It’s been no secret over the course of the near year now that this page has been up and running that I am a fan and consumer of ecchi content. I’ve watched a lot of harem anime and a lot of anime that will go out of its way to find room for a couple extra seconds of butts, boobs, sexual tension, underwear, showers, baths and anything else in between. What’s also no secret is that my level of fandom for this content in particular lies in that of a female persuasion. Take this current summer season for example, I’m watching shows like New Game! and Taboo Tattoo and they don’t shy away from showing off how drop dead gorgeous and sexy their female characters are.
But what may come as a surprise to some is that I actually have a problem with shows like these. However while most just have a problem with the fact it’s endless parading of half-naked girls and subjecting them to sexual objectification time and time again, my problem actually lies in a lack of a particular thing. And that very thing is something that few shows ever bother with and that’s employing the same principals on their male characters, having them be eye candy just as much as the girls are shown to be, having them put into similar situations that get them caught with their pants down (literally), have them wearing swimwear that shows more skin than the average person of the same gender would ever dare to wear.
Which is why through a play on words with a much more serious cause currently going on in the world (so please, don’t take this like I’m turning the #BlackLivesMatter movement into a joke, I am well aware how serious an issue this is and how much more serious it becomes every single day), I am fighting my own fight, specifically with anime:
This movement is very simple. We understand that not every show out there should employ this, but for a large number of shows that have a male protagonist (especially harems) and contains a ton of ecchi moments specifically with the various female characters, the male MC and other male characters should also be subjected to the same level of sexual objectification as the girls are.
Now of course there are a lot of cliches with anime that make it far easier for women to be put in these kinds of spots rather than guys. Naturally, the camera will have a harder time finding easy shots to take of male characters, like boob and panty shots easily do for women, the average guy doesn’t have much to show off in the way your average girl does and men also tend to wear less revealing and tight-fitting clothing, so getting good butt shots aren’t as easy as the average girl who wears tight jeans, yoga pants, shorts, all that jazz. So from a realistic perspective, putting guys in the same light as women is not as easy as it looks.
But then again, this is anime and realism is thrown out the window right from day one.
There so many moments in anime that I can think of that are easily reversible onto guys in the exact same shows that these moments will happen to the girls. A major number of these moments are simple “while they’re thinking/talking to themselves” scenes, take a classic scene where a girl is taking a shower after a major moment in the show that requires her some time alone to think things over, perhaps a confession, a fight, an argument, a loss, anything thought-provoking. It’s very common for these scenes to occur, the camera starting on the wall with the sounds of the shower echoing in the background. Then the camera starts at her feet, slowly moves up to catch her bare butt and then a little sideboob as well to really heat things up. But how come this rarely ever happens with the male characters, ESPECIALLY the male MCs of harem anime?! I know they’re usually thick-headed idiots, but they have to be needing time alone to think about something!
It’s kind of funny that in a lot of different anime series, there’s a lot of time spent with girls undressing, showering/bathing and walking around their house naked with just a towel on, sometimes just on their head depending on the show’s rating. But at no point do these shows have their male counterparts doing the same thing. Do men never change their clothes? Do they ever take baths? How about walking around the house in various states of undress? As a fellow male, I’ll let you kids in on a little secret: We do wear different clothes which requires us to undress, we (thankfully) do take baths and showers (which by the way, showers suck, baths are so much better, comfy as shit!) and depending on the situation, we absolutely do walk around the house either naked or in just our underwear. I would more often in my own home, but since I have roommates, kinda gotta respect privacy and all that shit, y’know?
Beyond that, there’s other little things that these shows rarely ever do with the guys. Whenever there’s a swimsuit episode, how often is the lone guy or two guys always in the baggiest board shorts while every single girl, including the shyest, most nerdy girl is still wearing a super revealing bikini that you know a girl of a similar personality in real life, she would never wear?! Of course, I’m not saying every single male character from now on in any anime should be solely wearing swimwear like speedos and fundoshis, but if you’re going to make almost every single girl regardless of their personalities wear extremely revealing swimwear, why do the men always have the state of mind to cover up as much as possible? Make some of them wear swimsuits that show off their butts just as well as the girls’ swimsuits do.
