Forum - View topic
Chicks On Anime - Shoujo Fans in Fandom


Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
dormcat
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 9892
Location: New Taipei City, Taiwan, ROC
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:21 pm Reply with quote
Casey wrote:
Kishimoto even noted in one of the volumes of Naruto that all of his fanmail comes from females.

Weekly Shonen Jump has already become a josei-muke (女性向け, female-oriented) magazine for years, despite most men's favorite manga are still serialized in it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger ICQ Number My Anime My Manga
neocloud9



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 1178
Location: Atlanta, GA
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:27 pm Reply with quote
Great discussion, especially about what it means to be labeled a "fangirl."

But I can't help but think, as a female anime fan who does enjoy the stereotypical bishonen-fests present in shojo and yaoi, I think it's a bit unfortunate that I'd have to also enjoy "manly" things like Berserk and Gundam in order to be respected as more than just another fangirl.

Although, it sounds like what y'all are saying is that it wouldn't matter anyway. Bummer.

(I do like "manly" shows - I like shows of all shapes and sizes - but it sucks to feel like you have to surpass the expectations of your gender in order to be respected by fellow fans.)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ktimene's Lover



Joined: 23 Apr 2005
Posts: 2242
Location: Glendale, AZ (Proudly living in the desert)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:32 pm Reply with quote
dormcat writes:
Quote:
Weekly Shonen Jump has already become a josei-muke (女性向け, female-oriented) magazine for years, despite most men's favorite manga are still serialized in it.

Would that explain why so many Jump fanfics/fan art are laced with yaoi? Why do I even ask this?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address MSN Messenger
Hachiman76



Joined: 09 Apr 2009
Posts: 19
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:22 am Reply with quote
I really never understood the whole "genre fans putting down other genre fans" thing. Perhaps it's my lack of exposure to large groups of fans, the closest being my anime club a few years back at school. or, for a more egocentric theory, perhaps i'm just more comfortable with my tastes than the average fan. But i've never seen the point of concerning ones self with putting down someone elses tastes.

I mean, let's face it, anime and manga in general still sometimes fall victim to the whole "loser hobby" stigma (granted, it is MUCH better now than in the 90's, when i first got into it), so it almost crosses into hypocrisy to badmouth another fans tastes. not to say i haven't felt a rush of annoyance dealing with overly enthusiastic zealots (both male and female) and i am very vocal in my defense of shows i like. but if you like something i'm not too into, that's fine, hell maybe you can convince me to try it some day. just don't scream in my ear about it. for the record, all my friends who are girls are all into a wide variety of genres, and are just as nerdy as i am. probably the major reasons we get along.

As for my tastes, i have no genre limit. i have about 40 different shows in their entirety, and they run from "Pokemon" and "Dragonball", to "Berserk" and "Now and Then, Here and There". i'm watching "Noein" now, and have read "Karin/Chibi vampire front to back, and am currently reading "Zodiac P.I.", which i have on loan from a friend.

in short, gender fan roles are bulls**t, and a person can like what they want, and shouldnt be branded for it. although some do need to know when to shut up, but the same can be said of any of us, methinks...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sunflower



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 1080
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:27 am Reply with quote
Female fans marginalize other female fans and female works as well, distancing themselves from shoujo and yaoi with sneers. Sure, there are legitimate critiques of the genres and the works within them, but those aren't the ones I'm talking about. I'm talking about the ones offhandedly calling the genres trash, usually without having really explored them, and almost always adding that *they're* cool girls who like to read seinen and not romantic crap aimed at women. I always feel like they want to be part of the boys' club, and are trashing their own sex to get there.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dormcat
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 9892
Location: New Taipei City, Taiwan, ROC
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:02 am Reply with quote
Ctimene's Lover wrote:
Would that explain why so many Jump fanfics/fan art are laced with yaoi? Why do I even ask this?

