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Old 2010-06-20, 11:39   Link #1
Seiryuu
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The Magical Girlfriend and the Victorious Childhood Friend

OK, I've watched a lot of romance/harem anime, many with supernatural or sci-fi characteristics.

One thing I don't really like is that no matter how close a childhood friend is, if there's a "magical girlfriend" or other mystery girl who comes in from elsewhere, the childhood friend almost always loses. She's afraid to destroy what she has with him without some assurance that he could accept her, and he doesn't even consider doing anything because with their history there's no way she could think of him that way.

When the weirdo shows up, she feels threatened and yet he doesn't understand, until she feels so cornered that she lashes out. Ultimately, the outsider takes everything the girl had wanted and often winds up leaving once it's impossible for the girl to get it back.
I hate this pattern.

Are there any good anime/manga out there where either the childhood friend works up her courage and manages to win him back, or events play out in such a way that he comes to realize how important she is to him? The situation often creates a lot of stress for the girl, which leaves her vulnerable to any "enemy" around, so frequently the hero is forced to face the possibility of losing her and determine just what he wants them to be.

I just want something where he decides on the girl who's always been there. I don't care if the guy takes the initiative, the girl does, or someone else gets fed up with the tension and stupidity and makes something happen. Just give the osananajimi her happy ending. Let Ameri win from time to time. If nothing else, it will help to make the plotline less predictable.
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Old 2010-06-20, 13:12   Link #2
jedinat
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In Lamune the childhood friend wins out even as new girls are introduced... in fact the relationship is never really threatened.
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Old 2010-06-20, 13:19   Link #3
Shiroth
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Yeah i was going to mention Lamune. Plus it's not really a spoiler because it comes quite clear in the first episode that the opening pair of childhood friends are meant to be together.

Plus it's one hell of a show. I 100% recommend it.
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Old 2010-06-20, 14:27   Link #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seiryuu View Post
I just want something where he decides on the girl who's always been there. I don't care if the guy takes the initiative, the girl does, or someone else gets fed up with the tension and stupidity and makes something happen. Just give the osananajimi her happy ending. Let Ameri win from time to time. If nothing else, it will help to make the plotline less predictable.
I don't really have any suggestions, but you do raise some interesting points. I think what this basically comes down to is that such an ending would basically make the story a subversion of the entire magical girlfriend genre whereas writers tend to prefer to play this one straight.

Spoiler for Discussion of Tayutama and EF:
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Old 2010-06-20, 22:47   Link #5
Seiryuu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
I don't really have any suggestions, but you do raise some interesting points. I think what this basically comes down to is that such an ending would basically make the story a subversion of the entire magical girlfriend genre whereas writers tend to prefer to play this one straight.

Spoiler for Discussion of Tayutama and EF:
Indeed, this is a subversion of the "magic girlfriend" and "unlucky childhood friend" tropes (thus the "victorious childhood friend"). The magic girlfriend is very nice in many cases, and the unlucky childhood friend is common and relatable, but constantly sticking to these formulas makes things bland and predictable, not just in the sense of who will wind up with who, but also in many aspects of a story's conflict. That's half of why I'm looking for this, along with my sympathy for the underdog.
Spoiler:

Last edited by Seiryuu; 2010-06-20 at 22:57.
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Old 2010-06-20, 23:21   Link #6
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Hmm... interesting. Just to be clear, you are not just asking for a story with a victorious childhood friend, but for one in which she beats out a Magical Girlfriend archetype.

Unfortunately I can't really think of any.

I can think of a few where the issue is still up in the air.

For example, Kannagi which despite the guy in question falling for the magical girl, I still got several hints that to me suggest the childhood friend will be the ultimate victor.

Hayate The Combat Butler (1st season) played pretty strongly with the First Girl Wins trope (who in this case was the childhood friend), although I think it likely that Hayate will actually end up with a "no one wins" ending.

But the one that I can think of that might fit best is The World God Only Knows where the Childhood friend being the "main route" has been heavily lampshaded. And the many various Magical Girlfriends have all failed to capture the interest of the male lead. Of course... the childhood friend is also possessed by an angel who is helping her win... making her rather magical herself. But still, it's a case of a childhood friend likely eventually beating out a horde of other girls, including several magical ones.

