Monday, July 11, 2016

What Makes Anime Women Strong?

Written by Shiggins

I am geek. Read me rant.

I want a Black Widow movie. I want more of Furiosa and Xena and Ellen Ripley and I want so many other strong women characters to exist in the world of fiction. Luckily, anime provides me with so goddamn many, that I'm spoiled for choice. Revy from Black Lagoon, Usagi from Sailor Moon, Kurisu from Steins;Gate, Erza from Fairy Tail... The list goes on. However, anime and movies have often gone the other route and given us female characters that audiences despise for being "weak" or "useless". So, if you're looking to write a female character, how can you make them a strong character for audiences to enjoy? Well, find out here!

Well, I suppose one easy way to do that is to make your female an f-ing gorgeous genius in stockings... but there are other ways!
The first thing you should be aware of is that the character doesn't need to be a battle-hardened monster of pure adrenaline and rage, able to constantly fire guns and drink the blood of swords as she snaps the necks of her victims' grandparents for daring to stand in her way. Just because a character can fight, doesn't mean they are strong or interesting. Some of the best female characters in anime, like Ruronai Kenshin's Kaoru, rarely take part in action scenes, yet are still memorable and powerful, in their own ways.

Titty bombs... Yeah, that's pretty funny. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention! A girl can be funny and strong at the same time. It's a thing, look it up.
This is because of strong support. Often, people mistake "support" for "weakling", but that's entirely the opposite. It's amazing how characters like Naruto and Kenshin never get insulted when they give up, but females like Hinata and Kaoru get picked on by the audience despite them being the ones who wake the protagonists up. It takes a strong will to keep someone motivated to save the world, and it's often the unsung women who keep it together. Rukia got Ichigo back up on his feet, as have many other characters in the past. Supporting women deserve the credit they never get.

Fuck you, Naruto fans. Hinata is a BOSS, especially in this chapter.
Now, that's not to say a woman can't be a fighter. In fact, most audiences will grab the fighting woman and place her on the pedestal, so it's a great way to make women seem amazing. Highlights for myself include Yoruichi, whose amazing battle against Soi Fon (or Sui Feng) instantly stole both the show and my heart. While it's true we don't have enough female characters with bulging hardened muscles, there's no shortage of fighting women out there. You all have a favourite, don't lie.

She is way too fucking perfect... proof that there is a conspiracy underway!!!
Fairy Tail, as I'm so often fond of saying, has dozens of fighting women that are strong and well-written. However, you will always find a lot of people saying they aren't strong, and are "useless" or "pathetic". And the reason for why they say that is very simple; Appearance.

You want me to justify this as strong? Challenge accepted!
Fairy Tail's women have big breasts. Fairy Tail's women are gorgeous. Fairy Tail's women are often used for comedy, as well as action. These things tend to distract audiences and cause them to make incorrect assumptions. One assumption is that "if you're feminine, you aren't strong". Quite frankly, it's a disgusting and sexist opinion to have but it exists. A common dilemma in most fiction nowadays is that wanting to do things regarded as feminine, such as cooking or wearing make-up, often is associated with weakening the character and making them submissive. If you wrote a female character who stood strong, but also baked for her husband, someone is going to call you sexist. And that's utter crap. To me, a strong woman is a woman who does what she wants to do. If she wants to wear lipstick, or wants to cook in apron, or wants to show she's got huge tits, that's power. It's power to stand up and be who you want to be, instead of the cliche "berserker type" that is often associated with strength. Cana Alberona wears only a bra and trousers, yet I'd never call her weak because she kicks fucking ass. She wears the bra and trousers because she wants to wear them, and that's tough.

So which dumbass wants to try to tell me that Wendy is NOT a badass? Go on, I'll blow away all of you!!!
So we've talked about supporting the protagonists, being as feminine as you want to be (or as non-feminine/masculine) and we acknowledge that women can fight too. So let's have a look at "other actions", because often we overlook the non-fighting actions committed by women, due to the men mostly covering action. (I said mostly!) Surprisingly, I'm going to look at one of my least favourite female characters for this; Sakura Haruno.

I think this might be the most "metal" thing I've ever seen in my life.
Sakura is a fighter. That is true, but the most impressive part of her to me is her medical skills. While obviously a bit fantasy/sci-fi/silly, the moments when we see her using medicine and intelligence to heal various people are some of the highlights in her entire career. She was pumping Naruto's heart with her bare hand, and she healed Kankaro when he was poisoned. Honestly, if the series had kept that up, I'd consider her one of the best badasses of Naruto.

In summary, a strong female isn't defined by how many battles they win or how flat their chest is. They're defined by their will. By their brain, and even sometimes just their personality. So long as your character is unique, make them whoever they want to be and show they have the strength to keep going on when times are tough. Want them to be huge-tittied barmaids with a love for sex? You can do that. Want them to be shy, delicate flower-power ladies? You can do that too. So long as you make them who they are, they'll be strong.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to be told off by Twitter folk for being an "SJW". Oh and if possible, give me your thoughts on this subject. Keep things non-sexist please.

Men are great. Women are great. But let us not forget the best gender of them all; The gender of Hideyoshi.

Shiggins:[Admin]   .
Born under the stars of the Dark Gods, Shiggins owns the power of the Great Eye and is utterly magnificent in his omniscience. If you dare to discover more about someone as great as him, then go ahead. And to all my friends and family members, YOU are wrong and I should be disappointed! Not the other way round!,. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on or go to his tumblr page

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