Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

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shonenhikada
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Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by shonenhikada » Wed May 13, 2015 3:06 pm

Why did Toriyama choose to make the most exaggerated facial features when it came to drawing black people in his manga. He had big lips, noses and really darkened skin on all the characters. Almost akin to the face you'd see on Darky tooth paste calendar.

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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by Darkprince410 » Wed May 13, 2015 3:16 pm

First off, given the nature of such things, it's probably better to approach such a topic with a bit more "finesse". You could have simply referenced that you were curious about why the depictions of those characters you felt were based on African descent were drawn in a "stereotypical" manner, rather than posting images of "blackface" or other stereotypical images that some people may find offensive, and still managed to get the point across.

To answer your question, it's likely a matter of the negative connotations of such stereotypes not being widely known over there. The average American, for example, isn't likely to see an image of something culturally offensive to a Japanese individual, and know it's offensive to them. In that same regard, Toriyama may have seen several depictions of that stereotypical "African-descent" design and drew characters with that design without knowing that it was a stereotype that was considered inappropriate elsewhere.

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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by shonenhikada » Wed May 13, 2015 3:29 pm

Darkprince410 wrote:First off, given the nature of such things, it's probably better to approach such a topic with a bit more "finesse". You could have simply referenced that you were curious about why the depictions of those characters you felt were based on African descent were drawn in a "stereotypical" manner, rather than posting images of "blackface" or other stereotypical images that some people may find offensive, and still managed to get the point across.

To answer your question, it's likely a matter of the negative connotations of such stereotypes not being widely known over there. The average American, for example, isn't likely to see an image of something culturally offensive to a Japanese individual, and know it's offensive to them. In that same regard, Toriyama may have seen several depictions of that stereotypical "African-descent" design and drew characters with that design without knowing that it was a stereotype that was considered inappropriate elsewhere.
Nature of what ? Nothing listed here is offensive.

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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by VegettoEX » Wed May 13, 2015 3:35 pm

The fact that you don't even see how making a topic called "What is up with black people ?" is a problem says a lot. I'm going to change it, because it reflects incredibly poorly on this forum having something written like that. Additionally, this isn't "in-universe" and so it will be moved.

Darkprince410 explained everything else pretty well. The understanding of international racial sensitivity in Japan in the 1980s has to be put into context in 2015. That doesn't make it right, but it's necessary to do.
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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by Eire » Wed May 13, 2015 3:40 pm

I judged from the title that there's a kind of problem with actual living Black people for example in fandom.
To answer your question, it's likely a matter of the negative connotations of such stereotypes not being widely known over there. The average American, for example, isn't likely to see an image of something culturally offensive to a Japanese individual, and know it's offensive to them. In that same regard, Toriyama may have seen several depictions of that stereotypical "African-descent" design and drew characters with that design without knowing that it was a stereotype that was considered inappropriate elsewhere.
This. Before Internet nobody outside USA wondered if Tom's owner is a stereotype. More- they were likely not aware that there are some problems with races in USA, unless thy were already interested in that topic- in 80s and early 90s USA presented itself in positive light. I believed that USA is a rainbow valley of teenage sitcoms, Sesame Street and Bill Cosby Show where you can easily tell all your fiends apart without bothering with facial features. Even if Gone with the Wind was a bit disturbing it was long ago and probably not truth at all, since all tensions were resolved around the time of Doctor Quinn.
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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by Doctor. » Wed May 13, 2015 3:56 pm

Toriyama has used those kinds of lips to portray white people before. As well as using "normal" lips to portray black people - Oob. Let us not go there.

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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by The Tori-bot » Wed May 13, 2015 4:02 pm

For what it's worth, none of these characters (except maybe Popo) are actually stereotyped or written differently by Toriyama beyond their appearance. The only time there's a joke/reference made about a character's race is in the anime, from whatever dickhead thought it would be funny to change Black's title to "Sanbō". For the most part they're just regular characters who fulfil roles in the story that anyone could have - Adjutant Black or Killa or the other Rabbit Gang dude, for example, could have been white/black/Asian/whatever and it would make no difference. So, uh... yay for raceblind "casting", I guess?

