Why is Kyou Kara Maou so good? Plus, why I don’t like RPGs

I had the following train of thought earlier today:

All the stuff in Kyou Kara Maou that I’ve been trying to figure out is stuff that usually bores the hell out of me. It’s politics in a fantasy setting, with magic, and people riding horses, and dirt (I don’t know what it is about fantasy that gives me a “dirty” feel, but I get a grimy feeling from most fantasy, and it’s distasteful to me somehow), and medieval warfare, and so on. Why, then, am I so interested in it? Why do I keep obsessing about it?

Because of the characters. The characters are brilliantly portrayed. Their misunderstandings and passions literally shape the face of their world. Adelbert, for example, does what he does because he lost Julia, because he couldn’t comprehend seeking peace with the nations that caused her death, because he hated the nobility (Gwendal’s cousin, Hube) for ordering the attack that drained Julia dry of life. This is why he defected to the humans he despises, and is willingly trying to bring about the end of the world. Konrad is absolutely devoted to his king, because of the love he was never able to express twenty years ago. His devotion has kept Yuuri alive, and also has given Yuuri free rein when the other advisors and attendants would have stopped him. And Yuuri…well, he’s completely different from everyone’s expectations of a Maou. He has terrible power and can do terrible things, and we have seen that he isn’t incapable of evil, especially when he’s passionate. But at its heart his motivations are pure, and his greatest sin is that of rage and revenge. (In this way, he is really far closer to understanding Adelbert than either of the men realizes.)

The characters have made these political machinations, these talks of war, these fantasy events, important and meaningful to me. They shape these events and are shaped by them.

So was that why I became disenchanted with the AMRN? Because of the characters?

At first I thought I had really hit upon something, but then an old argument reared its head. There is something that stands out about Kyou Kara Maou, about most of the anime I enjoy. There is a very powerful and influential main character, who is clearly above everyone else, even though the other characters are also exceptional. The greatness of this character drives the story.

I like stories about characters who are important and special. I want to be important and special.

I am too egotistical to enjoy RPGs.

It’s impossible to be the most important person in an RPG, because that’s unfair. You can be the most important such-and-such (an idol singer in Macross, for example), but the main story is not always going to be about you. In fact, the story will continue on just fine without you.

I am simply not interested in stories in which the characters are not pivotal.

And it’s impossible to make the characters truly pivotal in an RPG, especially one that takes place online, because you never know if someone’s internet connection might go out, or if they’ll get ill, or if they’ll take a sudden vacation, or what. You have to keep things moving for everyone else, despite people’s absence.

That is why the stories in RPGs have never been real to me except during those times when I was free to post every day, multiple times a day. I forced myself into the important role of the character(s) who held the plot together. The game became about me, because of my pace and the vividness of my writing.

When I started to realize that this was unfair, I started having less desire to post.

It seems odd that it took so long for me to realize this.

(Random: Anissina and Gwendal! Ice-dancing!)