True romance

I recently watched the first episode of the anime¬†Actually, I Am, which revolves around a love confession. It wasn’t my thing, but while watching I had to ask: do Japanese kids actually do this kind of thing?

Haru confessing his feelings to Shizuku: I think I like you. In a sexual way!
It’s from My Little Monster.

See, the classic love confession from anime and manga goes like this: a school-aged character approaches in private their secret crush (normally a classmate and one who they may not have even spoken with before) and tells them, “I like you, please go out with me”.

I’d never really thought about it, as this¬†cliche is very common in anime and manga, but I realize now that this is a pretty damn awkward situation to be in. When approached by a near-total stranger – who you may only have spoken a few words in passing to before – and asked for a date out of the blue, the normal reaction is to tell them no. With this in mind, isn’t the classic love confession approach basically a recipe for rejection?

Considering it further, the love confession strategy seems like something a socially awkward person would do. They know they want to go out with someone but they don’t really know how to approach them so they go all in. They skip the getting-to-know-you part and go straight for the asking out part.

Really, a more reasonable approach, and one more conducive to success, would probably be for the besotted party to befriend and hang out with the object of their romantic interest first without immediately going for the metaphorical jugular.

It’s such an obvious stratagem that I have to wonder whether Japanese kids actually do the love confession thing at all. Is this basically just a cliche that mostly exists in the minds of anime and manga writers? One wonders.

4 Replies to “True romance”

  1. It’s true. A socially awkward person would think the hanging out part is useless, as the most likely outcome would be appearing…awkward, which from his p.o.v would damage his success rate. Also, at best he’ll be the friend of a friend that doesn’t really stand out.

    On a slightly different situation, a senior of mine did this, and he’s only spoken once before to her. However he’s not socially awkward, just quiet, and also a very good judge of character. They’ve been together for 3 years now.

    The post about episode 5 Your Lie in April atracted me here, btw. Did you notice Production IG tried to pull this same shit in Psycho-Pass season 1 ?

  2. Ah, well, you learn something new everyday. I still don’t get it but I guess it makes sense to the person doing it. Good for that introverted guy you know, though.

    As for Psycho-Pass, I’m afraid I haven’t seen it. It’s been recommended to me and I’ve been waffling on adding it to my list of TV shows to watch. Note that this is a really, really long list.

    But then again, what’s one more? Okay, why not, I’ve just added it to my Funimation queue.

  3. Psycho Pass season 1 is good, it raises some interesting questions about a perfect society, and it comes with well-written characters to boot. My only complain is that sometimes they state obvious things and questions to cater to more audience.

    A cameo of Chelly, my favorite singer, definitely didn’t contribute to me liking this. Yeah, definitely not.

    Just avoid season 2 though. Season 2 had good concepts but bad execution, kinda like Californication.

  4. Psycho Pass season 1 is good, it raises some interesting questions about a perfect society, and it comes with well-written characters to boot. My only complain is that sometimes they state obvious things and questions to cater to more audience.

    A cameo of Chelly, my favorite singer, definitely didn’t contribute to me liking this. Yeah, definitely not.

    Just avoid season 2 though. Season 2 had good concepts but bad execution, kinda like Californication.

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