I Hope Nippon-sempai Notices Me: Saints Row and Why we Don’t Need a Hero
I came across a thread the other day about an anime where an anime character was tragically born with pink/purple hair and had to deal with the realization that she is clearly now a main character. (See whole thread here). Now I’ve already commented on how male main characters are mostly bland sauce with dick filling, and females tend to be dense and are there to be raped visually (and sometimes literally – no Valvrave I’m not letting people forget you did that)
Over the break I was bored and started dicking around in Saints Row IV, and as the iconic title/song gives away I came to a realization. First the anime above where a main character who doesn’t want to be a main character would likely be an actually valid idea for a comedy. However within the first episode despite being a parody she would be carrying toast, and bump into a dude who falls hand first onto her tits. Oh sure she runs away and changes her name which makes a comedy – but as School Rumble has taught us the thin line between parody and reality in anime is kinda not there.
As one of the comments even in that original thread suggest – despite the trappings, she is still the main character, and that leads me to my question – why do we need a hero, why do we need a main character?
I mean we don’t have a main character in things like Game of Thrones and The Wire, and serial style animes following many characters like Paranoia Agent and Jigoku Shoujo have been great – so I ask. Why do we continue to need so many main characters who often enough are so bland they blend together?
I’m not saying you can’t have a small group of main characters, but if you want to add some depth to a story, maybe tell us stories from many characters. I mean if you are going to continue to focus so much on character driven stories where even your pv’s and intros are less about the story, but a roster of people – maybe spend the time and flesh out more of these characters.
My fix actually comes from Saints Row IV (it does actually tie together) Namely with how The Boss is a charismatic character, but because you can alter voice/gender/look/etc. The Boss can often be many types of characters, and this doesn’t change interaction much (I mean it’s not like the romance scenes ask about your gender). To further this I imagine a similar anime where the main character is a mob boss, but is viewed differently by other characters. So it is a main character, but because of the different interactions the person is colored in a different way that goes beyond a hair color.
Anyway kids that’s all for this week, hopefully sempai notices me and makes Banchou
Next Week: Panty and Stocking and the Long Take
The Buffalo is Nerdfit's longest active content contributor. Having helmed various podcasts (What's Nu in Animu, WritersCast), columns (I Hope Nippon Sempai Notices Me, Advanced Game Theory, Booze Reviews, Anime Season Previews, etc) - currently he writes a weekly article column of 'Buffalo's Shit to Think About'