • the character who does get all the traditionally masculine traits is the character everyone in the main cast acknowledges is a total asshole who mercilessly bullied and abused his classmate/childhood playmate
  • it’s also very clearly seen that Izuku has been conditioned (unintentionally) to fear Bakugou because of all of that physical and emotional abuse. just because he’s a hero in training and he’s learning and growing and becoming more confident doesn’t erase all of those years of bullying
  • it’s also acknowledged that they are children and still have room to grow. Bakugou is an asshole, but he’s not totally villainized for his behavior and is given the chance to change and become a better person because he’s only sixteen years old and still has time to change
  • and he does!! he makes an effort to change and try to adjust his behavior to make a more positive impact (even if it is a slow and arduous process, we do see him make great strides throughout the manga)
  • it would have been really easy to just throw Bakugou under the bus and make him a villain, but instead we get to see his growth as a person as he matures and enters the world of adulthood
  • All Might is the no. 1 hero, the Symbol of Peace, the man everyone thinks is invincible, and he has a chronic condition. he’s missing his stomach, he’s had multiple surgeries, he spits up blood, he literally looks like a skeleton, guys. but even after the reveal, people still admire and look up to him as an idol because he’s still All Might and he still protected and saved a lot of lives and was still a hero
  • All Might’s relationship with Izuku just in general. seriously, i could make an entirely different list just based on their relationship and 95% of the fandom has already talked about them, so i won’t gush about their relationship too much here
  • the fact that most of the adults take responsibility when they fuck up. the police force realize they’ve relied too heavily on heroes, specifically All Might, and they make an effort to change that so they can help people. the teachers at UA recognize that they’ve neglected students who need psychological help. Izuku’s mom acknowledges that she should have encouraged his dream in spite of his quirklessness. most stories, even in the west, don’t have nearly as much adult responsibility as this series does
  • the elusive living anime mom
  • okay but seriously, Inko is quite possibly one of the best fictional moms i’ve seen in a long time. she’s loving and encouraging and she tries her hardest, but she’s not perfect. she’s a single mom caring for her son, who wants to go into this incredibly dangerous profession. and when he gets hurt enough times, when her limit is finally met, she puts her foot down and says “no. i love you, but i can’t let you keep getting hurt like this.” like any reasonable parent would. and the only way she relents is when she sees how much Toshinori wants to teach him and nurture him and encourage him and see his dream recognized and she sees how badly Izuku wants to continue down this path, even if it’s under her terms.
  • this series seriously tackles a lot of topics that you wouldn’t expect it to. you know you’re gonna get the usual topics like what makes a hero, what makes a villain, etc. but, it also goes over other subjects like bullying, parental abuse, discrimination, grief, inferiority complexes, how easy it is to create a monster, redemption. this is a manga about teenagers learning to be super heroes, how did it turn out like this
  • it would have been so easy to sexualize any of the girls. this manga, in the hands of a lesser author, would have featured a lot of fan service shots of the girls. Momo especially, considering she wears a very revealing outfit. and yet, none of them are sexualized?? in any way shape or form??? yeah, we see Momo shirtless a lot and some girls wear skin tight outfits. but, you know who else has skin tight outfits and revealing hero costumes? the boys. and when we do see a shirtless girl or boy, it’s not framed in a way where we’re meant to be objectifying their body. there’s a reason why it happened and we move on. it’s so refreshing.
  • (there are only two fan service female characters. one uses her sexuality to get free shit and the other is meant to make you uncomfortable. take it what you will)
  • we get a lot of unique designs for each of the characters. there are no same faces. each character has a unique quirk and a design that belongs to them. they aren’t interchangeable with one another. Izuku looks like Izuku. All Might looks like All Might. they all look unique with different shapes and sizes
  • (admittedly the manga still kind of falls under the trap of the boys get to have weird, strange designs and the girls all kind of look cute, but it’s not nearly as bad as some other shows. and honestly, if that’s my only complaint, that says a lot)
  • fighting doesn’t solve everything! there’s a really incredible few chapters in the manga dedicated to acknowledging that Izuku and Bakugou seriously need to talk to each other about what Bakugou did to him. they’re both incredible people in their own right and they can learn a lot from each other, but only if they stop fighting and actually communicate with each other. one of the chapters is literally titled “a meaningless fight”. because it is meaningless. it’s not going to solve their problems, fix past mistakes, or make them feel better. it’s a fight to get aggression out because Bakugou doesn’t know any other way to deal with his emotions and trauma.
  • kindness is rewarded!!! cruelty is not!!! i’m really sick and tired of TV shows and movies trying to sell this pessimistic outlook that everything sucks and that gives us the right to be assholes to each other just because it’s edgy. My Hero Academia is such a positive manga and it brings me so much joy and happiness and it sends such a wonderful message of anyone can be a hero if you have a good heart and that kindness will be rewarded, even if it takes a really long time.

