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: Osananajimi
If you’ve been paying attention to the Winter 2013 anime season, you’re probably watching the series “Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru (OreShura).” Even though I’ve long dropped the series, it brings up today’s subject: what exactly is the Osananajimi?
Osananajimi is best translated as “Childhood Friend.” In many anime and manga series, more often in harem/romance comedies, the main character has a friend that lives next door that they’ve known since they were kids. Not to say that all Osananajimi follow this close proximity, it is the best and most oft used example. The characters are presented to be in a sibling-style relationship, more so than “just friends.”
In the case of guy friends, it is often more portrayed that they act like “bros” when they hang out. This is more than self explanatory, so I will not delve into it further.
In the case of female, “girl next door” situations, the situation is vastly different. The girl is likely one of three personalities: 1) the proper, older sister type that takes good care of the MC, 2) “one of the guys” tsundere, tomboy, or 3) cute, little sister type that the MC feels he needs to take care of. These are not all examples of everything ever used in this trope, but the most popular/used ones.
It is usually, scratch that… ALWAYS the relationship will change drastically once a third wheel comes into play that gets between the MC and the female osananajimi. Because the familial relationship is questioned and strained versus the element of another potential lover, the osananajimi retaliates with a harsh “he is mine” kind of attitude. This begs the questions: “what exactly is your relationship with him?” “are you really just childhood friends?” “you’re just a childhood friend, he can date whomever he wants, right?” Once the relationship is questioned, the osananajimi realizes the pent up romantic feelings they’ve had for the MC for the longest time.
This cliche plot device is a huge spoiler to anyone who watches/reads series that have this card in play, but if you didn’t see it coming miles away, you need to get your eyes checked.
While this VERY RARELY happens in real life, it sure is a nice feeling to know that some people out there can spend their entire lives never getting tired of one another.