Angry and Bitter: Escapism is rotting away

Madoka Magica, RWBY, Akame Ga Kill

none of you probably heard of them but here’s what they have in common

and lets not forget…well okay I think thats all I can think of

now what do they and the RWBY cast have in common?

Color Palettes of Technicolor portions that rival the Peter Curshing Daleks

Each one is unique and nothing else like them(more or less)

Dynamic personalities and likable (even some of the villains)

And they suffer the same problem

Their creators see them as expendable puppets to have dance about and then when their done, throw into the wood chipper one by one

Now before you give me the “Sunshine and Rainbows” schtick let me make something perfectly clear

I don’t mind grimdark horror level anime, if I didn’t I wouldn’t have enjoyed Hellsing Ultimate or Vampire Hunter D

They just don’t dilly dally or try to put riddles in songs to hint the tone shift, they make it clear day one.

But still, now the idea of such colorful lively and strong characters who are relatable to us to struggle and all if not most of them make it and have a happy ending is considered by modern audiences, almost ‘abnormal’ or even ‘uninteresting’ because they have the audacity to say the problem with a escapist story is its not 'realistic’ or 'too traditional/outdated’ and whenever someone says otherwise we call them 'shortsighted’, 'selfish’, 'asking for too much’ to 'get over it’, 'deal with it’, 'its time to MOVE ON’, or 'we must accept it’ and to 'get with the times’.

I may be exaggerating But I find that very disturbing

Ever since George RR Martin and whoever the manga equivalent is, got their works televised its been influencing other stories in what I consider very eerie and strange ways and when it happens we either just disagree and then 'accept’ it

or worse, we start white-knighting it

And when its not a slaughterfest tone shift, its a harem one

we all know Kirito and Asuna right and their foster daughter?

A devout wife, a loving husband, and the most adorable foster child, all in the first season, they upheld virtue, they overthrew tyrannies, they ruled as fair and just leaders and made difficult choices together, 2nd season, the writers throw almost all of it out the window, for a forced harem which seems like nothing more than the writers putting the poor family into some messed up sexual escapades, and the lucifer-eque villain did NOT to be a super rapist. his hunger for power and overthrowing cyber-god was enough, honestly did Asuna’s mom even give this guy a background check?

And none of this feels like the characters fault, (please spare me the rationalization of rwby volume 3 for those on the forum who know) in RWBY outside of Adam(though I thought he would be more a Sesshomaru-like villain) I don’t really blame any of the other villains, not even Roman or Cinder, it more feels like the Writers are to blame for this, they seem to be just dropping it on them for greed of either money or attention, sometimes both.

character death, and revival are fragile things in escapism that need to be handled with care, and morality should never be compromised to breasts, butts, or gams(not saying female protagonists can be attractive)

None of these characters are expendable, not their lives, not their morals, not their romance, and certainly not their stories and “reality is cruel like that sometimes” is not acceptable to me or others like me

But they keep droning on holding the " its not Sunshine and Rainbows" guilt trip over our heads

they feast on the characters blood and drink their tears all while our audiences voice falls of deaf ears

it makes me so ANGRY and FRUSTRATED, and this has never happened to me before, honest. And I try to keep myself from becoming triggered like a Social Justice Warrior Snowflake, but Im getting more sick and tired of watching people defile escapism

How much escapism can you take out of escapism, until its no longer escapism

They don’t listen for having an opinion thats one thing, but they don’t want anyone else to listen, they want everything and everyone to be like them

I cant help but hear the cries and pleas of characters of their slaughter (metaphorically, not in a creepy literal “I think characters are literally alive” way)

I swear there is less and less virtue every year, and now they mock the likes of JK Rowling, CS Lewis, George Lucas, even Tolkien all because their characters(the vast majority of them at best) made it in the end regardless of the absolute Hell they’ve went through

These heroes-especially the relatable ones-represent us, who we want to be, who want others to be, to do good for others and fight against darkness, and the good things can happen to us via consequence? Maybe not like a fairy tail, but the fairy tail is a nutshelled allegory of the idea.

If you aren’t enjoying these comics, why are you reading them?

