Here’s an interesting question I have no perspective on, whatsoever!
As always, feel free to leave a comment or even write your own posts on the subject! Now, let’s get this discussion going!
Relatability is a big topic when it comes to storytelling and whatnot. A lot of people latch on to the stories of characters they can relate to. They like being able to “see themselves” (or, more realistically, parts of themselves) in the characters they follow. I… do not possess this inclination. Never have. I simply do not care. Now, this is obviously not to say I’m indifferent to themes that could, in theory, apply to me. But I just don’t think about it in terms of their application to me, specifically.
That said, I’m also not saying I don’t relate the characters. It simply doesn’t hold any special meaning for me. As I’ve noted on my personal site, the main reason for my using a lot of imagery revolving around Hitomi from Irozuku there is that I find certain aspects of her character to be things vaguely similar to some of my own struggles, mentally and emotionally. It’s not something that colored my enjoyment of the series in any way, as evidenced by that show probably not even creeping into my top 20 of that year, let alone my top ten. But it was something I noticed and found appropriate.
All that said, I have always been fascinated by the phenomena of people and their relating to fictional characters. I like hearing people’s stories about it. Because a lot of characters I simply do not like, usually from a logistic standpoint, I find a lot of other people love because they can identify with them. Will it color my enjoyment of the character? Yeah, no. I can name examples but I’ll avoid doing that, for risk of stepping on any toes. But even those characters I don’t like, some of them I’ve spoken to people about and can absolutely see why they adore those characters so much. And, honestly, more power to them.
So when was the first time you really identified with a character? Or, if you can’t remember, do you maybe have a character you think you identify with more than any other?