The Portrayal of Women and Men In Anime and Manga

Anime fans get ready!

I mentioned this in my post The Future of GrimmGirl but the time is finally here. I have been noticing a lot of bloggers tackling the issue of whether or not anime characters demean women. This is certainly a loaded topic but honestly it was just a matter of time before I jumped into the ring.

To start this post off I want to be 100% honest with my perspective. I consider myself through and through a FEMINIST. A lot of people seem to shy away from this term but I don’t. I think the majority of people who shy away from the term don’t have a clear understanding of what a feminist is.

For this topic I think it is very important that we are all on the same page about what a feminist is because there are a lot of misconceptions about what a feminist is.

Feminism meme
Me nearly every time I go online…

By definition a feminist is somebody who supports feminism.

Webster defines feminism as, “The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.”

Nowhere in that definition does it say that a feminist is a man-hater. Anyone that says that a feminist hates men is not a feminist and does not have an understanding of what feminism means. A feminist simply wants EQUALITY to men in political, social, and economic realms.

So a little background on myself, I read a lot of content on feminism. It is an incredible important topic and my background influences how I look at women and men in the media. It’s important to me that you understand my perspective going into this topic isn’t taken lightly. The portrayal of women and men in the media is something I read and learn about extensively.

My thoughts on the subject are constantly evolving but I recognize that my background is going to influence how I view women and men in anime and which situations I find demeaning and why. I personal think that this is a good thing.

Feminism Meme
You tell ’em Emma!!!

So with that out of the way I think it is time to tackle this issue head on. Do I think that women are demeaned in anime? Yes, sometimes they certainly are. Do I think men are demeaned in anime? Yes, sometimes they certainly are. Here’s the thing though. This isn’t an anime problem solely this is a social problem.

Whenever I read topics on demeaning characters I almost always come across three problems with whatever I’m reading.

The first problem I come across is that the topic is almost ALWAYS related to fan service, the second problem deals with what the female character is wearing, and my third problem is that whether or not males are being demeaned is RARELY addressed. So let’s talk about these things first.



The first thing I want to address is again the definition of this word.

“Fanservice or service cut is material in a work of fiction or in fictional series which is intentionally added to please the audience. The term originated in anime and manga fandoms but has been used in other mediums.” –Google Definition

I noticed something as well, the fact that once again it’s “demeaning” for women to show cleavage and look provocative. Of course they must be doing it for male attention.

I notice a lot of writers tend to use fan service as an example of the plight of women in anime. Examples include unnecessary panty shots, jiggly boobs bouncing all over the place, and of course the lead male character accidentally falling into said girls breasts.

The argument is that these poor female characters are being exploited for a bunch of pervy male fantasies. How dare these men draw women’s panties, big bouncy breasts, and show the male characters falling head first into said boobies!

Whelp… I’m about to tell you right now that fan service IS NOT when I find women, or men for that matter demeaned in anime.

Listen up people cause I’m about to hit you with some knowledge.

Women wear panties.

Guess what else?

Sometimes they show.

It happens in real life and you know what sometimes when they show people see them.

I’m about to take this one step further readers because guess what else?

Sometimes when they see them they’re a little aroused. It happens.

Same goes for bouncy boobs and while I can’t say I’ve ever had a guy land face first into my boobs I can say that I have accidentally sat on a guy’s hand before and therefore he touched my butt.

I can hear the muttering happening already, “Are you saying these situations aren’t demeaning because they can happen in real life?”


That’s not why they’re not demeaning. I’m merely setting you up for my main point. My main point is that after this happens in an anime, after the male character sees the panty shot, notices the bouncing boobs, or falls face first into her breast what does he do next?

Does he try to take a picture of her panties to show his friends later? No.

Does he shout out to her as she’s running, “Hey nice tits! I like mine big and bouncy!” No.

Does he hold the girl down after falling on her and try to reach his hand up her shirt? No.

What does he normally do? He normally blushes and looks away and if she noticed him he apologizes on the chance that he made her uncomfortable.

Look, is it necessary for a bath at the moment? Probably not. Ask yourself this though. What’s more demeaning? A woman taking a bath or YOUR reaction to a woman taking a bath?

Now this is important because guess what males and females of the anime viewing world. This is how we should all act in these types of situations. Whether you are male or female there has been a time in your life when you have been checking someone out that you’re attracted to.

