8 Horrible Boyfriends
by Lynzee Loveridge,
Hi guys, first I want to thank everyone who reads this column each week. I read your feedback in ANN's yearly reader survey last month and saw how many of you voted in The List as your favorite Anime News Network column. It totally makes wracking my brain each week to create interesting content for you worth it, so thank you!
That said, this week we have another "The List: Greatest Hits" edition. I hate to disappoint you guys with a rerun, especially a second one so soon since the last. If you've been following me on Twitter, you might already know this but my husband and I are pregnant. In fact, I'm due in about three weeks and then will be taking maternity leave for about a month. An unfortunate side-effect is that creating humans takes a huge toll on your body, so I've been struggling a bit. Fortunately we have some great Lists to rediscover and the staff here have been really supportive in stepping in so I don't overdo it. We'll have fresh Lists through the summer for you, with some reruns here and there to help out if we need.
I'm hoping to return next week with a new List for you all, as long as this little guy doesn't decide to come early! Thank you for your support and readership.
8. Arima (His and Her Circumstances) Arima suffers from a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. HYDE scenario, but fortunate for himself and his girlfriend, Dr. Jekyll is winning. His own insecurities (and believe me, almost every entry on this list suffers from some sort of ruined-childhood-insecurity problem) about his pedigree lead to fear of abandonment which in turn, causes him to lash out at those around his girlfriend, Yukino. She in turn, pulls the love savior card that starts to turn things around for the two of them, but not before Arima shows some really ugly character flaws underneath his perfect facade.
7. Yano (Bokura ga Ita) Ever since Yano's girlfriend died in a car accident while out with another man, Yano's had some trust issues. Not that he's particularly forthcoming about his own trysts when he starts dating Nanami, either. Jealousy causes Yano to throw up red flags all over the place, like throwing a gift Nanami got from a male friend out the window because he doesn't want anyone else to give her things.
6. Naoki (Itazura na Kiss) Naoki is rich and academically unmatched. His girlfriend, Kotoko, is in the bottom class of her high school. The two end up living together when Kotoko's house burns down and somehow the situation blossoms into romance despite the fact that Naoki is a complete jerk. He regularly reminds Kotoko that she is beneath him, stupid, and not worth his time. Even later in the series, when they're both in college, he tries to skip out on her graduation ceremony from nursing school because his business is more important.
5. Sakuya Ookochi (Sensual Phrase) How can a list like this exist without a mention of one of Mayu Shinjo's male leads? The late 90s series is the only anime adaptations of Shinjo's steamy romance stories. Vocalist Sakuya carries on a romance with high school girl Aine. He maintains a self-absorbed devil-may-care attitude about everything, but is also horribly possessive. When he finds a hickey on his girlfriend due to sexual assault, he pulls her out of class and sexually assaults her before "regaining his senses."
4. Ryo Okayasu (Peach Girl) Momo's "frenemy" Sae is no saint, but her one-time boyfriend Ryo is a real piece of work. Manipulative and cold, Ryo takes part is Sae's schemes to break up Kairi and Momo while leading on Sae in the process. After sleeping with Sae and somehow avoiding Chris Hansen in the process, he's nice enough to hand over the funds for an abortion. When all is said and done, Ryo reconsiders his choices, waxing poetic on how having a child might be interesting since it's "like a video game with no reset button."
3. Akio (Revolutionary Girl Utena) Akio would easily take the #1 spot, except for two redeeming factors: Utena ditches him before the end of the show and the series' staff had enough sense to make him the villain. Akio's motivations are self-serving, without an ounce of humility, compassion, or love underneath. He abuses family, friends, students, and his fiance's mother with charm and a smile. He exposes the weakest part of Utena's character, but she comes out better for it.
2. Takumi (NANA) Possessive, controlling, and a giant hypocrite, Takumi is one of Hachi's main love interests in the NANA series. Like most of crappy partners on the list, Takumi suffers from a pitiable childhood that is supposed to hand wave away his questionable behavior, like regularly cheating on his girlfriend despite his supposed 'undying love' for her. Hachi considers leaving Takumi a number of times but he decides that he won't "let her get away that easily," and due to extenuating circumstances, we see Hachi settle for him regardless.