Exactly. The map of the first dōjinshi convention I attended had an area of "Jump-kei dōjin" (Shonen Jump-derived secondary creations), and I thought "so what exactly could a story be derived from something like Naruto or The Prince of Tennis?" I couldn't be more naive. Anime catgrin + sweatdrop

sunflower wrote:
I'm talking about the ones offhandedly calling the genres trash, usually without having really explored them, and almost always adding that *they're* cool girls who like to read seinen and not romantic crap aimed at women.

Amen to that. The most famous shōjo manga fan in Taiwan (naturally, also a manga reviewer/commentator) hates the so-called "smut shōjo" i.e. those ShoComi titles that contain lots of sex scenes, yet me and many male fans I know enjoy those, in addition to the originally intended female readers. Razz
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger ICQ Number My Anime My Manga
Quark



Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 709
Location: British Columbia, Canada
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:56 am Reply with quote
sunflower wrote:
Female fans marginalize other female fans and female works as well, distancing themselves from shoujo and yaoi with sneers. Sure, there are legitimate critiques of the genres and the works within them, but those aren't the ones I'm talking about. I'm talking about the ones offhandedly calling the genres trash, usually without having really explored them, and almost always adding that *they're* cool girls who like to read seinen and not romantic crap aimed at women. I always feel like they want to be part of the boys' club, and are trashing their own sex to get there.


Haha ooh, I have to admit that I do this, although moreso with movies. I trash the romantic comedy genre with every breath I can muster, but lap up horror movies. But I think that's more a problem with the genre of romantic comedy itself - the romance for me isn't believable and gives people ridiculous ideas about what love really is. Oh, and they're incredibly sappy.
For some reason though, I have little issues with the romance genre in anime and manga. The characters are usually easy to root for, and even when they aren't (Fushigi Yuugi) the story is so good that I just don't care.
Anyway, I don't really agree that trashing the shoujo/romance genre automatically equals trashing our gender. Like the article was saying, it's not fair to equate being feminine to loving romance and fluffy things. Nor do I think that women who dislike romance and like more 'masculine' genres are doing so simply to fit in with the boys. In fact, some of my male friends can't handle watching some of the movies that I adore. It's all a matter of preference.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
diligent sesame



Joined: 29 Jun 2009
Posts: 56
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:07 am Reply with quote
I don't always enjoy this column every time but I really enjoyed this week's talk! At first I was a little confused with the title and "what it's like being a shoujo fan" because I wasn't thinking of it as what it's like being a female fan in a culture which started out pretty male-based. The nerd culture that is.

dormcat wrote:

Amen to that. The most famous shōjo manga fan in Taiwan (naturally, also a manga reviewer/commentator) hates the so-called "smut shōjo" i.e. those ShoComi titles that contain lots of sex scenes, yet me and many male fans I know enjoy those, in addition to the originally intended female readers. Razz


I'm really curious, could you direct me to this famous fan? Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
pparker



Joined: 13 Oct 2007
Posts: 1185
Location: Florida
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:08 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Every work has its intended audience, and as a reviewer, you have to respect that. Otherwise, it's like one of us going into a strip club and complaining that the dancers are being sexually provocative.

Thanks for that. I agree that a fan may not give you the best review because of bias, but bias works in the other direction as well. I appreciate a reviewer saying up front, "I don't care for this [genre/sub-genre]", because it gives me a context for their viewpoint on the work and develops more trust in their opinion. There are works that only really succeed within their genre, and if I'm a genre fan, that's what I want to know. That said, the best reviews generally come from a reviewer who at least enjoys a genre, because they usually have more in-depth personal experience with it and are comparing in context of the entire catalog. Plus I know they aren't sitting there watching it wishing they were doing something, anything else.

Quote:
On the other hand, just because prostitution, say, for the most part isn't created for women, that doesn't mean that as a woman, I'm not allowed to criticize the exploitation of another human being.

As to a reviewer's personal cultural, political or other opinions, I don't mind them being there, so long as they are divorced from the review of the actual artistic merit. A well-told story with racist or misogynistic elements is a good story, period. Otherwise, pretty much all literature and film prior to 1970 would be crap, and much of it since.

