Saturday, November 30, 2013

Things I Hate In Shonen Manga

Written by: Micha.

Picture this. You have a huge stock of your favorite pizza lined up for you with your most favorite pizza toppings (if you hate pizza, get the fuck out) but the catch is, it has olives too and you hate olives. The olives were tampering the flavor of your food. It was disgusting you. It was making you vomit.

I get the same feeling every time they ruin my favorite shonen manga with little things that gets on my nerves. And I must warn you that this article is where I will look like a narrow-minded, conservative, intolerant little piece of shit to some of you, because what I hate in shonen will be mostly what you love about it.    


I must confess that I’m an out-and-out sexist. Despite being a woman myself, I have been giving my middle finger to most of my species. There’s just something about stereotypical women that makes my blood boil every time I encounter one. So naturally, my interests and preferences in most things lie on common ground with those of men.

Let me tell you this. Shonen was created for the purpose of promoting an idea of heroic young boys. It exists for the purpose of making nerdy boys feel special and courageous in an entertaining and educational way. Shonen is their turf. Shonen is the geeky retreat for them. And whenever there’s anything beautiful such as that, women just have to butt in and ruin it.

Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope. 

The best examples for traditional manga would be Naruto and DragonBall Z. And the best thing about them is that they never focus too much on the females of the show, especially when it comes to utilizing them in battle. Why? Because fuck women. This is testosterone paradise, people. We don’t need to watch pissy women fighting in battles, not just because it’s not customary, but also become shonen is a man’s thing!

Most people think manga such as Naruto and Dragon Ball Z do not focus on women because the manga artists lack the ability to write well developed female characters. Bullshit. Any mediocre writer could create a badass female character, but why don’t they do it? Because it’s. not. shonen. tradition.

I know this is a hard concept to digest, especially if you’re from a younger generation since feminism has probably eaten away your brain by now. And considering that there’s a ridiculous increase in women character development happening nowadays in recent action manga, this shit has become normal to you.
I think it would probably be a better idea for me to conserve turtles or a buffalo species rather than declaring war on feminism to save my traditional shonen manga style, because honestly, anybody who challenged those nutjobs are in jail. And I don’t want to go back in there yet.


Here’s the thing with romance. I despise it. Actually, despise is the nice word for the feeling I have towards it. I avoid it at all time. I avoid it in real life, I avoid it in fiction preferences, be it books, movie or even manga. Which is also one of the reasons why I choose to devote my time to shonen manga. Why? Because it’s all about tough action with little to no romance focus.  Well, of course, up until recently.

I honestly don’t understand why the new shonen manga artists have the need to emphasize romance so much in shonen. Oh wait, I do. It’s a cheap way of getting readers hooked on their manga and distracts the readers from the horrible storyline they come up with.

If there is such a thing as heart breaks, I felt it for this manga that day. 
But I’m not amused. I hate romance in my action manga. And I know that some amount of romance is essential to keep the lonely readers entertained but it becomes a problem when consequently a week or two goes by with heavy density of romance thrown at us. If you’re that desperate to win over my heart, let me kindly direct you to my pants where my dick awaits to be sucked. Or join a shojo magazine, if that helps.

And worst of all, heavily implied canon couples, such as NatsuXLucy, or ErzaXJellal, or NarutoXHinata insanely fuels the fanbase like a political sex scandal fuels the mainstream media, enough to divert you from the most important thing in manga; the fucking plot.

Because it will be all you talk about. Every thread, every discussion board, every conversation will be reeking of fandom wars, because hey, who cares about the plot, my ship is becoming canon!  


Now let’s bitch about fanservice.

I know. It’s tedious, it has been discussed in here before and this is becoming a drag but this was inevitable and the bitter truth. Constant fanservice is destructive, not just to the customary shonen image, but also the fanbase.  

And when I say fanservice, I’m referring to the seductive style of clothing, nearly all girls having enormous breasts for reasons still unknown to me, and generally over-sexualizing characters, since romance has been talked about before. And some artists feel the need to use excessive, excessive, excessive amounts of fanservice, which I can guess is some sickeningly convenient way to lure (dumb) readers.  

Where there is FT, there is excessive fanservice.
 Fanservice is a low, cheap and an easier way to gain (dumb) readers for your show. It’s the manga equivalent of comedians making fart jokes, music artists using provocative lyrics about sex and drugs, and movie stars showing too much of skin.  

