In a post titled “Why do Japanese people paint themselves white?”, Blogger Julian Abagond argues that Japanese do not paint themselves white. In fact, Westerners think they do. In that post, Julian Abagond claimed that the Japanese consider anime characters to be Japanese. Americans think they are white. “Why? Because to them white is the Default Human Being.”
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Why do we think that anime characters are white?
As you can see anime characters have common traits like showy hair, big eyes, white and distinctive skin, most of them have colorful eyes. In fact, most of all of these traits are Westerners. They have blond or red hair, blue or green eyes and a lot of us have fair skin. So it is not difficult to understand that many people agree that Anime characters look a lot like Western people.
Now, looking at the Japanese, you will see that most of them have dark hair, brown eyes and a darker complexion than a Westerner. You will have to admit that they do not look like the majority of the Anime characters we know.
So a lot of Westerners question why do anime characters look white?
But you might be surprised to learn that the Japanese think completely differently on this matter!
The fact of the matter is that anime style is a very unique art style. It was originally developed to make animations cheaper. That is why they did not use too much detail in their animation and over-exaggerated some features such as the eyes and proportions of the head. In addition, they also used common traits that Japanese find attractive in the new art style to make the characters more attractive. They made the eyes and head of the anime characters bigger and they also gave their anime characters very white skin.
For Japanese people, white skin is often found attractive in their culture. That’s why a lot of girls stay out of the sun so their skin doesn’t go brown. Sometimes, you may find them carrying an umbrella to completely shade the sun.
Anime is a very exaggerated art style. Hence, they also exaggerate too much about the white aspect. However, Japanese people don’t think that their anime characters look like Westerners.
In addition to the artistic style, the behavior of anime characters is also greatly exaggerated with reality.
One example is body bubbles. In Japan, everyone is extremely polite and very conscious of each person’s personal space. There is no denying that we will rarely see people holding hands or hugging on the street; Kissing in public is also a rare sight in Japan. You will probably never see a couple kissing in public. However, in the anime, this is exaggerated to create a comical effect.
As another example, anime characters can be noisy and playful freely, and the Japanese rarely do it in public.– Advertisement –
Influence from foreign culture?
In Japan, white is not the default. Therefore, the characters do not necessarily “look Asian”. There is no denying that no matter how odd the characters look, people will assume they are Japanese and the same is true in America.
Anime characters with physical features such as big round eyes, blonde hair and white skin, it is clear that: unrealistic eyes and hair color are not limited to yellow because of blue, green hair. and purple. On the other hand, the small nose is not the expression of the “white” or the Westerner in Japan and the white skin is not exclusive to whites as it has been a symbol of beauty in Japan before Japan. Version contact with Europeans.
Certainly the Japanese do not consider many of these characters “white”. In practice though, one cannot underestimate the impact of Western culture on Japan before World War II and after. Before the war, European fashion and American music were popular in many countries, including Japan. One of the main reasons is that they are considered something “modern”. In fact, the occupation of the United States brought with it a wave of American popular culture – popular culture was forbidden during the war. There is a stark difference in the way Japan presents itself in the 19th and 20th centuries. Advertising and illustration also evolved and changed in the last century.
You also need to know that many American prejudices about Japanese are rooted in the prejudices created during and after the war and this is true of the Japanese prejudices And while things like blond hair and blue eyes have something to do with foreigners, it can sometimes be completely unrelated to Westerners. For many years, Japan has excelled at borrowing from other cultures, absorbing and creating something of their own. For example, their language, including influences from China and Korea, is proof of that. Another example is that Japanese fashion has at times been a wonderful blend of local aesthetics and foreign influences (whether it was China in the 8th century or France in the 1960s) And, no exception, characters in manga, anime, and video games are just another example of how Japan is creating existing traits.
All in all
The artists, here are the creators of Anime, are simply trying to create something different, unique. That is why a lot of anime characters look like they are from another planet and have no similarities with their own people. Each character has a lot of unique characteristics, including skin color. However,that is not to say that some Japanese Artists do not draw white characters intentionally. You have to understand that what we believe and what they know are two different things.
Hopefully, through this article, you can understand the problem with this question. In essence, this whole thing is a cultural misunderstanding. Anime characters are not white people.They are simply the result of cultural uptake and exaggeration.
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This is a common question asked by many people, especially Westerners. In fact,most of Japanese characters in anime, manga, and video games look white