Top 5 on The Strip: Anime cliches

Anime: Nisekoi
Anime: Nisekoi

1. Amnesia-stricken protagonist

Your protagonist — male or female, it doesn’t matter — is going to conveniently forget his or her’s first love. They will struggle to remember just who the person is, will struggle with their feelings for this person and then miraculously remember every detail, down to exact conversations they may have had when they were young.

 

Anime: Myself;Yourself
Anime: Myself;Yourself

2. Young romance grows up

The protagonist is quite outgoing and will make a friend or two that they will inevitably leave behind. They will encounter this person years later and will find a way to reconnect based on their previous dealings with each other. In this new age, they will rediscover that which they have in common and it will recreate a long-forgotten romance between them.

 

Anime: Toradora!
Anime: Toradora!

3. Opposites attract

The main characters that are destined to be together will not like each other. In fact, they downright hate each other. They can’t stand each other but somehow keep finding themselves thrown together in situations that require them to interact and learn something new about each other. Before long — usually by the end of the series — they will find themselves together.

 

Anime: Kimi ni Todoke
Anime: Kimi ni Todoke

4. Valentine chocolate is strictly forbidden

Giving the gift of chocolate for Valentine’s Day is a ritual for school children worldwide, and more so in Japan. It’s so prevalent that it’s usually an episode in a romantic comedy series or any type of romance series that involves school. What usually happens is that the main characters will attempt to bake chocolates or buy chocolates for their intended special person. It will either be extremely problematic or won’t happen at all. Hilarity or drama can and will ensue.

 

Anime: Lovely Complex
Anime: Lovely Complex

5. The payoff scene

Required for every romantic comedy by the third to the last episode in the series, the main characters have to have a confession scene. One of the characters has to be obvious about their feelings up to this point, and the other has to be oblivious to it until a revelation occurs that makes them take notice of the fact that the other character has been panting behind them since the first episode. What happens next is important: There has to be payoff for the buildup. They have to confess feelings and kiss, enter a relationship or resolve everything by the end of the series.

Anime Lounge #07: Myself; Yourself

Myself;Yourself art

Series: Myself; Yourself

Episodes: 1 to 13

Anime-LoungePremise: Hold on to your hat, folks, this one gets really dark, really fast. A young boy, Hidaka Sana, is surrounded by four childhood friends — Yatsushiro Nanaka, Oribe Aoi and brother/sister pair Wakatsuki Shuusuke and Wakatsuki Shuri — in the comfortable town of Sakuranomori. The group spends a lot of time together so when Sana moves to Tokyo, the group splinters. When Sana returns, he rejoins three of the four — Aoi, Shuusuke and Shuri — but doesn’t recognize Nanaka. After their first encounter again after years apart, Sana has to work to regain a friendship with Nanaka or turn it into something else. The problem is there are dark secrets within the group that get in the way.

Is it worth watching?: Yes, if you like dark secrets among a group of people who’ve known each other their entire lives. I can’t give away what the secrets are, but suffice to say it’s hard hitting for a group of teenagers. Most adults don’t deal with the majority of the problems these kids have. And just when you think it couldn’t get any more depressing than it already is, things brighten considerably. It’s good drama, and the character development is good.

Breakout character: Shuri. It’s true that she’s part of a duo storyline here, but she makes the most impact. She starts out a little immature, but by the end, she’s the one making adult decisions that affect her and Shuusuke for the rest of their lives. Besides Shuusuke, she’s probably the most mature of the group by the end, and that’s saying a lot when considering the other story resolutions.

Funniest episode: Humor goes a long way in this series, and it’s hard to come by. So, instead of funniest episode, let’s just say the happiest episode is the final episode, “Bonds.” For the sake of lifting the depressing veil off events, the entire group reunites and all is well.

Where is it going: The entire series is 13 episodes, so if you can hang on and get through the sad parts (like the entire series except for the final 10 minutes), you can see for yourself how well things end for the five friends.

*Special note: The opening wasn’t really anything special, but the ending song “Kimi to Yozora to Sakamichi to” is excellent. It’s definitely worth listening to on repeat a few dozen times.