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Do you think anime with female protagonists are (on average) better?

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#1
Jul 15, 8:24 PM

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Not counting 4 minute episodes and extra seasons, there's only about 14 or 15 on my list that have clearly defined female leads. And I've got to say, except for maybe net-juu no susume (which wasn't even that horrible), there's nothing out of that 14 that I really hated.

I know this is a really broad generalization from a small sample size, but I think there's a reason for this (at least for me personally). A lot of the anime I hate are because of a bland, unlikeable male protagonist that I could not sympathize with at all (despite being a young male myself). That is not to say that if that boring character were to suddenly swap genders, I would enjoy the show better. Just that building creative characters also seem to have an impact on not going with the same type of character all the time.

I started to realize after watching Chihayafuru, that if the main protagonist had been Taichi or even Arata instead, I probably would not have enjoyed it as much because both of those don't really stand out on their own.

Of course, it could also be that most mainstream, average anime take a formulaic approach and go with what's familiar to them (a male protagonist), while more adventurous, unique shows are more evenly split on the genders of their protagonists—in other words, correlation does not equal causation.

For those who've watched more shows (or anyone that cares), what do you think?

Edit: I just realized that this may also be affected by the anime I choose to watch.
Modified by Appleseed4k, Jul 15, 8:57 PM

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#2
Jul 15, 8:27 PM

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Appleseed4k said:
I'm sure this is not news, but pretty much every medium of telling a story are dominated by male protagonists—and anime are no exception. Not counting 4 minute episodes and extra seasons, there's only about 14 or 15 on my list of over 100 (realistically about 80-90 unique ones) that have clearly defined female leads. And I've got to say, except for maybe net-juu no susume (which wasn't even that horrible), there's nothing out of that 14 that I really hated.

I know this is a really broad generalization from a small sample size, but I think there's a reason for this (at least for me personally). A lot of the anime I hate are because of a bland, unlikeable male protagonist that I could not sympathize with at all (despite being a young male myself). I started to realize after watching Chihayafuru, that if the main protagonist had been Taichi or even Arata instead, I probably would not have enjoyed it as much because both of those don't really stand out on their own.

Of course, it could also be that most mainstream, average anime take a formulaic approach and go with what's familiar to them (a male protagonist), while more adventurous, unique shows are more evenly split on the genders of their protagonists—in other words, correlation does not equal causation.

For those who've watched more shows (or anyone that cares), what do you think?


I'm confused I would say the majority of anime, especially action anime have male leads- but there's globs of anime with relevant female leads. Pretty much all shoujo have a female lead, a lot of jousei,

shows like Chihayafuru

All the CGDCT anime - K-on, Aria, etc

List goes on.


If you're looking for SHOUNEN with female leads- well that's inherently going to be rarer since that demographic is specifically targeting 14-18 year old boys.

Even in that there is exceptions like Kill la Kill and Claymore.



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#3
Jul 15, 8:29 PM

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nah.

the protagonist's gender has never remotely affected my enjoyment of an anime - if a male character is poorly written, making him a woman won't help.

i do think that authors often struggle to write convincing characters of the gender opposite their own though, which is why romantic interest characters in fiction often feel so fake.

is this a bait?

Edit: you mentioned "bland male protagonists" and i figure you're referring to the standard lead of a harem or isekai show that's meant to be uninteresting as hell to allow the viewer to project themselves onto the character. those are a special case, and i don't think they should be used as a generalization for all male anime protagonists, as there are plenty of excellent and well developed male protags that add lots to their respective shows.
Modified by Dolabella, Jul 15, 8:39 PM
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#4
Jul 15, 8:32 PM

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I think its a 55/45 spread of male MCs and Female MCs just that Ones with Male MCs become popular because they are most of the time action heavy.

If you are looking for stuff like that in Shonen or Seinen you are not gonna find it. Its targeted at Males hence why most of the times they have Male MCs. There are always exception like Act Age which serializes In Shonen Jump right now but that's what it is, An exception.

If you want good anime or manga with female leads look for Josei or Shoujo stuff. The demographic its for most of the time dictates the gender of the mc.

It doesn't affect my enjoyment of a show though.


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#5
Jul 15, 8:33 PM

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*Looks at Symphogear franchise*

I was too lazy to read all of your post, I'm just here to stan Symphogear and how good of a protag Hibiki is compared to many Male ones, punches a lot more ass and is much cuter than them kek.
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#6
Jul 15, 8:34 PM

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Aidoru-Ojisan said:
*Looks at Symphogear franchise*

I was too lazy to read all of your post, I'm just here to stan Symphogear and how good of a protag Hibiki is compared to many Male ones, punches a lot more ass and is much cuter than them kek.


