tragic backstory incident: let’s not

Okay this was prompted by jet’s liveblog of sm manga and angry flareup at the rei backstory fuckup

aside from all the ‘unnecessary romantic angle’ points, this is one example of a thing I hate about ~tragic backstories~, particularly their subtype ~tragic backstory incident~

when all the issues a character has with a particular topic are related to THAT ONE MOMENT in their life
like… no. that’s not how it works. maybe very rarely but even then? people recover really well from traumatic situations with love and support and if there wasnt love and support to help them get over this particular thing THEN THIS LACK IS PART OF THE PROBLEM AND SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE FLASHBACK EXPLANATION

if something is a permanent feature of the personality carved into the very texture of their being, then it was damn well carved into the very texture of their LIFE too

don’t show me Rei and That One Thing That Made Her Hate Men
show me Rei interpreting the world through this lens every day and her confirmation bias making this opinion shine brighter and brighter
show me Rei looking at a man passing by, thinking ‘he’s probably a fucker’ then hearing him yell at someone and thinking ‘yep i know men very well’ because that has a hand in the resulting personality trait just as much as the original trigger that made her think that
if Rei just felt betrayed by her father (or her lover or whatever) yesterday for the first time, she would not immediately get a character trait of hating men! it’s a long time thing
show me Rei hearing her friends commiserate about their terrible boyfriends, show me Rei hearing sob stories about abusive husbands at the shrine, show me Rei noticing every single thing any man ever did wrong and attributing it to the whole of the male gender because Of Course He Would

if you try to explain a huge character trait, you NEED to make it a montage. you NEED to show how it developed and shaped OVER TIME

if you want to show how a character developed trust issues, don’t show THAT ONE TIME WHEN THEY WERE SIX YEARS OLD THAT THEY WERE BETRAYED FOR THE FIRST TIME, show a montage of all times they were betrayed over time, with them growing increasingly bitter and unwilling to trust
(preferably with shots of unsupportive reactions from who they tried to confide in, cementing the betrayal EVERY SINGLE TIME)

just… augh. this is why i hate stories that try to be ~very deep~ on cheap budget. just don’t go there if you can’t do it well. just let characters be we can infer the reasons they are like this i promise


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