You are right to say that recent comics, anime, books, etc. have a strong tendency to nihilism and depressing plotlines. It is annoying, isn’t it? And unfortunately, some of my favorite writers have gotten infected by the stupidity. Since I obviously can’t go to their houses and stage an intervention, I just stop buying/watching their new stuff. We have to prioritize our own sanity, right?

However, there are also a lot of people trying to put out good fun stuff. Look up names like “Human Wave,” “the New Space Princess Movement,” and “new pulp.” These and other groups have been coming up with some very good stuff that is also uplifting. A happy ending, or a heroic ending, is not too much to ask. And it sells well, too.

Heck, you might get some satisfaction out of watching Space Trucker Bruce. It is a hard sf/comedy movie that (among other things) mocks the sort of nihilism that hit science fiction movies in the early 1970’s. (Yup, right before Star Wars, you have flicks like Dark Star, Logan’s Run, and THX-1138.) It’s got a very fun happy ending, although getting there is a very strange ride. The filmmaker (who’s just some guy from Juneau, Alaska, and who made the movie in a set-shed in his backyard) put it up on Amazon Prime and YouTube, so you can check it out for free.

Other than that, I don’t know what to tell you. Art goes through cycles, just like other human activities. If artists do too much of the stupid stuff, their audience goes elsewhere.

I wouldn’t call this art. The trend toward nihilism, dysfunctional characters and heroes that are not heroic has been gradually growing. I’m seeing the word “dark” on so many media, it’s not a coincidence. Real life is a mixture of things, but the media has been upping the volume on the rude, crude and sexual for a while now. They decide, not us. If these particular items lose their audience, they just find new ways to package it. A lot of planning goes into this and I’m seeing the same threads in a lot of places.

Dump it. Search for things that are uplifting because there is uplifting and optimistic stuff out there. I don’t want “entertainment” to be some good stuff with junk mixed in. They can keep it.

Ed

Either Nihilism or Moral Relativism(or I like to call soft nihilism), or “die for the greater good” schtick, as if dark and light is bound to the “either My little Pony or Game of Thrones” dilemma, which that along with the “sunshine and rainbows” guilt trip are crass and unreasonable fallacies invented by a modern materialistic culture that well just thinks to highly of itself, and they use quotes like “keep moving forward” which with such a bloodthirsty narrative seems like nothing more than a endurance test

My original story “The Lorekeeper” I hope will start (or at least inspire) some sort of movement I like to call “Escapist Reborn Movement” which the vast majority of the characters are basically reincarnations(metaphorically of course) of these characters who got these tragic endings only with happy endings, only the story itself is also to call to question the “Game of Thrones” and “Attack on Titan” narratives, its use of chronic heartbreak, death rates, aborted romance, and how it infectious, toxic, and harmful it is to our generation in turns of attitude, and even destroys the sense of faith and creates blind acceptance in the name of “moving on”

I’ll keep it in mind

Yes but for how LONG? and How many more stories and characters will be butchered by then? It will just keep happening and we will just keep “moving on” until we draw the line and actually make things change.

I’ve drawn the line. I keep track of, but refuse to buy or watch anything the media hands me that falls outside of the moral track. Rape, good working with evil, heroes who are not heroic, dystopian, dystopian and more dystopian, love the darkness, enjoy the blood and gore with more blood and gore to come. Lucifer has his own TV show. How nice. Fictional? Sure. But by how much?

Young actors and actresses. Sex, more sex, followed by more and more profanity, and just plain bad behavior. “It’s all good.” No. It’s not. Up is down. Black is white. I’ve watched it degrade as the decades passed. And the gruesome violence and now, dead bodies, burned and up close. You - everybody - has just got to get used to that. What’s the big deal? Right?

No limits? Right?

It’s over for me. It’s like the father who tells his kids that he’s mixing in a little excrement into the brownies. They won’t smell it or taste it (just like TV), so why not? The kids refuse to eat them. Stop consuming garbage. Stop putting those images in your head. Five global corporations control most of the media, and they’re all on the same sick and disgusting page. And the more you accept, the farther down they take you. Walking Dead? Don’t be like that. You’re not mindless eyeballs.

