How to train your woman : Ownership and the ‘pet girl’ in Anime

“Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally. – Abraham Lincoln”

It’s rather unfortunate that in my attempt to write this post that my father waltzed in and read the title , catching sight of a naked Astrea on Danbooru’s image page, but it’s good as hell to be alive nowadays. Embarrassments and obstacles aside, we live in a free world unrestricted by any ‘ greater powers’, other than our governments of course. What can possibly restrict us today?

Sadly, for certain characters of anime lately, this isn’t the case.

 

In Sora no Otoshimono, we have the three angeloids (sans Chaos) , Ikaros, Nymph and Astraea. (Not sure if I’ve spelt them correctly.) Being angeloids, this makes them perfectly subservient to a male lead no sensible female would probably like. They also have collars of steel and steel chains that makes them look like pretty floating dogs with a huge , ungodly rack. (The last part something my dad told me as well.)

In lesser examples, for instance, in Dragon Crisis, we have Rose, a dragon cum (rimshot) human girl who lives under the protection of Kisaragi Ryuji and Nanao Eriko. In Shinryaku , Ika Musume! we have Ika-Musume being forced to work for the restaurant after destroying one of its walls. And so on.

Similarities? All the girls are , to an extent , held against their will. Much like pets, all the girls above are held , owned by a stronger person, so to speak, due to various reasons, but this makes them seem like slaves in a way. The angeloids even come with chains, for Christ’s sake, usually doing their master Tomoki’s perverted bidding by helping him fondle some breasts somehow.

Ignoring how Rose and Ika-musume aren’t exactly ‘humans’, Slavery is defined as a system in which people (for this case, characters) are treated as property and forced to perform work for some higher being, most, if not all of time, for free. It’s much like a more Draconian version of our current capitalism system sans the better standard of life and continued progress, but you get the point.

In these shows, and of course, a great variety of pink manga, the female has always been treated more as a commodity than as a living, breathing human being. In the effort of keeping this site SFW, I have decided not to list examples of the female slave concept applied to manga, but there is a vast amount, most notably in the 18+ manga where all females in their world are essentially sluts waiting to be awakened….

Fuck that, let’s talk about manga too.

The slave concept is most practised in the ‘netorare’ genre of manga as well as certain sectors of the fantasy genre. In netorare the cheating one (always the woman, always the woman) for some reason has sex with the husband , who manages to somehow turn over 10 years of sexual inaptness into a mind-crushing, slave-making 10 minutes that makes the wife bend over on command. In fantasy, it’s always linked to the darkest of endings, where the heroine falls victim to her own impulses, often after being raped by the nastiest of beings. If you need a decent ,blatant example of this, I’d like to point you towards the ‘DearS’ series, a series where an alien race crash into Earth, their purpose to find a master, who they will serve for life.

What I suggest as a possible reason for this trend is this: Men LOVE it. If it’s anything several of these genres in manga have in common, it’s this idea of the man being in dominance simply because the man has an extra member of his party casting spells up the girl’s sensitive areas. Rather, it’s the idea that the man is more dominant than the female. Tentacles and the aforementioned fantasy genre for certain manga casts the female in a weak light, often getting raped to the point of no return. Reading these books may give these people a sense of power, of dominance, of superiority.

What about those anime then? If the concept applied in Manga is usually in 18+ publications, what about in shows? For one, it’s a plot device. Why else would a dragon cling on to a highschooler? Why else would 3 angeloids cling on to such a detestable protagonist? Why else would this invader from the sea stay on land and become an object of open ridicule instead of gathering her ostensibly mass amounts of brethren and sistren to fight on the beaches and the landing grounds?

This plot device helps by simply filling in everything the show would have been missing. Humour? Check. A premise? Check. An ultimate goal? Check. Characterisation? Check. Romance? Check. Something to tickle the nutbladders of our less sophisticated (and social) male watchers? Checkamundo.  They even get around any criticism anyone might have for this slavery by having non-human slaves who look almost the same as human females.

