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Stormwolf

Anyone who knows japanese culture a bit better

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Why is 18+ visual novel romance so wholesome, but romance genre which is more all ages and in anime etc, almost never follow through? Not even a kiss, confession or anything, even if they're tagged as romance. Only 18+ romance visual novels usually always end up in an expected way where they become a couple, yet in anime etc it really, really rarely happens. 

THere must be some reason for this. Shoujo etc include even sex a lot, yet shounen or seinen seems to shy away from these themes. Is it some gender thing where girls are allowed to read more "lewd" things then boys? It's always been a funny thing where the reader looks at "lewd" stuff while the protagonist doesn't. I don't get it. It's like they're trying to teach young boys to be prim and proper while looking at lewd stuff anyway. Like i said, i don't get it.

Ok, was a bit of a mess of a post but it's Saturday and i'm bored, whatever.

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2 minutes ago, Kiriririri said:

Because even "young" boys just watch porn so the other mediums don't need to be about that.

Girls "don't" watch porn.

I can't really say whether or not girls watch porn. One thing is sure, they're not as dependent on it as we men are, but a lot likely do rub it out to porn same as us.

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8 minutes ago, Ramaladni said:

Please don't say culture. That makes it sound like they are from a foreign land. It's just a country like any other.

Doesn’t your use of the word “they” imply that you think of Japanese people as being  different from yourself? Possibly from a foreign land with a different culture?

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Because anime romance has to be dragged out as long as possible across several seasons before any progress is made.
And many of them are based off of light novels, which usually do have some kind of conclusion after a long story. 

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One thing I find even more annoying than open endings is when you reach the end of a long story and they wrap everything up with marriage, time leap and whatnot in like a single chapter. This problem is especially apparent in manga, where it can take years to reach the conclusion.
If they spend so much time building up towards that ending, why can't they put some more effort into it and make it more memorable by showing more of what happens later? I've lost count of the amount of manga that I liked at first but was ultimately disappointed by because the ending felt rushed.

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I think I'm with Clephas and others pointing to genre conventions and shitty business practices more than Japanese culture as such. If even non-eroge VNs can have normal romance progression, I blame the inconclusive/grotesquely stretched out character of most shounen & seinen manga, and the stress on fanservice and harem tropes over genuine romance. As you said yourself, in shoujo, where you are way more likely to have a single love interest for the protagonist and romance scenarios developed with genuine care, you get more expressions of affection and even mild sex scenes. They just fit the formula.

Generally, romance in anime/manga sucks more often than not. VNs are really the way to go in this regard, as they strive to tell complete stories, rather than tease you for 800 chapters before delivering something even vaguely conclusive.

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

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This is partly an issue of genre and partly an issue of medium.  The "harem" genre features a protagonist surrounded by girls competing for his attention/affection; this competition and the antics that result are often a thematic focus.  Resolving that competition essentially entails a genre shift, which risks losing your audience.  Visual novels resolve this issue by splitting games into a common route and several heroine routes (and sometimes a "harem" route).  Visual novels are relatively cheap to produce compared to the time spent consuming them and are sold up-front as a complete product, so forking the narrative into multiple parts, some of which may not be consumed by each user, is commercially viable.  Anime are more expensive to produce and typically represent linear, serialized experiences that have to fill broadcast time slots and sustain viewership over time.  If you air something that doesn't interest a viewer, you risk losing him permanently; the viewer can't just skip to the alternate "route" for the day.  As a result, harem anime are often compelled to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

Edited by sanahtlig

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44 minutes ago, Kiriririri said:

The best romance I have found is in mangas though :pyaa:

This actually does not go against my statement. I think you'll agree those are exceptions rather than the norm, even if they're that excellent. :P

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

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32 minutes ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

This actually does not go against my statement. I think even you'll agree those are exceptions rather than the norm, even if they're that excellent. :P

Depends if you consider literally every manga with a bit of romance into that or just those that have it as the focus.

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1 hour ago, Kiriririri said:

Depends if you consider literally every manga with a bit of romance into that or just those that have it as the focus.

