Archived Discussion

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

Looney Toons: Nameless person at — I have moved the following text here:

At 14 he knows how to handle firearms, drive a motorbike, drink beer (okay so that one isn't that big a stretch in the British Isles), is the Earl of Crofthenge and most importantly of all, is aware of many of the conspiracies and secret organizations of the world he lives in that most people have no clue about such as Nerv, Seele and X-COM. Add to this that his parents are Lara Croft of Tomb Raider fame and Fox Mulder of the X-Files and it might be seen why people regard him as an idealised self-insert or Marty Stu.

because this kind of critical mouth-frothing really doesn't belong in the example. Acknowledging that NXE is a Mega Crossover helps get past many of these points. (It's also incorrect about one thing — DJ is awarded his viscounty — not an earlship since Apotheosis Now came out and retconned it — in part as a reward for his service in NERV. He didn't start out a noble.) I did, however, leave the line about DJ being a Marty Stu as that's a fair comment and appropriate to the topic.

I'd also like to add that DJ's polycompetence was part of the gedankenexperiment with which Gryphon and MegaZone started the project — what would happen if, instead of scared, insecure and uncertain Shinji, the lead of Neon Genesis Evangelion were instead a very competent, worldly, and supremely confident boy? It's also more than justified by a discovery about DJ made about halfway through the story, a discovery so major it counts as a spoiler.

Ununnilium: Couldst ye put it in here in spoiler space? I'm probably never going to read the fic, but I'm curious.

Looney Toons: Sure. DJ is in fact the current incarnation of Saint Longinus, who is a kind of "eternal champion" figure in NXE:

"Exactly," said Ikari. "According to the Scrolls, Longinus was stoned to death by his fellow Romans for that blasphemy, but because he, alone among the Romans, recognized Christ for what He was, his soul was... the translations are a bit awkward on this point... Natla believed the best translation was 'transformed', in a way. His soul became something more than simply human, but something less than divine. Instead of passing out of the corporeal world on his death, he was reborn in another person. SEELE's theory was that this cycle continues to this day - that St. Longinus, the Eternal Soldier, lives on in the soul of some living modern human. I imagine it was Natla's hope that that human could be found and used as a weapon for her cause, along with his Lance, which is in her possession."

DJ literally has hundreds of lifetimes' worth of experience buried in his subconscious. Beyond that, one of Longinus's divine gifts is the ability to use any weapon at expert level. I should point out, by the way, that DJ is highly doubtful about this until fairly late in the story.

Ununnilium: Interesting, though I wouldn't say that justifies it; indeed, it seems like it just makes him even more Marty Stu-ish. I was thinking something like, say, he's Shinji's dream of what he'd like to be, given form after Third Impact, or something.

Looney Toons: Well, given that the whole conflict in NXE turns out to be a war between a far more literal hell and heaven, having a character turn out to be a saint is only one of the lesser revelations. As for Shinji, he's definitely a separate character; his refusal to pilot Unit 01 a month earlier than canon is the first obvious divergence and leads to DJ being tapped. Shinji goes back home and is later co-opted by the bad guys, who train him a fair bit more thoroughly than canon NERV ever did.

Ununnilium: Ah, I see. I wonder what people make of a discussion page comprised almost solely of spoilers?

Phartman: Wanna know what I think about it? I have no opinion on it whatsoever, so nyah!

(random passer-by): Bleargh. Godlike Marty Stus make Anonymous sad. Mega-crossover or no, NGE's strength, its power as drama, its originality, everything that is wonderful about it, stems from having characters in it who are more human and more sympathetic than two-dimensional square-jawed morons like Koji Kabuto. As for the Eternal Champion bit, which the author appears to have borrowed (if that is the word I want) from Michael Moorcock without even bothering to file off the serial numbers, even Elric and Count Brass acted the way normal people would who were suddenly aware that the fate of worlds was on their shoulders. They agonized, they tormented themselves when they had no good choices that wouldn't result in vast numbers of innocents dying, they angsted justifiably about their circumstances and wished desperately that anyone, anyone, could take it away from them. Well, okay, Jerry Cornelius didn't, but he was a junkie. Shinji Ikari acts the way you'd expect most any normal 14-year-old to act if you drafted him, blackmailed him into risking his life day after day and told him that the fate of humanity hinged on whether he won or lost, and that every day he'd wake up in the morning never knowing if he'd live long enough to see the sun set, plus a splash here and there of genuine, recognizable clinical depression, written by a man who had personal first-hand experience with it—which was a welcome change from decades of giant mecha heroes who were bloodthirsty imbeciles and nothing more. That is why DJ Croft sets my teeth on edge. It's not just that he's a 14-year-old supergenius. Asuka is one too. It's that he holds the fate of the world in his hands, and he just goes cheerfully along, tra la la, hmm, I'll boink Asuka, tra la la, hmm, I'll talk back to Gendo (and make him look like a fool, too!), tra la la. It's not that this is some kind of well-thought-out exploration of what-would-NGE-be-like-with-a-different-character. It's nothing of the kind. It's just another throwback to Mazinger Z, just another simpleminded kiddy show hero, just another square-jawed, granite-brained supercompetent superhero who never knows a moment's doubt or despair or discontent, about as deep as the cel he's drawn on. Bleargh, I say. Anonymous does not forgive!