Wake up. Please. This is not entertainment.

Ed

RWBY did not become like it until Volume 3 I’d rather not say but its nothing more than a ‘life sucks, keep moving forward’ rubbish, when I drew criticism the loyalists amongst us (yes there were many or were blind sighted as I was) they said my concepts were ‘selfish’ or ‘shortsighted’ and the idea of writing and following my own version was ‘not canon so it didn’t actually happen’ and its ‘selfish due to defiance to the writer’, saying ‘we can hate it but must accept it’, some even call making up your own and following that as ‘delusional’ or even ‘mad’ seriously? Because what Pyrrha is an allusion to Achilies she has to have a tragic end? oh yeah even though the writers said these characters would not be bound by who they allude to in fairy tales and myth, and then they go ahead and do it.

St. Anthony describes this kind of mentality “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us.’”

in this case its these tragedy-eaters and us they think our ideas are ‘mad’ and they’re’s aren’t because its ‘more realistic’ they’re not saving escapism, they’re destroying it and its characters

bumping this thread just in case anyone else is interested

Sometimes, in order to show someone how beautiful the light is, you need to show them how oppressive the darkness can be. Spoilers, for Madoka Magica incoming.

I’ll admit, I almost dropped the show at about the 6th episode just because the universe was so cruel and hopeless. After the third episode, the rest of the series is just a continual series of heart-wrenching tragedies. That being said, I stuck it out, and I’m glad.

Since in the end, while everything wasn’t good, it was considerably better. The main heroine gladly sacrificed her mortality, and the memory that people had of her, so that there would be a little less suffering in the world. More importantly, she did some without fear or hesitation.

And we get to see the world that her actions birthed. It’s still not a terribly happy one, but it’s no longer hopeless. While there is still tragedy, the other characters are no longer suffer from the unrelenting despair that would previously seize them. And admits all, Madoka has no regrets. She’s happy she managed to make the world a better place.

If that’s not the spirit of true heroism in fiction, what is? The ending, at least to me, made everything worth it. Because it showed true heroism; a willingness to fight for what’s right even when you know you might not be able to change the world entirely. Just enough to keep the spark of hope alive.

In the case of RWBY, time will tell the direction that it takes bit right now it’s very clearly in its “The Empire Strikes Back” phase. I’m fairly certian it will get worse before it starts getting better and while I’m not sure we’ll see it getting better this upcoming season, I do firmly believe it will get better.

but want Pyrrha to come back and her and Jaune, Blake and Sun, Weiss and Neptune and so on to have a HAPPY ENDING instead of showing shelves to the dogs to save the world like every other hero has a BILLION times already, not to mention with how terrible times here are in real life God has us write these stories to show what we can one day HAVE, I am SICK and TIRED of these characters giving their lives for these reasons, thats why I’m recreating them along with Akame Ga Kill’s characters and Madoka’s in my story

to mend the hearts the writers had broken, to show the world heroes lives are just as worth saving as the people they protect. And to have someone listen to them for once.

Before I been having terrible dreams of these character crying in limbo begging for a happy ending, to live, to come back even if it meant being not exactly themselves, and it makes me think of the fans who were disappointed and heartbroken and forced to ‘move on’ or to ‘keep moving forward’ and being forced to accept it and come to terms, only to have their hopes raised and smashed again when the next story came along

These characters CAN have these things, AND still be the noble heroes that they were, this is not a ‘contamination’ and its not ‘selfish’

Sometimes I feel like we should force the writers to listen to us, and I know thats not right but I just get so frustrated with this with ISIS persecuting jews and christens which is ignored by governments, two morons running for US President, Planned Parenthood’s baby parts scandal, I am just so FRUSTRATED.

You’re not wrong. That sort of thinking has become more and more pervasive in recent times. Even one of my favorite series, Code Geass succumbs to it in the end.

