Why must the phrase, “You fight like a girl” be an insult?

THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS

Are they any strong female characters in anime or is it all just an illusion?

I remember when I was really getting into anime the one thing I always heard from people was how many more strong female characters in anime than there are in American cartoons. Now with several years of anime watching under my belt I wonder if I have just been lied to all these years. Is anime just like the rest of the media in the fact that it’s practically devoid of strong female characters? Do anime fans just cling to the few strong female characters and just ignore the rest of the sexism in the rest of anime? Am I being unfair in wanting more strong female characters?

When I started getting into anime, I don’t remember anyone promising anything. With the possible exception of some cool fight scenes. However, I do get the impression that the strong female character can be a draw to anime. Heck, I would even say I’ve said the very words that anime has more diverse and independent females. I don’t think it is necessarily wrong but possibly overstated. I think with the vast amounts of anime out there you are bound to run into really amazing, note-worthy, strong women. But is it really more prevalent than other media? As my viewing continues to expand, I find myself looking for strong females and questioning my initial views.

Also, a lot of time strong female characters seem to be male characters with boobs. I’m not going to complain too much about this fact because at least it’s an attempt. Sometimes male writers can’t get their head around the concept of female characters in general so their strong female characters tend to come off as just slightly modified strong male characters.

Sure, tons of females characters, obviously more prevalent in shonen anime, that are dudes wearing chick suits.

A prime example of this would be Major Motoko Kusanagi. It’s not that she is not a strong female character. It just seems that she’s basically a very unisex character with a pretty girl body. It can be argued that she occasionally displays feminine character characteristics but most of the time she is either a very masculine or unisex character. A lot of this can be attributed to being a full conversion cyborg but it still means she a rather unfeminine female character.

Two characters that come readily to my mind are Oscar, from Rose of Versailles, and her much later protege Utena, from Revolutionary Girl Utena. I would first like to point out that I love these characters. However, I have to acknowledge that while they are female, they really don’t desire to be. Without going into too much detail, these are two women that feel their strength is diminished by their being female and so to counter act this they cast off everything feminine. While they have vast back-stories that lead them to this, it doesn’t counter act their choices to try to be as masculine as possible. But, this doesn’t make them weak characters in the least. In fact, their perseverance through adversity makes them incredible.

I know for a fact that you can be female, have a feminine personality, and still be a strong person. So what makes anime filled with weak sissy moe girls needing to be saved by their big strong male protectors?

The real idea here, I think, is to find females characters that aren’t afraid of their femininity or sexuality. Characters that embrace being female.

IMHO Top 5 Strong Female Characters in Anime – The idea is to pick 5 Female Characters from Anime that are still feminine.

Nami – I actually suppose Nami can be seen as a derivative of Fujiko Mine and the strong female thief archetype in general but I really like Nami so she’s the one I picked for the list. Nami is actually a capable fighter in a shonen series! I admit she’s one of the weaker members of the crew but she is at least equal or greater than Usopp in fighting ability. She is not a physically strong fighter but she uses her head in a fight and I like that better than winning with brute strength anyway. Luffy might be the captain in name but Nami is often the acting captain of the straw hats as she’s one of the few members of the crew with any sense of responsibility or common sense.

Tohru Honda – Is a super girly girl but a strong super girly girl. She takes care of herself and the other members of Sohma family. She is the strong rock that helps the other members of the Sohma family with their numerous physiological problems. She also stand up to the rather vicious and nasty Akito with little to no help from other members of the Sohma family. She takes care of herself when she is homeless and supports her self by working while still going to school. Infact she often goes out of her way to help others even at cost to herself.

Tomoyo Daidouji – Is also very much the Japanese Yamoto Nadesico but is not a weak character like she could easily be portrayed as. She takes all the weirdness and chaos of Sakura being a Cardcaptor with a cheerfully unfazeable attitude. She is an unshakable rock for Sakura that supports her in all of her endeavors. Even when she realizes that Li is in love with Sakura she supports their relationship despite her own love for Sakura. Tomoyo is love!