Ugh, I know what you're getting at, but I'm really not that convinced these high-quality, mature romance mangas are anything more than a niche (I don't see many of them at the top of the popularity rankings). You can get great romance without it being the main focus of the plot. You can also have a dead-serious, focused romantic series that sucks at what it sets out to do. There are insane amounts of good manga series and you can very likely find great anything in them if you look hard enough, but that doesn't nullify the issues the OP and others pointed to. And those are even more painful in anime, as often the shows don't adapt the full plot of the manga and never get to a proper conclusion (or, basically, they actively avoid giving one), so you're even less likely to find compelling love stories there. Didn't mean to question anyone's pleasures, but we're talking about broad trends here and the general trend for manga and anime is... Meh.

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

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1 hour ago, Kiriririri said:

General trend for eroge is meh too if you think that about all those porn games pushed out on dlsite :P

I'm not sure if obscure doujin mangas are really the main force perpetuating all those crappy tropes within the medium. :P

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

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18 hours ago, Clephas said:

Because most rom-com anime are made with sequels (endless sequels) in mind, so they have to drag things out forever to milk it of as much money as possible.

*wink* TO LOVE-Ru *wink*

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As been said it's all about milking. Anime nowadays is just an advertising of original source material (manga or ranobe) and stuff like figurines with dakimakuras (that shoujo doesn't have in most cases).
Also, they should sell games that provide you real romance and multi-endings that were a thing back from ps1 era (or even snes?).

Edited by ShinRaikdou

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On 5/5/2019 at 2:53 PM, Clephas said:

Because most rom-com anime are made with sequels (endless sequels) in mind, so they have to drag things out forever to milk it of as much money as possible.

This. 

 

 

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On 04/05/2019 at 11:08 PM, Stormwolf said:

Why is 18+ visual novel romance so wholesome, but romance genre which is more all ages and in anime etc, almost never follow through? Not even a kiss, confession or anything, even if they're tagged as romance. Only 18+ romance visual novels usually always end up in an expected way where they become a couple, yet in anime etc it really, really rarely happens. 

THere must be some reason for this. Shoujo etc include even sex a lot, yet shounen or seinen seems to shy away from these themes. Is it some gender thing where girls are allowed to read more "lewd" things then boys? It's always been a funny thing where the reader looks at "lewd" stuff while the protagonist doesn't. I don't get it. It's like they're trying to teach young boys to be prim and proper while looking at lewd stuff anyway. Like i said, i don't get it.

Ok, was a bit of a mess of a post but it's Saturday and i'm bored, whatever.

On the topic of harem titles:

Harem, by their very definition, involve multiple people. Due to the traditional standards of romance, polygamy is not often in the cards outside of outright sex stuff (much to my dismay). This would mean that any title that pursues the avenue of multiple romantic interests will have to either choose one, changing genres and killing some of the audience, or never come to a resolution.
These are the kind of titles that can only live off the premise, and they will end should it be resolved.* That is why I believe that titles that can somehow find a way to continue after breaking through this limitation (without introducing a new such hook and limitation) are best. That, or titles that are never inconvenienced by such limitations, like the slice-of-life genre.

However, despite these obvious limitations, harem titles and their ilk are by far the most popular. Teasing with only minor pay-off (a kiss after three seasons that gets misunderstood and reverts back into the status quo) does wonders at keeping people addicted. It also often happens that harem titles are somewhat sexual in nature, skipping over the romance in the process. This is, of course, to offer some stimulation and pay-off even without needing to commit to any one person, and maintaining the hook and status quo for as long as there's money in the business.

There is also something to be said about multiple girls being interested in the same person providing a great scenario for all sorts of drama and 'best girl' moments and competitions. Anime such as Nisekoi made they living by giving everyone a chance to be best girl and Re:Zero has the famous debate over Rem and Emilia. A lot of wonderful scenarios can be concocted by having multiple romantic interests, but it is usually not in the makers' best interests to let the hook end and reach a conclusion.

 

Visual Novel's inherent advantage is that they CAN choose everyone, and they don't even need to make it a polygamous relationship. Multiple paths enable these possibilities that are mostly shut-off to the other mediums. The thing with VNs is, as a PC game in Japan, they usually need porn in order to sell, as it's the one thing they have over mobile and consoles, which are far more popular in Japan.

