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Old 2008-08-13, 09:25   Link #1
stelok
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foreigner stereotypes in anime

Which non-japanese characters were depicted as stereotypes and not stereotypes?

I have noticed that many Chinese anime characters such as Li Syaoran, Revy (Black Lagoon), Hei/Li Shengshen (Darker Than Black), Lee Bailong (Shaman King), Li Kohran (Sakura Wars) and the main character cast of Cooking Master Boy were portrayed positively. However, some personality traits that many Chinese characters such as Syaoran, Hei, Bailong, Tao Ren (Shaman King) and Revy have in common was that they are angry, aloof and bitter individuals with a chip-on-the-shoulder atttude.

In the anime Cooking Master boy, Chinese people, usually in crowds, all look alike/the same, aside from the major characters, who however can easily be distinguished.

Why are almost all half-Japanese/half-Western characters blondes? In reality they have black hair.

Tamaki Suou (half-French, half-Japanese) from Ouran Host Club
Rebecca Miyamoto (half-Japanese, half-American) from Pani Poni Dash!
Momiji Sohma (half-German, half-Japanese) from Fruits Basket
Elise Housen (half-French, half-Japanese) from Canvas 2
Eri Sawachika (half-British, half-Japanese) from School Rumble
Maria Tachibana (half-Russian, half-Japanese) from Sakura Taisen
Heindrick and Elizabeth K. Strawberryfield (half-English, half-Japanese) from Kamen no Maid Guy
Niina Isokawa (half-American, half-Japanese) from Tona-gura
Sophie Balzac Kirisaki (half-French, half-Japanese) from Yakitate Japan
Meister Silvan Kirisaki (half-French, half-Japanese) from Yakitate Japan

Kouji Jefferson Sakai (half-Swedish, half-Japanese) from Hungry Heart~ Wild Striker has silvery-blonde hair.

Orihime Soletta (half-Italian, half-Japanese) from Sakura Taisen 2 and Yuki (half-Greek, half-Japanese) from the manga Love for Venus have black hair, not blond hair. But then again Italians and Greeks, being mediterranean, generally do not have blonde hair.

I have taken a look at the American characters.

The American main characters David, Lewis and Julia in Blood+ are depicted positively. But the U.S. government officials in Blood+ were characterized as duplicitous, manipulative and deceitful as snakes.

Many people say that Americans in anime are stereotypified as lewd, loud-mouthed, nosy, rude, boorish, obnoxious and inconsiderate. Roy Focker (Macross), Monica Adenauer (Yakitate Japan), Sarah McDougal (Love Hina) and Tina Foster (Ai Yori Aoshi) are typical examples of that stereotype. Another classic example of "loud and rude foreigner" stereotype is Kaere Kimura (Sayonara Zetsubo-sensei).

I read that Black characters were portrayed as stereotypes in anime. But when I saw Rodrigo (Afro-Brazilian) on Hungry Heart~ Wild Striker, he didn't look like stereotypical but rather a real person with fairly rich character depth.

The English/Britons such as Eri Sawachika, Heindrick Strawberryfield, Elizabeth Strawberryfield, and the full-blooded British guy from Gatekeepers are depicted as arrogant, snobby and acting high-class. Mayu Miyuki (Ai Yori Aoshi) may be full Japanese but grew up in England, so she acted the english stereotype of an arrogant and vain snob on a high horse.

As for the characterization of French people in anime, every French character (Iris, Glycine, Erica, Lobelia, Mer Raison, Ci Caprice, etc) in Sakura Taisen has their own distinct personality traits and do not share the same behavioural traits.

What's more interesting is that all half-Japanese, half-French children such as Suou Tamaki, Sophie Balzac Kirisaki, Meister Silvan Kirisaki, Elise Housen, Christine Hanakomachi have French mothers and Japanese fathers. Hanabi Kitaoji's grandmother is a Frenchwoman.

Last edited by stelok; 2008-09-18 at 07:17.
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Old 2008-08-13, 11:21   Link #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stelok View Post
Why are almost all half-Japanese/half-Western characters blondes? In reality they have black hair.
Simple answer: it makes them look foreign. Japanese people have to stare at brown/black hair all day long already, I assume they like to make foreign characters LOOK foreign by giving them blonde hair instead, even though brown and black are hugely prevailant as well.