For instance, how can I write a decent article lambasting female human slaves in anime if there aren’t any?

Further Reading

2DT talks about NTR and how sex is portrayed as the ‘answer’.

Watch out, female heroines! Sapphire Pyro talks about types of heroines that piss her off.

About these ads

About Valence

Starting over from Ambivalence, or Is it Ambiguity, now blogging at Monolith 32. Anime, MTG, Music fan. Amateur poet. I blog things.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to How to train your woman : Ownership and the ‘pet girl’ in Anime

  1. 2DT says:

    You just had to bring up DearS… :) But I actually think that’s much tamer than the netorare you brought up at the start of the paragraph. DearS was like a tester for Sora no Otoshimono, if anything.

    One thing that I think needs mentioning: There are gradients of servitude. The literal chattel slavery of Sora no Otoshimono is different from the indentured servitude of Ika Musume, which is different from the sexual brainwashing of a netorare manga. And somewhere in there, we have to think about maids.

    • Valence says:

      That’s tamer I guess, DearS is shonen after all, not as explicit as those H scenarios I listed out.

      I think you’re right regarding the gradients of servitude. Maids aside, the examples all have different gradients of servitude, and they vary greatly. The casual life of Ika-Musume is nothing compared to the servants-for-life gig by DearS and Sora no Otoshimono.

      Now, regarding maids.
      They seem to be extremely subservient (in more ways than one) in everything, always wearing French maid suits and willing to do most of what their masters command them to, don’t they? I mean, Star Driver’s Sugata’s two maids dress up in fetishistic animal ears + maid costume combos, all the time. Whether Sugata made them do that or not , I still continue to think about…

  2. Lenneth says:

    But if you think about it the perverted Tomoki has no interest in keeping the three angeloids as his slaves and is still trying to get them to understand what is freedom and see to it that the girls have their own freedom and own will, and also merely letting them stay in his house to take care of them, not to treat them as slaves, only to seek help from them to grant his pervertic wishes…in dragon crisis ryuji has no intention of keeping rose as a slave, besides his personaliy is too weak to be a master of a slave…and ya have to agree ika musume is definitely being kept to be a slave instead of an invader…and finally next time be more careful and not let your family members see those kind of pictures XD

    • Valence says:

      I wonder why of all the photos he zoomed in onto that lone image of nude Astraea first….

      And like what 2DT said, yep, there are several gradients of servitude. Extreme ones include DearS (servant for life) and almost all H-manga involving slaves or maids at some point. Ika Musume might live a casual life but is treated like a slave at some points, Rose isn’t exactly a slave (but she feels like a captive, doesn’t she?) and in Sora no Otoshimono I guess the Angeloids will never leave his side, what with the addition of Chaos .

      • Lenneth says:

        hmm i say it be more of a parent child relationship between ryuji and rose…and parents have the eye to pick out the most indecent things their child do immediately without fail…or your father may even have an eye for such materials himself XD and please don’t tell him i said that

        • Valence says:

          I tell him that ALL the time,so it’s ‘kay.

          They do share a parent-child relationship, don’t they? Although I can’t possibly imagine such a scenario in real life.

  3. The only one of the examples you give that I’m actually familiar with is Rose, and I have to agree with Lenneth that it seems like more of a parent-child relationship right there. Rose doesn’t feel like a captive to me. She even offered to leave, in a scene that probably would have been a lot more effective if I had a reason to care about these characters.

    But with H content in general, I do see your point there. I’m pretty sure every H I’ve ever read about (I try to avoid actually reading/watching hentai myself) features this female servitude in some way–particularly Bible Black.

    • Valence says:

      In my defense I only watched episode 1 of Dragon Crisis so far. Which is why I started the paragraph with the words ‘In lesser examples.’

      I do read H from time to time, when I somehow stumble over some of ‘em and I won’t deny having read my fair share of H for an underage teen but it seems like the men of Japan , or rather the readers of such manga have a complex regarding dominance and superiority. I mean, all of them have the men unrealistically portrayed (in all corners) and almost, a superior being.

