Created By: Getta on May 31, 2017 Last Edited By: Orbiting on August 8, 2017
Troped

CastOfPersonifications

The premise of the show is that most of the characters are personifications of something.

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trope
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/neb1_20.png

If you're wondering about "what if a group of things are shown as humans, what would they do", look no further than this trope. This is Older Than Dirt as people from the distant past tend to assign personality and (usually humanoid) form to the phenomena of the world, usually because humans understood them better that way; this is the basis for many mythologies. Similarly, works with this trope are made because of the potential human understanding perspective of the things that are personified, or at least to see what they would say or how they would interact with the world; this trope takes it to the next level where many of the cast are personified things.

Usually, the work will treat the personified characters like the things they originally were, only with them being able to talk to each other and act like humans. Sometimes, however, they might lampshade their "humanity" as something alien to them; among other things, they may question why or how they became humans (or why they got sapience or sentience to begin with), or lament about how lame humanity is, or how good being "humans" may be, etc. They may also sometimes get an equivalent of Furry Reminder in that they hang a lampshade over what they originally are.

How they actually become personified is usually not addressed; however, some works may either show them turning into humans, or have them question how they become humans in the first place, if not actively seeking answers for it.

Sub-Trope of Anthropomorphic Personification and Moe Anthropomorphism. Compare Cute Monster Girl, which is when monsters or other inhuman beings resemble attractive human girls, Nations as People, which is about the personifications of countries appearing in a work regardless of whether the cast is mostly personifications or not, Animate Inanimate Object, where inanimate objects are given life but not human form, and World of Funny Animals, where the work takes place in a world where everyone is an animal with some amount of human traits. Those tropes and this one can overlap.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime And Manga 
  • Robot Girls Z is about moe anthropomorphisms of girls representing the Mazinger Z franchise's robots.
  • Miracle Train stars six young men who are the personifications of stations of Japan's Oedo train line.
  • Cells at Work! is about personifications of cells that make up our body, although it mostly focuses on the immune system. It also turns organs into places, like blood vessels as roads, or the stomach as a giant kitchen. It also employs Mundane Made Awesome, like a mosquito bite being depicted as a mass alien abduction of red blood cells.

    Comic Books 
  • In The Sandman, the main characters are "The Endless", a family of seven anthropomorphic personifications of universal concepts, around whom much of the series revolves. From eldest to youngest, they are Destiny, Death, Dream, Destruction, Desire, Despair and Delirium. Also, various other gods, demigods, angels, fallen angels, demons and other creatures from diverse mythologies are represented in this comic book series by Neil Gaiman.

    Film - Animation 
  • The five main characters of Inside Out are the personifications of the emotions of a little girl named Riley. Other human characters (and even a cat and a dog) are shown to have the same emotion characters operating inside their heads. Other, minor characters in the movie are personifications of other things in your mind, such as fears, dreams, memory, and more.
  • Osmosis Jones depicts the human body as a city and the various cells as its citizens. White blood cells, like the title character, are cops, while germs and viruses are criminals.

    Literature 
  • The titular American Gods. The old gods are characters from old-world mythology and are a hit-or-miss with this trope, depending on their traditional domains, but they interact with the new gods, which are personifications of modern crazes (eg. media, technology).

    Manhwa 
  • Flight High School features military aircraft as high school students. The students share design motifs of the aircraft they were based on.

    Mythology, Folklore and Religion 
  • Classical Mythology:
    • The twelve Olympian gods and the numerous minor gods all represented a specific concept (be it an abstract concept or a natural phenomenon). Ares/Mars represented war, Aphrodite/Venus represented love, Hades/Pluto represented the dead, Poseidon/Neptune represented the sea, Dionysus/Bacchus represented wine, etc. In the case of minor gods, their name often literally is the Greek/Latin word for the concept their represent: Nike/Victoria means "victory", Thanatos/Mors means "death", Eros/Cupid means "desire", etc.
    • Even deeper are the primordial gods and Titans who represents much bigger concepts; such as Erebus ("darkness") and Gaia ("earth"). Compare the sun titan Helios and sun god Apollo.

    Music 
  • Tsukiuta is about twelve males and twelve females who embody each month of the year.

    Roleplaying 
  • Personifications is a roleplay about the personifications of the Seven Heavenly Virtues and the Seven Deadly Sins interacting with each other. While they are mostly immortal, they can be killed and a new entity personifying that thing will come into existence. Personifications of things other than virtues and sins also exist in that universe, such as Money and Love.

