Portrayal of Female Characters: Reverse Harems

Reverse Harems and the Female Character

diabolik lovers

Reverse Harems, the source of overexcited fangirls mooning over the beauty of the male body and admit to it myself, we are all guilty of it. Call me a feminist or whatever you like, my beliefs on the portrayal of women in anime and specifically this case Reverse Harems are moderately strong.

But feminism is based on the idea that Women=Men, no more and no less, what our bodies are should not dictate how we are treated and if some of you lovely people have watched Emma Watson’s speech at the UN. She states that:’ If we stop defining each other by what we are not, and start defining ourselves by who we are, we can all be freer, […] It’s about freedom.’

But I’m not here to spout some political views or just perhaps overbearing beliefs haha, so what is the link to Anime you may ask? I am getting there, but I hope the above gave you a brief introduction as to what I am getting at. Because at the end of the day we all inhabit the same planet and go through the same 24 hours of the day. If you read on longer, you’ll actually realize I begin to diverge from this kind of view, I fluctuate on opinions a lot, what can I say…

 

Diabolik Lovers – Pros and Cons

Diabolik Lovers

Well I was going to focus on Diabolik Lovers specifically for this blog, so I apologize in advance if any fans will find this offensive. However, I will attempt to keep this to a bare minimum of neutrality… If I can. The show simply shows a girl called Yui being sent to a old house by her father, unbeknownst to her, this house is filled with vampires who are all ‘brothers’. So let me bring my complete and utterly honest opinion of this anime, it is the biggest waste of time I have ever spent on a anime, and was such a f-ing disappointment that I cannot even describe my intense feelings, nevertheless I shall try.

What remained poignant in my mind was the portrayal of Yui as the main heroine, her inability to strike out and escape despite being given the chance. But more so was the weakness that she showed as a main character and as a female. Being left in a house full of vampires is not a good situation fair enough, and at first I disregarded Yui’s character as I expected the plot to pick up as the anime went along, but upon reaching the 6 or 7th episodes my patience was running out. After all how many times can a character be bitten and sucked at in each episode, similarly I am not sure if it were just me  ur there were underlying themes of explicit sadism and masochistic themes, the first few episodes already exploited the female characters’ weakness. Paralleling this train of thought, could these subtle or should I say obvious hints suggest there are intentional themes of suggestive rape?

Anime is ultimately produced for the enjoyment of the audience which is apparently supposed to be 15+, likeliness of that being the general case perhaps not so much. And then there will be the general negative opinions that claim that calling Yui, bitch chan conveys a derogatory version of women. Furthermore, is Diabolik Lovers romanticizing the idea of abusive relationships through this media form.

Diabolik Lovers

Flipping the coin to the other side, many of us will actually propose that they cannot source where the anime is trying to get ate, and the plot seems rather thin and cluttered, there does not seem to be an immensely clear train of thought as to where the the storyline is going, and perhaps this is indicating that there is less emphasis on the plot and more about the overall theme. If we simplify the anime, to just involving the cold hard truth of how the ‘vampires’ treat Yui perhaps we will actually begin to see a greater depth.

Haha, it seems I’m being dogged by gothic beginnings lately, can’t escape it, I study it at school, watched documentaries on this matter and just recently visited a exhibition on gothic and terror literature no less than 2 days ago. If we cast our minds back to ‘The Vampyre’ written by Polidori, said to be based on Byron, a famous poet that was very much a ‘sex icon’ in history and his period of time (19th Century). Some claim that Polidori was responsible for transforming vampires as a folklore to the embodiment of a creature of elegance that preys on the weaker human race. Since the 19th century vampires have been seen as supernatural creatures that are both alluring and dangerous at the same time, feelings are not an aspect that is associated with them and this is rightly so. Linking this idea with the attitudes of the vampires of Diabolik Lovers, could it then be justified?

See, most of us see the surface meaning that Yui is a stupid little girl who has no will to fight back, but perhaps her meekness represents the meekness of a sheep, I don’t know, she reminds me of a sheep, and so is also a representation of prey, and vampires are more than the bane of humans, they’re intelligent and the ‘teasing’ seen on the anime is their form of playing with food. So could it all the sadistic themes just hint back to the cold reality of gothicism? Who knows? Because right down to the end, it all relies on intepretation. Either way, despite probably looking into the anime deeper, I am still unable to say that I am a fan, and I do partly blame the lack of storyline/plot because it was originally a otome game.

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Ginny T. UK.Surrey based/AnimeAmino Original blog.
Instagram: @gin.98