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Old 2011-05-05, 23:01   Link #61
Vexx
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Originally Posted by Chiibi View Post
SOUL.
EATER.


Please watch it.
Spoiler for Awesome show is awesome:
One of the rare shounen fighting series I liked....
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Old 2011-05-06, 00:54   Link #62
ChainLegacy
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As for the topic at hand, I wouldn't say they're 'anti-feminist.' As many have pointed out, Japanese culture is still a few steps behind the west in terms of gender relations. This can be true of many east Asian societies where masculinity and patriarchal values have traditionally been of great importance. Furthermore, I've noticed a tendency in both anime and manga for main characters of either gender to be very 'useless' people overall. I assume it is written this way for the reader to relate more easily, but that hypothesis wouldn't speak too well about the self-image of the average fan reading these works.

Last edited by Daniel E.; 2011-05-06 at 13:34. Reason: Let's not go back to that, ok?
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Old 2011-05-06, 09:05   Link #63
recover
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post

As for the topic at hand, I wouldn't say they're 'anti-feminist.' As many have pointed out, Japanese culture is still a few steps behind the west in terms of gender relations.
i beg to differ, as i believe that equalization of the sexes (aka feminism) is a detriment to western society as evident by the rampant and increasing rates in separation, divorce, infidelity, sexualization at earlier ages, and single-parent households in america

my hope is that animes keep the traditional roles consistent. i will agree that "weak/pathetic" males and females are portrayed much too often nowadays. is it the feminization of men? quite possibly yes... and that is not a good thing at all

im currently watching "Itazura Na Kiss" and the male hero (its a shoujo) is pretty much how men should be portrayed in animes. Im def not a fan of shoujo's either, but male leads in current romcom's/shoenen series's are far from what I'd call "men."

which also begs the question, why do so many girls fall in love with such pathetic leads in harems? :/ Is it because the main demographic of anime viewers can "relate" to that? Maybe...maybe not. I personally dont think so, since alot of these "pathetic leads" get harped on by anime viewers for being *ahem* pussies.
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Old 2011-05-06, 09:35   Link #64
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Originally Posted by recover View Post
i beg to differ, as i believe that equalization of the sexes (aka feminism) is a detriment to western society as evident by the rampant and increasing rates in separation, divorce, infidelity, sexualization at earlier ages, and single-parent households in america
Wait, what? You believe that feminism is to blame for all this? How did you come up with that theory? Are you saying that women should not have equal rights as men because G-d forbid we don't like being raped, forced to keep a child that is a result of said rape, beaten, forced to stay in a marriage (because a man said so)?
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Old 2011-05-06, 10:14   Link #65
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"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for
authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place
of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their
households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They
contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties
at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers."

-Socrates

Nostalgia ain't like it used to be.
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Old 2011-05-06, 10:24   Link #66
TheGeekHuntress
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for
authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place
of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their
households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They
contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties
at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers."

-Socrates

Nostalgia ain't like it used to be.
The more things change, the more things stay the same.
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Old 2011-05-06, 16:48   Link #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
One of the rare shounen fighting series I liked....
I know! Same here, well, the normal length instead of over 200 episodes was good too. lol
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Old 2011-05-06, 18:06   Link #68
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Wow, can't believe there's so much controversy over this topic lol :P, It's Anime ladies n gentlemen, it's meant to be fun to watch not have a deeper sexist meaning or anything lol. If you don't like shoujo then don't watch it :P

Good Day to all ^_^
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Old 2011-05-06, 18:54   Link #69
ChainLegacy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recover View Post
i beg to differ, as i believe that equalization of the sexes (aka feminism) is a detriment to western society as evident by the rampant and increasing rates in separation, divorce, infidelity, sexualization at earlier ages, and single-parent households in america
I don't see the correlation. My personal theory is that it has to do with our materialistic culture and the rise of mass advertising, but like DonQuigleone points out we also have a tendency to see the modern generation as becoming 'worse' somehow than the ones that preceded it. So I really see that as an unrelated issue; one of questionable magnitude.
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Old 2011-05-06, 19:06   Link #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
I don't see the correlation. My personal theory is that it has to do with our materialistic culture and the rise of mass advertising, but like DonQuigleone points out we also have a tendency to see the modern generation as becoming 'worse' somehow than the ones that preceded it. So I really see that as an unrelated issue; one of questionable magnitude.
There were plenty of "family values" problems in previous generations. People just covered it up. That and it didn't result in divorce.

