This isn’t a post meant to harshly bash the character in any way. I am merely just stating my opinions on the character and why I think she doesn’t make a great “main character”.
I’m glad you were polite about expressing your opinion, but I’m going to have to vehemently disagree with a lot of it.
As an otome character, it’s not a problem. However, the transition from game to anime isn’t as simple as just copying and pasting. The writers of the show gave Nanami this kind-hearted, nice, polite, which isn’t that special. To me, it’s pretty boring, actually. Like, what special trait does Nanami have that would give us (the viewers and the guys in the show) a reason to like her as much as any other character?
That’s the thing about Nanami. She’s very much ordinary. THAT is why she is likable. She’s not particularly smart, or observant, she’s clumsy and easily flustered and very much a NORMAL girl that a lot of girls can relate themselves to. That aside, she’s also incredibly gifted. Since she was a little girl she was prodigy who could hear a tune, and instantly play it back. She learned to play music completely by ear without any sort of formal instruction, and both the games and the anime emphasize that she’s put years of passion and dedication into that.
That being said, the whole “learning to read sheet music in one day” thing is something the anime made up, because it gave them a plot device to work with and gave you a chance to empathize with a bullied and insecure Haruka. And no, she doesn’t go to any extraordinary lengths to help the boys out, BECAUSE SHE DOESN’T NEED TO. She’s ordinary. An ordinary girl surrounded by bright, effusive, extraordinary personalities. Everyone’s shining brightly, glaringly, and she’s a soft cool light that soothes the eyes. The point isn’t for her to help the boys (Even though she’s always there to support them when she knows they need help) the point is that their feelings FOR Haruka are what pull them through their problems.
The main issue I have with this character is that everyone in this show treats her as though she’s….like a unicorn, who is the only special person in the school and there’s no one else like -she’s basically a mary-sue!
Do you actually understand what a Mary-sue is? They’re embarrassingly perfect, from the writer’s point of view. They’re always right, or always the victim. They’re overly elaborate and stunningly beautiful (or worse, quirky beautiful) and no one can resist them. They’re miraculously talented at everything, and they’re always the hero, even when they’re not.
Haruka is far, FAR from perfect. She’s got lots of flaws. She’s scatterbrained, insecure, oblivious, a bit helpless with many things. She can’t even walk down a straight path without getting lost. She’s not even beautiful, in any sense of the words. One of the things I like best about Haruka is that, out of most of the characters, she’s the plainest one. She’s not extravagant or sexy or serene and lovely. She’s just… plain. The boys never rhapsodize about her looks. They’re almost never mentioned, and even when she’s dressed up, she simply looks nice. And a bit cute. The focus is ALL ABOUT HER MUSIC, and the feelings it conveys, and how it inspires people.
As for Tomochika, she’s Haruka’s foil. She’s the bright shiny star that sparkles next to Haruka’s soft glow. She’s strong, to give Haruka something to fall back on. She’s a fabulous friend who stands out for that alone.
Together, they remind me VERY MUCH of Kinomoto Sakura and Daidouji Tomoyo. Sakura was a very unremarkable girl, in many ways, and it was her heart that made her stand out throughout the series. Like Sakura, I think Haruka is a wonderfully written character, and a lot of her personality shows in the game. More than likely they toned to her down to appeal to a broader range of fans.
But that’s not going to happen. It wouldn’t be a reverse harem anime if you gave the main character such a bright and likeable personality. What reverse harem anime has a main character with a bubbly personality? They’re usually always the shy kind soft spoken characters, are they not?
Go play a QuinRose game. Play Alice in the Country of Hearts. It’s a wonderful reverse harem game, and Alice isn’t taking any shit from anyone. She’s strong and obstinate and extremely likable. Being passive and sweet isn’t a trademark of an otome heroine. You gotta consider where these serieses come from. In Japan, there’s a long standing ideal of women being soft-spoken, polite, shy. Innocent when it comes to sexual knowledge. That’s the general stereotype. In Japan, a woman who persues men, who goes after what she wants like that, is very polarizing and would put off a LOT of fans.
