"Anime fandom has a cultural resistance to critique"
October 22, 2016 7:09 AM Subscribe
I have a lot of friends who used to watch anime but don’t anymore, partly because, like me, it became too hard to seek out anime that treated women well. There are also lots of people who are enthusiastic about other geek properties but won’t touch anime because of its reputation of infantilizing women and sexualizing children. It makes it hard to recommend anime to people who aren’t already fans.Amelia Cook on the need for more feminist criticism in anime.
For The Mary Sue Cook wrote three articles dealing with the problematic aspects of anime:
Stop Making Excuses for Fanservice: "I’m talking about the regular girls in regular shows who are designed to sexualize non-sexual situations for commercial gain despite the resulting artistic loss. I’m talking about sexual fanservice, the culture that surrounds it, and how we can bring our fandom in line with more progressive geek fandoms which receive more critical attention."
Stop Pretending “Sexy” and “Sexualized” Mean the Same Thing: "In other words, media creators have spent decades convincing consumers that sexiness looks like the objectification of women, and anime fans have become ambassadors of that definition of sexiness. It’s embarrassing. And avoidable."
Moé, Misogyny and Masculinity: Anime’s Cuteness Problem–and How to Fix It: "The result is that most moé characters are deliberately unrealistic teenage girls. This looks like half-decent representation of women when your standards have been dragged down by decades of Enormo-Boob and Lolita, but moé is not above criticism."
And then she went on to found Anime Feminist: "a new website for reviews, interviews and discussion on anime and manga through a feminist lens, run by a team of writers from academia, the industry and grassroots fandom."
Which has so far featured first episode reviews of many of the new Fall series written by Cook herself, an interview with manga artist Minami Sakai as well as an essay by Peter Fobian looking at the different treatment of Black Lagoon's Revy and Gurren Lagann's Yoko:
Where Revy’s presentation sells a complex and volatile character, the choice of camera angles, exaggerated postures, and repeated compromising scenarios makes Yoko come off as a source of inappropriate humor at best or a pure source of visual titillation directed at the male audience at worst. Revy’s background and her relationship with Rock are able to be respectfully explored because she is presented as a serious character. Conversely, Yoko’s later development is undermined by her presentation as something less than a character, an ornament not to be taken seriously.As a measure of the site's impact, it took a full five days for the first death threat to arrive.
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments