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P.O.V. Boy, Poster Girl

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Electric Wave Girl and...Youthful Boy. Yeah, that's it. At least he is youthful.

A couple with The Protagonist and his Love Interest, where both characters are The Protagonist 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, and Hero Protagonist.

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.

Naturally, this can be a source of confusion if people assume the poster girl is the protagonist. Tends to happen most in Supporting Harem stories. 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.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Akame ga Kill!: 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. Akame is front and center, and often the only character, in cover art.
  • Black Lagoon: Rock and Revy; Rock is an "average" protagonist, but Revy is the main fighter, and primary muscle of the Lagoon Company.
  • B-Project: Gender inverted case — Tsubasa may be the viewpoint, but she's not the one doing most of the gruntwork for the company. It's the B-Project boys that serve as the face, getting the singles and racy Ready for Lovemaking end cards.
  • Dream Eater Merry: Yumeji is the main protagonist and a decent fighter in his own right, but without Merry, there would be no plot.
  • Gender-Inverted in Fairy Tail. Lucy is the viewpoint character but Natsu is The Hero.
  • Fly Me to the Moon: Played (mostly) straight. While the story is about a married couple, Nasa (the male) is the viewpoint character and many of the issues are told from his perspective, keeping his wife Tsukasa a mystery. While this balances out later on, Tsukasa is featured on the title page 9 times out of 10 while Nasa almost never appears.
  • Future Diary: 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.
  • High Score Girl is primarily told from the viewpoint of Haruo Yaguchi, a gaming-addicted schoolboy who somehow becomes close friends with aloof Child Prodigy and legendary gamer Akira Oono, to whom the title refers. The plot places equal importance on them both, however.
  • Gender-Inverted in Inuyasha, with Kagome as the POV protagonist and the eponymous Inuyasha as the Poster Boy.
  • Kimagure Orange Road: The trope is played straight with Kyousuke and Madoka, but it's an unusual case. Kyousuke has psychic powers but otherwise he's a fairly average POV everyman, while Madoka is an ordinary human, but her many skills and unique, mysterious personality make her the Action Girlfriend who drives the plot.
  • Played with in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, where the "poster girls" are the shapeshifting dragons, of which the main characters are, with the exception of Fafnir, all female. Particularly central characters are Tohru, the titular Maid Dragon and Kobayashi's Implied Love Interest, as well as Kanna, who is practically their adopted daughter.
  • 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).
  • Maria†Holic: Gender inverted, with Kanako as the P.O.V. girl and Mariya as the Poster Boy (despite the fact that he's usually seen crossdressing). One key visual for the anime goes as far as showing everyone but Kanako, who's in the building behind everyone else.
  • Medaka Box: Zenkichi is usually the POV protagonist, but Medaka is the instigator of the plot.
  • Merman In My Tub: A fully male example; Wakasa (the titular merman) and his eccentric nature is the main focus of the plot, but the plain Tatsumi is the viewpoint character.
  • Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun is another Gender-Inverted version; Nozaki is the titular character and poster boy, but Sakura is the point-of-view girl.
  • Murasakiiro no Qualia: A same-sex example with Hatou and Yukari. The latter is prominently featured on the covers of the manga, but it's the former who is the main protagonist and the one the story follows.
  • My First Girlfriend is a Gal is about Jun trying to lose his virginity by dating the clueless Yame, but Yame's status as the plot starter and her looks standing out more than his put her so far in the spotlight that that Jun has to actually hold up a sign stating which one's the protagonist on the first volume's cover.
  • My Love Story!! may count as a double-inversion. It looks like a gender-inversion with the plain Rinko as the viewpoint to the comically gigantic Takeo... but, nope, Takeo is the protagonist. This is probably intentional, since it also subverts the standard tactic of Will They or Won't They? dragged out for most of the series—Takeo and Rinko become a couple within the first few chapters.
  • My Monster Secret: Male lead Asahi is completely ordinary, other than the fact that he's a terrible liar, while his love interest Youko is a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire (and The Idiot from Osaka). The main driving force of the plot is protecting Youko's secret, since she promised her father that she'd leave school if she was found out, which results in Asahi doing everything he can to keep Youko from leaving so he can work up the nerve to finally confess to her. Despite being the male lead, Asahi doesn't appear in any of the volume covers (nor do the other male characters, even after they start being developped).
  • Most Neon Genesis Evangelion merchandise is of Asuka and Rei, with a decent chunk also featuring Misato and Kaworu. Meanwhile, lead character Shinji frequently gets pushed aside to the point where he didn't receive an action figure for the Rebuild movie series that began in 2007 until 2012, long after Asuka, Rei, Kaworu and new character Mari had already received boatloads of new merchandise. Even the 10th anniversary Rebuild visual pushes him to the far back. The manga adaptation has "Shinji Ikari" in its title, but he only appears in 3 out of 18 volume covers—the first two, where he's way in the background with Asuka and Rei in the foreground, and the last one, containing all major characters. The other 15 covers feature various female characters (sometimes in provocative poses).
  • 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.
  • Exaggerated in Seizei Ganbare Mahou Shoujo Kurumi. The protagonists aren't the magical girls, but the three Muggle boys who keep showing up at all their fights. After spending a paragraph about the titular heroine, the series blurb only reveals this fact in the last sentence.
  • Gender-Inverted in Soul Eater; Maka's the protagonist, but it's both her and Soul that share the lead role due to their bond. Despite this, Soul's on most of the covers.
  • Summer Wars. The girl standing alone in the foreground of the cover is the Love Interest. The guy in the green-striped shirt, behind her left arm, and barely noticeable against the crowd of extras, is the protagonist.
  • Gender-Inverted in Yugami-kun ni wa Tomodachi ga Inai. Yugami is the titular character and poster boy while Chihiro is the viewpoint character.
  • Urusei Yatsura: While Ataru is the main focus of the series, Lum and the rest of those obnoxious aliens are frequently the center of attention.

