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Diversity in anime.


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Guile



Joined: 18 Jun 2013
Posts: 490
PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:36 pm Reply with quote
鏡 wrote:
Why would it make more sense for fairies to all be born with the same skin colour? Aren't they literally magic? Why would world-building in a fantasy setting be better served by racial homogeneity than racial diversity?


An isolated culture isnt going to produce diversity. Do you think there should be a variety of white, black, Asian, and latino Saiyans, Moon Kingdom dwellers, or Middle Earthers "just because"? Any fantasy worth it's salt isn't going to do that.

Mad Scientist wrote:
Of course, despite being "less popular than Jar Jar", there was a massive backlash to her exclusion which resulted in Hasbro rescinding the decision. So much for not being popular


They're merely avoiding PR from a vocal minority. Doesn't translate into sales, otherwise they'd be rushing to sell more of her instead of a few shortpacked token bits of merchandise to keep the complainers quiet. Marvel goes through the same thing when they try to balance tanking sales and PR.
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ChibiKangaroo



Joined: 01 Feb 2010
Posts: 2876
PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:55 pm Reply with quote
I think it is hilarious and sad at the same time that people are so backwards that they will rage about a female lead in Star Wars. I am not even a big fan of The Force Awakens. I would have liked to see better writing for the supporting cast. The writing for Kylo Ren in particular was weak. Rey was seriously the best thing in the film lol. I do wonder where people learn this intense hatred though. Why is it that the mere presence of a female lead as a Jedi can cause them to go wild. I will never understand. But yea, Rey's star wars is going to keep making billions, so I suppose all the raging is for naught.
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Mad_Scientist



Joined: 08 Apr 2008
Posts: 2507
PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:56 pm Reply with quote
Guile wrote:
鏡 wrote:
Why would it make more sense for fairies to all be born with the same skin colour? Aren't they literally magic? Why would world-building in a fantasy setting be better served by racial homogeneity than racial diversity?


An isolated culture isnt going to produce diversity. Do you think there should be a variety of white, black, Asian, and latino Saiyans, Moon Kingdom dwellers, or Middle Earthers "just because"? Any fantasy worth it's salt isn't going to do that.


Saiyans are an alien species. Humans have multiple skin colors. Why would it be weird for an alien species to have multiple skin colors? I guess whatever fantasy author wrote the human race into existence isn't "worth his salt."

Moon Kingdom... again, it's an entire world. If the earth can produce diversity, why not the moon?

Also the Tolkien books do have other races, most of them are just villains. (Kind of an uncomfortable aspect).

And the fairies you were talking about at first were created by LITERAL MAGIC.

I wonder, do you complain about anime series that have a wide variety of hair colors too?

I'm sorry, but your argument holds no water. You're just using it as an excuse to complain about diversity.

Quote:
Mad Scientist wrote:
Of course, despite being "less popular than Jar Jar", there was a massive backlash to her exclusion which resulted in Hasbro rescinding the decision. So much for not being popular


They're merely avoiding PR from a vocal minority. Doesn't translate into sales, otherwise they'd be rushing to sell more of her instead of a few shortpacked token bits of merchandise to keep the complainers quiet. Marvel goes through the same thing when they try to balance tanking sales and PR.


Ah, the good old circular reasoning I described.

Rey isn't popular, so we aren't going to make much merchandise about her.
How do you know she's not popular?
Because we aren't making merchandise focused on her!
Why aren't you doing that?
Because she's not popular!
How do you know she's not popular?
Because is she was we'd be making merchandise about her!

And so on, and so on.

EDIT: Today I learned ANN filters c-u-z to because. Huh?
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Joined: 21 Dec 2013
Posts: 532
PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:21 pm Reply with quote
Guile wrote:
鏡 wrote:
Why would it make more sense for fairies to all be born with the same skin colour? Aren't they literally magic? Why would world-building in a fantasy setting be better served by racial homogeneity than racial diversity?


An isolated culture isnt going to produce diversity. Do you think there should be a variety of white, black, Asian, and latino Saiyans, Moon Kingdom dwellers, or Middle Earthers "just because"? Any fantasy worth it's salt isn't going to do that.