Sakura – Sakura from Urusei Yatsura is a strong old soul blessed with a beautiful young body. Sakura tends to get a lot of gruff from the rest of the cast of Urusei Yatsura but she tends to give as well as she gets. She is a powerful Shinto priestess as well the school nurse at Tomobiki High School. She is very feminine around her fiancée Tsubame but she has to be tough around her male suitors who want to have her for their own. And in Urusei Yatsura there are more than enough men who won’t take no for an answer.

LafielLafiel is a strong willed heir to the throne and a capable spaceship captain. She often has to teach the non-space faring Jinto how the world of the space faring Abh operate. When she is in a leadership role she is a very no-nonsense leader but she has a softer side when she casually interacts with people outside of a battle situation. She rescues Jinto when he is imprisoned by a Baron whose outpost they stop at to refuel. She also forms a rebellion aginst the same Baron on his own outpost.

Five strong heroines that took me hours to pick out.

Faye Valentine – A gambling, beautiful, tough, bounty hunter. She holds her own as a strong, capable, albeit brash character in Cowboy Bebop. Her abilities with a gun and her skills at flying are valued as much as anyone else’s. She took care of herself for a long time and learned to trust no one. But the fact that this changes over the course of the series is really when she shines. I think her attachment to Spike in particular is very telling. In her final moments with him as he goes off to his death, she tells him the Bebop is the only place she can come back to. As she stands there alone in the hall, you see a woman’s heart.

Lacus Clyne – You don’t get much more feminine than an idol singer. But despite the first impression Lacus is both intelligent and skilled in politics. She uses her singing to help people forget the war around them but she herself does not forget it. She uses her influence to try to tell her people about peace. She defies her own government to help both Kira and Athrun and in turn helps to end the war. She is a pivotal character in the series, one that shows true love and compassion but is not afraid to face death.

Nausicaa – A nice thing about Miyazaki’s females, is that they are usual strong and hold their own. Nausicaa is no exception, she is a princess but also a warrior. Her devotion to peace and humanity is a constant narrative, as she works to help anyone in need while also trying to save her homeland. She leads her people, as a saint or angel, to fight against those that wish to take their way of life from them while also exposing how war is destructive no matter the reasons.

Arashi Kishu – Is a high-school student, as are many of the characters in X, with the actual weight of the world on her shoulders. She is also the hidden priestess of the Ise shrine. She she has a sword hidden in her left hand, she can definitely hold her own in these battles. She is one of the first to come to Hinoto and take on her role in the end of the world. She does this with purpose and stature. And while she is beautiful, she often comes off as cold, but this is melted throughout the series by Sorata.

Ahiru/Princess Tutu – While love is one of the central themes to this series, what starts out seemingly simple becomes a complex and dark look into the hearts of many characters. A fairytale flipped, and the hero is a heroine who is both elegant and klutzy. The prince is the one who needs saving and that is the task set before her. Princess Tutu is taking on the role that is usually played my a male, but she is absolutely female. She accepts her fate willingly and has a sense of duty despite her personal feelings and the realization that once her role is played she will no longer exist.

I was really disappointed that I had to rack my brain for two days to come up with five characters that I actually felt comfortable putting into the category of strong. Maybe I was being too picky? You know, Hisui said to me “well surely in all the shojo manga there has to be strong females, right?”

I had a slightly easier time but that is because I got to choose first. ;)

While this is not untrue, a lot of shojo manga are centered around love, and to say it simply, love makes everyone weak. Those are everyone’s weak moments, and sure it can make you stronger in the end, but the pursuit of love is really about vulnerability. So I don’t think they are weak, I think they are very average and human.

You do make valid points. Shojo tends to focus on romance. Romance is greatly aided by having characters be more real. If a character is not strong all the time it helps the writer make more plot (strong characters tend to have less complicated love lives) and it also make the character more relatable to most people. We like to look up to strong characters because most of the time we can’t be as strong as our ideals. A character that has our same frailties and fears is much easier to relate to.

But I feel that secondary female characters in Shojo manga could easily be stronger characters but often times there just the same as the protagonist. Maybe I’m being overly harsh (which I think I am) but I feel that shojo in general tends to portray girls as more vulnerable that it needs to. My question to you is do you think guys are just as vulnerable in shojo manga as the women?

