Yeah, I know – what is ren’ai? Ren’ai is Japanese for “romance”. Usually when I speak of ren’ai, I actually mean, a ren’ai game which is a computer game strongly themed around romance such as dating games or interactive romance stories. The funny thing about ren’ai games is that characters in them can be found in manga and anime as well. I made this tutorial below for those developing ren’ai games but the characters listed in them may also be used for your manga – and if you’re pursuing it, your anime. Have a looksee and maybe you’ll get some ideas for your story! =)
The general purpose of this list is to help new developers or non-writers with a list of stereotypical character types generally found in ren’ai games with which they can initially work and build from. The list may be also used as types of characters to avoid if you would like to make a more original and untried character archetype. Male and female character types generally can parallel each other such as the jock male and jock female but there are occasions where a character type is exclusive to only one gender. These types are also mixed in various ways such as the over-achiever(#21) and childhood friend(#1) = over-achieving childhood friend (example: Shiori of Tokimeki Memorial).
Character types will be listed as follows:
Character Stereotype Name
~~Ren’ai Character Type List ~~
1. Childhood Friend
Description: This character goes way back with the main character and generally they grew up together their whole life. Usually, they are just seen as a younger sister or older brother but that view changes during the course of the game generally triggered by the childhood friend going out with an arch nemesis. In some cases, the childhood friend may have moved away but appears later in the main characters life, sparking a love interest.
2. The Rich One
Description: This character is one of the richest person in the story (opposite gender of main character). The other tends to be your arch nemesis (same gender as main character). This character type can go from being a snob or being the sweetest person but normally, more the former than latter are seen in ren’ai games. They also are the most fashionably dressed, highly eloquent, and well groomed of all the characters.
3. The Shy Person
Description: This person is quiet, shy, and is usually a push over. May or may not stammer but will usually run away after a few sentences. This archetype can be coupled with another type such as nerd (#23).
Description: The athletic person who tends to be in every sport team available. Can usually be found in the gym, court, the field, park, beach, or other place relating to sports.
5. Exotic Exchange Student
Description: From another country studying at your school, the exchange student generally isn’t completely fluent in the local language and tend to have an accent.
6. Baka Hentai
Description: This type of character tends to be the main character in bishoujo ren’ai games. Usually can be found doing perverted actions such as lifting up girls skirts, peeking into the girls changing room, landing on a females chest or at her crotch, and tends to be looked down upon by everyone except for maybe one friend.
Description: Someone who isn’t in touch with reality and tends to be lost in another thought or daydream. May be naive, forgetful, and idealistic.
8. Lone Wolf
Description: The loner who usually has a serious or scowling demeanor. May or may not be looked-up to by others and is generally imposing and unapproachable. Doesn’t talk a lot.
9. Sex Magnet
Description: This is the person every one of the opposite sex is drooling over. Tends to have attributes the other sex admires such as a muscular or a curvy physique. Tend to be a flirt or player and generally has people surrounding him or her. This type is dressed up to the nines and may even be dressed provocatively or daringly.
10. Tragic Figure
Description: The character whose led a rough life and usually has a big wall surrounding his or her heart. Tends to be grounded (i.e. faced with harsh reality), street-smart, and independent. This person tend to be living alone and is working hard to survive in the world.
11. The Celebrity
Description: A famous person who may be taking a break in his or her career, hiding out incognito, or just plain want to have a normal life. Their celebrity background may be from music artist, acting, modeling, or other high profile careers.
12. The Popular One
Description: The most popular person at school is looked up to by everyone and is generally liked by all as well. They tend to be outgoing, gregarious, from a good family background, well dressed, have a magnetic personality, and is in more than one club.
Description: The admired teacher in your class if not the whole school. Tends to be on the main characters case for poor grades and better expectations.
Description: A girl, usually your best friend’s younger sister, who looks and acts like a little child. Usually short, peppy, and cute looking.
15. Friend’s Older Sibling
Description: Generally the opposite sex of the main character, the older sibling has the appeal of being more mature and mayhap even cool. The main character may have encountered older sibling while growing up with best friend or may not know about older sibling until quite recently.
16. Girl or Boy-Next-Door
Description: The all-around average and totally relatable person-next-door. This person’s character tends to match or compliment that of the main character. Usually matched with #1 Childhood Friend.
Description: All this person is into is love. From the characters demeanor, actions, dress, and even manners – its nothing but romantic.
18. Party Animal
Description: This person does nothing but have fun and party all the time. Usually well-liked, outgoing, sociable, gregarious, funny, and takes nothing seriously. May also be popular.
Description: A being that lives forever, this person is generally not to be found in any normal situation or time. Finding this person and getting their ending tends to be difficult as well. Immortal types: Gods/Goddesses, Vampires, Angels, etc.
20. Magic Girl
Description: The average girl with the magic powers to transform into a super-powered-crime-fighting-machine with fancy attacks and short, revealing outfits. Magic Girl may also be extended to females with magic powers in general such as witches.
Description: The person who, amazingly, is doing it all: high grades, athletic competitor, after-school club member, class president, etc. Usually combined with #12, The Popular One.
22. Older Love Interest
Desciption: This person tends to be much older than the main character in age and in experience. The personality may or may not equate with the character’s age.
Description: The smartest or at least one of the smartest person in the whole game, the nerd tends to wear spectacles and is loaded down with books and/or computer related items. May or may not be a push over and tends to dress conservatively.
24. The Selfless/Righteous Person
Description: The selfless person who loves to help others in need. Is usually sweet, naive, idealistic, righteous, and have a good-sense of self. Tends to stand up to bullys and will fight for what he/she believes in whole-heartedly.
25. Frail or Anemic Person
Description: The soft-spoken weak character in the game. Usually pale and frail looking, this character may collapse at any time. Could also be absent for periods of time to recover from his or her illness. This person could go beyond frail and actually be terminal with a certain amount of time left to live.
26. Forbidden Loved One
Description: The main character is in love with ones sibling. They may truly be siblings or is actually not related at all.
27. Cat Girl
Description: A cat girl, much like immortals, is hard to find and get an ending for. May be wearing a cat suit (i.e. human face and body with a cat suit, cat ears, cat tail, and cat paws) or is an actual furry cat girl (i.e. all cat from eyes, nose, and body).