In last week’s piece on sexism in shonen, we discussed how My Hero Academia seems aware of the problems female characters usually suffer from in shonen tournament arcs. My Hero Academia is doing some things well, others less well (ugh, Mineta), but shonen stories have such a history of treating female characters as lower tier that we celebrate any time a popular series challenges this narrative.
That particular piece focused on female characters, but there’s also much to say about how shonen presents male characters and masculinity, how it represents marginalised identities, etc. Looking more broadly:
- Which characters best challenge common unfeminist shonen cliches?
- Which characters are the worst embodiments of common unfeminist shonen cliches?
- Which of those cliches do you find most frustrating?
- What are the most positive feminist moments in shonen?
- Which feminist-relevant matters has a shonen series handled surprisingly well?
- What changes would you like to see in shonen series of the future?
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