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REVIEW: Terra Formars GN 1


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gedata



Joined: 04 May 2013
Posts: 223

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:06 am Reply with quote
Hopefully the whole "racism" thing will be dropped in the anime once we see the actual coloration of the roachdudes
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danilo07



Joined: 25 Dec 2011
Posts: 1563

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:30 am Reply with quote
Manga has a lot of typical racist overtones ( for example Americans are always blond), but I don't think that the look of cockroaches is racist. The insects are developing through human evolutionary path ( which is really stupid, but that is a different point ), so the author made insects resemble Homo erectus.
I don't really like manga, primarily because it doesn't realize how utterly silly it is. I will watch anime though, Hiroshi Hamasaki is a great director and I am expecting that he will improve the original material.
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samuelp



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 1567
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:32 am Reply with quote
gedata wrote:
Hopefully the whole "racism" thing will be dropped in the anime once we see the actual coloration of the roachdudes


They're cockroaches, do you seriously expect them to be like, purple or something? They're black colored. Or very dark brown at the least.
What's not debatable is that Terraformars is full of caricatures of races and nationalities (and bugs and animals...). Whether those caricatures rise to the level of racism is, as usual, in the eye of the beholder.

Personally I don't really believe most Japanese people are racist against black people any more than they are against any non-asian. But that's not saying much...
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Utsuro no Hako



Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 366

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:54 am Reply with quote
samuelp wrote:
They're cockroaches, do you seriously expect them to be like, purple or something? They're black colored. Or very dark brown at the least.


If they were giant brown roaches, that'd be a good argument. But they aren't. They don't have six legs. They don't have thoraxes. They don't have compound eyes. The only cockroach features they retain are antennas and skin color. The author even went out of his way to give them curly hair on the top of their heads, which real cockroaches don't have.

The author chose to create humanoid monsters who look like 19th Century racist caricatures of black people. Calling them cockroaches doesn't make the choice any better.
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Professor Anime



Joined: 19 Aug 2014
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:54 am Reply with quote
I'm disappointed in the editorial staff at ANN for this review. Not only does the review hardly delve into the volume or offer any insight into the storytelling, but it's written in a way far below the standard one should expect from a professional organization like Anime News Network. Though I rarely expect what's written in the review to correspond or reflect the letter ratings given, most of the content of this piece is a disjointed explanation of the plot

A few grammatical mistakes are particularly frustrating, and I've pulled out just one sentence to discuss some of the trends I saw throughout the review (though I should note that I myself made an error in my earlier observations):

Quote:
Given that the backgrounds of Mars (and Earth) aren't particularly exciting and that the space ship Bugs 2 has a very generic sci fi look to it, this and the fact that everyone's face is very distinct from the others' make Terra Formars' art stand out.


A few notes for this sentence:
* This should be two sentences or separated with a semi-colon.
* This whole section, along with others in the review, beg re-reading for basic comprehension.
* The overuse of parenthesis throughout the review comes across as juvenile and does not offer the information in a meaningful way
* Did the author use the word "very" in a review?
* "Generic sci fi look" does not mean anything to the average reader, more so when it's generalizing so broadly that it's challenging to gauge what the author is discussing.
* The author discusses later that the faces of female characters are in fact not distinct, so I cannot understand why the same thing is being praised here.
* The whole piece contains too many conjunctions for a professional review. Informal language can be fine, but this review already suffers from too casual a tone when compared to other ANN reviews.

There are a few more instances of subject-verb agreement issues, but that sort of issue I take more with the editorial staff than the author.

However, the discussion of racism is the most troubling element of the review. The author presents it as an issue, but does not explain why, or to what end. Something as simple as saying, "The appearance of humanoid cockroaches bearing a resemblance to stereotypical deceptions of African people in Western media is an issue because it creates a deeply racist comparison between people of a certain origin and an insect that's universal abhorred." This article contains no "because" clause. The analysis is what a review is for; simply presenting that the issue is an issue alongside a synopsis is Wikipedia's job, not a reviewers. Additionally, the comparison to Black Sambo appeared out-of-place, as not only did the drawings on the link provided not match Terra Formars' style very much aside from being dark in skin, but the comparison lacked analysis. Had the aesthetic actually been similar, a comment like "a generally-accepted standard for racism" preceding the mention of Black Sambo would have made the writing more powerful. Without context, how is a reader supposed to know that the comparison is even negative? How would the average reader recognize that Black Sambo is a racist representation of black caricatures if they do not identify Terra Formars as racist in the same way?

I would also like to comment on the fact that characters within the world acting in a racist capacity does not necessarily make the fictional work they belong in racist in an of itself. Yes, the characters make disparaging remarks at the expense of their comrades' nationalities. This is done for world-building reasons. It may be fundamentally racist for the author to include this detail. I would disagree, but it seems that you feel this is indeed racist, and that is not an issue as long as you explain why. People can look at the letter scores to get an understanding of how "good" something is, but they read the review for the "why" which is generally left untouched in this piece.

