|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.
The falling into bed may happen in the better type of romance/manga, and it may even be the point, but it will take place within a context that allows the characters to bond and grow, not simply shriek, "You never told me that your long-lost father is my uncle!" Castle rightly determined that simply keeping the relationship unconsummated by increasingly manufactured interferences was rather pointless, especially since the consummated relationship offered far more story potential.
|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.|
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."