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Post Reply Just wondering - Why are there no anime with colored people as the protagonists?
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22 / M / Fraxinus
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Posted 4/17/16 , edited 4/17/16
When your country has so little diversity, it's kind of a given that the media will reflect that.
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20 / M
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Posted 4/17/16

aeb0717 wrote:

Interestingly, Shinobu Ohtaka, the creator of the Magi series, originally intended Morgianna and the rest of the Fanalis to have strong African features. She changed her mind out of concern that people would cry "racism."


A link to some of her early concept art of the Fanalis;

http://polycistronic.tumblr.com/post/75618420737/cosmocall-magi-concept-art-early-fanalis


Why would they though? I mean maybe if she drew them based on negative sterotypes, but those designs look good. If anything, it was a pretty odd that all the people mentioned as being a part of Magi's equivalent of Africa had the lightest skin and red/pink hair.
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24 / F / Johnstown, PA, USA
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Posted 4/18/16 , edited 4/18/16

weslamagne43 wrote:



Why would they though? I mean maybe if she drew them based on negative sterotypes, but those designs look good. If anything, it was a pretty odd that all the people mentioned as being a part of Magi's equivalent of Africa had the lightest skin and red/pink hair.


The Fanalis being the most "feral" of the people (for good reason, as is later revealed). She was worried that people would read too much into it and think there are negative implications. Plus, the touchy subject of slavery ultimately was a risk.

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26 / F
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Posted 4/18/16
Don't forget that most Animes are based on Mangas and when you only have black/white and a little bit of grey to work with it's more difficult to draw characters with dark skin and it takes more time, too.
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21 / Australia
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Posted 4/18/16 , edited 4/18/16


Yeah not a lot actually. A few dark skinned characters in the Twin stars Exorcist manga (The guy from my dp is from it). They're all "bad" guys though lol.
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20 / M
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Posted 4/18/16

aeb0717 wrote:


weslamagne43 wrote:



Why would they though? I mean maybe if she drew them based on negative sterotypes, but those designs look good. If anything, it was a pretty odd that all the people mentioned as being a part of Magi's equivalent of Africa had the lightest skin and red/pink hair.


The Fanalis being the most "feral" of the people (for good reason, as is later revealed). She was worried that people would read too much into it and think there are negative implications. Plus, the touchy subject of slavery ultimately was a risk.



I guess that makes sense. It just kinda sucks that were downsides to both decisions. She probably did the right thing though
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M / Fort Worth, TX
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Posted 4/18/16
I don't think its something they have to do but theyre too busy drawing light skinned overly nervous characters. I guess it started out as style but now studios make too much money off the light skinned character. you can blame the U.S, for some of this
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Posted 4/18/16
The Ainu, Japan's first nation people, are slightly darker skinned than the majority Japanese. But they were only recognised as the country's first nation in 2008. They have been looked down upon and discriminated for a long while in areas where they live. In other areas they were pretty much forgotten. As one government official said in an interview 'they were just a small paragraph in my history textbook' (parafrasing here). So I guess Japan has a long way to go before including darker skinned characters in non stereotypical ways becomes a natural thing to do.

Al Jazeera did a piece on it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iA7BILX-q4I
And CNN wrote an article: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/02/09/travel/cnngo-travel-hokkaido-ainu/

Not being aware of someone's need to see themselves represented in all kinds of cultural expressions, is part of the privileged status of the majority.

You don't feel left out because your features are always present in cultural expressions. Try watching nothing but TV shows and movies that feature you not at all or as a mere side character (and a stereotyped one at that). Try reading books in which you are never represented or again only as a minor side character. A friend of mine didn't even realise Angelina Johnson (from Harry Potter) was a black girl until she saw it in the movie. She thought it was a weird casting decision until I told her the character had actually been written that way.

Getting proper representation in cultural expressions is just another way of being acknowledged and accepted in society.
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Posted 4/18/16
From an American POV, they do. From a Japanese POV, they don't, with rare exceptions. Because:

"Person of color (plural: people of color, persons of color, sometimes abbreviated POC) is a term used primarily in the United States to describe any person who is not white. The term encompasses all non-white groups, emphasizing common experiences of racism."

If you mean someone with relatively darker skin or proportionally black culture, then yeah. Dimension W at least made it more interesting, but not with the MC.
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26 / M / Socal
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Posted 4/18/16
Bleach has diverse characters
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38 / M / Charlotte, NC
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Posted 4/18/16
No anime with people of color? But there are.. some have been mentioned. Michiko from Michiko & Hatchin, Dutch from Black Lagoon. Nadia from Nadia Secret of Blue Water, Boo from Now And Then Here and There, Chief Todo from Bubblegum Crisis.. One of the girls in Gall Force, Gina in AD Police Files.. Don't forget Afro Samurai.. I can't think of any more but maybe I will by tomorrow.
Anyway in most of these the main character or major character are black or of African descent. There are others with characters of darker complexion who could be seen as non-white or non-Asian but not necessarily African descent (like I didn't think Edward was black really) or Aisha in Outlaw Star. Character designs seem to be getting very generic and cookie-cutter the past few years, and perhaps whiter, but even there are exceptions. There are a lot more black characters in older anime, if you haven't seen any of the ones I've listed then that's where I'd start.
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