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Assorted videos:

2 Comments

Are Anime Characters Caucasian or Japanese?

Yeah, we used to go through this on rec.arts.anime.misc all the time. The usual answer there was, no, they don't look Japanese, and they don't look western, either. They look like cartoon characters. The 'big eyes' thing is known to have been borrowed by Tezuka from late 1950s's Disney, for example. If you go a little earlier into Japanese iconographic history, you find narrow eyes and long straight noses considered beautiful in ukiyo-e actors and courtesans. Our notion of beauty constantly changes.

Despite what the video says, when western characters are depicted in manga, they often look very close to Japanese characters. The manga Gunnm (title of English translation: Battle Angel), for example, is set in the future American West. Most of the human characters are descended from present day North Americans. Nonetheless, they are drawn as typical manga characters, with one semiotic exception: they lack epicanthal folds.


Thanks much for your comment! The video did seem a little odd in some respects; I was hoping that someone who knew more about it than I do (as you clearly do) would comment.


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