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Old 2009-08-30, 07:33   Link #121
SeijiSensei
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The role of women and feminism in anime is a subject that's been discussed here from time to time. Here are a few other threads you might want to read:

http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=38094
http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=70948
http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=49570
http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=80192
http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=38806
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Old 2009-08-30, 11:32   Link #122
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I wonder if this thread shouldn't be merged with the sexism/feminism within anime thread. In fact, if space cowboy has no objections, I'll do just that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by space cowboy
What do you think of the female roles in anime?
"Female roles in anime" is as broad a subject as "female roles in novels". Without breaking the topic further down, it's far too diverse to discuss without over-generalization. At the very least, it's necessary to differentiate between roles that are designed to appeal to men and those that are designed to appeal to women.

Quote:
Originally Posted by space cowboy
Discuss both the over sexualised images of the female within anime, and whether or not this affects the roles they play.

Do female get a better deal than that of other western cartoon and films?
Broadly speaking, they do. Most Western works are male-oriented, and therefore have a predominantly male cast. Anime, both for male and female audiences, are much more likely to have more female roles. Whether these roles are treated any better is a very different question though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by space cowboy
Is the female empowered because shes sexualised?
Except for a very few cases, no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by space cowboy
Does anime tend to put females into more action type roles than that before seen to a western audience?
Yes. And this goes all the way back to Cutey Honey in 1973.

Quote:
Originally Posted by space cowboy
Beyond Ghibli we have hundreds of anime with a female as the main character for instance the entire genre called Shojo. To be the protagonist means that you drive and propell the narrative forwards, with the choices that character makes. As an audience we are subjected to the actions that character chooses and by doing so has the attention of our active gaze. This i find is more common for women in anime than it is in western animation and i believe by giving the female the lead role in this way empowers them more often, than that in western animation.
As far as anime goes, shoujo works make up only a tiny portion of the releases. The bigger deal is that anime is much more likely to have female leads for male-oriented works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by space cowboy
Secondly, i believe the image of the female in japanese animation can be both sexist but on the other hand some what empowering. The image of the female more often than not in Anime has a hold over the other male characters and weakens them to some extent. This strength is not something the female character strives to achieve but rather normally something she already has. For instance most of the Hina Girls in love hina can pretty much make kintaro do whatever they want.
This has less to do with how female characters are treated than how male characters are treated. Personally, I find that male anime characters have a high tendency of being either uninteresting or unappealing. As a result, most of my favorite anime characters are female; which is a contrast to my preferences in non-anime media.
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Old 2009-08-30, 12:32   Link #123
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Because cartoons in the west are marketed towards children, there's usually much less risque content unless they want to sneak stuff past the radar to parents. But in general anime shares the same type of sexulization that all form of media directed towards adults have.

Personally, I find most fanservice regarding female characters to be annoying when it is gratuitous. It's rare to find a female character that is attractive and not seen as an object but their own character.I do respect series that attempt this. But it's not too bad unless it is excessive and pointless. I don't mind some ecchi.

Slightly off topic, but it does seem like anime is a bit less prudish towards sex. Where I live, the United States, has a pretty twisted view on censorship. For some reason, violence is far more acceptable than sexual content. I don't know, if in real life I saw someone naked, it'd traumatize me less than seeing a person being injured or killed. Sex is always advertised, but it's also portrayed as evil and forbidden. And that seems kinda unhealthy imo.
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Old 2009-08-30, 12:32   Link #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosauz View Post
I chuckle at this question because it really depends on the genre, but generally in shows that target young females in western tend portray hyper sexualized, unnatural, unhealthy figures for the young, couple examples winx club, bratz, w/e barbie show, some horse riding show. Any way even when you look at Disney brand movies these same qualities are emphasized and for some reason it seems that western stigma states that females should move on from cartoons and animated features after 12 and catch Gossip girl, or the new 91210, which are even more sexualizations of women, and over exaggerated features that supposedly encompass the standard of beauty in western society.

