Hatsukoi Ends. Hey, Isn’t Romance for Girls??

I’ve been very intrigued by Hatsukoi Limited. I love this show. My female friend, who’s into pretty boy shows like Hanasekeru Seishounen, is also crazy about this show. Yet I absolutely hate chick lit, chick flicks and other romance movies/shows. So why do I like HL?

Wait, make that, why does almost every guy like Hatsukoi, to varying degrees, even if we all objectively know that it wasn’t a very mature or deep show?

I can think of a few reasons actually, and these are the main things something like Hatsukoi has over the vast majority of romance series that only girls would love.

1. There are only shitty guys who each are so weak, they are capable of starring in their own harem anime. Misao can fit just right into School Rumble (not exactly harem though), Mamoru behaves the same as 90 percent of harem leads, Kusuda is the typical lecher harem lead etc. As some blogger whose name I have forgotten mentioned, there are no standout guys in Hatsukoi, and I think this is the reason why it is beloved by us male viewers. We fucking hate pretty boys who steal our women. We can emphatise with these regular joes, who have issues that we have once faced or are facing. Stuff like short legs, ugly faces, inexperience, envy towards better males, siscon, unrequited crushes etc. There are absolutely no annoying bad boy pretty boys, the type that are permanant main characters of shoujo manga like F4. Everyone hates those bastards except fangirls and they easily ruin a show.

2. There are plenty of hot girls, each with their own harem-animesque personality traits. I’ll say that the characters aren’t particularly unique, deep or rounded and some don’t even get developed at all throughout the series. But like a good harem anime, us male viewers just pick a favourite girl and root for her. It helps that the artwork/character design is one of the best around and there’s also lots of fanservice of the really titillating kind. I love boobies and Kei/Misaki/Meguru have nice boobies. The key to drawing in a huge male following for a romance series is to have beautiful girls and not-so-beautiful guys, and HL really succeeds with this. It doesn’t alienate female viewers as females aren’t as averse to beautiful females as males are to beautiful males. Speaking of which, I’m having a hard time picking a favourite girl  because so many are awesome. The only ones who I won’t instantly turn down if they ask me to date them are: the flat-chested swimming junior, the crazy drama club girl and weird incesty Koyoi. My favourite is probably Misaki in terms of appearance, but Chikura in terms of character.

3. There isn’t emo shit. The series doesn’t really have the sort of annoying whining, and it’s done very simply and to the point. The worst part about female-oriented romance shows is that some retarded emoshit will arise due to amazing coincidental tragedy, such as car crashes, diseases, affairs, or whatever natural disasters. Then the lovers will conquer the barriers and show their undying love. Hatsukoi is a mere gateway, and it doesn’t hide the fact that it shows the sweet, shallow and beautified version of first love that we all thought we had. It’s about nostalgia, rather than fantasy. Where everyone was shy, innocent and didn’t think about sex or money. Where people blushed just by talking to the opposite sex. Where everything done was a first. The whole show was saccharine-sweet and even the rejections weren’t outright, like Chikura and Ayumi’s. We guys don’t like heartbreaks in our romance shows. Also, the relationships aren’t overly grand and earth-shattering, like those you see in romance movies. I absolutely hate the sort like in Sex and the City (THE MOVIE) where the bride and groom finally get together intensely after 2 failed weddings etc etc and live happily ever after. HL has simple romances that you can easily relate to, instead of cursing that these wretched movies are tricking the foolish real girls into having unreal expectations of relationships.

4. There’s also the element of growing up in HL, which is sort of the same rush you get when viewing Honey and Clover, which was also equally popular between guys and girls.

5. Each arc was quickly settled and wasn’t wishy washy. I think this is pretty important, but not as important as the first 2 reasons. Come to think of it, Suzuka and its sequel, Kimo no iru Machi, were long, emo, and extremely wishy washy and convoluted but they were huge successes cos they had loser guys and lots of hot girls. But regardless, Hatsukoi’s quick and concise conclusions of each of the relationships prevented boredom from settling in, but at the expense of depth, which most guys don’t care about anyway. To us, romance is people getting together, and not the freakin process.

Hatsukoi Limited will probably be my recommendation to anyone who’s interested in a boyish group romance anime, which is surprisingly quite rare. I can only think of Boys Be for this genre.

