Which author is better with women? Toriyama or Kishimoto?

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Which author is better with women? Toriyama or Kishimoto?

Post by DBZAOTA482 » Sat Aug 29, 2015 7:59 am

It's inevitable that a thread like this would pop up. Both are often accused by some of being sexist but I think "which one is the lesser evil?".

First, with Akira Toriyama.... there are not many female characters featured in Dragon World (much less ones with a recurring role) and aside from Bulma, the characters tend to be sidelined at best or at worst, reduced to stereotypical depictions.

#18 - She's the strongest female in the series and is far stronger than any human in the series yet serves no role other than to be a trophy wife for Krillin. Toriyama even admits that's the whole reason he introduced her.

Videl - She was introduced as an intelligent, tentative, and a quite strong (for a regular human) fighter but is reduced to a stereotypical Japanese housewife once she gets Gohan. The first episode of Super has her changing way too drastically for just 6 months.

Chi-Chi - She was one of the top fighters in Dragon Ball and a major turning point in Goku's life but went to being primarily referenced in accentuation of her seemingly negative qualities. She's even been underrated to the point of giving people false illusions to her abilities.

Lunch - She served primarily as comic relief and is completely ignored by DBZ

Makashi Kishimoto, on the hand... has introduced a decent number of female characters and almost all of which are ninjas yet they play second-fiddle to the males. Ten-Ten is bland and doesn't really do anything (even her first and only major fight only lasted a panel), Ino Yamamaka is floating on a similar boat, Karin is obsessed with Sasuke 24/7 just like Sakura only that's her whole character, and Sakura... Sakura is just a terrible character (though compared to how terribly Z-era treats Chi-Chi's character
makes it seriously up for debate). She's largely useless despite being on the main team of the series, she flips-flops all over the place, and obsesses over the "stick-up-his-ass" pretty boy 24/7. Not to mention she acts rather headbangingly stupid for someone who's supposedly intelligent (which she rarely shows outside academics).

Kishimoto admitted he's not great with writing females... but he keeps writing them in for some reason.

Who is the better at writing females for you?
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Re: Which author is better with women? Toriyama or Kishimote

Post by Eire » Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:15 am

Everyone who uses this excuse should be exiled to Mt. Athos and sentenced to write 10 000 times "Woman make half of the population and I describe characters for living" as a pennace. Seriously, why don't we hear about female writers saying that they can't write males?

For me it looks like choice between stomach flu and tonisllitis, but my vote goes to Toriyama since I can believe that he i ls biologically inable of thinking about implications of his work or planning at all. Kishimoto proved that he can create three dimensional characters and ponger plots, so he has no excuse.
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Re: Which author is better with women? Toriyama or Kishimote

Post by Caulifor » Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:19 am

Well, first of all we have to remember these are shonen series, meaning they're made for young boys and female characters are rarely the most important ones in such stories, sadly.

With that said, I think Kishimoto is much better than Toriyama when it comes to writing female characters. Sure, they're not as crucial as their male companions, but they can still be important and make a difference. They're not forgotten like the women in Dragon Ball.
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Re: Which author is better with women? Toriyama or Kishimote

Post by nickzambuto » Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:36 am

The correct answer is Oda.

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Re: Which author is better with women? Toriyama or Kishimote

Post by ekrolo2 » Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:45 am

Eire wrote:Everyone who uses this excuse should be exiled to Mt. Athos and sentenced to write 10 000 times "Woman make half of the population and I describe characters for living" as a pennace. Seriously, why don't we hear about female writers saying that they can't write males?
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Re: Which author is better with women? Toriyama or Kishimote

Post by Cetra » Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:54 am

Masakazu Katsura.
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Re: Which author is better with women? Toriyama or Kishimote

Post by rereboy » Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:13 am

Eire wrote:Everyone who uses this excuse should be exiled to Mt. Athos and sentenced to write 10 000 times "Woman make half of the population and I describe characters for living" as a pennace. Seriously, why don't we hear about female writers saying that they can't write males?
That's pretty much like arguing that a writer should be automatically perfectly comfortable writing asian characters just because most humans are asian, even though said author might actually not understand asians' mentality that well nor be that great at writing things from an asian perspective. It's the same regarding women. Just because a guy is a writer, it doesn't mean that he actually good at writing and understanding things from a female perspective, so he obviously avoids them and when he includes women, it's often from a male perspective. And there are plenty of women not writing things from a male perspective because, naturally, they understand the female perspective a lot better.

As for which author is better, I think both fail at writing from a female perspective, but Toriyama uses his women in a way that I appreciate more since, despite not being as promising in terms of abilities, they often are stronger personality-wise.

