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Change in Character Design Aesthetics between 80s/90s and 2000s

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#1
Feb 15, 2009 4:31 PM

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In the 1980's, and for the majority of the 90's, the ideal male character design in an action series, whether seinen or shounen, was one of the following;

1. Huge, well-built, rugged, manly warrior. (Anyone from Hokuto no Ken)
2. Fresh-faced, good-looking younger man with short hair and average physical proportions. (The early Gundam series, a lot of early 90s actions series for kids)

While this is from the remake in the 2000s, this HnK screenshot should get the point across;



Yet, sometime in the 2000s, this aesthetic changed.

Male characters started becoming skinny, frail, with long hair frequently covering the eyes, and numerous effeminate (some would say GAY) physical characteristics.

A complete repudiation of everything that came before it.

This even became the main trend in action series. Consider most of the characters in Bleach, for example.

Yet, this wasn't just limited to male action heroes, either. Female design changed, too.

Whereas in the 80's and early 90's women tended to have mature, full bodies, noses, reasonably sized eyes, and look like actual human beings, by the 2000s, there were too many examples of supposed teenagers or girls in their early 20's who had the body of an 8 year old boy, no noses, and raccoon eyes as large as their hands.

Again, because I like HnK so much, let's compare Mamiya



to this disturbing little alien;



Focus-

When and how did these changes in aesthetics occur?
Modified by YoungVagabond, Feb 15, 2009 4:37 PM
"Sekai also works part time as a waitress so she has stamina from serving and balancing plates of food, and is used to working hard in general."

-eturnity, explaining why a petite Japanese schoolgirl would have no problems stabbing a much stronger, awake man to death.
 
#2
Feb 15, 2009 4:46 PM

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Didn't you just explain your focus? But anyway, it's quite an interesting development.
I don't know who I prefer. I guess it depends on the show.

I guess the designs just change with the times, as does things like fashion, music, etc.

I don't know which I like more actually. LOGH's character designs rock, but then I couldn't see those kind of designs in a show like Clannad. I mean, it would be a turn off for the many moe-obsessed dudes out there.
 
#3
Feb 15, 2009 4:52 PM

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BigSimo said:
Didn't you just explain your focus? But anyway, it's quite an interesting development.


No, not really. I noted the dates during which it occurred, but not why. Hence, the topic.

If I had to hazard a guess, it would be Japan's crazy obsession with weight loss and being skinny (for both women AND men), as well as the popularity of the Final Fantasy franchise and other related RPGs with such character design.

BigSimo said:

I don't know who I prefer. I guess it depends on the show.

I guess the designs just change with the times, as does things like fashion, music, etc.

I don't know which I like more actually. LOGH's character designs rock, but then I couldn't see those kind of designs in a show like Clannad. I mean, it would be a turn off for the many moe-obsessed dudes out there.


I doubt you're correct. Even among the Western weirdos who care about that kind of shit, pretty sure someone like Revy or Michiko is far more popular for their look than the monstrosity I posted above.
"Sekai also works part time as a waitress so she has stamina from serving and balancing plates of food, and is used to working hard in general."

-eturnity, explaining why a petite Japanese schoolgirl would have no problems stabbing a much stronger, awake man to death.
 
#4
Feb 15, 2009 4:54 PM

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I dunno, I think in the 70's and early 80's there were lots of skinny guys and weird looking women too. Look at Ataru in Urusei Yatsura, and the characters in early shoujo series. Those guys in Patalliro are darn girly. The character designs in the 80's were generally more fluffy and rounded (Kimagure orange road, bubblegum crisis) or realistic (city hunter) while in the 90's hair become more pointy and bodies skinny (Saber marionettes, marmalade boy, for example) then in the 2000's things sort of trended to the bland and cute - not as rounded as in the 80's, not as pointy as in the 90's -- large eyes for maximum cuteness, and gentle childish roundness (aka MOE)

I do prefer the more realistic body type for women, such as in City Hunter.
 
#5
Feb 15, 2009 5:01 PM

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MagicalEmi has forgotten more about anime and manga, especially the old works, than I will ever know, so it's nice that she chimed in.

MagicalEmi said:
Look at Ataru in Urusei Yatsura, and the characters in early shoujo series.


The part in bold provides the explanation. It's meant for little girls. It's always been that way.

That's why I concentrated on shounen, and compared the most iconic action series of the 80's with (arguably) the most iconic such anime of the 2000s, Bleach, where most male characters don't exactly exude rugged manliness and tremendous physical builds.
"Sekai also works part time as a waitress so she has stamina from serving and balancing plates of food, and is used to working hard in general."

-eturnity, explaining why a petite Japanese schoolgirl would have no problems stabbing a much stronger, awake man to death.
 
#6
Feb 15, 2009 5:19 PM

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ShaolinRibiero said:
That's why I concentrated on shounen, and compared the most iconic action series of the 80's with (arguably) the most iconic such anime of the 2000s, Bleach, where most male characters don't exactly exude rugged manliness and tremendous physical builds.


Haha, have you seen Kenpachi? I think that Bleach has a good mix of both manly and not-so-manly guys. It's more realistic then having a heap of macho-men or having all the guys be sticks. (This is just my opinion about Bleach...)
 
#7
Feb 15, 2009 5:42 PM

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astronomical said:

Haha, have you seen Kenpachi?


I have, and he's one of the very few exceptions. Not surprisingly, he's one of the most popular characters in the show.

astronomical said:

I think that Bleach has a good mix of both manly and not-so-manly guys.


