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Old 2012-10-17, 22:09   Link #81
Vexx
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Since the settings are high school, these often portray a guy/gal in their first romance. They are simply going to make a lot of mistakes and slack should be cut

Now, if they're 30-something and still dense as mud - then its much easier to throw tomatoes. However, in Spice&Wolf (a 30-something example) - we see the guy make mistakes but he's much more savvy in handling them.

In high school, I just started walking with this one girl after math class to our next class. I was paralyzed with actually trying to ask her out. She ended up asking me out ("I need an escort to my club dinner, want to go?"). After that, it got easier.
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Old 2012-10-18, 00:17   Link #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiibi View Post
Yeah, you meant personality, then? And LOL.
Yes and no. Personality is but one facet of a character, albeit an important one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GenjiChan View Post
If the MC is a perfect guy... then a harem are for perfect guys only....

If the MC is imperfect.. then we got chances to have our own!!!
That's pretty much the foundation of the post 90s harem environment in Anime.
It's orignated from the appeal of galge (including eroge) carried over to the animation medium.

"wish fulfillment" and "self injection (or self representation)".

Whereas, majority of such manga before that era focused on either the glamour or purely the comedic side of it.
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Old 2012-10-18, 01:28   Link #83
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Originally Posted by Chiibi View Post
BAKAAAAAAAA  (>口<)

Chiibi was feeling very much like a tsundere love interest stuck in a rom-com anime that day.....(=へ=)
You know, the way you use those emoticons was very cute.
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Old 2012-10-18, 02:01   Link #84
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becuz your a loser and he's a loser so you two can relate
also wish fulfilment.
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Old 2012-10-18, 02:11   Link #85
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Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
If the main character was fabulous, you'll most likely have girls falling all over him (assuming he is not a jerk). This can easily lead to too many contenders with the MC having to pick and choose before things are reduced to a manageable level.

Most settings are in middle school or high school. You're not really going to have some interesting activities in terms of fiction unless the MC is some special talented person who goes on adventures, known in a speciality, or is generally wacky enough for people to notice. This can lead to either the problem of being too popular or being too great for most people to approach.
Those are the genre typecasts obviously, meeting the criteria of wish fulfilling for the audience.

But there are few that manages to be successful while deviating from those typecast.
Hakuoro from Utawarerumono, and Captain Ohgami from Sakura Taisen franchise comes to mind.
They both share a similar trait of being goofy, and allowing himself to be in a tug-of-war amongst many heroines.
But the difference from typical submissive reactionary harem protagonist was the fact that they were mature.
Within reason, they allow girls to push them around, due to their mature, high tolerence.
But they know when to set foot down when appropriate, with a commanding presense of a leader and a firm conviction.

Unfortunately children protagonists are just that, children.
They don't have the developed maturity of grown men like these two.

I find these guys very awesome and ideal harem heroes for my taste though.
I guess personally being able to relate to age-wise does play a large role.


Aaaand totally 180 turn from those, I also like the complete utter magnificient bastards like Dark Schneider and Rance, because well you know, they just don't give a f***.
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Old 2012-10-18, 03:59   Link #86
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I'm a 25 year old currently working on a fairly prestigeous degree (already have my undergrade), so I don't really "self insert" and to be honest I don't think I ever did in the first place.

However, I do remember what it's like not being the cool guy and feel a certain kinship with younger guys in that position.

That said, I'm kind of picky about who I like. Renji from EF: A Tale of Memories (not a harem show, but targetted to a similar audience) is my personal favourite example of the - his whole shy bookworm shota thing is really endearing. My support is not only demanded but given freely!

Shingo from Mashiro-Iro symphony is another favourite - I liked his diplomatic ideals, which I connected to in the way I can't really connect with extremely masculine protagonists despite considering some of them a riot to watch.

In contrast... well, Sumeragi mentions Amagami. Junichi definitely was not a favourite, as much as the show did a decent job detailing how he won over the girls he still came across to me as far, far from the best there is among quiet, seldom noticed guys. Plus, I found him too moppy.
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Old 2012-10-18, 04:19   Link #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyl View Post
Actually the main characters from the last few harem series that i have seen, do have a goal. So i have no idea which ones you are talking about.

As for "we" want, we "the foreigners" are usually not included in the target audience for harem animes in japan. Some series with these socalled "uninteresting" MC's actually sold very well. Why would the producers change their formula?
And SAO is selling extremely well right now, with a male lead that is the very answer to what backbone is looking for.

Frankly, that invalidates your argument here, imo.


