lennan: (Default)
I started to respond to this post in the Hagaren_manga LJ community, but when it started to get too long and I realized that I wanted to use other comparisons, I decided to take it to my journal. And I realized that it was going to be a fruitless debate à la BleachAsylum when Ichigo turned into Ichistein, the scene which I'm going to mention here because I think the situations are similar.

In which I babble about manga )
lennan: (Default)
Originally, I was simply going to write about Otomen, particularly in light of a review that I had read, but when I found this in Slate the other day, I felt I had to mention it. The two subjects are in a way related.

Cut for length )

I have a subscription to Bessatsu Hana to Yume magazine. I finally broke down when I got sick of waiting a year or more for tankoban of Boku wo Tsutsumu Tsuki no Hikari to come out. I did however make certain that it was worth the relatively hefty sum to get this shipped to me. So I think this would make me ahead of most reviewers and certainly of the review that I'm going to talk about.

Otomen, which is published by Viz over here was reviewed in a negatively positive way, it's not exactly the review I read...I read it in a different location but the content is the same. I recognized the parts that really struck me.

This review made me wonder if we weren't just missing the forest for the trees, since we (Westerners) are programmed by feminism to look at the extremes of gender stereotypes and critique them, especially if they disadvantage women. I'm also wondering at the accuracy of the reviewer's statement that this manga may be implying that only a man can make a perfect woman. If you look at Ryou in that light, then it can equally be interpreted that only a woman can be the perfect man. Isn't that equally offensive to men? Both characters give off the impression that they are the "perfect man/woman", but inside their "perfection" is set in the body of the opposite gender. But I think even from the start, it's clear that while Asuka is girly inside, Ryou is manly inside. The real critique should be like Oyceter's review, where she wishes there was more Ryou screen time (and more other non-traditional women). So maybe the real point is that men and women as a whole both exhibit masculine and feminine stereotypical traits, unless you're the extreme example of Asuka and Ryou, and the old manga stand-by of "be true to yourself". I have a hard time believing that Asuka and Ryou are more than fantastical constructs and the vehicle for the romance, the minor and background characters are more interesting gender role meta than the main characters, if you're really looking for that.

Cut for length and spoilers. )

April 2012

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