|In Library Wars, Kasahara has to give|
|up her memory of the perfect guy|
|and deal with (grouchy) Dojo as he is.|
|She learns to do this as they work together.|
So romance ("luv") by itself shouldn't run the story but neither should the crazy events (she had his baby, then he lost his mind, then his long-lost sister with whom he has an incestuous relationship returned after which the heroine was kidnapped by a wealthy motel owner . . .)
On the OTHER hand, I find Tail of the Moon--with its constant adventures--immensely charming. In fact, most manga series rely on continual external problems for their middle books. (And some manga writers are so good at continual problems, their series' endings fall a little flat.)
So, what's the difference (and I maintain there is one) between the romance run by a good problem and the soap opera romance run by (rolling my eyes) complications?
I think the difference is a direct heir of the "characters needing jobs" motif. The soap opera romance is run by whether or not the couple will fall into bed this time and is less effective (in my eyes) than the romance which is run by how the characters get along as they tackle a specific problem.
|I've said it before. I'll say it again: no one did "romance|
|while a story is going on" better than Mulder and Scully.|
|We'll have to see if they can pull it off again.|
Now the unconsummated romance of Darcy and Elizabeth IS the point of Pride & Prejudice but the issue on the table is not whether or not Darcy and Elizabeth will be kept apart forever (oh no, Lady Catherine de Bourgh just burnt down the Bennetts' house!). To an extent, their union is a given. The question is HOW Darcy and Elizabeth will come to understand each other as they tackle balls and errant sisters.
Increasingly bizarre and wild complications that separate a couple are far less satisfying than increasing understanding between two characters who face a single obstacle together. Such an approach also convinces the reader that the characters will survive as a couple. All the soap opera approach does is convince one, "Man, that relationship is doomed."