On the other hand, you have other series actively fighting against that entire worldview. In my opinion, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood takes the opposite approach. When people in that show die, it is felt. They aren’t nihilistic, meaningless deaths. Even with characters who aren’t even given a name, their deaths have meaning and impact, and are presented as a true loss. It’s even worse when some of the main cast / prominent side characters die… (No spoilers, but I’m sure anyone who’s seen it know the two specific deaths I’m thinking of… :sad_bye::bighanky:) The ending of that series, the sacrifice that is made and what follows it, is probably one of the most moving things ever brought to life through animation.

If these series are bothering you that much, then maybe you should take a break from watching anime. My wife and I were both big anime fans, it’s how we met; but we found that fewer and fewer series were resonating with us. This pervasive nihilism, and the massive, MASSIVE, uptick and explicit-ification of fan service have really turned us away from the genre. We still watch a new show every now and then, but for the most part we’ve had to let the habit die because it’s just changed so much… It sounds to me like you need to take a similar approach and step back from the genre as a whole. Maybe after you’ve had some time to refresh yourself you can go back and enjoy it again.

Boku no Hero Acedmica is the only glitter of hope but I want the heres to live and SEE and SETTLE in their new world, not just DIE in the end, call me selfish but if these heroes keep ending up with these fates then their world isn’t worth saving or worth tragedy, because then they will have more heroes die that way

you either be an boring faceless average joe and live, or be a hero and DIE and to just deal with it, to me that is unacceptable.

Harry Potter did it right, Lord of The Rings did it right, and Star Wars did it right

Which once again why Im making these stories, to recreate the likes of Madoka and the RWBY Crew and mend the hearts broken by writers who just didn’t care, make the world a better place, and live through it to see it, because they deserve it just as much as everybody else.

I mean why do you think I have this opinion? Not to sound aggressive, but often people assume people have opinions for no reason they just say “thats their perspective” and never to stop and think why they do

I’d argue you about the Lord of the Rings one. Sure, most of the characters have a happy ending, but Frodo is so irrevocably changed by the ordeal that he leaves Middle-Earth forever, and Arwen is left behind and eventually dies.

In Harry Potter, many of the hero’s have get their happy ending, but just as many of them are killed during that final confrontation. Rowling made a point of killing off certain characters so that the battle couldn’t simply be written off; she wanted us to remember the impact war has on people, and she succeeded in grand fashion.

I’m not trying to reduce your enjoyment of those series, far from it (HP is one of my favorite series of all time, and I love LotR, even if I do have trouble getting through it… Tolkien’s writing style, while amazing, it not my preference…), but you seem to be looking back at those series with rose-tinted glasses.

Perhaps I am through a rose tinted monocle, and maybe right now because I am so upset and frustrated, but Im not asking for Oklahoma! I know that their were many other characters who died in Harry Potter and I thought they were well thought out (though I thought one the twins felt kinda ‘thrown in there’ but then again I didn’t read the book which Im betting has a better laid out death) but they were not an overload it was enough, and they were often the teachers, the mentors, and some of the friends (notably that nice Hufflepuff dude) and especially mourned for Snape but the death rate was small enough to hold that significance

And in my story some characters will die, but I will never ever do to them:

Tragic Romance

Payoffs squashed in two minutes to the sake of being ‘realistic’

Believe me, when Im recreating these characters I make sure they have conflict, example my recreated Pyrrha (Nikkis Achillia) was born at the expense of her fathers death who died defending the Greek-themed city her mother lived in and was 9 months pregnant with her and she suffers and goes through turmoil (Do you believe in destiny?) until the main character and his supporting character (Luminare D’Blanc, aka Not Jaune Arc) steps in, and believe me it will be a tooth and nail fight

I never said this would be easy

and perhaps Im getting paranoid, but I just think theres more than just ‘the hero dies saving the world’ ending, they can have these things, the problem is modern audiences lost their imagination for it

As an editor and writer, my work will be inspired by the original Star Wars. Because it was done right.

No cussing or swearing.

No “mandatory” sex scene.

No buckets of blood and gore.

Heroes who are heroic.

Villains who are less than graphic with their violence (cutting off hands seems to be the thing recently).

The rotting did not happen overnight. It occurred gradually, over a period of time. Even anime has been affected. All You Need is Kill? Really?

Dark, dark, more dark and more dark on top of that.

