I don’t feel the need to explain exactly how stock characters work, because they’re so omnipresent all throughout fiction. It’s almost impossible to write a character without it falling into quite a few major archetypes. However, despite how familiar many of us are to certain stock characters, we can all name some series in which they work much better than others. Maybe it’s some subtle changes, or maybe just better writing, but for whatever reason some of these characters just manage to work where others might not. So I thought about it, and I decided to find out what kind of characters work the best.
But of course this isn’t the sort of project I can do by myself. I know so many people who have their own favourite characters and their own thoughts on why those characters work. Everyone gets to select whichever archetypes or characters they feel belong in their ideal series and write about how they work. I could mention quite a few myself, but I think it’s best to start off simpler, so I’ll be going by the TvTropes definitions of the Five Man Band and the Big Bad. Read the rest of this entry
Some of my favourite chapters in manga, and in shonen comedies in particular, are the ones that show the interactions of characters who don’t normally get much time together. Now while
Toriko Torako has had time with Yotsuba before, it’s almost always with either Asagi or her father as well, so the atmosphere is very different now. She was always the quiet, stoic type of character, which I suspect is why there have been so few scenes of her with only one other person. You can’t really get a good dialogue going when only one person is talking. Read the rest of this entry
I think Yotsuba&! is really starting to take after its predecessor. Most other comedy series make it difficult to tell if time is actually moving forward, since not much ever changes between chapters. That was where Azumanga Daioh was different. You could feel that the characters in that series were growing older, even if you couldn’t see the changes in every chapter. It was all the little things, like Chiyo and Tomo changing their hair, or Sakaki slowly coming out of her shell. It displayed a growing sense of maturity that you couldn’t get just from saying the characters are a year older, like some manga. Azuma may have moved on to a new series, and it may not by as mature (which is saying something) but I feel that Yotsuba&! still has that same sense of growth. Read the rest of this entry