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So GMMAS made a Male Protagonist Bingo card and, while it’s specifically designed for video game characters, I thought Liesmith was videogame-influenced enough that it would be amusing to do a card for its male protagonists, Lain and Sigmund.

Lain almost, almost got a bingo; he just missed out by virtue of not being a loner. Admittedly, though Lain often acts alone in the narrative, he has strong connections–and, importantly, actively works to build strong connections–with other people.

Some of the dots are generous, like “brooding” (Lain does this occasionally, mainly as a side-effect of his 1POV narration), and “psychological problems” (they’re Fantasy Novel Psychological Problems rather than actual mental illness per se).

“They killed my [x] I’ll make them pay” also only applies to, erm, some of Lain (it’s a little complicated). But I’ve checked it anyway.

The one thing I didn’t check was “white”. Lain’s a shapeshifter, and he does have a non-zero number of “standard forms” that are, in fact, white. He also has a number that aren’t, including his “true” form–in as much as anything can be considered his true form–although this is admittedly not a colour humans naturally are.1

Using non-human characters are “PoC stand-ins” is problematic in general. So, that being said, second protagonist Sigmund is an actual human person of colour. (As is at least one of Sigmund’s besties.)2

Speaking of Sigmund, he only gets a mild serve of “supernatural powers” and a similar sort of “they killed my [x]” as Lain does. Otherwise I think he’s pretty clear.

  1. “Like burnt earth” or “charcoal”, depending on how poetic the narrator is feeling. It’s intended to be a bit more mauve than human skin is capable of, given Lain’s blood is purple, not red.
  2. The other friend has a Russian name, but her ethnicity is otherwise unspecified. For the record, I imagine her as Caucasian. Like, from the literal Caucasus.