Character Studies and Drunken Anime

Hello everyone. I hope you are all enjoying your holidays. I hope I am as well. It’s very early December at the moment. I think I should be putting up my Christmas tree soon. I’ve decided to deviate from my regularly planned programming today to talk to you about….my regularly planned programming. Or more specifically my character study series.

yona character shet

this is probably a better character study

I’ve been putting a lot of thought into my blog schedule for 2019. It may not be that visible from the outside, but my schedule is a bit punishing. Mid form essays take a bit of inspiration and can get away from you if you don’t put some time into planning them out. Full series reviews are a bit easier to structure but not necessarily easier to write and demand you watch a full series…. The episode reviews are straight forward but make you stick to a rigid schedule which can get tricky when real life tries to smother you.

Out of everything I post, I would say the top 5 lists are the easiest to put together, but once again, inspiration can get tricky. I have run out of subjects more than once. The toughest to write by far, and some of my least popular posts as well, are my character studies. When I started this particular series of posts I hadn’t seen regular character study posts anywhere, and I felt compelled to do something different. These types of posts have gotten considerably more popular lately, as such the novelty isn’t quite there anymore.

I like characters. I think creating a balanced, interesting person to populate your fiction is difficult and underappreciated. I know a lot of people share my love of characters but I also see that character driven stories are drastically less popular than plot driven ones. As such I’m always afraid fans will forget about everyone except their personal favorites.

Wiki-background

I like this background

Originally, I just wanted to celebrate those characters that had been treated roughly by their own stories and that I believed deserved some recognition either for being so well constructed or for their contribution to the plot, or both. This has proven more difficult than expected.

What I’ve come to realize is that even if a character is decently developed, you still just get to know them within the context of the story. That doesn’t give you very much to go on. And there are only so many archetype variables to go on. After a while people start to look alike. I guess the same would be true in real life as well. If you only talk to someone for a couple of hours then have to write an essay on them, it would probably become a challenge after a couple.

So what am I getting at, other than writing for fun is hard you guys…

I considered dropping my character studies series. I figured I could throw one in with my regular essays a few times a year if I absolutely had to write about someone. However, just the thought made me a little sad. Maybe my tendency to root for the underdog makes me protective of my less popular posts. In any case, I quickly realized that I would really miss writing them. Besides, even though they get less attention than most other posts, the fact that they are so specific means that the people that do go out of their way to read them are usually already interested in that particular character. Which in turn makes for more heartfelt comments.

Maquia-616x346

have you guys seen Maquia? It seems pretty but sad

Still the problem remains. How can you consistently write about people who you don’t know all that well? For inspiration, I turned to the real world. That’s when it hit me. People profiles are certainly one way to go, but hardly the only one. When we think of celebrities, the two most common types of written media are The interview and (everyone’s favourite, don’t pretend) The gossip column.

There you go, endless material that’s completely not fact checkable and can’t get me sued…. I think…. As long as their not Disney characters. Those guys are really protective of their intellectual property! So starting next year, I will shake up my character studies with a mix of profiles, interviews and blind gossip items. Of course, I will be counting on you all to send me those hot hot gossip tips.

Also, if you would like to see anyone get interviewed. I happily accept suggestions. If I can get our schedules to work, I’ll be sure to deliver the goods. I’m sort of half pretending this is real and half acknowledging it’s not which makes it really hard to tell whether I’m actually insane.

This seems like a great place to wrap things up!

I’m not entirely sure I’ll be able to keep this series up but it seems like a lot of fun. Wish me luck!

yuru yuri

Irina

I'm much nicer than I seem, we should be friends!

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33 Responses

  1. foovay says:

    I have always loved your character posts and this does sound like a great fun romp of a twist for them. I shall look forward to it! But I do hope you can find the time now and then to give us one of your deep, insightful reviews of characters as well.

  2. ramon3ljamon says:

    Reading your post on Killua (ages after you wrote it) made me an avid reader.

    I still hope you’re gonna write some standard character pieces, because I like serious you as much as I like goofy you!

    • Irina says:

      Well this comment convinced me to do so! Thank you so much Ramon

      • ramon3ljamon says:

        Me, holding sway over the mighty Irina? Hah!

        In all seriousness, I’d read these posts even if I didn’t watch the show — I suppose because I naturally gravitate towards character-driven stories. You had a great post on Akatsuki of the Dawn’s father too, which is the only reason that show’s on my to-watch list.

        And yes I love it when people engage so deeply with characters to understand what makes them tick, and you’re capable of such empathy that I think it’d be a great miss not to see you earnestly explore them. (Although maybe the interview format may allow you to, to some extent.)

        En tout cas, bonne annee a toi!

        • Irina says:

          Mais pourquoi n’avais-je acune idee que tu es franco??? Super bonne annee a toi!

          And of course you hold sway. I’m never going to disobey Gon!

  3. David Boone (moonhawk81) says:

    Sometimes, Irina, I get lost between admiring you as a mad genius and–wait, was there something else? Anyway, it sounds kinda fun as long as you keep things in perspective. (Gotta keep perspective–losing perspective is no bueno! I mean, did Van Gogh really need to cut off his ear to paint sunflowers? I’m guessing no. . .

  4. ManInBlack says:

    I had to re-read the opening paragraph as it says “It’s early December” yet today is the 30th! I guess you’ve been sitting on this post for a while otherwise it’s a bit weird to put your Christmas tree up after the holidays! 😉 😛

    • Irina says:

      I schedule all my posts usually months in advance. (I mention it pretty often so some of my readers already know this), as such, I’ll occasionally tell people when I’m actually writing something as opposed to when it gets published for a bit of background

  5. I think my writing style tends to emphasise plot rather than character (or only brief overviews of character insight, if any), simply because that’s what I focus on the first time through a show (which may be my only time through). I really like creating profiles for OCs though, so maybe I should try and patch a few together for anime characters that don’t have them already…

    Your character studies are some of the more unique posts out there though, so if you like them, don’t give up on them.

  6. Dawnstorm says:

    Of course, I will be counting on you all to send me those hot hot gossip tips.

    Wait, are going to send the papparazzi after anime characters? There are some characters who’d take to that, but others? Those poor characters! (Seriously, though, I’m not quite sure how that works out in practice. I guess I’ll go into my default mode – wait and see. I mean that there’s very little opportunity for me to randomly spout that I think I may seem to maybe remember that character X doesn’t like spicy ramen, if it was ramen at all.)

    Also:

    It may not be that visible from the outside, but my schedule is a bit punishing.

    I’ve always been in awe of your output (especially since you maintain a baseline quality and work a job). Visible? Don’t know. Plausible? Oh, yes! It’s my default assumption.

    • Dawnstorm says:

      Hm, the blockquote feature doesn’t really make the quote stand out, does it? Next time, I’ll resort to “”, methinks.

    • Irina says:

      Thank you Dawnstorm. To be honest I’m not entirely sure how a gossip column will work either. I was thinking something akin to those forums full of non cannon shipping and conspiracy theories!

  7. Scott says:

    I love your character study posts, so I’m excited about what this new twist well add to them.

  8. ospreyshire says:

    I’d say go for it. Character Study posts can be fun. My friend Jeannette does a great job with that and I really liked her recent post about Reki from Haibane Renmei.

  9. Lynn says:

    I like character studies. I just finished my set based on Highschool of the Dead. It’s a lot of fun getting into their heads to see what makes them tick. Also think it will come in handy when working on my own stuff.

  10. Alicia says:

    Yay Good luck! You can do it 💪🤓

  11. I will be doing a few character studies, too! I suspect yours will be more interesting, so I will wait for them!

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