cute boys on the internet
“Carol of the Bells” Trans-Siberian Orchestra
I want to make a little distinction, though.. Neither Kuroko, Kagami, Kiyoshi or Mitobe do this (i’m not too sure about mitobe?).
It’s something I’ve seen Hyuuga, Izuki and I think the first year trio do? as well as Furihata? However, I want to point out that this scene you are talking about is the white shirt one? because from what I remember in her two apperances that this topic was brought up were the pool scene and the wet shirt one? Please let me know if there are more (sorry i’ve been on this trip from hell and aren’t exactly myself tonight)
In the first one, they noted they were extremely jealous of Kuroko when she hugged him and apparently they were looking at her, because Riko cearly asked Hyuuga not to do it but I don’t remember them going “OMG BOOBS” ?
On the second time, the wet shirt scene - this was expressed when they were blushing and staring at the way the bear disfigured once Riko lent her a shirt.
Both times this was brought up but I don’t think neither reacted in a gross or vulgar manner, but maybe it’s because I’ve internalized and had to eventually cross off that sort of surprise, shock or behavior as teenage boys being teenage boys. (and frankly, I feel hypocritical considering I oggle at half naked men myself specially if they have a nice body)
I don’t recall any of them having any sort of typical ‘nosebleed’, making vulgar comments regarding her breast size or talking among each other and mentioning the size of her breasts.
I do recall them staring intently specially as she had just walked in with a see through shirt (whicch DOES NOT in any way justify that sort of behavior)
In the context of games and such, I’ve never heard them say anything about her breast size or sexualizing her body. I only recall Kagami sayinghe thought she was cute when he met her for the first time and Kuroko pointed out that she was a dangerous oponent when in court. Adding to the fact that she’s really not a girl with boobs.
If you are talking about a specific moment please let me know, i might have missed it
Mmm yea I was referring to Momoi’s intro scene and the time she shows up drenched and has to wear Riko’s shirt. When I said that they go “OMFG BOOBS” I didn’t mean that they literally said “OMFG BOOBS” but rather that it was obvious that their focus was more on the bodypart rather than the person (add that to the cinematography, which was also sexualizing in nature and also from the eyes of the boys (this part is arguable, but even if it isn’t, it was very heavy on the male gaze regardless)). Not all the Seirin guys are guilty of this, yes, but the fact that those scenes went down in the first place with the guys’ reactions as they were… I can’t personally interpret the sexualization of a woman as anything close to respectful. :/
Also re: feeling hypocritical about doing the same to naked guys, the problem (and difference) that lies in fanservice geared towards women and fanservice geared towards men is that objectification of men (and as you say, the oggling of men) can never reach to the levels that objectification of women is prevalent in society. You mentioned yourself that you have internalized and had to deal with other ppl’s sexualization of you (which absolutely sucks i’m so sorry bb! I wish I could punch those dbags for you). Objectification of women is so so common that we’ve had to learn to ACCEPT IT as typical behavior (from both genders, in fact). But that still doesn’t make it right, especially when it leads to things like rape culture. There is a reason why women react to unwarranted catcalls and street harassment with disgust, to which guys respond with “what? but if I received a compliment, I would be happy!”
So I guess what I’m trying to say is that those two situations (there might be more but I haven’t touched the manga in a while haha) and how the guys reacted in them were disrespectful to Momoi (since the ones that participated in the oggling were objectifying her). Imo you don’t need to make jokes or comment on body parts explicitly to be disrespectful, it is also inherent in someone’s actions. Yes the characters may have moved onto respecting her as a more-than-capable manager and BAMF (which is arguable b/c they witnessed her skills in the first Touou match but the wet shirt scene happened after that so… I’m not impressed I gotta say), but it doesn’t mean that the before-mentioned situations didn’t go down.
