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Do Female Mangaka Draw the Perviest Series?

The "MOST" is a pretty strong statement, but sure, women are total pervs.


 Kodomo no Jikan, drawn by a woman. But is it really pervier than stuff drawn by men?
 Kodomo no Jikan, drawn by a woman. But is it really pervier than stuff drawn by men?
So, the other day there was this really interesting piece on blog Anime Almanac (found via Simon Jones, sometimes NSFW) that posited that female mangaka draw at least as many ecchi series as men these days. Of course, that's hardly news to anyone who's ever opened up a copy of Shogakukan's popular shoujo manga anthology Sho-Comi, which can definitely hold its own against all the moe fanservice mags out there. 

 Screencap from the BokuImo OVA
 Screencap from the BokuImo OVA
(Seriously, look at some of their biggest titles-- Boku wa Imouto ni Koi wo Suru, aka "I'm In Love With My Little Sister," is about a dude in love with his younger twin, who starts out as a creepy stalker. It becomes "okay" when she decides she loves him back. Anyone who tells you that women aren't every bit as perverted as men on average is kidding themselves.)

But that's not the main point of AA's article: author Scott VonSchilling suggests that female-written ecchi works stand out more due to their "feminine touch," that "when you have a woman writing the story, you tend to get a much deeper and more dramatic plot" to keep the fanservice together.

I can understand the temptation for someone-- particularly someone who may not have picked up Sho-Comi, and has made his un-fondness for yaoi well-known --to instinctively think that way. But speaking as someone who reads through a LOT of shoujo manga, including those not cherry-picked for US release, and who has also read an awful lot of yaoi, I can tell you right now-- women are perfectly capable of writing shallow fanservicey crap. And some of it is still hiiiighly attractive. I promise. 

 Male-drawn Yubisaki Milk Tea-- That is ALMOST a Nipple on the Cover
 Male-drawn Yubisaki Milk Tea-- That is ALMOST a Nipple on the Cover
Which is not to say that the manga showcased, such as Kodomo no Jikan, doesn't have a strong story, even with its more questionable (underage) fanservice. Sex-heavy Chobits, by all-female team CLAMP, also has a darker plot below its chipper, pantyful exterior, too. But it's not as though men haven't been able to draw heavy-fanservice or outright pornographic series with interesting stories: Fate/Stay Night was an eroge with a remarkably complex story. Black Lagoon and Yubisaki Milk Tea are also male-written tales with their fair share of babes, panties, nipples, etc, as well as more in-depth characterizations and stories. And quite frankly, if you read through enough hentai manga, you'll find quite a few storylines more creative than your average mainstream manga amidst all the sex scenes (as well as plenty of plain-ol' storyless smut), written by both men and women.

In other words, men and women can all draw pervy content, and some of them can do so while also creating complex, layered stories and characters.

 Really? Chu-Bra's anime was pretty bad, but the MOST perverted/female-degrading out there?
 Really? Chu-Bra's anime was pretty bad, but the MOST perverted/female-degrading out there?
Now, as a regular hentai manga browser who has also flipped through the 2008 Queen's Blade manga, I'm not sure I can agree with VonSchilling classifying Kodomo no Jikan, DearS, Chu-Bra, and Ichigo 100% as the MOST "offensive, perverted, fanservice-laden, otaku-pandering, female-degrading manga of the past few years." But I'm sure some people wonder why women would WANT to draw manga that depict other women in such ways.  
 
EDIT: If you want another example of a manga by a woman that you might never expect-- have you ever seen the hentai anime The Rapeman? Its original manga was written by Keiko Aisaki, a woman, and drawn by Shintarou Miyawaki (probably a dude, unless that's a pen name). I can't believe both VonSchilling AND I managed to forget that one!) I've only watched the OVA, which I see as a dark satire, but clearly the concept is bad enough to many: the manga actually got mentioned in an episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit as one of the comics an oblivious dad let his teenage son read. 
 
But back on to the "why."

First, the obvious reasons: that content sells. Erotic doujinshi makes up a laaaaarge chunk of the sales at Comiket and I would imagine this carries over into the professional manga world as well. And I would bet that men buy more smutty manga than women (if only due to societal pressure-- I can tell you right now that as a woman I didn't even feel welcome in porn shops in Japan). 

And then, of course, there's another obvious reason: some women like being submissive, or like seeing other women being submissive.   Like men, why wouldn't these women draw what's attractive to them?
  
Moving into less obvious reasons, I'd suggest that some of the thought process behind it stems from similar reasoning behind yaoi manga: you can explore all kinds of things in fiction that you can't, or wouldn't want to, in reality. The most obvious example is something that shows up constantly in the mostly female-drawn world of yaoi, as well as plenty of shoujo: molestation, coersion, and rape. From there we move into a level of psychological theory I'm not entirely comfortable making sweeping generalizations on the matter, but it's clear that there are many women who enjoy men who are aggressive towards the objects of their affection-- in their FICTION. Surely this carries over in manga as well as in prose (see also: bodice-ripper novels, most yaoi fanfiction, and western counterpart slash fanfiction as well). 

So, what do you guys think? Do women write and draw better perverted manga than men? Why or why not? Do you think it's empowering or damaging to women in general, or neither or both?
Dream moderator on March 5, 2010 at 5:26 a.m.

Kodomo no Jikan was made by a woman? o_O
crusader8463on March 5, 2010 at 5:46 a.m.
Of course women do. I mean i used to think about sex a lot when i was a man, but after the sex change i got last week its like a flood gate has opened in my mind! All i can think about is sex, sex, sex and guess what? More sex!
 
