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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 9652

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:37 am Reply with quote
Ahem, is there a rule for guys? Just curious. Laughing
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OZ-13MS



Joined: 04 Feb 2009
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:09 am Reply with quote
enurtsol wrote:
Ahem, is there a rule for guys? Just curious. Laughing


Rules? Rules are meant to be broken not laws especially the Man Laws. Go and Google them.
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poisondusk



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 42
Location: Sheffield, UK

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:14 am Reply with quote
enurtsol wrote:
Ahem, is there a rule for guys? Just curious. Laughing


There's no equivalent of the Bechdel Test for male characters as far as I'm aware, and that's because it's never been considered necessary. If you look at Western television shows and movies, which is what the test had in mind, the proportion of shows that have male characters talking about something other than women is an awful lot higher than the proportion of the opposite, which is what inspired the rule in the first place.

There's a pretty fascinating blog post here by someone who used to be in film school about the way film schools actively discourage students from passing the Bechdel Test.
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12skippy21



Joined: 25 Nov 2008
Posts: 452
Location: Derby, England

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:31 am Reply with quote
OZ-13MS wrote:
However, I do agree that in NANA there is a strong sense of female friendship.


Yeh, I also enjoyed NANA for that quality. As a guy I have long been pissed off about how women are represented in media. Despite it's funny moments I really hated What Women Want (apparently guys and clothes!).
However for a whole show to continue to meet the requirements of the Bechdel Test is quite difficult, since it is always a topic of discussion no matter the orientation of the media. A cap does seem appropriate.
Anyway an anime that meets the rule would be Claymore. Also the Higurashi series (apart from one discussion) does. The film "Perfect Blue". Maybe a few others.
The fact that the test was made in 1985 and even anime has limited options shows how bad this cliche remains.
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nerei



Joined: 08 Jan 2005
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:14 am Reply with quote
I especially loved NANA for its portrayal of female relationship as well. Eg. the night when Hachi first got her heart broken and Nana cuddled up in bed with her. It totally reminds me of when my best friend called me at 2am one night crying over a broken heart and I immediately flagged a cab down to her place just to spend the night with her. I'm not sure if this exists in male friendships (instead of cuddling in bed, they probably just drink the night away) but I feel these moments are what make female friendships special.
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sunflower



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 465

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:39 am Reply with quote
In NANA the friendship is so important that the men are incidental really since they come and go but the two women stay constant (the covers of the manga are a little story that reflects that if you look at them sequentially). Of course men are always part of their lives, but the central theme is the two NANA's relationship and how they gradually become more like each other and eventually switch roles, with Nana becoming the needy one and Hachi the adult everyone leans on.

I too like Lucky Star and "men's moe" like it because the characters are just being girls hanging out together, and I can related to some of the silliness.

Other female friendships I like: Miki and Meiko from Marmalade Boy. Yoruichi and Soi Fon from Bleach. Sumire and Yuri from Tramps like Us.

I honestly can't think of many examples though compared to all the m/m and m/f friendships in anime.
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Anime World Order



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 348
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:16 am Reply with quote
Sara wrote:
Maybe some Go Nagai stuff? There has to be at least two women, right? But his stuff is borderline hentai, anyway.


I'm gonna have to stick up for Go Nagai here since nobody else will. While it's quite true that much of what Go Nagai created would fall into that "borderline hentai" classification you speak of, that's not what I think of first and foremost when someone says his name. I think of his having effectively invented the super robot genre of anime (yes, I am aware of Tetsujin 28 and perhaps even some wartime propaganda involving giant robots prior). Titles such as Mazinger Z, Great Mazinger, Grendizer, Getter Robo (my personal favorite), and Jeeg among others are still fondly remembered all over the world, many of which got remade. Heck, the new Mazinger series is probably what I'm most looking forward to this year. So not all Go Nagai is Cutey Honey / Kekko Kamen stuff. They don't call him the Father of Manga for nothing, you know! Also, without Go Nagai we never would have gotten Black Lion, and Black Lion is the best anime ever made.

I sometimes wonder if the current majority of the anime viewing audience is willing to accept the concept of friendship at all. Pretty much every single one of the guys I encounter who watch Maria-sama ga Miteru do so because they're obsessed with lesbians (having never seen the show, I understand there are only a few "actual" with the rest "perceived"), and a very large, very substantial percentage of the female anime viewing audience (or at least, the ones that post online) will very adamantly stand up to the INDISPUTABLE FACT that [place any two male characters here] are TOTALLY doing it. I don't accept that this mindset is to be expected when a fanbase is largely comprised of those CRAZY hormonal teenagers since the exact same mentality extends all the way through to fans in their 20s, 30s, and up. Nor do I accept that it's inevitable for people to think about "the next step" for every single character relationship they see.