Sure, why not? Is an isolated culture a prerequisite to good world-building in fantasy? Not that I understand why you seem to think racial diversity even requires cosmopolitanism at the time the story is set - you could very well have an ancient and perpetually secluded civilization of racially diverse people.
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Lord Oink



Joined: 06 Jul 2016
Posts: 480
PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:27 pm Reply with quote
My deduction skills as a detective tell me this thread is quite possible not actually about anime and was just a front for political schenanigans. Anyway, I don't watch western stuff so they can throw in as much stuff as they want even if it reaches ridiculous levels coughspidermanhomecomingcough, but I'd rather not see Japan go down the same route of forced diversity. Oddly enough, white guilt doesn't seem to work on Japanese people very well, and most of them get offended when westerners try to get up on them about PC culture, so I doubt that will ever be a problem. I liked Takeshi Nogami's slam against the BBC/UK in that one interview personally.
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Joined: 21 Dec 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:08 pm Reply with quote
What does "white guilt" have to do with this?
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
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Location: Serra Gaucha/Minnesota
PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:26 pm Reply with quote
White people in white majority countries often feel guilt of not having racially diverse cast in their movies. Therefore they, in their ethnocentrism, think Japan must also have racially diverse casts in their movies/animation.

Mad_Scientist wrote:
Saiyans are an alien species. Humans have multiple skin colors. Why would it be weird for an alien species to have multiple skin colors? I guess whatever fantasy author wrote the human race into existence isn't "worth his salt."


Over the lon tun racially diverse populations mix and eventually they will converge to racial homogeneity. In Brazil we already have this happening as Brazilians are more and more mixed and now a typical Brazilian is like 65% European, 20% African and 15% Native, as result many Brazilians now have developed a typical "Brazilian look" that didn't exist over a century ago. This type of racial diversity you see in the US and Western European countries is not stable and is the product of many special historical circumstances including: economic superiority (to attract foreign populations seeking higher wages) and racism (to prevent racial mixing and hence convergence to a new state of homogeneity).

Fantasy settings are usually medieval like where vast migrations of population don't happen all the time. Medieval settings are less dynamic socieities that are usually racially homogeneous like Medieval Europe or Medieval China. Racially heterogeneity is a historical anomaly brought about by exceptional circunstances in our modern Eurocentric world.

Japan is a typical human society by historical standards and they tend to be homogeneous like that. The US's racial heterogeneity in particular is very weird and the product of transatlantic colonization + slavery + racism (prevented mixing of blacks into general population, as slave trade was abolished nearly 200 years ago but the 12% of black DNA in the US's population is not homogenously distributed thanks to racism that prevented mixing of African Americans and other groups)+ economic superiority (that attracted colonists and slaves into the place).

[Edit]: I cleaned up your post. It was a mess. Errinundra.
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Joined: 21 Dec 2013
Posts: 532
PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:22 pm Reply with quote
Jose Cruz wrote:
White people in white majority countries often feel guilt of not having racially diverse cast in their movies. Therefore they, in their ethnocentrism, think Japan must also have racially diverse casts in their movies/animation.

Nobody in this thread has said anything about feeling guilty at the lack of diversity in anime, nobody in this thread was even talking about the lack of diversity in Western film, and I doubt anyone in this thread is a filmmaker who would have any reason to feel responsible for a lack of diversity. If bringing up "white guilt" is a way to construe calls for diversity as misplaced ethnocentrism, you've seriously misconstrued why people would want diverse representation, presumably so that such calls can be dismissed as some kind of neurosis.

Regarding the rest of your post, fantasy settings are just that - fantastical. I'm not even sure what extant racially homogeneous fantasy stories have to do with the possibility of future racially diverse stories, the desirability of which with regards to anime is the ostensible point of this thread. The original argument was that "good world-building" entails racial homogeneity, but the fact that most good fantasy stories have had racial homogeneity of some kind doesn't entail that all good fantasy must. Unless, of course, racial homogeneity is in some sense intrinsically valuable to telling good stories. If the point of the rest of that post was just to say that racial homogenization will occur over time for the human species - well, that's pretty beside the point of the thread.

That you lack the imagination to conceive of a well-written fantasy that isn't racially homogeneous doesn't obviously entail anything about the desirability of racial diversity in anime.

I'm confused as to why this thread has devolved into discussions of how Japan feels about diversity in their media and theorizing about real-world racial homogeneity.
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Mad_Scientist



Joined: 08 Apr 2008
Posts: 2507
PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:41 pm Reply with quote
Jose Cruz, I'll ask you a question I asked Guile. Do you complain about anime series that have a wide variety of hair colors too?

Lord Oink wrote:
My deduction skills as a detective tell me this thread is quite possible not actually about anime and was just a front for political schenanigans.


If you look at the early posts, this thread was originally about diversity in *anime*, it's just that in the few months of on again off again discussion, the topic has drifted to diversity in general and diversity in western media.
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Lord Oink



Joined: 06 Jul 2016
Posts: 480
PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:43 pm Reply with quote
鏡 wrote:
What does "white guilt" have to do with this?


