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Old 2013-04-18, 16:47   Link #161
Xion Valkyrie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
I've heard this before from the creator and other women, and while I don't necessarily disagree with it, I don't consider the protagonist to be especially empowering or appealing, but I'm also a little different than most.

Bayonetta is just an extension of the existing Strong Independent Woman stereotype which I don't think is especially helpful (or fair). Sure, yeah, it's better than vapid balls of fluff with gag boobs and bare skin everywhere, but that's not really saying much.

For what the game is, it's fine. It's a fantastic story with a superheroine in the lead. Bayonetta is no more crazy and over-the-top than Superman or Batman, or Deadpool or the Punisher.

I didn't have any personal draw to Bayonetta because I've never been big on superhero stories and because I'm not personally attracted to the "tall, dark and impossibly sexy" type of woman. Maybe Bayonetta doesn't appeal to me because I'm gay and I look at other women in a different way than straight women do.

More than that I think it's just personal preference. The characters I like most are the ones that fit under the Badass Adorable trope, and "tall, dark and impossibly sexy" doesn't really jive with that.
The strong independent woman stereotype requires that if the woman is the lead, then she is basically a man with breasts, or if she's a secondary character, her only defining trait is her relationship with the male lead. Bayonetta doesn't fall into either category, and is in fact a pretty well written character with many characteristics that does have some feminist roots.

First off, one of her key defining characteristics is her height. She is abnormally tall, and her heels + tall hair makes her seem like a giant. Generally men are emasculated by tall woman, which is why most men go for woman shorter than themselves and short men often have issues with their height.

Her sexual poses and outfits are definitely a 'negative' in the sense that it is playing to the standard of objectifying women so common in video games. However, sexual confidence and empowerment is a staple feminist motto and the way Bayonetta is written fits that quite well. So from the marketing perspective there's definitely the whole male gaze and objectification thing going on, but from the writing perspective Bayonetta is fully aware of her own sexuality and does it not for any man, but for herself.

Bayonetta is also not defined by her relationship with a male love interest. Her two strongest relationships in the game are with her past self and with Jeanne. With her past self the game explores her feelings of motherhood with is a huge contrast with how she was living her life before as a carefree independent person tied down to no one. Her relationship with Jeanne is one of rivalry as well as friendship and female camaraderie, something that you rarely see in a lot of fiction that's not aimed specifically at women.

In fact, one of the biggest criticism of many Urban Fantasy fiction with female protagonists is that the female protagonist's relationship are all with men, and there are no other strong female characters in the story for the female lead to develop any relations with.
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Old 2013-04-18, 16:47   Link #162
synaesthetic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xion Valkyrie View Post
*words about Bayonetta*
Yeah, and I get it--Bayonetta was intended to be a female power fantasy. But it's a generalized one--just as much as the "wall o' muscle" male character in action games tends to be the generalized male power fantasy.

I don't like either of these fantasies, neither one appeals to me on any level outside of parody. I've never been a big fan of over-the-top, overpowered superheroic characters. I prefer the everywoman (or everyman, I'm not sexist in the other direction) that's thrust into an impossible situation and/or granted impossible powers and capabilities. They resonate more strongly with me.

Also, more "ordinary" female characters resonate more strongly with me personally. A goddess of sex like Bayonetta takes sexiness so far it wraps around and becomes grotesque. I'd much prefer Alyx Vance, Lightning, Liara T'Soni, Jade, Aya Brea (especially in PE2), Yunica Tovah, Estelle Bright and Heather Morris.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaos2Frozen View Post
I'm confused at the wanting for strong girls to be completely without an 'girly' side.

That spells insecure to me.
Not speaking for other women, but I don't want this at all. In fact, this is a strong reason why I love the "Badass Adorable" female characters. I think it's entirely possible to wear a skirt and look cute and still kick prodigious amounts of ass.
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Old 2013-04-18, 16:51   Link #163
cronnoponno
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Originally Posted by Chaos2Frozen View Post
I'm confused at the wanting for strong girls to be completely without an 'girly' side.

That spells insecure to me.
Actually I think it's more insecure to expect girls who have a personality that doesn't conform to her gender norms to have a girly side for male audiences to accept, it almost feels insulting

It feels like it's saying:

''Okay, we'll make her pretty cool, but uh don't worry! She still wants to learn how to cook for you, so uh, don't change the channel or anything!''

