Wednesday, May 13, 2009

In this post we discuss tits

Stupid Peterson had to go and christen the rant section of the site, so now I have to get up off my lazy ass and give you all what you have yet to realize you've been waiting for.



"Gather 'round children and I'll tell you a story of a little girl with the tastes in anime of someone with two times her testosterone level. You see, this girl loved shows where manly men (and boys) solved all of their problems with their fists, forever diving into the genres of mecha and shounen to satisfy her desire for hot blooded mecha pilots. But enough of my--er, her love for Yamada Jiro a.k.a. Daigouji Gai and Shiratori Tsukumo, the Jovian pilot that replaced him. Today's tale and the subsequent installments of it are about this girl's ten year love affair with shounen anime.

Long before I became a dame and a doctor there was a little show that my high school friends wouldn't stop talking about that they all claimed to watch on that lost technology known as video cassette, Dragonball Z. Only a year or so later, Cartoon Network rescued it from the purgatory of VHS and occasional showings on obscure satellitte TV channels, and yours truly finally watched it. While it was far from love at first sight (the fights were cool, but the filler, oh god the filler), DBZ served to plant the seed that would later explode into a tree of awesome.

Fast forward to the height of KaZaa's popularity and the days of incredibly compressed video files, and a friend suggested that I watch Naruto. I joined the show maybe 14 episodes in, and when I saw my first ninja battle I was sold. This was definitely the genre for me. But my love affairs are torrid and brief, and unless you can keep up the same level of awesome I will ditch you without remorse for the next show that promises to deliver. As I burned through copious amounts of shounen fare, I began to process the similarities from one property to another, the cliches that haunt the genre, yet make it into exactly what we want. As much as we cry for something different, the truth is that we require familiarity and for the most part will scorn something that attempts to do something different.

Since I've been accused of being a feminist, (a charge I will most certainly argue against) the most logical place to start is with the cariacatures of actual women that the shounen genre as a whole shoves down our throats as the love interests, best friends, mysterious objects of lust, lame plot device and so on and so forth. As a female raised predominantly in the 90s, media influences have shaped my tastes to (unconsciously) immediately look for a strong female character to identify with during my viewing. However, shounen animes do not tend to deliver these in large supply, and they are mostly relegated to minor character status, where they are there for a brief period of awesome before they fade into obscurity, or are raped repeatedly (how dare you be confident AND strong?), or have their entire life and reason for being obliterated or die or spiral into insanity or just move away. Though, admittedly this is a problem with anime as a whole and not just this genre in particular, it's just that Shounen is an exceptionally bad repeat offender. I should probably point out that this rant is not intended to be one of anger, but just one where I share what I've observed, though I wouldn't be surprised if I was filled with RAGE (TM) by the time I was done.

*Before I forget, here's a list of some of my favorite female characters in shounen-esque roles, I'm sure you know how their stories play out: Mitarashi Anko, Inoue Orihime, Nico Robin, Hina, Kalifa (she makes me feel oh so dirty), Neon (from Flame of Recca, not Hunter x Hunter), Monika Adenaur, Dorothy, Machi, Kyouyama Anna, Kagura (Inuyasha), Kurapika (you can't tell me he isn't at least half-girl), Kuwabara Shizuru, Ayu-nee, Shimura (O)tae, and the list goes on* With few exceptions, they tend to be pure pwnage in their first few appearances and then they get owned by the story or lack of story involving them, a disheartening trend.

Years of observation have taught me this: there are only two main female character types, and without exception a female that sticks around for the majority of the story fits neatly into these two molds.

The first is that of the weak girl that knows she is holding all of her friends back, and forcing the main character to constantly protect, take care of her and rescue her and hates it, and she desires to be stronger (or most annoyingly, she's just a cheerleader throughout the entire series). Though she may eventually level up and may have a moment of protecting the others, she still never catches up to her peers and thus continues to be the princess that needs to be rescued.

The second is the strong, mysterious woman that is hiding a plethora of secrets that will inevitably fuck over the group. She is usually more than capable of taking care of herself and protecting the others until the event that reveals her backstory/her lies and deception and she is reduced to a sniveling, pathetic, shadow of herself. To her credit, this second character usually returns (mostly) to her former self once she is accepted by the group for who she is, lies and all.
Now, before you get all [citation needed] on me, I came prepared to list examples to back up myself.

Category 1:








Category 2:




And I'm sure you can do my job for me and send in examples of those I've forgotten. Now of course, I've made these two into rather wide open categories, and it is possible that there exist female characters that do not fit neatly into either mold. In that case, congratulations Manga-ka/Anime writer, you dear sir (or madam) have managed to create a character that is less of a walking, talking stereotype and more similar to an actual woman, except you know, in two dimensions. I've found that the more cerebral an anime, and the further removed it is from the main character expanding his group of friends by beating his enemies into submission the more likely it is that it would feature a fully developed female character.

This is not to say I have anything against fanservice, in fact I welcome it and watch some shows exclusively for it. It's sometimes even better when it pops up in a show that has not yet dabbled with fanservice. The problem though is that the entire genre is rife with cliches, cliches that keep us warm in our pants at night.

Foxy out.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I find the fact that yes Sakura is a useless character is true but I can get my head around the thought of her and tits.

Dame Dr. Foxy Brown said...

Well, I never promised you that it'd be an exceptionally good pair of tits. She's so useless that she even fails at T&A.

Peter said...

Sakura has big feet.

Dame Dr. Foxy Brown said...

And you know what they say about big feet...

Pete's Friend said...

I like to run from dogs.

Club GAME Podcast said...

The last sentence sealed it.

ShikonSoulreaper said...

Sakura falls into the same slot as Orihime, they both heal, and 'fight', but Oralhime has bigger boobies

Quyen said...

Gorgeous!

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