Fanservice is one of the genius ways -and at the same time very idiotic method- manga artists try to cover up their pathetic writing skills. A good writer shouldn’t have to use fanservice to keep readers around. You know how you can seduce me? Create an earth-shattering plot, with well-developing characters, brilliant battles, and I will be wetting my pants and I promise it wouldn’t be piss.

I still think that women have completely ruined shonen. And this article may seem like propaganda of mine to encourage anti-feminism or anti-women, but the truth is, women really do suck. Because with women comes romance and fanservice, and everything that’s going wrong in action manga.

Traditional shonen manga is dying. And with it, dies my conservative, republican soul.  Just kidding, I don’t have one. But yes, traditional shonen is dying.  We all knew this was going to happen eventually ever since certain manga were released and continually started plaguing the style of action manga.

But can we do anything other than bitch about it? Nope.

Micha: [Co-founder]
Micha likes to broadcast her terrible drawing skills to the world on her DeviantArt account and talks about her life long ambition of making Yakushi Kabuto a woman, on her Skype; michasucks. Yes, with the dot. She will also respond to e-mails on her because Amber forces her to.
Also, I now have an Here's your chance to harass me.

Haters and constructive people only. Dicksuckers piss off.


  1. In the interest of making sure it's not just "Dicksuckers" on your comments, I'm going to start off with my comment!.

    Women - Women are a crucial part of every series. Dragon Ball Z did suffer when it came to the women characters, except Bulma who stayed throughout the entire series as a non-fighter. Personally, I love variety in a shonen series and we need women to make that happen. Sure, characters like Sakura and Sasuke threaten to destroy that but characters like Maka Albarn, Ino and Erza are actually capable and entertaining. Not every character needs to be defined by their gender, and that's what I like when it comes to women.

    Romance - Yes, there is such a thing as "too much romance in shonen" but romance is something many readers enjoy. Romance is most likely going to be just as important to the plot as battles. If done correctly, it can be an important part of character development and plot development. As long as romance doesn't fill the pages of manga for weeks, it's perfectly fine.

    Fanservice - Yeah, I don't really have any problems with your words here. Fanservice feels cheap, especially when it's during a battle. Although, almost every other manga series uses fanservice (I think it's actually a request by the editors to keep fans "entertained". It's not just FT who uses it so please try to remember that.

    1. You're fun, Sean.

      Your shitty liberal views surely does not agree with my conservative ones. Of course women are essential. As furniture, that is. It would be just dumb to have an all-men series, but what I'm saying is that giving too much focus on women or how great a woman is in shonen is just not how it was done. This whole feminism trend started pretty recently, which is revolutionizing the very definition of SHONEN MANGA.
      Whether it's a good thing or a bad thing is controversial.

      And regarding romance, you just repeated what I said. "And I know that some amount of romance is essential to keep the lonely readers entertained but it becomes a problem when consequently a week or two goes by with heavy density of romance thrown at us. "
      So I don't think we have a problem there.

      It's not just FT who uses fanservice. FT just abuses it.

      Thanks for your comment, dicksucker.

    2. Conservative? You're not conservative, you're an extremist.
      I'm sure you are the be-all-and-end-all for what defines shonen manga. I mean, it's not like a wide variety of genre fit into shonen, which definitely do not included, action, martial arts, sports, cooking, slice-of-life, and mystery.
      By the way, a large amoint, almost half the readers in shonen jump are women. Including women in manga, who can be ass-kicking, I don't see why that's a problem.
      Also, one could say that shonen, no wait, action shonen, is being ruined by cliches, not women.

    3. You think I'm an extremist? That's a bold assumption.
      And based on what statistics could you have possibly come to the conclusion that "almost half the readers in shonen jump are women".