So the reason VNs do well on the romantic front is two-fold:

  1. They can establish hooks like anime and manga, but since VNs are necessarily finite in length, they cannot let the hook carry them indefinitely and will need to commit. Thankfully, it is easy to pull that off with VNs, as they can offer multiple paths, dedicating to everyone a full path of sole romance.
  2. As a PC game, they tend to press their one advantage: sex. This usually brings along with it a plethora of other romantic shenanigans in order to provide context.

 

*For example, the other day I saw a manga where the entire premise was that the romantic interest is a huge tsundere that is only true to herself... when she becomes a ghost, as she has the power to do so at any point. What she doesn't know is that the protagonist can see her. The whole story is around the protagonist pretending he can't see her whilst she goes super dere-dere all over him in ghost form.
A reader will spend the entire time hoping that the two get together, but it is plain to see that there's nothing to the manga outside of this tease and premise.

 

On the topic of manga:

Shoujo can include sex as something that happens off-screen, assuming it happens at all. Where sex happens more often is in smut titles, and those would generally be considered josei more than shoujo. The reason why shoujo include sex more often is because when seinen and/or shounen do it, the titles are usually just hentai by that point. That is to say, seinen and shounen tend to be more extreme, leading to borderline-h titles that you're likely not interested in, whereas shoujo scarcely ever goes this far, instead becoming a form of smut and josei you're also not interested in by that point.
So the question becomes: "Why is there a clearer separation between all-ages and 18+ for male stuff than there is for female stuff?"
I would theorise that that would be because porn is more widely spread as a thing among the teenage male population than among the teenage female one, and that would mean that including light stuff in shounen and the like is not as much of a selling point as it would be to the teenage female audience.

So, when you say that shoujo manga has more romance stuff, I reply with

  • Girls are believed to have more interest in romantic matters where as boys are believed to prefer more raunchy stuff. It follows that stories aimed at girls more often include romantic things that boys'. This includes very romantic and non-explicit sex scenes, the exact opposite of what you find in seinen and some shounen stuff.
  • More popular shounen usually have a harem than shoujo stuff, which impedes romance severely (shoujo have love triangles, which are their own kind of hell, but don't sabotage romantic interactions as much as a harem intentionally does).
  • Shoujo plotlines traditionally follow a girl falling for a guy who's nice (or mean) to them once, and tend to involve more one-on-one and romantic interactions, whereas shounen doesn't usually even focus on romance to begin with, unless it's a harem. The reason why this is is because plotlines where a guy falls head-over-heels with a girl and is led around by the nose aren't as popular as the shoujo versions.

 

In the end, then, why is it that the titles are usually at one extreme or the other: Full-on hentai VS endless harem/romance with scarcely a bit of progress in sight.

The reasons are all spread out throughout what I've mentioned previously. Romantic titles tend to garner more interest by placing a hook or dramatic situation that, if resolved, would either end the story or cause a sharp decrease in interest. This is the reason why romance anime and some romance manga tend to be long and inconclusive. If progress is made, it'll usually be towards the end. They use these methods because they air/publish continuously, whereas VNs are single titles with a set beginning and end.

It is not that there are no titles with proper romantic progression over the course of the story: consider these two lists I made (that are now rather outdated, as I've come across many more).
It's just that the popular ones aren't usually these. They're the others. Because of their hooks and more continuous nature. The more romantic titles will always, due to the absence of strong hooks and drama, be less popular, despite offering more romantic progression.

The reason why all-ages stuff doesn't tend to include sex or intimate nudity is that it is a very large jump to make. You'd be jumping from something that can be sold everywhere to something that's have more limited sections to be sold in, and that is simply not a worthwhile sacrifice to make unless you're going for full-on porn.

 

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I think another problem is that the people writing vns, anime, manga, tend to live off what has been proven to work without taking a bold chance. Of course exceptions to the rule exist and people do take bold chances that deviate from the norm but those are pretty rare. I think that's why we have the endless high school shit parades we have to coexist with. I wonder if more writers wrote more adult college based romances would it ever catch on? High school based romances have decades of standardized establishment in the genre but it had to start somewhere. 

I think the thing is true about romance in general 

 

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