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Hey, Answerman! [2009-08-14]


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poonk



Joined: 05 Jun 2008
Posts: 1357
Location: Shelving with Dojo

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:02 pm Reply with quote
jsevakis wrote:
I was reminded by Brian's column this week of a Japanese friend of mine, who one day changed his Facebook profile picture to a picture of him... in HIP-HOP BLACKFACE.

Horrified, I e-mailed him to inform him of the gigantic faux-pas he had made by American standards, to the point where he might be unemployable in the States. He took it down, and I was amused to find that he was really shocked. He thought he was just cosplaying...

Half of what we ascribe to racism is ignorance and lack of exposure.
I thought your anecdote was really interesting, as I've often wondered about this on the (relatively few) occasions that I've seen "blackface" used in the live TV-shows I've seen, such as the (fake) rival soccer team in the Hana-Kimi special or the "Seiyuu Say Me" game segments on SMAPxSMAP (where Nakai is hosting as Lionel Ritchie). It was a bit off-putting at first, but now I know it's not being done to mock people (i.e. it's not accompanied by racial-stereotypical behavior/buffoonery, just the general goofiness fitting the tone of the shows). I think you're right-- since they lack a cultural understanding of the history of "blackface" (and how it's been used to belittle people), they really do just view it as part of a costume. For example, when Katori (SxS) is pretending to be Harrison Ford, he puts on Indiana Jones' clothing and paints on a fake 5-o'clock shadow. Similarly, when he's pretending to be M.C. Hammer, he wears "hammer-pants" and brown make-up. Wouldn't fly over here, but it's in no way intended to be malicious (or at least, I've never seen an example that I thought was malicious).
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teh*darkness



Joined: 16 Feb 2007
Posts: 901

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:38 pm Reply with quote
irishninja wrote:
I got to see Ponyo early at a prerelease showing for free. I got my money's worth, at least. It wasn't at all what I was expecting and was quite disappointed as a result. So if you're going to see it, go in with no expectations! You'll enjoy it more. Smile


This is how I go see almost all my movies. You can't go wrong with no expectations.

pachy_boy wrote:
If GI Joe is as bad as either the Mummy films or Van Helsing (all Stephen Sommers flicks), movies I found enjoyment in, then no doubt I'll still enjoy GI Joe.

I found the Happy Feet video utterly, helplessly irresistable. You can't not smile at that kind of cuteness.


Which leads into this, and the subsequent debate that has followed. Okay, seriously, drop the cartoon, drop the comics, drop the CG movies that aired on CN and then went to DVD... they're TOYS. Ever loving, plastic jointed TOYS. They made an action movie based off of TOYS. Let me say that once again. The characters for the story are TOYS created by Hasbro, who's name is plastered all over promotional material for the movie, and the movie itself. TOYS!!!
To claim that it's a bad adaptation of anything is to practice futility. My manager at work gets to see almost all movies before they come out, and she told me to simply expect "explosions and loud", that's all I was planning to see, I was not disappointed. And yeah, it was directed by Stephen Sommers. How can you be disappointed by a Sommers picture? Look at what he's done. If you didn't like his other movies, you're probably not going to like anything he does in the future. I personally loved GI Joe. It entertained me for 2 hours, and that's what I paid for. And District 9 was awesome, too.

As for sweet deals on anime, since I just remembered this tidbit while reading through the replies, I recall getting an awesome deal on the two GTO anime boxsets. There used to be a Waldenbooks Express in the mall near my old place. Normally the GTO boxsets ran for about $60-$80 at Best Boy, Suncoast or Sam Goody. Waldenbooks had them for $40 each. On top of that, I had two coupons for 50% off one item, and they were having a sale that weekend, 10% off all DVDs. So I wound up getting both sets for a total of $36 dollars. And these were the sets with the t-shirts in them as well, free bonus. Best deal I've ever gotten.
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zargas



Joined: 09 Jun 2008
Posts: 50
Location: Nebula M78

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 4:11 pm Reply with quote
Regarding the whole "what race are anime characters?" question, here's a video analysis that's actually pretty thorough, and makes several interesting observations that I haven't seen anywhere else: http://www.youtube.com/​watch?​v=​JKTvFhRbBt8
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xgemina



Joined: 06 Nov 2005
Posts: 15
Location: SD

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:51 pm Reply with quote
Honestly, to me overrated and underrated are completely based off of my opinion.

-overrated: something that is very popular and everyone seems to be raving about, but I think is average or can't stand.