    4. Shonen Jump has it's own polls.

  2. Or could, just, you know, pick off the olives.
    Hating fanservice is understandable, but hating women is...unusual and unrealistic. Focusing on male characters is part of the demographic, as men will probably understand men more than women, which, of course, are mysteries.
    Women are roughly half the population, and removing them will be unusual. It's like removing chairs, achievable, but weird. What if guys want to see girls in their manga? Guys have hormones, especially at the shonen age. (shonen literally means not-much years) That's what fanservice, irritatingly, does. If traditional shonen is what you want, then go read it. Romance is an actual genre of story. It's kind of your taste if you don't like it, and it's not the masses' fault your lonely. But I don't like the fans who "ship" characters. Direct them to read shoujo. Spreading the word is what you're doing, though.
    BTW, I recommend reading reading YuYu Hakusho if you feel like reading more "traditional" manga. There are women, (horror of horror, half the population), but for the most part, the emphasis is on the 4 man team. Most of the secondary characters, villains are male, with the occasion girly man.
    Again, Hunter X Hunter is worth picking up. It departs from Shone cliche-um, I mean Tradition, but the majority of the cast is male and girly males. There are some females, but the not noticed because, by your logic, equality sucks. I'm not some raging extremist feminist, but equality for what you're born as is important.

    1. Hating women is unusual, but common, I think. It's not a new thing. But I have never mentioned that we should remove women from the shows. That would just be silly. I emphasized that we should not give more focus to women, something which is happening a lot in recent action manga.

      And a lot of people have recommended Hunter X Hunter to me on this blog. I think it's time I gave it a shot.

  3. "Fanservice is a low, cheap and an easier way to gain (dumb) readers for your show." best sentence and it is the absolute truth.

    I don't mind a little fanservice in anime, but lately its been super abused to the point where most anime series feel like their Soft porno's.

    1. Yep. My point exactly. Romance and fanservice should be balanced to some degree in a manga, it's when they cross the boundaries that becomes a problem.

  4. being a man myself, i find the fanservices are too far annoying. but blaming it all on feminism? that's totally bullshit. all those ideas have come from male authors' brains who are far from being feminists or their influences. and besides, they are Japanese. feminists are just very very small compared to the rest population of females. most of influences haven't come from them. most feminists themselves hate it when they see women's sexuality and nudity exploited. and if its the testosterone paradises you really want to see, why don't you hate weak and gentle male chara in current shonen manga/anime? since you really want to see badass and macho men. and as a man myself, i really like many badass and macho female chara in some shonen. but regardless, all shonen manga/anime always shows men are the most superior in strength and men are the major participants in battles and wars. as we would like to see. that's still shonen.
    bringing up feminism... that's a wrong address. you should bring up religions and other doctrines bigger instead. they give much more influences.

    1. Why is it that you have to assume things all the time? How do you know they're not feminists? How do you know they're not influenced by feminists? The whole world is being influenced by feminism, for god's sake. Even some laws in countries are altered to fit the needs and wants of feminists, if that isn't saying enough.

      I like gentle male characters. I like macho men too. I like all varieties of men. Especially in shonen because it's meant for men, and all kinds of men.

      And why do you want to bring religion in to this? Religions aren't influencing anything in manga style.

      And it's okay if you like badass and macho female characters. It's just a difference in opinion.

    2. geeshh... it seems that i need to explain a lot to you.

      i can prove you Mashima, Oda, and Kishimoto are not feminists. not even their puppets. their bios are the proofs. read also their interviews and their words about their manga and their lives. what makes you think they are? you are the one who proves nothing.

      religions don't have influences? wake up! all those mystical and religious things in anime/manga including magic, miracle, heaven, hell, satan, angel, god, demon, witches, supernatural techniques, symbols, rituals, ritual devices, creatures, etc? some anime/manga even contain many conservative values. where did they come from? feminism? hahaha! feminism is not even older or more popular than them!

      religions, atheism, communism, capitalism, socialism, world wars, apartheid, radicalism, terrorism, freemansory, illuminati, etc influence laws and people's behaviors over the world far greater than feminism does. prove me wrong! i bet you can't.

      i told you before! feminists don't like to see women's sexuality and nudity being exploited. what do you see in most of shonen like naruto, one piece, fairy tail, etc?? too many fanservices or women's sexiness being exploited. and you didn't encounter this point.

      your argument is all flawed. your persistence is really unreasonable. but in the end, you are just a woman in denial due to your hatred toward feminism (or rather... women in general), so you always make connections between bad things in women and feminism. but you are blind to the fact that there are other doctrines that are much more sexist and racist, older, have killed and tortured much more victims for centuries, and have influenced much more people.... but i won't bother telling you. your hatred toward feminism (and women in general) overcomes everything. so i bet you wont listen.

      last, you prefer Sakura to Hinata. you hate shy and silent women, and expect them to speak up and be more confident. this is like what feminists do - encouraging women to speak up and be more confident. you said you want to see Testosterone Paradises and you hate feminism. then why liking Sakura? she is a violent and aggressive woman who takes roles in combats. i thought you wanted women in shonen to be furniture.