i love this manga so much and it’s given me so much light and happiness in my life and if that makes me weird because it’s anime, then fine. whatever. i don’t care. i’ll love it for as long as i can, dammit.

anonymous asked:

do you think horikoshi's level of "not giving a fuck" its high enough for making a canon gay couple? (ships aside)

Yes, It’s Possible For Boku no Hero Academia To Have a Canon Gay Couple

Horikoshi is at least aware of LGBT rights based on this moment with Magne. 

and based on him creating a canon trans character. 

Horikoshi is a progressive writer and handles a lot of mature topics better than most shounen authors. He reminds me a little of Togashi, the shounen author of HunterxHunter. Togashi and his wife both support LGBT rights, and Togashi has made a prominent character trans, and there are a lot of characters in HunterxHunter whose sexuality or gender are shrouded in mystery. The reason why I think these two authors are so similar is because both handle sensitive material rather maturely and both have confirmed LGBT characters. 

Plus, if Attack on Titan can have a canon gay couple, then Boku no Hero Academia should be able to get away with having a canon gay couple with time. LGBT rights keeps improving in Japan every year, and Boku no Hero Academia still has years to go before concluding. LGBT rights most likely will have lots of support years from now in Japan by the time the series ends. In fact, Japan has improved tremendously with LGBT rights already. The lives of the LGBT community has become better, there are more LGBT characters in Japanese media, the younger generation in Japan is especially supportive of LGBT individuals, and Japanese culture in general has become more LGBT-inclusive. In fact, a group of Japanese politicians just last week have formed a coalition for LGBT rights, and there are news of Japanese corporations becoming more LGBT-inclusive. Being gay in Japan is becoming less taboo everyday. 

Hypothetically, let’s say Horikoshi wants to make Bakugou and Kirishima a canon gay couple, but Shounen Jump won’t allow it. If that’s the case, Horikoshi can simply give both Bakugou and Kirishima lots of intimate moments, make them follow a bunch of romance tropes, give them no other love interests, and even have them become life partners by the end of the series, leaving the romance of their relationship up to interpretation. That would be extremely close to having a canon gay couple without explicitly confirming it. Something similar to this happened with the main characters of the JRPG Tales of Zesteria. 

I think it’s too easy and too simple to say there can never be a canon gay couple in Boku no Hero Academia just because it’s a shounen. People aren’t taking other factors into account. Horikoshi isn’t your standard shounen author. I’m not saying Horikoshi will create a canon gay couple because I don’t know what the hell he’ll do. I can’t make that kind of claim. I’m just saying it’s definitely possible. 

Dear Anti-SJWs

No one is “making” Black Panther a “race thing”. It ALWAYS WAS.

Black Panther was created by two Jewish artists as a response to criticisms of a lack of diversity in comics. Even before, Marvel was well known for doing the one of the unthinkable, most revolutionary thing in the world of comics at the time: putting PoC in the background of shots.

