Which do you prefer for your romance in stories?


  • Premium Member

    In a recent Curiosity Cat post, it was stated that American fans show a clear preference towards fantasy stories with multiple partner elements. I'm really curious which type of relationship people prefer here though, the traditional single partner x single partner relationship, the dramatic sort of multiple partner stories where "only one girl gets the guy", or the "everyone marries the dude / gal at the end".

    Within these there are layers too. Like, is the winner super obvious from the start (platinum blonde hair cover star princess)? Is it someone who comes into the story partway through or someone that's been with the MC for a while like a childhood friend? Kinda curious what you guys prefer overall romance wise.

    Me, I like relationship Triangles where the woman you maybe wouldn't expect to be the victor comes out on top. It doesn't happen too often, but it's great when it does (or it's obnoxiously cheesy and fan pandering, but hey, I'll take it if my ship wins!).

    The only triangle where I really preferred the forced lead was probably Golden Time, but even that was close (and I really started to root for the other relationship towards the end I guess, but for the most part, I liked the lead gal and how that dynamic evolved).


  • Premium Member

    I chose (Insert answer.)

    I like two types of romances in story: one, where it's one person with one person. Two, where it's a harem that actually -goes someplace- and there's no angst about who the focus loves more, be they male or female. IE, for the first, oh, the Horimiya manga. There's some humor over Hori wondering if Miyamura might get stolen (by a guy) but it's just that, humor. It's a sweet romance. For the other, Realist Hero is good.

    What I don't like is when there's angsty conflict about it, or when it's a love triangle. Especially (but not restricted to) the silly "I am totally in love with you, girl, and will be super-irrationally competitive with the other guy about you and you meanwhile will sleep with us both going on about oh, we're both yummy and you can't choose. No, I won't say if you can't choose, I'll find someone not so freaking wishywashy." Y'know, the usual romance novel thing. People can love that, but it annoys me. ;)



  • I chose insert answer

    My answer is very short and simple, as long as the story is good I don’t care if it’s GirlXBoy, GirlXGirl, BoyXBoy, Harem, reverse Harem, love triangle, etc.

    I actually enjoy romance in my literature a lot and to me as long as the storyline is solid I am content.



  • I like competition and there being a winner. I don't mind any kind of romance.


  • Premium Member

    I chose insert an answer.

    I am less concerned with the composition of the romance than I am with good writing. If it's a romance, have the characters show it. A little cluelessness or shyness in the beginning is ok, as long as the light comes on eventually. Indifference or outright hostility doesn't cut it with me. Competition is ok, and if well done can be amusing.



  • I don't mind either traditional romance or harem as long as it goes places. It's when the characters keep pussy-footing around with no clear progress that I hate. But please, no "only 1 girl wins" cause my girl never wins, EVER, so I'd rather they commit to a harem ending and write it properly.


  • Premium Member

    @paulnamida said in Which do you prefer for your romance in stories?:

    I don't mind either traditional romance or harem as long as it goes places. It's when the characters keep pussy-footing around with no clear progress that I hate. But please, no "only 1 girl wins" cause my girl never wins, EVER, so I'd rather they commit to a harem ending and write it properly.

    Ha ha, I always want the chance for my favorite gal to win on her own terms, no "everyone marries him". Rather see them lose heartbreakingly than share the romance. Realist Hero's "relationships" besides the main woman are fairly bland, and even as a fan of (Realist volume 3 spoiler)

    I kind of don't mind "the death of the hypotenuse (short side of a triangle)" TV Trope for my favorite lead, though... Obviously I'd prefer it be the other way around and my favorite character live through the whole story. Then of course, there's Yandere anime endings... Yikes.


  • Premium Member

    Insert answer: Whatever makes the story work, however, the harem ending is usually a cop out rather than a reasonable development. Smartphone and Realist make sense with a harem ending because the harem gets along with each other even without the protagonist present. Series like Tenchi, while harems, I feel use the harem as a cop-out because it is really clear that the harem members would not tolerate each other's presence except for story and major protagonist interference to keep the uneasy status quo.

    But I don't see how most romantic series could work without meaningful conflict, whether it be the parents, society, incompatible orientation (girl likes boy who likes another boy, etc.), competing love interests, or themselves (my personal favorites being Toradora and My Little Monster where they are about relationships between two genuinely flawed individuals). And yes, you can argue that they all have the same archetype story (the same ones as Harlequin's), but what makes the difference is how the story is told whether the relationships work or not. I also harbor a strong critical prejudice against stories where the lovers abuse each other the entire series and then write in a "happily ever after" ending without character development.

    On the other hand, it's really clear that a number of the authors are guys who never have been with women in meaningful relationships, because you really wouldn't get away with casual insensitivity of the male protagonists. That makes for boring reading/ breaking the suspension of disbelief (and I feel that Smartphone really has that as a problem).


  • Premium Member

    @terrence To me, Golden Time's standing really hinges on whether you consider the MC's illness as genuine characteristic of the MC or a plot device to escape writing into a hole. It's both for me, so I thought it was just ok but it's not easy to watch as there's forced conflict more so for me than actual problems. If you want to see a really good treatment where there the MC does have the illness as a genuine trait and it goes both ways without using the premise as a license for lazy writing, consider watching Momento sometime. I guarantee that you will never consider that illness the same after seeing it.