It's not about "manly" or "not manly". Hokuto No Ken features a character called Yuda, who wears bright lipstick, bright eye shadow and makeup, constantly talks about his beauty, and parades around in a loin cloth.

He even has a deep love for a fellow, male Nanto Seiken martial art practitioner.

That's easily more gay and less manly than anything in Bleach or any other modern shounen.

But look at his OVERALL DESIGN.

Despite being a fruitcake, he possesses a huge, incredibly muscular build, and the harsh, rough, facial lines of a man.

It's not about how macho or tough the characters are in terms of personality. It's about how they're DRAWN.
"Sekai also works part time as a waitress so she has stamina from serving and balancing plates of food, and is used to working hard in general."

-eturnity, explaining why a petite Japanese schoolgirl would have no problems stabbing a much stronger, awake man to death.
 
#8
Feb 15, 2009 5:49 PM

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I would say it was to gain a bigger audience and appeal to more people. Personally, I would say one of the reasons I like anime more than American comics are because I can relate to them better. Large guys like Kenshiro, Superman, and (adult) Goku have an unrealistic figure which is more likely to appeal to a certain demographic.

For example, Dragon Ball Z versus Hunter x Hunter. DBZ has the stereotypical "manly" approach to it, which means that for as many people that like it, there are going to be just as many people that hate it. Hunter x Hunter, on the other hand, is visually cutesy (see: Gon Freecs), but appeals to a much broader range of people.

As for the skinnier protagonist, it's the same reason why more Spider-Man is one of the most loved heroes ever - they're more relatable. Especially in Japan, where you're more likely to find a skinny guy than somebody with an HnK body type. It also explains why there's also a rise in school-aged protagonists.
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#9
Feb 15, 2009 5:53 PM

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By manly and not-so-manly I'm talking about the body design. Yes there isn't a ton of muscular characters in Bleach, but some are. For example Kenpachi, Sado, Yamamoto-Genryūsai, and there are more, I just don't remember.

I'm just saying the Bleach has a very realistic range of character designs with different body types. The are fat guys, skinny guys, buff guys, and regular guys. I like it because they are not all buff, because in the real world all of the guys aren't going to buff.

Take Ichigo for example, would you expect him to be buff when he was just a regualar high-school student before becoming a Shinigami.

I think shows tend to have charaters designs based on the ideals of the era that they are from. Right now the ideal is different for everybody, and shows have characters based on that. While Bleach embraces all body types, other shows might only want to show the more regular-looking body types. It also depends on the drawing style of the artist.
 
Feb 15, 2009 5:56 PM

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Yeah, I've always wondered about that too. I think you can also see that trend happening with some american-made shows (for example, you can compare He-man with Spiderman). Anyway, I can't say as to why that changed has happened. I tried doing a quick google search to see if there was some kind of analysis out there, but didn't find anything all that interesting.

One possibility that I'd throw out there is that maybe creators wanted to make heroes and characters that the audience could relate to more? For example, though the characters from Hokuto no Ken are definitely bad-ass and give out that manly aura for sure, they are so physically ripped and built that almost no normal human could attain that kind of physique without indulging in steroids and other hormones from a needle. Thus, we now get shounen heroes that *look* more similar to something that most people are in terms of physique and just happen to have an indomitable will or whatever super powers are out there. That way, perhaps people are able to "see" themselves in that particular character and are able to relate more to them?

Or it could be that some artist - one day - drew your skinny shounen hero to try something different from the norm at the time, and when that became a success, others followed suit.

Edit: Haha, it seems other people posted up my views before I could complete my post.
Modified by VK11, Feb 15, 2009 6:01 PM
 
Feb 15, 2009 6:01 PM

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Well, I think it really is a product of artists wanting to be different from whatever was before it. Unfortunately, what happens is that the majority accumulate around one style, and the the masses latch onto creating a vicious cycle of stale creativity for a while.

I know I respond to the style in Michiko to Hatchin, Monster, LoGH. Very expressive, realistic, yet stylized character designs. That's what I perfer to see as a default. Any other style is totally dependent on how it is justified to present the piece. I appreciate what Kaiji tries to do with their character designs, and I think Kaiba does a magnificent job at setting a tone with its design. I also like what Lucky Star did. They wen't completely over the top and were repulsively saccharine from beginning to end.

For sure, though, the day when designs like Clannad are taken as they are--UGLY--will be the day I restore faith in the masses' perceptions.
 
Feb 15, 2009 6:03 PM

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Contemporary shounen series have pretty lame art styles in comparison to the older stuff - In general, of course. Personally, I really like Soul Eater's wacky art style, but it's the exception to the rule.

Seinen, though... not sure. I don't know any older seinen series, but the new stuff seems to have a fairly good variety. Just looking at some random series which I'd guess are seinen (possibly shounen, but all definitely action series), you have Yayoi from Kure-nai:


Kuromitsu from Kurozuka:


Lia de Beaumont from Le Chevelier D'eon:


I won't deny your point about males becoming more effeminate, but females in action series generally aren't following the "huge eyes, no nose, and girlish bodies" trend. Females generally follow the "moe" model in romance series (like Clannad, the example you brought up with the alien-looking character). But romance series have always featured huge eyes and girlish features (see Hana yori Dango [1996], Marmalade Boy [1995], or Maison Ikkoku [1986]).

The difference might be that more romance series have been marketed toward males (visual novel adaptations, etc) since 2000.
 
Feb 15, 2009 6:10 PM

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Totally forgot about Soul Eater, naikou. It's the only shounen that's really stylized and doesn't really do the "moe" thing. I love it. It's like if Tim Burton were to do an anime.

