What ISN’T Emo?

I’ve done what I could to protect the integrity of the word epic. Today I pass that baton to The Animanachronism and In Search of Number Nine, who substantiate their arguments through literary authority and philosophical discourse instead of linking to themselves. My half-assed crusade to redefine corrupted internet memes now shifts to a new target: emo.

I don’t get what this whole emo thing is all about. A recent post on Riuva did an interesting job explaining what emo is but neglected to clarify the term’s true source of confusion: what emo isn’t. Emotional is emo. Unemotional is emo. A reasonable balance between emotion and detachment is emo. Code Geass is emo. True Tears is emo. Guts and Griffith? Emo and emoer. What the hell ISN’T emo?

Case in point: Sasuke. Is he not the ultimate badass?

  • Doesn’t care about friendship
  • Asexual
  • Insults Naruto
  • Wants to kill his brother

You’d think everyone would love him, but nooooooooo, they all have to go and call him emo.

So Sasuke hates people and wants to beat up his brother. Big deal, so do I. It’s not like he wastes his life listening to shitty music and whining about how nobody understands him. If there’s any reason to call him emo, it’s that he never kills anyone. Stop “defeating” your enemies and seal the deal you emo pussy!

Non-lethal blows are so emo.

Naruto too, finish the job, lazy bastard. Stop making Kakashi do all the dirty work. Sakura, I don’t know what the hell you’re doing in that picture. You know what’s a great way to stop being useless? Killing people. Just look at Sai. There’s no way he’s emo.

Challenge: name one character who isn’t emo. I dare you.

12 Replies to “What ISN’T Emo?”

  1. Hah, I didn’t know you’d pre-empted my discovery that LoGH is really epic – congratulations on winning at life, et cetera.

    You’ve got a point about emo. It’s quite hard to tell a story without being emo at all, unless you’re animating a chronicle of the births and deaths of Anglo-Saxon kings, or something equally gripping and dramatic. I often wonder if things are accused of being ‘too emo’ simply because the accuser has been watching too much drama: emo isn’t something inherently bad, it’s just something you can get tired of if you spend all your time watching anime.

    I’d guess the best candidates for non-emo characters would be robots and Artificial Intelligences. Sharon Apple? R. Dorothy?

  2. Zetsubou-sensei is not emo. He probably went though the desert of ’emoness’ and is already on the other side. There is no emo person that would be so cynical. Emo also don’t wear stylish clothees that don’t look like they were purchased in a waste dump. Onizuka is not emo. Genma from Ranma 1/2, Happosai, Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny, Giovanni. And every character shallow enough to be a cliché archetype with no spine.

    If we limit the range to Nar*to(yuck), then Jiraiya is not emo. Oh, wait, he is dead. And dead means emo :/

    So…that Ramen-Seller is certainly not emo. He has a fineass wife(or at least a fineass slave) and a proper job.

  3. Do we need to name a Naruto character?

    If not, uh, Noe from True Tears. There comes a point when insanity crowds out emoness. I think that Noe is waaaaaaay past that point.

  4. As it happens, EMO is an adjective applied by 12-year old anime fans who are poor judges of personality. The single most common mistake they make is labelling characters of a specific quality of discipline as “emo”.
    I believe they mistake a character’s focus for “brooding”.
    With this criteria established, I believe it’s safe to say that a character with a certain amount of slack is impossible to be labelled emo. It just doesn’t work.
    Characters like Yang Wenli or Juuza of the Clouds (Hokuto no Ken) can’t be emo, because even when they brood, they’re too detached and disaffected to EMO-brood.

    Really, with all the value you place on slack, I thought you would have noted this.

  5. I almost thought the title of this post was ‘What isnt ELMO?’. Instead, you have wasted a perfectly good opportunity for Elmo-bashing that was set up with poise from the last post. You disappoint me…

  6. Mugen from Samurai Champloo.Balsa from Moribito.Rintarou Okabe(HOUOUIN KYOUMA)from Steins;Gate.Eh…Kamina? Kyon from Harui Suzumiya. Gilgamesh and Alexander(Rider) from Fate/zero.Would like to say Ryougi Shiki from Kara no Kyoukai but I’m not sure.You know what YEAH she’s not emo…just lazy.

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