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Old 2006-11-17, 19:05   Link #1
Papaya
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What is with sexist themes in anime?

This is always something that I've found to be interesting.
Case in point: Oh!/Ah! My Goddess.

The male lead is an extremely undesirable human.
The female lead is a goddess.

The plot is filled with all sorts of ridiculous little situations in which the mortal Keiichi makes stupid mistakes and does stupid things, all of which are rectified by Belldandy.

Belldandy doesn't have a personality.
She is a slave.
Keiichi goes out and fools around while Belldandy cleans his house and cooks him food.

This is appealing?
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Old 2006-11-17, 19:10   Link #2
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Think for a moment who the #1 target audience is for most anime. Young. Male. Otaku. Of course this kind of thing is desireable, because it's something that will never happen to them in real life Why do you think most moe anime has lots of young highschool girls with ridiculously oversized breasts all fawning over an idiot male who in real life wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell of scoring?
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Old 2006-11-17, 19:11   Link #3
jedinat
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Umm, I think the show is aimed at guys.
And which harem anime could be looked at as not sexist? I'm not really concerned about it though... it's an anime... god forbid they become politically correct.
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Old 2006-11-17, 19:14   Link #4
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Originally Posted by jed
god forbid they become politically correct.
Yeah, totally. PC in the anime world would probably make me kill myself. Or someone else. Or detonate a nuke or something. It wouldn't be pretty either way
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Old 2006-11-17, 19:16   Link #5
ImClueless
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radiosity View Post
Think for a moment who the #1 target audience is for most anime. Young. Male. Otaku. Of course this kind of thing is desireable, because it's something that will never happen to them in real life Why do you think most moe anime has lots of young highschool girls with ridiculously oversized breasts all fawning over an idiot male who in real life wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell of scoring?
^ The sad cold hard truth :'(

If you actually go watch Shoujo/Josei anime targeted towards the so called "gentler sex" then you will see that none of the female characters are as you described. Recent examples such as Ouran Host Club, Hataraki Man, and Saiunkoku Monogatari all feature very strong female leads.
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Old 2006-11-17, 19:34   Link #6
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I'm sure you'll love the anime Lucky☆Star when it airs early next year. It'll poke fun at these things.

Kagami (while watching Konata playing a galge): "Why does the main male lead in these types of games are so popular with the girls?"
Konata (while playing a galge): "I dunno. Maybe because if he wasn't, there wouldn't be a story in the first place?"

Kagami (while watching Konata playing a galge): "Why do girls in these types of games are all nice and cute, yet they have no boyfriends?"
Konata (while playing a galge): "I dunno. Maybe because if they did, there wouldn't be a story in the first place?"
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Old 2006-11-17, 20:30   Link #7
MamoruUsagi
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There are a lot of great shoujo series where the main character gets a great boyfriend in the beginning of the series and they are dating and boyfriend/girlfriend and in a serious relationship for the rest of the series. You just need to read shoujo manga. Shoujo manga have the main character getting a great boyfriend early on and he is the one who is protective. Shoujo series are great and have couples that are dating during the series.

In Fushigi Yuugi, the main character gets a great boyfriend during the beginning of the series and there are lots of guys who try to break them up and take her, but she stays devoted to her boyfriend and he is devoted to her and he asks her to marry him and they are dating for a long time.

In Sailor Moon, the main character gets a great boyfriend, he is dating her and they are boyfriend/girlfriend for a long time during the series, they get married, have a child and become king and queen. He is very caring and protects her and he is a very devoted boyfriend and he is dating her for a long time when they get together. They are boyfriend/girlfriend for a long time during the series and in a committed, loving relationship.

In the cute manga Happy Hustle High, the main character gets a great boyfriend early on and they are dating for a long time in the series.

Absolute Boyfriend is a series where the main character gets a very devoted boyfriend early on.

In the manga Ayashi no Ceres, the main character getting a good boyfriend early on and has lots of guys making out with her, the manga has a lot of scenes with the main character and the main character's boyfriend kissing in hotel rooms and having lots of intimate scenes.

There are lots of wonderful manga series where the main character gets a great boyfriend early on and have a great relationship.

Last edited by MamoruUsagi; 2006-11-17 at 21:30.
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Old 2006-11-17, 21:23   Link #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radiosity View Post
Think for a moment who the #1 target audience is for most anime. Young. Male. Otaku. Of course this kind of thing is desireable, because it's something that will never happen to them in real life Why do you think most moe anime has lots of young highschool girls with ridiculously oversized breasts all fawning over an idiot male who in real life wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell of scoring?
No, I know this.
It's not a wonder why boys like anime like Love Hina.

