Being as voracious of a consumer as I am of mass media entertainment, there are shows that come along that gets you think about the shows you watch in general. We started watching Yamada’s First Time today, the new release from FUNimation, and it centers on a female high school student who has decided that it’s time to get it on with a guy. And with the way she views the world, she doesn’t want a confident and experienced guy because she’s afraid he’ll laugh and make fun of her for various reasons. So she ends up settling on a nice guy in her class who looks to be a virgin as well and begins her warped and confused aggressive approach to bed him so she can get her experiences going.
By the time I finished the first episode, the question came to mind of wondering what other anime series feature a character of similar age, or older even, that was actively looking for sexual experiences. Not love, not husband material or even a boyfriend on which to hang her hat, but rather someone that was just actively looking for sex. Even in questioning the folks out on Twitter, the responses were few and really didn’t fall into the same category as this series. And that made me wonder.
The old adage, which doesn’t seem to be quite true anymore, is that when women’s hemlines rise, so does the economy. Well, the economy is bad as it has been for several years and if you go by the way your average young woman is online, the hemlines are short to non-existent. Of course, you can take what you see online with a grain of salt as there’s plenty of falsified “natural” nudity moments and the like, but what we’ve seen since the age of the Internet is that both men and women are more outgoing sexually in showing their bodies. Whether it’s just looking sexy, showing some skin, doing artful material or just outright posting images of themselves or recording audio of themselves in the throes of passion, it’s far more accessible on the amateur level than ever before. Yet these kinds of expressions still haven’t made it into the media chain of entertainment yet. You do see a bit more aggressive stuff out in movies and broadcast television in the US to some degree, but it’s often associated with the woman being labeled as slutty or trashy. Which is also why there’s a growing subculture movement of young women coming up that are attempting to change the definition of slut to a more empowered version.
The reasons for this lack of material is pretty varied to be sure as you can easily cite concerns over the portrayal of girls that are hypersexualized (reality or not) and the kind of backlash that could come from it by people who aren’t aware of how the culture is changing. You also have to ask the question of the viewers themselves. We often in anime see young men being sexually aggressive and it’s played either as comedy or the character is just the type that would never actually get lucky as they’re the joke supporting character. As male viewers, most of whom do have urges of course, we tend to laugh and enjoy this characters and to some degree live vicariously through them as they have a sort of confidence (though not style) we wish we could emulate in real life, to have that kind of confidence to try and say things and let the chips fall where they may. But when confronted with a female character, how do we react?
And the same must be asked of female viewers. Do the male versions of this offend? Do they make you laugh and aren’t taken seriously? And should there be more shows or characters with female characters that are looking to enjoy the pleasures of sex?
And that’s today’s question for fandom. Check out the forum here for reader responses and join in on the conversation!