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Old 2013-01-02, 18:20   Link #161
judasmartel
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Well, I think "I love you/Aishitemasu" is more of a serious thing than say, "I like you/Suki desu". The former is more of a matter of commitment to a long-term relationship (such as a lifetime partner), the latter is more of "I want you to be my BF/GF".

Like I said above, just because a girl is beautiful doesn't mean she should only have a taste for good-looking guys, and just because a guy is good-looking doesn't mean he isn't such a douchebag she treats women like crap. That would be so superficial of them to be that way: determining a guy's merit solely on how he looks regardless of personality and character.

While it's good that beautiful girls have a taste on good-looking guys (who else doesn't think that way?), if they only look at guys based on how they look, they're going to be in a rough situation once they realize the guy isn't for keeps.

I'm not saying beautiful girls should seek only ugly guys to prove my point, what I'm saying is they should seek guys who may or may not be drop-dead handsome, but could at least take care of themselves and become interesting to them.
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Old 2013-01-02, 18:28   Link #162
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It's that accursed "Love on the first sight" cliche, where the authors conveniently pull off new flag for a new harem member by magically falling in love with the main guy even without him putting effort at all to gain her love. One of reasons i dropped several harem series and move over to some shoujo/josei/serious seinen romance because i'm fucking sick with this method. I'd love it if the dude actually put some effort to obtain the girl's affections and hearts instead of simply making the girls fall for him after one or two ecchi flags.
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Old 2013-01-02, 18:29   Link #163
Xion Valkyrie
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But in most harem stories, it's ALL the best looking girls in the school that flock towards the main character. The main character is monopolizing them! It'd also be nice to have 1 or 2 plain girls in the harem to back up the 'inside that counts' thing the story is going for by having.

I feel like Hatsukoi Limited does a really good job getting around these tropes, but then again it doesn't have any one 'main' character.
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Old 2013-01-02, 18:31   Link #164
hyl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by judasmartel View Post
Well, I think "I love you/Aishitemasu" is more of a serious thing than say, "I like you/Suki desu". The former is more of a matter of commitment to a long-term relationship (such as a lifetime partner), the latter is more of "I want you to be my BF/GF".

Like I said above, just because a girl is beautiful doesn't mean she should only have a taste for good-looking guys, and just because a guy is good-looking doesn't mean he isn't such a douchebag she treats women like crap. That would be so superficial of them to be that way: determining a guy's merit solely on how he looks regardless of personality and character.

While it's good that beautiful girls have a taste on good-looking guys (who else doesn't think that way?), if they only look at guys based on how they look, they're going to be in a rough situation once they realize the guy isn't for keeps.

I'm not saying beautiful girls should seek only ugly guys to prove my point, what I'm saying is they should seek guys who may or may not be drop-dead handsome, but could at least take care of themselves and become interesting to them.
So what was the point of your last few posts in context of your own starting post? It seems to me that those were nothing more than rants about (shallow) beautifull girls , probably from what you have experienced yourself.
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Old 2013-01-02, 18:32   Link #165
judasmartel
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I have to say this again, unless the characters are over 20, teenagers really don't know what they want in a romantic partner.

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So what was the point of your last few posts for ranting about (shallow) beautifull girls in the conext of your own starting post?
I didn't get the memo until somebody posted "'Love at first sight' concept sucks."
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Old 2013-01-02, 18:33   Link #166
Xion Valkyrie
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Originally Posted by judasmartel View Post
I have to say this again, unless the characters are over 20, teenagers really don't know what they want in a romantic partner.
If the manga ever ends though, they usually have an ending where they're going steady after college or they get married. There's also a lot of real life examples where high school sweethearts do end up staying together and getting married.
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Old 2013-01-02, 18:36   Link #167
judasmartel
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Originally Posted by Xion Valkyrie View Post
If the manga ever ends though, they usually have an ending where they're going steady after college or they get married. There's also a lot of real life examples where high school sweethearts do end up staying together and getting married.
Like Junpei Manaka from Strawberry 100%. Back then, I thought confessing while doing pull-ups was cool. I'm not sure now.

So my last post doesn't explain why the "love at first sight" concept is abused to death, now, does it? At least in romance flicks in our country the guy has to do his part.
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Old 2013-01-02, 18:48   Link #168
Xion Valkyrie
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Originally Posted by judasmartel View Post
Like Junpei Manaka from Strawberry 100%. Back then, I thought confessing while doing pull-ups was cool. I'm not sure now.

