Part 122: Supplementary Lesson #7: The Rich Kid Archetype
Previous Analysis: Atheletes
Rich kids love status. Their position means everything to them, because it gives them authority and it separates them from the regular people. They are rude and dismissive of anything less than their incredibly high standards. They also tend to be isolated from others, since their high standards extend to other people. Getting their attention usually requires a lot of effort, and often takes nothing short of excelling in school or their extracurricular activity of choice (which is usually something indicative of status, such as chess or classical music). Even then, the player has to figure out how to make the boy speak on the same level of the player.
Rich kids, much like playboys, are a generally hated otome game archetype due to their holier-than-thou attitudes. I guess this makes Sakuya and Yuuya a really good brother combination, since they both stand for awful character types. Like every archetype, though, it has its fair share of good examples. These sort of characters follow a similar arc as Sakuya, where due to the familial and societal pressure of the high life, they find comfort in the peaceful life of the pedestrian world and their secret passion that they cant pursue due to the obligations of inheritance.
Also, rich kids are so generally reviled that there are very few examples of them throughout the otome game genre, so this will be a slightly abbreviated analysis.
Tokimeki Memorial Girls Side is a series of otome games and a spin-off of the male-oriented Tokimeki Memorial series. Even in its incredible character diversity, theres only one example of a rich kid throughout the entire series.
In a shocking twist, however, we end up having an almost direct parallel to Sakuya, and an incredibly human sort of character.
Tokimeki Memorial Girls Side: 3rd Story
Seiji Shitara is a sophomore at the main characters school who comes from an incredibly wealthy family. Hes cold and abrasive to others and tends to keep to himself. He is considered a genius pianist, and even keeps his hair messy in order to look more like Beethoven. Seiji is disinterested in school and often fails tests, even when his one friend (and other dateable boy) Tamao Konno tries to help him study. However, as the main character starts to break down his barriers, Seiji just turns out to be a lonely kid whos unmotivated in life. He feels stuck in his rich lifestyle, with his only escape being music. He has been forced into isolation by his lifestyle and as such has difficulty opening up to others. But as the main character takes him outside into the normal world, he becomes fascinated with all the different options and possibilities that he never knew existed. Its sort of an anime cliché at this point, but it definitely humanizes the character a lot. Ultimately, Seiji decides to take his piano skills and make his living with them, entering contests and enrolling in an art university to further his abilities.
School Wars is an otome game for the PSP. You play as Shiori Ichijou, a young girl who is kicked out of high school because she cannot pay for tuition. After her father died in a car accident and her mother was hospitalized, Shioris funds fell drastically low. However, when all hope was lost, she receives a scholarship to Seiron Academy and is made the chairman of their public morals committee. On top of all that, the school is willing to pay for her mothers treatment and move her to a nicer hospital. With no other option, Shiori signs up for the school and discovers the caveat: she has to undertake military training and help to uphold peace as Seiron Academy merges with a wealthy school known as Suzushiro Academy. These two academies have had a strong rivalry ever since someone from Suzushiro burned down one of the buildings at Seiron, and it seems that some Suzushiro student has decided to set fire to another building in the wake of this merge. It is up to Shiori to discover who the arsonist is, and shes going to do it the only way she knows how: by romancing her way to the answer.
Misaki Shinya is a senior at Suzushiro Academy. He also gets the dubious honor of being both a rich kid and a playboy, so hes everything terrible in one package. Hes got a group of fangirls who follow him, but he becomes interested in Shiori and decides to start asking her out. She gives him a firm denial, though, and only gets stuck on a date when her friends answer for her during another one of his propositions. However, once the date starts, Shinyas fangirls get angry at Shiori and try to shoot her, but she retaliates with machine gun fire and all the fangirls leave. Then, sensing a good moment for intimacy, Shinya immediately goes in for the kiss, only to get punched in the stomach. Later, he apologizes, saying that hes genuinely sorry for his forwardness and that hed like to try it again. Unfortunately, otome law dictates that this is the point where Shiori starts to fall in love with him. They start to date more often and Shiori learns that Shinya is actually a pretty alright guy, since his family runs a bunch of hospitals, and he shows incredible care for both the doctors and the patients, making sure that their hospitals are the best. Unfortunately, he still tends to use his playboy smooth-talking tactics on her, so shes not sure if he really loves her or is just playing her. Later on, Shinyas fangirls, being ignored by their ~true love~, hire a bunch of thugs to attack Shiori, but she responds with guns again and wins, and Shinya gets so mad that he makes sure this will never happen again, though what he did is left to the imagination. In the end, Shinya decides to give up his playboy ways and love only Shiori, and they live happily ever after.
