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Old 2006-03-06, 15:31   Link #1
Scribble
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Smile Non-Spineless bishoujo anime male leads? (Spoilers)

Though there's plenty of "what is your favourite x" threads around here already, I couldn't resist posting this one because it could be interesting.

Why? Generally, anime which revolve around a large female cast (usually shounen romance and/or anime based on ero games) feature main male characters who are "goody goody" or "spineless" as some people would put it.

If it is a romance situation and more than one girl likes the male lead, he usually leaves the girls to drool and obsess over him, without making any sort of decision, and ultimately ends up hurting the girls because he is too nice. He usually has a bland personality.

But obviously, not EVERY male lead from this kind of anime is like that....I would like to discuss those who don't fall under the spineless category. Here's one:

Canvas 2: Hiroki
Spoiler:
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Old 2006-03-06, 16:55   Link #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scribble
Though there's plenty of "what is your favourite x" threads around here already, I couldn't resist posting this one because it could be interesting.

Why? Generally, anime which revolve around a large female cast (usually shounen romance and/or anime based on ero games) feature main male characters who are "goody goody" or "spineless" as some people would put it.

If it is a romance situation and more than one girl likes the male lead, he usually leaves the girls to drool and obsess over him, without making any sort of decision, and ultimately ends up hurting the girls because he is too nice. He usually has a bland personality.

But obviously, not EVERY male lead from this kind of anime is like that....I would like to discuss those who don't fall under the spineless category. Here's one:

Canvas 2: Hiroki
Spoiler:
Unfortunately, those anime you mentioned featuring a large cast of ultra cute or cool female characters dawdling for a single male character are highly common by the otaku audience.

For the following reasons:
1. Those anime are not mainstream. They are oriented toward an audience of male otakus only.

2. Those male otakus are real life losers that have to cope up with a shitty job all the day or quite some maybe hikkikomori, never wanting to leave the safety of their rooms all the time.

3. They quite relate and identify with the male lead of those anime whose bland in character and weak willed. If the male protagonic of harem show was to be headstrong and backing up in spine, then the male otaku viewers would never be able to relate with the male protagonic.

4. Finally, male otaku viewers want to feast their eyes with ultra cute and cool girls of different varieties, personalities, and clothing styles.
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Old 2006-03-06, 17:16   Link #3
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Old 2006-03-06, 17:48   Link #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guido
Unfortunately, those anime you mentioned featuring a large cast of ultra cute or cool female characters dawdling for a single male character are highly common by the otaku audience.
Yup, I'm fully aware of that =P If they're made for a specific audience then they will have to appeal to that audience. However, I've witnessed a few exceptions over the years, so there must be more out there....
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Old 2006-03-06, 17:54   Link #5
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You'll find that Hakuoro would be of the non-spineless variety. But Utawarerumono hasn't aired yet. <_<
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Old 2006-03-06, 18:16   Link #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guido
For the following reasons:
1. Those anime are not mainstream. They are oriented toward an audience of male otakus only.

2. Those male otakus are real life losers that have to cope up with a shitty job all the day or quite some maybe hikkikomori, never wanting to leave the safety of their rooms all the time.

3. They quite relate and identify with the male lead of those anime whose bland in character and weak willed. If the male protagonic of harem show was to be headstrong and backing up in spine, then the male otaku viewers would never be able to relate with the male protagonic.

4. Finally, male otaku viewers want to feast their eyes with ultra cute and cool girls of different varieties, personalities, and clothing styles.
Well, I would add... independant of the whole "it's for losers" argument, it makes for a very good and essential plot device. In order for #4 to happen - for all the girls to get a chance to be in the spotlight - the male lead can't be too dominant or have his way all the time. If the male lead knew exactly what he wanted, he wouldn't be spending nearly as much time with the girls he likes less, and the show would take on an entirely different dimension. Even in the example Scribble posted originally, it's essential to the plot that the male lead has a block that prevents him from moving on and/or focusing in on the girl of his choice (in this case, baggage from the past). If it's not an internal conflict that stands in the way, it'll be external plot (confrontations with other characters, situations in the world around them, accidents/unexpected events/revelations, etc.). So, yes, there's definitely an "escapism" side to it, but, more importantly, it's a plot device. And, if you think about it a bit more deeply, you'll find that it's not very dissimilar to the plot devices used in any other style of anime. Something's always got to stand in the way of the goal and enable the meanderings in between.
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Old 2006-03-06, 19:48   Link #7
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Ryo from Final Approach. Sure he gets hounded by the girls, but the way he wields off Shizuka is hilarious.

