Women in Shounen Anime
Strong female characters in Yu-Gi-Oh!?
1. Mai, who strives for independence and strength as a duelist, is prideful and confident, is sexy and uses it.
2. Isis Ishtar, who manipulates Kaiba into hosting Battle City Tournament, and who almost defeats him at his own game.
3. … Anzu. She’s pushy and strong about what she believes. (BIG HOWEVER, she is not a duelist. She takes a back seat to the boys, and is more often the Head Cheerleader Friendship-Speecher.)
So what does it mean when only three girls can hold their own in the world of card games (and somehow always lose when it counts)? In shounen anime, the hand of power tends to rest with the men. Portrayals of women often fall lackluster. Frequently, women turn out as token “faux action girls” who join in the brawl but spend most of their time as healers, being saved by the guys, or falling out of commission due to being previously pwned in the last episode. Even worse, some girls end up being written off as a mere love interest and serve as a "love-goal" for the male protagonist. Or, EVEN WORSE, girls just turn into their boobies.