I will say that in anime since their are so many genres females play different roles, and do use more than just their sexuality.
Spoiler for genshiken spoilersish, but an example of how anime differs then the west use of sex appeal:
Genshiken... the perfect anime.
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Old 2009-08-30, 20:15   Link #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
Because cartoons in the west are marketed towards children, there's usually much less risque content unless they want to sneak stuff past the radar to parents. But in general anime shares the same type of sexulization that all form of media directed towards adults have.

Personally, I find most fanservice regarding female characters to be annoying when it is gratuitous. It's rare to find a female character that is attractive and not seen as an object but their own character.I do respect series that attempt this. But it's not too bad unless it is excessive and pointless. I don't mind some ecchi.

Slightly off topic, but it does seem like anime is a bit less prudish towards sex. Where I live, the United States, has a pretty twisted view on censorship. For some reason, violence is far more acceptable than sexual content. I don't know, if in real life I saw someone naked, it'd traumatize me less than seeing a person being injured or killed. Sex is always advertised, but it's also portrayed as evil and forbidden. And that seems kinda unhealthy imo.
In the west females hypersexualized, but the west still tries to claim that modesty is at hand. Just look at Disney Classic Aladdin, Jasmine has her belly button showing, wearing a bra and pajama's, if thats not over sexualization of the female character then I don't know what is. I would say in anime and asain culture in general women play a subordinate roll yet still maintain their strength, an example of this is would the yamato nadeshiko, an example would be aoi from aoi yori aoishi, the main character is an attractive women but again it is her personality that makes her character attractive and appealing. I feel like the west is far more prudish then the east, but from perception japan is the world of "crazy fetishes and shit."
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Old 2009-08-30, 20:32   Link #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosauz View Post
In the west females hypersexualized, but the west still tries to claim that modesty is at hand.
The hypocrisy of the matter is what is most jarring.

Quote:
Just look at Disney Classic Aladdin, Jasmine has her belly button showing, wearing a bra and pajama's, if thats not over sexualization of the female character then I don't know what is.
Hmm, that seems kind of mild compared to anime. Of course, if we just talk about anime marketed towards a younger group, this closes the gap. But still, note the amount of censorship that comes from anime imported to here that are kids' shows, like Pokemon.

Quote:
I would say in anime and asain culture in general women play a subordinate roll yet still maintain their strength, an example of this is would the yamato nadeshiko, an example would be aoi from aoi yori aoishi, the main character is an attractive women but again it is her personality that makes her character attractive and appealing.
A trope is a trope. It depends on how it's used. A character can seem to be strong and independent, or weak and subservient depending on how they are portrayed as. It often depends on the quality of the writing-- if it's well done then we can get examples like yours, when it isn't we can get something pretty insulting. But then it's very hard to generalize these things.

Quote:
I feel like the west is far more prudish then the east, but from perception japan is the world of "crazy fetishes and shit."
As I said before, it is in relation of sexuality with other things. It's fine to show someone getting shot on TV, but God forbid a tit.
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Old 2009-08-30, 23:47   Link #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosauz View Post
In the west females hypersexualized, but the west still tries to claim that modesty is at hand. Just look at Disney Classic Aladdin, Jasmine has her belly button showing, wearing a bra and pajama's, if thats not over sexualization of the female character then I don't know what is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
Hmm, [the sexualization of Jasmine] seems kind of mild compared to anime. Of course, if we just talk about anime marketed towards a younger group, this closes the gap.
Of the shows I've seen that are marketed to children and families -- Dennou Coil, Kemono no Souja Erin, Moribito, Angelic Layer, Tweeny Witches, Windy Tales, and Miyazaki's films as examples -- females are never sexualized. Younger ones like Erin tend to be "plucky," and older ones like Balsa powerful. They're also fully clothed as well.
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Old 2009-08-31, 00:02   Link #128
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Miyazaki's films are pretty distinct in that regard, where stuff like fanservice is nonexistent.

