Sayo Yamamoto will save anime (for me)

Sayo Yamamoto saved anime for me.

This seems like an exaggeration and, frankly, it is. But The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, my first exposure to her, moved me so deeply with its pointed critique of how writers treat female characters that I promised that I would hop on a plane to any anime convention where she was a guest. Her complex, unconventional heroines energized and inspired my blogging and made me feel like that, just maybe, someone out there behind the scenes felt the same way about women in fiction that I did. My effusive love for it helped me connect to one of my Anime Feminist collaborators, Vrai Kaiser. Every season after that I would scan the directorial credits in hopes of seeing her name, but she wouldn’t direct another series for over five years, until Yuri on Ice premiered and completely left the anime community shook.

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Abusive Relationships in Shoujo Manga by the Number: Week 4

Previously

On last week’s post, Alex commented,

Why do you plan to talk about why exactly it seems a genre of manga dominated by female authors contains so much abuse? It’s kind of fascinating to me that women would write characters who seem to DESIRE to be in these sorts of relationships, and I’d be interested in some insights.

This is honestly something I had to do a lot of outside research for because frankly, I don’t get it. My favorite pilot in Gundam Wing was Quatre – “bad boys” have never done it for me. Of course, it would be really assholish to study this phenomenon without trying to understand the “why” as well as the “what”. I’ve found there’s a few reasons:

  • It’s more interesting

Say what you will about series like Hot Gimmick and Black Bird – they really draw you in. As Tolstoy said,  “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” It’s hard, though not impossible, to write a healthy romance in an interesting, engaging way, whereas even I have to admit that a lot of these melodramas are page-turners, while series about genuine, loving relationships are often hit or miss and even the best ones can get dull if drawn out too long – Kimi ni Todoke, I’m looking at you.

Continue reading “Abusive Relationships in Shoujo Manga by the Number: Week 4”