Raging Rant: We Need More Attractive Mature Women

So after a whole bunch of posts bitching about pandering body types, waifu bait, the need for strong women and the like, I feel it is finally time to argue in the opposite direction for once.  Anime needs more hot milfs.  Now I’m being facetious insofar as the milf moniker is concerned, but in all seriousness I do feel that having some more hot adult women is something anime could benefit from for a variety of reasons.  Let’s start with the basics of the situation.

Anime is incredibly high school-centric, we all know this.  Hell I’ve even bitched about it before.  We need more shows that go beyond high school, and by extension we need more attractive adult women to go with them.  Anime has a habit of filling as many shows as it can with as many cute, attractive characters as it can, and on the whole that’s fair enough.  I might disagree with the methods used sometimes but I’m not against a cast full of hot women.  But like many stereotypical anime Youtubers, I’m a twenty something white guy, and I think we need more attractive female characters in the 20s-30s and even 40s range, because frankly I’m starting to outgrow the high school bullshit and with every passing year I get more removed from teenage girls.  This is not to say no attractive adult women exist, they certainly do, it’s just that there are so few of them in comparison to their 15, 16 and 17 year old counterparts.  Now I’m not so “mature” that I can’t find fanservice shows full of hot young women appealing, I’ve yet to outgrow that appeal by any stretch of the imagination.  But while some new teenage fanservice romps do catch my eye every now and then, those kinds of shows just aren’t as appealing to me as they used to be.  Part of that is on me for watching a lot of those kinds of shows, but another is just that I’m ready for something new.  In my rant about the abundance of high schools shows, I mentioned that I thought Golden Time made Toradora unwatchable to me, not because Toradora was bad, but because I could better relate to the characters in Golden Time, having been a college student myself when it first aired, and as a bonus I didn’t have to put up with Taiga’s tsundere bullshit.  Sure Koko is her own mess of crazy like Taiga was, but shes a different and much less explored kind of crazy, which would make her more interesting by itself.  And like Koko, hot adult women are relatively fresh compared to high school girls.  Part of this ties into making anime for an older crowd to enjoy but I’ve explained that before.  The problem with a many of the hot older women anime already has is that they usually aren’t focused on at all.

In To Love-Ru and Monster Musume for example, Rito’s mom and Mrs. Smith are both fairly attractive but they aren’t given much focus, or in Mrs. Smith’s case much of the focus put on her paints her in a negative light that makes the overall character less attractive despite her physical appearance.  This is not to say I want to see older women objectified or being forced into moe roles for the sake of the audience though, I was inspired to write this after watching this random Rokka no Yuusha AMV like a hundred times and thinking to myself over and over “you know I vaguely noticed this back when I was watching the series, but goddamn Maura’s hot.”  In case you never saw Rokka no Yuusha or have since forgotten it here’s a reminder.  Maura is the oldest of the Six Braves, the one who often assumes the position of authority based on her age, I think she’s in her 30s, her status as the leader of All Heavens Temple, which makes her the leader of all the Saints, and her power as the Saint of the Mountains.  The point I’m getting at here is that Maura is not some objectified girl with cartoonishly big breasts (though she does have those) and some kind of stupid moe quirk, she arguably has more agency and decision-making power than anyone else in Rokka no Yuusha and is kind of a badass to boot.  Also she’s really hot.

Anyway besides me understanding how hot one particular character is, the important thing I realized while watching that AMV was just how few characters like Maura I knew about.  Off the top of my head the women closest to Maura (by which I mean older, has agency and someone I found attractive) I could think of are, Rin from Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne, Tsuruga Meisai from Katanagatari, Kikyo from Inuyasha (she might be younger than I remember but either way she certainly seems older than Kagome or Sango so that counts in my book), Re-l from Ergo Proxy, Karula from Utawarerumono, Iga Oboro from Basilisk, Ren Hakuei from Magi, and Emma from Garo: Hono no Koukuin and that’s about all I’m coming up with at the moment, thought I’ve surely seen more.  I should also note this list is shrunken somewhat by my personal tastes, Balsa or Kusanagi fit a role similar to Mauras for example, I just don’t find those two attractive even if I love the characters because I am a flawed and shallow human being.  By comparison if I tried to list every attractive high school girl in the shows I’ve seen, even if all I did was list the name and show, that list would probably be one of the longest things I’ve ever written.  Incidentally most of those characters I just listed are the among the characters I find most interesting in their respective shows, and am interested in in general and there a few important reasons why.  Mature women have more going for them than just being fresh and new compared to the onslaught of high school moe girls.  See the thing about mature characters is that they tend to be a lot more complete, fully realized characters, hence the descriptor mature.  They also just usually have a more interesting life story by virtue of having lived longer and by having more interesting years of life to look at.