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#7
Jul 15, 8:38 PM

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Afloo said:
I think its a 55/45 spread of male MCs and Female MCs just that Ones with Male MCs become popular because they are most of the time action heavy.

If you are looking for stuff like that in Shonen or Seinen you are not gonna find it. Its targeted at Males hence why most of the times they have Male MCs. There are always exception like Act Age which serializes In Shonen Jump right now but that's what it is, An exception.

If you want good anime or manga with female leads look for Josei or Shoujo stuff. The demographic its for most of the time dictates the gender of the mc.

It doesn't affect my enjoyment of a show though.


I actually don't watch based shonen/seinen/josei/shoujo. I watch more of slice of life and drama, which isn't necessarily target towards a specific demographic.

Dolabella said:
nah.

is this a bait?


I'm not sure what you mean.

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You must be really bored.
 
#8
Jul 15, 8:40 PM

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That's interesting. Chihayafuru is one of my favorite anime, and Taichi is definitely one of the most interesting characters in anime, period. There's a whole bunch of subtext showing his conflicted emotions for Chihaya, while at the same time he's clearly grown attached to Karuta and still considers Arata a friend. If anything, Chihaya is in many ways the typical protagonist, whether male or female, stubborn, airheaded, goes off on instinct, is all about nakama, and is overly emotional. When you put it that way, Chihaya has a lot in common with tons of shounen leads like Naruto, Midoriya, Gon, Satoru (Erased) etc.

In fact, if you take out all that psychological subtext behind the scenes, Taichi would be like the typical sidekick, cold, calculative, brooding, has a better handle of what's going on, keeps the protagonist focused, etc. He would be the analog to Sasuke, Killua, Kenya (Erased), etc.

Having a female lead doesn't escape this.
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#9
Jul 15, 8:40 PM
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Despite how I may appear, not necessarily, but it is nice to see a series with strong independent women who don't need no men.
 
Jul 15, 8:41 PM

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Appleseed4k said:
Afloo said:
I think its a 55/45 spread of male MCs and Female MCs just that Ones with Male MCs become popular because they are most of the time action heavy.

If you are looking for stuff like that in Shonen or Seinen you are not gonna find it. Its targeted at Males hence why most of the times they have Male MCs. There are always exception like Act Age which serializes In Shonen Jump right now but that's what it is, An exception.

If you want good anime or manga with female leads look for Josei or Shoujo stuff. The demographic its for most of the time dictates the gender of the mc.

It doesn't affect my enjoyment of a show though.


I actually don't watch based shonen/seinen/josei/shoujo. I watch more of slice of life and drama, which isn't necessarily target towards a specific demographic.

Even then I think it still affects it. For example a Romance Shonen will probably be Echii or Will be Narrated in the Guy's perspective while a Shojo romance will be more Romantic or more Ideal and Narrated in the Girl's perspective.

There are always Exceptions though. This is a bit of a Over-generalization.


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Jul 15, 8:42 PM

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Appleseed4k said:

Dolabella said:
nah.

is this a bait?


I'm not sure what you mean.


I mean that your post implies that the gender of a lead character could have a direct relationship with a show's quality, which is kinda provocative.
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Jul 15, 8:44 PM

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Johan said:
Appleseed4k said:
I'm sure this is not news, but pretty much every medium of telling a story are dominated by male protagonists—and anime are no exception. Not counting 4 minute episodes and extra seasons, there's only about 14 or 15 on my list of over 100 (realistically about 80-90 unique ones) that have clearly defined female leads. And I've got to say, except for maybe net-juu no susume (which wasn't even that horrible), there's nothing out of that 14 that I really hated.

I know this is a really broad generalization from a small sample size, but I think there's a reason for this (at least for me personally). A lot of the anime I hate are because of a bland, unlikeable male protagonist that I could not sympathize with at all (despite being a young male myself). I started to realize after watching Chihayafuru, that if the main protagonist had been Taichi or even Arata instead, I probably would not have enjoyed it as much because both of those don't really stand out on their own.

Of course, it could also be that most mainstream, average anime take a formulaic approach and go with what's familiar to them (a male protagonist), while more adventurous, unique shows are more evenly split on the genders of their protagonists—in other words, correlation does not equal causation.

For those who've watched more shows (or anyone that cares), what do you think?


