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Old 2020-10-17, 15:00   Link #1
BWTraveller
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"How did I never see it" childhood friend scenarios

I've long seen references to a particular trope in childhood friend romances, in which the one that doesn't seem to be in love finally notices and says lines like "how did I never notice, you were always right there beside me" or something. I've seen this parodied a few times, like in Gou-Dere where the childhood-friend character breaks out and this is one of her powers (weird series if you haven't read it, manga characters come to life and have the power to change thigs, like turning angry girls that hate a guy into sub-heroines that crush on him). However, I haven't seen this actually done all that often, just like I rarely see childhood friend romances outside child-level series (excepting ones where the childhood friend has been gone for a long time); only one I can think of off the top of my head is the anime version of Guyver, in which Mizuki ends up with a long internal monologue about how Sho had always been there but she never realized how precious he was to her.
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Old 2020-10-18, 02:49   Link #2
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The closest I can think of right now that I read is Shishunki no iron maiden.
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Old 2020-10-18, 03:53   Link #3
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It's probably a myth. The real trope is "childhood friend never wins". If it isn't a myth, it most likely dates back to the 1970s, to series like Devilman.
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Old 2020-10-18, 04:45   Link #4
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"Childhood friend never wins" itself is myth though.
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Old 2020-10-18, 05:43   Link #5
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No, it's a trope. A myth is something that doesn't hold true anymore and it's questionable if it ever did, a trope is something that holds true very often. Don't be misled by the name of the trope into thinking that the 'never' is meant literally.
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Old 2020-10-18, 07:00   Link #6
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I know what is trope, but even if you (wrongly) slap trope label on myth it will not make it true. If you looked on harem genre and break it down you would see childhood doesn't have less chance win then other archetypes, especially as they will often overlap. And minimaly one show where childhood friend is main heroine air this very season. Previous one also had minimaly one.
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Old 2020-10-18, 09:21   Link #7
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Cross Game has some of this.
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Old 2020-10-18, 11:58   Link #8
BWTraveller
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenzen12 View Post
I know what is trope, but even if you (wrongly) slap trope label on myth it will not make it true. If you looked on harem genre and break it down you would see childhood doesn't have less chance win then other archetypes, especially as they will often overlap. And minimaly one show where childhood friend is main heroine air this very season. Previous one also had minimaly one.
In defense, I'd say it is indeed an ongoing trope. I've seen tons of stories where a person is in love with their childhood friend and is turned down. If anything, there's a sort of correlation between the actual amount of time spent together and the suitor's chances, as long as there are suitable alternatives. If you're dealing with a harem then a girl who was next door his entire life is going to be pretty low on the list (look at Kaede from Shuffle, Kirie from Girls Bravo, Rinko from Omamori Himari (I think, haven't finished it), or really at least 80% of childhood friend harem members); a girl he knew when he was three but hasn't seen in ten years, on the other hand, has a good chance of being "the one". From what I understand, this's partly due to former ubiquity. Back a long time ago it was apparently common to have the main girl be the main boy's childhood friend and either exploit that to make them closer than others or otherwise have that be the final path. It supposedly got common enough that people started avoiding childhood friend romance because it was "too obvious", resulting in childhood friends being very frequently moved from the top of the list to the bottom. Generally the ones that win either differ somewhat from the standard (again like the long-lost childhood friend) or are bumped up by "murdering the hypotenuse" (trope referring to anything that either removes a love interest from the pool or renders them unacceptable, including giving them their own love interest or making them absolute bastards).

But anyway, as I said, I've seen this sort of scenario referenced a few times, as if it was common to the point of cliche for the hero to just suddenly realize the perfect love interest was at his/her side the whole time, but aside from that one I mentioned I don't believe I've ever seen it. I do indeed suspect it's from manga in the 70s and 80s, maybe early 90s, since that seems to be when the Victorious Childhood Friend trope was more common.
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Old 2020-10-18, 12:18   Link #9
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Nah, if harem has let's say 5 members, childhood friend would have more or less 1:5 to win. Which obviously is not much. But same goes for tsunderes or school idols (but those doesn't have people complaining so people doesn't get desilusional about any "mistreatment" they get). If you break it down on numbers those should be all in same ballbark. Obviously there are some "modifiers". Any girl that fall from sky/suddenly move to mc house is automatically winer and if there is childhood friend rival they get crushed (but so does anyone else). That said but it's actual not that unusual that those winners also happens to forgotten childhood friends). That goes for standard romcoms. But if we speak about tensei that we are getting at least one or two per season recently and if it's not polygami it's always childhood friend who ends with mc and if it's polygami then it usually include all female childhood friends anyway...

