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Anime Androgyny in Anime


Slightly cynica
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I have always wondered why in Anime and Manga why there is a slight anydrogynous air to alot of them. Mostly in men it occurs. (Men tend to look much like women) Even my brother is always confused which character is which gender.

Men with long hair are more 'pretty' and considered handsome (bishounen). Girls with short hair are usually considered less attractive and tough. Tomboyish.

Ex in Anime: Hotohori (Fushugii Yugi)
Ed (Cowboy Bebop)

Ex in Manga: Yoshitomo Kouno (Happy hustle high)
Chiaki (The Demon Ororon)

There are many other examples but those are the ones I noticed most. Is it a reflection of Japanese culture? (I don't know in what way though) Or just...pretty boys and masuline girls? (I'm not saying all of them are androgynous, just many)
:animestun
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I think you're being a little hasty with the whole tomboys being less attractive thing. There aren't quite as many handsome girls as pretty boys, but it's still a fairly common character type. Consider Haruka from Sailor Moon and Rei from Maria-sama ga Miteru. Both are undeniably beautiful characters--and if their beauty is somewhat masculine in nature, well, that doesn't make it any less valid.

As a slightly different example, Utena (from Revolutionary Girl Utena) appears more feminine, but she regularly cross-dresses, and much is made of her masculine personality traits. At least two characters in Oniisama E look so much like bishounen that it's difficult to get used to thinking of them as female (and in the context of the show, they're supposed to be extremely attractive, although most viewers may have some trouble with this at first).

Personally, I like androgyny. I can't really pinpoint why--I just find it appealing.

~Dagger~
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The biggest reason that guys look like girls is because most anime characters don't have any hair on their bodies and don't have many defining traits other than the hair on their head and eye color. Everything is smooth as where there are supposed to be bulges in certain places, like on arms and legs for muscles. Pretty much no one has a completely smooth complextion unless they use some or a lot of makeup. The reason they don't have many defining traits is because it is cheaper to animate when they don't have many traits, that and i guess they want their characters to look good.
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Well in both anime and manga there is an exageration on both men and female characters. I mean, they make them too masculine or too feminine in both sexes. For example, Duero from Vandread, he looks like a girl but the factor that determines he is a he is that his shirt is always kept opened. The Sailor scout from the galaxy are men that instantly turn into women.
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I don't think that androgyny is something that Japanese culture emphasizes. If I remember correctly, there were many native american tribes that considered androgyny to be a highly prized characteristic, because it showed that those people were more in balance with mother nature.

Besides, I've met plenty of people who, for the life of me, I couldn't tell at first glance what gender they were. For the one, I remember, it took me weeks to figure it out.. waiting as they talked with their friends, hoping to catch a telling pronoun. Haha... I don't think it helped my deductions that she was a lesbian, as I found out later.
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[quote name='outlawstar69']I don't think that androgyny is something that Japanese culture emphasizes.[/quote]

I've read interviews with designers on how they've made main characters more feminine because that's what their consumers apparently want. That's why the main character in the upcoming Final Fantasy 12 is more feminine than masculine, according to one interview. Obviously you can still tell he is a male, but it's not really balanced and is definitely more on the other side of the spectrum... more of a mix of both. It's obviously something they are putting at least some emphasis on.
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Has anyone seen Osama? (no ... it's not an anime ....it's a normal live action movie)

Well it's about a 12ish year old girl who trys to pass as a boy so that she can work and feed her family. In islamic culture woman's rights have a lot of restrictions. The basically can't do anything with a man being there. So anyway she succeeds in passing as a boy through a lot of the movie.

Point is that many people can pass as the opposite sex if they really tried. Girly traits are mostly from their upbringing and society. Parents, tv, etc tell little girls that they should go play with barbies, wear dresses, have long hair, etc. If a guy was brought up around girly things he would probably carry a bunch of girly traits and be able to pass as a girl if he tried. Obviously genetics also plays a part since it would be a lot harder for a big boned guy to pass as a girl. No matter how hard that "big boned" guy tries people would be suspicious and find out that he is a guy.

Here's an actual anime example, Vandread. There is a world where only women live and a world where only men live. So there are manly women in the women's planet to take the place of actual men. I don't remember exactly but there were probably also girly men in the men's planet to take the place of the women. So that sorta shows the point i was trying to make. It's really about society and upbringing.

Hope this makes sense, i kinda rushed it and I'm tired. Post any typos you notice, if you want. That might help.

Night
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not anime, but in Kill Me, Kiss Me (K2), two of the main characters cross dress, and throw everyone for a loop. me, i had to read and reread the things about 3 times before i could figure everything out! (ok, hes a guy, and hes a girl, and shes a boy, and that dog is a girl...(jk)) not really sure waht my point is in here, sorry if spam, but this being Korean Manga, its not limited to Japan. i think this is done in some cases to make the story a little bit more understandable(or uncomprehensable, in the case of K2, LOL)

PS: how the hell do u prounce that word, and wtf does it mean?!!?
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