Author Topic: Media with Female Protagonists? (Suggestions Wanted!)  (Read 675 times)

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Offline Pugglemuggle

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Media with Female Protagonists? (Suggestions Wanted!)
« on: August 24, 2015, 06:29:14 pm »
Hi everyone!

My "So I Heard You Like Female Protagonists" panel was accepted and is currently on the schedule for Friday at 9:00PM in Oak. I'm super excited! I might need a little help, though.

If anyone has suggestions for shows, movies, etc. that have good examples of female protagonists, I'd love to hear about them! Preferably, I'm hoping to find media that also has a racially diverse cast and LGBT characters. Also, if anyone knows a lot of non-Western media, I would be thrilled to hear your suggestions, because at the moment I've been finding myself swamped in mostly American and British TV.

The goal is to expose people to media that they may not have heard of before, so it's okay if it's obscure!

Here's the list of shows I've already watched or looked into:
  • Agent Carter
  • Agents of Shield
  • Avatar: Legend of Korra
  • Carmilla
  • Continuum
  • Elementary
  • Faking It
  • Heroes
  • Lost Girl
  • New Girl
  • Orphan Black
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Sense8
  • The 100
  • Witches of East End
  • Wolfblood
Here's a list of shows I've heard of and am planning on checking out:
  • Alias
  • Alice
  • Alphas
  • Bionic Woman
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Dark Angel
  • Dollhouse
  • Fringe
  • H20: Just Add Water
  • Haven
  • Hit & Miss
  • The Killing
  • The Lying Game
  • Medium
  • Once Upon a Time
  • Painkiller Jane
  • Queen of Swords
  • The Secret Circle
  • Witchblade
  • Xena: Warrior Princess
  • X-Files
I haven't put together a list yet for anything but Western TV, mostly because of my lack of knowledge and because I'm not sure what level of interest con-goers might have in other kinds of media. However, I'm totally open to suggestions for these!

If you've watched a lot of these shows or know a lot of shows/movies/books/mangas/animes/etc with female protagonists, and if you'd be interested in helping out at the panel, please let me know! My email address is absurdivy@gmail.com.
Thank you guys! See you at the con!

 
« Last Edit: August 25, 2015, 11:56:47 am by Pugglemuggle »

Offline BlackjackGabbiani

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Re: Media with Female Protagonists? (Suggestions Wanted!)
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2015, 07:48:24 pm »
Wait, since this is an anime con, shouldn't your focus be on Japanese media? I mean, Korra I can see but...
And that would completely reframe by what you mean by "of color" (which btw you should be careful with because it's identical to "colored", which is SUPER offensive) because in that it would mean "not Japanese".

Basically, it's confusing why you're having so much American and British media in there at an anime con.


Anyway, here's some just off the top of my head. The main character may not be female but women will be protags in them all the same:

-Final Fantasy (especially VI, X, and XIII)
-Pokémon (especially in some of the manga series)
-Excel Saga
-Yotsuba &!
-Metroid
-the more recent Mario games (Peach has gotten an upgrade in the last decade!)
-Legend of Zelda (not just Zelda/Sheik/Tetra, but Impa, Ruto, and etc)
-Azumanga Daioh
-Valkyria Chronicles (I've only played 2 but like half the cast is women)
-the Atelier series
-Ms Pac-Man (first playable female character in all of video games!)
-KnIGHTS
-Okami
-Happy Happy Clover
-Claymore
-Cyber Six (Argentinian but with a heavy anime influence)
-Digimon

Offline Valkyrie542

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Re: Media with Female Protagonists? (Suggestions Wanted!)
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2015, 11:02:19 am »
Wait, since this is an anime con, shouldn't your focus be on Japanese media? I mean, Korra I can see but...
And that would completely reframe by what you mean by "of color" (which btw you should be careful with because it's identical to "colored", which is SUPER offensive) because in that it would mean "not Japanese".

Basically, it's confusing why you're having so much American and British media in there at an anime con.


