[note—this post discusses plot twists. It will contain spoilers for Attack on Titan, Suisei no Gargantia and Madoka Magica among others]
Is Hannibal Lector writing these plot twists? Because everything is people. Not just our food like your classic Soylent Green, which is possibly one of the most iconic examples, but also our enemies. After all, when you’ve worked so hard against a great foe, what could be more horrifying and heartbreaking than discovering that you and it weren’t so different after all?
Humans vs Monsters can be a very black and white battle to base a story around—not that this is always a bad thing, after all; not all stories require the amount of complexity and darkness that would come with a Humans vs Humans dilemma. Pacific Rim, for example, gets its strength of fun and positivity from bringing humans together in the fight against monsters, and in that it creates a happy ending of a unified earth striving to protect itself. Of course, actual conflicts are rarely so simple, and giving your alien/monster/magical foe sympathetic qualities is a quick way to make things more complicated for your heroes and your audience. Continue reading