Was it always this way? Were there large quantities of people 20 years ago arguing that Lupin the Third and Jigen must "clearly" be lovers? Back when I was watching the original Bubblegum Crisis OAVs in the early 90s, I never really heard anyone seriously advocate the notion of "Priss is a lesbian," but nowadays that's one of the first things I ever hear anyone who ever watched that show say about her. It's possible that I missed the memo where "friendship" suddenly became a synonym for "sexual tension" or something for a lot of people. Or that I'm just forgetting.

Perhaps my perceived rise of this line of thought is brought on by the fact that modern anime/manga creators are all too aware of their otaku fanbase now, and are glad to cater to them. They know exactly what type of doujinshi sells the most at Comiket and what sorts of fanfiction/fanart people create. So when they set out to create relationships, they deliberately add in this sort of are they/aren't they ambiguity so the fans who zero in on things like that are free to fantasize about whatever they want them to be. NANA is a perfect example of this.


Last edited by Anime World Order on Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:22 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Furudanuki



Joined: 29 Jul 2006
Posts: 1874

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:27 am Reply with quote
Quote:
It has three parts: 1) There are two or more females, 2) they have a conversation, 3) that is not about men.

Then the undine trios from Aria (Akari, Aika & Alice + Alicia, Akira, & Athena) would qualify as the poster whatever-the-acceptable-term for-someone-with-XX-chromosomes-is-this-week for this rule. Their conversations usually involve each other, their seniors/juniors, their job, other daily tasks, gondolas, or the city of Neo Venezia. The only male who is discussed on a regular basis is President Aria, and he's a cat. In 50+ episodes the number of times human males have been the topic of conversation solely due to the fact that they are male can be counted on one hand.
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moichispa



Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:18 am Reply with quote
It's a bit estrange but when I begin to watch sub anime,(I was 15 years) I only said I want to see free female characters because in occidental shows women use to be seen as lovers or husbands. And if she is the principal character the most important for she will always be to find a love.

4 years have passed and I'm still thinking the same

At least there is anime in this world.
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Wrial Huden



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 61
Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:42 am Reply with quote
Laughing Bamboo brought up the fact that shows like Friends and Sluts, er, that is, Sex In The City don't observe the Bechdel Rule. So true, especially in the case of the latter. Just to hear Carrie drone on and on in the narration about lack of closet space and all the men she's slept with is actual proof. Keep on channel surfing.

Last summer I had a female friend invite me to see the SATC movie, and I almost busted out laughing. I just politely declined. Sorry, but the majority of guys that went to that movie were either gay or dragged along by dominant girlfriends or wives.
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JohnnySake



Joined: 22 May 2008
Posts: 541
Location: Auburn Hills, MI

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:22 am Reply with quote
Another title that could be brought up in context of all these BFF comparisons is Strawberry Panic. Yes, I know and agree, it is nowhere near a Maria Watches Over Us, or Nana, or Aria, but it still focuses on female relationships. (albeit, probably for a male-oriented audience)

The one thing that came to mind though was the bit of drama that occurred when certain characters wanted to be more than friends with other characters, only to have that interest rebuffed because these objects of their desire wanted to be only friends. (I am being vague on purpose to avoid spoilers.)

And then you have main characters trying to build relationships, only to have themselves or other people trying to sabotage such efforts.

If nothing else, it's another example of the whole female relationship thing that is being discussed here.


Last edited by JohnnySake on Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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corinthian



Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 180

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:35 am Reply with quote
This American Life reference = win. I'm a frequent reader of Modern Jackass.

I think it's sad there are so few strong female friendships in American television. One good example I can think of is Gilmore Girls, but that also has a mother/daughter aspect to it as well... TV really is a man's market, even in shows aimed at women. Men are largely the writers and producers of these shows, after all. Is it the same case with anime? I know NANA and Maria are both based off works by women, so is that why they stand out? Are there male-authored works that have a strong female main characters and friendships? I know Azumanga has a male author, but it shouldn't take until the final chapters to show how close they are...

