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When First Girl Wins is not in effect, the most likely girl to win the heart of the male protagonist at the end of a harem anime is the last girl we meet in the series.

In harem series, it's usually the first potential love interest you see that wins the heart of the Unlucky Everydude. This is for a simple reason: she makes a strong impression this way, and we aren't blindsided.

But there's another placement that makes sense and gives a girl a strong impression: if she's the last potential love interest we see. This makes perfect sense if the series is focused on the main character seeking a long term relationship, since once he's found one he's going to stop looking.

It is recommended that, if this rule is in effect, the entire Unwanted Harem appear in the first episode for the sake of the poor writers' health. A Third Option Love Interest can win -- even a girl who we meet near the end of the very last episode can win -- but Die for Our Ship will inevitably descend upon her. That's okay for the series in question (since it's over), but it could cause problems for the sequel.

Has nothing to do with the Final Girl (a horror trope concerning the last girl to survive the monster).

Spoiler warning, of course.

Examples of Last Girl Wins include:


Anime/Manga

  • The 2006 version of Kanon moved Ayu's first prologue until later and had Shiori, Mai and Makoto appear to Yuuichi beforehand, unlike the 2001 version. Yes, this makes Kanon both an example of First Girl Wins and Last Girl Wins.
  • Feena in Yoake Mae Yori Ruriiro na is the last possible love interest to appear, save for the Token Mini-Moe.
  • Because of the Anachronic Order of Suzumiya Haruhi, both the protagonist's stated Love Interest and his She Is Not My Girlfriend, the two girls that one would consider most in the running, could be considered both the first and the last. If Yuki or Sasaki ends up winning in the end, then, well...
    • Sasaki is a debatable example, considering that the protagonist knew Sasaki even before he met Haruhi or Mikuru in high school. Still, she shows up after any of the others.
  • Viciously subverted in Code Geass R2. first girl (sorta) Shirley was shot to death by potential Last Guy Rolo... and Rolo ultimately died too. And in the end, so does Lelouch. Talk about a subversion!
    • Apparently, Kallen was the Last Girl to have romantic developments with a certain siscon.
      • If you choose to interpret it a certain way, Lelouch calls Euphie his "First Love" right before he shoots her. Meanwhile, first guy Suzaku kills Lelouch while first girl Nunnally looks on in horror. Also, first girl (who's not a guy or a relative) Milly gives up on him. Really, the Last Guy and Girl seemed to have the best shot before dying, only to have Lelouch join them.
  • Nia is the last main female character to appear in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Guess who Simon ends up married to by the end of the series. And considering Kamina's Decoy Protagonist status, this is a rare case where both the first girl (Yoko for Kamina) and the last girl (Nia for Simon) win.
  • In Pokémon Special, Yellow is the last girl Red meets on his first journey and ends up having the most Ship Tease with him throughout the series. Funny enough, there's nothing to hint that Red actually realizes that the same girl he rescued and Yellow are the same person.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion pretty much no-one wins. However, Asuka is the last person we see Shinji with in End of Evangelion, and she is the last female character he meets in the show. Well, unless you want to count Kaworu's freaky vagina hands, but things don't end well for him at all.
  • In Shuffle, though Asa has been friends with Rin for a long time, she was the last of the girls in the harem to reveal she has feelings for him beyond just friendship and end up as the official couple. Though that doesn't stop Sia from reminding Rin that polygamy is legal where she is from.

Film

  • In Enchanted, Prince Edward ends up with Nancy, the last woman he meets in the real world.
  • In Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (as well as in the original graphic novels), Scott dumps his girlfriend and gets over his ex-girlfriends to end up with Ramona, the last girl he met.
  • Used surprisingly often in the James Bond films

Live Action TV

  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has a bit of a gender inversion - while Bashir and Quark both go after Jadzia for a while, it's fourth season import Worf who ends up marrying her.
    • Then played straight for Bashir, sort of, when he ends up with Ezri at the end of the series.
  • It was a Foregone Conclusion, but neither Chloe Sullivan nor Alicia Baker nor Lana Lang had a chance against Lois Lane on Smallville.
  • This is the most probable outcome for Ted in How I Met Your Mother since Future Ted has pretty much stated that once he actually met the Mother he stopped looking at other women.
  • Frasier Crane had many, many love interests over the course of the show's 11 seasons, (plus two marriages and one fiancee who leaves him at the altar on Cheers, which Frasier was spun off from); but Frasier finally settles into an actually happy relationship with a woman he first meets in the show's final season, with the implication that they wind up happily ever after.

