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Old 2008-10-09, 03:14   Link #1
052569
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Romance where "back up" guy / gal wins in the end?

I'm not going to put spoiler tags around anything, since the topic is spoiler-ish with respect to any series discussed anyway. You've been warned...

I just finished reading Absolute Boyfriend a few moments ago--well actually I got bored about 1/4 of the way through so I just jumped to the very end--and even though I thought the series was so-so, the ending was a surprise to me. I thought it was pretty obvious who Riiko would go for in the end: the formula is whoever the protagonist first meets will "win" in the end. Everyone else is pretty much just foils. The couple beat the odds, and their relationship becomes stronger. Note that this doesn't apply to the secondary characters. In fact, the "runner up" often would often hook up with one of them so that there can be a happy ending for everyone.

I'd even argue that even in stories where the don't end up together in the end, the ending is still just a variation of the same. For instance, in The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Chiaki and Makoto didn't stay together (although some may interpret the ending as saying that they will meet again, I disagree). In any case, Makoto still "won" since their bond did become stronger.

So back to Zettai Kareshi. I wasn't too surprised that Night "died," but I always thought the author would just bring him back with some sort of contrivance, since the story is pretty lighthearted throughout. I'm somewhat surprised that Night did not come back, but quite shocked that Riiko essentially ended up with Soushi. I don't think I've never seen this ending before...

...ok I take that back. As I was typing this post I remembered that in Macross Hikaru chose Misa over Minmay. Still, I hold that this kind of ending is pretty rare (or I have terrible memory... ) Ah well, I guess this degenerated into quite a long rant. This is what happens to people waiting on code to compile, because the company is too stingy to get a quad-core machines to employees who need them!

So are there any other series where this happens? I'm not a huge shoujo reader--though I've been reading several lately; the "flavor" is very different and is refreshing (one I'd recommend reading is Koukou Debut)--so perhaps this is more common in that genre?
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Old 2008-10-09, 12:13   Link #2
DanielSong39
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Not too many examples, but I'll give it a shot:

Manga
Candy Candy - Probably the best-known example. Anthony is well on his way to becoming Candy's "Prince of the Hill", but fate intervenes. Terry also bows out, but for a different reason...
Glass Mask - The jury is still out on this one. There's still hope for Masumi, but there's also the chance that Masumi and Maya are headed for an illicit affair.
School Days - Let's just say that things don't end very well...

Anime
Fate/Stay Night - Not sure who will win, but the lead girl is out of the running.
Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu - The leads say their final goodbyes.
Saikano - Nope, they don't end up together either.
SHUFFLE! - The guy actually chooses the lead girl then drops her like a hot potato. The backup girl is cast aside as well, and he ends up with a bench-warmer.
Kagihime - Both girls actually try to push the guy onto the other one, but one eventually gives into her feelings...
Last Exile - No winner, but the lead girl is in serious trouble - and she knows it. The guy affirms that they are "just friends".
Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventures - The main guy rejects the main girl every time she makes advances. Aye, one of the few shows where the girl's tsundere antics comes back to bite her. The "back up" girl tries a gentler route and has a lot more success...
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Old 2008-10-09, 12:59   Link #3
Forbin
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So basically you want a spoiler for all the shows that the main guy does NOT choose the main girl?

Doesn't that just wreck it?
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Old 2008-10-09, 19:24   Link #4
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Old 2008-10-09, 19:42   Link #5
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H2 . The only manga who made me lose sleep for almost 2 nights lol. Damn that ending!

If I had to describe that ending... If you watched Proposal Daisakusen jdrama. The opening quote "They say its better to marry the second you love the most". The perfect description for the ending!!!

Quote:
Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventures - The main guy rejects the main girl every time she makes advances. Aye, one of the few shows where the girl's tsundere antics comes back to bite her. The "back up" girl tries a gentler route and has a lot more success...
o_O There was no proper ending . He didn't chose that girl.

Spoiler for Dual spoilers:
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Old 2008-10-09, 20:07   Link #6
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one point id like to make about Yuu Watase author of Absolute Boyfriend AKA Zettai Kareshi

the whole heroine falling for someone and then having to go through trials and tribulations to have that relationship but ultimately make it all meaningless because they can never truly be together is a STAPLE in her works, a self made CLICHE, and a FORMULA that she's employed for a looong time...

its annoying really...

two other examples from her most prominent works..

