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#26 | Back to Top09-06-2012 01:28:51 PM

Dazmi
Miki Molester
From: Winnipeg, MB
Registered: 08-09-2012
Posts: 30
Website

Re: Feminist Anime

If we're talking strong female characters:
Paradise Kiss
Mahoromatic (Even if just Mahoro)
Madoka Magica
Sailor Moon
Berserk (Casca - with a dash of "for plot reasons")
Digimon Tamers

Polar examples because nerdy:
Ikki tousen
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
Fushigi Yuugi (Same reasons because Twilight)
Elfen Lied
School Days

Last edited by Dazmi (09-06-2012 01:29:23 PM)

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#27 | Back to Top09-06-2012 05:22:02 PM

MissMocha
Bettie Page Princess
From: Tallahassee, Fl
Registered: 10-19-2006
Posts: 4632

Re: Feminist Anime

For strong female characters, I might say Ghost in the Shell. Kusanagi kicks some pretty heavy ass, and is the field commander for Section 9. I'm too tired to think of other reasons why, but if I do, I'll let you know.


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#28 | Back to Top09-06-2012 09:12:17 PM

OnlyInThisLight
KING OF ALL DUCKS
Registered: 01-15-2008
Posts: 4407

Re: Feminist Anime

For me, a feminist anime doesn't need to have strong female characters, especially if that definition of strong is "masculine while still being sexy or heterosexual."  It needs well-written, unique female characters, it needs more than one, it needs female characters of all shapes, sizes, races, personality and desire.  It needs female characters who are not defined wholly by their sex, but impacted by it and by their gender-identification in the contexts of their societies' treatment of it.  It needs female characters who have healthy and varied and non-dependent relationships with male characters.  Variety and proper development of female characters is what makes an anime feminist to me or no, and not whether or not the female lead is in any way competent or ass-kicking.  Their value and entertainment as a character must be a product of that character and writing, and not solely or mostly of their sexual or romantic appeal.

Madoka from Magica Madoka, for example, spends 90 percent of the series standing on the sidelines and crying, and likes ribbons in her pink hair.   And she is a feminist character in a feminist anime for me.  Because she is complex, because her decisions and her conflict do not surround the typical media tropes we associate with women, and because her weaknesses and flaws stem from her individual personality and not her gender, and because those flaws may in fact be her strength. 

Actaully, a feminist anime may not even need to focus on its female characters.  An anime that shows men acting in non-traditionally masculine roles with a positive light or dealing with male gender role expectations is both feminist and masculinist.

Last edited by OnlyInThisLight (09-06-2012 09:14:33 PM)

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#29 | Back to Top09-07-2012 02:47:47 AM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10327
Website

Re: Feminist Anime

OITL is onto something.  It's not necessarily about having powerful women; if that were all it took, then Amane Misa would make Death Note a feminist anime.  A better shorthand might be that it's about having (and examining) women who resemble people.  Also men.

I also think Daytripper was right in 2009 that feminism is not as advanced in Japan as it is here, and it might be reasonable to grade anime on a sliding scale.  An interesting show to examine might be Boogiepop Phantom (with the caveat that I'm not familiar with all of the other work around that franchise).  The show has three protagonists, all female.  Kirima Nagi is basically Batman; she lost her father as a child, something in her snapped, and now she's a vigilante detective.  Miyashita Touka seems to be a perfectly ordinary high school student, but in fact is periodically possessed by an androgynous spirit called Boogiepop, which takes control of her body and gives her superpowers; Touka remains oblivious to this.  And Suema Kazuko is a high school student who actually does have no superpowers or vigilante proclivities, though she did once almost get victimized by a serial killer, and she became interested in forensic psychology as a result.

What's interesting about this to me is that I think Kazuko -- the victim, the ordinary one who doesn't kick any ass at all -- is actually a more interesting woman than either Touka or Nagi.  Compared to the fierce and capable Nagi on her motorcycle, Kazuko seems very vulnerable and "feminine."  But compared to her good friend Touka (when not in Boogiepop mode), Kazuko is inquisitive, even rashly nosy.  She would get into paranormal drama way over her head almost instantly if Nagi and Boogiepop weren't keeping her at a distance.  Like Touka, her interactions with her society are shaped by her gender, but like Nagi, she has an individuality rooted in her own history that transcends what society expects from her gender.  That's looking at her from within the story.  From outside the story, Kazuko is neither played for fanservice on one hand, nor pointed up as a token Strong Woman(TM) on the other.  To me that's enough to make Kazuko a good example of a well written woman in anime, no matter that on the surface she looks like a stock character, and I prefer her to any number of Yoko Littners.