I'm confused I would say the majority of anime, especially action anime have male leads- but there's globs of anime with relevant female leads. Pretty much all shoujo have a female lead, a lot of jousei,

shows like Chihayafuru

All the CGDCT anime - K-on, Aria, etc

List goes on.


If you're looking for SHOUNEN with female leads- well that's inherently going to be rarer since that demographic is specifically targeting 14-18 year old boys.

Even in that there is exceptions like Kill la Kill and Claymore.


I would have to disagree. I don't think having male leads is a bad thing, I honestly don't care. well-written stories can work with any gender. but shoujo only has about 600 entries compared to other genres.

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Jul 15, 8:51 PM

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Afloo said:
Appleseed4k said:


I actually don't watch based shonen/seinen/josei/shoujo. I watch more of slice of life and drama, which isn't necessarily target towards a specific demographic.

Even then I think it still affects it. For example a Romance Shonen will probably be Echii or Will be Narrated in the Guy's perspective while a Shojo romance will be more Romantic or more Ideal and Narrated in the Girl's perspective.

There are always Exceptions though. This is a bit of a Over-generalization.


I'm pretty sure if you flip to any random page on MAL to remove preferences, you'd find a disparity. But I'll probably change my original post to make it not the main focus.

Dolabella said:
Appleseed4k said:



I'm not sure what you mean.


I mean that your post implies that the gender of a lead character could have a direct relationship with a show's quality, which is kinda provocative.


Oh, I see. Sorry if I appear that way. I just wanted to point out a trend of poorly written male protagonists vs female protagonists, and I might change the title.
Modified by Appleseed4k, Jul 15, 9:21 PM

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Jul 15, 8:54 PM

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Afloo said:
Appleseed4k said:


I actually don't watch based shonen/seinen/josei/shoujo. I watch more of slice of life and drama, which isn't necessarily target towards a specific demographic.

Even then I think it still affects it. For example a Romance Shonen will probably be Echii or Will be Narrated in the Guy's perspective while a Shojo romance will be more Romantic or more Ideal and Narrated in the Girl's perspective.

There are always Exceptions though. This is a bit of a Over-generalization.


Basically Afloo is winning the thread. Got all his points right.



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Jul 15, 9:12 PM

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Yes, I generally find anime with female protagonists to be quite a lot better. Three out of the five anime on my favorites list have female protagonists, and the forth one is a male protagonist that can transform into a female version of himself.

I've always gotten more enjoyment out of the female characters than the male characters in anime, even though there are a lot of anime that have great male characters, too. I just love anime for the waifus! :)
 
Jul 15, 9:28 PM

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I guess it depends on the genre in question. For romance, a lot of my favorite series' have main female leads, hell my favorite romance has a female lead. Other genres like action for instance, more often than not the female leads either turn out to be annoying like Saya from Blood-C, or just boring like Marlya from Fairy Gone. There are some exceptions like Angelina from Cross Ange

For most common ones aka SoL's, again the case of being annoying comes back, like with Hitomi from Iroduku or Naho from Orange. Probably one of the reasons why I don't really like CGDCT anime, and general all-female casts (all males isn't that great either but at least more bearable). Ofc there are exceptions like Maika from Blend S or Kyouko from Skip Beat. I mean, it's not like dense harem male MC's are any better, but I'd rather have boring than annoying imo
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Jul 15, 9:48 PM

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Appleseed4k said:
Edit: I just realized that this may also be affected by the anime I choose to watch.
This is definitely affected by the choice of anime series.

There are some genres that are more common with female leads, and some genres that are more common with male leads. The most obvious of these are harem vs. reverse harem, obviously, but there are others too. And so one's impression of which is better is likely to be influenced by this.

I do personally have somewhat of a preference for series with female leads, though I also prefer mixed-gender casts rather than all-female casts.
 
Jul 15, 9:52 PM
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no.

as clear as it could be...........
 
Jul 15, 9:58 PM

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I think anime with well-written protagonists are (on average) better.
 
Jul 15, 10:02 PM
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I have never once thought "This anime is better than another because of the main character's gender". There are tons of bad female leads, and good female leads, just like there's good and bad male leads. People just give bad female leads less shit because, let's face it, people will forgive a bad character much more easily if they find them cute.
 
