Ultimate Techniques: Show Don’t Tell

I’ve recently read a few manga that are guilty of over exposition when it comes to character powers and abilities (cough cough BLEACH! cough…) Not just in explaining what the power is but that it’s the character using the power that’s giving away this information. It’s like the character has this compulsive urge to stroke their ego even at the risk of giving away vital intel and exposing potential weaknesses to their ability. To me this likely occurs for a few reasons. 1. The writer believes s/he has come up with a truly unique ability or power that deserves explanation to show how awesome or how clever they are. 2. Said power is so outlandish and impossible to deduce that the character has to give this information away or will end up being nigh unbeatable. I know it’s kind of a thing in certain genres of manga/anime to have strange and bizarre powers and they can be interesting to learn about. It’s simply the stupid way in which some shows explain the powers, especially if it’s the character who wields the power themselves. It seems rather ironic too since Japanese swordsman, and martial artists would consider special techniques to be sacred treasures whose secrets should never be revealed to outsiders. There are simply better ways to do it. Just read Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, they made a whole manga around characters trying to solve mysteries about the nature of their opponents power that becomes part of the fight. It would be much less interesting if the villain simply explained that he can control the iron around him and in your body.

It’s never a good idea to sacrifice the intelligence of your characters for some potentially cool exposition.

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