Male Otaku vs Fujoshi: The Patriarchy Rises (again?)

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You want to enjoy yourself? But you are an idiotic woman! You shouldn’t have rights in the first place! You greedy woman, you want to steal us from everything?

Recently there have been some quite unpleasant incidents that show blatantly that misogynism is on the rise again- or was it always there and I was lucky not to notice it before? What makes me wanna talk and rant about this mess is its scale. That’s the one thing I’ll touch upon on this post. The other is to present some market-related facts, insert my own remarks and ask questions about it. 

Incident no.1

I’m pretty sure you’ve come across it or at least heard about it. It gained fame rapidly and if you type ‘swimming anime’ in tumblr, you’ll be faced with a respectable amount of posts filled with speculations, fanarts, fanfiction and even cosplay – wait, now there’s a dating sim game, too! Without knowing any names. A fandom surged that its main interest is what naughty things will do these bishies with one another. A fandom which demonstrated such an excitement that what began as a simple CV, the typical ones Kyoto Animation always likes to create, might turn into an anime series- there’s a crunchyroll petition on change.org about it.

The ‘issue’ here is that
a. this CV that run just 30′ had only male characters in it, who were topless and were doing some…wet exercise *cough cough*, showing off their abs, and 
b. Kyoto Animation,  whose big success is K-On, catered mostly to male otaku, until this past year, that is.

As a result,
a. homophobia is triggered,
b. these male otaku fans feel ‘betrayed’ that ‘their space’ full of cute (stupid/clumsy) girls will turn into a BL paradise. But even if we suppose that the romantic undertones in such an anime would be handled decently like in Hyouka and Tamako Market, these guys are so full of themselves that they actually think they are entitled to be the only ones fanserviced…

Undigged from sankaku- don’t ask why I was there. Also, I know, not the best place, but it does shed light on the bad aspects of otakudom:

Please don’t become some creepy rotten homo anime studio!
No homo stuff please. At least put one girl in there!
They’re even shaving their armpits…
Tamako was pretty awful too, so now they’re aiming at women?

Cathryn at Contemporary Japanese Literature has made a thorough research I might say on… anime boobs, in order to pinpoint how unjust and absurd the complaints about ‘reverse sexism’ are that were brought up; namely, if the characters were women, the latter would bemoan about how men drool when tits and pantsu appear on-screen. I need to add that although this is a good argument, it’s not sufficient.

Straight men objectify women, straight women objectify men, lesbians objectify other women and sometimes gays, gays objectify other men etc. Objectification isn’t something abnormal. Yes, it does make some people uncomfortable, so what? Everyone has his/her turn ons, fetishes and kinks. As long as fantasy is separated from reality and respect is shown towards real people in real situations, it’s fine. So it doesn’t matter, if women get pleasure acquired through objectification, too. What matters is that everyone has the same right to, because we are (flawed if you want) humans. And of course, humans aren’t only straight cis white males…

Incident no.2

If you are not in the mood of listening to 10′ minutes of video, I’ll sum it up for you. This incident doesn’t have to do with anime otaku but with video game otaku. Especially the male gamers. The latter thought it funny or perhaps even insulting that a woman, in this case Anita Sarkeesian, talks about the sexist tropes in video games. The outcome of this ‘annoyance’ was massive and horrifying: not only did they attack her with rape and death threats in every social media site she owned, but altered her Wikipedia entry to appear pornographic and an online interactive game was created where by clicking on the photo of her face, you could batter her up.

The fact that female gamers face discrimination, even more the lady-like ones, by being interrogated, judged, ridiculed as ‘fake’ and shunned, has been lying around for some time now, but never before was a single person targeted that heavily. Sarkeesian calls it ‘cyber mob’ and underlines how the whole assault was staged as a ‘game’ where the internet was the battlefield, the players were male gamers not only teens but men in their 30s as well, and they casted her as a villain.

But the thing is…Its not a game. It’s an overt display of angry misogyny on massive scale.
Its not “just boys being boys”.
It’s not “just how the internet works”.
And it’s not just going to go away if we ignore it.
~Anita Sarkeesian

Some might say that she makes a fuss over nothing, that things are the way they are, that what she says about women characters in video games is ridiculous, and that she just ruins the fun. Feminism is not only about abortion and body shaming; it’s about every little thing which influences the lives of women. The gaming experience is one of these. Don’t take it too lightly and dismiss it. She voices concerns of other women, too. You don’t know how much her effort can influence the industry or pop culture in general – there’s always a chance (btw after the last episode of Tropes vs Women she’ll make available a teaching plan on video games for free). And by aiming higher, you manage to get the average.

And it’s honestly of less significance, if you disagree with her, rather than not recognising that the bullying she was faced with is unacceptable and that the fact that she’s a strong woman, the gamers are ‘just idiotic virgins’ or that the threats couldn’t possibly be realized doesn’t cancel the gravity of this offense.

The anime & manga market

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From the two cases before, we understand that, as a rule, women are attacked when they enter what was considered initially a ‘male space’. Atop of that there are very few products that cater to the needs of female nerds. The situation is more clear-cut when we talk about video games, comics and western forms of entertainment, but what about Japan, manga and anime?

