Fans who’ve been watching anime for a while know that anime is an extremely problematic medium. Right from incest to pedophilia to abuse – there isn’t much that Japan hasn’t kawaii-fied and presented to their non-Japanese audience as something that’s totally normal.
A lot of people use the “Oh, it’s not real so it’s okay” logic to excuse a lot of questionable actions, but let’s face it – as a whole, the entire anime community has become numb (instead of still being repulsed and horrified) as to what should rightly repulse them.
10 Sexualization Of Female Children
The best example of this is the anime No Game No Life. It centers around the story of two siblings, a teenage boy and a prepubescent girl, who couldn’t be more than 12. Ignoring the problematic incestuous undertones of their relationship, what was more repugnant was how the audience was forced to go through panty shots of a minor for no other reason than titillation for sickos.
9 The Rampant Pedophilia
Not only is anime flooded with pedophilic relationships, it has them presented in such a manner as to make audiences root for them. A perfect example would be anime like Kodomo no Jikan which revolves around romantic love and sexual lust that third grader Aoki Daisuke (yes, that’s right) has for her 23-year-old virginal Daisuke sensei. When pedophilia isn’t presented with rose tinted glasses, Japan uses the “Oh, she looks 12 but she’s actually a 2000 year old mage cursed to forever look like a child” trope to claim that technically this wouldn’t be pedophilia. Or Japan presents high school girls (aka teenagers) who are shipped with supernatural creatures that are at least a century old, like in Inuyasha or Noragami. It should be noted how young girls are almost always the victims of such pedophilic acts.
More examples include The Garden Of Words (27yearold lady x 15yearold child) and though technically not pedophilia they were skating on thin ice with After the Rain (45yearold man x 17yearold girl).
8 Infantilization Of Women
One of the most intolerable aspects of Japanese subs is how sexist their dubbings are. 30 year old women sound like they’re 15, 15-year-old girls sound like they’re nine. Men, on the other hand, are the opposite – 15 year old boys sound like they’re 30 and 30-year-old men sound like 50-year-old truck drivers.
Women are made to appear and sound younger while it’s the opposite for men, which is quite telling of the mindset of the anime industry.
7 Normalization Of Abusive Relationships
Pedophilia aside, anime is full of verbally (and sometimes physically) abusive relationships that are normalized as “romantic”. This trope has been used to death in the shoujo genre, where again, the girls are brainless, bumbling messes who are pushed around by dudes who are controlling, possessive, and extremely jealous in nature.
6 Tsunderes & Physical Abuse
Not many people realize how being verbally and physically abusive should not be the beginning of any healthy relationship. Yet, we see many people (especially boys) preferring tsundere anime characters by a huge margin. This stems from two misogynistic schools of thought – one that says women can’t really hurt men because their punches are too “weak” and second, one that propagates the “real men don’t feel pain” myth.
5 Fanservice = Sexual Objectification Of Women
Nowhere is this more apparent than in genres like ecchi, harem and shounen, where women serve as nothing more than pieces of meat for the male protagonists (and male viewers) to consume as and when they please. They don’t have personalities and all their traits can be boiled down to only their personal appearances (which is usually their breast sizes).
4 Consent Has No Meaning
How often have we seen girls become embarrassed or uncomfortable due to the physical actions (always sexual) of male characters? More than one can count, especially seeing how the boys continue with their behavior, despite the obvious distress they’re causing to the girls. Another excellent example is how often boys kiss girls (without their consent), the girls blush, they either run away, get angry or become shy, but not a single one of them reprimands the boy for touching her without her consent.
3 No Repercussions Of Criminal Behavior
This one’s self explanatory. It doesn’t matter what the male protagonist’s crime is – emotional or physical abuse, sexual harassment or abuse, or even rape (in rare cases). Japan’s idea of punishment is to forgive and forget, which is exactly what all the women in anime do. Sometimes, everybody laughs off sexual harassment as a joke and moves on, as if being harassed is something as normal as eating one’s breakfast.
2 Poor Representation
Anime is full of straight males who are always fair skinned. We hardly get to see any dark skinned men, straight or gay, and the only time we get to see gay couples are when the anime are either from the yaoi or yuri genres.
Not to mention how for every 10 men on screen, we only get to see one woman (despite women being nearly half of the world population). Unless it’s harem or ecchi, there’s conveniently an overabundance of women and just one insipid boy, upon whom all girls fall like nine-pins.
1 Male Fans Have A LOT More At Their Disposal
Despite women forming almost half of anime’s fanbase, they have very few choices given to them. Apart from shoujo and niche genres like yaoi or reverse harem, all genres are predominantly aimed at male fans. This is proven time and again by how few female characters are shown on screen (as opposed to their male counterparts), and how most of the time these women exist to server as either love interests or dead mothers to the male characters. Almost as if that’s how the dichotomy of women exists in the minds of males – sex object or not a sex object.
Anime is loved by millions but it also has its problematic moments & features. Here's a look at 10 times anime normalized extremely questionable acts!