1 day ago
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Anyway, onto the topic; it doesn't really take a genius to notice that anime seems to be a very male dominated industry. Whilst there are obviously shoujo and josei titles out there, very rarely do they break out into mainstream acceptance. Ouran Host Club and some of the CLAMP work may have done very well with both male and female audiences, but they are a rarity, with most popular mainstream titles being originally targeted towards male audiences.
This I believe, is further compounded in Akihabara, the otaku promised land. I've been to Japan twice now, and both times I had spent a considerable number of days in Akiba, where I was surrounded by a nonstop montage of everything that could possibly appeal to a man, that being tits and giant robots (and also lolis and moe, but I refuse to acknowledge them).
Just like the anime industry, Akiba was very much a man's town. There were stores that catered to female audiences (I once accidentally bought a yaoi manga from one when I mistook the two characters on the cover for chicks), but they were few and generally off the main road. For the most part, all the largest and most visible stores generally catered to men and the women who enjoy big plastic tits.
Similarly, one of the most striking aspects of Akiba is the sheer gender imbalance of the place. It wouldn't be an exageration for me to say that I saw about one chick for every ten guys. Furthermore, most of the women I saw there were simply working either as store keepers or maid cosplayers who constantly try to sell you shit/prostitute themselves/annoy you.
Likewise, the online fandom, whilst counting many women amongst its ranks, seems geared primarily towards the male point of view. Online goliaths such as Danny Choo and others are almost invariably men, whereas sites such as Sankaku Complex take it one step further by exhibiting blatently anti-feminist views (I realize not all women are feminist, but it's 3am and I'm too tired to get into details).
Having observed Akihabara and popular anime fandom in general, it seems hard not to conclude that anime is primarily targeted towards men, with women as a subsidiary market. Yet, this doesn't appear to be case. In the anime blogosphere, there are many female bloggers; on my blogroll alone, Riiana, Koshiko, Duckie, Meimi, Coeli, Anna and Devon are but few of the seemingly many female fans. Similarly, anime conventions generally seem to have a pretty even mix of both genders.
So my question to you girls out there is, what's it like to be a female otaku? I'm going to go and a limb here and assume that most of you don't quite like animated tits as much as I do, so what's it about this strange little fandom that appeals to you?
As I've mentioned, anime and its fandom seems very much geared towards men, seeming at times almost hostile to women. Yet, here you are. Nonetheless, while we're all anime fans here, I'm presuming your experiences as female fans are vastly different from mine as a male fan, so please, feel free to share those experiences.
(Guys, feel free to post as well)
EDIT: I forgot to mention in my earlier, these anti-feminist views that seem embedded in anime fandom have become distinctly manifest during the recent rape game ban debacle. According to quite a few blogs I've read, feminist are now apparently the worst oppressors in the world. Kim Jong-Il be damned; these feminist and their inhumane beliefs of equal rights are the real villains.