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Why do the majority of anime characters look white/Caucasian?
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Posted 7/25/14
Ive noticed somehow the some white people in anime have tiny eyes while Japanese have their huge ads anime eyes
Shouldn't white people have the bigger eyes?
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Posted 7/25/14
If you think about it this way, when you look at an american cosplayer vs a japanese cosplayer, who looks more like the character they are portraying?

9/10 the Japanese cosplayers look better. And I don't mean just the costume. I mean the body type, skin, hair, makeup, everything. So if that doesn't convince you they aren't white, I don't know what will.

Besides, if a character is supposed to be white, or half white, they ALWAYS say "oh this is so-and-so, he's half german" or whatever. They make a point of differentiating which characters aren't japanese.
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Posted 7/25/14
I still think they look Japanese ┐('~`;)┌
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Posted 7/25/14 , edited 7/25/14

If you've read what I posted earlier, I've been in contact with multiple Japanese people and practically all of them say they look Japanese. Believing that most anime characters look white is like foreigners thinking the Simpsons don't look white.

Making anime characters look Asian is redundant in the cultural context of Japan because they all already look Asian to them. I have a feeling people didn't read the article that was posted.

Anime is meant to be a Japanese thing anyways and we're acting all entitled here.
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Posted 7/25/14
Hmm, they look very Japanese to me. Granted, the differences are somewhat more subtle since the facial features don't have much details. Caucasian tends to be drawn more heart-faced and almond-eyed, I think. Plus Chaika eyebrows.
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Posted 7/25/14

Dumbass wrote:

just look at those BIG WHITE EYES O__O
people never cease to amaze me
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Posted 7/25/14
How about you guys try to get Japanese people to admit that the characters look white or that they try to draw them as such? I bet not one of you would succeed and all of them would be very amused that y'all think that. There are even racist Japanese videos that talk about how white people shouldn't cosplay since they don't look like the characters.
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Posted 7/26/14 , edited 7/26/14

RedExodus wrote:

If you've read what I posted earlier, I've been in contact with multiple Japanese people and practically all of them say they look Japanese. Believing that most anime characters look white is like foreigners thinking the Simpsons don't look white.

As I said though, I think those "foreigners" you mention have a valid opinion. Just because they're not American doesn't mean they can't possibly interpret an American cartoon. The Simpsons are quite literally not white, just because you interpret them as such doesn't change the colour they are drawn.

Appearances aside, they do act American (and even claim to be American) so it's quite understandable that people might interpret them as being American. Anime characters can be a mixed bag, you can have characters speaking Japanese but living in a medieval Europe setting. For some they might be Japanese because of the way the speak and act, for others the setting decides.

At the end of the day it's open to personal interpretation because cartoon/anime characters don't look like real people. Human like certainly but they're usually different enough that we don't get the "uncanny valley" feeling of something pretending to be human while still being recognisable as representing people. It doesn't really matter how you interpret them and I don't think anyone is wrong to do so.

That said, my point is that Anime characters objectively don't look like actual humans.


RedExodus wrote:

Making anime characters look Asian is redundant in the cultural context of Japan because they all already look Asian to them. I have a feeling people didn't read the article that was posted.

I'm not sure what article you mean, I guess this:

If that's the one you're talking about, what it says is that Japanese people interpret human like drawings as Japanese and feel no need to draw them to look like Japanese people. Basically, the drawings aren't supposed to look Japanese but they assume that people will interpret them as Japanese unless they signify otherwise.

The point being that they don't actually look Japanese at all, they're simply interpreted as such. This is basically my point, it's up to individual interpretation because they don't actually look like real people.

I guess it's also worth mentioning that I wouldn't call that article an authority, it's more of a hypothesis of why people might interpret characters differently (though an interesting idea).


RedExodus wrote:

Anime is meant to be a Japanese thing anyways and we're acting all entitled here.

I don't think anyone is "acting entitled" (not sure what you're referring to really). As for anime being a "Japanese thing", I don't agree with restricting things by geography like that. Sure, the term "anime" refers to animation made in Japan (or perhaps also of a similar style depending on your definition) but that doesn't mean it's for Japanese people only. I think most people on Crunchyroll are fans of anime and just because we weren't born in Japan doesn't mean we have no right to an opinion or to enjoy it. Maybe I misunderstood what you meant though.
Posted 7/26/14

Smeelia wrote:

I have to admit, I do like it when there's a bit more variety of skin tones and character designs in anime. I do notice that quite a few shows have slight differences in colour between characters even if they're all light skinned, that can be interesting.

