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Diversity in anime.

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Joined: 18 Jun 2013
Posts: 493
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:04 am Reply with quote
Blood- wrote:
I thought about this thread yesterday when I saw an item about a Caucasian actor who has pulled out of a role in the Hellboy reboot because the role was a dude who has mixed Asian background.

He probably got a lot of criticism for accepting it in the first place and had to step down. It'd be more surprising if a black or other minority actor did that for a white or Japanese character. It seems actual Japanese anime character being white is defended and okay but Asians in American made media being whitewashed is far more controversal.
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Sky Captain

Joined: 15 Nov 2008
Posts: 12
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:17 pm Reply with quote
Froschess wrote:
I have some questions, its for a project Im doing about anime in school.. I have two..

1.Do you guys think anime needs more diversity?

2. Would you watch an anime if the main character he/she wasn't Japanese? Like Spanish, Black, Native American or any other race.

I'm curious, let me know!

Here's my honest opinion on this as a person of color (Afro-Canadian):

The people wanting this need to get up off of their asses and create said anime with said diversity, not expect the Japanese to do it for them. This would mean having what Aaron McGruder did in creating The Boondocks, and doing that to get said project off of the ground, not just begging Japanese studios and creators for something to be done. And that can be done NOW with standard Western American CGI, as was done with Home, if one wants. But again, the people in question have to want to do this.

Make no mistake, as a person of color, I want to see more diversity myself, but I want to see people do something about it and not just talk about it. Doing something about it makes all the difference.
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Joined: 04 Jan 2012
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:45 pm Reply with quote
I don't watch anime for racial diversity. I don't expect something created in Japan to fit my need to see more characters that look like me. Now, I do like when I see a black character and they're not a full racist caricature. Which is way less of an issue today. Just look at those 1968 images of Cyborg 008. Or even the few black characters that have appeared in Dragon Ball. Which is understandable considering the age of the creators, and the cartoons they most likely saw as children. Which were most likely racist as hell. The few black characters I see in anime now, they're drawn pretty normally, and that fixes my black character in anime itch.

Personally, I think if we want to see more people of color in animation, then we need to make it. The reality though is that black culture doesn't really embrace black nerd culture. It's easy to say that we need to make the stuff we want to watch, but it's most likely not going to get made. Or it will get made, but it will be on Adult Swim.
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Joined: 08 Dec 2006
Posts: 3
Location: Cleveland, OH
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:31 pm Reply with quote
I must admit that I’ve only been an anime fan for the last 10 years or so, although I grew up watching anime without knowing it. I logged on today because I wanted to research the American anime executive I seemed to remember as black Japanese and had planned to start a thread of my own when I saw this. I’d like to briefly reply.

I respect the Japanese desire to remain homogenous. I read an answer somewhere above that states it isn’t for us to pass judgement on that desire and the possible lack of diversity. I agree and I don’t agree.

To the collective Japanese mind, racial and ethnic diversity is bad. That would be regrettable, but acceptable IF anime weren’t being sold all over the world. That is ALL OVER THE WORLD as in with the expectation that people of different ethnicities will be viewing the product. If diverse people are going to put money in the pockets of Japanese companies, we have a right to reasonable expectations of inclusion. I’m in no way saying that all anime has to have diverse characters. I am saying that there are ways to include characters of different ethnicities to make stories richer. It also wouldn’t hurt Japanese society to learn a little something about other cultures outside of hip-hop. Not all black people are into hip-hop at all. It’s a stereotype. I’d venture to say all Japanese people are not into J-POP either. Nor, I’d guess, do all Chinese, Korean or Thai people eat dogs. (Thank God.)

To summarize, yes. I’d welcome more diversity. To the person who said those who are complaining about the lack of diversity should make diverse animation, I have a comment and a challenge.

Saying that people who want to see diversity should make it or shut up is simplistic at best. Many people do not have the talent or resources to create what they’d like to see. I barely draw stick figures, for example, even though my mother was a very talented artist. What about that poor kid who has tremendous talent but no access to computers or publishers to get her work out? Not everyone is relatively wealthy in this world. Indeed, MOST people in the world are not wealthy enough to have the access all of us have. Think about this: The Global Citizen Festival concert had people begging for money for latrines so that women wouldn’t have to walk into fields to use the bathroom and risk being attacked. They talked about the FACT many women don’t have access to feminine hygiene products and that keeps girls out of school and women from working. It is easy to forget that we live in the developed world and most people do not. Please, I ask that anyone reading this take into consideration that they are lucky. Other people simply are not.

That being said, there is an animation project being developed about the life of Yasuke, the first black samurai who was taken to Japan by a Jesuit priest in the 16th Century. There, he met Oda Nobunaga, a warlord who took an interest in him. Yasuke became one of his respected retainers and was given a home and wives/concubines. The Yasuke animation project (as opposed to the live-action Lionsgate project) is being produced by Avaloy Studios out of Atlanta. The founder is a black man, so he’s definitely trying to make the kind of animation of interest to black people. He’s looking for funding and has a campaign on Hatchfund. Here is the URL: If anyone who believes in the idea that black people (or, presumably, any non-Japanese PoC) shouldn’t open our mouths or have an opinion about diversity in anime, I suggest they practice what they preach and give money to this small animation company for this project. If we are going to be admonished to shut up and take it while these Japanese companies make money from us, then it is only fair.
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