Anyway, here's some just off the top of my head. The main character may not be female but women will be protags in them all the same:

-Final Fantasy (especially VI, X, and XIII)
-Pokémon (especially in some of the manga series)
-Excel Saga
-Yotsuba &!
-Metroid
-the more recent Mario games (Peach has gotten an upgrade in the last decade!)
-Legend of Zelda (not just Zelda/Sheik/Tetra, but Impa, Ruto, and etc)
-Azumanga Daioh
-Valkyria Chronicles (I've only played 2 but like half the cast is women)
-the Atelier series
-Ms Pac-Man (first playable female character in all of video games!)
-KnIGHTS
-Okami
-Happy Happy Clover
-Claymore
-Cyber Six (Argentinian but with a heavy anime influence)
-Digimon


To answer your question, blackjack, there has been a slow rise in convention attendees who aren't into anime/manga or they've been slowly losing interest in it and move on to something else.

I was really into anime in the past, for example, but now I'm more into video games.
I cosplay as game characters and other people do, too. And, some people are also organising games and panels that include - or are solely about - video games, comics, or tv shows.

Kumoricon has always been a Japan-related and anime convention; but because there aren't very many conventions for game or comic fans in Oregon or Washington, they flock to Kumoricon. ^^

As for the panel idea,I like it!

I wish I could add more to the lists, but I'm drawing up blanks right now, I'll have to come back later. :p
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Offline Pugglemuggle

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Re: Media with Female Protagonists? (Suggestions Wanted!)
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2015, 11:55:23 am »
Wait, since this is an anime con, shouldn't your focus be on Japanese media? I mean, Korra I can see but...
And that would completely reframe by what you mean by "of color" (which btw you should be careful with because it's identical to "colored", which is SUPER offensive) because in that it would mean "not Japanese".

Basically, it's confusing why you're having so much American and British media in there at an anime con.


Anyway, here's some just off the top of my head. The main character may not be female but women will be protags in them all the same:

-Final Fantasy (especially VI, X, and XIII)
-Pokémon (especially in some of the manga series)
-Excel Saga
-Yotsuba &!
-Metroid
-the more recent Mario games (Peach has gotten an upgrade in the last decade!)
-Legend of Zelda (not just Zelda/Sheik/Tetra, but Impa, Ruto, and etc)
-Azumanga Daioh
-Valkyria Chronicles (I've only played 2 but like half the cast is women)
-the Atelier series
-Ms Pac-Man (first playable female character in all of video games!)
-KnIGHTS
-Okami
-Happy Happy Clover
-Claymore
-Cyber Six (Argentinian but with a heavy anime influence)
-Digimon

I'll change "people of color" to "racial diversity" I think. I was just using the term that I see most often to describe American media, where POC typically means non-white people. However, I can see how this might not translate well into Japanese media. I also wouldn't hold a Japanese anime or manga to the same racial standards as, say, and American show, because the racial distribution in Japan is very different from what we see here in the States.  The POC preference is only really relevant in Western media suggestions.

As for Western media at an anime convention, I'm sort of in the same boat as Valkyrie542, and I think there are tons of other con-goers who are in there as well. My two other approved panels are a Supernatural panel and a Marvel panel, both of which are expecting large turn-outs. While Kumoricon will always remain centered around Japanese media (and rightly so!) I think it's wonderful that it's become a haven for such a diverse variety of fandoms, and I think there will be plenty of people interested in hearing about both Western and non-Western media.

Thank you so much for your suggestions! I'll definitely look into them!

Offline BlackjackGabbiani

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Re: Media with Female Protagonists? (Suggestions Wanted!)
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2015, 06:09:58 pm »
Addressing the differences in the expectations of diversity between the audiences would be neat too, although likely for another panel. Though the differences in cultural expectations regarding women would be spot on--like how magical girl series are generally seen as empowering to Americans while in Japan they're crititized for maintaining gender roles.


Offline Sailor-Jeimi

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Re: Media with Female Protagonists? (Suggestions Wanted!)
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2015, 09:49:09 pm »
Female Protags in media outside of western series?
There's an ENTIRE genre that is literally that exact thing..Magical Girl..Sailor moon, Cardcaptor Sakura (known as Cardcaptors in the dub), and Tokyo Mew Mew (known in the dub as Mew Mew Power) are the top 3 prime examples, but that's an entire genre dedicated to the exact subject you are talking about.

Offline Yu

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Re: Media with Female Protagonists? (Suggestions Wanted!)
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2015, 05:31:57 pm »
I have a few ideas, but first I'm curious to know exactly what this panel is trying to say. Is it simple a list of anything with a female lead, or are looking to discuss strong female characters?