However, I certainly agree on the note about women's cup size being listed in their data sheets. That certainly made me uncomfortable while reading it as well.


Last edited by Professor Anime on Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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MohaCario



Joined: 03 Aug 2014
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:20 pm Reply with quote
I don't get those negative points at all. Bad treatment of women? What is this, a sports manga?Doesn't matter if your male or female, you get slaughtered. Racism, because the cockroaches are black? The mystical stuff not explained. Wasn't there a narrator during the whole thing who explained and explained and explained?
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Angel'sArcanum



Joined: 02 Sep 2010
Posts: 134
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:21 pm Reply with quote
FINALLY SOMEONE POINTS OUT THE BLATANT RACISM! Geez, all the critic reviews and fans I've seen seem to miss the extremely obvious and offensive racism and stereotyping, it's disgusting.
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Rederoin



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 798
Location: Europa

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:34 pm Reply with quote
Angel'sArcanum wrote:
FINALLY SOMEONE POINTS OUT THE BLATANT RACISM! Geez, all the critic reviews and fans I've seen seem to miss the extremely obvious and offensive racism and stereotyping, it's disgusting.

...What racism?

The cockroaches are not racist(they aren't even black) and characters acting racist does not make the work itself racist, so what I'm I missing?


Last edited by Rederoin on Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:46 pm; edited 2 times in total
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kill-chan



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 122

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:35 pm Reply with quote
Side note:
Japanese men's obsession for a woman's 3 sizes (or just the bust size) is a known fact.
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casualfan



Joined: 24 Jul 2012
Posts: 213

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:43 pm Reply with quote
This manga is written by Japanese so it's not racism that they are portrayed as the heroes. Kind of like every Hollywood movie out there when the Earth or humans are threatened, Americans are the heroes to save the world. It's called patriotism.

The roach men are supposed to resemble monkeys/orangutans due to evolution.
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Яeverse



Joined: 16 Jun 2014
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:43 pm Reply with quote
Surprised there is concern for racism in the manga considering its a series with strong political background in countries vying for power over one another on both earth and mars and with the science as well. Certainly one doesnt think everyone would be walking in a field of flowers and daisys and sitting on blankets to peacefully discuss power over a cup of tea in a future age of outer space discovery.

I would hope the reviewer changes for future volumes then.
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Maciste



Joined: 27 Jan 2008
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:45 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
* The end of the sentence should read "...distinct from the others' makes Terra Fromars' art stand out."


"this and the fact that everyone's face is very distinct from the others' make Terra Formars' art stand out."

"this AND the fact"

Let's try simplifying it a bit:
"Those two facts make Terra Formars´art stand out."

It's called plural. Look it up.
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Levitz9



Joined: 06 Feb 2007
Posts: 707
Location: Puerto Rico

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:46 pm Reply with quote
kill-chan wrote:
Side note:
Japanese men's obsession for a woman's 3 sizes (or just the bust size) is a known fact.


Fun fact:
That's a crap justification. We don't see information on the sizes of the mens' penises, so what point is there to telling us the sizes of the womens' breasts?

Also: kudos to Professor Anime for opening the can of worms and complaining about Silverman's objection to the racist material. Heavens forbid a review be about how the critic feels about the work itself, y'know?
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Rederoin



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 798
Location: Europa

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:48 pm Reply with quote
Levitz9 wrote:
kill-chan wrote:
Side note:
Japanese men's obsession for a woman's 3 sizes (or just the bust size) is a known fact.


Fun fact:
That's a crap justification. We don't see information on the sizes of the mens' penises, so what point is there to telling us the sizes of the womens' breasts?

The intended audience is interested in it, does the author need another reason?
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Angel'sArcanum



Joined: 02 Sep 2010
Posts: 134
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:52 pm Reply with quote
Rederoin wrote:
Angel'sArcanum wrote:
FINALLY SOMEONE POINTS OUT THE BLATANT RACISM! Geez, all the critic reviews and fans I've seen seem to miss the extremely obvious and offensive racism and stereotyping, it's disgusting.

...What racism?

The cockroaches are not racist(they aren't even black) and characters who perform racist acts do not make the work itself racist, so what i'm i missing?


That's like saying if a black-faced comedian held a sign that said "I'm not black" that wouldn't be racist. The cockroaches are clearly based on exaggerated body structures of black people, and as such they are interpreted as evil cretin since labeling someone/thing a 'cockroach' is derogatory for being a persistent pest, and in this manga, the cockroaches are villains in themselves and "need to be exterminated". It is even mentioned as a plot element at one point I believe that they "smash and steal cars" and such, and they get high off some plant or mushrooms at one point. Offensive stereotyping. The fact that it has thin veiling to begin with is the author's (hardly) subtle way of saying "they aren't black people but basically they are", and it doesn't seem like the author is trying to alleviate these acts or make the cockroaches sympathetic or good. Something like To Kill a Mockingbird is anti-racism by challenging racist acts, this doesn't challenge any prejudice and instead uses disgusting cliches overtly.


Last edited by Angel'sArcanum on Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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