The debate of whether or not anime is a harmful form of objectification has been a popular topic of discussion. Each side of the argument has valid points. For example, many claim that the way women are portrayed in anime has a lot to do with the context and audience of the series. The link below features an article that explains this view.
As said by the author, “here’s a clear intent in regards to the audience. One story inspires young girls while the other fulfills certain fantasies” (Lai 7). Once we take into account that some characters are purposefully drawn to be ogled at, does that change the argument? Does it make it okay? Each genre of anime has it’s own style. Some are geared towards young women, so the characters are more relatable and empowering. Some anime is geared toward young men, so they are drawn to fit the fantasies of the average teenage boy. However, what people fail to realize is that any sort of objectification, whether it serves a purpose or not, can be harmful. In Japan, women are viewed as being lesser than the male counter part. As shown in the article below, the stereotypes and outlook on women reaches further than just television.
Gender and Gender Relations
As the author states, “Sexual harassment, though technically illegal, is apparently common at the workplace, and both men and women are expected to regard it as normal, …[and] much of the recent [anime styled] pornography… is based on sadistic themes” (Izawa 9). The images that are displayed in are recreated in real life. As a result, the attitudes that men hold as a result of anime and hentai (pornographic anime) begins to negatively impact women.
Izawa, Eri. “Gender and Gender Relations in Manga and Anime.” Gender and Gender Relations in Manga and Anime. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2016
Lai, Alvina. “Looking At Female Characters in Anime and Manga Through a Western Feminist Lens.” The Mary Sue Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2016