    Toys 
  • Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls personifies the solar system as a diverse group of women who wear roller blades, though the physical planets still exist.

    Video Games 
  • Kantai Collection is a game where you as an Admiral gather and organize "fleet girls" (kanmusu), warships that take form of girls, in a war against horrors of the sea, called the "Abyssal Fleet". Specifically, the fleet girls personify ships that took part in World War II, and bring with them the characteristics and history of each ship in question. At first the ships are taken from the Imperial Japanese Navy, but later updates give us ships from Germany and Italy, and even later ones give us ships from the Allies' side as well.
  • Touken Ranbu has you as a time-traveling sage gathering various Japanese swords and give them life and human forms - as pretty boys, that is. Specifically, they're the swords used by various historical Japanese figures, particularly the Sengoku era, such as Date Masamune or Oda Nobunaga, and brings with them characteristics and history of each swords in question (along with their former owners). Unlike KanColle above (both this and that game are made by DMM), this game explains how they came to be.
  • Touhou: The setting is in Gensokyo, a parallel world where various Youkai and other mythical creatures took refuge in; they're all shown as cute young girls.
  • Warship Girls is pretty much the Chinese's response to Kantai Collection above, as it also features personified World War II warships, in form of girls. The difference is that they featured ships of multiple countries right off the bat as opposed to just the IJN.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Her Tears Were My Light, all the characters are the Moe Personifications of aspects of the universe, namely time, space, and the void. They all have the forms of young women who have powers related to what they personify.

    Webcomics 
  • Grayling features the Elementals as its main characters, who embody abstract or physical ideals such as death and fire.
  • Sins has anthropomorphic personifications of the Seven Deadly Sins as its protagonists, with personifications of the Seven Heavenly Virtues, the Tarot, vices, fates, etc. as supporting characters.
  • Deities is about the personifications of Death, Fate, Time, Love, Chaos, Law/Order, Nature and God and how they interact with the world around them.
  • Planetary Moe is a comedic Slice of Life comic about the personifications of various celestial bodies interacting with each other. They have the appearance of attractive young humans, and have pseudonyms that they use when visiting Earth. Yes, even Earth themself.
  • Afganisu-tan explains the history of the relationships between the nations of Central Asia by personifying them as cute little girls. The contrast between the playful antics of the characters and the somber explanations of what historical event it represents is striking.
  • Scandinavia and the World is a comedy that centers around the personifications of the Scandinavian countries interacting with each other, with less frequent appearances from other countries.
  • Nebula is a story about the personifications of the solar system, who act out various space phenomena- Earth gets into other planets' personal space and asks them intrusive questions, Sun is in charge because everyone is intimidated by him, etc. They're all shown as Monstrous Humanoids who lack faces and who are nearly immortal unless killed.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia uses anthropomorphic personifications of various nations across the world as the main characters, using typical stereotypes to create the exaggerated personalities.
  • Periodus is about the personifications of four elements on the periodic table living together in one house.
  • Consolers is about the personifications of the three biggest video game companies, Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony, with their antics riffing on the interactions between the companies. Personifications of smaller companies like Namco and EA also appear, though they aren't as focused on.

    Web Original 

Community Feedback Replies: 41
  • May 31, 2017
    Getta
    I'm thinking of adding Kemono Friends but I think it fits better in World Of Funny Animals?
  • May 31, 2017
    TonyG
    The five main characters of Inside Out are the personifications of the emotions of a little girl named Riley. Other human characters (and even a cat and a dog) are shown to have the same emotion characters operating inside their heads.
  • May 31, 2017
    Orbiting
    • Nebula is a story about the personifications of the solar system, who act out various space phenomena- Earth gets into other planets' personal space and asks them intrusive questions, Sun is in charge because everyone is intimidated by him, etc. They're all shown as Monstrous Humanoids who lack faces and who are nearly immortal unless killed.
  • May 31, 2017
    Orbiting
    Thought of a few more.
    • Planetary Moe is a comedic Slice Of Life comic about the personifications of various celestial bodies interacting with each other. They have the appearance of attractive young humans, and have pseudonyms that they use when visiting earth. Yes, even Earth themself.
    • Milky Way And The Galaxy Girls personifies the solar system as a diverse group of women who wear roller blades, though the physical planets still exist.
    • Afganisu Tan explains the history of the relationships between the nations of Central Asia by personifying them as cute little girls. The contrast between the playful antics of the characters and the somber explanations of what historical event it represents is striking.
    • Scandinavia And The World is a comedy that centers around the personifications of the Scandinavian countries interacting with each other, with less frequent appearances from other countries.
  • June 1, 2017
    Synchronicity
    ^ Afganisu-tan and SATW are already on Nations As People.

