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PostSubject: Mary Sues   19th October 2014, 5:50 pm

Mary Sue is a term used in fanficiton when an author writes an OC that has no flaws, canon characters love to death, and/or super over powered. In past years I have noticed that this term has been used with fictional characters from anime and mangas. An example would Mew Berry from Tokyo Mew Mew Al La Mode. A lot of TMM fans don't like her. Personally I don' think she's a mary sue. 

I wonder how this term could be used for official fictional works? I am aware that there are series where main characters are prefect. They have no flaws what so ever. Then there are characters who have a few flaws and yet anime fans deem them as a mary sue. What gives? 

The reason I'm bringing this up because I saw confession that a person didn't get the appeal of Cardcaptor Sakura because they think Sakura, the main character is a mary sue. Their reasons were she was good at school, the strongest, good at sports, made friends easily, and was a good person. This just made me mad. If anyone who has watch CCS and read the manga all the way through they can see that Sakura has character development. Yes she is strong, but she didn't become strong over night. It took time for her magical powers to grow. So what if she's good at sports and does well in school? It's nice to see a magical character who isn't dizty and clumsy.  However Sakura can be clumsy and she's naive, but she has common sense. She's just clueless to things around her especially when it comes to people's feelings.  Sakura does have flaws, but she doesn't have many. 

My point is why is it so bad for a character to have a few flaws? Why must a character have like 10 million flaws?  To make them more relateable? I can relate to Sakura. I get along well with people and I'm usually always cheerful. She inspires me to do my best. Her catch line is "I'm sure everything will be alright." Or something like that! The point is! She knows in the end she will be fine. 


I just don't get why people label a character a mary sue if they don't have many flaws. The same thing happens to characters who over come their flaws too.

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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   19th October 2014, 6:57 pm

People just like to complain. The Mary Sue label seems really over used whenever someone didn't like a character. Ihave even seen people call Usagi a Mary Sue.  

Some people prefer extremely flawed characters, but it's not fair to dismiss ones that are simply less flawed

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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   19th October 2014, 7:18 pm

Exactly!! Then there are people who go about how a person has too many flaws.

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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   19th October 2014, 11:02 pm

Yamichan16 wrote:
Why must a character have like 10 million flaws?


it's more like people are never happy:
when they have to less flaws everyone is like "ewwww mary sue can you give use character development for once?"
and when they have flaws for character development reasons people are like "eewww what a wimp" (like Ken Kaneki or Shirou Emiya)

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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   20th October 2014, 7:42 am

i maintain that Bella Swan is a total mary sue...>.>...seriously, even the name. but i have never thought of Sakura as a Sue. i mean, she had to figure out ways to catch the cards, using what she had to work with. she was a little intelligent, but not overly so for a young girl, and she freaks out over weird stuff, like any normal person.

and i've heard the Usagi is a Mary Sue...even my boyfriend says it, and i agree to an extent. she's always getting more and more powerful...the Goku Syndrome as boyfriend calls it. personally, though i agree, but that does NOT change the fact i still love Sailor Moon very very much.^^

also, Mary Sue has a category where the writer is basically putting themself in the story. i sometimes find this especially annoying(though i did it in my youth...). yes we all want to live the story, but use some sense and creativity!...one friend i have is rather guilty of this but meh.

just to encourage the discussion, i am leaving these here. they are especially useful. warning, you will feel unclean after reading these.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MarySue

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CommonMarySueTraits

https://www.fictionpress.com/s/1440163/1/The-Official-Mary-Sue-Manual

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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   20th October 2014, 9:09 am

Yeah there are lot of self insert fictional characters.

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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   20th October 2014, 9:51 am

Yeah Bella Swan is the perfect Mary-Sue. She basically is Stephenie Meyer. I think Usagi in Crystal could be argued to be a Mary Sue but I don't know. I think everyone's tolerance levels is different so what I might see as totally "mary-sue" type traits might differ from the next person. I think that's why the word is overused because honestly determining what is and isn't a mary-sue can be kind of subjective in my opinion.

