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Post Reply How do you feel about most guys with pierced ears in anime being delinquents?
IEuric 
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Posted 7/29/15
Just curious as to what people think as it seems to be some kind of trope/stereotype maybe? I have my ears pierced and am far from a delinquent lol.
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Posted 7/29/15
Depends on which ear you pierce really.

Or at least that's how it used to be.
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Posted 7/29/15

IEuric wrote:

Just curious as to what people think as it seems to be some kind of trope/stereotype maybe? I have my ears pierced and am far from a delinquent lol.


I've moved this to the Anime forum.

Are anime guys with pierced ears mostly delinquents? Can't say I've paid much attention.
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25 / M / This Dying World
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Posted 7/29/15
There would be a distinction between who pierces their ears.
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Posted 7/29/15
You mean men who pierce their ears aren't delinquents? But they listen to that devil music, and they're always wearing black, and they wear makeup, and they're always questioning authority.

*looks at rum bottle*

And they're pirates, too!
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Posted 7/29/15 , edited 7/29/15
As a guy who used to have his ears pierced and gauged to 0:

I don't care. I go into anime knowing and understanding that anime is primarily produced in Japan, where the culture looks down on guys having pierced ears. That means that most Japanese men who have pierced ears care less than average about what people think, and people who stray from cultural norms ARE more likely to be delinquent.


As a writer:

I'm somewhat annoyed by the fact that people keep getting their panties in a twist about stereotypes in entertainment.

First, let me say that stereotypes are generally accurate. No, they are definitely not something you should judge someone on, and no they do not apply to every individual, but they are usually based heavily in reality.

People who get offended by stereotyping really need to just get over it. It is human nature, and as long as you aren't being treated unfairly due to something you cannot control, you have no reason to complain. You want to get sleeve tattoos? More power to you. You want to bitch because you can't get a job as quickly with sleeve tattoos? Seriously? You DO realize how the majority views them, right? And you STILL made the decision to get them, right? Live with that decision, and I don't want to hear you complain about how your choices resulted in very predictable consequences that you find unfair.

In entertainment, people complaining about stereotypes is even worse. I post writing on a critiquing site, and out of three black characters (within the same story), I wrote one who was very stereotypical ghetto black american male. I was bombarded with insults and suggestions about how I needed to fix it. I argued that out of my three black characters, he was the only stereotypical one, and that he was based on a real person. Still, these people insisted I change the character. When I didn't budge, I got the "Well, flesh him out. Make him three dimensional. Give him his own story." Seriously? He only appears in one chapter in the entire book.

I left it exactly as it was.

My point is, stereotypes are usually fairly accurate, and as a writer, trying to avoid them entirely to save feelings or shut up critics can be unnecessary and potentially harmful to the piece. If you write a piece in which not a single character falls into a stereotype, it becomes clear that you spent your time trying to break the mold with every character, and it actually makes the story less believable, for me. Of course, maybe I'll be the only one to notice that you avoided stereotypes at all costs...

Tropes.... tropes are entirely different in storytelling, but again, should not necessarily be avoided when they fit the bill.
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Posted 7/29/15 , edited 7/29/15

HolyDrumstick wrote:

As a guy who used to have his ears pierced and gauged to 0:

I don't care. I go into anime knowing and understanding that anime is primarily produced in Japan, where the culture looks down on guys having pierced ears. That means that most Japanese men who have pierced ears care less than average about what people think, and people who stray from culture norms ARE more likely to be delinquent.


As a writer:

I'm somewhat annoyed by the fact that people keep getting their panties in a twist about stereotypes in entertainment.

First, let me say that stereotypes are generally accurate. No, they are definitely not something you should judge someone on, and no they do not apply to every individual, but they are usually based heavily in reality.

People who get offended by stereotyping really need to just get over it. It is human nature, and as long as you aren't being treated unfairly due to something you cannot control, you have no reason to complain. You want to get sleeve tattoos? More power to you. You want to bitch because you can't get a job as quickly with sleeve tattoos? Seriously? You DO realize how the majority views them, right? And you STILL made the decision to get them, right? Live with that decision, and I don't want to hear you complain about how your choices resulted in very predictable consequences that you find unfair.

In entertainment, people complaining about stereotypes is even worse. I post writing on a critiquing site, and out of three black characters (within the same story), I wrote one who was very stereotypical ghetto black american male. I was bombarded with insults and suggestions about how I needed to fix it. I argued that out of my three black characters, he was the only stereotypical one, and that he was based on a real person. Still, these people insisted I change the character. When I didn't budge, I got the "Well, flesh him out. Make him three dimensional. Give him his own story." Seriously? He only appears in one chapter in the entire book.

I left it exactly as it was.

My point is, stereotypes are usually fairly accurate, and as a writer, trying to avoid them entirely to save feelings or shut up critics can be unnecessary and potentially harmful to the piece. If you write a piece in which not a single character falls into a stereotype, it becomes clear that you spent your time trying to break the mold with every character, and it actually makes the story less believable, for me. Of course, maybe I'll be the only one to notice that you avoided stereotypes at all costs...

