Worst waste of story telling potential that annoyed you.

forgo911

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lucky_sharm said:
forgo911 said:
lucky_sharm said:
forgo911 said:
Zontar said:
forgo911 said:
Zontar said:
You've probably seen it, a book, a movie or a show that had great potential because of the setting, and it got pissed away for something entirely different. Just name them, what went wrong and what could have gone right.

Worst offender I can think of in recent years was Sword Art Online.

10 000 people trapped in an MMO where if you die you die in real life? And to escape they need to finish the game? That could be an epic story that lasts years. Wait, why is episode 4 filler? Why is episode 5 filler? Why was that Two Parter not relevant to anything? Why are those two characters married when they barley knew each other? Why where there 11 filler episodes out of 15 in the setting? So many questions, no logical answers.

And then there's the second arc.
No. The anime was not meant to be about everyone's struggle in the game, it is about character development and the romance between the two. In fact, this is the only anime that I've watched that has no fault. The animation is flawless, the story is one of the top 5 I have ever seen, the characters are unbelievably well written and the romance is the best written, better than even Clannad. The male lead is strong loner who develops his humanity through the game while the female lead is strong, free willed and a great role model. She even tries to save herself in act 2, which most heroines wouldn't even try to do.

Overall, SAO is the greatest anime I have ever seen, because as hard as I try, I can't seem to find fault in it. What you call filler I see as character development, allowing us to fall in love with the characters while discovering more about them.


P.s. I don't care how easy a captcha is, anything this annoying is never as "easy as cake"
That's a joke, right? Even if it was about romance and character development (more on that in a sec), the opening arc started with the explicit implication that it was about them trying to escape the game. You don't spend your first three episodes going in one direction (the only genuinely good episodes I might add) and then shift the whole focus of your show. By then you've attracted your audience and cemented what the story is about.

Now on to the romance and the character development: it sucks. That's really all I can say about it. The romance is so forced it reminds me of the Star Wars Prequels. The characters had no chemistry, and they where put together just because the writer wanted them to be. Hell, half the first arc is the "protagonist" making some random girl we never see again fall in love with him because the writer said so. Chobits had a better romance. Actually, even Karin had a better romance. On third thought, even Rosario Vampire (the anime) had a better romance. At least in that one the reasons for the girls falling for the protagonist where at least plausible.

And character development? What character development? The only character who ever changes is Asuna, and that's because she regressed from a kick-ass fighter and poorly written tsundere to a damsel in distress and poorly written tsundere. Kirito didn't develop, by the end of the show he was still the same asshole he was at the start. The only thing that changed was he became an idiot in the second arc. Can't say anything about the other characters either, since we never see them long enough for them to even be characters.

And then there's the villain decay. No motivation for the first villain, and a second villain who was as threatening as a butterfly.

But to be honest let's just ignore the second arc exsists just for the sake of argument, because that shows that everyone, from the characters to the government, are all morons in the world of SAO.
Yes lets agree that the second half was the worse of the two, just like death note. And while I disagree about the romance being bad, there is no way you just put Rosario Vampire in that list. While that show was super funny, it just doesn't have the power of SAO's romance, or the quality. As for no character development, We learn about their relationship with the "child" they adopt, learn about the "motivations" of the villians and learn more about his cousin (I think she was his cousin I forget). Karin was a decent show that was pretty damn funny but still lacks the class that SAO has.
What are you bringing up Death Note for? These are two completely different properties, unless you're implying that they're both on the same level in terms of quality in which case you are dead wrong.

You still haven't explained how their romance is so great. They don't even have a convincing relationship, let alone a romantic one. Their interactions are devoid of any kind of chemistry or dynamic, and that is because their personalities are so flat and barebones.

Furthermore, I don't think the term "character development" means what you think it means. It refers to how characters evolve based on what they've experienced throughout the story. Usually these characters have flaws that make them less likable and efficient, which they eventually overcome by the end of their character arc. To demonstrate how a character has changed, they'll be placed in a similar situation that they were previously incapable of handling because of their formerly held vices.

