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Old 2009-06-07, 09:07   Link #41
Triple_R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash Falls Town View Post
I personally don't think particularly highly of viewing media trying to judge it on it's merits of gender equality.
To the extent that the viewing media isn't using any points of comparison, I'm inclined to agree with you. But, at least for myself, part of my reasoning is in how anime/manga stacks up with western comic books/80s western cartoons (my entertainment interests as a kid, and before getting into anime).

And... Darklord_bg is right about how even shonen male leads tend to get told off a lot by their top female co-leads.

Do you think that this happens to Superman much? Or Batman? Or Spiderman? Or Dr. Doom? Or Reed Richards? Or Wolverine? I can tell you that it doesn't. Batman wouldn't be taking the grief that Ichigo Kurosaki takes.

The both intelligent and strong - both decisive, careful thinking and powerful - anime male protagonist is a rare breed indeed.

Honestly, off the top of my head I can't think of an anime male protagonist as well-balanced here as Nanoha Takamachi is.

Also, western comic books can't even begin to hold a candle to the sheer number and variety of super powerful anime/manga female characters.

Where I think that some are seeing sexism is in how anime definitely has its stock character types - it is absolutely loaded with stock character types. And these stock character types are sometimes based and influenced on gender, yes. On the other hand, though, anime has some of the most androgynous characters in all of fiction - some of the characters in Vandread immediately come to mind.

Also, I don't think that the stock character types exist to degrade women, or for any other prejudicial purpose - rather, they're simply tropes that have become key distinguishing features of the uniquely Japanese entertainment forms of anime and manga. We're now at a point where those stock character types are prevalent because its what the fans demand - Code Geass and Lucky Star are very self-referential (i.e. an anime that is inspired by other anime, and meta-comments on other anime), and basically basques in being chock-full of anime tropes that have become beloved by anime fans.

Perhaps it would be wise for anime fans to ask ourselves just why we love tsunderes, lolis, harem anime comedy, moe, etc... so much. But to think that it's all about sexism is to, I think, fail to see the larger picture.
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Old 2009-06-07, 14:20   Link #42
Kamui4356
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Originally Posted by Killifish View Post
I was put off Shuffle! (it's a harem anime so of course it's sexist) partly because of a certain character named Kaide. Very rarely did you ever see her do anything aside from cooking or cleaning when she wasn't at school. That wouldn't be so bad, but it got rubbed in the viewers face so much it's as if the creators wanted you to take offence. Hell, I'm a guy, and I was offended by that. Very dissapointing from an anime that actually managed to break a few harem cliches.
Actually, given what happens to her at the end, I'd say they were overplaying that domestic yamato nadeshiko angle on purpose. Though I doubt they intended to offend anyone by it.
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Old 2009-06-07, 16:12   Link #43
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Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post
Look at Tayutama, where the main girl character comes form the past and has "traditional values". Obviously the point is that there is something wrong with today's girls. Anime is often full with explicit morals "this is how a girl should behave and this is not how she should behave".
I'm sorry, but I see the message you're suggesting Tayutama has regarding today's girls as neither explicit nor obvious - Mashiro's "traditional values" are frequently played for laughs.

I suppose that Mashiro's "lead girl" status does make for an implicit endorsement of the yamato nadeshiko archetype, but even there I don't find it clear cut. For all the respect she lavishes upon Yuuri and his father, there's just not the same emphasis on her "domestic" side that you see with say, Shuffle's Kaede. It's there from time to time, but it's not something that comes to mind when I think of the character. It's just a single facet of her personality. Overall I just interpret Mashiro as some writer's vision of a lady-like fox spirit thrown forward 500 years. Or maybe the writer thought it would be hilarious to mix yamato nadeshiko traits into a character who can be quite strict about instilling discipline into her husband/tayutai/etc. Reading it as a condemnation of modern girls just seems like a jump to conclusions.

