The rich, handsome (and sometimes haughty) guy is the common male character you would see in shoujo manga. Some of the well-known ones are Tamaki from Ouran High School Host Club and Tsukasa Domyouji from Hana Yori Dango. Yet what makes this character figure, so attractive and appealing that it is constantly reused in manga, anime, film and even literature (e.g. Mr. Grey from Fifty Shades of Grey)?
In this post, I will introduce three shoujo manga that are centered on an ideal wealthy, attractive male lead and share my thoughts on the subject.
Hoshigari Love Dollar
By Megumi Toda
One morning, Matsuri Suzuki is riding the train to school, and suddenly feels a stranger brushing his fingers on her bottom. She sees Omi Sumeragawa right behind her, and assumes that it is him. So Matsuri hits him. However, he proves his innocence. Matsuri greatly apologizes to him, and learns that Omi is a genius and a powerful individual running his own company. Omi finds Matsuri’s sassy and outgoing personality, charming; as a result, he asks her to be his bride.
This manga is entertaining because Omi has a two-face personality. He has a hardworking and assertive attitude when it comes to his job. However if Matsuri is involved, he becomes overprotective and at times, jealous. Omi does some childish things to get Matsuri’s attention.
By Kako Mitsuki
Ryuu is a young, successful business entrepreneur, who transfers to a Japanese high school from England. During a Tanabata Festival, Ryuu encounters Yukino—the daughter of a flower shop owner—and it instantly became “love at first sight” for him. Ryuu confesses his love for Yukino. At first, Yukino is reluctant to return the same feelings, but she slowly opens up to him.
Hanayomesama wa 16 Sai (花嫁さまは16歳)
By: Ryuu Yuuhi
When Tamaki’s mother passed away, she is left as an orphan. However, her mother left a will stating that she is to be the bride of Shinga Ootori, a handsome rich guy with an arrogant personality. As a result, Tamaki lives in Shinga’s mansion as his wife.
So what makes these stories appealing? I think what appeals to the majority of female readers is the male lead. I think the rich handsome man is what some women want under the surface. I mean the guy has it all: good looks, success, wealth, power, intelligence, and talent. The list goes on and on. What else could a girl possibly ask for? Well the obvious answer is love. A majority of women may want a guy that genuinely cares and cherish her. That list I mentioned above is just some possible traits to look out for when meeting a prospective boyfriend or husband. So if love is the answer for a successful couple, what is the point of reading all this shoujo manga? Well, the constant occurrence of this type of male lead is probably due to the fact that he is the ideal prince charming. He has all those traits I mentioned, and he is capable of loving a woman. (Is he my ideal type? Well in some ways yes, and in some ways, no.)
Within the manga I mentioned, these rich, handsome male characters possess an arrogant personality. They believe that money can buy you anything and everything you want, including love. In order to court girls, they try any means possible like buying expensive clothes and jewelry, and going on extravagant dates or vacations. However, they learn that this method does not work with love. These guys may have it all, but they lack common sense when it comes to girls.
What I found interesting though is that these type of male leads are looking for “the one.” And usually, “the one” is a girl from a common household, and possesses a pure heart. She isn’t greedy or selfish. When it comes to love, these guys eventually learn that the key to a woman’s heart cannot be bought by money or possessions. Instead, a man shows his vulnerability in order for a girl to fall in love with him. That is what ends up happening in most of these shoujo manga involving intellectual, high-class, and attractive guys.
Just to let you know, if you are interested in reading any of the manga mentioned above, I shall warn you that there is some mature content.