Jul 15, 10:05 PM

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A good male protag vs a good female protag - I'll take either any day; no preferences

A bad male protag vs a bad female protag - Depends on the waifu potential. Kappa
 
Jul 15, 10:20 PM
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I wouldn’t say that female protagonists make the show better, there are tons of shows with male protagonists that are just as good, but I will have to say that not one show that I’ve seen that has a female protagonist was bad at all, in fact, the few anime that have female protagonists are usually amazing. Examples: Violet evergarden, yakusoku no neverland, Satsuriku no tenshi, and Higurashi. All of those shows are amazing (in my opinion)
 
Jul 15, 11:04 PM

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I think, personally, that I would say yes to this. Maybe it's because I am a female myself and I can relate to a female main character more (usually), or maybe it's just because I like women and find them more physically appealing - those factors could contribute to my bias. But I am always a little more excited to see an anime with a female main character than the other way around. I even added a tag for it in my anime list, just so I could keep track of which ones have a female lead.

However, that does not mean that all anime with female protagonists are good, or that all anime with male protagonists are comparatively worse. My favourite anime is Erased, which has a male protagonist. And the worst "anime" (OVA) I've ever watched - Fushigi no Kuni no Miyuki-chan - has a female protagonist. I would just say that usually I get more invested in shows with a heroine, at least from the start. I do hope to see more of them in the coming years! ♥
 
Jul 15, 11:24 PM
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Well it depend of the story of the show also to who's the target in question.

For reverse harem for example and so many shoujo, the protagonist can be bland and boring but with a few exceptions like Ani from Dame x Prince, Ton from Phantom in the twilight, Cardia from Code Realize, the cast from Aikatsu and Pripara,

For action we have a few good ones such as every every Precure protagonist, Hibiki from Symphogear, Nanoha from Lyrical Nanoha, Madoka from Madoka Magica,

And so much more.
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Jul 15, 11:34 PM
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rule 63 exist for a reason

but kidding aside ye it seems somehow more tolerable to watch a damsel in distress than a pathetic male character but that maybe because of nature (male brain bias) and nurture (especially this one living in a conservative country) factors that i have
 
Jul 15, 11:38 PM

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Protags gender doesn’t really matter to me, as long as they are written well and it fits.
 
Jul 15, 11:54 PM
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The next jojo protagonist after part 5 will be a female and she's one of the best female protagonist in shonen in my opinion so I don't think gender has anything to to do with this, she was written well and was badass too but just because she was a female doesn't mean its objectively better.
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Jul 15, 11:57 PM
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No. To me, it doesn't matter if the protagonist is male or female. Anime with female characters aren't always better than anime with male characters and vice versa.

 
Jul 16, 12:34 AM

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I think it is only because many mediocre or at least mainstream animes had male as main lead, and there are a lot of of mainstream animes.. I bet if they adapt as many shoujo mangas with female MC as they adapt shounen mangas with male MC then the percentage will be even, because I am sure that average shoujo mangas are not better than average shounen mangas..
 
Jul 16, 1:06 AM
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and also there is overabundance of male MC anyway so balancing the ratio to female MC is not that bad

#Equality #FeminismMatters lol

although this fandom and its consumers are still male dominated
 
Jul 16, 1:18 AM

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No, I don't. I think it depends on the individual characters personality and gender has nothing to do with it.
 
Jul 16, 1:56 AM

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My initial response was to say ‘yes’ because I do gravitate to female leads and will (usually) appreciate them more than male ones when they’re well-written. However, while I do love rooting for my ladies, I love well-written characters in general. The gender of the protagonist alone can’t overshadow all the good there is from either side.

It really comes down to the writing. The best female leads imo are usually found when it’s another female writing them. Not always of course, but on average, women write women better; fleshed out, having agency. The majority of the works I adore, regardless of the gender of the mc, are written by women. Chihayafuru included.

In that regard, it’s much easier for me to say that anime with a female writer are more successful at having better believable mcs, whether guys or girls.
 
Jul 16, 1:59 AM
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Well at least that'd cut away a lot of the generic crap shows admittedly. However, there are also quite a lot of cliché and unispiring shoujo romance shows out there, so it probably balances out a bit

In general you're better off looking at other factors if you want to find any worthwhile patterns to make an analysis based of

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Jul 16, 2:04 AM

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Gender is irelevant, the character of the mc makes the anime.
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Jul 16, 2:08 AM
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nah,i think a show with both male and female protagonists are better
 
Jul 16, 2:59 AM
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My highest scored anime for the most part have both female and male leads, with the exception of natsume yuujinchou and mushishi which, to be honest, wouldn't really change anything if they'd been women rather than men.

So at least in my limited experience no, not really?
 
Jul 16, 3:00 AM

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Yes Yuri FTW I like anime with girls in them not that big fan of anime boys lol.
 
