The Mako Mori test is a media test which analyzes films along the following lines:
a) at least one female character; b) who gets her own narrative arc; c) that is not about supporting a man’s story.
It was first proposed in 2013 by chaila on Tumblr, in reply to another Tumblr user (spider-xan) who questioned feminist critiques of the depiction of women in the 2013 film Pacific Rim. The film, depicting only three women who do not speak to each other (thus violating the Bechdel test) but containing a strong East Asian supporting woman character (Mako Mori, played by Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi), was seen by spider-xan as being a film which depicted the filmic rarity of a well-developed Woman-of-Color character; and spider-xan was thus reluctant to disregard the film's merits.
In response, chaila supported spider-xan's concerns and proposed a test which, unlike the Bechdel test, specifically addresses the character development of woman characters in film. It is not intended as an oppositional test against the Bechdel test, but as an extra tool for those seeking to analyze woman representation in film.
The Mako Mori test has received support in the film fan community on similar grounds, from Bob "Moviebob" Chipman (who criticizes the Bechdel test for passing films which involve all three Bechdel tenets alongside a lot of misogynistic or woman-sidelining content).
- Blogger Chalia with the post that began the movement.
- Can You Tell If A Movie's Sexist? : Bust magazine write on the origins and applications of the test.