Fanfiction Fridays: Home by Griddlebone

As I was going through some CDs I’d made back in my high school days, I was forced to face something: I’d really liked Inuyasha. Like, a lot. So much that I had two CDs filled with the title and ending tracks (yes, I still know the words to Fukai Mori by heart) and several versions of Inuyasha’s Lullaby. So I was feeling a little nostalgic for the series, and seeking out Inuyasha fic this week really wasn’t any surprise to me. What was a surprise, however, was how few F/F fics there were for the series. I’m pretty sure that the Kagome/Thorin Oakenshield ship had more fics than any F/F ship, canon characters or not. Upon giving up my original search—sorry, Femslash February!—I did manage to find a really wonderful ficlet that further explored my favorite female character, Sango, after the events of the series.

inuyasha-sango

(via the Inuyasha Wiki)

Throughout the first fifty-some volumes of Inuyasha, the demon huntress Sango was always portrayed as a strong woman who had lost much, but didn’t allow her losses to consume her. However, the ending of the manga always rubbed me the wrong way. Though Sango was driven by wanting to put an end to the creature who had destroyed her village and family, and she did help achieve this, I never got the impression that just because she had achieved her goal, she would put down her metaphorical torch indefinitely. Yet the series’ end had her settling down with her love interest, Miroku, and popping out babies like it was no one’s business. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but it seemed like too much of a shift in character and agency and too much of a rushed out “and they lived happily ever after” epilogue. I didn’t trudge through so many volumes for this! While today’s fic doesn’t change the outcome, what it does offer is a closer look at Sango’s mindset and character development as she enters this new part of her life—something the series should have done in the first place.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Girl-Bashing in Yaoi Fics

Disclaimer: Hello, Ace here! Tsunderin and I wrote this post about fanfiction a while back, and for our content we like to pull quotes to help strengthen the arguments we make. Previously, we named both the authors and the fanfics in question that we used for the sake of honesty. We wholeheartedly believe that when something is published, it is subject to criticism. However, it should be noted that fanfiction writers are often young, and that fanfiction is done solely for fun. Critiquing a fanfic is not the same as critiquing a published novel. As such, I left out links in order to discourage our readers from going to those people’s pages—not because we believe ourselves exempt from criticism or backlash or that we don’t want the original authors to know what we say about them, but because we want to discourage any form of harassment against those authors.

Recently, we had a reader go to the site of one our our example authors and leave them a review. We are sure that this person was well intentioned, but this ended up being an upsetting experience for the original author and an eye-opening experience for us. The names of authors and fanfic titles have now been removed from this post as a result and we send our deepest apologies to the original authors.

This blog currently has over 3000 entries on it, and I am certain that we have other posts I’ve forgotten about that also give negative critiques on fanfiction work. We absolutely discourage everyone from going to pages of individual fan authors. Critiquing can be harsh, and having a negative review on top of finding out your years-old fic was used as an example for internalized misogyny on another website can easily feel like an attack. For now, this post is remaining up, although it is possible it might be removed in the near future. We apologize to everyone we have hurt with our insensitive words and will try to do better in the future.

tumblr_leo5unPJjL1qzb8r6o1_500MadameAce: I love fanfiction. Don’t you? Fanfiction has created a wonderful community where people can share their interpretations of a story. Share how they perceive the characters. Offer new insights into the narrative. Represent sexualities that don’t otherwise get represented. Fanfiction is a realm where people who are otherwise oppressed can come out freely through pre-written characters. There are very few places more sexually liberated than fanfiction. Fanfiction is wonderful.

Unless of course, you’re a female character in a typical yaoi or slash story.

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Sexualized Saturdays: Socially Immoral Fanfiction Pairings

So the other day, I came to the realization that I do not like Inuyasha fanfiction. For whatever reason, I’ve always been put off by it, and it wasn’t until spending a few hours thinking about it that I realized why.

When I first got into fanfiction, I was about twelve, and being a sheltered child who had never received “the talk” for various reasons, I found myself just a bit in over my head. I barely understood heterosexual pairings, let alone homosexual ones, bondage, other kinks, so on and so forth. On top of that, my naïve asexual brain couldn’t even understand why anyone would want to put a penis there. And all the tentacle rape between Naraku and Sesshoumaru certainly didn’t make this experience less overwhelming.

But most of all, Inuyasha fanfiction is what introduced me to the concept of incest. And out of all those kinks, this is the one I can relate to the least. Every time, it’d make me think that the story in question would be like if my brother and I did some stuff, and that greatly disturbed me. (That was also about the time I discovered my ability to make myself vomit with a thought.)

But what really did put me off even more was the unrealistic portrayal. My twelve-year-old brain knew nothing about these issues and didn’t understand that fanfiction doesn’t reflect reality. That just because someone’s accepting of two fictional brothers together, I thought that person would be accepting of two real brothers together.

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Manga Mondays: The Portrayal of Masculinity and Femininity in Manga and Anime

From an historical viewpoint, just about every culture on the planet has idealized males as dominate figures, while dismissing females as the lesser sex. Japan is certainly no exception to this way of thinking. Though in recent years, while the gap between both genders has slimmed, it is still there, and the Japanese reflect this ideology in their manga and anime. Manga has been around for quite some time, and anime first appeared in the last century to represent manga on the television screen. While manga has an incredibly wide fan base that continues to grow each year, it normally targets either boys or girls. Manga for boys is called shounen, and for girls it’s shoujo.

Both may display similar characteristics regarding gender roles, but they are quite dissimilar in their portrayal, and normally cater to different genres. Shoujo, for instance, tends to center more on romance and finding true love, while shounen, even though it may also have romance, focuses more on action and adventure. This is not to say that shoujo has neither action nor adventure; those are just not the main focus in a typical shoujo.

So what I’m going to talk about today are two different shounen, Kisimoto Masasi’s Naruto and Takahasi Rumiko’s InuYasha. I also hope to explain why they are both shounen and not shoujo. Obviously, Naruto is a shounen, but there are some discrepancies about what category InuYasha falls under. And you’re going to have to brace yourselves, but I’m also going to be discussing gender roles.

Okay, let’s get to it.

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