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News Article
New Poll - Bad Characteristics
This week's poll is from our member Dehandima. It's a bit of an unusual one. I realize that I can't cover all the personalities traits, so vote on the ones available. I deliberately left out positive traits (besides being too perfect), so no option for being a goody-two-shoes.

You can submit poll ideas here (and try to keep them manga/anime-related)
http://www.mangaupdates.com/showtopic.php?tid=3903

Previous Poll Results:
Question: Have you read any classic manga series recently?
Choices:
Within the last year - votes: 3160 (59.7%)
Maybe 5 years ago - votes: 1264 (23.9%)
It's been 10 years - votes: 233 (4.4%)
15+ years ago - votes: 92 (1.7%)
Never - votes: 543 (10.3%)
There were 5292 total votes.
The poll ended: September 2nd 2016

Wow, lots of appreciation for the oldies!
Posted by lambchopsil on September 3rd 12:57am Comments ( 25 )  [ View ]  [ Add ]
Comments

» ImmLff on September 2nd, 2016, 10:49pm

Some of the options seem quite weird and perhaps not fitting.
Cringeworthy is a very subjective option, what is and isn't "cringeworthy" will change radically depending on who you ask it about. Same for Creepy, it's also very subjective.
Unrealistic isn't necessarily a bad option, but it completely depends on the context and setting. The same thing/character can be both believable and forced/unrealistic depending on the story it is featured in.

As for my choice, I've voted for "Flawless / Perfect", and my second choice would be "Stupid".

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» Arkadian on September 3rd, 2016, 12:36am

It would depend on the genre of the series. For example, I don't mind a Dense/Naive main character in an Adventure story, but I can't stand them in a Romantic story.

I guess just narrowing down I'd go for Inconsistent.

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» ForeignerChan on September 3rd, 2016, 12:52am

I chose cowardly because when I read a manga, I want to see strong, brave and hard working characters that never give up, characters that can be a role model for me in real life.

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» nightazday on September 3rd, 2016, 2:48am

I feel this should have a "check all that applies" poll
There are neutral traits that I either don't mind or only bother me little
Dense, Average, Emotionless, Gloomy

Traits I've seen done well too many times to dislike
Flawless (Saitama, Sakamoto, Reinhard), Stupid (Goku, Tylor), Perverted, Manipulative, Goofy, Unrealistic, Evil, Creepy

As for actual deal-breakers
Crybaby, Inconsistent, Cringeworthy, Unreliable, Cowardly (actual cowardice not just "being scared" or "finding a peaceful solution"), Deceitful (only if to friends, they can screw with enemies as much as they please).

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» meredithbecca on September 3rd, 2016, 4:15am

I feel like I've read good or entertaining stories with all of these kinds of protagonists. None of these would be actual deal breakers for me, because I think that all of them could be well written (and the flawless character can make a good comedy main character). Many of these are awful if they aren't written the right way, so I guess that's made people hate them.

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» scarletrhodelia on September 3rd, 2016, 5:57pm

This is an interesting poll. I agree with meredithbecca.
Quote from meredithbecca
I feel like I've read good or entertaining stories with all of these kinds of protagonists. None of these would be actual deal breakers for me, because I think that all of them could be well written (and the flawless character can make a good comedy main character). Many of these are awful if they aren't written the right way, so I guess that's made people hate them.

For example, "Hopeless/Gloomy" characters are unappealing to me, unless it's Itoshiki-sensei of Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei. I answered "Unrealistic", because I can't stand characters that act like no person ever, but too late realized that it meant that the character has an unrealistic outlook. roll So I should have answered either "Emotionless" or "Cringeworthy". no

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» philip72 on September 8th, 2016, 7:57pm

Quote from meredithbecca
I feel like I've read good or entertaining stories with all of these kinds of protagonists. None of these would be actual deal breakers for me, because I think that all of them could be well written (and the flawless character can make a good comedy main character). Many of these are awful if they a ...

This.
I'd hate some of these traits in real people, but it really all hinges on how it was handled in the story. There should've been an option for none and all, depending on the character, plot and writing.

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» animalia on September 3rd, 2016, 6:02am

What does Cringeworthy mean exactly?

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» Sogno on September 3rd, 2016, 7:32am

i don't know, only reason i've ever stopped reading manga is because it was too rapey (some shoujo) or too ecchi (fairy tail) or just kinda got boring (shounen and shoujo alike), never because of a specific characteristic

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» Katsono on September 3rd, 2016, 8:03am

Cringeworthy it is, I'm not quite sure what I would think of a protagonist turning out to be dense and naive either but I guess that if he's not like that since the start then it should be reasonable. Inconsistency is also a big problem though, I particularly remember how bad it got to be in Against the Gods (Novel).

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» MinatoAce on September 3rd, 2016, 8:52am

Cringeworthy definitely. I also hate too much inconsistent characteristics, like somebody becoming Perfect in the next moment out of nowhere.

And all of the antihero characteristics like Evil, Cruel, Deceitful, manipulative, forceful are very welcome for me.