In the case of anime the scales tip toward males – you can see how the industry has been moefied the last decade and by that I mean both the cute designs and female characters that are clumsy and dumb and therefore ‘cute’. That’s definitely the influence of men. But in manga we have a whole demographic directed at girls and another smaller one targeting women, namely shoujo and josei. According to information over at Manga Therapy, women are a big spending power in the manga industry. Even outside Japan you just have to take a look at the number of english translated yaoi titles compared to the yuri ones to understand the statement above.

I’d be unfair though, if I didn’t mention that even in anime there are gradually more shounen-ai series like Kuroko no Basket- and to be exact shounen with such vibes (correction is a courtesy of Mira). And yet my dissatisfaction remains. Mainly because whenever I search for yuri hentai I have no problem finding plenty in quantity and a lot I haven’t seen before, too; when I search explicit yaoi, things don’t look the same at all. Men may have their boobs with nipples and their uncensored c*nt thrusting, but we aren’t allowed to revel in a detailed scene of anal sex…

Here come the questions:

  • Is the reality of the anime & manga market and of its erotic section to be blamed upon phallocracy only or are other limitations and factors I am unaware of? What could be done?
  • Is there a particular reason behind anime being a more male-dominated area than manga? How could this be changed?
  • What will the market look like in a few years? Will it be related to gender dynamics and will it be a positive change?
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42 thoughts on “Male Otaku vs Fujoshi: The Patriarchy Rises (again?)

  1. I see it as the rise of the regressive left. You are part of it. I’m glad to be fighting against it – modern feminism appears to be incompatible with liberal (freedom of speech, freedom of expression, thought, etc) ideals. This explains to me why ideologues such as yourself and Sarkeesian annoyed me even though I’m supposed to be on the same part of the political spectrum as you. Doesn’t help that all of gaming media

    You people are moral authoritarians, just using a different ideology. 20 years ago, it was the Christian right complaining about oversexualized women and “think of the children”. Christianity had a stranglehold on pop culture back then and everyone fought back to keep them from controlling what we can put on modern media.

    20 years later, the Generation X Christian parents raised people like you who seek to rebel vehemently against their puritan teachings, only to become what you hate. You may be fighting for social justice and to free media of sexism or whatever silly academic notion you espouse, but I’ve come to realize that the same kind of dogmatism and zealotry is now coming from those espousing these ideas of “equality”.

    People in your comments are outright arguing that nobody should be sexualized at all, even though we are wired in our biology TO sexualize each other, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you’re looking for media that will pander to your ideals, you obviously need to look at Western media – the crazy kind of social justice that I as a leftist fight against hasn’t taken a foothold in Japan, and thank goodness. I’d prefer my media to be entertaining, not be a social movement.

    Here’s the issue – you’re looking for problems in media and life – these are slights compared to the problems people in the second and third world see. Fallacy of relative privation and all that, but you live in a time where all your luxuries are practically available at your fingertips – you are creating problems because a majority of the problems we’ve had for the past century have already been addressed and are trying to dictate to entertainment industries how they should “fix” the problem when the problem is SLOWLY fixing itself.

    Progress is good, forced progress is bad. If you are wondering, I am a left winger, but I’ve spent a majority of the past 2 or 3 years realizing the social justice left has lost the plot.

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    • Dear keirnoth,

      a. freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom to hurt and harass. Plus you do sound like you want to shush me and other people, so how do you fare in fighting for the freedom of speech?

      b. the problem is slowly “fixing” itself because there is the discussion around such issues that makes people realize stuff and work towards improvement. But it also depends on what the “problem” is and how each of us defines it.

      c. I would highly recommend you read my other post about social justice modus operandi.

      d.a. have you even tried to read the whole article? You are just spewing “opposition” in the comments, aren’t you? And you think that makes you look “smart”? Please get off your high horse.

      Sincerely,
      Foxy Lady Ayame

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  2. I already put it in my name because I know I am going to get ridiculed. But yes according the standards of most feminists that were referred to in this thread. This anime features objectification of men. Shouldn’t it go both ways? Or is it ok because it’s just men having perfect unattainable bodies unless you work everyday for 10 years as a swimmer.

    Also some really sexist shit in this thread. If i said the same shit about women I would get ragged on completely.

    Example:Guys in Free!

    “These guys aren’t being lazy on the couch/computer like most otakus are, so they have a reason for the muscles.”

    Counter: Girls in [insert anime here]

    These girls aren’t being lazy on the couch/computer like most fujoshi’s are.so they have a reason for the small waist and nice tits.

    Check your Privilege.

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    • Dear reader who jumps on conclusion, without knowing me much,

      please revisit the last two paragraphs in my 1st incident mention. I clearly state I don’t mind huge boobs despite them not being my thing. I won’t thus de facto consider someone sexist for liking impossible anime female bodies if in RL s/he treats people with respect.

      Also, when girls and women train they don’t get tiny waists and huge breasts. They get abs like Mikasa from Shingeki no Kyojin. When people get fat, they also don’t inflate disproportionately. I’m sad to say I don’t exercise much and yet I don’t get huge breasts like this. Tiny waists and huge breasts 99% of the time isn’t even anatomically correct.

      Check your prejudice. Thanks for commenting. No bad feelings in any case.

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  3. I can totally agree with this.

