Osananajimi 101 (MAJOR SPOILERS!)
Osananajimi 101: Or why the Childhood Friend is more Victorious rather than Unlucky
That is the year this thread is going to have major spoilers on. Due the sheer amount of shows this thread will talk about, it will be unfeasible to spoiler tag all shows.
This might be changed in the future, but this post will reflect on which years you can expect to have spoilers on. Rest assured though you will have at least a years grace, partly due to not wanting to spoil recent shows, but mostly because it takes a year for me to catch up on all the shows I might have missed.
In any case, this is your last warning. From here on, if a show started during those years, it WILL NOT BE spoiler tagged. You have been warned!
Part 1: Definition
So exactly what is the 'osananajimi'? To put it in simplest terms, it means 'childhood friend', and that is something everyone can agree on.
And for day to day use, that suffices. But for our purposes, we have to be more specific, so that there would be no disagreement.
Thing is, like with any specific definition, there is no one set of criteria in which the general public agrees on. As such, I'm just going to identify exactly what my criteria is; if you don't agree with it, then that's fine by me. You can ignore the entries where I have labeled them as such; I've listed in the details whether a certain couple has a certain extra trait that people might not agree is part of the term 'osananajimi'.
In any case, someone with a better grasp of the language can correct me on this, but a long time ago, a friend of mine told me that osananajimi can be broken into two words: 'osanai' and 'najimi'.
'Osanai' is simply 'young' or 'infancy'. It denotes what age the two has met, so 'age met' will be our first criteria.
'Najimi' is simply 'acquaintance' or 'familiarity'. It denotes what sort of relationship the two has, so 'intimacy' will be our second criteria.
1) Age Met
Logic dictates that both of the couple must have known each other when they were kids, but there's a number of examples that show that this isn't necessarily the case.
Probably the biggest curveball is Tenchi Muyo: GXP's Kiriko Masaki, of which is more than twice the age of the protagonist (30's while the protagonist is no more than 16), but is still labeled as osananajimi.
A more recent example is Kurokami's Akane Sano. While I have not seen an official age for her (or don't remember it), considering she's already working (and assuming she graduated already from post-secondary education), it's only logical that there exists a big age gap between her and the high-schooler protagonist. She certainly looks that part, if anything else.
So where do we draw the line? For example, is Inukami's Yoko considered Keita's childhood friend despite being considerably older than her, even though they have meaningfully interacted when Keita was a kid? How about Kannagi's Nagi, of whom the very reason Jin sculpted a statue of her was because he knew her when he was younger?
For me? I would say yes. But I've run opposition over the years that these are not simply 'osananajimi', despite Kiriko and Akane being labeled as such WITHIN the source. So instead of pushing the label onto these 'grey area' couples, I will just simply mention if there is a significant age gap between the couple in the details area, so people can ignore that entry if they so wish.
In any case, the most agreed upon criteria in this regard is that the two people must have met before middle school (ie. before they were teenagers). I think this is reasonable, as once they get to middle school this is a very grey area even I am not definite about.
Most of said couples are easy to identify as they are essentially friends for their entire lives, but there are a few that are in the grey area.
One of the more recent ones is Cross Game's Tsukishima Aoba. Even though her and the protagonist Kou are always at odds with each other when they were kids (to the point that they were more like enemies than more like friends), Aoba has admitted that Kou is an osananajimi of hers.
Goku and Chichi met each other when they were kids in the original dragonball... for only an episode if my memory of that old show hasn't failed. Yet its undoubtable that they're childhood friends, being one of the earliest examples of the archetype.
Same thing with Love Hina's Narusegawa Naru and Keitaro, of who only met each other in Hinata Inn as toddlers for such a short time. While her time with Keitaro at Hinata Inn as a child was never quantified, it has been estimated that it wasn't longer than a week.
So as you can see, the lifelong best friend is just a subset of osananajimi; most people think that osananajimi is JUST the lifelong best friend. In essence, if one even so briefly met and befriended someone back when they were younger, even if they were just recently reunited, they are considered osananajimi.
As such, I go by the criteria if the two people meaningfully connected for even a brief moment, they are considered 'friends'. For example, if one of them is given a 'gift', or a 'promise' has been exchanged between the two when they were younger, it would considered significant enough to be considered the two of them friends. Of course, if you don't agree with this part of osananajimi, this part of the criteria will be clearly explained to differentiate it from the others.
B) Blood Relation
One thing the childhood friend is NOT related to would be social stigma. And if one hasn't noticed by now, so far the two criteria mentioned also includes incest
As such, we need to put in a limiting factor to intimacy in that the two people in question must NOT be related by blood. But how far?