That is nothing to be ashamed of, that being said you should make it a point not to make that person uncomfortable with your looks or your words and if you do you should apologize period. It’s not cool to make anyone feel uncomfortable.

If the male character did any of the above things like trying to snap a picture I would find that demeaning.

Now I’m not saying fanservice can’t be annoying, I’m saying that defining all fanservice as demeaning to women isn’t actually true.


Female Clothing

Slut shaming
We really do.

I find this complaint so ANNOYING and completely hypocritical. Let me tell you right now as a society we have GOT TO STOP JUDGING WOMEN BASED ON THEIR CLOTHING. I don’t care if she’s animated, fictional, or the chick sitting next to you.

Knock it off.

The length of her skirt does not determine a women’s worth as a character or as a person.

Slut Shaming2
Damn straight Samantha

Trust me. My IQ, feelings, personality, morals, ethics, and beliefs are not defined each day by whether or not I decide to show cleavage.

The fact that we constantly use what our female characters worth on the show is by what her outfit is, is really the demeaning thing because it reinforces the idea that a women is only as good as the modesty she portrays.

What a bunch of bullshit.


Need an example? I can’t count the number of times I’ve had people complain about Ezra’s wardrobe in Fairy Tale.

“She’s a good character but once again she’s being exploited by her creators. Look at those outfits she wears. You wouldn’t fight in those outfits… Talk about the writer acting out his sex fantasies… I’m so sick of strong females being reduced big breasted bimbos.”

slut shaming3
It’s true. Your boobs CAN go wherever you want, just like our female anime characters.


Ummm… I’m sorry but how did she all of a sudden get reduced to a bimbo?

Did she all of a sudden stop becoming one of the strongest members of Fairy Tale when she changed from her normal outfit to her flight armor?

Did she suddenly stop caring about her friends and abandon them?


Did she start attacking people weaker than her in order to get the things she wanted?


As I recall she ended up kicking her foes ass and saving the day as usual. Once again proving that what a women wears in no way effects how she should be approached or viewed as a person or character.

In fact how do the other characters react to her requip magic? By being impressed by her fighting skills. That’s right there’s a hot chick with revealing clothing parading around and the other characters aren’t constantly commenting on her cleavage. They’re more concerned about how well she’s doing her job. I wish our society could be as mature.

To bring this hypocrisy home I would like to draw your attention to Natsu and Gray. Guess how many times I’ve heard anyone comment on Natsu’s lack of shirt or Gray’s lack of clothes in general.


Why? I’ll tell you why, because men wearing revealing clothing has never been once been used to judge their worth. A man fighting without his shirt is fine, a women fighting in a bikini top is unnatural. The message being that women’s bodies are unnatural and therefore need to be covered up.

If you are comfortable with Gray and Natsu’s outfits than you should be comfortable with Erza’s outfits as well. That’s equality.

Fanservice isn’t just for the male anime viewers… The ladies like it too. Natsu, Gray, and these fine gentlemen are proof of that. Don’t even get me started on those yaoi scenes. ❤


Men in Anime

With everything that I have been discussing at this point you are probably wondering what I do find demeaning in anime. I mean at the beginning of this post I did say that I have seen women demeaned in anime. I also said I’ve seen men demeaned in anime.

So if it’s not fan service or clothing that I find demeaning than what is it?

What I find demeaning is actually closely related to the lack of discussion about what I find demeaning about men in anime. For this reason I’m putting this all in one category.

What I find demeaning in anime is what I find demeaning in all media.

The support of Rape Culture.

rape culture meme

I’ve written about rape culture before but never in conjunction with anime. For those of you who are unaware rape culture is when society blames women for sexual assault and normalizes male sexual violence.

When anime (or media in general) write stories that either blame women for a sexual assault or normalize male sexual violence it is demeaning to both of us. Sadly these instances take place in our anime and even more terrifying many times we don’t even recognize it.

You all may remember my review Seven Deadly Sins… I Hate It, which actually happens to be a prime example of an anime upholding rape culture and therefore demeaning both women and men.

An example from the show would be when Elizabeth first comes into Milodas’s bar. She passes out at the bar counter and Milodas takes her upstairs to his room while she’s unconscious and then proceeds to sexually assault her by grabbing her breasts while she is still unconscious. The show also continues to blame Elizabeth for her sexual assaults by not “reacting” correctly to Milodas advances instead of blaming Milodas himself for his actions.

