What was the most compelling character arc you have ever witnessed?

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Apr 29, 2020 at 4:57 PM
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Video games, movies, TV shows, comic books, you name it. Through out all media there has been a ton of great character arcs; So which one is your favorite?
 
Apr 29, 2020 at 7:16 PM
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Severus Snape from Harry Potter.
In the Sorcerer's Stone, he's introduced as a multi-dimensional anti-hero that you love to hate. The next few books grow you closer to him to show you how he's brilliant and well-composed, yet paradoxically petty and vindictive, especially toward Harry, and anyone who was close to his father. In some later books, it's slowly revealed that he has a dark past; he was once a death eater, and even betrayed the Potters. The Half-Blood prince sort of gives you a fake-out by making you think Snape is officially still in bed with Voldemort, but then finally near the end of Deathly Hallows it's revealed that his loyalty was ultimately with Dumbledore, and that he had spent all of those years loathing Harry, and yet never stopping to protect him, all for the love of his mother Lily. Leading up to his death, the books have made you hate him, but then suddenly made you feel sorry for him when he died. Showing you that despite all his flaws, he ultimately was one of the bravest men Harry ever knew.

A certain character from Undertale. If you've done a genocide run, then you know exactly who I'm talking about.
Sans. He's such a funny and chill character that I just fell in love with immediately. He had such an interesting way of teleporting to different places without explanation, understanding what was going on, and could tell when you were doing weird things like re-loading your save file after he's talked to you after something. It also was pretty mysterious how he was the one to render those judgments, and made you wonder what put him in that position. Bits and pieces of this were unfortunately spoiled for me, because I only recently started playing Undertale for the first time a couple months ago after the game had been out for 4 1/2 years, but it was pretty crazy how in the Genocide ending, he turns out to be insanely powerful, and is the last thing standing between you and the destruction of the world. His lines about how he transcends all of those timelines, and how he's lazy just because he knows the timeline's gonna get reset again, was just really fascinating and gave a lot of extra depth to the character. It made me see him so much differently in subsequent replays, and understand the underlying messages in certain other bits of the game, like when Flowey tells you to stay away from Sans after the neutral ending, and when Sans takes you out to dinner before you go to the core, and tries to convince you to stay and enjoy your friends, that was probably him trying to entice you out of resetting the timeline again.

I also have to say I quite like the character arcs of Tony Stark and Steve Rogers from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
They have such interesting beginnings, and we have so much time to grow with them over the course of a ton of movies that came out over the course of ten years. The ways that they became heroes, and the motivations and methods for doing what they do is really fascinating. And it's always enjoyable to see when their mindsets for heroism overlap with each other, and when a conflict of interest rises. Specifically the way that this tension started in the first Avengers movie, boiled over in Captain America Civil War, and eventually got repaired in Endgame. It was really poignant to see them regain mutual respect for each other in a time of great need, and to see Tony sacrifice himself to save everyone, and to see Steve finally get a hero's rest and to go back in time to live the life that was taken away from him in the first Captain America movie.
 
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Apr 29, 2020 at 10:40 PM
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GLaDOS d ok portal was pretty cool in the Lore and how they were able to get along with their rival, giving them freedom as it was easier than killing chell
 
Apr 29, 2020 at 10:52 PM
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It has got to be Vegeta from Dragon Ball. While he was mostly the same althroughout Dragon Ball Z, his character arc wouldn't start until the Majin Buu saga, and he develops even further through Dragon Ball Super. He started off from being prideful in being the Prince of all Saiyans, even after the destruction of Planet Vegeta, to becoming prideful in defending the Earth, in his family, Bulma, Trunks, and Bulla, and even in training with the only other Saiyan he knows, Kakarot, or what the Earthlings would call him, Goku. Hopefully this will mean Toriyama will finally write an arc where Vegeta is the one having the victory over the main antagonist, rather than Goku taking the W (Resurrection: F, cough).
 
Apr 29, 2020 at 11:45 PM
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Zuko from Avatar, maybe? that's probably one of the best 'villain' to hero arcs i've ever seen, it's written really well blah blah blah i'm sure you've all heard it before as it's often held up as an example of this topic

also scott, from scott pilgrim - the original comics, not the movie (that was an okay adaptation but pretty much yeeted all the character development out the window in favour of Cool Video Game Battles™), have a really good arc where scott (and a lot of other characters) go from douchebags to... well, not that. i didn't really notice it until subsequent re-reads, but the story does a nice job of making you realise the protagonists and their relationships are heavily flawed and you shouldn't... i dunno, admire them, really, or want to be like them initially

honourable mentions to gary from final space and madeline from celeste, they're cool but i'm gonna be late for class if i start rambling about them too
 
Apr 29, 2020 at 11:46 PM
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Chika Takami. A girl who looks up to others and with seemingly half as much effort, she surpasses them, at the cost of the very thing that got her motivated to do what she's doing in the first place.
After learning that her school might shut down she quickly began work to start a school idol club for her own school, hoping to recreate the magic that μ's garnered to save their school. Chika, after trying and failing several times to create a club, was finally able to create one, and from there she barely escaped failure time and time again, keeping the group of 9 together at all costs to the point of it harming her physically and mentally.
In the end, it came down to Mari's father, who was funding the school and keeping it alive even with how few recipients it got. After a live show, Chika watched the recipiant number rise at a glacial pace while the clock ticked down and in the end they only got 98 out of the 100 they needed.
Despite the school she represents now heading towards permanent closure and everything she was fighting for being pointless, she still had one last dream, and her school wanted her to immortalize their school forever by winning Love Live.
She pulled it off.

