What is required for a good likeable human character in a series that the fandom will accept?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Bass X0, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. jaws

    jaws Well-Known Member

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    No humans at all would be nice, just TFs
     
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  2. Awesomepow

    Awesomepow Well-Known Member

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    +1 all the way.
     
  3. BumblebeeFan71

    BumblebeeFan71 Loyal Starscream Follower

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    Yeah we got that with Combiner Wars and look how that turned out. I've said this multiple times, the problem isn't that there are human characters. The problem is that these humans should be better written.
     
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  4. Niv3k

    Niv3k 'Fe Li Na'

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    • Don't be annoying.
    • Be useful.
    • Isn't overpowered.
     
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  5. jaws

    jaws Well-Known Member

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    Please, let us forget Machinima CW!
     
  6. LegionMaximus

    LegionMaximus Well-Known Member

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    The Burns family is the best example of human characters in any TF franchise. They are actual characters. They don't spend all their time goggling at or fawning over the Autobots, but they also don't take focus away from the Autobots. They relate to the Autobots as people--not as awe-inspiring symbols or a cautionary tale or whatever. As much as the Transformers franchise likes to talk about Autobots having human partners, the Burns' are the only humans who really feel like partners to me.

    IMO giving a human with a "useful" power to justify their presence, like Kicker or Raf, just makes them feel even more shoehorned in. It's like the writers are tacitly admitting that the character isn't needed AS A CHARACTER, so they spun the Mary Sue Superpowers wheel and gave them some ability.
     
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  7. SaberPrime

    SaberPrime Well-Known Member

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    That's basically my post condenced into neat little bullet points.
     
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  8. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    I think that's the core of it, in a nutshell. At the very least, that's how to make human characters acceptable. I think that to make them good we need to add a couple more bullet points:
    • Helps the Transformers understand humanity and life on Earth.
    • Helps the audience at home feel more like "secret robot cars from space" is a grounded and relatable scenario to be dealing with.
    • Has a distinctive personality, despite not being annoying.
    • Provides added suspense and tension, because humans are weak and squishy (even though we know a cartoon show won't actually let the worst happen)
     
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  9. FanboyX

    FanboyX is a real boy

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    I'll sum it up in three words: "Money Isn't Everything".
     
  10. Niv3k

    Niv3k 'Fe Li Na'

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    Good points! The last one is definitely needed, but hard to do. The only continuity where I believe the humans are in danger is in the IDW comics. To translate that into a cartoon will be hard.
     
  11. GogoDG

    GogoDG Come and help me somebody quicklyyyyyyahhhhhhh!

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    Just to say it Variety Carlo is a perfect example of what a human protagonist should be.
     
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  12. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    I think they started to handle it well in Prime when the Decepticons were targeting the kids, but then they kinda moved on from that into the OP/too special/borderline "chosen one" category.
     
  13. Applejacktimus

    Applejacktimus Likes Alpha Bravo

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    There's no way there'll ever be a human character that the whole fandom likes. Even Agent Fowler had his share of haters. Hard to believe, but they're out there. The closest we'll get is a character who is well-written and contributes to the story in a realistic manner.

    So they can have Earth alt-modes because the core of the entire franchise, as well as very purpose of the original show is selling toys of robots that become EARTH vehicles. If they were always just in Cybertronian form and the story never moved to Earth, the toyline would probably not be as popular as it was.

    Not exactly a great argument. We also got no humans in Beast Wars, and look how that turned out. Still beloved by many to this day.

    I agree with the rest of your post, though.
     
  14. pilot00

    pilot00 Well-Known Member

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    Spike was not a kid, he was in his upper teens.

    That said to asnwer the ops question:

    I believe that G1 Spike and Chip chase were a good example of how humans should be used. Powerless, yet they had their purposes.
    The only thing that I disliked completely is that the Autobots were bringing them around even in combat situations, to the point where it got totally stupid.

    Also the bad guys should have a case of humans 'helping' them IMHO. It actually makes a ton of sense.
     
  15. SaberPrime

    SaberPrime Well-Known Member

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    1. You're right because inevitably people are going to have different opinions it's impossible to make everyone happy.