And they specifically *gasp* weren’t caricatures (tbf, though, a lot of the dialogue was….yeah. But hey, baby steps)

But you know what? A few Black people used as scenery wasn’t enough for Stan and Jack. They realised early on that Black kids read comics and should have a hero for themselves. They should have someone they could look up to and emulate, someone that stood up for issues they cared about.

So they created Black Panther and wrote him as a fantasy for what Africa could have been if colonialism didn’t happen.

Since then, other authors have used Black Panther to address other social issues from a Black perspective. In fact, the most acclaimed Black Panther series are those with Black creators, lauded for their authenticity. This has led, of course, to the Black Panther movie. If you look up the people cast in this movie, the director, the costume designers, etc. you’ll find that each one is likely linked to a political movie about Black issues in some way.

And y'all say we’re MAKING it a race thing? nah, we’re just making it impossible for you to ignore that it IS a race thing and always WILL BE a race thing.

Seriously, if Static Shock came our right now, y'all would complain about us making it into a “race thing”. I bet I’ll see y'all complaining that we make the Green Lantern movie into a “race thing”. And I DISTINCTLY remember y'all saying we were turning Luke Cage into a “race thing”.

If y'all don’t want to see “race things”, then I suggest y'all don’t watch this or any sci-fi movie featuring a Black person as the central character. Cuz every one of them will BE a “race thing”. Because apparently, pointing out that we live kinda shitty lives and talking about the issues WE face is too much for you to handle. Apparently, you prefer movies like X-Men or Hunger Games when the metaphor is is super vague and behind a white face. But when it’s explicit, you can’t handle it and get triggered (for lack of a better term). That’s fine, I don’t want your ass in the theater with me. Don’t watch it.

But don’t get it in your head that because you antis don’t see it, it’ll flop. Majority of Black people on this website (frak, probably just majority of Black people in general) are going to see it. White “sjws” are going to see it. Non-black PoC allies are going to see it. We’ll be fine. When JUST Black people see a movie we turn it into a huge success. So nah, we don’t need you. Don’t watch it. Cuz I can garuntee that you probably won’t like it if you understand it.

Then again, the fact that this character has existed for such a long time and you STILL don’t see how it’s a “race thing” shows how well you are at understanding complex issues…so maybe you will enjoy it, idk.

Anyway, Takè le Wakanda and fuck you.

Stereotyped vs Nuanced Characters and Audience Perception

Writing with color receives many questions regarding the stereotypes Characters of Color and their story lines may possess.

There’s a difference between having a three-dimensional character with trait variance and flaws, versus one who walks the footsteps of a role people of their race/ethnicity are constantly put into. Let’s discuss this, as well as how sometimes, while there’s not much issue with the character, a biased audience will not allow the character to be dimensional.

But first: it’s crucial to consider the thinking behind your literary decisions.

Trace your Logic 

When it comes to the roles and traits you assign your characters, it’s important to ask yourself why you made them the way they are. This is especially true for your marginalized characters.

So you need an intimidating, scary character. What does intimidating look like on first brainstorm? Is it a Black man, large in size or presence? (aka a Scary Black Man) A Latino with trouble with the law? If so, why?

Really dig, even as it gets uncomfortable. You’ll likely find you’re conditioned to think of certain people in certain roles on the spot.

It’s a vicious cycle; we see a group of people represented a certain way in media, and in our own works depict them in the way we know. Whether you consciously believe it’s the truest depiction of them all or not, we’re conditioned to select them for these roles again and again. Actors of Color report on being told in auditions they’re not performing stereotypical enough and have been encouraged to act more “ethnic.” 

This ugly merry-go-round scarcely applies to (cis, straight) white people as they are allowed a multitude of roles in media. Well, then again, I do notice a funny trend of using white characters when stories need a leader, a hero, royalty, a love interest…

Today’s the day to break free from this preconditioned role-assigning.

Keep reading