Last edited by satyreyes (09-07-2012 02:50:14 AM)

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#30 | Back to Top09-07-2012 05:12:23 AM

Decrescent Daytripper
Best Disney Princess
Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 2752

Re: Feminist Anime

Dazmi wrote:

Fushigi Yuugi (Same reasons because Twilight)

Does the TV show do as much with her former BBF's rape and general mistreatment as the comic? Or, the class stuff? Or is it boiled down to a long string of "Miaka!"/"Tamahome!"/"Miaka!"?

I wish I didn't feel like such an ethnographer plumbing through all this. The original late night Eat-Man adaptation, for example, has a lot of time in it for smartly examining the roles prescribed for, and blocked from, women; gender expectations, performative gender, money and sex, et cetera, but it's also got its turns for the objectifying (and '98 is worse, as it tends towards stock reference - and I still mostly love it).

I can't see the Major and Section-9 of Ghost in the Shell without Shirow's butt-shots and fetish nurses in my head, the movie's insistence on stripping her down and masculinizing her, but I also think Shirow's more on the ball than it sometimes appears, and the TV show had some brilliant bits to it.

What's cultural? What's predicting an audience expectation? What's a soft sell constitute in modern Japan? I feel a little too judgmental trying to sort those out.


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#31 | Back to Top09-08-2012 03:02:46 PM

Lightice
Azure Paleontologist
From: Finland
Registered: 10-21-2006
Posts: 1255

Re: Feminist Anime

Decrescent Daytripper wrote:

I can't see the Major and Section-9 of Ghost in the Shell without Shirow's butt-shots and fetish nurses in my head, the movie's insistence on stripping her down and masculinizing her, but I also think Shirow's more on the ball than it sometimes appears, and the TV show had some brilliant bits to it.

Although there's an element of fanservice to Shirow's manga, he does give the subject some complexity. We are reminded every now and then that the women in skimpy clothes are literally objects; robots and cyborg frames constructed for sex appeal. For every lady in fetish outfit you see one with half of "her" limbs or skin gone. Shirow likes to play with fanservice by constantly reminding the reader that he's ogling drawn pictures of glorified mannequins. Ghost in the Shell, especially its later volumes, feels too transhumanist to be properly feminist either, though. Classifying the protagonist as a human being is difficult enough, let alone a woman, in spite of appearances. In Man-Machine Interface Motoko Aramaki at one point wears a hyper-masculine body builder body at one point just to hammer in that bodies mean to her about as much as clothes mean to us.

And I really doubt that Mamoru Oshii had fanservice at all in mind when he reimagined the Major for the movie. He wanted to paint a picture of a woman who views her body only as a utilitarian machine, with no connection to it on an emotional level. Having a nude, or masculine woman in a work of fiction is not in itself a statement to any direction as far as feminism is concerned. You'd do better analyzing the Major's psychology in that movie; I've heard interpretations to both pro- and anti-feminist directions concerning it. What's sure is that there's more to talk about there than in the visual style, as far as the topic of this thread is concerned.


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#32 | Back to Top09-08-2012 03:17:22 PM

Decrescent Daytripper
Best Disney Princess
Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 2752

Re: Feminist Anime

Lightice wrote:

In Man-Machine Interface Motoko Aramaki at one point wears a hyper-masculine body builder body at one point just to hammer in that bodies mean to her about as much as clothes mean to us.

And, Shirow in Man-Machine Interface claims it's all eyepull, as well, a distraction for the folks around her. And, fair enough. But he's also been open about things like drawing the sex scene in the first comic with all women because he wanted to avoid male nudity and about the nudity at the end of M-M I not truly existing in any ways, except representationally, because our protagonist has no subjective frame of reference for an outside viewer.

