A Female Pervert in Anime/Manga?

Pudding from One Piece

You may have noticed that all of my ‘pervert character’ examples up to this point have been male.  The reason is because that’s typically the case.  I have been reading that the female pervert is starting to gain some ground, so I guess that’s a push for equality in some fashion.  I don’t know, but I do find it odd how this tends to only be one gender and nobody really wants it to be switched.  So, what are some things I discovered on the topic of the ‘female pervert’.

Aversion to Female Desire

From what I was reading, this is a cultural issue.  Again, we find this type primarily in anime and manga.  Male desire and lust is acceptable, but female desire and lust is something to be hidden.  That’s how people look at it.  There is some gray areas like women who hit on male characters, but it’s rarely to the extent of what you would see if the roles were reversed.  Groping is definitely off the table.  In fact, you see many of them ashamed of their desires.  Here is a perfect example:

In ‘One Piece’, there is a character named Sanji who is always hitting on female characters and asking them on dates.  He gets the love-shaped eyes and nosebleeds of lust that you see in the genre.  He goes pretty far with his declarations of love and is not afraid to show this side.  Later on, you run into a female character named who ends up having the same feelings.  She even gets the nosebleeds, but she is constantly at war with these emotions.  I will admit that there is a major plot reason for this conflict, but there’s a heavy level of shame here.

You Can’t Have Violent Consquences

I’ve mentioned that most male perverts receive violent, sometimes cartoonishly destructive, results from their antics.  You see them with beaten up faces, large lumps on their head, or laying in a pool of blood for a panel/scene before getting better.  This takes on a less comedic tone when it’s done to a woman even if she’s committing the same perverted acts.  Violence against women get used so much as a dramatic/disturbing plot point that the comedy side routinely falls flat.  This means a ‘female pervert’ will get away with things and probably only be yelled at.  It would be like telling a joke and the comedian pulls back on the punchline to the point where it doesn’t have the right impact.  After all, these characters are typically played for Looney Tune level laughs.

More Mileage Out of Tamer Acts

Communal baths, spas, and hot springs are very common in anime and manga.  They typically have these separated by men and women.  While the guys are trying to peep through holes in the divider, the women do two things.  They actively wait and undermine the guys, which is where violent retribution is doled out.  They also play with each other in scenes that show a comfort with nudity, but it doesn’t fall entirely on pervert.  It’s comparing bodies to talk about growing up or seeing who is more beautiful, which has no trace of desire.  There are times of playfulness with no sexual intent and the undertones are placed there entirely by the audience.  Doing this isn’t really possible if one of the characters is trying to get some action.  There’s no reason for it either because you get the fan service out of males with these scenes.  Why push into an area where you can destroy a character’s reputation when playful bath times with strategically placed steam clouds will work too?

People Don’t Know How to Do It

This might be the second biggest reason behind the ‘female desire is taboo’ reason.  I have yet to see the ‘female pervert’ done right.  The attempts end up turning them into, pardon the word, sluts.  Unlike the men in this category, the women tend to succeed in their pursuits because guys are fairly easy to seduce.  If a guy chases 100 women then it’s believable that they’ll end up alone.  If a woman chases 100 men then it’s not so believable, which changes the character dynamic.  A point of the ‘pervert’ is that they never get what they desire.  Not sure which gender gets the short end of the stick from this issue, but it’s what a lot of people believe.

There is a variation here that is a ‘female pervert’ trying to get another character laid and has no tact.  Again, we see that they have no personal desire or lust, but they are focused heavily on the sexual side of relationships.  This might be a safer version to go with because it takes on a matchmaker tone.  Still, many people might not like the push and find the character intrusive.  I will say that you can’t do this one very easily with a guy because male friendships tend to be more blunt.

So, we’re at the end of this week’s topic.  I’m sure I’ve lost some people and angered others over this.  Well . . . At least it’s out of the way.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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13 Responses to A Female Pervert in Anime/Manga?

