The Case of Japanese Women: Hypersexuality in Anime, Manga and Visual Novels
Anime is a popular Japanese animation featuring different characters with unusual powers and identities that revolve around themes such as adventure, action, romance, sexy, erotica, and violence. As a country noted for its manga (comics) and anime (animated cartoons), Japan offers itself up for an in-depth study on how these popular media impact on its women. In an informal poll in the internet (http://www.geekosystem.com/women-dating- stimulators/) Japanese women feel inadequate next to dating simulators that have proliferated online. In the so-called interviews conducted, the women thought they cannot compete with their virtual counterparts when it comes to “cuteness,” “perfection,” “nice personalities,” and their “ultimate passivity” because “our boyfriends can do whatever they want with them.” It is quite difficult to ascertain whether such remarks are due to their heightened awareness and subsequent frustrations over their status in Japanese society. We cannot rely on the above informal poll as its methodology is questionable. Nonetheless, what is undeniable is the cultural impact of manga and anime that spills over to intimate human relationships.
Popular media in Japan portray women as frail, delicate or dainty. These perceived qualities are also present in the ways women are represented in virtual games that are really nothing more than anime but designed to be interactive. All the characters (mature women, housewives, teachers, and office ladies; teenagers, students, part-time workers; and Lolitas or Lolis, elementary students) follow a template, known as Bishojo, a Japanese term that literally translates to “beautiful girl.” What is considered to be bishojo is subjective to its artist and audience; such characters can have but are not limited to:
- • Large, endearing eyes to convey her emotions—a characteristic of the anime-art style
- • An ideal female body shape—the hourglass figure
- • An emphasis on the breasts by making them large, giving her sex appeal
- • A wide array of hairstyles, even those that seem impossible in real life
- • A wardrobe that includes skirts, blouses, and dresses
The most endearing qualities these women have are beauty and sexiness. Whether they are manga or anime, Japanese women are represented as objects of male sexual fantasies. In http://www.gamesof desires.com/, one can download flash games about fulfilling one’s sexual fantasies through playing ordinary games. The main prize will be animated nude and willing Japanese girls. Although it is classified as an “adult website,” which renders it self-censoring, the large amount of hentai4 stuff can easily be found and the games are downloadable by anyone. The self-censorship of the site projects is belied by its contents. The site is extremely popular because it is one of the top websites in the world. Although the United States emerges as the top consumer of the site, Asian countries, combined together, make up for the largest consumer base.