Video Games

  • Considering that the player chooses what supports to have, there is always the potential for the last person to be used in Fire Emblem. But following a more strict "ship order"...
    • In Sacred Stones, Badass Bookworm Saleh is the last of Eirika's potential husbands that appears, regardless of route.
      • In the case of Eirika's brother Ephraim, there's L'Arachel... Who is also Last Girl for Innes, if chosen over Eirika or Vanessa.
      • Male version: Ewan is the last of Amelia's possible love interests introduced (Franz can recruit her in both routes, so he's First Guy by default. And Ross joined the part a little after Franz did, so he's in the middle).
      • Out of Lute's two prospect boyfriends, Kyle fits here.
    • Tailtiu is the last of Lewyn's potential wives to appear in Holy War, and she fits the trope if they hook up (Which quite a few people do), though story wise Lewyn marries his First Girl, Erinys. Brigid The Archer is also this to every unpaired male, but especially fellow Archers Jamke and Midir, who start out being in love with her sister Edain... which is questioned to be Loving a Shadow in both their Lover Conversations at the end of Gen 1.
      • Male example: Claude is the last of Silvia's predestined love interests to be recruited. And this pairing is implied to be canon in at least one of unofficial mangas.
    • One can't forget Mysterious Waif Sophia in the case of FE: Sword of Seals's Roy. And in the Blazing Blade prequel there's either Fiora for his dad Eliwood, or Farina for Lilina's dad Hector. Who, OTOH, is Last Guy for Lyndis. And there's Sain as Last Guy for Rebecca, and Farina doubling as Last Girl for Kent.
    • An hilariously infamous case can take place in Fire Emblem: Awakening, where the last of Chrom's prospect girlfriends to appear is Olivia... and they can hook up at the end of the very chapter where she shows up. Regarding the Avatars, if one counts the Spotpass characters and the order in which they're unlocked, the Last Girl for a Male Avatar will be Aversa and the Last Guy for the Female one will be Priam.
  • In the Neverwinter Nights Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark arc, you can end up with Aribeth, who is the second-last named female character to be introduced in the story.
    • Although she originally appeared back in the core game, making her the first girl the player meets, the plot makes it clear that it's not the same player character.
  • Potentially gender-inverted in Dragon Age 2, as Sebastian (a potential Love Interest for Female!Hawke) only joins your party in chapter 2, where every other character did in chapter 1.
  • Tidus meets Yuna as the last of the three female leads in Final Fantasy X, and ends up snogging her in that beautiful underwater scene in Macalania Woods.
    • Coincidentally, Tidus is also the last of the male leads that Yuna meets herself. This is assuming she has met Auron before... Which is quite probable, since he was her father's Guardian.
  • Given the multi-choice nature of the game, Baldur's Gate both fulfills and averts this trope: You meet Aerie much later than either of the other two potential love interests (a game later in fact)
    • Interestingly enough, in the context of BGII itself, Aerie is likely the second woman you meet (Jaheira being thrown at you at the very beginning, Viconia likely being the last you find because the game forces you to go to Waukeen's Promenade before it will allow you to travel to the Government District).
      • But both the game and Viconia react like she joined your party for a time in the first game, even if she never did.
  • In Dragon Quest V, while Bianca is canonically the First Girl the hero meets, the player technically meets her last in the DS version, thanks to a scene where the youngster meets Nera and Debora at the harbor. In the original, Flora (Nera in the DS translation) is the Last Girl, as he doesn't meet her until he visits her hometown as a young adult. Debora could also qualify, as she butts into the Engagement Challenge at literally the last possible second just to offer herself as a choice (which her father Rodrigo refuses to acknowledge unless the hero actually PICKS her).
  • Rinoa is the last of the three female party members that Squall meets in Final Fantasy VIII - by a considerable margin, since it turns out that Squall spent his early childhood at the same orphanage as Quistis and Selphie.

Visual Novels

  • In Fate/stay night, Saber enters Shirou's story after the other two characters who have their own routes in the game, although not before all the fanbait minor characters. (Note that in the anime, this can also be taken as a First Girl Wins -- Saber is the first girl the audience sees.)
    • This also applies to the visual novel, as the prologue starts with the scene where Shirou meets Saber and then flashes back a few days to show us the first few days of the story from Rin's perspective.
  • This is what happens in Rin Tezuka's path in Katawa Shoujo, since she is the last of the five prospect girlfriends to be introduced.
  • In Deardrops, Riho is technically the last girl to join the band, but she's certainly the canon love interest.
  • While the Tsukihime visual novel allows you to choose any girl and its sequels could arguably be seen as more of a Tenchi Solution in both girl choice and story development, Arcueid, the closest there is to a 'canon' pairing, is the last girl Shiki meets in all versions of the story (except for the the 'far side' game routes in which Shiki never meets her at all.)
  • This switches around constantly in Shall We Date?: Ninja Shadow, since the game's romantic rotes are released in separate batches and therefore the "Last Guy" spot tends to change every few months.

Western Animation

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