Then again, I really never saw Jasmine in that way.
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Old 2009-08-31, 00:28   Link #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
Then again, I really never saw Jasmine in that way.
Me neither, but we were probably kids when we first saw these Disney films. Looking at it now, while I don't know if it's "hyper-sexualized", it's clear that a decision was made somewhere to emphasize a more sexualized appearance, at least in this particular example. But Pocahontas? Mulan? I don't know if I'd call it a consistent theme.

Personally the biggest issue in anime I have are the portrayals of simple minded female characters who act years younger than their ages. Next after that are the "tsundere" cliches and whatnot.
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Old 2009-08-31, 00:28   Link #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosauz View Post
Just look at Disney Classic Aladdin, Jasmine has her belly button showing, wearing a bra and pajama's, if thats not over sexualization of the female character then I don't know what is.
The Disney film draws on fantasized portrayals from ancient pre-Islamic Arabian culture, of which is the era that "One Thousand and One Nights" was set in, of which the film "Aladdin" draws from the story "Aladdin's Wonderful Lamp" as inspirational basis...

Call it sexualization if you want; It's in historical context, to a degree that it's believed to be in...Unless of course you want a historically inaccurate burqa dress instead...
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Old 2009-08-31, 01:35   Link #131
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A lot of the females in anime are too attractive in both looks and personalities, no wonder some otaku males prefer 2-D girls
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Old 2009-08-31, 02:43   Link #132
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If works are done through a male's point of view, I'd say many things are as they are because of prejuice. Stereotypically, men do wars, women marry men and bear children. So, men are the muscular and violent ones while women are the fluffy, cutey, frail ones, yearning for marriage.

When it comes to children series and movies, it is essential to teach them the basics of how things "usually" are. So, there is nothing wrong to get all predictable and stereotypical there. Children stories must be simple to understand, politically correct and with a happy ending. If they aren't kids won't understand them, will be confused or may even be disturbed with a gloom ending. So, no reason not to play by the norm there.

As for Jasmin and other Disney women been seen sexualized, that is the trope of "Parent Service". It is an indirect form of fan service, aiming at the poor parents who have to watch movies with their kids. The kids don't see these characters sexy but in order for their caretakers not to fall asleep, some help is needed. Thus, indirect sexual images just to keep interest.

The real issue comes when we get to teenage series and movies. This is the part where things get messy. Now, teenagers see characters in a sexy way, and a lot more than most adults. Most get a boner by a gentle breeze, so what did you expect? Anyway, from here on works aiming at them don't need to be stereotypical. Yet, the way I see it, most series are mainstream and follow 3 stereotypical ways.
-the male way, where violence in abundant, men are the heroes, they are all muscular and women are background decorations, fan service and platonic romance material.
-the female way, where romance is the main focus, usually pasted with a lot of magic to make it more catchy, women are the leads looking for love and romance and going for the hunks.
-the loser way, where everything is a reverse reality. The above two are mostly extreme sides or reality but this is making things look great, while they are normally seen as lame. Like harem and ecchi shows for example, making the dorks as heroes and the focus of all the pretty girls. Such shows aim to please all those who don't feel "normal" or "secured" in their gender roles like the other two. That is boys who don't feel strong in body or mind and girls who don't feel feminine and attractive.

The teenage series and movies give room to the haywire category, most of which is now in the hands of the Japanese industry. Here, cliches are tempered with and taken to an extreme level, making series that are unbelievably violent or erotic or bend the gender roles to crazy proportions. Some can be seen as experimentation, others as questioning of the politically corrrect stereotypes and some as pure fan pleasing for all those who got tired with the normal stuff. I mean, Helsing is just about brainless violence and Mnemosyne is twisted S&M suff, all of which are crazy and insulting from a normal point of view yet very entertaining from a fed up viewer's point of view. Yuri, Yaoi, Shounen-ai and all the rest of the gender bending and gender crossing stuff belong here, taking those who want something "different".

