I found myself drawn to the quiet yet determined female characters in shows because once upon a time, I was a very shy girl. It's heartb...

Character Defense: The Feminine Girls Ft. Matou Sakura & Ryuzaki Sakuno

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I found myself drawn to the quiet yet determined female characters in shows because once upon a time, I was a very shy girl. It's heartbreaking when fans of a show don't like such characters because they weren't hardcore or masculine enough. The last reason was odd to hear because, well...these feminine characters were just that, incredibly feminine. 

Two such characters are Matou Sakura (Fate series) & Ryuzaki Sakuno (Prince of Tennis) and they definitely fell into the girly-girls-who-are-disliked-because-they-are-so-not-hardcore-enough category. This post is to defend them so if such a thing offends you, it's best not to read ;)

Matou Sakura, Ryuzaki Sakuno
Matou Sakura (left) & Ryuzaki Sakuno (right)

Let's begin with Sakura, a character from a series where magic existed and the darker side of humans were depicted. She was the younger sister of Tohsaka Rin and adopted by the Matou family at a young age due to political reasons. She lived in a home where she was abused by the family and raped by magical worms for 11 years.

Ick. 

Because of the abuse she endured, she became passive and submissive.  People don't like it when characters were passive and submissive. Yet when it concerned her crush, Emiya Shirou, she was persistent. This blog over at tumblr outlined basic reasons why most dislike her as did this journal entry. Were these reasons legitimate? That's up the readers to decide. I for one, didn't agree with most of them.

Sakura had an abusive history and for her to be able to hide her true feelings was amazing. She seemed to be a sweet girl but had an underlying aggression. It eventually personified into a personality, showcasing the submerged emotions within:
Dark Matou Sakura
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Matou Sakura in her Dark form

Overall, she was a background character until she received a few episodes to herself near the end. It was said in the visual novels her back story was explained quite well.

Now for Ryuzaki Sakuno, the quiet young girl from Prince of Tennis, who admired the protagonist enough to pick up tennis and became quite good in the end. It's was typical shounen story, where the main character met various rivals, became the best, etc. etc. There wasn't magic or war, just simple comedy and action.

She too was persistent with her feelings, even though she was very shy. She seemed to have spurts of courage throughout the anime, though.

I should mention that the PoT fandom was heavily immersed in yaoi preferences. That's probably why many hate her as well - she 'gets in the way of a yaoi otp'. It's as if all the yaoi pairings in fandom exists in canon...well, the majority don't. There's nothing wrong with shipping a particular couple at all but the reaction to third parties and threats, or 'threats' do. 

Oh yes, other reasons were that she was annoying, whiny and too girly.

Here is a lovely summation written by dropsofgleam of her appearances and relationships as well as a defense against the hate she received near the bottom. This blog post covered some popular reasons for the hate she received.

Ryuzaki Sakuno scolding
Sakuno defending Horio 

The common factor between the two was that they were, again, quite feminine (being associated with pinks, pastels and 'girly' outfits) and this worked against them. It's as if these types of characters do not have a place among particular fandoms.

My theory of why many female fans, not all of course, must not like such characters, or even real women, was summed up nicely in an article by Lakshmi Ganesan

Yes, feminism is on the rise and it's been noticed in North America especially that the female voice has reduced, so to speak, while in countries such as Japan, it has increased. While that may be do to issues of equality, another factor of this could be the competition for men.

There are many women who are less girly and do not receive attention from men, or so they think. So they take out their frustration out on the girly types. An example of this is when I was in university:

I had two friends who had not had a boyfriend at all in their lives. They were much more athletic and opinionated than I was. They were twenty-three, a year older than me at the time, and thought there was something wrong with them. Now, with insecurities comes bad choices and the bad choice they made was to take their frustration of being lonely out on me, the friend who had 'guys falling all over her because she's so feminine'

There was only one man in my life at the time and I did not receive any more attention than that. It was very annoying to put up with the put-downs since a target was needed to vent out. Once they finally got a boyfriend, they were so much easier to deal with, proving they did have insecurities. 

This example can be linked to the online hate towards feminine female characters or the threat to a relationship - some people see a parallel to their own situation. Now, with the world much more attuned to the internet, this hate carried over in larger amounts. This isn't to say it's the sole reason why incredibly feminine characters are disliked but that seems to be a major one. 

Looking back at the fandom, I understand that characters such as Sakura and Sakuno weren't appealing to many just because or maybe their preference was another archetype. Not everyone has to like them. But it is not okay to vent out frustrations because of such silly reasons as being too feminine.

Why?

Because this could give way to more and more hate forming against the feminine females in the world. We don't need to love one another for who we are but it would be amazing if we could just accept a woman who is a complete tomboy, a complete girly-girl, or anything in between. 

It's just who they are. It is just who Matou Sakura and Ryuzaki Sakuno were and it would show progression if we accepted these females instead of constantly criticizing them. 


Emiya Sakuraryosaku



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