This is an example of rape culture.

The writer took a situation that is actually very serious and normalized it in the media. A man grabbing an unconscious women’s breasts is not normal, funny, or something that should be tolerated.

Rape Culture Meme3
How unwanted sexual encounters should be portrayed by media, anime and manga included.

This demeans men because let me ask you this male readers. Are you the type of person that would assault a woman while she was unconscious? I hope not. However images like this enforce the idea to the women watching that men are exactly like that.

Something that men need to start understanding is that women are taught from an early age that men can’t be trusted when it comes to sex.

To put it in perspective let me hit you with a fact. By the age of 18 one in four women will have been sexually assaulted. That’s just by the age of 18. Also this is women in general. Your statistics go up given social economic status and race.

We are constantly on the lookout for situations that can get us raped. Why? Because along with being taught that we must be vigilant or we will be raped it’s also made very clear to us that if we are raped it is mostly our fault, not that of the person who assaulted us.

Rape Culture Meme4
Poll time: Comment below if you remember having a conversation with your parents on what consent should look and feel like with a sexual partner. Now comment below if you have had a conversation with your parents on how to avoid being raped… Sadly I bet the majority of comments will be on how to avoid being raped.

Think I’m exaggerating? Next time a rape case is reported in your area check out the comment section and see how many people ask what the victim was wearing or whether or not she was drunk. Neither of these things should matter but we have all grown up in a society where we have become more comfortable blaming the victim then the perpetrator.

So when this idea is enforced in the media it makes me really upset. Whether it’s anime, manga, or a tv show if rape culture is being upheld I find it demeaning on both parties. When we normalize male sexual violence in our anime we reinforce the idea that all men are sexually violent and that this is normal.

As a male reader do you feel that you’re sexually violent? That this is normal for you? I doubt you do but that is how men can be depicted in anime, manga, and the media and that’s demeaning.

As a female reader do you feel that sexual violence is the fault of the victim? I doubt you do but that is how women can be depicted in anime, manga, and the media and that’s demeaning.

I believe that many times people are so focused on fan service and character outfits that we lose focus on what really demeans all of us. Situations in anime shows where sexual violence by men is normalized and female victims are blamed for assaults.

We need to be more vigilant for these types of situations when viewing anime and manga because these are the instances that demean women and men in anime. When we are able to notice these moments we are able to combat our own biases and more ethical choices when it comes to the products we support.

Rape Culture Meme2
This is what rape is about and this is how much we have normalized male violence. To tell someone else you have raped them is an acceptable form of letting them know that you have dominated and humiliated them.

When we don’t use our money to support products that uphold rape culture and site that as our reasoning we send a clear message to the creators of these shows. The message is that we do not support characters that demean men and women by normalizing sexual violence by men or victim blaming people who have been sexually assaulted.


Final Thoughts

This was a long post but I hope it has given everyone a lot of things to consider while watching and reading anime and manga. I really do think it is important that as consumers we are vigilante about where we are seeing rape culture being upheld in our society and anime and manga is no exception.

I am hoping that I have articulated my point within my post but if you have any questions or comments please be sure to voice them in the comment section below.

I would also like to take this time to remind everyone that while discussion is promoted in the GrimmGirl community hate filled comments will not be tolerated. When voicing your opinion please make sure to do it in a respectful way that promotes enlightened conversation.

Thanks for reading everyone, I know this was a long one!

41 thoughts on “The Portrayal of Women and Men In Anime and Manga

  1. Oh wow I absolutely love your article, and completely agree with everything. I get so frustrated when I tell people I’m a feminist and they just assume I hate men. If you hate men it’s called misandry!! If someone is using ‘feminism’ to justify their hatred of men – they’re not a ‘true’ feminist.

    Just an extra point in regards to fan service and female character’s clothing – when people complain about it being too revealing or that a character is showing of their body, they pretty much push aside the notion that a woman can gain strength and confidence from how she looks and her body. They police how a woman can , and should dress, to gain any form of respect besides that of being a sex object. They treat the woman’s body as a passive object and don’t consider the power in their sexuality that woman can gain. Women can gain confidence in their bodies in different ways some by showing more skin and some by wearing more clothing. It doesn’t matter – their bodies aren’t there for people to creep out on, the body is just a body.

