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Jun 1st 2017 at 7:00:54 PM •••

Can someone familiar with the works clean up the Gundam examples? They are very wordy and violate Example Indentation.

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Jun 2nd 2017 at 5:52:27 AM •••

Christ. Yeah. Simplified it majorly.

Jan 1st 2017 at 2:46:55 PM •••

  • Chihiro Ayasato / Mia Fey is this in the Gyakuten Saiban / Ace Attorney series. After the tutorial chapter in the first game, Chihiro / Mia is murdered and her sister Mayoi / Maya takes over her role. However, this doesn't become apparent until the third game, which makes it clear that Ryuichi Naruhodo / Phoenix Wright had been caught in the middle of an ongoing blood feud over leadership of the family's psychic channeling technique in their village, and was never truly the protagonist at all.
I fail to see how this is this trope. I know this story, and Mia was The Mentor, while Maya was The Sidekick. Neither of them was the protagonist. While the Fey blood feud was a major subplot through the trilogy, overall story was about him, his growth as a lawyer, him understanding what is it to be lawyer, and in third part (whatever shippers have to say about it) reuniting with his long-lost love. There are exacly two cases out of 14 in The Trilogy which focus on the blood feud. example mentions. Even if that wasn't the truth whoever wrote the example failed to unerstand what IS the protagonist. It's the character which the story primarily focuses on. And THIS story focuses on Phoenix, not Mia or Maya.

Edited by NNinja
Apr 27th 2016 at 7:30:15 PM •••

  • The anime version of Akame ga Kill! has one of the best examples in the medium. For all but one episode, the focus is on the male lead, Tatsumi - from his recruitment into the Night Raid, to his Character Development throughout the series. But this isn't his story, and it's not until his death in the penultimate episode that this becomes clear, as the series was always about Akame and her dealing with her Dark and Troubled Past. The title of the series gives this away, but one could easily forget this given how much we were seeing from Tatsumi's POV. In reality, he was more of a Supporting Protagonist who was there to help Akame overcome her issues.

How can this be the case when the majority of the show is about Tatsumi's development? Akame's issues with her sister are, at best, a B-plot to Tatsumi growing and perfecting his abilities as an assassin until his death. Akame herself barely changes at all throughout, while Tatsumi is forced to mature and better himself in ways that Akame already did long before the show's events began. That he's absent for all of one episode does not change the fact that we've been following him pretty much the entire story. Therefore it is HIS story, not Akame's.

Jan 14th 2016 at 11:06:37 PM •••

Removed Chrono Trigger example

  • Played with in Chrono Trigger, depending on how the game is played. The main character, Crono, dies 2/3rds through the game. The player has the choice of either going back in time and preventing his death or fighting Lavos without him.
It's not played with, it doesn't come into play at all. Key part of this trope isn't protagonist dying and/or staying dead (that's The Hero Dies), it's about audience being mislead about protagonist's identity. Yes Crono can die at some point in the story, and yes bringing him back IS optional, and yes you can finish the story without him, but if you do, then he's out of the story just for the finale, at best this would be downplayed example of Non-Protagonist Resolver. Before that point Crono IS the protagonist, and we're never decieved about that, and possibly temporary being out of the story doesn't change that.

Jul 20th 2014 at 3:11:57 PM •••

So, does the decoy actually have to die to count as this trope? That certainly would appear to be the case from the description but it suffers a little bit from Example as a Thesis, and some of the examples given, such as Sleeping Beauty, don't fit this.

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Jul 20th 2014 at 3:24:19 PM •••

Nah, removing them from the story in some other way works as well.

Apr 10th 2014 at 4:09:08 AM •••

  • Luke can actually be seen as the Decoy Protagonist of the saga as a whole: he's clearly set up as the hero of the original trilogy, but when viewed alongside the prequel trilogy, it becomes clear that the series is actually about his father Anakin's rise, fall, and eventual redemption.

Is this an actual example, or a fan theory?

Dec 20th 2011 at 3:08:41 PM •••

But Kevin IS the actual protagonist, not a decoy.

