MC can’t date early trend in novels



  • I just want to know why MC’s of most animes, novels, and manga won’t allow the Mc to actually date anyone before the end of the end of the series.

    Mostly on why the trend started and why authors continue to use when, no offense, it doesn’t really add anything to the story other than frustration.


  • Premium Member

    It's entirely because you want them to finally date someone so badly that you keep checking back every episode/volume to find out if they finally do. Of course, if everyone does this in every book you get used to it, and it's no longer an incentive, because you know they never will.


  • Premium Member

    It's because it is a tried and true plot device, found not just in Japan, but most of the world.

    Another is the arranged-marriage-that-turns-to-love.

    And the occasional "I'll help you date my friend if you help me date your friend", with a side order of "You're only dating me as a way to get to my friend."


  • Premium Member

    Effectively as stated, it allows to add plot through introduction of additional love interests etc. However as said, can be frustrating especially if there is no chosen interest by the end.
    But, in a way, it ties into culture. Asian culture is very much constrained by principles of family and doing things in a proper manner. Which can be rather frustrating to read especially from a more "liberal" viewpoint.

    Heck, my favourite series is Rakudai for the simple reason of a love confession in the first volume, though the progress from there is kind of sidelined until volume 9, but it has a natural flow... Though I've not picked up on the series since the 11th due to being too busy to order from Japan to read.


  • Member

    @SomeOldGuy said in MC can’t date early trend in novels:

    It's because it is a tried and true plot device, found not just in Japan, but most of the world.

    Yeah, a lot of serial US television uses "will-they won't-they" tension, and it's just as annoying.


  • Premium Member

    I believe that literary device is called building suspense, with lots of good examples of it given here. There are lots and lots more though.

    My "favorite": Clueless protagonist syndrome


  • Premium Member

    It's the reason why Marielle Clarac and Bibliophile Princess are so appreciated by me. Well defined romantic plots that are moved forward along the line of how the couples deal with things that happen in life. Like a real couple does.



  • Aside from what everybody else had said, when the work is not romance-focused, authors sometimes push relationships aside or avoid it for the most part, resulting in stories where characters only hook up in the last episode or epilogue, if at all.

    The reason may be because often, when a story have romance in it, the audience focus on it regardless of other elements.


  • Member

    @Jacksons There are series where this does happen. I'm currently reading one, and it was a real shock. Issue is, with these kinds of spoilers, just saying the name of the series is a spoiler.


  • Premium Member

    @nofairytale Oh, yeah. A good way to get blasted is to point out the romantic elements of The Devil is a Part Timer in those communities. As a thought, I wonder if that reticence has to do with Japanese culture and the general frowning upon of public displays of affection.



  • There's also apparently this view in the industry, as said by a Head of Comic Adaptation department at Kadokawa in an interview:

    Men tend to like the set up of one hero with a lot of heroines, whereas I get the impression that women like for the love interest to be set in stone and for the process of how they got together to be depicted in great detail, even if there are a lot of attractive men in the story. This doesn't just apply to iseikai. Men's and women's comedic romance follows similar trends...

    When there is one set love interest, the main couple may get together early or late, but when there are multiple love interests, it's pretty much guaranteed that the MC won't get together with anyone for a long time to keep the status quo going. Whether that view on (Japanese) men's preference is justified or not, who knows? They could be making that conclusion based on sales figures.


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