    I gotta admit, Meliodas’ treatment of Elizabeth thoroughly disgusted me. It was just a running gag through the series, and I was in absolute shock. It reminded a lot of rape jokes that seem to be imbedded in our culture. A prime example of rape culture where I live (NSW, Australia) was a few months ago. There was this guy attacking women in a park, and the police just said “women should be careful of what they wear and always walk around with a male companion” – cue massive face palm. Anyway I’d love to chat more with you about this, if you have twitter or Line or something :)?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I read this book called Modern Motherhood by Jodi Vanderberg Daves and it was really interesting because it actually explained the history behind why people hear “feminist” and think “man-hater”. It actually started as propaganda started by people who were against women gaining the right to vote. They started a huge campaign on how women wanting to vote and fighting for equal rights just hated men and those concepts still survive in our culture today! Which just complete shows the power of media of peoples thoughts and conceptions. I agree the policing of women’s bodies is just completely out of hand. I believe it comes directly from societies portrayal of women being objects for men. People forget but it actually wasn’t that long ago that women were considered the property of men. It’s crazy to think about but it’s totally true. Our purpose laid in our value to our husbands. How much dowery did we bring in? What connections did we provide once we were married? Did we make sure not to embarrass them by being to sexual? This was at a time where there wasn’t DNA testing so the lineage of the children had to be certain. A woman who was having sex with other people was a liability. It didn’t matter whether or not men we’re having sex. Years and years and YEARS later these ideas still address how we feel about women and men today! It’s insane. Oh the relationship between Meliodas and Elizabeth def freaked me out. I couldn’t get past the 5th episode. I was finally just like, “I can’t stomach this anymore!” The rape culture hear in America is VERY strong. That police advice you got sounds exactly like the type of thing we would hear here as well. We even here it at school with our dress code polices. “Don’t wear spaghetti strap shirts. They are a distraction.” Basically telling us it’s OUR fault if the boys in our class can’t pay attention due to our (apparently) very sexual and distracting shoulders. It’s ridiculous. Boys should be taught from the beginning that women have bodies and that’s fine. It in no way changes how you should interact with them. If I was in class and I saw a guys shoulder and said it distracted me my teacher would just tell me to look the other way and quite being a creepy lol. She would’ve thought my reaction was silly. It should be the exact same way the other way around. My Twitter is @Kat13Sade and I would love to talk to you more about this 🙂 I’m really passionate about this subject!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. No offense. I absolutely love the way you wrote it but… I think the image and definition of RAPE CULTURE IS funny as if men and boys don’t get Sexually hurt or trapped by women.


      1. I don’t believe at any point in this article I ever said that men or boys were never sexually assaulted by women or men. I don’t really know what you mean by, “trapped” to be honest but I’m pretty positive I didn’t say that either. For this article specifically I was targeting the way women and men are represented in anime so since I was looking through that lens I admit I didn’t go into the statistics or male sexual assault. I do discuss that more and rape culture in a separate article when discussing Love Stage.


  2. This is a brilliant article and you make some very excellent points.

    > Let me tell you right now as a society we have GOT TO STOP JUDGING WOMEN BASED ON THEIR CLOTHING. I don’t care if she’s animated, fictional, or the chick sitting next to you.

    While I have been on occasion pissed off by gratutious fanservice, I fail to see what right anyone has to say about what women (or men for that matter) wear, be it in anime or real life. Saying that wearing revealing clothes is sexualizing and demeaning sounds uncomfortably similar to the oft-heard “oh you shouldn’t wear such clothes, you’ll get raped” bullshit.

    > Sadly I bet the majority of comments will be on how to avoid being raped.

    This is sadly true. Be it family or friends, whenever I hear my female acquaintances or relatives discuss rape, it’s with reference to how it should be avoided. Not once have I heard anything about how men should not rape. Hell, I even remember hearing my pre-teen classmates parrot victim-blaming comments that they’ve picked up from their family. I live in a developing country with a very conservative culture where women showing even a hint of cleavage is considered scandalous while men can walk about without shirts and no one will bat an eye. It’s unequal and frustrating and I’m on the verge of full-blown misanthropy at this point.

