Friday, January 25, 2008
The Mary-Sue Test for Naruto OC's!!
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Before you begin, this test isn't mine. I found it at http://www.animespiral.com/viewstory.php?sid=181960. Second, for those not familiar with fanfiction terms:
OC: Orginal Character, someone you created
canon: A person from the anime/manga
Mary-Sue: The most dreaded OC in fanfiction. As Wikipedia describes them "Mary Sue, sometimes shortened simply to Sue, is a pejorative term used to describe a fictional character,that is portrayed in overly idealized and clichéd ways, lacking noteworthy flaws, and primarily functioning as wish-fulfillment fantasies for their authors."
The Naruto Mary Sue Litmus Test
Give yourself one point per ‘yes’ answer unless otherwise indicated. Be honest — if you’re not, you’ll never improve. A few points doesn’t necessarily make a Mary Sue. Remember that canon females can be turned into Sues as well. If you’re curious about the Sue status of a canon character, either replace ‘OC’ with the character’s name or wait until a Canon Sue test gets put up. If you reach any variant of ‘stop now,’ then your character is beyond hope and needs put out of our its misery. Said points have been seen more than once in known badfic and Sue stories already.
First things first:
Is your OC’s name your name, your nickname, or your screenname? If so, stop now and delete yourself. Do not, do not, do not name your OC after yourself.
Is the OC’s name one you’d like to have?
Does the OC have an English/Westernized name?
Or a name taken from another anime or game's main characters?
Are they named after one of their parents?
Who happens to be another OC?
# If you name the opposite-gendered OC parent the same thing as the kid (NO, damn it, Itachi's mother's name is not Itachi), then stop here - at least until you find a Japanese name generator.
Does the OC have the same habits, hobbies, or interests as you? Interest in the Naruto series doesn’t count.
Do you think that the OC can't possibly be a self-insert because they're more (fill in blank: intelligent, talented, beautiful, wonderful, overage, etc.) than you?
Do you take it as a personal insult if someone doesn’t like your OC?
Is the OC described as exceptionally beautiful?
Would you like to look like the OC?
Would you want to be the OC?
Do you sometimes pretend you’re the OC?
Have you cosplayed as the OC before?
Because you like them better than/think they're cooler than any canon character? If so, stop here.
If someone physically hurts or kills themselves because the OC is so beautiful, stop here.
Does the OC's physical description match yours?
Exactly or almost exactly? If so, stop here.
Have you drawn or commissioned others to draw the OC for you?
More often than any other character?
Did the OC fall from, step through a portal from, or otherwise come from modern times into Narutoverse? If so, stop here.
You’re still reading, aren’t you?
If the from-modern-times OC has knowledge of Naruto canon and makes use of it to their advantage, delete yourself.
If the OC is American or from another country that speaks something other than Japanese but, once inserted into Naruto canon, can suddenly and magically speak Japanese, stop here.
Does the OC have an over-the-top hair color or colors? For example, rainbow hair, silver (not gray) hair, black hair with purple and red streaks, green hair with blue tips, etc.? A point per hair color. Two more if their hair changes color.
Does the OC have waist-length hair or longer?
Does the OC have eyes of a color not found in nature?
Do the OC’s eyes change color? Three points.
With their mood? Two more.
Does the OC's eyes have differently-colored rings?
Do the OC's eyes have stars, moons, or other odd shapes in the iris or pupil?
Does the OC have two differently colored eyes?
# If one eye is a Sharingan eye and the other is a Byakugan, step away from the computer. Now.
Does the OC’s clothing have nothing to do with practicality, even though they claim to be a l337 an elite ninja? (Does it involve a tube top, a bikini top, a miniskirt, high heels, expanses of bare skin like you'd see in a club in a movie, fluorescent/shiny clothing while being tracked by ANBU, etc.?)
If you need to spend more than two consecutive paragraphs describing your character and/or their clothing, stop here.
# If it’s one gigantic block paragraph, you lose at the internets.
# If you don't know what constitutes a block paragraph, please stop writing until you learn.
Do you use the term (or a variant thereof) ‘curves in all the right places’ to describe them?
Would you consider the OC sexy?
Do the canon characters?
