Nikki's Corner (sennetari) wrote,
Nikki's Corner

Mind Control as a Plot Device

Well, inspired by many things over time, so I guess I just have to write my own post. This is put together in a hurry, so not very polished. The first part deals with Ultraman Mebius characters, so feel free to skip that.

I can't help but think that what the arbs are doing to Hikari is similar to what Hikari (as Tsurugi) does to Serizawa, except the poor former captain doesn't even get in a word edgewise. So do I blame the whole sorry mess on the arbs? Is this how superior beings behave, by exerting (mind) control over the less superior ones? Who is the bad guy here? As much as I don't care for Bogal, I think its approach is at least more honest.

One could argue that if Bogal possesses the intelligence and ability to do so, it would not hesitate to use mind control either. I may be mistaken, but that kind of situation doesn't seem to arise. (Oh, it does use control aplenty, just that I think it is actual physical control. Put two monsters together; of course they would fight. I guess I just hate the stripping of free wills from any beings, whether they are evil or not.)

As for a certain reporter, he wasn't controlled exactly. More like he was threatened. Which was good. If he was thoroughly controlled, he couldn't be exposed as an unpleasant specimen he was (sorry, can't bring myself to use worse words; I'm speaking as someone who actually likes his character).

So how do I define mind control? The straight-forward way, I suppose. I haven't researched on the subject, so I might be wrong, but I would say mind control happens when one or more people are not in complete control of their minds, where an outside force is dictating directly to their subconscious on what to say and how to act. So erasing memories is mind control to me, since it controls what people remember, and I believe people's memories are responsible in some part for their actions. But, as it happens, having only one definition seems to limit me somewhat since mind control turns out to be not such a simple concept as I think. Irregardless, I personally don't like seeing mind control being used. Maybe I'm too sheltered, and the practice is all around me, but, to me, it's almost never necessary in fiction.

To go off tangent a bit, assuming identity of someone not dead or otherwise has not been disappearing for a long time, that's not something I'm very comfortable with either. You (as in the character doing the controlling) are controlling their bodies/their actions to some extent. You're around, so they may not be able to come back as themselves and have to watch you upsetting their lives, such as it is, and if they do show themselves, what's to say or why would anyone believe they are the real ones and not copies?

While I think mind control sometimes makes good conflicts, I dislike the element of unfairness in the whole thing. (There is the moral aspect of brainwashing too, but I'm better off avoiding the subject because I just don't have the energy to be so negative.) I would feel that way even if the good guy exert mind control over the bad guy and made them good temporarily. And I say temporarily because it would not last if the antagonist is fundamentally bad and doesn't want to change by their own free will. And they should not. I don't (normally) want a villain who turns out to be good. They should stay at the level of evilness they are (I don't mind if they get more evil as the series progresses, though).

Your opinions, please. No prize, no anything to bribe you to vote, so only vote if you want to. Thank you. :)

Poll #1127059 Mind Control in Fiction

What do you think of mind control in fiction? (Check all that apply.)

I like it.
I dislike it.
I don't actively like or dislike it.
I haven't really noticed it.
I'm okay if it's there; I'm also okay if it's not there.
I'll tolerate it as long as it's meaningful to the plot.
I haven't encountered the use of mind control in any of my fandom(s).
I believe mind control only exists in science fiction.
I honestly have no opinion on the subject.
You don't have the answer(s) I'm looking for.
Tags: poll, ultraman mebius, writing
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