I didn't come up with the name, but this is definitely something I think doesn't get enough recognition and that we should think about more actively as viewers of anime and other storytelling mediums.
I know I'm not the only person who has ever felt that twinge of annoyance when it comes to a specific kind of character, one that you find pointless to the progression of a story primarily because they exist, and because they get in the way of something else. That character usually is a perfectly fine character in isolation (though this can vary), and the only real thing that annoys you about them is that they get in the way of an OTP or other romantic pairing you wish to see through. This happens a lot. Not just to me personally, but in fandoms everywhere. There are countless characters who are attacked, disliked, or generally ignored because they're "annoying" and get in the way of that one couple we really want to win. We hear things like "If only X wasn't there", "Why is X being so ANNOYING?!", and "X is ruining everything". But lets think about this for a second: just why do we have to hate X so much?
This season I'm watching, like many other anibloggers, J.C. Staff's adaptation of Golden Time. I realize that there's mixed reception to the show, though I personally highly enjoy it, but my point is irrelevant to this. My problem with Golden Time lies in the Cockblock Character Conundrum, and the way I think most people perceive the characters in the series. Like most romcoms, GT offers a few choices for the lead to end up with, and as the lead this time is male, those choices are all female. The majority of my senpai seem smitten with Linda-senpai, Banri's love interest prior to acquiring amnesia though as an asexual I can't say I understand her allure very much. I can only see her as a regular character like any other, and while I like her, there's nothing overtly special about her to me that I could say would make me root for her more than Kouko or Chinami. Of the three, in fact, I prefer Kouko because I find her psychologically interesting and she's silly and blown out of proportion enough that she leaves a rather deep impression. That, of course, leaves Chinami, whom I like least, and Chinami is the one I first applied the unfortunate CCC on. Here's the problem: the moment I saw Chinami, I thought "oh no, here's the one who's going to screw EVERYTHING up" even though that actually ended up being more Linda than anyone else. Chinami hadn't done anything wrong one episode in, and hasn't up to this point half a season in; she hadn't even shown any actual interest in Banri. She just struck me as an obstacle, as that one character who would have the lead continuously thrown into misunderstandings and other confusions instead of letting him be with Kouko, the one I prefer. That didn't even come to happen, nothing even close, and yet I still had the experience of dislike at first glance. What does that say about me? About social psychology?
I have seen far too many fan reactions and experienced far too many stories to consider myself a closed off phenomenon. Something is clearly wrong with my perception of characters like Chinami, of the endless girls who are perceived as getting in the way of gay fan pairings, of all those other characters, like Naru in Eureka Seven Astral Ocean or Avril in GOSICK who annoy fans for just being there and stopping their pairings from coming to reality. It's not really a coincidence that most of those characters are girls, nor that a majority of the fans who hate them are probably girls, but that's not quite what I'm getting at. Why am I socially taught to dislike X instead of, say, Z, who is the one being indecisive about his love interest? Heck, why should I dislike ANY of them? What did Chinami or Linda ever do to me? What did Banri do?
Part of it is really just social psych. Since I've been little, I've been taught that the "temptress" is at fault for making the boy turn his head and confusing how he should feel. None of that has been overt, but rather through media, through my subconscious. Wives who are cheated on try to get revenge on the mistress first, calling her all sorts of names and dehumanizing her. It's a generalized statement, but it's true in the broad sense; I've been trained to think "the other woman", the possibility, is a threat. I can't even begin to say how stupid this construct is, and how surprised I was to find out I still have it despite actively trying to avoid falling into this kind of horrible thinking. It's partly about sexism, yes, but it's not just limited to the way women see other women. That's just the way we see it most of the time.
But the scary part about CCC is that it's taken this way of thinking and moved it to the next level. X no longer has to be the "temptress". She simply has to exist, has to be a possible option, a "maybe", and some of us are automatically aligned to dislike her. I try very hard to notice when I stupidly bring up the CCC in my character analyses. I try very hard to admonish myself; what, after all, did X ever do to deserve such wanton hate? Absolutely nothing, and in most scenarios, X is a perfectly good character on their own. The nasty thing about CCC is that it simply continues to perpetrate itself; if you end up hating characters like this, then you're promoting real life problems like casual jealousies in your relationships, the sorts of things where people never let their significant others have friends of the opposite sex, or hatred toward people you know nothing about for no real reason. Is that really an okay thing to let pass by? Personally, I don't think so, and I honestly hate it when I catch myself using the reasoning of CCC. I don't want to be the sort of viewer who hates someone for no reason.
If I hate someone, I'll find out perfectly valid reasons for doing so. They had better be stone cold murderers or manipulators on the scale of someone like Squealer from Shin Sekai Yori.