Just remembered, Naruto doesn't really subscribe to the moe design. Or at least I don't think they do. Nor do I think they do the super effeminate male design. Everything is nicely proportioned and a little true to life. They do take some liberties here and there, but I do like what they managed to achieve with using costumes and color to differentiate characters.
 
Feb 15, 2009 6:11 PM

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I think the change is style is basically just a reaction to the previous style. Things look one way for a while, and then eventually people get tired of it and someone reacts by doing the opposite. It's sort of like the change in fashions. For a while it was all long skirts, and then we get the miniskirt. Bellbottoms were popular in 70's but then in the 80's everyone pegged their pants tight at the bottom.

So with anime, the reaction to the realistic rounded style is to go angular. The reaction to angular is to go super cute. I think eventually it will change again to something else, maybe we'll get a more mature style again in reaction to all the moe.
 
Feb 15, 2009 6:12 PM

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Ohh, and personally I like more realistic and not-too-extreme designs such as Kure-nai, Darker than BLACK, Mushi-shi, Ouran, FMA, Gundam 00, Kino's Journey, D.Gray-Man, and the list goes on. I don't even watch shows like Clannad. Yeah I've seen Air, but it was because my friend said it made her cry, and it made me cry as well, not for the characters. Also, I'm pretty picky when it comes to the way the shows looks, if I don't like the way it looks I'm most likely going to drop it before the end of the first episode unless I get hooked instantly on the story.
 
Feb 15, 2009 6:12 PM

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noteDhero said:
Nor do I think they do the super effeminate male design.



sup.
 
Feb 15, 2009 6:15 PM

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Androgynous, yes, effeminate, that's up to you. But I guess I should be more specific and say that the character design is varied.
 
Feb 15, 2009 6:16 PM

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naikou said:
noteDhero said:
Nor do I think they do the super effeminate male design.



sup.


I think Naruto does some things to make fun of them.
Like the NarutoxSasuke "kiss" to make fun of the pairing.
And then there's Sasuke's character design. (Edit: Mostly his riduculous outfit...)
And how Orochimaru want's Sasuke's body.
Do you think it was mindless-ness on the manga-ka's part, or all part of the plan?
Modified by astronomical, Feb 15, 2009 6:28 PM
 
Feb 15, 2009 6:26 PM

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i didn't know that a handsome guy with a partially bare chest equals effeminate 0.o so real men are supposed to have a ton of muscle and be ugly? i'll keep that in mind lol
 
Feb 15, 2009 6:27 PM

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I think society as a whole throughout the first world has gone throughout some changes and has allowed a more relaxed and less repressive gender roles system. And with it, anime changed as well.

Shoujo and shounen have also taken influences from each other and are reaching a more healthy medium where there isn't so much "manga for girls" and "manga for guys". And instead of creating a male aesthetic that males are more likely to enjoy than girls, they bring upon the female oriented aesthetic and what they(more often) want to see, instead of what guys want to see. Which is apparently more often a skinny guy than a froggish muscular freak.

You can also see this aesthetic in music directed toward a female audience, from actual POP pop like Johhny's Entertainment, to the slightly more underground like Visual Kei. It appears quite obvious that many woman are NOT into hypemasculinity in guys. And it would appear men are instead far more into hypermasculinity, and for completely different reasons, for men this appeal and unlike women, is men seeking role models in male supremacy.

They want an unattractively muscular and masculine guy, who will still get all the girls against all logic and sense, have a "player" atmosphere who pops are the virgins, fit a hypermasuline athletic behavior and basically fit all the other things that traditional men like and modern women do not. An asskicking alpha male who is seen as the peak of society and femininity is unfavorably compared to. Anime audience has broadened, "male" and "female" manga are less common, anime is even more mainstream than before, and as I said again the societal more relaxed views on gender roles are shown here.

Even while Japan is considerably still conservative, they remain to share fairly liberal views on sex shared with the rest of Western society, perhaps even more so in some areas.

Cartoons in the US also share a bit of this idea. Back in traditional animation times, the male supremacist ideal was more expressed than it is now. A hero, a damsel in distress, and a unfavorable and cowardly comparison of femininity. The majority of old Disney Films include this. Whereas in modern American animation, women are given a more heroic role and gender roles more questioned. In Johhny Bravo, the alpha male is commonly mocked. In Ed, Edd n Eddy, the men are completely weak in comparison to a group of females who fit the male gender role more than they do. And Edd is given a fairly feminine gender role. The powerpuff girls, while still carrying many patently female gender roles strongly, still are given superhero status. As well as a tomboy character in buttercup. In the Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Mandy is given extreme social dominance in almost all situations.

Japan being a First World society, this is a mere coin flip of growing Western tolerance.

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Feb 15, 2009 6:33 PM

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^_^
Well said, I just don't have the patience to type out said much.
Basically, cultural ideals in Japan and around the world are changing.
:)
 
Feb 15, 2009 6:33 PM

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Balance is what I want. Everyone walking around like muscular powerhouses is silly, but I don't really like moe-OD'd lolis or those long limbed "guys" like in Code Geass.
I guess I would always respond best to realistic designs such as in LoGH and the lot, but it also depends on the series. In HnK for example, it's basically a post-apocalyptic wasteland where you would expect the survivors to be tough.

But regardless of my tastes, it's clear the mainstream designs has changed a lot, most probably to allow the casual people to associate with the characters more easily.