There is also the mature side of stories, with a lot more realistic and a lot less extreme caricatured cast, where everything is a lot closer to reality. This category is for all those who want something more down to earth and mature in plot and story. Something that doesn't need to switch of your mind and force you to tolerate any plot hole and convinient event as "passable". Where men ain't Swatcheneger superheroes and women don't like spineless idiots. It is still hard to like things this way as most get entertained with a lot detached from reality elements and in case it is "too normal" it may be seen predictable and boring. Then again, most action and romances do repeat the same stereotypes so they can also be seen this way. It is all in the eye of the beholder if he wants normal because he is fed up with the fantastic, or fantastic if he is fed up with the normal.
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Old 2009-08-31, 08:24   Link #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosauz View Post
In the west females hypersexualized, but the west still tries to claim that modesty is at hand. Just look at Disney Classic Aladdin, Jasmine has her belly button showing, wearing a bra and pajama's, if thats not over sexualization of the female character then I don't know what is.
You could say the same about Aladdin himself. You can clearly see his navel, and he also wears "pajamas". He doesn't wear a bra, but that's... understandable.
Would you call Aladdin an over-sexualized male?

What about other Disney heroes, like Tarzan? Is he, according to your logic, "hypersexualized"?
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Old 2009-08-31, 09:02   Link #134
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I noticed that when somebody writes "the West" in this forum, it will actually mean "the USA" in 90 percent of the cases. In the remaining cases is will mean "outside of Japan".

And that Disney of all things sexualizes female characters more than your average anime sounds like voices from the bizarro world to me.

Maybe we could go through Chartfag's summer anime chart together and identify the anime with female characters without fetish (w)ear (pardon the pun). Real japanese school uniforms do not end two finger widths below the crotch, ya now.
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Old 2009-08-31, 10:21   Link #135
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from what I've heard Jasmine dress in typical of a harem girl (no not that kind), grant a little less ornate so if anything I'd say her attire is more along the lines of historical content than anything sexual. If anything it just seem to my that Disney just wanted a beautiful princess that girls could look up to.

Also, as Slice of Life the west=/=USA and I think it's very important to remember not all western animation comes from the America either.

Anyway I have to agree with some of the sentiments this is way too general to give any solid answers, as nice as it is to to see people using example to back up there claims one, two or a whole genre isn't enough to analysis one medium let alone compare it to another. If fact the questions the OP put forward could be topics in and of themselves, Everyone here's only addressing one part.
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Old 2009-08-31, 12:14   Link #136
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Originally Posted by space cowboy View Post
Where as anime for starters both meets and over takes in numbers the films than Disney with Studio Ghibli's obsession with having the female as the main leading role.
Since you've brought it up, I think it's useful to explain Ghibli's "obession" with female leads. The reasons for that tendency are actually quite complex, and Hayao Miyazaki had become so weary of being constantly asked that question that he has opted to give a simple answer: "Because I like women."

(Taken out of context, that makes him sound like a lech. )

His fuller answer, however, is given here:
Quote:
Question: Why do you always choose a girl as your protagonist?

Miyazaki: I don't logically plan it that way. When we compare a man in action and a girl in action, I feel girls are more gallant. If a boy is walking with a long stride, I don't think anything particular, but if a girl is walking gallantly, I feel, "That's cool." Maybe that's because I'm a man, and women may think it's cool when they see a young man striding.

At first, I thought: "This is no longer the era of men. This is no longer the era of taigimeibun [1]." But after 10 years, I grew tired of saying that, so I just say: "Because I like women."

That has more reality.



First published in Kikan Iichiko, Oct 20, 1994. Reprinted in Shuppatsuten by Hayao Miyazaki, published by Tokuma Shoten, 1996.



[1] Taigimeibun can mean justification, justice, or a big good cause something like "for the human race".
I think Miyazaki's views have a very direct bearing on the main thrust of your questions. Essentially, he's saying that he doesn't intentionally set out to create female protagonists. They just happen to be created because it's "more cool" to tell a story that way.

I suspect that's essentially the same for most other Japanese animators and mangaka as well. Most of the time, they aren't striving to be particularly radical. In fact, they're usually working within well-worn anime/manga conventions. In recent years, particularly, there has been increasing focus on moe female characters in shows such as K-On, which is really nothing more than a series showing cute girls doing cute things.