    Sorry for my rant and thank you for sharing this well thought out article.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I was a little nervous going into this topic because it is a hot button but I felt the need to dive in because I kept seeing so many people reducing whether or not a character was demeaning by what she was wearing and I just wasn’t cool with that.
      I def agree there has been times where I’m like, “Okaaaayyyy enough with the fanservice!” lol but it wasn’t because it was demeaning it was just because it was repetitive and I got annoyed with it. It had nothing to do with the actually content. So I def agree with you there.
      Our society has def shaped our victim blaming culture. I’m ashamed to say that as a young teen I was the same way. It sad because the only way to stop rape is for a rapist NOT to rape but being young I remember trying to follow all the rules in order to not be raped. Never walk alone, always be sure what you’re wearing isn’t to provocative, don’t drink to much, don’t make eye contact with males, don’t be out past a certain point at night, and the list went on and on. Nobody can live their live so constricted!
      I can understand your frustration as well. I think people would be very surprised how strong the rape culture here in the USA is. Recently we had a case where a man named Brock Turner raped an unconcious woman in an alley. Two men found him, stopped him, and called the police. Brock was a good swimmer at Stanford so the news kept talking about how HIS life was being affected. Everyone kept questioning whether the women was actually raped. Even though their were witnesses! They kept saying that because she was drunk maybe she consented before she passed out. Also they pointed out she shouldn’t have been drinking in the first place. The judge ended up giving Brock six months in jail because he didn’t want to “traumatize” Brock any further. Brock ended up spending on 3 months in jail and is already walking around free. It was disgusting and stuff like that happens all the time here.
      So I can understand your feelings because it can be so frustrating to see these things and live in a culture that is so repressive. Don’t lose hope though! I believe that by writing things like this and speaking out when you hear people saying things that support rape culture that the world will begin to change. I was able to change because I started to hear other people’s thoughts before than it didn’t realize that there was another way of thinking ❤ People just need to be shown that blaming victims and oppressing women isn't the way to a better world.
      Thanks for your comment I really enjoyed reading your perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. For me personally, the internet and the people using it are what helped me build awareness of feminism, lgbt rights etc – basically every cause that’s now important to me. If I’d stuck with what I see and hear around me, I’d still be just another person sporting outdated views passed down from generation to generation. So articles like this that address touchy topics without holding back for fear of offending people are something I greatly appreciate. So thanks, again, for sharing this!

        That incident is absolutely appalling. Hopefully, the current social situation will change and for the better. Fingers crossed, right?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree. I grew up in a very small and conservative town, we didn’t get a computer till I was a Jr. in HS. I didn’t really start questioning the things I had grown up hearing until I went to college. It was the first time I really had access to other viewpoints. It was funny bc growing up I always considered myself quite liberal but really I was just liberal for my area. I really didn’t have any real concept of women’s rights or LGBT rights or anything really for that matter. I had a very narrow viewpoint of the world. I’m glad that I was able to find other people’s writings and viewpoints. I want to be more like those people because they helped me to understand myself and others. I really respect them.
        I hope that the more people that are able to speak honestly about this topic and learn from others the more we will see less people like Brock Turner. Fingers crossed on this end for sure ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Amen, sister. As someone who survived an attempted sexual assault, this kind of articles really resonates with me. I had to take a few minutes before I could write this comment. I absolutely 100% agree with the education of men not to rape instead of focusing all energies in just teaching women self-defense. If there are no rapists, there will be no rape victims or the danger of being a rape victim. It’s that simple. I also absolutely detest people who conclude that it’s a woman’s fault that she’s assualted because she wears “slutty” clothing. I hate it when men say these things, but I hate it even more when women say this. I mean, come on. How could you say that to a fellow female? What if it happened to you? Would you want a fellow female to say it’s your fault that you’re sexually assaulted because you look slutty? Ridiculous! Agh. Just thinking about this is making my blood boil. Moving on, you presented excellent reasonings in regards to ecchi anime’s treatment of women. Sure, there are series that really demean women and just portray them as sexual objects, mostly in ero anime or more known as hentai anime. In more mainstream anime, however, it’s more like what you said here in this article. The male leads in this kind of anime don’t sexually assault females and be sadistically happy when doing so. Many scenes are accidental. Of course, I’m not saying that I’m comfortable with all this kind of scenes but it’s unfair to say that this kind of anime is promoting rape culture.