Quote:
Also most of the harem series these days originate from popular light novels. So these animes try to satisfy the japanese otaku's (and i doubt that they are "alpha males") and not "us"
You don't have to be an alpha male in order to like one. Batman is quite the alpha male, and I'm sure he has millions of fans who are not alpha males.


Quote:
I don't mind being treated as a doormat in some cases.
Really? You like people walking all over you?

Most people don't like being treated like doormats, so why would we want to identify with a guy that's being treated that way?


Quote:
As such, i am pretty sure there are more people like myself who are M to certain type of heroines (tsunderes, kuuderes, etc)
Wouldn't you rather be on equal footing with the type of heroine that you like? A healthy relationship is one between people who treat each other as equal partners in life, not one where one feels that they can get away with constantly walking all over the other one.
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Old 2012-10-18, 04:29   Link #88
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
And SAO is selling extremely well right now, with a male lead that is the very answer to what backbone is looking for.

Frankly, that invalidates your argument here, imo.
Interesting claim, any actual numbers how much the foreign consumers are helping with the sales of SAO?
As for SAO selling well, i don't think it's by definition a harem serie. Otherwise you can even call Fate / stay night and Accel World a harem serie.
Personally I think it's popular because of it's own settings and how it's portrayed, not primarily because of the "harem elements"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
You don't have to be an alpha male in order to like one. Batman is quite the alpha male, and I'm sure he has millions of fans who are not alpha males.
Batman is not a harem serie, which does not entertain it's audience in the same as a harem story. Also harem series don't have the same demographic target as a super hero comic.
Of course you don't have to be an alpha male to like something, but you can easier relate with someone if they resemble you more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Wouldn't you rather be on equal footing with the type of heroine that you like? A healthy relationship is one between people who treat each other as equal partners in life, not one where one feels that they can get away with constantly walking all over the other one.
If that what the audience wanted, then the "S" arche type like tsunderes, kuuderes and yanderes would have died out a decenium ago.
You won't likely see situations that you find in harem series happen every day in real life. So i don't think using the "realism" argument would work here.

Last edited by hyl; 2012-10-18 at 04:57. Reason: typo
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Old 2012-10-18, 05:02   Link #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
And SAO is selling extremely well right now, with a male lead that is the very answer to what backbone is looking for.

Frankly, that invalidates your argument here, imo.
Well, aside from hyl's point that this is not really a harem anime (even if it has a few components that could be construed that way), if you're going to make that argument, then you should consider that To-Love Ru Darkness is leading the infamous "Stalker Point" charts for Fall 2012 shows at the moment. I don't think it will outsell SAO in the end, but I'm not sure that it's so conclusive.


I was going to say this earlier, but it may be worth thinking of three separate sorts of shows that could all loosely fall under the "harem anime" banner:

1. There are shounen romantic comedy "harem anime" that are basically about "one average guy + lots of attractive females = fanservice!".

2. There are shounen action series with a strong harem element, that sort of split their focus between the hero getting stronger, and the many girls that surround him.

3. There are shounen/seinen romantic comedies/dramas based on visual novels where the harem element is partly a necessity caused by converting a branching story into a linear narrative. (In the original game, it may really be 4+ separate love stories that branch from the same starting point.)


The first type is most likely to have a "weaker" male lead, because that's a key element of the comedy and hijinks.

The second type is most likely to have a male lead that's physically strong (or has some special abilities) because that's necessary for the action plot.

The third type is more of a wildcard, and could fall at any end of the spectrum depending on the tone of the original work and the way it gets adapted into anime.


People who have a strong dislike of the "weak" and "uninteresting" male leads would probably be advised to avoid the first type of show, and instead focus more on the second. Thankfully for them, there are a number of light novels that fall in the mould of the second type, and many of these have been adapted recently.
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Old 2012-10-18, 05:26   Link #90
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It's not just in anime that we have this. . . i mean this is a usual literary tactic/cliche. The normal boy is supposedly there for the reader to relate and envision himself (same vice versa) in that position. I personally think that such technique should be abandoned already (well of course unless the "normal boy/girl" archetype fits the story) since it really degrades the essence of a main character.
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Old 2012-10-18, 05:50   Link #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame
1. There are shounen romantic comedy "harem anime" that are basically about "one average guy + lots of attractive females = fanservice!".
I don't want to sound nitpicky, but even if the romance or plot is shallow, can you really call fanservice harem anime "shounen" when the inteded audience are clearly at least mature male (just from the fanservice alone)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahelo View Post
It's not just in anime that we have this. . . i mean this is a usual literary tactic/cliche. The normal boy is supposedly there for the reader to relate and envision himself (same vice versa) in that position. I personally think that such technique should be abandoned already (well of course unless the "normal boy/girl" archetype fits the story) since it really degrades the essence of a main character.
It depends really. The main attraction of the harem genre is the girls and their personalities and problems. Adding depth to the main character would be nice indeed, but it's not really necessary in this genre.