Add a point if these characters find the OC hopelessly attractive:
Add two points every time the phrase (or a variant thereof) ‘S/he didn’t know why, but they couldn’t stop thinking about (the OC)’ comes up.
Add one more if almost the only thing the canon character really can think about is the OC/sex with the OC.
If lust for the OC makes a canon character attempt to rape them, five points.
If the canon character succeeds, ten points.
If you think that it wasn't rape because the OC enjoyed it, even though they screamed, struggled, and/or said no, stop here.
Would you have sex with the OC?
# Two points if the answer is a variation of ‘Yes, but they might kill me because they’re so powerful.’
# Would the OC kill you afterwards because being an assassin/whore/combination of the two is their job?
Is the OC old but young in appearance?
Is the OC immortal?
Does the OC angst about being immortal?
Though much older than the canon characters due to their immortality, does the OC still have a romantic/sexual relationship with them?
Does the character return from a hiatus — a summer, a few years of being missing, a time jump on the part of the author — dead sexy?
Does the character return from a hiatus more powerful than anyone would have ever expected?
With a nickname?
Is the nickname in Japanese/does the nickname require a translation?
Does the translation make sense? Get someone to check. If you’ve mistranslated your character’s own nickname, stop here.
Do people that ridiculed the OC before suddenly feel like idiots?
Does the OC have an amazing singing voice?
And dancing ability?
Do they show off at a talent show? Five points.
And pick up their love interest by doing so? Five more.
While performing songs that weren’t made by them? If so, stop here.
Does the OC have an outstandingly special speaking voice - especially melodic, seductive, etc.?
Is the OC especially proficient with weapons? A point for each weapon they're great with.
# Are they even though they said they aren't good with it?
# Are they even though they said they've never used the weapon before/aren't sure how to use it? If so, stop here.
Does the OC have an inhuman healing ability?
Brought out by their proximity to their love interest?
Does the OC become a fourth team member?
Is the OC’s love interest a member of the team they’re on?
Is everyone else on the team either jealous or in love with the OC as well?
If the OC is inserted directly into Narutoverse canon and nothing changes around them - the introduction scene with Kakashi is still essentially the same, the first mission is the same, etc. - then stop here and learn to work on originality.
Does the OC claim to be too good to need a team?
Even though they were beaten down by another ninja and needed to be rescued in the previous chapter?
Is the OC there primarily to be the love interest of a canon character? If so, ten points.
# If you would want to be the OC primarily because of their love interest, five more.
Is any other, canon love interest of the canon character dealt away with or turned into a complete bitch/bastard in order to facilitate the canon character and OC forming a relationship?
If you insist that Sakura/Ino/Hinata/whoever was a complete raging bitch before, stop here.
Is the OC related to a canon character?
As their long-lost sibling? Three points.
As their long-lost twin? Five points.
Separated through a tale of angst and woe?
Is the OC the child of two canon characters?
Is the OC the child of two male parents? Five points.
Is the OC the child of a canon character and another OC?
The romance of which is detailed in another story?
Is s/he the ‘other’ Uchiha that Itachi missed? Four points.
Does the OC win every battle they're in?
Except when the time comes for them to be saved by their love interest? (Three points.)
Does being around the OC and their exceptional beauty make at least one canon female character insanely jealous?
Does being around the OC make an otherwise intelligent canon female character act like an idiot? Watch/read the written part of the chuunin exams arc again if you need help figuring out that Sakura really is intelligent.
Does being around the OC make an otherwise intelligent canon male character act like a moron? See: Orochimaru, Kisame.
Does the story require that characters that don’t go together at all within canon pair up, just to meet up with the OC? Examples include Itachi and Orochimaru, Gaara and Itachi, Sasuke and Itachi, - pretty much everyone but Kisame with Itachi - so on and so forth?
Does the OC bring religion into Narutoverse? Give yourself a point for each:
# The OC wears a religious symbol that doesn't fit into canon, like a crucifix.
# The OC uses the religious symbols to summon, perform a technique, etc.
# You, the author, mention the OC's religion.
# The OC mentions their religion to others.
If the OC converts anyone, stop here.
Does the OC reform a villainous/cold character?
And make them swear to stop killing people?
Does the villainous/cold character fall in love with them?
Is it Gaara?
