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Thread: What's the typical depiction of women in manga?-Discussion

  1. #16
    Registered User 中級員 / Chuukyuuin / Member
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    Re: What's the typical depiction of women in manga?-Discussion

    I generally don't like how women are depicted in most mangas.

    Cheerleaders and mere love interests are so boring.

    But also i don't think it's appealing to have a tough woman which, since the main char is male, just will get saved by him at some point anyway.
    As for the mangas i read, i usually like the depiction of women, though, but let's go through the list of bad examples first:

    dragon ball: Every woman in dragonball except bulma is useless, that even goes for the android except for 2 ocassion.
    Bulma is no fighter, but indirectly, she saves the day all the time with her inventions.
    Without her, in GT, vegeta wouldn't be able to be ssj4 and thus there wouldnt be ssj4 gogeta to stand up against the shadow dragon.
    But even tho it always looks like chihi and bulma are just used for 'ooh, those women' jokes.

    Naruto:
    We get constantly teased here. we are bound to think OOH, look, now hinata and sakura get useful.
    But it just never happens. they may have their moments, but they never succesfully did anything of major importance (cept maybe sakura's fight vs the puppet guy)
    In the end, no matter how anyone is depicted, it omes down to supernaruto saved the day after training.



    Since i didn't read or watch anything other than those 2 in which i didn't like the depiction of women (since this topic is important for my enjoyment, kinda), let's go on:

    good examples:

    gantz:Many ppl will prolly ask WHY? There is much fanservice in gantz, there's some rape, there are many many useless women and, at least that's what most ppl think, the most useless woman in manga at all (kishimoto).
    But let's look at it:
    In gantz, there are just incredibly many useless chars who get wasted.
    gantz is very fair towards its cast, if you have the conviction, you usually archieve something , even if you die.
    Like with Sei Sakuruoka, in which other manga does it happen the a boss beats the maincharacter until he cries and cannot fight anymore and a female sidecharacter stands up to the boss and severely cripples him?

    LAter on, we get Reika and mary mclane, who both kick ass, even if reika isn't depicted doing so, most of the time, reika is one of the best scorers in gantz (i believe the best from tokyo team) and never died in the game yet.


    Berserk:
    Again, prolly some ppl will disagree, looking at the icnredible amount of rape in berserk, but you don't need fighting women to have a strong female cast.
    Caska was a strong woman, even if she was weaker than gatts and griffith, she was one of the strongest hawks.
    let's forget about the twisted but still convicted farneze, we got schierke now, who is no fighter but constantly saves the day.
    Without schierke, gatts would have been dead or insane many times.

    One piece:
    There are some things in one piece which i don't like, like both robin and nami never had an important fight against a strong male character for example.
    Yama vs robin was no fight against anyone important, and nami vs kalifa was against a woman while nami vs absalom included sanj as a saviour (which was awesome tho).
    Also it annoyed me that after the time skip the only 2 to not fight and destroy a fishman general were nami and robin, nami was even depicted as having trouble against the invisible guy
    On the other hand, nami saved the crew countless times on see, by stealing and information gathering, which is kinda her job, and whenever she did fight, she was successfull, thus, if it's up to her, she will find a way to get the job done.
    Also, we got Boa Hancock, i guess, who so far destroyed every man she fought without having any trouble, even vice admirals.

    On a sidenote, i dont count big mom as a woman.


    HunterxHunter:
    again, it may not have many strong female chars, but the ones it has are done justice.
    Pakunoda, machi and shimizu are or were awesome, again, they ain't fightign types, but it's clear that fighting is not the most important thing in HxH.
    also, when shimizu fought, she won.
    We got biscuit who is a lot stronger than gon and kilua even now, or at least a bit, although she is rather a healing type and prefers to stay in a form which is prettier but weaker.
    And alluka with the most broken ability ever

    What i like about HxH is that you don't have to fight to be able to do s th.
    The only person ever being able to beat the king, and even countless times in a row, was komugi, and she also was the only person to ever shake the king's mind and make him doubt hisself, although she was a very fragile blind girl.