Seriously though, I'm not surprised for all the reasons you mentioned in the article. I know that from the few females that i got to know well enough that they felt comfortable to talk to me about their thoughts, they where just as interested in the topic of sex and everything to do with it as any man would have been. I was actually surprised at all the kinky fetishes they knew about, and that they were interested in knowing how to learn more about them. 
 
I think a large part of the reason it comes as a shock to most people that women think like this is that even to this day, women are still seen as if they are supposed to be these proper Puritan people who would never think of such dirty things as sex. Most people still think women are made of sugar, spice and everything nice. To think that those same people could be sitting on the other side of the room thinking about how they would love nothing more than to be gang banged by the hockey team, use a strap on the size of their arm on someone, or a million other more perverse sexual things is just too much of a concept for them grasp.
jpmeyer1337on March 5, 2010 at 6:14 a.m.
They covered this is Bakuman recently when one of the editors at Shounen Jump pitches an ecchi comedy manga to Aoki.  Basically:
 
1) It's a paycheck
2) They still need to conform to male ecchi manga standards
3) It's still gotta sell
giaon March 5, 2010 at 7:19 a.m.
@Dream: Yes indeedy! Her name is Kaworu Watashiya, and according to Japan's Wikipedia, she is a woman. 
  
Might change your thoughts on the series, no? 
 
OH SHIT! I can't believe I forgot to mention RAPE MAN, a hentai manga drawn by a woman. *runs back to edit!*
XChileon March 5, 2010 at 11:46 a.m.
@gia:  That's Unbelievable considering Rape Mans plot, as they say the proof is in the pudding both sexes can be perverted.
wwfunderakeron March 5, 2010 at 11:59 a.m.
The reason i think it is, they know they have to sell the manga and the majority market user base is men. If they can sell there manga and make it successful thats great for them.
jpmeyer1337on March 5, 2010 at 12:02 p.m.
@gia: I've heard, although I can't confirm this, that the "woman" that drew Rapeman is actually just a pen name for the author.
Monkeynohitoon March 5, 2010 at 1:06 p.m.
Really guys, just imagine how you would think if you weren't a man and that pretty much covers the basics of how women generally think, everything else is case-by-case. All of the politics and posturing and inequality and nonsense just comes from people hanging too much weight on their own perceptions.

Throughout the Commonwealth and US, there's also a strong resistance to judging true merit behind 'offensive' content, rather deeming 'offensive' content to have no merit. So when this mindset is combined with preconceived notions of what a woman should find offensive, we end up with some other deliciously circular reactions to female creators; "Women are offended by the sort of offensive content this woman is creating, so the system must have some unnatural flaw."
MoonStormon March 5, 2010 at 5:25 p.m.
Woman or man people are people and what one finds sexy another will find perverted.
taotasticon March 5, 2010 at 6:34 p.m.
Women? Being perverted? Well I never--!  *clutches pearls* 
Next thing you know they'll want to leave the kitchen!
Dream moderator on March 5, 2010 at 6:54 p.m.
@gia: Still doesn't convince me to watch the series since I hear it's for the most part, a fan service/ romantic comedy fest. But after hearing Dance in the Vampire Bund actually has a decent plot despite its young-looking vampire character barely having any clothing in promo shots, I'm feeling tempted to give the series a shot and trying to mentally prepare for what I'm about to witness.
MissPandaon March 6, 2010 at 9:06 a.m.
Well , me (female) and by best friend (male) is writing "fanfics" (it's acturally our own oc's) which are...straight out, porn, and people tells me that mine are better :P
yuriconon March 8, 2010 at 8:46 a.m.
I think any discussion about writing based on the gender of the creators is inherently flawed. Neither men nor women write anything one way or another. Good writers write well, bad writers write badly and professional writers write what their editors tell them to. 
 
Cheers, 
 
Erica 
John_Martoneon March 18, 2010 at 5:02 p.m.
@yuricon said:
 Good writers write well, bad writers write badly and professional writers write what their editors tell them to.  "
Brilliant!
Ryokanon Nov. 4, 2010 at 9:16 a.m.
@gia: 
 Female writer are probably more perverted than man. 
 
Why ? Because of the double standard and their strange effect on the human psyche.
 
Men are pervert, everyone say it, everyone think it's true. So sex as a tough and art form is easily dealt in male mind, we aren't very rich on our fantasy because we don't deal very much with some kind of frustration.  
 
(And more of that, male aren't really imaginative... we're easily satisfied, our first main organ in sex is the eye...)  

Many people, in japan, europa or america social pressure push the woman to be the puritan they aren't. It's not always that open, and it's slowly changing, but still. 
 
It's a system of psychic resistance of the individual, they compensate for some lack of freedom in their existence : it's been proven than in any society, the more you squeeze on a subject, the more spectacular and wild it will be when the subject will be  bringed on the open. 
 
Now better than men...mmmh, it's more a matter of taste. I don't like many yaoi thing, or hentai stuff written by women, but I also dislike stuff drawed by men and I know by experience that fantasm of people of the same sex are more enjoyable than by the other sex. 
 
But it's my own experience, your mileage may varie on this.
   
cfatalison Nov. 4, 2010 at 9:38 a.m.
@Ryokan: my mileage doesn't so much vary that it is your pumped to the eleven
 
go to a manga site that allows tags
done?
check for the tags SMUT
see how many of those are josei/shoujo?
YEAH?

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