Society loves to romanticize the magic of youth and adolescence and that is totally fair, you really start to appreciate the freedom and fun of youth and adolescence after you start working 9-5, paying taxes, paying rent and dealing with all the other headaches of adulthood.  But this romantic portrayal forgets a couple of things.  For starters life before adulthood is far more uniform than life as an adult.  Sure there is a lot variety between individuals based on where they’re from, their race, religion, financial situation, interests, personalities and so on.  However, barring the difference between first and third world countries, we all follow the same basic template for the most part, we go to school from 8-3 five days a week and often do an extra-curricular activity like playing a sport or an instrument.  Within that broad generalization is plenty of potential for variety, but adulthood doesn’t even follow those same broad generalizations.  It’s expected for you to get a job in most places in the world, maybe you can still be a housewife if you’re a woman but women have been moving into the work force in growing numbers for decades, save when cultural and/or religious rules dictate otherwise.  But unlike kids, who are required to attend school or be home-schooled, adults don’t necessarily have to get a job, it just means you’ll likely end up homeless and will die sooner.  Likewise the idea of the 9-5 being the only job available is rapidly vanishing as Youtube and other internet related careers are providing people with all kinds of new job opportunities, in addition to more traditional non-9-5 jobs like self-employment and being an author.  More important than all of that though is agency.  In the real world children have limited agency in a strictly legal sense, whereas adults are allowed to do as they please within reason.  But what does all this have to do with anime?

One of the benefits of anime, for young people anyway, is that generally gives it’s high school characters the same kind of agency as adults and often removes adult oversight from the story by just having the kid live alone.  But even with that agency there are limits relative to adults, teenagers living on their own can’t legally walk into a bar and get wasted on sake for example.  Adults can do that kind of shit and that quite believably lends itself to character archetypes you can’t have in teenagers, like the alcoholic.  So adult characters can have a bit more variety without straining suspension of disbelief by mere virtue of being adults, this is a bonus.  However the true beauty of adult characters is the variety of life experiences I was describing in the above paragraph.  High school kids come with certain expectations that adults just don’t.  That’s why so many high school characters seem the exact fucking same, while adults can vary more.  Sure there are plenty of generic Caring Parent A type characters in anime, but get beyond those and you see a world of possibilities.  You can have literal hobos as main characters like in Tokyo Godfathers, you can have adults who feel lost and adrift despite having a normal job like the teacher from Kotonoha no Niwa (Garden of Words), you can have self-employed private detectives like Rin, you can have professional race car drivers, mad scientists, generals, fucking just about any kind of character and occupation you can think of.  This is half of what makes adult characters more interesting, their life stories can be totally different once they are out of school, hell even when they get out of school can be a difference between them.  But with high schoolers, even though they can have a lot of differences between each individual, they also have enough shared traits, activities and experiences that they can get stale faster.  And given just how many high school characters anime has already, for a lot of people, many kinds of high school kid characters are getting old and cliche.  By contrast adult characters have all the space in the world to be free and grow and we don’t have anywhere near enough of them.  But variety of characters is only half of the story.

More so than the variety of character types which adults can play, it’s the depth such characters can have that makes them truly appealing.  You can have some well realized and detailed high school kids too, but it doesn’t happen often.  But adult characters who do get a lot of focus usually are.  For example, earlier I mentioned a character called Tsuruga Meisai from Katanagatari.  Now I’m a huge fan of Katanagatari so it shouldn’t be big a surprise that I like a character from that show, but the reason I mentioned her specifically is because of her backstory.  Like many characters from Katanagatari, Tsuruga Meisai is only around for one episode but I found her to be the most interesting of Shichika’s (the main guy) opponents.  She practically radiated authority, had developed a strong philosophy that she dedicated herself to, ran a shrine that helped women who were victims of war and sexual assault, and had what I consider to be some of the most interesting conversations with Shichika in the entire show and it all came from her backstory.  Unlike the average high school character who has usually has one major event, person or hobby that defines most of their life and character, Meisai had a decades of experiences to draw from that turned into the person she is when Shichika meets her.  In fact, her story only really begins after she’s done being a “normal” teenager and starts living life with the agency and freedom of an adult.  When you put all of Meisai’s backstory under the spotlight and see how it weaves together and defines who she is in the story, what you have is a rich tapestry the likes of which a high school kid can’t really match up with.  Even the really cool and interesting teens like Layfon from Chrome Shell Regios or the Elric brothers from Full Metal Alchemist, just don’t come with the same kind of depth and detail that Meisai and characters like her have.

