Forum - View topic
Answerman - Why Are Old People In Anime And Manga So Short?


Goto page 1, 2  Next

Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 3094
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:23 pm Reply with quote
It's hard to tell someone's actual height in Anime, I remember there being this really tall girl in GTO, but it turns that she was 6ft, yet she looked closer to 6'7. Happosai and Cologne look about 2ft, but I would assume they are closer to 4ft.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
Triltaison



Joined: 03 Jul 2011
Posts: 250
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:21 pm Reply with quote
MarshalBanana wrote:
It's hard to tell someone's actual height in Anime, I remember there being this really tall girl in GTO, but it turns that she was 6ft, yet she looked closer to 6'7. Happosai and Cologne look about 2ft, but I would assume they are closer to 4ft.


I remember my friends and I being really amused by the characters' heights in Sailor Moon back in middle school. Makoto is supposed to be the really tall one at 5'6" and I was an inch taller than her then (and still average height in US). Haruka is 5'11" and Mamoru is two inches shorter than her at 5'9". Usagi herself is less than 5 feet tall at 4'11".
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
chronos02



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 181
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:45 pm Reply with quote
I guess the US did not suffer as much during the WWII era in regards to food avilability, but all of Europe did have a food shortage problem, similar to Japan, and as a result, you can pretty much see the same kind of depiction of elderly people being very short. This has been a trend for the past 60 years in every kind of comic throughout the continent, however, I have never seen anything similar to Happousai.
France, italy, Spain, Greece and Germany had serious shortage of protein rich food, and for around 5 to 10 years after WWII, most of the food was either grain or vegetables, with meat being very rare, and fish was misteriously rare too, I guess due to the difficulty to transport it because of logistic problems during those years (dairy food was limited to powder milk and only for women with young children). I have personally been able to see the huge gap in heights, most of my great-grand parents & their family were around 140~160cm tall, while my grand parents were around 150~165cm, the generation after, they were around 160cm to 175cm tall, and nowadays most of the young people are between 170 and 190cm. The most shocking was seeing the family gathering pictures, from around 100 people in them, you could see the generations by their heights...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Posts: 4598
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:15 pm Reply with quote
I recall this question was brought up in a non-Answerman article somewhere on this site. It's a little surprising some people haven't realized that people do shrink in height as they become elderly. That's just biology. However, there are some "super elders", as I like to call them, who manage to stay fit and retain the same height they've always been well into their silver age.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 3593
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:44 pm Reply with quote
I have seen some people I know shorten significantly, like by more than a couple inches from their middle aged years into their senior years
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
#hiros7039



Joined: 09 Feb 2017
Posts: 21
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:13 pm Reply with quote
Miniature senior citizens is a universal trope visible in every medium, not just manga and anime. Probably a stereotype an addition to diets between generations and osteoporosis.

Disney animation did this with the bumbling dads: The Sultan from Aladdin, Maurice from Beauty and the Beast, and Porter from Tarzan. Others include Mrs. Hasagawa from Lilo & Stitch and Grandma Fa from Mulan.
The Simpsons played with this when Bart succeeded growing an inch overnight to win a movie role. Grandpa shrank at a faster rate barely poking above the table.
Western examples include Mayor from Powerpuff Girls, Jake's grandfather from American Dragon and Granny Smith too from My Little Pony: FIM. (Turns out she's always small in flashbacks.)

You can also say why cartoon children are always very short who should be over four feet tall, but below the adults' waistline. The Fairly OddParents for example.
Or why teens are always a head shorter than their parents. Meg Griffin is 16-18 and a head shorter than Lois and Haley is much shorter than Francine. Even 14 year old boys are under 5 feet.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sakagami Tomoyo



Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 710
Location: Melbourne, VIC, Australia
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 6:30 pm Reply with quote
Triltaison wrote:
MarshalBanana wrote:
It's hard to tell someone's actual height in Anime, I remember there being this really tall girl in GTO, but it turns that she was 6ft, yet she looked closer to 6'7. Happosai and Cologne look about 2ft, but I would assume they are closer to 4ft.


I remember my friends and I being really amused by the characters' heights in Sailor Moon back in middle school. Makoto is supposed to be the really tall one at 5'6" and I was an inch taller than her then (and still average height in US). Haruka is 5'11" and Mamoru is two inches shorter than her at 5'9". Usagi herself is less than 5 feet tall at 4'11".

After all, artistic depictions (and what counts as unusually tall) are generally calibrated to what the average is where the author and target audience are.

chronos02 wrote:
I guess the US did not suffer as much during the WWII era in regards to food avilability, but all of Europe did have a food shortage problem, similar to Japan
..
France, italy, Spain, Greece and Germany had serious shortage of protein rich food, and for around 5 to 10 years after WWII, most of the food was either grain or vegetables, with meat being very rare, and fish was misteriously rare too, I guess due to the difficulty to transport it because of logistic problems during those years

There are a few reasons for this. To begin with, the US is more self-sufficient in terms of food supply than most European nations; most European nations depend greatly on trade to keep themselves adequately fed. During the war, it's pretty difficult to import food and other essential supplies when your shipping keeps getting bombed or torpedoed by the enemy, and whatever surpluses you had managed to build up get used up. (Assuming the enemy hasn't bombed those too.)