So my last post doesn't explain why the "love at first sight" concept is abused to death, now, does it? At least in romance flicks in our country the guy has to do his part.
I don't think 'love at first sight' is used that much anymore. There's usually some kind of reason behind it (even if they're not very plausible). I think only the more gag/comedy based harems will just throw in the 'love at first sight' kind of reason for having female leads like the main character, whereas the more drama based ones will try to make it slightly more realistic.

Like in Ichigo 100%, it was actually later explained that Nishino was interested in Manaka even before his confession. The pull ups just reminded her of her previous interest. Plus it was also shown that she's not that interested in good looking guys. Manaka was essentially Touya's prince, they shared similar dreams and he was her inspiration for her own writing. Satsuki and Manaka started out as enemies, then became friends, and finally there was attraction. Manaka was also basically the first guy Kozue could talk to/be near.

In fact, generally it's the guy who 'falls in love at first sight' towards the female protagonist even though there's not any reason other than the fact that she's super hot.
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Old 2013-01-02, 18:48   Link #169
hyl
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Originally Posted by judasmartel View Post
I didn't get the memo until somebody posted "'Love at first sight' concept sucks."
So you are comparing the fact that (according to you) teenagers can't get happily married with teenage harem protagonists?
You really need to learn to distinguish reality from fiction.

The love at first sight trope is probably much more romantic than the in real life more common situations in which people are getting dumped/divorced after not being satisfied with their relation.
Not to mention things like "happily ever after" or "death do us part" are also an idealistic view of a romanticized and idealistic marriage/relationship.

So what do you rather want to see in romance stories? A happy end or rather a pessimistic (and sometimes a more realistic) end? (don't bother answering, because my question is rhetorical)
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Old 2013-01-02, 18:51   Link #170
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Why "wish-fulfillment"? Because it's the otaku's liking, which comprises a large part of anime consumers in Japan. Otaku are basically insecure people who gain nothing incredible in their life, that's why loser/meh/underdog MC makes it easier for them to project themselves into the story, no matter how ridiculous it is.
I don't know why you keep making these statements as if it doesn't concern you; you do realize that you can be placed into this stereotype as well?
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Old 2013-01-02, 18:59   Link #171
judasmartel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyl View Post
So you are comparing the fact that (according to you) teenagers can't get happily married with teenage harem protagonists?
You really need to learn to distinguish reality from fiction.

The love at first sight trope is probably much more romantic than the in real life more common situations in which people are getting dumped/divorced after not being satisfied with their relation.
Not to mention things like "happily ever after" or "death do us part" are also an idealistic view of a romanticized and idealistic marriage/relationship.
I'm not saying teenagers can't get happily married with teenage harem protagonists, I'm just saying that most people I know really don't enter in a relationship with only one partner and stay that way forever. Nowadays it's not unheard of to get more than 3 tries before finally settling down for good (or as I used to joke about, Western people take at least 10 tries before finally settling down, but that's because I have very limited information about romance in the West).

Well, yeah, RL romance is way beyond media can ever portray. Only by entering in a relationship can I fully realize how awesome RL romance is with all the flaws and less of the idealized version.
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Old 2013-01-02, 19:18   Link #172
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Originally Posted by Chaos2Frozen View Post
I don't know why you keep making these statements as if it doesn't concern you; you do realize that you can be placed into this stereotype as well?
Yep, yep, because sometimes it's fun to ridicule myself for my own uselesness.

Let's get back to topic. I think we have derailed too severely from the main topic. We just end up disscuss about the flaws of harem genre in general instead of what OP posted
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Old 2013-01-02, 19:30   Link #173
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All these willy-wobbly-wambly dancing sidesteps are just going round to the conclusion that all writers should share in any case: write good characters. Period. I don't think realistic expectations of teenagers' level of emotional maturity or whatever has anything to do with it, really.

And yes, it also means that genre savvy walking dick playboys can be just as annoying as the scarecrow of a bland harem lead. It all depends on how you write and execute them.

Don't ask me what really counts as a good character, though. If I know I'd be a writer right now.

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However, the label was used to refer to author self-inserts in fanfiction. All the talent and attention is just a way for the author to live out his/her fantasies. Just from this, there's definitely something about inserting one's self into a work that is strongly reviled and condemned by society.
Ayn Rand is still popular.

ba-dum tish
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Old 2013-01-02, 19:51   Link #174
judasmartel
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Okay, I won't ask what makes a good character, but what advice can you guys tell an aspiring writer like me about writing good characters? Do you expect me to write good characters off the bat, because I understand that writing good characters take time.
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Old 2013-01-02, 20:10   Link #175
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It really depends on what you want to write. The reason these tropes persist is because they have an audience in Japan that will eat these tropes up. If you're writing for a western audience you probably want to research the kind of books that are popular in your market group. If you just want to be better writer without catering to market appeal, just write from your own experiences. The best authors base their characters on themselves or people they know and understand. Also, not all tropes are bad, you should look at tropes and see what can work for your story, and use those while discarding or subverting the ones that don't.