    Tower of god:
    I know this ain't a manga, but here we go:
    Tower of God in my opinion is one of the rare examples in which i totally cannot make out any leaning towards are male cast or a female cast (negative examples, dragonball, sailormoon).
    There are 1000 different powerlevels and tiers which all have males and females in it, and the maincharacter is actully rather weak compared to most characters

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  3. #17
    Registered User 初心者/ Shoshinsha / Beginner MisaoFan's Avatar
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    Re: What's the typical depiction of women in manga?-Discussion

    The depiction of women in the anime/manga/game industry really depends on the demographic and usually genre. In shoujo/josei manga, the depiction of women was treated with respect and education, capables of making things themselves, even the weak ones. However, in the shounen manga, this depiction varies inegally between the associated genres. In shounen action manga, women are mostly depicted either as the main protagonist's love interest, damsels in distress or have absolutely nothing to do in the story, the only other thing they do is to provide fanservice as much as possible. Sometimes, there's exceptions to this (History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi, where the female characters are strong and useful or in Rurouni Kenshin, when the females provide little to no fanservice, any shounen manga with female protagonist as well), but others are usually the same. In shounen sports manga, the female characters have little to no important role to the story and there's mostly depicted as the viewers, managers or protagonist's love interest. In romance/harem shounen titles, the female characters, while having a important role to the story and having better-written elements into them compared to the action-themed shounen series, are threatened as sexual objects to the male interest, which cause some people (including sexists, feminists) to hate them. These stories contain sexist-heavy theories.
    In seinen category, like shounen manga, do the same inegal theory between genres (action-flavoured stories, slice-of-life), but female characters are much better-written, even they provide some fanservice in many titles (except titles devoided of fanservice). I personally think that females in male-oriented stories have the most controversial elements.
    Last edited by MisaoFan; January 17, 2012 at 10:34 AM.

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  5. #18
    Registered User 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member HegemonKhan's Avatar
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    Re: What's the typical depiction of women in manga?-Discussion

    Empowering, even the fanservice girls, are still depicted as powerful, independant, and complex characters to be respected and appreciated. Also, real life actresses rarely are given such roles of empowerment. It's almost sad, that if a female actress has a large bust, she'll never get any lead roles of acting, and instead is constantly used as eye candy only with no lines, regardless of how good she may be at acting out and saying her lines. But, this isn't the case with manga and anime big busted girls, real life should take a lesson from manga and anime, sighs.

    Also, what's wrong with fanservice anyways? Males are proud of their bodies, going around showing off and prideful in their big muscles, fitness, strength, and etc, hoping to impress women. It's sad that women often don't have the same attitudes nor behavior towards their own bodies. I wish I was ripped like many male manga/anime characters, so what's wrong with having attractive female manga/anime characters, for girls to look up to and wish to be like, just as I do with the male manga/anime characters? Why are attractive female manga/anime characters seen just as eye candy fanservice, but not the attractive male manga/anime characters. Why do we see ripped and attractive Ichigo as an important character, but we only see orihime as "eye candy fanservice", when we should be seeing her as the "just as" important character as we see Ichigo as being. Also, comedy, relationships, and funny-silly scenes involving male characters, is the fanservice for females, just as is the panty shots or chest shots, is the fanservice for males.

    ------------------------

    All females (and males too) should read the Claymore manga! As, it depicts the all female main cast so totally perfectly! This is how women should be presented! Yagi leaves both males and females alike in complete awe!
    Last edited by HegemonKhan; January 18, 2012 at 06:22 PM.
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  7. #19
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    Re: What's the typical depiction of women in manga?-Discussion

    I get what you're saying, but showing off a woman's body and showing off a man's body is done in a completely different matter. Like you said, you look at Ichigo and think, "wow, he's so fit, look at his muscles, etc". But when a woman's body is shown, she doesn't have the same muscles that could make me go, "wow, she's so fit, look at her muscles!". In a fanservice scenario like you're talking about, you're suppose to find the the female body by default, more attractive than the male's.

    Plus, comparing Ichigo's and Orihime's bodies aren't really the same thing. Ichigo has very physical attacks, and he's been fighting punks for a long time. He has a toned body to show for it. Orihime's body is different because she does not physically fight. It doesn't matter if she's curvy or straight, the mangaka showing off her body isn't done for the same reasons he shows off Ichigo's (And Bleach, by comparison, has very tame fanservice compared to other series).

    Of course, I am not completely dismissing your point, because Bleach has very beautiful artwork in general. It has a great amount of female fans because the men are drawn so beautifully. But, even though both men and women are drawn in an aesthetically pleasing way to the viewer, women's bodies are revealed for entirely different reasons than men's.

