First to explain the video. Excel Saga is a spoof anime and Hyatt (the repeatedly dying girl) is a spoof on the cliche ‘weak constitution’ or ‘anemic’ character. These are typically girls in anime. She keels over and hacks up blood throughout the entire series. The subtitles don’t really matter and this was the shortest video I could find with her dying repeatedly.
My bout with the devilish Influenza (type not yet determined) has led me to wonder about something. The use of disease in stories is strange to me. Typically, you will see disease used in the following way:
- Area is quarantined due to an epidemic and the plot is to find a cure.
- Loved one has a mysterious disease and the plot is to find a cure.
- Hero has been subjected to a mysterious disease. Must either find cure or complete a task to earn the cure . . . Yes, I’m watching Escape from New York.
- Character gets a mysterious disease over the course of an adventure and gains victory while suffering. (I will admit to having a story about this one.)
One thing you rarely see is people getting common diseases unless it’s a sitcom or historical piece where the disease would be more dangerous than today. I can’t think of a tale where the hero contracts the common cold at some point. Not a crippling event, but something that could be interesting if done for a bit. In fact, a disease is almost exclusively plot central. The one story I can think of where a disease was part of a subplot is ‘Tombstone’ and Doc Holiday’s battle with TB. I think that’s what it was since it’s been a while since I watched it.
Maybe the use of disease as a small plot point or a minor issue is simply too unimportant to bother with. I’m curious what other people think of the use of disease in literature and if there is a good or bad way to do it.