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Feb 15, 2009 6:37 PM

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Much has already been said on how style in general seem to come in contrasting waves: when the action series of the 80's and early 90's are compared to those that came before, the difference is just as great: oldies as Mazinger or the Yamato's have characters that are in some ways closer to the modern look than that of the 80's.

I do guess, though, that intended audience has had the most important influence on the change of style. Many of the older action shows tend to be rather explicit in their use of violence and often have scenes with strong erotic overtones. These seem to be intended for older audiences, while the younger had to make do with, well, mecha, I guess. When the smoke almost literally lifts and we start to get more diverse shows for teenagers the skinny males and less developed females were quickly introduced, especially when stories started to revolve more strongly on the weak male lead and any of two female leads, the underdeveloped cute or the underdeveloped feisty. Even with some experiments in noses (Escaflowne, anyone?) the thin, big-eyed female, sometimes with inordinately large breasts can already be seen in Lodoss, Slayers and the like.
Lately, there simply seems to be much more action anime made for a younger intended audience than for the rather limited older audience that was the main target in the last millennium.

By the way, if you're concentrating on action series, why is the 'disturbing little alien', whoever she may be, chosen to represent the modern shows?
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Feb 15, 2009 8:36 PM

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Takai said:
so real men are supposed to have a ton of muscle and be ugly? i'll keep that in mind lol


I have to laugh at anyone who considers Rei, Ryuuga, Juuza, Toki, or even Kenshiro and Souther "ugly".

The only legitimately, full-fledged fugly individual in HnK is Jagi, and he wears a fucking helmet for that reason.

Are you blind, or do you just like your men to look like women?

I think society as a whole throughout the first world has gone throughout some changes and has allowed a more relaxed and less repressive gender roles system. And with it, anime changed as well.

ukonkivi said:

Shoujo and shounen have also taken influences from each other and are reaching a more healthy medium where there isn't so much "manga for girls" and "manga for guys". And instead of creating a male aesthetic that males are more likely to enjoy than girls, they bring upon the female oriented aesthetic and what they(more often) want to see, instead of what guys want to see. Which is apparently more often a skinny guy than a froggish muscular freak.


It's cool; we know you're simply jealous.

unkonkivi said:

You can also see this aesthetic in music directed toward a female audience, from actual POP pop like Johhny's Entertainment, to the slightly more underground like Visual Kei. It appears quite obvious that many woman are NOT into hypemasculinity in guys. And it would appear men are instead far more into hypermasculinity, and for completely different reasons, for men this appeal and unlike women, is men seeking role models in male supremacy.


You're greatly, greatly oversimplifying. While this is true of some girls, believe it or not, the majority of women on this planet (but perhaps not the majority of Japanese girls who watch anime and read manga) DO prefer the more rugged, muscular guy to the skinny pretty boy.

Frankly, I doubt that you can show that more women prefer the skinny, effeminate look beyond simply stating this opinion as a fact.

ukonkivi said:

They want an unattractively muscular and masculine guy, who will still get all the girls against all logic and sense, have a "player" atmosphere who pops are the virgins, fit a hypermasuline athletic behavior and basically fit all the other things that traditional men like and modern women do not. An asskicking alpha male who is seen as the peak of society and femininity is unfavorably compared to.


Heh, again, you're making a lot of assumptions, some of them half-right, most of them completely wrong, and presenting them as facts.

You know who the primary audience of the HnK series was during its run? Not adult guys who fantasized about being ripped and getting all the girls, or whatever else you're arguing.

No, it was just little kids. Mostly boys, yes, but a sizable portion of them girls as well. And that's simply the way the heroes were drawn; strong, rugged, beautiful (I find it hilarious that you consider them ugly, as that's not their intended look at all), and larger than life.

But somewhere along the line, this changed.

You're partly correct that this was mirrored or even originated from music or live action films, but your interpretation of this is wrong.
"Sekai also works part time as a waitress so she has stamina from serving and balancing plates of food, and is used to working hard in general."

-eturnity, explaining why a petite Japanese schoolgirl would have no problems stabbing a much stronger, awake man to death.
 
Feb 15, 2009 8:46 PM

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I, for one, welcome our new moe overlords.

Okay, not really. I do prefer the more modern stylings *in general* but the recent moefest is pretty tragic. I like unique character design where you could tell somebody is a badarse by how they look, not some loli moeblob with superpowers that... well, all characters seem to be these days.

The more modern, cleaner, prettier art in anime is better as a whole these days, however the lean toward pure moeblobs is disconcerting and I really wish they'd move away from it and make real men and women with the modern designs (Say, Balsa in Seirei no Moribito. Sheryl in Macross F was a nicely drawn woman, too). Enough with the endless Shana and Louise and KeyAni style moe. >.<
 
Feb 15, 2009 8:48 PM

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I think it's all a matter of opinion when it comes to the characters one likes.
For example, I think overly-muscular guys are ugly.
I for one, do kind of like it if my men look like women, are handsome, or cute.
ex. The guys in Ouran are all so DREAMY.
It doesn't matter if Ouran is shoujo, I like it if my guys in shounen look like that too.

One of my favorite characters is the japanese guy with long hair.
Like Alto (Macross Frontier), Kanda (D.Gray-Man), Okita Souji (Peacemaker), and Kenshin (Kenshin).
 
Feb 15, 2009 8:51 PM

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ShaolinRibiero said:
I have to laugh at anyone who considers Rei, Ryuuga, Juuza, Toki, or even Kenshiro and Souther "ugly".


I have to laugh at you for thinking they AREN'T even a bit ugly.
Because if they were real people, I doubt a lot of girls would find them attractive.
 
