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 The 90s Anime has a "Male Perspective"?

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SpikeDevilman
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PostSubject: The 90s Anime has a "Male Perspective"?   2nd October 2018, 8:36 pm

Back in August of 1997 in an interview with Mixxzine, Naoko Takeuchi said the following:

"The anime has a slight male perspective to it, since much of the staff was male. My original version was written by a girl (me) for girls…"

What do you all think she meant by this? Surely she refers to more than just the gender makeup of the staff. Perhaps alluding to certain details in the 90s Anime? I can't quite place my finger on it.

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Ktenshi
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PostSubject: Re: The 90s Anime has a "Male Perspective"?   2nd October 2018, 10:34 pm

Yeah, she is.  See, the way men write certain things is different than the way women write.  And that has a lot to do with what we're socialized as a whole (Not individuals, but as a whole generalized way that's normalized) to focus on.

There's just a certain thing that guys focus on that aren't typical of women or they dial up an aspect that isn't always (or necessarily) true.   This has more to do with what's normalized/socialized as acceptable for boys or girls growing up than it actually does with either gender having the ability to grip it. (Like, some male writers can write good romances and some female writers are good at action scenes. )

It's like, weirdly enough, Fifty shades of grey movies when one is directed/written with women and the others were directed by men. (This was totally pointed out by a guy who did a lukewarm defense of the movies. And I recommend highly to watch it because it's kinda illuminating to see the differences. Even though not every case is true, it's still a good watch.)

In the movie directed by women, Christian grey is the object for women to oogle at and there's a lot of shots of him and ect for that. 
In the movies directed by men, there's hardly any shots for that person even though the movie is primarily directed at women. 

It's the same for the 90s Anime, though it's for primarily girls, the show does very little for the character Mamoru even though he's actually one of the main leads too.   It's like after a point in R, the show had no idea what to do with Mamoru and utterly stopped his growth as a character. 
Contrast that to his counterparts in the Manga (and the other versions) where he's constantly growing in different ways. Confronting his own fears of inadequacy, his own loneliness, his wish to be useful, and his understanding of self and his relationship with Usagi, continues on. 

Even Usagi's character is different in between the two mediums on what's being focused on more. (which in itself is not a bad thing I'm just saying it's different.)  The show focused more on her always trying to get Mamoru's attention far more than not or her worrying about whether he cared about her or her teasing the others that she has him.  (she's says it frequently enough and I know it's for comedic value but...eh, I digress.)

while her Manga self, after the R arc where she confronts her jealousy about sharing his time with Chibiusa, we don't see that attitude again. From then on, she's secure in her relationship, she doesn't really tease the girls about them not having boyfriends at any point and time.  In fact, while the manga does have funny moments, it's more situated on seeing how she grows into womanhood fully by showing different aspects of herself. (Such as her as a child during the SM era, or her as NQ Serenity who's a bit jaded and mature but we still see points of the old Usagi in her via her letters. And of course when she gets married at the end - sorry if that's a spoiler.)

In the 90s anime, we don't get that, despite it being longer.  We don't really get to see Usagi continually grow as much as she ends up taking the back seat a lot to Chibiusa's growth (which happens in the manga too, but neither is ignored for the other and the implications with Chibiusa is left open-ended more).

Again, I'm not saying it's a bad thing we didn't get any of that, but it's just the focus is different. (And yes, I know, audience, but there's been all sorts of stories/animes/ and fairytales that end on the heroine marrying her true love and living happily ever after.  And yes, the manga was aimed at a slightly older group of girls of the tween and up age range rather than the five year old age range. )

Also, I hate to be that person but the 90s anime spent a lot of time on having the 'dirty old man' jokes and a lot of panty shots. Which is definitely not a thing in SMC or the Manga.  That's a bit more male-gaze than it is for female.

Anyway, this kinda veers into gender studies and how society/gender intersect in places like this. But that's my understanding of it.

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SpikeDevilman
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PostSubject: Re: The 90s Anime has a "Male Perspective"?   2nd October 2018, 11:38 pm

Wow, @Ktenshi I didn't expect such an in-depth answer! You explained things pretty well. Although...

@Ktenshi wrote:
I hate to be that person but the 90s anime spent a lot of time on having the 'dirty old man' jokes.


There weren't really that many? Just Grandpa Hino and he's very mild compared to the others of his trope across the anime world.


I wouldn't be surprised if this is an unpopular opinion but I heavily prefer Jii-chan's anime self over his manga self. He's a funny little old man and I loved the way he briefly fended off Zoisite and stood up against Dumble. I'd even go so far as to say the guy's my other favorite supporting character in SM alongside the cool cat in my avatar.

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PostSubject: Re: The 90s Anime has a "Male Perspective"?   2nd October 2018, 11:54 pm

I think it sticks out more because it's just...really out of place? Like it shouldn't be in a shoujo for kids, you know? Like, what would little kids get out of having a character that's mostly a pervy old dude (even though he has good moments, he's remembered more for that.)?

It's just a weird ongoing thing.  But it does mark a difference a bit in the focus because I prefer his manga counterpart more. He spends more time talking about Rei, he comes off more concern than a burden to her.  though both Grandpa hinos disappear over time, of course, in the story. (we stop seeing either one after the Super Arc maybe even a bit before tbh.)

It's cool if you prefer him, that's fine, but it's also what I mean about a bit more male-focused comedy that's more constant than the one off bits that Naoko did for Chibiusa's side stories (which she did one for charity and she made it in the vein that was silly and meant to be like that.).  

I dunno, but it's just me. I'm not a fan of that kind of comedy myself, so I'm bias to a degree. (I'm not sure how often he did it, but he did it a lot in the first two seasons before he vanished completely from the storyline.)

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PostSubject: Re: The 90s Anime has a "Male Perspective"?   11th October 2018, 11:00 pm

I agree that she's literally referring to the gender makeup of the staff. She mentions something similar in how her editor, as a man provided a good balance to her own input as a woman in her work on the manga. (Sauce Here.) Though in the end, it was primarily a work done with a female perspective.

I think the idea is that because gender roles tend to direct our actions and experiences differently, and because writing stories tends to end up as a bit of an exercise in projection, the actions and experiences of characters made by those people will end up being more similar to themselves.

Even just the difference in the line art style could be seen as reflecting this, I think. The girls fight with each other waaaay more in the anime as well, which is something apparently guys focus on when they think or talk about women's friendships? Societal perceptions like that would be pretty good examples... I can't think of others off the top of my head though so... ^^;;;;.

I don't know about the pantyshot stuff really being that different. I think Naoko drew more cleavage for the manga than the animators did XD. But maybe she thinks they did it in a different style? I know one time it was used as comedy when Umino was brainwashed XD. I don't know if a female director would go for that scene...?

Anyways, it's beginning to be an outdated way of thinking but definitely commonplace in 90's Japan!! So yeah, I think her comment was pretty literal regardless of whether you think the anime does *exhibit* heavy male influence or not.

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