    In the case of Free!, so many male otaku hated it, and many still hate it. So many guys will just instantly jump in and say “EW YAOI NO”, without ever giving it a chance or simply reading any description about the anime.
    I knew from the moment I saw the trailer, that it was NOT going to be yaoi. It’s obvious that it’s not going to be yaoi because of the lack of romance, lack of lovey-dovey man-loving imagery unlike real BL like Junjou Romantica or Sensitive Pornograph, etc.

    There is NO sexual fanservice in that anime at all. It’s all very light non-sexual stuff that only hints at possible intimate relationships, but there’s no actual romance and the most that’s ever been shown so far is little kids holding hands, and victory group hugs. You know, things people normally do without romantic intention.

    Why so many guys consider a man’s upper body(which nobody ever touches, and keeps to realistic physics) to be inappropriate is beyond me.
    Would these men react the same way if they had to watch real swimmers at a tourney or public swimming pool? It’s pathetic.
    For men who say it’s unrealistic… This is probably one of the most realistic anime when it comes to male swimmer’s body. If you look at an active swimmer’s body, it’s very similar to the boys of Free(Someone posted comparison photos). Do you expect a swimmer’s body to look lanky, fat, or average like any other school boy?
    Actually, probably the only thing they CAN do to make it more realistic is to add CROTCH BULGE.

    Go ahead and make anime where women are muscular, strong, and don’t get touchy touchy with each other… I think that’d just be empowering to women. I love how women like Mikasa from Shingeki No Kyojin have actual muscles, and they have no degrading up-skirt/boob-jiggling fanservice scenes(from what I have seen so far).

    Giant boobs are completely different because they’re something that can’t naturally be gained without excess hormones, fat(which goes to other parts of the body), or a deformity.
    It’s a private part for many women, and we’re raised not to show it in public, especially to men. The same goes for underwear which anime likes to get peeks of, to the embarrassment of the woman or little girl.

    Many guys cannot understand why women are offended by this, but… think of it like this.
    How would men like it if the women around them started showing public affection for men’s bulges and how they look in skin-tight speedos? What if those bulges jiggled like jello and were zoomed in on in some scenes? What if the majority of all anime had men with jiggling bulge?

    Even yaoi doesn’t go this far with men. The only thing I can see offensive about yaoi is the fact that they are gay. Other than that, most men in yaoi are pretty realistic, covered up in clothes(outside of sex scenes), and generally well-respected. I don’t know any gay men who dislike or even call out yaoi for “misandry”. The most man-degrading yaoi I can think of would be either Boku no Pico or Shounen Maid Kuro-kun, because they show boys dressed up, sounding like, and acting like little girls. However, those two have a mostly male audience.
    That’s another thing that baffles me. A lot of men seem to love traps, but hate real men in anime. I could understand Futanari since they have at least some female parts, but traps are 100% male who only look female outside. Would they suddenly hate a trap if he decided to cut his hair short, wear pants, and stop his falsetto voice?

    Also, Sankaku is probably the most misogynist/anti-feminist place on the internet. I used to go there to read the bizarre news articles, but eventually couldn’t stand all of the fujoshi hate, boobs/pantyshots, and stupid lists. Each time they make an article on an anime that is popular with women(and not obviously aimed at men), they’ll jump straight to bashing it without having ever seen/read about it to realize it’s not even yaoi.
    It seems like most of Sankaku’s community lives in a delusional world of their own, where only women exist, and only to please them.

    Oh geez, I wrote way too much… Sorry. >_<

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      • Don’t worry about writing too much~ Many thanks for giving part of your time to comment!

        “The only thing I can see offensive about yaoi is the fact that they are gay.”- if you voice others’ opinions it’s fine; if you have issues with homosexual people, please remember we are tad queer here and very lgbt friendly. Well, gay people have expressed their dismay with yaoi almost from the start because of the non-realistic depiction of homosexual relationships, the stereotypes and the rape. And certainly I can understand them, but they should also comprehend that yaoi are largely not intended of them and they’re fiction. I could also start talking about the underlying sexism, considering the uke is feminine and also the one who gets raped (most of the times), but let’s leave it at that. You can find more on my post on yuri & yaoi essay. But yes, the majority of straight men wouldn’t complain for the above reasons.

        Sankaku is a place I check out only the galleries occasionally hehe *sweatdrop*; besides tumblr and pixiv it’s a place with many naughty pics I can *cough cough* vent out particular needs. It’s more easy to browse, you know? The news ofc are scum.

        And yes, I’m kinda upset that Kyo Ani was so prude to hide the nipples =.=

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  4. This is off tangent but it is the objectification of male bodies that I find most problematic here. This pepetuates the impossible ideal of chiseled abs in similar fashion to enormous gravity defying breasts. It’s unhealthy :/

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    • I understand why you are troubled. Yet those chiseled abs are 1. a fantasy, and 2. they aren’t overtoned (Valmet from Jormungand has more toned abs than them) and their bodies aren’t all completely the same. So I actually don’t think that they are impossible to have, especially in comparison to breast size which you really can’t do anything about them naturally, eg. with some exercise.

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      • I agree, it’s possible. I have seen real athletes with muscles similar to the guys in Free!, particularly active swimmers. These guys aren’t being lazy on the couch/computer like most otakus are, so they have a reason for the muscles.

