Monday, April 11, 2011

My Issue with Buffy the Vampire Slayer; The “Ichigo Problem”

This is going to be a heavy geek post, just to let you know in advance.

Ichigo is the main character in the Anime and Manga series Bleach. Now I have not read too many of the books but I love the show. It is a triumph in a niche sort of way because it has created and overcame this problem that, in all honesty is only really discussed by my boyfriend and myself. The problem is simple that despite Ichigo being the main character, it is the rest of the cast that makes the show, that drives the show. More importantly the auxiliary characters are FAR more interesting than Ichigo himself. Ichigo is not a compelling lead character.

That is a long preface to simply tell you that I don’t like Buffy. I love the show, I don’t like her. That maybe harsh, I should say if she did not have Willow, Xander, Cordelia, and Giles I would not care. More to the point if I had not been waiting for Willow to start dating Oz or to see if Cordelia would stand up to her friends I might have turned the show off. I honestly could not tell you what else happened in those episodes regarding Buffy. What the show is very good at, what Joss Wheadon is very good at, is giving us a cast of people that we can almost be equally vested in. It is not a throw away episode if it centers on Xander and a love spell or on Oz’s impediment (he is a werewolf).

I am only most of the way through the second season so my feelings on Buffy could change. I feel that right now Buffy is like Ichigo, a one note character who does not have real tough decisions or moral dilemmas. You know when push comes to shove she is going to do the right thing and any struggle she has feels almost forced and that is when I grab a cup of coffee to wait to see what Willow is doing next.

Despite this fact I love the show, I am always ready to watch the next episode and I am truly looking forward to them not being in high school any more. I don’t hate Buffy, I just like everyone else more which speaks highly of the writing in each episode. I know why my friends love it and I could write a whole thesis on Joss Wheadon and his characters from Buffy to Firefly and even his comic book efforts.

Oh and please remember, I am watching it for the first time so if you are going to argue with me try and not spoil all the major plot points…lol.

Do you have a favorite show that suffers from a similar problem?


  1. okay well considering you haven't even watched the entire series, you should at least have the decency to get a little further in before you try to start critical discourses on a heavily discussed and iconic character. Buffy, as a character is so acclaimed for a reason, but you don't even know where the series is going yet. You have to understand that the characters on Buffy are like real people. They are three dimensional and you don't find out everything about them in two seasons as you get to know them slowly much as you would a real person. The characters change and grow as does the series as a whole.

  2. I'm watching Being Human, and I don't like any character but the ghost. I do the same as you, grab coffee and wait for the story to get back to her. As for BTVS, back when it first aired, I didn't know she would always do the right thing b/c she had not become a legendary hero yet. She had no past, no reputation, no name recoginition in pop culture yet. I was completely wrapped up in WWBD, completely wrapped up in her story, cried when she cried, cheered when she triumphed. I related better to her than I did Zena who might have been the only other girrrrlll back then and Buffy seemed real, relatable. So, I am sorry for anyone who encounters the series for the first time now, b/c you already know things you should only be learning by watching. The cool thing about the show is you can keep watching it and peel back the layers, develop a better understanding of characters, change how you feel about them over time. I still watch it having never missed an episode when it first aired in...what 1997?

    Did/do you watch Smallville? I didn't watch that as much maybe b/c I was already so familiar w/ superman? IDK, you got me thinkin.

  3. Sorry I had to go with anonymous, stupid thing wouldn't let me post otherwise. I'm on twitter @soleftbehind feel free to connect if u want.☺

  4. @G I understand that idea but if some one has to wait 3+ seasons to figure out why the main character is the one you should be caring about that is a problem.

  5. @ Anonymous I know that she will do the right thing because she knows her duty, she just doesn't like it much. I also know that she is more intersting when she is forced to not be so selfish.

    I did watch the first few seasons of Smallville. I am not a Superman fan because he is such a one note boy scout super hero but I liked seeing him as a human teen.

    Charmed that was one that lhas lost the re-watchablity in its first few seasons.

    Its a fun thing to think about, isn't?

  6. Ever watched Angel (Buffy spinoff)? Some of the same characters, still Joss Wheadon, and no Buffy. :) David Boreanaz makes for much better eye candy than she does, anyway. ;)

  7. its not that the Buffy is the ONE you should be caring about. Its that she is a good character. I'm not saying you MUST like her because that would be ridiculous, I'm just saying its ludicrous to say that she's uninteresting. Like anonymous said you're coming in from a weird place because the show ended so long ago and the characters are so established in pop culture unlike when it first aired. SHe is a very conflicted character and what you see of her will change and grow and you will see why you think "she is always going to do the right thing." you're going to remember saying that around season 3 and for the rest of the season because it becomes a theme of Buffy's inner conflict and of Buffy vs. Faith