Tuesday, November 21, 2006

What I Want In My Next Harem Anime

Harem anime is one of the biggest genres in the anime field, and I know that I'll have to get one at some point-even if I don't want to.

So, after checking out some opinions on them, here's what I want in my next harem anime-
  1. The Male Lead Has To Get A Grip, Quickly-If there was anything more that I despised in Love Hina, it was that the male lead was little more than a target for jokes-and had to be made immortal so that he doesn't get killed throughout the story, and is contually two steps behind.

    I don't mind the male lead being two steps behind, or being banged up-but, I want a protagonist. Not a victim, and most male harem anime leads are victims of circumstance. I want a male lead that keeps trying, gets banged up, dusts himself off, tries again, and occasionally succeeds.
  2. The Female Leads Have To Be Appealing-One of the things that turned me off of Ranma 1/2 so quickly was that every single female lead annoyed the hell out of me. The only one there that's even remotely appealing is Nabiki, and she's just trying to make money off of the whole thing (I suspect, so she can move as far-and as fast-away as possible).

    Tenchi Muyo appealed to me, because I liked the female leads (okay, I freely admit that I have harbored long fantasies of a three-way between Ryoko and Aeka and me...despite the fact that Aeka would be one hell of a pushy top and seeing two dominant women fight without strong enough rope would make things interesting). They aren't pushovers, they make mistakes, they try hard, and there are no sacred-cow/sucessful pairings at the start, which brings me to...
  3. There Cannot Be A "Sacred Cow" Paring-Ai Yori Aoshi annoyed the hell out of me, because the pairing was already done at the start in the form of Karou/Aoi. Tina, whom I thought was a hell of a lot better human being than Aoi (whom I liked but rubbed me the wrong way) lost, and we saw that she had lost from the start. The entire story is one of the relationship finally working out.

    I want human drama, and that anybody can win up to the last "I do" and not even then.
  4. The Plot Has To Make Sense-Okay, maybe I am asking for too much. This is anime, after all! But, give me a plot in which I can watch it and not wonder "okay, how did the were-penguin get into all of this?". Give me a plot where I can walk through it again, and realize just where the characters fell for each other, or fell out of each other. Gimme a plot where exploding spaceships is safer than talking about you feelings, and give me a plot that lets me see people at their best and worst.

    Sort of a sub-category of #4 is..
  5. The Plot Has To Be Understandable-"Make sense" is entirely possible for anything. I mean, with enough drugs you can understand "Finnegans Wake", but being that far outside of reality has never appealed to me. If I need a map and a detailed synopsis to understand who's screwing whom, with what, and how (kind of a erotic form of Clue) , there's a problem. A flow-chart showing the character relationships is okay...as long as it can fit on a single sheet of paper.
  6. The Big Bang Theory Must Be Applied-Nothing succeeds like excess. And, the plot has to logically build up to an ending that closes the doors and turns out the lights. And, it has to end in an over-the-top manner that cannot be repeated. Gimme excitement, give me last-minute confessions, give me huge explosions.
There's probably more, but it'll be one of those "when I see it, I'll know it" things. And, I hope to find the series that appeals to me.

6 comments:

ザイツェヴ said...

This is a fairly typical, even banal set of demands. One has to wonder why it took anime creators so long to see the obvious and start implementing them. Only the fairly fresh Zero no Tsukaima satisfies them, except perhaps the sacred cow thing. We can only hope for Siesta to come from behind to take the prize in the second installment. But the problem is, where else would you get a plot? The tsundere sells. Don't forget that girls watch these things too.

Although I think the points rather obvious, supporting examples only show how much tastes differ. I don't know in what universe Tina is a better human than Aoi. And Akane has a lot going for her, to say nothing of Kasumi! Even Kodachi has her stout partisans.

zakueins said...

Yea, it's a chocolate/vanilla argument. I found Tina a much more interesting character...

And, sadly, the obvious are hard to find. And the plot? Easy-the whole competition that leads up to the final revlations/wedding/elopement.

Steven Den Beste said...

What you want is "Hanaukyo Maid Team La Verite".

zakueins said...

And, I'll probably be renting HMTLV via GreenCine (the joys of it...I've probably saved more money from watching BAD anime via it than anything...). GreenCine justified me getting Witch Hunter Robin, despite the cover blurbs and reviews that suggested the show would bother me.

And, oh yes, I can fully justify #4 via your commends-Taro's grandfather spent way too much money that should have gone into therapy and really good drugs...

I'll be giving it a try after the Thanksgiving holidays, and will report on it when I'm done.

ザイツェヴ said...

My wife liked WHR. It has a comforting familiarity to it for anyone who watches American TV, yet it is different enough to warrant a look. Also, it ends, so one is not committing herselt to watching a three meter tall stack of DVDs.

zakueins said...

One of the great things about three-meter stacks of DVDs is that when you're really sick and stuck at home, you can watch all of them...and never have to see what passes for "good" TV these days at all...