        You won’t find guys with that kind of body in any typical school anime. Most guys in regular slice-of-life anime have realistically lean bodies without much muscle at all.

        I honestly would have more respect for anime with female fighters, if they gave them realistic bodies/attitudes to match guys… as in, females with muscles if they are athletes/fighters/etc.
        Mikasa in Shingeki no Kyojin is a good example, and even Winry from FMA has a decent muscle tone which makes sense for a mechanic to have.
        Those are some of the females that I feel I can take seriously and truly respect as characters, and not just as decoration/fetish fulfillment.

        When it comes to breasts… oh boy.
        You just can’t have giant breasts on a skinny body, not without surgery or hormonal disorders(which would be very unattractive).

        If you wanted naturally big breasts, you would need to get FAT, and your breasts would probably droop down and require intense support, instead of being jiggly and floating in the air like in hentai(See Busty Heart). 😄
        You just can’t work out and “earn” breasts like men can earn pectorals, unless you wanted muscly pecs.

        This is made worse by anime being made in Japan… Japanese girls have naturally small breasts(with our C-cup being a D-cup in Japan), and I’ve seen some Japanese otaku guys ignorantly saying ridiculous things like “I will get a Taiwanese girlfriend because they have bigger boobs”.
        I honestly would have hated to be raised in Japan, with all of that male ignorance and misogyny in my hobby’s community.
        That’s one of the best things about the western world in my opinion. The fact that feminism has a voice here, anti-sexism/anti-discrimination is common, and women as a whole are treated better here than in Japan.

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        • Thanks for the great comment!

          Another chiseled-abs lady is Valmet, a bodyguard, in Jormugand.

          About feminism having a voice in the West: beyond the fact that individuality is much more highly praised here in general, you shouldn’t forget that the ‘West’ isn’t a solid entity, so there are areas that haven’t progressed much. In the same way there are some feminist groups in Japan and since we are outsiders we don’t have knowledge of their activism.

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  5. Ironically enough, the very harassment Sarkeesian had fallen victim to actually skyrocketed her internet visibility to the point where her projects are more than within reach(kickstarter and whatnot).

    Nice job, guys.

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  6. I think it is a common problem for western anime fans(at least the immature ones) to blame anything they don’t like for ruining anime. Not to say they are not being sexist when they claim that attractive male characters ruin anime, but I think they are simply lashing out at the most obvious target. Take that away and those people still wouldn’t like that anime. Look at this way, if you take the ecchi out of any given ecchi title aimed at men would the women who hated it suddenly like it? Maybe a few, but I wouldn’t expect much. The same goes for the men who get upset when they see sexy men in their anime. It’s pathetic, but it’s not a men versus women issue, or at least it shouldn’t be.

    Sexuality makes people uncomfortable. In my experience the same people who speak out against fan service in anime are suffering from a greater cultural stigma than misogyny. There are just as many male anime fans who speak out against otaku bait as speak out against stuff that is considered fujoshi bait. I am not saying that there are no misogynist anime fans, but the problem runs much deeper than that.

    As I understand it from my limited vantage point, Japanese views on sexuality are very different from our own. In the west sexuality is celebrated in a superficial way, everyone can see it but no one is willing to talk about it, that is our hypocrisy. Japan is just as hypocritical, but they are on the opposite end of the spectrum. Sexuality is superficially hidden away but it is celebrated in private. You can see this in the way bros in anime share their porn while western fans see it and think who does that? Anime acts like it’s a natural everyday thing for friends in Japan to share porn. Anime probably exaggerates, but I think the point still stands.

    Entitlement and immaturity are the real root of the problem here. You are taking the wrong people too seriously I think. Anita Sarkeesian, sankaku complex and random tumblr comments are all full of unreliable sensationalistic garbage.

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    • First of all, welcome to our blog and thanks for commenting! I’m very happy when I see new people contributing in the discussion.

      Point 1: I believe that taking out the fanservice would make a difference, if the anime isn’t solely build around fanservice. If there is story, the lack of what is sexually assaulting and gender insulting certainly would improve. For example, Kotoura-san had great potential and at times great story. But they ruined it with the pedophilic grandpa and the assault towards Manabe who was demonized for having only ‘perverted’ thoughts. Yes, I’d probably also rant about how everything is so easily forgiven, but it still would be better without that grandpa who has made me allergic even to the word when related to anime…

      Point 2 & 3: nothing really to add. Perhaps just that I also thought that between some westerners there was a similar porn solidarity, too, as witnessed here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJPLMiGeCYo

      Point 4: Anita Sarkeesian is a figure to be taken quite seriously, and I have to say it’s sad to put her with the other trolls, when she does something positive and is the victim here… Sensationalistic or not these comments do show something. They are mostly real and I don’t think they are meant to be taken lightly either as they reflect a problem that needs to be treated.

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      • It’s a shame that ruined Kotoura-san for you. I didn’t take the grandfather very seriously myself. I guess I didn’t really have a problem with Manabe. Manabe’s perversion was both a gag and a wheel that moved the story forward, I think It would be wrong to ask them to change it. That said, I meant to more specifically imply shows like Highschool of the Dead or say K-On! which both have their own totally different types of fan service.