Tropes.... tropes are entirely different in storytelling, but again, should not necessarily be avoided when they fit the bill.


That depends a who-------le lot on what the stereotype in question actually is. For example, I wouldn't think you'd be prepared to argue that Jews are miserly tricksters out to claim control of the globe (you did say "generally", after all), but that's a stereotype of Jews which exists. Black people in the US enjoying fried chicken? Soul food seems to suggest it's so, even if that's certainly not all they eat.

Edit: I suppose what I'd really like to add is that you're right that stereotypes can be true, that they ought to be accurately represented or the audience will feel divorced from the work, but at the same time they don't have to be played straight and that it's fine for works to actively be critical of the stereotypes they're representing. Just because stereotypes are commonly held doesn't necessarily mean the behaviour/characteristic they address ought to be approached however it is.
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Posted 7/29/15

BlueOni wrote:
That depends a who-------le lot on what the stereotype in question actually is. For example, I wouldn't think you'd be prepared to argue that Jews are miserly tricksters out to claim control of the globe (you did say "generally", after all), but that's a stereotype of Jews which exists. Black people in the US enjoying fried chicken? Soul food seems to suggest it's so, even if that's certainly not all they eat.


Yes, that is indeed why I used the word "generally." Clearly, some stereotypes are not accurate. "Accurate" also not meaning the same thing as "exactly correct."

However, statistically speaking, Jewish people are more frugal and better with finances than many other ethnic groups. I'm assuming this has a LOT to do with their culture and the habits they pass down to the newer generations.

As far as black people liking fried chicken and watermelon... probably based in reality. During the long years that black people were heavily discriminated against, and had little means to elevate themselves out of poverty, more black people were poor than white people.

Chicken has historically been the animal to raise for rural, low-income families. Chickens were raised to eat and for eggs. I think most people here in the south would agree that frying chicken is one of the tastiest ways to eat it, so you can expect stereotypes like this to arise.

Watermelons are much the same way. They are cheap and easy to grow, unlike fruit trees. Also, you can sell the extra watermelons to earn a little income (people still do this).

In situations like this, I think it is better to understand where the stereotypes came from than to get unreasonably angry and argue against them.
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Posted 7/29/15

BlueOni wrote:
Edit: I suppose what I'd really like to add is that you're right that stereotypes can be true, that they ought to be accurately represented or the audience will feel divorced from the work, but at the same time they don't have to be played straight and that it's fine for works to actively be critical of the stereotypes they're representing. Just because stereotypes are commonly held doesn't necessarily mean the behaviour/characteristic they address ought to be approached however it is.


I disagree that you should only use stereotypes when you are actively being critical of the stereotypes.

This is really a matter of opinion, but I feel like if you avoid stereotypes altogether, some people like myself will notice. If all you use are stereotypes, that's even worse, because a LOT of people will notice. The last thing you want people to do, as a writer, is notice something that deconstructs the world you've been creating.

There will always be those who take offense when you have 1-2 minor characters that are stereotypical, but I would not encourage anyone to cater to someone so easily offended. To thoroughly satisfy anyone so easily offended, you'd have to edit your work into a cushy cloud of bland political correctness that can destroy entertainment value for the majority... not to mention, you'll have unnecessarily "killed a darling."
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Posted 7/29/15 , edited 7/29/15

HolyDrumstick wrote:

Yes, that is indeed why I used the word "generally." Clearly, some stereotypes are not accurate. "Accurate" also not meaning the same thing as "exactly correct."

However, statistically speaking, Jewish people are more frugal and better with finances than many other ethnic groups. I'm assuming this has a LOT to do with their culture and the habits they pass down to the newer generations.

As far as black people liking fried chicken and watermelon... probably based in reality. During the long years that black people were heavily discriminated against, and had little means to elevate themselves out of poverty, more black people were poor than white people.

Chicken has historically been the animal to raise for rural, low-income families. Chickens were raised to eat and for eggs. I think most people here in the south would agree that frying chicken is one of the tastiest ways to eat it, so you can expect stereotypes like this to arise.

Watermelons are much the same way. They are cheap and easy to grow, unlike fruit trees. Also, you can sell the extra watermelons to earn a little income (people still do this).

In situations like this, I think it is better to understand where the stereotypes came from than to get unreasonably angry and argue against them.


I think our approach to stereotypes is fairly comparable, then. Determine whether they're statistically representative, determine the origins of their construction, and take them for what they are: general statements which need not apply to everyone in a particular class, but which probably have at least a grain of truth in them somewhere. In the southeastern US it's certainly the case that deep frying is an incredibly popular way to prepare food (practically everything seems to have found its way into a deep fryer at some point).