Kazuki from Comic Party was also a non-spineless guy, mainly because he actually had talent to back up his doujinshi skills.
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Old 2006-03-06, 20:03   Link #8
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I think stronger male leads are becoming more the norm. Some that come to mind for me, though, are: (1) Kaoru from Ai Yori Aoshi, (2) Kenji from Lamune, and Kippei from Aishiteruze Baby (though I'm not sure if this technically qualifies).

I think also, to a certain extent, there's Rin from Shuffle! and Jun'ichi from DC/SS, neither of whom were complete pushovers.
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Old 2006-03-06, 21:45   Link #9
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I would just like to disagree with any mention of Rin in this thread (even though you added "to a certain extent"). Sure he punches a few streetlights, angsts, and that certain other action, but in the end he's hardly changed.
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Old 2006-03-06, 22:19   Link #10
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That other action was a big one, though.

Also, it took some guts to move out of Kaede's house to his own apartment, even though he's just in high school. He recognized, and this is regardless of whether or not he should end up with her or not, that he and Kaede needed space apart in order for both of them to grow. And in the end, I think he changed in one important way, and that was realizing that his actions and inactions result in real consequences that affect more than just himself.

So, while qualified, I think Rin deserves to make this list.
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Old 2006-03-07, 02:46   Link #11
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I wonder if shiki tohno fits. Maybe not despite ero-game background and lots of girls, the source material really is a long graphics novel.

Too bad we never got the "harem" scenario....
-------------------
Okay, here is another one: Rentarou from Futakoi Alternative....but the female cast probably isn't big enough for that....

------------------
Well, there is "He is my master", but the male lead falls under the $#$#^UDNFG catagory.....
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Old 2006-03-07, 16:47   Link #12
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The lead guy in Lamune wasn't spineless, although that hadn't stopped me from forgetting his name.
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Old 2006-03-07, 20:05   Link #13
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Originally Posted by Forbin
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Old 2006-03-08, 01:39   Link #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scribble
If it is a romance situation and more than one girl likes the male lead, he usually leaves the girls to drool and obsess over him, without making any sort of decision, and ultimately ends up hurting the girls because he is too nice. He usually has a bland personality.
You just coulda said Rin (Shuffle) you know ...Woulda been faster...

Anyways, not sure if this fits into your description perfectly, but if your looking for a male lead with a spine, you can't go wrong with George from Paradise Kiss...He's anything but a pansy and treats women that like him (love him) with a hot and cold aggression that's not easy to predict...Sometimes he totally abuses his main girl's mind and has a control over her that's as close to contemporary "pimpage" as I've seen in an anime...Now he does show his soft side too, but it's under a layer of disguise that's hard to crack...The mental games he plays by ignoring the feelings of the girls that dig him is quite harsh at times...

@Guido - I hope your analysis on Otaku's is more opinion than fact (how do you know so much? Hmmm? )....Anyways I'm personally a fan of harem and I am getting increasingly tired of the bland main character with no personality that has a flock of girls loving him...I personally think Otaku's (which I don't think I am as of yet since I do have a social life)....I think many would probably like a harem where the guy actually schemes and abuses the fact that he can have any or all the girls in his harem...As a fellow guy if I had a harem like in these animes I know I'd be having one-on-one time with each of the girls trying to have the time of my life so I wouldn't regret my youth at all...We need to have a naughty-lead in a harem, hehe...
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Old 2006-03-08, 01:43   Link #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingdarkness
@Guido - I hope your analysis on Otaku's is more opinion than fact (how do you know so much? Hmmm? )....Anyways I'm personally a fan of harem and I am getting increasingly tired of the bland main character with no personality that has a flock of girls loving him...I personally think Otaku's (which I don't think I am as of yet since I do have a social life)....I think many would probably like a harem where the guy actually schemes and abuses the fact that he can have any or all the girls in his harem...As a fellow guy if I had a harem like in these animes I know I'd be having one-on-one time with each of the girls trying to have the time of my life so I wouldn't regret my youth at all...We need to have a naughty-lead in a harem, hehe...
How do I know so much, you asked?

Read kj1980 's posts regarding Otakus.
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Old 2006-03-09, 19:05   Link #16
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Harima Kenji from School Rumble.
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Old 2006-03-09, 20:47   Link #17
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^ I dont think Harima count, as cool as he may be.

Yuuichi from Kanon. He doesn't hold back if he finds the need to punch or insult someone, and stands his ground on his beliefs yet has enough restrain when his friends requests for him to stand down.
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Old 2006-03-09, 22:28   Link #18
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I love Yukito from Air. He may not have a good job but he's anything but wimpy!
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Old 2006-03-09, 22:41   Link #19
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Originally Posted by Desti-Fate
The lead guy in Lamune wasn't spineless, although that hadn't stopped me from forgetting his name.
Ken-chan!!!! (His name was Kenji)
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