I don't find shows like that particularly "empowering" for women. If anything, women and girls are being "infantalised", turned into cute little playthings that men would love to take home to see Mum. Such moe characters may even represent idealised versions of cute little daughters that grown men wish to have.

But that is, of course, only one way to look at the issue. The way women are "sexualised" or "objectivised" in anime/manga is, needless to say, far more complicated. Miyazaki gives a better explanation of the phenomenon here:
Quote:
Miyazaki: When I think about making a male a lead, it gets really intricate. The problem isn't simple. I mean, if it's a story like, "everything will be fine once we defeat the villain", it's better to have a male as a lead.

But, if we try to make an adventure story with a male lead, we have no choice other than doing Indiana Jones. With a Nazi, or someone else who is a villain in everyone's eyes.

Murakami: And set the time and situation around that.

Miyazaki: We can't do anything other than that. It's easy to depict a boy who wants to do such a thing — be a hero in an adventure story — but who can't help but live slovenly. He has more than enough energy, but he doesn't know how or where to use it, or even if he uses such energy, he can find his way only after a long detour — I can make such a story.

But, then, people ask me: "Why do you always make a story about a girl?"

...When making animation, I always feel that we are making big lies. For example, could we depict an affirmative character with a so-so looking girl? What we are doing is a show in a sense, after all.

Murakami: But if they are lovely, that's good enough, isn't it?

Miyazaki: It's difficult. They immediately become the subjects of rorikon gokko (playtoys for guys with lolita complexes). 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. While we are talking about the human rights for women, why they can do this, I don't want to analyse much, but...

Animage, Vol 125, November 1988. Reprinted in Shuppatsuten by Hayao Miyazaki, published by Tokuma Shoten, 1996.

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Old 2009-08-31, 16:37   Link #137
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Originally Posted by Theowne View Post
Personally the biggest issue in anime I have are the portrayals of simple minded female characters who act years younger than their ages. Next after that are the "tsundere" cliches and whatnot.
Yea, that does detract a bit from a series when I watch sometimes. Though it does help, if those characters grow beyond these things. Or there is some backstory of why the character is like that. If it's just there for a few gags, it's annoying, and if it causes character regression for the sake of a few gags, that's even worse. I actually view "tsundere" as a character flaw, but mileage may vary on that one.
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Old 2009-09-01, 00:56   Link #138
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Originally Posted by Oppius
If you think women in anime are over-sexualised, men in shoujo/josei/yaoi shows are no better either.
No one said that men in those genres were any better. Sexism is hardly a one-way street. Don't get defensive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by space cowboy
On the whole Anime's portrayal of women is something with cases for both the worst and best roles in which they play.
So "Sometimes it's bad, sometimes it's good?" This could be said for every creative medium out there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by space cowboy
For instance, i believe theres more main character roles, or protagonist roles for women in anime *-snip-* than that in western animation.
While you're not going to get any argument from me that there are more animated titles in Japan than there are in the US, the fact that you think there are no female protags than in Disney films betrays your lack of exposure to US cartoons. Granted, the only one I've followed in any capacity in recent years is Avatar, which featured two girls as half of the main cast, and several others as recurring characters. It's folly for a cartoon or company that produces them to exclude 50% of its possible viewing audience and only feature titles with mostly male casts. If they don't directly feature a girl as the main protag (Juniper Lee, Powerpuff Girls, W.I.T.C.H.), then often it's sharing the top spot with a boy. They're not always positive, interesting, or well-written shows, but they exist.

