Date of Graduation

Spring 5-21-2021

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Asia Pacific Studies (MAPS)


College of Arts and Sciences


Asia Pacific Studies



Anime has and continues to contribute to much of today’s popular culture. It is known for the display of gender fluidity, altering traditional views of gender and gender roles and its unique way of expressing women and their sexuality. From showing the essence of girl power in the hit series Sailor Moon to showing fierce female superheroes in My Hero Academia, anime has displayed many female characters in a progressive light. While doing so, there are still some setbacks due to the lack of character development and over-sexualization of women in anime. From oversized breasts to skimpy outfits, the representation of women in anime appeals to a male fantasy by giving a false image of women throughout the media. Female characters have also fallen victim to being typecast as the sidekick or the hopeless romantic in love with the male lead. Common tropes, over-sexualization, and overuse of fan service diminish the female protagonist and the series itself. This paper will address the over-sexualization of women in anime and how it is used to compensate for the lack of depth and character development.

Keywords: Fan service, Oversexualization, Character Development