        For the record, I wouldn’t see things like Gundam 00 changed either. People complain about fan service ruining that show but I don’t think it’s true. There were many other elements that worked against it, looking at it objectively the fan service is something that it found success with.

        The thing with sensationalists is that they are their own worst enemy. They don’t need to be exposed because they expose themselves. I apologize but I can not take Anita Sarkeesian seriously. There is sexism in the gaming industry that needs to be exposed. Women being treated poorly or ignored in the creative process, the fighting game community which is well know for being sexist, you could even stick someone in an MMO to monitor how players with female characters are treated different from players with male characters.(They are)

        What I saw of Anita Sarkeensian was a woman attacking games, their audience and the rights of the creators to make those games. I cannot respect someone who attacks fiction and it’s fans. I could go on for hours on this, but I would be changing topics to the philosophy of fiction. The industry could use someone who can provide a serious look at real sexism inside the gaming industry, but I don’t think Anita is it.

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        • Creepy pedophile and incestuous at that is creepy! As for Manabe, I didn’t say that he shouldn’t have these thoughts, though he did end up a cardboard character whose only characterization seemed to be he’s a perv and a nice guy. I complained about Moritani hitting him everytime he thought something perverted. I found it harsh for the poor fellow being made the ‘wolf’ every single time…

          I haven’t watched any of the shows you mentioned. I might nag about fanservice sometimes but I understand that men have the right to fantasize, too. Just give us women our share of fanservice, too. With variations please.

          Glad to at least agree there is a problem here. As for Anita, correct me, but in the following words, from the beginning and ending of her first episode, I see no ‘attacking’:

          “Welcome to our multi-part video series exploring the roles and representations of women in video games. This project will examine the tropes, plot devices and patterns most commonly associated with women in gaming from a systemic, big picture perspective.

          This series will include critical analysis of many beloved games and characters, but remember that it is both possible (and even necessary) to simultaneously enjoy media while also being critical of it’s more problematic or pernicious aspects.

          […] Just to be clear, I am not saying that all games using the damsel in distress as a plot device are automatically sexist or have no value. But it’s undeniable that popular culture is a powerful influence in or lives and the Damsel in Distress trope as a recurring trend does help to normalize extremely toxic, patronizing and paternalistic attitudes about women.

          Now I grew up on Nintendo, I’ve been a fan of the Mario and Zelda franchises for most of my life and they will always have a special place in my heart, as I’m sure is true for a great number of gamers out there. But it’s still important to recognize and think critically about the more problematic aspects especially considering many of these franchises are as popular as ever and the characters have become worldwide icons.

          The good news is that there is nothing stopping developers from evolving their gender representations and making more women heroes in future games. It would be great to finally see is Zelda, Sheik and Tetra as the protagonists at their own games… and not just mobile DS games, I’m talking full-on console adventures.”

          Unless critiquing is attacking. Then I guess, you don’t respect manga critics who judge your favorite manga badly either…

          One last thing about Sankaku and similar sites. They are not just sites. There are real people behind them. Perhaps I can’t supply them with… more functional brains, but at least I raise awareness that this problem exists and hopefully more people will react when a friend or a stranger spits such hurtful non-sense.

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          • I bought up Highschool of the Dead and K-On! just because they are common examples when people talk about fan service, but I think we are more or less on the same page there so I won’t go into more detail.

            My issue with Anita Sarkeesian is with her approach. The entire idea of tropes versus women is an attack on fiction regardless of it of it is intended as one or not. I have not and do plan to pay enough attention to Anita to try and discern her intentions, but I find the entire concept of sexist fiction to be a misnomer.

            As I see it, blaming fiction for sexism is the same as blaming games for shootings in schools or blaming loud music for corrupting youths. Sure they are not entirely unrelated, but it’s missing the root of the issue while attacking something that should be absolutely protected. I don’t have a problem with critiquing but Anita goes beyond that and blames the games themselves for their influence. She spelled out her intentions pretty clearly on her kick starter project and I don’t need to dig deeper to see that she is in line with this kind of thinking. Maybe she has some good things to say as well, but that can be said of just about anyone. I wrote a blog on influence and belief maybe half a year ago now. I can leave a link if you want to understand more on where I am coming from on this.

            I will admit that my interest in fiction is much great than my interest in sexism. That said, I do think sexism is a real issue in the entertainment industry.(and many others) I don’t consider Anita a valuable source of information because anyone can point out tropes and blame them for the woes of fiction. Many others who consider themselves critics fall into the exact same hole only without sexism as a means to drum up attention. Frankly most anime blogging is exactly that. I have little respect for anyone who considers them self a critic without understanding the difference between blame and critique.

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            • Yup, I’m interested in your post. // I don’t always agree with her of course, eg. when she talked about an advertisement and mentioned ‘raunchy culture’. I will say someone or something is stupid irrelevantly of gender or what thing it is. I also love me some exotic dancing, so perhaps with her standards I’d be a ‘bad feminist’ duh. But I respect her research and the things she points out that might slip my attention and seem all innocent, but they aren’t.