Fushigi Yuugi - Miaka and Tamahome for the longest time that relationship was all the story was about... then the adventures end and Miaka wishes to be with Tamahome but can't because the Gods won't allow it... so she restores the universe of the four gods and is sent back to her world... only to be conventiently introduced to.... Taka Sukunami, Tamahome reincarnation in her world....

Ayashi no Ceres - Aya and Tooya the main protagonists and couple of focus in the story. a reborn witch and her item of magic born in human form... even though yuuhi loves her she just cant fight the feeling of being drawn to her magical item in human form... the story focuses on her and tooya's relationship and they ultimately get together marry and have a baby... but tooya being an artificial creation made of mana will soon dissappear or "die" so he tells Yuuhi who has stuck through it all with feelings for aya to take care of her for him... he basically says "im gonna die you love her, you take care of her.. oh yeah and my kid too good luck"

with yuu watase Nice Guys finish last... they finish with sloppy seconds
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Old 2008-10-10, 02:46   Link #7
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DanielSong39:
I haven't read / watched many of the series you mentioned, but of the ones you mentioned, I don't quite agree with you:

Saikano: this would be in the same category as TokiKake. Yes, Shuji & Chise did separate, but their relationship didn't waver at all. It's kinda hard to stay together if the world's ending, you know? Besides, I don't recall there were any competition to begin with.

Last Exile: well, I wouldn't really say romance is the main theme. It is a strong motivator for the characters, but that's not what the story's about. That said, Claus and Lavie not officially a couple in the end was a bit odd. Though, I don't remember anything about either saying they're "just friends"; in fact I thought it was pretty strongly hinted that their friendship may become more.

You also mentioned School Days, Fate/Stay, Shuffle, etc. which are visual novel adaptations. I guess I forgot about those when I was thinking about "romance" as a genre. However, since the source material provides "free choice" it'd made sense that the adaptation's structure would be different. So it's true my thesis is not as strong as I thought, but visual novel adaptations are pretty special cases.

Forbin:
Well, I guess... I don't mind spoilers much, because IMO most anime /manga endings suck. I've seen too many stories that started out strong, was entertaining throughout, except for the final stretch, so I've learned to just enjoy the ride, and not worry too much where I ended up...but that's for another topic.

Besides, within the romance genre, my point is that how a story ends is a foregone conclusion, so there's nothing to spoil, right? Alternatively, if it turns out I'm wrong and there are actually several counterexamples, that knowledge is more valuable, and hopefully there will still be enough materials left for me to discover anyway.

nadare:
Never read H2, but I thought it's a baseball story...

emessen:
Ah, so maybe it's just Watase Yuu's signature. Wow, I suppose I really don't like her work much: I've watched both Fushighi Yuugi and Ayashi no Ceres, and in both cases I dropped it about a quarter of the way in. I guess I didn't noticed it earlier because I didn't bother to jump to the end before...
Quote:
with yuu watase Nice Guys finish last... they finish with sloppy seconds
Well, when you put it that way, it doesn't sound so bad. At lease he gets to finish, and not friendzoned...
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Last edited by 052569; 2008-10-10 at 02:53. Reason: Who care's about the Turing test; I'll take a good grammar checker anyday...
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Old 2008-10-10, 02:51   Link #8
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Originally Posted by Forbin View Post
So basically you want a spoiler for all the shows that the main guy does NOT choose the main girl?

Doesn't that just wreck it?
Yeah..

I got sick of every anime having 2 girls love a guy and you know the guy is going to pick the main girl from ep 1, but if you know that he is going to pick the non main girl.. its the exact same thing.
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Old 2008-10-10, 04:07   Link #9
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I hate it when this happens. lol. Those are the stories that you can never reread/watch, and they leave you with a bitter feeling. I mean, what's the point in following a romance that you know won't work out? I guess there could be some exceptions where it would be "refreshing" as you call it, but for the most part I need the obvious couple to get together.

Check out Paradise Kiss. The "nice guy" who liked her throughout the show gets her in the very end.

And... Koukou Debut?! Does this seriously happen? I've only read to volume 8 or so, and that really sucks.

H2's ending was horrible for me as well, nadare.
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Old 2008-10-10, 04:48   Link #10
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Originally Posted by nadare View Post
o_O There was no proper ending . He didn't chose that girl.

