The physics of the Third Wheel

Once again, this is another one of those post I have hoarded up for when I reach a dry spell. But this one could be pretty interesting (I hope).

The reason behind this post is simple enough. A couple of months back, I read a manga called GirlXGirlXBoy. I’m not sure if it’s popular or well-known but I definitely liked it. And a couple of weeks ago, another manga I was reading, Kimo Koi Limit, ended. And these two manga have 1 thing in common (well, 2 actually. They’re both generally Yuri). They both had a “third wheel” character that aided the progress of the main couple’s relationship. And I have always pitied this one poor person.

However, such a character also plays a unique role. They tend to be that “real close, but no banana” character. Which is to say that they’re really close to one (or both) halves of the main couple and in love with one of them. But they never get to have a relationship beyond friendship (albeit a deep one). But whilst in this role, they can perform lots of tasks for the manga/anime.

They provide a (literally) third person perspective of what’s going on. It might be biased at times of course but on the whole, it’s a neutral point of view. Sometimes, they also act the emotional link between the two main characters, bridging the gal between them. And unfortunately, they might even be the spring board for their relationship.

Say for example, Kimi Koi Limit. Sono is infatuated with Sato but despite confessing, Sato still sees her as no more as a friend. Now Sato is in college and Sono is with Hiroko, who she met at a bar after another unsuccessful attempt to confess to Sato. But Sono still is in love with Sato and can’t seem to forget her, which eventually leads to Hiroko breaking up with her. Through a series of other events, Sono once again meets Sato but is unable to get Sato to give her an answer to her feelings. To which she coincidentally meets up with Hiroko when she’s depressed.

But Hiroko never gets the happy ending. She helps Sono get over her depression and at the same time, confronts Sato to tell her about Sono and her all conflicting emotions. In the end, Sono and Sato are together and Hiroko is left alone in a bar to drink away her sadness

It is invariably we tend to be bad for this “third wheel”. They always get the short end of the straw but at the same time, they also tend to be admirable. I agent read a lot of manga or watches a lot of anime with such a character to say much but I have always felt the ideal of “to give your crush the most happiness possible, even if it’s not you thy gives the joy” to be a noble one. And yet, it is still sad.


P.S no idea why I wrote this. Just felt like penning down my thoughts on this (or to be more correct, typing out my thoughts)

Just the cover art. I do recommend this manga.

This manga has a very interesting plot and is definitely enjoyable. Another recommendation.


Posted on April 21, 2012, in Anime, Manga, Otaku-ism and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. In most cases, I always find myself rooting for the third wheel, or so you called them, which in return tires me greatly because I am the kind of person that will invest greatly (emotionally) for a character that I like and when this third wheel’s feeling isn’t reciprocate, I tend to rage and ended up disliking the show. True Tears is a great example and the latest is AnoHana/Chihayafuru

    • I know what you mean. I felt terrible for Hiroko at the end of Kimi Koi Limit because I really like her. Same for Taichi (but his interest is not as prevalent hence I didn’t fell too bad)

      “Third wheels” always seem to be constructed for you to just like them then pity them ~.~ But some are admirable

  2. I really only see them as hinderences, but strangely in Shakugan no Shana and Zero no Tsukaima, both Yoshida and Siesta seem to have become mutually part of the relationship. The main couple still stand, but the girls accept the love for the guy.

    The ones that are helpful in relationships always trying to make the other 2 become a couple seem to have a better chance at getting into a relationship. It’s just because they are proactive and deserve it more.

  1. Pingback: Aniblog Stuff Day 11

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