Why are there almost no bad ass women in Shounen?

Mutant1988

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If you want mature story and characters it's Seinen you should be looking for.

Johnny Novgorod said:
Because it's aimed at young boys. I'm sure there are exceptions though.
Probably tons. Probably a lot of it specifically for fan-service. But what do you expect when it's specifically made for a early teen male demographic?

Isn't Attack on Titan shounen as well? I could swear it originated from a magazine for that demographic at least.

Honestly, that whole division is just kinda arbitrary. It's not a genre. It's just an approximate demographic and doesn't really tell you much of anything of the works it's applied to.

Well, except for common trends.
 

PointlessKnowledge

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A good chunk of the cast of Mahou Sensei Negima and its sequel series UQ Holder are badass women.
 

Mutant1988

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KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime said:
Partially because of a huge female empowerment movement that has a loud minority that's agenda is marginalizing men in favor of women.
Man, it must be so rough for you to have your world, that's been giving your gender an advantage throughout all of history, shaken so violently.

Whenever will it stop!
 

EbonBehelit

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KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime said:
There's a bit of stress in Japan at the moment because of a perceived issue with homosexuality and transgenderism among young men, which is causing panic about their low birth rates. So any strong female characters in a series for boys adolescent to teen and young adult are gonna get shouted at by the Japanese MRA types.
...and then there's One Piece - the biggest manga ever in Japan - where there's an entire nation of transvestites & transgender people that's ruled by a literal gender-bender.

On-topic though, it's not actually super rare to see badass women in Shounen: it's rare to have them be badass without being super sexualised as well. I mean, even Fairy tail's resident female badass Erza turns fan-servicey when she powers up.
 

Tatsuki

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I started reading and watching Bleach and you may be surprised Tatsuki became my favorite character quite quickly. No nonsense female character who kicks at least five different flavours of ass. Then I find out the writers don't invite her to the water cooler to discuss the power creep they are going to add in and she gets left out completely, kinda sucked for me.

Then persona happened and I got Chie, that will have to do.
 

Sniper Team 4

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GhostHunter said:
*Spoiler Warning*

You left out Hinata from Naruto Shippuuden, she get a solid hit on Pain, and is equal or at least very close to Neji (a child prodigy) by the end.
Agreed, but I think Hinata suffers from the same thing that the O.P. is talking about. She gets sidelined, like so many other female characters, not just in Shounen, but in lots of manga and anime. So many times I've wanted to see what the female characters of a certain series could do. When Android 18 joined the good side in DBZ, I was super excited because we'd finally have a good female fighter. Instead, she has a baby and doesn't do jack anymore, despite being stronger than a Super Saiyan. Hinata, after having her moment in the sun against Pain, stops existing in the storyline for what felt like forever. It was like she confessed her love and so her storyline is over and we're not going to even mention what she said, despite it being kind of important. And don't even get me started on Tenten, who is literally in the manga to provide narration on fights, despite having insane ability.

PointlessKnowledge said:
A good chunk of the cast of Mahou Sensei Negima and its sequel series UQ Holder are badass women.
Wait, WHAT?! Negima has a sequel?! Does it address the horrible rush ending of Negima?! And more importantly, how come I'm just hearing about this now?! I must look into this.
 

Lupine

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Sniper Team 4 said:
GhostHunter said:
*Spoiler Warning*

You left out Hinata from Naruto Shippuuden, she get a solid hit on Pain, and is equal or at least very close to Neji (a child prodigy) by the end.
Agreed, but I think Hinata suffers from the same thing that the O.P. is talking about. She gets sidelined, like so many other female characters, not just in Shounen, but in lots of manga and anime. So many times I've wanted to see what the female characters of a certain series could do. When Android 18 joined the good side in DBZ, I was super excited because we'd finally have a good female fighter. Instead, she has a baby and doesn't do jack anymore, despite being stronger than a Super Saiyan. Hinata, after having her moment in the sun against Pain, stops existing in the storyline for what felt like forever. It was like she confessed her love and so her storyline is over and we're not going to even mention what she said, despite it being kind of important. And don't even get me started on Tenten, who is literally in the manga to provide narration on fights, despite having insane ability.

PointlessKnowledge said:
A good chunk of the cast of Mahou Sensei Negima and its sequel series UQ Holder are badass women.
Wait, WHAT?! Negima has a sequel?! Does it address the horrible rush ending of Negima?! And more importantly, how come I'm just hearing about this now?! I must look into this.
As far as DBZ goes, I'd argue that power creep killed it for any and everyone that wasn't a Saiyan. So much so that I as a fan of the actual Z fighters found myself furious after the Frieza saga. I mean Tien, Yamcha, and Piccolo all go to be trained by King Kai and not only do we really not see any of that training, we don't even later get to see them fight showing off anything they might have learned.