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» svines85 on September 3rd, 2016, 9:15am

I....... I'm really not sure just what the heck "cringeworthy" is supposed to entail O_o

Well, I tagged "deceitful", if only because, yeah, that comes to mind for me as one that can be/become somewhat of an irredeemable character trait. I say "can become" mainly because I really don't "stop reading" something, well, anything all that easily. It's gonna have to get to the point where I've come to really not like that MC before I would break down and decide I just didn't care about them/that the author just couldn't bring them back for me any more.

I'd say none of these really warrant just giving up without better cause than just one or two negative character traits......authors ideally put those in intentionally in order to create sympathy for the character or to lay the foundation for the story of redemption/character growth for them smile

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» toshirodragon on September 3rd, 2016, 10:56am

Nearly all of the above?

I went with stupid, since I HATE when a character has to suddenly become stupid to make the plot work.
In the case of shoujo, it's "My God, the mangaka is using this trope/twist/complication AGAINconfused" Lookin at you, Takanashi Mitsuba.

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» Hartland on September 3rd, 2016, 2:02pm

My choice would be "finally making relationship progress but we decided to erase his/her memories just to maintain the status quo."

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» mikako17 on September 3rd, 2016, 3:32pm

Inconsistent because it's just really weird to me to read a character doing a 180 in personality or something. Characters can change, but ones that flip flop kinda drive me crazy. Main characters should at least be consistent with the story.

Not exactly sure what cringeworthy would mean since I've definitely read characters doing things I would cringe at.

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» FormX on September 3rd, 2016, 4:59pm

Cringeworthy, brought to you by Natsuki Subaru.

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» KaoriNite on September 3rd, 2016, 8:24pm

I've stopped reading stories because the main character behaved unrealistically. Usually it's a shoujo where the main character is unrealistically stupid/naive. I've read a few stories where I'm just thinking "there is no way someone can be that stupid. why does she never learn from her mistakes?" Or I'm reading a story, and I'm thinking "there's no way someone would choose to do that". Stories don't have to be realistic, but I can't read a story where I doubt the way the characters act/react.

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» VawX on September 4th, 2016, 3:49am

I never remember to stop reading a manga because of a particular main character's character, but if anything maybe Cringeworthy seems to be my answer since it's kinda vague and subjective mmm...

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» Trimutius on September 4th, 2016, 3:33pm

Dense and Naive ones are the most annoying... It is hard to make me cringe... in fact I like to discover new perverted fetishes... When guy is Stupidly Dense it is a show stopper for me... Stupid is ok, but not always...

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» Gayrell on September 4th, 2016, 5:27pm

It is kind of a weird question; I've never dropped anything because of the main character specifically, more just how they/their behavior is framed in the context of the story. Like, there are archetypes I definitely hate, or characters I think are total tools, but unless they (drastically) interfere with the quality of the story, I'm not necessarily going to drop it. It might be the tipping point, sure, but not the primary deciding factor. There are lots of characters I love who happen to have traits I'm not a huge fan of, and there are characters I should by all means love but don't because they just aren't that interesting. It all comes down to the competence of the writer and the story quality.

For the record, I went with "cringeworthy", since the second-hand embarrassment is just too real.

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» drunkguy on September 6th, 2016, 8:47am

I think everyone would pick cringeworthy as the blanket reason. For myself, the MC would have to have multiple obnoxious traits like being a dumb cowardly crybaby to qualify.

Generally, one or two flaws can be redeemed by good traits or good side characters but more than that is a stretch.

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» TundraDweller on September 6th, 2016, 4:51pm

I do drop series, especially if I haven't followed it for a long time. What gets me started would be the basics like intro, art, plot, etc. But the MC could make me drop series. As for which of the choices to vote for, I can't choose one. I guess around a third of them apply? I don't like male MCs who don't act like men. That is, crybaby, unreliable, extreme cowardice (a bit of cowardice is good for health and increases longevity). Then there are the stupid, naive, dense, goofy MCs. I can't stand them for long. I have my own mental health to consider. The above two groups are just cringe-worthy as a whole.

Finally, there are the unrealistic and inconsistent MCs. They don't walk the talk. They have much to say before ever being able to accomplish anything in the story. Speaking of grand ambitions while taking two steps back for every step forward. Somehow challenging superpowers without any reasonable level of firepower to rely on. It's this last category that makes a story hopeless. A cringe-worthy MC could grow up and man up at some point, even if I'm not willing to stick around till then. But an MC who is fundamentally flawed in his beliefs, character and personality, has no way of redeeming himself. Such an MC will need the author to prop him up the whole way. In other words, an inadequate character to take the main lead. I would say Naruto and many other MCs of the most popular action manga fit into this category.

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» caitnap on September 7th, 2016, 9:39am


I assume flawless/perfect equal to being a sue.

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» eccentrrick on September 8th, 2016, 1:42pm

I chose Dense/Naive. There are just some mangaka's that make the main character so incredibly dense, that even if someone spells it out to them, they won't come to the obvious conclusion. I just feel like.. how are they that dense and how did they live X amount of years on Earth? I read (some) shoujo mangas now and then when I'm feeling a bit masochistic.

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