Monday, November 12, 2012

Elemental Underrepresentation


Every time you see a character with an Element (as in fire, water, earth, air, lightning, not Mendeleev’s elements) associated with them in a TV show or book/series, their Element is always either Fire or Lightning/Electricity.  Every single time.  Well, I can think of a couple exceptions, the most notable being the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, but most books have one or the other.  Even in the Percy Jackson sequel series, Heroes of Olympus, 2 of the 3 main characters have an Element.  One is Fire, the other – you guessed it – Lightning.  You look at most of the item-creature series (the ones, mostly Japanese, where a card/small object summons/releases/turns into/turns user into some interesting Elemental being) and they’re the same way.  The only ones I know, Pok√©mon, Bakugan, and Digimon, fit that profile exactly – in the first, Pikachu, an Electric-type; in the second, Drago, a Pyrus, the equivalent of a Fire-type.  The main character in Digimon has an Agumon, which I’m pretty sure is Fire-type too.  (Yes, I’m a total nerd.)  There's also Chaotic, where there are 2; one is fire, the other I have no idea.  The book series I read do that too, except, as I said earlier, the Percy Jackson series.  Witch and Wizard – focuses on Wisty’s fire abilities.  Any fan of the Hunger Games can guess what I’m gonna say there.  Even this slightly obscure series I’m reading now, the books of Pellinor, involve fire more than anything.  Any book with a dragon in it, for obvious reasons.  Actually, it’s mainly Fire, now that I look at my list.  I can’t think of a single thing where Earth/Ground/Stone/Plants/etc. is the main character’s Element.  Anyway, the next paragraph is going to be sort of a rant about Water, so the Ground line was sort of non sequitur, because I really don’t care about the Earth element much.

                Fire and Lightning can be incredibly destructive, but so can Water.  When a Fire or Lightning has to use the element to help in some way other than destroying stuff, they usually can’t.  I’m slightly obsessed with the Water element, as you may have noticed, and will advocate for it under any situation given.  Water is much underused as an Element, with flashy Fire and Lightning showing off next door.  Earth/Ground is way less flashy and dramatic than any of those.  I will admit, striking someone down with lightning is a bit more dramatic than trying to drown them, but there are other ways Water can triumph.  Ever seen a tsunami?  Pure Water power, baby.  Who needs the sky on their side?