I was surfing the net for romance news when I came across Romance News.Net — a site devoted to romantic fiction for men. Not being aware that men indulged in romantic fiction, I was curious and clicked on the link.
For guys, romantic fiction is a multi-media experience, which does not surprise me. Anime is a large part of the male romantic fiction genre, if Romance News for Men is to be believed . . . and I, for one, believe. Here are a few examples from the fall amime lineup that promise romance:
“ToraDora – Takusu Ryuuji is very kind, but his intimidating face gives
him problems. He meets Aisaka Taiga who is known as the “hand-held Tiger” and lacks any friends or connection with her own family because of her temper. They begin a love hate relationship.”
Not so sure about this one personally, but assuming that male romance, like female romance, is defined by a happy ending, hopefully love hate turns to love love, and the guys can achieve that all important sense of satisfaction at two lives intertwined and sailing into the sunset.
“Kemeko Deluxe – A chibi robot doll appears in the room of a typical
high school boy. The robot claims the boy as her husband and then a beautiful
girl comes out of the doll’s mouth who knows the boy from 10 years prior and had been promised his hand in marriage.”
Seems a bit more romantic than the first one, and the fantasy of a beautiful, willing girl appearing in the bedroom of a high school boy is certainly a beloved male romance theme.
In addition to anime, the site offers previews of romantic movies. Based on the line up, I have to note that romantic movies, at least from the male P.O.V. come along every generation or so. Here is the line-up:
- How to Lose Friends and Alienate People (2008) BTW, great title for a romance
- Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
- Message in a Bottle (1999)
- Good Will Hunting (1997)
- Mad Love (1995)
- Manhattan (1975) I not making this up. Yes, the movie where Woody Allen romances a girl half his age.
My only general comment about this is that it is a good thing that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, because if I tried to go through his head, I’d get lost.
Final thought on Romance News.Net
The site included “Conventions of Romantic Fiction for Men,” which describes the typical story line for this genre. It involves a nerdy guy with multiple women vying for his attention. However, he only has eyes for one of them, usually sweet or cute but “rarely overtly sexual.” There is very little sex, but there is, as Japanese films have it, “fanservice.” This is apparently a moment in the film (or book???) when the nerdy everyman sees his love interest in either her underwear or in nothing, commonly portrayed as “an unfortunate, yet enjoyable, accident.”
I’m going with “unfortunate” for our sweet heroine and “enjoyable” for our nerdy hero.