Short, throw-away personal comments, or even the seemingly required PC "warnings", of a political or cultural nature are interesting as an aside that can be pursued in appropriate venues if I so choose. But if that review is infused with politics, or they fill up half the review, then it's out of place and just annoying. The review is now about the reviewer and not the work, having become a bully pulpit for their personal opinions regarding life, the universe and everything (a la Hollywood). From a purely practical standpoint, what that means to a reader seeking help in choosing entertainment, is they are getting less of what they "paid for" because the space was used up for some other purpose.

Casey's Tezuka remarks are perfectly appropriate, and interesting, as a Livejournal entry or part of an academic piece, for instance. But not if they were published as an entertainment review.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime
dormcat
Encyclopedia Editor


Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 9892
Location: New Taipei City, Taiwan, ROC
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:21 am Reply with quote
diligent sesame wrote:
I'm really curious, could you direct me to this famous fan? Smile

http://www.i-tiffany.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger ICQ Number My Anime My Manga
Ktimene's Lover



Joined: 23 Apr 2005
Posts: 2242
Location: Glendale, AZ (Proudly living in the desert)
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:46 am Reply with quote
I suppose the concept of Shounen Jump fujoshi can stem from how the boys can be effeminate or just the fact the girls like to see guys (As often the case is, the boys will only have a brotherly love or totally hate each other but the fujoshi don't care) humping each other. Same with yuri fans but I detest both. But to each their own.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address MSN Messenger
Anime World Order



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 389
Location: Florida
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:24 am Reply with quote
neocloud9 wrote:
But I can't help but think, as a female anime fan who does enjoy the stereotypical bishonen-fests present in shojo and yaoi, I think it's a bit unfortunate that I'd have to also enjoy "manly" things like Berserk and Gundam in order to be respected as more than just another fangirl.


I like both, but are those really "manly" considering that both make extensive, deliberate, and conscientious efforts to appeal to female demographics by way of their character designs, relationships, and situations? Those might not have been the best examples for Bamboo to pick! But that's fine: if we just change it to read something like "Even if you're a girl who loves Grappler Baki/Samurai Executioner/Path of the Assassin/Golgo 13..." then her point still stands. It just becomes a substantially bigger "if."

I don't think the Shojo Beat readership demographic skew was that surprising given the content and (more importantly) the marketing of the publication. It's exactly as Casey says: "shounen manga is, in its original cultural context, created with a female and male audience in mind. Shoujo manga only has the female audience in mind." There's nothing deliberately built into the supermajority of shojo series with the express purpose of drawing in male fans, perhaps because it's presumed to be unnecessary since the male demographic already has no shortage of media just for them. But with regards to Japanese comicbooks released in English, is that really the case? How much manga (and perhaps even anime) comes out in America for which you can say "the people who created this clearly made it with guys in mind and didn't consider girls at all" and how much is the other way around?

It's certainly true that women buy more manga than men in 2009, and while one can attribute that to society or whatever, might it be simpler to credit this to the simple fact that there's a lot more manga being released right now which is targeted at women to some degree? "Shojo Fans in [Anime/Manga] Fandom" are, as the column points out, the majority. To see an example of the situation in reverse, just look at how manga in the US was handled during the 1990s. Back then there were very few female readers, and the reason was simple: much of the titles being released were seinen properties that did not deliberately target their demographic. Today the pendulum has shifted such that seinen manga releases are few and far between. So in my opinion, whether or not one demographic is or is not conditioned by society to reject the works targeted to another is all rather academic and abstract in light of the more readily observable and verifiable fact that one demographic is being actively targeted and another is not.