              About anime blogging… I do rant from time to time, without really any intention rather than to express my frustration with certain things. Does this makes me a sensationalist? :/

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              • I didn’t mean to imply that your blog is sensationalistic, I just get a bit passionate with these things. I don’t have a problem with ranting, hell I rant myself from time to time, but I do have a problem with someone ranting while pretending to present the facts of a situation. It’s the bias that eats away at credibility. I just found your blog with this post so I don’t mean to imply anything about it. For the record I think you presented yourself well here, I just don’t like your sources.

                http://www.japanator.com//blogs/Lifesong/an-open-letter-to-western-otaku-on-influence-and-belief-27255.phtml I wrote this for one of Japanator’s monthly topics though it really more an excuse to post something I was already working on. I intentionally avoided writing about sexism, but I think you might still find it relevant to the topic.

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          • I agree with this post. I also hate fanservice in anime(targeted to men), but if the anime is actually very good at the story telling, then I might even not mind it. Such an anime is rare though. The last anime I saw with male-oriented fanservice that had a good enough episode plot to not bother me, was probably Space Dandy. It might have been because of the emotion in the particular episode that I could relate to(pitiful child’s story always get deep in my heart) that overwhelmed the fanservice in the end, though. Can’t say for sure the series as a whole because I only saw that one episode.

            I was okay with K-on, and even did like it as a whole, since it didn’t have any sexual fanservice. If it did, I would probably only like it for the music and art-style.

            Kotoura was something a friend had to push me to watch since I generally avoid that kind of anime that is essentially all-female harem, but I ended up enjoying most of it, especially with the tragedy, psychology, bullying, etc. I didn’t like seeing Manabe’s thoughts as images since that’s obvious hentai-bait fanservice, but I felt he was a good character and added to the entertainment with his silliness, such is rare in harem/moe/ecchi anime protagonists. I would probably have kept watching it to the end if there wasn’t perverted scenes/images.
            So, this along with Love Hina may be the only harem/ecchi anime for males, that I enjoyed overall due to there being an actual backstory/plot overwhelming the fanservice.

            On another note, I read another site’s reviews once, and there was one anime that they mentioned as being extremely misogynist, despite the reviewer being someone who has nothing against the usual harem/ecchi. One called “Photo Kano” or something like that, saying that the male lead apparently visualizes all females as literally their bodies only, as objects to be looked at in sexual poses… I haven’t seen it for myself, but from the information and screenshots they showed, I know I will avoid this like the plague, moreso than I avoid most ecchi/harem/moe/CGDCT anime.

            I do not know much about Anita to be honest, but it truly is unforgivable to bash someone who is fighting for peoples’ rights, and speaking out for those who are really hurt.
            Female gamers have rights.
            Of the few MMOs that I ever liked the graphics/gameplay of, the majority of them feature very disturbing images of what females can look like(you CAN’T change their body shape to be less curvy), and their boobs MUST jiggle like they’ve got no bra or cloth holding it down(because armor totally lets them jiggle).
            This is probably mainly the result of me liking games that are made in Asia, where females are limited to wearing miniskirts with detailed pantsu.

            In PSO2, which is the game I’m currently addicted to, it’s very obvious that female characters are favored by far. Even if you can make bishounen sexy males, their options are way more limited than females.
            Additionally, when they added a new “face variant”, which can make your face look more anime-styled… they only added it for females. Because apparently only people playing female characters(includes pretty much every male player) can look super kawaii uguu.

            There was actually an incident in the game that happened with some people I was hanging out with… Where they kept spamming “Symbol Arts” of anime girls in lewd positions, nudity, or with cum on their face. This offended me, so I tried to hint to them to stop, and they would not, so I dismissed myself and logged off. When asked about it, I told one person why I logged off saying I did not appreciate seeing that and it offended me, and what did he say?:

            “To justify it, seeing your character wearing a fundoshi really put me off in a bad way”.
            …Just how does that justify depicting explicitly sexual acts of young girls covered in cum making lewd faces and nude showing their uncensored boobs and nipples, and genitals and vulva through wet panties? I have done nothing to sexualize men in their presence, unless wearing a freaking fundoshi is apparently offensive to men, where those same men wear bikinis and female-fundoshi and see nothing offensive about that. I don’t even see anything offensive about bikinis or female-fundoshi, since they are swimsuits and festival-wear.

            That kind of unfairness… is what I hate the most about being an anime and video game fan. I can’t live without anime and video games, so I have to deal with this unfairness.

            I mean, if they make a game with females like that, I can only accept it as fair if they also make sexy males with just as much fanservice.
            Tera is one example, since even though they had sooo many sexualized females, they do have the male high elves and castanics, who can wear outfits that reveal their chest and abs. Even though it’s still not fair since female characters(therefore men) get so much more, it’s better than most of the games I’ve played.

            If more games did put that at least that much effort to balance the fanservice, there’d be at least a little less for female gamers to complain about, and overall make them happier and more likely to play(and therefore pay).

            I also grew with Nintendo, and as a child I did not see a problem with the “damsel in distress” thing, but now that I’m an adult, I do see a problem, which is why I cannot read most Shoujo manga or heterosexual romances in general anymore.

            However, in Nintendo’s case, they are clearly not doing it for males’ sexual pleasure, and it’s clear that they’ve made efforts to make female characters stronger. For example, Zelda/Sheik and Peach, the two “helpless princess” characters are both characters in Super Smash Brothers series, and in those games, can kick ass without the help of a man.
            I think that with Nintendo it was more of a problem of “women being weak is traditional and normal”, which becomes ingrained into childrens’ heads and could stay with them when they grow up. Seemingly they’ve been growing out of it, so that is a good sign hopefully.