Heck it gets even worst for me as Piccolo is one of my favorite characters and he gets to be awesome again after the fusion with Kami, yet immediately following one and a half battles transformation/power creep makes him useless again! That is the thing that makes me furious with DBZ in general that if you aren't a Saiyan then suddenly you don't have anything to contribute anymore and it isn't like most of the Z fighters just stopped training. Tien is obviously still training, Piccolo would never stop, and heck even Krillin complete with family has 18 to spar against. If anything the two of them should have both been getting stronger, but nope...all Vegeta and Goku, no one else gets any development and even now Akira Toriyama is fighting to kill the dragon he created with SSJ levels and isn't having a fun time of it because of the "instant power-up" nature of it.
 

astrav1

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Dansen said:
Recently I was challenged to think of how many tough female fighters I could think of in shounen. Not women who hold power in other forms, Im talking about fighters. The results were dismal:

Hawkeye(FMA), Olivier Armstrong(FMA), Pitou(HxH), Sui-Feng(Bleach), Morgiana(Magi) and maybe Tsunade(Naruto)

Is it really only because the genre is meant to appeal to boys, and boys cant handle seeing a strong woman? I refuse to believe that. Perhaps their is sexism in the industry, which you can pick up on from some undertones in anime. Or is it just easier to follow the status quo? It just seems like most female characters are relegated to the side so that they can cheer on the male protagonist. If they have any sort of abilities they typically are of a supporting nature, most often represented as being a healer. It gets old. Let them do something cool.

Im not saying that every series needs to fill out a female quota or anything, it would just be nice to break up some of the formulaic stuff once in a while. What are your thoughts on this and what other badass women would you add to the list.
Clearly you've never watched fairy tail. I highly recommend it. Long running and always good.
 

Areloch

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Dansen said:
Recently I was challenged to think of how many tough female fighters I could think of in shounen. Not women who hold power in other forms, Im talking about fighters. The results were dismal:

Hawkeye(FMA), Olivier Armstrong(FMA), Pitou(HxH), Sui-Feng(Bleach), Morgiana(Magi) and maybe Tsunade(Naruto)

Is it really only because the genre is meant to appeal to boys, and boys cant handle seeing a strong woman? I refuse to believe that. Perhaps their is sexism in the industry, which you can pick up on from some undertones in anime. Or is it just easier to follow the status quo? It just seems like most female characters are relegated to the side so that they can cheer on the male protagonist. If they have any sort of abilities they typically are of a supporting nature, most often represented as being a healer. It gets old. Let them do something cool.

Im not saying that every series needs to fill out a female quota or anything, it would just be nice to break up some of the formulaic stuff once in a while. What are your thoughts on this and what other badass women would you add to the list.
I'm offended you mentioned Hawkeye and Olivia, but left out Izumi. The single most amazing character in FMA if you want to talk about fighting skill.

But yes, while the male characters - who are usually the main characters - get top billing and exposure in terms of who you see in advertisements, it's actually incredibly easy to find amazing female characters in shonen series. And many times they vastly outshine the males in at least one aspect.

Probably the biggest protential issue here is one others have mentioned - female characters show up, are awesomely hardcore, and then powercreep overtakes them. However, that's not exclusive to female characters. The longer the series goes, the more likely it is to scrub out good characters due to powercreep.

If I were to list all the ones I know, it'd be a very long list indeed, haha. Ones from Fullmetal were stated, The Major was mentioned from GitS, though I would also point out the ex-russian agent - Cruzkowa - in the Captivated episode, who was only caught due to political machinations but dang near got away even from Section 9.

Several characters from Naruto, Bleach and One Peice were awesome but powercreep has overtaken a majority of the cast, let alone the female characters.

One poster mentioned Lacus, which pleases me greatly. She didn't really do much in the way of fighting, but she was a political and diplomatic powerhouse that shaped a lot of happened in the show.

I forget the name of the anime off the top of my head, but it's a relatively recent one. The main female lead uses her poisoned blood to create swords out of it to hunt and kill monsters.

Speaking of blood, Blood The Last Vampire had a female lead that hunted vampires better than pretty much everyone else.

Speaking of vampires, you have Hellsing, with Integra being one of the most insane characters in the show because she could handily, personally lay the smackdown on vampires while being a totally normal human, and is the only person with the willpower to boss around THE vampire, Alucard.

So on and so forth. So like said, just because the male characters tend to get more exposure in advertisements, finding bad-ass female characters is actually very easy.
 

Ishigami

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Claymore? - It's almost only women due to some story reason that men were uncontrollable... and no it's not some fancy fan service bullshit like Freezing.
It is some modest (for anime/manga anyway) serious shonen featuring about? I don?t know about 30 or something female fighting badass characters.