  1. I found the subject informative since I haven’t really thought of it before. In my current WIP, the characters have an encounter with Lucifer. There can’t be a more perverted being than that. I took some clues from your discussion and hope I made the perversion believable. I enjoyed the discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think you should suffer followers or anger people. This is a human trait, even if it’s on the fringe. As authors, it gives us all something to think about. I think it would be easier to pull off with a female character. We see those wanton women characters all the time, pushing that envelope a bit further seems easier than begging forgiveness for our male characters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s interesting how it seems easier to pull off with a female character, but I’ve seen a lot of pushback. Recently I saw the argument that this is nothing more than a male’s lesbian fantasy. Mostly because the target is typically another woman. I’m reading a manga where one of the female characters enjoys sexually teasing a male character. It’s incredibly low key and the boy is made to look feminine too. It’s like finding ways to do it, but not.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Charles, you may be sorry you asked.

    Anime specifically tends to handle female sexual aggression very differently. There is a certain female type that will have especially large breasts and will dress provocatively. She will be advancing on a male, especially a younger inexperienced male, while thrusting out her bosom. The male will be extremely embarrassed and retreating. So this is a (borderline) villainous woman who uses her sex appeal as a weapon to get what she wants.

    Very seldom do you have a busty female lead who behaves like this.

    I don’t think you would see a male advancing on a female and… I don’t know if there’s a good comparison. Thrusting his hips? Perhaps flexing biceps. In any case, this would probably be seen as really over the line, threatening behavior, where the woman with her cleavage is merely humorous. I think also it would be shameful in a way for a man to do this to a woman, who is perceived as being socially beneath him. You could say it would be “punching down.”

    As to the bath house scenes, this is kind of like a locker room scene, where everyone is nude and can see “what you’ve got.” But you also have to bear in mind that usually the writers of these scenes are men, and they are writing what they are interested in — the comparative breast size. I can assure you, when women are in locker rooms we do not compare our breasts or comment on each other’s undergarments.

    But if we did, such a comment would definitely not be a casual conversation. It’s another (borderline) villainous form of female rivalry where one is trying to gain an advantage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I won’t be sorry. I’ve figured that most people are talking from a Western perspective and there’s going to be disagreements. Let’s see how the response goes.
      You’re talking about the seductive female and not the perverted one. It’s done primarily to cause the blushing and nosebleed effect. Calling her villainous is oddly extreme though considering that’s a pretty heavy one to use for every character who uses sexuality as a weapon. Now, the perverted female is closer to Chizuru in Bleach who would pounce on Otohime and fondle her.
      I disagree with there being female leads/heroes who don’t do this. Faye Valentine, Urd, The Major, Bloodberry, and many others use sex appeal and flirting. You might argue that these are not leads, but then neither is Jiraiya, Sanji, and Master Roshi.
      The male equivalent would be wiggling his fingers since they don’t do the hip thrusting. The pervert is always more about seeing and groping then sex. This is another reason why female characters can get away with more because many people believe that males wouldn’t see such behavior as bad. You can really do a lot to male characters in terms of sex that you couldn’t do to females because nobody truly cares. As you said, doing it to a woman is seen as punching down, but male characters are seen as deserving of it. You don’t always get the punishment side for a female pervert too.
      With the bath house scenes, it really isn’t that they’re men. Sailor Moon, Ranma ½, Inuyasha, Fushigi Yugi (very infamous), Magi (main loves big breasts), and many others are written by women. They include the bath house scenes because such a place is common in Japan. In the West, we don’t do this, so you can safely say women don’t do such things here. Yet, it is something that happens when teenagers are bathing together. Also, I’d like to point out that I have overheard teenage girls comparing breast size in public. Women might not, but teenagers doing it is completely believable and that’s typically who are doing it in anime/manga.
      I think you’re wrong on it being villainy too. It’s typically done with female characters comparing growth and showing discomfort with their own bodies. This is supposed to be the ‘guard is down’ moment and can be made ‘playful’ with certain character types. They do have a male equivalent in talking about height and muscle with it occasionally being about penis size. Now, do you think this is believable and women talking about their breasts in private is not?

      Liked by 2 people

      • “Doing it to a woman is seen as punching down, but male characters are seen as deserving of it.” Or perhaps men are seen as wanting it on some level, even if they protest or back away?

