Question Are 'hero' mc's too overrated these days?

Discussion in 'Novel General' started by Soulblade831, Apr 22, 2021.

  1. Soulblade831

    Soulblade831 Member

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    Like why is almost every novel protagonist the 'good guy'. I don't quite understand why evil mc's are soooo niche. The only one I know that are evil are -

    Reverend Insanity
    FFF Class Trashero
    Warlock of the Magus World


    Does anyone know why? Its a question I always had but was too damn lazy to ask.

    Do share your opinions. Im quite curious

    Personally I LOVE THEM. Unlike heroes, villains (at least Reverend Insanity style) have FREEDOM. They dont follow no law. Just cause chaos and have desires fulfilled is the true essence of life. Also i hate it when mcs give mercy or spare bad guys for NO REASON AT ALL. Slaughter and genocide is the wae....

    BTW im speaking about fiction ONLY
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
  2. lygarx

    lygarx Lazy Translator

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    Everyone that isn’t self deprecating believes themselves to be the good guy. A lot are just self righteous assholes. History is written by the victor and what really makes a good guy is whether or not they win and if they are able to wipe out their enemies with no survivors or descendants either by blood or ideals
     
  3. sekach

    sekach Outer Disciple

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    Maybe because there are too many annoying (evil) guys in real life. Like demanding boss at work and his greedy corporation or corrupt government and people vent their dissatisfaction on imaginary characters, where these evil people punished by so called good guys.
     
  4. Alvastar

    Alvastar Well-Known Member

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    Every child wants to be a Hero at some point. This leads to a wide market potential. In addition, you have Marvel/DC movies out in force for the past 10+ years. When you have this trend, publishers will push what's selling and authors will follow to pay the bills.

    Considering that most people view the world revolving around themselves unless they are decent at introspection, and that a large majority of people still treat their adulthood as an extension of High School...you can see why the appeal is so widely accepted. Heros are often narcissistic, and that resonates as long as it stays within a tolerable range. Couple that with writers who are often introverted and love wish-fulfillment, it will result in such an abundance of material even if there wasn't a large market for it.
     
  5. ImperialNero

    ImperialNero Well-Known Member

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    Damn, look at those edgelord commenting nihilism above me, smh
     
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  6. otaku31

    otaku31 Well-Known Member

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    How about someone who is no goody two shoes but isn't completely devoid of a moral compass? Neither good nor evil but can be either if the situation calls for it. One who'd put oneself and (perhaps) one's near and dear ones first, but can be kind to others when one can spare it.

    Not black or white but shades of grey; I dislike extremes. And while I have a preference for selfish and seemingly apathetic protags, there has to be something in their personality which makes them appear human, sympathetic and vulnerable.

    P.S. Righteous MCs are no go, tho as I can't stand them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
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  7. asriu

    asriu fu~ fu~ fu~

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    cuz evil can be boring?
    Just trample everything, kill everything, destroy everything or something like that~ actually similar thing can be said to hero path tho~
    you know what niche? the gray path hmm no more like those who set it own rule then defend it to death, like Mohist or Switzerland~ not good but not bad either just a passerby cat meow~
     
  8. lunarshadow

    lunarshadow Well-Known Member

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    Cause truly evil MC's have to be assholes, and we have to deal with too many assholes every day that it's no fun reading about them.
    Or to put it another way: Do you really want to read about MC's who have personalities like Donald Trump?
     
  9. ANonMouse

    ANonMouse Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't go so far as to call him evil though.... just another selfish jackass like most of the human populace. Ironically, even people like that think of themselves as the hero of their own story.
     
  10. Fluffums

    Fluffums 【R-18 Researcher】【Seeker of Moe】

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    Many readers like it when people who do bad things get what's coming to them.

    Many readers put themselves in the position of the protagonist and identify with them.

    Most readers wouldn't enjoy being punished for doing bad things (not judging people who do enjoy that).

    It's not weird that most authors would prefer a good or at least neutral main character with those considerations, because even they do a great job writing the character and story a lot of people will just feel like "I don't want evil to succeed and I don't want a protagonist to end up unhappy, so I won't like it either way" and not even try it.
     
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  11. MagneticMagnet

    MagneticMagnet Well-Known Magnet

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    This reminds me of a video I saw a while back about heroes and villains.