That said, I think it's risky to assume that there's a problem and that they draw a particular way because of "self-hate" or whatever. You'd really have to do a study first and social research can be a nightmare. Obsession with the "exotic" and a dislike of what seems "normal" is definitely a problem that happens but I'm not sure it has anything to do with the way anime characters are drawn. Even if it was the basis for it, for most it could simply be following trends without having the same core reasons for drawing that way.

Also, if you start trying to force a change in the way that characters are drawn you'd simply ruin creative freedom and wouldn't really be dealing with the supposed issue. If someone sees an anime character and feels that they're being told that a particular appearance is superior then they likely have a problem already and I don't think it has anything to do with the way that anime is drawn.



I haven't done any social research. but I just think there's something fundamentally wrong if they can make characters have blue eyes, blonde hair and a variety of other colours. yet they can't give the characters a variety of skin tones, except PALE colours.

I mentioned this before, when shows like Flowers of Evil fail due to characters looking Japanese when compared to successful shows like Uta no Prince sama where characters look 100% Western. it gives you that feeling that these animators are aware the audience are more likely to enjoy watching characters with western features than Asian features...

which brings back to my original point, "a form of self-hatred", applying to both the animators and the audience who downgrade shows with Japanese looking characters and praise shows with characters that look completely Western.
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Posted 7/26/14

GayAsianBoy wrote:

I mentioned this before, when shows like Flowers of Evil fail due to characters looking Japanese when compared to successful shows like Uta no Prince sama where characters look 100% Western. it gives you that feeling that these animators are aware the audience are more likely to enjoy watching characters with western features than Asian features...

which brings back to my original point, "a form of self-hatred", applying to both the animators and the audience who downgrade shows with Japanese looking characters and praise shows with characters that look completely Western.


Flowers of Evil characters deviate from anime's concept of ideal beauty and such. Sometimes they look more like real world humans, animation too looks like made with motion capture, other times it is unreal enough but intentionally anti-beautiful. There're plenty of other deviations from the popular anime. Some may like this, other may not, but everyone will probably agree with this.
And yes more-real-life and less idealized characters have easily recognizable racial identity.
Lack of series success may have various reasons. It's natural to assume that such deviation from idealization anime is loved for is one of them. But I don't see the logic that allows you to conclude from it that standard - idealized - anime characters have Caucasian (or other) racial identity.
Actually, an opposite bold assumption could be made - that, since humanized/deidialised anime characters look Japanese, that's probably the race, which is usually behind the idealization. But that, of course, would be just an unjust speculation (:
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Posted 7/26/14

Smeelia wrote:


RedExodus wrote:

If you've read what I posted earlier, I've been in contact with multiple Japanese people and practically all of them say they look Japanese. Believing that most anime characters look white is like foreigners thinking the Simpsons don't look white.

As I said though, I think those "foreigners" you mention have a valid opinion. Just because they're not American doesn't mean they can't possibly interpret an American cartoon. The Simpsons are quite literally not white, just because you interpret them as such doesn't change the colour they are drawn.

Appearances aside, they do act American (and even claim to be American) so it's quite understandable that people might interpret them as being American. Anime characters can be a mixed bag, you can have characters speaking Japanese but living in a medieval Europe setting. For some they might be Japanese because of the way the speak and act, for others the setting decides.

At the end of the day it's open to personal interpretation because cartoon/anime characters don't look like real people. Human like certainly but they're usually different enough that we don't get the "uncanny valley" feeling of something pretending to be human while still being recognisable as representing people. It doesn't really matter how you interpret them and I don't think anyone is wrong to do so.

That said, my point is that Anime characters objectively don't look like actual humans.


RedExodus wrote:

Making anime characters look Asian is redundant in the cultural context of Japan because they all already look Asian to them. I have a feeling people didn't read the article that was posted.

I'm not sure what article you mean, I guess this:

If that's the one you're talking about, what it says is that Japanese people interpret human like drawings as Japanese and feel no need to draw them to look like Japanese people. Basically, the drawings aren't supposed to look Japanese but they assume that people will interpret them as Japanese unless they signify otherwise.

The point being that they don't actually look Japanese at all, they're simply interpreted as such. This is basically my point, it's up to individual interpretation because they don't actually look like real people.

I guess it's also worth mentioning that I wouldn't call that article an authority, it's more of a hypothesis of why people might interpret characters differently (though an interesting idea).


RedExodus wrote:

Anime is meant to be a Japanese thing anyways and we're acting all entitled here.

I don't think anyone is "acting entitled" (not sure what you're referring to really). As for anime being a "Japanese thing", I don't agree with restricting things by geography like that. Sure, the term "anime" refers to animation made in Japan (or perhaps also of a similar style depending on your definition) but that doesn't mean it's for Japanese people only. I think most people on Crunchyroll are fans of anime and just because we weren't born in Japan doesn't mean we have no right to an opinion or to enjoy it. Maybe I misunderstood what you meant though.