Think the old Tokimeki Memorial game for why the "bland male character" kept persisting in vn-type stories. In there, the main character exists in name only (and even that is changeable). Everything he is depends on what you choose for him. At the very least, I think this is where the "bland main character" were rooted at.
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Old 2012-10-18, 05:54   Link #92
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Originally Posted by hyl View Post
Interesting claim, any actual numbers how much the foreign consumers are helping with the sales of SAO?
Didn't you just dismiss the foreign audience a few posts back?

You, my friend, were the person to put the emphasis on Japanese otakus. Fair enough. And Japanese otakus apparently have no problem in supporting harem anime (or action-adventure anime with strong harem elements) that have an alpha male lead. The proof is in Sword Art Online.

Now, that doesn't mean that Japanese otakus totally reject the doormat harem anime male leads either. But it does mean that having an alpha male as your harem anime male lead is not necessarily commercial suicide.

In other words, arguing in favor of doormat male leads purely on the basis of economics is a very flimsy argument.

If an alpha male lead can sell just as well as a doormat male lead, then choosing one or the other (or somebody between the two) should rest on something other than economic considerations.


Quote:
Otherwise you can even call Fate / stay night and Accel World a harem serie.
Fate/Stay Night is an eroge adaptation, isn't it? I mean, the original VN has romance routes in it, I'm pretty sure. Anyway, thanks for providing another example where a tough male lead (say what you will about Shirou, but he's no doormat) sold well in a show with strong harem anime elements.


Quote:
Personally I think it's popular because of it's own settings and how it's portrayed, not primarily because of the "harem elements"
I don't think that harem anime is popular (when it is popular) just because of its genre. I think it's mainly because of the appeal of its female characters, and maybe the quality of its narrative. The male lead is very much secondary to that, so the decision to go with alpha male or doormat (or something between) is one that's more important at a creative level than at an economic one, imo.


Quote:
Of course you don't have to be an alpha male to like something, but you can easier relate with someone if they resemble you more.
Well, anime fans (on both sides of the Pacific) don't seem to be having too much trouble identifying with Kirito.
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Old 2012-10-18, 06:19   Link #93
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Well, anime fans (on both sides of the Pacific) don't seem to be having too much trouble identifying with Kirito.
When it comes to Kirito or other alpha males, I think it has more to do with "admiration" rather than identifying with him.

For example, as a man, I admire Kamina's bravery so much, but I can't really identify with how he stupidly charge blindly into everything.
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Old 2012-10-18, 06:29   Link #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
When it comes to Kirito or other alpha males, I think it has more to do with "admiration" rather than identifying with him.

For example, as a man, I admire Kamina's bravery so much, but I can't really identify with how he stupidly charge blindly into everything.
Ok, fair point.

But one thing I want to point out here is that you can do an "average guy" without him having to be an outright doormat. A good example of this is, imo, Yuichi from Kanon (Kanon 2006 sold very well, by the way).

Yuichi wasn't a kickass action hero, really, but he did have a certain style and finesse to him and his interactions with the girls/women in his life. I think he was close enough to your "average guy" for viewers to identify with him, but he was also "above average" enough so that it was easy for me to accept him attracting all these girls to him.

I do find that my appreciation for a harem anime (or a series with strong harem elements) goes up considerably when I feel that the question of "Why is this guy attracting so many girls to him?" has a good answer to it. The answer doesn't have to be "alpha male", but if it's "doormat", then that's not a very good answer imo.
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Old 2012-10-18, 07:55   Link #95
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
(say what you will about Shirou, but he's no doormat)
Of course not. Clearly he's got the intelligence of a doorknob.
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Old 2012-10-18, 07:58   Link #96
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How about Tomoya of Clannad..?
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Old 2012-10-18, 08:02   Link #97
hyl
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post

You, my friend, were the person to put the emphasis on Japanese otakus. Fair enough. And Japanese otakus apparently have no problem in supporting harem anime (or action-adventure anime with strong harem elements) that have an alpha male lead. The proof is in Sword Art Online.
It's not exact proof, because we don't know how much impact the huge popularity of the LN's had on the hype of the anime. Like Horizon, Fate/Zero and Persona 4 (not a novel, but it's comparable because it had a game) it probably did very well because of it's existing fanbase that even grew of the anime.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
If an alpha male lead can sell just as well as a doormat male lead, then choosing one or the other (or somebody between the two) should rest on something other than economic considerations.
Risk aversion. If something is not broken, there is no need to fix it.

