[MV Recommendation] The Peter Pan Syndrome Trilogy and Love Psychology

What happens if Peter Pan falls in love with Cinderella and Cinderella loves him back? What if this happened at Prince Charming’s ball and he’s painfully aware of it all? That basically sums up the situation in this trilogy by BuzzG.

Peter Pan syndrome, as you might already know, is a pop psychology concept that describes an adult who is socially immature. Accordingly, the song is about a man who can’t grow up. He’s in love with the girl from his childhood, who ended up sending him a wedding invitation. Ouch.

At her wedding, he still can’t help but wish that she wouldn’t say her vows and would run away with him. He realizes the impracticality of his wishes, so he conceals it by giving the bride a cheerful “おめでとう” (congratulations). In the end, he is someone who only knows how to run away, as the chorus indicates, despite understanding that Neverland can never be found.

The “Cinderella paradox” is more commonly known in the West as “Cinderella complex.” According to the 1981 book Cinderella Complex written by Colette Dowling, women have a fear of independence and subconsciously desire to rely on a man/men. The Japanese Wikipedia page for Cinderella complex further states that this hidden desire causes women to have high demands when seeking for a partner. The Cinderella of this song is in love with Peter Pan, but chooses another man to marry despite her feelings. If we take the Cinderella complex into consideration, her choice would be due to the fact that Camellia (let’s call her groom that for lack of a name) is a more dependable person. Indeed, she says “ハンサムな人が好き   お金持ちが好きよ” (I like handsome people, I like rich people), but adds that it’s a lie that makes her feel unwell. Apparently, she doesn’t love Camellia at all, but still marries him because she feels an unromantic need for someone handsome and rich.

The camellia complex is something lesser-known. I couldn’t find information on it in English, but I’m sure it’s a thing in English too. It’s the counterpart to Cinderella complex, where a man desires to be the rescuer of a damsel-in-distress – a woman suffering from unfortunate circumstances. The Camellia in this song is the most perceptive of the three. He realizes the things going on between Peter Pan and Cinderella, and is hurt by the fact that they all have to keep deceiving each other. Yet, somehow, he feels that it is his duty to protect Cinderella by being her partner. He does genuinely seem to love her.

In the end, all three protagonists talk about being doomed by the sound of church bells. The marriage is inevitable because of their psychological fixations, but is also what serves as a boundary preventing them from accessing each other’s feelings.

Despite the cool psych things, I don’t actually know if I like the fact that it’s a three-part series. “Peter Pan Syndrome” alone conveyed a poignant unrequited love, and “Cinderella Paradox” changed the equation but does add to the tragedy. When it got to “Camellia Complex,” I felt like it was almost too predictable and not really necessary? Still, it’s a pretty series that I do recommend (especially this version by luz).

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4 thoughts on “[MV Recommendation] The Peter Pan Syndrome Trilogy and Love Psychology

  1. Misheru

    Very interesting. I knew about the Peter Pan Syndrome, but I haven’t heard about the other two. After reading this and listening to the songs again, I wanted to leave my thoughts on this topic here too…
    (Friend – A, Bride – B, Groom – C)
    A was in love with B, but he was alright with being with her as it was. He didn’t say that he loved her, he didn’t even thought about asking her out. That was until she got married. After he heard that she was going to marry another man, he realized how much he loved her and wished for time to stop. He wanted to go back to the time when they were still together as kids (“Don’t wake me up from this dream yet.”). But that, he couldn’t tell her (“And take only you away, but I don’t have such courage or strength to do that…”). All he could do was stand by her side on her wedding, wishing her good luck and supressing his own feelings (“Don’t cry as if you’re happy. Once more, show that smile only to me.”).
    B on the other hand was always in love with him, but they slowly distanced themselves from each other (“I believed this would continue forever, but I come to know of the changing days.”). That’s when she met C. She couldn’t fall in love with him, but he was by her side. He was there for her. That’s why she agreed to marry him, thinking that maybe one day she’ll forget A and truly love C. Thinking that if as long as A is happy, she could also find happiness. But even on her wedding day, she was still hoping for A to take her away (“If only you’d carry me off like this…”). She wanted to run away with him, but she knew that that won’t happen (“…but that sort of dream can’t possibly happen.”).
    C knew about the feelings of both of them, unable to tell each other their true feelings. But since he loved B too, he couldn’t just let her go (“Don’t go, please don’t go. All I want is you to smile. All I want is to smile with you.”). Instead of helping A and B to be happy with each other, he wanted to make B happy himself, knowing that she may never look at him like she does with A (“The moment you passed by the person you love by heart, in those eyes that will never look back, may I have a place there someday?”). He knows that the path before them may lead to hate and agony, but can’t help but wanting to make her happy, even if that means that he will carry all the fault alone (“Those tears, this pain, I’ll carry them all.”).
    I think the most interesting part, which would also add up to your idea of the songs, would be the part “And now he, you and I are just relying on personas that patch ourselves up.” which really sounds like Cinderella and Camellia using each other. But that would leave Peter Pan in the open. What was he lacking? Was it the courage? Or growing up?
    And about the meaning of the song titles…
    “Peter Pan Syndrome” is definitely about A wanting to stay as they were as kids, never wanting to grow up. Btw, I think he let her go and grew up at the end of the song…
    “Cinderella Paradox” is probably about B wanting A to save her instead of being saved by C, which could be the paradox mentioned. Or that she wants to go back the way she was with A instead of being saved by C.
    “Camellia Complex” could mean that C needs to make B happy himself, disregarding everyone’s true feelings. Or that the feelings of A, B and C are connected, but still broken.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the thoughtful analysis! The only thing I want to add is that I do definitely agree with the problem you bring up – of Peter Pan being left in the open. I think it would make sense to say that Peter Pan’s flaw is his inability to grow up and move past his unrequited crush, but with Cinderella Paradox, it wouldn’t be valid to say that the crush is “unrequited” now. I feel like Peter Pan Syndrome was meant to be a stand-alone song, and the next two are just add-ons that create another layer to the story, but at the same time, damage the meaning of Peter Pan Syndrome as a stand-alone.
      Thanks for dropping by, let me know what you think!

      Like

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