Implicit messages are also quite subjective - while Tayutama never made me think of the writer as a particularly sexist, I couldn't really say the same about the Shuffle and Death Note examples others have given. Naturally, this also means that an author who tries to avoid unwanted implicit messages in his or her work will find it a complete and total bitch. Trust me - I'm an amateur author, and I've tried.

A few people also brought up that women in anime tend to be a lot more emotionally unstable. I'm pretty sure that's not an anime specific trope, since I've noticed it in a lot of other media too.

Last edited by 0utf0xZer0; 2009-06-08 at 01:39.
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Old 2009-06-08, 20:33   Link #44
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Originally Posted by Kamui4356 View Post
Actually, given what happens to her at the end, I'd say they were overplaying that domestic yamato nadeshiko angle on purpose. Though I doubt they intended to offend anyone by it.
also the anime gives a reason why she became the way she is and lets not forget that a yamato nadeshiko isn't necessary a bad thing.

love hina was mentioned and IMO while Naru behavior may be seen as violent and unnecessary. After the 100th time of Keitaro accidently peeping from her perspective it would be hard not to be hostel about it

to the topic I don't really see any sexism blatant or implicit in anime. Like most of the posters have said female's in anime are portrayed in a better light. Even in a lot shonen series no matter how much stronger the male protagonist get he still doesn't have to down-to-earth sensibility of his female companion.

As for as anime compared to western animation it's the same. The west can't hold it's own in terms numbers but ratio wise it's the same
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Old 2009-06-09, 00:35   Link #45
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Originally Posted by animeboy12 View Post
also the anime gives a reason why she became the way she is and lets not forget that a yamato nadeshiko isn't necessary a bad thing.
I've always evaluated Yamato Nadeshiko characters on the basis of how heavily their "domestic" or possibly "submissive" side is emphasized. If it's heavily emphasized, she comes across as a doormat. If not, she just comes across as equivalent to any other "lady like" archtype to me. School Rumble's Yakumo is a good example of the latter IMO. The aforementioned Mashiro from Tayutama is a little iffier but she avoids the doormat trap on the strength of the rest of her personality, including a few assertive traits.

Kaede... let's just say I give the writer a pass on this one only because it made great cover for her psycho side. She's a great character for "drama" but strapping a crazy side onto a near personality-less girl is not something that gets into my favourite books.

(And then there's Eruruu from Utawarerumono, who for some reason I never see as a doormat but can't figure out why.)
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Old 2009-06-09, 06:35   Link #46
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Originally Posted by animeboy12 View Post
to the topic I don't really see any sexism blatant or implicit in anime. Like most of the posters have said female's in anime are portrayed in a better light. Even in a lot shonen series no matter how much stronger the male protagonist get he still doesn't have to down-to-earth sensibility of his female companion.
If most female characters are portrayed in a better light, isn't that sexist against men? Why is it every time the word sexism gets mentioned it is implicitly assumed that is is against women. Sexism is any form of unfair treatment against any gender.

Also, in shounen series the fact that men are physically stronger is not sexist, simply because in real life men are stronger. Everything else being equal, men are generally better fighters, so there shouldn't be any reason to make women equally strong for the sake of equality. The so-called "down to earth sensibility" of their female companion is usually accompanied by violent behavior and bitchy attitude.

On the topic of the Yamato Nadeshiko, I don't see why you guys assume such a character could be submissive or a doormat. You know, feminism isn't about men and women being completely equal in everything - it is about giving women the same choices that men have. If they choose to be a housewife, than I see no problem with that. Is it so hard to imagine that some women actually enjoy cooking and cleaning? Thus, I wouldn't call a housewife-type female character submissive, unless she is really pressured in doing all the housework, which she doesn't enjoy.
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Old 2009-06-09, 06:59   Link #47
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Originally Posted by Dark Wing View Post
1. Was there any particular anime that you stopped watching or didn't like because you found it to be sexist?
If you ever watched a single hentai anime you would know, that all females had brain surgery and removed brains are added into boobs, fact. I really question sanity of hentai fans. It's unwatchable in any state even when completely drunk IMO.