That's it for those I can remember that I've seen personally. Looking at the list of Victorious Childhood Friends on TV Tropes I'd guess the following might also qualify:

Neon Genesis Evangelion: Angelic Days (A spin-off of the original)

Rah Xephon

DNA2

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
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Old 2010-06-20, 23:49   Link #7
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Originally Posted by Sackett View Post
For example, Kannagi which despite the guy in question falling for the magical girl, I still got several hints that to me suggest the childhood friend will be the ultimate victor.
I'd actually kind of like to see the childhood friend character win in this one, and that's despite liking the magical girl quite a bit.

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I'm wondering how the heck you came up with this one, since it's not even really a romance flick outside of having quite a bit of yuri subtext.
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Old 2010-06-21, 00:55   Link #8
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Da Capo - season 1, dont like the next 2 seasons

true tears - not really that "magical" but its good

kimikiss - good drama
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Old 2010-06-21, 05:39   Link #9
Divini
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Have you seen DNA^2? The childhood friend does 'win' in the end. Though YMMV. (if/once you seen it, you'll know what I mean)

To Heart, well chances are high you've seen it, but if you haven't, the main character gets a foreigner, an android, and a dark magical girl get dropped on his lap during the story, but him and his childhood friend remain inseparable. (though it's pretty clear-cut from the beginning)

Detective Conan, well the shippers can say what they want, but it's pretty clear the chances are extremely high that the childhood friend will get chosen over the mystery pre-teen genius girl whose integral to the main plot. (for now anyway)

Kashimashi Girl Meets Girl (the MANGA) is a really good example of this. Mysterious lesbian girl pops up and eventually falls for the protagonist, putting her and the childhood friend at odds. It's pretty much the main focus of the story also.

Ai Yori Aoshi, though its more of a foregone conclusion if anything haha.

G Gundam has Domon/Rain/Allenby... well it's not the best example since it's mostly an action/mecha, but it counts.

I really liked the childhood friend pairing in Maburaho (which I started not liking so much when she started being a Clingy Jealous Girl, but that's another thing). She does win in the end, along with the other girls too. XD
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Old 2010-06-21, 08:22   Link #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
I'd actually kind of like to see the childhood friend character win in this one, and that's despite liking the magical girl quite a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sackett View Post

That's it for those I can remember that I've seen personally. Looking at the list of Victorious Childhood Friends on TV Tropes I'd guess the following might also qualify:

...

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
I'm wondering how the heck you came up with this one, since it's not even really a romance flick outside of having quite a bit of yuri subtext.
Like I said, I haven't seen it, just going by the Victorious Childhood Friend page it says the male character ends up marrying the childhood friend instead of either of the two Magical Girls.
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Old 2010-06-21, 10:25   Link #11
Qwey
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Instead of just pasting in a bunch of anime names, its probably easier to just list the TV tropes link and let the OP sort through what they think qualifies or not--quite a few do.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...hildhoodFriend

TV tropes is an amazing site :>.
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Old 2010-06-21, 10:44   Link #12
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That TVTropes page needs to be edited, because the only people who actually get married in Nanoha are two side characters... not any of the main girls.
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Old 2010-06-21, 10:57   Link #13
coren
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Kamisama Kazoku is one, though all the characters are magical to some degree.
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Old 2010-06-21, 13:10   Link #14
0utf0xZer0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
That TVTropes page needs to be edited, because the only people who actually get married in Nanoha are two side characters... not any of the main girls.
It kind of qualifies if one was assuming that Chrono was going to be paired with either Nanoha or Fate. Didn't someone tease Chrono about Fate being his type at one point?

