I’m no expert when it comes to the shoujo genre, but Wolf Girl and Black Prince seems to be about as shoujo as shoujo gets.
High school setting? Check.
Unlucky but romantically desperate female lead? Check.
Cold, but attractive and desirable male romantic interest? Check.
Ensuing love triangles? We’ll see, but it basically seems so.
However, what has intrigued me most about this series thus far is not its use of the vast array of established shoujo tropes (who would that interest, anyway?), but how it depicts romance and the wiliness of a “maiden’s heart.” I’ve written before on the topic of love, particularly pertaining to Chuunibyou a number of months ago, focusing namely on the fickleness of love as portrayed in media. But that silly, unrealistic, “lovey-dovey” portrayal is not what interests me here. Rather, I was brought back to an article written by Kaze almost a year ago entitled, “The Greatest Love of All… Is a Yandere?”
Let’s back up just a moment to the series in question. Erika Shinohara, being the (apparently) pathological liar she is, in order to impress her “friends” lies about having an impressive boyfriend. As it would turn out, the boy she lies about dating ends up being the school “prince” in another class, Kyouya Sata. Being the kindhearted gem he is, when chaos ensues he decides to play along with her game and pretends to be her boyfriend… only for Erika to discover that he is really a relentless sadist. He blackmails her into continuing the fake relationship as his “dog” by threatening to expose her lies, all in the name of “entertainment.”
The most outrageous part of this setup, though, is that she willingly goes along with it and ends up falling in love with him.
As of episode two, I am undecided on my feelings on this show. I am constantly frustrated and confused by the trope of the helpless and hopelessly romantic female lead falling into the clutches of the selfish, neurotic male interest. Why do these girls pursue this horribly one-sided relationships that result in verbal and physical abuse? (I suppose this same question is worth asking to some real women).
However, amidst these complaints, there was something that struck me about the relationship that I didn’t hate. As of episode two, the current path of character development seems to have Kyouya on track for exhibiting and developing aspects of a real, dedicated type of love. This is what brought me back to Kaze’s article which I linked above, which I highly recommend you read. There is something to say for the fact that anime includes a romantic relationship that can even be compared to God’s love (particularly exhibited in the Old Testament) in any type of analogy.
What frustrates me to no end about Kyouya, and similarly frustrates me about Taiga in Toradora in some ways, is the sinful area of selfishness. However, when Kyouya actually exhibits characteristics of care, however subtle, they become that much more potent. His love is not “lovey-dovey.” It is jealous. Kyouya wants Erika’s love to himself, and he is willing to fight to defend that.
Obviously, this is only one small slice of a much larger pie, and thus the comparison can only serve as a reminder, not a full-fledged image or analogy. But I suppose that’s what I appreciate about it.
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12 thoughts on “Anime Today: Jealous Love??”
I can’t help but roll my eyes, although I may end up looking this when I do begin watching it.
That’s exactly what I’ve done these first two episodes, but I’m a firm believer that almost everything has some redeemable value. Wolf Girl and Black Prince is rather decidedly average, but Christianity brings with it an entire worldview which makes it impossible NOT to start looking into media perhaps more than was intended.
Also, I really wanted to bring people’s attention to Kaze’s article about yandere love. It’s quite good… much better than mine, in fact!
Thanks for reading!
Hmmm. Well, I’ll add this on my loooooong “to watch” list. But great write-up. Keep on blogging. Cheers!
I am actually watching this. I consider it to be my fluff piece for the season. Like you, I can see where there can be growth for both characters. Kyouya does have that jealousy situation happening which is not healthy and I hope he will be able to move past that. Love is not jealous.
Yeah, I may end up dropping it soon if time constraints necessitate it. Definitely “fluff”.
As far as jealousy goes, though, you are correct. Love is not “jealous,” but I assume the jealousy to which you are referring is the negative jealousy we today ascribe to “envy.” Jealousy is not always negative, though, One definition of jealousy is this:
“fiercely protective or vigilant of one’s rights or possessions”
God exhibits this on many occasions throughout the Old Testament (see Kaze’s article). While Kyouya is obviously an utterly flawed individual, it is THAT aspect of jealous of which I was reminded. Kyouya’s version is a messed up kind of love with grains of true love hidden within it, I would claim. True love that only a completely perfect individual could show, mind you. Something interesting to consider, and I recommend you read Kaze’s article if you would like it fleshed out more.
Yes, God is a jealous god. God only wants people to worship the one God and not others. But humans should not be jealous and I am not talking about envious. Even being “fiercely protective or vigilant of one’s rights or possessions” is dangerous. Also in the sense of Kyouya, he sees her as a possession. Human beings are not (shouldn’t be anyway) possessions of others. So no, I am not speaking of enviousness, I am speaking of jealousy.
Yes you are totally right, especially in this case! Jealousy of this type is something that few flawed human beings (ie all of us) can act out and NOT be in the wrong. On that same track, though, there are instances where it serves a proper purpose, such as a spouse “jealously” holding to their marriage vows.
Anyway, the comparison in this show is less of an analogy and more of a subtle reminder of deeper things. Thanks for your input, though! It’s always helpful to draw out the more potent points of an article with friendly discussion!
Once you said “shoujo” I stopped reading…
Kidding, but I was tempted. I am not a shoujo fan, which leaves out like 75% of anime (more or less?).
I agree, I see this all the time in real life, in regards to relationships where girls are with abusive type of men. Often, I will see a pretty looking girl and then she’ll be next to her boyfriend/lover (whatever) who looks like a bum, can’t dress well, and can barely speak proper English. Then I think “ok….how did that happen? The girl seems nice, dresses well, and ‘seems’ mature yet she’s with this guy?!”
I’m a married man, so I’m not jealous or something, but I just find it odd that women stay with guys like that who treat them badly or can’t even wear a shirt that fits them.
Well I suppose that makes both of us out of the dating game (though I’m not married), and perhaps makes it even more perplexing for us? It definitely confuses me to no end, though perhaps there are some underlying positive qualities that are simply difficult to make out. What a conundrum!
Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting as usual, Michael!
Very welcome! Yeah, you guys publish so much stuff, I have no idea how you get around to write it all lol. But always good to read what you guys have to say.
It confuses me to end as well. I’m hispanic, so many times here in Miami, you will see very voluptuous girls (no other appropriate word I could think of) who look like a model basically, then they have this guy who looks like a bum…it happens all the time, I even asked my wife about it and she’s not sure why either. She says it could be that they are being desperate for the attention that the guy gives them, but of course, are doing it for one thing only.
Thanks! I’ll check it out.