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Old 09-19-2017, 10:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
I hadn't considered this. I agree that the premise is definitely a clone of Ranma ˝'s. I'm not sure I agree that this is inherently a problem though -- sometimes the copy can be greater than the original. Sometimes men can reach the heavens by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Not saying that Furuba does this. Just saying that I don't think it being a clone of Ranma automatically disqualifies it from enduring popularity.

(Side note: this same premise is also very similar to Disney's Beauty & the Beast what with Belle and the cursed castle residents. Ranma came first, but I imagine we can find older works with this similar theme if we look. )
It's a problem of "trope saturation".

For example, remember when Fate/stay night's Saber being a female was a huge plot point and one of the defining original ideas of that franchise?

Now, it doesn't matter if you're looking at Grand Order, Unlimited Codes, Apocrypha, or /strange fake, every title is filled with gender-swapped characters, more often than not of the male → female variety. You might as well call the franchise "My little founding father can't be this cute!"

Humans turning into zodiac animals is a more limited premise than what Takahashi took on, and it's been seen in titles across multiple genres. PreCure has 'em. Soul Eater had 'em. The central story mechanic has been done to death.

Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
The problem is in the execution. Making it a harem story automatically damns it as far as a legacy discussion or a "timelessness" discussion goes. Harem stories are ancient and are a dime a dozen. They also waste a lot of time, ideal for serialized works (such as Furuba) but not so hot for an enduring work of art. It's a similar problem with Love Hina, which I still remember fondly as one of the very best in its genre. Even though I have fond memories of Love Hina, no one else is talking about it or giving a shit about it -- because whether it impacted the harem landscape or not, it's been almost two decades since Love Hina started and we've had hundreds of harem manga and anime since then.
Love Hina still gets discussion from time to time, usually in reminiscence. But I feel like it still holds itself well because it's hyperactive and the premise of uncertainty for a guy after high school speaks to a lot of students in similar situations across generations. I know a certain person who took Tonegawa's speechs in Kaiji very seriously and was motivated to change his life, such was the impact of taking a story that was easily relatable to people in the real world.

Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
I think you're quite right about shoujo's recent victories largely coming from either the fringes of the genre (e.g. is Natsume Yuujinchou really a "shoujo" series? Or if we label Madoka a "shoujo" series ) or else coming from josei territory (e.g. Orange, Sumika Sumire). But I dunno. I haven't really paid too close attention to the shoujo landscape these past five or so years.
Traditional shoujo was on its way out the door by 2006, when Ouran High Host Club came out. Ouran was in fact notable because it was something of a parody of more traditional shoujo like Hana Yori Dango, but with a massive reverse harem. Since then, the cupboard has been bare and you have to look to history to see anything resembling Hanadan or Fushigi Yuugi.

And a big reason for that was

1. Sailor Moon in 1994
2. Futari wa Pretty Cure in 2004
3. Idol culture (Idolmaster, Aikatsu! etc.)

#3 is the big one. Traditional shoujo could exist with mahou shoujo and in fact those earlier mahou shoujou still had romance elements to them. But idol culture changed the question asked to little girls - instead of, "Would you like to watch a series with an older you, being pursued by prince charming?" to "Would you like to be a superstar with legions of adoring fans"?

I'm not sure when josei started to take over or could point out a particular series. But I'll say that josei's ability to go adult has allowed it to appeal to women who feel they've outgrown the idol/mahou shoujo demographic.
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