Anime: Watched List & Ranking
I’ve been going through a animation series phase lately, working my way through a variety of anime and cartoons . It’s very enjoyable to have on while I draw.
However a recurring problem with some of the online recommendations lists is that they assume the viewer will be mostly male (or a female who doesn’t care if the women on the show are poorly represented) so the recommendations are tailored as such. A few of the series I’ve waded through are, visuals aside, astoundingly uninspiring to watch.
Off the bat let’s just say, as with most movies, female characters are largely sidelined. But lets say there are a few anime shows that do this less and do it less obviously.
So I’d like to start creating a list of girl driven or at the very least barely-equal anime: By barely-equal I mean: Yes the male will be the lead of course (yawn), but the one or 2 girls barely cast in the show wont be dreadful bland stereotypes, docile cry babies or sex props. They might actually contribute to the plot of the show beyond romance or cooking and have some legit fighting time.
For example, Sword Art Online seems to feature on many of the ‘must watch’ lists but in fact to date it has probably been the worst offender of the ones I’ve watched: 2 dimensional male & female characters, females cast just as props for the male lead & worst of all, not enough action. If your characters are paper thin have the decency to at least stick in a bunch of fun monsters to kill them.
There was also an episode (8 or 9 eps in) where for 10 mins or more of a 20 min episode the main girl characters ‘cooks’ for the male lead (he is soooooo impressed you guys, a girl who can cook and wear a stupid school-girl skirt and giggles as she fails to fight. wow. It’s just what I’m looking for in a wife.).
Seriously what. the. fuck.
This was supposed to be ACTION-FANTASY VIDEO GAME. Even in a video game the girl cooks??? So far it’s mostly dude-bro fantasy. I’d prefer a link at the bottom of the screen directing their viewers to Shaadi.com or Porn-hub.
There was one interesting murder mystery episode where a man kills his wife because she changed from docile ‘ideal wifey’ to a fighter (in the virtual world) and he couldn’t handle it. Typically though, the male lead figured everything out while the female was feeding him a sandwich she made. I’m not joking. That actually happened.
This show was such a disappointment.
So I think the list should have:
1. Number of strong female characters featured in cast
– Comparable to the strong male protagonist, is there a similar female version?
2. Level of involvement in the show in terms of:
– a. plot
– b. dialogue
– c. action
e.g. Sword Art Online, no contribution to the plot, female is largely prop, barely any action,
so 0 for action, 0 for dialogue, 0 for plot.
2. How 2 dimensional are the characters? Are their actions reasonable as characters? Do they develop as we watch the show?
– a. female
– b. male
4. Level of stereotype of female
– Is she going to mostly ‘cook’?
– Does she scream at bugs?
– And other nauseating tropes
5. Range of female characters (beyond the token ‘main’ female, what are the rest of the B cast like)
Feel free to add to my list. I still haven’t watched that many yet. So maybe they get better
I’ve leaving off Studio Ghibli off the list because I think it goes without saying those are pretty solid.
Strong Female protagonist, Minimal sexism, maximum action, amazing monsters.
I loved this one, and the young boy cast in the role that women usually play in these things is just as annoying as those sidelined women. He cries a lot, barely can fight and is far too young for the female. So really the role reversal was both refreshing and troubling.
#1b Adventure Time
Ranking this also at 1, but slightly lower than Claymore because it has fewer female leads. Season 1 started off fairly standard 2 buddy boys having adventure (fun and surreal ones of course), but by season 2 & 3 the characters really grow, the female characters have stronger presence on the show and the issues faced seem deeper . Marceline, Bubblegum & Flame Princess are all strong, 3 dimensional female characters and only get better as it goes on. I am kind of in love with this cartoon.
I read some where that executives wanted to cut both Marceline and Bubblegum from the show as they thought that girls wouldn’t watch it. Tsk. Fucking executives.
#2 Attack on Titan
Both the male and female leads start off as equal bad asses, but as the show progresses the involvement of the female badass drops off noticeably. That being said it is still a classic and very gripping, if you can get over all the crying all the characters do (the male mostly) while monologuing about the meaning of war death and courage. God there are a lot of inner monologues.
#3 Tokyo Ghoul
Has a male lead as per the norm, but the secondary female wasn’t bad. The other females in the show are varied and the show picked up as it went along. The moral aspects of the overall plot are a little convoluted but I quite enjoyed it.
#4 Blood C:
Kind of odd. Started off really weirdly cheerful, almost a school girl series. Mid way through turned into gore fest. Lead female, pretty bad ass, but plot quite jerky and disconnected. Like 2 types of anime mashed together but not properly mixed.
Thats all I have so far.
- Samurai Jack (By the creater of the Power Puff Girls)
- Mononoke (Black Sheep)
- Movie: Paprika
Poor Rankings based on my criteria:
No ranking: Death Note
I had to stop watching 6 eps in. Pretty boring really and all the characters except the demon seemed unlikeable. Not sure what else to say. There was also one bit which I couldn’t figure out was meant to be sexist or to demonstrate that the man was a dick (The woman had to give up a Detective job because her man agreed to be her fiancee and meet her parents. I puked a little in my mouth at that point. Then I couldn’t be bothered to watch more.) The leads motives are almost random. His ‘plans’ to foil his nemesis just don’t make any sense. At all. And he’s supposed to be a genius. Even if he’s supposed to be mad with power they make no sense. Essentially this is a cartoon about 2 power mad dude bros who want to fight each other but done in a really fucking boring way that isn’t even rationalised. I’d rather they just got it on with each other to some Barry white. It would be less dull to watch. )
No ranking: Sword Art Online
As mentioned above it is probably got the worst token female in it and is my least fav. Concept was interesting & the visuals are nice (That’s the only good thing I can say about this show. ) but poor plot, poor pacing, poor characters. The male leads motivation is really unclear. Dudes might like it I guess, but it seems a bit slow even on the dude end.
Anyone one got any additions?
Feel free to add them in the comments below