View Full Version : The world wouldn't end if two characters were actually a couple.
01-09-2013, 07:23 AM
So the prevailing cliche that as an anime fan I've accepted for many years is that in most anime, there just isn't going to be an actual relationship between our protagonist lovebirds. But lately, it's driving me nuts and I really am annoyed by it.
After decades, is cliche just so deeply rooting that authors or companies are just afraid to break from these tired formulas?
I can't count the number of anime/manga across many genres where we have a protagonist guy and a girl, and they're very much open to getting together. Often, they're not only hot for eachother but also love at first sight.
But then they're never together, not even slightly, it's like all these authors can do is say "these two like eachother"... and they think if they were a real couple that the story would have to end.
Relying so much on silly soap opera baloney, "will they or won't they", it's such a one trick pony.
Two characters who know they are in love should at least be able to cuddle or something once in a while. Anyways, this insufferable and unentertaining cliche and lack of imagination is driving me crazy folks.
For the record, I know there are a couple here and there that buck that trend, but the countless that are made sticking to this cliche and seem to never stop being made is currently annoying me. As an anime fan, I hope this changes some day.
Ah! My Goddess is like a living hell, for example. Or say Freezing, and countless anime/manga where women throw themselves at our protagonist literally offering him sex, and somehow he doesn't even go in for a hug with the one he's in mutual love with. Somebody stop the madness.
01-09-2013, 01:13 PM
Maybe this just reflects the growing cultural reality of male/female relationships in Japan. This is a generalization of course, but put as simply as possible Japan is quickly becoming a country and a people group where no one gets married, of those that are married no one is having sex, of those that are having sex no one is having kids. Why do you think all these movies and books are coming out addressing the question, "What do we do with all the old people when there are no more young people to support them?"
Now that you mention it, this story trope is rather unrealistic. In reality people's problem is usually finding a person who they mutually like and the wherewithal to start dating them, not an inability (or lack of desire) to turn a friendly relationship with a girlfriend into something truely romantic, intimate, or sexual. It is true in a way that the blatant circumlocution of sex in media is sort of just reinforcing the attitude that sex is "bad" or "naughty" in any context (after all it isn't clean enough for your favorite anime characters to ever engage in).
Teens and pre-teens specifically (the target audience for many rom-com manga) need to be taught that sex is something to be sought after (in the right context), not something evil or culturally taboo. But instead we get lines like Ah My Goddess protagonist Keiichi Morisato's wish of, "I want you to be my girlfriend forever!" In truth, people don't want to have a girlfriend forever. Life, unlike most stories, moves on and eventually there comes a desire to be something more than boyfriend/girlfriend. Repressing sex doesn't make it safer, it makes it more uncontrolled.
01-09-2013, 01:32 PM
I feel like I've run into this somewhat less in recent years, rather than more. Maybe that just reflects me dropping harem shows faster these days, on average, so I see less unresolved relationships through to the last episode, while I'm more likely to stick with a show that emphasizes the relationship over the rivalry.
Even so, I feel like more often than not, outside of harem anime strictly defined, a couple is established in the shows I've been watching that focus on romantic relationships.
If I have a gripe about romantic relationships in anime (besides the lack of seriously-developed canon yuri relationships) it's that waiting until the end to establish the couple is still fairly common. I would like to see the confession as a beginning to a relationship, not an ending. In some cases this is due to short one cour lengths, but I think it's pretty doable for most shows to have established mutually confessed feelings by episode 6 or so. A number of shows do manage to establish a open relationship with time to spare, though, so it's not like it doesn't happen.
I guess it comes down to what shows you're watching, and how far along the relationship needs to be before it meets your criteria for being an "actual relationship".
01-09-2013, 03:38 PM
I realized that such shows are on the decline as well. It's just that as time passes along, the tastes have changed along with it. With this genre, I feel like the same types of things that are typical in such shows are recycled in a new form over and over again, and it gets quite old. Such stuff makes me less patient with those shows that I tend to give up on them much more quickly.
01-09-2013, 08:22 PM
I'm mainly commenting on non-harem shows here.
A lot of it depends on the source material for the anime. If it's a manga or LN series, it probably is more profitable to the author and publisher to drag the drama out as much as possible (eg. Chihayafuru)
For anime based on VN, there is the problem of which route or ending to animate. They could just choose one pairing (ala Clannad) or do something like Amagami SS which was like playing through multiple times.
As mentioned by others earlier, the culture and age factor also needs to be taken into consideration. A lot of anime couples are still in high school so the most a show can go is a confession (usually near the end but that's another issue)
I don't really consider it that big an issue, and probably would get more annoyed if they add romance to a show just for the sake of a romance (I really hope a show like Psycho Pass won't go this way). Platonic relationships between the two main leads are good too! I think most fans just ship whoever they want in their imaginations anyway :D
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