Take for example Eren Jaeger from Attack on Titan, who would constantly vent his anger on everyone, causing danger to himself and others. He attacked Hannes while escaping Shiganshina, blaming him for his mother's death. After having his attitude tempered by his friends and his military training, however, he meets with Hannes once again but with respect and gratitude. That is what character development is.
The second half of death note was bad by it's own standards. The only thing I can say is different tastes for different generation. I think we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I see a great story with some of the best characters while you see a piece of trash. I can see why you think its trash, but I can not understand it.
I've a pretty good notion of why people like Sword Art Online, seeing how its basically the ultimate wish fulfillment power fantasy, as it features a faceless cardboard cutout who is badass by virtue of being really good at video games and all the gorgeous internet waifus will inexplicably fall for.

I was questioning your Death Note comparison because that show actually stuck to its intellectual, higher level concepts rather than turning into a harem hijinks fetish parade, then remembering its original death MMO premise, AND THEN back to its harem hijinks fetish parade after the first arc ended.

I'm flummoxed as to how you can praise its characters, too, when every character save for Kirito is sidelined in favor of, who else, Kirito to show off how awesome he is. What little we see of these side characters is them acting as barebones archetypes. Klein, for all the promise he showed as a main character, is reduced to a mere cameo that occasionally shows up to remind you he exists. Asuna, the supposed strong female lead and thematically opposite to Kirito, introduces herself as Kirito's equal but soon after is reduced to a generic tsundere without actually developing any further than that. And bear in mind, these are just the most prominent side characters that are in the story's woefully lacking cast.
Ya I have to agree with the wish fulfillment angle. Even as I watched the show I found myself thinking how awesome it would be to be in his place. Maybe I felt a closer connection to Kirito than I did Light, So that could be why I find SAO to be such a damn good show. For me personally, I find the character compelling. Maybe I'm blind to the generic tsundere, but even when she is trapped in the cage is still the strong willed foil to Kirito, due to her escape attempt and the almost "rape" scene.

You talk about lack of side characters and forgot to bring up Leafa, who in the second half, is the foil to Kirito. She becomes the strong willed badass to Kirito. And while she does start to develop a tsundere act, it is quickly shelved to help Kirito save his love interest. Then there is Sachi. Her main episode is ep 3 the Black Cat. She is scared, afraid of dying. The only reason she is out of beginners town is because her friends helped her along. She never develops a tsundere attitude and in fact leads to her getting killed off because of a trap. Kirito blames himself and goes to look for a way to bring her back, but finds the crystal is unable to do that for people that died in more that 30 seconds ago.

There are quite a few more characters in the story and while most of them are one trait characters, some of them are at the right level of complexity to be interesting, some of them not.
 

newfoundsky

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SupahGamuh said:
newfoundsky said:
SupahGamuh said:
Alan Wake, just... Fucking Alan Wake.

The story is kinda decent up until you get to the mental institution and the doctors are telling Alan that everything is on his mind and he's in complete denial, still believing everything that's happened up to that point is real. IMO, it would've been a struck of genious if they kept going with it, Alan is murdering hundreds of innocents on his fantasy driven world, or everything is a metaphor of his "writer blockage" driving him insane, literally trying to rescue his wife that represented his sanity, but NOPE, everything is indeed real and Remedy just threw out of the window a potentially strong piece of storytelling that would've been akin to Spec Ops: The Line and instead kept going with their shit imitation of a shit Stephen King movie.
I actually enjoyed this part because the "Oh you are just crazy all along" has been done and done and done. So much so that I almost stopped playing the game when the doctor was like "you have been a patient all along".

Shutter Island, The Lazarus Project (literally any movie with Lazarus in the title) hundreds of books, shows, movies have always done that. Seriously, if there is an insane asylum involved, it is safer to assume that the main character is a patient all along. Which makes that particular part of Alan Wake so beautiful and aware of the cliche. Think about it.

