What is "Peak Fiction"?

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TeaParty88

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#1  Edited By TeaParty88

I've been hearing/reading this phrase lately, specially among manga/anime fans, the most basic definition I've come acrossed was, "peak fiction" is basically the apex form of what fictional storytelling is or can be, meaning the best in the world of "fiction", series like Berserk, One Piece, Fist of the North Star, Monster, Neon Genesis Evangelion etc are being thrown as to what "Peak Fiction" constitutes, these series (according to them) are in the top hierarchy in fiction.

So my questions are, what exactly defines "peak fiction"? What are its qualities? And how would books like Moby Dick, Iliad, The Sound and Fury etc (basically the classics) fit right in this so called "peak fiction" bubble?

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kbroskywalker

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fiction cannot peak for a story can always do more. I think a comparison of nge and beserk would reveal quickly that nge does a lot more per story beat tho

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Necromancer76

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It could have many definitions, such as an objectively well-crafted storyline or a highly influential narrative.

These days, you see the term thrown around a lot for stuff like Attack on Titan (which, uh, definitely doesn't match most of the series in the OP) so such a descriptor isn't really reliable.

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BOC

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It'd be the same way we evaluate the quality of any art:

the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

So, whether or not those classics fulfill this to the highest level ("peak"), would be for you to decide.

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Killer94

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#5  Edited By Killer94

It's subjective, any form of fictional-narrative-media can be called "peak fiction" but what separates them is the technical aspects of it, for example here's a passage/paragraph from the novel Moby-Dick:

"This is much; yet Ahab's larger, darker, deeper part remains unhinted. But vain to popularize profundities, and all truth is profound. Winding far down from within the very heart of this spiked Hotel de Cluny where we here stand—however grand and wonderful, now quit it;—and take your way, ye nobler, sadder souls, to those vast Roman halls of Thermes; where far beneath the fantastic towers of man's upper earth, his root of grandeur, his whole awful essence sits in bearded state; an antique buried beneath antiquities, and throned on torsoes! So with a broken throne, the great gods mock that captive king; so like a Caryatid, he patient sits, upholding on his frozen brow the piled entablatures of ages. Wind ye down there, ye prouder, sadder souls! question that proud, sad king! A family likeness! aye, he did beget ye, ye young exiled royalties; and from your grim sire only will the old State-secret come. Now, in his heart, Ahab had some glimpse of this, namely: all my means are sane, my motive and my object mad. Yet without power to kill, or change, or shun the fact; he likewise knew that to mankind he did now long dissemble; in some sort, did still. But that thing of his dissembling was only subject to his perceptibility, not to his will determinate. Nevertheless, so well did he succeed in that dissembling, that when with ivory leg he stepped ashore at last, no Nantucketer thought him otherwise than but naturally grieved, and that to the quick, with the terrible casualty which had overtaken him."

I haven't yet encountered a single Manga/Comic Book that has this high level of writing, the way Melville commanded the English language in his prose is godly, and his use of metaphors, allusions, symbolisms etc are unparalleled.

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deactivated-630e76b30adec

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Something fictional that's very very cool.

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sp4ce

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Hades

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socajunkie

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#8 socajunkie  Moderator

GoT S1-4.

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Aystarr

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HER 🔊

Singlehandedly raised the standard of Fiction.

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DCEU_Buster

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Berserk

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The_MetaBee

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Mid Piece is not peak fiction that’s for sure.

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JohnBrief

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#13  Edited By JohnBrief

Mid Piece is not peak fiction that’s for sure.

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death4bunnies

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#14 death4bunnies  Moderator
No Caption Provided

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byondeon

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Money_Brings_Happiness

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Dumai's Wells, the climax of book six of the Wheel of Time.

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AKZ

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El Muerto

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Straight-Fire

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Game of Thrones.

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Gyava

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Word vomit isn't peak fiction. Symbolism and references can't be peak fiction. Language hardly matters. Only things that matters are the characters and story.

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Killer94

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@gyava: Story & Characters are subjective, the technical aspects should always be the main factor in assessing a books quality.

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ReaperTheGrim

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A piece of media that is agreed by the majority to be of the/the best of its genre.

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Gyava

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@killer94: lol. How do these superficial things matter in assessing the quality of a fictional work? Language is just a medium to tell the story, it's not the story itself. How it's written should have no bearing on the story itself. Tell me how would you assess a silent movie with no dialogue? Comics with only dialogue and no prose?

Symbolism is not story. It's a complementary element to the story but still not story. Like garnish on a dish. It's nothing if the base story is trash.

