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Spike 558 16-01-2006 08:17 AM

'Geek gets the girl anime': Offensive?
I would like to know what the female anime fans think of the 'Geek Gets the girl' genre of anime.

I think we all know the scenario that has become the standard template of this genre: Some loser/rough diamond finds himself, through means largely out of his control, paired up with a woman, who has magcial powers/isn't human. Afore-mentioned woman somehow ends up using her powers/skills to make life easy for them both. The two end up living happily together and manage to overcome any adversity that comes their way.

Unfortunately for the genre itself, there are three flaws that seem rather inescapable when dealing with this type of anime. Firstly, the scenario described seems rather absurd and simply too good to be true. Secondly, as this type of anime is aimed at men, it seems this type of anime genre can't exist without fanservice. And thirdly, there isn't a lot seperating the 'Geek gets the girl' genre of anime from the 'harem' genre of anime.

Me? Well as a man, I enjoy the Geek-gets-the-girl anime but purely on the basis of what they are designed to do: Present the idea that a seemingly ordinary person can pick up beautiful women (that and how much entertainment value I get out of the anime in question). Personally I could do without the obtrusive presence of the fanservice/harm elements but you can't have everything.
However, from what I have gathered, it seems that the female anime fans find such a genre downright offensive. Reasons being:

- The female in the relationship is reduced to a passive role
- The male in the relationship is boring

Personally I find the second argument more striking than the first (she's got magical powers! What more do you want?!?!) - for a continous theme in the Geek-gets-the-girl anime is the male character has the admirable qualities of sensitivity, gentleness and reliability. Thus it isn't difficult to detect a subtext to the anime that suggests that the ladies should try going out with a geek for a decent relationship. Thus, it seems to me that such a suggestion isn't really welcome - particularly when anime, in general, is populated with lotsa bishonen characters. Indeed, it should come to no surprise that no geeky looking guys exist in shonen-ai anime (to the best of my knowledge at least)
Furthermore, the presence of harem/fanservice elements don't really help.

On the forum of my anime society, I asked the question of what the female posters throught of Oh My Goddess - Not the first Geek-gets-the-girl anime but indeed the one that everyone is familiar with. The replies I got back ranged from the negative to the downright hostile. All of which said the same thing: Belldandy was such a preposterous character in her over-porportioned niceness and the fact that her role in the series was reduced to that of a 'slave' (being cook/cleaner/caretaker). Needless to say, counter arguments were put forth, only to be countered and the thread ultimately got nowhere. In fact, only one, just one. poster said she enjoyed the anime purely on the romance factor.

So in the end, it seems to me that what works against the appeal of Geek-gets-the-girl anime is the fact that placing two people together and watching their practically flawless relationship last through many obstacles just doesn't hold a lot of interest. Call it a lack of tension, the willing nature of the romance, a lack of romantic progression or just the protagonists are mind-numbingly dull.
And besides, in the terms of unrequited love, nothing can hold a candle to the appeal shonen-ai and the shojo-ai anime.

But such assumptions are all based on my own perceptions. And as such I could be wrong....
Ladies, if you will?

iwakura 16-01-2006 03:20 PM

Offensiveness depends upon how this theme is implemented. A geek getting a girl should not be offensive unless one has some sort of irrational hatred towards geeks.

If that theme places women into offensive compromising positions, I find it offensive. I haven't seen too many Hentai titles, but I expect most of the "geek gets the girl" Hentai shows would be offensive to me.

Robotech Master 16-01-2006 08:45 PM

There aren't a lot of geek gets the girl Hentai shows. Most Hentai male protagonists are either super-popular guys who can get any woman they want, or sleazy, self-righteous, evildoing assholes who kindnap and/or blackmail people so that they can have thier way with them.

Geeks, after all, are often portrayed as nice people in anime, because that's supposed to be the saving grace of the geek. They may not have the looks of the super sports star, or the cool personality of the popular kids, but they have a heart of gold. Most people in Hentai aren't nice or for that matter, normal, but there are plenty of exceptions on both sides to be sure.

snowcherry 16-01-2006 08:58 PM

As a woman who considers herself something of a I don't find it offensive. I find it trite, overplayed, and obviously not meant for my demographic, but it's too inane to be offensive. To summarize what is going to turn into a ridiculously long, semi-coherent rant: I see no appeal in watching two uninteresting, blandly sweet people have an uninteresting, blandly sweet relationship.

I think people who find shows like Aa! Megami-sama offensive due to female passivity are a) missing the point, which is not that the chick is there to be an empowering role model and b) taking their cartoons way too seriously. Even if one feels that such series reinforce sexist behaviors and stereotypes, they don't do it alone. There are bigger sociological factors involved than just what a few nerdy guys like to watch and read.

I'm going to give a personal example, though maybe I'm kind of an outlier here and have strikingly different opinions than other female fans (I wouldn't know, really): I saw three episodes of Ai Yori Aoshi before I started to throw up in my mouth, and I haven't watched any more. Despite my visceral reaction to it, I don't think it's a bad show. It's just that I can't relate to any of the characters or situations and don't find them particularly engaging to watch. I'd hope this doesn't come off to others as being offended by the material, because it's really not that.

Likewise, I'd certainly hope male anime/manga fans didn't think BL anime/manga was offensive, since that's pretty trite, overplayed, and obviously not meant for certain demographics as well. But hey, we all have what we (guiltily) like, right?

As for:

(she's got magical powers! What more do you want?!?!)
A woman who isn't afraid to contradict her significant other but has the maturity to handle conflicts with grace is a billion times stronger than the most overpowered magical girlfriendbot ever. :D

Darklightz 19-01-2006 07:53 AM

Some of the geek gets the girls show are a bit offensive.Some shows like DearS and Chobits where the girl is almost like a puppy dog being raised by the male lead gets a bit too much.

But in general they can get quite pleasant,after all it's the point of those animes to have these improbable scenarios.Also I noticed something in the recent trend of harem animes.The girls not only fulfill the fantasy of a bunch of cute girls living with you,but they also take care of the guy,look at some shows like Fate Stay/Night,Shuffle! and all of the maid shows where tha male lead doesn't even need to lift a finger for himself.

All I can say is if you find it offensive,stop watching it

Pengi_Ken-Ohki 26-01-2006 05:03 PM

Chobits is the only one Ive had to turn off out of sheer disgust. I wasnt so digusted at the anime as at the large number of fans the show has. Its not unusual for a male to wish he had a sex slave, but trying to make him out like he's a great person at the same time is just wrong.

Snowcherry is hot.
But she shouldnt contradict the man of the house.

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