Electric Wave Girl and...Youthful Boy. Yeah, that's it. At least he is youthful.
A form of Main Character
+ Love Interest
couple, where both characters are the Main Character
in a certain sense.
The boy is a generic Audience Surrogate
, The Everyman
, maybe an Ordinary High-School Student
, and he is the Point of View
character, treated as The Hero
by the plot itself, and therefore, as the Main Character
The girl is a more exotic character and the center of all advertising material. Maybe she's a Magical Girlfriend
, Cute Monster Girl
, or from another world entirely, but either way, she's definitely not as ordinary as the boy. Her name is probably in the title, and her presence starts the plot and keeps moving it. Through this, she's the face of the entire work and provides a reason for people to watch the show.
Compare to First-Person Peripheral Narrator
, where the first person narrator is not the protagonist, and to Manic Pixie Dream Girl
, where the "Poster Girl"'s in-universe role is to shake up the male protagonist's life.
A result of Men Are Generic, Women Are Special
See also Non P.O.V. Protagonist
Anime & Manga
- Generally, in many Supporting Harem series, the male protagonist is the POV character, but the main heroine is often the instigator of the plot.
- Accel World. Haruyuki does move the plot by himself, but Kuroyukihime is the one who granted him the program and got him into the plot. She's also his mentor and girlfriend.
- Akame ga Kiru!: Tatsumi is our naive but developing protagonist who gradually becomes stronger. However, it is the eponymous Akame and Night Raid that draws him into the plot and intrigue of the Empire.
- Black Lagoon: Rock and Revy; Rock is an "average" protagonist, but Revy is the main fighter, and primary muscle of the Lagoon Company.
- Pictured above, Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko. That guy in the background, see him? That's Makoto, the protagonist and narrator. But the Cloudcuckoolander leanings from his cousin Erio tend to be quite a bit more memorable.
- Eureka Seven
- Gender Inverted in Fairy Tail. Lucy is the viewpoint character but Natsu is The Hero.
- Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun is another Gender Inverted version; Nozaki is the titular character and poster boy, but Sakura is the point-of-view girl.
- Haiyore! Nyarko-san
- In Haruhi Suzumiya, Kyon is the POV protagonist, but Haruhi is the leader of the plot.
- Hidan no Aria
- Gender Inverted in Inuyasha, with Kagome as the POV protagonist and the eponymous Inuyasha as the Poster Boy.
- Is This a Zombie? has an odd example. Ayumu is the classic Ordinary High-School Student turned into a zombie POV protagonist, while Haruna serves as the Poster Girl. However, the series actually focuses more on Eucliwood than Haruna.
- Maid-Sama!: Gender inverted, as Misaki is the protagonist while Usui tends to be the more memorable character (although that isn't to say Misaki isn't entertaining herself).
- Medaka Box: Zenkichi is usually the POV protagonist, but Medaka is the instigator of the plot.
- Mirai Nikki: Yukiteru is the (male) P.O.V. character and kind of a wimp. The Yandere gestures of (female) Yuno have since long ago achieved memetic status. And when Yukiteru Takes A Level In Badass is when the shit has officially reached the fan.
- In No Game No Life, we have the gamer siblings Sora and Shiro, the former whose P.O.V. is shown the most and the latter who is the poster girl, especially in merchandise. However both are equally important In-Universe and out.
- Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu
- Ore no Imōto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai: Kyosuke is the POV Boy and his younger sister Kirino is the Poster Girl.
- Rosario + Vampire: Moka is the primary driving force behind much of the plot (not to mention The Ace in just about any desperate situation), but Tsukune is the primary viewpoint protagonist.
- Samurai Champloo: Despite Fuu being the main character, and driving force of the series, Mugen (and to a lesser extent, Jin) is probably the face of the series.
- Shakugan no Shana technically even has scenes from Shana's POV, but Yuji is still a typical Ordinary High-School Student, while she is a mysterious monster fighter. But only up until season 3, when everything changes.
- Gender Inverted in Soul Eater; Maka's the POV Girl and Soul's the Poster Boy.
- Spice and Wolf: Lawrence's viewpoint, Holo on the posters
- Summer Wars
- Yumekui Merry: Yumeji is the main protagonist and a decent fighter in his own right, but without Merry, there would be no plot.
- Zero no Tsukaima: A case of Summon Everyman Hero, done by the eponymous mage.
- Anna Dressed in Blood has Cas as POV boy and Anna as poster girl. Subverted since Cas is far from being normal too.
- Pudge (P.O.V. boy) and Alaska (cover girl) from Looking for Alaska by John Green.
- Gender Inverted in The Phantom of the Opera with Christine as the protagonist and Erik as the titular and iconic character, even though he Did Not Get the Girl. Also true for the the various adaptions, with the exception of the Susan Kay novel.
- Happens in Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. Leo is the protagonist, but it's the Manic Pixie Dream Girl Stargirl who sets the plot going. In the sequel, Love, Stargirl, this is inverted.
- Gender Inverted, but otherwise played straight by Twilight. Bella is the generic POV character. Edward and Jacob are both exotic love interests and the focus of all advertising.
- The Virgin Suicides takes this to the next level, with five Poster Girls and a group of POV boys whose exact number is never indicated, though we do get several names.
- Gender Inverted by Austin & Ally. Ally is the shy, nerdy everywoman who writes songs for musical star Austin. Austin's rise to stardom drives the overarching plot of the show (Ally has Stage Fright which makes her unsuitable for the 'rise to fame' plot) and shakes up the somewhat staid and solitary life of Ally.
- Gender Inverted with the early seasons of the revival of Doctor Who: the first two seasons in particular focused heavily on Rose as the protagonist, a human window into the Doctor's alien mindset and life. This had been the usual setup of the show basically since its beginning; the main change was the idea that the main companion would be always female, and would have hints of a romantic attachment to the Doctor. (The exception to this so far is Donna.)
- Bewitched, which is about the relationship between the titular beautiful, powerful-but-submissive witch and some Straight Man so generic as to be actually interchangeable. Admit it, if it weren't for the trope The Other Darrin you wouldn't even know his name, would you?
- I Dream of Jeannie has the plot of every episode center around the hijinx of the titular genie Jeannie and how her husband and master, good old Major Whatshisface, reacts to them.
- Tidus and Yuna from Final Fantasy X. The game is told as a first person narrative from Tidus' point of view, and while Yuna's journey is central to the main plot, Tidus' actions and circumstances are what drive it - specifically, in that they cause the perspective shift that ends up ultimately bringing about the end of Sin's never-ending death/rebirth cycle of despair.
- Gordon Freeman and Alyx Vance in Half-Life 2 and its episodes. Though Gordon is the player character, the two get equal billing on promotional material, including boxart, and it's Alyx's introduction that really kicks off the plot in Half-Life 2. It's implied that Alyx was the Resistance's top operative until Gordon shows up.
- Non-romantic example: Light and Pastel in the Twinbee series.
- Unlimited Saga offers another non-romantic example with Laura and Henri. While ex-Pirate Laura is prominently featured in most of the game's official art and on the selection screen as a Main Character, her scenario centers around Prince Henri and how she becomes his bodyguard, protecting him from assassins as they roam the land searching for answers. Henri provides the story's narration, frequently mentioning how awed and amazed he is by his enigmatic protector.