There are numerous shows where even first cousins are labeled as 'osananajimi' (Asagiri no Miko to name but one). As such, a good place to draw the line is if a couple share at least one parent (or one of them IS the parent). These people will not be considered osananajimi regardless of circumstance, since this is incest that has a whole can load of social taboos associated with it (of none which the osananajimi gets).
I was thinking of the criteria to be more strict in that both must share BOTH parents, in order to place Code Geass's Lelouche as Euphemia's unlucky osananajimi (he certainly acted that part to a tee). But considering the humongous backlash that this 'ship' has been labeled as incest (they do share the same father after all), I have since rescinded that label for them.
A side effect of this is that the 'false sibling' (ie. two people brought up as brother/sister, but really ain't blood related at all) automatically counts as a childhood friend. Goodness knows that these act like osananajimis even more so than your typical childhood friends, and unlike true siblings, this isn't really considered taboo by people within the story itself. In any case, I know certain people object to this label being part of osananajimi, so it will be clearly marked under intimacy if this is the case.
Part 2 - Understanding the List
Now that we have got the definition out of the way, let's get on with the list of shows in which the male/female childhood friend pairing even so much appears on screen for a split second.
Granted, osananajimi is not just limited to heterosexual couples (if anything, boy/boy osananajimis are PRIME targets for 'slash' pairings), but for the purposes of this thread, I will only list heterosexual pairings. My 'osananajimi radar' only is sensitive to these pairings; I am fully confident that I have only missed a handful (if any) pairings since the year 2000. But me trying to include male/male and female/female osananajimis will only make the list incomplete, as I KNOW I will have missed at least half the shows that feature these.
In any case, there are five outcomes.
Definitive Win/Loss - If it is overtly shown that ANY osananajimi couple hooks up with each other in the show, and they are still a couple by the end of the season, count it as a definitive win.
Else if its overtly shown on screen that one of them hooks up with ANY another person that is NOT their osananajimi, and they are still a couple by the end of the season, then count it as a definitive loss.
Implied Win/loss - more subjective, but since this is Japanese animation, a ton of shows only imply that a certain couple gets together in the end.
As such, if there is overwhelming evidence that in the end any osananajimi hooks up, take it as implied win. Else if there is overwhelming evidence that an osananajimi pairing hooks up with any other person that is NOT their childhood friend in the ending, count it as an implied loss.
Note that this also includes 'post-anime' pairings, in where the source already has decided on a canon couple but the anime has not animated it yet.
Inconclusive - If nothing above is fulfilled, then its inconclusive.
Note that multiple seasons (not cours mind you) count as separate shows. This is to accomodate if a certain coupling changes by the next season, or if the new season/ova happens to go another route.
As for 'post-anime' implied endings, I will only list the oldest season until they get to the season where they animate the source canon couple. This is so the appropriate entry doesn't keep 'jumping' the years; it will stay in one place until the appropriate time to move it.
So without further adieu, lets get this show on the road.
2004 (16 wins: 6 lossses: 2 draws)
= This Ugly and Beautiful World
x Natsuiro no Sunadokei
o Wind: a breath of heart
o HaniHani: Operation Sanctuary
o Fafner in the Azure
o Elfen Lied
o To Heart: Remember my Memories
x Mai Hime
o Kakyuusei 2
x Kannazuki no Miko
o W Wish
o School Rumble
x Gundam Seed Destiny
o The Pace Promised in our Early Days
o Tales of Phantasia
x Girls Bravo
2006 (20 wins: 5 losses: 4 draws)
o Honey and Clover 2
o Kage Kara Mamoru
o Shinigami no Ballad
o Kyou no Go no Ni OVA
o Soul Link
o Nishi no Yoki Majo
x Yume Tsukai
o Kamisama Kazoku
x Muteki Kanban Musume (Noodle Fighter Miki)
o Crescent Love
o Kanon 2006
o Tales of Symphonia
o Gift: Eternal Rainbow
o Tsubasa 2nd season
x Super Robot Taisen: OG
= Otogi-Jushin Akazukin
o Histoy's Strongest Disciple Ken'ichi
= Ar Tonelico
= Otome wa Boku no Koishiteru
2007 (24 wins: 10 losses : 2 draws)
o Major 3rd season
x Shuffle Memories
x 5 cm/second
x Heroic Age
x Seto no Hanayome
o Kotesthushin Jeeg
o Gigantic Formula
o Shining TearsXWind
o Tsubasa OVA
x Lovely Complex
o Kaze no Stigma
o Dennou Coil
o Myself; Yourself
o Goshushou-sama Ninomiya-kun
o ef tale of memories
o Genshiken 2
o Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
o Nanoha StrikerS
= Kono Aozora ni Yakuso o
x Terra e
o Lucky Star
= Doujin Work
o Da Capo II
o Bamboo Blade
o Kimikiss Pure Rouge
o Rental Magica
o Macross F
o Tactical Roar
2008 (18 wins: 9 losses: 7 draws)
o h20 Footprints in the Sand
= Persona: Trinity Soul
o Major 4th season
o True Tears
= Kimi ga Aruji de Shitsuji ga Ore de
o Allison to Lillia
x To Love Ru
o Da Capo II SS
o Special A
= Soul Eater
o Vampire Knight Guilty
o Kyouran Kazoku Nikki
o Telepathy Shoujo Ran
o Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu
x Mission E
o Bounen no Xam'dou
x Ranma 1/2
= Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka
o Yozakura Quartet
x Tales of the Abyss
x Clannad After Story
x Kurogane no Linebarrels
o Gundam 00 Second Season
o Kemeko Deluxe
o Kyou no Go no Ni TV
= Maccademi Wasshoi
x Ef Tale of Melodies
x Da Capo IF
You're missing a couple of people like
Night Wizard 2007
Spoiler for Night Wizard:
Shugo Chara 2007
Spoiler for Shugo Chara:
I have no idea. I only watched the Toei version. (Which was inconclusive)
Negima! and Negima!?
