Characters that where better than the story they were in

TakerFoxx

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First of all, let it be known that the only thing I'm stealing from the "Scenes that were better" thread is the title, and I've wanted to do something like this for a while. So yeah.

Anyway, most of us have been there. We're watching a movie, tv-show, reading a book, or what have you, and it's just not doing it for you. Maybe it's just not your thing, maybe the writing's clumsy, maybe the characters are grinding your last nerve. Whatever the reason, you're about to put it down and go look for something better, and then suddenly, ''they'' show up. That one character that stands apart from the rest, someone so incredibly cool and interesting that you're more than willing to sit through the rest of the otherwise dull story to the end if it means getting more of them, and you can't help but wonder if some mistake had been made and they were actually supposed to be from some other, better story.

For me, it was Thrax from Osmosis Jones. I don't know how many people remember this odd little film, but it was very much a mixed bag. The live-action sequences with Bill Murray were godawful. The animated parts were better, but aside of some really good animation and amusing anatomy puns, it really didn't extend much beyond your standard Buddy Cop story. On the whole, it really isn't a good movie. Like, at all.

And then there's this guy:



Definitely a cut above the rest of the movie, Thrax is sort of a combination of a supervillain and an international terrorist, traveling from person to person and killing each one off faster than the last in hopes of breaking a record and getting recorded in medical history as one of the deadliest diseases there is. And he is damned good at it too, at one point bragging about each of the kills he's made (including a little girl!) and how much time he's shaved off. Seriously, insofar as animated villains go, he is surprisingly smart and competent, and comes without a literal hairsbreadth of winning. And given how much cooler and more charismatic he is than the rest of the cast and how annoying Bill Murray's character is, you kinda want to see him win. Honestly, it's actually kind of jarring how much Thrax stands out. And while I'll never call myself an Osmosis Jones fan, having to sit through this movie in my eleventh grade health class was worth it for this one character.

So, anyone else have a similar character that they'd like to gush over?
 

Queen Michael

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TakerFoxx said:
So, anyone else have a similar character that they'd like to gush over?
Yep! There was this guy named Thrax, in... Oh, wait.

I actually really like that movie, but I freely agree that Thrax is a cut above the rest of the cast.

One other character that deserved a better story is Shiraz from the novel Modelland by Tyra Banks. It's a confused mess of a novel, about a girl called Tookie who gets to go a magical modelling academy. The characters are poorly made and unsympathetic, the plot is contrived, Tyra keeps using words wrong, the world-building's worthless, and the writing is more pretentious than a teenager's poetry.

With that said, one of the students at the modelling academy, a girl by the name of Shiraz Shiraz, (so good they named her twice,) is actually pretty likeable. She's not great or anything, but her cheerful attitude and her bad English makes her fun in a way none of the other characters are. She's kind of like a beta-version of Kaolla Su from Love Hina.
 

Scarim Coral

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The only ones I can think of at the moment (I may edit this later) are the "good guys" from Chaika - The Coffin Princess.

Don't get me wrong, I adore adore Chaika and while technically they were the bad guys (she wanted to relaim her father, the evil emperor body parts) but I did thought the good guys that were chasing after them were kinda interesting (the green hair girl had an interesting design) well except for the two baldy. I mean we only heard how one of them joined the main blondy guy group and we didn't see how this happened via flashback.

I would had loved them to do a flashback sort of episode!
 

balladbird

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While the series itself is phenomenal, I must say that Solf J. Kimblee from the manga series and brotherhood anime adaption stands out as one of my favorite anime characters of all time, even all these years later. Note that this doesn't include the version of him included in the 2003 anime series, as that series wrapped up before he was properly introduced in the manga, and thus missed the point of his character entirely.

He was basically and equal but opposite villainous archetype to Heath Ledger's joker: he did thrive on death and destruction, sure, but also believed in people living life true to the roles they chose for themselves and the values they claimed to have, making him a hyper-lawfully aligned antagonist.

Pretty much every scene he was in was golden, whether he was making things explode, pointing out the fallacy of shonen hero logic, or turning on people he supported the entire series through when they reveal themselves to be hypocritical.

I'd have loved to see a series where he was the primary villain. Hell, he'd be a worthy member of a superhero's rogue gallery
 

Queen Michael

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balladbird said:
While the series itself is phenomenal, I must say that Solf J. Kimblee from the manga series and brotherhood anime adaption stands out as one of my favorite anime characters of all time, even all these years later. Note that this doesn't include the version of him included in the 2003 anime series, as that series wrapped up before he was properly introduced in the manga, and thus missed the point of his character entirely.