I'm not saying it can't be done right, but every time I see it it's pretty disappointing, in the manga Freezing it has a nice setting and the females generally appear to be in a much tougher position than normal, then the main heroine Bridget is easily made into a wet dream by being stripped enough by fanservice, but pure enough to be all ''I'm afraid to touch men! I'm so virgin teehee!'' only to get over it around the main character, to me that's like saying ''Don't worry, she's independant and strong, but she's NOT a whore, we won't give her the type of personality where she'd talk to other guys and make you jealous!'' Just because she can win in a few fights doesn't mean she has a strong and bright personality at all.

But it's hard to explain what I really like to see, and I don't expect many to actually share that idea, even girls often think it's a bad thing, but I am pretty sick of seeing it over and over again, every time I look for a manga, anime, or game with a strong female in it it falls into these tame tropes unless it's a female-oriented game and even then that's rare, and when a female character really is awesome in that way, the main male lead(or others) have to put her down for being that way, or in the case of a harem there will be a boring girl who competes with her who is flatter than a piece of paper, yet is still portrayed to be a seriously worthwhile choice (Siesta to Louise in Zero no Tsukaima, TERRIBLE example but I think it might help explain what I'm talking about.).

What she's wearing is entirely irrelevant, and if she has a cute personality that's fine, I don't really think I can actually explain it to be honest.
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Old 2013-04-18, 16:57   Link #164
Chaos2Frozen
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To be honest- sounds to me like you want it all.
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Old 2013-04-18, 16:58   Link #165
cronnoponno
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Originally Posted by Chaos2Frozen View Post
To be honest- sounds to me like you want it all.
Um; what? That doesn't make much sense, I wasn't expecting borderline hostility from it, but whatever I suppose.
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Old 2013-04-18, 16:59   Link #166
synaesthetic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaos2Frozen View Post
To be honest- sounds to me like you want it all.
I think anime and manga are precisely the wrong place to look for female characters presented well and in an even-handed manner.

With the notable exception of Miyazaki films, of course.
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Old 2013-04-18, 17:01   Link #167
Chaos2Frozen
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Not hostility, just that you seem to want a perfect character that doesn't have all that girly traits, but at the same time isn't just a guy with girl parts.
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Old 2013-04-18, 17:31   Link #168
cronnoponno
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Originally Posted by Chaos2Frozen View Post
Not hostility, just that you seem to want a perfect character that doesn't have all that girly traits, but at the same time isn't just a guy with girl parts.
Well they don't have to fully act like that, I guess the real problem is that I don't want to feel like the writers are treating me like I can only like a female character that isn't just some sideline glorification to the male protagonist if she has some insecurities and weaknesses that don't feel like they make much sense, it's fun to watch tougher females(by tough I don't mean manly) and it's kind of annoying when they have some side part to them that feels like it's just there to make me feel secure with them.

I kind of went off on a tangent, and by wanting ''tough'' females I don't mean ''manly'', having girly traits and feminine ways aren't really the problem, it's the traits that reveal themselves to us as if they're made to make us see some hidden weakness in them that makes us like them more, I don't know.
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Old 2013-04-18, 17:45   Link #169
Xagzan
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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
I'm not arguing on whether SE actually did a good job or not with her, but in my opinion, she is their first attempt to create a female main character designed to appeal the female gamers, whereas every single other installment of the series had a male hero or a non assertive female hero (Terra) who appeals more the male gamers.

At least they tried.
In terms of FF females, my favorite was and is a secondary character, Beatrix. I felt the balance between her unbelievably badass soldier side, and her warmer, maternal, even romantic side was struck perfectly and in a believable fashion. One that was neither, to quote cronno, "some ''girl power''! character or ''Don't worry, she likes plushies and blushes at things so she's not totally ungirly and unscrewable.''

Definitely better struck than with Lightning. To be fair, Beatrix was a side character, not a lead, and she received just about as much development as you might expect for a side character. On the other hand, unfortunately you might say the same thing about Lightning, a protagonist
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Old 2013-04-18, 18:56   Link #170
ArchmageXin
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Originally Posted by cronnoponno View Post
Actually I think it's more insecure to expect girls who have a personality that doesn't conform to her gender norms to have a girly side for male audiences to accept, it almost feels insulting

It feels like it's saying:

''Okay, we'll make her pretty cool, but uh don't worry! She still wants to learn how to cook for you, so uh, don't change the channel or anything!''