-underrated: something that I like but is not very popular or doesn't seem to have many fans.
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Dahling



Joined: 19 Aug 2008
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:24 pm Reply with quote
Dangit! I meant to send in an answerfan reply for this one....

So I'll say it here. >.> =D

An online bookstore was selling out their entire stock in clearance and happened to have a fairly large (and strange) collection of manga. At $1 each. I was ecstatic. In addition to finding some Good Witch of the West (which is IMPOSSIBLE to find >.<) and a heckuva lot of other random stuff I also snagged a light novel (that wasn't so light) that had been thrown in the manga section. I spent about 80-90 bucks and it was AMAZING.

Also, Ponyo, can't wait to see it!!!
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Quark



Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 682
Location: British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:38 pm Reply with quote
I'm really liking the stories about peoples sweet deals on anime.
For me, I think the best deal I got was when TRSI was blowing out their Card Captor Sakura DVDs for $75. Even though I had spent a ton of money on anime that month, I snapped it up without even giving it a second thought.
I feel bad though for the fans who have difficulty finding that series, considering that between my boyfriend and I, we've got three copies of it (the singles, and then the two box sets that were released later) But I have the same problem trying to get the rest of Sailor Moon SuperS...only missing three or four disks, and they're incredibly hard to find.
To the fan who managed to get the super cheap set of Sailor Moon, you are so stinking lucky. Those sets cost a mint back in the day, even though the video, audio, inside covers and subtitles all sucked. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a re-release by Funimation.
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Kalessin



Joined: 15 Aug 2007
Posts: 654

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:50 am Reply with quote
I've always thought that anime characters tended to look Caucasian because of the roundness of their eyes, but that's about it. Anyone who thinks that they're idolizing whites or whatnot needs serious help. It's art, and stylized art at that. Anime has a stylized art style which, realistically-speaking, doesn't look like anyone. And hair color? You get colors like blue and pink in anime all the time. No one - Caucasian or otherwise - has pink or blue hair naturally. Anime characters are rarely meant to look realistic, and I have to agree that it's the height of arrogance (or just plain inattentiveness) to think that anime characters look Caucasian because the Japanese idolize white people. However, certainly before today, I would still have said that anime characters looked more Caucasian than Japanese (if they look like anyone) - simply because of the eyes.

zargas wrote:
Regarding the whole "what race are anime characters?" question, here's a video analysis that's actually pretty thorough, and makes several interesting observations that I haven't seen anywhere else: http://www.youtube.com/​watch?​v=​JKTvFhRbBt8


However, after watching this video, I'm far less inclined to believe that. It has some great points. I knew some of it already, but honestly, I've never really thought that much before about anime characters not looking Japanese. I mean, I've generally thought that they looked Caucasian because of their eyes, but I've never thought to actually sit down and make real comparisons. And the comparisons - surprisingly enough - tend to make the characters look more Japanese than Caucasian. The facial structure in particular (especially aside from the eyes) is definitely more Asian in most cases.

Regardless, however, it's quite obvious that there are a number of people out there that make too big a deal about all this. Anime is a form of stylized art which has been animated. It's for entertainment. It's rarely meant to be all that realistic, and even when it is, the art style still isn't really meant to be realistic - just more realistic than normal. It really doesn't matter all that much who they do or don't look like. Even if all the Japanese thought that anime characters look more like Caucasians than Japanese, it still shouldn't be all that big a deal. We're talking about entertainment here. Psychologists, English teachers, and people with too much time on their hands just plain read too much into things.

In any case, that was a great video with some great examples to back up what they're saying. Thanks.
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Past



Joined: 14 Feb 2006
Posts: 3108
Location: Chibi Wonderland (Nebraska)

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:11 am Reply with quote
Just want to mention about conventions, which I entirely agree with Brian on. Small conventions can host residents from entirely within a state's borders and still be a worthwhile convention. This summer I was a department head for a convention in the midwest that ran the same weekend as Expo. There were people there, not everyone goes to Expo, ours was a well attended, enjoyable convention. So if any convention can run successfully during AnimeExpo or Otakon or one of the other major ones, then it should be possible for most metropolitan areas around the non-costal states to run a convention when major ones aren't happening.
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Tamaria
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Joined: 21 Oct 2007
Posts: 1468
Location: De Achterhoek

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:49 am Reply with quote
First of all I want to say there is nothing quite like helping friends getting that one missing volume to complete a series. I've helped my share of people and they have helped me in return. That way I got manga like Banana Fish 3 (second edition) and Basara 20 for very reasonable prices.

