Friday, September 16, 2011

Why (Most) Anime Characters Aren't White

It's easy to imagine how Western fans assume that anime characters are white. Their features are pretty ambiguous. I mean, they have pale skin, crazy hair and eye colors, big eyes, small noses...just like these girls here:

Oh. Wait. Only one in each picture is white? Hmmm... Which one...?

If you guessed the Blond-haired, blue/green-eyed one, you're correct! Typically, if the series takes place in Japan, they're all Japanese except for that blond-haired, blue/green-eyed foreigner from America/Canada/France. The above examples are the non-offensive ones.

The others, if male, have small eyes, blond hair, blue/green eyes and large triangular noses. Pretty much like Bandit Keith or David from Blood+.

Just like you probably don't see yourself as the above caricature (if you're even a white male), the Japanese don't see themselves as what we view them as here in America.

I also found a very nice video with helps drive the point home.

Before you guys start going: "OMG WHY DO THE JAPANESE HATE AMERICANS?? THEY ARE RACIST!!!1!!11"


-Only around 10% of people in Ireland have red hair, and not all of them drink.
-Not all Chinese people wear cheongsam and cheongshan. They probably don't know martial arts, don't only eat rice, and don't speak "ching-chong" language.
-Not all black people in America eat fried chicken, listen to rap, steal things, and act ignorant.
-Jewish isn't a race, it's a religion. Not all Jewish people aren't cheapskates, or rich either.
-Not all Japanese people like anime.

Now, why are the Japanese racist? Because, just like us, they have stereotypes that they like using in popular culture.