There are types that actually never wins like teachers, foreign exchange students or sisters (unless it's specifially about them, which you figure according tittle)
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Old 2020-10-18, 13:05   Link #10
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It's a trope/meme because the childhood friend will experience actual loss, as opposed to other random girls who just got to know the protagonist. They've been together with the guy for a decade and then they lose him to another girl. He will move out/away and they most likely won't see each other as often anymore or ever.

Sisters winning is actually pretty common. Even if you ignore the many shows with sister in the name, you're still left with anime like Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei, Aki Sora, Koi Kaze, Yosuga no Sora and Tenshi Kinryouku. But the childhood friend pretty much always gets the short stick. Maybe this changed in recent years, but between 1981 and 2015 childhood friends basically never won. At least I can't think of an exception right now.

Probably you'd even have more luck finding anime where a Trap wins (like Stop! Hibari-kun). Though, in most of them the Trap is the protagonist (Maria Holic, Genshiken Nidaime, I My Me! Strawberry Egg).

Teachers winning is out of the question, because they are too old. There's like one anime I can think of where the female teacher wins, but that one's an oddity and it was solved by having the student be secretly an adult who stopped growing for magical reasons.

Heck, I can even think of an anime where the winning girlfriend is a weapon of mass destruction (Saishuuheiki Kanojo), but I don't remember childhood friend ever winning. I remember them losing in horrible ways, though. Like in Code Geass.
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Old 2020-10-18, 14:51   Link #11
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That means you have bad memory. Also Aki Sora and Yosuga no Sora has both sisters in tittle. As for childhood friends winning or being undisputed main heroine:

2015 has minimaly 5 cases
2014 has 6
2013 5
2012 3
2011 6

those are only those I saw, I don't know how about those I didn't watch or dropped so it might be sinificantly more. I would prefer if I didn't have to continue all way back to 1981, it shouldn't be that different anyway. (There is also small chance that I disremember something, but I don't think so). Now let's play little game: tell me single of those years where senpai or kohai won more times then childhood friend.
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Old 2020-10-18, 15:36   Link #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenzen12 View Post
Nah, if harem has let's say 5 members, childhood friend would have more or less 1:5 to win. Which obviously is not much. But same goes for tsunderes or school idols (but those doesn't have people complaining so people doesn't get desilusional about any "mistreatment" they get). If you break it down on numbers those should be all in same ballbark. Obviously there are some "modifiers". Any girl that fall from sky/suddenly move to mc house is automatically winer and if there is childhood friend rival they get crushed (but so does anyone else). That said but it's actual not that unusual that those winners also happens to forgotten childhood friends). That goes for standard romcoms. But if we speak about tensei that we are getting at least one or two per season recently and if it's not polygami it's always childhood friend who ends with mc and if it's polygami then it usually include all female childhood friends anyway...

There are types that actually never wins like teachers, foreign exchange students or sisters (unless it's specifially about them, which you figure according tittle)

The rates aren't the same for each harem member, as anyone who watches harems should know quite well. The rates for a childhood friend who's always been there are far below 1:5. I've been watching this stuff for a long time too, and as far as I've seen if a love interest is a childhood friend he/she is extremely unlikely to win without some unique modifier, such as being near-forgotten after years of separation, or having major rivals eliminated from the competition in one way or another. If you include stepsisters then it does increase to an extent due to the current incest moe trend, but that's another matter. Perhaps you could name the supposedly huge number of victors you mentioned in '11-'15? Anyway, I suppose childhood friends are starting to make a bit of a comeback, but they're definitely not to the point of a one-in-five chance in a five-girl harem. Also, if you list your examples out, then afterward perhaps we could get back to the question of the cliche scenario I was asking about...
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Old 2020-10-18, 16:14   Link #13
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Well it's goes more or less like this: Magical girlfriends/ beutiful freeloader > Beutiful crush who is nice to mc without reason > cool aloof beauty = childhood friend > others.

2015: Nisekoi, Ushio no Tora, Joukamachi no Dandelion, Classroom☆Crisis, Gumdam IBO

2014: Mikakunin de Shinkoukei, Witch Craft Works, Inari Konkon Koi Iroha, Mekakucity Actors, Inou battle (secondhand information), Sanzoku no Musume Ronja

2013: AoT, Valvrave, Uchouten Kazoku, Kimi no Iru Machi, Nagi no Asu kara, Walkure Romance,

Again I don't think I am wrong about those, but feel free correct me if I am. Anyway there I cannot remember any anime that fit cliche you want (some like Kimikiss get close though), because this is something you are more likely see in west. Anime take on childhood friends is either "reunited after long time" or "Retarded/Traumatised to the point MC stick with them out of pity/habbit"
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Old 2020-10-18, 17:11   Link #14
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Classroom Crisis doesn't even have a childhood friend character. Neither does it feature romance. Same with Shingeki no Kyojin and Uchouten Kazoku, they don't have romance; at least the 2013 anime, haven't seen the latest season of either. My memory is somewhat fuzzy regarding Mekakucity Actors, but I'd group it together in the no romance category.

