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Heroine reduced to Damsel in Distress?

Discussion in 'Ryona' started by Vorpal, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. Vorpal

    Vorpal Potential Patron

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    A theme I've always enjoyed is where, in whatever story, you have a character who's introduced as some sort of 'action girl'(as defined by tvtropes.org), and fights alongside the hero, but is quickly shown to be ineffectual in actual, high stakes combat, and quickly gets defeated and captured and requires the hero's help to get free, maybe multiple times, because she's just not up to scratch. In other words she's a damsel trying(and failing) to be a heroine.

    While I know a lot of people here are interested in genuinely tough, capable heroines get toppled(I certainly get into this also, but it's in a slightly different category than the content of this post), I'm talking about so-called heroines who repeated get captured and generally owned by the enemy, to an extent that they might as well realize they can't contribute anything toward the fight against evil XD

    If the 'heroine' is particularly cocky/arrogant about her supposed abilities, only to be completely owned on the battlefield, it's even better.

    Check out 'Faux Action Girl' on TVTropes for a good idea of what I'm talking about(while this refers to instances in which it's internally inconsistent within the given plot, it's similar to what I mean): Main/Faux Action Girl - Television Tropes & Idioms


    There's another flavor of this where a genuine 'Action Girl' who more than holds her own is quite successful all the way up until a climactic battle, where the enemy bests her, and almost defeats her for good, when a male character swoops in and saves her at the last second, making her into a damsel who needed outside help.

    This happened a think a few times to Buffy over the course of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where she almost got overrun by vampires, or almost done in by a villain, only to have Angel swoop in and save the day. Always gets me going :P

    The key element here being that the heroine would have certainly been decisively defeated and would have failed at whatever high stakes goal she had, except that she got saved by someone else.


    Anyway, my question to you is, do you relate to any of the above, and do you get into the dynamic of either a ineffectual 'heroine' getting repeatedly owned and shown to be a damsel, or a genuine heroine made into a damsel through some means, or really anything involving the theme outlined in the title to this post?

    Cheers!
     
  2. SufferingLily

    SufferingLily Potential Patron Ryonani Teamster

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    I can definitely relate to your interest in the faux action girl trope. I love seeing an arrogant heroine rush recklessly into a fight only to realize how ineffectual she actually is. Add in some taunting from an opponent who’s one upped her multiple times and you’ve got the recipe for a great scenario. My tendencies tend to lean toward the humiliation aspect of ryona so it’s the perfect character archetype for me.

    As for actual heroines being turned into damsels, I can definitely see the appeal. Sometimes I like a heroine to be established as a force to be reckoned with, that way the inevitable defeat is all the more crushing. Her wounded pride from being rescued by someone else only makes it better.
     
  3. eyeteeth

    eyeteeth Swell Supporter Ryonani Teamster

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    my favorite is when she is genuinely tough and capable but gets defeated anyway. there are a lot of reasons why this could happen, sometimes i like it to just be bad luck, like what happens a lot of time in the early Aeon Flux shorts. sometimes it can be bad judgement, like the heroine shows mercy or otherwise disregards an enemy, and the enemy turns out to be quicker or deadlier than she expects. for me it is kind of "meta", it is sexy to me when the story "should" go one way but it ends up going badly instead. in tvtropes terms i guess it is sort of a "reality ensues" idea.
     
  4. TheCrimsonRisk

    TheCrimsonRisk Club Regular Ryonani Teamster

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    From a pure storytelling and narrative standpoint, I actually find it tiresome when the heroine proves to be incapable and needs to be "saved". And then she's just reduced to starting at the male protagonist with her eyes filled with gratitude and lust...

    From a ryona standpoint, I friggin' love it :p That said, I also enjoy it when the ineffectual heroine's efforts at least somewhat contributed to the hero or the party's victory. I guess I'm just a sucker for noble sacrifice.
     
  5. Vorpal

    Vorpal Potential Patron

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    I guess I really hit a point of commonality here. Thanks for the great input!

    I for me, I definitely have the most in common with SufferingLily here I think. Such a cool theme.