The Minecraft Manhunt series is perhaps one of the most popular and successful series in all of Minecraft. In the previous article, I already discussed its history and how it got famous. This time, I will investigate why the series is so addicting to watch.
In all honesty, I never really like any Minecraft series before Manhunt, mainly because it was boring to watch. Perhaps the only series I remembered liking was Hunger Games, which similarly also had the elements of a Manhunt. Yes, I’m not really into watching people mining for diamonds or building houses for 1 hour straight. Without a doubt, certain demographics do like these types of content. However, series like these never really caught my eye or the “mainstream” audience and so never grew as large as Minecraft Manhunt.
Therefore, it begs me to ask the question: why is Manhunt different from the other series before it? What causes it to become so popular and addicting to watch?
The Similarities to an Underdog Story and a Superhero Movie
In my opinion, this is the single most compelling reason why Manhunt is so popular. We can derive so many aspects from Manhunt that mirrors an underdog story. At the beginning of every Manhunt episode, Dream is always disadvantaged and intensely bullied by the 3 or 4 hunters. He will then try to overcome this challenge, which is the most interesting aspect of an underdog story. Dream does this by finding clever ways to escape and turn the tides against his opponents with traps and tactics from Reddit. Despite all the odds stacked against the protagonist, Dream will, sometimes, beat the game and the hunters.
The Manhunt series can also be very similar to the likes of a Marvel movie or the John Wick movies. Superhero movies usually always start with the heroes facing an immensely difficult challenge, similar to the underdog situation. The hero will then eventually overcome this challenge with his superpowers. Setting traps and executing outplays is very similar to a hero getting a new superpower.
Also, remember the scene where John Wick kills the enemy with a pencil? That scene is very similar to the scenario where Dream outplays the hunters with 8 blocks of wood planks:
So we have established the similarities between the Manhunt series and the story of an underdog or a superhero. However, the question of why we like the Manhunt series or an underdog story still remains to be answered.
Why We Love Underdog Stories
The reason why we root for the underdog is quite diverse and has not been proven. Different sources have different opinions about the matter. However, one explanation that is quite universal is schadenfreude. Schadenfreude is the pleasure that we obtain from seeing the troubles of others. Schadenfreude does not work on the underdog because the odds are stacked against them; they will likely lose. However, schadenfreude works on individuals who are expected to win. Seeing the powerhouse team lose will cause us to experience schadenfreude and, thus, we root for the underdog.
Another universal reason why we love an underdog story is that we can relate to it. Not everybody is a winner and, sadly, losers are more prevalent in this world. We frequently classify ourselves as the underdog simply because it is so easy to relate to them.
Moreover, it has been proven that we find more enjoyment out of unexpected successes. This is, of course, what an underdog story is all about. If you think about it logically, it makes perfect sense. If you lose as an underdog, it is expected in the first place. However, if you win as an underdog, the win becomes much more fulfilling and meaningful.
The Music or Soundtrack
One of the elements of the Manhunt series that kept me by the edge of my seat for the whole episode is the soundtrack. As the series progresses, Dream continues to perfect his choice of music that he uses. The soundtracks that he used are not popular or crafted scientifically. Dream said that he simply used audioblocks.com to find his soundtracks and pay the license. However, when placed with the perfect scene, these soundtracks can be a masterpiece. Though it is not from the Manhunt series, here’s an example of the scene where the music perfectly blends into the action
Some of the music that Dream used became so popular that it became “his own brand” or a meme. Here’s an example of such music:
If you search for any video that tries to impersonate Dream’s Manhunt or speedruns, you will definitely find this music in the background.
Dream also uploaded the uncut recording of the last Manhunt on his second channel. The footage, of course, has no music or any major edits. If you try to watch it, you can fully feel the difference that the soundtracks can create, especially in the nail-biting moments. Without the soundtracks that Dream uses, I don’t think that the series will be as interesting to watch or be as popular as it is today.
The Realness of the Series
I think what separates these series from the movies we see from Hollywood is the realness. Superhero movies are cool and all, but I don’t find them too fascinating because of the expected outcome. We already know what they are capable of, and the heroes always win. However, Dream has lost on several occasions and has proven to be incredibly unpredictable when it comes to his outplays. Moreover, coupling the realness with the similarity to an underdog story, this series becomes something that is absolutely relatable to all of us. I think that this is what keeps me and perhaps all of his audience to enjoy and follow the series.
Also, the series is not scripted in any way. All the outplays and clutch moments in the series are spontaneous. Though some scenes can be shady, look impossible, and scripted, Dream usually debunks all of this in his second channel or his twitch streams. Here’s an example of Dream debunking the scripting accusation:
Featured Image by IMDB