The Jealous Bully of Shoujo-Romance

30-DAY ANIME CHALLENGE
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Day 20:  Anime Character That Gets on Your Nerves

The anime character type that gets on my nerves every time is the “Jealous Bully”.  Most shoujo-romance series have these bullies in abundance, especially those in the “school life” genre.  They are the girls who antagonize the female protagonist just because they’re jealous of the attention the hot and popular guy gives her.  What a shallow reason.  I think this is why I don’t often watch shoujo anime.  I just can’t stand these shallow bullies.

Look at those evil expressions
Look at those evil expressions

I mean, don’t you have pride?  You turn into a bitch because of a guy?  Ugh.  Irritates me so much.  For those of  you who are like these anime characters in real life, get a grip on yourselves.  There are plenty of guys in the world.  There are approximately 7 billion people on Earth right now, for goodness’ sake!  And about half of them are guys, so why focus on a single guy who doesn’t even pay you any attention?

Kurumi from Kimi ni Todoke (君に届け) by Shiina Karuho (椎名軽穂) is an example of a typical shoujo-romance jealous bully.  She gives off the impression of being a cute and friendly girl.

Look at me. I'm so kind, aren't I?
Look at me. I’m so nice, aren’t I?

As a result, Kurumi easily deceives the main protagonist Sawako by befriending her.  In truth, however, she was the mastermind behind the massive school rumours slandering Sawako and her friends.  Kurumi also sabotages Kazehaya’s efforts to be alone with Sawako, consequently doing her best to spend as much time with him as possible to give Sawako the impression that she and Kazehaya are close.  In short, she is a jealous, double-faced back-stabber.

real-kurumi-kimi ni todoke
This is the real me.

I absolutely despised her.  I would have continued on hating Kurumi throughout the series, if it wasn’t for the strength of Sawako, the main protagonist.  If jealous bullies get on my nerves, weak protagonists who let bullies antagonize them frustrate me.  I’m so glad that Sawako isn’t weak.  Yes, she’s awkward and a crybaby, but she’ll stand her ground against these bullies.  I think this is one of the reasons why I warmed to Kurumi’s character as the series goes on.

Kurumi’s maneuvers are ineffective against Sawako.  She finds that she can’t manipulate Sawako into staying away from Kazehaya.  In the end, Kurumi reveals her true self and even declares Sawako as her rival.  I can’t continue on hating her after that.  She later even defends Sawako against other bullies.

Kurumi gets on my nerves now and again, but she’s an exception because she’s a jealous bully that I ended up liking.  She even becomes a comrade in the manga.  In most cases, however, I can’t stand jealous bullies even until the end of the series.  I prefer over-the-top shounen villains, than this realistic jealous bitches.

Jealous Bullies are the anime character (types) that get on my nerves.  How about yours?

Links:
Kimi ni Todoke Anime at NTV (Japanese)


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20 thoughts on “The Jealous Bully of Shoujo-Romance”

  1. Sadly bullies are as prevalent in real life as they are in anime. I have some sympathy for Kurumi, as it can’t be easy seeing the guy you loved for so many years slip away. She’s a cow at first, but as you say she redeems herself later in the series.

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    1. Indeed. We cringe when bullying happens in anime, but unfortunately, bullies exist in real life. There are many reports of teens, even children who are driven towards suicide because of suicide. So tragic.

      As for Kurumi. . .hmmm. . .I guess I’m just not the kind of person to pine away because of a guy, so I can’t really say that I sympathize with her. But like I said in the post, I kind of like her now because she became true to herself in the end. Anyway, thanks for dropping by and commenting. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Unfortunately, every good quality seems to have a negative trait. Thus, both Kurumi and Sawako are believable characters …. let us just hope that Sawako teaches views who they want to emulate and Kurumi teaches them what they do NOT want to be.

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    1. Very true. If a character is pure good or pure evil, then it’s just too one-dimensional. I wouldn’t even bother watching a show with this kind of dull character. Well, both Kurumi & Sawako’s characters are continuously developing, especially in the manga. Kurumi’s character is improving a lot, and that’s really good.

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  3. Good point. I also loathe these characters, but lately I’ve been warming up to some of them because they become less despicable later on. I don’t think there are lots of shoujo manga with likable bully rivals, so I really like Yuyuka from Hirunaka no Ryuusei. She’s introduced as a b*itch, but the her back story was written so convincingly well that I could see her reasoning, and it didn’t feel all that shallow. Like Kurumi (who I also like now), she becomes a friend of the main girl and her harsh (for good reasons) personality was consistent. Thus, that was one of the things which made Hirunaka no Ryuusei a refreshing read for me.

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    1. You’re right. I won’t say, though, that I’ve been warming up to most of them. There are only a select few. The rest, I just tolerate them.

      Speaking of Hirunaka no Ryuusei, have you read Hibi Chouchou? I think that it’s very (well, not “very) different to most shoujo-romance because the love story between the boy & the girl is just so innocent.

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      1. Yep, I’ve been reading it, though like KnT, I’m kinda putting it on-hold. I haven’t read the latest several chapters. And I agree that the romance is innocent. It’s quite a refreshing and light read.

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      2. But when it comes to manga, though, I tend to read shoujo stuff because I feel like shoujo is best experienced in manga format, while shounen (which are, needless to say, mostly action stuff) are best viewed in anime.

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      3. I was like that before, too. In the last couple of years, however, I somewhat limited the shoujo series that I read & almost rarely watch shoujo anime anymore. Unless, I hear that they’re super great & people highly recommend them, then I’ll try reading/watching them.