    Comic Books 


  • 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.
  • And You Thought There is Never a Girl Online?: Hideki Nishimura aka "Rusian" is an otherwise normal high school student who happens to be a gamer. However, most of the series is focused on his in-game wife Ako Tamaki and her inability to distinguish the game world from reality.
  • 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- he, having fused with the Big Bad, is now featured just as prominently.
  • Shimoneta: Tanukichi is the supporting protagonist, who gets drawn into the screwball ero terrorist antics of Ayame Kajou, the series' heroine and mascot character. So she's the one featured most prominently on the Blu-ray/DVD boxset, while he gets pushed into the background between Anna and Fuwa. And he's completely absent from all promotional art for the series, in favor of Ayame, usually in her 'Blue Snow' persona.
  • So, I Can't Play H! doesn't even bother to include its male protagonist, Ryosuke, on the DVD cover at all. Instead, it's a solo picture of the heroine Lisara, lying naked in bed. Whereas the Blu-ray cover is a group shot of her with the other three girls: Ilia, Quele, and Mina.
  • Toradora! is a somewhat understated and possibly unintended example; Ryuuji, the protagonist, isn't treated as generic or secondary, but Taiga is far more recognizable. As for its Spiritual Successor, Golden Time, well... just look at the promo image. The guy groveling on the ground in the bottom right is the main character.
  • 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.
    • Also Quentin and Margo from Paper Towns by the same author.
  • 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.
  • Spice and Wolf: The story mostly focuses on Lawrence's life as a merchant, but his companion, Holo the Wisewolf, is prominently featured on the covers of the books and promotional material.
  • 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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: The series is about the relationship between the titular beautiful, powerful-but-submissive witch and some Straight Man so generic as to be actually interchangeable.
  • Girl Gun Lady has both a Poster Girl and a POV Girl. Koharu is a shy high school student who serves as our POV into the Girl Gun Fight, while Alice is the Girl Gun Lady Koharu is matched with and the mascot of the series.
  • 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.
  • 13 Reasons Why manages this even when the girl is a Posthumous Character. Clay Jensen is the protagonist, as the story follows his quest to discover why the girl he liked was Driven to Suicide, and to confront those he feels are responsible; but said girl, Hannah Baker, is the center of the plot and the one all the characters focus on, as she made the tapes explaining her 13 reasons for killing herself and naming the people who she pegs as the culprits.

    Video Games 
  • 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 protagonist, 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.
  • Ragna the Bloodedge and Noel Vermilion from Blazblue. Noel is the one who gets most of the promotional material and merchandise, and is indeed at the center of the plot in the second game of the series. Nonetheless, the story is told from Ragna's perspective and Word of God has confirmed that its his story the series follows.
  • The Legend of Zelda series, Link is the protagonist and eponymous Princess Zelda is usually just a damsel. As a Heroic Mime, Link is generally the less-developed character; though in several games Zelda doesn't even appear, and every game stars a guy (officially) named Link. Strangely, despite rarely being in the title, Link is usually prominent in advertising and cover art.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is another example, where, on top of having the same aforementioned dynamic, Midna spends most of the game ordering Link around and giving him advice and the occasional magical assistance while being the most heavily advertised new character.
  • Friday Night Funkin': While you play as Boyfriend by default, it's Girlfriend, of whom Boyfriend's taking everyone on for, that appears on the game icons and start menu. A stylized icon of Boyfriend does appear on the PC builds, however, and promotional materials show both of them together.
  • Played with in NEEDY STREAMER OVERLOAD, in which the Poster Girl is the titular streamer, Ame-chan/KAngel, who is the face on the cover and the promotional and supplementary material, but you play as P-chan, her featureless lover and producer. It's played with because P-chan is written to be whatever gender the player wishes, so while they can be a boy, they can also be thought of as a girl, but they and Ame have the same basic dynamic as this trope. And then outright subverted with The Reveal that P-chan is Ame's Imaginary Friend and another alter-ego of sorts, technically making P-chan female.

    Visual Novels 
  • The protagonist of Daughter for Dessert never has his face shown, but the title itself is a reference to his daughter, Amanda, the main face of the story.
  • Double Homework has an example with poster girls. Johanna and Tamara are the main faces of the story.
  • The face of the protagonist of Melody is never seen, while the title character has her face on the title screen.
  • Ozmafia!! has this trope so firmly set in stone that its protagonist was Adapted Out in its own spinoff anime.
  • Gender-inverted in Uta No Prince-sama: Haruka's the lead girl, but the boys of STARISH are the ones getting all the promo art and music. Sort of justified due to her being the group's songwriter and therefore out of the way compared to the boys' status as fledgling idols.
  • Saya no Uta: Fuminori Sakisaka is the POV character, an ordinary medical student save for an illness that renders everything he sees into flesh and organs, but the titular Saya, the Mysterious Waif Magical Girlfriend who is the sole exception to his condition, is the mascot. Also a rare, rather twisted Villain Protagonist example as she is actually an Eldritch Abomination and he becomes her partner-in-crime.

     Western Animation 
  • Gender-inverted in Octonauts: Above & Beyond: Captain Barnacles (male) is featured heavily in marketing (much like he is with the parent series), but Dashi (female) has the largest presence of any Octonaut.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil has this setup. Star Butterfly is the title character and the one who moves the plot forward, but Marco Diaz is the point-of-view character who serves as a surrogate for the audience experiencing Star's antics.

Alternative Title(s): POV Boy, Poster Girl