If we are speaking strictly of the romance sector again, then usually no. You often run into the fantasy of being protected and rescued. You know, the guy coming out of nowhere just at the right moment to help the girl out. Since this fantasy is pretty prevelant in the minds of many women, its no wonder you see it portrayed so much. And maybe that is also why it happens in other genres and it’s one big vicious cycle. Women are complicated, bet you didn’t know that, they want both things. They want to be strong and independent but they also want someone TRYING to protect them. But so many times it seems like people forget the both part, but then again it’s not like the taste of men doesn’t come in to play also.

Also as we mentioned when we talked about this in real life you tend to read a lot of romance shojo. I wonder if other branches of shojo are any better?

Oh no doubt there are! I mean just looking at our own lists, Fruits Basket, X, Card Captor Sakura and Princess Tutu are all shojo stories. So, there are definitely smart and strong females to be seen. I had a few that I was thinking about that I didn’t put on the list even. Besides, I can’t actually claim to have watched or read all the shojo there is.

At the same time, school life/romance stories don’t give me enough of a picture of the characters many times. If there isn’t an over lying plot, other than getting the guy/girl, it’s hard for me to judge the characters. I feel like it’s just a short period of time and a small snapshot of their life. Whereas something with an epic plot seems to push characters to their potential and show me exactly who they are.

I hear what your saying. Your going to get a greater chance to get strong characters when their character is being tested. But even in epic fantasy and drama you tend to get the girl character that have to be saved by their big strong man (I’m looking at you Miaka).

Oh no doubt! I don’t think we can even count how many females like that appear in anime. Often women who start out strong just end up being kidnapped and rescued constantly.

The main problem with any conversation about broad generalizations of anime and manga is that we only see a fraction of the anime and manga that comes out in Japan. I wonder if we could speak and read Japanese would our opinions be any different. I mean there are whole genres of manga that don’t get localized or fan translated. Are there treasure troves of strong feminist material we don’t know of? I have a feeling that’s not the case but the possibility still exists.

I guess all we can do is support the titles that have good strong female characters and hope they make more.

Welcome to the NHK is the best manga ever!

Hisui really wants to get punched in the face!

Brainwasher Detective (Hisui) Currently:
Watching Kekkaishi
Reading Please Save My Earth

Listening to Dive in the Sky

Narutaki Currently!
Watching Claymore
Reading Black Cat
Listening to The Blue Hearts

8 thoughts on “Why must the phrase, “You fight like a girl” be an insult?

  1. Jeremy Williams says:

    I’ve personally come across quite a few strong women in shonen titles, and they are women who don’t seem to remove themselves from femininity completely. Tifa Lockhart from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is a perfect example. She very openly displays and expresses her attachment to Cloud throuought the film, and she takes on a maternal persona towards Barret’s daughter(her name escapes me) and Denzel (being a mother takes monumental emotional strength). However, her physical power comes barreling forward like a freight train when she fights with Loz in the cathedral. Also, the four women of the Knight Sabers from Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 display incredible strength in almost every way possible, yet act unmistakably feminine.

  2. reversethieves says:

    I get what you saying but my challenge is for you to name 10 other strong female characters. I admit right off the bat that I’m no Carl Horn, I don’t have a degree in anime, or claim to have seen a majority of the anime ever released. But I think I have seen trend in anime. In general, women are weaker than men and need to be saved by their stronger male protectors.

    Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is mostly, in my opinion, a video game movie and not really an anime but the point is taken. Also video games make anime look down right egalitarian when it comes to the number of strong female characters. Usually when video games make a girl a strong female character she is mostly there to be wank fodder (I’m looking at you Lara Croft).

    I will say that Tifa is a strong female character that is still feminine and is a good example for a strong character for both the video games and anime. However, doesn’t Tifa get her butt handed to her by Loz in the end.

    The Night Sabers are definitely good and strong female characters but I always felt that the more feminine you were on the Night Sabers the weaker you were. Priss is always the manliest and always the most powerful and Nene is always the most feminine and always the weakest.

    I mostly just feel while there are strong female characters in anime there are just not enough for my taste.

    -Hisui

  3. Lothos says:

    ::In a Sean Connery “accent” :: “I agshept your challenge!”

    Maki – From Air Master. Though at times she might be a bit embarrassed by the attention she gets because of her feminine qualities, she retains them nonetheless. She’s also without a doubt an incredibly strong female character in both her fighting skills and in her mental resolve.