bbc sherlock got super gross esp when elementary happened, someone called lucy liu a fortune cookie like what the fuck is wrong with you people? and some were like “oH NO THATS THE /BAD/ PART OF THE FANDOM” distancing yourself is just as shitty
like, ive said some shitty things in the past, but i got real and realised that i was starting to become a part of the problem and went hold up and got smart
yea yea! I’m sure we all go through that process of education b/c it’s not like society or the school system (at least in america, i can’t remember wtf i learned in school in singapore haha) ever teaches you to be a decent human being…
i wish i could go collect the knb fandom tbh b/c some of the shit going down is super not ok but i’m so out of the fandom by now idk how that would even work
yeah it’s the vast majority of most fandoms tbqh
it makes me sad that the shitty ppl tend to be the vocal minority in most cases tho, like even if the fandom ever had good ppl in it they either are never heard or they end up leaving the fandom b/c not being heard rly rly sucks :(
i dont think ive ever experienced a fandom like this, and its worse when its adults, ie ppl who sould know better but maybe thats expecting too much
i haven’t either beyond horror stories of sherlock and doctor who (basically anything moffat touches), but i’ve basically taken it on faith that the more ppl that are exposed to a thing, the more shitty ppl are also exposed to a thing and then they do shitty things relating to that thing and it all goes to shit from there (hi i like the word shit a lot). well i guess i kind of korra’d but only in the peripherals ie i didn’t participate or pay attention to that fandom at all (because it was sososooo toxic omfg).
ngl tho i was definitely one of the shitty ppl up until at least sophomore year of college (so legally i was an adult haha) but i would like to think i’ve changed, albeit it has taken a long… time… granted i probably have a ton to learn still which is why i qualify myself with hey you are being shitty and that makes me angry but i know i should give you a chance b/c hey you might have been me a couple years ago!
when knb fandom rly rears its ugly racist, misogynist and ignorant head i just want to nope
i’m sure all fandoms are cesspools of filth when they get large like knb fandom has become but i also thought i had isolated myself to only the good parts of the fandom???
i was obviously not successful…
i wish i wasn’t so attracted to drama b/c all it does is make me mad at ppl…
also starting to fall even faster out of knb tbh how many chaps behind am i on the manga laughs if it wasn’t for pleb and kach reminding me about the anime being out and making me watch it i would be so behind on that as well…
well ok no i am very interested in animated hanamiya but once that’s done my interest in anime knb will be negative…
< SNIP because it got really fuckin long — j >
A few notes on this.
I understand where you’re coming from with the “shemale” issue. It is a very real issue that can pose very real problems, but the rest of this post has quite some holes that should be considered. They will be addressed in order. I use the words feminine and masculine within quotations throughout because they are used to refer to things that are generally thought of as such, and not because of my own opinion. I have tried to keep this post as bias-free as possible. Of course, I’m not trying to instigate anything with this. I do not mean to offend or cause any harm. I simply want to point out flaws that cannot be ignored in these arguments.
(Warning: Very long post.)
- Both Riko and Momoi have grown up in conditions that did not allow their femininity to fully thrive. Riko grew up accompanying her dad to the gym and observing athletes and while it is wrong to assume that that kind of world is traditionally “masculine”, it isn’t exactly “feminine” either. The world of athletes is one that is indeed full of males and really, someone who is involved in it just won’t be that interested in what is traditionally “feminine” due to a lack of exposure to it, which can account for both Riko and Momoi’s “feminine skills.” Momoi grew up with a boy as her best friend, and having a male best friend can be vastly different from having a female best friend. Even then, maybe Momoi just doesn’t have an interest in traditional “feminine” things because she just never did (which could explain why she had a male best friend in the first place.) She would much rather spend her time involved in the world of sports than, say, obsessing over boys, which other females in the series have been shown to do. (it isn’t limited to females of the series, though; Moriyama is quite obsessed with girls, and Okamura stated that he started playing basketball to get a girlfriend.) And there’s nothing wrong with that! The “feminine skills” the Bible was referring to was the fact that neither of them particularly care for what is traditionally ruled as “feminine.” They just do what they love, which happens to be traditionally ruled as “masculine”. I can see where the fault lies in calling it “feminine skills”, but what we know of their lives can really show us why exactly they scored low on that particular category.
- Momoi and Alex may have overwhelming male gazes, but then again, Kise Ryouta and Himuro Tatsuya have overwhelming female gazes. Kise’s fans seem to pop up everywhere he goes, and if they were more important characters I’m sure we would hear how great Kise’s biceps/abs/some other part of his body look. (I believe there is an argument floating around that biceps get just as sexualized as breasts do.) But since they are absolute side characters, we don’t get to hear much more than squeals and the like, while Seirin’s thoughts on Momoi go more in depth. Moreover, those two get attention because they are beautiful women, just like Kise and Himuro are beautiful men. Momoi got hit on during that date with Kuroko just like Himuro receives love letters from a multitude of girls and has little girls fight over whose husband he’s going to be one day (that one is from one of the Replace side stories.) People who are physically attractive go through this treatment, whether male or female. Although one could argue that females have to go through more unpleasant treatment because of how Haizaki treated Alex, Haizaki doesn’t exactly treat people right anyways. He treated Kise horribly. Could it have been out of spite for Kise’s popularity with the female population? Who knows. There are plenty of analyses on Haizaki, but unfortunately this post is not one of them.
- Many people have the habit of lounging around their home naked. While Kagami’s apartment isn’t Alex’s home, she is an open and friendly person; the type to make herself at home easily, especially if it’s the home of someone who she mentored and held so dearly. I don’t recall Alex being shamed for her habit, though. What I do recall is Kagami telling her to put clothes on because he felt uncomfortable having his old mentor—someone who is almost like family to him—naked around him, especially when his teammates are around. He is just a little aggressive about it because he would probably be the type to get a bit aggressive when flustered in some way. Again, this isn’t a character analysis, but certain character traits can lead us to be able to assume some things. And anyway, Alex’s habit never comes up when she is not partaking in it. If her habit were being shamed, it would possibly come up when she is acting normal. If it were being shamed, Kagami would tell her that what she is doing is disgusting and she should stop and would just be out to make her feel bad for doing it, which he does not do. That is what shaming is, and that is not what is happening here.
- I am a little confused on this point. To me it sounds like much more of a bias. That Kuroko inherited his misdirection from his mother is not a bad thing. It does not make misdirection “feminine”. That would be like saying that a stoic personality is “masculine”, which is another argument entirely, but if this is truly what you mean to say then it is contradictory to your original intention. And about the second part of your point, Kuroko’s misdirection does serve as a strength to him. Strengths can be lost through growth just as weaknesses can. Whether misdirection actually is a strength or weakness does not matter because it obviously served as a strength for him. Even still, misdirection is not “feminine” because he inherited it from his mother. Is blue hair “feminine” too, then, since he inherited that from his mother as well? If his father has black hair, is that “masculine”? What if his father has pink hair, which is a traditionally “feminine” color? Would that therefore make it “masculine”? This argument is heavily flawed. Traits that women have are not automatically “feminine” and traits that men have are not automatically “masculine”, and you are once again contradicting yourself by giving this argument.
- While I do agree that this is a little ridiculous, it is quite a normal thing in the highly competitive sports world. Opponents make jabs at each other like this a lot of the time. It is a low thing to do, yes, but it is not without reason. Riko and Momoi go at it like this probably because while the boys are actually playing against each other and taking part in action, the girls can only guide them and hope for the best. It’s easy to see why they feel like they have to compete with each other in some other way. The reason it’s this particular issue could be blamed on the problem of women’s images in society, yes, but don’t forget that Momoi was the one who instigated the little competition, and Momoi has an obvious advantage over Riko in that aspect, allowing her an easy win. Momoi is a sharp woman, and she can tell that Riko is sensitive about her chest size. If Riko were to choose to not be as self-conscious about this part of her body as she is, Momoi would quickly move onto something else. Something else where she has a good advantage over Riko. She’s in it to win it.
- Fujimaki is not openly putting misogynist aspects into this manga. The aim of this manga is not to demean women or give them any negative image. Riko, Momoi, Alex, and Masako are very strong women. They deal with teenage boys on a regular basis without a scratch, which is a tough feat to pull. They have other redeeming qualities, which shows that Fujimaki is making an effort to putting the women in a positive light. Anything that is found to be “misogynistic” in this manga is only perceived as such and is probably not put there on purpose since that is not the aim of this manga at all. Therefore, there is a highly unlikely chance that Fujimaki would make Hanamiya a symbolism of feminism. My knowledge on the Japanese naming system is limited, but isn’t the purpose of Hanamiya’s name to emphasize the absolute irony that he is actually a total bastard? Something “flowery” is not necessarily something “feminine”. A “flowery truth” does not mean a “feminine truth”, it just means a soft, delicate truth. Again, my knowledge is limited, but I fail to understand why Fujimaki would waste his time making Hanamiya a symbol for feminism in a manga where the purpose is to show Seirin’s growth and their hard journey to the spot of Number One in Japan. Even narrowing our view down to just the KiriDai vs Seirin match it just does not make any sense. There are absolutely no elements of gender issues anywhere near this game. This game is about Hanamiya being an evil piece of shit who is having a grand ol’ time beating Teppei up. Nothing else. There are no themes of “masculinity vs femininity” in this game because they are just not present in this manga. Hanamiya’s name is meant to be ironic in its meaning. Even if the “flowery” part implies “feminine” qualities, that isn’t his full name. His full name is an allusion to the fact that he is an evil man. The argument that you put forth is the same argument you would have to use when referring to Fujimaki’s choice to make Yosen’s uniform be pink, which is a “feminine” color. (It might have shown signs of being purple in the manga, but ultimately it came out to being pink in the anime, which of course Fujimaki most likely had to approve.) You say that Hanamiya represents feminism and the notion that “FEMININITY IS DANGEROUS”, and maybe you would go further and say that him losing also supports the idea that “femininity” is weak, since that is what he represents, after all. But then, wouldn’t you say that Yosen, whose color is the very epitome of “femininity”, and Yosen’s loss also says the same thing? What about Touou’s loss? The Touou colors could just as easily be considered “masculine.” Would Touou’s loss say that masculinity is weak? Where exactly would that leave Seirin? Is Seirin “masculine” or “feminine”? Is this starting to sound ridiculous yet? And yet your argument would agree with everything I just listed. I certainly would hope that it is starting to sound ridiculous.
- When are these jokes ever made in the series? They are running gags, but so is Takao pulling Midorima around in the rickshaw, and Kasamatsu kicking Kise around, and Moriyama looking for pretty girls, and Izuki making puns, and Kuroko startling people with his lack of presence, and Teppei being slow to understand things, etc. Yes, Momoi is intelligent. Everyone in the series acknowledges it. They comment on how scary she is and how you’re screwed if she’s your opponent. She is just as relegated to “‘lol a girl who can’t cook” and “look at how big her tits are’” as Kasamatsu is to “that guy who likes to kick people” and Izuki to “all he’s good for is horrible puns”, and Kuroko to “his invisible ability is completely useless”, all of which we all know to be completely false. There is so much more to all these characters. Whoever can’t see that really needs to open their horizons to be able to truly appreciate this show for what it is: a sports manga where the only themes that the author wants to include are themes of working hard and doing what you love and just your regular shonen sports manga.
I can understand that some of these issues can be found if you look hard enough, but they are just like headcanons. They could be true, but they are probably not. Even if they are, the author most likely did not intend for them to be present. You, however, argued that Fujimaki purposefully included themes of “masculinity vs femininity” in Kuroko no Basket. Since this theme is never openly addressed in any sort of media related to the series, chances are this is not a theme of the work. There is reading between the lines, and there is fooling oneself into thinking that there is text in the undoubtedly blank spaces between those lines.
Again, this post is not meant to touch upon the issue of Hyuga and Mibuchi at all. And once again, I do not mean to offend you in any way. No matter my opinions of your views, I am glad that you have openly expressed them, because it has given me a chance to openly express mine.
WHEW. Okay. Here we go.
First of all, I want to make sure we’re not talking at cross purposes, because I think you’ve misunderstood where I’m coming from a lot of the time. So, before I address the points you’ve made in your post, I’m going to go over some basics of critical theory.
NARRATIVE CONSTRUCTION VS NARRATIVE: Part of what I’m criticizing about KNB is its narrative construction, not just its narrative. Narrative is the plot of the story: Kuroko meets Kagami and together they go on to defeat each member of the Generation of Miracles in turn. Narrative construction are the choices made to make the plot work. It’s a choice of narrative construction to make one of the current antagonists a flamboyantly gay man (a really basic choice that is a problem). It’s a choice of narrative construction to set up the wholesome masculinity of our hero Hyuuga against the threatening queerness of Reo, our antagonist.
CRITICIZING CHARACTERS: I’ve written about this in-depth on my main using examples from Hannibal. The basic idea is that you can talk about a character as a person, i.e. if I were a person within the knb narrative I would love Riko, hate Haizaki, and stay away from Imayoshi; a character as a character, i.e. Riko on her own is a great character for the most part, Haizaki is really fucking gross because of the way he treats Alex but also intresting because of his skill, and Imayoshi is a really fucking great character because he’s hilarious and snarky and vaguely dangerous; and a character as the way they function in the narrative, i.e., Riko has a poor narrative function because she in part serves as the vehicle for a misogynistic propagation of the way women’s bodies are viewed in society, Haizaki continues to be interesting to me on a critical level due to his distortion of Kise’s skill, and Imayoshi doesn’t have a significant narrative function. In my original post, I was mostly talking about the third point, and a little bit about the second point, and not at all about the first point. In your response, you talked mostly about the first point.
FEMININITY AND MASCULINITY AS SOCIETAL CONSTRUCTS: [deep breath] well okay in popular culture, as popularized by media and film, there’s a set of behaviors and traits that are considered masculine, and a separate set that are considered feminine. Here is an example list from a test called the Bem Sex-Role Inventory, which is used to measure gender roles, among other things. (Note that this particular list should be adjusted before one uses it to apply to japanese culture, but the basic thought still stands.) I’m not the one who decides the rules on what’s coded masculine and what’s coded feminine. (This isn’t necessarily something you said; I got accusations of being a misogynist that were….related to this. They were confusing because they made no sense.)
AND NOW ONWARDS.
ONE — in this point, you’re talking about the characters as people, rather than as narrative constructions or characters. The mangaka chose to construct both Riko and Momoi in the way that he did. The cooking thing is humor constructed on the dissonance between their gender and the role their gender is expected to play, with the punchline being the fact that it’s unwomanly for Riko and Momoi to be unable to cook. Instead of having Riko grow as a character by learning to cook as befits her gender role, it would have been just as easy for Kagami and Mitobe to cook for the team during the training camp on a narrative level. I know, I know, they’ve been practicing all day and they’re tired so Riko has to. That’s also a narrative construct. The fact that she has to cook for the training camp at all results from the mangaka’s choice to make Seirin’s basketball club poor enough to lack the funds for proper meals. The fact that they’re more interested in traditionally masculine things is also a choice by the mangaka, because they are characters. I have more to say about Momoi’s relationship with Aomine, but I’ll get to that a bit later.
