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Old 2013-05-11, 08:53   Link #34
AS Oji-kun
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Hokkaido
Age: 69
There is an older woman in Space Brothers who is an astronomer and a mentor to the two main characters when they were young boys. She appeared to be living with another woman, and many of us watching at the time were impressed that what appeared to be a normal relationship with lesbian partners was presented in such a matter-of-fact way.

Flash forward some months into the story, and we are told that the woman was once married and is now a widow, and that the two women who appeared to be a couple are merely good friends. I wondered at the time whether this was some backtracking on the manga-ka's part because of sub rosa objections to the earlier scenes, or whether he intended that to be Sharon's characterization from the outset.

On the feminism questions, there are certainly series that I would characterize as having a feminist, or at least "female-empowering" subtext. Saiunkoku Monogatari is perhaps the premiere example, where the heroine eschews romance in favor of pursuing her career. Female editor Hiroko in Hataraki Man is very dedicated to her career, but the costs of pursuing it are clear. Her workaholic schedule, and that of her boyfriend, leaves them little time for their relationship, and workplace patriarchy is a day-to-day struggle. There's a reason why she is called a "man," and it's because she works as hard as the men and wants to progress in her career. Most of the adventure stories by female novelists, ones like Moribito or Twelve Kingdoms, also portray their heroines as strong-willed and independent. So while I would agree that most anime tends to present female characters in sexist ways, there are exceptions. One aspect of these portrayals is important -- none of the woman involved is especially interested in becoming a wife or mother. Another common feature is that the original stories were all written by women.

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I have been watching Otona Joshi no Anime Time, an anthology of one-shots about women in their twenties and thirties. The three women whose stories have been shown so far (I've just downloaded episode four but have yet to watch it) offer a range of adult female role models. One of them adheres closely to the traditional role of woman as help-meet, but the other two not so much.

Last edited by SeijiSensei; 2013-05-11 at 09:09.
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