Feb 15, 2009 8:52 PM

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If you're going to go around telling people their examples are not enough and mostly just assumptions and assertions, come back with some examples of your own, and not just more assertions with less examples.

The male supremacist form has been marketed to kids just as much throughout the ages as well. In fact, gender roles are probably marketed towards children more than any other group. Also, I don't see how this changed anything I said.

And I went into more than just anime and manga for that very reason you just state. I also mentioned the pop industry. In Japan, where this stuff comes from, the aesthetic for Johhny's Entertainment, the arguably biggest idol group in Japan, is that much like you described the modern day male anime character aesthetic.

Also, I'm not going answer quips and let you draw me into a flame war.

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Feb 15, 2009 9:10 PM

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astronomical said:
ShaolinRibiero said:
I have to laugh at anyone who considers Rei, Ryuuga, Juuza, Toki, or even Kenshiro and Souther "ugly".


I have to laugh at you for thinking they AREN'T even a bit ugly.
Because if they were real people, I doubt a lot of girls would find them attractive.


It doesn't matter whether you, an American girl born in the early nineties, consider them ugly or not. It's completely irrelevant.

For the Japanese kids born in the seventies who watched these cartoons, these characters were as handsome and cool as it gets. This fact is even stated at various points in the show.

To give another example of how ridiculous this is, you know that in Africa a century or two ago, and to a certain extent to this day, being enormously FAT is considered incredibly beautiful and sexy for men AND women?

So when examining their culture, paintings, stories, etc., instead of interpreting it in the context of your modern-day, white, Western concept of beauty, you have to consider how it looked to the people of that society.

So yes, in the 80s, those characters were considered very handsome by the people who viewed them. Just like most people from that generation view the character in your profile picture as being disgustingly ugly, while you probably dream about meeting a guy who looks like that.

ukonkivi said:

If you're going to go around telling people their examples are not enough and mostly just assumptions and assertions, come back with some examples of your own, and not just more assertions with less examples.


I never made any assertions. Instead, I asked for the opinions of others. Your post, while I appreciate the time and effort you put into it, simply had a lot of baseless slogans and phrases presented as facts. In many ways, it parrots the standard gender studies bullshit that is taught in many liberal arts colleges.

While there, it's enough to simply state an assertion over and over, hoping mere repetition makes something true, this simply doesn't fly when arguing with a reasonable individual.

With that said, most of what you write in this new post is accurate, albeit you draw some very different conclusions than I would.

ukonkivi said:

The male supremacist form has been marketed to kids just as much throughout the ages as well. In fact, gender roles are probably marketed towards children more than any other group. Also, I don't see how this changed anything I said.


You consider it "male supremacist form", I consider it "idealized masculine form embraced and exalted in every human society for thousands of years, from the time of the Greeks and Romans".

And yes, the new male character aesthetic is partially linked to 3rd wave feminism and the feminization of men in developed countries.

Then again, you called the girls in Playboy "fat, ugly bitches", and say you prefer girls with AA (read- non-existent) breasts, so your views are hardly representative of the majority.

Your type of aesthetic is still very much a niche taste.

ukonkivi said:

And I went into more than just anime and manga for that very reason you just state. I also mentioned the pop industry. In Japan, where this stuff comes from, the aesthetic for Johhny's Entertainment, the arguably biggest idol group in Japan, is that much like you described the modern day male anime character aesthetic.


I don't know anything about the pop music or the American cartoons you mentioned. When did pop groups in Japan start this odd trend, in that case?
Modified by YoungVagabond, Feb 15, 2009 9:14 PM
"Sekai also works part time as a waitress so she has stamina from serving and balancing plates of food, and is used to working hard in general."

-eturnity, explaining why a petite Japanese schoolgirl would have no problems stabbing a much stronger, awake man to death.
 
Feb 15, 2009 9:17 PM

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I dont know what they did in japan but in the 80s body building(to gross deformity) was pretty popular. So that might be the main thing for the change. So i guess it was a worldwide crazyness o_O
 
Feb 15, 2009 9:23 PM

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I'm actually Russian...

And I also said it's all a matter of opinion.
Did you not read my post before that one?
My opinion.
Your opinion.
The opinion of the kids born in the early 70s.
They are all somewhat different.
They also all matter to the person.
Don't say my opinion doesn't matter.
How about if everybody told your your OPINION was total crap?
How would you feel?
Modified by astronomical, Feb 15, 2009 9:27 PM
 
Feb 15, 2009 9:34 PM

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ShaolinRibiero said:
I never made any assertions.

Sometimes you've been asking. The rest has had an anti-gay and anti-trans or intersex slant. As well as your own assertions about things.

I said my part. And then you said it was wrong, and baseless and basically in multiple forms of words "not true just because you say it is so".
That is making an assertion. You asserted that what I said was not true and baseless, and then made your own counter statements without provide ANY backup for why this statement would be true and mine false. Merely that I was asserting or arguing something and shouldn't have been, and that it was baseless.

When you say someone is wrong, you make a counter argument. Saying "this isn't true just because you say it's so" doesn't provide any sort of logical counter argument.

ShaolinRibiero said:
Then again, you called the girls in Playboy "fat, ugly bitches", and say you prefer girls with AA (read- non-existent) breasts, so your views are hardly representative of the majority.

I don't remember saying those exact words ever. And I certainly didn't add the words "fat" to the concoction. Don't put quotation marks around things I didn't directly say.

