Tag Archives: feminist theory

Knights in Shining Harems

High school girl and high school boy sit on a couch. The girl clutches the boy’s arm to her chest and the boy reacts.

Or: Why I Should Be Guardian of Your Modesty

Time to take a break from writing about anime women (in the strictest sense, this post is going to have a lot to do with women as well as men) and start talking about men: the “target” demographic of ecchi anime. This season’s crop of Shows I Should Find More Amusing include a pair of anime that feature the common idea of unwanted molestation of men by women. For me, the subtext of these interactions rankles. Most anime men who have women throwing themselves at them seem to react poorly. Some can shout down the unwanted attention, but there are equally many leads who end up as doormats, frequently molested by their paramores. This upsets me on two levels: One is because it relates to the dual dichotomies of sexuality (Virgin/Whore and Knight/Beast) and secondly because the subtext of these interactions points to a monolithic understanding of gender interaction that leads men and boys to believe they are supposed to value sex highly and should do their best to ensure that women not behave like “sluts”. Continue reading

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Filed under Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, Editorials

Trappings, Signifiers, and Characterization: What Kuranosuke has to do with Chihaya

Or: Better Understanding Through Looking at Gender

A brown-haired girl sits in seiza, looking into the camera wearing a blue and pink kimono

I got into a conversation in another part of the anisphere about female main characters. The blog post was here and it compared Tohru of Fruits Basket to Sawako Kuronuma of Kimi ni Todoke (the inferior Sawako, if you ask me… Sawa-chan <3). At the culmination of the comments dialog I came to some interesting realizations about gender performance in our animated heroines and heroes. See, we talk a lot about the need for “strong, female characters”, but as Kate Beaton noted, they don’t always serve. I would like to take this time, instead, to proffer up an examination of how a close look at gender helps flesh out both simple, straightforward characters and more complex ones.

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Filed under Character Study, Chihayafuru, Editorials, Princess Jellyfish

Nisemonogatari and the Arrow of Female Hysteria

So. Nisemonogatari. Sure, you’ve got your Shinbo-tastic fanservice and your racy banter, but these traits really operate in the service of patriarchal cognitive bias. Yup. We’re going all Stroop Test on this one for my first outing at Altair & Vega.

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Filed under Editorials, Nisemonogatari