    Thinking about it some more, I think this really can work as a subtrope of Anthropomorphic Personification (examples like Fullmetal Alchemist, where some of the characters are personifications but others are not, would not fit here). Here are a few examples mined from Anthropomorphic Personification and Moe Anthropomorphism: Anime & Manga
    • Robot Girls Z is about moe anthropomorphisms of girls representing the Mazinger Z franchise's robots.
    • Miracle Train stars six young men who are the personifications of stations of Japan's Oedo train line.

    Manhwa
    • Flight High School features military aircraft as high school students. The students share design motifs of the aircraft they were based on.
    Music
    • Tsukiuta is about twelve males and twelve females who embody each month of the year.
    Literature
    • The titular American Gods. The old gods are characters from old-world mythology and are a hit-or-miss with this trope, depending on their traditional domains, but they interact with the new gods, which are personifications of modern crazes (eg. media, technology).

    Webcomics
    • Grayling features the Elementals as its main characters, who embody abstract or physical ideals such as death and fire.
    • Sins has anthropomorphic personifications of the Seven Deadly Sins as its protagonists, with personifications of the Seven Heavenly Virtues, the Tarot, vices, fates, etc. as supporting characters.
    • Deities is about the personifications of Death, Fate, Time, Love, Chaos, Law/Order, Nature and God and how they interact with the world around them.
  • June 1, 2017
    Orbiting
    ^ Nations As People doesn't have to overlap with this trope; a number of the examples on that page have only a few characters in a work being personifications.
  • June 1, 2017
    TrueShadow1
    Cells At Work is about personifications of cells that make up our body, although it mostly focuses on the immune system. It also turns organs into places, like blood vessels as roads, or the stomach as a giant kitchen. It also employs Mundane Made Awesome, like a mosquito bite being depicted as a mass alien abduction of red blood cells.
  • June 1, 2017
    Getta
    Remind me to review Strike Witches.
  • June 1, 2017
    TonyG
    Osmosis Jones depicts the human body as a city and the various cells as its citizens. White blood cells, like the title character, are cops, while germs and viruses are criminals.
  • June 1, 2017
    DrNoPuma
    Adding on to the Inside Out example:

    Other, minor characters in the movie are personifications of other things in your mind, such as fears, dreams, memory, and more.
  • June 3, 2017
    Orbiting
    • In Her Tears Were My Light, all the characters are the Moe Personifications of aspects of the universe, namely time, space, and the void. They all have the forms of young women, and powers related to what they personify.
  • June 9, 2017
    Getta
    I'd like an image suggestion.
  • June 9, 2017
    Snicka
    This poster of Inside Out? I like it because it actually spells out which character is the personification of what concept.
  • June 9, 2017
    Snicka
    What's the case with polytheist mythologies? In most of those, gods have a specific "domain", and are usually seen as the personification of that domain. For example in Classical Mythology Hades is a personification of death, Ares is a personification of war, Aphrodite is a personification of love, etc.
  • June 9, 2017
    Getta
    ^ yup, stuff like that.
  • June 10, 2017
    Basara-kun
    Comic Books:
    • In The Sandman, there're "The Endless", a family of seven anthropomorphic personifications of universal concepts, around whom much of the series revolves. From eldest to youngest, they are Destiny, Death, Dream, Destruction, Desire, Despair and Delirium. Also, various other gods, demigods, angels, fallen angels, demons and other creatures from diverse mythologies are represented in this comic book series by Neil Gaiman.
    • Marvel Comics is notable for recreate and reinvent the complete Norse Mythology in The Mighty Thor since its creation in 1962 in Journey into Mystery #83 and was created by editor-plotter Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, and penciller-plotter Jack Kirby. In general it's focused in the God of Thunder, Thor, and his adopted (and evil) brother Loki as the main protagonist and antagonist, respectively, with the appearance of the rest of the Norse Mythology in between, Odin included (which is the father of both characters).
  • June 9, 2017
    Leporidae
    Web Original

  • June 9, 2017
    Getta
    ^^ I have doubts for Marvel Comics. Perhaps if you're referring to the specific The Mighty Thor comics then it may count since, well, it portrays the Norse myth guys as their focus characters.
  • June 9, 2017
    Orbiting
    As for image suggestions, I personally like this page from Nebula.
  • June 10, 2017
    Basara-kun
    ^^Indeed, I refer exclusively to them. I'll rephrase that to fit into the trope, then.