Not that the way they're drawn isn't questionable, of course.
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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by fadeddreams5 » Wed May 13, 2015 4:49 pm

Doctor. wrote:Toriyama has used those kinds of lips to portray white people before. As well as using "normal" lips to portray black people - Oob. Let us not go there.
Uub is more of Indian or middle eastern descent, like Namu.

On-topic: I feel Toriyama intentionally depicted Africans and black individuals this way. That's not to say he's racist, but he probably found humor in pictures he saw, which actually are racist. I think it's been established that the dude has a crude sense of humor. He knew damn well what he was doing, but it's not a big deal in Japan. That's what I believe, anyways.

I'm just surprised I've never seen comparisons being made between Semi-Perfect Cell and these black characters. It has the same facial features. And... it's his pre-evolved form. You know, before his face becomes white and more akin to regular human characters... *runs away*
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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by Cure Dragon 255 » Wed May 13, 2015 4:55 pm

Okay Topic Creator, I'm not going to comment on anything other than you making the question of "What's up with black people" and then answering it yourself without actually taking account of anyone else. You dont seem to want actual discussion or dissent towards your stance which is a bit offputting.
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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by Eire » Wed May 13, 2015 4:57 pm

Don't forget that Paragas is quite tanned, while Brolly in LSSJ form looks like something that just crawled from underneath the stone :P
Honestly, I stared and stared at Semi Perfect Cell and doesn't see that features- black nose probably? That side burns hoverer remind me of some mean dentist.
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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by Vegitofaxx » Wed May 13, 2015 5:43 pm

fadeddreams5 wrote:
Doctor. wrote:Toriyama has used those kinds of lips to portray white people before. As well as using "normal" lips to portray black people - Oob. Let us not go there.
Uub is more of Indian or middle eastern descent, like Namu.

On-topic: I feel Toriyama intentionally depicted Africans and black individuals this way. That's not to say he's racist, but he probably found humor in pictures he saw, which actually are racist. I think it's been established that the dude has a crude sense of humor. He knew damn well what he was doing, but it's not a big deal in Japan. That's what I believe, anyways.

I'm just surprised I've never seen comparisons being made between Semi-Perfect Cell and these black characters. It has the same facial features. And... it's his pre-evolved form. You know, before his face becomes white and more akin to regular human characters... *runs away*
Well, he's a f*cked up bug monster, so he get's a free pass. In all seriousness, I think calling Cell's evoulution racist is stretching it a bit.
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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by shonenhikada » Thu May 14, 2015 2:45 am

VegettoEX wrote:The fact that you don't even see how making a topic called "What is up with black people ?" is a problem says a lot. I'm going to change it, because it reflects incredibly poorly on this forum having something written like that. Additionally, this isn't "in-universe" and so it will be moved.

Darkprince410 explained everything else pretty well. The understanding of international racial sensitivity in Japan in the 1980s has to be put into context in 2015. That doesn't make it right, but it's necessary to do.
But nothing in that title is offensive. I don't see why everyone is going overboard social justice warrior over a petty thing.

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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by Payne222 » Thu May 14, 2015 3:03 am

Have you never read Naruto, One Piece or any other manga? They draw different races with their stereotypical looks. Hell, look at Hikaru no Go even, with the Koreans having very noticeable epicanthic folds compared to the Japanese characters,
shonenhikada wrote:But nothing in that title is offensive. I don't see why everyone is going overboard social justice warrior over a petty thing.
Watch what you say, this is the internet and if you try and discuss something on a forum that differs from the majority's opinion, you'll be ostracized.
As for the original title, I'll have to say I agree with you. The term "black" in the title for some reason has a negative connotation with people, when in reality it's a simple descriptive word no different than white, tall, short, skinny, etc.
What I honestly find funny is the inclusion of the Aunt Jemima ad, in which that lady is an actual real person who portrayed the character...
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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by kei17 » Thu May 14, 2015 3:06 am

