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Post Reply Hypersexualization of Anime
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Posted 8/28/13
Something that should also be considered in this conversation is the difference between the use of nudity and the use of fanservice type nudity. Take the scene in Black Lagoon Robertas Blood Trail where Rock was asking for Revy's help, we get a nude shot of her in the shower, but does that appall you? What about the times we see the Major in GiTS naked, should that bother us? What about the opening scene in Elfen Lied where Lucy escapes from what ever machine they had her in, dressed in nothing, in a place of science (what do you wear underneath a hospital gown? nothing). Obviously the use of nudity in EL is arguably overdone and completely unnecessary, but does it portray the women in EL as sex objects? I know that there are more examples to bring up, but those are the ones that stick out to me the most as examples of where nudity is used but does not demean the female characters into a useless sex object. Now on the other end of the spectrum you have stuff like High School DxD (don't tell me you watch it for the story, we all know you don't) and high school of the dead, among many others where women come in completely bizarre proportions and have personalities that only a cheesy fantasy harem can have. I guess the question we should be really asking is: is it sexualized nudity that bothers us, or is it when female characters are portrayed as emotionally and physically weak characters that are reliant on the male protagonist to do everything for them?
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Posted 8/28/13

ragingleoplaridon wrote:

Something that should also be considered in this conversation is the difference between the use of nudity and the use of fanservice type nudity. Take the scene in Black Lagoon Robertas Blood Trail where Rock was asking for Revy's help, we get a nude shot of her in the shower, but does that appall you? What about the times we see the Major in GiTS naked, should that bother us? What about the opening scene in Elfen Lied where Lucy escapes from what ever machine they had her in, dressed in nothing, in a place of science (what do you wear underneath a hospital gown? nothing). Obviously the use of nudity in EL is arguably overdone and completely unnecessary, but does it portray the women in EL as sex objects? I know that there are more examples to bring up, but those are the ones that stick out to me the most as examples of where nudity is used but does not demean the female characters into a useless sex object. Now on the other end of the spectrum you have stuff like High School DxD (don't tell me you watch it for the story, we all know you don't) and high school of the dead, among many others where women come in completely bizarre proportions and have personalities that only a cheesy fantasy harem can have. I guess the question we should be really asking is: is it sexualized nudity that bothers us, or is it when female characters are portrayed as emotionally and physically weak characters that are reliant on the male protagonist to do everything for them?


Excellent post. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

It really strikes at the heart of the matter, it's not really about sex. At least not the part that annoys people.

There's a good example in Majestic Prince. They have a pretty fun stock sequence where the pilots launch one at a time striking cool poses suggesting they're about to kick butt... That is until you reach the female characters, the show from inside the cockpit has her bend over, with the shot framing both her ass and breasts and you don't even see her face.

They don't do this with any of the guys, obviously.
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Posted 8/28/13

AmazingStef wrote:


ragingleoplaridon wrote:

Something that should also be considered in this conversation is the difference between the use of nudity and the use of fanservice type nudity. Take the scene in Black Lagoon Robertas Blood Trail where Rock was asking for Revy's help, we get a nude shot of her in the shower, but does that appall you? What about the times we see the Major in GiTS naked, should that bother us? What about the opening scene in Elfen Lied where Lucy escapes from what ever machine they had her in, dressed in nothing, in a place of science (what do you wear underneath a hospital gown? nothing). Obviously the use of nudity in EL is arguably overdone and completely unnecessary, but does it portray the women in EL as sex objects? I know that there are more examples to bring up, but those are the ones that stick out to me the most as examples of where nudity is used but does not demean the female characters into a useless sex object. Now on the other end of the spectrum you have stuff like High School DxD (don't tell me you watch it for the story, we all know you don't) and high school of the dead, among many others where women come in completely bizarre proportions and have personalities that only a cheesy fantasy harem can have. I guess the question we should be really asking is: is it sexualized nudity that bothers us, or is it when female characters are portrayed as emotionally and physically weak characters that are reliant on the male protagonist to do everything for them?