Most of the people who call or push for diversity are usually white. Asian-guilt isn't really a thing, so you don't see Japan tripping over each other to push for more diversity in their work like here. Example: Most people complaining about Nioh starring a white man were white... despite the fact the game was made by the Japanese developer Team Ninja. I guess the argument was 'internilized racism' or something.
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Joined: 21 Dec 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:21 pm Reply with quote
Lord Oink wrote:
Most of the people who call or push for diversity are usually white.


This doesn't entail that they do so because they feel "guilty". This isn't even relevant to the thread regardless. The question is do you think anime needs more diversity, not "do you feel guilty about the lack of diversity in anime".
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Guile



Joined: 18 Jun 2013
Posts: 490
PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:14 pm Reply with quote
Mad_Scientist wrote:
Saiyans are an alien species. Humans have multiple skin colors. Why would it be weird for an alien species to have multiple skin colors? I guess whatever fantasy author wrote the human race into existence isn't "worth his salt."

Moon Kingdom... again, it's an entire world. If the earth can produce diversity, why not the moon?

Also the Tolkien books do have other races, most of them are just villains. (Kind of an uncomfortable aspect).

And the fairies you were talking about at first were created by LITERAL MAGIC.

I wonder, do you complain about anime series that have a wide variety of hair colors too?

I'm sorry, but your argument holds no water. You're just using it as an excuse to complain about diversity.


Skin color differences originated depending on proximity to the equator, or more accurately amount of exposure to the sun, and how much melanin was produced and passed down.Just ignoring logic like that and hand waving it away as magic to explain diversity is amaturish. Nothing we've seen indicate those planets are set up like Earth's atmosphere aside from Arda, but LOTR was about Middle Earth specifically.

Hair color can easily be dyed, so of course not.

Quote:
Ah, the good old circular reasoning I described.

Rey isn't popular, so we aren't going to make much merchandise about her.
How do you know she's not popular?
Because we aren't making merchandise focused on her!
Why aren't you doing that?
Because she's not popular!
How do you know she's not popular?
Because is she was we'd be making merchandise about her!

And so on, and so on.


Hasbro has teams of marketing researchers, focus groups, and actual fiscal information. I would take their word over a poster on the internet. Hasbro seems to be aiming their upcoming Forces of Destiny doll line towards girls as far as female Star Wars toys are concerned. Lego did a same thing with Lego Friends and it worked well for them.
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Mad_Scientist



Joined: 08 Apr 2008
Posts: 2507
PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:03 pm Reply with quote
Guile wrote:


Skin color differences originated depending on proximity to the equator, or more accurately amount of exposure to the sun, and how much melanin was produced and passed down.Just ignoring logic like that and hand waving it away as magic to explain diversity is amaturish. Nothing we've seen indicate those planets are set up like Earth's atmosphere aside from Arda, but LOTR was about Middle Earth specifically.

Hair color can easily be dyed, so of course not.


So, you comment how "nothing we've seen indicate those planets are set up like Eath's atmosphere" but ignore the fact that nothing indicates that 99% of anime characters with weird hair colors dye their hair.

Again, these are hollow excuses. We're talking alien biology and characters that can punch through planets, and magic moon princesses and reincarnations, and this is fine. But I guess if an anime dares to have a character that's not human but who has black skin, they have to go into a 10 minuted detailed explanation of the climate of that person's planet and the evolutionary history of their species, or else it's "amateurish."

Come on.

Quote:

Hasbro has teams of marketing researchers, focus groups, and actual fiscal information. I would take their word over a poster on the internet.


And yet their teams of marketing researchers didn't anticipate the backlash against the lack of Rey monopoly figures, having to add a figure back in, or the now unsold stockpile of Reyless monopoly games gathering dust.

Companies make mistakes, and marketing researchers can still be affected by biases.
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Ryo Hazuki



Joined: 01 Jan 2008
Posts: 316
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:53 am Reply with quote
Would Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple be better if instead of having a mostly black cast, it would also have Latin and Middle Eastern actors to make it more diverse?
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Blood-
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!It...it's not like I post for you or anything!


Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 19408
Location: Toronto, Canada
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:35 am Reply with quote
Ryo Hazuki wrote:
Would Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple be better if instead of having a mostly black cast, it would also have Latin and Middle Eastern actors to make it more diverse?


If you're going to bother participating in a discussion, how about leaving obviously dopey points out of it? Constructing a useless strawman argument might be fun for you, but it doesn't add a whit of intelligent discourse here. Of course you know that those of us who are in favour of diversity (and really, what non-racist wouldn't be in favour of such a mom and apple pie concept?) don't favour replacing members of one minority with another, especially in a historical context that makes no sense. Honestly, if that's the level of commentary you intend to bring to this topic, how about just letting the adults participate?
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