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Old 2011-06-27, 16:52   Link #101
Xellos-_^
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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
and more than half of the times she gets saved by her female friends. So how is that sexist and antifeminist?
maybe the sequent seasons. but during the first season it was almost always the guy that end saving her and setup her ultimate attack.
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Old 2011-06-27, 17:46   Link #102
Chiibi
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Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
maybe the sequent seasons. but during the first season it was almost always the guy that end saving her and setup her ultimate attack.
That was only to create a romance between them (easy formula everyone uses: "we're in trouble+oh, he just protected me=he must care about me"=doki doki moments) and empathize her character development later on, which it does nicely.
Plus Tuxedo Kamen isn't always sweeping Usagi off her feet and carrying her to safety like a DID. He more often blocks an attack on her and encourages her to believe in herself. He's not killing the monsters for her.

Usagi saves the entire world all by herself more than just a few times. She's even stronger in the manga. Sailormoon is definitely a series that's full of "girl power" where the men are usually taking a backseat when it comes to the battles that matter. Usagi's dream of being a bride doesn't make the series "anti-feminist"-it's just that the most important thing to her is "love". And that's not wrong, that's just her personality.
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Old 2011-06-27, 17:55   Link #103
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Originally Posted by Chiibi View Post
That was only to create a romance between them (easy formula everyone uses: "we're in trouble+oh, he just protected me=he must care about me"=doki doki moments) and empathize her character development later on, which it does nicely.
Couldn't it have been done just as well by having her save the guy?
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Old 2011-06-27, 18:03   Link #104
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Couldn't it have been done just as well by having her save the guy?
Yes, and this happens in the manga a lot. The anime kinda....eh, makes Usagi's character weaker....>_> But there is one scene where she throws herself in front of Tuxedo Mask to keep him from suffocating. It's a particularly outstanding moment for her, because another girl thought Usagi wasn't mature or responsible enough to be Mamoru's girlfriend, (what a stuck-up bitch) then she sees how brave, selfless, and dedicated Usagi actually is and decides she could never compare to her when it came to love.

A lot of other manga-ka use this too....which not only shows that the girl is capable of helping a boy, but also provides "service" of seeing a boy looking...."vulnerable".
*coughcoughnaughtysadistthoughts*

I personally prefer a balance, where they're both saving each other an equal amount of times.
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Old 2011-06-27, 20:21   Link #105
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Originally Posted by Chiibi View Post
Yes, and this happens in the manga a lot. The anime kinda....eh, makes Usagi's character weaker....>_> But there is one scene where she throws herself in front of Tuxedo Mask to keep him from suffocating. It's a particularly outstanding moment for her, because another girl thought Usagi wasn't mature or responsible enough to be Mamoru's girlfriend, (what a stuck-up bitch) then she sees how brave, selfless, and dedicated Usagi actually is and decides she could never compare to her when it came to love.

A lot of other manga-ka use this too....which not only shows that the girl is capable of helping a boy, but also provides "service" of seeing a boy looking...."vulnerable".
*coughcoughnaughtysadistthoughts*

I personally prefer a balance, where they're both saving each other an equal amount of times.
Though it isn't a "shoujo" ... Otome Youkai Zakuro meets my "two quite capable people who fall in love" of the type you describe. They're both vulnerable but strong.
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Old 2011-06-27, 20:46   Link #106
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Though it isn't a "shoujo" ... Otome Youkai Zakuro meets my "two quite capable people who fall in love" of the type you describe. They're both vulnerable but strong.
Zakuro always struck me as a case of "seinen in name only" - technically, it is targeted to a male audience, but I think the average anime fan would think it was shoujo if they didn't know better. There was more focus on bishounen and elaborate costuming than on how beautiful the female cast was - and I say this as part of the audience niche that the girls would most appeal to.
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Old 2011-06-27, 21:06   Link #107
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That doesn't surprise me.
Seinen and shoujo can be incredibly similar in terms of story, characters, and design.
Though I think seinen is much more prone to tragic endings....plus the main character is usually male.....I think?
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Old 2011-06-27, 21:13   Link #108
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Originally Posted by Chiibi View Post
That doesn't surprise me.
Seinen and shoujo can be incredibly similar in terms of story, characters, and design.
Though I think seinen is much more prone to tragic endings....plus the main character is usually male.....I think?
If you haven't seen "Zakuro" you might give it a watch. It doesn't really have a main character as much as a main duo, other than we start the story with the males that lasts a few minutes at most. Its a very intense ending but well.. don't want to spoil it.
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Old 2011-06-27, 21:17   Link #109
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Seinen generally falls under more cynical and shoujo more ideal in how love is portrayed. I find that generally seinen has deeper more interesting characters than shoujo. This isn't anything close to a hard rule though.