Excellent post. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

It really strikes at the heart of the matter, it's not really about sex. At least not the part that annoys people.

There's a good example in Majestic Prince. They have a pretty fun stock sequence where the pilots launch one at a time striking cool poses suggesting they're about to kick butt... That is until you reach the female characters, the show from inside the cockpit has her bend over, with the shot framing both her ass and breasts and you don't even see her face.

They don't do this with any of the guys, obviously.


If your argument isn't about sex then you're in the wrong thread. Go make a different thread called "Gender equality issues in anime".

This thread is aimed at sexualization in anime, which is its own existent subject matter. What you've asserted isn't the heart of the matter this post is aiming to discuss, it's the heart of a completely different unrelated matter that you're veering in to off-topic style.
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Posted 8/28/13
Sex doesn't always sell. I know people will disagree with me here because the younger audience wants to see anime boobs. I don't like that sort of thing. I have started skipping shows that have way too much fanservice in them. A little here and there is alright as long as the story is solid, but even a good story can be thwarted by oversexualization.

A decent example is Rosario Vampire. I thought the story was cute and I was somewhat interested in the characters, but the constant fanservice was just bad. It made me think that the only reason the author did it was to sell manga easier. It really sucked in this case because the animation style used for this title was very good. It was because of this that I decided NOT to buy the DVD.

I have a nice budget for entertainment and I do buy anime often. There have been certain titles that I decided not to buy because I knew I would never watch them because of the oversexualization. In this case, the sex kept someone from buying their product. I know some will argue that the younger people will buy it, but I am a little older and I know my budget is a little bigger than most people so in this case, I think it's safe to say the sex hurt their anime sales.
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Posted 8/28/13
Take Tenchi Muyo for example.

This anime is a classic first of all. It has aged quite well but it is a bit older. The whole entire "harem" of girls are all individually quite formidable. There's nothing damsel-ey about them. Yet this harem show is considered one of anime's greatest harem shows of all time.
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Posted 8/28/13

zipzo wrote:

If your argument isn't about sex then you're in the wrong thread. Go make a different thread called "Gender equality issues in anime".

This thread is aimed at sexualization in anime, which is its own existent subject matter. What you've asserted isn't the heart of the matter this post is aiming to discuss, it's the heart of a completely different unrelated matter that you're veering in to off-topic style.


They're inter-related in a very big way, whether you want to see it or not. The reason you don't see the male equivalent of Queen's Blade should clue you in that maybe there's something problematic going on.

It goes beyond boobies.


Mayo2111 wrote:
I have a nice budget for entertainment and I do buy anime often. There have been certain titles that I decided not to buy because I knew I would never watch them because of the oversexualization. In this case, the sex kept someone from buying their product. I know some will argue that the younger people will buy it, but I am a little older and I know my budget is a little bigger than most people so in this case, I think it's safe to say the sex hurt their anime sales.


You're not alone.

It's important to note that fanservice doesn't actually sell all that well even in Japan. Most anime makes it investment back by selling overpriced stuff to a very small but very dedicated market. That's why you get so many moe shows and harem comedies.
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Posted 8/28/13

Mayo2111 wrote:

Sex doesn't always sell. I know people will disagree with me here because the younger audience wants to see anime boobs. I don't like that sort of thing. I have started skipping shows that have way too much fanservice in them. A little here and there is alright as long as the story is solid, but even a good story can be thwarted by oversexualization.

A decent example is Rosario Vampire. I thought the story was cute and I was somewhat interested in the characters, but the constant fanservice was just bad. It made me think that the only reason the author did it was to sell manga easier. It really sucked in this case because the animation style used for this title was very good. It was because of this that I decided NOT to buy the DVD.

I have a nice budget for entertainment and I do buy anime often. There have been certain titles that I decided not to buy because I knew I would never watch them because of the oversexualization. In this case, the sex kept someone from buying their product. I know some will argue that the younger people will buy it, but I am a little older and I know my budget is a little bigger than most people so in this case, I think it's safe to say the sex hurt their anime sales.

