This is an examination series currently in two parts. What stemmed from some honest, personal introspection around how anime portrays girls like me became a two part inquisition on how my life honestly ended up so trope-y (long before I ever started watching anime–before I knew about shoujo or boy “types”), and how things work out when certain personalities mesh even entirely untested. I never realized certain personalities fit so well into certain molds. It’s almost scary how accurate of descriptors they are.
While I had originally intended to write Part 2 of this post series, I could have skipped this first post almost in it’s entirety. I hadn’t planned it, but hey, it’s almost Valentine’s Day, so I’ll give myself a little bit of room to gush over the Husband if it proves a point. (ɔˆ ³(ˆ⌣ˆc) ❤
Rambling? My bad.
Anyway, these series posts don’t have a thing in common besides the fact that they focus on implications in my real life, but hey, maybe they can be a thing when I need to bring you into my real world. (´｡• ᵕ •｡`)
Pt. 1 — The Dynamics of a Trope-y Household, or “Why the Cool Type and the Shoujo Girl Belong Together”
Pt. 2 — How Anime Portrays Girls Like Me
~The Shoujo MC and the Cool Type Belong Together.~
Without ado, the first point of the post is this: my household is wayyy~~~ trope-y-er than my anime-disinterested husband would like to admit and it isn’t like we planned our lives this way!! The second point gestures to the heart of the matter: the “cool, silent” type and the “shoujo” type go well together (even if the cool character in a reverse harem isn’t usually the main bishie and certainly not the one MC gets with in the end). How do I know this? Well, my friends, I’m living it. Opposites attract.
I’ll maintain internet anonymity and use our code names, but let me set the stage without exaggeration:
Background Information on the Household Residents:
(who would die if he knew I was writing about him)
He’s ambitious, motivated, intelligent, responsible, an absolute perfectionist, unintentionally sexy, and reserved. He’s a Slytherin. Being a truly archetypal, real world example of the “cool type”(imagine it, ladies, both the benefits and the frustrations!!), the Husband isn’t terribly eloquent when it comes to vocalizing his feelings. He’s a megane** (yes, while I might be admittedly a little biased, he’s bae, honestly) of the stoic spectacles variety with short hair and a long~~~ temper. God help you if you insight his stubborn disposition; there’s no changing this boy’s mind. In addition, due to his reserved nature, he never says anything he doesn’t mean. He rarely compliments, but when he does, you know it’s genuine. Much of my feelings are meant to be understood without needing verbal expression, he believes. Some things just are, and you should know that. Though he doesn’t seem that way to others, the Husband has a truly goofy side displayed to those he’s closest to, and an even rarer side shown only to the Shoujothoughts, but that’s a private affair.
He’s built for anime cosplay with the lean physique of a bishie, and he’s of average height. His eyes are beautiful. His laugh is silly, his teasing eye-roll inducing. His goals are lofty. His thoughts are hard to reach. His heart is mine, and I am a lucky, sometimes frustrated duck.
In my mind and long before I fell into my anime journey, I always maintained that I wanted a man of what I’d later come know know is called the princely type. Life experience has taught me that I can say whatever I want about what I think I need, but what I often consider “my type” in media and the trope of boy I’m often most attracted to in the real world are polar opposites. I said I wanted a Tama-chan, but what I’ve found the most alluring in spite of myself is the Kyoya.
*the comments are honest, but I may fangirl as doing so is in my nature.
**I didn’t know there was a word for this until I found out here, so thanks for that, BeckNaja. (She’s on Twitter, guys.)
Shoujothoughts: *crocodile pouting* Why are you so mean?
Husband: *smiling while walking away* Because I can be.
As stated, Husband doesn’t elaborate on his feelings very often, but he feels that I am—to use his phrase—cute. Not only that, but—to simplify a long story—apparently “cute” in Husband’s eyes has ceased to be a physical attribute when in reference to me and has instead become a description of my state of being? (I…I’m dying a little… *swoon*)
Anyway, what does that mean? You’d have to ask him, but I can tell you a little about myself for the sake of our topic at hand, as it becomes very relevant in ♪♪Just a Shoujo Girl Living in the Re-al World~~~♪♪ Pt. 2. It’s sure hard to write about one’s self though, isn’t it? __φ(．．)
You know I’m a Tama-chan, right? I am also, for lack of a better term, girly. I’m an absolutely hopeless romantic, and I’m a roller coaster of emotion at times. I’ve a cheerful disposition by nature, get truly excited over the small things, and…okay, Shoujo…say it… I even occasionally do that “shoujo heroine talks to herself” thing. (⁄ ⁄•⁄ω⁄•⁄ ⁄)
I’ve been called graceful when it comes to fluidity of movement, but I often find myself bumping into objects or slipping on flat surfaces, and Husband simply sighs at this point and says with a smile or a head shake, “Only you.” I’m not physically strong, and I’m very sensitive, but I stand up for what I believe in and I hold fast to my moral compass. Don’t pick on someone I love or otherwise hurt those I care about; you will feel the full wrath of my righteous indignation!