    I also love you Erza Scarlet example. I’ll add the females from ONE PIECE. Nami and Robin are very strong and intelligent so go girls! But look at their humongous boobs and revealing clothing. Do these make them JUST sexual objects? No. I think that whatever appearance a female wears, as long as she’s confident with her abilities and doesn’t see herself any lesser than her male counterparts, then she rocks! If she chooses to wear just a bikini, ya go girl! Being a feminist doesn’t mean that all powerful women fighting for equality should wear conservative clothing. Being a feminist doesn’t mean that we females need to remove our sexuality. In fact, we have to embrace it and be confident with it, and take control of it and never letting anyone, male or female take advantage of it except for ourselves. Anyway, that was a lengthy comment. Hope you don’t mind. I just found myself wanting say many things upon reading this post. Well done. Cheers!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. No I really appreciate your comment because I think it is important that we all discuss topics like this openly. I feel like one of our biggest problems as a society is the fact that we seem on able to talk about issues such as rape, sexual assault, rape culture, and feminism openly. I think when people are able to talk openly we will be able to attack the problem, which is the people who rape and sexual assault/harass other people. I think this helps create a good talking point. We all have to be aware consumers even when it comes to anime ❤ Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I know, right? I just heard news the other day about a judge saying to a sexual assault complainant how she “couldn’t keep her knees together”. I’m glad that he received so much criticism about his inappropriate comment and he apologized. So many people are like him, placing the blame & full responsibility on the victim instead of the one who did it. Ridiculous. And yes, you’re right. And I think that it applies to other media, not just anime.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah the victim blaming within our judicial system is just sicking. Especially since we look to them as our examples. I’m glad he apologized for is comment but it’s def scary that he’s in charge or sentencing in rape cases it def makes me wonder how many people got of light or weren’t found guilty at all because of his bias. Completely scary. It’s def a problem in all media. I took a course on men and women in ads and how their portrayed. One of the things the pointed out was how a lot of times in ads where they’re trying to portray “sexiness” like in makeup or perfume ads for women they will have a woman looking surprised or scared while there is a man behind her. Which reinforces this idea that even if a woman looks scared at a man’s advances in her head she still wants it she just doesn’t know how to “express” it. In other words these ads completely enforce rape culture. We see them everyday and don’t even recognize it. People don’t realize how many images a day they are bombarded with that normalize sexual violence or victim blame. It’s a really serious problem in all media.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. This actually gives me a good idea for a blog series! I might just start grabbing examples of ads we see everyday that support rape culture to build awareness. That we people can start noticing these things on their own. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    So very well said, finally someone said what I’ve been thinking and did it masterfully!
    Fictional or real, girls always get slut shamed and controlled, which is the actual problem. When they’re opposing a girl wearing Y or R clothes, it’s because THEY are uncomfortable, and think people or characters should act and be like they want.
    Ugh, it’s just really frustrating and everyone should read your post <333

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Internet fist bump! It is COMPLETELY frustrating! It’s also maddening how these thoughts are taught at such a young age. I remember being in school and seeing a girl in a short skirt and thinking, “She’s only doing that for attention.” When in reality my skirts were just as short and I knew I was only wearing it because I LIKED it. Honestly I was usually just jealous of the girl I was criticizing and I had been taught through society that slut shaming her was an acceptable way to voice that. Luckily as I got older and made my way through HS I was able to recognize how ridiculous I was being but many people don’t even after they become adults and that’s frightening.


      1. /FIST BUMPS
        /HIGH FIVES
        Very true, sadly these type of things are reinforced by media, parents, communities, etc, so it becomes a “it’s normal to do it” :VVVV
        I definitely understand what you mean, I was envious of girls too growing up. But then girls tearing other girls down is also seen as okay sigh.
        Yeah, a lot of people tend to continue as they were. Thankfully we didn’t!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Phenomenal piece.

    I definitely agree with you. Rape Culture is alive and well. I’m guilty of laughing at rape related jokes not fully taking what I’m saying at face value. But you live and you learn.