And there's a couple girls in 2008 and 2009 that have appeared in playboy that I liked before they ever appeared beforehand. But as a whole playboy does not fit my aesthetic preference.

And no I am not the usual male. I have constantly stated that I am a bi or pansexual here at this forum who prefers and exalts the androgynous male and female.

But that doesn't change anything about my argument. I've never brought my own sexuality into this at all.

ShaolinRibiero said:

I don't know anything about the pop music or the American cartoons you mentioned. When did pop groups in Japan start this odd trend, in that case?

The way you keep using this negative language in bias against feminine males, it sounds awfully homophobic, and at the very least, transphobic.

All right I'll show you some various JE pictures throughout the years and allow you to see what you'd consider any possible transition, if it was ever not this way with Johnny's.

Here is SMAP, a group that originated in 1988 and one of the most famous and notable in Japan. So this sort of trend was at least as early as 1988 in Japanese pop culture.



Here, is Kat-Tun, part of the continuation of such an industry.


This sort of aesthetic, to my knowledge, has been going on since the beginning of Johnny's. And Johnny's Entertainment has being going around in Japan since 1963. And has long been a ongoing, pillar of a force in Japanese pop culture.

Again, me being the Pansexual faggot that I am, this is the sort of guy I would prefer more, instead of the those muscle-bound frogs. And it may be unusual for be to be anything other that strictly heterosexual, but that doesn't change the fact this aesthetic is the norm in Japan.

JE is not some minor subculture you can brush aside like anime and manga. It is arguable one of the most prominent parts of Japanese pop culture.
Modified by ukonkivi, Feb 15, 2009 9:37 PM

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Feb 15, 2009 9:40 PM

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I'm sorry, I didn't really get a homophobic or transphobic slant to anything that Shaolin said. He expressed his disdain for exaltation of androgynous/effiminate style in art. I don't think that automatically means he's anti-gay. If anything, I'm slightly offended as a gay man that androgynous and effeminate equates being gay. Please take the argument for what it is instead of projecting your own lack of comfort with yourself on others.
 
Feb 15, 2009 9:44 PM

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astronomical said:
I'm actually Russian...


Me too. So?

astronomical said:

And I also said it's all a matter of opinion.
Did you not read my post before that one?
My opinion.
Your opinion.
The opinion of the kids born in the early 70s.
They are all somewhat different.
They also all matter to the person.
Don't say my opinion doesn't matter.
How about if everybody told your your OPINION was total crap?
How would you feel?


Your opinion is irrelevant to what was being discussed. In the context of this discussion, it doesn't matter if you consider them pretty or ugly. For their intended audience, they were supposed to be handsome.

That's all that matters in this case.

ukonkivi said:
Vague accusations of being a homophobe


Someone told me it would be until the second page that this thread would turn for the worst, and they were right. Not surprisingly, it was thanks to good old troll ukonkivi, too.

It's an "odd" trend because unless I missed something, men who look like women are unusual and go against thousands of years of culture in every society. Considering this normal word as anything derogatory makes you look immature and hysterical, a nut who wants to feel call good about himself by calling normal people "bigots". (With as little support as most of your statements, too)

And it's hilarious that you consider yourself a bisexual and yet, are blissfully unaware that there's an entire community of gay men who absolutely love rugged, muscled men like the type found in HnK, and look down with as much disgust as I do upon the type of guys you enjoy. (They're called "bears", in case you didn't know)

Also, what the fuck is a pansexual?
"Sekai also works part time as a waitress so she has stamina from serving and balancing plates of food, and is used to working hard in general."

-eturnity, explaining why a petite Japanese schoolgirl would have no problems stabbing a much stronger, awake man to death.
 
Feb 15, 2009 9:45 PM

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ShaolinRibiero said:
Male characters started becoming skinny, frail, with long hair frequently covering the eyes, and numerous effeminate (some would say GAY) physical characteristics.

Gay was brought up here.

And he's not been blatantly any of it here. But it nonetheless in his speech constantly maintains a heterosexist slant.

What can be gather from these words, is that the hypermasculine male aesthetic is the norm and always should be the norm, and that what is happening in anime right now is a gross maligning of what should be.

Old avatar and sig retired for now.
 
Feb 15, 2009 9:50 PM

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He said "some would say gay" some would. Those who are more uncomfortable about gender roles would call it gay.

I think what he's saying is that if we're talking about extremes, he prefers hypermasculine as opposed to hyperfeminine. He's not saying what should and shouldn't be, but what he likes. You're seeing everything a little too black and white here.
 
Feb 15, 2009 9:51 PM

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ukonkivi said:

Gay was brought up here.

And he's not been blatantly any of it here. But it nonetheless in his speech constantly maintains a heterosexist slant.

What can be gather from these words, is that the hypermasculine male aesthetic is the norm and always should be the norm, and that what is happening in anime right now is a gross maligning of what should be.


Another spirited troll attempt by ukonkivi. Don't you ever get tired of this shit, man? Nothing you've quoted has anything to do with looking down on any sexual preference.

Personally, I think you're a fake. I don't think you're a bisexual at all. You probably claim to be one just to seem cool living in the Midwest or wherever. Most gay or bi people I know don't have such a silly, childish reaction to ordinary language.

As mentioned before, there are just many gay guys who love the "hypermasculine", extremely muscular look as the more womanly build.

The fact that you seem to reject or ignore this (extremely well-known fact) makes you as much of a close-minded bigot as anyone you've probably accused in your life.

If you are in fact bisexual (big if), you're probably the kind who looks down on gays or fellow bisexuals who prefer a different type of look than you.
"Sekai also works part time as a waitress so she has stamina from serving and balancing plates of food, and is used to working hard in general."

