Tears of Despair YKTTW Discussion
|Tears of Despair|
When there is no hope left, and you are powerless, it's okay to curl into a corner, and cry.
In their Darkest Hour, when a character thinks they have reached the Despair Event Horizon and Resistance Is Futile, when the Bolivian Army Ending is near or when there is simply no hope for the future... when they feel utterly cornered... a character will cry. They may shed A Single Tear, or abandon all dignity [[hottip:What good will it do? Especially in situations where it has been utterly destroyed, such as rape]]. For this trope to be played correctly, the audience has to sympathize with the character, who has to be established to have at least a measure of bravery. When children and Emo Teen do this, given their self-centered, (relatively) unintelligent, inexperienced, uninformed, unenlightened worldview where every problem is a tragedy and every frustration is insurmountable, while from this perspective it is this trope, from an outside viewer's it is simply Water Works. Same with older characters who happen to be self-centered or cowardly. These tears aren't Manly Tears: they don't express manliness. They aren't Tears of Fear: fear has an element of doubt and hope. Here, the character is certain of what the future holds. Examples:
- Avatar: The Last Airbender. Toph is hanging from a Cool Zeppelin, about to lose her grip and fall a horrifyingly long way... this especially horrifying since she is blind. In that situation, she can't help but quietly cry in despair. Neither can the viewers.
- Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica has some of the most memorable instances of this in the history of animation. Starting with the very first seconds of the opening.
- Elfen Lied: The occasions where epeople cry in this series are perhaps too complex to be summed up in one tears trope, but when Nana cried after Lucy dismembered her, it might have been this trope more than the pain.
- Paranoia Agent subverts this: the Lil' Slugger will just smack you on the head with his bat, preventing you from facing your situation. This is a metaphor for Japan's attitude change after losing the war and getting nuked.
- When Zero kills the first woman he ever loved, his tears are a mix of this, Tender Tears, and Tears Of Shame.