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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Tanto: Man, I devoured these books as a kid. Gave up on 'em around Book 30, though, once it became apparent that Applegate was kind of pulling plot twists out of her ass. Weren't the last, like twenty or twenty-five books all ghostwritten?

Anyway, I will now contest the Five-Man Band classification. Tobias is in no way, shape, or form The Big Guy; that's shoehorning at its best. Rachel's The Big Guy; I would classify Marco as The Lancer and Tobias as The Smart Guy.

Zeta: I dunno. Tobias was mostly there to be the angsty whipping boy for the universe. Rachel was the hot-shot second in command. Marco was there for comic relief, but he was also the smartest of the bunch - he had a mind for strategy and for dealing with people using his charisma. Tobias didn't really do much but run recon and mope about his life. Actually, the closest this team had to the smart guy was Ax, who filled the role when it came to technology or whatever.

Tanto: Rachel is aggressive, violent, not particularly smart, and is by far the most inclined to use force as opposed to any other strategy. She revels in fighting and destruction. If anyone's The Big Guy, it's her.

I could buy Marco as The Smart Guy, but I think it's stated explicitly in several of the books that he deliberately contrasts Jake's personality in most ways, which is the very essence of Lancerdom. I don't think there was an explicit second-in-command.

Ununnilium: I always considered Tobias The Smart Guy, mostly due to pre-hawk Tobias obviously filling that role. I'd put Marco as The Lancer and Rachel as The Big Guy, but they swapped occasionally.

Nerem: Its really hard to peg everyone but Jake and Rachel since they swapped roles all the time.

Rose: The discussion's been dead since early June, unless I'm misunderstanding the edit history (new here, sorry), and it looks like there isn't any real agreement on the roles the characters play in the five man band—the roles they're listed in now are a stretch. (Tobias as The Smart One? Really?) I'd like to take the five man band bit off altogether. This okay?

Morgan Wick: And now you know that by editing, you wiped out that edit history. For future reference, and I hope you're not American or new to computers in general: mm/dd/yy.

Rose Quartz: Sorry about that! I'll keep it in mind next time.

Mr. Sluagh: I think the assumption that the "Chick" has to be female is confusing the issue. I would do it like this:

  • Hero: Jake (obviously)
  • Lancer: Marco (for reasons stated above)
  • Tough Guy: Rachel (for reasons stated above)
  • Smart Guy: Cassie (wasn't as fighty as the others, but was sensible and came up with a lot of good plans)
  • Chick: Tobias (classic example of The Woobie, dubiously useful at least early on, sort of royal, what with his being Elfangor's son)
  • Green Ranger: Ax (obviously)

(For future reference, the roles listed were:

Nexus: I'm actually in the process of reading the entire series for the first time, and I'm definitely enjoying it.

Anyway, I don't know how long ago this discussion was, but, from what I've read so far (approx. 20 books), I'd say the Five Man Band is like this:

Suggesting this as a 5 man band setup.

  • The Hero - Jake (obviously)
  • The Big Guy - Rachel (obviously)
  • The Lancer - Marco (his sarcastic personality and reluctance to rush into plans is in contrast to Jake's Heroness)
  • The Smart Guy - Tobias (he was a nerd as a human and he runs recon, which is a Smart Guy type role)
  • The Chick - Cassie (the moral center of the team)
  • Sixth Ranger - Ax (upsets the 5 man band dynamic)

So, hang on, just who is the Capulet Counterpart?
  • If I had to guess, I'd say Aftran?
    • Then what's the What the Hell, Hero? link for? They saved Aftran's life, remember? Hmm... could the Capulet Counterpart be Taylor, maybe? 'Cos they did kinda end up working together in her second appearance...

Anisky: I thought What the Hell, Hero? was for the second to last book when Jake opened the Yeerk Pool hatch in space and in doing so purposely killed about 17,000 defenseless Yeerks.

Peteman: But then, who called who out? What the Hell, Hero? is about calling people out for their dick moves, not for dick moves.
Lyc: I'm not totally sure that Warped Aesop is entirely correct. As far as I can tell, the "moral" of that book is more "Meatpacking plants suck - if you happen to be a cow." The actual part where they are moralising is about animal testing labs.

Jackrabbit: Thank God that whole 'thought speak with humans' thing in the first book was noticed, nobody else I know reads the books and I was going mad.

