animefringe february 2003 / feature
Animefringe Coverage:
Be My Valentine! - Anime Dating Guide

Ah, winter is coming to an end and spring is just around the corner. Before we know it, the air will be chock full of pheromones and pollen. Spring is the season for love, as well as out-of-control raging hormones often mistaken for love. Either way, we kick off the season with the holiday loved by chocolatiers and dreaded by the lonely, the insecure, and the socially inept across the board -- Valentine's Day. And let's face it, we're all lonely, insecure, and socially inept in one way or another, ...right?

At any rate, we present this guide as a reference to help you plan your Valentine's escapades, as well as any other big dates, so that you can avoid flubbing up another special occasion and really "Wow!" that special someone.

This is how the guide works: Figure out which group your date fits in by comparing him or her to the anime characters who fit in that category, and follow the corresponding date suggestions. It's easy! Get out your matching Hello Kitty notepad and pencil set, take notes, and Let's Romance!

The Male Types

"The Sexually Repressed Type"
Characters: Shinji Ikari, Naota Nandaba, Keitaro Urashima, Kazuya Saotome

As much as you think that some intimate moments with you might be just what your sexually repressed man wants this Valentine's Day, think again. He'd probably be scared half to death by a naked girl climbing in to his bed and is more likely to hyperventilate than just breath heavily. Keep his sensitivity in mind, and give him some nude Polaroids of you, a box of tissue, and some lotion. He'll be thinking of you all night long.

"The Lecherous Hornball Type"
Characters: Happosai, Kintaro Oe, Ataru Moroboshi, Hideki Motosuwa

It's not that your man isn't sweet or kind -- it's just that he tends to let body parts other than his brain make most of his decisions. The best way to cater to his needs is to give him what he's always wanted, but never imagined he could actually ever get in real life. If you're of the age of consent and willing to indulge him, head on down to Vickie's Secret (or Fred's of Hollywood, or your local adult shop if you're feeling really feisty) and pick up a few choice items, and take it from there. If you're so inclined, pick up a couple agreeable girlfriends as well. That'll give him a V-day he'll never forget.

"The Hopeless Romantic Type"
Characters: Ryoga Hibiki, Tamahome, Godai Yusaku, Keiichi Morisato

Sappy, sweet, sickeningly cute - that's exactly how your Valentine's date should be with your hopeless romantic guy. Meet downtown, present him with chocolates in a heart-shaped box, and then go for a nice walk (holding hands). Play video games together (DDR in couples mode!) for a while, and then go to a movie. Finish things off with a quiet dinner at your local Japanese restaurant. Feeding each other sushi with chopsticks is crucial. Walk around downtown (or go for a sleigh ride if possible) some more and stop for ice cream on the way home. Wear some cherry-flavored lip gloss when you give him your sweet and chaste little kiss goodnight and he'll go completely wild. No need to be sexy or smutty with this one -- trust me, honey, his heart will be pounding all the same.

"The Pretty Boy (bishounen) Type"
Characters: Yuki Souma, Hotohori, Souichiro Arima

If the pretty boy is already yours, this one is easy. Be yourself -- that's how you got him in the first place anyway, right? -- and just do something to show him how much you love him. Something that you make yourself is ideal. Cook him his favorite meal, make him a scarf, but whatever you do, don't worship him. He's already so sick of all the beauty-worship he gets everywhere else, and he loves you because he knows he can be himself around you and that you'll always be yourself around him. Spend some time thinking of something to make for him, and the fact that you did that will mean more to him than you'll know.

"The Badass Type"
Characters: Inuyasha, Kyou Souma, Vash the Stampede, Spike Spiegel, Il Pallatzo, Dark Schneider, Kaneda, Kenshin Himura, Nabeshin

These boys think they are the men among men, but the proof is in the pudding. Well, guess what, sugar... you're the pudding. Make reservations at that fabulous new restaurant, dress to the nines, and step out to that swanky new club after dinner. The more he gets to show off the lovely prize he has in you, the more badass he will feel. Let him take control of the evening, but use your wily girlish charms to point him in the right direction. As long as he thinks he's making all the decisions, you'll both be happy campers. You may have to swallow a little pride to become his centerpiece for the evening, but keep yourself entertained with some dancing, champagne, and witty repartee, and he might just make up for it later by showing you more of his ever-elusive sensitive side.

