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  1. #1
    Voice of the Authorities Cleric of Hell's Brigade's Avatar
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    Default Best/worst portrayal of a foreigner in anime/manga?

    I love anime and manga, but there have been times when I've been shocked and surprised with how they portray non-Japanese peoples in their works.

    As such, I was wondering what everyone thought were the best and worst portrayals of non-Japanese people in anime/manga.


    Also, aliens and non-human races don't count for this thread.

    I have to say, as much as I like Read or Die, the way they showcased the President of the United States wasn't very pretty (cowardly enough to pee his pants, foolish, easily lead and trigger happy).

    However, to counter that you have Drake Anderson from the same series, an American special forces/merc who I always thought was shown to be competent, likeable, and cool without upstaging the main character.

    What are your picks?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member LoganAlpha30x33's Avatar
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    Not sure, though in the latest Star Ocean there's a character that's basically the stereotype of the perfect Japanese woman and she's portrayed very well and all but there's another character that seems to represent American women and she's...not so much, more or a randy character and all...

    Though you have to remember that most of the anime and manga are written for Japanese, many of our similar cartoons and such don't always portray non American's in a positive light....so in a way it's all relative...
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  3. #3

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    Well, Clow Reed and Syoran come off well enough in Card Captor Sakura.

    Mahou Sensei Negima is all about a foreigner and there are various foreign badasses as well, including Ku Fei, Fate, Nagi Springfield, Jack Rakan and Evangeline. Despite her name, Asuna is probably 100% foreigner as well.

    I think the only Japanese person in Gunnm/Battle Angel Alita is the main character, assuming "Yoko" was actually Japanese to begin with.

    Gunsmith Cats is all about Americans of various ethnicities as well, for better or worse.

    In Big O, the Japanese characters were the horribly (and hilariously) racist "sarariman" stereotypes who got their mecha piloted by a fake weaboo curbstomped by the presumably Caucasian Roger Smith.

    I dunno if there were any Japanese people in DBZ. For one thing, I'm not sure that there was any recognizable nations there, but the general aesthetics for the "Easterners" were leaning towards Chinese and Western Casual styles. Black people were drawn kinda racistish, but Toriyama has done much worse and the characters in question tended to be competent and at least somewhat sympathetic.
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  4. #4
    Blind Resolve Hazard's Avatar
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    Well, Stroheim is like the greatest, manliest Nazi ever.

    Jojo is awesome in general.

  5. #5
    Swedish Shinigami Dark Soul # 7's Avatar
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    It can be very amusing to see portrayals of foreigners in sports manga.

    In Eyeshield 21 for example being black basically gives a an automatic +15 to all your physical stats, it apparently comes from a fascination that the japanese have with black people. But besides that there's isn't exactly anything cliché or stereotypical in how any of the foreigners are portrayed. The only really bad thing is the first american coach we see who would've been fired LONG ago for the racist bullshit attitude he has, at least I hope so.

    Also, Eyeshield 21 has the manliest american president I've ever seen in a work of fiction.

    More realistic sports series like Hajime no Ippo and Baby Steps have foreign characters who are as diverse as the main cast. Though you'll most likely run into a few stereotypes in the throwaway characters in Hajime no Ippo.

  6. #6
    Blind Resolve Hazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Soul # 7 View Post
    In Eyeshield 21 for example being black basically gives a an automatic +15 to all your physical stats, it apparently comes from a fascination that the japanese have with black people.
    It's one of those things. Not entirely unfounded but certainly blown out of proportion.

    Black people usually have more fast-twitch muscle fibers while white people have more slow twitch muscle fibers.

  7. #7
    Blind Resolve Hazard's Avatar
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    Also, Roberto Katze:

    “Umm… With a boy, you just need to throw your bra at him and then embrace him without your bra on while he’s taken aback. After that, he’ll be like a dog that was just given its food.”

    “Do you know what you’re saying!? Please tell me you don’t understand what that means!” Mikoto shouted and added under her breath, “And I’m sure someone your age doesn’t even wear a bra.”

    “That’s what the president told me when I met him before, so it has to be true.”

    “She’s right, girl. If you want to get yourself a guy, you need to change into a skimpy swimsuit and have a beer in one hand. All you have to do then is press your chest up against him and undo your bikini. Your point will be even more obvious if you do it near a beachside motel.”