I think there is something of an argument for people perhaps getting divorced a bit too easily (particularly with children involved), but generally it's not much worse or better then it's ever been. There's goods and bads. Overall, I'd say it's better.
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Old 2011-05-07, 04:20   Link #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recover View Post
i beg to differ, as i believe that equalization of the sexes (aka feminism) is a detriment to western society as evident by the rampant and increasing rates in separation, divorce, infidelity, sexualization at earlier ages, and single-parent households in america
You should have stuck to just claiming that American feminism undervalues women who take on traditional roles. And actually, I'm not sure how many feminists actually hold such views. It may be more accurate to say that Hollywood stereotypes of what a strong woman is undervalue women who take on traditional roles.

Roles within a marriage need to take into account the needs and desires of both parties. There's not really any other satisfactory option. So I'm having trouble seeing how feminism wasn't an improvement there.

Last I heard, the most common cause of divorce was actually financial issues. Things like spending habits - or is that feminism's fault too? And I'm not even sure how you can bring feminism into sexualization at earlier ages.

Quote:
Originally Posted by recover View Post
my hope is that animes keep the traditional roles consistent. i will agree that "weak/pathetic" males and females are portrayed much too often nowadays. is it the feminization of men? quite possibly yes... and that is not a good thing at all
My hope is that anime keeps portraying female characters in a wide variety of roles, traditional and otherwise. It's one of the things I think anime actually does a pretty good job at.

I think pathetic males leads are the result of authors wanting an "everyman" character for their mainly nerd-male audience. However, because they're more concerned with writing appealing female characters, they can't be bothered to write an nerd "everyman" who is also interesting and/or awesome.

I can't actually think of many male lead characters that are all that feminine, at least in works aimed at guys. The one example that does come to mind is Renji from EF, who is one of my favourite characters. Also a character who I think has a number of admirable qualities, some of which are indeed feminine.
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Old 2011-05-07, 05:58   Link #72
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i had a long long post prior, but its major thread derailment so if its that big a deal, bring it to pms
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Old 2011-05-07, 06:49   Link #73
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Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
My hope is that anime keeps portraying female characters in a wide variety of roles, traditional and otherwise. It's one of the things I think anime actually does a pretty good job at.

I think pathetic males leads are the result of authors wanting an "everyman" character for their mainly nerd-male audience. However, because they're more concerned with writing appealing female characters, they can't be bothered to write an nerd "everyman" who is also interesting and/or awesome.

I can't actually think of many male lead characters that are all that feminine, at least in works aimed at guys. The one example that does come to mind is Renji from EF, who is one of my favourite characters. Also a character who I think has a number of admirable qualities, some of which are indeed feminine.
Not all men are the same, and nor are all women. Characters should display a wide array of personalities regardless of their gender, sticking to "traditional roles" would be a bit dull. How about the Tatami Galaxy? How pointless would that be if Watashi was decisive, confident and strong? It's a man's conflict with the ideal he's supposed to live up to, and the difficulty in doing so that makes it, and other Anime like Welcome to the NHK so interesting, at least for a male viewer. It's something a lot of us go through.

I rarely see that kind of exploration of female characters, which is unfortunate. Obviously, most writers are male. But maybe expectations of women are less demanding then of men, at least in Japan. I could be totally wrong. Women I suppose may have more demands based on physical appearance, which actually isn't really an often explored topic outside Teen magazines and soaps...

What's all your opinion? Am I wrong? I don't have any recollection of seeing Shoujo or Josei featuring existential crises on the same scale as you see in certain Seinen. How well do you think Gender flipped versions of these stories would work? What would be different?
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Old 2011-05-10, 12:27   Link #74
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Well, my experience with shoujo/josei is either limited, or I've seen series that would fall under that category without knowing they do
(to be honest, I'm a bit ignorant of the shoujo/shounen/etc labels. I usually just watch a series based on what thematic genre it is in). Nonetheless, I do think there are examples of complex psychological underpinnings of a female character... even in series that aren't necessarily cerebral in nature. A classic example would be Kyoko from Maison Ikkoku. Her struggle with being a widow, and the merits of remaining faithful to a dead man vs. remarrying are an intriguing meta-theme that is sometimes directly referenced but more often than not simply allowed to evolve over the course of the series. Of course, Maison Ikkoku is written by a woman so perhaps that plays a factor.

The recent anime Cross Game! by Adachi and some of his older works like Touch also have more complex female characters, though in both series the focus is on a male. There are definitely more examples, but those ones spring to mind at the moment...
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Old 2011-05-11, 03:01   Link #75
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Poor, poor Mayu-tan is always being blamed for the doormat shoujo stereotype.

She's hardly alone of course. It's not like she wrote Hot Gimmick.