Do you make Gaara cry, you dirty, dirty bastard?
And (pre-time-jump) seal or otherwise remove Shukaku so he can sleep/snuggle with your OC? If so, stop here.
Is it Itachi?
Do you make Itachi repent for killing his clan and pretend that he’s sane and not beyond sociopathic?
Do you conveniently forget that he’s a S-class missing-nin that killed his clan?
Is Kisame randomly kicked out of the picture (killed, put in a zoo, given another partner, etc.) to make room for the OC?
Does the OC make Sasuke give up his quest to kill Itachi?
Does the OC make Sasuke and Itachi see each other as brothers again and stop that silly revenge/smackdown business?
Does being around the OC make two otherwise canonically straight males suddenly realize and declare their love for each other?
Does the OC have the same name and general appearance as a canon male character, just with a female form, thus making a sexual relationship with another male character not as scary to you? If so, stop here.
Does the OC prove their strength/ability by beating up someone?
# Is the someone a strong canon character?
# Is the someone a random person that attacks them for no reason? Two points.
Was the OC Gaara or Naruto’s 'only friend' when they were a child? Five points.
Does the OC cut themselves?
# If it's from failed suicide attempts, three points.
# If the OC doesn't scar from the cutting, stop here.
Do they stop cutting when their love interest realizes it/tells them to stop?
# Are they cured from that point on?
# Are they cured after their love interest proves they really do care! by kissing or having sex with them? If so, stop here.
Does the OC convince someone else to stop cutting?
Someone that doesn't cut in canon?
Does the OC have a new bloodline limit or ability that has never shown up in canon before?
Is it a bloodline limit or ability to completely pwn all others — ability to copy other bloodline limits, ability to create an army out of thin air, ability to stop time, Kyukaku (the hybrid of Kyuubi and Shukaku), so on and so forth?
Does the OC mix bloodline limits already found in canon? Three points.
If the OC may use both the Sharingan and Byakugan at will, stop now.
If the OC may learn bloodline limits from a family not their own, stop now.
Is the OC a vampire? Three points.
Is the OC a dragon or half-dragon? Four points.
Is the OC a demon or a half-demon? Five points, but kudos for using monsters from the Naruto universe.
That thus needs Naruto or Gaara to understand them?
If the OC is a full demon, do they claim to be the mate of either Kyuubi or Shukaku? (Three points.)
Does the OC thus make either one, both of which are canids (in the dog family), purr? If so, stop writing and go learn some basic animal information.
Does the OC have wings/the ability to grow wings?
Can the OC fly?
Does the OC have cat/dog ears and/or a tail?
That don’t detract from their beauty in any way?
Is the OC telepathic/telekinetic?
Can the OC change shapes in a way that’s not henge no jutsu?
Is their other shape their 'demon's form'?
Can the OC talk to animals?
Does the OC have 'familiars'?
Does the OC have a special summon-animal?
Is it a white tiger? Two points.
If whatever it is strongly resembles Kirara from Inuyasha, stop here.
Does the OC act your age as opposed to theirs? Note that this question applies to younger writers that age the canon characters in order to facilitate sexual relationships, marriages, etc.
Is the OC frequently witty/does the OC usually have a snappy comeback that puts witty characters to shame?
Did the snappy comebacks come from Buffy or another television show?
Is your OC’s attitude/speech/personality modeled after that of another character in a book or television show? Be honest.
Does the OC swear excessively as part of their ‘cool’ or ‘hard’ personality?
Does the OC try to teach generally uncaring characters manners?
Does the OC use the concept of chivalry and how guys should treat girls as a defense?
Against a canonically bloodthirsty and cold character that for all intents and purposes shouldn’t care less?
And have it work?
Is the OC frequently concerned with their appearance?
At times when being concerned with their appearance should be secondary to a major problem going on within the story? They’ve been declared a missing-nin, the bad guy just kidnapped a canon character, the village is burning down, etc.?
Does the OC frequently talk back to authority figures?
And have nothing come of it?
Do all characters like the OC?
Except for characters you don’t like?
If you like a character that dislikes the OC, does that character see the error of their ways by the end of the story?
If the OC is a foreigner, are they immediately accepted into whatever village they wander into?
Is the OC so nice and sweet that other characters hate them for it?
