Here's an interesting interview about women and anime. I never thought it was such a big deal. Girls often dress up as insane anime characters at conventions. They look pretty hot!
Women and their portrayal in anime has been a hot topic on the mind of Deanna Jackson, a Ph.D. student in experimental psychology, who is currently teaching social psychology. She is currently researching gender identity in adults. As a feminist and an anime fan for over 13 years, I interviewed her to see what she thought about the anime of today and older anime, and how images of women in shows differed and their impact on society.
Examiner: What got you interested in Women and Anime?
D.J.: Really, it all started because of CLAMP. I was thinking about whether I thought their shows were more shoujo or shounen, and when I realized…they're shoujo, I started questioning why I didn't think they were for Girls. Especially X. Such a: "you'd think this would be a dude show" amount of violence and serious themes. It's only gotten worse as I've seen more and more anime and learned more and more about gender.
Examiner: How do you feel women are portrayed in Anime?
D.J.: Now that's a tough question. In general, I would say women are usually limited in how they're portrayed. I would say there are a variety of portrayals out there, but usually are very archetypal. Mostly, this is probably just because anime is usually targeting a male audience. Each different type of anime has its own stereotypical female characters, or lack thereof, and it depends on a lot of what market the anime is geared towards as to what portrayals it uses. Wouldn't say they portrayed negatively or positively, overall. I would say that they are often objectified.
Examiner: Is Anime a realistic look at how the creators see women in real life in your opinion?
D.J.: I seriously, seriously doubt it. It's a form of entertainment that needs viewers to make money. Marketability drives a lot of what gets portrayed, and the writers themselves are thinking about a story. And I doubt anyone's fantasy life is an accurate reflection of how they see the world they live in. for example, the objectification often happens because sex sells. A good story, now with ass shots and panties and fan service!