Today I was finishing up the second season of Freezing, and a thought occurred to me – the Nova, the series’ big world-destroying monsters, are the most uninteresting part of the show, which is probably why they’ve been marginalized since the beginning, or taken on human minds or bodies. I think this was a smart move.
We saw the exact same thing happen with Shingeki no Kyojin, where (spoiler alert) the titans were quickly supplanted by more human-like antagonists. Not because the titans weren’t frightening, because they were. It happened because big, slavering monsters are only interesting for so long.
Giant monsters are stupid, and stupid is boring. Mankind figured out how to dominate stupid beasts millennia ago, so seeing it done again on a larger scale only provides so much entertainment. An intelligent antagonist, though…
Intelligent antagonists simply have a lot more potential. They don’t have to be human, or even humanoid, they just have to be intelligent like one. They don’t even have to be that smart, just smarter than a beast. What they need is the potential for trickery, strategy, vindictiveness, surprise, and guile that human beings have. That’s why Freezing’s Pandoras spend most of their time fighting other Pandora, and why the protagonists of Shingeki are more concerned with the monsters among mankind.
Monsters can be scary, but they’re stupid, and we know how to deal with stupid. It’s the monsters who are just smart enough to be truly dangerous that are far more interesting to watch.
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