There is a funny story behind Basara 20 to boot, I really dodged a bullet there. I mentioned on this forum I couldn't find that one volume anywhere. Someone recommended the AnimeCornerStore to me and they indeed had some copies left. They also had Here is Greenwood 7, yay! One problem though: I don't have paypal. Then I noticed a volume of Firefighter Daigo a friend of mine was looking for. He had paypal, he made the order, we finished multiple series in one go. The story doesn't end there though. ACS had two copies of Basara 20 left. I got one of them. A few days after our order the final one was put on Amazon for $400. I got my copy for $8,99.

Other good moment include getting stacks of The Drifiting Classroom and Saint Seiya from a €2 bargain bin, my first Boekenfestijn and getting A, A' for €4 (shipping included). I honestly told the A, A' seller her book was worth more than that and offered her extra money, but she wouldn't have any of it. She was just happy that I was very happy. A few days later I helped her find a rare manga she had been looking for and that made her very happy as well, so everyone was very happy and yay for karma.
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writerpatrick



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 432
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:09 am Reply with quote
I don't feel any desire to see Ponyo. It just comes across as a kids film. That's not to say I won't see it at some point, it's just that I don't feel the need to see it.

An old videogame might not be the best example of racism; it's hard to draw a black character with only 16 or 32 colors and limited resolution. Although the lips could have been smaller.

Overrated material tends to be the stuff popular with fans not because they like it but because they think it's cool to support it. Underrated material tends to be the stuff that only a few like but gets trashed because it's trendy to trash it. And then there's the stuff that's mis-rated: things which get rated high or low (usually low) which can't really be rated because they're made for a specific audience.

I should also add that the entire concept of ratings is highly overrated. There could be ten people who like something but I may not care for it. At the same time there could be something I really like but nobody else does. I've found it best to just ignore ratings completely.
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YotaruVegeta



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
Posts: 710
Location: New York

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:00 am Reply with quote
I think that you can find more diversity in anime than if you watched anime from the 80s.

In recent memory, I look at characters from Basquash, Baccano, Black Lagoon and Michico to Hatchin. There are also several anime which take place outside of Japan in places like Europe, where there's a different cultural makeup.
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YotaruVegeta



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
Posts: 710
Location: New York

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:26 am Reply with quote
I think that you can find more diversity in anime than if you watched anime from the 80s.

In recent memory, I look at characters from Basquash, Baccano, Black Lagoon and Michico to Hatchin. There are also several anime which take place outside of Japan in places like Europe, where there's a different cultural makeup.
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Haterater



Joined: 30 Apr 2006
Posts: 980

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:55 am Reply with quote
I really want to see more variety in the skin tone. If we can have many different color hair and eyes, why not the skin? At least see some tan. You can still keep the "features" of big eyes and different hair, just have a new skin tone, especially series that are set in fantasy, as there wouldn't be based on a specific country. I've seen so few in fantasy type settings, but maybe that's just me.

Another thing that bothers me is series where there is countries involved, but you can't really tell them apart. Code Geass and Lucky Star come to mind for me as some characters, with the different hair etc, just don't distinguish and just left with them just telling us where they are from. Kind of takes me out of the story a bit.

But I really just want to me more skin tones in fantasy type stories. No need for stereotypical features, just put more variety in skin tone like hair and eyes have always been. If there are no rules for hair and eyes, then there shouldn't be one for skin tones.
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CCSYueh



Joined: 03 Jul 2004
Posts: 2707
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:59 pm Reply with quote
Haterater wrote:
I really want to see more variety in the skin tone. If we can have many different color hair and eyes, why not the skin? At least see some tan. You can still keep the "features" of big eyes and different hair, just have a new skin tone, especially series that are set in fantasy, as there wouldn't be based on a specific country. I've seen so few in fantasy type settings, but maybe that's just me.


That is you. We, sitting here outside of Japan, are not any sort of audience that really has any say. If Japanese fans started demanding such a variety then we'd see it happen, but they apparently aren't. We're a secondary audience. Hell, yeah, I'd expect we'd see all the nations represented in the Soul Society or we should see that other areas deal with Hollows in a different style, but is it really that different from our shows where the safety of the planet lies in the hands of the American hero? If we were not ourselves a melting pot, do you believe we'd have a variety of skin toned heroes to choose from? It wasn't all that long ago we didn't.
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YotaruVegeta



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
Posts: 710
Location: New York

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:08 pm Reply with quote
I think that the Japanese audience has more say over what genres are popular, but not really about how the characters look or where the stor takes place
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