*realizes he mentions the series*

*curses himself, head bangs desk*

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Well, my experience with shoujo/josei is either limited, or I've seen series that would fall under that category without knowing they do
(to be honest, I'm a bit ignorant of the shoujo/shounen/etc labels. I usually just watch a series based on what thematic genre it is in).
The labels are formally designations made by publishers. This is because of the serialization system in Japan: magazines where manga are serialized in are considered "shounen," "shoujo," "seinen," etc. and these are labels regarding the targeted demographic. It's a specialization.

Given that targeted demographics and real audiences are never really the same (a LOT of girls read Shounen Jump, for example), it's not a 100% definition, and there are authors who subvert expectations and labels.

However, the terms carry stereotypical underpinnings because many Japanese manga in one "demographic" genre do share commonalities. Anything Hana to Yume serializes more or less has those "shoujo" characteristics/art styles, though the diversity within this "shoujo" label can be remarkably high.

It's like...human ethnic makeup (lol). Difference between groups are noticeable; differences between individuals within the group are however much larger.

Which means, in relation to the topic, that there are shoujo manga which pushes the boundary of feminine expectations, shoujo manga which don't really push it that hard but still create likeable, self-respecting female characters, and shoujo manga which just plays certain tropes so straight the feminist in me is just riled up and I want to string up the male characters and cut of their...you know...then bitchslap the girls and tell them to woman up.

That said,
Quote:
A classic example would be Kyoko from Maison Ikkoku. Her struggle with being a widow, and the merits of remaining faithful to a dead man vs. remarrying are an intriguing meta-theme that is sometimes directly referenced but more often than not simply allowed to evolve over the course of the series. Of course, Maison Ikkoku is written by a woman so perhaps that plays a factor.

The recent anime Cross Game! by Adachi and some of his older works like Touch also have more complex female characters, though in both series the focus is on a male. There are definitely more examples, but those ones spring to mind at the moment...
These two are formally seinen works. And tone-wise they are also far from a "typical" shoujo manga.

As you openly admitted yourself you don't know much about those labels I won't bite you or anything, but honestly it's a dee~ep pet peeve of mine when I see ignorant anime fans (I'm not counting you in) randomly label romance series shoujo. Gods how I wanted to hit someone when I say shoujo and they were like Love Hina...? I had to hold back on exploding on someone about the sexist, macho-videogamer chauvinist assumption that anything remotely "romance" is "soft" and therefore "shoujo." Like, fuck you, really. [obviously general, hypothetical you; not ChainLegacy you ]

...my apologies for the rant.

Anyway, the Maison Ikkoku mention is interesting. It is an old work and certainly adheres -- and to some minor extent subverts -- the classic patriarchal expectations of a "good woman." That it still manages to create a likable and complex female lead is of course indication that adherence to "outdated" (from a liberal perspective) values does not necessarily preclude complex characterization, in the hands of a sensitive and capable author.
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Old 2011-05-11, 04:00   Link #76
0utf0xZer0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Not all men are the same, and nor are all women. Characters should display a wide array of personalities regardless of their gender, sticking to "traditional roles" would be a bit dull. How about the Tatami Galaxy? How pointless would that be if Watashi was decisive, confident and strong? It's a man's conflict with the ideal he's supposed to live up to, and the difficulty in doing so that makes it, and other Anime like Welcome to the NHK so interesting, at least for a male viewer. It's something a lot of us go through.

I rarely see that kind of exploration of female characters, which is unfortunate. Obviously, most writers are male. But maybe expectations of women are less demanding then of men, at least in Japan. I could be totally wrong. Women I suppose may have more demands based on physical appearance, which actually isn't really an often explored topic outside Teen magazines and soaps...

What's all your opinion? Am I wrong? I don't have any recollection of seeing Shoujo or Josei featuring existential crises on the same scale as you see in certain Seinen. How well do you think Gender flipped versions of these stories would work? What would be different?
Yeah, as good as anime is about giving female characters a variety of personalities and roles (some positive, some not so much), the fact that there's not a lot of shoujo or josei anime made these days means its kind of weak on portraying women's perspectives.

Just because they're both about NEETs, I actually find it kind of interesting to compare Welcome to the NHK and Kuragehime. The former is, as you say, about an existential crisis, while the latter felt more like it was about being able to take control of how you present yourself. Kind of reflects where demands lie, don't you think?

I should note, BTW, that I often end up preferring shounen/seinen written by female authors, in part because the mindsets of the female characters are better developed even if they aren't the "lead" character. For example, your Don Quixote example from earlier actually reminded me of how Minori can be interpretted as constantly brushing off Ryuuji in Toradora (shounen romance by a woman) in favour of other goals. Only, in typically Japanese fashion, its so subtle its hard to tell thats what she's doing. Great subversion of the typical romance anime setup where the girls are just sitting duck targets, but I wonder how much of the audience actually picked up on it.

