Jan. 15th, 2012

opusculus: Umineko's Beatrice looking superior (Witches stand above)
There are times when I find the whole urban fantasy genre frustrating as fuck. I should be its biggest fan! I love ridiculous Mary Sues, I love cities, I love female protagonists, I love adventure and mystery and yadda yadda. But I was thinking it over, with my failed run at yet another highly recommended urban fantasy (Magic to the Bone), and I think I figured out why.

Your basic urban fantasy heroine seems pretty much modelled after the traditional male anti-hero? She's tough, she's brooding, she's hot, she's utterly friendless because that would be emotional weakness and a real hero needs no emotional weaknesses. And this meshes horribly with the fact that urban fantasy generally requires that she get together with her alpha male boyfriend who introduces her to a whole new life in the underworld. Because- okay, I don't like either the traditional brooding emotionless male anti-hero or romance, so that is totally part of my problem here.

But the thing about emotionally broken male anti-heroes is that it was supposed to convey a particular type of strength. He's above all these petty emotions because he's such a great hero and maybe a hot woman will break his shell a little, but she'll be fridged by the end of the story so all it gives him is more reason to be above it all in order to not let himself be broken by the cruel pettiness of the world around him. With urban fantasy heroines, it's a weakness that they'll generally be improving at over the course of the series, largely because of their boyfriend's influence. And I mean, I can see the appeal of that to the people who like it? But in light of that I just find the heroines to be written to be immature in a way that I can't just roll my eyes, turn off my brain and ignore. I think most loner anti-heroes are fundamentally immature too, but I have a much easier time ignoring something written to be a static trait rather than a subplot, basically.

Also, while I'm complaining, can we have some more urban fantasy female protagonists with some actual female friends? I mean, come on. Average ratio seems to be 5 guy friends to 1 female friend who makes the least appearances out of any of her friends.


opusculus: Black hole (Default)

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