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Old 2013-05-13, 17:45   Link #1
chaos999
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3rd girls in harems,are they really useless ?

I've noticed that when watching an anime that has a harem sitting a lot people usually end up favoring the second or even the third girl instead of the first(main) girl thatís introduced .Personally I donít watch a show just to see whoís going to end up with whom. I just enjoy the anime ending as it is, but that doesn't mean that I always like the girl that the MC chooses at the end .

I've also noticed that I always end up liking the characters who are so distant or have absolutely no chance with the MC. Although many people would say that these characters are useless to the plot and they serve nothing by being there. This role is overused and in the majority of animes usually have one or two girl who fall into this type of role.

Iím talking about the 3rd girls(third or fourth wheels if you want to call them)

Are third girls really useless to the plot ? Are they just there to create more drama and serve as foils and Characters developers for the main characters ?
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Old 2013-05-13, 17:52   Link #2
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Man I opened up this thread and immediately thought of poor Aiko Andou and Yoshida Kazumi

More often than not, yes. They are very similar to unnamed minor villains that are there to just lose to the main characters to establish credibility. It's very hard to make it so that it's more balanced. Most of the time you wonder why they're even there in the first place except to add to the ranks or add some extra fan service.

However, occasionally you can have someone with a distinct enough personality they don't have to settle for the bullshit rat race and come across on their own. For me, it happens a lot in Key anime such as Kanon, Angel Beats, and Clannad. It's also entirely possible that the male MC is so worthless that it becomes a non-issue anyways and the romance is sidelined-- focusing completely on the appeal of the female characters. (see To love Ru) In these cases nobody "wins" and honestly you wouldn't want them to "win" anyways.
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Old 2013-05-13, 17:54   Link #3
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In most harems I've watched the battle for being the lead girl is between the first and the second girls.

First girl tend to have a disadvantage in attitude (moe), dress and look (though majority are cute).

Second girl's the opposite of the first girl. Very pretty, more mature, straight forward and very responsible.

Third girl.... ok.... third girl... far worst than first girl, sometimes shy but cute...or worst dumb.

Third girl is important? Kinda... Not all people are please by the first two, so the third girl gets their liking
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Old 2013-05-13, 18:28   Link #4
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For some reasons this situation never happened in reverse-harem shows. All bishies, regardless the rank, are struggling for the heroine's attention. This can be explained that the bishies are the real stars of the show, not the heroine. I believe the same for male-oriented harem shows too.

By the way Clannad, Amagami SS and Yosuga no Sora are not harems despite how many people claimed them as. Amagami SS and Yosuga no Sora are told in omnibus format which means all girls win. Clannad is anime's answer to Forrest Gump except it takes place in present time rather than in the past.
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Old 2013-05-13, 19:05   Link #5
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Quote:
By the way Clannad, Amagami SS and Yosuga no Sora are not harems despite how many people claimed them as.
I can't say... if we will follow strictly what harem really is.. did we really have an anime that end up that way? Getting married to all the girls?

Harem should have sub categories. Sorry for a little out of topic
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Old 2013-05-13, 21:35   Link #6
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What about Shuffle! ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuffle!
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Old 2013-05-13, 23:07   Link #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenjiChan View Post
In most harems I've watched the battle for being the lead girl is between the first and the second girls.

First girl tend to have a disadvantage in attitude (moe), dress and look (though majority are cute).

Second girl's the opposite of the first girl. Very pretty, more mature, straight forward and very responsible.

Third girl.... ok.... third girl... far worst than first girl, sometimes shy but cute...or worst dumb.

Third girl is important? Kinda... Not all people are please by the first two, so the third girl gets their liking
On a recent case:
First girl is the protag's childhood loli friend. Petite, positive, and lively.
Second girl is the protag's fake girlfriend. Mature, beautiful and sexy.
Third girl is the protag's past life destined girl. Calm, delusional, and surpisingly has big asset.
Fourth girl is the protag's childhood marriage-promised girl. Obsessive, strict, and lively.


And the one that has managed to won over most fans is the fourth girl.
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Old 2013-05-13, 23:11   Link #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azuma Denton View Post
On a recent case:
First girl is the protag's childhood loli friend. Petite, positive, and lively.
Second girl is the protag's fake girlfriend. Mature, beautiful and sexy.
Third girl is the protag's past life destined girl. Calm, delusional, and surpisingly has big asset.
Fourth girl is the protag's childhood marriage-promised girl. Obsessive, strict, and lively.


And the one that has managed to won over most fans is the fourth girl.
They're interchangeable. But it's always the first or second girl.
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Old 2013-05-14, 00:33   Link #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenjiChan View Post
I can't say... if we will follow strictly what harem really is.. did we really have an anime that end up that way? Getting married to all the girls?