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Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
As you openly admitted yourself you don't know much about those labels I won't bite you or anything, but honestly it's a dee~ep pet peeve of mine when I see ignorant anime fans (I'm not counting you in) randomly label romance series shoujo. Gods how I wanted to hit someone when I say shoujo and they were like Love Hina...? I had to hold back on exploding on someone about the sexist, macho-videogamer chauvinist assumption that anything remotely "romance" is "soft" and therefore "shoujo." Like, fuck you, really. [obviously general, hypothetical you; not ChainLegacy you ]

...my apologies for the rant.
I think an old rant that Dom wrote for Megatokyo put it best: it used a "cute but sexy" seinen cover as a rant image, started talking about how people seem to think all romance stuff is shoujo, and then pointed out the rant pic and asked if anyone really thought it looked like something designed to appeal to a predominantly female audience. Not to say that women don't read/watch these works (I know women (both straight and otherwise) who love harem anime and eroge, so yeah), but he did have a strong point.
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Old 2011-05-11, 08:12   Link #77
ChainLegacy
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Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
These two are formally seinen works. And tone-wise they are also far from a "typical" shoujo manga.

As you openly admitted yourself you don't know much about those labels I won't bite you or anything, but honestly it's a dee~ep pet peeve of mine when I see ignorant anime fans (I'm not counting you in) randomly label romance series shoujo. Gods how I wanted to hit someone when I say shoujo and they were like Love Hina...? I had to hold back on exploding on someone about the sexist, macho-videogamer chauvinist assumption that anything remotely "romance" is "soft" and therefore "shoujo." Like, fuck you, really. [obviously general, hypothetical you; not ChainLegacy you ]
You'll have to excuse my ignorance, then. I've historically been a very open-minded anime fan so I never really cared to investigate the demographic labels (though given your description it's somewhat more interesting a subject than I would assume . )

Hmm... Perhaps Full Moon wo Sagashite would be a better example? Or Marmalade Boy? The latter even explores issues of divorce (though in a very light-hearted matter). In both cases the female character seems to have a submissive side like the OP refers to but also seem to balance it with an independent side. To be honest, though, I don't find either character particularly realistic in the sense that a Mitsuki or Miki could be living down the street from me. On the other hand I could definitely see Kyoko being a real person. What would you chalk that up to? Seinen being a more realistic grouping, or just coincidence based on the series I chose as example?
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Old 2011-05-11, 11:29   Link #78
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Poor, poor Mayu-tan is always being blamed for the doormat shoujo stereotype.
Well, she's just really horrible! It'd be different if she created ONE heroine in ONE series who wasn't a submissive rape victim but no, her heroines are ALL the same....
Does she just have a rape fetish or something? I seriously find her messed up. XD
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Old 2011-05-11, 12:55   Link #79
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Mayu Shinjo is a sick, sick woman. She deserves every bit of bashing she gets and more.
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Old 2011-05-11, 14:18   Link #80
Irenicus
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Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
Hmm... Perhaps Full Moon wo Sagashite would be a better example? Or Marmalade Boy? The latter even explores issues of divorce (though in a very light-hearted matter). In both cases the female character seems to have a submissive side like the OP refers to but also seem to balance it with an independent side. To be honest, though, I don't find either character particularly realistic in the sense that a Mitsuki or Miki could be living down the street from me. On the other hand I could definitely see Kyoko being a real person. What would you chalk that up to? Seinen being a more realistic grouping, or just coincidence based on the series I chose as example?
Both series are definitely shoujo; classic ones at that (well at least Marmalade Boy was really big).

And shoujo heroines do have that alternation between being sweet for her love and being herself. It probably does reflect the reality of Japanese women who have to balance being what their lovers want and asserting themselves. Dramatized with sparkles, of course.

As for Kyoko and Maison Ikkoku, I'd say it's less about seinen and more about Rumiko Takahashi. With authors like her, labels are less useful. Maison Ikkoku ran in a seinen magazine so it is classified as seinen; Inuyasha ran in a shounen magazine so it's shounen. In the end it's more like both are Takahashi's manga than that they adhere to demographic stereotypes. She has never really ventured close to shoujo territory though; after all, her breakthrough work, Urusei Yatsura, introduced harem manga -- and the quintessential anime babe, Lum -- to the world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiibi
Well, she's just really horrible! It'd be different if she created ONE heroine in ONE series who wasn't a submissive rape victim but no, her heroines are ALL the same....
Does she just have a rape fetish or something? I seriously find her messed up. XD
She knows what her audience wants.

I personally don't like her works either (even without the rapes they just aren't that good), but it's funny she always comes up as the first name when it's about things like this, lol.
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