I'm 45 and pay to watch some pretty sexual anime. My wife enjoys watching it with me. Now if you consider 45 young, well I'm flattered to have you think me a young person.

after saying that I will say I stopped watching Rosario Vampire near the end of the first season as it seemed any semblance of story was abandoned.
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Posted 8/28/13

MephitBlue wrote:

I'm 45 and pay to watch some pretty sexual anime. My wife enjoys watching it with me. Now if you consider 45 young, well I'm flattered to have you think me a young person.

after saying that I will say I stopped watching Rosario Vampire near the end of the first season as it seemed any semblance of story was abandoned.


37 here, I actually OWN quite a bit of anime porn.

Still can't watch High School of the Dead. It's all about context, it's hard to be engaged by the horror of the world ending and losing all your friends with all the jello breasts flopping around.

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Posted 8/28/13 , edited 8/28/13

iblessall wrote:

Having done my due search through the forums, the only topic I could find was on the over-sexualization of females in anime, but that thread was locked over a year ago and I want this one to cover a topic that is somewhat different.

Although I haven't been in the anime community long, it is apparent to me that there is rampant hypersexualization across the board, from the shows themselves to merchandise to fan art. Now, obviously this is much more pervasive with regards to women, but it does exist for men as well. I'm a little troubled by this, and let me explain why.

When I watch anime, I am often seeking out the greatest good I can find in it. I'm not really a feminist or anything, but I like female characters who can stand on their own two feet. And I also like male characters who aren't just out looking for sex, but have higher motivations. And so, when I find good characters that I enjoy watching, I form a certain emotional connection with them and a certain expectation and ideal in my head.

EXAMPLE 1: Thus, when I see things like this http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2013/08/26-1/chara-ani-prepares-sword-art-online-asuna-new-wives-always-say-yes-figure it really bothers me. I really liked Asuna in SAO. She was not, I felt ever presented as a sex object (that's right, not even in the second arc, because Sugou's lust was obviously portrayed as evil). She was a fighter, survivor and a pure figure. So seeing her in a clearly sexualized figure (figure title, position, blush on her cheeks) really bothers me because of the ideal I have for her. This continues in fan art and, I'm sure, fan fiction (from which I plan to stay far away).

EXAMPLE 2: It also bugs me when I encounter things like Junichiro's password and fetish in Blast of Tempest, which is my all time favorite anime. What is mostly a dramatic, mature and brilliantly constructed show runs into a stupid password like "Boobs that don't bounce aren't boobs at all." It's out of character for the show, but it's still there.

EXAMPLE 3: Just to show that this goes beyond the female sexualization, take a gander at this photo.
Again, sexualization of a very non-sexualized character in the story. It, in some ways, damages my view of Mahiro as a character and turns him into an object (same thing applies to example 1).

In short, what is up with the hypersexualization that surrounds anime and what are people's thoughts on it? And let's go beyond the cliche answer, "It's Japanese and they're all pervs over there." Some of these shows are not sexualized, yet you still see it in fan art, etc. We're (for the most part) an American audience; we come from a different culture and are not bound by Japan's culture.


Wait a minute? Asuna WASN'T a sex symbol? Are you serious? Did you forget when she was attacked by those tentacle monsters? Did you forget that despite being a """""Knight""""" Super quotes, she wears a short skirt? Asuna may not have been AS sexualized as other females, but that doesn't change the fact that she was still a pretentious damsel in distress that pathetically threatens suicide and gets captured by Sugou. Asuna was a fighter? Kawahara may have written down "She was a knight for 2 years" But her personality and actions are unbelievably weak, a strong female character doesn't burst into tears like a pussy and threaten suicide where her loved one is about to fight for the lives of other men and may die. She was definitely not a survivor seeing as how she didn't even value her life, but of course. Some will say "Aww isn't that cute, she gonna die for who she wuvs! <3" and others will say "Do you have any respect for your life? Stop trying to threaten suicide" Remember when Kirito asked the dude to make sure Asuna wasn't able to kill herself after Kirito dies? I mean for god's sake, I have NEVER seen someone go to such lengths to make sure their loved one tries to NOT kill themselves, that's not "Surviving" That's just pathetic. Just because she supposedly "Fought for 2 years" That's just crappy pretentious writing and it in no way reflects in her personality, which is just a bland generic anime girl.