    Rally Vincent – From Gunsmith Cats. Uses her feminine wiles to her advantage on multiple occasions, and is one chick you definitely don’t want to mess with.

    Major Kusanagi – From Ghost in the Shell. Granted, she’s not fully “human” but she is definitely feminine when it suits her and is also a battlefield commando. Batou is there to watch her back, but she rarely needs help from anyone when in the thick of things.

    *Virtually any Masamune Shirow leading female can be thrown into this list, but I’ll limit it to just her out of my own sense of fairness.

    Fee – From Planetes. Though her character isn’t really explored until later in the series, she balances the roles of being the captain of the ship and a mom while dealing with the sense of hopelessness/emptiness that seems to plague nearly all the space travelers in the series.

    Chise – From Saikano. Chise and Shuji’s relationship exemplifies, in my mind, almost the antithesis of the typical weak female being saved by the strong male. Simply because she WANTS desperately to be saved, and Shuji WANTS desperately to save her, but he is simply powerless to really do anything for her but try to be there for her. She carries on doing things she utterly hates doing out of at first a sense of duty, and later solely to try to protect the people she cares about.

    Haruko – From FLCL. Bit of a stretch, but pretty much anything dealing with FLCL in a serious sense would have to be. She struts her stuff at times and pretty much uses her feminine qualities to “seduce” Naota in order to get what she wants and has apparently done this in the past with Mr. Eyebrows. I think her real strength, aside from her bass wielding mad skills, shows at the end when she pretty much tells Naota he can’t go with her, since if he did she would probably just continue trying to use him or abandon him when something else caught her interest.

    Miku – From Metal Fighter Miku. She’s a female wrestler in super body armor who isn’t afraid to be a girl and is the one most determined to succeed on the team.

    Maetel – From Galaxy Express 999. Wise, caring, and motherly in a way towards Tetsuro. In the end she rises against her mother’s goal of mechanizing all living things.

    Asuka – From Evangelion. I know I’ll probably get a lot of disagreement here, but hear me out. In a series full of fractured and just overall messed up people, she is in my mind the most independent and “strong” female character in the series. She doesn’t depend on anyone, let alone males, to come save her, she actually despises the idea. She goes off the deep end when she loses her ability to synch with her eva, but comes back in all her glory in the end and fights what would seem to be an impossible battle. Even when injured horrifically she desperately tries to continue the fight, and probably would have proceeded to wtfpwn some eva series asses…had they not…you know…killed her…then ate her.

    Ryoko – From Tenchi-Muyo. I didn’t watch past Tenchi Universe, so my opinions are based solely on the episodes I saw up to that point. She’s maybe not the best example, and probably isn’t really role-model material, but she’s a freakin’ space pirate, kicks ass on a regular basis, and isn’t afraid to strut her stuff. Sure Tenchi came to her aide on a few occasions, but more often than not she was the one saving his pretty little rat-tailed head.

  4. reversethieves says:

    BTW I am a total ass and cut Lothos’s original post but since I quote it in my response its still sort of there. My apologies. I fail at life.

    >

    OK. Any gentlemanly challenge needs rules for gentlemen are men of rules. If you can get at least 6 points you win. (Why 6 points? Well then you will have beaten out both of our 5 name lists.) To get a point your woman must be
    a. a woman
    b. strong
    c. not just a dude in a chick suit

    >

    From what I have seen and heard about Air Master I will give you a point for this. She definitely seems like a powerhouse character that still maintains a feminine side. The only problem is if I remember the reviews of the show correctly her friend Renge is a useless box of moe that needed a beat down of epic proportions. But she is still a very solid point in your favor.

    Air Master seems to be a cursed show. Ugly art but super fluid and well choreographed fights sequences that tend towards brutal. Ugly art tends to mean that US audiences will skip it no matter how good the show is. The fact that Toei totally botched the DVDs in the US did not help at all.

    >

    Rally Vincent was a character both of us considered putting on our lists but “Minnie” May Hopkins is such a horrific pandering character to the worst parts of the human soul in the manga it’s hard to overlook her (this coming from a fan of the manga). But she is another solid point overlooking Kenichi Sonoda odd fetishes he throw in his manga.

