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Thread: What do you think of the way women are portrayed in OP?

  1. #921

    Default Re: What do you think of the way women are portrayed in OP?

    I think it's disappointing that such a great manga is so fatally flawed when it comes to females. There's a reason that it's difficult for girls to get interested in One Piece; all of the women are either bombshells or grotesque. This isn't realistic and really caters only to a male understanding of females. Nami and Robin are supermodels who have a very cliched role in the series. They're either nonplussed by the boys' silliness, damsels in distress, or straight-up eye candy. The other women are either monsters or unimportant side characters. The story is told through male eyes and there's not a ton for most girls to look for each week. That's not even addressing the "character designs" which are generally: head, enormous chest, no waist, enormous hips, long legs. All of the relatable women in the series have this body type...the rest are monsters or Lola (who's the butt of constant jokes).

    As a guy, I love One Piece. But I completely understand why many girls wouldn't see a reason to read it.

  2. #922
    Discovered Stowaway kouch_lee's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you think of the way women are portrayed in OP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabra View Post
    Is there a reason why no one ever mentions Hina when it comes to strong women in OP? I think she is badass and her DF has the potential to be extremely broken.



    And just to add some fuel to the fire...

    Spoiler:
    I actually really like Hina. I don't know why she's so underrated; she's freaking badass, and among others, she singlehandedly defeated Mr. 2, and we know that's no joke. I know that's far from being top tier, as she showed during the war during her only (failed) atempt to face Luffy (let's not forget Luffy didn't even hesitate one second to go Gear Second and get the fuck out of Hina's cage), but again, Mr. 2 is quite a formidable fighter, on par with Alabasta's Sanji.

    With the massive amount of characters Oda has in store to use in future fights or conflicts (like ALL the Vice-Admirals. . .and there are a LOT of them. . .), I don't think Hina will ever be relevant, but I think we'll see her again someday, if only because where there's Hina, there's also Jango and Fullbody, and I think Oda loves Jango as much as we do.

    That could be a great chance to give Hina a higher rank; not Vice-Admiral, but maybe Commodore or, who knows, Rear-Admiral. . .

  3. #923
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    Default Re: What do you think of the way women are portrayed in OP?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamsforsheriff View Post
    I think it's disappointing that such a great manga is so fatally flawed when it comes to females. There's a reason that it's difficult for girls to get interested in One Piece; all of the women are either bombshells or grotesque. This isn't realistic and really caters only to a male understanding of females. Nami and Robin are supermodels who have a very cliched role in the series. They're either nonplussed by the boys' silliness, damsels in distress, or straight-up eye candy. The other women are either monsters or unimportant side characters. The story is told through male eyes and there's not a ton for most girls to look for each week. That's not even addressing the "character designs" which are generally: head, enormous chest, no waist, enormous hips, long legs. All of the relatable women in the series have this body type...the rest are monsters or Lola (who's the butt of constant jokes).

    As a guy, I love One Piece. But I completely understand why many girls wouldn't see a reason to read it.
    From reading some of his interviews it's pretty clear that Oda intends to focus pretty much exclusively on young boys and that girls/older readers are just extras.
    So he doesn't care much about female readers, which is why he has a strict no romance policy. (Also I suspect this is the reason behind Sanji's increasing goofiness)

    I don't see why being nonplussed by the men's craziness is a bad or predictable character trait for one (and Nami clearly isn't)
    Also I think the whole "Oda can't draw varied normal female characters!" thing is (if only slightly) subverted by the Amazon Lilly arc.

  4. #924
    An Ordinary Crack Dealer MasterKingJC's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you think of the way women are portrayed in OP?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamsforsheriff View Post
    This isn't realistic
    Yeah, while I agree with most of what you're saying, this where I tilt my head. Because I thought it was already established that OP , for the most part, isn't a realistic series.
    And I think it's a little unfair to lump characters like Kokoro or Lola as monsters when they're both overall pretty nice characters.

    We can dance if we want to...

    Quote Originally Posted by krule274 View Post
    When does Oda ever clue towards anything? He's Mr. Unpredictable as it is so far. Not saying I agree with his crack pot theory either, but anything could happen.