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Re: Which author is better with women? Toriyama or Kishimote

Post by Sayo-chan » Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:16 am

Toriyama. The guy knows how to write characters (male or female) that don't make me wanna bash my head in over the over sentimental downpours present in almost every shonen series over the past 30 years. I would say Naruto is perhaps the shonen series I hate the most. Aside from the anime making DBZ's filler looking look like Cowboy Bebop by comparison, the manga drags shit out way too much. I don't find the characters at all likable, their outfits used to make me cringe from how ugly they are and the overall story makes me find ninjas to be repugnant. I'm not really sure how many women are in the series. Sakura? Hinata? Ino? Tsunade? None of these characters ever struck me as being as fleshed out as someone like Bulma.

Now, writing women isn't difficult whatsoever. George R. R. Martin says it best here:
Image
Also, Mai's an awesome character that doesn't receive enough attention.
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Re: Which author is better with women? Toriyama or Kishimote

Post by Eire » Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:30 am

rereboy wrote:
Eire wrote:Everyone who uses this excuse should be exiled to Mt. Athos and sentenced to write 10 000 times "Woman make half of the population and I describe characters for living" as a pennace. Seriously, why don't we hear about female writers saying that they can't write males?
That's pretty much like arguing that a writer should be automatically perfectly comfortable writing asian characters just because most humans are asian, even though said author might actually not understand asians' mentality that well nor be that great at writing things from an asian perspective.
That's a pretty much like arguing that woman are completely strangers to men, separated from them by geography, language, social structure and customs. Or that said Asians live with writers side by side from the day he was born, making half of his family, friends, strangers at the streets, living in the same society with the same social norms- and yet he decides to exclude them.
Because writers- most of whom were writers- are capable of understanding mentality of soldiers, priests, doctors, kings, historical figures etc. and imaging mentality of elves, ninjas, aliens and angels, but apparently describing female character is so exhausting that they are lauded for describing one of them.
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Re: Which author is better with women? Toriyama or Kishimote

Post by rereboy » Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:45 am

Eire wrote:
That's a pretty much like arguing that woman are completely strangers to men, separated from them by geography, language, social structure and customs. Or that said Asians live with writers side by side from the day he was born, making half of his family, friends, strangers at the streets, living in the same society with the same social norms- and yet he decides to exclude them.
Because writers- most of whom were writers- are capable of understanding mentality of soldiers, priests, doctors, kings, historical figures etc. and imaging mentality of elves, ninjas, aliens and angels, but apparently describing female character is so exhausting that they are lauded for describing one of them.
You think that if 50% of the people in a city were asian, every potential writer in town would suddenly be perfectly comfortable writing asian characters and things from an asian perspective? No. There would be, of course, a tendency for a certain number of them to be better at it than writers in a town with 0% asians because they would have benefited from more experience in associating with asians, but in no way would all of them automatically be good or be comfortable at it if they had trouble understanding them and their perspective.

To write good female characters and have a strong grasp of a female perspective, a man has to have the ability to understand women and their perspective, which usually involves (emotional) intelligence, a good empathy sense and plenty of experience dealing with women in various fields and in various degrees. Not all writers will have this ability and not all writers will be as good at it as others. So, obviously, many writers will recognize this and play more by their strengths, which, for many, involves not focusing much on the female perspective or in female characters. This is especially true for shonen manga writers who, obviously, are writing for a media that excludes a female perspective from the get go.

In short, for male wrriters, understanding and writing women, is not unlike any other skill. Some are better at it than others due to their experience and abilities and 50% of the world being female won't suddenly make a writer be better at it if he lacks the ability or the experience. You are treating writers like they somehow have the same intrinsic abilities or experience. They don't. Despite what George R. R. says in that quote above, knowing that women are people won't automatically make you able to write good female characters and female perspectives if the ability and experience to do so isn't good.
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Re: Which author is better with women? Toriyama or Kishimoto

Post by Ree » Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:48 am

After what happened with Sakura in Part II especially in the ending I have to give it to Toriyama.
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Re: Which author is better with women? Toriyama or Kishimote

Post by Sayo-chan » Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:55 am

rereboy wrote:
Eire wrote:
That's a pretty much like arguing that woman are completely strangers to men, separated from them by geography, language, social structure and customs. Or that said Asians live with writers side by side from the day he was born, making half of his family, friends, strangers at the streets, living in the same society with the same social norms- and yet he decides to exclude them.
Because writers- most of whom were writers- are capable of understanding mentality of soldiers, priests, doctors, kings, historical figures etc. and imaging mentality of elves, ninjas, aliens and angels, but apparently describing female character is so exhausting that they are lauded for describing one of them.
To write good female characters and have a strong grasp of a female perspective
The "female perspective" is whatever the writer chooses it to be. There's hardly anything innate about gender/sex perspectives. It's entirely subject to the context. Most of the time it's illusionary, because these things are cultural and thus ephemeral. If Goku were a girl and Bulma were a boy, neither of them would be any better or worse written than they currently are.
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Re: Which author is better with women? Toriyama or Kishimote

