I’ve often pondered what an anime series could have been like had it focused on one of the more interesting secondary characters rather than the actual boring, milquetoast or irritating lead. There have been a few instances where I’ve watched a really good anime series but felt it could have been so much better had it given us one of the other characters as the main protagonist instead of the one we were actually given.
Let’s face it, there’s nothing more annoying than when the spotlight is on the sub-par character rather than the guy you’d much rather follow. Besides, in addition to the side character being the more interesting character, the main protagonist usually gets all the girls’ affection or praise while the cooler character gets none, which just bothers me since in real life it should totally work the other way around.
Watching Tokyo Ravens this season reminded me of this notion. Don’t get me wrong, main protagonist Harutora Tsuchimikado isn’t a terrible lead, but in my opinion his best friend Touji Ato is clearly the more interesting character. What would the show be like if he was the main character instead?
This got me thinking about what other shows picked the wrong lead character and who in my not-so-humble opinion should have been the main character instead.
As promised, here is my review of Alice Soft’s 2003 eroge RPG Daibanchou: Big Bang Age. I’m honestly not sure why I started playing this game to begin with, but I’m pretty sure it’s because I found an intriguing image of one of the heroines and a little bit of research here and a little more there, and voila, next thing you know I have the English-translated version of the game downloaded on my computer. As a fan of RPGs and cute anime girls, this seemed to be up my alley, even if it did have erotic content. I had played Utawarerumono previously and that game was amazingly fun even though there were sex scenes in it, so I figured I’d give Big Bang Age a try.
I’m glad I did, because even though the game has a really steep learning curve, it was incredibly addictive once I started figuring it all out. So let me do my best to explain why.
Against my better judgment, I decided I’d like to write a review on the game Daibanchou: Big Bang Age. You see, Daibanchou is an eroge with RPG elements. For those of you who don’t know, an eroge – sometimes called a hentai game or H-game – is a Japanese video game that features erotic content, most often with anime-style artwork. So you can probably see why I’d be hesitant to post something like this in a public forum. This is not that post, by the way. Look for the review/final impressions in my next post, which should hopefully be up not long after this one. This is more of a warm-up for that review so you can understand my head-space while I was playing it.
To be honest, I don’t play very many eroges or visual novels in general; I think I’ve only ever played about five in total, but that’s not to say I’m not overly familiar with them because when you’re inundated in the culture, you tend to pick up on a lot of things. Truth be told I’m kind of a sucker for an attractive character design and am compelled to discover the character’s origin. Researching trivial things is kind of my forte.
How can I say no to this?
Personally, I tend to find them a bit tedious and trite in a lot of ways. CG stills of sex scenes do very little for me and the cringe-worthy dialogue and narration describing the sexual encounter in detail does even less for me. But as you may know, many of the romantic-comedy anime shows out there these days are actually based on preexisting eroges that have been stripped down into one route and with all of the sexual content completely removed. These are often referred to as harem shows, and they usually end with the protagonist either choosing one specific girl or never settling and keeping the possibilities open for all of the harem candidates. So sometimes it’s tempting to check out the other story possibilities the multiple routes provide, while also potentially satisfying one’s curiosity as to how all the sex factors in.
That having been said, I have a few problems in general with these sorts of games and I kind of wanted to clear the air and explain why. That’s kind of why I created this blog in the first place (to air grievances, not discuss eroge). Granted, it’s probably a bit unfair to put this under the WTF?!? Japan banner, but given that it’s somewhat related and I’m about to crap all over the eroge format, it seemed only fitting.