Created By: Koveras on June 16, 2014 Last Edited By: Koveras on June 16, 2014

Idealistic Start, Deconstructive Sequels

A series starts off highly idealistic, then progressively deconstructs its ideals in later installments.

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When a series starts off far up on the idealistic end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism in the first installment, then immediately begins deconstructing its own ideals from the second installment onwards.

May be accompanied by Graying Morality.


  • The Noon Universe novels began with Noon: 22nd Century, which described a utopian future society where everyone is honest and hard-working for the good of humanity. But already in the second and third books, Escape Attempt and Far Rainbow, the authors basically show that even in a perfect society, human beings remain fundamentally flawed, so all the advances of civilization cannot prevent humanity from destroying itself and their environment. It only gets worse from there on.

Video Games
  • The Ultima series is not the straightest example, since its metaplot really kicked off in Ultima IV, but if you count from there, IV is extremely idealistic, introducing the series' trademark Eight Virtues and pioneering the morality aspect in the RPG genre, but V and VI immediately start to viciously deconstruct them by driving the Virtues to logical (and radical) extremes and by flipping them on their head and showing that it's just as good, respectively. It only gets worse in the final trilogy.

Community Feedback Replies: 6
  • June 16, 2014
    Does idealism + deconstruction = cynicism?

    Btw compare Graying Morality
  • June 16, 2014
    ^ Never said that, but you could say that cynicism is a result of deconstructing your own ideals, which is the key part of this trope: the first installment sets them up, the later ones break them to pieces.
  • June 16, 2014
    Rebuild Of Evangelion: First two movies are a slightly more positive remake of the show, the tjird essentially goes out of its way to annihilate any hope that the first two planted.
  • June 16, 2014
    Would Internal Deconstruction cover this already?
  • June 16, 2014
    ^ Would seem so.
  • June 16, 2014
    Yup, seems that way.