Older characters as romance options

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Kensela
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Older characters as romance options

#1 Post by Kensela » Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:34 am

I was wondering what where peoples opinion or older and more 'human' characters as romance options. By 'human' I mean characters with actual facial hair and some muscle or fat to them rather than the typical 'pretty boy'.

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Re: Older characters as romance options

#2 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Fri Nov 15, 2013 10:58 am

Sure, why not? I'm attracted to anything with good art and story, not so much what 'type' of characters they are. I personally like my guys with some whiskers and muscles *looks at Orson* The market for otomes for the older demographic is also pretty decent, a lot of us aren't in high school any more. Plus, variety is always appreciated.

You might want to check out Sweet Fuse, the recently translated otome for PSP. Only 2 of the love interest are close to the heroines age, a third is closeish, and the others are a faaaaair bit older.

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Re: Older characters as romance options

#3 Post by Hazel-Bun » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:02 am

As Auro said, there is a whole trope dedicated to it in the otome genre. It's not my cup of tea because I get the same creepy vibes as I do with shotas, but there is a market for it :)

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Re: Older characters as romance options

#4 Post by Destiny » Fri Nov 15, 2013 11:22 am

I am sure, if they are good looking in one way or another, they will get a positive feedback :)
(I am making examples with female charas here, since I am not so well-informed about VNs with male charas)
I mean, look at Rune Factory Frontier.
There is a possible love interest called Eunice, looking like this:
Image
Surprisingly, from all possible love interests, she became second most liked (only lost to a magical girl that has two personalities, depending on the time). A gigantic mass of angry mail later arrived at Nintendo, because when you have her at 4 (of 10) hearts, she asks, if you like girls skinny or don't care and you get a GIGANTIC penality in her love-o-meter, if you don't care. She will also be automatically skinny once she is at 8 hearts. Many fans hated this forced development, as they found her original look cuter and also went against the idea that only a skinny girl can be a beautiful girl.

Hachi Koi is another example of that.
You can choose from eight possible love interests (KLICK)
There are of course the classics, like the tomboy, the shy girl, the girl with the big boobs, etc.
BUT there is also Kurumi, who is chubby (or maybe even more then that):
Image
Image

So there is definitly a crowd that is also interested in the more wobbly, more old or also more "rough" characters.
Usually, they have a great character to make up for "the missing looks", so they get often a surprisingly big amount of fans.
Also, as long as their "disability" isn't topic to all the other characters shunning him/her, it is never a problem. IN Hachi Koi, neither the other characters, nor the MC are bullying her for being a chubby. She isn't feeling bad about liking chocolate and there is simply nothing that makes you feel as if she is the poor victim of her own body, which makes her simply genuinly adorable in her fondness of sweets and her general cuteness.

So if you can make your characters believable and without any unnecessary critism (like having your fat character tell everyone how much he hates to be fat), then they will be liked. Especially when the art also supports them ;)
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Re: Older characters as romance options

#5 Post by Dazed » Fri Nov 15, 2013 4:20 pm

Destiny wrote:I am sure, if they are good looking in one way or another, they will get a positive feedback :)
(I am making examples with female charas here, since I am not so well-informed about VNs with male charas)
I mean, look at Rune Factory Frontier.
There is a possible love interest called Eunice, looking like this:
Image
Surprisingly, from all possible love interests, she became second most liked (only lost to a magical girl that has two personalities, depending on the time). A gigantic mass of angry mail later arrived at Nintendo, because when you have her at 4 (of 10) hearts, she asks, if you like girls skinny or don't care and you get a GIGANTIC penality in her love-o-meter, if you don't care. She will also be automatically skinny once she is at 8 hearts. Many fans hated this forced development, as they found her original look cuter and also went against the idea that only a skinny girl can be a beautiful girl.

Hachi Koi is another example of that.
You can choose from eight possible love interests (KLICK)
There are of course the classics, like the tomboy, the shy girl, the girl with the big boobs, etc.
BUT there is also Kurumi, who is chubby (or maybe even more then that):
Image
Image

So there is definitly a crowd that is also interested in the more wobbly, more old or also more "rough" characters.
Usually, they have a great character to make up for "the missing looks", so they get often a surprisingly big amount of fans.
Also, as long as their "disability" isn't topic to all the other characters shunning him/her, it is never a problem. IN Hachi Koi, neither the other characters, nor the MC are bullying her for being a chubby. She isn't feeling bad about liking chocolate and there is simply nothing that makes you feel as if she is the poor victim of her own body, which makes her simply genuinly adorable in her fondness of sweets and her general cuteness.

So if you can make your characters believable and without any unnecessary critism (like having your fat character tell everyone how much he hates to be fat), then they will be liked. Especially when the art also supports them ;)
Ah, I remember first meeting Eunice in Rune Factory. Such a sweetheart. Didn't have to lose the weight to be cute, though because she was unhappy with the way she looked, I suppose it was for the better. However, it is worded weirdly stating that "You just don't care" vs. "I prefer skinny girls". These answers are a little too extreme. A middle option would've been nice like...."I think you're cute, regardless." Bam! Would've chosen that in a heartbeat.