Good storytelling is not escapism, it is good storytelling. Why can we still enjoy Greek plays written thousands of years ago? Because take away our technology, and we are still the same human beings.

Ed

Regardless I stand by my inspiration, there is nothing wrong with heroes living through to see the day and settle down, there is nothing wrong with an afterlife, one of the biggest mistakes the world has ever made is make this dichotomy of “Big Picture or Little Picture” as if they had nothing to do with each other, that personal lives do not matter to countless of lives, individuality should not be at the cost of ones life, these heroes CAME from these people, and they have a right to live and enjoy just as everyone else

I’m sure I understand what you’re saying. Of course, real heroes can, say, go to war, experience all the violence and drama, come home and settle down. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it used to be quite common in single story situations, like movies. The hero struggles through life and then finds his true love after solving his problem, or goes through his adventure, and settles down, at the end. Like the military vets I knew growing up. They said very little about their war experiences, they just wanted to be husbands and fathers and help raise their kids with their wives.

Or the hero who comes from an ordinary life and some catastrophe/attack occurs, and we watch him join others and he discovers he has natural leadership abilities. Things are going back and forth throughout the story. His family worries about him, his town or city worries about him. They want him to solve the problem, come home and so on. But he can’t. Not right away.

There’s a book called The Hero With A Thousand Faces that shows how, in mythology at least, across cultures, men rise up to slay the dragon or other great threat. But there’s usually no after-story that puts our hero back in everyday life.

There’s nothing philosophical about that. Countless myths, stories and legends capture the essence of let’s call it, solving the problem. A person, for a time, becomes “larger than life” or more than he thought he could be. The end.

There are very, very few stories about someone being a hero, followed by part two, where the story switches to everyday life. Stories are about overcoming, enduring, sacrificing, not go to work, come home, deal with the kids and fix something around the house. I wouldn’t connect the two. You can, if you want.

Ed

I more mean as an Epilogue like Harry Potter did at best I wouldn’t delve to deep into it unless it involved a sequel (a whole next generation schtick)

Also theres another thing also, the Villain is I won’t say but its of the Main Heroe’s own race, he and the main hero are are very similar but different, polar opposites but they both kinda explain why Heroes,Heroines, redeemable anti heroes and villains have been getting terrible treatment like this lately

Basically imagine the Comedy and Tragedy mask arguing with each other

Also I despise Tragedy, it makes me angry, to me the hero after saving the world should live, thats how things should be.

and honestly I feel like RWBY will just defile it all

Everyone will die except or including Ruby Rose, but the world will be a better place

They will erect monuments for them and say “Well at least they kept moving forward and made the world a better place!” and not bother to make a sequel with new heroes that save the world and live

And to me thats not okay

Im just so angry, and my classes in Theatre are talking about Tragedy(Oedipus The King), I’m at the point were I want to puke, I get the reasons but I REALLY don’t care, Im sick and tired of Tragedy and its driving me insane sometimes, and they tell me I don’t understand about “Keep Moving Forward”

I lost TWO family members and my family pet in one year during high school, don’t tell me what “Keep Moving Forward” is, I have done that, and there is not a day that goes by thinking how hard it was

I just want to force writers to listen to me, and I know its wrong, I may sound like Im throwing a tantrum but I feel Ignored and others like me

That why I reincarnate these characters into my own, to give them what their writers denied them, and mend their fans broken hearts, and theres some also morals and reasons why

I just feel like Im swing between moods up and down and all around and I keep it all balled up to not make a scene, and then I feel even more powers

And the the nightmare characters crying for revival in limbo didn’t help

I try to find something else but whenever I do (find a new anime, show, eat.) SLAP! SURPRISE! TRAGEDY!

I feel trapped forced to “move forward” and I know Im not the only one who does

Interesting. Tragedy is part of life. Perhaps you can do something on your own. Anyway, your point of view should not just focus on this. It is not healthy after a long time. There’s other anime out there. I’m mostly familiar with the pre-1990s works. Look at Bubblegum Crisis which ran until 1991. The mechanical designs were great, but the stories? No. They were so simple, no wonder the series was cut short. That was it for me.

Ed

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.