1 min read


There's something about contrasts that makes stories more interesting.

Last night, I watched the first three or four episodes of the SPY x FAMILY anime dub. The pilot sets up the first of the main characters, Twilight, as this loner super-spy with no family and no ties to anyone. He thinks of himself this way explicitly. He's cold and calculating. He thinks more than once of taking Anya back to the orphanage he got her from. It would make sense for a calculating guy like him to do that.

Of course, Twilight doesn't take Anya back to the orphanage, that's the show's whole premise. But the contrast demands explanation. The reasoning makes him a more sympathetic character. I think we see a similar pattern in these first few episodes with Yon, and maybe also with Ania.

I'm thinking also of the pilot for Invincible. It ends with Omni-Man brutally murdering several of his fellow superheroes. It's a strong contrast to his earlier behavior which is mostly heroic. I saw that and I wanted answers. What the hell just happened? Or: Why did Omni-Man kill all those people he's supposed to be friends with?

There seems to be something here about contradicting stories. In Twilight's case, his actions bely the story he's telling himself about who he is. In Omni-Man's case, his actions bely the story we're telling ourselves about who he is, or the story that the writers are telling us about who he is.