Post by rereboy » Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:00 am

Sayo-chan wrote: The "female perspective" is whatever the writer chooses it to be. There's hardly anything innate about gender/sex perspectives. It's entirely subject to the context. Most of the time it's illusionary, because these things are cultural and thus ephemeral. If Goku were a girl and Bulma were a boy, neither of them would be any better or worse written than they currently are.
I understand your point, especially since every single person is different. However, to write good female characters and female perspectives, a writer usually can't simply make everything up. Usually, the subtle tendencies in behavior, in personality, compared to the male characters, have to be based on the real world. This is true for any group of people, whether the author is writing about gender or a nationality or any other group.

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Re: Which author is better with women? Toriyama or Kishimoto

Post by Eire » Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:11 am

Author must be comfortable with making up males with completely different history and background, yet excluding females with the lame excuse is completely acceptable. When you write fantasy world you must think about worldbuiding, thinking about ways circumstances and society could change your protagonists. When you write historical novel you must try to embrace completely diffident way of thinking. People are routinely write characters that have nothing in common with them and are praised and scolded about characterisation they came with- yet writing females seems like glass celling that excuses everybody. "female perspective" is nothing different from writing anyone who had a different circumstances in life. For example I would be more comfortable writing about a boy from polish Catholic intelligentsia than my classmate who was raised in poor working class home.
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Re: Which author is better with women? Toriyama or Kishimote

Post by ekrolo2 » Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:12 am

Sayo-chan wrote:Toriyama. The guy knows how to write characters (male or female) that don't make me wanna bash my head in over the over sentimental downpours present in almost every shonen series over the past 30 years. I would say Naruto is perhaps the shonen series I hate the most. Aside from the anime making DBZ's filler looking look like Cowboy Bebop by comparison, the manga drags shit out way too much. I don't find the characters at all likable, their outfits used to make me cringe from how ugly they are and the overall story makes me find ninjas to be repugnant. I'm not really sure how many women are in the series. Sakura? Hinata? Ino? Tsunade? None of these characters ever struck me as being as fleshed out as someone like Bulma.

Now, writing women isn't difficult whatsoever. George R. R. Martin says it best here:
Image
Also, Mai's an awesome character that doesn't receive enough attention.
Gonna get lynched for saying this but at least Fairy Tail (as of the Tenrou arc which is where I'm at right now) has the good sense to not take its own subject matter seriously so the emotional downpours don't make you wanna die. With Naruto, you've got war orphans, babies being kidnapped for genetic manipulation, grave robbing and all sorts of dark stuff that get's settled by emotional outbursts of friendship and love and friendship some more. Its basically the reason the whole Pain Arc which was mostly awesome got f*cked by the ending. But I suggest continuing this conversation in a PM so as not to derail the thread if you're up for it or something.
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Re: Which author is better with women? Toriyama or Kishimoto

Post by rereboy » Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:21 am

Eire wrote:Author must be comfortable with making up males with completely different history and background, yet excluding females with the lame excuse is completely acceptable. When you write fantasy world you must think about worldbuiding, thinking about ways circumstances and society could change your protagonists. When you write historical novel you must try to embrace completely diffident way of thinking. People are routinely write characters that have nothing in common with them and are praised and scolded about characterisation they came with- yet writing females seems like glass celling that excuses everybody. "female perspective" is nothing different from writing anyone who had a different circumstances in life. For example I would be more comfortable writing about a boy from polish Catholic intelligentsia than my classmate who was raised in poor working class home.
You are getting beside the point. The point in discussing here was authors saying that they don't feel comfortable writing female characters or are great at it. You stated that you were tired of this "excuse" since women are 50% of the population. Like I demonstrated, being 50% of the population won't make it so that any given male author suddenly has the good ability and the good experience required to write good female characters or/and a good female perspective, so that "excuse" is actually a pretty valid one. What you are talking now sounds more like a political view on gender equality which is beside the point in this particular discussion, especially since the topic is about two shonens and two shonen writers, meaning that their media is focused on males from the get go, which makes your post even more beside the point.

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Re: Which author is better with women? Toriyama or Kishimoto

Post by Eire » Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:35 am

Like I demonstrated women aren't animals in zoo that you need to handle with care and describe only when they run from their cages.