I’ve got a delicate build—though I’m on the tall side for a girl—and my attitude itself is not particularly seductive as I’d probably just get embarrassed if I tried. (⁄ ⁄•⁄ω⁄•⁄ ⁄)
When I do wear makeup, it’s usually light. I love the color pink more than any other, and I love stereotypical “cute” things. If I could live in skirts and sun dresses, I would give up pants forever, and BOWS, do not even get me started on BOWS and RIBBONS! (✿◠‿◠)
Having said all that, I’m a writer, reader, and creative force of nature. I’m also intelligent to be honest, and I resent that my optimism and what I’ve come to dub “shoujo nature” are sometimes taken as that area’s lack. (But this will a subject of ♪♪Just a Shoujo Girl Living in the Re-al World~~~♪♪ Pt. 2.)
Shoujothoughts: Cute is a physical attribute.
Husband: *pulling me closer* Nope.
Shoujothoughts: *mentally* He…he thinks I’m cute! *doki doki*
- Getting on in years but still Shoujothoughts’ precious baby kitty
- Likes to nap almost as much as she likes to eat
- Recreational catnip user, enjoys her window seat
- Has strategically taken over Shoujo’s favorite chair
- Drools like a puppy dog
- Is the most adorable thing under the sun
- Vomits a lot *ew*, leaving Shoujo-chan to clean up after her
- Leaves lots of litter box work for the Husband
- Makes the cutest puff-ball of long fur when curled up on self
- Hates riding in the car
- Loves to sit on a kitchen chair (or on the floor) during meals and waits to be offered the meats
- Meows a LOT ❤
- Is a very smart beebee
- Escape artist
- Does not hesitate to let you know when she wants what I’ve dubbed “the ‘tentions” (attention)
Rough End Quote:
Husband: *approaching Neko-chan so she meows* Meow if you love me the most!
Neko-chan: *wanting food* Meow!
Husband: *picking up and holding Neko* Aww, yes, see, she says, “I love him the most!”
The Dynamics as Described Through Incidentals or, “There could be a fanfiction, I kid you not:”
Shoujo calls the husband frequently by pet names. The Husband does not use pet names but unintentionally reveals that he is highly territorial of those he is called, resulting in the cutest Husband moment ever. Husband still does not realize he’s done this.
Husband is all about Shoujo being Shoujo and he is most comfortable when she’s true to herself and also doesn’t mind hair ribbons at all.
Shoujo is taken seriously despite her sparkly nature. Political talk abounds.
Sometimes Shoujo kicks Husband in the butt to get him out of his own stubborn head and she must initiate most cuddles.
Husband is hard to get. Shoujo goes on the hunt. Husband reverses rolls and Shoujo dies a little. (*ﾉωﾉ)
Husband is megane. This is self-explanatory.
Husband makes sure things get done while Shoujo is off being a hyperactive goofball.
Shoujo makes sure that Husband does not live as an emotionally stunted recluse!
Neko bugs Shoujo by using little claws and paws to “pat pat” Shoujo’s legs while she’s watching anime, but Shoujo remembers that cats do not live forever and gives Neko all the pets.
Husband calls Neko’s meows “annoying” but then proceeds to make her meow as though they are having a conversation.
Shoujo becomes unrelentingly frustrated by Husband’s lack of verbosity and overall reservation when it comes to romance or affection. Husband shows his love in his own ways, and Shoujo’s heart goes *doki doki* all over again.
Husband works too hard. Shoujo drags him away and makes him focus on enjoying the fruits of his labor!
Shoujo dances openly throughout the house like a free-spirted dork. Husband looks at her like she’s crazy and asks, “What are you doing?” but smiles in spite of himself.
Having gotten through that…
Anime and real life are not the same, but the fact remains that I’d love to see an MC heroine (a shoujo girl like me–make her a bit hyperactive, even) placed in a relationship with a cool type who isn’t a tsundere (because the Husband has never been a tsun-tsun and it seems like these almost always go hand-in-hand in shoujo anime) and see what they do with that development. I’d be very interested to know where they’d take such a relationship, and I wonder if it would reflect what I know to be true of my own life.
While very similar people can have happy, healthy relationships of their own, I tend to believe that opposites in relationships often have fascinating and strong dynamics because even when they don’t fully understand each other, it is that constant incongruence—the element of empathy rather than sympathy, the rush of discovery, the effort put in to compromise—keeps their love fresh.
Don’t you think that a years-spanning examination of this revelation would make an excellent josei title?
What are some titles that you know of that play with this opposites attract idea a little? I’m thinking Nodame Cantabile, Toradora!, and My Little Monster!
Anyway, be on the lookout for ♪♪Just a Shoujo Girl Living in the Re-al World~~~♪♪ Pt. 2 (How Anime Portrays Girls Like Me) coming sometime soon!
And a P.S.—
Happy early Valentine’s Day to my irreplaceable Chickie-chee who will never read this! ❤ ❤ ❤ He is super loved!