Nov 20th 2011 at 7:37:06 PM •••

  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica spends most of the episodes setting up Madoka as the protagonist and hero of the series. Then episode 10 rolled around, revealing that the entire thing revolves around Homura and her time travel, including the ending theme, which we discover is being sung from Homura's point of view.

... and in the following episode, the Big Bad outright says their Time Travel caused everything revolve around... Madoka. ( and the own episode 10 turns clear Homura's actions revolve around Madoka) And the theme sung from Homura's point of view is the starting theme. It can be a subversion, but i am not sure.

Edited by MagBas Hide/Show Replies
Dec 10th 2011 at 12:37:19 PM •••

Hmmm... true! You could say the trope has been played with, in that while Homura has been revealed to be the actual main character, Madoka still is extremely important to the plot. So, possibly subverted? Just done really weirdly in that they're both main characters, just it turns out the plot is based around Homura's abilities and what she does for Madoka's sake?

Dec 16th 2011 at 4:55:51 PM •••

It you is mentioning is The Protagonist and Deuteragonist relationship, and Madoka and Homura definitively qualify. But, Homura's abilities, in the plot, only are important to their backstory, and to the potential of Madoka. About the "what she does for Madoka's sake" thing, the only "main character" points Homura received with the Episode 10 is because she is the main character of episode 10. Episode 10 not turns she neither more close neither less close to the main character status of the earlier episodes. Episode 11 realizes it, however, with the explanation about the potential of Madoka.

Edited by MagBas
Oct 8th 2011 at 1:54:12 AM •••

Would Kisaragi (Kurama's secretary) from Elfen Lied be one? It made it look like she was going to have a larger role than she did, then brutally killed her just a few minutes later. I wasn't sure if she needed more screen time/characterization to count.

Mar 9th 2011 at 9:12:28 PM •••

Got a question about two characters: Franky Four Fingers in Snatch and English Bob in Unforgiven. When watching those films for the first time, I expected that both would be there a lot longer, and seemed to be protagonist material (if not the primary protagonist), but Franky is killed early on and English Bob is driven out of town.

Sep 5th 2010 at 10:25:30 AM •••


  • Inglourious Basterds, despite being named after Aldo Raine's squad of sociopaths really centers around Shoshanna Dreyfus. After all, in the end she's the one that manages to bring down the Nazi high command.

The story is more of an ensemble. Also, mistaking Aldo for the main character is more a case of Trailers Always Lie.

Jun 13th 2010 at 1:17:07 AM •••


  • In Equilibrium it might seem at first that Partridge would be the main hero - he's much more sympathetic than Preston, and is played by Sean Bean. Of course, you're only likely to fall for this if you haven't seen the film's posters, which all show Christian Bale and no Bean.

The story is told from Preston's perspective. He's clearly the main character right from the beginning.

Jun 13th 2010 at 1:10:50 AM •••


  • Blunted from Apocalypto comes across as a classic underdog hero. The real protagonist, however, turns out to be Jaguar Paw, who initially appears to just be a mischevious comic-relief sidekick.
    • The poster didn't even have Jaguar Paw on it (opting instead to have a picture of The Dragon). Possibly an example of Fridge Brilliance as it made the reveal of who the main character really was that much more surprising.

It's pretty clear that Jaguar Paw is the main character when he's introduced. As I recall, in the commentary Gibson talks about how the first scene is intended to show that he's cannier than his fellow young hunters and therefore of heroic material.

Jun 1st 2010 at 3:39:07 AM •••

In accordance with our Spoiler Policy, I have despoilered the title of Fairly English Story in Fan Fiction. It's kind of unnecessary anyway since the trope description clearly says "Here there be spoilers".

From Spoiler Policy: "Spoiler tagging the name of the work is worse than useless."

Edited by Arivne
May 6th 2010 at 10:28:27 AM •••

Consider adding Locke from Season 5 of Lost: all throughout the show, he's been toted as the Chosen One; he even resurrects from the dead, and seems to have a new awareness of the Island's Magic. Then we discover in the surprise end to Season 5 he was dead all along and is actually the Bad Guy. Season 6 seems to be making it clear that his rival Jack is the REAL Chosen One

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