      BTW if feminism had had much influence in Japan, pornography, hentai, ecchi, would fall. but the fact they have risen. answer all before starting a new argument.

  5. Micha, you know I love you and your writing style. But this time, I disagree too much on this topic. But since I'm tired, I'll come back tomorrow to make myself clearer.

    1. Oops, I'm a lil' late ^^' !
      Okay, so here we go !

      - About women :
      I'm not an ultra-feminist who always wants to see girls triumph over boys, in movie, manga, books, VG, whatever. That's why I watch mostly shonen, I hate shojo manga.
      But, does it shonen manga has to have only weak and frail women, only good to be protected by men ? No, no, no. To a strong hero, there should be an equally strong heroine in terms of ideology (the nakama thing, the strong will, stuff like that). Shonen manga is made to promote young boys power, so it is normal if a girl isn't as powerful (for girls more powerful than boys, we have a genre called magical girl... yuck !). Women ARE needed in shonen. They make the manga lighter by bringing fun.
      Now, you cannot put Hinata and Orihime in the same bag than Sakura, Rukia or Lucy-Erza. The two first ones only fight because the hero is their crush, and they exist for the sole purpose of loving him. The latter have or had no romantic interest with the main character, they are mostly there for comic relief. Plus, they can actually fight in situations that have nothing to do with their love interest (when they have one).
      Now, we have good and bad ways to write the character of a heroine : it is true that Naruto and DBZ don't focus too much on their heroines, and that's what make them great. The sometimes have a moment during which they shine, but they never outdo the main character.
      Now, you WANT to see an annoying Mary-Sue of a heroine ? More than Erza (who is more interesting than Natsu in terms of strength, background story and development) ? Just watch Shingeki no Kyojin. Seriously, you need to do that. Don't misunderstand me, I love the heroine, Mikasa, but I know you won't for two things : she's waaaaay smarter/stronger than the hero AND she loves him. She's too perfect to be real.

      But to sum up my thoughts, good female characters/heroine ARE needed. They should evolve at the same time as the hero, have some good abilities, still keep some "girly flaws", but in the end, be there to support the hero. Which makes Sakura the "almost" perfect heroine for me (especially since she started up by loving Sasuke and NOT the main character as it is usually the case in shonen). I know it must sound cliché, but she's one of the few heroines in all shonen mangas to have all the criteria of a good but still unusual main female character (she simply lacks the dramatic background story, and I'm grateful Kishimoto never gave her one).
      The PERFECT female character, however, is decidedly Kagura, in Gintama, but she's so wonderful I can't even start to explain it there.

      Want to read a pure shonen with almost no women involved ? Read Toriko or Hikaru no Go (my favourite manga ever). They're awesome.

    2. It's not over yet !

      - About romance :
      Micha, I despise romance IRL as much as you do maybe more, believe me. I'm a proud aromantic asexual girl and couples make me want to puke.
      BUT, I'm not someone who generalizes her case to everything and everybody, because I understand some people NEED romance. And it is the case in shonen manga, like it or not. Shonen manga represents the story of young boys/teens. And what happens for most boys at this age ? Yes, LOVE (and the first faps, but I don't even want to think about it). This is something that cannot be helped. And it is a good thing that it is represented in shonen, I think, so all male readers of this age who have a crush on one of their classmate can relate. And it is of course better if it is the MAIN male character, so they can feel even closer to him. So this is my issue with Hinata/Orihime/Lisanna and the like : they are girls who have a crush on a guy. Who cares ? Who gives a f*ck about the pretty busty girl liking the guy ? It never happens IRL, so why include it in the manga ? However, if it is the guy who's in love, it is different : the reader can follow the adventures of a guy who will do his best to become both a good man/fighter (or whatever)/friend AND a possible lover, which is the "reality factor" that ties the protagonist of a shonen and the readers, like for Naruto or Rin in Ao no Exorcist.
      And even as someone who has no interest in love, I think THIS kind of romance (when it's the boy who likes the girl) is very interesting, and I find myself shipping some couples because of this even though I would care IRL. If you are able to place yourself in the shoes of the main character and to understand his wishes, it actually become enjoyable. And it is even more the case for Naruto (again) since he replied to Sai when asked about why he didn't confess to Sakura that he couldn't do it NOW because of XXX reason.Which means that even if he doesn't focus on love, it is still in a corner of his mind (maybe for the end of the series). (And yeah, no, NaruHina is the only couple out of those you mentionned that has never been implied to become canon at all)
      So I don't really agree when you say that romance is a cheap way to make the manga sell : it is a way to depict true teen's life (and I will repeat myself, but this only applies to hero -> heroine love, not the contrary, in which case it is a cheap way to make the girl who's in love with the guy popular... didn't work in BLEACH though, Rukia is still more popular than the so-called heroine, even if he doesn't give a romantic f*ck about Ichigo).