Gekka Ryouran ROMANCE is an otome game by Rejet for the PSP. I just want to remind you that there are people in this thread that wanted to know more about this game. Blame them for this.
Technically, all of these characters are rich, hence the whole Forbidden Date Club plot, but for the sake of sanity, well only be looking at the character most like Sakuya, or at least the part about Sakuya where he thinks he deserves the world. And none of the good parts. Strap in: things are about to get stupid.
Kano Atsumori is a freshman and the younger brother of Kano Aoi, who we talked about in the Playboys lesson. Within the first days of the Forbidden Date Club, he becomes angry that Nazuna hasnt fallen for him as fast as the other girls who have taken part in the club, but he sees her as a new challenge. Hes very touchy-feely, in one case licking chocolate right off of Nazunas fingers. Then, on the first date, Atsumori tries to force her into a kiss, but she bites his lip until it bleeds and runs off. Not willing to be done in by some girl, he pays off the school to make sure that Nazunas brothers soccer team cant go to the finals. Then, on their second date, Atsumori leads her off to the secret underground prison under the school church and threatens her with a pair of scissors to fall in love with him. Nazuna pleads for Atsumori to allow her brothers team to go to the soccer finals, which he agrees to as long as Nazuna becomes his, which she agrees to. Eventually Nazuna starts to fall for him, presumably from Stockholm Syndrome, and theres a scene on one of their dates where she spills coffee on herself and Atsumori licks it off of her thighs and theyre both okay with doing this in public. After all of this, the plot happens, so buckle up.
Atsumori was born as a mistake and as a contestant as the family inheritor against his sickly older brother (the one that Aoi was created for) and so his family spends a majority of their time trying to murder him. They send him a bomb package through the mail at school, and they constantly poison his food, or try to strangle him in his sleep. Atsumori admits this to Nazuna and so they make plans to have a nice Christmas away from their families but then Nazuna gets kidnapped by her brother Wabisuke and Aoi lock her up in the underground prison and convince her that Atsumori broke up with her. Aoi says that the Kano family is cursed and that Atsumori shouldnt be the only happy person in the family. Wabisuke just loves his sister romantically and is willing to do anything to have her feel the same way. Also Wabisuke and Nazuna are not actually blood related so its okay theyre just step siblings. After a week Nazuna is able to break free and run to Atsumori (though not before giving Wakisube a nice swift kick in the nads), who has been looking for her this whole time. It turns out that his whole life hes just wanted to be loved and that Nazuna is now the world to him. Atsumori is declared as the Kano heir, the family finally warms up to him, and everybody lives happily ever after. Fantastic.
Diabolik Lovers - Haunted Dark Burial - is an otome game by Rejet for the PSP. Our heroine Yui Komori is the daughter of a priest, who has to leave her on her own as he leaves on important priest business. He sends her to stay in a mansion with an acquaintance of his, but when Yui reaches the mansion in the middle of the woods, she learns that her fathers acquaintance is long gone, and the mansion is now occupied by six rich vampire brothers. Not only that, but they all have deep-seated psychological issues and are sadists! Yui is now forced to stay here while her father is on business, taking care of these brothers and keeping them at bay, at least the ones she doesnt end up falling in love with!
Arent you guys lucky, you get to hear about two Rejet games in one analysis! As if the one wasnt already too much. Again, all of the characters are technically rich, so well just be looking at the closest parallel to Sakuya and his the world is mine mentality. Strap in: Things will continue to be a special brand of stupid.
Sakamaki Reiji is the second oldest son of the Sakimaki family. He tends to act polite and refined, and is strict when it comes to following rules, both towards himself and others. He takes care of the household, doing the cleaning and cooking, and making sure that his brothers stay in line. Despite his better appearance, he has a massive inferiority complex. Hes arrogant and prideful, and demands perfection in all things. He also enjoys punishing others for not following his rules, and is a large proponent of schadenfreude. He enjoys experimenting and brewing potions, which Yui is often a subject of. He also whips and strangles her in his path, doing everything he can to abuse her.