Jim: Yeah, well, I'm in the camp of him being a disgusting Marty Stu, but...that's kinda the point. Give the author some credit, he knew what he was doing, and what he was doing was writing a story intended to seriously piss off Evangelion fanboys. He hates the original series for what he feels is its pointless nihilism, and this story is his revenge. He has said so himself. So, yes, the kid is a marty stu, and a thoroughly unlikeable character, but he was designed to be that way.

Shay Guy: I'm going to take a stand and say that that's a bad reason to write a story.
Chairos: Anyone calling Ed Becerra's work "careful" or "skillful" has probably had too much to drink.

Looney Toons: <shrug> I like it, most of it. Some of it is a bit overwrought, but he's nowhere near the worst writer of SIs, and at times he can be positively brilliant. I'm a little biased, I must admit — his style and mine are very similar, and for years we've been intending to collaborate on a story — but I still think he's done a very good job of taking a literally godlike avatar and not taking it to the logical excesses that it could go to.
Looney Toons: I removed the following

* Probably the most egregious offender in this category is Watanabe Shinirichi, whose self-insert character "Nabeshin" is found to a greater or lesser degree in every anime he produces. Many times this can turn a popular manga series into a giant self-insert fic in the anime form.

because a) Nabeshin is Watanabe Shinichi, not Shinichiri or even Shinirichi; and b) by no measure can his work be called fanfic, and this is a fanfic trope.

Fly: I'm so sorry!! I accidently cut off the whole of the examples section of the article trying to correct the spelling of 'Melllvar'! Can someone please fix it for me?

Andyroid: Not a problem. Just copy and paste from "Show changes to markup" in the edit history.
Looney Toons: I suppose I should warn people that Jared "Skysaber" Ornstead's My Gilded Life (cited in the main article as an example) is turning into an utter train wreck. It had great potential at its start, but is now (sadly) going wildly out of control.
Bob: Man Called True, if you are going to make cuts to an article, then it is usually considered good etiquette to copy the removed material to the discussion page, along with an explanation for making the cut. I've re-added the Zero Punctuation quote since it fits the article.

"The next thing you need to do is create your main character and since it's important to write what you know, the main character will obviously be you. But while you are a repressed, socially retarded dullard who no one would ever honestly admit to liking, your author insertion character is a fantasy, so they will be a charismatic eccentric who is unconditionally loved by everybody even while he's setting their dog on fire."
- Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw on the subject of gaming webcomics

Rissa: Cut this

  • This troper is trying not to make myself overpowered in My Fic. Maybe if I make my fear of heights so bad to the point where I become useless in elavations of over 500 feet above sea level.

because if we start adding personal examples, this thing's going to get seriously out of control.
Shay Guy: I'm not entirely sure about the "canon" examples I added. Continuity- and fictionality-wise, their structure is essentially the same as a Self-Insert Fic, but it's not the "self" being inserted. I suppose you could call "insertion" a superset, "self-insertion" being an instance in which a representation of the author is the subject. So would Flash of Two Worlds have to have been written by Barry Allen to qualify?

Another thing: the description of the SI as having two varieties. I agree, but I wouldn't divide them the way the article does. It excludes the cases of a character native to the world in question who "just happens" to very strongly resemble the author, or an idealized version thereof. Tom Dyron would be one of these, as would David Kintobor (I think). If you accept that the protagonists of Left Behind are avatars - which I don't, as any real avatar of LaHaye would've been Raptured - they would be too. I haven't read enough of Undocumented Features to be able to say how it fits into this - at no point in what I've read have the heroes been "sucked into another world," but they are nevertheless coexisting with characters and plot devices and such that they know from fiction. (Trial By Tenderness, meanwhile, doesn't fit into either of these. Of course, that one just plain doesn't make sense.) So our two types would be the native avatar and the inserted avatar, and the possessing avatar would be a subset of the latter.
Looney Toons: Nuked the following natter from seawolf10, who apparently can't be bothered to read instructions or guidelines or anything other than typing dimwitted questions into the article.

Does it count if your self-insert is the villain of the piece?

Looney Toons: Moved the following out of the examples and into here

  • OBJECTION! Ob-buttfucking-jection, good sir! As a writer and a fan of many excellent diaries, I take umbrage to this horrific generalisation because, while this might hold true on some rather crappy places, diary-writing has evolved past that to the point where anything involving Mc Mahon handing off control to Naive Yet Sarky Rookie #1128 gets ridiculed for it.

for being argumentative natter that belongs on a discussion page.
Looney Toons: Harley Quinn hyenaholic, please stop converting double dashes to single dashes. Double dashes are automatically converted into emdashes when the page is rendered, while single dashes stay single dashes and look amateurish.
Qit el-Remel: Looked at the picture of Stephenie Meyer. Unlike her Mary Sue, Meyer does not appear to have a widow's peak (although her hair is styled to make it look like she does, or at least hide the lack thereof), her eyebrows are decidedly arched, and her nose is not particularly narrow. Wish Fulfillment?
The Great Matt: Excuse me. Can I add this:

The Other Wiki actually has an article on the literary term "Author Surrogate".