Plus the "doormat harem lead" is pretty common in LN's and VN's. So you actually have to blame those media instead of the anime who is merely adapting them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Fate/Stay Night is an eroge adaptation, isn't it? I mean, the original VN has romance routes in it, I'm pretty sure. Anyway, thanks for providing another example where a tough male lead (say what you will about Shirou, but he's no doormat) sold well in a show with strong harem anime elements.
Hardly any type moon fan cared about the eroge elements. It was purely the story and the writing that captured people into reading those works.
That's why their later works did not have any eroge elements in them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I don't think that harem anime is popular (when it is popular) just because of its genre. I think it's mainly because of the appeal of its female characters, and maybe the quality of its narrative. The male lead is very much secondary to that, so the decision to go with alpha male or doormat (or something between) is one that's more important at a creative level than at an economic one, imo.
I was talking about SAO's genre.


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Well, anime fans (on both sides of the Pacific) don't seem to be having too much trouble identifying with Kirito.
erneiz_hyde answered that
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Old 2012-10-18, 08:34   Link #98
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Won't you get bored seeing indecisive, stupid male leads whose brain completely useless when it comes to reading mood and have tendency to screw up in crucial moments?
Sup! You're totally right, mister! I don't care whether it's viewers taste or whatsoever. Useless guy is useless. Brain dead MC needs to be more brain dead. Those kind of MCs are the worst since they're just being nuisance rather than help for people around them.
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Look at this that way, WE are fcking sick and tired of the MC whose the sole defining trait is HE IS A NICE GUY, and unfortunately writers can't get through their brain that nice guy =/= doormat. We want to see a guy able to stand on its own, calling out on the abuse when it happens, telling the tsundere to quit the act, etc... We want a MC who have a goal on his own, that is not just " That girl".
Agree completely. Those kind of pathetic protagonists should just die and rot already. THIS is how it should be done!

Speaking about tsundere, i dont' like tsundere girls. More accurately, i hate them. They always treat people around them in crappy ways. People keep saying that tsundere are cute and adorable, but that's totally wrong. If anything, they're cruel and inhumane. They're not treating other people in crappy ways because of trauma nor mental illness but merely because of their own trashy personalities. Tsundere is the worst, and violent tsundere should just spend the rest of their life alone.
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Old 2012-10-18, 08:42   Link #99
hyl
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Originally Posted by Reek of Blood View Post

Speaking about tsundere, i dont' like tsundere girls. More accurately, i hate them. They always treat people around them in crappy ways. People keep saying that tsundere are cute and adorable, but that's totally wrong. If anything, they're cruel and inhumane. They're not treating other people in crappy ways because of trauma nor mental illness but merely because of their own trashy personalities. Tsundere is the worst, and violent tsundere should just spend the rest of their life alone.
Someone clearly has issues against tsunderes.

I have no idea what your actual defintion of tsundere is, but mine is much broader than the violent ones who ended up loving the main character.
My short definition is that they are people who are initially not honest to their own feelings and later up ending warming up. They have a tsun side now that will change to dere dere later. (also i joked on the last page with a screenshot of IroSeka when Kyou said that the golden ratio of tsunderes are 90% tsun and 10% dere )
They don't have to be the violent and i have seen many of them who don't resort to any kind of physical violence (like Mio from Irotoridori no sekai, who was also seen on the screenshot on the last page).
Also the charms of a tsundere lies in the fact it's a form of "gap moe" (eventhough it's milder than kuuderes and yanderes)
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Old 2012-10-18, 08:56   Link #100
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For some reason I don't know how this 'silly' thread become so popular. First let's answer the OP's question:

Why does most harem anime tend to have uninteresting male leads?

The answer: Because that's how the market wants!

Let's see its shoujo counterpart. It just as silly as shounen ones like a plain-looking, unpopular girl who had few or no friends at all, never in relationship before ends up with some bishies. However only one of them is her 'true love', the one she ends up with in the end.

I also smelled some double-standard here. I see most shoujo romance shows also have boring, uninteresting "heroine" and yet they sells. Because market wants to!!

Back shounen and its evolutionary cousin seinen, some of the male harem leads have evolved. We already have some horndogs like *ahem* Makoto(School Days), that guy from High School D x D(Don't know his name and don't care about it either) and perhaps Haruka from Yosuga no Sora. In comparison to some earlier harem leads like Keitaro(Love Hina), its many steps ahead.
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