    “Even if you’re the president, I’ll still punch you!! If you try to say that’s the American way, it would be an insult to the American people!!”

    “Girl, you don’t need to worry. When I gave money to fund the development of string bikinis, my approval rating went up a bit. The population of the United States is aging and some issues are arising with social security, so some drastic measures are needed to raise the birthrate.”

    “This isn't an issue with America!! There’s just something wrong with guys!!”

    “Roseline buried her head in her hands for some reason too. I just don’t see why everyone is worrying so much over such a simple matter.”

  8. #8
    Member Nico Olvia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Drunkard Kid View Post
    I think the only Japanese person in Gunnm/Battle Angel Alita is the main character, assuming "Yoko" was actually Japanese to begin with.
    There is also Daisuke Ido. And yes, Yoko is a japanese name.

  9. #9
    the demon king rules master of read's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazard View Post
    It's one of those things. Not entirely unfounded but certainly blown out of proportion.

    Black people usually have more fast-twitch muscle fibers while white people have more slow twitch muscle fibers.
    thats because we run a lot.
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  10. #10
    Blind Resolve Hazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by master of read View Post
    thats because we run a lot.
    In an 'evolution through the ages' way, yes.

    I mean it would be nice if everyone could do anything, but athletic ability is not just training it is genetic.

    Mind you, it is not just one race. Different races have different things they are good at, and even between the same race differences can arise due to even more specific environmental factors.

    Like say, living in a town some hundred meters above sea level as opposed to living on the coast.

    Back on topic, I remember some manga pages.. I think they were from Majin Tantei Nōgami Neuro with an American that goes.

    "No see, I am an American. I always go to sleep wearing jeans."

    Anyone know what I am talking about?
    Last edited by Hazard; 07-06-2013 at 12:47 PM.

  11. #11
    Strategist sun tzu's Avatar
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    Hajime No Ippo has this amazingly mixed track record when it comes to depicting Americans.
    On one hand, it has folks like Brian Hawk (a savage beast of a man who trolls his Japanese audience about how he's basically in Japan to fuck Japanese girls and spread his DNA to make Japan better), or that military guy from the post-WWII era (who gloated about how he liked raping Japanese woman, and who insisted on fighting the Japanese boxers because "a vanquished people should stay on its knees"). Jesus.
    On the other hand, it also had Jason (American soldier posted in a base in Japan who was shown to be a perfectly nice guy and got along with locals really well), or whatshisname Eagle (world champion and perfect gentleman).


    I think one of the best representations might actually be in Hikaru No Go. The Chinese and Korean characters were basically like the Japanese, with only very slightly different features. When national rivalries flared, it was because of dumb misunderstandings that made both sides look silly. I loved it.

  12. #12
    The Skylord FalconX2000's Avatar
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    My understanding is that Bandit Keith is both the best and the worst, at the same time.

  13. #13
    Senior Member LoganAlpha30x33's Avatar
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    He's a liar, a cheater, treats people like crap, is arrogant...so yeah not so nice...
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  14. #14

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    In all fairness to Keith, outside of his bandana and the Abridged series, his Americanocity is not really a factor to his douchebaggery. Heck, there are a metric ton of Japanese and Egyptian duelists that are much worse than him. Or Egyptians in the bodies of Japanese people, come to think of it.
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nico Olvia View Post
    There is also Daisuke Ido. And yes, Yoko is a japanese name.
    Yeah, but the naming conventions of their world are weird since Daisuke (who is a fairly large blonde man) is countrymen with the improbably named Desty Nova. And while Yoko is a Japanese name, she is kinda from a culture that had been reduced to the dregs a few centuries back and recombined and spread to other worlds, and she herself is around 99% mechanical, so there's really no way to confirm her actual ethnicity, if that even is a thing in a solar-system spanning transhumanist melting pot.

    Oh yeah, I guess that Mbadi seems to probably be mostly organic-ish and Indian, what with his skin tone, practicing Kalaripayattu and yoga, and kinda switched between being a heroic good guy in the past to being a douchy control freak villain in the present, but that kinda involved shoving other people's brains into his own (at least two of whom are Completely Nucking Futs) so I don't know how to factor that towards his own portrayal.
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