        As for shounen series, I agree that they’re better watched, but I wanted to read first before watching. First to compare, but also to see how the mangaka portrays intense scenes on paper.

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      4. I used to be an adaptation comparison maniac before, often pointing out the scenes in the anime that felt wrong and saying things like “noooo, the manga didn’t go that direction!!!; Noooo, the anime isn’t doing a decent job at making this scene beautiful!”. Now, I’m getting tired of comparing the anime with their original manga. I felt it was starting to get in the way of my enjoyment from watching anime. While I haven’t really improved from that point, I’m starting to see anime as a completely different story from whichever manga it was adopted from. Although, I admit there’s such a unique thrill and a different sense of enjoyment we can gain from comparing the adaptation with its source material. XD

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      5. Well, I’m not saying that I compare the anime and the manga to look for the shortcomings in the anime. What I meant was I’m comparing the 2 mediums to see how the anime portrayed a certain scene from the manga. Whether the anime fell short or exceeded the portrayal from the manga. Besides, I agree with you that anime & manga are best treated as separate arts. Well, they are, right? Manga is more on how to convey everything as concisely as possible without taking away the intensity of the scene. In anime, however, there’s more freedom, yes, but there’s also a danger of it falling short of expectations because these “freedom” were not used properly.

        I think it’s also similar to anime fillers, which I remember you wrote about in a post before. So many fans complain about these fillers, but if you don’t read the manga, I don’t think you’ll mind them because you won’t know that they’re not really part of the canon story, right? I personally don’t mind them because some of them are actually good.

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      6. I’d like to comment on the ‘freedom’ on anime. Making anime, say from a manga or LN or VN, doesn’t really have much more freedom than making manga. The behind-the-scenes of anime and manga are fundamentally different–manga being made by the mangaka and assistants (with the editor’s assistance), while anime being produced by a lot of people. And I mean, A LOT.

        When it comes to anime production, the degree of freedom on the work varies from individual to individual, depending on their position in the production committee. So we can’t really say that anime production, as a whole, has a lot more ‘freedom’ in this sense. 🙂

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      7. Of course, the production processes & environment of making manga & anime are different. But I’m not referring to these when I talked about “freedom”. I was referring to the degree of freedom the anime has in how it portrays scenes from the manga. Like, are they just going to perfectly copy the scene from the manga? Or put their own twist with it while still following the scenes? Or completely change everything which has the danger of destroying the entire story but if done the right way, will completely transcend even the original manga.

        I guess, we can say that I’m referring to creative freedom? Hmmm. Not sure if that’s the right term about what I’m talking about. It’s similar to movies based on books. The Harry Potter movies contain a lot of differences from the books, but it didn’t really take away from the main story. In fact, the movies made everything more succinct & easier to digest than the books (although I still prefer the books). I say that the HP books & movies are incredible in their own way, and I just see no point in comparing them and deciding which is better.

        On the other hand, the Twilight movies just fell flat against the books. I think that the Harry Potter movies used its creative freedom more than Twilight.

        Hahaha. Now I’ve done it. I veered away from anime/manga and blabbed about books & movies. Oh well.

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      8. I think we’re referring to the same ‘freedom’ here. I just related it to the \people\ who worked on these adaptations. After all, they are the ones who can either make or break an adaptation. Of course, not every \faithful\ or \copy-and-paste\ adaptation is good. Script writers have the freedom to take away or add some things that would make the adaptation a product in its own right, to be considered ‘good’ in the format it has taken.

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      9. Hmm. I actually don’t think that we’re referring to the same “freedom”. In the case of manga, the mangaka only have a few pages to convey the story. Most of the time, he/she is only allowed to draw manga in black ink. It’s only sometimes that she’s allowed to draw the manga in colour. And of course, manga has no sound effects/voices. In these cases, I view manga as having less freedom.

        Whereas in anime, they have more freedom in deciding whether to adapt the manga faithfully or veer away from it to create a completely original story. Anime also has music and voice actors to give a more definite sense of the story, versus the manga where you mostly have to use your own imagination to decide how a scene happens. In these cases, I think that that anime has more freedom.

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      10. For anime, the ‘faithfulness’ of it actually depends on the mangaka, or whoever has the rights on the anime (who, according to my friend, are usually the producers). So it isn’t the anime committee that has that \freedom\ to create something loyal to the source material, but are the people who have spent money on it and are going to sell it.

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      11. I really don’t think that we’re referring to the same freedom. Hmmm. How can I explain myself more clearly? What I mean is that mangaka in general has a very limited amount of tools to portray a scene. For the sake of this argument, we’ll say it’s paper & ink. On the other hand, an anime has more tools available. It can use colour, movement, sound & voices. These are more or less the kind of creative freedom that I’m referring to, and less to do with rights or budget in adaptations.

        That’s why I said in the very beginning that I like reading the manga and watching the anime, to appreciate his/her work in conveying a scene in as little amount of panels as possible, whereas most of the time, the scene is elaborated more in anime.

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  4. I haven’t seen a a lot of shoujo so I don’t know how typical this is, but in “Say I Love You” I remember being surprised that Aiko had a history with Yamato and thus a tangible reason for her jealousy. As many problems as I think that series ends up having (Mei reverts in some unappealing ways, at least in my Western perspective), Aiko’s character development was maybe the perhaps consistent draw for me.

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    1. Well, at least Aiko has a “tangible reason” for her jealousy. But if you watch more shoujo series, I think you’ll notice that most bullies don’t really have this kind of reason for their jealousy. They just bully because of some shallow reason.

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