Tuesday Terminology is a weekly segment to enlighten the masses with words, phrases, and ideals usually tacked on to today’s anime/manga scene.
This week’s topic: Event Flags – Love
By now you probably get the picture as to what Event Flags are. In the past two weeks, I’ve gone over Friendship and Death Flags. As the final installment in this set, I will be going over Love Flags.
Love works in mysterious ways, no? There are scenes among your favorite series that share undeniable similarities purely because they fit the description of “that fateful encounter,” or “the wheels of destiny turning.”
For instance, differences between two characters can act as the trigger to future events. In several Shoujo manga, the main heroine is often the recluse, quiet girl or the overly-enthusiastic girl and she ends up falling in love with someone who is completely the opposite of her. It could also be something so simple as a difference in height. But why does it work like that? It comes down to that whole “opposites attract” kind of thing. One character usually ends up admiring an aspect of the other simply because they are their opposite. When two polar opposites are near each other, it is easy for us (and supporting characters) to notice those characters and observe the difference between them.
A “third existence” may also be a trigger for future events as well. By “third existence” I mean something, or even someone, that brings two characters together. A flower garden that nobody but one takes care of. An abandoned dog by the river. A stray cat that hangs around school. These are all instances in which something acts as a catalyst to bring our main hero and heroine together.
But what if this is a harem anime/manga and not the usual romance-comedy shoujo? It works in similar fashion. A new girl in town gets between the main hero and his female childhood friend. The strict student council president is hostile towards the hero because he has the kindness she longs to have or receive. The level-headed hero is just what the overly-eccentric girl needs to calm her down and face her past. These all apply simply because the characters admire qualities in one another or are brought together by an outside factor.
In anime and manga, you’ll likely notice a lot of cliche scenes that usually end a certain way. Next time you watch the beginning of a show, try and notice some of these things.