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What makes a good shounen storyline?

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Post #566955
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Noblesse Forever!

8:05 pm, Aug 21 2012
Posts: 1066

What makes a good shounen story?
It will be considered 'good' as long as it have its own 'original' elements like Death Note had in the starting.
I will conisder the story to be good if every main protagonist doesnt have a tragic background. Its like a hobby for authors to make protagonist's past a tragic one *cough One Piece. If the authors focus on more story elements (Character development/Giving side characters screen space) rather than action which drags for more than half the length of manga.

The most important thing for a story is that it should have certain amount of reality. I dont think a good guy who would always be ready to give his life for others exist. "I will protect you!"-Man this has become too common.

And the worst part of a storyline is that the protagonist will be loosing a battle till the end,he will be next to his death/or he will be too weak BUT he will defeat the enemy in the end after sprouting some nonsense about friendship,etc. (Mostly all shonen mangas).
So I think authors should take a break from the above mentioned condition and should add some meaningfull elements and developments which will make some sense.

The naration should be good.
Generally in every shonen manga (Especially the BIG three) every enemy is described as the strongest but then he looses;then the next one (who was patiently waiting for his turn in the next arc) comes and says that he is the strongest and the one who appeared before was weakling....and so on.
The above mentioned aspect should be kept in mind.

I guess thats the reason people are liking Noblesse as it 'generally' refrain from using the above mentioned cliches.

In the end, originality is the only thing which forms a good story but you really cant call anything original forever as those 'original elements' will become generic afterwards.

Last edited by strixflash at 8:11 pm, Aug 21

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Post #570745

2:31 pm, Sep 20 2012
Posts: 3

How to make a good shounen manga

1.Dont use the evil guys appear, they beat the crap out of main cast, main cast trains like crazy for 1 day and then beats evil guys for your whole damned book

2.No tsunderes

3.No super power was sleeping inside bullshit

4.No preaching for 100 chapters

5.Dont make the protagonist an walking retard (see naruto)

6.Keep plotholes to an minimum

7.No accidental grabbing boobs then getting almost killed for the protag

There you go, that + a little originality and you got yourself an mighty good manga

Post #570746
Piss Ant

2:35 pm, Sep 20 2012
Posts: 171

Cliches laugh That's all I every really notice. And super powers. And a love interest that never really gets anywhere. laugh
Oh, and a bit of ecchi. At least that's one that'd sell in Japan.

-No longer do I quote great scholars, the famous, etc. Kids feigning wisdom ruined it.
--I wont type a post like a college report. If you don't read it just for that reason, you don't have to post why your hoity-toity ass refused to. I swear, so many people on this site are so full of themselves. A lot seem to think they always have an "intelligent and/or logical" point or show signs of a superiority complex. They never admit they're wrong. Maybe partially, but excuses abound! :\
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Post #570756
user avatar

5:01 pm, Sep 20 2012
Posts: 471

it's very hard, but generally it need 'soul'. It mean, the character react believably like they are real not just puppets or bad actors going through their lines. and the plot should also be 'believable', as in no deus ex machina, something happen just in time to get the author out of the corner.

i can take any story, as long as they stay rational in its own universe. It dont even have to go anyway, just characters interacting together, like Angel Densetsu. and very good action and plot dont need strong main character some of the manga that I love even have forgettable mc, like Alive: Saishuu Shinkateki Shounen.

in the end, theres no hard and fast rule. i think if its good, its good.

Post #571199
Avid Reader

7:47 am, Sep 24 2012
Posts: 17

Originality. Doesn't have to be original in EVERY single way, it only needs to have originality in one factor. It can have a concept that's never done before, interesting characters that aren't all prototypes, new techniques or abilities, incredible plot twists or mysteries, whatever.

It also helps if the art is good, the panels are well done, etc., but I find that a lot of fairly popular series don't have too much of a problem with this. Character development is always very important, but careful! --introducing too many characters at once or trying to give EVERY character a unique, tragic backstory is not going to work out. Exceptions can be made -for example, in Claymore, the nature of the girls who are made into Claymores pretty much guarantees that their backstories will have to be tragic. But even then the mangaka avoided giving key characters like Theresa too much sap and only included key stuff. Less is more.

I like main characters of action series that aren't cliche outcasts (whether it be an ultra beta weakling or a delinquent). It's just been really overdone and all of the backstory insecurities or "protect your friends and become 1000x stronger" are repeats. I don't necessarily thing they make for a bad story, but as a personal preference, I'm tired of outcast main characters.

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Post #571262

7:07 pm, Sep 24 2012
Posts: 87

A solid and good shounen plot usually involve a solid degree of 'fighting spirit'. It doesn't matter if it's Hikaru no Go or Naruto (comedy and slice-of-life manga are exceptions). Unbending will, fighting spirit, strong emotion, never-give-up mentality, hot-blooded...etc. And these things actually matter to the world of the main character in a shounen manga. This make the core of a shounen manga.

Mix in a romantic sub-plot, a fair bit of humor, an cool rival, a bit of tears and sweat, a few plot twists, a hint of mystery, a challenge of unknown forces, lots of training and you get a decent and generic shounen manga.

To break into the good portion of the shounen manga, a solid world-building style is almost always required. This includes power/magical systems (in case of super power manga), political/cultural/technical talents (like in sport manga) or structures of the world (like in some rare psychological cases). Or it can be a mysterious plot-device of some sort (like Death Note) where the present of the device causes the story to occur. This last one is harder to pull for a normal manga author.

Then for a shounen manga to keep floating around, you will need to add character depth to almost all support characters. This includes back-story, mysteries or stories that explain the characters or simply stories with glimpses of emotions and characteristics of the support characters.

Once you make it to this point, you can pick out one or more of the generic but always work master plot:

The Riddle

<Stolen from with some edits>

Of course, these do not make a good shounen manga but we're talking about story-lines, not the whole manga. Art style, camera angle, shadows, expression, impact, realistic scripts and lines...etc those are required to flesh out the manga into something people will read.

Also, a seinen plot is a lot like shounen plot except you ground the fighting spirit into more manageable levels and mix in a fair bit of talents for the main character. So you stop having the "my will is stronger than you so I will win" moments and go with the "I win because I'm actually better" by training/god given talent/smarts or just luck.

Last edited by Oddwaffle at 7:34 pm, Sep 24

Post #572217
user avatar

10:10 pm, Oct 2 2012
Posts: 2

Lots of good natured heroes makes a great shounen.

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Post #586066

1:09 am, Feb 3 2013
Posts: 21

What really makes a manga stand out to me is if it makes me think. A lot of manga just throws a bunch of stuff at the reader and is all fluff and no substance. Well, manga is primarily a form of entertainment, and that can be very entertaining.
But my favorite manga are the ones that ask interesting, complex moral dilemmas that actually make me think.
Lots of people have already talked about originality, which is very important. Ditto good, complex characters. Let me add something else: strong female characters. A lot of girls in shounen manga are ditzy, clumsy, cute, and overwhelmingly useless. I'm a girl, and frankly I'm a bit insulted at the portrayal of females. I don't think it's any accident that the manga that I've found has the strongest (not just physically, but character-wise) female characters was Fullmetal Alchemist, whose mangaka is a woman.

Post #623719

8:25 pm, Dec 7 2013
Posts: 61

If you are talking about the action shounen you definitely need a good battle system and good control over the progression of the plot.

Seen a lot of action series fail because they turned into a "who has the highest powerlevel/new technique" series.

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