Because I have seen a lot of series with female protagonists who stil fit into an annoying trope and are not what I would consider strong or independent.
IF you did want to make a statement about female characters than I think I'd be happy to elaborate.


Otherwise I'll spare you my preaching.


Also, where the hell is Moribito?! She is hands down the greatest example of a strong, independent women who has her own agency without being sexy. Something a lot of female orotagonist lack.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2015, 05:33:30 pm by Yu »

Offline BlackjackGabbiani

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Re: Media with Female Protagonists? (Suggestions Wanted!)
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2015, 09:41:24 pm »
Well, there's also the use of sexiness as empowering. Like how Bayonetta was designed to be a power fantasy by the woman who designed her.

Offline Yu

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Re: Media with Female Protagonists? (Suggestions Wanted!)
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2015, 10:49:47 pm »


[size=78%]Hey, tell the whole story. Yes, the lead designer was a woman, and that is pretty cool, but she was only following the specs she was given.[/size]
The idea for the character was based entirely on the directors personal fetishes. Not that it completely deminishes the character, she does have her good points, a lot more than many female protagonists.


BUT I have no intention of arguing about this sort thing here. I only came to offer some input in case it was helpful. Until the TS gives me a definate yes/no, I'm  politely abstaining.



Offline Pugglemuggle

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Re: Media with Female Protagonists? (Suggestions Wanted!)
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2015, 02:04:46 am »
Sailor-Jaimi: Thanks for those suggestions! I'll definitely look into them!

Yu: The goal of this panel is to expose people to media they may not have known about otherwise. Except for a few genres, most of popular media nowadays tends to focus on male protagonists. While a lot of these shows/movies/animes/etc. are awesome and great to watch, I think simply being aware of some of the lesser known but no less awesome female-led ones can greatly help the industry expand its selection of female protagonists. So, this panel will focus less on discussion of female protagonists and more on exchanging suggestions.

However, I agree with what you're saying about "strong female protagonists". Too often I think writers rely on this sort of cookie-cutter formula for a female character without actually giving her the development and depth she deserves. The list of media I'm trying to compile is focusing on strong female characters not in terms of physical strength or warrior abilities, but rather the strength of her character and development, hopefully without turning her into a sex object or a plot point for a male character.

Also, I will definitely look into Moribito! Thanks for the suggestion!

Offline snafu

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Re: Media with Female Protagonists? (Suggestions Wanted!)
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2015, 05:50:18 pm »
I'd also suggest looking into School-Live/Gakkou Gurashi, which is a new anime currently airing in Japan.  Its leads are all girls with a lot of character development thus far, and their inner strength in surviving day to day in a horrible, apocalyptic situation.  Unlike High School of the Dead, they don't exist to be won by a male protagonist and unnecessary fan service. 

Offline Valkyrie542

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Re: Media with Female Protagonists? (Suggestions Wanted!)
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2015, 11:41:19 pm »
Sorry, I hope I'm not too late with my suggestions - but some characters just came to mind and I'd thought I'd share! ^^;


I guess everyone's idea of strong women is different, for one thing.
For some people, maybe a woman is strong because she can fight (physically, or with a weapon), or stand up for herself, or maybe she owns her beauty or sexuality...


I always enjoy female characters who get through really tough stuff in life, perseverance.


So, following that theme, here are some ladies I like (in video games):


-Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)

-Emily Wyatt (Deadly Premonition)

-Jade (Beyond Good & Evil)

-Kya (Kya: Dark Lineage)

-Elsa Lichtmann (L.A. Noire)

-Rosa Blackwell (Blackwell Series)

-Kate Walker (Syberia)

-Jill Valentine, Claire Redfield, Ada Wong, Rebecca Chambers, etc. (Resident Evil)

-Sheriff Sarah Breaker, Rose, Alice Wake, etc. (Alan Wake)

-Heather Mason, Lisa Garland, etc. (Silent Hill)

-Miku Hinasaki, Rei Kurosawa, Mio Amakura, etc. (Fatal Frame)

-Fiona Belli (Haunting Ground)

-Max Caulfield & Chloe Price (Life Is Strange)

-Clementine (The Walking Dead)

-Snow White, Beauty, etc. (The Wolf Among Us)


While there might be some fan service, quite a number of these women are valued for more than their looks.
I think they make good role models and they're a fair representation of how dynamic women can be.