    >

    Sorry all of Masamune’s strong female characters are the personification of men in female suits. Masamune totally makes her female when ever he needs her to have sex appeal (because he is a creepy dude) but other than that she is very masculine. I like the major but she sort of plays to the fetish of a strong female character without really and truly being one.

    >

    Another solid point. I totally was going to put her on my list but I picked Lafiel as my strong space pilot character.

    >

    Interesting. I have never seen this show because it seems a little to depressing for me but I heard it is very good. I think she is more of a soft female character placed in a position that makes her do strong things but is never actually strong. It makes her an interesting character but I’m not sure it makes her a strong character. Maybe if I watched the show I would totally change my tune but until proven otherwise I’m going to be mean and close-minded and say no point.

    But I might pick this series but just to have an informed opinion. If I change my mind I will let you know.

    >

    I will give you this one. Yeah she is a wacky character but she is a wacky show so it’s fine.

    >

    Unless someone who has seen the show weighs in I will give you the point by default. The only problem is she could be nothing more than an chick in a dude suit but from the description of the show they seem to make all the girls on her team rather feminine.

    >

    A good choice. She was another person we talked about. The only problem with Leiji Matsumoto’s work main deal with how Manly Men deal with Manly Problems and overcome them with Manly Pride in a Corrupt World that tries to break their Manly Spirit. Oh and I guess there are women in the background who the Manly Men love. Sure they have to be strong for their Manly Men but the focus is usually on the men. I wanted women on the list who were the stars of the show. Then again I have criminally never seen any Galaxy Express so I think she is a little more the focus there than in say Harlock.

    >

    I’m not going to touch that one with a ten-foot pole lest Narutaki eat my soul.

    >

    She is defiantly a Femme Fatale but that’s still a stong female character role.

    So all in all. 7 of of 10. I guess you have risen to the challenge and won. I tip my hat to you good sir. You have bested Alex Trebek.

  5. Lothos says:

    >

    I can definitely understand that view, and I do agree with it to a certain extent. Perhaps the major was not the best choice of character to suggest from Masamune Shirow, since you are correct in that she pretty much only uses her sex appeal when it has a purpose for whatever mission she’s on. Outside of that, she could easily be replaced by a male character. So maybe Deunan from Appleseed would be a better example (NOT from either movie, they were both pretty terrible in my opinion, manga ftw). There was a genuine romantic relationship between her and Briareos, and it wasn’t something just “tossed in” to make her more female in my opinion. They were partners in every sense of the word.

    >

    It is very tragic, probably one of the most depressing mangas I’ve ever read, but…it was also wonderfully written and truly pulls you in to the story, making you want to know how things could ever possibly end up well for the couple. Your assessment of Chise being a soft/weak character forced to do things that make her appear strong is fairly accurate for much of the series. However, I do feel that she develops (as all characters should in a good series) into a genuinely strong character by the series end, as does Shuji- whom at the beginning I loathed.

    >

    haha, I was waiting to see what kind of response I would get from that.

  6. Jeremy Williams says:

    You’re tough to please, reversthieves, but I’ll try anyway.;)

    -I agree with lothos in suggesting Deunan from Appleseed(although I think that the 2004 remake RAWK’D!!!).

    -As for Bubblegum Crisis (if you saw the 90’s TV seires, not the 80’s OVA), you will see that Priss is just as womanly as the other three Sabers. It really shows through in the episode (I believe it’s 23) when Priss, Nene, and Linna catch the skyhook and ride it into space. In the scene when Leon and Priss are riding the motoslave to the skyhook’s pickup point, she confesses to Leon about why she loathes the A.D. Police, and sweetly sings her favorite childhood song to him. This scene shows that she can express her femininity in ways other than simply acting vulnerable and delicate.

    -I know we’ve discussed Motoko Kusanagi already, but I need to offer my two cents. Watch the original movie, and you’ll see a scene in which Motoko and Batou are sitting on a boat, exchanging exsistential banter with one another. Motoko describes how she feels when she swims in the ocean, and then goes on to talk about her individuality. I don’t remember all of the details of what she said, but I remember thinking to myself that she was acting rather feminine in how she examined her own state of being. Watch that scene and you’ll see what I mean.