  5. #925

    Default Re: What do you think of the way women are portrayed in OP?

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterKingJC View Post
    Yeah, while I agree with most of what you're saying, this where I tilt my head. Because I thought it was already established that OP , for the most part, isn't a realistic series.
    And I think it's a little unfair to lump characters like Kokoro or Lola as monsters when they're both overall pretty nice characters.
    Please let me be clear. I don't see characters like Lola as monsters. But I think it's clear that they're intended to be gross to the average viewer of this manga. Obviously the ultra-hot women aren't realistic either. That's exactly my point. Oda seems only able to make female characters that are eye candy or jokingly-ugly. There's very little room for real-looking (even by One Piece standard) women in the manga. I don't condemn him for it, but I understand why females can't relate to the manga sometimes.

  6. #926
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    Default Re: What do you think of the way women are portrayed in OP?

    Again I think you should look at Amazon Lilly for examples of women who aren't hideously ugly nor super models.
    But you're right in that it doesn't happen very often.

  7. #927

    Default Re: What do you think of the way women are portrayed in OP?

    Agree that you should take Amazon Lilly for example. There are many types of women there, maybe he just wanna make some women with more screen time hotter, while some other insignificant characters uglier, fatter or something. Oda can really draw women. ;) Not all of them are big boobs, eg. pre-timeskip Tashigi

  8. #928
    You and me, rendezvous? kappa-san's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you think of the way women are portrayed in OP?

    Ummm.. Queen Otohime anyone? She doesn't have huge boobs and acts like a refined woman who fights for what she believes in. How come no one mentions her? :-/



  9. #929

    Default Re: What do you think of the way women are portrayed in OP?

    Quote Originally Posted by kappa-san View Post
    Ummm.. Queen Otohime anyone? She doesn't have huge boobs and acts like a refined woman who fights for what she believes in. How come no one mentions her? :-/
    Because she's dead.

    Kaya had the same thing going for her when we first saw her. It's probably Oda's way of showing how frail she was.

  10. #930
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    Default Re: What do you think of the way women are portrayed in OP?

    Quote Originally Posted by kappa-san View Post
    Ummm.. Queen Otohime anyone? She doesn't have huge boobs and acts like a refined woman who fights for what she believes in. How come no one mentions her? :-/
    Good point. As was Bellemere.
    I don't think Oda's treatment of women is as dire as people think. Over-sexualizing of them is a fault, but failing to create strong-willed and independent women isn't.

  11. #931
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    Default Re: What do you think of the way women are portrayed in OP?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamsforsheriff View Post
    But I completely understand why many girls wouldn't see a reason to read it.
    I'm a girl and when I think about it, I can't see that big of a problem with how women are portrayed by Oda. Of course I'd be more than happy to see Hina, Tsuru or any other female kicking ass, but I understand they can't all the time, so I greatly value those rare moments when Oda choose to make them look awesome.

    The main thing people have to understand, is that we, women can't be as good in some things as men. The important thing is, as I said before, that every group has it's strong female characters (Marines - Hina, Tsuru; Warlords - Hancock; pirates - let say for example Whitey Bay, or Robin/Nami etc.). That in itself shows that Oda created a world where women are allowed by men to do "jobs" normally a man would do. Tsuru is very respected even though she's just a weak-looking, small old lady and probably never was a big fighter (although it's just me speculating), yet, she's a Vice-Admiral for a reason. Of course she may had got so far more difficult than a man, but she's there.

    The main thing a want to say is: Oda could've just tossed the non-main female characters into being housewifes and such, but instead, he choose to make some of them be outstanding and strong. They may be not as strong as men, but that's fine by me.

    That's just my overall opinion as a female reader of the series.
    Last edited by Nolus; March 7th, 2012 at 07:26 AM. Reason: Then again, I grew up on Doom II, Heretic, Transformers, He-man etc. So maybe I should be considered as a boy.