The evolution of shonen anime/manga into the form it's held over the last quarter century (longer than most anime fans reading this have been alive, let alone fans!) is an interesting subject. I've been speaking of this new form of shonen that is deliberately crafted to appeal to women--"neo-shonen" you might say--for a while now, and until the last few months there seemed to be few who would readily acknowledge the change ever happened. Maybe it isn't until you actually show them something like (for instance) Kekko Kamen and say "this is not supposed to be porno, it ran in Shonen Jump!" that people start believing. In any case, that’s not to say that titles bearing greater similarity to pre-Saint Seiya shonen don’t still get made. They're just reclassified as seinen...and usually not released in America at all. What little we do get—generally from Dark Horse, which is primarily a US comicbook publisher—either has some sort of potential crossover appeal (moé/romance titles, for instance) or is chiefly targeted more toward the mainstream US comicbook demographic than “traditional manga readers" (gekiga and gekiga-inspired work).

We don’t need to revert back to the 80s or 90s or whatever. That’d be counterproductive. My ideal solution would be for the neo-shonen and shojo works targeted mainly at girls to continue to sell and be released, with some of the money made from this being put into subsidizing releases of the "classic" shonen and seinen adventures targeted primarily to guys. This obviously can’t really be done by anyone but Viz at this point, since nobody else can afford the risk. In fact, the entire Viz Editor’s Choice/Signature line is basically that: awesome stuff that nobody seems to be buying. (Actually, I think the Urasawa stuff is faring well. Faith in humanity: temporarily restored.) But I need MORE. Why Viz could, right now, take it upon themselves to release all four volumes of the shonen masterpiece CYBER BLUE, a gripping tale of Kenshiro the Super Saiyan Terminator vs Little Richard On Steroids. And then someone could do SAKON, the one about a bunch of ninja that all look like Kenshiro who bed pretty ladies in the hot spring while chopping up enemy ninja who decide to attack by way of a human wall of ninja. Then Dark Horse could finally muster up the bravery to release AIUEO Boy aka The Starving Man, the ultimate Kazuo Koike manga which has described as "by far the most raw manga series ever released in America, were it to happen." But they’re all holding out on me, because they know that in 2009 stuff like that will go over about as well as Four Shojo Stories did in 1996.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
wandering-dreamer



Joined: 21 Jan 2008
Posts: 1733
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:51 am Reply with quote
I'm curious, where could I find Casey's review on sexism in Tezuka's work? I just finished reading Pluto last night (which is based on Astro Boy but I don't know how close it follows the original plot) and I was surprised to see how out of the very large cast of characters only one was female and she was really more of a plot device than anything else. I agree, I never heard about Tezuka's sexism and wish someone had mentioned it.
Then again, I'm also the person who criticizes Myiazaki for his destruction of Howl's Moving Castle (I loved that book....) so maybe I'm in the minority here.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Faceman



Joined: 11 Jul 2005
Posts: 300
Location: Boston
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:06 pm Reply with quote
Sara wrote:
This suggests to me that women are actually more open to a wider variety of genre and storytelling, while men limit themselves to what is supposed to appeal to them. And yet it is women who are often pigeonholed as the "fangirls", the ones obsessed with romance, with bishounen, etc.
...In fact, I feel almost insulted that my interests are perceived in so narrow a lens.

Sara wrote:
And on a somewhat lighthearted note, my understanding is that Berserk has a large female fanbase in Japan. Not surprising, given how Griffith looks.


I don't mean to be inflammatory, but aren't those two statements somewhat hypocritical? In one Sara talks about how woman are open to different genres and complains about them being generalized as liking bishounen. But then later on she seems to make the assumption that women like Berserk because of how Griffith looks like a bishounen.

It seems to be she's making the exact type of assumption that she was complaining about. What if all those female fans like Berserk for another reason besides its resident bishie? (Full disclaimer: I've never read/watch Berserk.) I guess you could say one was assuming girls like an entire genre while the other is just a character type, but isn't it just the same thing but on different scales?

[EDIT: The second quote was mis-attributed in the column. Please see my response on the next page. -B]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address My Anime My Manga
YotaruVegeta



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
Posts: 1060
Location: New York
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:13 pm Reply with quote
Even though I did read it, AWO, I still have to say TL;DR
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Page 1 of 4

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group