So in regards to your comment, Asuna is one of the most perfect girls to be sexualized because she is the composite of every single damsel in distress anime girl mixed with the disgusting pretentiousness of "Oh yeah, she's strong" A WELL WRITTEN CHARACTER cannot simply be "Oh yeah, she's strong" Because in anime, Strength is the new cliche.

In terms of sexualization, America is actually a very conservative nation. How we look at sexualization in japan is exactly how many People in the middle east react if we were to show a woman's bare leg, they think that we're the perverts. Sex sells after all, it's more dominant in Japan because it's a very capitalist nation as well. Mix capitalism and lack of shame and that's where the culture comes from. obviously, China is still trying to pull itself out of it's own ditch and is still very conservative but I believe oversexualization is the result of Japan's capitalism and their homogeneous race.

Let's observe the Japanese. Japanese people tend to be very shy and reclusive people, not ALL of them but that's how the partial stereotype goes, mix the homogeneous factor and then you'll realize that the "Perverted loner Japanese" Demographic is a very big demographic in the country. I'm sure China would have gone the same way of over sexualization if not for them banning porn, having a strict communist country, etc. Sexualization is based off the demographic's mentality and most Japanese people are shy and awkward around girls, so these kinds of anime alleviate their fantasies.
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Posted 8/28/13
*ponders*

(I should not be touching this topic with a nine-foot Internet pole, but –)

Sex does not have to sell well. It merely has to sell, and anime production companies seem to be aware of exactly how many yen the male otaku population has in its collective pockets.
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Posted 8/28/13

Mayo2111 wrote:

Sex doesn't always sell. I know people will disagree with me here because the younger audience wants to see anime boobs. I don't like that sort of thing. I have started skipping shows that have way too much fanservice in them. A little here and there is alright as long as the story is solid, but even a good story can be thwarted by oversexualization.

A decent example is Rosario Vampire. I thought the story was cute and I was somewhat interested in the characters, but the constant fanservice was just bad. It made me think that the only reason the author did it was to sell manga easier. It really sucked in this case because the animation style used for this title was very good. It was because of this that I decided NOT to buy the DVD.

I have a nice budget for entertainment and I do buy anime often. There have been certain titles that I decided not to buy because I knew I would never watch them because of the oversexualization. In this case, the sex kept someone from buying their product. I know some will argue that the younger people will buy it, but I am a little older and I know my budget is a little bigger than most people so in this case, I think it's safe to say the sex hurt their anime sales.


The Rosario Vampire Manga was actually good.
has a lot more story for one and the main character isn't a useless lump


The anime literally threw the story out in favor of Fanservice. It's pretty much a perfect example of how to ruin something by over-sexing it.

I sat through the first season waiting for the moment when the Main character begins his transformation and when they reached that key moment, it doesn't happen.

2nd season looked like it was going to be more of the same, so I didn't watch beyond the first few episodes. If they got back on track I never head anything of it, I don't imagine they did though.

he was supposed to become a monster himself, something so powerful and dangerous that it ate away at his reason and he became a threat to everyone around him, so much so that Moka, with tears in her eyes, felt she had no choice but to put him down like a rabid dog.

instead we got sexy curry demon
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Posted 8/28/13

The Rosario Vampire Manga was actually good.
has a lot more story for one and the main character isn't a useless lump


The anime literally threw the story out in favor of Fanservice. It's pretty much a perfect example of how to ruin something by over-sexing it.

I sat through the first season waiting for the moment when the Main character begins his transformation and when they reached that key moment, it doesn't happen.