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  9. #20
    Registered User 初心者/ Shoshinsha / Beginner MisaoFan's Avatar
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    Re: What's the typical depiction of women in manga?-Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Teeba View Post
    Plus, comparing Ichigo's and Orihime's bodies aren't really the same thing. Ichigo has very physical attacks, and he's been fighting punks for a long time. He has a toned body to show for it. Orihime's body is different because she does not physically fight. It doesn't matter if she's curvy or straight, the mangaka showing off her body isn't done for the same reasons he shows off Ichigo's (And Bleach, by comparison, has very tame fanservice compared to other series).
    If you compare the fanservice of Rurouni Kenshin to the fanservice used in Bleach and Qwaser of Stigmata, it's completely different. Rurouni Kenshin contain little to no fanservice in which the author focuses more on the plot than that. In Bleach, the fanservice sounds tame like Teeba said, while Qwaser of Stigmata contain heavy-level ecchi (more than Bleach). On the last two series I've cited, female characters have heavy proportionned bodies (especially their breasts). Look at Orihime and Tomo : the breast size isn't the same for them. The former has E-cup, while the later has G-cup. And yet, both females are damsels in distress and always needs help and/or rescue toward the protagonist.
    Last edited by MisaoFan; January 23, 2012 at 07:19 AM.

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  11. #21
    MangaHelper 有名人 / Yuumeijin / Celebrity Asarii's Avatar
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    Re: What's the typical depiction of women in manga?-Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by HegemonKhan View Post
    Empowering, even the fanservice girls, are still depicted as powerful, independant, and complex characters to be respected and appreciated. Also, real life actresses rarely are given such roles of empowerment. It's almost sad, that if a female actress has a large bust, she'll never get any lead roles of acting, and instead is constantly used as eye candy only with no lines, regardless of how good she may be at acting out and saying her lines. But, this isn't the case with manga and anime big busted girls, real life should take a lesson from manga and anime, sighs.
    I disagree, and I also need receipts. I think you're biased because as much as I love manga/anime, there's no way that its portrayal of fanservice girls are better than live action ones. First of all the term "fanservice character" is coined most often in manga/anime; I've never seen any female characters in live action who would fit that label. Christina Hendricks' character in Mad Men is much more than her figure for example. The only complaint I have is that plenty of them are one-dimensional and boring, but they're not being objectified.

    Quote Quote:
    Also, what's wrong with fanservice anyways? Males are proud of their bodies, going around showing off and prideful in their big muscles, fitness, strength, and etc, hoping to impress women. It's sad that women often don't have the same attitudes nor behavior towards their own bodies. I wish I was ripped like many male manga/anime characters, so what's wrong with having attractive female manga/anime characters, for girls to look up to and wish to be like, just as I do with the male manga/anime characters?
    People in manga are not an accurate representation of human anatomy so if a women is drawn with large breasts- it is deliberate.

    You think fanservice is okay because you're a guy and have privilege, but it's different for me and other women. Fanservice* is catering to the male audience: attractive female characters are a man's expectation of what women should look like. Society constantly tells us that we have to look a certain way in order to be viewed attractive, and the last thing I want is manga/anime policing what's considered hot or not- ESPECIALLY when the characters are 2-D and made of ink and paper.

    *Of course there are fanservice for girls as well, but it's not the same thing in a patriarchal society.

    It's great if a female character is well-developed and also happens to be attractive, but the reality is that most of them are hot and that's about all the traits they have. There are plenty of heroes guys can look up to for their personal attributes, and girls want to idolize someone the same way. Virtues such as courage, compassion and strength are more important than physical appearance.

    Quote Quote:
    Why are attractive female manga/anime characters seen just as eye candy fanservice, but not the attractive male manga/anime characters. Why do we see ripped and attractive Ichigo as an important character, but we only see orihime as "eye candy fanservice", when we should be seeing her as the "just as" important character as we see Ichigo as being. Also, comedy, relationships, and funny-silly scenes involving male characters, is the fanservice for females, just as is the panty shots or chest shots, is the fanservice for males.
    I can't argue for Ichigo and Orihime because I don't read Bleach, but when a character is demoted to "eye candy" it's usually because they have no other significant quality other than their appearance.
    Last edited by Asarii; January 24, 2012 at 12:47 AM.

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  13. #22
    MH Senpai 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member Teeba's Avatar
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    Re: What's the typical depiction of women in manga?-Discussion

    Anime News Network recently ran a podcast talking about sexism in anime and manga. I thought it was excellent, especially in regard to how women are depicted in anime/manga franchises. Bakuman's name was dropped as well. Here's the link: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/anncast/2012-02-10

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  15. #23
    MH's Best Reviewer 有名人 / Yuumeijin / Celebrity Jammin's Avatar
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    Re: What's the typical depiction of women in manga?-Discussion

    I think it depends a lot on the demographic as Kaiten said, though I believe there is a certain sexual divide in most manga.