  12. #932
    The Antagonist DarkFalcon's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you think of the way women are portrayed in OP?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamsforsheriff View Post
    I think it's disappointing that such a great manga is so fatally flawed when it comes to females. There's a reason that it's difficult for girls to get interested in One Piece; all of the women are either bombshells or grotesque. This isn't realistic and really caters only to a male understanding of females. Nami and Robin are supermodels who have a very cliched role in the series. They're either nonplussed by the boys' silliness, damsels in distress, or straight-up eye candy. The other women are either monsters or unimportant side characters. The story is told through male eyes and there's not a ton for most girls to look for each week. That's not even addressing the "character designs" which are generally: head, enormous chest, no waist, enormous hips, long legs. All of the relatable women in the series have this body type...the rest are monsters or Lola (who's the butt of constant jokes).

    As a guy, I love One Piece. But I completely understand why many girls wouldn't see a reason to read it.
    Many people seeing how One Piece is drawn think it's ugly, and don't see the reason to read it, but that goes to male part of society as well and is also about how male characters are drawn.

    Being female I see plenty reasons to read One Piece and can't wait every week for new chapter to came out, I also have other female acquaintance who are the same as I. One Piece is also one of very few stories that have female characters I can actually relate to (mostly Robin). I, and probably most people, relate to characters based on their personalities, value systems (axiology), interests, quirks, history and likability, it's not about how they look or even about their gender. I may not be always 100% happy with the way Oda shows the women visually (he sometimes lack harmony of proportions when it comes to picturing beautiful women it makes them less aesthetic, than they could be) , but he makes it up in therms of chara-designs, diversity, relationships and relevance.
    I don't agree with you statement about them having only stereotypical roles. People already pointed it out, it would be only multiplying examples.

    When Oda stated that he writes for young teenage boys and boys don't like romance, he probably was making excuse for not including romance (mushy stuff, not actual romance or so calles "man's romance" - One Piece is radiating with those two), I think Oda himself just don't like writing mushy stuff, plenty of teenage boys like romance (mushy one) if it's comedic and adventurous, on the other hand plenty older people and girl don't like or don't care for romance (lavu-lavu). One Piece is not for teenage boys, One Piece is for everyone, who loves true romance of adventure (and good laugh), be it boy, girl, gay or grandma. Oda just thought most of those people would be teenage boys, so he stated he writes for them. That does not mean audience of One Piece consist mostly of boys in their early teens.

  13. #933

    Default Re: What do you think of the way women are portrayed in OP?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamsforsheriff View Post
    As a guy, I love One Piece. But I completely understand why many girls wouldn't see a reason to read it.
    I'm female and personally when I read stories look more for interesting character personalities, I know it's sometimes really hard for guys to draw girls and vice-versa, so I'm not annoyed with the designs. I disagree that most of them are stereotypical or even only there to be eye-candy for guys. I also disagree on you with Nami and Robin because a navigator or historian isn't exactly usually associated with women, rather can be both genders if you ask me. Nami is also arguably one of the more important members of the crew because without her guidance they would be pretty screwed seeing how crazy the Grand Line's weather can be. Robin is smart and her backstory is probably one of the best ones in the series, but she's not the strongest fighter. Hancock might be a bitch, but she balances it out by being a strong fighter. Even if Perona is obnoxious and spoiled, she isn't stupid or weak. Dadan might be ugly, but as a mountain bandit she can kick ass when needed and grows to care for Ace and Luffy. Shirahoshi might be naive, weak and cowardly, but she is a nice person, who wants the best for everyone and wishes to become stronger etc..

    tl; dr most of the female characters are characters first and foremost(and very well balanced, too!) despite their occasional stereotypical powers or looks and that's what is important to me.
    Last edited by Kizuchan; March 7th, 2012 at 11:12 AM.

  14. #934

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    This is a nice discussion! I think the new clothing just crossed the threshold of tolerance for some people. I'm male and I find it annoying because the characters are already rich with personality that showing skin isn't really necessary. I'm trying to tell my girlfriend (who isn't familiar with manga) how awesome op is but she just gets distracted by her first impression of the characters. In this way, I think the less clothing is taking away from the manga.

