Sakura Trick – Perspective Is Relative

Sakura trickI saw a post on Anime is Dead the other day about the excessive yuri in Sakura Trick. It was a good post detailing that an anime like Sakura Trick doesn’t necessarily have male only viewership, and that the show isn’t necessarily objectifying women. On both points I would agree. On the first point I would say that funny is funny regardless of genre. Of course, I also agree doesn’t necessarily objectify women, but that doesn’t mean a lot coming from a man.

That said, it very well could objectify women and I could just be blind as a bat. Then again, one could argue that anime, as a medium, objectifies women on a broad scale. How are we all supposed to react when Tanabe, from Planetes, is constantly worried about and pressured into finding a boyfriend to take care of her. Is that something an anime should preach (I realize she comes into her own later in the series, so save those arguments)? Or what about the disgusting objectification of classic Evangelion characters like Rei and Asuka. Is that OK because the series is a classic and not a part of a niche genre? Does Code Geass have some sort of carte blanche to put any and every girl in a revealing costume because its Code Geass?

I guess all I’m saying is that objectifying women, whether that is what we are doing or not, isn’t necessarily restricted to the yuri genre. I mean I didn’t even think it was an issue until a few people online brought it up as an issue because it has become so common in anime.

Wait.

Let’s think about this for a second. What would someone not familiar with are little insular community think? God, let’s hope this never airs on American websites or airwaves, less Michele Bachmann try and ruin the good thing we all have.

Sakura Trick 2

Damn.

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4 thoughts on “Sakura Trick – Perspective Is Relative

  1. This is why I avoid using “objectification” as opposed to “idealization”, because arguing about the former is a futile endeavor that ultimately boils down to things we cannot truly pin down. In the case of Sakura Trick, it’s a very unfortunate victim of prejudice based on abusurd assumptions. While Sakura Trick does idealize Haruka and Yuu’s budding romance, that doesn’t mean that they’re mere vehicles for sexual titillation. The manga makes it clear that their relationship does progress from just being “friends with benefits” into something more substantial, and to a certain extent, the anime does as well with the opening and ending songs. I’d say that the naysayers are jumping the gun with assumptions about a harmless romantic comedy as an example of exploitative media.

    • That’s a good point in that idealization does not equal objectification. Of course, and I’ve been guilty of this in some instances, people don’t usually have the time, or make the effort, to delve deeper into an issue. That’s not to say that I’m not immune from objectification, which is the reason I initially got into Yuri. However, over time, the depiction of life like relationships can alter ones perception on the matter. Of course, that doesn’t ruin the initial enjoyment of a series, but it can broaden ones perspective and make something even more enjoyable. I know one of my favorite series, anime/manga/or otherwise is Girl Friends for that very reason.

  2. As someone who has been told I promote misogyny for embodying too many lesbian stereotypes, I have to say a lot of the “objectification” arguments are too inflexible to do anyone any good. It has basically turned into delegating culture, from the opposite direction, so that someone, in my face, not just over the internet now, can tell me “You bring down all women when you (and your partner) openly flirt with other people”, and think that they are doing the world a service.

    That said, specifically regarding Yuri and Sakura Trick: There are Yuri series that exist as flimsy frames for the lovingly-drawn make outs, absolutely. But, just going by initial impressions, Sakura Trick had enough redeeming elements (specifically, its humor) that it doesn’t look like one of those series.

    But any serious judgment won’t be able to be levied until at least halfway through the season. After all…Machine Doll didn’t seem so bad in its pilot, but then….well it’s not a mistake that it’s becoming a punchline for sexism. /2cents

    • That’s a fair point on waiting until a later point in time to make a final judgement. However, for the time being others will make the other side of the argument. Thus, we can only go with the best information available at this time. Since, as you said, the series is funny, more than anything else at this moment, a defense is warranted even if the series eventually goes downhill.

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