“…the point I want to make is that there’s a significant difference between being manly, an awesome masculine badass who we can respect and admire; and being macho, a muscular, insecure tosspot with no social skills.” – Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw
This post by video game journalist Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw on his Extra Punctuation feature caught my interest a few weeks ago. It’s about distinguishing characters who are ‘manly men’ from those who are ‘macho men’ – the gist of it being that a ‘manly man’ is a guy who’s completely badass while still being honest with his emotions and respectful of other people, while a ‘macho man’ is a guy who tries to constantly reassure you that he has a dick by acting like one. I realize that making this distinction will raise flags with some readers (especially my vocal feminist crowd, hehe), so if you’re wary about this distinction and want to discuss it, please read this disclaimer before leaving any argumentative comments. If you don’t care about all that, then proceed~
After giving thought to Yahtzee’s post, I realized that anime is sparse on ‘manly men’. Most anime characters tend to be young, and lack the clarity of thought and ability to take action that a ‘manly man’ has. Sure, characters will sometimes do manly things, but that’s not the same as embodying that manliness as a way of life. For instance, I could argue that Kyon from Haruhi has some manly moments of taking action, but outside of those moments he’s still a directionless, complacent teenager, regardless of how much wit and intellect he has to back him up. Nay, I’m on a search for characters who are truly ‘manly men’, and I’ve listed a few whom I think qualify below.
All three of these were meant to have been done like a month to a month and a half ago in the order listed. In Index’s case, I had too much to say and ended up breaking it all into different posts, then never got around to a cumulative one. The other two I just didn’t have that much to say about. I really want to make sure that all the shows in this series get posts, though, so if nothing else, I’ll just knock out the whole trio real quick.
Starting with To Aru Majutsu no Index. I did not expect to enjoy this series nearly as much as I did because of the bad things I had heard about it from people, but of course, once again, I was reminded that people can eat a cocksicle. A lot of my enjoyment had to do with my addiction to this kind of light novel, as I detailed in this post as well as this one. I felt a level of realization in the Index universe, like the author has seriously big ideas for this series and all of the things that will happen, and has it all planned out (the fact that over 20 novels have been cranked out in under 6 years feels like proof of that.) Every arc adds onto what the last arc has built, so that the story always feels more fleshed out and interesting. This is one of the rare anime where I genuinely want to know what happens next.
His name is Oboro, and he is gay.
Gay guys have it rough in anime, just as they do in every other entertainment medium. Sure, gay girls have it rough as well, but at least they generally are portrayed as sexually attractive, get to do lots of cool things, and are occasionally sane. Gay men have not been so lucky; Just look at poor Leeron in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.