  • Premium Member

    I voted Harem stories with only 1 winner, however I also prefer the tradition love stories too, I really don't care for when the guy ends up getting all the girls.

    while Realist Hero bothered me at first, I got over it rather quickly.


  • Premium Member

    I'm an insert answer voter too.

    I tend to only like the haremshite when it's light and fluffy - so Smartphone & the one with the unlimited bathroom work fine for me, Realist Hero just works cause while it has more serious elements than those other two it is still pretty light in the scheme of things (note: I'm not up to date on the latest volume so dunno how my opinion might change, for the series I buy premium epubls for I don't read the prepubs - too much to read as it is!)

    I don't mind more traditional love triangles, cause they can be in either a frivolous story or a more serious story and still work.

    If the story is focusing on a couple, I'd rather relationship development than just pre-relationship working up to it. (I think that's why I'll be ok with Realist's newest volume, they're showing how the harem works rather than stuck in BS harem limbo - that crap flies in Ranma 1/2 or To-Love-Ru cause it is meant to be a joke. People actually stringing each other along like that is pretty damn horrible if the story is meant to be realistic.)

    In short: Generally, the more serious the tone of the story, the less people involved in the romantic situation together, the better.

    So some of the more serious stories with romance involved that I dig...

    Haganai - before...

    Oregairu - with whatever the hell is actually going on there with 8man, Yui & Yukino (haven't read anything about the latest volume)

    Toradora

    My Love Story (the one with that huge clueless bloke)

    Chuunibyou - I loved season 1 but was kinda smacking my head on a wall for season 2 not actually going anywhere but still enjoyed it - I've heard the source material is better?

    That's off the top of my head anyway.


  • Premium Member

    The wording of the poll irks me as PC, so I'll give you this instead.

    What matters most for romance is if it's well written. Monogamy, polygamy, polyamory, whatever, I don't care as long as the author writes it well.

    Unfortunately, a lot of light novels don't. It's clear from volume one that the author has already chosen which girl is going to "win" the protag-bowl, and the others are there as marketing, because cute girls sell stories. I'd wager that the stories would be improved if the extraneous harem content was cut.

    As for the actual details of the romance, I don't really care that much either as long as it's well written. It can be a magical girlfriend stumbling into clueless protagonist's life, high school sweethearts going all the way, politics vs feelings, corruption, or Stockholm syndrome rape edition. I think the only romance plot device that I'd reject outright is a story focused on NTR. Not cheating mind you, that can be interesting, but the specific focus on the first guy's anguish that the fetish is based on.

    Otherwise, the only requirement for me to read is that a girl needs to be involved. I'm not interested in reading gay romances no matter how well they're written.


  • Premium Member

    @eins said in Which do you prefer for your romance in stories?:

    The wording of the poll irks me as PC, so I'll give you this instead.

    I'm a PC dude, yes. Try to stay as safe as I can with my wording (originally I put male x female romance for traditional, but then realized I'd have to clarify it to be single x single to include all the extrapolations of gender identity that are possible, not just thinking with my own preference). =P

    @smashman42 said in Which do you prefer for your romance in stories?:

    I'm an insert answer voter too.

    I tend to only like the haremshite when it's light and fluffy - so Smartphone & the one with the unlimited bathroom

    Mixed Bathing in the Unlimited Bathroom is a weird one since (spoiler for volume 1)

    Some romances I enjoyed in fiction are:

    White Album 2 (anime; just got the visual novel)
    Ever17
    Steins;Gate

    Some of these are definitely on the cheesy scale, but hey, sometimes I like cliches. I like when I'm surprised by the pairing(s) especially (if you look at the original covers to these games, they didn't seem to spoil who the major love interest would be; that's kind of what I look for in light novels too, where the cover, especially volume 1, doesn't tell you who the love interest is).


  • Premium Member

    @alocervancouver I think the harem in Rokujouma works as well, although I don't know how it's going to turn out. Things are moving forward, slowly. My gut is telling me that the author hasn't decided how things will end yet.


  • Premium Member

    @paul-nebeling said in Which do you prefer for your romance in stories?:

    @alocervancouver I think the harem in Rokujouma works as well, although I don't know how it's going to turn out. Things are moving forward, slowly. My gut is telling me that the author hasn't decided how things will end yet.

    As long as Yurika or Kiriha get their man, I'll be happy. =P


  • Premium Member

    Don't you mean Clan and Theia? :)


  • Premium Member

    I'm fine with whatever as long as it's well written.

    @dtta said in Which do you prefer for your romance in stories?:

    Don't you mean Clan and Theia? :)

    No, Harumi :P


  • Premium Member

    I think the wonder of Invaders is I like all the girls to one degree or another. One I can take or leave is Kiriha most of the time (her 'Kiriha-focused stories are cute) and Shizuka (there needs to be a "Shizuka-focused" story at some point - unless there has been, I stopped reading a book or two ago due to RL and need to catch up again. :)



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