2nd season looked like it was going to be more of the same, so I didn't watch beyond the first few episodes. If they got back on track I never head anything of it, I don't imagine they did though.

he was supposed to become a monster himself, something so powerful and dangerous that it ate away at his reason and he became a threat to everyone around him, so much so that Moka, with tears in her eyes, felt she had no choice but to put him down like a rabid dog.

instead we got sexy curry demon


I have to agree. I have heard the same of some other mangas that were pretty good, but then they went for sex in the anime to try and sell it and ruined the story. I guess I'm just not that into meaningless sex when it comes to the things I watch. I'm a writer so I always look for the story. That's what gets me watching.
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Posted 8/28/13

rcsatcrunchyroll wrote:

*ponders*

(I should not be touching this topic with a nine-foot Internet pole, but –)

Sex does not have to sell well. It merely has to sell, and anime production companies seem to be aware of exactly how many yen the male otaku population has in its collective pockets.


And since selling well is off the table these days...

That's the tragic part, a lot of studios would rather do something else than do crappy fanservice harem shows. But combine the Lost Decade, crumbling DVD sales in the west, piracy and increased international competition and you get a crappy protrait where the Otaku money is the only money.

Wich feeds the death spiral. Shows with less mainstream appeal mean less mainstream audiences, wich means less relevance, wich means less new viewers, wich means a shrinking market, cattering to this shrinking market means less mainstream appeal...

The Japaneese animation industry is NOT in good shape.
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Posted 8/28/13

AmazingStef wrote:


rcsatcrunchyroll wrote:

*ponders*

(I should not be touching this topic with a nine-foot Internet pole, but –)

Sex does not have to sell well. It merely has to sell, and anime production companies seem to be aware of exactly how many yen the male otaku population has in its collective pockets.


And since selling well is off the table these days...

That's the tragic part, a lot of studios would rather do something else than do crappy fanservice harem shows. But combine the Lost Decade, crumbling DVD sales in the west, piracy and increased international competition and you get a crappy protrait where the Otaku money is the only money.

Wich feeds the death spiral. Shows with less mainstream appeal mean less mainstream audiences, wich means less relevance, wich means less new viewers, wich means a shrinking market, cattering to this shrinking market means less mainstream appeal...

The Japaneese animation industry is NOT in good shape.


And the American movie/entertainment/music industry is just doing grand in terms of content quality?

Seriously...
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Posted 8/28/13 , edited 8/28/13

AmazingStef wrote:


rcsatcrunchyroll wrote:

*ponders*

(I should not be touching this topic with a nine-foot Internet pole, but –)

Sex does not have to sell well. It merely has to sell, and anime production companies seem to be aware of exactly how many yen the male otaku population has in its collective pockets.


And since selling well is off the table these days...

That's the tragic part, a lot of studios would rather do something else than do crappy fanservice harem shows. But combine the Lost Decade, crumbling DVD sales in the west, piracy and increased international competition and you get a crappy protrait where the Otaku money is the only money.

Wich feeds the death spiral. Shows with less mainstream appeal mean less mainstream audiences, wich means less relevance, wich means less new viewers, wich means a shrinking market, cattering to this shrinking market means less mainstream appeal...

The Japaneese animation industry is NOT in good shape.


I don't think it's the studios, so much as the production committees that force heaps of fanservice and moe into the grinder. The studios just have to make what they are told to by the people paying for it. Give a studio and a director free reign and they usually come up with some crazy awesome stuff. But most of the financing for a project comes from people in suits who's main goal is sell merchandize. They don't want creative, they want what sells. They don't trust new or innovative, they trust proven track records of same old same old


although some of the studios are starting to look around and realize there are other ways of doing things. The recent success of crowdfunding as a way of financing short films like Kickheart and Little Witch2 are giving them options beyond "just make what the marketing guys tell you."

Kickstarter is never going to fund a full TV season but it gives the studios a resource they can draw on for short one-shot projects.

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