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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   20th October 2014, 3:14 pm

I think Usagi is more of a self-insert than a Mary Sue.  Naoko did base Usagi on herself.  She even named Usagi's family after herself and she made Tuxedo Kamen based on the ideals of what she thought was an appealing man to her but she doesn't portray Usagi as idealized and perfect.  Usagi makes mistake, she's clumsy, never gets good at doing school, and even as Sailor Moon, she's made a lot of mistakes over the series.  I think Michiru would be more of a Mary Sue than Usagi.   I used to use the Mary Sue label more often but I'm not sure I like it much anymore.  I agree it gets overused a lot and I feel like the term is also a bit sexist.  I mean, yeah, there's the term Gary Stu, but it doesn't get applied to guys as much.  Like you could easily argue Batman is a Mary Sue/Gary Stu but Batman is a popular character so he doesn't get the label as much.  I would also say it is possible to write a character that has few flaws but portray her in a likeable and positive way.  In contrast to Bella Swan, Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz is a bit of a "Mary Sue" herself but she's written in such a charming and likeable manner that she doesn't get as bashed as much.
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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   20th October 2014, 3:21 pm

It really does come down to a person's taste. But my problem is when a character overcomes their flaws or don't have enough flaws they are deem as prefect and are hated. Is it so bad to have a character that is likeable?

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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   20th October 2014, 9:26 pm

Quote :
Descriptions of her looks are usually overly-detailed and distinctly violet-hued. Because saying she's slim with long black hair and blue eyes only tells you what she looks like. Saying she's a delicate, willowy goddess with flowing tresses that shimmer onyx like the feathers of a raven and sparkling cerulean orbs that shine like the ocean and radiate with femininity tells you she's special.

Never have I heard more truer words than this, and it saddens me to think that YA fiction often falls down this beaten path :/ Mary Sues are becoming waaayyy to common and it pains me 

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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   21st October 2014, 7:40 am

As Neon Genesis said, Usagi fits the definition pretty well of a Mary Sue, but I wouldn't call her that in an insulting way. She's the main character of her story so it'd make sense that every character and the universe would rotate around her. She doesn't completely fit the definition though, with characters like Uranus and later Galaxia calling her out on her faults.

IMO, Mary Sue's aren't always a bad thing. They only reach crap levels when they interfere with an already established work or that we as readers are supposed to like them without having reason to. As Yunie stated, Bella Swan is a textbook example of this. It's alright to have a character with flaws, but don't expect me to start rooting for her when she actively puts her father and school peers in danger. In the second book, she actively put herself in danger just to feel a sensation that was similar to Edward, not thinking once of her family and friends who cared for her. And then, I'm supposed to like her? Give me a break.

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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   21st October 2014, 8:43 am

Yeah I definitely agree with Neon Genesis's points. Usagi is a self-insert gone right and Bella Swan is one that went horribly wrong.


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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   21st October 2014, 9:29 am

Lol I wasn't expecting this to turn into a Twilight discussion. Is it sad that it took me until book 4 to realize how crappy Twilight is? I didn't even finish it. The book pissed me off that much. I will admit I do like the characters. At least the Cullens. My friend and I rp Twilight but like changed everything  and gave the characters much needed personalities.

I'm such a dork.

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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   21st October 2014, 11:22 am

There nothing wrong at all with liking Twilight! Just don't try and convince me that it's the greatest thing ever, haha. I actually enjoyed the one book I read of it.

Going back to the original subject, Sakura is far from a Mary Sue. Yeah, she's pretty flawless in the personality department, but she's more of a catalyst for the reader than anything else. Characters grow because of Sakura, not the other way around. Most of her development comes from problem solving, if there was emotional development mashed in there too, it'd probably would be a muddy story.

