Can a MC be a bad person and still well written? Does a MC need to be morally good?
So over the past few months in quarantine I’ve started watching and reading lots of media (mostly anime/manga lol). And it seems that in these shows/movies, the most popular and fan favourite characters aren’t always the most morally correct? I realized that in lots of popular series, there’s lots of MCs who do very morally grey/downright even things, yet these shows are often very highly acclaimed.
- Attack on Titan - In season 4 the protagonist brutally murders billions of innocent people
- Death Note - MC kills thousands of people including his friends/girlfriend/family and basically treats his girlfriend the same way all these toxic episode LIs do
- Breaking Bad- MC is a drug dealer and mass murderer and the show is one of best rated tv series of all time
- The Godfather - The story revolves around a group of mafia members and the movie was the highest grossing of it’s time
- You - MC is an obsessive stalker and murderer
- Hunter x Hunter - One of the most popular characters is a literal pedophile and is attracted to 12 year old boys and flashes them naked
- Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile - The LI is a serial killer
- The Wolf of Wall Street - The MC scams millions of dollars out of people and is a fckboy who is addicted to sex and money
- Hannibal - As you can tell from the title, the MC is a cannibal
- Game of Thrones - Most of the main characters do messed up stuff, including but not limited to murder, incest, rape, torture etc…
This inspired me to start writing a story where the main character wasn’t necessarily a good person, but I realize that it may be considered problematic. For example, lots of mafia and bad boy stories have come under fire for romanticizing illegal activity and toxic relationships. I was wondering if there was an episode story similar to the ones listed above, would that story be considered problematic? I want to hear your opinions on this.
Does the MC have to be a good person? Are they allowed to do immoral things as long as it isn’t romanticized?
What is the difference between romanticizing and depicting?
If a MC were to commit murder/deal drugs/do generally messup up stuff, what could the writer do to not romanticize these things?
Are well written characters and morally good characters mutually exclusive?
Are there any good episodes stories with evil MCs?
At what point does a corrupt character become totally irredeemable?
What’s the difference between an anti-hero and an asshole?
Let’s just say that the episode equivalent of The Godfather was written and got really popular. Would it be considered controversial the way Chain Reaction is?
Would you prefer a story with a complex, well written evil MC, or a story with a good, but boring MC (assuming that both stories are the same in quality)?