Posted by: AceRailgun | August 12, 2012

The worst of worst decisions

So you’d think there’d be a lot of anime characters which make bad decisions and I’d agree with you but as soon as you sit down and try and recall them you suddenly have more trouble then you thought you would. I certainly had more trouble then I was expecting because any time a character in anime makes a bad decision it tends to take one or two epsidoes for it to do a 180 and became a good thing. Maybe a male role model will die or someone will become injured but those things are trivial in the grand scheme of things.

 

There is very few characters which actually made decisions which ended with a lot of people dying or something tragic happening such as death of the self.

Lelouch made what I think is the worst judgement call and accidentally caused mass genocide. Keiichi and Satoshi from Higarashi choose to trust the wrong people which resulted in murders and death.

 

Those are terrible decisions but compared to Ika Musame putting a hole in the wall of the beach house they are nothing. This is played off for as a comical event but it pretty much puts her under the thumb of everyone else for two seasons.  Okay I was kidding that isn’t really that bad.

 

The worst decision I can possible think of in anime resulted in a lot of death but the main thing it wasted was potential. By revealing his hand to L, Light Yagami from Death Note wasted years of his life evading the police instead of focusing on his initial pure goals of cleaning up society.

It is true that a mistake is a bad thing but for the most part these mistakes prove to be very entertaining and give the characters a chance to redeem themselves. I think I’m safe in saying that the longer the affects of a mistake lingers the more satisfying it is to see characters overcome them.

 

So am I missing someone who made a terrible mistake or am I right in saying it was Light and is a terrible mistake really a good thing?


Responses

  1. Very interesting perspective. I have noticed that in a lot of anime responsibility is almost nonexistent… That is to say that people’s actions frequently don’t have consequences and ultimately seem pointless, so it’s refreshing when a person truly has to deal with the consequences of their actions as in the aforementioned examples.

    To answer the questions posed at the end, I think a terrible mistake can be a good thing in terms of plot. Mistakes happen all the time, hell, some entire plots revolve entirely around mistakes and their logical conclusions. (Tragedy) They can be fascinating and illuminate things about ourselves that we may not have noticed before, and you’re absolutely right in saying that it’s very entertaining to see someone overcome their mistakes and become a better person. That’s the kinda stuff good stories are made of.

    • You’re totally right In most anime nowadays it seems like the story always follows a protagonist who is perfect or at least will at least become perfect by overcoming some trivial personal problem. I think that’s why I like it when a character has to overcome a bad decision or mistake they caused and not something that was caused by someone else. When a character doesn’t have a mistake to overcome then it does seem like their actions don’t have consequences as they aren’t fixing their own problems but instead the problems of others.

      In general I think when a character is flawed there is a much greater chance for them to be interesting.

  2. Light is the biggest mistake I can think of, so you’re right on that. Although I’d say a bigger mistake is letting the whole ‘justice’ thing go to his head.

    • Yep by letting ‘justice’ go to his head he lost sight of his real goal. It’s an interesting character trait which is rarely used.

  3. How bout Kiritsugu from Fate Zero where the Grail spewed out something evil and burned Shiro’s home? He was certainly regretting it but I’m fuzzy on the details now.
    No one died but I loved the scene in Gurren Langgan where Rossiu attempted to save the people of Earth by putting them in a spaceship but it was actually what the Spiral baddies wanted and he had a moment of despair where he realized he just endagered everyone’s lives. XD

    • Oh yeah Rossiu was a great example of it. I think their is a name for his role as the confused nice guy. Lucky he came to his senses and stopped.

      Heaps of characters in FateZero made terrible mistakes now that I think about it. Everyone ends up dying or losing and it’s usually because they made rash or unwise decisions.

      • can Gilgamesh being naked count as a bad decision? XD

      • Fan girls love that though so it’s only bad for 50% of us.

  4. Oh yes in terms of examples, FMA is the best example I can think of. Basically the hole series is them trying to correct their failed human transmutation.

  5. In the end, when one makes a rash decision, it means that he probably has quite a weak willpower. Light is definitely there, and as soon as he has the Death Note, he couldn’t control himself, and act as if he’s the new God of the world.

    • Lacking self control certainly leads to bad decisions but it’s not all bad because it’s so much more entertaining to watch someone make bad decisions then good decisions. Although I guess Light could have gone about becoming a god a bit more maturely.

  6. Lelouch and Kiritsugu saw the bigger picture – millions killed < billions saved – but weren't able to justify themselves. As for Keiichi and Satoshi, I plainly feel sorry for them (can't they just live peacefully with everyone? XD)

    • It’s not possible to live peacefully in horror anime and that was their bad decision. The whole millions killed billions save scenario might seem good if you say it like that but you still killed millions so it was never a good decision to begin with.

  7. how about kiritsugu emiya?he kill thousand but save million is that a mistake?


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