Anime Discussions and Theory Manga

It’s Time For Japanese Manga Artists To Change Their Stereotypical Portrayal Of Black Anime Characters

I’m huge anime fan, been a fan for quite some time now and I’ll presume that you’re fan too. Today, I want to express my opinion on a matter that should have quite honestly have ended a long time ago, but unfortunately still carries on till this day and that is the portrayal of black anime characters…. 

What sparked me to actually write about this particular topic was after I finished watching ONE PUNCH MAN and later on seeing an artwork (that I thought was awesome) in the internet and it got me thinking. I don’t need to explain to you what One Punch Man is but just for the sake explanation, it’s about a satire guy that can KO anyone with one punch. It’s really an awesome anime and I highly recommend you go check it out,  but for now lets get back to the actually topic at hand.

I had really hoped that in 2015, we would see a lot less of these stereotypical drawn black anime characters pop up in newer anime after the disaster that was Mr. Popo and Chocolove McDonell, but nope, it seems that we are still at that ridiculous phase. In OPM for example, there’s a character in that show that embodies the very essence of what I am talking about and his name Superalloy Blackluster.

sbluster

I will never understand the mindset of these Japanese manga artist and what they use as references when creating these characters, every time there’s black character in a anime, 9/10 that character will have giant ass lips. Granted, the world of OPM those have some strange looking characters but this is just ridiculous at this point. If they don’t have giant ass lips, they are either portrayed as a gangster, rapper or sometimes even worse.

A lot of people tend to use the excuse that Japan itself is just weird place and the people there are out of touch with the rest of the world, but now with the ever growing internet and social media communication, that should no longer an excuse for them to be this ignorant about other cultures.

There’s no denying that there’s a rise of more black anime characters with every new anime and manga that’s been released, however its still kinda difficult to this day to find a black character in an anime that is very reputable. All I want is to look at a black character in any new anime and not go “OMG are you for real?”.

We are in a time where the issue of diversity is more and more prominent and I think its time these Japanese manga artist left their home country for once in they life and go see the world for what it is and not what the media tells them it is. I’ll however give props to the small amount of Japanese artist out there who do understand and try adapt to these changes.

If you want references to what art-style I would like to see in the coming future anime then take a look at these images I found. Please tell me why black people can’t be drawn just like the other so-called Caucasian and Asian anime characters out there. It’s not that difficult. It’s just them been straight up ignorant.

Miyuki Ayukawa from Basquashmiyukiayukawabasquash


 Shinobu  from No More Heroes

 shinobu


 Vigel from Static Shock (fan art)

xfmJgudX


Afro from Afro Samurai

AfroSamuraiCut1


 

Sokka and Katara from Avatar: The Last Air Bendersokka-and-katara-13659-1366x768


Huey from Boondocks

boondocks___huey_freeman_by_stelar_eclipse-d8dcgjf


 Michiko from Michiko & Hatchinanimepaperwallpapers_michiko-to-hatchin_nat16_1920x1200_92801

As you may have noticed, I included a couple of western animation that resembles that of Japanese animation which further proves my point that there’s literally no excuse. I am not saying that they HAVE to add a black anime character into every anime, what I am saying is that if they decide that they want to include a person of colour, they better get that shit right first time or don’t do it at all.

Thank you for reading.

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13 comments

  1. The reason why they don’t portray us (I’m black) like the Asian\White character is probably because we have significantly different features, like the bigger lips, the women having more exaggerated bodies. As far as how they portray us may be because of how black media is just about every show on BET is either something stereotypical of African Americans

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    1. I understand that, but its fiction after all, irl no Asian has green eyes and White people tend to have noticeable pinkish/red lips so there’s no need to just draw Black people with big ass lips. If all characters in that said world have flat line lips, it should be the same for a character in color too.

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      1. Well, lets hope that in the future, we will see a lot less of Chocolove McDonell’s kind and more badass black characters art style’s like Afro and Miyuki that won’t make people cringe.

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  2. It’s just an excuse to make black people look funny and then make an excuse to say there portraying black features. A lot of Asians have big lips and wide noses but you only see it souporting comic relief characters!!!

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  3. The lips aren’t flat lines, there’s a line/a little shading a little lower that creates the lip. but with people of African decent they draw the lip and skin color in different shades, but they do not do this with any other race so it makes are lips look weird in a lot of animes…. P.S. The people from avatar are a native American inspired race

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  4. Sokka and Katara are based off of Inuit people…
    Aside from that, I agree with most of this article. In Mob Psycho, ONE’s other anime, black people were represented poorly again. I hope that changes.

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