Alan Wake is a writer, obviously well read. He knows what the guy is saying is bullshit because he has read and wrote it before.

Now the tornado bullshit at the end. That's just stupid.
I... think I might have to replay the game sometime, because I'm kinda glad I'm not a storyteller or part of a focus group. The only thing holding me back for a potential replay is the tedious combat, so it's gonna take me some time to gather the will to play it again.
I'm not going to lie, I did not enjoy my second playthrough as much, do to the clunky combat. But I still enjoyed the story, and on the harder difficulty the pages are more common and actually useful and don't just drop hints at the exposition.

I urge you to go through on the hardest difficulty. It really isn't hard so much as it is much more like Resident Evil survival horror. You actually have to run away more, and it's truly a white knuckle experience.

And the tornado isstill bullshit, but I like to think Wake wrote it that way on purpose.
 

Scarim Coral

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After thinking long enough, that would be Code Geass for me.

The inital premier is that Japan got invaded and conquer by Britinnia (ok later on I learned that they're actually US and in a different timeline) which the inhabitant are pretty much enslaved by them since the Japanesed got renamed to "eleven" due to being the eleven nation conquer by them.

Sure the anime is about uprising and retaking their homeland so I was expecting rebellion and underground fighters etc and yet they still have to thrown in some school drama...

This What I Watched / What I Expected / What I Got image pretty much sum it up for me-
 

AustinN

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Bleach has a lot of wasted potential. I know I'm beating a dead horse, but it's one of the best examples I can think of, so I'll do it anyway.

A lot of aspects of the series are underdeveloped. A large part of it deals with the afterlife, yet the series rarely explores exactly how it works, or how the society functions. Certain aspects from early on in the series, like the fact that the monsters are all former humans eventually get dropped.

There's a lot of moral ambiguity in the series. The shinigami have done some seriously shady stuff, and yet, it's almost never addressed. Even the nicer members of the group rarely seem that bothered by some of the things their colleagues do. The main characters most certainly don't have an "the end justifies the means" mentality, but every conflict they have with the shinigami are rooted in misunderstandings, not the fact that they have different morals. It's really confusing because I can't imagine why the story isn't just a straight up "good vs evil" clash if it's never going to talk about the grey areas in the series.

One of my biggest problems is how the fights and power progression work. Everyone has a different ability, but most fights are decided by brute force and contrived power ups, instead of through strategy and clever use of their powers. The main character is a great example. He has a lot of raw power but no formal training at the start of the series. You expect that he'll eventually learn how to better use his powers, and be able to win with skill in addition to strength. But that's not what usually happens. He almost never learns any new techniques, and what techniques he does get are either worthless after the initial story arc they appear in, or are removed as soon as the fight's over. Even the series itself is inconsistent with how much skill matters.

The only other thing that comes to mind at the moments is The Warriors. I know it's a big cult classic, but I was disappointed with it. I loved the idea of a group of characters fighting their way through a city full of colorful gangs, but for most of the movie they just run away, and there are only two real fights throughout the whole thing. It's got a nice style, I just don't think it's very entertaining.

Edit: Oh, I just thought of another show that wasted it's potential. The Teen Titans animated series. It constantly wasted opportunities for great stories. I'm not a person who thinks a story needs to be dark to be good, but the show usually didn't go far enough with it's more serious plot lines. Numerous plot threads (most especially the motivation of the main villain) aren't resolved, the show tends to rely on Deus Ex Machina endings for it's finales, and most of the character development doesn't stick. I also don't think every villain needed an origin story, but to give almost none of them backstories made the show feel shallow. It's a show that really would've been better if the writers took it more seriously, and instead of always doing things half way.
 

Torque2100

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The cancellation of Firefly.

I know that this was almost 10 years ago, and 10 years is a long time to hold a grudge but I still hold one against Fox. They took one of the greatest concepts in Television history, strangled it in the crib and then "apologized" by foisting that dull, lifeless, travesty "Dollhouse" on us for three seasons.