Though she kept a happy face through the entire series, one could easily tell it was getting to her, she was damn ready to give up at the end. It took failure to get her a victory many others dream of and dedicate years trying to achieve.

She lost, and it was worth it.
 
Apr 30, 2020 at 12:53 AM
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This fucker
No seriously, this is the one of the only male characters I've seen in any series that's stood out to me as actually being a real living and breathing character.

Damn did I hate this character back in season 1 and I was happy as fuck to see him disappear after like, 2 episodes of his BS, but when he reappeared and got graphed into the main cast, seeing his entire personality change from a manipulating, controlling, absolute degen to the most morale, responsible, socially accepting and encouraging, and overall upright, mature person in the show over the course of about 2 seasons shocked me, and made me gain a huge amount of respect for both the character, and the writers of the show. Not saying this show is anywhere near perfect (especially the disaster of season 4) but this character was, at least in my eyes, was written pretty damn close to what I'd call a "perfect" character arc, going from bottom to top of the social ladder in a way that's elegant, and follows Toms standards of morals. Seeing them change, as events pass, and his world view get molded and shifted in a natural way and follows his train of thought through the experience he gains from both firsthand and secondhand actions.

Amazing character writing overall, and seeing the opposite side of this, Ludo, basically climb the same ladder in this show but going from "pissy boss" to very tactical and fear enducing villan was almost just as exciting to watch.

I just wish the show was nearly as good as I'm making it out be right now lol.
 
Apr 30, 2020 at 3:11 AM
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May 5, 2020 at 10:16 PM
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I have to agree with Hayden and say sanes/sans
 
May 13, 2020 at 12:29 AM
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I tried to come up with a really notable character arc, but I'm having trouble... Maybe Duane or Sette from the Unsounded comic? I initially hated the main character and a few chapters later I couldn't stop myself from reading. She is the most aggravating heroine at times, getting into all kinds of mischief with shady/criminal role models, while using the other main character, Duane. A former man with strong principles... now a zombie of sorts. As opposites they influence each other, and it's a pretty wild story as they make their journey. It's still a work in progress, but I'd select the duo as a potential candidate for good character arcs.

Hmmm... ah, how about Lea from Cross Code? That story is a lot more straightforward, but has a compelling variation of the "silent protagonist" and amnesia found most often in games. Yet, despite the limited dialogue by Lea, her development and revelations were compelling. Loved playing that game lol. Can't wait for the epilogue DLC...

I'll have to think about what others might be a favorite for movies, books etc...

Video games, movies, TV shows, comic books, you name it. Through out all media there has been a ton of great character arcs; So which one is your favorite?
How about you?
 
May 13, 2020 at 3:33 AM
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Prince Hans from Frozen is the most bizarre character arc in Disney history.
 
May 14, 2020 at 5:52 AM
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How about you?
It's a close call, but Stephan Strange is my top spot. Just his over arc of on top of the world to bottom to relearning how live and his over all reformation is quite impactful. Plus I personally identify with the concept brought to light (the whole "you only see a very small part of the truth and you need to open your eyes" thing). And how they executed it truly placed it as one of the best modern movies in my opinion.

But I do have a close second. Catra from the new She-ra reboot. Going into the show I honestly didn't expect to see such a well thought out arc of just getting tossed around in life and trying to make the best every situation and trying to figure out how you should live out your life. Manipulating other for your own gain and it catching up to you. Being "left behind" and reject those who "wronged you". The amount of hopelessness conveyed in the character is devastating and it feels great when the pay off comes at the end of the 4th season. Hopefully they continue the arc in an apropriate manner in the next season. XP
 
May 14, 2020 at 6:01 AM
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Catra from the new She-ra reboot
i absolutely agree, watching her character and relationship with adora change for the worst (while getting flashbacks of what it used to be like) was painful but really, really well written, i'm excited to see how it'll be wrapped up in the next season (as iirc it's the final one), especially to see if she gets any redemption or a chance to heal
 
Jun 4, 2020 at 1:08 PM
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I could come up with a few (e.g Knightmare Knight from Cucumber Quest/Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion) but I'll start with an anime classic.
The film Akira has a character called Tetsuo Shima, whose story is that of an induvial with an inferiority complex. After being abducted by the military and experimented on to awaken his power, Tetsuo progressively begins going mad with power and becomes the main antagonist of the film. Out of all the anime characters I've seen, I'd say he's pretty notable due to a scene late in the film where his powers destabilize and he becomes an all consuming mass of flesh (one of the most horrifying scenes in anime).
 
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