-eturnity, explaining why a petite Japanese schoolgirl would have no problems stabbing a much stronger, awake man to death.
 
Feb 15, 2009 9:53 PM

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What I'm saying is that for the audiance back then that was considered handsome.
For much of the audience now, handsome has a different definition.

Wasn't you first question "Why did this change occur?"

My answer is, because the opinion of the this generation is different than that of the generation of the 70s.
The cultural ideals have changed.
The world has change.

Do you really think gay marriage would have been an option in the 70s?
Absolutely not, but in the present it is more widely accepted.

You know, maybe you should do an anthropological study on this to figure it out, since you don't seem to understand what I'm saying.
 
Feb 15, 2009 9:53 PM

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Interesting topic. But you missed one phase though, which is best illustrated through 2d fighting games.

80s--steroid junkies with raw physical power


90s--high school kids with elemental powers


2000s--noodle arm emos with divine powers and bizzare weapons


mod-edit: please spoilertag your large images
Modified by kei-clone, Feb 17, 2009 7:35 AM
 
Feb 15, 2009 9:55 PM

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ShaolinRibiero said:
Not surprisingly, it was thanks to good old troll ukonkivi, too.

I am far from a troll, and when I make a joke post, I make it clearly obvious with blatant silliness and often caps lock.

I have quite a disdain for trolling that probably sets me at quite a bit at odds on the internet. Because I don't troll and I don't like trolls and trolls make up a good portion of the internet. And being in any way reactant to it, can have a sorely negative effect. I've always wanted to point out the silliness of you constantly calling me a troll, but I realized this itself it a troll.

You constantly try to antagonize me at this forum and calling me a troll is part of that. Because you realize the irony that is you who are most of all partaking in what can be considered troll, and press the label onto other in an attempt to further troll.

ShaolinRibiero said:
It's an "odd" trend because unless I missed something, men who look like women are unusual and go against thousands of years of culture in every society.

You've used more words than just odd. You make it sound like a negative thing.

ShaolinRibiero said:
himself by calling normal people "bigots".

I've never once done so.

ShaolinRibiero said:
And it's hilarious that you consider yourself a bisexual and yet, are blissfully unaware that there's an entire community of gay men who absolutely love rugged, muscled men like the type found in HnK, and look down with as much disgust as I do upon the type of guys you enjoy. (They're called "bears", in case you didn't know)

I am not unaware of the bear community and such at all. In fact I think it is a good thing because I think it helps dispel the idea and stereotype that to be gay male partners, is to be effeminate and woman-like.

Either you don't understand that much, or you're trying to develop a strawman again.
That's their thing, but bears are not advocating a male standard of behavior. They merely realize that is the fetish for them.

ShaolinRibiero said:

Also, what the fuck is a pansexual?

Go look it up. A few seconds in google or wikipedia is all it takes.

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Feb 15, 2009 10:02 PM

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ShaolinRibiero said:
Takai said:
so real men are supposed to have a ton of muscle and be ugly? i'll keep that in mind lol


I have to laugh at anyone who considers Rei, Ryuuga, Juuza, Toki, or even Kenshiro and Souther "ugly".



lol what? Don't quote only half of my post, that wasn't all i said. I was saying that i don't really see why boys like Sasuke have to be considered effeminate just because they're not overly muscular or looking like one of those guys you brought up as an example. I wasn't even talking to you, i was talking to the person who posted a picture of Sasuke.

I don't consider them ugly, sorry for exaggerating. But that kind of body makes me want to turn away and never look at them again, from a girl's point of view. And frankly i don't think i'd be able to enjoy an anime that has only these kind of guys in it. Not all girls like these kind of men, you know o.o

---

Also, i don't think it's a good idea to make a general statement about how anime style changed from the 80s and into 2000s. There are way too many exceptions. I do see what you're trying to say though. It all depends on the anime for me. Some anime in my opinion would just look weird if the male characters were super manly and muscular and stuff >.>
 
Feb 15, 2009 10:03 PM

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ShaolinRibiero said:
astronomical said:
I'm actually Russian...


Me too. So?


You called me American.
 
Feb 15, 2009 10:04 PM

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ukonkivi said:
That's their thing, but bears are not advocating a male standard of behavior.


ShaolinRibiero, on the first fucking page of this topic said:
It's not about how macho or tough the characters are in terms of personality. It's about how they're DRAWN.


Whatever, I'll just ignore ukonkivi. He never actually discusses the focus of a topic, but constantly derails it with absurd, unsubstantiated accusations like the ones above. Oh, he's also a bigot against fellow bisexuals and gay people alike. Awesome.

Hopefully, one day a mod will eventually ban the guy, and end his nonsense.

az_0k said:
Pictures of fighting games


Cool, but not quite correct. Street Fighter was developed and came out from the early to late nineties, not the eighties. In fact, so did Art of Fighting and King of Fighters, which you feature in your second picture.

They weren't different generations; they directly competed with one another from the early nineties to the present.

As for Blazblue and Guilty Glear...I wouldn't quite call the characters there noodle armed emos. There's tremendous variety there.

You could have just as easily brought up a picture of Potemkin and said it was a return to the classic, overpowered steroid characters.

Edit

Takei said:

Also, i don't think it's a good idea to make a general statement about how anime style changed from the 80s and into 2000s. There are way too many exceptions. I do see what you're trying to say though. It all depends on the anime for me. Some anime in my opinion would just look weird if the male characters were super manly and muscular and stuff >.>


I know, I know. The HnK franchise is still going strong, and there are countless exceptions both ways to what I said about the 80s and 2000s.

