We dissect female protagonists from a variety of genres, from the classic shoujo manga-based anime to the latest narou works.
We examine why the number of female protagonists is increasing in anime and narrows, and how having a female protagonist affects each work!
What is the ratio of female protagonists in late night anime?
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Many comics, light novels, and anime have a clear protagonist, and whether that protagonist is male or female is very important.
And whether the protagonist is a man or a woman is very important and has a huge impact on the color of the work.
So what percentage of all anime actually has a female protagonist?
We looked at all the late-night anime that aired in 2019 and found that 60% of them had male protagonists and 40% had female protagonists.
That’s nearly half of all anime with female protagonists.
This ratio has not changed much from 10 years ago.
Basically, whether the main character is male or female depends on the target audience.
For example, in the case of girls’ manga and girls’ manga that are intended to be read by girls, there is a nearly 100 percent chance that the main character will be a girl.
On the other hand, in the case of shonen manga, the overwhelming majority of protagonists are male, and the majority of works have a same-sex protagonist.
This can be attributed to the fact that authors and readers/viewers think of things from the point of view of the main character.
It is natural for authors to think of their stories from the point of view of the main character.
As for the readers/viewers, in the case of children, they often project themselves onto the protagonist.
Adults consider and judge the main character’s thoughts and psychology objectively, but in that case, it is assumed that the same sex readership is naturally easier to read because the level of understanding and sympathy is higher for the same sex than for the opposite sex.
For example, male erotic games and female otome games tend to be read from the point of view of the main character, and most of them are of the same sex.
In this case, the male protagonist is clearly portrayed as the main character in the male oriented works, but in the case of the female oriented game original anime, the main character is not clearly portrayed as the female protagonist in many cases.
It seems that the anime has been created to meet the needs of the users of the original work.
However, it is not always the case that the protagonist is the same gender as the target audience.
Even in male oriented works, there are many female protagonists in daily life anime.
This is not surprising since it includes works where all the characters are female, such as Kirara-kei.
The same thing can be said for a good looking anime for women.
Also, in recent years, there has been an increase in the number of male works with female protagonists.
In the past, most of the main characters in JUMP works were male, but in recent years works with female protagonists such as “Medaka Box”, “Neverland of Promise”, and “Actage” are becoming more and more prominent and successful.
In the past, shonen manga was read by children, and because children tend to project themselves onto the main character, a same-sex protagonist was the standard.
However, in recent years, because the readership is getting older, the number of people who read manga with objectivity is increasing, and it has become possible to read manga with a protagonist of the opposite sex without resistance.
As a result, the number of hit works with female protagonists is increasing, and more than a certain number of works with female protagonists are always being created in anime as well.
Female protagonists are now borderless
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In the past, battle action with a female protagonist was limited to girls’ works such as magical girl stories and bishojo warriors.
When it comes to battle scenes for men, there were several female protagonists such as Izumi Noa of “Mobile Police Patlabor” and Mikami Reiko of “GS Mikami Gokuraku Daisakusen! There were several male protagonists, such as Reiko Mishin from “GS Mishin Gokuraku Daisakusen!
However, that genre bias has been disappearing over the years.
For example, in the 1990s, part 6 of “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” was controversial because the main character was a female character, Jorin Kujo.
Up until that point, all of the main characters were male, but in a work like Jojo, where there are many battles, having a female protagonist didn’t seem to fit the image.
In the 2000s, however, that trend has slowly changed.
One of the reasons for this was the rise of light novels.
In the 1990s, the massive hit “Slayers! In the 2000’s, due to the influence of “Shakugan no Shana” and the main character Lina Inverse, there were relatively more light novels with female protagonists in the battle series, but after the success of the “Shakugan no Shana” anime, fantasy battle anime with female protagonists increased dramatically.
The same is true for works with a bleak worldview, such as dark fantasy.
In the past, there were not many anime with female characters that were painful to watch, but in the 2000s, “CLAYMORE”, “BLACK LAGOON”, and “BLOOD+” became popular, and after “Puella Magi Madoka Magica” exploded in 2011, the number of dark fantasy works with female protagonists increased drastically.
Thus, anime with female protagonists can be found in many different genres.
There were also more than a few niche strategies to “target genres and combinations of genres that did not exist in the past.
As a result, it’s pretty borderless today.