I hate love triangles at the best of times. Love triangles make me sad because one person will always lose out, and this upsets me. Not only this, but they create this kind of negative drama where there sometimes didn’t need to be any. This especially upsets me in series where I’ve begun to care about the characters to the point where I don’t want anyone to lose, which can be, well, a little difficult in the case of a monogamous relationship. Even so, often times I come across a series where a love triangle takes form and I’m left anxious and scared for everyone involved, powerless to change the course of events as the story unfolds before my eyes.
Sometimes these love triangles happen to further the development of the story, or perhaps the characters. And sometimes, unforgivably, they leave the character most deserving of love by the wayside, apparently forever alone because this kind of situation only ever develops around those with unrequited love for the other. So, before I start gushing let’s begin my sad début return with my top 5 sad love triangle situations.
Spoilers ahead for the following series:
Your Lie In April
Honey and Clover
1: Friend A – Your Lie In April
This series was heartbreaking on a number of fronts. But, for me, possibly second saddest (obviously it doesn’t trump the whole Kaori dying thing) was Tsubaki’s seemingly eternal friendzone with Kousei. Bittersweet not only in and of itself, but perhaps our sympathy for Tsubaki is made greater by the fact that their situation is so plausible and realistic. That is, it is far from uncommon for people to pine over others for years with things like childhood crushes only to be denied. And, true to life, Tsubaki has nothing to do about it but cope as best she can. That, and maybe kick Kousei in the shin a few more times for being such a dimwit. This permanent position is emphasised by the title she receives from Kaori at the beginning of the series, the sentiment of which lingers throughout her character arc concerning her love for Kousei: Friend A.
2: Linda – Golden time
Regardless of what you think of the series (fellow golden time lovers gimme a virtual high fives in the comment section below! Or just… in your heads. That’s fine also :’) ), I think we can all admit that this particular situation was particularly tragic. Imagine the person you love is in a tragic accident, and fogets everything, including who you are. They start their life anew, going to university, making friends, and eventually falling in love. Not with you though – you’re one of the friends.
Linda is a mature, kind and loving woman. Personally, I rooted for her, even though as in may cases, I think I could tell who the series indicated who the eventual Best Girl would be. And yes, I think I prefered her to Koko, but I think anyone would feel more comfortable with Linda as a character/person compared to the rather ‘eccentric’ Koko. That’s not to say that Koko didn’t deserve Banri’s love – I think she needed him more than anyone given her ‘temperament’, but nonetheless it was sad to watch Linda get sidelined and replaced by new Banri. Made worse by the chemistry they shared and Linda’s caring for Banri (in sickness and in health) throughout the series, I truly felt sorry for Linda in Golden Time.
3: Yuta – Honey and Clover
I’ll admit it: I bawled like a little bitch at the end of Honey and Clover. Not many series have managed to evoke the bittersweet feeling of unreciprocated love, regret and sad farewells like Honey and Clover. What make this series such a gem is the variety and depth of the characters, and watching their experiences and interactions with each other nurture and grow them at a wonderfully natural-feeling pace. Of course, this naturally made for more heart throbbing romance. Rather than watching the love triangle play out from a 3rd person perspective, seeing the result and reacting (much like in most other love triangle situations), we come to empathise with the characters on a much deeper level to the extent where we experience the situation from a perspective much closer to the 1st person – i.e., we slide into Yuta’s shoes over the course of the series.
I think this is what made the story of Yuta’s long-held romance feel so relatable and/or sympathetic for me. After all, we have two whole seasons to watch Yuta go through his life at the university, growing slowly closer to Hagumi, fall for her more deeply, with his feelings having to be kept beneath his chest for years on end. Ultimately, of course, Hagu makes her choice and, well… Yuta wouldn’t be on this list if it was him, now, would it?
Thus, it would seem fitting that the climax isn’t where it all ends. After all, H&C’s story telling and character development has transcended this boundary that stops many stories from reaching that next level. After Hagu makes her final decision we aren’t just allowed to sit there and be sad about it. We stay with Yuta for just a bit longer, giving us time to really feel the deeper sorrow of the reality he’s faced with. He loved Hagumi, but Hagumi will forever be out of his reach. Close enough to be a friend, but no more. Knowing this, Yuta makes the choice to move on (to stay would be torture after all), but we know a big part of him still yearns for her, and will do for a while yet.
So what are your favourite/saddest love triangles? Let me know in the comments.
See, I told you I’d be posting this weekend didn’t I? Huehuehue, who’s laughing now?