The Decline of Masculinity in Anime And Manga Art Through Years.

This is going to be a quickfire discussion, however, I want You to tell me what you think about this topic. So be sure to comment, so we can start something interesting. 😀

Let’s get straight to the point.

This first set of images from oldER mangas clearly gives their protagonists a strong, sharp masculine look, accompanied by an amazing set of muscles and a “decisive stare” highlighting drive and STRENGTH of character, followed by a squared jawline.

This was the ideal image of what a masculine man would’ve been like back in the day when it comes to the Japanese mangas standards.



Here instead you can see rounder face shapes, thinner body frames, and a “sweet” approachable look on their face with a complete LACK of assertiveness. As a result of the gradual decline of men and society’s effect on them, these are more recent mangas.

Depression and lack of control over one’s emotions came as well. Suddenly Men are portrayed more and more like Women, more prone to showing their inability to control emotions and falling pray to them. Sure, you can dismiss this as an “artistic choice” or by saying that they’re just teenagers boys or whatever (which may be true). But it’s more than just that.


Without a doubt, society is shaped by our decisions, and consequentially, art follows suit as you can see.

So you can act like nothing’s happening, or recognize that this particular current, be it mangas or in other artistic (and not only) media is slowly and unfortunately affecting how men and their masculine traits are perceived, directing this all in a more androgynous path instead.


Don’t take this post TOO seriously, or TOO lightly, and share it with friends.

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4 thoughts on “The Decline of Masculinity in Anime And Manga Art Through Years.”

  1. Hi V,

    There is so much to talk about this topic. I kind of agree with you. Some male characters in anime/manga suck a bit, and you’re right, they look ‘feminine’ (and I also want to add sometimes poorly built and drawn – for ex. Kirito from SAO is way uglier in the manga than the anime, I disliked him since the very start and that’s why I just watched the 1st season, it ended up with the same cliché and got tired, yikes) but in my opinion is just to get more female audience; Because most of females like bishounen males, soyboys and plus most of them (females) are more likely to read/watch drama or romance.

    I will tell you the other two guys next to Kirito: Takumi (The blonde one), and the other is Miyamura

    Takumi is not like what you see, I recommend you to read or watch Kaichou Wa Maid-sama! it’s a classic highschool romance but it’s very worth it. Takumi is a very cool character, and the mangaka is also a female.

    And for Miyamura, yeah, he is also from a classic highschool romance/drama eccetera called HoriMiya. But he is also cool; He got tattoos, piercings and he also used to have long hair… Basically a ‘bad guy’. (Fun fact: He had a ‘fight’ with one of his schoolmates and he always act cold) … I believe the mangaka is a male.

    You might also know that some of Miura’s and Araki’s characters are also bishounen (like Grifis, Bucciarati and so on.) I guess some likes it masculine and some doesn’t (and all manga/anime characters age average is like 15-20+ years old). I know all the characters you’ve put in this topic and I’m kind of happy that you also know City Hunter. I will tell you a little spoiler: They made a recent movie about it and it’s garbage – just look at the animation style and your youth will be ruined.

    I don’t mind both styles (depends if the plot is good), but I way prefer masculine, manly and well built and drawn male characters (with big eyebrows, muscles, classic pissed off look, act cool and serious, had a tough past eccetera), but hey, anyone got its style and I guess anyone can read or watch whatever they want. One thing sure is that nowadays is rare to find a style like it used to be 20 years ago.

    I know some female mangakas that draw godlike – like for ex. Hayashida, Dorohedoro’s mangaka (if you never heard of this manga, you MUST read it. They also released the animated serie but meh, it is what it is.)

    What about the opposite? I mean, tomboy (or not) females with muscles? In my opinion, they are smoking hot. What’s your opinion?

    Also, what about the ‘trap’ and ‘reversed trap’ type?
    I think it’s ok and I do like them, but the way the build them on manga/anime is just a… I don’t know… Shame?

    What are your thoughts?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First of all, thanks for your biblical comment, appreaciate it. While I wanted to express the focus of this topic upon the dropping masculinity issue, I do agree that style plays a big part in it (like I’ve said) but overall nowadays, you see less and less men depicted as such, because men are becoming more feminine in general and that shapes that current I’ve spoke about.

      I didn’t know about the recent City Hunter movie! – but I guess female character with muscles are fine, though my idea of “smoking hot” (ahah) is the look that goes towards the full feminine one (soft, gracious and warm so to speak). 🙂

      People told me to read Dorehodoro, which I’ll do soon and i will tell you about it then!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Even Dragon Ball Super is affected by the more feminine art style in men; the characters are more slim and their features are softer. Future Trunks looked like a stick! Such a far cry from the Cell Games. As a woman, I prefer masculine men in both real life and animation. Whilst there is nothing wrong with diversity and being different, I don’t like how the two genders are blurring together. Women are encouraged to be strong and masculine because it’s ’empowering.’ Men are encouraged to be the opposite because of ‘toxic masculinity.’

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My thoughts exactly, Sophie. I agree, the fine line between masculine and feminine it is indeed mixing awfully together, though not every episode of DBS is like you’ve depicted (the majority is, of course) I think that’s mostly related to the animators they choose to employ, take as example the last fight with Jiren and Frieza, Goku is drawn very well and with lots of masculine traits. Even the recent Broly movie has done an excellent job, though I agree they do look less masculine when compared to the old DBZ art. What do you think? Thanks for your awesome comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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