Sekaikei Story
A romance running parallel to a world catastrophe.


(permanent link) added: 2012-02-07 21:46:16 sponsor: KuroBaraHime (last reply: 2013-02-03 14:54:17)

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This is part of a TRS to repair the existing trope Sekaikei Genre. It is being sent here to be clarified and garner examples.


Sekaikei (セカイ系; World Connection) is a Japanese phrase for a type of story. It's never been properly defined, but the basics are this.

Some world catastrophe is going on, generally apocalyptic in nature, whether a world war, an alien invasion, or something else. In the middle of this, we have focus on a specific community, usually a school, to show daily life. And in this, we have a focus on two main characters and their relationship. The two characters also have a direct connection to the world crisis, usually fighting somehow to save the world. Generally, the main character (usually a boy) starts powerless and is not directly involved in the crisis, but meets the the Love Interest (usually a girl) who is and he decides to join to help her. The relation and crisis run parallel to each other, as tensions rise in one plot, so does in the other, and the climax and resolution of both plots (whether in involves the world/humanity being saved or being destroyed/wiped out) happen at the same time.

While the relationship between the main characters is the focus, the story generally works on 3 levels.

  • The 'foreground', of the two characters relationship (You and I).
  • The 'middle-groud', of the surrounding society.
  • The 'background', of the cataclysm affecting the world as a whole.

Those are the most important parts. Also, if the world is destroyed/humanity wiped out, generally the couple will survive, invoking an Adam and Eve feel. That isn't necessary though.

Examples:

  • Neon Genesis Evangelion is believed to be a prototype of this concept. While Shinji wasn't in any real relationship, the story focuses on the characters' relationships, with the normal school life as the middle-ground, and the battle against the angels as the backdrop.
  • Saikano is a very good example. The only variation from the norm is that the male protagonist gains no power.
  • Eureka Seven, another good example.
  • This Ugly Yet Beautiful World
  • Kannazuki no Miko, with the twist that the relationship is between two girls. Himeko (the 'boy') and Chikane's (the 'girl') relationship is the foreground, school life is the middle-ground, and the fight against Yamata no Orochi is the background.
  • Voices of a Distant Star, the relationship between Mikako and Noboru is the foreground, the alien war they fight in is the background.
  • Earth Maiden Arjuna
  • Change 123
  • Immortal Regis
  • Shakugan no Shana
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica may count as another Girls Love example with Madoka and Homura in the foreground, the rest of the characters in the middle-ground, and the battle against witches in the background. Notably, Madoka seems fit to be the 'boy' of the relation as she is powerless through most of the story, and Homura would be the 'girl'. But considering the original timeline, the opposite may be more appropriate.
  • The Ga-Rei manga toss the role of "boy" and "girl" like volleyballs, but eventually it's between Kagura and Yomi.
  • Blue Drop, a human girl and an alien girl. It didn't end well.
  • The second Drakengard game.


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