Because remember, while I said guys don’t have the easily noticeable “goods” that girls have like their breasts, when it’s pool or beach time and swimsuits are on, a lot of guys now have something to offer: their butts. While guys don’t have the hips girls have, a lot of us still have butts more than worthy of the eyes of those who are attracted to men. That’s why when the moment can call for such moments, there’s no excuse for showing off the men as well. Obviously the camera’s not going to be centering on a guy’s crotch, that’s for hentai, but when a guy’s in his underwear or a swimsuit, show off that boy butt! And if they’re well-built as well, show off those abs!
And another thing. Like I said, anime throws all realism out the window from the very beginning. There are so many completely unrealistic moments that will happen to girls that lead to ecchi scenes. Obviously there are moments that are hard to write guys into, like falling over and exposing their underwear, guys don’t wear skirts so that’s not an option. But take something like the guy walking in on a girl changing, how many fucking times does this happen in anime?! It’s like in the anime world, there is no such thing as a lock on a door! Either that, or girls apparently don’t know how to use them, but I digress. How in the blue hell am I supposed to believe that this kind of situation will happen all the time with a girl being the one caught undressing, but it never happens to a guy? Why is it so hard for anime to think it’s possible for a girl (even a sister, since anime loves that implied incest so much) to open the door to his room and catch him just as he’s pulling his underwear up to cover the one part they’d have to censor? If it can happen so easily to a girl, in a lot of these cases it shouldn’t be that much harder for it to happen to a guy.
Now of course I understand that a lot of the shows that employ these ecchi scenes with girls are targeting a male audience, in particular those of a young adult age who are attracted to women, that’s a given. But at the same time, I’m not so sure I can accept that as a legitimate reason when you take something pretty key into consideration:
The majority of men who watch harem anime or any kind of ecchi anime specifically targeting them, they also watch pornographic material. What happens in your standard porn scene? A male has sexual intercourse with a woman. In order for such an act to happen, what has to take place? Take a guess. Yep, the guy has to be naked, or at least from the waist down. Make any excuse you want, that when watching porn you don’t pay attention to the guy. Bullshit! Try watching a full porn scene and not glance down just a little bit, good luck trying! So for these shows to try and hide the fact that men also undress and get naked at some points in their daily lives, it’s actually extremely unrealistic, not in anime standards, but in logical standards. To hide the fact that the male characters ever remove pieces of clothing, it almost dehumanizes them in a way.
It begs the question: Is this just a careless oversight on the writers and producers of these various anime shows that fail to show the realities of human life, or could there be some homophobia going on here? As a heterosexual male, allow me to put my two cents in briefly on the whole homophobia issue. It’s one thing if you have a legitimate psychological condition that has you fear the naked male human body, but if you’re just an Average Joe and you have the opinion that if you look at the naked body of another man, you risk becoming gay or whatever ridiculous bullshit thought going through your head, you’re being extremely childish. Remember when I said right at the top of the article that I have no issue with shows that show off the female body? Well to add onto that, I have literally no issues whatsoever with the sexual objectification of ANY human body, regardless of gender, race or sexual disposition. It’s absolutely okay to be shy from seeing people in public naked, to avert your gaze from people, that’s a normal reaction. But to the idiots who genuinely think that seeing someone of the same gender will elicit the response of turning gay, you might want to do some soul searching, because you might be repressing some feelings that you’re not accepting or listening to.
Like I said, I’m a heterosexual male and I have no problems with any anime I’ve watched that does contain male nudity, I have no problems with watching porn where the male genitalia is out in full force. Why? It’s quite simple, actually. I know what I’m into in real life and watching something, especially that of fictional content, that won’t affect how I am in real life, or the kinds of people I look for in real life for an intimate relationship. And even if it did, would that bother me? No, because I’m comfortable in myself and my tastes, regardless of what they are and what they may evolve into. So seeing a male character in an anime completely butt naked, that doesn’t bother me in the slightest and it shouldn’t really bother anyone either, unless like I said there’s an actual deep-rooted psychological cause for a negative reaction to it.
I truly do believe that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with an even playing field in terms of anime nudity and it’s really sad that the majority of shows can’t be bothered to play fairly with both genders because writers and producers of some of these shows believe that because their target audience is a young male demographic, that in turn there should never be a naked male on-screen because that’s not what they want to see. True, a heterosexual male wouldn’t turn on Queen’s Blade expecting to see some random guy’s bare ass, but does that heterosexual male not want to see it, period? That I think is up for debate, I’d really like to believe that the majority of anime watchers are mature enough and not so insecure that the sight of a naked male character in the same show as 5+ naked female characters would completely ruin the “sanctity” of the show.
The picture above of Itsuki from Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation is a great example of simple booking causing fairness in the nudity of both genders in an ecchi scene. The intention of this scene was clearly to have Aika show up completely naked and get all the boys turned on by her absolute beauty, which for me admittedly worked, she looked absolutely gorgeous in that scene. But before she shows up and gives us the closest look we’ll ever see of her naked body without needing a black censor bar, Itsuki had to be alone in the hot spring, after all it was the men’s bath. Normally, your average anime would just have him already sitting in the water, only able to see from halfway down his chest. Instead, the show takes the time to have him walking into the spring, bare butt and all before finding his spot to sit down in the spring. It only took at most 10 seconds, but in that 10 seconds the anime took the time to be realistic and fair to both genders, not just making it so the women are the only thing to ogle at.
And after watching that scene, did I go throw up or question my sexuality because I saw a FICTIONAL boy’s bare ass? No, of course not! You know what my reaction was to that scene? I thought “Whoa! They actually showed boy butt! How often does that actually happen in anime?!” and that’s it! I didn’t think about how disgusting it was, about how the show was not delivering what I wanted to see, or anything of that sort. In fact, I was happy to see that, not in a sexual way, but in terms of the anime actually having the guts (which shouldn’t be a thing I have to say about anime!) to show such a “controversial” thing. We seem to have no problem in real life showing off the female naked body, but men? That’s a different story and it’s really weird and stupid when you think about it.
So in the future, anime truly needs to evolve and grow up a little more. In order to do so, it’s such a minor change to me, but for some it’s a tall order: Anime needs to accept the fact that if it’s going to throw realism out the window and have the women in their shows be overly-sexualized and wearing skimpy clothes, being caught undressed or naked all the time, focusing the camera on their bodies when either naked or damn near close too and in any other situation that is considered ecchi, it needs to start being applied to their male counterparts as well, wherever it can work in a reasonable manner. There’s absolutely no logical reason that at no point any male character in an anime is ever seen without clothes on, is not walked in on while undressing and is not ever wearing anything that could be considered a little more revealing than what the average person would wear in the same situation. This happens all the time with female characters, it’s ridiculous for shows to omit the exact same things from all their male characters.
And quite frankly, while feminists and SJWs alike would rather than ecchi content in not just anime, but mature and sexual content to be eliminated from video games and other forms of media as well, I believe the real solution lies in not the eradication of this content, but the addition of more of this kind of content, just on the male side. I believe in freedom and equality, so by that logic, the elimination of sexual content doesn’t fit that belief, but making male characters just as sexually objectified and shown off as girls are, that’s the best option for both sides. It evens out the playing field, it makes it so that everyone can enjoy this level of content, not just specifically those that are attracted to the female body.
Currently, the majority of anime is devoted to the many screenshots of girls’ boobs and butts, I think it’s time we started seeing more abs and boy butts on-screen and this is coming from someone who isn’t going to dream of Soma from Food Wars standing around in a fundoshi. Regardless of my sexuality, regardless of my tastes, it’s very obvious that in anime, all butts should matter, not just girl butts.
So if you agree, share this article and start getting the hashtag #AllButtsMatter trending in your circle of anime loving friends. Because we shouldn’t be reducing the amount of sexual content, we should be branching out further to include more people. Excluding is never the answer. Everyone should be allowed to enjoy anime butts!