Scribblenog wrote:Love triangles are a bit of a thing for me, thus my appreciation for Rumbling Hearts and one of the couples from Ef (I think the dude was an illustrator?).
Well, if I'm honest, most love triangles tend to bug me a bit – at least on the surface. Probably because if the male character (assuming a classic "1 male, 2 females" triangle) just grew a spine and made up his mind, he could, more often than not, have a fulfilling relationship. And I like seeing fulfilling romances.
At the same time, I do think love triangles offer great potential for dramatic developments, which is something I'm always down for, as well. It's just that these potentials and their payoffs are a little more subtle, so my initial reaction is usually "Argh, darn you, girl B! Don't be a roadblock, get lost already!".
By the way, you're (mostly) right – Hiro Hirono from Ef
is an aspiring mangaka. When Kei pulled out all the stops to make Miyaka "disappear" (the cell phone stunt), I was furious at her. But then towards then end, I started to sympathize more with Kei and the bitter reality she had to accept / lesson she learned. I still firmly favor Miyako over her, though.
Scribblenog wrote:So let's see...male protagonists. Easy enough. At the top of my list are Hachiman Hikigaya from Snafu and Oreki Houtarou from Hyouka. Both of these characters are very relatable to me as their world views closely reflect my own at a similar age.
I'll also throw in Koyomi Araragi from Monogatari. His character is well written and I enjoy his antics greatly.
Unfortunately, I haven't seen any of these yet, so there's nothing in particular for me to comment on. However, Hyouka
's dub will be dropping soon, and I've already planted it on my plan-to-watch pile. After your recommendation, I'll probably go for Bakemonogatari
as well at some point.
Personally, I have two standout examples for male leads who carried their respective shows for me: Keima Katsuragi from The World God Only Knows
(hence my avatar) and Haruyuki from Accel World
The former I see as almost inspiring in how he sticks to his own values and what he considers important in life, no matter how much other people may look down on him. At the same time, he's an accomplished individual as far as his academics go, and he proves to us that the knowledge garnered from his hobby actually has practical applications (although we also get to see cases of the opposite). Most importantly, in regard to the show overall, I admire how Keima stays in character throughout. In many, many anime series, characters who have a strong quirk like him are only milked for comedic purposes. Keima, on the other hand, is a fleshed-out individual whose personality stays consistent in comedic as well as serious moments. That's what makes him so impressive and memorable to me.
As for Haruyuki, I simply loved how he grew stronger psychologically throughout the series. The moment which established him as my second favorite male protagonist was when, in the second half, he was framed for a certain incident and subsequently shunned by virtually the whole student body. Instead of breaking down, he gritted his teeth and told himself "You've been through this before, you can handle it!". That moment of him drawing strength from the suffering he had endured in the past is what sold me on him.
There are also a couple of others I could mention, most notably Light Yagami from Death Note
and Lelouch from Code Geass
. I'm grouping both of these together because their roles a very similar: They're genius intellectuals who get a bit caught up in their own conceitedness and then have to deal with the fallout. I also enjoyed Arata from Trinity Seven
a great deal as a harem protagonist who actually embraces the risqué situations he's being put in and admitting to the girls that he's attracted to their female charms (and 'assets') – yet at the same time, he doesn't come across as overly perverted, just a bit hormone-driven. A perfect mix which made this series very enjoyable to me.
Scribblenog wrote:If I can pull all the ecchi out of a show and still be moderately ok with the plot, that show's a winner.
Alternatively if the show uses ecchi as its hook and entertains me it is also worth my time. These shows are usually comedies. I don't feel pure unadulterated ecchi fits well anywhere else (Seven Mortal Sins, I'm looking at you.)
Thanks for the detailed reply. It's actually rather insightful, though unfortunately, the only show you listed that I've actually seen myself is Trinity Seven
. I think a lot of the lesser-known ecchi animes simply don't get dubbed; others just haven't caught my interest so far (High School of the Dead, Seven Deadly Sins etc.). I am looking at Highschool DxD
after hearing Chris praise it on the podcast, though (I'm still catching up with the older podcast episodes).
If I'm completely honest, when I go into a (harem) ecchi show, what I'm looking for are cute characters and fun, exciting and sometimes sensual experiences for the protagonist. I tend to automatically shut off all attention to the plot when it comes to series like Date a Live
(which I enjoyed enough to actually buy the Blu-ray), Infinite Stratos
or Trinity Seven
. I mean, I realize that there's a plot behind the whole thing, but I honestly couldn't care less whether it's well thought-out or just something completely uninspired or incoherent.
That's why I'm actually highly intrigued by the concept of KissxSis
. I very much welcome a good sibling romance: Koi Kaze
offers a very serious look at the subject; Selector Infected WIXOSS
also portrayed this conflict brilliantly; Yosuga no Sora
's final arc is extremely controversial, but I overall enjoyed it; and Suguha is my favorite character in Sword Art Online
– alas, my rooting for her was in vain. The concept of KissxSis
is obviously a bit different, being more gratuitously sexual in nature. Unfortunately, the chances of it getting dubbed at this point are basically zero.
When it comes to series which feature ecchi as a side genre, this works in the opposite way for me: I tend to simply ignore the fanservice-y bits and focus on the actual draw of the show. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any non-ecchi shows where panty shots and such detracted terribly from the experience for me. But I suppose this very much deponds on one's own tolerance level. And the only things that seem to break mine are female chests of highly unnatural proportions.