The Female Types

"The Shy and Sweet Type"
Characters: Tohru Honda, Miki Koishikawa, Usagi Tsukino, May-chan, Miaka Yuuki, Fuu Hououji, Misaki Suzuhara, Eiko Magami

Dude... she totally wants you to sweep her off her feet, and lucky for you, that's not hard with this type of girl. If you make her a valentine, take her out to the park for a picnic, buy her some little trinket, write her a love song, give her a handpicked bouquet delivered on one knee with a heartfelt poetic profession of your love, whatever... she'll be eating right out of your hand in no time. Her eyes will go all starry and she'll blush and swoon over you and you'll feel all studly. She might even let you kiss her, if the mood is right. You sly devil, you.

"The Feisty (closet dominatrix) Type"
Characters: Naru Narusegawa, Lum, Faye Valentine, Rei Hino, Ryoko, Tira Misu

If the object of your desire falls into this category, fret not. There's only one thing you must remember about your feisty girl. No matter how pushy, controlling, domineering, loudmouthed, or outspoken she is, she's still a girl at heart, and almost every girl shares a weakness for one thing: Romance. She may act cool and aloof, but if you manage to find a pair and show her how you really feel, she'll melt like butter. Whisk her away for an evening fraught with passion. However, make sure you have a good plan, because insipid, namby-pamby attempts at romance will inevitably meet with pure frost. Take control for once. Transform yourself from a simpering puppy that sits at her feet into a debonair prince charming for the day. Observe with wonder as her knees go weak.

"The Tough Cookie Type"
Characters: Akane Tendo, Mireille Bouquet, Kikyo, Madoka Ayukawa, Meryl Stryfe

Depending on what kind of person you are, your tough cookie needs to be treated in one of two ways. If you tend to be something of a badass, then a little softening up on your end will really pluck her heartstrings. Don't be afraid to get a little sentimental and mushy if you really care about this girl, because the fact that you let your guard down for her will mean a lot, and you may find her more willing to open up to you as well. If you're more likely to be a little sentimental and mushy all the time, then more of the same is not a good route for you. Take control, show her that she's not always boss, be prince charming, and treat her to a night of romance and intrigue. Women will always say that they want men to be more sensitive, but that doesn't mean that we want to always be able to walk all over you.

"The Criminally Insane Type"
Characters: Haruko Haruhara, Excel, Poemi Watanabe, Lain Iwakura, Washuu, Dejiko

This one is the most difficult. First of all, as I'm sure your aware at this point, your honey is not very right in the head. However, all is not lost, because there's a simple trick to pleasing your crazy girl -- indulge her weaknesses. The hard part is finding out what those weaknesses are, because she's sure as hell not going to tell you. If she's really into anime, give her that plushie that she's been whining over for weeks. If she really digs music, take her out to a show. If all she really seems to want is you, then... I don't think you'll have too much of an argument with that, now will you? If you're wrong, she probably won't even be paying enough attention to notice. If you're spot on, make sure you're not standing near any explosives, sharp objects, or unidentified machinery when she lavishes her "affections" on you.

"The Too Cute For Her Own Good Type"
Characters: Noelle, Chii, Mink, Mihoshi

This one is a cakewalk, because your girl is pretty easily amused. Take the day off and spend it doting on her. Take her out on the town, buy her ice cream, and make her feel like she's the only girl in the world. She'll be infatuated with you for at least a week, or at least until something shiny distracts her. To assure she's yours forever, own lots of shiny things.

With these tips, you're sure to win your date over. Woo them with your smile, dazzle them with your wit, and pour the charm on in copious amounts. Now go out there and get 'em, tiger!