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Why can't Oda, the master storyteller and plot artist of One Piece write good female characters?

Why can’t Oda, the master storyteller and plot artist of One Piece write good female characters?
Eiichiro Oda is one of my favorite mangaka of all time and the proclaimed writer of the epic over 900 chapter-long, continuing manga, One Piece, the current top-selling manga. He continually astounds readers with his beautifully interwoven story arcs, character development, and unique artistic style and yet one aspect of his work persistently falls short of the mark — his writing and designing of female characters.

Oda has displayed an immense array of designing abilities, drawing influence from artistic and regional styles from all over the world and yet all of his female characters have the same face and body shape. Vivi, Nami, Robin, Rebecca, Shirahoshi, etc. All of these unique characters would look the same if you gave them the same hair and eyes, something that would not work for the male characters who display many different kinds of eye shapes, hair styles, body types, nose shapes, etc.

In terms of writing as well, even characters who are supposedly "strong" like Rebecca (a freaking gladiator), are swept up and saved by male heroes. Oda doesn’t seem to like to give his female characters proper adversaries to fight, a necessary component to completing a character arc in the world of One Piece – all plots lead to a final showdown of some sort. And yet the female characters only face off against other villainous female characters of the same caliber (Nami vs Kalifa/Miss Doublefinger) whereas Luffy and Zoro are always given stronger and better challenges.

Oda doesn’t seem to respect a woman’s ability to battle a man on equal footing; its a logic that doesn’t seem to exist in the narrative. Throughout the series Oda betrays a serious awareness of historical and political issues regarding human injustice, inequality, authoritarianism, colonialism, etc. And yet why is it that he utterly fails in turning this critical eye to gender?

  • "Oda doesn’t seem to respect a woman’s ability to battle a man on equal footing"Because it doesn't really exist. It can happen, given some circumstantial factors, but overall its a fallacy created by the more moden concept of equality. Of course the concept itself is righteous and necesary, as both men and women should be respected equally and given the same opportunities. But like with many other things, this causes a large part of the masses to confuse and misunderstand some aspects.And before this possibly devolves into me getting called sexist (because it tends to be the "easy rebuttal" button for some people), for pointing this out, lets clarify one thing: I AM a woman, but that doesn't make me blind to some very obvious facts that a lot of people seem to be intent on forcibly denying no matter how clear they are.Men and women are equals, but they're not "the same". We are fundamentally different in many aspects, which includes the physical one, and no amount of self-righteous denial will change this. It has been proved time and time again that in all disciplines involving physical strength and speed, even the top female athletes tend to fall far behind their male counterparts. The same can be said from women in military combat positions, who always get outperformed by men in similar circumstances (meaning, with similar amounts of experience and training). This is an undeniable fact.Oda doesn't often put female characters fighting on par with male characters, because in the real world that IS how it works 99% of the time. Of course a woman with extensive fitness and combat training can beat a man with much less of both, which gets represented in scenes like Kalifa steamrolling through countless strong male fighters from the Galley-La company, but the point is, when both men and women have a similar level of preparation, the intrinsic physical advantage men hold over women comes to play in full force, greatly tilting the balance in their favour.Again, it has nothing to do with sexism, but with being realistic. – CarmenDia 1 year ago
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Would The Implementation of Gender Bender Manga in Education Solve Gender Issues?

You would have probably noticed that the category "gender bender" is found in manga. They tend to feature characters as cross-dressers or transgenders, which has driven many readers of manga to be open to the idea of gender transformation. If such type of manga gets implemented in education, the coming generation would probably develop attitudes of acceptance and even appreciation toward individuals who identify with different sexual identities. What are your views concerning this matter that is drawing the attention of many nowadays? And how can gender bender manga be included in education?

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    Golden Kamuy and Ainu Represensation

    In the manga, Golden Kamuy, the Ainu people and their culture is a major theme throughout the series. The way they eat, hunt, dress, and go about their lives are explored and raise awareness of this group of people. Should we, as readers, show more support towards authors and artists such as these to spread awareness and attention towards ignored cultures? Is this one of the first in a long trend of authors providing a spotlight towards more obscure cultures?

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      What are the reasons the readers have stopped following a manga?

      There are a couple reasons why people stopped. For example, there are a few series that have spanned years and it looks like they are nowhere near completion. The characters are essentially just one or two age older than when they started but the readers have aged a bit. People eventually find the story boring or lost track of the development.

      • I definitely agree that this is a phenomenon happening currently... it could also be interesting to include an analysis of manga that people have stuck with, and reasons why readers made the decision to stick with those manga, even though many of these also took years to complete (Naruto or One Piece, for example). – ees 3 years ago
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      The Appeal of Slice of Life

      Slice of life is a genre that uses everyday situations as a form of entertainment. To some, slice of life can be considered boring, as the characters do mundane things such as: go to school, find part-time jobs, worry about careers, etc. However, this genre is a popular topic for mangakas to write about, so this article would discuss the appeal of slice of life, and why people watch or read it. Information can include: demographics, manga examples, and the formula for slice of life.

      • TV tropes is, as always, an excellent resource for this sort of discussion. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SliceOfLifeOne part of Slice of Life that TVT mentions is its escapist qualities. The essential notion here is that when building a slice of life world, it may not necessarily reflect real life.Many people seem to personally define Slice of Life as a genre of the ordinary. The environment might be mundane, but viewers are not engaged by material more boring than their own lives. The characters have to bring humor, or drama, or something to the table. The lives of the characters have to be interesting.The context of Slice of Life stories function as a restriction to writers. Therefore, writing the setting should not require much thought. The writer must focus on the characters, keeping in mind what qualities of the characters--their dynamic--makes the story interesting. – pigrocket 5 years ago
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      • Two reasons: first, people are endlessly curious about the things they don't know. Imagine being a tourist in a country that you've never been to before, one that seems to exotic to you, say, Guatemala. Yet to the Guatemalans their country is their everyday; it may even be mundane to them. They, however, may find the perpetually grey, rainy England skies endlessly fascinating. Therein lies the appeal to the slice of life genre - everything through a stranger's eyes; someone else's small, normal, boring or annoying is your fascinating. It's a quick, easy and cheap way to escape your mundane life into someone else's, and there is none or little of the fake, touristy stuff. And second: everyone is a bit of a voyeur. Everyone. – lizardxu 2 years ago
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      What Makes My Hero Academia So Goshdarn Likeable?

      My Hero Academia first garnered attention when it gained a surprising amount of momentum soon after its debut in Shounen Jump, often being heralded as a spiritual successor to highly successful and soon-after ended shounen titles like Naruto and Bleach. Now, with one completed anime season and a second one ongoing, MHA can be seen everywhere in otaku culture, particularly in the realm of visual essay analysis videos posted on Youtube and elsewhere. All this, despite the fact that, as many fans and critics have pointed out, there’s nothing particularly new or inventive about it. MHA takes almost every traditional shounen trope in the book and runs with them, using them to their greatest effects. It’d be interesting to pinpoint what some of those tropes are and how MHA uses them so effectively. The writer could also analyze how outside factors (like timing and anime adaptation) affected its popularity growth over the past 2-3 years.

      • I've heard extremely positive things said about this anime. I think I will begin watching it due to its use of these common tropes. In addition to this, being a spiritual successor to favourites such as Naruto and Bleach compel me even more. Great Topic! – AdilYoosuf 3 years ago
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      • I'm a huge fan of this series, I think one could focus on the characters add to My Hero Academia. – Jiraiyan 3 years ago
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      • In my opinion i think the popularity comes with its simplicity in that MHA seems to be a purer example of the heroes journey as well as a story making great use of the big dam heroes trope. When you take such a classic formula and add deconstruction along with a health dose of power scaling your bound to catch eyes. – Delebo 1 year ago
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      Kanji: Lost in Translation

      For most avid manga-readers, there have been times when a joke has gone right over our heads, or it has seemed like a character is speaking repetitively. The main culprit of this is the way that Kanji resists interpretation. Research and analyze how Kanji’s inability to be interpreted in a way that is universally accessible has affected art and pop culture as it relates to universal cultural understanding.

      • An excellent topic suggestion so you have my approval. As one who is presently learning Japanese I can certainly attest to how difficult Kanji can be to interpret, let alone translate (I use the term 'translate' advisedly). A small suggestion - it might also be worth noting that there are some young Japanese who have problems with interpreting Kanji. – Amyus 3 years ago
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      The Influence of the Big 5 in Manga

      Any manga reader as well as many other people could name you the names of the 5 largest names in the manga industry. Fairy Tail, Dragon Ball, One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach. But how much of what we read is influenced by these iconic mangas and the elements they include? Just how much have these action packed, butt-kicking mangas warped the world of modern manga?

      • There's a lot to be said with a topic like this. You could even narrow the scope and just analyze how Dragon Ball has had an influence on all the others, because each of the other manga has drawn influence from Dragon Ball as the precursor. Manga and anime in later years have put more emphasis on the fighting aspect, but you still have big-breasted women, fan-service chapters/episodes, the main character frequently deus ex's themselves to stronger abilities, etc. – Nayr1230 4 years ago
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      • I agree that you need to narrow down your topic. There has been many influential mangas for different genres, so it would be important to limit the scope. I think you are focusing on the battle manga, such as Dragon Ball, which may require examination of other classics like The Fist of Northern Stars, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Sakigake Otokojuku, and others. – idleric 4 years ago
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      • Narrow your topic. For example, the tournament preparation and event theme in Dragon Ball is something mimicked in other popular anime's targeted towards a similar audience (for me, HunterxHunter). – JMIWrites 4 years ago
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      • It can easily be said that most of modern manga was inspired off of Dragon Ball, HunterxHunter and Yu Yu Hakasho. Super power manga as followed the same formula for almost 2 decades, perhaps longer, and I can say that a lot overlaps. However with the new manga, for example Boku no hero Academia, there are some traits that add a rejuvenated feel to it. – Khaotix 4 years ago
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      • Your question itself is weird. Those "5 big" aren't in any way the most largest names in the manga industry. Except maybe on the US market. However, Dragonball is the most important manga of your list since he basically is the reason why all the others exist: Manga wouldn't even be a thing in western world without Dragonball. So to put it in an other way: "How much did Dragonball influence One piece, Naruto, Fairy tail and Bleach". Here is your answer: cinematographic sequences, pacing and editing of the scenes, power-ups, Nakama power, awesome Deus ex machina, tournaments, charismatic allies, bad guys who turn into friends, stylish battles, transformations, VEGETA and EXPLOSIONS. An interesting question would be: "Which other manga influenced them?": Kishimoto (writer of Naruto) took his inspiration from Dragon ball (DB), Jojo's bizarre adventure (JJBA), Japanese mythology, Ninku and Ghost in the Shell, and in turn inspired none except black clover and my hero academia maybe. Fairy tail is basically a cluster*** of everything that has ever been successful in pop-culture (#fanservice), which explains it's popularity. One piece is here thanks to western cartoons (Tex avery), JJBA and DB. Bleach was inspired by DB, Saint-seiya, samourai movies, Japanese folklore."What is the most influencable Shonen nekketsu manga ever?": Ashita no joe. A pioneer and a masterpiece – Tracel 3 years ago
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