Spoiler for Dual spoilers:
Well I still like Mitsuki Rara better.
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Old 2008-10-10, 05:29   Link #11
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(one I'd recommend reading is Koukou Debut)
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Originally Posted by jedinat View Post
And... Koukou Debut?! Does this seriously happen? I've only read to volume 8 or so, and that really sucks.
I just caught up to the latest scanlated chapter (first chapter of the last volume) and I'm fairly sure there are no surprises. I guess you were referring to the beginning where she briefly liked that other guy. That hardly makes Yoh the "back up" guy--I think there was very little doubt that he was the main romantic interest from the very beginning. How it turned out seems to me to make the manga entirely not a part of this thread.
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Old 2008-10-10, 09:58   Link #12
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052569 - Yes it is a baseball story. But it has romance. I believe it has much more focus on romance than baseball. I am not a fan of baseball but I like Most Adachi Mitsuru's work bar H2. He creates good romance stories, the only problem i have with him is his ending to his mangas. Majority of Adachi Mitsuru's work revolve around baseball.

I believe Touch has the same backup guy wins. Although I haven't read it yet and only read some spoilers. The progression of the plot to how the backup guy wins scares me LOL. I don't want to experience H2-like-story all over again. Anyone who read it and hated H2 can you comment how similar it is to H2?

Spectacular_Insanity - We are on the opposite factions then! I liked Mitsuki Sanada better . Although I also like Rara but somehow her personality turns me off LOL. She's the only "innocent" girl persona that i don't like =/.
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Old 2008-10-10, 19:09   Link #13
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Would Shuffle! qualify? I don't think the show has a main girl per se, but the other girls get more screen time in the beginning than the girl who actually wins.
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Old 2008-10-10, 19:19   Link #14
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Originally Posted by GreatTeacherKen View Post
Would Shuffle! qualify? I don't think the show has a main girl per se, but the other girls get more screen time in the beginning than the girl who actually wins.
i thought that kaede was the main girl from the op, then again he chooses someone that is beyond anyone's expectations.
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Old 2008-10-10, 19:26   Link #15
TalonK
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Dare I mention the one manga that I really disliked the ending to , Ichigo 100%.

I really wanted Junpei to end up with Toujo Aya.
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Old 2008-10-10, 19:33   Link #16
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Dare I mention the one manga that I really disliked the ending to , Ichigo 100%.

I really wanted Junpei to end up with Toujo Aya.
ends up on the opposite direction, literally
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Old 2008-10-10, 19:35   Link #17
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Originally Posted by nadare View Post
052569 - Yes it is a baseball story. But it has romance. I believe it has much more focus on romance than baseball. I am not a fan of baseball but I like Most Adachi Mitsuru's work bar H2. He creates good romance stories, the only problem i have with him is his ending to his mangas. Majority of Adachi Mitsuru's work revolve around baseball.

I believe Touch has the same backup guy wins. Although I haven't read it yet and only read some spoilers. The progression of the plot to how the backup guy wins scares me LOL. I don't want to experience H2-like-story all over again. Anyone who read it and hated H2 can you comment how similar it is to H2?

Spectacular_Insanity - We are on the opposite factions then! I liked Mitsuki Sanada better . Although I also like Rara but somehow her personality turns me off LOL. She's the only "innocent" girl persona that i don't like =/.
I'm afraid you have got totally wrong information on Touch. From the start, everyone except Tatsuya knew Minami loved Tatsuya. That was one of the reason Kazuya was trying so hard all the time. Through all the hard work, Kazuya did manage to 'pull even' and then ..............
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Old 2008-10-10, 19:53   Link #18
Westlo
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Originally Posted by TalonK View Post
Dare I mention the one manga that I really disliked the ending to , Ichigo 100%.

I really wanted Junpei to end up with Toujo Aya.
Nishino was clearly the one who deserved it (not that Junpei was much of a prize...) as opposed to the one who did fuck all for years when a single confession would have settled things period. And for the record I preferred Satsuki... but I was still right with my Nishino prediction.
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Old 2008-10-10, 21:14   Link #19
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I dunno, DNA?
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Old 2008-10-10, 21:15   Link #20
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The best (and pretty much the only time i respected them changing the "winning" girl) was in D.N.Angel. I always loved riku more and while risa wasnt a b**ch i didnt really want to see her win because they were so opposite so i was quite happy. Plus the whole "hearts can change" speech by his mom was nice.
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