Speaking of tropes, it seems like 'First Girl Wins' is really strong in the shounen romance genre. I think the 'Childhood Friend' used to be tied with 'First Girl Wins' but now that they seem to be separate characters (childhood friend is often introduced later, and sometimes only a minor character), the childhood friend tends to lose a lot. This kind of makes some of shounen romances kind of boring, since you know who is going to win and the writer often writes it that way too.

Last edited by Xion Valkyrie; 2013-01-02 at 20:40.
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Old 2013-01-02, 20:21   Link #176
Qilin
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Ayn Rand is still popular.

ba-dum tish
Oh man. Don't even get me started on her.

I read through that 1000+ page slogfest of her's just to endure her repeating the same thing over and over again. She had a few good points to be fair, but the way she went about it was obnoxious and cringeworthy to say the least.

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Originally Posted by judasmartel View Post
Okay, I won't ask what makes a good character, but what advice can you guys tell an aspiring writer like me about writing good characters? Do you expect me to write good characters off the bat, because I understand that writing good characters take time.
I'm not a writer, but there are a few things that makes a character "better" for me. The first is realism. Does a character behave consistently with how a real person would act? The next is depth. Is there anything more to this character than meets the eye? The last is subtlety. Are the character's traits expressed in such a way that encourages reader interpretation?

Of course, it's always important to keep the audience in mind as the post above mine puts it. Writing is a form of communication after all. As such, it fails if the target cannot receive it effectively.
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Old 2013-01-03, 00:27   Link #177
Irenicus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by judasmartel
Okay, I won't ask what makes a good character, but what advice can you guys tell an aspiring writer like me about writing good characters?
Read, watch, devour more fiction; note your thinking on why you like a character and hate another, despite sharing many tropes.

Surely you have one romantically incompetent teenage male lead character you like and another you completely despise; one tsundere you like and another you couldn't stand. Ask yourself why. Keep track of the reasons so when you revise your own works you know what to look for. You'll never get a completely objective reason, but then there are people in the world who actually thinks Ayn Rand is a good writer...

It could be something in the characters, in their backgrounds, the circumstances and the plots, their reaction to things, or just the writing -- or in anime, the visual presentation, design and so on.

And of course, try to create "living" characters, characters with their own internal realism (the term is "consistent," but that's often interpreted misleadingly as "never changing" or "never contradictory," whereas mortals are often changing and contradictory). Don't do a Guilty Crown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by judasmartel
Do you expect me to write good characters off the bat, because I understand that writing good characters take time.
Of course not. Many authors went through "the phase" wherein ten years later they'll look at their youthful works, cringe, go hide in a blanket, and try to pretend those things never existed.

But good ones got better with experience.

Caveat: some great ones never got over it. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is published in the magazine The Egoist, and ne'er could one find a better match in terms.

Last edited by Irenicus; 2013-01-03 at 01:08.
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Old 2013-01-03, 01:05   Link #178
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I merged this thread with an existing thread, because the topic/question is basically exactly the same: why are Harem protagonists the way they are, and why some people are not happy with this.

The thread was previously closed, but I'll leave this open for a little while until the discussion becomes cyclic again. I'd encourage newcomers to read the previous discussion so as to not just repeat points ad nauseum.
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Old 2013-01-03, 01:13   Link #179
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I guess it's really hard. I don't like placeholder leads and people always go "Why would all these beautiful women be attracted to this plain guy?" But then most anime females are pretty idealized in appearance anyways so I guess they don't look beautiful to each other in show, relatively speaking.

And pretty girls in covers sell. But that's really hard, since regardless you're likely to get lots of beautiful female characters chasing after a male lead that shouldn't realistically attract them all (Unless he's sexy like Haruka)

It's one of those things you just accept as part of the medium. Unless you are like, daring, and add more male characters and multiple relationships but multithreaded stories are never easy and one has to deal with time constraints.
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Old 2013-01-03, 01:28   Link #180
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And pretty girls in covers sell. But that's really hard, since regardless you're likely to get lots of beautiful female characters chasing after a male lead that shouldn't realistically attract them all (Unless he's sexy like Makoto Itou).
Sorry for doing this but I think you got the facts wrong so I corrected it.
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