Anyway, poor example simply because Chrono and Amy's relationship is barely even mentioned in the show. As you said, they're minor characters, and as I pointed out Nanoha isn't really a romance show (it just has lots of shippers).
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Old 2010-06-21, 13:50   Link #15
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JailxPrecia OTP.
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Old 2010-06-21, 16:13   Link #16
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Old 2010-06-22, 22:38   Link #17
Seiryuu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qwey View Post
Instead of just pasting in a bunch of anime names, its probably easier to just list the TV tropes link and let the OP sort through what they think qualifies or not--quite a few do.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...hildhoodFriend

TV tropes is an amazing site :>.
Thx. Funny thing, I bookmarked that very page right before I made this thread. TV Tropes is a great site, and has a lot of good examples, though there are also always examples that haven't made it onto the site for various tropes. Since I'm looking for a case where you have a combination of multiple tropes in which one wins out over another, I figured I'd post here.
Actually, funny thing is the one thing I care little about on the magical girlfriend trope is the "magical" part. As I see it, these characters are 1) from someplace far away, 2) dependent on the hero in some way, 3) attractive and generally open about her feelings toward the hero, and 4) possessing some magical, supernatural or otherwise otherworldly power. I don't really care too much if the girl's got powers, since non-magical girls with the other traits seem just as likely to take the boy.
Seems like really the biggest source of pain for the childhood friend is the matter of tge other's dependence, especially if the hero feels obligated to support her somehow. It's bad enough to have the other girl take steps that the childhood friend hasn't gotten to yet, but for her to set things up and make plans, have things going well, and suddenly see the guy leave because this outsider needs him is something else entirely. I generally like romances where the relationship is awkward and rocky for a while, and the characters really have to fight to reach one another. The relationship is that much more precious when they've had to walk through fire to obtain it.

TV Tropes is a great source. On any of my other threads asking for examples of various situations or scenarios, if there are tropes that fit well please feel free to name them or link to the tvtropes pages.
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Old 2010-06-23, 00:24   Link #18
Qwey
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Yeah, I understand. Its actually surprising how few shows have the childhood friend win. You'd think that it would appeal to the viewers to have them win more often since its more likely in real life. Although, perhaps everyone's desires in the real world are for some "magical" girl to make a sudden girlfriend appearance :>.
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Old 2010-06-23, 03:20   Link #19
Divini
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Originally Posted by Qwey View Post
Yeah, I understand. Its actually surprising how few shows have the childhood friend win. You'd think that it would appeal to the viewers to have them win more often since its more likely in real life. Although, perhaps everyone's desires in the real world are for some "magical" girl to make a sudden girlfriend appearance :>.
I'd say, from personal experience, that it all depends on the environment in which you grew up in.

For example, one of my best friends since primary school (male) has many little sisters as he grew up into high school. In addition he has a good female friend whom he has played with since they were babies. He's always looked at her as a sister, and absoultely cannot phantom the thought of seeing her as anything else. (which surprises most people because she's actually really cute lol) Not surprisingly for me, when it comes to anime/eroges, he would pick/ship the 'magical girlfriend' over the childhood friend >90% of the time.

I will contrast this to myself (also a male). I grew up with a younger brother, and most of my relatives that lived closeby who I visited often were all male too. I wasn't really close with anyone of the opposite sex when I was younger -- wasn't so much an aversion rather that I just didn't share much common interests with them, pretty common stuff. High school and college rolled around, and naturally it became easier to befriend and have fun chats with girls my age. When it comes to looking at potential couples in animes and the like, I almost always root for the childhood friend/little sister type over the others, like the OP (I presume). I've actually wondered why this was the case for me many times.... I suspect it's because I've never experienced growing up with a friend of the opposite sex and having your closeness blossom into something more. Now while of course I'm aware that doesn't actually happen all the time in real life, it really doesn't help that most animes/mangas/games portray this constantly and in a very touching and heartwarming way, making me envy the situation.

I'd say that the reason in most stories that play around with this trope, it mimics what my best friend thinks. Most protagonists of these stories always gives this reason as why they choose they cannot see their childhood friend as nothing more than that. This idea even manifests itself during my college years... it's pretty much well-known among guys in college that if you take too long to 'get to know' a girl that you're interested in, you risk treading into 'good friend' territory, in which you then stand no chance anymore. I personally think it's not entirely true, but I have seen it happen...

Sorry I got off-topic there. I just found this topic relates to myself a little too well.
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Old 2010-06-23, 10:11   Link #20
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For me it usually depends on which girl I like most.

Toradora, for instance. I don't think Taiga or Minori should have won.

He should have ended up with Ami. Because she was the best character in the entire fucking show.
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