Although you cannot say the target audience is truly "otaku". After all, anime is not in its intentions produced for non-Japanese audiences.

Sometimes I feel the message of anime is "You, too, can score with hot girls!"

But that's not my point. I'm not talking about guys liking anime aimed for guys. I'm talking about why girls like anime that clearly degrades them as a sex.

@MamoruUsagi
Those are great examples, but they are also isolated examples. Then again, so are mine, but I see a much higher fanbase amongst girls with animes like A/OMG.
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Old 2006-11-17, 21:45   Link #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamoruUsagi View Post
-snip-
Except few of those characters are strong, smart, intelligent people.

Girls don't like sexist themes in anime. Consider, however, that most anime are created for socially retarded Japanese men, Japan doesn't have much in the way of a women's movement, and most girls aren't bright enough to key into the underlying sexism (most men aren't smart enough to realize that what they're watching is crap, either).

Consequently, you get shounen anime where there is hardly any focus on girls at all, eroge conversions which is the wish fulfillment of the aforementioned Japanese men, and shoujo anime which may feature a girl as the herione, but she is still a clumsy idiot who cries about everything, and still needs a boyfriend to come save her or make her feel like she has worth.

It's unfortunate, but not likely to change for many, many years.

edit: And girls hold each other to a weird standard. Take a poll of the most hated characters among female viewers of anime, and I'm sure you're likely to find that most of them are female. It seems like women are encouraged to elevate themselves by bashing others of their gender, instead of trying to change the way they are seen as a group. Indoctrinated into subconscious self-loathing because being a girl is never a good thing (i.e., girls dressing like boys is fine, and boys dressing like girls isn't).
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Old 2006-11-17, 21:46   Link #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Providence. View Post
The plot is filled with all sorts of ridiculous little situations in which the mortal Keiichi makes stupid mistakes and does stupid things, all of which are rectified by Belldandy.

Belldandy doesn't have a personality.
She is a slave.
Keiichi goes out and fools around while Belldandy cleans his house and cooks him food.

This is appealing?
Are we talking about the AMG anime or the manga? The manga paints a much different picture of pretty much everyone involved. The feeling I got from the manga was that everyone supported each others' weaknesses with their strengths (K1 can't cook, Belldandy doesn't know beans about earth, Urd has lots of issues which are quite spoilerific in nature, Skuld has no self-confidence, etc.). It's a very symbiotic relationship between them all; not an excercise in domestic servitude.
The anime is pretty much like you said, though.


As for why women like it: Because... it's funny? Isn't it also degrading to men to constantly be portrayed as helpless, awkward, incompetent and just generally bumbling idiots?
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Old 2006-11-17, 21:48   Link #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatPianoBoy View Post
Are we talking about the AMG anime or the manga? The manga paints a much different picture of pretty much everyone involved. The feeling I got from the manga was that everyone supported each others' weaknesses with their strengths (K1 can't cook, Belldandy doesn't know beans about earth, Urd has lots of issues which are quite spoilerific in nature, Skuld has no self-confidence, etc.). It's a very symbiotic relationship between them all; not an excercise in domestic servitude.
The anime is pretty much like you said, though.


As for why women like it: Because... it's funny? Isn't it also degrading to men to constantly be portrayed as helpless, awkward, incompetent and just generally bumbling idiots?
Never read the anime, was too disgusted by the OVA.

Is it degrading for men to be depicted as such?
Not when they get a goddess for a girlfriend.
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Old 2006-11-17, 22:09   Link #12
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Read the anime?

But is it really degrading for women to be depicted as such if they're happy like that? I know my own mother likes doing housework a lot more than going to a secular job. A woman isn't being degraded just because she doesn't want to wear the pants in the family. If you want an example of degrading women in anime, go watch Ray's "shut up and make me a sandwich" speech in episode five of Deaht Note.

And, conversely, if a woman is completely helpless, but she has a god for a boyfriend, that wouldn't be degrading?
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Old 2006-11-17, 22:38   Link #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatPianoBoy View Post
Read the anime?

But is it really degrading for women to be depicted as such if they're happy like that? I know my own mother likes doing housework a lot more than going to a secular job. A woman isn't being degraded just because she doesn't want to wear the pants in the family. If you want an example of degrading women in anime, go watch Ray's "shut up and make me a sandwich" speech in episode five of Deaht Note.

And, conversely, if a woman is completely helpless, but she has a god for a boyfriend, that wouldn't be degrading?
Read the anime = clear typo. I blame my schizophrenia and word salad.

http://www.bitchmakemeasandwich.com/

Yes, if a woman is helpless but has a god for a boyfriend, that would be degrading.

