I’m reading The Book of Human Insects rn and…Tezuka, you’re you know, the “God of Manga” and one of my spirit animals and all, but come on! There’s this page or two where one character is all:
…You know, the same of liquor. Depending on the vessel you pour it into can take on vastly different appearances, people are like that too. Especially the liquor called “woman”. Adding a condiment called “man” to it, can completely change it’s flavor.
…and then goes on to describe how the woman protagonist is different when she attaches herself to different men. I know technically, men are the “condiment” in this crappy analogy, but I can’t help but think of this like film criticism…where in classic hollywood films there is very rarely a female lead (or even significant character!!!). And even when there is a woman protagonist, her motivations and plot line are alwaysalwaysalways determined by the man / men around her.
That’s basically half of The Book of Human Insects. The woman lead can’t do or produce anything on her own, and has to parasitically feed off a man’s life’ work. Ugh.
Ima keep reading it…but wincing.
Edit: Oh, and how could I forget the “voluntary” rape scene, where afterwards she’s all “I provoked him so he would force himself on me!” (paraphrasing, but that’s basically it). Of course during the rape, she at first protests, but shifts immediately to “enjoying” the rape. Or one of the several full pages of a man beating the crap out of her, for dramatic effect? WHAT THE MOTHERFLIPPIN ASTROBOY, TEZUKA???