I'm curious to hear what everyone's opinions on the subject will be, count me in!

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Offline BlackjackGabbiani

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Re: Media with Female Protagonists? (Suggestions Wanted!)
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2015, 09:12:50 pm »


[size=78%]Hey, tell the whole story. Yes, the lead designer was a woman, and that is pretty cool, but she was only following the specs she was given.[/size]
The idea for the character was based entirely on the directors personal fetishes. Not that it completely deminishes the character, she does have her good points, a lot more than many female protagonists.

The designer specifically said that she designed the character to be her own ideal woman, the woman she aspired to be. We shouldn't erase her words or intent just because the director was a man.

Offline Pugglemuggle

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Re: Media with Female Protagonists? (Suggestions Wanted!)
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2015, 02:39:36 pm »
Hey you guys! Thanks to everyone who gave suggestions, both on the forums and at the panel! We made a pretty giant list!

Here's the list we made at the panel combined with all the suggestions I had/was given previously. I don't know a lot of these, so I can't vouch for whether or not they belong on the list, but I did keep some of the comments that were made about a few of them on this list. The items in the lists are in alphabetical order. If you see one that it misspelled or in the wrong category, please let me know!

 Anime/Manga
  • A Certain Scientific Railgun
  • Akame ga Kill
  • Angel  Beats! (but female isn’t protagonist)
  • Azumanga Daioh (only one male character)
  • Bamboo Blade
  • Battle Athletes
  • Black Lagoon
  • Black Rock Shooter
  • Blood+ (many male characters, but some driving female characters (?))
  • Blood-C
  • Bubblegum Crisis
  • Cardcaptor Sakura
  • Cereal Experimentts Lain
  • Claymore (fantasy, finding agency for herself)
  • Digimon (?)
  • El Cazador de la Bruja
  • Elfen Lied
  • Excel Saga
  • Fruits Basket (though she is fairly submissive)
  • Ghost in the Shell (potentially objectified women)
  • Girls & Panzar
  • Good Luck Girl
  • Gunslinger Girl (terminal patients turned into cyborgs)
  • Haibanai Ranmai (angel people)
  • Happy Happy Clover
  • Haruhi Suzumiya
  • Higurashi no Maju Koromi
  • Key the Metal Idol
  • Kill la Kill
  • Knights (Minoru Murao)
  • K-On! (slice of life, music)
  • Little Witch Acadamia
  • Log Horizon (recent season)
  • Lucky Star (slice-of-life)
  • Madoka Magica
  • Magical Witch Punie-chan (training to become an evil empress)
  • Mahoramatic (slice of life)
  • Maria Watches Over Us (yuri undertones)
  • Mitchiko to Hatchin (roadtrip with guns)
  • Moribito
  • My Hime
  • Noir
  • Oh My Goddess
  • Ōoku: The Inner Chambers (males have died, female empress)
  • Ouran High School Host Club
  • Princess Jellyfish
  • Project Aiko
  • Ranma ½ (side protagonist is daughter of dojo master)
  • Read or Die
  • Remember Me
  • Revolutionary Girl (yuri undertone)
  • RWBY
  • Sailor Moon
  • School-Live/Gakkou Gurashi
  • Shakugan no Shana
  • Shamara Princess
  • Shin Sekai Yori
  • Skull Girl
  • Slayers (sorceress)
  • Soul Eater Not! (supernatural)
  • Spice & Wolf
  • Squid Girl (comedy, slice-of-life)
  • Steins;Gate (debatable… also protagonist is not female)
  • Strawberry Panic (sort-of yuri drama)
  • Strike Witches
  • The Girl That Leapt through Time (same animators as wolf children)
  • Tokyo Mew Mew
  • Venus vs Virus
  • Witchhunter Robin
  • Wolf’s Children (Ame to Yuki) (single mom)
  • Wolf’s Rain (but female isn’t protagonist)
  • Yotsuba &!
Western Animated Media
  • Disney Princesses
  • Legend of Korra (ATLA too, but not female protagonist)
  • My Little Pony
  • Powerpuff Girls
  • Stephen Universe
Musicals
  • Chicago
  • Legally Blonde
  • Nine to Five
  • Reepo the Genetic Opera
  • Thoroughly Modern Millie
  • Wicked
Western TV Shows
  • Agent Carter
  • Agents of Shield
  • Alias
  • Alice (as in Alice and Wonderland)
  • Bionic Woman
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Carmilla (lesbian vampire at college)
  • Continuum (cop lady from the future comes to present to stop terrorists)
  • Dark Angel
  • Dollhouse (debatable—protagonist has no agency
  • Drop Dead Diva
  • Elementary (Joan Watson)
  • Faking It (high school rom-com tv show)
  • Fringe
  • Haven
  • Hit & Miss (transgender master assassin)
  • Lost Girl (some issues with sexualizing, but protagonist is a succubus, so)
  • Medium
  • New Girl
  • Nurse Jackie
  • Once Upon a Time
  • Orphan Black
  • Painkiller Jane
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Queen of Swords (Zorro, but a woman)
  • Sense8
  • The 100
  • The Big C
  • The Killing
  • The Lying Game
  • The Secret Circle
  • Witchblade
  • Witches of East End
  • Wolfblood
  • Xena: Warrior Princess
  • X-Files
Video Games
  • Alan Wake (Sheriff Sarah Breaker, Rose, Alice Wake, etc.)
  • Atelier series
  • Beyond Good & Evil (Jade)
  • Blackwell Series (Rosa Blackwell)
  • Deadly Premonition (Emily Wyatt)
  • Fatal Frame (Miku Hinasaki, Rei Kurosawa, Mio Amakura, etc.)
  • Final Fantasy (especially VI, X, and XIII)
  • Haunting Ground (Fiona Belli)
  • Kya: Dark Lineage (Kya)
  • L.A. Noire (Elsa Lichtmann)
  • League of Legends
  • Life Is Strange (Max Caulfield & Chloe Price)
  • Metroid
  • Ms Pac-Man (first playable female character in all of video games!)
  • Okami
  • Portal (Chell & Glados)
  • Resident Evil (Jill Valentine, Claire Redfield, Ada Wong, Rebecca Chambers, etc.)
  • Silent Hill (Heather Mason, Lisa Garland, etc.)
  • Syberia (Kate Walker)
  • The Last of Us
  • The Wolf Among Us (Snow White, Beauty, etc.)
  • Toho
  • Tomb Raider (Lara Croft)
  • Valkyria Chronicles (half the cast is women)
Other
  • Black Widow (2014-2015 comic series, beautiful art)
  • Cybersix (Argentinian comics/animated series)
  • Dream Girls (movie)
  • It’s Okay That’s Love (Korean Drama)
  • Secret Garden (Korean Drama)
  • “Strong Female Protagonist” (webcomic)
  • Studio Ghibli (movies)
I hope that you'll all look into a few of these suggestions! Thanks again, everyone!