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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   21st October 2014, 11:29 am

Lol. I just like some of the charcters. The books are awful. XD

That's what I love about CCS. Sakura is such a sweetheart . she's just a normal kid.

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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   21st October 2014, 9:12 pm

I think part of the problem, at least strictly from a Japanese media view point, is that Westerners tend to impose their Western ideals and beliefs onto the characters from Japanese media when in fact a lot of our ideals are very very very different. There are some in Western society that could see Usagi and Sakura as "mary sue" but in Japan's society they are very very far from it. Usagi's character, especially in the anime, is so so so very against the normal Japanese teen, she's kind of a joke and thats the whole point (hence all the constant picking on her throughout the series). Sakura doesn't have nearly as many negative traits as Usagi, but she isn't what one would say the ideal Japanese student/pre-teen either. I think also what Westerners fail to realize is that the reason thee sorts of characters show up so often in Japanese media is not because thats how Japanese people really act but its because these stories would be boring if the characters were truly realistic..


and that kinda went off on a tangent, but i guess my point is, when viewing anime and manga or other Japanese media, we shouldn't write off characters as "mary sues" because we must also understand hte character from a Japanese culture stand point.

yeah.

also i'm kinda tired of the word being thrown around, why can't it just be used to make fun of all our old bad fanfics we wrote as 12 year olds as being the secret sister of Princess Serenity who is beautiful and everyone likes her. OH OOPS. did i do that...? xD

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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   21st October 2014, 9:38 pm

And Sakura Kinomoto is like ten years old.  Unless she's put into this super dark abusive situation like the girls in Madoka, how many ten year old girls have that many problems to deal with if we're wanting main characters be "realistic"?  But even with Madoka, Madoka herself was a bit of a Mary Sue yet you rarely see fans call her that because Madoka is "dark and edgy" or something.
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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   18th February 2015, 8:46 am

I agree with most people here, Mary Sue characters aren't always bad, even some of my favorite characters fall into the Mary Sue category. I personally don't care much whether the characters are Mary Sue or not, as long as their personalities are likable. 

I don't consider Sakura to be a Mary Sue, I also really get annoyed when people said that Sakura is a Mary Sue. Sakura is just a sweet ordinary girl, I don't see anything wrong with her, I never think she is that bad. At least Sakura is still better than other characters like Miaka Yuki, Bella Swan, Mikuru Asahina, or other charcaters who I think worse than her.


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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   18th February 2015, 5:35 pm

@Tiff haha, as much as I have such a soft spot in my heart for Fushigi Hugo, Miaka is such a Mary Sue...

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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   18th February 2015, 6:09 pm

@Goddess Yami wrote:
Lol I wasn't expecting this to turn into a Twilight discussion. Is it sad that it took me until book 4 to realize how crappy Twilight is? I didn't even finish it. The book pissed me off that much. I will admit I do like the characters. At least the Cullens. My friend and I rp Twilight but like changed everything  and gave the characters much needed personalities.

I'm such a dork.

In all honesty, Bella Swan was the first person I thought of when you said "Mary Sue".

And I loved the first book, and it all went downhill from there. Never finished book four. I got so sick of Bella being a whiny twit that I quit reading.

(Also, the same could be said about "50 Shades of Grey", seeings how it started out as Twilight Fanfiction, which I'm sure had some self-insertion [no pun intended  ] )

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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   18th February 2015, 6:18 pm

*high fives* I didn't finish the fourth book either! I rage quit!! XD

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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   18th February 2015, 7:00 pm

@Adelaide wrote:
@Tiff haha, as much as I have such a soft spot in my heart for Fushigi Hugo, Miaka is such a Mary Sue...

You are right, I also think the same for Miaka.
But there are some of my favorite characters are considered to be Mary Sues by many others such as Kim Possible, Misaki Ayuzawa, Tohru Honda, Kobato Hanato, and Haruhi Fujioka.


