|Trope · Genre|
|Related:||team, poly, gen, multi-pairing, (something that means living together?)|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
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An ensemble is a group of characters, usually at least four, though the exact number varies. It is sometimes referred to as an ensemble cast. Ensemble canons generally contain a large number of major characters, in contrast with, for example, buddy shows or rom coms, where the lead pair dominates. Similarly, ensemble fanworks focus on a group of characters, though those characters may not have been major characters in their original canons. They are in contrast to pairing-centric works and character studies.
What defines the ensemble is its focus on a group dynamic or on several characters, regardless of what romantic relationships may or may not exist in the work. Ensemble fanworks might be gen, or contain a pairing that is not the main focus of the work, or they might be multi-pairing or poly works, or any combination of these choices. However, ensemble is sometimes used to denote specifically non-romantic gen works. Ensemble fanfiction is often long, to give the various characters time to interact and develop.
Anna S describes the ensemble trope as including elite teams of explorers, spies, law enforcement figures, etc; sentai; military squadrons; skilled teams operating like clockwork, such as when pulling off a heist; bands of rebels; families; surrogate families; outcasts, e.g., freaks and geeks; carnival troupes; motley characters thrown together by fate; alternatives to society e.g., Robin Hood and his Merry Men, Peter Pan and the Lost Boys.
Ensemble fanworks tend to be more common for ensemble canons. For example:
- Fellowship works in Lord of the Rings
- Team works in several fandoms, including Stargate and Leverage
- OT6 or Avengers Mansion/Tower works in Avengers (Marvel)
- Guild or Team works in Fairy Tail
- Knights of the Round Table works in Merlin (BBC)
- Pilot pile works in Gundam Wing
- Crew stories in (space)ship-based fandoms, such as Blake's 7 and Firefly
- eliade: List of Fan-fiction Kinks, Tropes, and Clichés (accessed 21 November 2012)