Diary 2019-02-03

By Max Woerner Chase

Okay, I made a vague statement yesterday about the only "legit" monomyth. At some point after playing Bayonetta and watching Kill la Kill, my wife and I noticed:

We call this the "Sonic Adventure 2 monomyth", after Shadow's character arc. Except for the end of this, this also applies to Zuko from Avatar.

The whole joke here is that this seems like a superficially compelling mixture of specifics and broad ideas, that all apply to several unrelated stories, but (hopefully) nobody would try to teach this as an actual guide to storytelling.

I think there are, though, some instructive things to be gleaned from the details and nuance that have to be sanded off to fit into the given mold.

In the end, the list above ends up as a mix of character design elements, gradually opening-up storytelling, common character concepts, straightforward character dynamics, and SPAAaaaAAAaaaCE.

None of this should be mistaken for a fair, reasoned critique of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, but I do think it's suggestive that I can put together something that very superficially resembles the form of the hero's journey, yet is obvious bs. That does seem to indicate to me that focusing purely on form doesn't provide any ability to judge quality.

But yeah, there is some documentation of one of our dumb inside jokes.