It’s really no secret that ladies are frequently sidelined in shounen anime, either utilized as ancillary figures or mere comedy relief, the Naruto franchise takes this problematic method of a completely new level as nearly every female character within the series appears to become under-developed and unrelatable. Even a few of the more independent and well-written females received the backseat, through either less screen time or by connecting their story with another male character.
While Masashi Kishimoto, the series author, has reiterated his lack of ability to create profound female figures on multiple occasions, will still be insufficient to warrant the injustices completed to Naruto’s females. Being aimed at youthful boys, shounen anime already are usually quite male-centric, however it’s disappointing to witness such mistreatment of female figures within the ‘Big 3’ anime series. The controversy of the items brought towards the character’s being sidelined is definitely an entirely separate issue, in mind for the time being depends on how this type of well-written series could portray women in this structural manner.
Determined by Male Figures
Currently once the feminist movement what food was in its peak and also the message of ladies empowerment was the main thing on all media, Naruto portrayed a story which was literally the alternative, presenting women as simply support figures for his or her male counterparts. This becomes even more apparent because the series progresses, as nearly every single female character is proven because the weakest among their team, together relying totally on their male teammates.
Konoha 12 is really a prime example of the problematic portrayal, as Sakura, Hinata, Ino, and Tenten were portrayed because the weakest of the particular teams, with all of four mainly serving supporting roles. However, the problem goes beyond Konoha 12, as the Legendary Sannin weren’t able to escape out of this blatant discrimination. Overall, Kishimoto has set a obvious precedent that ladies will invariably possess the less strong role within the series, serving the objective of supporting the boys within their motives.
Insufficient Significant Motives
Right right from the start from the series, nearly every male character were built with a obvious objective in your mind, plus a extra backstory to fuel the motive, with Naruto’s objective of becoming Hokage and Sasuke’s vengeance being prime examples. Female figures, however, received no such profound backstory, with a few even basing all of their personalities around their affection for other men.
Sakura and Ino desired to become more powerful only to impress Sasuke, while Hinata, despite dealing with a harsh childhood, still continued to be centered on one factor – her childhood crush, Naruto. Even Tsunade’s motives are impelled by her lost relationships, her brother Nawaki and her lover Dan Kato. Even her reasoning for taking on the positioning of Hokage was fueled through the need to fulfill Dan’s wish to become Hokage
Limited Screen Time
By having an overabundance of figures, it may be challenging dedicate enough screen time to them for ample growth and progression. Yet even in connection with this, women obtain the short finish from the stick because the series keeps the spotlight towards its male figures for almost all its duration. Some female figures were entirely sidelined as well as forgotten, while individuals lucky enough to be in the lead were only given minimal screen time.
Kurenai was among the series best-rounded female figures, even poised among the Leaf’s most powerful genjutsu users. Little after her introduction, however, Kurenai was nowhere to appear, and her role within the series continued to be minimal when compared to other squad leaders for example Kakashi, Asuma, and can Guy. Tenten’s screen there was a time even the cheapest of all of Konoha 12, together with her relevancy being reduced following the Chunin exams arc. From the Legendary Sannin, Tsunade will get minimal quantity of screen time, despite Jiraiya’s untimely dying throughout the Discomfort arc.
Tropes and Stereotypes
Kishimoto has heavily trusted using stereotypes and tropes when it comes to portraying his form of ‘relatable’ females. Sakura and Ino squeeze into the ‘brash and abrasive’ trope, while Hinata’s entire personality was restricted to the ‘shunned and shy’ type. Regrettably, even relatively developed female figures weren’t able to escape, using their personalities focused on some kind of trope.
The majority of Tsunade’s screen time involves her breasts instead of asserting herself because the Hokage. Mei Terumi, the 5th Mizukage, has a well-developed character, yet even she’s vulnerable to making jokes about being unmarried at her age. Another example is Chiyo, among the Sand’s most powerful female ninja and puppeteers, yet she’s forced in to the stereotype of the crazy old lady, siphoning any kind of uniqueness from her personality. Even Temari’s personality, although relatively developed, easily suits the tsundere trope, making her character somewhat foreseeable.
Love Interests for Male Figures
The main role on most women within the series continues to be aimed at being some kind of love interest for that male figures. Sakura’s shallow infatuation of Sasuke is really a prime illustration of how an overbearing obsession can entirely ruin a character’s personality, with Ino bearing exactly the same distasteful fate. Hinata went through exactly the same mistreatment, as her crush on Naruto overwhelmed her entire personality, even negating her childhood trauma. Tenten, while never directly pointed out, also bore a propensity towards Neji, even though this never was exactly explored as she received minimal screen time.
Karin Uzumaki is yet another glaring yet unfortunate example, as her backstory to be mistreated and raped in the Hidden Grass Village was drowned out by her dependence on Sasuke, even turning her into among the series’ most hated figures. Even Tsunade lost a significant slice of her character to merely being Dan Kato’s lover, among her causes of becoming Hokage was her need to fulfill his wish. Kushina Uzumaki also had great potential, particularly with her unparalleled strength and different jutsu, yet she was limited to as being a mere housewife as she’d her fate associated with Minato Namikaze.
Ancillary towards the Male Character’s Tales
The series’ females barely have tales that belongs to them, with many of them becoming pieces in another male character’s story. This is actually the situation for many of Naruto’s relatively well-written females, because they may initially appear to possess a story that belongs to them, yet it eventually will get merged into another male character’s story. Hinata was among the couple of early female figures which had a backstory worth searching into, especially as her position as the Hyuga’s shunned heiress, yet her entire story was merged with Neji’s plight like a branch member, pushing the narrative to his side.
Konan was sidelined in the same way, as her character eventually switched into as being a mere support for Yahiko and Nagato’s plans for that shinobi world. Temari’s situation can also be quite similar, as her role within the series was simply to assist Gaara’s growth, departing her very own story to become completely forgotten. Even Karin’s tragic backstory of abuse and rape was switched into her infatuation over Sasuke, leading to her losing any essence of profundity. Overall, Naruto’s females had considerable potential, yet Kishimoto’s weak portrayal of ladies created a glaring mark within the series’ legacy, turning figures which should have offered as empowering heroines into overbearing tropes and mere side-figures.
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