    3. And lastly, about fanservice.

      On this matter, I will agree and disagree with you. Unlike my two previous points that I tried to keep objective, this is absolutely NOT objective.

      Fanservice is needed. And no, you can't talk about traditional shonen manga on this point. Fanservice in Dragon Ball exists ever since Bulma has appeared, in 19-f*cking-84. Same for Naruto and his Sexy Jutsu in 1999. I find it dumb but young boys need some sexy stuff to fap on in shonen manga. They could go and buy porn, but the japanese men have always loved their eroticism more toned down (they do have hentai, but that's another topic). Which is what fanservice is provinding : a way to introduce sexual references but to leave to the imagination of the reader the choice to imagine what is under the hidden part.
      And when it's about women, I hate it (yeah, call it my feminist-shit, but that's the case, I find it useless). At least, Toriyama made it funny, but Kishimoto, Mashima, Kubo and the like, they all FAIL at fanservice (however, a boy reading this comment could disagree, and to a certain extent, I'd understand).
      But I'd be a hypocrite if I said that I completely HATE fanservice. My favourite anime, Gintama, has almost been MADE for the female audience, with all those hunks who sometimes find themselves in more-than-suspicious situations (and I swear I hate yaoi, but this is so subtle in Gintama that I'm FORCED to love it).
      Or in BLEACH, Ichigo, Byakuya, Kenpachi (yes, I have a crush on him, don't try to understand). Or in Toriko, all those macho men (when I discovered Toriko, in Japan, this summer, I really hated the design of the guys in this manga but the more you watch the anime...).
      Look, this sums up everything :
      So saying that I'm completely against fanservice would be false... I just hate it when it's girl-fanservice for boys, but given that I drool over the pretty boys, I can't really say anything x).

      Just one last thing : I don't know if you watched Bakuman (and if you didn't you HAVE to watch it, it is highly instructive on the way a manga is made), but I remember the two mangakas (in the story, I mean, not the mangakas of BAKUMAN) being criticized because their manga was published in JUMP, but didn't include enough panties panels.
      Fanservice IS a requirement now, so we have to deal with it. As long as they don't forget fanservice for the female readers (and there are a lot, now, so much that it almost became an issue for JUMP), I'm happy.

      Sorry for the walls of text.

    4. Eww, female-oriented fanservice is what's ruining male-oriented manga.

  6. Thank god traditional shounen are dying. I can't stomach them anymore. So tired of these oldschool macho tropes. Shounen with badass female leads are the way to go.

  7. LMAOO this person has no idea what feminism is! xD

  8. To be honest, I always had mixed feelings about feminism in shonen and media in general, I feel as though at times it emasculate boys and girls alike, for opposite reasons. For the boys, it makes them get less powering feeling when reading the shonen mangas when they witness a badass female outdo the male protagonist they're supposed to root for. For girls, I'm starting to lose faith in them as characters because of them being used as eye candy for perverted men (and gay women) and as empowering symbols for girls everywhere. It's sick and stupid, now I can no longer look at a fictional character without looking at them as nothing but tools meant to brainwash the audience. Nowadays, the only thing I like about feminism anymore is that it gives more complex personalities for girls and guy characters, but it seems writers nowadays are too shallow to reach the fullest of that potential.

  9. LOL, Micha, do you know about the NaruSaku rampage what is happening since the final chapter of Naruto + The Last movie?

    They are all gone mad! You was right about shipping, pal, they are all like sexualy fueled politicans!

    1. *snicker* "Rampage".... More like a whiny hissy fit.