    Something really needs to be done about the perception of woman from the eyes of men. This pools into the rape culture aspect as well. When I woman dresses sexy, some men have in their heads that it is to draw their attention. Some woman even think this way. Everything is really interconnected.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will be the first to admit that I have had to live and learn too. I think I am much more informed now so it’s good to think how far we can all come, at least that’s how I like to look at my growth. 17 year old me never could’ve written something like this but I was lucky enough to begin to discover writers who could write articles like this! Sadly I was one of those women who though that women dressed this way or that way for attention. Utter nonsense I realize and hypocritical because I didn’t believe I dressed any sort of way for attention so why was I holding other people to this standard? It’s scary how that type of thinking can take root in young people due to all the elements that contribute to rape culture. I’m glad I’m not that type of person anymore but I completely agree it is all so interconnected. It took me a while to be able to recognize rape culture and all the the things that connect to it and I’m still learning to be honest. Thanks for reading this and sharing your thoughts! I’m a big believer that this is a topic that needs to be addressed more in everyday conversation so I’m always excited to meet people who feel the same.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I agree to anti rape culture but I doubt at the same time this will work or not. I mean… although people got education to not do something like that and they would know this is not right, but with enough impulse, some men will do it. So I think just education is not enough. Men need to control themselves too.

    Education + Restraint – Curiosity = Rape culture will decrease.

    However I really doubt rape culture will decrease, just say it is more easier than try to control self, because there are men who don’t think Rape Culture is problem and they can do. In some countries, any men who can do that, it’s like he got trophy or something. I mean… he will tell his exciting story (and clip too maybe) to his male friends. This can be second rape.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are def people who don’t believe in rape culture but I think the more people who speak out about it the more people will begin to recognize what it is. Sadly even if many people speak out against rape culture and slut shaming there will still be some people who rape. It’s kind of like people who have racist ideals. Even with all the people who have shown that your race in no way defines whether or not you are better than someone there are still people who are openly racist. The goal for me is to make sure that there are more people who are away of rape cult, slut shaming, and what consent should look like. I think if there are more people like that in the world it will be easier to spot the bad ones and create actually punishments that will protect other people. It makes me very upset when someone is convicted of rape and they only receive a few months of jail time. I think that happens because right now people do not take the effects of rape and sexual assault serious enough. Do you know what I mean? At the end of the day you are hundred percent right though. People have to control themselves and recognize and respect the boundaries of others. Without that the instances of rape and sexual assault will continue to happen.

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      1. I know what you mean and totally agree with you about poor punishment. It’s like a tool that can control men to really do it for real. Some countries that have reasonable/suitable punishment for criminals, can control rate of criminal case in their countries. Unluckily, some countries rule by men and have no any intention to create/edit law to solve/control rape case. So it will happen because social/government can’t stop them to do as their desire tell.

        Just imagine country that allow men to do something like this legally.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes I feel terrible for women who live in countries where rape is used as an acceptable form of punishing/controlling them. That is so insane to me. I really do not understand humans when I hear about things like that.

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  7. Amazing post and very well said! You’ve touched on everything I’ve been considering since I got into anime/manga and put it all into an excellently put together post. I watch and read a wide variety of manga and anime so I definitely know what you’re talking about when it comes to fanservice and what is and isn’t demeaning (some harem/ecchi series go too far and an uncomfortably large amount of yoai- seriously, I enjoy yoai but the genre has some serious issues when it comes to the definition of consent). Fanservice is something I’m not always bothered by, but it can often get incredibly irritating depending on how it’s handled. Going a tad bit off topic here but one other thing in addition to the things you’ve discussed is the whole lolli thing. Depending on how it’s done I have no issues with it since there are definitely women out there that look much younger than their actual age, but I did come across a couple anime that made jokes/insinuations that seriously shocked me and had me wondering about the age of consent in Japan. Normalizing the sexualization of children definitely isn’t something exclusive to Japan or anime (I might have just been unlucky enough to come across the very few shows that managed to get away with it), but coming across it in anime made me more aware of it in my own culture and media.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so funny that you just brought up lolli bc I’ve been hearing a lot of debate on the subject lately. I’ve never really watched a lot of loli themed anime personally so I actually plan on watching some in order to give my opinion on the subject. I will be discussing consent/rape culture in Yaoi soon though! I’m a big Yaoi fan myself and I agree I have noticed this trend to ignore consent or to normalize violent sex in some Yaoi shows and I think as a community we need to address that. That post will be out sometime this week!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it when you do! I haven’t actually heard too much on the subject as I’m kind of new to the anime/manga community and most of the loli themed stuff I’ve happend to watch were fine in my opinion, but the few that seemed to cross a line and made me feel really uncomfortable were ecchi involving girls/boys aged or looking around the age of 10. Using fanservice on 10yr olds just crosses a line for me. I totally agree and will definitely be checking your post out! 😊

