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

Working Title: Cynical Idealism: From YKTTW

Jess: Removed the OP example, considering how the story hasn't ended yet.

  • One Piece. Almost all of the main cast has gone through immensely tragic ordeals. (Just see the many entries at Tear Jerker for details.) Nevertheless, they always manage to defiantly strive on against a world rife with cruelty and injustice. And do so hilariously.


UT: Great idea for a balanced sort of world! But It Just Bugs Me! - in Harry Potter, the Big Bad isn't defeated through the Power of Love. He's defeated through the power of the Super Special Awesome Deus Ex Machina Death Star Wand of DESSSSSTINY. Hogwarts, it is true, is protected by the Power of Love, but the way they kill of Voldie just... rrrgh. I had to get it out here, not in the main page. *bows out* *bows back in* That's why I say this is a slightly subjective trope.
  • You're right—the Elder Wand was the direct cause of Voldemort's death. But Harry only made it that far because of his capacity to love and be loved. Dumbledore is quite adamant about this, as is J.K. Rowling in interviews. Saying that Harry defeated Voldemort through the power of love may be oversimplifying things, but I was trying to be succinct. (And I've never taken part in one of these discussion pages before, so I apologize if I'm doing it wrong.)

Since I'm not supposed to write Actually..., I just removed the Now and Then, Here and There paragraph. The explanation I was first planning to put in the article goes (bar the spoiler tags) as follows:
  • The series is pretty clear in showing that the main character, with his misplaced idealism coming straight from the generic shonen series it tries to deconstruct, not only did not have a happy ending, he didn't earn it one bit. The whole plot resolves itself without him even having a chance do to anything, all the characters he cared for die, and when he's able to return home, he does so as a broken person feeling guilty for having a chance to live a normal life that the people he met in the future were never given. Not to mention the strong implications that the real hero (as opposed to protagonist) of the story is Sara, the girl from Shu's world who, given the chance to return, decided to stay in the future. Clearly an aversion.

Zephid: Here's a question. Does this mean I should move series in Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism that "fall into the middle because of varying scenes that could be both" from there to this page? I'm thinking in particular The Brothers Karamazov and War and Peace.

Shouldsn't this be merged with Bitterweet ending? At least make a distinction between this type of ending and the other.

  • I was always under the impression that the focus of a Bittersweet Ending is 'We did it, but still...', whereas this is more 'Holy Crap, we did it. We actually did it.'
  • Mizaru: Actually, the ykttw seems to imply that this is more about the overall tone of a series rather than only just the ending. Though if you really wanted to compare the two, I think the troper above has the right idea.

I'm taking out the Harry Potter example:

"*Harry Potter. Book 1 starts off with an innocent carefree tone and is obviously at the idealistic end of the specrum, but each subsequent book gets darker with a less happy ending. The entire thing culminates with bloodbath that is book 7, but the Big Bad is defeated by The Power of Love and everyone (who's still alive that is) lives happily ever after."

— as the books were dark from the beginning. Murdering several people in chapter one, including the parents of a year-old baby, leaving that baby with an awful, unloving family who make him live under the stairs, cook, clean, and put up with their abuses like so much Cinderella, then send him to a school to wait for the phantom of his parents' murderer to hunt him down, all the while becoming obsessed with the specters of said dead parents in a mirror. Now we may be more familiar with these themes from the storybooks of our childhood, but that doesn't make them lighter, or any less real. If you want to save this example, be my guest, but it's a pain-in-the-ass opinion — usually espoused by people who let the movies color their opinion of the first few books — that I just don't agree with. Also, as stated above, the "defeated by The Power of Love" remark is ridiculous.

Tricky Pacifist: I can't speak for the others who commented on the economics example, but I still feel it should be pointed out (and yes, the discussion thread probably is a better place to say it) that the "basic assumption that people are rational self-interested utility maximizers (aka selfish bastards)" is not the only economic model out there. We can debate the merits of the various models, but claiming (or just implying) that one or another is the only model in existence is speaking in bad faith.
Rothul: This trope so vague, that I question its usefulness. I mean, 95% of all stories could fall into "Things look pretty bad for our heroes at some point, but they persevere and by the end, things get better to some or all degree." Is this trope that the middle section is considered especially severe? If so, isn't that so personally Subjective of a Trope that examples become meaningless? As it stands, most of the examples currently on the page range from pure Happy Endings (Avatar), Happy Endings But Some People Died (Serenity), Bittersweet Endings (The Dark Knight which, depending on your opinion may just be the Downer Ending), Belly of the Whale Not-Endings (The Two Towers), to widely considered Downer Endings (New Jedi Order and Legacy of the Force). What exactly is this trope about?

Freezair For A Limited Time: Shows, movies, or whathaveyou that trend more heavily toward the cynical side of the Sliding Scale of Cynicism Versus Idealism having unexpectedly happy endings. Makes sense to me.

Patrick: Seconded!

Rothul: That's certainly a trope, but this page isn't demonstrating it. (For instance, the Laconic entry just says "They'll go through hell, but it all works out in the end.", which doesn't say anything about work-cyncism at all.) As I say above, the actual endings listed in examples range all over the happiness scale, most of them are no where near the cynical side of the scale (Wall-E, Avatar, It's A Wonderful Life, Man of La Mancha etc.) suggesting that the trope-focus isn't clear, and the description is confusing. At the very least, an example clean-up is needed, and we might want to list it as a subjective trope. Perhaps it might be best to rename it to a clearer title: Unexpectedly Happy Ending, perhaps?

Frodo Goofball Co TV: I always thought that:

Dragon Quest Z: I thought that as well.


Some New Guy: Uh, is there a reason Wolf's Rain was removed? I thought it was a textbook example of this trope. Amitai: Well, how about being a Bittersweet Ending Mind Screw? It may be uplifting, but everyone dying definitely shunts it into bittersweet territory, even if they return... somehow.