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2. Do you think there is a difference between anime and western animation in terms of sexism? Do you think that what is portrayed in anime to be a product of the differences in what is perceived as sexist? etc.
Japan culture in general treats women not in respectful way as I understand it, western culture is a lil different in that regard.
There are way too little strong women in anime and even if they are... still a random guy comes first, everything else is secondary. OTOH seeing a woman only as a sex object capable of giving birth is pretty common in western movies too, only not so much in western animation.

The only great woman character I can recall is Balsa (Seirei no Moribito).

I'm not saying that guys aren't treated in similar way too.
There are many many stupid anime guys which girls drools on how they are oh cute, adorable, shy and utterly stupid. They had to be fed and given love, yeah...

Still guys get treated like humans (not only sex objects) much more often than girls in anime.

It amazes me that people think girls are treated better in anime than guys... you gotta be kidding me... unless you think all girls are brainless and think about guys all day long, taking a break only when they cook for them...
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Old 2009-06-09, 09:48   Link #48
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Originally Posted by Darklord_bg View Post
On the topic of the Yamato Nadeshiko, I don't see why you guys assume such a character could be submissive or a doormat. You know, feminism isn't about men and women being completely equal in everything - it is about giving women the same choices that men have. If they choose to be a housewife, than I see no problem with that. Is it so hard to imagine that some women actually enjoy cooking and cleaning? Thus, I wouldn't call a housewife-type female character submissive, unless she is really pressured in doing all the housework, which she doesn't enjoy.
I don't consider the yamato nadeshiko archetype to automatically sexist - I consider it sexist when her "domestic" side is played as part of her "appeal" to the male audience. That's why I single out Kaede among my group of three examples. I also dislike how yamato nadeshiko are often taken for granted, although some guys are better at avoiding this than others - Tayutama's Yuuri comes to mind, seeing as he actually helps out with grocery shopping and the like (although his dad is pretty bad about this stuff).

I might or might not get around to responding to Raa later... have to go for work soon.
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Old 2009-06-09, 09:53   Link #49
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Originally Posted by Raa View Post
It amazes me that people think girls are treated better in anime than guys... you gotta be kidding me... unless you think all girls are brainless and think about guys all day long, taking a break only when they cook for them...
Who says they are treated better? I don't think anyone in anime is treated any better, they are just a bunch of characters playing their stereotyped roles. All this moe thing in my opinion is the true bane in anime these days. Think about it. Hayao Miyazaki even had this to say:

"It's difficult. They immediately become the subjects of play toy for Lolita Complex guys. In a sense, if we want to depict someone who is affirmative to us, we have no choice but to make them as lovely as possible. But now, there are too many people who shamelessly depict such heroines as if they just want such girls as pets, and things are escalating more and more."

And they have. There you have it from one of best animation directors of all time.
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Old 2009-06-09, 10:55   Link #50
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Who says they are treated better? I don't think anyone in anime is treated any better, they are just a bunch of characters playing their stereotyped roles. All this moe thing in my opinion is the true bane in anime these days. Think about it. Hayao Miyazaki even had this to say:

"It's difficult. They immediately become the subjects of play toy for Lolita Complex guys. In a sense, if we want to depict someone who is affirmative to us, we have no choice but to make them as lovely as possible. But now, there are too many people who shamelessly depict such heroines as if they just want such girls as pets, and things are escalating more and more."

And they have. There you have it from one of best animation directors of all time.
I'm pretty sure that quote was intended to apply to all anime that use attractive girls as a draw, considering the context and age of the original quote. People just tend to associate with moe because of that wikipedia article.

As long as there's shows like EF and Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu, you won't find me saying moe is the true bane of anime. Current bandwagon of choice for far too many mediocre studios is more like it.