    I agree that the female characters are diverse and have good personality that isn't stereotypical. But I also get this underlying feeling that the female characters mainly support the main actors (male). There doesn't seem to be a female character influencing the world in a major way (the only one I can think of is big mum). It could be that the guy to girl ratio in this manga is just 3:1 though. Just my two cents on a new forum =)

  15. #935

    Default Re: What do you think of the way women are portrayed in OP?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamsforsheriff View Post
    I think it's disappointing that such a great manga is so fatally flawed when it comes to females. There's a reason that it's difficult for girls to get interested in One Piece; all of the women are either bombshells or grotesque. This isn't realistic and really caters only to a male understanding of females. Nami and Robin are supermodels who have a very cliched role in the series. They're either nonplussed by the boys' silliness, damsels in distress, or straight-up eye candy. The other women are either monsters or unimportant side characters. The story is told through male eyes and there's not a ton for most girls to look for each week. That's not even addressing the "character designs" which are generally: head, enormous chest, no waist, enormous hips, long legs. All of the relatable women in the series have this body type...the rest are monsters or Lola (who's the butt of constant jokes).

    As a guy, I love One Piece. But I completely understand why many girls wouldn't see a reason to read it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nolus View Post
    I'm a girl and when I think about it, I can't see that big of a problem with how women are portrayed by Oda. Of course I'd be more than happy to see Hina, Tsuru or any other female kicking ass, but I understand they can't all the time, so I greatly value those rare moments when Oda choose to make them look awesome.

    The main thing people have to understand, is that we, women can't be as good in some things as men. The important thing is, as I said before, that every group has it's strong female characters (Marines - Hina, Tsuru; Warlords - Hancock; pirates - let say for example Whitey Bay, or Robin/Nami etc.). That in itself shows that Oda created a world where women are allowed by men to do "jobs" normally a man would do. Tsuru is very respected even though she's just a weak-looking, small old lady and probably never was a big fighter (although it's just me speculating), yet, she's a Vice-Admiral for a reason. Of course she may had got so far more difficult than a man, but she's there.

    The main thing a want to say is: Oda could've just tossed the non-main female characters into being housewifes and such, but instead, he choose to make some of them be outstanding and strong. They may be not as strong as men, but that's fine by me.

    That's just my overall opinion as a female reader of the series.
    Quote Originally Posted by DarkFalcon View Post
    Many people seeing how One Piece is drawn think it's ugly, and don't see the reason to read it, but that goes to male part of society as well and is also about how male characters are drawn.

    Being female I see plenty reasons to read One Piece and can't wait every week for new chapter to came out, I also have other female acquaintance who are the same as I. One Piece is also one of very few stories that have female characters I can actually relate to (mostly Robin). I, and probably most people, relate to characters based on their personalities, value systems (axiology), interests, quirks, history and likability, it's not about how they look or even about their gender. I may not be always 100% happy with the way Oda shows the women visually (he sometimes lack harmony of proportions when it comes to picturing beautiful women it makes them less aesthetic, than they could be) , but he makes it up in therms of chara-designs, diversity, relationships and relevance.
    I don't agree with you statement about them having only stereotypical roles. People already pointed it out, it would be only multiplying examples.

    When Oda stated that he writes for young teenage boys and boys don't like romance, he probably was making excuse for not including romance (mushy stuff, not actual romance or so calles "man's romance" - One Piece is radiating with those two), I think Oda himself just don't like writing mushy stuff, plenty of teenage boys like romance (mushy one) if it's comedic and adventurous, on the other hand plenty older people and girl don't like or don't care for romance (lavu-lavu). One Piece is not for teenage boys, One Piece is for everyone, who loves true romance of adventure (and good laugh), be it boy, girl, gay or grandma. Oda just thought most of those people would be teenage boys, so he stated he writes for them. That does not mean audience of One Piece consist mostly of boys in their early teens.
    @ Adams: I was going to tell you to stop white knighting but maybe you should just read a few of the female response after your post and in this thread. The Females, seemingly at large, are fine with how women are portrayed in this manga and wait ecstatically like the rest of us each week for more.

  16. #936

    Default Re: What do you think of the way women are portrayed in OP?

    Recently, I thought Tashigi's reintroduction was insanely badass(even more than Zoro). I am really excited to see her eventual fight with Zoro. 90 percent of the fans think Zoro will win by a landslide, I don't think that will happen because she is as spirited and stuborn as Zoro.

  17. #937

    Default Re: What do you think of the way women are portrayed in OP?