    EDIT: Ready, has been remade and now is clear ;)
  • June 10, 2017
    Malady
    Folderized. The examples that don't fit haven't been removed...

  • June 10, 2017
    Getta
    ^ not fitting? Such as?
  • June 10, 2017
    Malady
    Nevermind, Synchronicity's ideas were said to be wrong?

    Synchronicity ^ Afganisu-tan and SATW are already on Nations As People.

    Orbiting: Nations As People doesn't have to overlap with this trope; a number of the examples on that page have only a few characters in a work being personifications.
  • June 11, 2017
    Snicka
    I'll rephrase my suggestion regarding polytheist mythologies to sound more like an example.

    Mythology and Religion:
  • June 11, 2017
    Orbiting
    ^ Examples Are Not General, though. It can't be polytheistic religions in general, the example has to be focused on a specific one. (Also a minor nitpick, admittedly, but Hades/Pluto represented the dead, not death itself. A seperate god, Thanatos/Mors, represented death.)
  • June 11, 2017
    Getta
    ^^ I.e you gotta write separate entries for each myth.
  • June 13, 2017
    Snicka
    ^ & ^^ Thanks for the feedback. I need help with the Egyptian Mythology and Norse Mythology examples (and maybe even other mythologies that I'm even less familiar with).
    • Classical Mythology: the twelve Olympian gods and the numerous minor gods all represented a specific concept (be it an abstract concept or a natural phenomenon). Ares/Mars represented war, Aphrodite/Venus represented love, Hades/Pluto represented the dead, Poseidon/Neptune represented the sea, Dionysus/Bacchus represented wine, etc. In the case of minor gods, their name often literally is the Greek/Latin word for the concept their represent: Nike/Victoria means "victory", Thanatos/Mors means "death", Eros/Cupid means "desire", etc.
  • June 18, 2017
    silveraith
    Add Hyperdimension
  • June 18, 2017
    silveraith
    Crap I hit send before I finished writing someone delete my comments
  • June 18, 2017
    Getta
    ^^ You gotta write it better. (I know a bit of Hyperdimension Neptunia but I'd like someone more knowledgeable to write it)
  • When is this launched? Anything else we have to do to wrap it up?
  • June 20, 2017
    DustSnitch
    It may be best to find a page quote before launching, to alleviate the risk of someone randomly putting a crappy quote up. Maybe something from The Sandman?

    I'd also like to note that the page image is very similar to the one for the supertrope, Anthropomorphic Personification.
  • June 20, 2017
    Getta
    ^ okay, taking the other pic suggestion then
  • June 20, 2017
    Malady
    For the Compare section in the description, at the end, talk about what the differences are, instead of just saying "compare"?

    At least state the difference from Nations As People is that NAP isn't dealing with the cast as a whole, as said in these comments?
  • June 20, 2017
    Orbiting
    Proposed rewrite of that section: "Compare Cute Monster Girl, which is when monsters or other inhuman beings resemble attractive human girls, Nations As People, which is about the personifications of countries appearing in a work regardless of whether the cast is mostly personifications or not, Animate Inanimate Object, where inanimate objects are given life but not human form, and World Of Funny Animals, where the work takes place in a world where everyone is an animal with some amount of human traits."
  • June 20, 2017
    Getta
    ^ and I'll add "Those tropes and this one can possibly overlap".
  • July 2, 2017
    Orbiting
    As the creator has been bounced from TV Tropes, I'll take over this draft.
  • July 2, 2017
    NightShade96
    ^ What happened?
  • July 4, 2017
    Arivne
  • July 3, 2017
    NightShade96
    ^ Okay, thanks.
  • July 16, 2017
    Orbiting
    Added some more examples:

    Roleplay
    • Personifications is a roleplay about the personifications of the Seven Heavenly Virtues and the Seven Deadly Sins interacting with each other. While they are mostly immortal, they can be killed and a new entity personifying that thing will come into existence. Personifications of things other than virtues and sins also exist in that universe, such as Money and Love.

    Webcomics
    • Periodus is about the personifications of four elements on the periodic table living together in one house.
    • Consolers is about the personifications of the three biggest video game companies, Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony, with their antics riffing on the interactions between the companies. Personifications of smaller companies like Namco and EA also appear, though they aren't as focused on.
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