Shirow's smarter and more commercially-savvy than most people want to credit him, I think. He's using the eyepull on the audience, too, but he's not telling them not to enjoy examples of classically Shirow-drawn ass. Exploitative to get us to pay attention, perhaps, but still exploitative.

Lightice wrote:

And I really doubt that Mamoru Oshii had fanservice at all in mind when he reimagined the Major for the movie.

Not fanservice, per se, but he did strip her down, probably to reenforce a sense of total-nakedness or vulnerability that's not, reasonably, physically there. He also destroys the hell out of her body, at the end of the movie. The masculinization was intentional, however, and he has addressed in interviews how he thinks it portrayed her as "stronger," which I can see an audience intuiting, but don't agree with. But, yeah, there's a sex-sell in stripping her down, as well, and the fact that many people remember Ghost in the Shell as, or heard about it being, the movie with the naked cyborg chick that's really smart and artsy, means the sex-sell worked.


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#33 | Back to Top09-08-2012 03:26:13 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10327
Website

Re: Feminist Anime

Daytripper wrote:

But, yeah, there's a sex-sell in stripping her down, as well, and the fact that many people remember Ghost in the Shell as, or heard about it being, the movie with the naked cyborg chick that's really smart and artsy, means the sex-sell worked.

I dunno.  Can you really say "there's a hot naked woman in it and therefore it's problematic?"  Or even "the director thought naked women would sell well and therefore it's problematic?"  It seems to me that the right question is whether there's a good reason for her to be naked.  I barely remember Ghost in the Shell, but I know Adolescence of Utena pretty well.  Do you think its ending is problematic?  I'm quite certain that Ikuni was very happy to have the opportunity to have the animators draw two naked women embracing each other, from a marketing standpoint and probably from a personal gratification standpoint.  But I dunno -- their nakedness serves a purpose.  It emphasizes their symbolic rebirth.  And if they weren't naked, what would they be wearing -- their academy uniforms?  That would be very strange.  What do you think?

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#34 | Back to Top09-08-2012 06:35:30 PM

Lightice
Azure Paleontologist
From: Finland
Registered: 10-21-2006
Posts: 1255

Re: Feminist Anime

Decrescent Daytripper wrote:

Shirow's smarter and more commercially-savvy than most people want to credit him, I think. He's using the eyepull on the audience, too, but he's not telling them not to enjoy examples of classically Shirow-drawn ass. Exploitative to get us to pay attention, perhaps, but still exploitative.

It's the art style that he developed while drawing erotic calendars so yes. It's main purpose is most likely to lure buyers for a work that is difficult to comprehend, and wouldn't enjoy nearly as great commercial success by itself. But as I said, Shirow puts attention to the artificiality of his erotica. His real women are normally proportioned, even somewhat plain, but most of the women he draws are machines built with attractiveness in mind.

Not fanservice, per se, but he did strip her down, probably to reenforce a sense of total-nakedness or vulnerability that's not, reasonably, physically there. He also destroys the hell out of her body, at the end of the movie.

To me the nudity did not read vulnerability at all; the Major is never naked in her most vulnerable moments in the movie. She's naked when she is using her body as a utilitarian tool honed for maximum effectiveness, stripped of all humanity.

The masculinization was intentional, however, and he has addressed in interviews how he thinks it portrayed her as "stronger," which I can see an audience intuiting, but don't agree with. But, yeah, there's a sex-sell in stripping her down, as well, and the fact that many people remember Ghost in the Shell as, or heard about it being, the movie with the naked cyborg chick that's really smart and artsy, means the sex-sell worked.

Again, the masculinization of Motoko's frame emphasizes the utilitarianism of her design. A masculine shape is physically stronger than feminine one, and in the movie, unlike the manga or the TV-series, it wasn't built to be beautiful, but to be an effective weapon. And I never really found the movie Motoko sexy in the slightest. The camera treats her body with as much appeal as a storefront mannequin, which it also zooms to at one point just to hammer in the comparison. Also, it's not exactly easy to view someone as a sex object when the first sight of her is with her skin off.

You are focusing way too much on the visual elements when dealing with implications of sexism or feminism, I think. Those are only a tiny part of the whole picture. It's the story, the characterizations that you should be paying attention to, when deciding whether the story treats its female characters as individuals or just prizes or extensions of the males.


