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Post Reply why are all anime characters white
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M / Fort Worth, TX
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Posted 5/21/15 , edited 8/21/15
I think ive noticed this very early on when I first started seeing anmie. ive always thought it was weird. if anyone can tell me when it first stared that would be great. that's what anime needs, a variation of character looks
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21 / M / The Heroes Associ...
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Posted 5/21/15 , edited 8/20/15
They aren't though..

Most Japanese people have a whiter complexion, and anime characters aren't white either, they aren't any real world ethnicity, its a mixture of all the features Japanese people find attractive.

Anime characters are created for the fans, what people find attractive in japan and what sells.

There are quite a bit of black, hispanic and various other ethnic characters in anime.

Posted 5/21/15
If that was the case, would it be a problem? I don't think so.
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Posted 5/21/15 , edited 5/21/15
Hahaha, wondered about this too at some point when I was younger. Then I just shut my brain off. Hard to be logical in the lala world of Anime.

In rare occasions where they have characters of colour, it's stereotyped. The writers/animators really need to go out more.
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Posted 5/21/15 , edited 5/22/15
This was linked on CR a few years ago, and I think it probably states it the best:

https://abagond.wordpress.com/2010/06/16/why-do-the-japanese-draw-themselves-as-white/

What nationality is this person?


A white person will probably see it as white, a japanese as japanese, etc. Because I'm American, I default to thinking of the person in the picture as similar to me. A japanese will probably see it as japanese. To make it a girl, I add a dress. If I want to make the person look american to me the job is already done. If I want it to look japanese, then I add "japanese" features. If I'm japanese, and I want to make the picture look japanese, then it's already done -- it looks like a "japanese" person to me. However if I want to draw an american, then I'll add blonde hair, or a hamburger, or whatever -- you'll see this in anime, and if you notice, chinese in anime are typically depicted with the slanted eyes, because to the Japanese, Chinese have slanted eyes, while theirs are "normal." Most people think of themselves as normal, and only include the stereotypical features when drawing characters that are unlike themselves.

The article explains it much better than I can though, I just thought I'd give a TL:DR.
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Posted 5/21/15 , edited 5/21/15
The style of alot of anime character designs were inspired by Walt Disneys character designs which is why they come out looking very Americanized.
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21 / M / A piece of land i...
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Posted 5/21/15 , edited 5/22/15
It's because the thing they draw on is a WHITE PIECE OF PAPER
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37 / M / Virginia USA
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Posted 5/21/15 , edited 5/22/15
I just want to meet RL girls with pink, purple, blue and green hair haha.
mnmike 
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Posted 5/21/15

coolest7000 wrote:

It's because the thing they draw on is a WHITE PIECE OF PAPER


This.

But if you insist on a cultural explanation:

In Japan, the ideal sense of beauty is to be pale-skinned, and Japanese people refer to their own skin color as white. (America and Europe were basically like that until the 20th century, when tan/olive skin became more of the ideal.)

Calling someone "dark" or "black" is considered an insult, and being dark-skinned in Japan is generally seen as less-than-desirable. There is a counter-culture, rebellious trend to tan your skin and dye your hair (you'll occasionally see this in anime or manga)... but the whole point of that is to violate standard notions of beauty.

So one way to look at it, is that artists (in all places) tend to draw characters as idealized versions of real life: they are skinnier, they are prettier, they have better hair... and they are whiter.

Also, one other thing to note: the only people who have actually white skin have an exceptionally rare genetic trait that prevents them from producing any melanin (AKA albinos). People of European and Central or East Asian decent tend to have very light skin (especially relative to people from Mediterranean or especially African decent), but it's not white. Skin always has red, yellow, or brown hues; claiming that "we are white and they are not" smacks of ethnic arrogance and ought to be avoided.
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Posted 5/21/15

Yamstarch wrote:

I just want to meet RL girls with pink, purple, blue and green hair haha.


Yes yes and yes. ^
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27 / M / Iceland
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Posted 5/21/15 , edited 5/22/15
Most generic anime styles are often bad for portraying different ethnicities. That's why I prefer the art styles of both Hirohiko Araki and Satoshi Kon.
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M / Fort Worth, TX
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Posted 5/21/15 , edited 5/21/15
ive been reading what people are saying and I didn't think of the manga side of things. still, the anime adaptations have white characters. I might end up in someones crosshairs but I think some of you are still in denial
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Posted 5/21/15
Well, ethnically, Japan is a very homogeneous country, especially compared to the United States. Conversely, most of the pressure on American entertainment industries to diversify their casts of characters comes from the U.S.'s diversity. Japanese artists aren't held up to the same standards, so ethnic diversity in anime/manga is often at the discretion of the writer instead of executive meddling.
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45 / M / Canada
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Posted 5/21/15
Generally I don't even think about this. I assume their ethnicity based on the setting of the anime I am watching (which is usually Japan of course). But for the most part anime characters just look like people to me with nothing much to distinguish them from anyone else in the world, except for the few times I've seen a black or Middle Eastern character and that's largely just colouring and maybe some feature changes.
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52 / M / Bay Area
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Posted 5/21/15 , edited 5/22/15
Dutch from Black Lagoon is drawn pretty accurate
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