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. BumblebeeFan71

    BumblebeeFan71 Loyal Starscream Follower

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    Well I wasn't saying that Combiner Wars was horrible because it had no human characters. It was more of me giving an example of how no human characters and only Transformers doesn't automatically make it good.

    Yeah you can tell a Transformers story without humans. I enjoyed Transformers Devastation and the Cybertron games storylines and those had no humans in sight. But regardless whether there are humans or not care and understanding are needed to craft a good storyline.
     
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  2. Applejacktimus

    Applejacktimus Likes Alpha Bravo

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    Ah, I see. Carry on, then. :) 
     
  3. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    What, no kneejerk "What is required for a good likable human character that the fandom will accept? DYING IN THEIR FIRST SCENE!" comments yet?

    Color me surprised.
     
  4. pilot00

    pilot00 Well-Known Member

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    Danny was my favourite human when I was a kid (it surprises my current self to no end), also I cant remember if in the Greek dub had Wheele speak in Rhimes so to me he was rather an indifferent character back in the day, rather than annoying. My current self doesnt like Danny at all though.
     
  5. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    Spike, Chip, Buster, and most of the other G1 humans were definitely tolerable. But they're also pretty bland and nondescript for the most part. Generally likeable and inoffensive, but not really compelling. As a kid I could identify with Spike to the extent that he was human. But I wouldn't really have been able to tell you about his likes and dislikes, his hopes, dreams, and motivations, or really much about him at all other than he kept a journal and worked with his dad. There were lots of characters in other cartoons that I could aspire to be like or want to pretend to be, but Spike never really appeared on that list.
     
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  6. pilot00

    pilot00 Well-Known Member

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    He was not meant to be in the first place. If there was a character that was supposed to make kids see him as a role model that was Optimus Prime and perhaps Bumblebee. (minus the transformations ofc).
     
  7. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    I'm not really talking about a role model though. :) 

    A lot of adventure shows that market to kids will have a sort of "audience surrogate character" for children to identify with. Doesn't matter if they're the main character, or a sidekick, or just along for the ride. Where a hero or role model is a set of ideals to try to live up to, the surrogate character is more a matter of being able to relate to or see yourself in them. Or if you'd rather, instead of "that could be me someday" it's "that could be me right now".

    The difficulty with this type of character, is if you give them too much detailed characterization, they become less universal as a surrogate for the audience. This is the exact reason people don't like Link to talk in the Zelda games. But on the other hand, if they have too little characterization, then they're reduced to just a pair of shoes you wish you were in rather than a character you'd want to be--boring and forgettable. You can't want to be a character that basically doesn't exist. Spike leans just a little heavily toward the latter side.
     
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  8. WishfulThinking

    WishfulThinking "Don't touch it! It's evil!"

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    Exactly. They need to be within the realm of belief. Kids on the show are supposed to be the characters that kids watching can relate to. What would it be like to be friends with Autobots? How would they affect my life? What would it take if mean Decepticons kidnapped me and I had to be rescued? Writers like to think by overpowering the kids, they will make kids watching feel overpowered...but that's simply not true. Kids know their limitations and know when the suspension of disbelief snaps.

    Spike was a good character. He helped the Autobots learn about Earth culture and helped when he could...but the Autobots were often quick to tell him when he was in over his head and they need to take care of business. Only a few times did Spike directly save the Autobots...most of the time, they saved themselves. Too bad he spawned Daniel...a character that showed a little promise in the movie but eventually became the Spritle of Season 3 (and Wheelie the Chim Chim)...usually there to add easy drama for the writers as they contrive plots that make bad situations worse for the Autobots (these are the characters I despise the most BECAUSE of the particular trope).

    Jack was also a good human character who was saddled with two not-as-good characters as friends, Raff and Miko. Raff was sometimes an unbelievable deus-ex-machina and Miko, while probably representative of some kids who watch the show, is not a good role model for those kids in that the show should not extol the annoying qualities she had.
     
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  9. pilot00

    pilot00 Well-Known Member

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    Oh I get you 100%.Though I personally believe that they did it like that in order to focus more on the bots themselves perhaps?
     
  10. Seeker

    Seeker Time Lord

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    Ebay:
    1. The show does not revolve around the character too much.
    2. The character does not do dumb things and is not irritating. (Miko)
    3. The character is actually helpful.
     
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  11. Imperator

    Imperator Combiner limb

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    The reason the humans are there, the reason they've always had, is to give the conflict actual stakes. Autobots versus decepticons is all well and good but on its own it becomes harder for an audience to care about. If Megatron conquers Cybertron then it's 'bad', but only bad because we've been told it's bad. Cybertron is fictional, so we have no predilection to give a toss, beyond what the script says.

    So having the conflict take place on earth is important to give some stakes to the outcome, and having specific individual characters among the humans puts a relatble face to who is being under threat. I.e. It's not humanity in the abstract that is at risk from giant alien robits, but specifically these guys.

    The fact that they're kids is because these are shows and toys predominantly aimed at kids and as such the younger characters are considered more relatable.

    As to having a team of soldiers joining up with the transformers, it is an exceptionally risky game to play in a children's cartoon, as producers can be accused of promoting and glamourising real world violence, being a tool for military or nationalist propaganda or actually breaking broadcast regulations by depicting war in a realistic way. And since toy-shilling cartoons like Transformers are put out around the world, there's loads of different sets of rules and regulations to abide by.
     
  12. Duskscream

    Duskscream Well-Known Member

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    One that is naturally useful to the plot.

    Jack might be the closest to this.. until they made it so he had to go to Cybertron for no reason. He is still probably the best we've had.
     
  13. ron8675309

    ron8675309 Exploding Salamander Of Exploding Salamanders

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    A transforming exo-suit that makes them an ersatz Transformer is a good start.
     
  14. LegionMaximus

    LegionMaximus Well-Known Member

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    It's interesting how different people can see the same character. Jack was my least favorite of the TFP kids. I found him bland, unremarkable, and honestly pretty boring. He was like 16 going on 40.

    That said, none of the TFP kids were intolerable to me. A lot better than Koji (man that kid was chipper considering his dad was kidnapped), the Armada kids, Kicker, Daniel, or Russell.

    Oh, speaking of Kicker, though . . . Let's also remember that show had another human character: Misha, who was most notable for having a space helmet with a hole in it so her hair could flow dramatically in the space-wind.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
  15. pilot00

    pilot00 Well-Known Member

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