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Old 16-01-2006, 08:17 AM   #1   [permalink]
Spike 558
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'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?
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Last edited by Spike 558; 16-01-2006 at 08:33 AM.
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