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Portrayal of Women in Anime
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24 / F / boring, bland ohio
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Posted 9/5/08

nezedud wrote:


artgeek707 wrote:


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.

Well finish it.
By the way, are you watching it Sub or Dub?

Sub
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30 / F / Mexico
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Posted 9/5/08
Well, I guess there are some stereotypes you can find in anime.

The truth is you leave no space for choice in personality. Of course even in real life you have that.

You say the girls are loud, quiet or somewhere in between. Well.. what else you've got?

I do think there are unoriginal characters in anime, but, aren't there everywhere?
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M / Crapsack World
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Posted 9/5/08 , edited 9/5/08
What about the generic "ice queen?" Under what category is that?
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29 / M / In the middle of...
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Posted 9/5/08 , edited 9/5/08
I love it, girls in anime are usually prefect, wish their were actually more girls out there like them but unfortunately we don't, sad sad world, not saying boys are any better, but since im a guy i wish for a girl in reality to be like the ones in anime
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Posted 9/5/08 , edited 9/5/08
Indeed I've seen some female characters like those 3 types you described, but not many. Maybe that's because I don't usually watch harem or shonen romance/comedy anime. And I read manga more than watch anime. There are more varied characters in manga if you have found the right ones (usually not romance centered). I read Ranma 1/2 like 15 years ago and today many shonen comedy/romance/harem anime's characterization is still pretty much the same. That's why I don't even bother reading them. Of course reverse harem in shojo manga also have a set of stereotypes of guys. However reverse harem is a pretty new thing that proliferated in recent years. I usually avoid both. Too tiring for my taste.

Some seinen romance/harem anime aren't any better.
Posted 9/5/08
Threads made based on sexist ideas generally always get nasty.

All characters have stereotypical archetypes that aren't flattering to their sex, and it is not exclusive to women by any stretch of the imagination. Hell, i'll go as far to say that some archetypes flatter women.

Nanoha, a pushover? A pushover is someone who gets hit and doesn't punch back. There are entire episodes where she punches back. Clarify, if it's the Nanoha in season 1, or the StrikerS Nanoha. That Nanoha is certainly NOT a pushover. Her students pissed her off, and as a result, asspawned one of them. That's a pushover? Read me a dictionary definition of "pushover", just to make sure you actually know what it means.


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28 / M / Parking lot...
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Posted 9/5/08 , edited 9/5/08
omg why is my post not showing anymore.!!!
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29 / M / Edge of the world.
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Posted 9/6/08

IvIarijuana wrote:

I love it, girls in anime are usually prefect, wish their were actually more girls out there like them but unfortunately we don't, sad sad world, not saying boys are any better, but since im a guy i wish for a girl in reality to be like the ones in anime


I agree w/ ya on that it would be cool if real girls were like ones in anime.
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Posted 9/6/08
To get a perfect girl you have to make yourself a perfect guy, haha.

I guess what constitutes "perfection" varies from person to person. Maybe to some Japanese guys, the perfect girl is the one who's good at cooking and cleaning, obedient, and revolving her life around some guy. That's why we have such characters anime. But people from another cultural background may think otherwise.

Here's an article I just read about females in anime: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/chicks-on-anime/2008-09-02
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25 / M / Britain
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Posted 9/6/08

FlavorAmazing wrote:

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


I think that its just the male superiority factor of culture in japan which has caused this, i dont agree with it but i can't say much considering im a guy and british so i have no say in how jap culture is!!

Or it could be that every anime team are comprised of lownley single males in their 20's-30's who haven't actually experienced what women are like so try to make characters which fit as many popular ideals of other men as possible!

i do however have a little experience in romance animes, and the descriptions you gave fit perfically with many animes liek maburaho for example. (the stereotypical types you mentioned were played out well by each of the characters and it was quite annoying))

In real life i bet its not like that!!!.
Anyway, most of the animes which i have seen with romance in they girl who the main guy goes for is usually the one who is so dumb that they can even cut a cucumber without blowing out the wall in the kitchen! (even a three year old can do that correctly!)

It is possibly also because of fanbase, the greatest amount of fanbase are males, and one of these character types fit the wants of most men. myself included.
its like if you really like someone you'll look at them more than other people, if you prefer pizza to chips, you'll have pizza more times than you have chips. if you like an anime character, you'll watch the anime more. buy the merchandise, its all a business.

is that an ok answer to your questions? i got a bit carried away and it might be hard to understand
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23 / M / GMT -8
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Posted 9/6/08

FlavorAmazing wrote:


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.