        So, let me tell you a true story from my teen years. I was at a pool party with my girl scout troop. One of the girls, who was sort of my friend, came up with this big grin and asked why my boobs were bigger than my older sister’s. I shrugged and jumped into the water, ending that conversation.

        This was when I began to know this sort-of friend was not really a friend. Her question was intrusive, meant to embarrass both me and my sister. It was not a normal question that would come up in conversation.

        Women do aggression differently than men. Please believe me when I tell you that I, a woman, regard boob-thrusting and inappropriate questions as aggression, and therefore (borderline) villainous.

        Please believe me when I tell you that girls and women do not usually talk about our boobs in the locker room. Someone who brings that up is trying to gain status over a rival. For women, that is aggressive behavior.

        With a character like Urd, you might say she is being aggressive for a well-meant reason — she wants her sister to be happy and thinks Keiichi is too hesitant. But giving Keiichi a love potion, as Urd does at one point, is not an appropriate action. That’s why I specify (borderline) villainous.

        I highly doubt that this is merely a cultural miscue. The world is full of messages that some people receive and others don’t. You, a man, might not recognize female aggression where I, a woman, spot it right away. Just as you, being Jewish (I think?) will recognize messages aimed at Jews that I, an agnostic, would not. And we both, being white, can miss messages that are aimed at Blacks.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The sad part is that many people (women in my experience) do claim that men want such treatment both in fiction or reality. In a time where people are saying ‘no means no’, it’s unfortunate to see that it doesn’t mean that when a man says it.

        But that was your perspective from your own experience, which I’m going to try and not minimize here. Here we have another issue besides cultural. We forget that not everyone reacts the same way. I remember a girl coming up to me during my teen years and asking if her breasts looked bigger than the week before. There were others that yelled at me if I was zoning out and they happened to walk in front of me without me realizing it. As I said before, I’ve heard conversations like you see in anime happen in public. These are done without sinister intentions and both parties are involved. You were uncomfortable, which it’s your right to be and that ends the conversation. If the characters in the anime are comfortable then it can continue, which the author has to make clear.

        Now for myself, I’ve been drawn into that awkward conversation about penis size. One friend started it because he was always a braggart, but it was never to be mean. I opted out and he let that go. We were friends for many years after that until we lost contact due to distance. He also matured out of that phase. I believe that it is a phase that can be grown out of for both genders because there’s that immature curiosity about sexuality that hits everyone at different levels.

        I believe you with the aggression, but I also know women who don’t see it as villainous. I believe you’ve never been part of that locker room conversation. I also know what I’ve heard teenagers talk about in public and, after asking a few female friends in private today, they have had that conversation with close friends. None of this was done to gain status over a rival, but you probably have a different experience and view. Some people simply have that kind of friendship and in anime it’s typically what’s shown instead of it being with strangers. Again, I believe what you are seeing you feel, but I also know women who don’t feel that way.

        I actually wouldn’t compare love potion usage to using sexuality. One is magically manipulative and steals the free will of the target while the other is manipulation without taking free will. Urd was always shown to be naughty and almost anti-hero like, but she still was listed as a good guy. If I was to say that she was doing it for the right reasons then Jiraiya being a pervert to make people mistake him for a fool and improve his chances of getting information can be said to be the same. Yet, people crucify him for it.

        I think it’s predominantly cultural differences. It’s actually a very Western thing these days to think there are social and racial messages everywhere. Still, you are kind of right in this respect since the ‘message’ with bath scenes is that it’s normal for Japanese culture. One can see these messages if they consider other point of views, but the challenge today is that everyone is getting offended for everyone else. People are hunting for these things and seeing them everywhere even if they’re not there. Not to mention if these things happen in real life then they shouldn’t be omitted from fiction. As a Jew, I don’t go looking for messages that only I can get, but I’ve met some who see them in the most ridiculous places. That’s why I have trouble putting such onus on these characters and scenes. I also think saying ‘you cannot understand because you are not in the correct group’ is a cop out. Authors should be able to bridge that gap and readers need to be able to comprehend it. If such a thing is impossible then there’s no point in even trying to write for any group we’re not a part of.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. A fascinating subject, approached with the right sensibility (and sensitivity). Not sure why you think you could lose readers over this but I’m glad to see that the comments were all very interesting as well.

    Like

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