Reiji as a child craved for his mother Cordelias attention that his brother Shu was always given. He did everything he could to stand out to her, including burning down a local human village. But nothing he did made Cordelia care about him. He even went out of his way to kill his stepmother Beatrix, but she was so happy to be free of Cordelias abuse and see that Reiji had grown up and become a strong independent vampire, leaving him unsatisfied, and so he spends much of his time trying to find a way so that he can resurrect her and kill her in a way that will make her despair. Then it turns out that when Cordelia died her husband shoved her heart into Yuis baby body. Now, because of all of the abuse Reiji had been laying on Yui, Cordelias personality comes out. Reiji, being as infatuated with his mother as he is, becomes incredibly submissive to Yui-Cordelia, taking even more abuse from her mother than he ever gave to Yui. Once he feels like hes gotten all the attention he needs, however, he uses a kiss to force Yui-Cordelia to drink a potion to remove Cordelias spirit from her body. In the best end, Yui has become completely broken by both Reijis abuse and Cordelias takeover that she becomes completely submissive to Reiji and so she lives her life as a slave to him. Great.
Uta no☆Prince-Sama♪ is an otome game series by Broccoli for the PSP. Even rich people can be male pop idols! I mean, the idea of being both rich and famous probably means were looking at new levels of smug, but if thats what we have to deal with, thats what we have to deal with. Thankfully, that isnt the case here, and we can talk about a reasonably good character.
No matter what, though, this will be a nice palette cleanser after all that Rejet.
Hirijikawa Masato is a male idol-in-training, and the heir to the large Hirijikawa business. He was raised by his incredibly strict father, who basically forced him into a sheltered life, where his only friend was Ren, who we talked about in the Playboys lesson. However, hes not particularly distant because of it, but more socially awkward than anything. Hes not averse to hanging out with Haruka, though any sort of romantic contact leaves him in a fluster. It even seems like Haruka has Masato caught in her charms from the get-go. It turns out that earlier that year, Masato had run away from home to escape his father, and had been contemplating suicide, when he noticed a young girl who was singing in front of an orphanage whose voice was so beautiful, it brought life back in to him, and so he desired to become an idol to become like her. It turns out that this girl is, in fact, Haruka. Masato has his grandfather grant him entry to Saotome Gakuen in order to prove to his father that he is his own person and more than just an heir. Haruka and Masato spend a lot of time awkwardly dancing around romance, since they arent allowed to date but they love each other so much, but they still work together for Masatos audition and the sexual tension only increases. Eventually, Masato gets so into the idol gig that he starts to ignore his family business requirements, which angers his father and causes him to verbally assault Masato. But thanks to the help of the principal, Masatos father is able to sit still long enough to see his sons audition, which he is so moved by that he accepts his sons decisions. Also, Masato cant hold it in any longer and proposes to Haruka, who agrees wholeheartedly. The principal catches wind of this, but allows it, since the Hirijikawa business helps to support the school through funding, so as long as they keep the relationship a secret they will be fine. So everyone lives happily ever after.
As I was doing research for this lesson, I realized that the playboy/rich kid power duo is a fairly common character group. You can see this with Yuuya and Sakuya, TokiMemos Reiji and Tamao, UtaPris Masato and Ren and Gekka Ryourans Atsumori and Kano. Not only that, but there are quite a number of characters that have traits from both groups, both in this lesson and the Playboys lesson, such as School Wars Shinya, both of the Gekka Ryouran boys weve looked at and UtaPris Ren. I suppose it makes sense, given that the higher status lends itself to looking at those below as lesser people, treating them more like objects and using them for their own pleasure. Its still interesting to see that these two generally hated archetypes arent that divided, and often play into each other, both for the good and the bad. Its good in the sense that it helps to give more justification for these otherwise awful personality traits and therefore makes it easier to connect to the characters, and its bad because it also makes these characters display more negative traits and bring them to the forefront of their character.
If more rich kid characters were done like Sakuya or Seiji or Masato, we could see a change in how the archetype is used, since it focuses more on the humanization of the character and on developing them as characters that can grow and develop personally. Instead, its more common to see characters like Atsumori or Shinya who dont learn from their faults or change their character, instead pulling the main character into their own personality with no repercussions.
Next Analysis: Silent Types