Japanese Red Cross under fire for using "overly sexualized" manga character in blood drive poster


Wait a minute…


“overly sexualized” manga character

This feels like tautology territory


Would it be churlish to mention that the insistence that ‘culture’ outranks any position of universal normative judgement is, itself, a universal normative judgement that explicitly denies any cultural traditions that include a belief in the value of universal normative judgement?

Because that might pose a problem.


It’s the artists’ (perhaps half-hearted?) nod to reality. :wink:

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Not all Manga is porn. There is most certainly a subset of manga that IS porn, but much like American comics, Manga covers a wide variety of styles and genres, everything from historical fiction, kids comics, romance, sci-fi, action-adventure, fantasy, slice of life, etc, etc.


I have always found the Japanese culture to be a little “weird” in their tastes when it comes to advertising. This does nothing to change my mind.

Yes, after all it’s their “culture”!

A university official told NHK that “it was concerned that a large increase in the number of women posed a serious problem for the future of the university hospital, because female doctors tend to quit after marrying or starting families.”

The points deduction was apparently aimed at keeping the number of female students at about 30 percent of the class or less, the media reports state. And it followed a regular pattern. The Asahi Shimbun, citing university officials, said, “A specific coefficient was used to automatically reduce the exam scores of all female applicants.”

NHK says the pattern started after the 2010 exam, “when the university found out that women accounted for nearly 40 percent of successful applicants.”

I fucking love Japanese culture. My household (and yours, and many others here) consumes an enormous amount of Japanese media via manga, video games, anime, etc.

I also know that Japan’s culture is just as misogynistic and sexist as ours, even more overtly so in some ways. It is entirely possible to love Japan without being blind to the sexism, racism, and forceful conformity of it’s people.


Oh, the usual “Japan is awesome and not as PC as America! This is not a big deal over there!” argument. Except, there are Japanese people who think this sort of stuff is not appropriate, they’re usually just less vocal about it because they don’t want to “stand out” by voicing an opinion that is sure to be unpopular because Japanese society on the whole is not any more “enlightened” or less sexist than America.

Being a woman, I’d be far less inclined to give blood at a place that’s trying to make men feel welcome and invited, but not me. (As it is, sadly I can’t give blood either way, so.)

TBH it would be typical Japanese logic to go “well, more men donate than women so we should focus on getting even more men to donate, rather than trying to encourage more women to donate”… And the funny thing is, it’s not like they couldn’t pander to female otaku if they wanted to. With the same amount of the effort required to put up a poster of hot anime girls, they could put up posters of hot anime dudes as well. With a little more effort they could design their own hot dude mascots, the novelty factor alone would bring women around to check them out, and at the very least they could walk away with more information on donating blood, and perhaps a resolve to donate… But I’m pretty sure they didn’t think this far. It was just “Tanaka-kun, get some funny shit on the wall for the otaku” “Sure thing boss, here’s a girl with huge knockers making a pervy face, lol”.


I don’t think they meant all manga is porn; just that Japanese comics have a tendency to sexualize female characters. They’re wrong and you’re right in that it’s not all comics by far, but just as Americans have superheroines with the most common superpower wearing leotards…

Exactly! They owe you some commission money!

More like, just as with American comics, Japanese light novels and manga also tend to assume that their readership is male, aside of works explicitly targeting women and women only. There’s been developments on this front in the past decades (after some breakout franchises in the '00s female otaku have been noticed for the buying force they are so there’s more and more stuff aimed at women, or include elements targeting a female demographics as well as male) but the male-as-default attitude is still very much in place.


Prior art!
Fair use exemption for satire!

Absolutely true. Being critical of culture often isn’t an outright rejection of that culture. Like any other culture in the world, Japanese culture is full of both good and bad things, and being either blindly admiring or blindly hateful of it does no one any good.


You have read American comics, right?

This is relatively common in many super hero women in American comics. But that does not speak to all comics even remotely.

Lots of Manga does not sexualize women, just like lots of American comics do not do that. The stereotype that all manga or anime is just sexualized women, funny, hair, and over the top violence can die in a fire.


Not to mention the stereotype that anime fetishises young girls, which does indeed happen but American comics have a long long history of doing exactly the same thing. Not only that they’ve also resorted to rape, sexual assault, etc as a plot device quite a few times by both villains and heroes. Criticism of some of the things we see in anime is fair but it’s good to be mindful that these problems exist everywhere, including the very things that we consume here in the US.

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It’s almost like the patriarchy is universal, but that can’t be right! Western culture is entirely free from defects! /s

But yeah, there are some deeply problematic anime and manga, no doubt. There is some fantastic stuff, even with real problems - something like Kill La Kill, for example, which is both attempting to discuss fan service AND benefit from fan service at the same time.


Man, do I love that problematic anime!

OMG, @Melz2! Literally no women look or stand in those ways!

Also, this:


The only reason i haven’t seen Kill La Kill is because i find some of the character outfits ridiculously questionable. From what i’ve heard the show itself is great but i still have a hard time getting over this

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And it gets worse than that! But I viewed it as them trying some critical commentary on fan service in general? But I think they sort of fumble the ball a bit. It is a great anime, though. I think the creators are just generally obsessed with nudity, because there was an episode in Gurren Lagan where they are in a bath house, so no naughty bits shown, but there is some nudity.