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The boy is a generic Audience Surrogate, The Everyman, maybe an Ordinary High School Student, and he is the Point of View character, treated as The Hero by the plot itself, and therefore, as the Main Character.
The girl is a more exotic character, the center of all advertising material, her name maybe even appears in the title, and her presence starts the plot and keeps moving it, making her into the face of the entire work, and providing a reason for people to watch the show.
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.
See also Non-POV Protagonist.
- Generally, in many Supporting Harem series, the male protagonist is the POV character, but the main heroine is often the instigator of the plot
- In Suzumiya Haruhi, Kyon is the POV protagonist, but Haruhi is the leader of the plot.
- Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu
- 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.
- Hidan no Aria
- Zero no Tsukaima: A case of Summon Everyman Hero, done by the eponymous mage.
- Medaka Box: Zenkichi is usually the POV protagonist, but Medaka is the instigator of the plot
- Rosario to 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.
- Black Lagoon: Rock and Revy; Rock is an "average" protagonist, but Revy is the main fighter, and primary muscle of the Lagoon Company.
- Spice and Wolf: Lawrences viewpoint, Holo on the posters
- Yumekui Merry: Yumeji is the main protagonist and a decent fighter in his own right, but without Merry, there would be no plot.
- Pictured above, Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko. That guy in the background, see him? That's Makoto, the protagonist and narrator. But his cousin Erio is quite a bit more memorable.
- Kaichou wa Maid-sama: Gender inverted, as Misaki is the protagonist while Usui tends to be the more memorable character.
- 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.
- Eureka Seven
- Five Hundred Days of Summer: Main character Tom is the one we sympathize with as he falls head over heals for the Manic Pixie Dream Girl title character, Summer.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pudge (pov boy) and Alaska (cover girl) from Looking for Alaska by John Green.
- Gender Inverted in 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.
- 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 Main Character, 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.
- Good luck finding promotional art of Final Fantasy X that features Tidus rather than Yuna; strangely enough, the original boxart has Tidus on the front and Yuna on the back... and is one of the very, very few pieces of promotional material that features him in any kind of prominent position at all. Yet the game is told as a first person narrative from Tidus' point of view, and while Yuna's journey is a prominent feature of 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.