1. Toma (Amnesia) This season's Toma being at the top of the list might surprise you after detailing the very horrible romantic interests Takumi and Akio. Really, none of the "options" in Amnesia appear to viable wish-fulfillment to anyone who's been in a halfway functional relationship. Shin spends his few spotlight episodes repeatedly telling the protagonist that she's an idiot (which she is, but that's beside the point), Kento seems to have his heart in the right place but suffers from some kind of social handicap, and Ikki is glamorous but horribly dull. So what about boy-next-door Toma? Toma just wants to protect our memory-challenged protagonist. He wants to protect her from herself and all those horrible decisions she makes whenever she exerts some kind of independence. You see, it's a big scary world out there, so better to turn his love interest into a "sleeping beauty" by drugging her, and eventually, caging her. The worst part may be the protagonist's complete indifference to the sequence of events. She doesn't cry, scream, or show much concern at all. She acknowledges the abuse but also rationalizes it's ok, because it's not the "real" Toma. Right.
The old poll: What are your opinions on the seven trends listed? Which are you enjoying and which have you bored?
Most Enjoyed (Overall)
- Mystery - 74.7%
- Nostalgia Based - 61.9%
- Transported Into A Fantasy Game World - 47.5%
- Food - 40.1%
- Fujoshi-Targeted Sports- 28.1%
- Magical Battle School - 26.8%
- Male Idols - 12.6%
Most Disliked (Overall)
- Male Idols - 41.0%
- Magical Battle School - 35.2%
- Fujoshi-Targeted Sports - 24.6%
- Transported Into A Fantasy Game World - 19.9%
- Food - 13.4%
- Nostalgia Based - 4.0%
- Mystery - 3.1%
Most Enjoyed (Men)
- Mystery - 73.8%
- Nostalgia Based - 61.3%
- Transported Into A Fantasy Game World - 55.8%
- Food - 42.3%
- Magical Battle School - 32.0%
- Fujoshi-Targeted Sports - 12.9%
- Male Idols - 3.7%
Most Enjoyed (Women)
- Mystery - 79.3%
- Nostalgia Based - 64.7%
- Fujoshi-Targeted Sports - 53.4%
- Male Idols - 39.7%
- Food - 36.9%
- Transported Into A Fantasy Game World - 33.1%
- Magical Battle School - 17.1%
Most Enjoyed (Other/Neither/Both)
- Mystery - 67.2%
- Nostalgia Based - 58.6%
- Fujoshi-Targeted Sports - 44.8%
- Transported Into A Fantasy Game World - 36.2%
- Food - 32.8%
- Magical Battle School - 25.9%
- Male Idols - 20.7%
Most Disliked (Men)
- Male Idols - 49.1%
- Fujoshi-Targeted Sports - 31.5%
- Magical Battle School - 31.3%
- Transported Into A Fantasy Game World - 15.3%
- Food - 14.0%
- Nostalgia Based - 4.8%
- Mystery - 3.6%
Most Disliked (Women)
- Magical Battle School - 42.2%
- Male Idols - 28.1%
- Transported Into A Fantasy Game World - 26.8%
- Fujoshi-Targeted Sports - 13.2%
- Food - 12.4%
- Nostalgia Based - 2.7%
- Mystery - 1.7%
Most Disliked (Other/Neither/Both)
- Magical Battle School - 39.7%
- Transported Into A Fantasy Game World - 34.5%
- Male Idols - 27.6%
- Food - 12.1%
- Fujoshi-Targeted Sports - 8.6%
- Nostalgia Based - 5.2%
- Mystery - 5.2%
Participants breakdown: Of the over 1,700 participants, 58.2% identified as male, 34.1% as female, 3.4% as other, neither, or both, and 4.3% chose not to identify.
Alright everybody, see you all next week! I look forward to your input in the comments and feel free to follow me on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee or e-mail me at [email protected]
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