And we can objectively assess a story. We can look for plot holes, we can see how the events play out. For characters we can look for consistency, development and so on. We can see if the tone is consistent and what not.

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BOC

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#24  Edited By BOC
@killer94 said:

Story & Characters are subjective, the technical aspects should always be the main factor in assessing a books quality.

What makes the latter objective, when the former isn't?

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DeusExMachlna

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#25  Edited By DeusExMachlna
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warrior8411

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#26  Edited By warrior8411

Well Peak fiction is obviously MCU's Thor Love and Thunder! :)

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HunterCuistot

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Not whatever capeshit you guys like to jerk it to that's for sure.

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J_Normal

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One piece

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Zombiewarreny

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Morbius

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deactivated-6307faaa001f7

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Breaking Bad

Avatar Last Airbender

and you know what kinda random I wanna give The OA some love the first season was very slow and dreadful but the second season was 9/10 for me

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FunkyNamu

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#31  Edited By FunkyNamu

One Piece & JoJo's

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#32 killbilly  Moderator
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Something that which is equivocal or greater than the sum of genre fiction's parts. Usually said in comparison to be on par with potential literature, but mostly not so much so.

Games like Silent Hill 2 or KOTOR 2 would be considered "peak fiction", but only because the former took inspiration from Jacob's Ladder, Solaris (both the film and novel), and Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky. KOTOR 2 was a deconstruction of the concept of the force and also because of Chris Avellone reading God Emperor of Dune one too many times.

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Of course, there's stuff like this in film which is almost comparable to literature, but not entirely much so:

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KaiserRebellion

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Subjective term to call what one may think is the high point of the series there are reading or watching. For various fanbases it varies.

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fabricolage

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I dunno, I guess it would be the opposite of whatever is peak non-fiction.

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higherpower

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#36 higherpower  Moderator

Luckily I've answered this question already.

Some random literary works I’d consider peak fiction, attempting to touch on all mediums here:

Novels: Don Quixote, War and Peace, Crime and Punishment, Huckleberry Finn, Hundred Years of Solitude, Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, Moby Dick, The Sound and the Fury, Grapes of Wrath, 1984, Ulysses, Lord of the Rings, Lolita, a million others there’s too many

Poems: The Divine Comedy, Romeo & Juliet, The Odyssey/Iliad, Virgil, Beowulf, etc.

Comics: Berserk, JJBA, One Piece, Vagabond, Sandman, Watchmen, Bone, some Hickman’s Marvel at its peak

Television/Film: The Godfather, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Seven Samurai, Spirited Away, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, The Wire

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Eredin12

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#37  Edited By Eredin12

No anime or TV show produced so far, can come even close to being called peak fiction, maybe peak of fantastical fiction but not peak of fiction in general.

The Brothers Karamazov is epitome of what peak fiction means . It is, without question , something agreed by almost all critiques, one of the greatest novels that has ever been written in any language, arguably the best. Chapter like The Grand Inquisitor alone are much more better and more complex than most novels you can think of.

Spirituality, power, money, unmatched complexity of characters, sexual obsession, psychology, familial dysfunction , self loathing, nihilism and philosophy- are just some of the themes of the book. It was written by Russian writer and philosopher Fyodor Dostoevsky whom even Nietzsche, someone with quite different philosophy( at least moral and spiritual philosophy, they did agree on lot of other things) admired, saying : “Dostoevsky, the only psychologist from whom I've anything to learn.”

His other famous work, Crime and Punishment is also one of the things you could rightly consider when talking about peak of fiction but Brothers Karamazov is even better and more deep novel.Everything he was searching in his life was in this book.

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lazerbeak

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Marvel comics > Star Wars comics

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Killer94

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@gyava said:

@killer94: lol. How do these superficial things matter in assessing the quality of a fictional work? Language is just a medium to tell the story, it's not the story itself. How it's written should have no bearing on the story itself.

Mastery of the language is not superficial in any shape or form, it actually enhances the story being told, more sublime storytelling & more complex prose, compare Moby Dick or any well written classic to the shit that people like (50 Shades, Twilight, Harry Potter etc or majority of mangas) and you'll see heaps and bounds of difference in terms quality writing, only the illiterate would never know the difference.

Tell me how would you assess a silent movie with no dialogue?

Different form of medium, we're talking about books/manga/comics here right?

Comics with only dialogue and no prose?

Again, the language improves on that, just compare Watchmen's overall prose and Moore's use of language on his portrayal of the characters to stuff like Dragon Ball, Bleach, Naruto etc. the latter feels like been written by viners with battleboard fetishes.

Symbolism is not story. It's a complementary element to the story but still not story. Like garnish on a dish. It's nothing if the base story is trash.