Any foreigner in anime seems to be tarred with that same brush actually, as you've already noted, and I'll include my favourite IchiMaro girl Ana as well I don't mind though, I like blonde girls

edit: one anime I love that has a British (full British that is) character who isn't a snobby idiot is Stratos 4. Commander Reynolds is a real Gentleman of the WW2 era (ok so WW2 is 100+ years in the past in that anime but it's the best way I can describe him).
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Old 2008-08-13, 13:51   Link #3
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Originally Posted by stelok View Post
The English/Britons such as Eri Sawachika, Heindrick Strawberryfield, Elizabeth Strawberryfield, and the full-blooded British guy from Gatekeepers are depicted as arrogant, snobby and acting high-class. Mayu Miyuki (Ai Yori Aoshi) may be full Japanese but grew up in England, so she acted the english stereotype of an arrogant and vain snob on a high horse.
I like the higher-up, arrogant and snobby personalities that they sometimes gave to us as a stereotype. T'is one that I do not mind as it is in a lot of cases true. Code Geass reflected a lot of that on the Britannian people and they were shown with a lot of powerful and "the big I am" wisdom.

England is usually more or less in every anime with the gothic culture or references to the culture. If not a main factor in it then they are sometimes mentioned in it or in most cases have a British character in it. Alas, that is one of the British cultures, and also where the gothic culture originated from so that would explain it. Most anime that have vampires in usually have something to do with the UK too, obviously because a majority of the original Dracula story was based here. Their is Hellsing, Black Blood Brothers, and more that suggest that theme.

Also, most British woman in Anime are named "Alice". I think that is because of the famous novel "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" which was and still is a very popular novel in Japan. Then in Rozen Maiden ofcourse they have the "Alice Game" which is also a reference to the same book.
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Old 2008-08-13, 14:08   Link #4
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I actually start to hate this kind of stereotyping. In most animes, the stereotyped blonde characters are the most annoying characters. And it's start to being boring, too.

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Originally Posted by Amray View Post

England is usually more or less in every anime with the gothic culture or references to the culture. If not a main factor in it then they are sometimes mentioned in it or in most cases have a British character in it. Alas, that is one of the British cultures, and also where the gothic culture originated from so that would explain it. Most anime that have vampires in usually have something to do with the UK too, obviously because a majority of the original Dracula story was based here. Their is Hellsing, Black Blood Brothers, and more that suggest that theme.
What is strange because the real Dracula was romanian, in transylvania when it was part of Hungary, and the famous vampirella, Elizabeth Bathory was actually a hungarian. She lived in the same city where my father comes from (Nyírbátor). It maybe had something to do with that fact, that I somehow like the taste of blood...


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Originally Posted by Amray View Post
Also, most British woman in Anime are named "Alice". I think that is because of the famous novel "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" which was and still is a very popular novel in Japan. Then in Rozen Maiden ofcourse they have the "Alice Game" which is also a reference to the same book.
True. And actually Alice-chan from Aria is a half-example: Yeah she's not british, but her name: Alice Carroll. Carroll is from Lewis Carroll's name, who wrote Alice in Wonderland... And, actually she IS in wonderland.
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Old 2008-08-13, 14:17   Link #5
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British people in American media are often portrayed as snobby and arrogant as well.

There was the Chinese girl Myao from Kazemakase: Tsukikage Ran. Rather than grouchy and aloof, she was endlessly energetic, outgoing, impulsive, and rather dimwitted. She had no accent (that I could hear) and her face/hair was drawn a lot like the Japanese characters, save for the long braid. Her clothing was very obviously Chinese though.

Patricia Martin from Lucky*Star, which is a show that focuses on otaku culture, is representative of a stereotypical American fangirl. She's strawberry blonde and blue-eyed, learned the Japanese language from anime and j-pop, and thinks that all of Japan's most important cultural and historical aspects revolve around anime and manga - that those things are basically what Japan is all about. If someone tries to tell her otherwise, she gets confused. She's also extremely bubbly and a little inconsiderate, as you described. As much as this could seem insulting to an American like me, since they are (playfully) jabbing at us, I can't help but see some truth to her stereotype in a lot of fangirls I've come across.

Now, how about black/african american people at the rare times they're portrayed in anime? Has anyone noticed a stereotype for them?
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Old 2008-08-13, 14:32   Link #6
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Military stereotypes. The U.S. Navy commander in Full Metal Panic made me groan with his, "We'll retaliate for the humiliation that our fellow soldiers felt! Remember Pearl Harbor!"