Alright, I misunderstood you, thinking you were one of those people adamantly supporting anime characters as white.

The last quote was aimed at people who are talking about starting a campaign to change the characters. These things weren't made for us so they shouldn't need to change it for us.
Posted 7/26/14

elan7aad10 wrote:


GayAsianBoy wrote:

I mentioned this before, when shows like Flowers of Evil fail due to characters looking Japanese when compared to successful shows like Uta no Prince sama where characters look 100% Western. it gives you that feeling that these animators are aware the audience are more likely to enjoy watching characters with western features than Asian features...

which brings back to my original point, "a form of self-hatred", applying to both the animators and the audience who downgrade shows with Japanese looking characters and praise shows with characters that look completely Western.


Flowers of Evil characters deviate from anime's concept of ideal beauty and such. Sometimes they look more like real world humans, animation too looks like made with motion capture, other times it is unreal enough but intentionally anti-beautiful. There're plenty of other deviations from the popular anime. Some may like this, other may not, but everyone will probably agree with this.
And yes more-real-life and less idealized characters have easily recognizable racial identity.
Lack of series success may have various reasons. It's natural to assume that such deviation from idealization anime is loved for is one of them. But I don't see the logic that allows you to conclude from it that standard - idealized - anime characters have Caucasian (or other) racial identity.
Actually, an opposite bold assumption could be made - that, since humanized/deidialised anime characters look Japanese, that's probably the race, which is usually behind the idealization. But that, of course, would be just an unjust speculation (:



I do realize my opinion is based on really stretched assumptions; but i'm basing it on people's comments about flowers of evil... "I wish the anime kept the manga drawing style" is often the comments I read on youtube and on here regarding the anime. the manga drawing style is more Westernized characters. again reinforcing my point that the audience is more inclined to see Western features than Asian features.

it's nothing to do with realism or standardized anime. Jojo's adventure's characters is pretty realistic and deviates from standardized anime drawing style, yet it is still popular because the characters look MORE Western than they do look Asians (but in the anime's defence, the main character is half Asian half western and the other characters are from Europe or somewhere non-Asia).

if flowers of evil retain its rotoscoping technique, yet made the characters have Westernized features, i'm pretty sure it'll be a hit... because that's what this superficial society wants to see.
Posted 7/26/14

elan7aad10 wrote:

Come to think of it, I wonder why Japanese people use so many Japanese words and phrases. They must be all fans of Japanese culture after all.


xD your sarcasm goes unnoticed again
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Posted 7/26/14
This video shall end all fights about if anime characters are Caucasian or Asian...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lInGm_Fdz_0
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Posted 7/26/14

GayAsianBoy wrote:

I do realize my opinion is based on really stretched assumptions; but i'm basing it on people's comments about flowers of evil... "I wish the anime kept the manga drawing style" is often the comments I read on youtube and on here regarding the anime. the manga drawing style is more Westernized characters. again reinforcing my point that the audience is more inclined to see Western features than Asian features.

it's nothing to do with realism or standardized anime. Jojo's adventure's characters is pretty realistic and deviates from standardized anime drawing style, yet it is still popular because the characters look MORE Western than they do look Asians (but in the anime's defence, the main character is half Asian half western and the other characters are from Europe or somewhere non-Asia).

if flowers of evil retain its rotoscoping technique, yet made the characters have Westernized features, i'm pretty sure it'll be a hit... because that's what this superficial society wants to see.


I don't have numbers, but it's not surprising to me that Jojo's adventure's (looked it up to know what you are referring to) are more popular: even if they represent "less cute" anime sub-genre, they do not intentionally slaughter beauty principle. FoE anime just makes characters look ugly, on purpose. Whether to create unique gloomy atmosphere, or to provoke.

FoE manga was not like this - it was standard in following expected aesthetics. Even if some manga characters looked european - that may or may not be important. Important is they looked cute. (On the second thought, though, judging by opinion of those who read manga and liked manga, we also need to consider they could be just upset about deviation from those very characters they were already attached to in their favorite manga).

Anime, on the contrary, has several cardinal difference from the mainstream, and I don't think eliminating just one of them could make it a hit. It's clearly work in an experimental direction. Hit, I think, is made when artists and pros in already popular genre create "state-of-the-art" work in this popular genre and add subtle novelties and refinements to push said state of the art even a little higher. Creators of anime like FoE, I suspect, couldn't care less about making "best of the genre" while working on them. I, again, don't have information, but would not be surprised if you told me that FoE anime (anime, not manga) received some artistic prizes for originality, were praised as best experimental / alternative work of the year etc - that is where it belongs. But it's not aimed for, neither supposed to be a hit.

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