Shounen: Soft-core porn for girls

On Thursday, December 1, 2011 2 comments

Have you ever noticed that there are a ton of squeaky fangirls in love with shounen series like Naruto, Bleach, and Ao no Exorcist? In fact, there are more pubescent girl rooting for team SasuNaru than team Kyo nowadays. According to Google search, SasuNaru generates 2,610,000 hits while everyone’s favorite anime ginger only has 2,300,000 hits.

Why is this? Because shounen is soft-core porn for girls. You have a bunch of bishounen getting all sweaty and (accidentally) ripping each other’s clothes off. You have heart-rending oaths of revenge, manly tears, anguished declarations of resolve. And don’t forget the heavy bromance (you see two guys hanging out, a fangirl sees undercover-lovers). Shounen perfectly caters to what girls want in their anime.
To a girl, this is a buffet of bishounen beauty

I’ve met more giggle-happy girls infatuated with shounen that shoujo. How does that make sense? Shoujo is marketed towards girls. And therein lies the problem. You see, most shoujo anime makes one fatal flaw: they have a female protagonist. It’s not that the chick has the spotlight; it’s that the chick is generic, uninteresting and aggravating. Much like harem-anime and H-games, the lead in shoujo romances is there as an audience surrogate. She’s supposed to have as little personality or influence as possible so that the women watching can filter her out and insert themselves in.

Most girls are intelligent enough to intuitively understand that shounen skips that annoying middle step. They can ogle all the swirly-haired boy-goodness they want without putting up with a worthless protagonist.
Pop quiz: why do you think girls watch this show? If you guessed the bland girl in the middle, you are wrong.

So here is my challenge to the anime industry: come up with main characters who don’t suck. If you’re going to make a romance story, then make your lead an actual person. You know, someone who influences the plot and has strengths and weaknesses and all that. The key to romance is chemistry, and you can’t have chemistry with a cardboard cutout.

What do you think? Would you rather watch a strong romance between two interesting characters, or a harem-style anime where the main character is a place-holder for the audience’s imagination? Let me know!

2 comments:

  1. that is the number one time I came to this blog and i discovered a few applicable stuff proper right here. essentially I keen to realize new parameters of writing every-time and someday it turn out to be actually very tough to find such type of platform. pussy-fuck

    ReplyDelete