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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   18th February 2015, 7:01 pm

Really Kim, Tohru, and Haruhi? I don't view them as mary sues. XD

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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   18th February 2015, 7:08 pm

@Goddess Yami wrote:
Really Kim, Tohru, and Haruhi? I don't view them as mary sues. XD

I don't consider Kim, Tohru, Haruhi, and Misaki to be Mary Sues. But I just noticed that a lot people from the other forums such as Crunchyroll forum or Gaiaonline forum considered Kim, Tohru, Haruhi,  Kobato, and Misaki to be Mary Sues which I think can be pretty annoying. I don't understand why they considered them to be Mary Sues, when I actually don't consider any of them to be Mary Sues.
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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   18th February 2015, 7:22 pm

Man. Well then I guess every fictional character ever written is a mary sue. XD

Now that I think about it I sometimes wonder if people call a character a mary sue if they can't relate them.

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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   18th February 2015, 7:34 pm

@Goddess Yami wrote:
Man. Well then I guess every fictional character ever written is a mary sue. XD

Now that I think about it I sometimes wonder if people call a character a mary sue if they can't relate them.

I have some characters that I can't relate such as James Bond, Kim Possible, Hermione Granger but I won't call any of them as Mary Sues.
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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   18th February 2015, 7:39 pm

Well not everyone. I'm sure that are people who feel this way. XD

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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   18th February 2015, 7:42 pm

If I'm getting the definition correctly, Mary Sues are flawless characters, right?

If so, then I could see Haruhi being a Mary Sue. She's adorable, everyone loves her, and she is extremely smart. Not just educationally smart, but also socially and mentally smart. She has a bright future, she understands people, and she's someone that everyone knows they can trust and count on. Haruhi is really kind, and there's really not much you can say is bad about her. Her only flaw would be how oblivious she is sometimes, but even that flaw is just adorable. She's not wealthy, and she's not ashamed of that fact. She doesn't care about the opinions of others, and she is so strong and brave. She's basically an all-around role model.

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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   18th February 2015, 8:01 pm

I think a more encompassing definition of a Mary Sue, or a sue of any kind, would be a character that the plot, and sometimes the other character, will bend over backwards for so they stay correct at all times. A sue doesn't have to be flawless if they're always succeeding anyway with barely any effort because everything else just accommodates them without much logic behind it. Or better yet, they can inexplicably break the universe's set laws to do something really cool. Any character that hates the sue will be considered wrong and "evil" even of they aren't like that in Canon, and any character who agrees with the sue will always support them. 

This is also how Mary Sues tend to create OOC characters in the same story, because the characters will behave oddly so the Sue succeeds.

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PostSubject: Re: Mary Sues   18th February 2015, 8:04 pm

@JupiterThunderCrash wrote:
I think a more encompassing definition of a Mary Sue, or a sue of any kind, would be a character that the plot, and sometimes the other character, will bend over backwards for so they stay correct at all times. A sue doesn't have to be flawless if they're always succeeding anyway with barely any effort because everything else just accommodates them without much logic behind it. Or better yet, they can inexplicably break the universe's set laws to do something really cool. Any character that hates the sue will be considered wrong and "evil" even of they aren't like that in Canon, and any character who agrees with the sue will always support them. 

This is also how Mary Sues tend to create OOC characters in the same story, because the characters will behave oddly so the Sue succeeds.

This sounds like many titles Brian Michael Bendis has written for Marvel, especially Teen Jean in All-New X-Men.
Similar to Bella Swan, does anyone else remember Ebony Darkness Dementia Raven Way from the legendary fanfic My Immortal?

On another note, this quote from TV Tropes is probably the best succinct explanation of how to distinguish Mary Sues, which builds off of what JTC said:

Quote :
Some female characters may seem over-powered and a bit "too good to be true" on paper but when placed in context they can be well-developed, three-dimensional characters.


And finally in a Sailor Moon context, while Sailor Moon might have some Mary Sue traits (especially in the anime), I don't think Usagi is at all.
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