Absurd.
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Old 2008-08-13, 14:41   Link #7
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That one did bother me....mainly because it is suppose to be 2001 or so...That Navy Commander wasn't even born when Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941.
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Old 2008-08-13, 16:20   Link #8
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That one did bother me....mainly because it is suppose to be 2001 or so...That Navy Commander wasn't even born when Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941.
I think the only people who might hold onto that kind of bitter resentment are a few remaining Pearl Harbor survivors. Any naval officer who held that kind of attitude wouldn't be fit for command.
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Old 2008-08-13, 16:48   Link #9
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Of course we don't know exactly what sort of international relations (history) happens in Full Metal Panic either. Japan seems to be the fairly normal post-WWII Japan with American style military hardware in a Self Defense Force, while the United States is one of the main Naval powers of the world. Still a Cold War on.

The only resentment to the Japanese (if that was the reference) would be those who were alive during the Second World War, or those born just afterward to those that lost a lot of loved ones to the Japanese. That particular sub commander could not be 60 year old. He looks to be in his 40s (normal Commander age I assume), so he has no memory of Pearl Harbor in a anti-Japanese slant anyway.

They are chasing the "Toy Box", which is not a Japanese vessel. (Aren't all the "Toy Box's" readouts in English? With a British first officer and an American Captain?) The "Remember Pearl Harbor" line could be like "Remember the Alamo" for Texans, but it just doesn't fit too well. Unless they quailfy the "Toy Box" as a sneak attack weapon (which any sub is really), and even then it doesn't make a who lot of sense.

Considering the nature of Mithril...I'm expecting they are "actually" speaking English on ship.
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Old 2008-08-13, 17:23   Link #10
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I like when they try to have the Americans speaking Japanese and they get some Japanese voice actor/actress to seriously mangle their Japanese to sound "foreign". I wonder, do all Americans that are fluent in Japanese really sound that bad? They don't seem to do that to other English-speaking nationals...

In the few series I've watched, I haven't noticed too many racial stereotypes with blacks, hispanic, white, etc... It seems to be more stereotypes based on nationality. I've noticed that Americans are portrayed fairly poorly as deceitful or manipulative, inconsiderate and crude, or at the best as hotheaded and impetuous (SEARSS in Mai Hime, Asuka in NGE, Kathy in RahXephon, the sailors in the Kenshin movie that were itching to start a fight, the sailors in the baseball episode of Samurai Champloo... although that episode was hilarious).

BTW, I didn't know Roy Fokker was supposed to be American, either, heh. He was a bit hotheaded, true, but still an AWESOME character, esp in the Robotech series.

Ciao!
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Old 2008-08-13, 17:28   Link #11
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Moegaku5 (featuring Hirano Aya, oddly enough) is pretty much a showcase for foreigner stereotypes in anime format.

Also, every non-Asian foreigner in anime is rich (Sawachika Eri, Suou Tamaki, etc). They all live at drive-in mansions and are ferried around by chauffeurs. Apparently they don't know that Japanese people are on average, just about the richest on the planet.
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Old 2008-08-13, 22:19   Link #12
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Sounds like you guys are spinning all westerners the bad way.

Like Sawachika Eri, she is not acting that way because she is half british. She is acting that way because she is a tundere type character.

On the other hand, Tina Foster to me come across as a typical straight forward, live for the moment, speaks her mind and very nice type of person. You will rarely find anyone like that in Asia, but you will find a lot of american like that.
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Old 2008-08-13, 22:31   Link #13
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Not all. As I mentioned, Tessa Testarossa is an American and her first officer is British.
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Old 2008-08-13, 22:41   Link #14
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Originally Posted by stelok View Post
I have noticed that many Chinese anime characters such as Li Syaoran, Revy (Black Lagoon), Hei/Li Shengshen, Lee Bailong, Li Kohran, Tao Jun and the main character cast of Cooking Master Boy were portrayed positively. However, some personality traits that many Chinese characters such as Li Syaoran, Hei, Tao Ren and Revy have in common was that they are angry, aloof individuals with a chip-on-the-shoulder atttude.
To be fair, Revy is not portrayed whatsoever as a Chinese stereotype.
She's cast as a "violent and unstable ruffian who grew up in worst ghetto streets of America" stereotype. Despite her racial makeup, she's isn't considered anything but an American both by herself and the readers. Her stereotype is completely that of an American. Specifically, ghetto-raised criminal one with abusive past.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KitsuneNineTails View Post
I like when they try to have the Americans speaking Japanese and they get some Japanese voice actor/actress to seriously mangle their Japanese to sound "foreign". I wonder, do all Americans that are fluent in Japanese really sound that bad? They don't seem to do that to other English-speaking nationals...
Well, more and more foreigners in Japan are speaking extremely fluent in Japanese media, so it may gradually change.

