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Portrayal of Women in Anime
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Posted 9/5/08 , edited 9/5/08
Most female characters can typically be placed into one of these broad categories (but don't necessarily have all these qualities)

The push-over (or ideal wife type) :
shy, quiet, subservient, nice, air headed, love struck, clumsy, helpless, easily embarrassed, low self esteem, unimportant (if they aren't the main love interest), guilt complex, relies-on-magic-to-get-anything-done, bento making girl next door type who's life revolves around some guy(s)
Examples: Belldandy (Ah my Goddess) Mikiru (Melancholy of Haruhi suzumiya) Haruka (Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu) Amu (Shugo Chara)

The bitch (or strong girl) :
Loud, brash, obnoxious, stubborn, violent, sarcastic, heavy drinking, conniving, bad driving, back slapping, disciplinary, pig headed, domestically incompetent, dishonest-about-their-feelings, meddling, ego tripping, possessive, petty, sexually repressed, onii-chan molesting, misunderstands everything type girl
Examples: Haruhi (Melancholy of) Urd, (ah my Goddess) Asuna (Mahou sensei negima)

Somewhere in between the two we have the Deadpan girl:
Quiet, intelligent, seemingly humorless, stoic, nihilistic, eccentric, knows more than they let on, bookish, uninterested, glazed over facial expression support character type.

Yes it's impossible to put every character ever into these categories, don't bother mentioning it. My point is that most women aren't portrayed in a very flattering light. They seem to simply just exist for men, as their servants (too dumb to do anything but cook and clean), as their reluctant lovers (They are too dumb to know how they feel) or as sex objects (So dumb it takes them 10 seconds to realize somebody fell on them and is groping them and their panties are showing)

Why do you think women are (or are not) shown this way? Is it just cookie cutter characters of a reflection of Japanese ideals?
Edit: Regardless if you agree or not with my views or categorizations you should still be able explain how you see women in anime. Please don't get hung up on the word bitch
Posted 9/5/08
In my own opinion (not facts, opinions), I think that women are generally protraited this way, do to the large influence of other popular animes. Kinda like a chain reaction, you know? While artists seek out ideas, they generally watch other animes. The influence that they come across makes them draw their character somewhat similar than the anime that they've seen. Most artists tend to recycle the general character design of "normal" anime characters and make it their own. It's like how the media influences people, just that we scratch out media, and replace it with animes, and scratch out people, and replace it with artists. But then again, this is just a speculation, not a fact.
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Posted 9/5/08

TriPad wrote:

"Bitch"
Wut?


Thank you for trying your hardest
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Posted 9/5/08 , edited 9/5/08
Hmm. It's hard to say, maybe it's just a reflection of what people want to see or the personality types that are most common and can be easily identifiable or are already popular? The behavior most female characters have doesn't usually take a leap into original territory because it's either one or the other like you said. A cookie cutter situation. You're the nice girl or you're the bitch. You're stoic or a freakin' android who doesn't have any feelings at all. If you lay out things so plainly for people they automatically establish what they like or dislike. "I hate her, but she's so cool."

Uhh, yeah, just thinking out loud .D

.
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Posted 9/5/08
Although I have noticed that in anime as opposed to live action drama there are far more women who will "kick ass" in animes.

In contrast though I will ask you to apply your same criticisms of typecasting to male characters, if the majority of men are portrayed in a positive only light then I'll accept that there is a gender bias and not just plot devices, simplified characterization, and an attempt to have every person identify with a character; ie to have every character possess at least one fault that a viewer will have, which given the number of viewers requires a lot of faults to be placed on a fairly limited number of characters.

L
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Posted 9/5/08

TriPad wrote:


Why use that term? Elaborate.


I also used the less offensive term "strong girl"
Somebody who possesses several of those qualities would probably be considered bitchy

In the melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, in one episode she grabs Kyon by the collar and slams his head into her desk to get his attention. I think the normal reaction would be "what is your problem, you crazy bitch?"

But really its just fun to make broad insulting claims about characters in anime. Like, Lucky star is about a bitch, two push overs and a dead pan girl.
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Posted 9/5/08
I don't know. I think SOMEWOMEN fit into these cattagories, but not all. If you watch harem anime, most of the girls are like this (ignoring CLANNAD. It's the only harem anime I can think of where the entire plot doesn't revolve around the boy getting into awkward situations with the girl(s).) However, if you branch out there are a lot more. Manga heroines are usually better than anime heroines, too, character, personality, and uniqueness wise. There are really a lot of other "catagories" besides just "air head", "bitch" and "unemotional bookworm". Watch Chiko, Heiress of the Phantom Theif, Ginban Kaleidoscope, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (I don't know where you get the idea that Haruhi falls into the "bitch" cattagory. Also, I can't hel but notice that these cattagories seem to be specificly modeled after the characters of TMOHS–Haruhi, the "bitch", Asahina, the "push over", and Yuki, the ex[ressionless bookworm.), Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha (any of them), Romeo X Juliet, Saiunkoku Monogatari, Shugo Chara (exactly how is Amu a "perfect wife" type who's life revolves around a guy's?? She likes, what, six guys now (though Ikuto's the best), acts really cool but is actually a girly tart, and with out the help of Suu cooking and housework are quite beyond her.), s o l a, or Tsubasa Chronicle.
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Posted 9/5/08
Everyone on the internet is a Bitch get use to it.
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Posted 9/5/08
I think women are generally portrayed this way in all forms of media. I think an even better example is the fanservice and panty shots in anime. However I wouldn't say that all anime use these archtypes. Re-l Mayer is a strong obnoxious character, yet she also has the confindence and leadership associated with male characters (a bit at Vincents expense).

Also Lain Irakuwa is possibly one of the most facisnating anime characters I've seen, only second to Johan form Monster. She starts out as shy and somewhat removed but has her personality fractured into three seperate entities. The power struggle among the three is one of the most interesting plot devices I've ever seen and was carried out brilliantly.

Then there's Robin. She's also quiet, but as the series progresses you see her become more assertive and mature emoitionally.

I could name many others who deviate from the archtypes. I think it all depends on what anime you're watching.
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Posted 9/5/08
Seriously guys can you stop arguing. I think this is an interesting thread, and I don't want to have to copy pasta if this gets locked.
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Posted 9/5/08

nezedud wrote:


artgeek707 wrote:

I think women are generally portrayed this way in all forms of media. I think an even better example is the fanservice and panty shots in anime. However I wouldn't say that all anime use these archtypes. Re-l Mayer is a strong obnoxious character, yet she also has the confindence and leadership associated with male characters (a bit at Vincents expense).

Also Lain Irakuwa is possibly one of the most facisnating anime characters I've seen, only second to Johan form Monster. She starts out as shy and somewhat removed but has her personality fractured into three seperate entities. The power struggle among the three is one of the most interesting plot devices I've ever seen and was carried out brilliantly.

Then there's Robin. She's also quiet, but as the series progresses you see her become more assertive and mature emoitionally.

I could name many others who deviate from the archtypes. I think it all depends on what anime you're watching.


Those are really interesting characters. I liked those Anime. Monster is my favorite.

The female archetype that probably interest me is the from Welcome to the NHK. She uses the main character to verify herself.

I am just getting sick of too much fanservicing females in Anime, but it is somewhat necessary.


Ah Misaki. I haven't finished Welcome to the NHK yet but she is an incredibly interesting character so far. And yeah I can see why fanservice is necessary (attention getter) but it's become really out of hand and incredibly crass.
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