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#35 | Back to Top09-09-2012 04:12:33 PM

gorgeousshutin
Bare Footman
Registered: 04-11-2012
Posts: 1286
Website

Re: Feminist Anime

Legend of Basara (Anime's incomplete plot to be finished off by the epic manga)

In a post apocalyptic world where Japan is ruled under the tyrannical Royal Family, a prophet had foretold of a boy called Tatara who'd grow up to be the Messiah to overthrow the evil Royal Family now oppressing the people.  But when Tatara got executed by the Red King of the Royal amily, it is up to his twin sister Sarasa to masquerade as him and bring about the revolt against the royals (and unknowingly fall in love with her nemesis  the Red King along the way).


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Updated to Part 40 as of Nov 05, 2016)
(NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016)
(BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
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#36 | Back to Top09-10-2012 06:29:29 AM

yuzukelly
Rose Smilee
From: Columbus, Ohio
Registered: 09-22-2010
Posts: 130
Website

Re: Feminist Anime

Porco Rosso!! emot-biggrin Pretty much anything by Miyazaki, though emot-smile


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#37 | Back to Top09-11-2012 01:04:47 AM

Trench Kamen
Eternal Eschatologist
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: 12-08-2006
Posts: 903
Website

Re: Feminist Anime

NANA could count, especially if one focuses on Oosaki Nana. While many of the women in the manga are truly a product of their society, to the point of believing stereotypes about men and women and internalizing them (notably, Hachi), they are given considerable psychological depth.

It's a damn shame it probably won't be finished.


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#38 | Back to Top09-12-2012 09:25:30 AM

yuzukelly
Rose Smilee
From: Columbus, Ohio
Registered: 09-22-2010
Posts: 130
Website

Re: Feminist Anime

^Nana pisses me off. It's so addicting, it's a love hate thing lol, but Nana O. I feel just isn't as strong as people think, in my opinion. (spoilers) but the whole reason Nana dresses like that is because of Ren, in one chapter we learn he bought all of her clothes. Her piercings are JUST like his, she wears the same boots, her style fits his, and the reason she began singing was because REN asked her. Heck, the reason she moved to Tokyo and started a band was to show Ren up. Her whole life revolves around Ren, and to me that's not cool or independent. Her only tattoo is because of him. The only thing in her life not really influenced by Ren is when she moved in with Nana K.

Sure, she liked the sex pistols because of Nobu, but I don't think that would be such a big part of her if it wasn't for Ren.

Nana K., I loved until she got pregnant and chose Takumi. That was so stupid of her, and that was around the time I began feeling for Nana O more. I think Nana O. doesn't deserve all the glory she gets, especially up until that point. She gets better after that point, and I think focuses on herself more, but that's only because she has Ren.... then you know what happens, and now, she's just sulking! It's understandable, but basically her life is for Ren.


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#39 | Back to Top09-20-2012 11:39:32 PM

CausalityStar
Caretaker
From: Idaho
Registered: 09-12-2010
Posts: 215

Re: Feminist Anime

OnlyInThisLight wrote:

Madoka from Magica Madoka, for example, spends 90 percent of the series standing on the sidelines and crying, and likes ribbons in her pink hair.   And she is a feminist character in a feminist anime for me.  Because she is complex, because her decisions and her conflict do not surround the typical media tropes we associate with women, and because her weaknesses and flaws stem from her individual personality and not her gender, and because those flaws may in fact be her strength.

Cool, you watched Madoka Magica! I completely agree with you about Madoka being a feminist character. I will also say that Madoka Magica is only 12 half-hour episodes long and yet is able to effectively develop a variety of different relationships between the female characters in the show. Not to mention, I really liked how they showed Madoka's interactions with her mom because they have several conversations that -gasp- don't revolve around boys or Madoka's love life. Madoka's dad is pretty awesome too. He's a stay-at-home dad and yet there's never the implication that he's "less of a man" because of that. Another cool thing about the anime that one of the characters, Mami has bigger breasts than the other girls, but she's not just there to be used for fanservice. In fact, no one is. She just happens to have a bigger chest than her friends and it's no big deal.