The Utapri anime was made for ONE REASON. To promote. Watching an anime is the easiest way for anyone to be introduced to a series. Playing a game or reading a manga takes a bit more time and effort. They put out a series that appeals to a BROAD range of fans by giving a slightly more passive, “bland’ heroine, and a bunch of sexy, dynamic men voiced by incredibly famous seiyuu to get people to buy the games, to sell CDs. To sell merch. And yes, it’s ALL going to be based on the guys, because the viewership is female, and women will pay big bucks for merch of their fav guys. But there are a lot of people who would like Haruka merch as well. Or merch with Haru and their fave boy. But first and foremost is the priority to make more money. They will play to the lowest common denominator. The appeal of hot men.
I’d like to think that’s why some of the people who hate Nanami always say “SHE DOESN’T DESERVE ANY OF THE GUYS” It’s because she doesn’t have to. She’s an otome character. By definition, she’s going to get all of the boys, whether she likes it or not.
Wat. No, seriously. Since when does a person have to DESERVE a guy? Doesn’t the guy’s feelings matter at all? For boys looking to be idols, they’re all surrounded with flash and sparkle and images. Nanami is honest and warm and open, and doesn’t know how to use pretense. She comforts them. Supports them. Inspires them. Just by being herself, and THEY LOVE HER FOR IT. Not because she did something to deserve it. Hell, it’d be more accurate to say they don’t deserve her.
Otoya… well, okay, we’ll put him aside because his story has very little drama other than him wanting to be with her, too hell with the consequenses, so in that universe, they do pretty much deserve each other.
But Tokiya, he’s CRUEL. He’s hard, he’s dismissive, he’s a liar, and uses his fake personality that he knows Haruka adores to TEST her, and to push her towards Tokiya. He breaks up with her so that he can continue his dream, forcing her to push through her heartbreak to continue to write for him and support him, even though he insists her music isn’t good enough until she breaks down.
Ren is a slut. He has his reasons, and they’re pretty good ones, but Ren is a slut. He spreads himself around to all the girls, never giving anything but pretty words and flattery and a night together, before moving on. He doesn’t love anyone, and he doesn’t want to. He’s bitter, jaded, uninspired, and is content to let Haruka do all the work by herself while he fools around.
Masato is a coward. He represses his feelings, constantly, and then when things go bad, he runs away, leaving Haruka to fend for herself. He resents his family ties, and at the same time refuses to sever them the way Ren did. He’s wishywashy and doesn’t think about what all the yo-yoing does to Haruka.
Without Haruka, Natsuki would go on destroying himself, going back and forth between personalities. He’d have left Saotome and probably never found his passion. He’d constantly gone from school to school, looking for something to inspire him, but always gives up because his heart isn’t in it.
These boys aren’t perfect. Haruka isn’t perfect. NO ONE IS FUCKING PERFECT (except Tomo-chan, which is why she is a wonderful best-friend character.) But they inspire each other and connect to one another through their music. It’s not about deserving one another. It’s about love. Connection. Understanding and growth. Haruka is the solid support these flawed boys need to grow. Soil might not look like much, but it’s hard for beautiful flowers to grow without it there for them to draw from.
THIS IS WHY HARUKA IS AN AMAZING CHARACTER. Because she’s not special. She’s not headstrong. Or smart. Or any thing like that. She’s a person. Ordinary and simple, and wonderful. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a personality. She’s just something sweet in a sea of anime characters with exaggerated personalities.
You don’t have to like her. No character is liked by everyone. BUT SHE IS A WONDERFULLY created character with a lot of thought and depth put into her. The anime isn’t going to show it. It’s about cramming as many significant plot points into 13 eps as it can. And that plot is going to revolve mainly around the growth of the boys. But she’s the constant, for every one of them. Even when she’s not in the episode, or physically around, she’s still supporting them.
I just… have a lot of feels about this.
KITSY IS PERFECT AND IF YOU THINK OTHERWISE YOU’RE WRONG