Look, the main reason I’m bringing this up is because to me, the ideal hot character is not someone who has a sexy design, huge boobs, moe or otherwise very feminine traits and  clothes that showcase her “assets.”  Now having any or all of those things can be a bonus and they can make a character look great, but for me the absolute priority is making the girl someone who I can appreciate as an individual, someone whose life, actions and relationships I can get invested in.  For me a truly gorgeous female character are the kind of women I was talking about in the long post about strong women, women who register to me as people first and foremost, and ideally as totally kick ass people.  Yes because I am a shallow and imperfect being (and therefore a normal human being), the trappings of big boobs, revealing outfits, and feminine traits do add to the appeal of characters.  There’s a reason I find someone like Maura a bit more attractive than someone like Balsa (you might be thinking it’s the difference in cup size and that is part of it, but it’s mainly the lips, I just can’t handle the Balsa-Kusanagi lips).  And the reason I want to talk about older women specifically in this this context is because I believe they have greater potential for being characters I can appreciate as people when compared to the average moe high school girl.  Not that high school aged characters can’t be drop dead gorgeous, I think Erza Scarlet pre-Fairy 2014 is one of the hottest anime women of all time for example.  But all the same I find myself impressed by adult women characters far more often than I do teenage girl characters despite their relative rarity.

So in conclusion, anime needs more hot milfs.  I think it would benefit the anime industry to be willing to try more original, nuanced, adult shows instead of making a SAO or AoT clone every season.  And in that same spirit I think we need attractive adult women to populate these new adult shows.  Or even if they just showed up in more traditional shows more often to shake things up, I think that would be good too.  I mean one of my favorite parts of Garo: Hono no Koukuin was when Leo and Emma hooked up after they both overcame their respective emotional traumas.  Even aside from the fact that we actually saw a show where the main character had sex, which happens way way WAY less than it should, it was just satisfying as fuck to see the two come together and heal each other’s emotional wounds.  And I think we can get more scenes and relationships like that, if we have more adult women involved.  It will be good for the medium from a creative standpoint, to work on new kinds of scenarios with a mostly untapped type of character.  It will be good for pandering fanservice too, I know I’m not the only twenty something anime fan wishing we had more hot adult women to appreciate.  And lastly, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it will be good for anime’s image.  There are a lot of non-otaku people in the world who are uncomfortable with and/or look down anime’s apparent love of little girls, made worse by merch like seuxalized full body pillows of said girls.  And while I like to have a “I don’t give a flying fuck about what other people think about me or my hobbies” attitude,  couldn’t we maybe, just maybe get some people to change their minds from “anime is weird and perverted” to “anime isn’t that weird or bad” or even “hey maybe I want to check anime out” if we had more adult women characters involved in making up anime’s image?  But whatever, having more hot adult women will be good for anime as an art form and may even contribute to sales for a certain niche audience, and in my book that’s a win.  So let’s have more milfs please.  Thank you for reading and I hope to see you in the next one.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Raging Rant: We Need More Attractive Mature Women

  1. Hello! Today is a good day! I agree with most of what you wrote. It is a shame that “fan service” was created with a certain Japanese population in mind and not created for those who appreciate real women!

    So this morning before work I read a great blog (maybe you read it too) by Daniel Sees. And in response I wrote a bit about our story and my research. Here is the link to his post and my explanatory reply/comment. Please check it out and follow the path. Then I’d like your honest thoughts. https://seeanimeondaniel.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/new-anime-sucks-fueling-the-argument-both-ways/.

    Like

    • Thanks for linking that post, it was a good read. However I don’t think our views align quite as nicely as you think.

      For one thing I’m not against fan service or otaku, in fact I consider myself an otaku and if anything this post is arguing we need more fanservice, just of a different variety. There are plenty of tasteless fanservice scenes and shows true, and I do wish we had less of those going around with every season, but I’m not quite as against those things as your comment implies that you are. Frankly I’d be thrilled if we got more worthwhile fanservice, provided it was centered around characters I could care about and get invested in.

      As for anime’s huge focus on teenage girls over adult women, I don’t think that’s necessarily an otaku problem. It probably doesn’t help that most otaku grew up watching so many shows which focus on teenagers and you could argue that non-otaku writers have a better shot at writing mature women characters, but sadly I think it has more to with business and anime cultural norms than anything else. High school based shows are a pretty safe bet from a financial standpoint, and the over abundance of high school shows is just sort of a bad habit which the industry has acquired over years of placing those safe bets. My frustration is really directed there, at the entrenched business practices and cultural attitudes that dominate so much of anime’s output more so than my frustration at writers who don’t try to write adult women, though I would certainly be thrilled if more authors did move in that direction.

      In any event thanks for reading my post, I hope you liked it.

      Like

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