He was basically and equal but opposite villainous archetype to Heath Ledger's joker: he did thrive on death and destruction, sure, but also believed in people living life true to the roles they chose for themselves and the values they claimed to have, making him a hyper-lawfully aligned antagonist.

Pretty much every scene he was in was golden, whether he was making things explode, pointing out the fallacy of shonen hero logic, or turning on people he supported the entire series through when they reveal themselves to be hypocritical.

I'd have loved to see a series where he was the primary villain. Hell, he'd be a worthy member of a superhero's rogue gallery
Yeah, he's my favorite character from the entire manga.
 
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balladbird said:
While the series itself is phenomenal, I must say that Solf J. Kimblee from the manga series and brotherhood anime adaption stands out as one of my favorite anime characters of all time, even all these years later. Note that this doesn't include the version of him included in the 2003 anime series, as that series wrapped up before he was properly introduced in the manga, and thus missed the point of his character entirely.

He was basically and equal but opposite villainous archetype to Heath Ledger's joker: he did thrive on death and destruction, sure, but also believed in people living life true to the roles they chose for themselves and the values they claimed to have, making him a hyper-lawfully aligned antagonist.

Pretty much every scene he was in was golden, whether he was making things explode, pointing out the fallacy of shonen hero logic, or turning on people he supported the entire series through when they reveal themselves to be hypocritical.

I'd have loved to see a series where he was the primary villain. Hell, he'd be a worthy member of a superhero's rogue gallery
He was an interesting villain, but Fullmetal Alchemist is just full of great characters. That being said, the story did fall apart in my mind towards the end, so there might be several characters in the show that qualify for being better than the story
 

mardocOz

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If we're including video games then Vaas from Farcry 3. One of the best antagonists I've seen in a long time.
 

Vausch

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Well, there's always Auron from Final Fantasy X.



One armed bushido master with an oversized Katana, only aesthetically pleasing clothes in the entire game, his story is much better than Tidus's because it's one of redemption and genuine growth, and he was pretty much the only person that seemed to know what he was doing.
 

NeutralDrow

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I honestly couldn't take reading Transmetropolitan for more than two or three volumes. But even though he wasn't enough to save the story for me, I never had a problem with Spider Jerusalem.
 

Erttheking

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I didn't hate Spider Man 3, but looking back it was stretched extremely thin, with Venom just kinda popping up towards the end and Peter doing more than a few stupid things.

But oh dear lord it had Sandman!

<youtube=rXOa5bWFRKw>
 

Sable Gear

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This sort of situation is part of my complicated relationship with Master Chief. I like John, I like him a lot, but I don't care for the world he's set in or the Halo games themselves (from a mechanical gameplay standpoint). I like to read his place in the Halo series as a bored, understated, relatively down-to-earth guy disillusioned with his job but unable to move on because he's never known anything else. It has an irony to it thanks to its contrast with brightly-coloured hyper-religious aliens and funny-sounding laser guns, but those last two things are also things I don't really like about Halo.

To clarify: I'm not saying John is cooler than the rest of Halo, there's just elements of OP's situation at play here.

Thrax was such a great example I'm drawing a serious blank. I'll get back to you guys... =/
 

Extra-Ordinary

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"Ebola is a case of dandruff compared to me!"
I re-watched that movie a couple months ago, awesome stuff, and I'll join you and Queen Michael in agreeance that he was probably the best character although I'll toss a gold star to Drix because he was played by David Hyde Pierce who really needs more recognition and work.

Anyway.

Give me a minute, I was expecting just to lurk in this one but now that I opened my mouth about Osmosis Jones, I guess I gotta give an answer, hm...
Crap, I got nothin', sorry.
 

Spider RedNight

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DUDE okay so in the movie Osmosis Jones, there was this badass villain named Thrax and-- ...Dammit. Well, I've drawn fanart so there's something to be said about how cool he is compared to that train wreck of a disgusting movie. C'monnnn David Hyde Pierce, I had more faith in you than that.

For ME, I'd have to say.... oh god, I feel like a loser. Okay, my contribution is gonna be Doug Rattmann from Portal. The games seem kind of simple to me but I really really love this scientist who's behind the scenes that was already paranoid so he knew the insane robot was actually insane and killed everyone and he leaves cryptic messages and pictures and it's spooky and he may be dead but he may not be? I just love him to pieces though the rest of the characters (mmmayyyybe with the exception of GLaDOS) are just "okay" to me
 

Dantarn

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Handsome Jack from Borderlands 2 would take the cake for me. Even though his humor was aimed at teens, which I adored, he actually seemed like a really interesting and neat villain even though the story surrounding him couldn't meet the insanely high bar that he set for the other characters to meet.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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Dantarn said:
Handsome Jack from Borderlands 2 would take the cake for me. Even though his humor was aimed at teens, which I adored, he actually seemed like a really interesting and neat villain even though the story surrounding him couldn't meet the insanely high bar that he set for the other characters to meet.
I'm still convinced that Handsome Jack is actually the hero of Borderlands 2 and the characters you play as are the villains. Handsome Jack is the ultimate representation of the average player controlled character, but as an NPC, who is willing to go to any horrible lengths to win, and even revels in the destruction he can and does cause, but whose ultimate goal is justifiable and almost noble in a way.

