Anyway, this post really just popped into my head because yesterday I decided to redo a meme that I did last year. Just to see how things had changed over the course of a year. You know. Because things do. The meme in question is '9 Characters You Relate To.' I linked to my answers there. And yes, there were some changes over the year. A few characters switched out, though I still relate to them.
But that got me thinking about how varied some of the characters I relate to are and that sometimes the characters I relate to aren't my favorites. And it's always one of those things...should we be concerned about which characters we like? About which ones we relate to?
characters I relate to versus characters I like
This was one of the first things I noticed - oftentimes the characters I relate to the most are not the ones that I adore. There are exceptions to this, of course. I've discussed it many times before, I have a bit of a thing for morally grey characters and villains. At least when they're well developed. When I look at the list of characters I made for the meme (Tieria Erde, Ludger Will Kresnik, F/SN Lancer, Bazett Fraga Mcremitz, Simon the Digger, Lyle Dylandy, Mori Ranmaru, Armin Arlert, and Waver Velvet), most of them are at least on the side of the protagonist. They all have a degree of grey morality, some more than others. If I exclude Lancer, Bazett, and Ranmaru, most of the characters on my list have some sort of self confidence issue as well. The characters I favor tend to be more confident, tend to be more morally grey. I guess they're edgier? Hard to say. They often still have insecurities, but perhaps not as pronounced as the ones on this list. It's just interesting to compare and contrast.
but what does that mean?
Well, it's hard to say 100% what it all means. Despite how much I love certain characters (Gaius from Tales of Xillia and Xillia 2, Gilgamesh from the Fate series), I can't seem to tap into them from a writing standpoint. We have Lyle Dylandy (Gundam 00) up on the list of characters I relate to - and honestly - at first he was a character that I disliked. I think I didn't really like how the plot handled him or certain aspects of his story. But I can write him well and relate to him. Granted, it doesn't always boil down to writing, but since I primarily talk about writing...well. I'm focusing on that a bit. On the other hand, with Ali al Saachez (Gundam 00), I can write him. Relatively easily, at that. Despite him being a general horrible person and very much not like me.
I guess it could be me liking characters boils down to me seeing something I want to be in them. Confidence, intelligence, it varies. And perhaps I don't like characters I relate to because, well, sometimes I don't like myself very much. And if I can see myself in the character...well...
do you worry about the characters you like? what about the ones you relate to?
Not really? I'm able to distinguish between fiction and reality. I understand that some of the characters I like are problematic and do terrible things. They also have interesting motivations (that do not justify their actions), fascinating personalities, and interact with the rest of the cast in captivating ways. It is okay to like villains in media.
Though, I do sometimes worry about the characters I relate to and what it says about me. On the list, there's a character who is generally an antagonist, someone who is outwardly cold and callous, someone who can betray his friends, a walking saltlick, and so on and so forth. But I also realize that just because I relate to one part of a character's personality, or even multiple facets of it, that does not mean I relate to all of it.
So yes and no. I sometimes worry and sometimes don't.
I've always been fascinated by why I like certain characters versus other characters. Or why I relate to some characters that I may not necessarily like. I'm still figuring out the reasoning behind it, I might never fully figure it out. But it's definitely interesting.