Symbolism, metaphors, allusions etc makes a story nuanced, I agree that a good story should established before inserting any form of philosophical commentary, Moby Dick for example is an adventure/sea fairing novel in its core, but what makes Moby Dick a monumental piece of literature is it's unrelenting themes of human nature, religion/theology, faith, free will etc, even after 171 years since its publication, the Academe is still debating/discussing its message, themes and what it all meant, I doubt any manga would ever achieve that kind status.

Lastly, the label "peak fiction" is subjective, just like all art is subjective, you can even say that Tommy Wisseau's The Room is peak fiction, what I'm trying to say is that, the technical aspects is what truly separates one book/manga/comics to the other, your enjoyment is all that matters but it's also asinine to say that "Moby-Dick has the same level of writing as to Berserk"

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Killer94

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@eredin12: The Cetology part of Moby-Dick could rival The Grand Inquisitor, most people dismiss the Cetology section as boring but this is the parts that actually contain the psychological/philosophical aspect of the novel.

Anyway, both novels IMO are in the top hierarchy of fiction.

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#41  Edited By thenamelessone  Moderator

Naoki Urasawa's Monster.

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#42 firefly894  Online
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Eredin12

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BroGokudestroys

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Anything people call peak fiction

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Scholomance

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@killer94 said:

It's subjective, any form of fictional-narrative-media can be called "peak fiction" but what separates them is the technical aspects of it, for example here's a passage/paragraph from the novel Moby-Dick:

"This is much; yet Ahab's larger, darker, deeper part remains unhinted. But vain to popularize profundities, and all truth is profound. Winding far down from within the very heart of this spiked Hotel de Cluny where we here stand—however grand and wonderful, now quit it;—and take your way, ye nobler, sadder souls, to those vast Roman halls of Thermes; where far beneath the fantastic towers of man's upper earth, his root of grandeur, his whole awful essence sits in bearded state; an antique buried beneath antiquities, and throned on torsoes! So with a broken throne, the great gods mock that captive king; so like a Caryatid, he patient sits, upholding on his frozen brow the piled entablatures of ages. Wind ye down there, ye prouder, sadder souls! question that proud, sad king! A family likeness! aye, he did beget ye, ye young exiled royalties; and from your grim sire only will the old State-secret come. Now, in his heart, Ahab had some glimpse of this, namely: all my means are sane, my motive and my object mad. Yet without power to kill, or change, or shun the fact; he likewise knew that to mankind he did now long dissemble; in some sort, did still. But that thing of his dissembling was only subject to his perceptibility, not to his will determinate. Nevertheless, so well did he succeed in that dissembling, that when with ivory leg he stepped ashore at last, no Nantucketer thought him otherwise than but naturally grieved, and that to the quick, with the terrible casualty which had overtaken him."

I haven't yet encountered a single Manga/Comic Book that has this high level of writing, the way Melville commanded the English language in his prose is godly, and his use of metaphors, allusions, symbolisms etc are unparalleled.

@eredin12 said:

No anime or TV show produced so far, can come even close to being called peak fiction, maybe peak of fantastical fiction but not peak of fiction in general.

The Brothers Karamazov is epitome of what peak fiction means . It is, without question , something agreed by almost all critiques, one of the greatest novel that has ever been written in any language, arguably the best. Chapter like The Grand Inquisitor alone are much more better and more complex than most novels you can think of.

Spirituality, power, money, unmatched complexity of characters, sexual obsession, psychology, familial dysfunction , self loathing, nihilism and philosophy- are just some of the themes of the book. It was written by Russian writer and philosopher Fyodor Dostoevsky whom even Nietzsche, someone with quite different philosophy( at least moral and spiritual philosophy, they did agree on lot of other things) admired, saying : “Dostoevsky, the only psychologist from whom I've anything to learn.”

His other famous work, Crime and Punishment is also one of the things you could rightly consider when talking about peak of fiction but Brothers Karamazov is even better and more deep novel.Everything he was searching in his life was in this book.

Pretentious as hell, straightforward storytelling will always trump overly pretentious drivel, these novels are very out of touch with reality with their pseudo intellectual prose and themes.

Manga and Anime are the peak, nothing comes close. Vagabond & Berserk solos.

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TheInsufferable

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A phrase that is usually used to wank some mediocre story.

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Crapser

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anything is "peak fiction" these days

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Eredin12

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#50  Edited By Eredin12

@scholomance: Psychological and philosophical novels belonging to a realist literature movement, and answering eternal questions are " out touch with reality"? Agreed, Berserk rules!