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    • How come not liking porn or something like that (straight or gay/lesb) in anime is immature? Japan is too open with porn, and west is also too open with s*x scenes in drama/movies. Both are not good, in fact, bad, if you really think about it. The culture/way of thinking of the place of the big makers affects the anime/drama/movies.

      By the way, if all of the ecchi parts is removed from an anime, I would be more comfortable to watch and share it with my family if the story is interesting or has moral values. The problem with many anime/drama/movies with these dirty things is they try to put moral values or don’t have moral values at all, while putting these immoral dirty things inside. I don’t agree that disliking/hating these dirty things is immature. Maybe people who are raised with the thinking/culture of not minding these things wont consider them to be dirty.

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  7. I wrote a research paper about manga for one of my grad classes. I was surprised to learn 75%+ of manga’s readership were women and girls. Considering this, it is odd most anime is male oriented in the American market.

    It is only fair for women to have their “eye candy” and idealized characters. I don’t care for Yuri or excessive fan service. Everyone has different tastes.

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  8. Like I said on your Facebook post, women have the right to go crazy for men showing off their muscles, being badasses without the need to woo girls with low intelligence and integrity, or simply men chilling and doing stuff. Heck, I’d go as far as saying that men can be moe too…as weird as that may sound.

    For all the praise KyoAni is getting, it sounds like just another “men living in their parents’ basements” catering company, despite having good stories hidden behind the moefied goop of goodness/disgust (depending on who you ask). Whatever, I’ll stick to the glory of SHAFT and its universe of nonsensical conversations that somehow make sense and its odd camera angles. that is, when they are not catering to the lowest common denominators with hetero harems.

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    • Thanks for the support 🙂 And yes, men can be moe, too, since moe is the way things are perceived mostly. But you can also look at Magi.

      I actually have a lot of hope for KyoAni and I think it’s evolving. SHAFT was good, now I think it’s getting worse; yes, their animation is great, but the fact that they are going to milk the Monogatari series is a bit scary… Many of its successes lately appear to depend on ecchi or ‘tabboo’-kinky stuff.

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      • Basically, SHAFT is good when NOT working on the Monogatari Saga. That is an undeniable fact Foxy One. I have not given up on them yet. the day I give up on SHAFT is the day they ONLY work on the Monogatari Saga and nothing else. Then and only then, will I, with a heavy heart, utter the words, “I quit watching SHAFT shows”.

        You basically feel the same way for KyoAni that I feel for SHAFT. I KNOW they can still deliver without sucking up. I know they can.

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        • Thinking of Sasami-san@Ganbaranai and the creepy brother with the incest intentions, as well as the appearance of a futanari on the show later on… I’m not sure there are signs of recovery. Now they bring forth a more fanservice-y mahou shoujo, as well… And it’s not like we didn’t see their intentions from back when they animated MariaHolic. I just wish they made more anime like ef and Arakawa… or at least make the rest of the Monogatari series more like Bakemonogatari… (though Araragi is a helpless case of a wimpy pervert who wants to play it Messiah and that won’t change).

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          • I still haven’t finished it so I cannot say whether I feel your disdain yet. We shall see. As for the possible fanservice in Magical Prism Nana, no guys for the girls to lose brain cells over and I’m good. Seriously, Sayaka’s life was wasted.

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    • Yes, men can totally be moe. Especially if they are young, or drawn in a cute art-style with the backstory/personality to fit it. Even if they aren’t conventionally “cute”, they can be moe in their personality alone.
      When I say that, Haruka from Free!! comes to mind, where he normally acts cool and uncaring, but you mention water or a pool, and you can see his face change expression and suddenly become interested without it being overwhelming like “SQUEE!!”, I think that is moe in my opinion.

      I have seen some describe Hetalia as moe, and I can agree since they are often drawn in very cute ways and often do cute things… similarly to how K-on often depicts their girls doing cute things.

      Heck there is even a manga(Afterschool Charisma) that moe-fied a young Hitler, of all people, and made him look so young, innocent, and adorable… as wrong as that may sound.

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      • Haruka is one adorable lump of macho moeblob.

        Haven’t seen Hetalia.

        If Japan can moe-fy an important Russian female figure then it does not surprise me that they made one of the world’s most evil human beings cute. Animation and comics have done that with Satan a couple of times or something similar to Satan.

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  9. I thought about this a good deal and I wonder if it ultimately comes down to market and habits. There are just some genres/formats that are dominated by women purchasing and some dominated by male purchasing.

    I hate bringing in the video game discussion into this because it clouds the picture unnecessarily, but unlike the AAA gaming industry, women are well-represented in the animation space as creators, especially in the past few years. I don’t think anyone makes serious claims that more or less women enjoy anime thus it becomes more moe over time. It’s rather the opposite–because these anime can survive whether the industry is doing well or poorly as long as a small group of guys pay up. On the other hand it seems much more difficult to cater to girls (in the same way that brings in the high margin sales), so that leads to the imbalance. it’s not because there are no girls to whom to cater to; it’s just attempts at it has been difficult. It’s so imbalanced that I think there is a beginning to a possible market grab by the same kind of low-risk high-margain marketing effort as the companies figure out what girls want, as the fan base slowly evolve, and as demonstrated by that Kyoani CM.

