This is the start of a Series called “Analyzing Great Duos”. Don’t worry, this is not going to be a detailed boring Analysis. In fact, it can’t be even considered an Analysis as it’ll be short, entertaining, and visual. Needless to stay that this is NOT going to be Spoiler-Free.
Why Duos? And this is not a Video Game?
It doesn’t have to be! At RisingLane we care about only one thing:
Not Video Game Stories. Not Movie Stories. Not Novel Stories.
ALL Stories that are Worth Telling!
Why duos? Because I have a passion for human relationships, personalities, communication, and psychology. That’s what we do with our Games & Stories at RisingLane:
“Creating Memorable Relationships between Characters.”
Now, you have to understand that I’m not necessarily referring to Romantic Relationships and when I say “Communication” I mainly mean dialogue. Having said that, let’s take a closer look at these two idiots.
What are the Three Essential things that a great Duo needs?
I’ve already talked about this in my last Blog Post. A great Duo consists of these three things:
At RisingLane We Believe In “Simple Stories, Complex Characters.”
1. The Personalities And When They Clash
Do you know why I love Duos? Because you can do the following and the writer of “Toradora!” Yuyuko Takemiya has done it perfectly:
You can take this Personality:
And then you can also take this Personality:
But what happens if they meet each other?
Exactly what has to happen:
Contrast is extremely important for a great Duo. That’s why I firmly believe in:
“The Gender is the fundamental contrast between two interesting Characters.”
Whether it’s a Romantic Relationship or not, the first Contrast is preferably the Gender. I can hardly remember a great Duo where both Characters have the same Gender. It really depends on what kind of Story you want to tell but usually it is harder to make such a Duo memorable.
2. The Relationship And Why It Needs To Be Forced
“But if they have so much Contrast why would these two Characters build a Relationship?”
That’s exactly why two Characters have to be forced into situations where they have to cooperate with each other. “Forced” sounds negative but a great Duo needs that, at least at the beginning, otherwise it would be boring. Takemiya has solved that issue very beautifully. Think about it: No one “forced” them to spend time together. Yet they did. Very Often. And that was initiated just because of Taiga’s embarrassment:
In other words she forced herself into that situation. And that in such a realistic yet amusing way that you never really question it. You might question her sanity, though 😉
3. The Interactions And Why They’re Extremely Important
How the fuck are two Characters supposed to build a meaningful bond if they never interact with each other? A lot of writers create wonderful personalities and intriguing relationships but there is a lack of engaging interaction between the Characters. That is essential! Do you realize how these three things: Personality, Relationship, Interaction are built upon each other? Each one of them influences the other one especially the interactions. They influence the Relationship. They build or destroy the Relationship. It doesn’t have to be only dialogue. Simple interactions like these here are often way more “bond-strengthening” and entertaining:
Funny right? And Simple! Well…actually it’s a lot of hard work to get there but Yuyuko has delivered exceptional work.
“But what is the difference between Relationship and Interaction? It’s kinda the same thing, isn’t it?”
Not at all. Here is a great representation of their Relationship:
Based on that Relationship, Interactions like these here happen:
Got it? Good. Let’s move on to:
So how do you get from this:
Without making it seem like it’s forced?
“Wait, I thought it’s important to force it?”
No, you do not force the development. If you do that it will appear ridiculous. You only force the Initial Situations that cause the Development.
“That’s sill forcing the development though…there is just an extra step.”
Right. And that extra step makes a huge difference. A realistic Development happens only Gradually, with Focus, and a lot of Interactions. Even if it’s just a quiet scene like this:
You gotta build that Relationship patiently until it becomes ridiculous if they wouldn’t get together. Until it becomes the obvious thing. Until the viewer actually wants to see that. Whether the viewer gets what he wants or not is not the writer’s choice anymore. A Relationship or any Story for that matter, evolves organically and shouldn’t be forced into any direction.
Why is this one of the best “Kiss Scenes” ever?
Granted, I’m not a big Romance Fan so I lack experience with that Genre but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s the best kiss scene I’ve ever seen…and it is the only kiss scene in the entire Series.
The biggest trap here and actually this is always a trap: Cliché.
How do you avoid that? Sounds simple but it’s hard to do:
“Keep the Personality of the Characters Constant throughout a Kiss, Death, etc., Scene.”
“But…but that’s bad advice! A Character shouldn’t be constant. What about Development?!”
I’m not saying a Character shouldn’t develop himself. Big leaps are the only danger. If you avoid big leaps (remember it’s all built upon each other) the Relationship and therefore the Interaction will stay constant and you will not start unpacking your cliché lines. That’s extremely difficult to do but Takemiya’s Masterpiece has done it in a lovely way.
As Tsundere as Taiga is she naturally has to tease him a bit:
But she is still an affectionate person:
And only now after everything they have been through she can show that side.
What an amazing Duo, right? One of my favorites.
We’re working on a Duo as well! In our case it’s:
Aleron and Nora
You haven’t seen the Teaser yet? Watch it now:
You want more examples that follow the “Simple Story, Complex Characters” principle? Sign-up for our Newsletter and receive a list of Stories you probably haven’t experienced yet but definitely should if you love Games, Movies, Shows, Animes, Books, etc. with good Stories. If you’re a writer yourself then our Dialogue Guide might interest you as well?