Serenity was a good movie, but it still suffers for trying to force several seasons of unfolding storyline into 2 hours.
 

DementedSheep

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Well I did some ofa story about random people who got immortality and insane powers that come and go in cycles every couple of hundred years. It opens with people fleeing the destruction caused by some of the having a spat while desperately trying to preserve what little knowledge they have on them in the hopes they can find a way to kill them. Then fasts forwards to one of the immortals trying to get himself beheaded because he's sick of living. It could have interesting but the plot gets stupid and guess what it turns into? Love triangle bullshit! AGAIN! what is with the obsession with love triangles? I'm going to have to start trying to check weather books have this before I start reading them.
The main girl is moron. Yeah the guy sitting in jail having just murdered a whole bunch of people, has threaten you and is claiming to be immortal (which she doesn't believe, she thinks he's either a spy or crazy) and to have killed 10 of thousands over the years is perfect boyfriend material and worth risking your and your husbands (political marriage, he's actually gay) position to free and/or do a last ditch really stupid attempt to disprove his claims by surrounding him with members of a race of people he claims to be able to control even without most of his powers? Shock horror! he can and kidnaps her. She doesn't believe he is immortal or even supernatural even after he cuts his fingers off with an axe and she watches them regrow and he turns all her guards against her.
She was trying to disprove his immortality by quizzing him on what she thinks are myths. How is that even going to work? he gets it right and so what? it just means he knew them. He gets it's wrong? she don't think they are accurate anyway (and they aren't).
 

AustinN

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Torque2100 said:
The cancellation of Firefly.

I know that this was almost 10 years ago, and 10 years is a long time to hold a grudge but I still hold one against Fox. They took one of the greatest concepts in Television history, strangled it in the crib and then "apologized" by foisting that dull, lifeless, travesty "Dollhouse" on us for three seasons.

Serenity was a good movie, but it still suffers for trying to force several seasons of unfolding storyline into 2 hours.
I think this topic was about stories that were actually allowed to follow through, not about stories that were cut short. Also, Dollhouse only lasted for two seasons.
 

Queen Michael

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To be honest, it's got to be the manga series Loveless. It's about a world where you have cat ears on your head utnil the day you lose your virginity, but that fact doesn't seem to affect their society a bit.
 

Angelblaze

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Final Fantasy X-2

We could've gone back and played Braska's storyline, hell even Seymours!

But instead we got popstar barbie Yuna and her magical 'spheres'.
 

Masonicon

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fix-the-spade said:
I'm going to go with Crysis, Crysis 2 and Crysis 3.

Each game has it's own storyline, some quite well realised characters and masses upon masses of internal details and world building if you're willing to look.

It's such a shame that collectively they're a complete mess.

Each game has enormous time skips, rendering cliff hangers and sequel hooks moot, characters appear and vanish will barely a word of explanation (or any explanation at all), the abilities, physiology and motivations of the Ceph go from mysterious and unexplained to world domination to super psychic hive mind Borg types, antagonists appear and disappear without having ever been mentioned.

Viewed as three entirely separate stories, similar to Marvel's What if? comics Crysis works pretty well. Crysis is a pseudo-realistic sci-fi tale of human greed unearthing something they probably shouldn't and ends on a cliff hanger. Crysis 2 is a traditional action movie filled with escalating action scenes and a happy ending. Crysis 3 is more of a fantasy (or even Horror?) themed tale about the strength of the human spirit and has a relatively open ended but broadly happy ending.

Unfortunately Crytek try to structure them as a proper trilogy and it's just a shambles.
I go with Crysis and actually the real reason I go with Crysis franchise is: It's started out as "Realistic" and "Believable" takes on "Nanotechnology give people Superpowers" cliche and the real reason Crysis got killed for me by it's retcon is: Nanosuits are changed from Cool Next-gen Power Armor to Spiderman's Symbiote expy/captain ersatz

not to mention Nomad's death are further kills Crysis franchise for me

Sorry for Necromancy