Friday, March 8, 2013

International Women's Day

Happy International Women's Day! As we all know, Japan is seriously like, ridiculously sexist in many ways, and this is often reflected in the culture that it produces! Despite this, there are still a lot of really awesome women in the anime/manga industry and they make really really fantastic things.

So in the spirit of things, here's short list of cool things that you should read/watch that were created by women and with awesome female characters:

  • Fullmetal Alchemist, by the peerless Arakawa Hiromu. But you should have already read this! It's basically required reading for everyone in order to have a soul. Perhaps also check out Silver Spoon as well! I also have a particular fondness for Demons of Shanghai, being both Shanghai-born and inordinately fascinated with Chinese mythology.
  • Kekkaishi by Tanabe Yellow. Another really fantastic shounen series, also written by a woman. It starts off a lot slower that FMA, but once the plot gets rolling it is just really, really exciting. It also avoids a lot of the more annoying pitfalls that a lot of shounen action series tend to have.
  • For something more intellectual, try Oooku by Yoshinaga Fumi (yes I picked the most fun spelling of the series JUST BECAUSE I CAN). Alternate history feudal Japan in a matriarchal society. There's also a moviedrama, and another movie adaptation of the series. :)
  • Speaking of matriarchal societies, there's always Sailor Moon, particularly the manga version. Takeuchi Naoko reportedly created Tuxedo Mask after her ideal man, i.e., pretty, intelligent, supportive, and can't be relied on. It explains a bit about her husband...
  • Two other magical girl series I like are Princess Tutu and Cardcaptor Sakura. Princess Tutu is created by Ito Ikuko, who also worked on the Sailor Moon anime as an animation director and character designer. CLAMP is just kind of epic. 
  • Twelve Kingdoms and Saiunkoku Monogatari are both ancient China-based fantasy anime that were originally novel series. They are very different in tone, however: Twelve Kingdoms is more serious and quite dark at times, and Saiunkoku is a kind of light-hearted reverse harem anime. They are both full of political intrigue and worldbuilding shenanigans and very very pretty. 
  • Kuragehime is this really fantastic josei manga/anime about a bunch of otaku women with no lives living together in an apartment being socially dysfunctional. It hits hilariously close to home. 
That's all for now. There are probably lots of things that I've forgotten for now, and surely much more that I haven't come across yet. 

But for now, go forth and and consume cool things!

And smash patriarchy!

No comments:

Post a Comment