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  8. Great article. I am glad that you pointe out the rape culture. Have you considered writing more on virtual child sexual abuse that occurs in anime and how it might normalize certain behaviors? I have personal experience with cutie culture in Japan and how it holds women back. Related to this, I also have first hand experience of how the sexualization of schoolgirl characters has led to a culture of men inappropriately idolizing girls and using them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading! Yes I actually have been thinking about doing an article on that side of anime as well but I feel like I need a bit more research into that side of things. I also want to make sure I have the time set aside to write it. I know that is going to be a really big topic. I’ll probably break it up between talking about sexualizing young boy/girl characters and then another post on the idea of innocence and sexualization, and the ramifications that has. Stay tuned it will def be coming!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. So you don’t mind constant objectification of female characters in anime? Good for you, sweetheart. But there’s one problem: I don’t watch anime for this kind of stuff. Not only that; the male gaze isn’t for the benefit of the young male character; it’s for the young male audience it’s actually aimed at – and also sending the message that girls are fun playthings that a young guy can always grab and grope if he wants to. And, if you want to dress and behave like a slut – sure, go for it – but it can invite unwanted male attention, especially if you put your titties and butt on display as if wanting sex. Remember, some men WILL NOT LISTEN to the “don’t rape” advice, so just be careful all the same.


    1. First, don’t call me sweetheart, you don’t know me like that. Second let’s put the blame where blame belongs ON PREDATORS. If society has taught us anything it’s that predators will sexually assault anyone regardless of what they are wearing, their gender, or any other reason under the sun. Victim blaming instead of 100% blaming the predator for their actions that they know are wrong is something supporting rape culture and giving predators the exact type of culture they desire and need to continue to hurt women, other men, and members of the LGBTQ community. Because as we have seen ALL of us can be chosen by a predator. So stop blaming anyone but them for their actions.

      Characters like Erza are amazing in their own right so if you’re choosing to objectify them than it’s exactly that. A choice you are making. Her outfits should factor zero percent on whether she is a solid character. If her choice in attire makes you uncomfortable than it’s okay to say that but it’s not okay to say you don’t like her because her skirt length makes her rape-able. That’s messed up and again contributes to a toxic rape culture.

      If you don’t enjoy an anime that’s also cool beans. People are free to enjoy any type of anime they want. But I also think we have a duty as society to be responsible with our viewing choices and to abstain from any show where we can see contributing factors to rape culture which clearly this post talks about and gives clear cut examples on what that looks like.

      Honestly I’m not sure where half you’re criticism comes from. At no point do I say the male gaze is for the benefit of the male character. Or that anyone is required to watch an anime that makes them uncomfortable.

      Finally DON’T RAPE isn’t some friendly advice I hand out to men it’s the freaking law and straight up common decency everyone in the world should follow regardless of anything. If you’re sexual partner has not given you a resounding, enthusiastic, freely-given YES then you should stay the hell away from them. End of story.


  10. I find it very hard to argue around the fact that the way female (and sometimes male) characters are displayed is sexist. Objectification is a thing and it is a problem. So is overall pressure towards people to be mainly someone to look at. I think a lot of Anime reduce female characters on being nice to look at. Some are in the series for nothing else.

    It is a complicated thing, because no one should tell anybody what to wear. But the characters in Anime are obviously not people, they are designs. What are they designed to be? And is that sexist?
    If you look at it from that perspective, perhaps you see why some people argue the way fanservice is used is sexist.

    I watched a lot of Anime when I was younger and never understood that point. Until I grew older and more and more tired of it. There are barely Anime left I can watch without being super annoyed about the lookism and objectification. And that annoys me, because I really like the stories and genres.
    I think it kills the fun for some female audience, while males rarely see a problem with it (why do you think that is? Personally, I think it is because it does not make them feel uncomfortable and a lot like it and think it is good that way).

    Perhaps it is because I now have a teenage daughter myself and I see how she and her friends struggle with the way women are shown in media, even if they are not real women but images. With sometimes horrifying consequences.

    Please excuse if my english is weird and keep up your nice blog. 🙂


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