    -This is rather old-school, but another fine example is Reccoa Londe from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. She is obviously a strong member of the Argama’s crew, and she even seems to take on a role as Kamille’s de facto guardian, knowing that his parents died within the first four episodes. Reccoa really shows her femininity when she slips into a major dilemma about joining the Titan army as she hear’s Scirocco’s voice calling her through space, and she almost seemed to have a romantic attraction to him.

    -Emma Sheen from the same series also displays admirable strength throughout the whole show. While she doesn’t display outward or extreme femininity at any particular point in the show, she hardly seems to be a “dude in a chick suit”.

    -Ryoko Mitsurugi from Real Bout High School is perfect for my point, and the example i will use is from the manga. She is the star martial artist at her school, she can physically overcome any male in her school (YES! That is SO HOT!!!!!), and she seems to be an impenetrable wall of valor, never allowing herself to let a frightening situation get the best of her emotions. That is, until all of those uncried tears of the past come pouring out during her battle with Azumi Kiribayashi in volume 3. She escapes into the school building during the courtyard clash, locks herself in the girl’s bathroom, and proceeds to cry her eyes out for an hour. She finally accepted crying as a way to release pain rather than a sign of weakness, and in discovering this, she came one step closer to womanhood.

    -The boy-crazy Azumi from the same series can be so girlish that at times it can be annoying. However, her uncrushable spirit makes her an excellent candidate for this list, and it really shines through in the beginning of the anime series, when she accepts defeat at the hands of Ryoko.

    -Next is Mayumi Kino from Blue Submarine No.6. There aren’t any particular prominent scenes which display her femininity and strength; her general demeanor says it all.

    -Select any character from the Tenchi series with XX chromosomes and you’ve got a bona fide strong woman. Tenchi simply wouldn’t have survived without them. And I shouldn’t have to give any examples of their femininity; just watch and you’ll see.

    -And finally, Twilight Suzuka from Owtlaw Star (GREAT show, by the way). Her bushido ways automatically give her an unshakeable spirit and undying strength and perseverance. Her femininity is gracefully expressed later in episode 23 (holy crap, 23 again! I hope Jim Carrey doesn’t see this post) when she takes a dip in the hot springs, and very girlishly revels in the fact that the hot water will do wonders for her beauty.

    There, 10 examples. If these aren’t good enough, I quit! >_

  7. reversethieves says:

    < You’re tough to please, reversthieves, but I’ll try anyway.;) >
    Narutaki is a harsh unforgiving taskmaster that eats souls as a snack. I’m a cream puff.
    < -I agree with lothos in suggesting Deunan from Appleseed(although I think that the 2004 remake RAWK’D!!!). >
    I guess people think she is a tough female character. I will give in on her. I know Dave and Joel of Fast Karate agree with me though.
    < -As for Bubblegum Crisis (if you saw the 90’s TV seires, not the 80’s OVA), you will see that Priss is just as womanly as the other three Sabers. It really shows through in the episode (I believe it’s 23) when Priss, Nene, and Linna catch the skyhook and ride it into space. In the scene when Leon and Priss are riding the motoslave to the skyhook’s pickup point, she confesses to Leon about why she loathes the A.D. Police, and sweetly sings her favorite childhood song to him. This scene shows that she can express her femininity in ways other than simply acting vulnerable and delicate. >
    Priss is definitely a strong feminine female character it is just that she is definitely the most masculine of all the knight sabers.
    < -I know we’ve discussed Motoko Kusanagi already, but I need to offer my two cents. Watch the original movie, and you’ll see a scene in which Motoko and Batou are sitting on a boat, exchanging exsistential banter with one another. Motoko describes how she feels when she swims in the ocean, and then goes on to talk about her individuality. I don’t remember all of the details of what she said, but I remember thinking to myself that she was acting rather feminine in how she examined her own state of being. Watch that scene and you’ll see what I mean. >
    Well one of the problems when discussing the major is that she’s almost a different character depending on which iteration of Ghost in the Shell you’re watching. The manga, movies, and TV show presently subtlety but significantly differences.
    <-This is rather old-school, but another fine example is Reccoa Londe from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. She is obviously a strong member of the Argama’s crew, and she even seems to take on a role as Kamille’s de facto guardian, knowing that his parents died within the first four episodes. Reccoa really shows her femininity when she slips into a major dilemma about joining the Titan army as she hear’s Scirocco’s voice calling her through space, and she almost seemed to have a romantic attraction to him.
    -Emma Sheen from the same series also displays admirable strength throughout the whole show. While she doesn’t display outward or extreme femininity at any particular point in the show, she hardly seems to be a “dude in a chick suit”.>
    Zeta Gundam from what I have heard is an odd duck. I have the Zeta collectors set sitting in my room unwatched. I just have to slog through the dub only Region 1 DVDs of the original show I own to get to Zeta. Either that or download fan subs of the original series.
    But back to the topic at hand. From what I heard of Zeta is it’s full of strong female characters and they abuses them like the red-headed step-child. It’s a depressed Tomino show so I think he abuses everyone but he really seems to go out of his way to kill off any strong female pilots in Zeta. It seems you can be a strong female character in the original Gundam and be a pilot. You just have to die for it.
    < -Ryoko Mitsurugi from Real Bout High School is perfect for my point, and the example I will use is from the manga. She is the star martial artist at her school, she can physically overcome any male in her school (YES! That is SO HOT!!!!!), and she seems to be an impenetrable wall of valor, never allowing herself to let a frightening situation get the best of her emotions. That is, until all of those uncried tears of the past come pouring out during her battle with Azumi Kiribayashi in volume 3. She escapes into the school building during the courtyard clash, locks herself in the girl’s bathroom, and proceeds to cry her eyes out for an hour. She finally accepted crying as a way to release pain rather than a sign of weakness, and in discovering this, she came one step closer to womanhood. >
    Well you can have some vulnerability and still be strong. It makes you real more than weak. But from what I remember of the manga she seemed a strong female character.
    < -The boy-crazy Azumi from the same series can be so girlish that at times it can be annoying. However, her uncrushable spirit makes her an excellent candidate for this list, and it really shines through in the beginning of the anime series, when she accepts defeat at the hands of Ryoko. >
    I never saw the anime so I will take your word on it for this character.
    < -Next is Mayumi Kino from Blue Submarine No.6. There aren’t any particular prominent scenes which display her femininity and strength; her general demeanor says it all. >
    The main problem with Blue Submarine No.6 is it’s a short OAV so you get less character development in general. You can project more into a character you see glimpses of. That on the other hand does not mean your wrong. I’m just curious if Blue Submarine No.6 had been a full-length series how she would have been.
    < -Select any character from the Tenchi series with XX chromosomes and you’ve got a bona fide strong woman. Tenchi simply wouldn’t have survived without them. And I shouldn’t have to give any examples of their femininity; just watch and you’ll see. >
    Well Tenchi is a wuss. Sakura from Sakura Wars and Mr. Burns look tough next to him. : )
    < -And finally, Twilight Suzuka from Owtlaw Star (GREAT show, by the way). Her bushido ways automatically give her an unshakeable spirit and undying strength and perseverance. Her femininity is gracefully expressed later in episode 23 (holy crap, 23 again! I hope Jim Carrey doesn’t see this post) when she takes a dip in the hot springs, and very girlishly revels in the fact that the hot water will do wonders for her beauty. >
    She is definitely a very good example I totally forgot about.
    < There, 10 examples. If these aren’t good enough, I quit! >_ >
    They are 10 very good examples. I once again tip my hit to another successful challenger.

  8. Jeremy Williams says:

    I suppose I should thank my lucky stars that Tomino-san didn’t direct Gundam 0080. I don’t want my sweet little Chris Mackenzie to die!
    You make a very good point about Mayumi Kino. I could see her breaking down under the pressure (HAHAHAHAW, pressure! Ya get it? ‘Cause they’re underwater? Oh nevermind) and turning to Hayami for emotional support, had the series been longer. But for the most part, she seems to be a tough cookie.
    Tenchi Masaki is NOT a wuss! He handed Kagato’s ass to him on a silver platter in the OVA AND television series! He took down about three dozen Jurai guards at the checkpoint in episode 19! GAAAAAGH!!!!! Oh well.

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