15 Responses to “Hatsukoi Ends. Hey, Isn’t Romance for Girls??”

  • Actually, when it comes to rejections, I’d rather they be straight to the point. I’ve had my fair share, and I can say without any doubt that I really hate vague rejections.

    If I’m going to be rejected anyway, it might as well be soon than later.

  • Now if only Ichigo 100% were like that as well.

  • Hatsukoi was great. I really enjoy this kind of shounen romance that is not harem thing.

    There is another series that it pretty similiar. It is called Kimikiss. Really good.

    I would like to know about other series like Hatsukoi. But they are rare out there. ;(

  • Andre, yes Kimikiss! I totally forgot about that. I think it’s much poorer than Hatsukoi though.

    Double, yeah but in anime it’s good cos we have hope that the girl’ll start liking the guy. In real life that’s not the case most of the time.

    Snoo I have yet to read that, couldn’t get past the first few chapters lol.

  • Hatsukoi was a good show. It had nice art (I always been partial to Kawashita’s style), and more importantly it was consistent in delivering a brand of light comedy and romance that was easy to swallow. It’s not heavy, doesn’t feel contrived, and mostly just some lighthearted fun.

  • I think you did catch what makes the show quite appealing.

    I think point #3 makes point #5 possible, and I do appreciate it like this. HL is overtly a montage of a generation’s first loves, and prolonged tortured pining and such won’t make it work as well.

    There is a standout guy, only that he wasn’t part of the main cast and had to leave to fulfill his dreams. This made the show make more sense to me. You told me that the male cast isn’t necessarily of the omega nature (though you contradict yourself totally with point #1) The average nature of the males can only remain truly average if there are extremes at both ends of the spectrum.

    Alpha male: dude who paints and will do so for UNICEF or something
    Omega male: lowlifes who gang up on Beast-kun, Kappa dude (Kusuda?)

    The rest of the main male cast are more like omicron males.

  • I think you catch the one thing that makes the show appealing to guys (hot/cute/diverse chicks but also with interesting but mundane personalities), and the one thing that guys don’t like in chick flicks–idealized, imperfect male characters that are developed for the sake of a female audience. I’m not sure if you caught much that appeals to girls, though, besides that it’s got some themes about growth.

    But Hatsukoi Limited has some themes about other stuff too, and it moves along fast enough to be fresh and funny when it is trying to be funny. There weren’t a lot of forced, canned jokes later on; that was a very smart move to keep the bulk of that in the first half of the series.

    However I think Hatsukoi Limited is pretty deep when it wants to be. It has the potential to do it and it’s smart enough to just tip the hat that way, leaving the rest for those who want the mind exercise and not bother with it for everyone on the bandwagon.

  • Things like Hatsukoi and KimiKiss are so rare. Yet shit like Kanokon gets a second season.

  • I just saw the final. I cringed the whole way. I had an awful time of it. I think I’ll pretend it ended in 10 episodes.

  • I cried in the last episode. Belive it or not. Specially in this moment: http://img181.imageshack.us/img181/2193/93683033.gif (commemorative gif)

    But I usually cry watching animes and these stuff. Other day I cried watching a movie about dogs. Like those with dogs that can talk and go in an adventure around the world with other little animals. LOL.

  • I started watching for the cute character designs. (of course) What really drew me was Kei and Kusuda’s relationship. That love/hate (but not really) relationship just sorta drew me in. I think they got the majority of cute moments in the series since (up until the end) their relationship was the only one that was semi-mutual. (Dobashi doesn’t count) You knew they were going to get together, it was just a matter of how and when. They each had their own mindsets; kusuda was a perv and kei said everything was about looks, but they still managed to find themselves in love. Sort of a “love isn’t going to be like you expect it to be”…or maybe I just like twintailed, big busted, tsundere blondes. I think J.C. Staff missed a homerun by not having Horie Yui voice Kei.

  • School rumbler

    There’s another good anime which i think are more suitable for older viewer ” itazura na kiss”. Back to the point, HL is a good anime, they made the ending simple without breaking any guys heart out there who’s rooting for their choosen character to end with someone.

  • Are they not going to change the cast of Sex and The City ? the girls in there are getting old already.*-”

  • I was initially very pleased to discover this particular web-site.I wanted to appreciate it for your precious time for this amazing learn!! I positively having fun with every single little this and I had you bookmarked to look at new stuff you text.

  • I wonder if they will want to think more on this.

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