She was only in one scene in the first one.
Spoiler for Negima!?:
Petite Princess Yucie 2002
Spoiler for Arrow/Yucie:
Kyo Kara Maoh 2004
Spoiler for Episode 45:
Mermaid Melody 2003
Spoiler for First season:
Skip Beat 2008
Spoiler for Spoilers:
Neo Angelique Abyss 2008
Spoiler for Spoiler:
Spoiler for Win count:
EDIT: This doesn't happen to have anything to do with the TVTropes article does it? Because I think you've done something similar to this before.
Sorry for the late reply. I don't hang around in the General forum much after I don't have time for moe tourneys with my afternons being busier than normal.
Only reason why I started a thread for itself is because DragoZERO asked me not to put spoilers in one of the threads (was it Kimi ni Todoke? I don't remember), when two (relatively new?) people challenged my claim that childhood friend wins more often than not. And with me already being trouble with the mods with spoilers... :heh:
In any case, thanks for the input. I'd be checking out some of the older shows, but still can't believe I missed Night Wizard, despite me trudging through the mediocrity of that show just to see who he ends up with. XD
And no, you can't pay me to watch Kyou Kara Maouh. Too many episodes, not enough shippy scenes. I've spent too much time around Slashers to see all the *ahem*... anyways lol.
Thanks for the input as well! You guys are a big help since I can't see every anime to the end.
Now I need to search out more losses... seems like its a bit too one-sided for my tastes, so I have a stinking feeling that I'm missed some stuff (I try hard to remove my shipper glasses, but it ain't 100% successful sadly). And with the additions of the above and 2009, it looks at a glance that its starting to hit 75%. :heh:
(Also, anyone who wants to argue some of my 'rulings' please go ahead. I know I've got a couple of PMs that dealt with some shows. Despite me being a hardcore shipper, I still have an open mind you know. ;)
Just try not to PM... I tend to ignore my mailbox even moreso than the general forum lol)
But for now, I'm gonna watch Ladies vs Butlers ep 4. Probably the most refreshing character of this archetype I've seen in recent memory, Tomomi is. <3
Hmm... come to think of it, maybe I should start doing osananajimi highlight of the week/month/season... I'll see if I have time, but with White Knight Chronicles this week and Star Ocean 4 International next week (both for the record I'm only playing because of the childhood friend party member lol), it's gonna be tough. :Heh:
Spoiler for One series:
Osananajimi tend to dominate in triangle and harem type shows. I also don't know why you list some people as Osananajimi because they met them for like 10 seconds when they were young. Osananajimi is childhood friend not "person I met in my childhood for ten seconds". Your definition cheapens the meaning of the word friend. "Oh wow Character A bumped into character B when he was 6 years old, said sorry and run away and never saw them again until now! Like OMG totally osananajimi!!" Seriously Kannagi's Jin and Nagi are childhood friends? They met for like 10 seconds and I'm not even going to explain the obvious problem with you linking them together that way, which should be obvious to anyone who watched the series.
Thank you for this list. I have been searching for something like that for a long time. But could you please do another one for earlier animes (before 2000) later?
Interesting list--I suppose it proves that anime titles really are obsessed with the childhood friend stuff! None of mine walked into my teenage life for some romantic drama...
But you left out the details for ef: a tale of melodies, which was not the same as memories, as
Spoiler for ef a tale of melodies childhood friends:
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