TWO — Ah yes, because Kise’s fans actively sexualize him, it’s the same thing /sarcasm. (I actually made some posts a while ago (as a thought experiment) exploring what would happen if Himuro and Kise were girls in the narrative construction of Kurobas.) Also, please do a little bit more reading about the concept of the male gaze. It has a long history in film and media portrayals. The “”“”female gaze”“”” —saying biceps are just as sexualized—is nowhere near the same thing, because rape culture is a thing that exists, and the male gaze is actively dangerous to women, while the female gaze isn’t nearly as dangerous to men. As, actually, we see in KNB!!! Because Haizaki looks at Alex and sees that she’s hot and then sexually harasses her. I don’t remember that happening to Kise. Also, the male gaze isn’t restricted to in-universe examples, either. Look at our first introduction to Alex (LOL I HAD FORGOTTEN ABOUT HER INTRO, SHE’S NAKED AND ASLEEP AND BEING SEEN BY A MAN JESUS CHRIST). The mangaka chose to draw her mostly naked, knowing it would appeal to fanboys. That’s the male gaze in action right there.
THREE — This is all talking about Alex as a person, not as a character. A choice was made to draw a female character in the nude for the sake of having a male character throw her clothes at her and tell her to get dressed.
FOUR — Misdirection functions via a reduction of presence. It’s a way of manipulating the way in which Kuroko takes up space, minimizing it so he can slip by unnoticed. In much of modern society, this is something that women specifically are conditioned to do. Take a look through the blog Men Taking Up Too Much Space On The Train, and take note of how the women in the pictures make a point of taking up as little space as possible. That’s why I’m calling it a feminine skill, not because he inherited it from his mother. (That particular piece of info just made me realize what’s been bothering me about it tbh.)
FIVE — “While the boys are going at it, the girls can only guide them and hope for the best.” WELL THAT’S A POINT I wanted to make. These poor girls are constructed entirely around their relationships to the boys who play basketball. Riko’s shown to be sort of aimlessly moping around before the seirin basketball club actually starts, and Momoi’s entire skill set comes about from her relationship to Aomine. I mean, I know it’s a sports manga, but…look at Haikyuu!!, okay, one of our girls there is shown being good at graphic design because of her relationship with her mother. That’s good character construction because it shows that she has a life outside of volleyball. We don’t get anything like that for the KNB ladies.
FIVE PART 2 — “If Riko were to choose to be less self-conscious…” Riko is a character. Her actions, choices, self-image, etc. were all created by Fujimaki. That’s not something you can get away from, GOD. Also, even if we could talk about Riko like that, it’s not like societal conditioning has anything to do with it, right???? DEFINITELY not like media and culture has being the ‘HOT GIRLS HAVE BIG BOOBS’ thing at literally everyone for the past, I dunno, fifty? sixty? years??? That particular piece of context doesn’t exist at all. Jesus. The whole rivalry plays into the fetishization of women’s bodies and it’s just really fucking gross.
SIX — Well, I’ve just explained at great length how it is misogynistic, so. I’ve been explained a thing elsewhere about the kanji in Hanamiya’s name so my initial point is invalid, but the point about the Yosen uniforms has literally no relationship to what I was talking about, anyway. I mentioned Hanamiya’s name because it bears a relationship to who he is as a person, like how Kuroko’s name means shadow, or Takao’s name has harmony in it. There is literally nothing symbolic going on with the uniforms in KNB. You’re falsely equalizing those arguments.
SEVEN — Look, maybe they’re not being said with words, but the visual storytelling is doing the same thing, and. Well. Look, okay, you could make a joke about ‘Oh, she tells so many puns!’ or ‘She kicks her kouhai a lot…’ about a girl and it would be literally the same joke. The cooking and boobs jokes are a problem because they are only funny when they’re told about girls.
Finally, I didn’t argue that Fujimaki intentionally introduced that theme. I said it was an intrinsic part of his narrative construction. Doesn’t matter if it’s conscious or not; it’s still there, and it’s strong, and it can be traced through so, so much of the manga and the anime. Also, my academic research interests are literally the blank spaces in between the lines in literary texts, so you are gonna have a real hard time telling me to drop that.
Hope I’ve clarified my position. Feel free to ask for clarification about anything here.
“TWO WRONGS DON’T MAKE A RIGHT”
translation: I’m being shitty to you, but you’re not allowed to be anything less than nice to me, or I won’t stop being shitty to you!