Archive for April 7th, 2008

Chizuru is somewhat surprised.

If I were to be uncharitable towards viewpoints I deem alien to my own, I would make a comment that for some reason, being a gentleman is frowned upon among many anime watchers.

For example, I remember the comments about Kyon's reactions in the first chronological episode of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: Haruhi gropes Mikuru (comedically), and then invites Kyon to do the same. Kyon refuses, in a straightforward and casual tone of voice. Almost immediately, speculation abounded that Kyon was gay. The idea that he was trying to act in a civilized manner, by not molesting a girl he'd just met for all of five minutes, had apparently not occured to the viewers in question.

Along those lines, I can understand the dislike of the average male harem comedy lead as being too indecisive, leading to a sort of treadmill plot, running in place. (We shall put aside the argument about being unrealistic for now.) It is a point well made, and I concede it. However, I do not, as yet, find much merit in the claim that the best course of action for this male lead is to start boinking all comers (pun very much unintended). It just seems a bit rude to do so when one has not actually made a final decision yet.

Now, I can see how people might be irritated by Kouta's actions in Kanokon; if he doesn't want Chizuru to go that far, that quickly, he should have just said so. But to say that he is less of a person for not taking the initiative, or taking advantage of the situation, strikes me as missing the target by an astonishing measure. I have nothing against the calls for him to make a decision, but this decision involves more than one valid course of action.

Anyway. For the most part, romantic comedies in anime, when featuring a very willing participant, tend to involve some sort of barrier to a full consummation of a relationship. This could be parental disapproval, especially parental disapproval backed by credible threats of grievous bodily violence. I don't think I've seen a barrier of the "wait until we're married" variety, but I could just be missing out.

I find myself wondering what the barrier in Kanokon is. Chizuru has made it abundantly clear that she doesn't care what taboos are set between humans and spirits, and Kouta seems too passive to protest. Unless the series relies on constant interruptions of decreasing plausibility, perhaps engineered by some deus ex machina, one would expect that Kouta would have Become A Man by the end of the first episode. Which, to be fair, the ending heavily implies.

I think I need to come up with some more unusual euphemisms. I mean, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha fandom has "befriending" to indicate "you will soon be hit by a high-powered magical doomsday blast", while all I have for this is "boink". Not that I remember where I picked it up, strangely.

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