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Do You Prefer Male or Female Lead Characters?


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Do you prefer male or female lead characters?
I prefer female lead characters and am male
40%
 40%  [ 26 ]
I prefer female lead characters and am female
16%
 16%  [ 11 ]
I prefer female lead characters and am neither male nor female
4%
 4%  [ 3 ]
I prefer male lead characters and am male
20%
 20%  [ 13 ]
I prefer male lead characters and am female
16%
 16%  [ 11 ]
I prefer male lead characters and am neither male nor female
1%
 1%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 65

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Surrender Artist
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Joined: 01 May 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:00 am Reply with quote
Some ‘methodological’ notes:

1. I elected to ask only about male and female leads as characters whom those do not encompass are too rare for making the poll more complex to seem useful.
2. I similarly did not try to include a wider range of genders because the range of possible genders is large, yet I felt that likely demographics of the respondents would not justify providing a confoundingly expansive list of choices that would mostly not be used.
3. I purposefully excluded ‘middle ground’ or qualified (i.e. slightly, somewhat etc.) choices as respondents to such polls show a tendency to retreat to the middle, which I do not feel would add any meaningful information to the results, but might fruitlessly increase their ambiguity. I also worried that it might discourage commend, which is what makes these threads interesting, by giving the illusion in supplying more information in one’s choice on the poll than is reality, decreasing the incentive to elaborate in an actual post.


The question is this: Do you prefer anime with male leads or those with female leads? It’s a sometimes contentious subject and one that I believe shows great diversity across its answers. The significance and prominence of female characters in anime and manga is a sometimes contentious topic, so I thought that it might be interesting to try to get an impression of attitudes on the subject.

Even if your preference is only slight, let even the slimmest margin direct your vote.

What couldn’t be reasonable incorporated into the poll options, but most interesting, is how you prefer these protagonists to be portrayed and why you prefer them.

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I debated whether I should reveal my own preference right from the beginning, but I felt that good faith demanded that I did and it’s not like I’ve made a secret of it.

I’m male, but prefer anime with female leads. I’m not averse to male leads, but I don’t have any generalized preference for them. That said, a female lead by no means requires that I watch something if all other signs are bad.

I’ve wondered about why I have this preference for a while. I believe that it has become more pronounced as time has gone by, but it isn’t new. I can remember even as a child that I was frustrated by how few prominent female characters there were in the cartoons that I watched. Perhaps the difference stems from the fact that anime allows me a way to indulge a preference that had historically tended to be thwarted.

I definitely prefer female leads who take some sort of active rôle, including the ‘action girl’ species. One of the first anime that I bought in toto was Noir, after all. I’m fairly broad-minded as to how that can be realized. More ‘butch’ or relatively masculine female leads are just fine, but I like more subdued ones like Kino from Kino’s Journey enormously. While the ‘action girl’ is the most obvious manifestation and by anime’s nature the commonest, I do relish female characters who can distinguish themselves through means other than force. I’m very fond of Maetel from Galaxy Express 999 and Duck from Princess Tutu as well. I generally don't like anything that suggests that I should have a sexual interest in a female lead, yet I do appreciate it when a female lead is openly sexual for herself, as in Lupin III ~The Woman Called Fujiko Mine~. The underlying theme seems to be that the story belongs to them and their actions are driven by their own beliefs or preferences.

I think that there are also social, psychological and personal reasons that have shaped what I like too, but I'm not really comfortable dealing with those in an open forum.

(Perhaps unfair, but I have my limits and limitations)

That said, I’m very interested in finding out what other people prefer and perhaps why they have those preferences. I'm also very eager to see what the demographic trends are.
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st_owly
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Joined: 20 May 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:25 am Reply with quote
I am female and I prefer female lead characters. I think it's because I can relate to them more easily than I can male characters. I enjoy stories where the female character is strong and isn't just there to please men, but that doesn't necessarily mean physical strength. I adore Kimi ni Todoke because the series shows how much Sadako grows as she learns to open up to people.

I do like shows with male leads as well, but given the choice of 2 shows which were comparable in every aspect but one had a male lead and one had a female lead, I'd pick the one with the female lead.
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TsunaReborn!



Joined: 08 Sep 2012
Posts: 4626
Location: Cheltenham UK

PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:49 am Reply with quote
I am Male and I prefer a Male lead which is unusual for me as when I watch regular TV I prefer shows with female leads i.e. Desperate Housewives, Scandal, Revenge etc.

I think like st_owly finds female character more relatable I find male characters in general more relatable but that not to say I do not like a show with a female lead as Claymore is my favourite manga. Also many of my favourite characters are secondary female characters, Bluma and Launch (Lunch) from Dragonball are to name two.
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Alan45
Village ElderVillage Elder


Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 5035
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:55 am Reply with quote
Very hard question to answer as I had not previously given any thought to it. This is not a criteria I use in choosing what to buy. For me the story being told is of more importance.

I picked female lead by a very slim margin as I tend to be attracted to the type of show that offers a female lead (Aria for instance).

While I do tend to identify with the lead character when watching, gender is not an issue. Probably because I am so far removed from my teen years that identification is just as much a problem as it would be with a female.
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Touma



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 1649
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 9:31 am Reply with quote
I am male and I greatly prefer female lead characters.
This is because I prefer female characters in general.
And that is because I would rather watch girls than guys. It may be shallow and superficial, but it is a fact.

I could probably do without male characters at all.
One reason (but only one of many) why I really enjoy shows such as K-On!, Lucky Star, Ikki Tousen, and Queens Blade is that they have few male characters.