But I wholeheartedly agree that their "imperfections" don't need to define them as characters. And that they don't need to be shunned for not looking like a model. Let's be honest, even the characters deemed average-looking in VNs are still pretty hot.
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Re: Older characters as romance options

#6 Post by Destiny » Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:56 pm

Also, especially in Shonen-Ai and Yaoi games, there is a big love for older men.
Even in games that aim at the topic of "student falls in love" there is often the option to flirt with either a teacher or a student that does look a lot older in comparison. Not to mention those outside that range, there is always the boy that looks as if he is barely 16, then lots of guys that might be in the twenties, but there is also almost always the guy that is considerably older.
Silver Chaos would be one example, where your character seems to be between 16 and 20, but most charas seem to be out of his age range, being older or younger:
Image
Lawrence is already looking a lot older then the MC, maybe being around 30:
Image

But you can also flirt with the king of the game, Sergei, who is A LOT older:
Image
SPOILER
You can play until the sex scene with him, but he will die in every ending. If you had flirted with him, you can become partner with his son though that is your age and had been impossible to become close to otherwise

There is also the specific genre of "Bara men" in the homosexual contextes (I advise to maybe not google for pictures xD) which features men outside the "bishonen" range. From men that are extremly muscular over men with a lot of body hair to simply "weird" things like extremly fat or old men having sexual encounters with bishonen or others of the bara-range.
It is quite specific and only has a specific group of fans, but the interest excists for even the most extreme cases of "not beautiful". Even though the Bara genre is probably more of a fetish satisfaction then actually trying to show some heterogeneity (google the meaning, if you don't know it :'D) in relationships.

Anyway, for both female and male characters, I can only say:
Just try it and put your characters into the game. Interestingly, the tendency really seems to go that players maybe first chase the smashing beautiful person, but the second choice is almost always the character, that isn't perfect, but has his charme, nice character and a certain adorableness/maturity/whatever. Simply because it feels more real to flirt with imperfect people like we ourself are then with all the perfect stereotypes that we have seen a 100 times already.
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Re: Older characters as romance options

#7 Post by DeletedUser160413 » Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:02 pm

I'm working on a project with something like that. Its actually 30 year old successful handsome guys though lol. Kind of like Voltage inc's "In your arms tonight". Um, I dont know about you guys, but I'm 20 and I dont usually like characters that look like children or teenagers. I'd much rather read a story about a 30 year old lawyer or doctor than a 17 year old high school student who kind of looks like a chibi-style character.
Last edited by DeletedUser160413 on Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Older characters as romance options

#8 Post by Deji » Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:25 pm

I totally approve of changing the stereotypes ^___^ (regardless of my personal tastes :P )
I actually like facial hair! :D And muscles! And a nice degree of chubbiness <3
One of the characters I'm drawing for this otome VN is actually rather chubby. He's a sweetie ;v;
And yay for adult characters too! :D

I just hope people don't expect every story with 18+ characters is going to have steamy sex, haha :'D

Also elder 20s-early 30s year olds don't look or act really mature, in my experience, hahaha x'D
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Re: Older characters as romance options

#9 Post by mugenjohncel » Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:44 pm

Deji wrote:I actually like facial hair! And muscles! And a nice degree of chubbiness <3
...oh :mrgreen:

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Re: Older characters as romance options

#10 Post by gekiganwing » Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:54 am

muniiam wrote:Um, I dont know about you guys, but I'm 20 and I dont usually like characters that look like children or teenagers. I'd much rather read a story about a 30 year old lawyer or doctor than a 17 year old high school student who kind of looks like a chibi-style character.
Changing/diversifying the cast and trying different styles of art is a good thing. It could eventually lead to a larger variety of visual novels being created and released, as well as a more varied fanbase.

Not everything new can be successful. The clever and unusual VN that you write might be met with an apathetic response, and get buried in freeware or indie game archives. There's always a risk.

(I have a weakness for cute art and nostalgic stories. But I understand why my fellow fans enjoy stories about men and women.)

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Re: Older characters as romance options

#11 Post by twilightworks » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:16 am

As long as the art and writing is appealing, I don't see the problem. It's weird though, I can't really think of any visual novels I'd read that featured an older cast like that, at least in a romantic VN.

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Re: Older characters as romance options

#12 Post by qirien » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:55 pm

Yes, yes, yes! Maybe I'm in the minority (and maybe I'm getting old? is 33 old?), but I like to see options for scruffier/older guys. I remember being irked by Voltage's Pirate VNs because all the "pirates" were skinny bishounen. Nothing wrong with skinny bishounen, but especially on a *pirate* crew, you would think there would be some other characters! :-D

Also, I would love to see a VN about some elderly folks finding love late in life, or something. Too many of our media's main characters are in the 16-30 range!
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Re: Older characters as romance options

#13 Post by gekiganwing » Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:16 pm

Having characters who are age-appropriate for their place in society and mindset is usually wise. But you can just as easily write about charas who grow up too fast, have delayed coming-of-age stories, or who feel too young/old regarding their place in life.
qirien wrote:Yes, yes, yes! Maybe I'm in the minority (and maybe I'm getting old? is 33 old?)
I thought I was old after college graduation. (Over ten years ago.) I was young and foolish then; I'm so much younger now.

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Re: Older characters as romance options

#14 Post by DeletedUser160413 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:05 pm

qirien wrote:Yes, yes, yes! Maybe I'm in the minority (and maybe I'm getting old? is 33 old?), but I like to see options for scruffier/older guys. I remember being irked by Voltage's Pirate VNs because all the "pirates" were skinny bishounen. Nothing wrong with skinny bishounen, but especially on a *pirate* crew, you would think there would be some other characters! :-D

Also, I would love to see a VN about some elderly folks finding love late in life, or something. Too many of our media's main characters are in the 16-30 range!

Oooh have you played Voltages 'In your arms tonight'? The MC is 30 years old and all the guys are either around her age or older. There's only one guy who's 20 years old. But I must say that its my favorite VN so far, its the best out of any Otome game I have played in my life.

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Re: Older characters as romance options

#15 Post by qirien » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:22 pm

Really? The grammar and plot were so bad on the prologue of the Pirate one that I didn't try any of their other stuff...
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