In addition to all of the above, Madoka Magica has a great storyline and is an excellent, dark deconstruction of the magical girl genre. I don't want to spoil anything, but I will just say that while it may appear to be a cutsey magical girl anime, it's really not. It's actually kind of depressing and it will become clear very fast why Madoka spends a lot of time crying. Just go over to crunchyroll.com and watch it; it's free and legal. I think that this series is still on hulu, but hulu makes you watch way more adds than crunchyroll does.

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#40 | Back to Top09-22-2012 06:29:20 PM

OnlyInThisLight
KING OF ALL DUCKS
Registered: 01-15-2008
Posts: 4407

Re: Feminist Anime

JO makes an excellent point on Modoka Magica, in that it is not simply dark deconstruction or subversion, but tragedy written right.

My actual beef with the series lies in the dialogue.  The characters are complex, but some of the dialogue is so explanatory that it takes all the fun out of figuring them out.  And I am not talking about Kyubey.  They are deep, they just aren't hard to figure out.  Not necessarily a bad thing, but keeps it from being a 'perfect' show for me.

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#41 | Back to Top09-23-2012 08:42:36 PM

Trench Kamen
Eternal Eschatologist
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: 12-08-2006
Posts: 903
Website

Re: Feminist Anime

yuzukelly wrote:

^Nana pisses me off. It's so addicting, it's a love hate thing lol, but Nana O. I feel just isn't as strong as people think, in my opinion. (spoilers) but the whole reason Nana dresses like that is because of Ren, in one chapter we learn he bought all of her clothes. Her piercings are JUST like his, she wears the same boots, her style fits his, and the reason she began singing was because REN asked her. Heck, the reason she moved to Tokyo and started a band was to show Ren up. Her whole life revolves around Ren, and to me that's not cool or independent. Her only tattoo is because of him. The only thing in her life not really influenced by Ren is when she moved in with Nana K.

Oosaki Nana certainly has weaknesses that go unexplored. While one could argue whether or not she is strong, or deriving her identity from Ren (this is actually addressed in the story, as a point of self-doubt for her), she certainly is a dynamic character. All of the characters are complex.


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#42 | Back to Top08-25-2016 01:55:19 PM

Nocturnalux
Qualified Duellist
From: Portugal
Registered: 09-10-2007
Posts: 741

Re: Feminist Anime

I second many of the suggestions already offered, in particular:

Seirei no Moribito
This is a criminally underrated anime in virtually every single way. It takes place in a very cool Asian fantasy inspired setting and stars Balsa, a former assassin turned protector of a young prince. Without spoiling anything, Balsa is a great example of a very rounded character who is not just determined by being the 'warrior woman' motif. Her past regrets and drive to atone is only part of who she is as a person and the delicate relationship she strikes with the prince does away with the typical clichés that anime all too often falls into. It is also worth mentioning that apart from her the entire cast is beautifully developed, including the males.

Haibane Renmei
Haibane is one of my top ten favorite anime and one of the reasons is the sober, thoughtful and yet exciting way it handles female relationships even as it builds a most remarkable world. It is a wonderful case of using an almost exclusively female cast to present a variety of different girls, all of which add something to the wonder that is HR, so that even the secondary characters add a layer of emotional depth to an already extraordinary narrative. Reki and Rakka, the mains, are fleshed out in enoug detail to come across as real. Few times do I ever actually relate to an anime character but Reki reminded me of myself a lot.

Very much along the same lines but in a sci-fi setting is Dennou Coil.

Hanasaku no Iroha is a coming of age story about a teenager who starts working and living at her grandmother's ryouka when her mother bails out on her. Ohana must struggle to adapt to a very new environment with its own rules while she balances her emotional life that includes a now long-distance relationship. It is not just a coming-of-age narrative as it tackles some very pressing issues that are particularly relevant in Japanese society such as the inter-generational gap and the pressure the traditional hospitaly suffers in the face of new, hip hotels.
Ohana is very believable as a person and the people are just as realistic, in particular the girls that include the daughter of a wealthy hotel chain and a very non-nonsense colleague who does not easily accept her interferance in ryoukan matters.
Part of what makes Hanasaku so great is how well rounded it is. It covers characters with different motivations who have to deal with everything from work to romantic relationships to figuring out just what they want out of life. Very often anime will latch unto one trait or activity and build a character almost exclusively around it (and this is not necessarily bad either, it works in sports anime when done correctly) but Hanasaku manages to level of balance that strikes as very true. Ohana does worry about her relationship with her boyfriend will be strained (and it is remarkable the story opens with her already in a relationship, that is oddly rather rare) but it only one part of who she is.
The extremely detailed artwork that brings the ryoukan to life adds to the overall very positive experience.