3x3 Eyes. Pai kicks some ass and some more when she is a Sanjiyan. And Houasyou is just simply awesome.
It the best shonen out there well at least until volume 30 or something then it gets some really crappy volumes?
 

PointlessKnowledge

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Sniper Team 4 said:
Wait, WHAT?! Negima has a sequel?! Does it address the horrible rush ending of Negima?! And more importantly, how come I'm just hearing about this now?! I must look into this.
Sadly, it does not.

You get a huge time skip, with a new cast with Evangeline as the big good.
 

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime

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Mutant1988 said:
KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime said:
Partially because of a huge female empowerment movement that has a loud minority that's agenda is marginalizing men in favor of women.
Man, it must be so rough for you to have your world, that's been giving your gender an advantage throughout all of history, shaken so violently.

Whenever will it stop!
Oh yeah you're not talking to a transgendered person after all? Oh wait... YES YOU ARE! I've had no advantage because I identify as female yet am biologically male. Being in the middle I consistently get the worst of both sides!

But as it stands there are currently more double standards against males(by biological standards) of any description than females. I'm not saying men have it worse. What I am saying is there is a loud minority that shames males for being born male and that's where my complaint is. I have no problem with empowering females what so ever, none. Why do men have to get marginalized at the same time? Why can't male and female characters stand shoulder to shoulder? Why does one side always have to belittle the other? That's my complaint.
 

DrOswald

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I just think you are plain wrong.

I don't really watch shounen and I don't care about shounen, but even what little I know about shounen I know that there are plenty of bad ass women all over the place. Usually the main character is a dude, but beyond that there are usually plenty of bad ass female fighters around. I mean, I watched only parts of Bleach and I am pretty sure there are dozens of bad ass women in there. I don't even know most of their names, but I can picture at least 10 of them. Among the soul society alone there is cat lady, cat lady's pupil, that zombie girl, the lady with the braid, the lady that always is showing off her massive cleavage, the lady with only 1 arm that has a giant cannon, rukia, and several others I am not going to bother mentioning. Then there are I think 3 women among the people that teach Ichigo to use his mask, among the hueco mundo there is that goth girl, the little girl that turns back and forth into a busty amazon, that one lady whose shirt covers more of her face than her breasts, and those are just some of the bad ass women I can think of off the top of my head. Seems like a lot of them to me.

Also, I guess FMA counts as shounen? That has plenty of bad ass women. I mean, we got at least the bros mentor lady (btw, doesn't she like have no internal organs or something?) who is consistently portrayed as bad ass, we got lust, we got hawkeye. And probably some more that I don't know.

I mean, there are more bad ass men than women, sure, but that does not mean there are very few bad ass women. These shows have to get the sexy in there somehow, and that is typically with a bad ass woman.
 

Mister K

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Boys can handle "badass" female characters, but it's not what boys under, hmm, 14 actually want see drawn. It is a horny age, to be honest. We all grow out of it. Sometime. Hopefully.
 

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime

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DrOswald said:
I just think you are plain wrong.

I don't really watch shounen and I don't care about shounen, but even what little I know about shounen I know that there are plenty of bad ass women all over the place. Usually the main character is a dude, but beyond that there are usually plenty of bad ass female fighters around. I mean, I watched only parts of Bleach and I am pretty sure there are dozens of bad ass women in there. I don't even know most of their names, but I can picture at least 10 of them. Among the soul society alone there is cat lady, cat lady's pupil, that zombie girl, the lady with the braid, the lady that always is showing off her massive cleavage, the lady with only 1 arm that has a giant cannon, rukia, and several others I am not going to bother mentioning. Then there are I think 3 women among the people that teach Ichigo to use his mask, among the hueco mundo there is that goth girl, the little girl that turns back and forth into a busty amazon, that one lady whose shirt covers more of her face than her breasts, and those are just some of the bad ass women I can think of off the top of my head. Seems like a lot of them to me.

Also, I guess FMA counts as shounen? That has plenty of bad ass women. I mean, we got at least the bros mentor lady (btw, doesn't she like have no internal organs or something?) who is consistently portrayed as bad ass, we got lust, we got hawkeye. And probably some more that I don't know.

I mean, there are more bad ass men than women, sure, but that does not mean there are very few bad ass women.
The problem that there is a power creep. If you follow something you'll generally find that main characters who are usually male essentially always reach higher power plateaus than females do. In Shojo the exact opposite is true.

When a female is more powerful it links back to a stereotype in Shonen, and the opposite is true in shojo.

If you look at either side there are far fewer individuals of power of the opposite gender as the target audience, and more often than not they're antagonists.
 

loa

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Pitou is not a woman tho but hunter x hunter tends to be pretty ambiguous about that.