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Do Anime characters look Caucasian to you?
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Posted 11/18/06 , edited 11/18/06
I admit it struck me one day that oftentimes the characters seemed exceedingly "white" to me, as a Caucasian. I'm wondering if any of you Caucasians out there got the same thought at one time. Also, what are Non-Caucasians take on this? You guys can processed to call me a dumbass or agree or whatever.

I made this post mainly because I stumbled upon this article recently:
http://www.matt-thorn.com/mangagaku/faceoftheother.html

Here is a quote:

Racial markings in manga, therefore, are generally relative. By contrast, an American comic book set in Japan or China would most likely portray every character with stereotyped racial signifiers (and probably with contrived accents, as well). It may be that Westerners, accustomed to non-relative, standardized racial markers, are baffled by the Japanese system of relative signification, in which a single artist may portray a Chinese character one way in one story (set in Japan), and very differently in another (set in China).


Another article on this:
http://www.sequentialtart.com/archive/dec03/ao_1203_3.shtml
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Posted 11/18/06
no, not really

In Emma they are meant to be white, and some characters in some series are explicitly said to be from America like in Ai Yori Aoshi. The 'whiteness' is not specific to caucasian people. Japanes people are not yellow so why would one color be specific to one race.

The idea of purity is important to japanese, thus geisha girls putting on that white powder over their face. Color can be interpreted differently but white is not specific to white people only, if you've ever met a japanese or vietnemese or even a chinese person.
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Posted 11/18/06
I dont care who you are, where youre made, or what you look like. As long as youre fun to watch. Hence the reason I watch anything.

Code Lyoko - France

Avatar: The Last Airbender - United States

Nana - Japan

Race! - South America

Mighty Morphin Emo Rangers (not truely animation but still...) - United Kindom

I dont think that what the character looks like should matter. People are WAY too caught up in appearances these days. Just sit back and enjoy the show.
Posted 11/18/06
origional anime characters were based off disney cartoon movies, and those ppl were white
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Posted 11/18/06
Yea here is a quote to go with the above post from the 2nd article i linked to:

These apparently un-Japanese character designs are not a new departure for anime, or for the manga that so many of them are based on. Although the earliest anime series to be shown on American TV, Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy, Speed Racer, and (in some markets) Eighth Man and Gigantor, featured mostly dark-haired human characters, they were drawn in a relatively cartoony, Disney-influenced style which made it easy to assume that all the cast members were Caucasian. In fact, as more than one anime historian has pointed out, many viewers who were fans of these shows in the 1960's, when they originally aired in the U.S., never realized that their favorite series were actually Japanese imports rather than homegrown products.


To take a specific example take Rurouni Kenshin. As the 2nd article notes, he "is a lavender-eyed redhead whom most Western viewers wouldn't have a clue was Japanese if he weren't dressed in a pink and white kimono and armed with a (reversed) samurai sword."

Here is another quote from the second article in which a noted magna authority comments on the historical shift:

So why is it that there have traditionally been so many apparently Caucasian-looking characters in anime and manga, even the ones that are specifically set in Japan? According to noted manga authority Frederik L. Schodt, author of Manga! Manga!: The World of Japanese Comics (Kodansha International, 1983) and Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga (Stone Bridge Press, 1996), the roots of this phenomenon can be traced back as far as the forced "opening" of Japan to the West by Commodore Perry in the nineteenth century. In Schodt's words, "Before the Japanese came into contact with Westerners, they depicted themselves with Asian features, and often smaller-than-life eyes, in scroll paintings and woodblock prints." In contrast, "Prior to the Meiji period, which began in 1868,...'Europeans' were drawn as huge hairy freaks with enormous schnozzles." However, once Perry and his entourage arrived in 1853, introducing European-based concepts of art and esthetics along with their main objective of increased trade between Japan and the West, Japanese artistic ideals began to shift closer to Western models.

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Posted 11/18/06
But they don't really look asian / caucasian or whateva do they?
Posted 11/18/06
david from Blood+ hes as white lookin of an anime character as you will get!
i agree with the kenshin thing put him in different clothes never would have figured out he was japanese...but i think they made him look like that due to the fact to sperate himself from the others in the show he looks soo much different than lets say sano or aoishi (who are the skinny black hair normal asian types) that shows that hes the main character?




Trevor (OP)
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Posted 11/18/06
Not all characters, as of now the japanese media knows personal they can't pass off the blue eyed- blonde hair caucasian look. Thats why they choose to alter the characters to look more asian in real life.

Sailor moon live action- has blonde- but brown eyes and not as pale.
Misa Misa- from death note- has black hair.
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24 / M / I'll tell if you...
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Posted 11/18/06
all anime characters except for the black ones look whit to me
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23 / M / Mass, Usa
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Posted 11/18/06
in the animes ive seen there black(its kinda obvious cuz their like the only black person in the whole entire anime) and theirs tan and sometimes theirs a pale person but their like mega ultra sick
Posted 11/18/06

daviddesolate wrote:

i think to tell you the truth it really depends on how the artist(s) draw and how they want a character to appear.



Agreed

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23 / M / Mass, Usa
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Posted 11/18/06
i never said always i used the word like
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Posted 11/19/06
shit, he does look kinda like you
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Posted 11/19/06
Some animes do state what descent a character is. Also, usually when a character has blond hair they are half Asian and half something else. Or at least in most animes I have seen where they have said what a character is. Like in Ouran High School Host Club Tamaki has blond hair and blue eyes. Later in the series they state that he is half Japanese and half French.
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28 / M / "Podunk USA" Brun...
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Posted 11/19/06
I thought the artists were showing more German and American characters in their shows to continually remind people of their connections to WWII. That's the only way I could explain all the blondes and redheads in every anime, trying to pass themselves off as Japanese.

And yeah, all black people do look stupid in animes and stick out like a sore thumb. But then we have Tenjou Tenge, finally a black man as pimp as all the rest. But his name is BOB!!
WTF?!?!?! At least they are trying to be diverse now.
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