When Was The First Time You Related? | I’m Curious!

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?

I’m Curious!

9 thoughts on “When Was The First Time You Related? | I’m Curious!

  1. Lynn

    Takashi from Highschool of the Dead was the first character that I really connected with. A lot of what he went through I can see in my own life… minus the zombie sadly…

    I find it doesn’t just need to be relatable, but usually something with the cast will click with me within the first 5 episodes and once it does, there’s no way I’m not finishing it. Equally, if the opposite happens I can just drift away and not feel like I’ve lost anything.

    I don’t think we need to have the personal link, but I do think something should resonate.

    1. Voyager

      Oh, that’s an interesting one. Granted, I think I’d personally be more than happy to not have to deal with zombies XD

      Yep. I’m not sure how I’d define resonance for myself, personally, aside from an awesome OP to a mostly awesome anime. Generally, I just look for interesting, well-executed (by my standards, anyway) character arcs. Relatability is nice when it happens, and all, but I do find it to be a tad bit over-valued.

      1. Lynn

        I don’t think it’s something you can count on as everyone’s experiences are different. I actually talk about this in one of my posts I have planned for January, but basically put lots of real life events into your writing regardless of the genre makes the chances of someone connecting with a character that much more likely.

        I think it’s worth trying to do as when someone does connect, that’s how you get the super-fans and they are priceless!

        Doesn’t everyone want a zombie apocalypse???

      2. Voyager

        I’m the first guy that’d get offed in a zombie apocalypse. If the zombies didn’t kill me, the cardio would so… yeah, no. I’m good XD

        Perhaps. I tend to just include metaphors for the real life stuff in my more fantastical stories. Though I do expect PROJECT ACADEMIA, given what the whole point of my writing that is, will lean a lot more on that real life stuff. Hardly any of which will reflect me, directly. But still. Even if I don’t relate, someone will.

  2. Inskidee

    My first and strongest character I could relate to was Kousei from Your Lie in April. Of course, I wasn’t some piano prodigy like Kousei but in my young child years, I constantly got positive feedback and compliments for my above average skill. Then, I had a falling out as I grew older and piano, although I had a passion, felt still and empty. Maybe because I was always under pressure to play better and be “like how I used to be.” I had quite a complicated relatio ship with music and it bugged me alot to where I even cried at the keys. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Your Lie in April but I definitely remember the feeling of somewhat relating to Kousei.

    1. Voyager

      Interesting! I think that sensation is something that a lot of people can probably identify with. Being talked up a lot when we’re young, then “losing” that sense of being exceptional as we become more and more aware of the world around us. I definitely see why people love that series so much, even having not watched it.

  3. magicconan14 (Aria)

    I tend to find myself characters for weird reasons – all my husbandos have an element of relatability to them for me too, or else they wouldn’t be worthy of the title.

    I also try to use the personal connection in my posts whenever possible (e.g. my Your Lie in April post from a bit back, or my Shield Hero first impressions), because that makes the content more valuable and unique for both me and the reader and allows us to understand each other.

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