  4. baka~ says:

    Interesting read but will you write a post about tsunderes and their male ‘slaves’? :/

  5. jacqivarius says:

    Chobits? The woman in that series are technically robots but it should count for this since Ika-chan is of the sea critter variety. At least, if I remember correctly, Chobits had some semblance of an underlying plot.

    Anyways, I find slavery in anime to be quite hilarious to be honest. Most of the women have superhuman strength or can perform feats that the male can only dream of and yet they remain leashed to him for no apparent reason. Well, the Japanese men seem to eat this stuff up! It’s the same with bondage and maids. They love to have something that they cannot. The opposite can be the same… tsundere and yandere. We should just leave it as the fact that the Japanese like to explore every aspect to create a plot that the consumers will watch.

    • feal87 says:

      That is the romance in these animes…if they were weak and submissive that would be a plot for hanime :P

      • Valence says:

        Funny thing is the only time I see this submissiveness truly mixed with romance was in Chobits. In others it’s just for shit and giggles..

    • Valence says:

      Yea, when ownership and slavery themes come into mind they usually involve human-like non-humans…..but you’d think they’re human, wouldn’t you?

      Slavery in anime does have that ring to it. The girls are more overpowered than the males, which does make for some laughs, but then I start wondering why they serve the weak one anyway. Maybe you’re right. Maybe some people actually like this kind of plot.

  6. ArashiX says:

    Good article. Funny how you brought up Sora no Otoshimono. In the case of Tomoki, he use seemed more the comedy/fanservice of it all, however on the other hand the Man Of Synapse, was just a total a** (especially to Nymph. Think he more fits the bill).

    Also like the point you made about Netorare, since I never seen it in that light before since I was thinking of it more like cheating/revenge.

    • Valence says:

      Man of Synapse would have been a better example in exploring the trope of slavery in the show since he rules over them like a lord. He’s an ass, yeah.

      NTR was cheating and revenge, but a common theme has always been the overwhelming ,exaggerated mind-breaking ‘power’ of the male phallus, which kind of rings with gender bias and male-over-female style slavery if you ask me.

  7. Yi says:

    I suppose a part of it is that humans all have, to a varying degree, a desire to completely possessive our “things.” And by training/ “breaking” women in certain mangas, that’s playing into a common male desire.

    Anyway, hope your father didn’t misunderstand… Though I don’t know if there is anything to misunderstand. Haha.

    • Valence says:

      Possessiveness . . . .is it especially strong for men then? I think I could relate to times in which we males want to be completely possessive, to control and own pretty much everything. Our technology, our culture could also act as a reflection of this subconscious desire, I suppose.

      And my dad’s just like that. I can’t do much about that, but yeah.

  8. Blacksun88 says:

    nice writings up there. well, such settings always cater for a specific group of people “fetish”, so sometimes dont take it too seriously

  9. kaei says:

    Wow, thanks for bringing up Ika Musume. I watched the first episode because everyone was talking about utterly HI-larious the show was. The nonconsensual forced labour completely turned me off and I never watched another episode. You’re right, men LOVE this shit.

    • Valence says:

      It was funny to me, I liked it myself, but because of her antics but not the forced labour bit. To be honest, I think more people like the show for Ika-museum alone.

  10. Nopy says:

    What else would you expect from a patriarchal society? (jk)

    Females aren’t the only ones who become “slaves” in anime/manga. If you ever take a look at the stuff written for mature female audiences, it’s the exact same thing, but the male and female roles are reversed.

  11. Ren says:

    I personally love the DearS manga… to be honest, I love these ideas. Maybe I am just a disturbed young woman, but I enjoy the idea of being sexually dominant and having a master. Weird, but I have always been like this. even in my relationship now I desire my boyfriend to be more dominant, and I want to be punished and such. I don’t know why, but I feel as though most men don’t want to be like that, which makes me a bit sad. I certainly wouldn’t want to be raped, but being a submissive “slave” is something I think some women desire.

Comments are closed.