Post Reply Should we actually want more realism in romance?
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Posted 3/20/15
It sounds like a good idea. However, serious, realistic romance is not the type of thing I want to see in anime. Why?

Because, before watching anime, I hated romance in general. However, in anime, it's so unrealistic, cute, dramatic and funny that it's entertaining.

The last thing I want is an anime that looks and feels like a soap opera.

I mean. Romance in anime is largely idealized. However. that's because, at least to me, romance in real life isn't very exciting to watch. Unless of course it involves insane people falling in love, and ends in tragedy.

However, a regular man and a woman, falling in love, and being together in a way that's realistic, and not completely idealized... does that really sound very entertaining?

I'm saying this because I recently checked out, "Winter Sonata" and well.... it's not awful, but man... It can be pretty boring at times. As did Aoi Hana, which was another romance, (yuri) that didn't sugar coat reality.

I don't know.. you can idealize romance or you can portray it realistically. To me, I just have one standard.
Entertaining = good
Not entertaining = bad
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Posted 3/20/15 , edited 3/20/15
I would say that you're right. We call for more realism, and we really don't want that. What we want is less idealism.

Case and point: Please Teacher. This has a woman from outer space rooming and technically "marrying" a teenage boy while her "cover" is being his teacher. No big deal. But the "fights" and "issues" that they go through aren't dramatic and they talk through them in a way that's just not "real". And it's not "real" not because those issues might not pop up, but because they are treated in such a monotone, robotic way that's so far removed from the way people interact. It's what we ideally wish our fights were like: a person goes up to their partner and say"I have a problem" "I recognize your view of a problem, but here is how I feel" "I recognize that there really isn't a problem". There's no emotion or ups and downs.

It's just over idealized to the point where the characters are no longer human.

EDIT: On the other hand, when too realistic, and people split, and it's often due to something stupid, or because they just simply aren't in love anymore, or when we have to deal with the monotonies of everyday life that ARE the way we love each other, as you point out. we don't want to see that either.

a few cases in particular.

In SAO, the whole ordeal with the mother is totally realistic, and gives realistic cop out problems, but we want to see the two love interests fight against it and say "fuck you" to the mother.

In Toradora, seeing our couple we fought for seperate because one is moving away is just a huge disappointment. We don't want that realism.

People also rallied against the second season of Oriemo, despite it treating the various relationships in a more realistic, and incredibly dull and petty set of actions and results because they were hoping for a different ending.

We DON'T want overly realistic answers either.

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22 / M / Colorado
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Posted 3/20/15
In anime in general we want a mixture of idealism and realism. Romance is no exception to this. We want realism in its themes, characters, and maybe message, but when it comes to its situations and progress, we want something more idealized to get a faster and maybe stronger message. We want characters that feel more human, but we also want them to be able to move the plot forward which can make them a bit more idealized while still portraying to be realistic. You need a mixture of the two to be successful in my opinion.

Anime is an exaggeration of reality anyways, so no one would want something that's super real otherwise it'd be like a soap opera as stated above.
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Posted 3/20/15
I like it how it is, could do with a little less super cliche things though...
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49 / F / Center of the Uni...
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Posted 3/20/15
I think there is a difference between truth and realism, some crazy off beat shows can illuminate something true even while being otherwise utterly unrealistic.

I think there what we want rather than realism, is verisimilitude. We want a shred of credibility onto which we can hang our disbelief suspenders.
Posted 3/20/15 , edited 3/20/15
I don't necessarily want more realism as much as I want more connection to reality.

With almost all fiction, pure realism isn't terribly interesting. There are some extremely niche examples where it's not (such as highly realistic slice of life), but generally, people enjoy fictional stories because they are a tad unrealistic or idealized.

What I mean regarding connection to reality is primarily just acknowledging that fiction plays off of reality and can influence reality in turn. Being more conscious of real world issues in romantic encounters is important. For example ~ the sensations of love, heartache, jealousy, etc should all be as realistic as possible. The context in which they're experienced or how characters react to the sensation - i'd argue that realism isn't that important at all really.

However, aside from just "entertaining vs not entertaining" ~ one of the most important things for a romance (or any story, for me personally) is the moral. The moral / themes / messages of the show are always of vital importance to me and I think some degree of realism or at least "acknowledgment of reality" is important there.

I'll give you two examples ~ one bad and one good.

Bad example: (Note: I haven't finished it yet) ~ Wolf Girl and Black Prince. In my opinion, the show deals inadequately with it's themes and morals as they connect to reality, and for me, it creates a disconnect that's almost insurmountable despite how "entertaining" it may be. It's hard to be entertained by something I disagree with in real life.

Good example: Nana. This show deals with a variety of real issues regarding romantic relationships, but also has a heavy bit of idealized drama. The idealism and realism mesh to create a great show without dipping too heavily into either.

Furthermore, I believe that fiction can actually influence reality ~ so I want to see more shows that deal with thorny romantic issues with a positive message. In that sense, I suppose I do want more "realism" ~ but always with that idealized element to make it entertaining.
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22 / M / Realm of Darkness
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Posted 3/20/15
When someone says "romance" and "realism", Nana is the first anime that comes to mind.
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23 / M / With Lucina
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Posted 3/20/15
I think there is enough space in anime to have both kinds. It should never be just one or the other.
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