(Edit: Oh, and if you want to dispute that, please have th good sense to include some example series. It just gets annoying to try and guess what you're complaining about otherwise.)
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Old 2009-06-09, 12:31   Link #51
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Well in defense, most shows would allude to it in many different ways still obvious. Melancholy of Haruhi alluded to it, Ouran, even if they are satire, but it's obvious with all the cutesy wutesy talk and cat ears, glasses, and for some reason, little girls crying seems to turn on whatever character and they find it "cute", even if said character doesn't enjoy it. And is it coincidental that in some of the popular shows, a ditzy or clumsy girl is the most popular or most used? Like Orihime in Bleach, Nodoka in Negima to name a few. But I will agree with that statement, current bandwagon of choice, that is more sensible, and whatever style makes the most money, yeah. That is just my opinion.
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Old 2009-06-09, 13:44   Link #52
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Some people are confusing female empowerment with mere objectification of female empowerment.
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Old 2009-06-09, 15:02   Link #53
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Originally Posted by hchop View Post
And they have. There you have it from one of best animation directors of all time.
And one who publicly *loathes* the rest of the animation industry in Japan. He'll smack you if you dare call his work "anime". I'm a 'grumpy old bastard' and I think HE'S a 'grumpy old bastard'

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If you ever watched a single hentai anime you would know, that all females had brain surgery and removed brains are added into boobs, fact. I really question sanity of hentai fans. It's unwatchable in any state even when completely drunk IMO.


Japan culture in general treats women not in respectful way as I understand it, western culture is a lil different in that regard.
...

It amazes me that people think girls are treated better in anime than guys... you gotta be kidding me... unless you think all girls are brainless and think about guys all day long, taking a break only when they cook for them...
I strongly get the sense you might want to expand the types of anime you watch? Eroge adaptations and 'little boy shonen' are not the only kind of anime. As far as "western culture", get back to me about objectification after one week of watching night time television in the US.

Also, "hentai" is not the whole of anime (or even a significant percentage)... but yes, its just as stupid as live-action porn. Imagine...
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Old 2009-06-09, 15:43   Link #54
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I'm not sure I have much I can contribute to this thread other than listing some series I know of that are decidedly not sexist towards women.

Sailor Moon - Without a doubt the most well-known magical girl series of all time. Is it sexist? Only if you think teenaged girls don't actually fall all over themselves over boys or older/mature young men. That set aside, the core cast of female characters are all pretty empowered and Usagi herself goes through a lot of changes over the course of the series. The third series, Sailor Moon S, really highlights this.

Boys Over Flowers - Tsukushi Makino is one of my favorite female characters of all time and for good reason. Despite all the crap she puts up with she rises to each challenge she faces and gets through it all. And it's definitely not all for the sake of her would-be romantic interests.

Bubblegum Crisis OVA - There might be a hint of sexism early on in this series, but it is quickly and deftly dealt with. Priss is an incredibly independent and fierce female character and the other ladies are nothing to sneeze at either.

Shuffle! - It was mentioned earlier in this thread but it bears repeating. The male protagonist didn't choose the doormat homemaker, the busty rich chick, the pushy energetic girl or the jailbait. He chose the lively, independent girl who never once overtly demanded his attention and never really pined over him either unlike the others. Feminism in my harem anime? It's more likely than you think.

Twelve Kingdoms - I really shouldn't have to explain this one.

I would also mention The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Fullmetal Alchemist, Gunbuster, the various Slayers series and The Super Dimension Fortress Macross as anime that all prominently feature strong, empowered and independent female characters. This isn't to say that sexism doesn't exist in anime at all, I'm sure it can be found pretty easily. Nonetheless, I've always been of the opinion that anime series and movies generally portray women in a positive light.
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Old 2009-06-09, 16:06   Link #55
Mushi
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Bubblegum Crisis OVA - There might be a hint of sexism early on in this series, but it is quickly and deftly dealt with. Priss is an incredibly independent and fierce female character and the other ladies are nothing to sneeze at either.
Glad to see someone mention this. Even though the series got cut short at 8 episodes, it manages to develop some highly memorable female characters. I've always felt that Sylia was a great example of a calm, capable leader who possessed both beauty and strength. I hate what they did to her in the 2040 series.
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Old 2009-06-09, 16:50   Link #56
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If you ever watched a single hentai anime you would know, that all females had brain surgery and removed brains are added into boobs, fact. I really question sanity of hentai fans. It's unwatchable in any state even when completely drunk IMO.
It could go both ways. In most dark theme hentai the women are portrayed as being pure and innocent while the men are portrayed as and/or fat, ugly, deprived, sick rapists.

