kaigou: this is what I do, darling (2 the part that's less fun)
[personal profile] kaigou
Now that I understand written Cantonese (in comics) uses the grammatical forms of Cantonese, not Mandarin, I finally know why a Chinese (from Shanghai) friend took one look at a manga I'd purchased and said, "no one talks like this!" She didn't know, anymore than I did, that it made a difference that it was an HK publisher. Now I know. And now I need to figure out how to get Taiwanese translations, although I guess this means paying more, seeing how all the import-to-US companies carry HK translations.

I've been helping with translations for a shoujo work that has its fair share of bishonen. I've become accustomed, over the past [censored] years with shonen work, of seeing self-identifying young women declare they hate the girl leads, or the female side-characters, or want some (or all) of the girl characters to die. I am slightly surprised that I'm not seeing that, with this manga, and it finally dawned on me that perhaps we've been blaming female readers for being indoctrinated with misogynist feelings (in re female characters).

Maybe it's simpler than that. Maybe it's that, honestly, the majority of female characters in shonen stories really are that useless, compared to their male counterparts. Because in reading commentaries by young (some as young as 12) female readers, for the rare stories (shoujo and shonen) where the female characters are not stupid, are not helpless, and are not whiny self-entitled children expecting to be saved... the responses are quite different. There's a whole lot of love for the character(s), and a certain sense of satisfied expectation when it comes to the pretty men being interested in her. Few have said it so blunt, but at least one female reader did: "of course they'd all be interested in her, because she's interesting!"

Speaking of which, if you like your science quite hard, and you like your cast strongly female, try Moretsu Pirates. It's translated (for no reason that I can tell) as "Bodacious Space Pirates", and the OP seems fluffy enough... but it's suddenly taken a strong left into hard sci-fi. It's like a stealth anime. The premise isn't that unusual: an unknown parent dies, and leaves some kind of inheritance (in this case, the letter of marque for a sanctioned space-pirate ship), and the child (usually a boy, but in this case a girl) must decide whether to accept the deceased parent's mantle. We're on episode four, and the heroine still hasn't actively made that choice, but damn. The first episode was fluffy shoujo, with a few hints. The second episode started to show a bit more of a feminist flair. The third episode, Mom's teaching our heroine how to shoot a gun (and not one that's small and pink, either) and the fourth episode, we're dealing with science the level of your average Star Trek episode. And not a twit-brained, big-chested, useless waste-of-space* in sight. The female characters are capable, realistic for their age (able to joke around), but also pretty savvy. I am torn between love for the yacht club president and vice president.

Here's hoping this series stays strong, because it's been a long time coming, not to mention to have two such strongly female-centric anime in one season (the other one being Rinne no Lagrange).

* there is a doctor-character who gets the fanservice, with boobs and garters and heels, but so far if she's in any stereotype, it's as the intelligent but somewhat sly femme fatale. Not perfect, but still not a twit. I'm not sure what it says about the expected audience, if the majority of the fanservice is an adult character.
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kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
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"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

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