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#43 | Back to Top08-25-2016 05:03:56 PM

Decrescent Daytripper
Best Disney Princess
Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 2752

Re: Feminist Anime

Charlotte truly surprised me with how unforgiving it was towards "comedy" or "boys will be boys" lechery and sexual assault/harassment in its earliest episodes, especially the first. Behavior that would normally be overlooked as transitional immaturity or comedy extravagance got the protagonist his ass kicked and sent him on a headlong plunge into a better and stricter education.

The use of women, in general, within the anime, was interesting to me, as they were both very secondary and yet omnipresent and nuanced simultaneous to the general discouragement, in-series and for-audience of sexism and sexual harassment/expectation of sexual compliance.


My Brain is the Wakaba and Shiori Funtime Hour. With limited commercial interruption.

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#44 | Back to Top08-25-2016 05:10:38 PM

Nocturnalux
Qualified Duellist
From: Portugal
Registered: 09-10-2007
Posts: 741

Re: Feminist Anime

I disliked Charlotte with a passion and actually thought it did a disservice to its female character, especially the little sister who is extremely otaku-based. But I admit my bias as, again, I truly hated virtually all things involving the anime.

But the blind singer was something of a highlight.

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#45 | Back to Top08-25-2016 05:22:13 PM

Decrescent Daytripper
Best Disney Princess
Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 2752

Re: Feminist Anime

Nocturnalux wrote:

I disliked Charlotte with a passion and actually thought it did a disservice to its female character, especially the little sister who is extremely otaku-based. But I admit my bias as, again, I truly hated virtually all things involving the anime.

But the blind singer was something of a highlight.

You hate it, so I won't say "watch it again," but I think how shittily he treats his sister, how quick to assume she's like a natural formation there to, you know, make lunch and dinner for him, was highlighted nicely in the series. He treats her like a stock annoyance and it takes him ages to get around to what we should already be seeing: she's a person.


My Brain is the Wakaba and Shiori Funtime Hour. With limited commercial interruption.

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#46 | Back to Top08-25-2016 07:22:46 PM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10327
Website

Re: Feminist Anime

Nocturnalux wrote:

I second many of the suggestions already offered, in particular:

Seirei no Moribito
This is a criminally underrated anime in virtually every single way. It takes place in a very cool Asian fantasy inspired setting and stars Balsa, a former assassin turned protector of a young prince. Without spoiling anything, Balsa is a great example of a very rounded character who is not just determined by being the 'warrior woman' motif. Her past regrets and drive to atone is only part of who she is as a person and the delicate relationship she strikes with the prince does away with the typical clichés that anime all too often falls into. It is also worth mentioning that apart from her the entire cast is beautifully developed, including the males.

Haibane Renmei
Haibane is one of my top ten favorite anime and one of the reasons is the sober, thoughtful and yet exciting way it handles female relationships even as it builds a most remarkable world. It is a wonderful case of using an almost exclusively female cast to present a variety of different girls, all of which add something to the wonder that is HR, so that even the secondary characters add a layer of emotional depth to an already extraordinary narrative. Reki and Rakka, the mains, are fleshed out in enoug detail to come across as real. Few times do I ever actually relate to an anime character but Reki reminded me of myself a lot.

Very much along the same lines but in a sci-fi setting is Dennou Coil.

Seconded, seconded, and seconded.  Also very glad to see I'm not the only one whose reaction to Dennou Coil was "omg, it's Haibane Renmei, but IN THE FUTURE"

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#47 | Back to Top03-20-2017 01:34:38 PM

vandownbyriver
New Student
From: Westbrook, ME
Registered: 03-20-2017
Posts: 6

Re: Feminist Anime

I'm far from the most knowledgeable anime fan, and I understand the problem with a white cis het guy going, "Yep, this looks feminist to me."  That being said, there are a couple that I haven't seen mentioned that I'd like to hear people's opinions on, through the lens of feminism.