The point is a question why do we accept it as an answer and treat "writing females" (whatever it means) as an extra skill for someone who describes people for a living. Writers comfort is not an excuse, since they could predict that kinda happens in job of storyteller, lack of skills is not an excuse when describing people is a basic job requirement and if you want to use lack of experience then you must talk about a doorstep baby raised by Orthodox monks in one of those monasteries that ban female animals. Oda, Takahashi and Arakawa had already proven that shouen readers won't run away screaming when presenting a female character, so your excuses are invalid from the start.
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Re: Which author is better with women? Toriyama or Kishimoto

Post by Doctor. » Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:43 am

Eire wrote:Like I demonstrated women aren't animals in zoo that you need to handle with care and describe only when they run from their cages.

The point is a question why do we accept it as an answer and treat "writing females" (whatever it means) as an extra skill for someone who describes people for a living. Writers comfort is not an excuse, since they could predict that kinda happens in job of storyteller, lack of skills is not an excuse when describing people is a basic job requirement and if you want to use lack of experience then you must talk about a doorstep baby raised by Orthodox monks in one of those monasteries that ban female animals. Oda, Takahashi and Arakawa had already proven that shouen readers won't run away screaming when presenting a female character, so your excuses are invalid from the start.
Because writing male characters is also a skill. Writing anything is a skill. Some writers are good with romance, some are good with comedy, some are good with dark stories, the list goes on. I feel far more comfortable writing male characters than female ones, does this mean I hate women or think they're less than men? No, of course not. Now obviously I don't think I'm a very good writer at all, but I don't consider Toriyama or Kishimoto geniuses either. If they don't feel comfortable writing female characters, then I don't know why they should be crucified for that.

I don't know how you can use Oda as an example. His female characters are designed with humongous breasts and large hips as to be used as fanservice for young boys, and they're usually needy and are more common than not rescued by Luffy and his crew. Even Nami and Robin, which most will agree are the strongest females (personality-wise, of course) in the cast, served as damsels-in-distress in their own arcs, a role no other Straw Hat member had to be put through.
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Re: Which author is better with women? Toriyama or Kishimote

Post by Sayo-chan » Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:44 am

rereboy wrote:
Sayo-chan wrote: The "female perspective" is whatever the writer chooses it to be. There's hardly anything innate about gender/sex perspectives. It's entirely subject to the context. Most of the time it's illusionary, because these things are cultural and thus ephemeral. If Goku were a girl and Bulma were a boy, neither of them would be any better or worse written than they currently are.
I understand your point, especially since every single person is different. However, to write good female characters and female perspectives, a writer usually can't simply make everything up. Usually, the subtle tendencies in behavior, in personality, compared to the male characters, have to be based on the real world.
I think we're partially in agreeance here, but what's considered to be good is certainly not objective. All those things are subject to the type of story being told. Many people would say General Blue is overtly feminine whereas others would say he isn't. Which subtle tendencies do the main characters adopt and why? You only have so much leeway with something like the X-Files or King of the Hill, but in a story like Dragon Ball, where a dog is king of the planet, I think there's a lot of a freedom to play around with characterization. This, along with ki manipulation, is a place I feel Toriyama fails to come full circle. Despite this, I still think there are some characters that have established perspectives that aren't necessarily considered traditional. Pilaf, Soba, Mai, Freeza, Cell and Boohan are excellent examples of this.

Ultimately, these traits are subject to where they're coming from and where they're going. What may have been viewed a female tendency or behavioral trait 60 years ago may not be viewed the same way today, especially when it varies from country to country. To quote "Black or White": "See, it's not about races Just places. Faces, where your blood comes from." Humans are for the most part blank slates at birth, minus a little bit of hardwiring. Goku could be a girl and act exactly as he did as a male, it wouldn't make him any less of a girl. Now, would Goku be relatable? Yes and no. As a kid I really don't see any issue. That archetype is fairly common. As an adult, perhaps the character would reach the female bodybuilding/martial arts demographic more earnestly. Perhaps it wouldn't make the slightest difference. One might also argue Goku lacks depth as it is, meaning he's too shallow of a character for there to be a substantial difference if he was gender bent.

That said, like David Morrell researched Vietnam for Rambo: First Blood Part 2's novelization, I do not find it difficult or really all that excusable in the slightest not to do some research on the type of character someone wants to write.
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Re: Which author is better with women? Toriyama or Kishimoto

Post by Eire » Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:01 am

Well, if you don't have the skills get it or change job. I used to have a professor who blandly told us that he hates teaching females and that we waste his precious time. Nice men, wasn't he?
If they don't feel comfortable writing female characters, then I don't know why they should be crucified for that.
Now I crucify someone because I said that I'm not comfortable with treating my gender as unnecessarily extra?

Women make half of the population, yet they are barely recognised in fiction, made background extras or (when you have a larger cast that begs for female) given one generic Smurfette. We are as different as males, with different experiences, background- etc. Yet you lumped us as unnamed mass you are uncomfortable with describing. You probably had no bad intentions, but as I said- suddenly elves and aliens are more comfortable to describe than females.
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