In light themed ones, the men are usually portrayed as average, boring individuals who just happened to get lucky. Also, let forget that is most sex scene the men are ussually represent by only a penis

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It amazes me that people think girls are treated better in anime than guys... you gotta be kidding me... unless you think all girls are brainless and think about guys all day long, taking a break only when they cook for them...
well, some examples would be nice
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Old 2009-06-09, 16:52   Link #57
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Originally Posted by Raa View Post
Japan culture in general treats women not in respectful way as I understand it, western culture is a lil different in that regard.
There are way too little strong women in anime and even if they are... still a random guy comes first, everything else is secondary. OTOH seeing a woman only as a sex object capable of giving birth is pretty common in western movies too, only not so much in western animation.

The only great woman character I can recall is Balsa (Seirei no Moribito).
Read some of the older posts in this thread and you will find plenty of other examples. What kind of anime do you watch? Anime nowadays is full of strong, independent ass-kicking female characters and wimpy indecisive weak male characters. How you got the idea that women are treated as sex objects is beyond me. Hentai is not a good example, since anime and hentai are two different venues altogether - like comparing live action to porn.

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Still guys get treated like humans (not only sex objects) much more often than girls in anime.
No, guys get treated like punching bags, retarded idiots and generally people whose opinion does not matter, I don't want to repeat myself, so you can find evidence in my previous posts in this thread.

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It amazes me that people think girls are treated better in anime than guys... you gotta be kidding me... unless you think all girls are brainless and think about guys all day long, taking a break only when they cook for them...
Again, please give some examples of anime where girls get treated like that (hentai excluded). People keep saying that women get treated worse and yet, they can't provide a single case. If you bring up harem anime, think for a second - are guys really portrayed superior in those? Are harem guys portrayed in any sort of positive light? What sort of association does the word "harem male lead" bring to you and in general on this forum - usually a bunch of curses, I presume. Yeah, some girls are portrayed as submissive, but ALL guys are portrayed as weak and indecisive.
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Old 2009-06-09, 17:56   Link #58
Mushi
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Yeah, some girls are portrayed as submissive, but ALL guys are portrayed as weak and indecisive.
That's painting with a very broad brush.

For the most part you're talking about high school guys who are uncertain about dealing with the opposite sex. What's seen as weak and indecisive, could easily be described as mild mannered and inexperienced. Sometimes, it's taken to a fault and the guy comes across as a pure wimp. But, take into account that harem anime is targeted at average/below average guys who really are mild mannered and inexperienced, when it comes to girls, and it's intended to give them a source of escapism that lets them believe, "Yes, even the below average 'nice guys' can get the pretty girl."

Looking at the current season, for example, I don't see Yuuri in Tayutama as being weak and indecisive. He's been put into a situation where he feels obligated to uphold the tradition of his family's shrine and he's doing his best to meet that obligation. Even in the case of the sexual tension that Mashiro puts on him (acting like his wife), he may be uncomfortable with it, but he composes himself and convinces her that it's not appropriate. Weak and indecisive? I don't see it.

And really, ALL harem anime is sexist in it's basic premise. It ultimately boils down to a single male deciding on a mate from a group of attractive females who all, conveniently, find something attractive and desirable about him and him alone. It doesn't matter how strong or intelligent or capable any of the girls are, if they don't get "chosen," they lose.