Harem should have sub categories. Sorry for a little out of topic
I don't think it has to do with "how they end up" (there are very few "harem anime" that actually have a "harem ending"), but there basically are three "sub-categories" (or really, other ways of categorizing it):

- Romantic Comedies
- Romantic Dramas
- Fanservice/Action Shows

Romantic comedies are the ones most focused on "harem hijinks". Romantic dramas may have multiple heroines, but soon dwindle down to a single main heroine or at best a love triangle. Fanservice/action shows have have the "harem hijinks" as a sort of side-aspect of the action plot (but usually, the "true pairing" isn't very hard to see).

In the end, it seems to me that romantic comedies (and to a lesser extent fanservice/action shows) are the main thing people are talking about when they mean "harem anime". Romantic Dramas less so, because they tend to follow slightly-different rules.
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Old 2013-05-14, 01:20   Link #10
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Originally Posted by wontaek View Post
I'd say that counts as an exception

but I think Shuffle anime is an odd experiment to began with. It's as if they are doing an omnibus kind of story telling but without resets.
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Old 2013-05-14, 02:07   Link #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
I don't think it has to do with "how they end up" (there are very few "harem anime" that actually have a "harem ending"),
I was actually lost on Kameruka's post

Quote:
By the way Clannad, Amagami SS and Yosuga no Sora are not harems despite how many people claimed them as.
I disagree with this but if it's true, then what is harem actually? (aside having a lot of girls and a single hero)
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Old 2013-05-14, 02:09   Link #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Key Board View Post
but I think Shuffle anime is an odd experiment to began with. It's as if they are doing an omnibus kind of story telling but without resets.
This is kind of the way a number of visual novel/eroge adaptations handled their odd structural predicament; you might count Kanon (2006) as one of other more well-known examples of this. But Shuffle is doubly-special in the sense that you would also probably say it has a "harem" theme even in the game.

In the end, I always feel like eroge/visual novel adaptations are sort of an "asterisk" if you're going to group them with harem anime, because their source medium imposes some odd constraints when they try to fit it into a linear structure. In that sense, I'm not too sure how they fit into this "third girl" pattern.
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Old 2013-05-14, 02:16   Link #13
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Personally, I don't consider a show a harem unless...

1) At least three girls show clear romantic interest in the male lead.

2) Romantic conflict is a significant element of the show (i.e. it frequently drives the plots).

By that standard, Karemruka is right about Clannad. Tomoya is surrounded by several attractive girls, but most are perfectly content to be his platonic friend, and the feeling is mutual.


When used well, 3rd girls in harems can feel like a great "wild card" effectively breaking up a love triangle monotony. When not used well, 3rd girls feel like a pro wrestling jobber that you can't help but pity.
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Old 2013-05-14, 02:31   Link #14
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well.. in regards to converting eroge staples into harem equivalents..

most eroge that I know off usually make it clear who the main heroine(s) is/are

The person that sets of the story would be the primary heroine / 1st girl.
If she has an opposite, that would play the role of 2nd girl.

Anything else that comes after that is the 3rd girl.

And it's not an issue of introduction. As someone said, 1st girl and 2nd girl are usually designed to bounce off each other, and thus have opposite mindsets and personalities.

If you know what one is like, you can usually guess what the other will be. I'd go so far to say that 1st girl and 2nd girl are cast from the same mold.

This is why 3rd girls are 3rd wheels. It's like being a non sequitur opinion in an intense debate between two conflicting philosophies. Most of the time you are going to be ignored.

Edit: and sometimes you don't have a 2nd girl in eroge. Sometimes you only have one primary heroine supported by a bunch of 3rd girls
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Old 2013-05-14, 04:41   Link #15
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Quote:
Edit: and sometimes you don't have a 2nd girl in eroge. Sometimes you only have one primary heroine supported by a bunch of 3rd girls
AKA Female Friends....
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Old 2013-05-14, 07:38   Link #16
ahelo
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Kawashima Ami was the third girl in Toradora and I doubt anyone found her useless.
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Old 2013-05-14, 16:34   Link #17
chaos999
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahelo View Post
Kawashima Ami was the third girl in Toradora and I doubt anyone found her useless.
Spoiler for spoiler:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
Man I opened up this thread and immediately thought of poor Aiko Andou and Yoshida Kazumi
Spoiler for spolier:


but yes they are many animes where the third girl loses
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Old 2013-05-14, 16:48   Link #18
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Lol Aiko jokes aside, Actually, that's a good point that distinguishes the situation from the rest.

I once stated that the writer absolutely loves to give a voice to the frequently ignored roles in anime in a lot of her works, and I think True Tears is special in that regard. They sure made sure I could at least remember her name.
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Old 2013-05-14, 17:08   Link #19
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Kawashima Ami is actually the reason I dropped Toradora. So she's in a very small and elite group of anime characters that single-handedly made me drop a show. So no, I certainly wouldn't call her useless.
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Old 2013-05-14, 17:38   Link #20
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I'm the opposite. Ami would have been the only one that could appeal to me. Needless to say, I didn't get very far in the series.
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