I'm not saying it can't be done right, but every time I see it it's pretty disappointing, in the manga Freezing it has a nice setting and the females generally appear to be in a much tougher position than normal, then the main heroine Bridget is easily made into a wet dream by being stripped enough by fanservice, but pure enough to be all ''I'm afraid to touch men! I'm so virgin teehee!'' only to get over it around the main character, to me that's like saying ''Don't worry, she's independant and strong, but she's NOT a whore, we won't give her the type of personality where she'd talk to other guys and make you jealous!'' Just because she can win in a few fights doesn't mean she has a strong and bright personality at all.

But it's hard to explain what I really like to see, and I don't expect many to actually share that idea, even girls often think it's a bad thing, but I am pretty sick of seeing it over and over again, every time I look for a manga, anime, or game with a strong female in it it falls into these tame tropes unless it's a female-oriented game and even then that's rare, and when a female character really is awesome in that way, the main male lead(or others) have to put her down for being that way, or in the case of a harem there will be a boring girl who competes with her who is flatter than a piece of paper, yet is still portrayed to be a seriously worthwhile choice (Siesta to Louise in Zero no Tsukaima, TERRIBLE example but I think it might help explain what I'm talking about.).

What she's wearing is entirely irrelevant, and if she has a cute personality that's fine, I don't really think I can actually explain it to be honest.
Freezing is a terrible manga in the first place, I must point out. The women stab each other more than the aliens they are suppose to fight. It was by no mean something to hold serious, or even aimed for a female audience.

Also, Zero No Tsukiaima isn't even aiming close to a female audience, it is pretty much a male version of twilight or something. As a former translator of the LN, I think one of the chapters the author even jested in the afterwords "There probably isn't any girls reading this anyway"

Perhaps we could look at CLAMP's works, in Card Captor Sakura, it was Sakura in the lead and Lee was downright useless, but in the anime Lee was given a more stronger role, and later in Tubasa the lead role.

Because I think in the end of the day, there just isn't quite that large of female demographics for action heroines, and probably the same for the gaming industry as a whole. If you "super power" the female characters to the point the men are reduced to "being saved" (not even support) role, then there would be a very small group of people who would actually play the game. (Heck, I don't think even girls are into saving the prince motiff"
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Old 2013-04-18, 19:07   Link #171
Flying Dagger
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The new forum banner has a pink background instead of the neutral greenish-turquoise, forum is now female-centric? (lol)

Not every guy likes to see women with overly large breasts (DFC is a status symbol!), or women fighting each other as piece of their clothes fall off.
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Old 2013-04-18, 19:30   Link #172
ArchmageXin
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So to finally summarize. If a video game/anime attract guys, then it must not be aimed for girls? It seem OP (and some of those feminist critics) operate on a binary world, if it is for men, women must hate it. If it is for women, men must dislike it. If that is the case, then unless demographics radically change in the next 20 years, developers will always aim for the men on the better side of caution.
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Old 2013-04-18, 19:34   Link #173
synaesthetic
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I like games that are designed for humans as opposed to games designed for men or women or aliens from outer space.
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Old 2013-04-18, 19:36   Link #174
Kameruka
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If you thought Bayonetta is bad enough in term of sexualization, Catherine(the C one) is even worse. Her character is made of 99% pure male fantasy.

I think this is one of the many reasons why women don't play video games.
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Old 2013-04-18, 19:48   Link #175
Chaos2Frozen
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I think no matter what you do, if you create a female character- she is going to appeal to a certain group of guys.

Thats how much we like girls.
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Old 2013-04-18, 19:59   Link #176
ArchmageXin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaos2Frozen View Post
I think no matter what you do, if you create a female character- she is going to appeal to a certain group of guys.

Thats how much we like girls.
But trying to make a woman to appeal to all woman? good luck
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Old 2013-04-18, 20:01   Link #177
synaesthetic
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Boners are a helluva drug.
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Old 2013-04-18, 20:08   Link #178
Chaos2Frozen
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Point is there's no such thing as a female character that doesn't appeal to some fantasy of guys

We liked Lamias damnit! LAMIAS!
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Old 2013-04-18, 22:29   Link #179
Jan-Poo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaos2Frozen View Post
Point is there's no such thing as a female character that doesn't appeal to some fantasy of guys

We liked Lamias damnit! LAMIAS!
You mean that there's someone who finds Yubaba from "spirited away" attractive?
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Old 2013-04-18, 23:00   Link #180
synaesthetic
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Probably. Rule 34.
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