Is This Feminist or Not? Ways of Talking about Women in Anime

These are the slides for the panel “Is This Feminist or Not? Ways of Talking about Women in Anime” as presented at Sakura Con 2017

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6 thoughts on “Is This Feminist or Not? Ways of Talking about Women in Anime

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  3. Liza Patterson

    Out of curiosity, why do you think that same face is a negative element of an anime? While it can be annoying, I don’t think it warrants anything bad in the long run.

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    1. I should have covered this in the panel, but the problem isn’t just the sameface syndrome; it’s that only the women have it. The male characters, on the other hand, are largely based on real people and display enormous diversity in both face and body type. I go into it more in my post, “No Middle Sliders: Body Diversity in Anime”

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    2. I think I understand the issues of same-face more now than I did a while back. There’s a concern that certain kinds of images get reciprocated for women, like passive, stimulating ‘sorori kao’ faces. That happens outside of anime, in Japan’s wider media; so when it happens in anime too, it feels like it fits the same mold. That we’re seeing a reciprocation of the resistance to female individuality, and alongside it, usually, an encouragement for male individuality.

      But there are certainly other dimensions to Shirobako’s same-face. For me the appeal was always a sense of ‘moe’ paired with solidarity that the girls have but the guys don’t. You know how the guys fight with each other, or with the girls, but the main five stay in harmony? The male characters may have more variety in how they look, but I’ve been taking the girls’ similar faces as a constant reminder that they’re united by a ‘moe’ spirit the guys, even those much more experienced than them, have to learn from.

      So I think there are both positive and negative dimensions to the ‘oneness’ Shirobako’s girls have, depending on what angle you approach it from.

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