Characters Starting Friendless

Most people use the word trope like it’s a bad thing.  Not so much me.  In my opinion, tropes are ways to identify things we like (or dislike) in books or movies.  They can be vague (magical girl) or they can be specific (rich guy falls for poor girl). To me they are just as useful as genre.

That said, I’d like to talk about the “friendless main character getting friends” trope.  I like it and relate to it.  To be honest, I’ve never had tons of friends.  I’m just not one of those socially adept people.  More than once I have moved and had to start from scratch.  So instantly I have a bond with such characters.

Most recently, the story I watched (though I originally read the manga) that featured this trope was KIMI NI TODOKE.  As I watched it, I came to realize how SAY I LOVE YOU (which I reviewed before) had the same kind of trope.  However, I totally preferred Sawako (KIMI NI TODOKE’s main) to Mei (SAY I LOVE YOU’s main).

The difference?  Character outlook.

Mei was friendless by her choice and a good dose of negativity.  Sawako just had a “presentation” issue and continued to be positive and hopeful despite her failed friendship attempts.  Not that Sawako is all good thoughts.  She has a bit of a lack of ego too (something else I could relate to), so her positivity does have limits.  It’s an interesting dynamic.

So from watching this I have learned that while I like the “friendless main character getting friends” trope I like it even more if the main character is a positive one.

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KIMI NI TODOKE Mini-Review
Blurb From Hulu:
Sawako Kuronuma has had a difficult time fitting in. Is it her long black hair, her hushed manner of speaking, or is it her name’s similarity to Sadako, a character from a popular Japanese horror series?

My Thoughts:
Season 1 is 25 episodes long and follows the manga in a timely pace.  I must admit the constant use of chibis (something they did in the manga) did detract from the story at first (had to get used to it).  Also, the manga evoked more feels from me than the show, but the show got the big important feels moments right.  I loved it!

Season 2 is 13 episodes and unlike season one, dragged out a single (sub)plot.  Now this plot was a big freaking deal, but I felt it wasn’t strong enough to merit all those episodes.  But, the plot is a big freaking deal and should be watched to make the anime feel complete.

Watch it on Hulu!

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Can you relate to these kinds of characters?
What anime should I watch next?

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Categories: Hobbies | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Characters Starting Friendless

  1. People are trying so desperately to be unique at times they abandon tried and true principles for what they see as “art”. But it often does not work in their favor. Or at the end of the day since every is trying not to use things like tropes all of their stories begin to be the same. You CANNOT produce anything new. The uniqueness is your take on it. So I agree with you. Tropes in my opinion are not a bad thing.

    I mean we only have to look to Korean dramas to see that tropes can work and how. It must be good storytelling if I have a decent idea of how something will end but I still want to see it end. It’s like when I rewatch Back to the Future. I know Doc Brown will get the cables connected, but I still feel the anxiety waiting for it to happen.

    I think especially as a newer writer, tropes should be your friend. The movies that seem to do well have more accessible character types and tropes.

    • I’ve been seeing authors bashing tropes, especially ones they hate (thus everyone should hate them too). And I just kept frowning because I liked some of the tropes they bashed. I find them fun and neat to work with. So rather than talk about tropes that aren’t my cup of tea, I decided it I wanted to talk about ones I like.

      Because tropes are good things!

      And I totally agree with what you said and you make great points!

      And I’m so happy to see you in the blogosphere once more! Welcome back, Jae!

      *HUGS!*

      • Thanks! It’s Row80 that helps me come back. I’m still formulating over whether I want to do some vlogging. I mean I do want to make some videos, it’s just time, etc.

        • I think you’d make interesting vlogs. Though, I know just how much work they take, so I don’t blame you for being hesitant. Honestly, I’ve been wanting to redo my welcome/main page video. Except the time to do it just hasn’t been there. However, I promise to subscribe to your YouTube channel the instant you do! 🙂

  2. I think a lot of people relate to this trope. I’m a true introvert, so I definitely know I can.

    Harry Potter immediately comes to mind. That first book is really about a boy who’s alone finding a community to be a part of. It’s part of what makes those books so powerful.

    • I think that everyone has been there once in their life, so it is one of the most relatable tropes out there. Though, perhaps it resonates more with certain people (like us introverts) than others. 🙂

      And yes, Harry Potter is indeed a great example!

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