-Ruby
« Last Edit: September 10, 2015, 02:40:55 pm by Pugglemuggle »

Offline BlackjackGabbiani

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Re: Media with Female Protagonists? (Suggestions Wanted!)
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2015, 01:41:34 pm »
I don't think the issue is necessarily if they're the main character. I mean, FFV has a male main character but every other member of the final party is a woman, and him having a bit more spotlight doesn't take away from their characters, just like it doesn't take away from FFVI having female main characters for there to be only three ladies in the playable cast.

Also there's sexualization versus objectification. See my prior example of Bayonetta--she was designed as a power fantasy of the female character designer of the sort of woman she desired to be like. Even if she'd been designed by a man, the character controls her sexuality and it comes across as a form of self expression rather than something someone is doing to her.

Offline Valkyrie542

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Re: Media with Female Protagonists? (Suggestions Wanted!)
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2015, 02:42:15 am »
I was at the panel and I really enjoyed all the examples the hosts and attendees provided! (Though, sadly, I arrived with fifteen minutes left)


However, I felt as though something was missing from the discussion, and I'm not exactly sure what that could be...


I guess I was kind of hoping that there would be a little bit of discussion about how to support works with positive/healthy representations of female characters. If money and word-of-mouth goes towards those kinds of books/shows/movies/games, that's a decent amount of support to help keep the production cycles going!


But, maybe I missed a lot more than I thought, maybe you were already discussing these kind of issues before I got in. ^^;
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