However, there's no question that what was once the DOMINANT, most popular form in the 80s is very different from the most commonly used figures in anime during this decade.

Anyways, been a decent topic for the most part, ukonkivi (as usual) notwithstanding.
Modified by YoungVagabond, Feb 15, 2009 10:08 PM
"Sekai also works part time as a waitress so she has stamina from serving and balancing plates of food, and is used to working hard in general."

-eturnity, explaining why a petite Japanese schoolgirl would have no problems stabbing a much stronger, awake man to death.
 
Feb 15, 2009 10:05 PM

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ShaolinRibiero said:
For the Japanese kids born in the seventies who watched these cartoons, these characters were as handsome and cool as it gets. This fact is even stated at various points in the show.


No.

I watched this stuff in the 70s and found the huge muscilar forms as disgusting then as I do now.
 
Feb 15, 2009 10:07 PM

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ShaolinRibiero said:
If you are in fact bisexual (big if), you're probably the kind who looks down on gays or fellow bisexuals who prefer a different type of look than you.

I really don't care what you like to call my sexuality. But the fact is I masturbate and fantasize about a good portion of both men and women alike.

And I'm quite surrounded by elitism of a pathetic variety all the time. Music elitism, and all such. I've never much partaken in any of it at all. Just perturbed at the fact people will tell other people to kill themselves for listening to what they deem "false metal".

Where people revel in their lack of normality for listening to black metal like me, I have no form of elitism, and I believe that no form of music is any better than any other. But of course I'm going to feel a little kinship between people who like the sort of music as I do, watch and like the sorts of shows as I do, have similar sexual preferences to me and so forth. But I am never so elitist about my tastes. I always ALWAYS defend the relativity of tastes. Heck I'm a moral relativist as well.

If you were not in any way arguing for the negativity of what it is modernly, and aesthetic variety, I am mistaken. But what I got out of what you constantly said about the matter, seemed to be constant inferences that since this was not the norm, or formerly not the norm, that this was bad.

Old avatar and sig retired for now.
 
Feb 15, 2009 10:11 PM

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Asako said:
ShaolinRibiero said:
For the Japanese kids born in the seventies who watched these cartoons, these characters were as handsome and cool as it gets. This fact is even stated at various points in the show.


No.

I watched this stuff in the 70s and found the huge muscilar forms as disgusting then as I do now.


Heh, you're Japanese? If so, I think you were probably the exception back then. Now, you're the norm.

ukonkivi said:

If you were not in any way arguing for the negativity of what it is modernly, and aesthetic variety, I am mistaken. But what I got out of what you constantly said about the matter, seemed to be constant inferences that since this was not the norm, or formerly not the norm, that this was bad.


Yes, your inferences were indeed inaccurate.
"Sekai also works part time as a waitress so she has stamina from serving and balancing plates of food, and is used to working hard in general."

-eturnity, explaining why a petite Japanese schoolgirl would have no problems stabbing a much stronger, awake man to death.
 
Feb 15, 2009 10:14 PM

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ShaolinRibiero said:
they're DRAWN.

Looks as well. I suppose I should have made sure to mention that alongside if I knew you would nitpick about things I've already gone into but not in every instance.

ShaolinRibiero said:

Whatever, I'll just ignore ukonkivi. He never actually discusses the focus of a topic, but constantly derails it with absurd, unsubstantiated accusations like the ones above. Oh, he's a bigot against fellow bisexuals and gay people alike. Awesome.

Now you're just trying to say a bunch of things I've already addressed, are untrue, and are just trying to insult at me again. This is closing in to the realm of ad hominem and strawman.

I mention Johnny's and other things, and now it seems like you're trying to focus on whether you're homophobic or not.

I'll say at you again what you said at be earlier, you're stating a bunch of things as facts. But they have no basis and they're not true just because you state them as so.

ShaolinRibiero said:

Hopefully, one day a mod will eventually ban the guy, and end his nonsense.

Pure flaming. Get too much further into this, and I'll report you. I expect civil argument after reporting you last time.

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Feb 15, 2009 10:23 PM

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ShaolinRibiero said:
Cool, but not quite correct. Street Fighter was developed and came out from the early to late nineties, not the eighties. In fact, so did Art of Fighting and King of Fighters, which you feature in your second picture.

They weren't different generations; they directly competed with one another from the early nineties to the present.

As for Blazblue and Guilty Glear...I wouldn't quite call the characters there noodle armed emos. There's tremendous variety there.

You could have just as easily brought up a picture of Potemkin and said it was a return to the classic, overpowered steroid characters.


I have to disagree. It's true that these series change to suit the market (even KoF has some bishies as the protagonists nowadays such as K' or Ash), that's why it's important to always compare the first installment. The first SF game came out in 1987, whereas the first KOF game came out in 1994. And I think they do reflect the anime cultures in their times. Dragonballz is from the 80s, and by the early 90s people are more interested in seeing high school kids with superpowers (yu yu hakusho, shamanking). Then comes the fangirl's era where lanky males are the trend.
 
Feb 15, 2009 10:27 PM

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PS I like the lanky male design more if you ask me. If drawn correctly, some of them can have this royal air which is difficult to express through muscle guys.
 
Feb 15, 2009 10:29 PM

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Trying to think of examples for a timeline, Gundam Wing from 1995 didn't fit the masculine male aesthetic. And it's considered notable for it's female following.

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