I dropped most of the other ones you mentioned, which for me entails skipping forward until either something interesting happens or the anime ends and if a childhood friend would have won, that would be something noteworthy I'd remember, unless it's a last minute kinda thing. Winning means either marriage or planning on marriage or at least removing all hope for the other girls. Maybe that's where the confusion is. It's already rare for any girl to actually win during the runtime of any given anime, since that means having four other girls in tears if it's a harem, but if it happens, the childhood friend most likely ends up in tears.

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sisters (unless it's specifially about them, which you figure according tittle)
I thought you meant the word sisters, not the name of the characters. If it's only the name of the characters, then there's even more titles that qualify, like OreImo, OniAi, Kiss x Sis, Ochinko,...
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Old 2020-10-18, 17:29   Link #15
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Classroom Crisis has Iris and she's childhood friend, Uchouten Kazoku not just feature romance, but mc childhood friend is also his fiance and she won. AoT doesn't have romance but doesn't change Mikasa is only heroine. Mekakucity Actors has several couples including one childhood friends (android guy and cyber girl...I think).

Also there is no difference whether tittle use name of sister or just word of sister. In either case there is sister in tittle and you wouldn't mistake any other heroine for endgame.

But yes if you drop all animes where childhood friend wins, then "childhood friend never wins" from your perspective indeed.
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Old 2020-10-18, 19:16   Link #16
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I haven't watched a number of those, but the ones I have, like Mikakunin, are a little different. Rather than a standard childhood friend they're more a matter of a long-lost/forgotten childhood friend, which is a very different character trope that replaces years together with a brief but meaningful relationship and years apart. Childhood friends tend to have little chance, but forgotten childhood friends are much higher on the list (you can add Shomin Sample to this, though their childhood friendship is only hinted at in the anime). Anyway, the scenario I'm talking about that I've seen treated as a standard cliche doesn't work on that type, since the person they "never noticed has always been at my side" hasn't been there for years, maybe even a decade.
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Old 2020-10-19, 01:11   Link #17
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Again that's western thing. If you don't like separated childhood friends, then basically only alternative is mc being caretaker and in the end rejecting confessions of others with something along line "We are always together" or "I cannot leave her be".
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Old 2020-10-19, 03:51   Link #18
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Classroom Crisis has Iris and she's childhood friend
No, she's not.
Spoiler for Classroom Crisis, who is Iris:

Also, she doesn't win the protagonist. No one does in the anime, since it's not a romance story.

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Uchouten Kazoku not just feature romance, but mc childhood friend is also his fiance and she won.
Haven't seen the second season, but the protagonist didn't get together with anyone in the first season and there was no romance. The entire plot revolved around the father of the protagonist having been eaten by some people and the protagonist coming to terms with this, not around which girl the protagonist will date.

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AoT doesn't have romance but doesn't change Mikasa is only heroine.
We're not talking about the main heroine, but about the winner of a romance competition. Unless a clear winner is declared, for example through marriage, it doesn't count as a win.

Since those anime among your list I know very well don't fit at all, my suspicion is that none of them have a winning childhood friend.


As for the original topic, I can only recommend to watch anime from the 1960s and 1970s. Since at least the 1980s, childhood friend that stayed together with the protagonist all the time doesn't win anymore. Or watch remakes of anime of that time.
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Old 2020-10-19, 04:51   Link #19
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She remembered and you should watch second seasno of UK.
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Old 2020-10-19, 15:04   Link #20
BWTraveller
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Again that's western thing. If you don't like separated childhood friends, then basically only alternative is mc being caretaker and in the end rejecting confessions of others with something along line "We are always together" or "I cannot leave her be".
Uh no, as I said this is a trope I've heard referenced from time to time as a standard part of the childhood friend romance motif, and it's something that doesn't work with childhood friends who disappeared for a long time. And childhood friend romances where the pair hadn't suffered such separation do exist. Just not that frequent outside of young-audience series, and generally if they're more than unrequited love it requires the rivals being eliminated, like in Guyver the way that Agihito was quickly revealed to be a borderline sociopath who has no problem plotting to manipulate, use or kill those around him to gain the power he desires. There's also Ginen Shounen (I like it, though it doesn't seem as popular as other series) and Love Rush (a rare defiance of standards since the pure childhood friend's rival is an actual forgotten childhood friend who fell from the sky and has superpowers, all of which should shoot her to unbeatable levels, but the guy remains dedicated to the girl he grew up with). Oh, and of course a few cases in Honey Works. But yeah, I suspect the "cliche" line is indeed something from the 70s or 80s. Anyone know any good childhood friend romance manga/anime from those decades? Even if they don't have such lines.
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