In your opening post, you wanted to know how female protagonists fared in western animation and films, but switched your view to being inclusive of just animation, and provided a true example of the shoujo genre as being one that features primarily female protagonists. Are you implying that few movies feature female protagonists? I watch even fewer movies than I do anime and cartoons, but offhand I can rattle off several that, had they been released in Japan by a Japanese mangaka, could be called shoujo. Hell, Julie and Julia is out right and features not one, but two women, right there in the title. How's that for lack of representation?
Quote:
Secondly, i believe the image of the female in japanese animation can be both sexist but on the other hand some what empowering. *-snip-*
The idea that a woman making a man weaker is empowered is a strange and backwards one. Someone who is truly empowered is confident enough in themselves that they don't have to objectify or demean another person, regardless of sex. This is why I don't think the girls in Love Hina, or the many heroines of Ranma 1/2 to be figures that girls should strive to emulate as much as I don't think boys should strive to be like Keitaro. A woman being nothing more than a sex object is not any better or worse than a man being a punching bag with legs.
Quote:
Thirdly, the action type role is cast more to women than that of western animation. *-snip-*
I disagree again that there are more roles for women in action anime than in western cartoons. Again, you have the Powerpuff Girls and others, just the sheer volume of cartoons that come out of Japan skews what we see in its favor. I bet the ratios of Japanese action girl to Western action girl are pretty similar. Western film does lack for female action protagonists, in my opinion, but I'm not sure how Japanese films stack up in that regard. And the action shows you mentioned all feature highly sexualized female characters (Appleseed not so much, but oh god, the Major)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing
Slightly off topic *-snip-* seems kinda unhealthy imo.
I don't think saying Japan is less "prudish" than the United States is quite accurate. Japan is a country where kissing in public is frowned upon at best. Anime, regardless of its intended audience, generally features more sexual and violent images than cartoons in the US, yet there is a low rate of both sex and violence in the population. What's worse is that the sexual images often featured exaggeratedly young characters, and people coping with sex with more immaturity and misinformation than in the United States, which strikes me as even less healthy by quite a bit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosauz
I chuckle at this question because it really depends on the genre, but generally in shows that target young females in western tend portray hyper sexualized, unnatural, unhealthy figures for the young, couple examples winx club, bratz, w/e barbie show, some horse riding show.
To which I counter with Sailor Moon and Gurren Lagann's Yoko. Who are all supposed to be 14. At least Barbie is supposed to be old enough to get married (and remarried when there are new clothes).

I'm going to conclude that roriconfan's post is a fairly subtle troll.
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Old 2009-09-01, 01:14   Link #139
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Originally Posted by Veritas View Post
I don't think saying Japan is less "prudish" than the United States is quite accurate. Japan is a country where kissing in public is frowned upon at best. Anime, regardless of its intended audience, generally features more sexual and violent images than cartoons in the US, yet there is a low rate of both sex and violence in the population.
I didn't say Japan was less prudish than the U.S.; I said anime was, commenting on censorship. I wouldn't be able to compare the cultures because I don't think I'm qualified to comment on such.

Quote:
What's worse is that the sexual images often featured exaggeratedly young characters, and people coping with sex with more immaturity and misinformation than in the United States, which strikes me as even less healthy by quite a bit.
I can agree with the first part, but regarding "more immaturity and misinformation", what do you mean by that? But yea, I do know that can be unhealthy too.
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Old 2009-09-01, 04:19   Link #140
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Oh man can i just say this site has the worst quoting system i've ever seen, either that or im just not getting it.

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So "Sometimes it's bad, sometimes it's good?" This could be said for every creative medium out there.
What i meant here was essentially Japan goes from some of the best to some of the worst more often and more extreme that other countries. I'd argue that Ero Rape games are more extreme that any other form of medium out there. I just simply wanted to state my thoughts on japan's highs and lows.