    In Shounen/Seinen female characters tend to be much rougher in terms of quality than male characters. I think this is because the male characters are the ones the authors generally are trying the hardest to use to appeal to their audience(which is predominantly male). So with the female cast you get a lot of whatever the author thinks the male ideal is, whether that be "a cheerful girl with big boobs" or the "secretly lovestruck shy-girl" or the "tomboyish childhood friend who secretly wants to be more", etc..etc... Sadly that pandering tends to hold down female characters in quite a bit.

    And, while I must admit I'm not as familiar with Shoujo/Josei as I am with Shounen and Seinen, it seems to me that those genre's do the same thing in the opposite direction. Using male archetypes that they seem to think appeal to their predominately female audience; "prince charming types", "troubled handsome young man with rough attitude but a heart of gold underneath", etc..etc.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The irony is that I've always been of the opinion that good characters are ALWAYS the most appealing.

    And it seems like their are authors who feel the same because there are series like Fullmetal Alchemist, Inuyahsa, Beelzebub, Claymore, Gintama, and One Piece(to a lesser degree) which either discard those conventions or actively make fun of them; and I'm sure there are Shoujo/Jousei series which do the same.

    As a side-note I don't think Manwha is nearly as guilty because, for whatever reason, the majority of it is not nearly so prone to that kind of thing which often makes for better character dynamics. Tower of God, as shionoro mention earlier, doesn't treat it's male or female characters any differently at all; and the same is true of Noblesse.
    Last edited by Jammin; February 13, 2012 at 08:30 PM.
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    Otogi Taisen Fantasma [Esp. for Harem Fans]

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  17. #24
    Hound of Shadow 伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member benelori's Avatar
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    Re: What's the typical depiction of women in manga?-Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Jammin View Post
    The irony is that I've always been of the opinion that good characters are ALWAYS the most appealing.
    Is it appealing because you can relate to them, or is it appealing because the author just focuses on them, so it's way easier to understand what is their personality...cuz I think there's a difference...for example in FMA I think Maes Hughes' wife is better female character than Winry...

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  19. #25
    MH's Best Reviewer 有名人 / Yuumeijin / Celebrity Jammin's Avatar
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    Re: What's the typical depiction of women in manga?-Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by benelori View Post
    Is it appealing because you can relate to them, or is it appealing because the author just focuses on them, so it's way easier to understand what is their personality...cuz I think there's a difference...for example in FMA I think Maes Hughes' wife is better female character than Winry...
    For me it's because of how much better they fit can fit into a plot. Whether it be Winry or Gracia Hughes, to me, every interaction with the rest of the cast is better when there is no fan-service agenda. I don't have a problem with female characters who are sexy or flirtatious but it only gets in the way when it's directed as much at the audience as it is at another character.

    I like Winry more than Gracia Hughes just because of the whole thing between her and scar about parents death and the way that was handled late in the series. That gave her real substance. Not that there was anything particularly wrong with Gracia Hughes, there just wasn't enough depth built up there for me.

    --------------------------------------------------

    FYI, my favorite female character from Fullmetal Alchemist is Izumi Curtis. That's the kind of female character I love.
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    Otogi Taisen Fantasma [Esp. for Harem Fans]

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  21. #26
    Hound of Shadow 伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member benelori's Avatar
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    Re: What's the typical depiction of women in manga?-Discussion

    Yeah same here....Izumi sort of incorporates the best feminine traits....and her husband is there to emphasize all those traits.../me likes

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    MH Senpai 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member Teeba's Avatar
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    Re: What's the typical depiction of women in manga?-Discussion

    Women and manga seem to be a hot topic now-a-day. Ogiue Maniax just published an article about whether or not "Women in Refrigerators" can apply to manga, and if there needs to be a similar term to describe the belittling of female characters in action-oriented series. Jammin' touched on the subject as well...and I suspect the answer is deeply embedded in how women are expected to be treated in Japanese society.

    Here's the article: http://ogiuemaniax.wordpress.com/201...refrigerators/

    I will post my opinions on it a little later, when I'm not at work.

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  25. #28
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    Re: What's the typical depiction of women in manga?-Discussion

    A lot of time has already passed, but only now did I remember that I haven't told you anything about the results,yet.

    I got an A for that essay. Thanks to you guys I nailed my finals! Expressing my gratitute for your help is difficult for me, so I hope a simple thanks will do!

    Congratulations!! - Asarii
    Last edited by Asarii; September 28, 2012 at 12:08 AM.

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