I suppose part of what might upset people is the way in which stereotypes are represented. Hasty general statements about anyone, even if they have a grain of truth to them, can be quite upsetting if delivered not merely as a representation of common views about them. If a stereotype is used to attack people it's understandable that they might react negatively. Saying that evangelical Christians are stuck up prudes has a grain of truth in it since some denominations really are pretty prudish and self-assured about their spirituality, but it's still a pretty rude way to approach what one is really talking about. I haven't read your work, but I'd assume your representation of a stereotypical "ghetto" black person wasn't malicious and was simply a reflection of what you'd seen in the person you knew as best you could represent them. This, as opposed to Mike Huckabee's ridiculous statements about transpeople to generate attention for himself or some rude statement about evangelicals necessarily being prudes, seems benign and not worth anger.

As for earrings in Japan, from what I've gathered they used to be taboo for pretty much everyone. Piercings and tattoos meant you were a gangster, a criminal. It's how they marked themselves as such. The taboo seems to have fallen off for women's piercings, but clearly the male taboo is at least somewhat still alive even if there are some fantasy series protagonists sporting earrings.


HolyDrumstick wrote:

I disagree that you should only use stereotypes when you are actively being critical of the stereotypes.

This is really a matter of opinion, but I feel like if you avoid stereotypes altogether, some people like myself will notice. If all you use are stereotypes, that's even worse, because a LOT of people will notice. The last thing you want people to do, as a writer, is notice something that deconstructs the world you've been creating.

There will always be those who take offense when you have 1-2 minor characters that are stereotypical, but I would not encourage anyone to cater to someone so easily offended. To thoroughly satisfy anyone so easily offended, you'd have to edit your work into a cushy cloud of bland political correctness that can destroy entertainment value for the majority... not to mention, you'll have unnecessarily "killed a darling."


Oh, no. You can play them straight if it suits the work. Mark Twain was completely right to represent the southeastern US as letting the N-word fly liberally, because it did fly liberally. I'm just saying it's alright for works to be critical of, and to seek to modify or eliminate, stereotypes.
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Posted 7/29/15 , edited 7/29/15

BlueOni wrote:
I think our approach to stereotypes is fairly comparable, then. Determine whether they're statistically representative, determine the origins of their construction, and take them for what they are: general statements which need not apply to everyone in a particular class, but which probably have at least a grain of truth in them somewhere.


Yes, exactly.

The subject only frustrates me because people fail to see things as they truly are.

An individual stereotyping another individual is usually based in ignorance, rather than malicious intent. (i.e. An employer not hiring the man with sleeve tattoos.) And often times, "taking offense" to said stereotyping is done with malicious intent.


BlueOni wrote:
Oh, no. You can play them straight if it suits the work. Mark Twain was completely right to represent the southeastern US as letting the N-word fly liberally, because it did fly liberally. I'm just saying it's alright for works to be critical of, and to seek to modify or eliminate, stereotypes.


Ah, I misunderstood.
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Posted 7/29/15
I don't think Shikamaru was a delinquent, just a lazy-ass lol. And you mean to tell me that Kazama from D-Frag! is a delinquent?! Hardly xD I got my ears pierced because I use to think they look so cool on Link and Vegito.
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Posted 7/29/15
The only male anime characters that I remember off the top of my head that had pierced ears were not delinquents, or represented them. Then again, the anime I thought of were not set in Japan.
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Posted 7/29/15 , edited 7/29/15
dont really care lol. Japan has major cultural differences to us in the western world (europe included)

Tattoos and piercings are considered normal over here for the most part, but in Japan they are often only worn by delinquents.

Tattoos and piercings in japan are highly frowned upon (not so sure about piercings being necessarily being frowned upon, but I know its considered "different. However tattoos are extremely frowned upon given their prevalence and use in Yakuza culture) ~source Japanese teacher and multiple personal experiences with Japanese people.

In Japan, normally the only people you actually see with piercings are either girls or boys who are into rock music and tend to be considered "bad boys". However more young people are becoming more liberal in that sense so there are more boys getting piercings who dont fall into that category; but by most older Japanese people it is considered to be part of the "bad boy" stereotype.
mnmike 
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Posted 7/29/15
Japan has a bit more expectation of conformity than the US (or most of Europe) does. For a guy to have pierced ears, tattoos, or dyed hair--heck even for a girl to have too many piercings or too radical of a hair-dye job--is seen as inherently rebellious, and for good reason.

Sometimes this rebelliousness is played up as being a delinquent. (It's very common for the "nameless punks that exist to harass and/or be beat up by the good guy" to have dyed hair, tattoos, and/or piercings.) In other anime (Ah My Goddess; Kimi ni Todoke; Aishiteruze Baby; most anime based on shoujo manga), having tattoos, dyed hair, or piercings might just label you as someone who is particularly individualistic--although, even then, they will often lamp-shade the trope by having at least one character assume that the person in question is a delinquent, before being set straight.

But does it bother me? Not really. It seems like a fairly accurate representation of Japan. In real life, guys with piercings in Japan likely will be assumed to be going through a rebellious phase and/or a delinquent. It is therefore a convenient visual short-hand to quickly identify someone as a "bad boy", unless told otherwise. Just like in the US, big white guys with beards, Harleys, and leather jackets are assumed to be hard-drinking and hard-fighting... unless told otherwise. It's not universally true, of course, but the stereotype allows a director to quickly convey basic information to the viewer with minimal explanation.
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