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Originally Posted by Veritas View Post
While you're not going to get any argument from me that there are more animated titles in Japan than there are in the US, the fact that you think there are no female protags than in Disney films betrays your lack of exposure to US cartoons. Granted, the only one I've followed in any capacity in recent years is Avatar, which featured two girls as half of the main cast, and several others as recurring characters. It's folly for a cartoon or company that produces them to exclude 50% of its possible viewing audience and only feature titles with mostly male casts. If they don't directly feature a girl as the main protag (Juniper Lee, Powerpuff Girls, W.I.T.C.H.), then often it's sharing the top spot with a boy. They're not always positive, interesting, or well-written shows, but they exist.
Wooh i never at any point denied the fact western animation has female protagonists, i just said on the whole japan chooses to use females as the main characters a lot more frequently that western animation. My argument here would be, granted Disney does offer female audiences princess's to look up to, however which is a better portrayal of women in your opinion, Snow White with her constant chores and need for rescue from a male (just like Cinderella and all Disney movies staring female leads), or Oshii's portrayal of the Major in Ghost in the shell, as an ass kicking, special division leading, granted sometimes naked (but me beliefs for Oshii's choice of having her naked in certain scenes goes way way deeper than just an attraction for the male gaze), strong willed and independent leader type figure. Now i've used an examples you previously mentioned and so havn't picked and choose so to speak, but on the whole which do you think is more empowering to both the character and the female's in the audience watching. In my opinion the Major is a better role model than most traditional Disney female characters who seem to be stuck in the concrete foundations of "women in the home, man must rescue women". Note i'm not saying there isnt any cases for this in Japanese anime, im simplying comparing two directly.

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Originally Posted by Veritas View Post
In your opening post, you wanted to know how female protagonists fared in western animation and films, but switched your view to being inclusive of just animation, and provided a true example of the shoujo genre as being one that features primarily female protagonists. Are you implying that few movies feature female protagonists? I watch even fewer movies than I do anime and cartoons, but offhand I can rattle off several that, had they been released in Japan by a Japanese mangaka, could be called shoujo. Hell, Julie and Julia is out right and features not one, but two women, right there in the title. How's that for lack of representation?
No i really did just want to kept to the topic of anime if possible, although i do understand western live action has had a tendency to break a few moulds with the likes of Kill Bill (based on mostly Japanese culture) Aliens and Tomb raider ect.



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Originally Posted by Veritas View Post
The idea that a woman making a man weaker is empowered is a strange and backwards one. Someone who is truly empowered is confident enough in themselves that they don't have to objectify or demean another person, regardless of sex. This is why I don't think the girls in Love Hina, or the many heroines of Ranma 1/2 to be figures that girls should strive to emulate as much as I don't think boys should strive to be like Keitaro. A woman being nothing more than a sex object is not any better or worse than a man being a punching bag with legs.
I agree with you here, i dont think audience members should be striving to become like those on scene when its to do with like you say, power of sex over the weak. However i do feel on most cases these characters in the world of fantasy and anime, never strived to be sexualised in the first place. Obviously this has no effect on the audience but the characters own personalities are not that of "oh i must have bigger boobs" or "my ass looks fat" ect. However although i believe the characters dont seek to become sexualised, i do still agree with you on the idea of setting bad role models. However (again) is Disney really all that better? Is the message there sending out if you stay at home and wash up with woodland creatures, prince charming will come and make your life better? Again i note Disney doesn't mean all western animation but at the same time, its a super power in terms of its influences' and popularity. I think the power puff girls are actually a very good representation however i also believe their an extremely rare case and only a very very select few have such positive content.


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Originally Posted by Veritas View Post
I disagree again that there are more roles for women in action anime than in western cartoons. Again, you have the Powerpuff Girls and others, just the sheer volume of cartoons that come out of Japan skews what we see in its favor. I bet the ratios of Japanese action girl to Western action girl are pretty similar. Western film does lack for female action protagonists, in my opinion, but I'm not sure how Japanese films stack up in that regard. And the action shows you mentioned all feature highly sexualized female characters (Appleseed not so much, but oh god, the Major)
Ok i'm gonna have to disagree with you disagreement there and stick to which i orginally believe >.<. I still say Japan has more roles for women in action anime than Western (you know i should just really call this the US from now on, theres really little influence from any other country bar maybe france) animation. And i do believe the ratio is in Japan's favour. There are hundreds of thousands of cartoons for both the west and Japan. Remember the west actually started animation in mass quantities a long time before Japan. Japanese animation really kicked into a Mass audience gear post World war 2. Actually i'm willing to bet theres more western animation sources out there than anime and also that their ratio of women an action roles is exceedingly low especially compared to anime.
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