    But I have nothing to say about fan reactions. It’s retarded. In fact I’m probably being stupid posting in a post that quotes Shitkaku Complex…comments. If it was the article proper that’s one thing but…

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    • In the animation space the only prominent woman I can think of is Mari Okada. The other women related to anime are most usually than not singers and composers- please correct me, if you have other data. I believe your later statement kinda shows that there aren’t enough (” it’s not because there are no girls to whom to cater to; it’s just attempts at it has been difficult.”), because if there were they would know better what girls and women want, no?

      “I don’t think anyone makes serious claims that more or less women enjoy anime thus it becomes more moe over time.” – I don’t think I meant it this way either. I said that the market got moefied because it ‘listens’ more to what men want. I haven’t heard a lot of women liking for example Lucky Star, but then again I have the impressions of the western fans. This may have to do with the overall ‘kawaii’ trend that florishes in Japan.

      As for the Sankaku quote, I kinda expected someone to call me out for it, but I can assure you that I could collect similar comments from youtube. I just found it easier to go where the rotten stuff get headlines. They had some collected there, so why would I do the extra effort? In youtube these comments are mixed together with fujoshi fangirling, not to mention there are now multiple uploads, so… I hope you give me an excuse.

      Thanks for commenting!

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      • Youtube comments are not much better…

        One of the problem with picking out male/female creators is that people only hear the famous ones. There’s no real survey done in this regard, at least none that I know of or is available.I think at the top end (eg., directors, director of photography, sound directors, etc) there are still more males than females (perhaps reflecting Japan’s general gender imbalance in the workplace, as these positions usually require significant experience/years), but once you look at from the sakkan level down, it’s probably closer to even. So like you I only have some anecdotes. For example, the creative folks behind Tamako Market are mostly women (and you can trace back to what else they worked on). Ufotable last year put out an article (with…I want to say anime!anime! but don’t remember) about how their entire 2011 new recruit class were all girls, things like that. I also vaguely recall someone at Studio Ghibli making a similar comment in one of their interviews or blog posts about newer Ghibli employees.

        I tried looking for the articles I read but can’t do much at work atm. At least 2 of those are somehow translated though.

        I think if we exclude seiyuu, I’d guess something like 40-60 female-male ratio on an average production. This will vary depending on project and how established the studio is, and where they’re located, etc.

        Lastly, what you infer from my statement is not entirely wrong. There are probably not enough women in the financial decision-making level of an anime production (producers and execs). At the same time, I don’t think it takes a woman to know what woman want, and vice versa. There has been a lot of attempt at that market over time with varying level of success. It’s probably more because they were able to reach the fujoshi market via other means, there wasn’t a lot of incentive to roll the dice on some new business model until more recent years. Like I said, the whole moe thing is out of necessity and because it’s easy and safe money. It’s a form of retreating to what is known to be reliable despite economic trends. It probably is just another way of saying female buyers are pickier and that need is sometimes not met.

        At the same time, pretty sure series like One Piece won’t be even half as visible if not for its huge female fanbase, for example.

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        • If what you say about women in the industry is true, I’m quite glad. I wish we could somehow spread it and encourage it.

          As for the sankaku and youtube comments, I think you kinda miss the point. We don’t seek to underline the reasonable reactions here, rather the backlash from hardcore male otaku, so of course such places have more of such trashy content. You can also turn to http://kotaku.com/5990039/this-anime-isnt-real-but-the-fandom-around-it-is or explore twitter #swimminganime. I found this between some of the top comments

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            • Laughing and turning a blind eye to a problem isn’t the solution either. Because many serious things are belittled and bypassed as jokes. I see it more and more often; how we forgive and/or dismiss every little stupidity and jerkassery and then we wonder with the bigger problems once they are two inches away from our nose. I see it in how people thirst for drama, even if it might mean someone else is hurt emotionally or physically in the process.

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              • I don’t think any reasonable people are turning a blind eye to Sankaku, they simply have no credibility to ignore in the first place. What do you hope to gain by making an example of them? Sensationalism is all over the internet but that is part of free speech.

                I think you are actually making the situation worse when you take Sankaku seriously. You give them a sense of credibility when you tackle their immaturity in a sensible fashion. Someone who disagrees with you might find themselves inclined to pay more attention to Sankaku as a result. I found their website that way myself in fact.(though It was years ago and I can’t even remember the topic at this point) No, ignoring them won’t make them go away, but they are fueled by their haters. That is how sensationalism works.

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              • I too see it as how people may thrust for drama; the bored kid on the internet narrative. But that is entirely a different problem than what you’re trying to establish.

                I don’t think anyone is turning a blind eye to it; I just think most people don’t see it as “a problem” yet. Fanservice, by nature, is scandalous, male or female ass it may be. You expect some level of reaction just because it may be something different or something that triggers the “this does not pander to me and I don’t like it” group (which the internet is full of). A problem? Maybe. But it’s not like how the FGC has a problem (or a dozen). Or the things Sarkeesian has to go through.

                Not to say you don’t have points that are valid or whatever, I just thin

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