    It's a bit lengthy so here's a TLDW: Heroes are boring because the writers focus on their powers rather than the conflicts of what being a real hero brings. Anyone can mow cartoon villains down with godlike powers but to be a real hero you need to be more and that is what brings the conflict, ie. the interesting to read part. Villains and antiheroes aren't inherently more interesting or compelling. Poor writing is poor writing.

    Think of a generic isekai where a random high schooler gets the hero title and powers. When he's in danger his skills level up and he vanquishes the bad guy. He's the hero because he has a label telling so. Yay. It's boring.

    If you've read Dragon's egg you can see a lot of similarities to that. The MC fights bad guys and gets powerful skills. And it's got a decent amount of other flaws too. But one thing it does right is personal conflict. The MC being a former human wants human companions, but being a dragon they're afraid of him. When he has the chance to be accepted by some humans he's presented with an exclusive choice between what is right and what he wants. Again. And again. And again. When he gains the hero title it's because he's deserved it, not because it's simply handed to him. Even when he gets to the super powered phase this still keeps the story interesting. Not the mindless whack-a-mole of the villain of the episode.

    An antihero is typically born after someone has wronged him in some way and he needs to set things right again. There's plenty of potential for interesting conflict and character growth but like the terrible hero stories it's often just a checklist of bad guys to bring down without anything but revenge. Except the MC is just as bad as the supposedly bad guys.

    Reading about a true hero is uplifting and inspiring. An antihero lets one wallow in the deeper, darker desires of vengeance and power over everyone else.
     
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  12. Soulblade831

    Soulblade831 Member

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    You'd definitely like Reverend Insanity. The mc is on the gray side but for some reason people call him evil
     
  13. Wujigege

    Wujigege *Christian*SIMP*Feminist*Comedian

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    I disagree.
    All this mass murdering selfish average Chinese protagonist are not the good guys.
    Authors seem to think just because the character is the protagonist that we will root for him.

    They forgot that even a hero needs to be sympathetic for readers to connect.
    Their only positive trait is their strength.

    Very boring
     
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  14. ToastedRossi

    ToastedRossi Well-Known Member

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    I disagree. It's a lot harder to write stories with villain protagonists so most of the ones with them are terrible for anyone other than misanthropes. For most readers a protagonist is someone who they should be able to empathize with, and you sort of need some sort of positive character traits to latch on to. Fail that, and the protagonist just isn't going to work. Obviously readers who don't have any empathy won't care but books catering primarily to such people are probably terrible anyways.
     
  15. Wujigege

    Wujigege *Christian*SIMP*Feminist*Comedian

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    You made my point even better than I intended.

    Empathize fits pathetic than sympathetic
     
  16. Bad Storm

    Bad Storm »It's been too long but nothing's change«

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    strangely in my case, I see more neutral/evil neutral MC's. I'm kinda getting tired of their watching by the side then destroy everyone else for selfish benefits.
     
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  17. otaku31

    otaku31 Well-Known Member

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    Nah, what I'm looking for is a rare breed, much rarer in CNs than out and out villains like Fang Yuan or Leylin.
     
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  18. ToastedRossi

    ToastedRossi Well-Known Member

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    Note that this kind of character is super common if you read (proper) historical novels. That's because most of this genre uses "The Deer and the Cauldron" as a guide on how to write books, and protagonist is exactly this character archetype. He grew up with a very warped sense of morality, but the things he believes in, like the importance of being true to your friends, he really believes in. Outright villains do show up from time to time in these books but they're very rare. It's more common to see actually good people as protagonists. Still, the majority are about varying degrees of selfishness.

    Do note though that the books on NU that are placed in the historical genre are lying and they're not this kind of book at all. If you want to find them you'll probably have to read them in Chinese.
     
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  19. MidstNost

    MidstNost 【Jin Mori's Banana】

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    Again, why Rimuru is my favorite LN protagonist.
     
  20. Soulblade831

    Soulblade831 Member

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    As long as their not racist like that mf than YES. I love evil protags who only do what they DESIRE. No limits no bs. Just do whatever the hell they want. However that oiece of sh(t (DT)
    Oh F*** NO. Rimiru is a GOD DAM GOODY TWO SHOES