Jul 16, 4:12 AM

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the majority of my favorite anime have a male mc and they are all very intersiting.
i din't think that there is a female characters e like Light ,lelouche , okabe, reinhard ....,so i prefer male MC.
 
Jul 16, 4:52 AM

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Ideally, I would pick a male main character but it all comes down to enjoying the story and I just you know, see the title and what the general premise would be. I certainly cannot enjoy femdom or reverse harem. There's a prison anime where male gets tortured and that it looks colorful with comedy, but no thank you.

It's normal to try to relate to respective gender and I wouldn't want to see a weak male getting pushed around.
 
Jul 16, 5:16 AM

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No, not really.
If I had to think about it... plenty of my favorites are either a duel starring situation (like FMP) or it's a tie between how many have a male or female lead (I love Kimagure Orange Road, but I also love Wedding Peach, male lead, and then female lead)

I think maybe the more current trend with male characters in general in anime is why you might be feeling burnt out when it comes to them.

Too many NEET and otaku guy characters are leading shows and it's become tiresome. :b
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Jul 16, 5:19 AM

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I think gender is not the reason to make an anime better. Not always an anime with female protagonist always better than the male protagonist.
 
Jul 16, 11:36 AM
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No, i have found that for me, personally, it's actually the opposite, i think i have more anime with female leads i dislike than the other way around, maybe because being a female myself i tend to project into the main character when it's a female and thus are more harsh on them when they don't act how i would act in certain situations, especially when it concerns love and romance!

While this isn't the case when the protagonist is male, and i think that may be a part of why i can enjoy anime better with a male protagonist.
 
Jul 16, 11:51 AM

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Dolabella said:
I do think that authors often struggle to write convincing characters of the gender opposite their own though, which is why romantic interest characters in fiction often feel so fake.


Yeah. I find that really annoying too. Overdramatic emotions, "cuteness" from their naivety, etc. But yet again, that's supposed to be fanservice. Unrealistic standards, though.

Also, gender never did matter. A female character could be a boy instead of a girl, and they'd still be my favourite, vice versa. It won't change a thing apart from feminists milking feMCs.
If you're going to have a woman as the main character, please don't do it to empower rights or whatnot of patheticness. Gender never mattered. The only thing we get from gender is sexual interest, and that's about the only difference. Also apparently stereotypes are common as heck.



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Jul 16, 12:29 PM

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I think some shows work better with female leads, but I generally prefer male protagonists and characters in general, but I believe it is pretty normal to prefer the opposite gender.

I think a lot of it depends on the story and themes, some stories fit a female protagonist better, some a male one. Stories like Berserk would not work with a female protagonist at all imo, also sports is generally associated with males, so Haikyuu, KnB etc would be boring with females and with all that jumping and bouncing suffer from lots of fanservice. Karuta is a card game after all, even if it looks pretty intense in the anime form. And genres like magical girl shows for obvious reasons must have a female protagonist, unless it's a parody.
 
Jul 17, 3:29 AM

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For me - no. I prefer male protagonists in general, since I'm male and it's a wish-fulfillment power fantasy.

In general - yes, unfortunately. In the last decade or so female protagonists and characters in general tend to be much better or at least treated much better by the shows.
 
Jul 17, 3:57 AM

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Their are plenty of good anime with female mc's (Violet Evergarden, Fruits Basket, Kill la Kill, Madoka Magica, Lucky Star, etc), but the same can be said for anime with male mc's. To me, it doesn't really matter whether if an anime with a male mc or an anime with a female mc is better. What matters is how they play themselves out as the mc in their story.

Also, I'll just put this here to settle things down.


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Jul 17, 9:03 AM

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I can't think of a single anime I have seen with a female protagonist, but I also can't think of a reason as to why I would like it less.

EDIT: Oh, Kill la Kill of course. Yeah that was just fine, though I will say I preferred Gurren Lagann. Probably nothing to do with the MC's gender though.
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Jul 17, 3:04 PM
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No, unless it's a romance anime because male MCs and romance anime don't go well together (probably because most of them are dense harem MCs).
Overall though, male MCs are more enjoyable to watch
 
Jul 17, 4:55 PM

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Don't think so


A character is enjoyable because of its general writing, doesn't matter if it's a woman or a man


However I admit I saw more great female MC than males ones, especially thanks to Miyazaki's movies


but having a woman as a MC doesn't mean the anime is good
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Jul 17, 5:01 PM

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The only thing that matters to me is that if they're well written or not, that’s it. Their gender is completely irrelevant to me.
 
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