Be Ye Warned. Spoilers lie ahead for the following series: Shinshi Doumei Cross,
Must not turn this into a rant, must not turn this into a rant. Must write clever, concise article and not just ramble about how bad the endings of Tanemura Arina* series are. God Help me I sound like Bridget Jones (145lbs, cigarettes:0 Alcohol units: 4). Incidentally Bridget Jones’ Diary had “The other man” stereotype. (HAH! Am totally on topic!). Moving right along. The other man. That good ol’ shoujo cliché. As common in shoujo as a weak/outcast.werid kid becoming the best fighter/card gamer/ critter collector is in shounen. It generally involves two guys.
Guy the first: childhood friend, a bit rude, girl spends a lot of time with him, good looking but more manly than guy the second, he secretly likes her, tells her when she’s being an idiot, he’s not particularly sympathetic and will probably be fighting with the heroine at the start of the series.
Guy the second: probably called ‘prince’ at school (I hate that so much >_>), bishounen, more feminine than guy the first, girl has loved him from afar, always very nice and polite to the point of creepy, high possibility of angsty past, girl hasn’t spent much time with him in the past.
Guy the first almost always gets the girl. Why? Because it isn’t a choice of the nice guy or the mean guy. It’s the one you long for from afar, the unobtainable crush and the one who’s always been by your side. In my opinion the one who the girl should choose is the one who’s always there for her. Also because guy the second has a mother complex.
Ok enough with introductions and opening paragraphs. Lets move onto some examples. First up is the recently finished Shinshi Doumei Cross [Gentleman’s Alliance Cross] by Tanemura Arina. Before I start I want to mention I enjoyed this series as well as Fullmoon wo Sagashite (same author). I finished both series which is unusual, most of time time I read the first volume of something then don’t get the rest. Anyway, it goes something like this, Haine, our heroine is the daughter of a once wealthy, now failing company. She attends Private Imperial Academy, one of those private schools that exist only in manga and have weird class distinctions, think Ouran High School or Special A. She ends up the fake, then real girlfriend of Touguu ‘Shizumasa’. Except ‘Shuzumasa’ isn’t Shizumasa, but Takanari, his twin brother. The Touguu family uses doubles, tow people prentending to be one to fiol assassinations or whatever… I dunno the reasoning was pretty vague. I think inbreeding have left them all a little, ah, touched in the head shall we say. Takanari lost a game against Shizumasa as a child and hence became the double. Haine’s favourite picture book and the obliged childhood connection is a picture book written by Takanari. When she was in Junior High she was a delinquent but an encounter with Shizumasa convinces her to stop. Hence she falls in love with both of them.
Takanari is mean, cynical and detatched. However he attends school as Shizumasa as the real Shizumasa is sickley. Together on the student council he and Haine fall in love. Shizumasa and Haine meet a few times and she still loves him. He is the unreachable, kind and unrealistic man. In one of my more hated endings Haine declares she will marry BOTH of them. I mean THE HELL!? (must not rant must not rant). She should have chosen one. It’s not fair on anyone to say both. How do you have a 3 way marrage anyway? Shizumasa tells them he won’t marry Haine but is going to go off into the world and live his own life. Maybe he just realized being in a 3 way relationship with his twin brother would be freaking weird. (Hikaru x Kaoru x Haruhi anyone? At least OHSHC is a comedy).
Ah now it’s 2 in the Morning. Day of the deadline (well kinda, it’s after by my time but I’m ahead of the rest of the world) *sleep* and now it’s midday. So I’m submitting this now in order to meet the deadline. Will prob have edits (I wanted some pics). Anyway I’ll finish up. The other man is
1. A plot device designed to put strain on the existing relationship
2. Represents the perfect idealised man, who rarely gets choses because he doesn’t really exist in real life
3. Guy the first often needs to be ‘saved’ by the girl.
….. end…. maybe. *sigh* I should have spent more time on this. DAMN YOU EXAMS! Will make up for it with another AMV post ^_^v
WIll prob update with links and stuff.
Incidently here are some good shoujo with no ‘other man’
Yuu Watase series (Fushigi Yuugi – Gendou Kaiden, Imadoki, ayashi no ceres) They have a lot of shoujo clichés but any other man tends not to stand a chance past volume one.
….wait that’s all I can think of!? >_> aww hell. Ok non shoujo too (still with a focus on relationships) you can add: Bitter Virgin, Hana no Eden, Akkan Baby, Chobits, Immortal Rain.
And for a rather odd take on ‘the other man’ DNAngel
….I need more manga,
*Works include Fullmoon wo Sagashite, Shinshi Doumei Cross, Kamikazi Kaitou Jeanne etc