The only true way to determine seinen romance vs shoujo romance is to look at what magazine it runs in. That's all a demographic really is, is it not?

On the topic of weakness and strength of female characters. I think that some of you are thinking [strong female] character rather than female [strong character]. I encourage you to read this link.
http://www.overthinkingit.com/2008/0...bad-for-women/
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Old 2011-06-27, 21:54   Link #110
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Zakuro had an excellent balance between developing its male and female cast members from what I remember - the fact that they normally work in pairs and hence have roughly equal screentime probably helps.

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Originally Posted by Random32 View Post
On the topic of weakness and strength of female characters. I think that some of you are thinking [strong female] character rather than female [strong character]. I encourage you to read this link.
http://www.overthinkingit.com/2008/0...bad-for-women/
I can't believe I didn't think to link that article - it's very relevant to some of what we've been discussing.
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Old 2011-06-28, 01:50   Link #111
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
If you haven't seen "Zakuro" you might give it a watch. It doesn't really have a main character as much as a main duo, other than we start the story with the males that lasts a few minutes at most. Its a very intense ending but well.. don't want to spoil it.
Thanks, I'll keep it in mind. Though I was thinking about starting Ano Hi Mita Hana No Namae Wo Bo-(that is a freakin long name!!) because that looks really good....
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Old 2011-06-28, 04:41   Link #112
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Frankly that article made me giggle.

Because everything that was said is even more true in the case of male characters portrayed for the sake of a female audience. But it never even grazed the surface of my mind that portraying males as perfect, exceptional in every sense, sexy, successful, rich, noble and handsome beyond what's humanly possible (if i could have a penny for any male character in shoujo manga that possesses ALL of those...) can be considered sexist!

I guess some will disagree with me but I think it should be made a very clear distinction between the portrayal of a character as a sexual object and sexism.

The first happens equally to male and female characters alike, sexism is almost invaribaly discriminating against women.

I personally don't see anything wrong in the media proposing sex symbols to appease the audience as long as it doesn't goes overboard and as long as they aren't portrayed as mere sex objects but they are shown to have a personality.

What really should be fought in my opinion is stuff like the idea that women are only good in the kitchen, are stupid, useless, incompentent, weak willed and overly interested in silly stuff.
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Old 2011-06-28, 06:12   Link #113
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Frankly that article made me giggle.
Actually I think the articles main point of contention was that "perfect" female characters aren't progressive/positive. (Although I think it did get slightly lost)

I personally think that male and female characters should be able to be equally sexually objectified though. Although shoujo manga don't sexually objectify girls and women as much as boys and men pretty much ever so it doesn't matter in regards to this topic.

Anyway I'm mostly fine with the admittedly few shoujo manga I've read.
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Old 2011-06-28, 12:12   Link #114
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That article is right on the money.

I was talking about something similiar earlier in the thread, though not as elegantly.

The issue isn't that female characters are weak, just that they don't interact with or drive the plot forwards.

I also find these perfect, rich, strong and intelligent male leads that dominate Shoujo to be just as insufferable as the weak female leads that go with them. For one thing it builds up an unhealthy ideal, most guys are not rich, strong or intelligent (well, not all 3 at once anyway), and we're not brooding guys who hate women. The male leads of shoujo are just like the "strong female leads" of action films, they're objects.

I'd like to see some more leads like Chiaki from Nodame Cantabile. He's smart, has a wealthyish background, but he's also neurotic, workaholic and elitist, and he's the butt of many jokes, and he's a good foil to the free spirited Nodame.

The key thing about writing Romantic comedy is that you really need to write good characters. Too many shojo mangaka rely on old sexist stereotypes. Even some of the better shojo manga still have the guy be very wealthy, but they should work in more variety in the guys on offer.
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Old 2011-06-28, 12:46   Link #115
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
The issue isn't that female characters are weak, just that they don't interact with or drive the plot forwards.
I can't really agree with that. If they're the main characters, how can they not drive the plot forwards? Can you give an example of such a character?

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The male leads of shoujo are just like the "strong female leads" of action films, they're objects.
No different than the lead characters in Hollywood movies, except they're more developed because they can go outside of a two hour-long film. Besides, what's wrong with fantasizing? I mean, that's the entire point of entertainment, don't you think?

