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Analysis / Base-Breaking Character

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  • This has a peculiar tendency to happen to dark and troubled Anti-Hero Mr. Fanservice types, where some fans find them identifiable and compelling, some find them attractive and/or sympathetic, while others think they are absolutely insufferable.
  • This phenomenon tends to put the creators in an awkward position, as they can't increase or decrease focus on the particular character without angering one segment of the fanbase. Depending on how it goes, Spotlight-Stealing Squad and Wolverine Publicity can be the ugly results.
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  • Consider the video game specific Tier-Induced Scrappy, specifically the "Both" variant specific to characters who are obnoxiously overtuned to hide a poor overall design. A lot of Base Breaking Characters have the narrative equivalent of the same problem, relying on gimmicks or clever incorporation to carry a poorly-conceived character. Maybe the character has a skill that allows them to competently solve problems but acts like a Pinball Protagonist in terms of their actual agency; maybe the character is charmingly performed by the actor but they're written with a different personality every week; maybe they tend to succeed via Deus ex Machina rather than payoff on their actual actions.

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