    I think in a lot of ways the amount of skin shown (which is steadily increasing throughout the series), is a detractor to One Piece. Just look at the beginning of the series (Buggy and AP arcs), and tell me that Nami's design is better now than it was then...I think most people would prefer the "old" Nami from way back. Elfin Lied is an anime series where this was a problem, it is an excellent series with a great story and really pulls at your heartstrings at times, but because there is so much nudity, it is hard to take it seriously.

  18. #938
    The Antagonist DarkFalcon's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you think of the way women are portrayed in OP?

    Personally I like when Nami is wearing the bikini top, she looks good in it, especially she wears really cute one right now, on the other hand when all she is wearing is bikini top it gets boring eventually. I'm not bothered with reviling clothes on females, but it also ads nothing to the series. But it's only mu opinion. And for Nami's current design, she is pretty with long hair.

  19. #939

    Default Re: What do you think of the way women are portrayed in OP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kizuchan View Post
    I'm female and personally when I read stories look more for interesting character personalities, I know it's sometimes really hard for guys to draw girls and vice-versa, so I'm not annoyed with the designs. I disagree that most of them are stereotypical or even only there to be eye-candy for guys. I also disagree on you with Nami and Robin because a navigator or historian isn't exactly usually associated with women, rather can be both genders if you ask me. Nami is also arguably one of the more important members of the crew because without her guidance they would be pretty screwed seeing how crazy the Grand Line's weather can be. Robin is smart and her backstory is probably one of the best ones in the series, but she's not the strongest fighter. Hancock might be a bitch, but she balances it out by being a strong fighter. Even if Perona is obnoxious and spoiled, she isn't stupid or weak. Dadan might be ugly, but as a mountain bandit she can kick ass when needed and grows to care for Ace and Luffy. Shirahoshi might be naive, weak and cowardly, but she is a nice person, who wants the best for everyone and wishes to become stronger etc..

    tl; dr most of the female characters are characters first and foremost(and very well balanced, too!) despite their occasional stereotypical powers or looks and that's what is important to me.
    I think your input is highly underrated.

    There really isn't anything to argue against, but I will agree with almost every point you have said.

    The thread seems to focus too much on female empowerment, rather than feminism or female equality. It's clear that Oda isn't exactly a feminist, although he's seems to be cool with feminism. Females are still vastly under-represented, and the manga in general focuses on masculine dreams. Robin and Nami may be atypical female characters in what they do, but they are still fan-service/eye-candy. Hancock is definitely not feminist, since she personifies female supremacy, rather than equality. If a woman is not stereotypical eye-candy, Oda tends to draw the woman as deformed (gonky), although there are rare exceptions. That kind of puts a all-or-nothing standard on the perception of women. I can see that men could be interpreted the same way, except it isn't because men have more variation in body figure. In addition, all the variation of female figures belong only to background characters, rather than main, supporting, or "famous" characters.

    It's questionable, however, to have feminist idealism take hold in the manga, since Oda clearly wants to model global culture in One Piece after current international culture (or maybe just Tokyo culture). Deviant cultures seem to just be modeled after Japanese and American film and television, or from more traditional Japanese culture, so that Japanese readers can easily relate to the manga. The target audience is adolescent boys and young men afterall.

  20. #940

    Default Re: What do you think of the way women are portrayed in OP?

    Quote Originally Posted by igetownd View Post
    It's questionable, however, to have feminist idealism take hold in the manga, since Oda clearly wants to model global culture in One Piece after current international culture (or maybe just Tokyo culture). Deviant cultures seem to just be modeled after Japanese and American film and television, or from more traditional Japanese culture, so that Japanese readers can easily relate to the manga. The target audience is adolescent boys and young men afterall.
    I honestly don't think Oda thinks about these things so much, not just about how women are treated, but themes in general. He just wants to tell an adventure story. In the back of Color Walk 2 he says he doesn't want to send messages, but rather puts themes in the manga and tries his best to find awnsers that are suitable to the questions he sets up. He also repeated that in a recent interview about the heavy themes of Fishman Island. Man, I really love stuff that gives insight to any story like that, haha. You don't get that with many manga, from what I've noticed.

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