Gunbuster is one I watched recently, and I think it deserves a mention, at least for its time.  The nudity was pretty gratuitous, in my opinion, and didn't seem to exist for much else but fanservice.  That aside, however, I thought Noriko's arc in particular was pretty awesome.  It was neat to see all the mecha pilots be female, too.

One of the things that surprised me when I first watched Neon Genesis Evangelion was how strong and interesting a character Misato was.  In general, I think the show plays with gender norms a lot, and it's certainly noteworthy for that.  Are the female characters flawed?  Of course, it's NGE.  Are they the most empowering or feminist characters of all time?  No.  But I was surprised that a mainstream shounen anime from the mid-90s had female characters this nuanced and, to an extent, strong-willed.  The merch is another story, however.

Lastly, the ever-controversial Kill La Kill.  I can actually go both ways on this show being feminist or not.  On one hand, holy mother of God, fanservice is this show's life-blood, and I understand if it makes people dismiss this show outright.  However, I would argue that the show does a pretty good job of empowering its characters throughout the series.  I really enjoy Ryuko and Satsuki as characters.  I wouldn't say feminism is the point of the show, by any means, but I'd argue it uses its female characters in interesting, overall positive ways.

Sorey if I'm completely off-base with these, but I'd like to hear why these shows are (or aren't) feminist to some degree.

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#48 | Back to Top03-20-2017 02:28:13 PM

YamPuff
Eternal Eschatologist
Registered: 02-13-2007
Posts: 922

Re: Feminist Anime

I didn't have a problem with Kill La Kill's fanservice because it was too self-aware and too over-the-top to the point of parody. Besides the fact that it had a large cast of female characters and a variety of relationships between them. I like the way Satsuki is held in complete awe and worshipful regard by all, not because she is a woman or sexy, but because she is powerful and competent. I like Mako because she's weird and funny and Ryuko because she has the personality of a shounen protag. It didn't try to pat itself on the back for being 'supervise' or 'empowering', it was too busy having fun doing it's own thing.

I will nominate Princess Tutu!! Princess Tutu is an anime where your gender simply does not matter - not even your species! The prince takes the role of the victim, the knight is too afraid to fight, the magical girl princess is actually a duck and the villain is not who you really think! All the characters are dynamic and interesting and the way they balance everything out is amazing. There is no one hero, everyone works together to achieve the ending. It's just beautiful. C:


http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i232/YamPuff/im%20holllowz_zpsx9ddh2gp.png~original

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#49 | Back to Top03-25-2017 06:19:09 PM

SaigonAlice
Juri Jeerer
Registered: 09-13-2016
Posts: 49

Re: Feminist Anime

emot-keke^Y'all really are oblivious. Kill la Kill is not fucking feminist. What kind of feminist anime SEXUALISES TEEN GIRLS????? That's disgusting and actually pedophillic. Japan struggles with this a lot what with lolicon and high school girl fetishes but I'm surprised to see westerners never ever pointing it out either.


Thân em như quả mít trên cây,
Vỏ nó sù sì, múi nó dày.
Quân tử có yêu thì đóng cọc,
Xin đừng mân mó nhựa ra tay. - Hồ Xuân Hương

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#50 | Back to Top03-25-2017 08:02:24 PM

Decrescent Daytripper
Best Disney Princess
Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 2752

Re: Feminist Anime

Kill la Kill is loaded with fan service, yeah, but I didn't really see it as a critical parody. If anything, it was a celebration of how far they could take it, to the point where, honestly, it just felt stapled on.

As much as Charlotte gets crapped on by some folks, at least it took a stand on comedy lechery and the cult-worship of the available female body.

I watch a lot of pervy stuff, of various varieties. I don't think I can be categorized as a prude. But, I think Kill la Kill's fans defend its excesses in certain directions more because it's otherwise good or because they like it, than on secure grounds.

I don't think it's the worst thing ever, but YamPuff, I imagine the reason it didn't pat itself on the back constantly is because a) it didn't do enough to warrant that kind of congratulations, and b) it was using its hands for other business. I'm not against the show, but it was pretty much a wankfest of a show.


My Brain is the Wakaba and Shiori Funtime Hour. With limited commercial interruption.

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