...And then you crush him because he was a dick to you.
 

Spider RedNight

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Dantarn said:
Handsome Jack from Borderlands 2 would take the cake for me. Even though his humor was aimed at teens, which I adored, he actually seemed like a really interesting and neat villain even though the story surrounding him couldn't meet the insanely high bar that he set for the other characters to meet.
<-- Someone mention me?

On topic: I was considering putting Handsome Jack since he IS a better character than the story of the games (which is prettttty bad, I'll admit) but Pre-Sequel kind of... over-saturated him. And Tales from the Borderlands. And created even more terrible fangirls that make me wanna reach through my laptop screen and gouge their eyes out with my pinkies.

But yeah, I'll second Handsome Jack just 'cuz I can.
 

Fox12

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Maiden Astraea from Demon Soul's. The plot line was kind of uninteresting, but she probably had one of the best character arcs from any game. Essentially, she was a saint that traveled to a swamp to spread her faith with her bodyguard (and lover). Once there, she found a society of outcasts living in the muck and filth left behind by other nations. Most of them were terribly sick. There were aborted and abandoned babies left to die in the waters of the swamp. Eventually she either decided that God was cruel, or discovered that God didn't exist (in this universe). She then adopted a demon soul in order to ease the suffering of the people of the swamp.

The player fights his way into the heart of the swamp, expecting a monster, but finding a sickly girl and a bodyguard that refuses to harm you unless you get too close. They beg you to leave in peace, and when you finally kill one of them the other kills themselves. It's a pretty powerful experience.
 

Hawki

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Off the top of my head:

-Freya, from The Huntsman: Winter's War

-Eddie Manix in Hail, Ceasar!

-"Batfleck" in Batman v Superman (and I suppose Wonder Woman as well)

-Kane, in Command & Conquer: Tiberian Twilight (I'm actually more sympathetic to this game than most, but I can't deny that Kucan seems to be the only actor at least trying to act)

-Chrisjen Avsarala in The Expanse (as in the novel series - not really a fan of said series, but Avsarala takes the cake for being the most interesting character. Not that that's saying much.)

-John & Cortana in Halo 4 (while I think Halo 4's plot is overall sub-standard, it absolutely nailed the duo)

-Mael Radec in Killzone 2 (I actually quite like KZ2, but its plot is easily the weak point. Radec however, is the one character that truly stands out, even if he's not a deep one)

-Nicholas Rush in Stargate Universe (the series found its stride in its second season, but in the first, Rush was easily the standout character in what was then a very formulaic series)

-Soran in Star Trek: Generations (yes, even my least favorite Star Trek film gave me Malcolm McDowell being...well, Malcolm McDowell)

-Stewie and Brian in Family Guy (i.e. the only characters I can find remotely tolerable in the show)

-John Connor in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (yeah, even my least favorite Terminator movie isn't without merit)

-Eddie in Wess'har (I enjoy Wess'har as a net positive, but Eddie gets the spot by virtue of not preaching to the reader half the time)

-Christopher Blair in Wing Commander: Prophecy (disclaimer that I've never played the Wing Commander games, only watched them - Prophecy stands as my least favorite, but Blair was still a bright spot)

-Ariel in The Tempest (least favorite Shakespeare play, but Ariel is a bright spot)

And, the one that will really get me in trouble...

HAL, in 2001: A Space Odyssey
 
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Hawki said:
-John & Cortana in Halo 4 (while I think Halo 4's plot is overall sub-standard, it absolutely nailed the duo)
In total agreement with you here. I've never much cared for the Chief (he's always struck me as a bit too bland, a kind of 'insert power fantasy here' placeholder) but the interplay between Cortana and John was the real highlight of Halo 4 for me.
 

HybridChangeling

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I paced for minutes trying to find one, and it finally came to me. Godzilla, in the american Godzilla movies. he is so much more than a mutant igauna/ancient beast that you throw in the shot for 5 minutes for some decent effects. He is not someone you "let fight", he is not someone you feed "a lot of fish" he is natures anger and fury, he is a metaphor for ultimate destruction. He is scary. He is not a mommy with raptor babies. Sometimes he may fight for us, but (in almost all cases) he is never "with us".

Or maybe I'm a hyper Godzilla fan. I dunno.