I also think the "punching bag" is a subtle form of sexism that plays on the basic biological fact that males are normally stronger than females and should be able to handle it. Add to that the commonly held perception that females (especially teenage girls) wear their feelings on their sleeves and are prone to irrational outbursts, plus the idea that guys just don't hit girls. You get the setup for the nice guy who's inexperienced and mild mannered, who becomes familiar enough with a girl that she's comfortable unloading her disappointments and frustrations on him, but he's understanding and tough enough to take it, because, after all... he's a man.
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Old 2009-06-09, 19:42   Link #59
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Originally Posted by Darklord_bg View Post
Again, please give some examples of anime where girls get treated like that (hentai excluded). People keep saying that women get treated worse and yet, they can't provide a single case. If you bring up harem anime, think for a second - are guys really portrayed superior in those? Are harem guys portrayed in any sort of positive light? What sort of association does the word "harem male lead" bring to you and in general on this forum - usually a bunch of curses, I presume. Yeah, some girls are portrayed as submissive, but ALL guys are portrayed as weak and indecisive.
Well when people hear "sexism" they'll usually think of the femal side of the spectrum. However, the fact of the matter is that every character in any anime (or any form of entertainment) has a displayable link to some form of stereotype or critcism; Its unavoidable. Whenever someone creates something thats suppossed to pertain to a certain audience, you'll always get those "questionable" elements that come with it.

To use as an example, DBZ. A series/manga made for boys, thus it has strong male characters. Now this series shoves the females aside as support characters in most cases, thus the apparent issue of sexism arises. Now I can't be sure whether it was intentional or not, but lets just say for this examples sake that they structured the show that way to pertain to its target audience of males.

I believe they're playing towards a demographic more than anything else.
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Old 2009-06-09, 23:48   Link #60
0utf0xZer0
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Originally Posted by hchop View Post
Well in defense, most shows would allude to it in many different ways still obvious. Melancholy of Haruhi alluded to it, Ouran, even if they are satire, but it's obvious with all the cutesy wutesy talk and cat ears, glasses, and for some reason, little girls crying seems to turn on whatever character and they find it "cute", even if said character doesn't enjoy it. And is it coincidental that in some of the popular shows, a ditzy or clumsy girl is the most popular or most used? Like Orihime in Bleach, Nodoka in Negima to name a few. But I will agree with that statement, current bandwagon of choice, that is more sensible, and whatever style makes the most money, yeah. That is just my opinion.
I suppose you could call cat ears/glasses/etc. objectifying just as much as blatantly sexual characters objectify, but I'm not sure it has quite the same impact. And like with sexual objectifying, I feel the best way to mitigate the effect is either to give the girl a well written personality so she's not just a moeblob or go for broke and just do a straight moeservice show. The one thing that never works is trying to cover a shit story up with half-baked moe.

(Remember, moe is basically fanservice, only using cuteness rather than sex appeal. Since the brain reacts to cute things similar to how it reacts to sex and drugs, this works for many people. Some even get high off of it - I know I've definitely felt elation when consuming certain moe works that is not normal.)

The one thing that does set moe apart from regular fanservice is that moe characters are often weaker than regular characters. For some, this is inherent to the definition - I remember Vexx saying that the character had to envoke a protective instinct to be moe to him. I'm less stringent - if I can get high on cute from the character, I consider it moe, regardless of whether or not I feel the need to protect them. Sola's Matsuri Shihou comes to mind as a character that I feel is moe without being particularly weak or vulnerable.

Nonetheless, for many moe girls the weakness/vulnerability is part of the appeal. I'm not really sure what to say to that - I can see why it might be perceived as sexist, but I'm not offended by the idea that some guys go for the weak girl - I've often preferred the weak/vulnerable option, going all the way back to Full Metal Panic (about the fourth anime I saw) with Kaname and Tessa. I only tend to get offended when the female cast as a whole is dramatically weaker or if a character is ridiculously incompetent. That's seldom been a problem for me.

As for crying girls - in my opinion, unless she's crying from embarassment, it's more gut wrenching than cute. I actually do find embarassed girls cute though - and animal ears and glasses are two of my moe traits of choice.

(Side note: while I've seen very little of Bleach and Negima, as a general rule I find klutziness both cuter and less sexist than ditziness. I'm not quite sure why.)
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