For example, Dave Spector is on Japanese TV all the time, speaking extremely fluent Japanese at the native level.
Here's Dave. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBlTKUkYBuo

And here's Jero, a cool brother who can sing ENKA of all things, with perfect Japanese.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqtgJ5TJi8M
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Old 2008-08-13, 22:50   Link #15
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"Sushi and Bratwurst" - A Real Life Half-Japanese, Half-German Blonde

Maybe Japanese character designers in general visualize anime female characters who are of half Japanese and half Northern European extraction looking like real life American former Playboy centerfold, model and actress Teri Harrison.

Teri Harrison - model/actress

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Teri Harrison was an American model and actress who was born in Bradenton, Florida on February 16, 1981. The daughter of a German father and a Japanese mother, she was a girlfriend to Hugh Hefner, and the last Playboy Playmate to appear both on the cover and as the centerfold. At five-foot seven-inches and 114 pounds, she appeared in the October 2002 Playboy, the November 2002 Spanish edition, and she shared the cover for the fall Playboy catalog. A natural blonde with Hazel eyes, she was a special favorite of the magazine and fans.

Playmate Pictures - Teri Harrison - Teri Harrison Pics (NSFW Link)

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Teri Harrison is the product of two different cultures, but the 21-year-old Florida native relishes her diversity. "My mom is Japanese and my father is German," she says. "I have six sumo wrestler-looking uncles and a tiny Japanese grandmother, so I stick out like a Q-Tip in family pictures. Sushi and bratwurst -- that's my life!"
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Old 2008-08-13, 23:06   Link #16
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That one did bother me....mainly because it is suppose to be 2001 or so...That Navy Commander wasn't even born when Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941.
But his granddad was!
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Old 2008-08-13, 23:32   Link #17
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Military stereotypes. The U.S. Navy commander in Full Metal Panic made me groan with his, "We'll retaliate for the humiliation that our fellow soldiers felt! Remember Pearl Harbor!"

Absurd.
Spoiler for Fail:


half the people on the fmp submarine weren't even japanese. WTF!!!
Code Geass failed when they said Britannia and on the map it pointed to America. EPIC PHAIL!!!
Spoiler for EPIC PHAIL:


Also, it pisses me off that jap anime directors can't find who can speak decent English in anime for foreigners. Only anime that had perfect English accent was Macrosso you remember love
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Old 2008-08-13, 23:37   Link #18
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Code Geass failed when they said Britannia and on the map it pointed to America. EPIC PHAIL!!!
Um....

In Code Geass's alternate reality, the Empire of Britannia rules over the American continent. The war over independence of America failed.
It's not a failed stereotype, that's the STORYLINE behind its world settings....

What, you didn't REALLY think Code Geass world wasn't an alternate reality now... did you?

No, to be relative to the thread, you're supposed to mock Code Geass of its rediculous stereotype of European nobility, not its alternate history.
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Old 2008-08-13, 23:47   Link #19
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No, to be relative to the thread, you're supposed to mock Code Geass of its rediculous stereotype of European nobility, not its alternate history.
Yes, my Lord.
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Old 2008-08-14, 00:03   Link #20
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Um....

In Code Geass's alternate reality, the Empire of Britannia rules over the American continent. The war over independence of America failed.
It's not a failed stereotype, that's the STORYLINE behind its world settings....

What, you didn't REALLY think Code Geass world wasn't an alternate reality now... did you?

No, to be relative to the thread, you're supposed to mock Code Geass of its rediculous stereotype of European nobility, not its alternate history.
Ok, just to make an arguement, the show talks about Lelouch making a treaty with the US. Also, omg the stereotypes. They just blasted to your face that white people got rights and you don't. Also, it dissed America with the free treaty zone. They basically said all the japanese living in the zone where equal to the Britannians but the Britannians still conquered them. If you really want to be equal, then give them back their dam land. Also, they stereotyped China by symbolizing comunism
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