Would it be degrading if slaves were depicted as being happy picking cotton?
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Old 2006-11-17, 22:55   Link #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radiosity View Post
Think for a moment who the #1 target audience is for most anime. Young. Male. Otaku. Of course this kind of thing is desireable, because it's something that will never happen to them in real life Why do you think most moe anime has lots of young highschool girls with ridiculously oversized breasts all fawning over an idiot male who in real life wouldn't have a snowball's chance in hell of scoring?
Yea, that's hitting it on the head. Most of the behavior that happens in anime is completely ridiculous, but hey it's entertaining so why not.
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Old 2006-11-17, 23:20   Link #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Providence. View Post
Yes, if a woman is helpless but has a god for a boyfriend, that would be degrading.

Would it be degrading if slaves were depicted as being happy picking cotton?
So, if a guy is helpless, but has a godess for a partner, it's not degrading to him.
If a woman is helpless, but has a god for a partner, it is degrading to her?
:Sniffs: I smell a double standard

I think you're going overboard with the slave parallel. Women who choose to stay at home are not slaves. Frankly, I think that trying to press the 'career woman' demographic onto someone who wants to be a stay-at-home mother is just as bad as trying to get an aspiring career woman to stay at home all day.
Don't get me wrong - I'm all for women's rights. One of the most important of those rights is giving them the freedom to choose. If she decides that she likes the traditional role of housewife, telling her otherwise is denying her the right to choose. Do you think K1 would object if Belldandy decided she wanted to go out and get a job?
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Old 2006-11-17, 23:40   Link #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImClueless View Post
If you actually go watch Shoujo/Josei anime targeted towards the so called "gentler sex" then you will see that none of the female characters are as you described. Recent examples such as Ouran Host Club, Hataraki Man, and Saiunkoku Monogatari all feature very strong female leads.
Well, first of all Hataraki Man is aimed at adult men. Secondly, Jedinat once said the truest words I've ever heard (he said them so well I repeat them all the time), "I like shoujo because when the girl is acting stupid and clumsy it's cute, but when the guy does it, it's just annoying." I mentioned this to my wife the next day and it instantly made sense to her why she thought things like Love Hina were cute - because, to her, when the guy is acting stupid and clumsy it's cute, but when the girl does it, it's just annoying.
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Old 2006-11-17, 23:43   Link #17
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urr... I think you all are missing one very important element here.

Do girls even like this kind of anime???

I have not known one girl who likes Tenchi whatever, love Hina etc. I think there are also people who state the same, although I don't remember who. Where did you get the idea that girls "like" this kind of anime? Of course, I am strictly speaking from what I see here. I don't know about anything happening in Japan.
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Old 2006-11-18, 00:01   Link #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatPianoBoy View Post
So, if a guy is helpless, but has a godess for a partner, it's not degrading to him.
If a woman is helpless, but has a god for a partner, it is degrading to her?
:Sniffs: I smell a double standard

I think you're going overboard with the slave parallel. Women who choose to stay at home are not slaves. Frankly, I think that trying to press the 'career woman' demographic onto someone who wants to be a stay-at-home mother is just as bad as trying to get an aspiring career woman to stay at home all day.
Don't get me wrong - I'm all for women's rights. One of the most important of those rights is giving them the freedom to choose. If she decides that she likes the traditional role of housewife, telling her otherwise is denying her the right to choose. Do you think K1 would object if Belldandy decided she wanted to go out and get a job?
No, it is degrading for men. You never specified who it was degrading to, so I did not specify.
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Old 2006-11-18, 00:47   Link #19
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Originally Posted by Providence. View Post
No, it is degrading for men. You never specified who it was degrading to, so I did not specify.
Oh, sorry. My bad. If you were gonna be like that, I was ready to write the whole discussion off, so I thought I should try to confirm it first
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Old 2006-11-18, 00:59   Link #20
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Meh.

And while I realize there are women out there who prefer a sedentary stay-at-home lifestyle, I don't agree with the way it's depicted.

I guess I should've mentioned it more in my first post, but the overwhelming imagery I received from watching the OVA's was that it's not that Belldandy *enjoys* being a "housewife", but that she enjoys being 100% servile.

In this respect, I'm comparing her to a slave, because she doesn't seem to hold much of a personality at all. Her actions are almost completely reactionary to what Keniichi does. In effect, if you took out the love portion, it pretty much would be slavery. There's no sense of true enjoyment the two get out of each other. Again, I haven't seen the newer series or read the manga (ANIME? =P).

Love Hina is a bit different in this regard, as it's overtly a rom-com (I consider A/OMG a pure romance series) and the women in the series are sufficiently characterized NOT to be mindless cooks and cleaners.
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