A Certain Scientific Railgun and Designated Protagonists

A Certain Scientific Railgun is available to stream on Hulu and on Funimation’s website.


Stock characters are, generally, delightful.

You can bemoan them as a lack of creativity, sure. Doc Brown is the same character as Bunsen Honeydew is the same as Professors Farnsworth and E. Gadd, and they’re all just remakes of The Nutty Professor in the end. But all of them are a hoot and a half to watch on screen, so who cares? Most character archetypes stick around because they just work.

The exception – at least for me – tends to be our protagonists.

Certain media get a pass – video games in particular have to prepare for any act the person piloting that pixel-suit may perform. Not that it’s a total excuse – 13th Story has written about great ways to subtly characterize an otherwise-blank slate. But certain genres are unnecessarily lousy with the same stock heroes, over and over and over. Heck, look at Big Trouble in Little China, a plot all about Chinese immigrants in a Chinese-mysticism-fueled gang war with the word “China” in the title that still manages to star a 1980s American Action Hero™ in Kurt Russell.

And for all I love anime, it suffers a lot from lead characters being the flattest members of their casts.

It’s a huge part part of why everybody so loves a spin-off story. Luke Skywalker is the blank-canvas starry-eyed farmboy that built billions in franchising, sure. But some of the most beloved individual stories in Star Wars dig into characters that range from the morally-ambiguous to the downright enigmatic. They’re just more interesting to follow in a lot of ways.

It’s also a huge part of why I’ve stayed with A Certain Scientific Railgun for two seasons so far, and eagerly anticipate a third next month. For comparison, I bounced off its parent series, A Certain Magical Index, after its first story arc.

Read this post in full over on Geek to Geek Media

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