    2. Actually it would likely be more popular than it already is. For one thing as we're discussing in this very thread human characters are generally hated. For another wanting to see more stories set entirely on Cybertron has always been a common request among fans. The few to times they have sold toys with Cybertronian alternate modes they usually tend to sell better than the one from Earth... not always because some times they get lazy with the Transformation and it doesn't look like anything but most of the time.

    3. Yup, Beast Wars has been my favorite Transformers ever since it first came out and every time I rewatch it I find I like it more rather than less. Though the animation doesn't hold up anymore. It looked impressive at the time when I had nothing to compare it to but now early 90's CGI was the worst thing ever. I kinda wish Hasbro would do a special edition DVD box set of both Beast Wars and Beast Machines with updated CGI. Have a special feature where you can press a button on your remote and change back to the original animation whenever you want just to see how far CGI animation has come since then. Would be awesome to get something like that for the 30 year anniversary of Beast Wars.
     
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  16. Altered Prime

    Altered Prime Well-Known Member

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    He wasn't even old enough to drive

    Spike indeed was a kid...likely between 14 and 15 when the show started
     
  17. Applejacktimus

    Applejacktimus Likes Alpha Bravo

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    I dunno, I feel like the Earth modes are a critical part of why the toyline connected with so many kids, but I guess it would depend on the execution. No way would Transformers have succeeded with Cybertronian modes if they were as half-assed as the Pretender inner robots, but I can definitely see them being well-received if they were "organic," smooth, vehicles with flowing lines like, say, the Tetrajets or Bumble or even Hot Rod.(i know, he's a "futuristic" earth car but still) Things like that. Though I imagine that there'd still have to be some sort of surrogate for the audience to connect to, like a small, organic lifeform similar to humans or just a small, neutral TF. Something that would deliver the message to kids that these alien robots are rightfully huge. Which I do feel is a role best fit for humans since it also shows us how much they contrast from us, but it isn't always vital in telling a story.

    I guess I'm just glad that Transformers succeeded the way it did. I certainly wish we got more animated stories taking place on Cybertron than we have, but I enjoy the diversity of pure Cybertronian stories versus TFs juxtaposed over human culture we have now.

    And yeah, I'd love if Beast Wars got a "remastered" edition. Seems like G1 might be getting that with Cyberverse, and Beast Wars may someday be next in line. Hell, I bet they could air that on TV, everything aside from the animation holds up even today. I bet we could even get a second generation of Beast Era kids, especially if there were a toyline running alongside it.
     
  18. SaberPrime

    SaberPrime Well-Known Member

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    Well Cyber verse is suppose to be retelling old stories along with new ones. There's nothing to say it's strictly just G1 with better animation.

    And I think updating an old series with better animation is something better suited for a DVD release than airing on TV. The recordings are already done and that part still holds up, just update the CGI and release the whole series all at once. The only way I could see them releasing it on TV is if they work out a deal with Netflix because I just can't see a remastered version of a TV series airing once a week ever succeeding. They've tried it before with Star Trek and Power Rangers and both times the shows ended up being cancelled before they could finish the series. People would just much rather be watching something new than reruns of an old TV show with updated special effects. Granted both those shows were live action and the modern effects don't exactly blend well especially for Star Trek when the sets and props still look like cheap sets and props from an old 70's sci-fi. I'm not sure what the issue with Power Rangers was, I never saw a single episode of the remastered version. I just know people hated it.

    It might work better for a cartoon but I don't think a remastered version has ever been done for a cartoon before. Well for a series anyway, I know Disney has released remastered versions of their animated movies and it seems like the Transformers movie from 1986 gets rereleased every ten years. But I just can't see a weekly series being released one episode at a time ever getting passed the first season. I think it needs to be released all at once in a DVD and/or Blu Ray box set.
     
  19. Zappit

    Zappit Well-Known Member

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    I think the best character trait a human could have in a TF show/movie would be Extremely Limited Screentime.
     
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  20. LegionMaximus

    LegionMaximus Well-Known Member

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    Spike and Chip were pretty good characters. Spike was a kid, but an older kid so it seemed less . . . ethically questionable . . . to have him around versus Danny or Koji.

    Speaking of Danny, I think part of making a good human character is not making them too young or naive. But at the same time, not making them cynical / a jerk /whiny. (Kicker whined constantly, it was even more annoying than his magic hair.)

    I am still waiting for the crossover where Soundwave teams up with the Misfits to have a battle of the bands with Blaster and Jem & the Holograms.
     

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