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Post Reply Do you generally consider the characters in an anime as Caucasian, Asian, or just as something else?
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31 / M
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Posted 4/17/13
If they are from Japan and have a Japanese name and look like a white character, I just go along with it and think "Okay, they are Japanese". But let's face it, despite this, the norm is that Japanese and Asian anime characters almost always look like white characters.

I hear that this caught on with Japanese animation in its early days because back in the fifties when the Japanese animation industry was getting its start, the Japanese decided to make characters that look like Disney characters to pay respect to Americans and their animation. It was something along the lines of the Japanese being humble that they were defeated by the Americans in World War II, so they payed respect for that. They also payed respect to Americans with their animation because after their defeat, America was merciful to the Japanese. Wasn't very hard on them. Rolled in and helped put Japan on track to recovery (and as we know, they pushed democracy on them).

If anime characters have western names but aren't from real world nations, I just think of them as white. A good example of this is Overman King Gainer. Lots of western names, no real world countries.
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25 / F / Georgia
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Posted 4/17/13
Neither to be honest.
Posted 4/17/13
I don't know :/ They all look Asian to me.
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26 / M / NY
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Posted 4/17/13
The characters living in fantasy worlds I consider that they are all the same race.
If it's set in planet Earth then for the most part I consider them all Japanese unless stated otherwise.
Some examples: In Monster you got some Germans, in Hikaru no Go you got some Americans, in Attack on Titans everyone is European except for Mikasa, the last Asian.
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Posted 4/17/13


clearly Piccolo is European imo.
Posted 4/17/13 , edited 4/17/13

The_Libertarian_Otaku wrote:


Depends on whether you're talking about American or Caribbean/African blacks.

Caribbean and African blacks don't call themselves black; they just identify by their nationality. African blacks don't call our blacks Africans but rather Americans with dark skin. As for black Americans of a certain age, some might still identify as "Negro" or "colored", those being the polite terms when those generations grew up ("Black" was considered derogatory in their day). Younger blacks just go by "black", "African-American", or just plain "American".

Some people prefer to identify by their nationality instead of their ethnicity.


How they prefer to identify isn't relevant to how other people identify them. If an American uniformed of the nationality of a Caribbean/African man were to see this Caribbean/African man, they'd most likely identify them as "Black".
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27 / F / Southern Oregon
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Posted 4/17/13
I think they are whatever they are in the show. Like if the show takes place in Japan most of the characters are going to be Japanese, unless stated otherwise. However if the show takes place in America, most characters are probably going to be American. If the show takes place in a made up country or universe then I usually assume they are modeled more after Japanese then other countries unless it's obvious that they are supposed to represent another country.
Posted 4/17/13

eegah87 wrote:

I think they are whatever they are in the show. Like if the show takes place in Japan most of the characters are going to be Japanese, unless stated otherwise. However if the show takes place in America, most characters are probably going to be American. If the show takes place in a made up country or universe then I usually assume they are modeled more after Japanese then other countries unless it's obvious that they are supposed to represent another country.


This. Now, we can end the debate.

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25 / M / Sydney, Australia
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Posted 4/18/13
This has been a heated discussion for me in the past... where I've talked with people who considered anime characters as "Caucasian" because they have blue eyes and blond hair... and I was like... "How many Caucasians do you see studying Classical Japanese literature at high school? Or love to eat ramen... or preparing those Japanese lunchboxes..."

Seriously, some people just choose to ignore everything else and just go by what they see on the surface.

If you look at anime such as "Heroman", it's obviously set in America... and the characters are obviously Americans because they don't wear uniforms or talk about eating ramen or bathhouses.


But for most animes, it's safe to assume that they're Japanese unless stated otherwise in the show.
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21 / F / ireland
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Posted 4/18/13

Ink-e wrote:


The_Libertarian_Otaku wrote:


Depends on whether you're talking about American or Caribbean/African blacks.

Caribbean and African blacks don't call themselves black; they just identify by their nationality. African blacks don't call our blacks Africans but rather Americans with dark skin. As for black Americans of a certain age, some might still identify as "Negro" or "colored", those being the polite terms when those generations grew up ("Black" was considered derogatory in their day). Younger blacks just go by "black", "African-American", or just plain "American".

Some people prefer to identify by their nationality instead of their ethnicity.


How they prefer to identify isn't relevant to how other people identify them. If an American uniformed of the nationality of a Caribbean/African man were to see this Caribbean/African man, they'd most likely identify them as "Black".


This whole argument reminds me of the time I was with an American exchange student who upon meeting our other roomante said 'Oh you must be African American!'. He was neither nor were any of us in America. He just preferred the term black rather than having people assume his nationality and having to constantly correct them.

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Posted 4/18/13
I guess usually Japanese unless there's evidence for something else. Really though, it's more that I just think of them as "human," and then apply traits as they come up. Unless it has a direct tie-in to the story, then it doesn't really matter much what race or cultural attributes are applied. Most stories, I've found, would be almost exactly the same no matter where they take place, so I really don't pay it much attention.
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Posted 4/18/13

Gyava wrote:
African American characters are African American, and that's something I couldn't argue with lol.


truth
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19 / F / Washington
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Posted 4/18/13
Anime characters are lemurs not actually human. SHEESH really, you guys are idiots and ignorant c;
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35 / F / Louisiana
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Posted 4/18/13
To me they're Japanese if they say they're Japanese and/or have the culture to back it up. Anything outside of that could be any nationality. Although I'm sure people would like to say they're Japanese, that would be stealing. I don't think the people in Magi, Gosick, Berserk, and a host of other shows are Japanese.

Aside from culture I go by general look. I think, "Who can play *insert character* in a live-action version?" Well, that's if Hollywood can resist whitewashing everything. That usually helps with ethnicity. I remember getting into an argument about Caska from Berserk. Someone picked an actress that was, although attractive, really really white. I begged to differ.
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Posted 4/18/13

Dropplet wrote:

Anime characters are lemurs not actually human. SHEESH really, you guys are idiots and ignorant c;


Hahahahaha.
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