And who would fall into these roles hmm... Do NOT insult lucky star!! And Konota is not a pushover
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Posted 9/6/08
For all those who don't seem to get it... Bitch means female dog, it's an old insult that was created by the english to insult Joan of Arc
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32 / M / california
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Posted 9/6/08
OMG most of thoes charaters are in shonen anime have you seen clannad dear god the entire anime was great right up untill the end where all the girls are fighting over him and its obvious who hes going to pick.


even thoug she is the one with no personaltty


oh and hes a loser who none of theachers like and is probably failing school and he seem like the catch.

and hes bestfriend is the most realistic in the show and is like which girl you like.

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23 / M / In my house
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Posted 9/6/08
yet another stupid thread
Posted 9/6/08
... that is quite true. this is why i hate watching stereotypical animes. its like watching the same character over and over again. its boring. i prefer animes like honeyxclover, in which the characters' personalities are much more complex. and i don't think this stereotype exists for women in anime only. T___T i am so sick of the stereotypical nice guy who is boring, useless and completely ordinary, yet manages to be the main character of an anime series.
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33 / M / S. California
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Posted 9/6/08



This is rather long, so unless you were looking for a serious response, don't bother reading it.

I read of a complaint by some second wave feminist student a while back about how Hollywood never portrays a serious conversation between two female roles that isn't about a) men/relationships/sex b) clothes/fashion and that sort of shit. Yes, there are exceptions, but not too many, especially in mainstream films, just like anime. Anime is somewhat more openly less flattering, I suppose, but it's hardly unusual.

From what I can tell of Japanese culture, the first type of girl that you listed is something of an unachievable ideal. It is the ideal. I admit I could be way off, but I don't believe so. I'm not bashing on Japanese culture or anything, but this is a nation that historically respected the profession of Geisha (they were not the only ones).

For your main point, I'm not really sure if all this is a reflection of their culture or not. They are certainly cookie cutter caricatures that have become common over the decades, but just how reflective it is of female culture in Japan I'm not really prepared to speculate. Having dated a couple of Japanese girls before (who were actually from Japan), I realized there were all sorts of social norms that were never talked about, but expected of nonetheless.

It is difficult to describe, particularly if you're coming from a Western perspective. They do not speak of certain things. I once made a girlfriend inhale her beer up the wrong way by bringing up something at the wrong moment, and was instantly like, "oh, is that something that you never talk about?" She nodded, red in the face.

There is a great deal of the "unspoken" in their culture. I could go on at length, but the crutch of it is this: There are certain behavioral expectations and understandings that are so deeply ingrained that acting upon them is akin to second nature for them; moreover verbal communication for some things becomes moot. It's all "understood." Like I said, it's hard to describe.

How does that relate to female portrayals? Well it's like this: In a deeper sense, these unspoken rules become a form of Duty. The concept of "knowing your place," and humility in your place is a very prominent thing in their culture (I'm reasonably certain of this). As women, they may not only be perceived as sex objects, but they are supposed to take pride in being sex objects. As sex objects, it is their duty to provide gratification in all forms, not merely the physical; so they must provide the ideal as close as they are able. If this means playing the dunce, so be it. In fact, they have to be sharper than otherwise in order to effectively play the dunce.

Anime is an exaggerated depiction of these ideals. Girl slapping guy in the face when groped is the token protest they are supposed to act out as a male courts. The bottomless naivete is the innocence an ideal is supposed to have. And so on...

Assuming your first description (hereby referred to as A) is indeed an ideal, then your second caricature (B) is the immediate counter-ideal; not opposite, counter. All the A women are part of the ideal/male dominated/oppressed/whatever caricature and the B women effectively act the roles of crass men. Generally this contrast occurs when the main male role is filled by a complete wuss, so they need some sort of "strong" character about but they don't want to toss in another male into the mix. Why would any girl dig the wuss if the he is overshadowed by a real man? So they have a female fill the role.

Your third caricature (C) is the failed ideal, I think. Also, I believe this particular sort of character was "developed" more out of practical purposes (originally) more than anything else. They wanted something inhuman, so they made this. Sometimes there are male roles in anime with this sort of personality too, but let's face it, chicks are better received.

I am not saying all Japanese women fit the mold of these stereotypical personas, but the disconnect is in the way you perceive it as unflattering. Considering how prevalent it is in anime, I don't think this female portrayal really bothers them.
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30 / F / Wouldn't you like...
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Posted 9/6/08
You see, that's why we have such a great anime as Higurashi
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Posted 9/6/08 , edited 9/6/08

Shbyaa26 wrote:

And who would fall into these roles hmm... Do NOT insult lucky star!! And Konota is not a pushover


Konata is the deadpan girl, glazed look in her eye, weird hobbies, bizzare sense of humor.


clavesoon wrote:

This is rather long, so unless you were looking for a serious response, don't bother reading it.


I was, and I thank you for actually putting some effort into an answer. It is a complicated topic that touches on many subjects, so there really isn't a correct yes/no answer.
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