Is the OC so exceptionally badass that everyone's afraid of pissing them off?
Does the OC try to make Kakashi stop reading Itcha Itcha Paradise?
Does the OC have a traumatic past?
Give one point for any of these things the OC has suffered:
# Sexual abuse
# Sexual abuse at the hands of a family member/caretaker
# Years of torture
# Torture at the hands of at least one family member/caretaker
# Being orphaned
# Being orphaned because someone murdered their clan/family
# Being orphaned because Itachi murdered their clan/family
# Being kicked out of their village
# Having to grow up alone
# Witnessing their family members being killed/raped (two points if it's both)
# Finding out that Orochimaru was their father
# Teenage pregnancy
# Being pregnant to their rapist
# Miscarriage/having their baby die
# Never being able to have kids again as a result of a miscarriage/sexual assault
Four points if the OC's family members reject them for being attacked/being raped/cracking under years of torture/etc.; two if the OC simply never tries to go home because they're 100% certain their family will reject them.
Three more points if that's the last their family is mentioned.
Does the OC constantly bring attention back to their angsty past? (Ie: "I'd enjoy the sunset...BUT I CAN'T BECAUSE I'M IMMORTAL, OH NOES!")
Does the OC not react to their traumatic past in ways that a real person would? Do research on psychological scarring if you’re not sure. No, psychological scarring isn't the same as wangsting.
# If the OC’s family/clan was wiped out a relatively short while before, massive physical, mental, and/or sexual abuse wasn’t a factor, and the OC blows it off or doesn’t care, stop here.
# If sex is used to ‘heal’ the OC after they’re raped, then stop here. You fail at being a human being.
# If the healing sex is with the person that raped them, then please kill yourself stop reading the bodice-rippers and look into getting some psychological counseling.
Does the OC claim to be from a new hidden village?
Does the new village’s name indicate that the ninjas from there are exceptionally evil, badass, talented, frightening, or otherwise awesome? (Aka Hidden Village of Blood, Darkness, Dragons, Demons, Death, Sparkly-Poo, etc.?)
Does the OC claim to be the Kage of this hidden village? Three points.
Even though they were born in Konoha?
Are they Kage, not Gaara, and still in their teens? Three more points.
Or younger? If so, stop here.
# Addendum: Does the OC refer to themselves as the 'Hokage' of this other village? If so, you, author, are an idiot.
Has the OC attained the rank of genin/chuunin/jounin at an extremely young/exceptional age?
Does the OC refer to A or S-class missions as ‘easy’?
Has the OC ever refused to test or rank up, even though 'everyone’ knows that they’re ready to/capable?
Did you make up a title for them to signify this?
Is the title a word that dictionary.com says means something completely different?
Does the OC have a physical/mental/social handicap? Being too sweet, too beautiful, too selfless, or immortal isn’t a handicap. If you honestly say and believe this, stop now. Minus one if they do.
# Add one if the handicap doesn’t hinder them the way it would an ordinary person. Do research if you're not sure about lasting effects.
# Add two if the handicap is only mentioned once and then disappears or is healed.
# Add three if the handicap is magically cured through the power of true love (or the healing power of sex) by the end of the story.
If a neutural beta that you can trust to be honest with you has gone through your work without mentioning any of the points from above, subtract a point. If they think a winged OC named Serenity Sparklypoo from the Hidden Village of Pookage is an original idea, you might want to look for a new beta.
If the OC is not the focus of the story — introduced as part of a mission rather than a new main character, the story isn't through their POV the majority of the time — then subtract two points.
If you as an author have gone back into your story to correct misspellings or discrepancies with canon, subtract two points. We might like you after all!
If your character still has reached a ‘stop here’ point and you still insist they’re not a Sue, give those points right back.
So far, the tentative scoring system is this:
Under 11 - Not too bad! Most characters will score a couple of points - it's no big deal.
11-15 - Things are starting to get scary, but there's still hope for the OC's rehabilitation.
16-20 - You're in extremely dangerous territory, shinobi. Your character needs a severe overhaul, and may not make it out alive.
21 and over - If it looks like a Sue, and acts like a Sue, and comes up this high on the scale... Then it's a Sue. Sorry. I don't see how you missed any 'stop here' points.