I would have liked to have seen them mention "yuri goggles" a bit too. The kind of anti-Bechdel where if two women do show a particular closeness they are seen as lesbians. That claim has certainly been leveled against NANA, Maria Watches Over Us, Utena, even Azumanga Daioh. But something tells me that's probably a small, male-dominated aspect of fandom. Looking to counter an absence of men, or fetishize something in a show they have little other interest in... I know there are female yuri fans, but there is a lot of, as Okazu puts it, Loser Fanboy Yuri.
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OZ-13MS



Joined: 04 Feb 2009
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:50 am Reply with quote
Furudanuki wrote:
Quote:
It has three parts: 1) There are two or more females, 2) they have a conversation, 3) that is not about men.

Then the undine trios from Aria (Akari, Aika & Alice + Alicia, Akira, & Athena) would qualify as the poster whatever-the-acceptable-term for-someone-with-XX-chromosomes-is-this-week for this rule. Their conversations usually involve each other, their seniors/juniors, their job, other daily tasks, gondolas, or the city of Neo Venezia. The only male who is discussed on a regular basis is President Aria, and he's a cat. In 50+ episodes the number of times human males have been the topic of conversation solely due to the fact that they are male can be counted on one hand.


Kudos for you in bringing up Aria. I agree with you that male conversation is weak in Aria. However in Aria The Origination, men occasionally become the topic of conversation be it romance or work related but not to a full extent where it becomes a big deal.
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LordPrometheus



Joined: 02 Sep 2007
Posts: 422
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:52 am Reply with quote
Anime World Order wrote:
I sometimes wonder if the current majority of the anime viewing audience is willing to accept the concept of friendship at all. Pretty much every single one of the guys I encounter who watch Maria-sama ga Miteru do so because they're obsessed with lesbians (having never seen the show, I understand there are only a few "actual" with the rest "perceived"), and a very large, very substantial percentage of the female anime viewing audience (or at least, the ones that post online) will very adamantly stand up to the INDISPUTABLE FACT that [place any two male characters here] are TOTALLY doing it. I don't accept that this mindset is to be expected when a fanbase is largely comprised of those CRAZY hormonal teenagers since the exact same mentality extends all the way through to fans in their 20s, 30s, and up. Nor do I accept that it's inevitable for people to think about "the next step" for every single character relationship they see.

Was it always this way? Were there large quantities of people 20 years ago arguing that Lupin the Third and Jigen must "clearly" be lovers? Back when I was watching the original Bubblegum Crisis OAVs in the early 90s, I never really heard anyone seriously advocate the notion of "Priss is a lesbian," but nowadays that's one of the first things I ever hear anyone who ever watched that show say about her. It's possible that I missed the memo where "friendship" suddenly became a synonym for "sexual tension" or something for a lot of people. Or that I'm just forgetting.

Perhaps my perceived rise of this line of thought is brought on by the fact that modern anime/manga creators are all too aware of their otaku fanbase now, and are glad to cater to them. They know exactly what type of doujinshi sells the most at Comiket and what sorts of fanfiction/fanart people create. So when they set out to create relationships, they deliberately add in this sort of are they/aren't they ambiguity so the fans who zero in on things like that are free to fantasize about whatever they want them to be. NANA is a perfect example of this.


My hat is off to you, sir, for a very well written post. My thoughts are exactly the same as yours on this subject. Whatever happened to friendship?? Apparently it's not enough that we have entire genres about gay/lesbian relationships, but these days we have to drag characters from shows that have nothing to do with yuri/yaoi into the "OMG they're totally doing it!" category. Rolling Eyes It's enough to make you sick.

I truly wonder what the root cause of this behavior is. Are anime fans as a whole just that desperate to see gay relationships that they have to turn fictional friendships into homoerotic sex fests?? Whatever the case, I find it quite disturbing and more than a little obnoxious.
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abunai
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 05 Mar 2004
Posts: 5461
Location: 露命

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:32 pm Reply with quote
Anime World Order wrote:
Pretty much every single one of the guys I encounter who watch Maria-sama ga Miteru do so because they're obsessed with lesbians

You're hanging out with the wrong kind of guys, then. As a (happily) single male fan of Maria-sama ga Miteru, I can tell you that the reason I watch the series is because the characters captivate me. Their individual love-affairs, platonic or otherwise, are largely secondary to the ability of their personalities to propel the story. I like MgM for the same reasons that I like other character-driven shows. If I wanted "hot lesbian action", I'd be watching other anime.

- abunai
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