fadeddreams5 wrote:I'm just surprised I've never seen comparisons being made between Semi-Perfect Cell and these black characters. It has the same facial features. And... it's his pre-evolved form. You know, before his face becomes white and more akin to regular human characters... *runs away*
Semi-Perfect Cell was meant to be cool and it's Toriyama's favorite form. IIRC, it's the editor who ordered him to make the perfect form look like a handsome human. For him, at least, thick rips are not something used for comicality or primitiveness, so I don't see anything offensive here.
The Tori-bot wrote:For what it's worth, none of these characters (except maybe Popo) are actually stereotyped or written differently by Toriyama beyond their appearance. The only time there's a joke/reference made about a character's race is in the anime, from whatever dickhead thought it would be funny to change Black's title to "Sanbō". For the most part they're just regular characters who fulfil roles in the story that anyone could have - Adjutant Black or Killa or the other Rabbit Gang dude, for example, could have been white/black/Asian/whatever and it would make no difference. So, uh... yay for raceblind "casting", I guess?
Yeah, I'm occasionally offended by how the anime staff treat black people. Killa is nothing but just an ordinary fighter in the manga, but they added hoots by the audience when he's introduced by the announcer in contrast with Jewel, a white man, receiving cheers from women.
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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by Akumaito Beam » Thu May 14, 2015 3:23 am

kei17 wrote: Yeah, I'm occasionally offended by how the anime staff treat black people. Killa is nothing but just an ordinary fighter in the manga, but they added hoots by the audience when he's introduced by the announcer in contrast with Jewel, a white man, receiving cheers from women.
Did you ever see what the Funimation dub did to Killa? I have no idea what on God's green Earth they were thinking.

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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by TripleRach » Thu May 14, 2015 3:30 am

shonenhikada wrote:But nothing in that title is offensive. I don't see why everyone is going overboard social justice warrior over a petty thing.
Well, here's the deal. "What's up with black people?" suggests there's something mysterious or confusing about real life black people, at best. Eire touched on that as well.
Payne222 wrote:As for the original title, I'll have to say I agree with you. The term "black" in the title for some reason has a negative connotation with people, when in reality it's a simple descriptive word no different than white, tall, short, skinny, etc.
This isn't even about the word "black" itself being offensive or not.
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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by UpFromTheSkies » Thu May 14, 2015 4:13 am

Black people have full lips, dark skin, and broad noses. Do you have a problem with that?

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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by shonenhikada » Thu May 14, 2015 4:56 am

TripleRach wrote:
shonenhikada wrote:But nothing in that title is offensive. I don't see why everyone is going overboard social justice warrior over a petty thing.
Well, here's the deal. "What's up with black people?" suggests there's something mysterious or confusing about real life black people, at best. Eire touched on that as well.
Seeing that this was posted originally in "in-universe" discussion about dbz universe. Anyone who took a step back to think about it would realize that this couldn't have been a suggestion to real life black people.
UpFromTheSkies wrote:Black people have full lips, dark skin, and broad noses. Do you have a problem with that?
Except this statement is totally false for a generalization. Black people come in a wide range of shades, don't always have full lips or broad noses. Some even exhibit asian features when it comes to the eyes (no not mixed).

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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by Payne222 » Thu May 14, 2015 5:28 am

TripleRach wrote: This isn't even about the word "black" itself being offensive or not.
I perceived that was the sentiment based on the change of the original title. My bad.
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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by Darkprince410 » Thu May 14, 2015 5:34 am

shonenhikada wrote:
Seeing that this was posted originally in "in-universe" discussion about dbz universe. Anyone who took at step back to think about it would realize that this couldn't have beena suggestion to real life black people.
Nevertheless, the title itself showed a lack of "grace" about such things, regardless of whether it was an in-universe discussion or not. The subject of racial stereotypes is almost always a sensitive one to talk about, and it's best to tread lightly in what you say and how you say it. Just because you don't find what you say offensive doesn't mean that someone else won't find it offensive, and while I'm not saying you should censor yourself in everything you say, when it comes to something like this topic (and its original title), it's safer to go into it knowing that people may be sensitive to it.

I mean, it's because of the sensitivity of racial stereotypes that we had a bright blue Popo in some edits of the dub or why the Pokemon Jynx was recolored and the episodes of the anime showing her in her old design weren't broadcast again. People are sensitive to this, and even if you don't agree with it, it's inconsiderate not to at least acknowledge that and tread lightly on the subject.

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