For the record, my favorite male lead in shoujo started out as a penniless orphan, then he joined a band and became famous, then he developed a fatal disease that prevented him from singing and eventually committed suicide. As punishment, he is forced to live the afterlife as a grim reaper but he isn't able to collect a single soul. He ends up falling in love with the now deceased band leader's daughter yet she has her eyes set on someone else. Despite this, he still risks everything to help this girl simply because he cares that much. He's handsome but not very built. He isn't particularly powerful or strong, he has common sense and is insightful but has quite a few personality flaws. What makes him so appealing to me is how noble, passionate, and loving he is. But like a real human, he's not noble, passionate, and loving all the time. He has to go through many trials and slowly develop these traits.
So I cannot possibly think of him as "just an object". Pushing the fantasy elements aside, he feels quite "real" to me.
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Old 2011-06-28, 14:37   Link #116
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
I'd like to see some more leads like Chiaki from Nodame Cantabile. He's smart, has a wealthyish background, but he's also neurotic, workaholic and elitist, and he's the butt of many jokes, and he's a good foil to the free spirited Nodame.
Actually I consider Chiaki to be pretty much in line with the common trope of the shoujo male lead. He possess three of the four widespread qualities: He comes from a rich family, he's very successful, he's the best looking guy of the whole cast. If he came from a noble family he'd make a perfect score.

Minor characters flaws and weakness are actually very common in my esperience.

On the top of my head if I had to mention a shoujo that actually has a male lead out of the ordinary I'd say Fruit Basket. While there's a LOT of male that fit the common trope, in the end the female lead chooses the weakest and the poorest, and while he's not a monster... (oh wait he is!) there are better looking guys around.
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Old 2011-06-28, 17:47   Link #117
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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
in the end the female lead chooses the weakest and the poorest, and while he's not a monster... (oh wait he is!) there are better looking guys around.
Your mileage may vary. I thought Kyou was also the most attractive....but then again, he's my type.

Most girls went gaga over Yuki.......but I was like "Bleh". lol
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Old 2011-06-28, 20:01   Link #118
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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
On the top of my head if I had to mention a shoujo that actually has a male lead out of the ordinary I'd say Fruit Basket. While there's a LOT of male that fit the common trope, in the end the female lead chooses the weakest and the poorest, and while he's not a monster... (oh wait he is!) there are better looking guys around.
On the contrary, Kyou and Yuki is a dynamic all too common in shoujo manga.

"Bad" boy wins over "sweet" boy. As old as Heathcliff (gods I hate that book).
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Old 2011-06-28, 22:46   Link #119
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Jan-Poo was pointing out that Kyou's background and social life is not the typical love interest "norm". And that would be correct. He does not come from a rich or noble family but a cursed one and he is hated by many.

Typical love interests are the exact opposite of that.

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"Bad" boy wins over "sweet" boy. As old as Heathcliff (gods I hate that book).
There's a simple explanation why: "flawed characters are more interesting". If he's already perfect, the only character change he can go through is "character derailment"....which is bad and not enjoyable to see.
But if he starts out "bad", you can predict his character is only going to improve as the story continues, and this is what catches the reader's interest; she wants to know what kind of exciting things are going to happen to change the foul-tempered "jerk" into a blushing boy of "moe".
And a lot of times, the "jerk" isn't actually an honest-to-goodness "jerk", the fact is, he had the potential in him to be kind all along. It's usually pride or fear (In Kyou's case, it was fear of not being accepted) that prevents him from doing so.
But he eventually matures past that.

If the sweet girl is paired with an equally sweet boy..........well, that's usually very boring because they wouldn't disagree on anything or have problems....unless the author decides to introduce love rival after love rival to break them up, which I hate.

However, the rare "sweet boy wins" trope can work very well if the girl's personality is different or if he's someone who suits her better than the "bad boy".
In example, there is a shoujo manga called "Koko Ni Iru Yo". The heroine is very shy and timid. There are two boys interested in her; one kind and gentle, the other insensitive and impatient. As you can imagine, the heroine is more comfortable with the first one. The last thing she needs is to be teased and yelled at because she can barely interact with other people as it is. The sweet boy also had character flaws (jealousy) so he didn't come off as one-dimensional and boring.
And wouldn't you know it....
Spoiler for Ending:


Romeo and Juliet (from the anime) are another good example of a "sweet but not boring" couple. They have enough problems happening around them to keep the viewer interested. My only quip with these two is "it's RUSHED", but....I dislike "love-at-first-sight" writing because I don't believe in it and never will.
They're still a nice couple, if you ignore the ridiculous beginning.
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Old 2011-06-29, 02:57   Link #120
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Your mileage may vary. I thought Kyou was also the most attractive....but then again, he's my type.

Most girls went gaga over Yuki.......but I was like "Bleh". lol
Honestly if I had to choose I would have chosen Kyou too without any second thought, but I guess that's mainly because I always sympathize for unlucky characters.

And yeah I'd also say that Kyou is better looking than Yuki but "objectively" speaking in the story it was apparent that Yuki was universally considered better than Kyou.


There's then the fact that in Shoujo manga (and manga in general) what you see might not be what it is. So Kyou on paper probably looks cooler than what he's supposed to.
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