Saturday, September 23, 2006

I am a nerd

A couple years ago, I took a class on Chinese vernacular stories. It was a pretty interesting class, and in it we studied a bunch of different theories about the characterization of different characters in these stories. Although sometimes these stories were thousands of pages long, they didn't really fall into the Western definitions of what a novel should be. What struck me particularly was talking about the characters, since a lot of the characters are pretty one dimensional, or sometimes morally confusing. Another thing that I remembered was the theory that sometimes two characters compliment each other by being completely opposite.

So recently I got addicted to manga and a lot of these sort of characterizations started to come to mind as I read it. Yes, I know manga comes from a different country with its own distinctive literary traditions, but still. There's always the dark haired, calm, often cool analytical character vs. the light haired, angry, passionate, not particularly rational character. Furthermore, there are often lots of characters that seem like they contrast with each other. And often in fight scenes it becomes the battle of the two opposites. Although most main characters have many opposites. As well as fighting characters that are in some ways, similar to, or parallel to themselves.

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