But after the war, one might ask? It takes time to rebuild necessary infrastructure, both to produce and transport your own food and be productive enough generally to trade for food from elsewhere (and the "elsewhere" might have rebuilding of their own to do to have enough to trade). America just didn't have that infrastructure destroyed to begin with. Having so many farmers and other workers killed in the war certainly doesn't help. And yes, America did send plenty of those over to fight, but when the fighting's on your doorstep, you lose many that aren't in the armed forces too.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
CandisWhite
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 19 Apr 2015
Posts: 261
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:37 pm Reply with quote
Sakagami Tomoyo wrote:
Triltaison wrote:
MarshalBanana wrote:
It's hard to tell someone's actual height in Anime, I remember there being this really tall girl in GTO, but it turns that she was 6ft, yet she looked closer to 6'7. Happosai and Cologne look about 2ft, but I would assume they are closer to 4ft.


I remember my friends and I being really amused by the characters' heights in Sailor Moon back in middle school. Makoto is supposed to be the really tall one at 5'6" and I was an inch taller than her then (and still average height in US). Haruka is 5'11" and Mamoru is two inches shorter than her at 5'9". Usagi herself is less than 5 feet tall at 4'11".

After all, artistic depictions (and what counts as unusually tall) are generally calibrated to what the average is where the author and target audience are.

I'd buy the "Japanese heights" thing a lot more if Takeuchi didn't have a bunch of 6+ footers running around; It's fantasy, pure and simple: Takeuchi picked out in her head what the height of everybody was and stuck to almost none of it; Her portrayals of a girl who doesn't even brush 5 feet are almost non-existent in reality (and at a leggy 4 ' 10", I know) and how tall everyone else is in comparison to her is off and wildly fluctuates. The anime was closer in certain episodes but even then, it stuck to Makoto being considered inordinately tall when many people clearly loomed over her and it also couldn't keep the height difference between Usagi and Mamoru straight.

There's nothing wrong with fantastical portrayals; It just means that Sailor Moon is not the hill to explore or fight on when it comes to discussing realistic portrayals of Japanese height, or height in general.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
crazyidiot78



Joined: 07 Aug 2015
Posts: 11
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:39 pm Reply with quote
belvadeer wrote:
I recall this question was brought up in a non-Answerman article somewhere on this site. It's a little surprising some people haven't realized that people do shrink in height as they become elderly. That's just biology. However, there are some "super elders", as I like to call them, who manage to stay fit and retain the same height they've always been well into their silver age.


I don't know if this was what you were refering to or not, but I did the same topic on my blog a while ago. I stuck mainly to the biological reasons as to why people shrink as they age.

http://www.animescience101.com/short-old-people/

Enjoy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Shay Guy



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 937
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:02 pm Reply with quote
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
reanimator



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 1237
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:21 pm Reply with quote
I thought Answerman shouldn't go through all the trouble explaining real life aging versus cartoon exaggeration of aging depicted in Anime

I have to say that it is either the lack or fixed sense of visual literacy that some people can't tell difference between literal depiction and cartoon exaggeration of said person/object. Anime is just exaggerating elderly person's body shrinkage in cartoony way and some people are taking that exaggeration literally. It's just a design choice that comic and animation artists chose to make their works funny, not as a some kind of scientific truth.

Every culture has their own unique way of expressing exaggeration and we all know that anime has their own wild visual expressions, but I don't think depicting elderly person in such way shouldn't be all that confusing.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Posts: 4598
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:16 am Reply with quote
crazyidiot78 wrote:
I don't know if this was what you were refering to or not, but I did the same topic on my blog a while ago. I stuck mainly to the biological reasons as to why people shrink as they age.

http://www.animescience101.com/short-old-people/

Enjoy


That wasn't it, but thank you for sharing that article. It's a good read.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kadmos1



Joined: 08 May 2014
Posts: 12016
Location: In Phoenix but has an 85308 ZIP
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:05 am Reply with quote
The diminutive height of Happosai redefines being a little dirty.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cutiebunny



Joined: 18 Apr 2010
Posts: 1335
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:40 am Reply with quote
I also don’t think that the trend of wearing high heel shoes at all stages of adult life are helping things either. I’m in Japan now and am in awe of the amount of women not only wearing heels, but doing so while climbing up shrines, taking care of small children, running after trains, etc. Wearing heels for years does significant damage to one’s anatomy, and I can’t help but wonder if this explains why there are so many women age 50+ in Japan who have hunched backs forming. Honestly, it’s very sad to see women experience this for the sake of fashion.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Scalfin



Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 177
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:43 am Reply with quote
reanimator wrote:
I thought Answerman shouldn't go through all the trouble explaining real life aging versus cartoon exaggeration of aging depicted in Anime

I have to say that it is either the lack or fixed sense of visual literacy that some people can't tell difference between literal depiction and cartoon exaggeration of said person/object. Anime is just exaggerating elderly person's body shrinkage in cartoony way and some people are taking that exaggeration literally. It's just a design choice that comic and animation artists chose to make their works funny, not as a some kind of scientific truth.

Every culture has their own unique way of expressing exaggeration and we all know that anime has their own wild visual expressions, but I don't think depicting elderly person in such way shouldn't be all that confusing.


I think the big thing is that it shows up in anime and manga that's otherwise minimal in stylization.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group