I definitely do like a lot of shows that have male lead characters, but I cannot think of any that I like because of the male characters.
I like Innuyasha because of Kagome and Sango, not because of Innuyasha and Miroko.
I like Full Metal Panic because of Kaname, not Souske.
Right now I am watching and enjoying Sgt. Frog and I do like Keroro and his platoon, but without Natsumi, Momoka, Angol Mois, and Koyomi I doubt that the frogs could hold my interest.

As you might guess I am a big fan of shoujo ai and yuri.

There definitely is something to be said for having a character to identify with, but even though I am a heterosexual male I have discovered that I have no trouble imagining myself in the place of a strong female character.
I do not know why this is and I do not really care, as long as I am enjoying the shows.
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LKK



Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 426
Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:11 am Reply with quote
I'm a woman who prefers male lead characters. This has been a life-long preference for me. When I was in grade school, I read all of the Nancy Drew mysteries. I wanted to grow up to be like Nancy Drew. But I much preferred The Three Investigators series (3 boys as the leads) to Nancy Drew. After I tried The Hardy Boys books, I never went back to the Nancy Drew ones. Books, movies, television, it doesn't matter what the medium is. I usually prefer a male lead to a female lead. This doesn't mean that I won't read or watch something that has a female lead. But catching my initial interest is easier if the lead or co-lead is male.
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Polycell
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Joined: 16 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:18 pm Reply with quote
I personally don't mind male leads, but I'd be deluding myself to say I don't prefer female-lead shows. As a young'un(quoth the 23-year-old), I shared an anime kick with my brother and Slayers was one of my favorite series - and let's face it: Lina is Slayers(apparently Fox licensed it for broadcast, but never showed it - I wonder how it would've fared) - and I enjoyed Armitage III Dual Matrix enough I had no hesitation buying it and the first movie(which turned out to be confusing as all get out - wish I'd known it was originally a series) when I started getting into anime.


That said, I'm not so sure of my reasons as Touma is - before I got into anime, I tended to be extremely picky about what I read(which ended up being mostly sci-fi) - it may simply be that I happen to enjoy the sort of show that gets female leads or maybe I really am that shallow and simply can't bring myself to admit it(I may be what most folks'd call an introvert, but I ain't big on self-analysis). I am a bit of a yuri fanboy, but pondering to myself why that might be does bring up a simpler explanation: most anime/manga hetero romances I've come across suck(as romances) and I happen to be a sucker for fwuffy romantic antics. Of course, I could be rationalizing again: it wasn't all that long ago I saw the trailer for Revolutionary Girl Utena on the Slayer Try DVD(which was probably a bootleg) and was...... "nonplussed" by those undisguisable undertones.



Or we could just settle for the Fruedian route and blame my mother, though this option does cast an irony about my enjoyment of imouto genre works now that I think about it. Probably best not to.
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larinon



Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Posts: 992
Location: Midland, TX

PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:23 pm Reply with quote
For me as well this is something I've not thought about. I've never decided to watch or not watch a show based on whether the lead was male or female. I don't see it as something that affects me all that much, but I look forward to seeing the results of the voting.

I guess I would give a slight preference to female leads if I were forced to pick one over the other. My thoughts are that people will most often vote for the gender they're more attracted to, perhaps.
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ikillchicken



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 7178
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:18 pm Reply with quote
I don't know if I'm quite answering your question here (In fact I don't know if I could answer your question since in theory I truly don't think I have a preference.) But I will tentatively say that I am a male who generally prefers the male lead characters that exist in anime. As much as I might also like Balsa or Motoko Kusanagi, characters like this tend to be in the minority and appear less frequently than similar male characters I like. (Although to be fair to anime, that's probably also true of a lot of other media albeit to a slightly lesser extent).
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A Mystery
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 10 Oct 2010
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Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:12 am Reply with quote
I... I voted for male lead characters as a female... but like ikillchicken I don't really have a preference for either one. I voted on the first anime series I love that came to mind - that would be Natsume Yujinchou. In general I like the cast to be a mixed bag of both genders (
+ inbetweens if the show does a grown-up job in portraying them).
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TsunaReborn!



Joined: 08 Sep 2012
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Location: Cheltenham UK

PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:12 am Reply with quote
A Mystery wrote:
inbetweens if the show does a grown-up job in portraying them


Are there many shows that have Trans or hermaphrodite Characters?

I know that Wandering Son's story is based around two characters want to change gender but (from my knowledge) Hiroyuki is the only transgendered character. Tokyo Godfathers has Hana who is also transgendered. Leeron Littner from Gurren Lagann is rather androgynous but essentially just a overly camp man.

That's all I've got form the top of my head.
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A Mystery
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Joined: 10 Oct 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:48 pm Reply with quote
I only know Wandering Son Wink.
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Mr. Oshawott



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:57 pm Reply with quote
I'm male (obviously) and I prefer leading female characters. I love seeing females that show their prowess and surpass any problems that stand in their way. Smile
That said, I do watch a few shows that have a male as the leading character.
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CrowLia
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:03 pm Reply with quote
I voted female-female, because like st_owly, I like a strong female -that doesn't need to be rescued by a guy every two episodes and that is free and open about who she is, what she believes in and what she wants to achieve. But I also think ikc is right on the money in that not many female leads have these characteristics. Still, in the ideal land of perfection, I'd like to see more female leads like that, so that's how I voted
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jl07045



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 1293
Location: Riga, Latvia

PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:13 am Reply with quote
I voted female, because I'm a male and have more knowledge about a male psyche. I find it interesting to try and identify with a female mc because that is often more foreign to me.

If there's little depth to the main character I generally don't have gender preferences.
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