Wagthe Dog: I would point out here, that the kids also seriously have Type III Immortality now, and that they're 'stuck' as teenagers (or that they should be) so they're also Blessed with Suck for the same reason. They got their morphing power at a young age, and began morphing pretty much immediately afterwards. Given how their DNA is unaffected by any injuries they receive, and because they have morphed back and forth specifically for healing, they should technically be immortal so long as they can morph, because they'll always "reset" to when their DNA was first saved. I'm surprisingly reminded of [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Mnemosyne] by this all of a sudden.

Highwind: Actually, Tobias has aged as a hawk, despite being able to morph. It doesn't reset you back to being whenever you first gained the power, it turns you back to how you were before you morphed that particular time. They are close to immortal though, since they just have to morph and demorph to heal any serious injuries.

Wagthe Dog: Are you sure his hawk morph wasn't just an old bird at the start? I do seem to recall in one book they morphed into seal pups (possibly in the same book where they go polar bear morphs, sadly I donated my collection to my library after the David mess), if morphing acts independent of their age, they should have morphed into adult seals of their equivalent age, not into seal pups.

Highwind: No, because they acquired seal pups. If they stayed in seal pup form for 10 years, they wouldn't remain in seal pup form that whole time. They would age, just like a seal pup does. Perhaps morphing a lot for long periods of time would slow down the aging process, but it would not halt it entirely. I would think that Tobias' hawk was at least 3 years old, and six years later in the last book he notes he's relatively old for a hawk. In the book where Jake had the weird dream where he was sent to a Yeerk-dominated future, he encountered Tobias who had become a nothlit a second time in Ax's body. Ax-Tobias had aged enough that Jake had mistaken him for Elfangor.

INH: I'd also like to point out that, given that the first 53 books take place over 3 years, their families would surely have noticed if they were "stuck" at age 13. I think we can safely say that morphing does not affect the aging process (except perhaps by suspending it during the time they are in morph). That said, you could greatly extend your lifespan by acquiring a younger person and permanently morphing them...but you could only do that once (before you ask, no, nothlits cannot regain their morphing powers using the morphing cube).


Derp Derp: So, thoughts on two subjects: One, what caused Jake's hallucinations in The Familiar? It's never revealed. I always sort of assumed it was The One but it would be nice to get some closure on this.

Two, what do you think of David's policy of not killing humans? After killing Tobias (or so he thought), David justified his actions by saying it wasn't murder, because Tobias was just a bird. But later than night, in the mall, David tries to pounce Rachel, and she dodges just in time. Minutes later he spares her life because he says that he wouldn't kill a human. But then, a couple days later, he threatens Rachel's sisters in response to her threatening his parents. Do you think David's policy of not killing humans was for real, or just talk? If the former, why did he attack Rachel? If the latter, what was the point?

EDIT: Never mind. If anyone's wondering, upon a recent reading of the trilogy, I've found that David only says things like that when it's convenient for him. He pounces Rachel, who dodges, and then he's fully prepared to bite her hand off while she's holding onto a railing so she'd fall to her death, but when she jumps to a lower ledge, he starts his whole "I wasn't really going to do it anyway" shpiel. Yeah, sure, David.

Foryn: So, I loved these books when I was younger, devoured them, consumed them, had a copy of each new volume reserved the moment I heard it was being released, obsessed. First taste of space opera type fiction, and I never realized how insanely GRIMDARK and gritty they are until I came on here. My love has been renewed really, thank you TV Tropes.

To whoever asked, according to the Drode himself in #27, "drode" means "wild card" in his own language. =)


Wordcasters: It sets a cool atmosphere but the whole "we can't tell you where we live thing" involves some serious FridgeLogic because

  • 1. The yeerks have to have some idea of where the animorphs are considering they keep getting attacked by the "andalite bandits" in the same general area.
  • 2. On the other hand they state quite clearly that they're human which the yeerks don't know and the animorphs would like to keep it that way.

The fact that the animorphs are human should be a more precious secret than which state they live in.


  • Foryn I would like to put forward the removal of the Cessation of Existence trope from the list, but some discussion on it first, there's no need for me to be rude. I dispute it because of things that happen in the Ellimist Chronicles where after he destroys Father, he resurrects the body of his love, but something critical is missing from her mind, her spark, he even says "her spirit was gone, left for somewhere else" or something like that. If Cessation of Existence held sway, then her resurrected mind would be exactly the same as it was when she was living, as her brain had been preserved perfectly.