Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

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rereboy
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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by rereboy » Fri May 15, 2015 6:57 am

Everyone is over-sensitive these days... Yeah, there was some stereotypical things in Dragon Ball but its not a big deal and there's no actual ill intent behind it. It's just non-politically correct humor or generalizations and misconceptions, like associating all italians with pizza and russians with vodka.

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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by FoolsGil » Fri May 15, 2015 9:46 am

Facts are the only black men or women you'll ever see in Japan are tourists and military. Toriyama may not have even bumped into anyone black as long as he's been alive. And fact is, some black people have big lips, so Toriyama took the little he knew, in a country that's not the United States or progressively West country. But what would clinch insensitivity is how these black people are portrayed. Adjutant Black was the highest level member of the Red Ribbon Army, second only to Red, and was very intelligent. Mr. Popo is not even human and like Jinx from Pokemon, is less of a big deal than you would think. Killa...blame on Toei? I barely remember him from the manga. Whatever he was like, I know he wasn't some smiling idiot like Aunt Jemima or the Darkie Toothpaste mascot.

I can understand that some people might think that some portrayals are racist, but you need more than just big lips before you can convince me. You need to have an insensitive characterization too.

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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by TheGreatness25 » Fri May 15, 2015 10:30 am

I really never thought Popo was supposed to represent any race. He wasn't black (he literally is but I mean I don't think he represents black people), he's not Indian... he's a being made up by Toriyama the same way Piccolo was. Oob is not black, he's Indian. Hm. Yeah, I guess the black characters do play into the stereotypes a bit, right down to the hair. But I don't think it was done disrespectfully -- at least not intentionally.

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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by Vegitofaxx » Fri May 15, 2015 10:53 am

On the topic of Popo i'd like to refer to Gaffer Tape's thoughts on it. I think he sums it up perfectly.
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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by dbboxkaifan » Fri May 15, 2015 11:19 am

Killa sounds like this in FUNi's English dub? That's hilarious! :lol:
Lord Beerus wrote:I can't believe Funimation actually did this shit. It still shocks me to this day. It's quite an offensive stereotype of black people.
This is the problem with comedy nowadays it always has to be PC-fied or else it's offensive even though it's purely for comedy purposes.

Just take this for example: The Office (US) - Michael Scott meets David Brent and Michael Scott plays one of his favourite characters; Ping
Michael Scott: People don't understand that it has nothing to do with making fun of a different nationality.
David Brent: Comedy is a place where the mind goes to tickle itself. That's what she said!
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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by tienfan » Fri May 15, 2015 1:08 pm

rereboy wrote:Everyone is over-sensitive these days... Yeah, there was some stereotypical things in Dragon Ball but its not a big deal and there's no actual ill intent behind it. It's just non-politically correct humor or generalizations and misconceptions, like associating all italians with pizza and russians with vodka.
Pretty much this. When people start to get offended by the word black you know this world is turning itself into something it shouldn't be turning into.

Also yeah, Toriyama made these jokes on purpose. Over there it just isn't as much of a big deal as it is in let's say America and so on.
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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by Hellspawn28 » Fri May 15, 2015 1:11 pm

I know many African American DBZ fans outside the Internet and they told me that they never had issues with Mr. Popo and General Black. They know that DBZ is fiction and is not meant to be taken seriously.
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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by One_Instance » Fri May 15, 2015 4:09 pm

rereboy wrote:Everyone is over-sensitive these days... Yeah, there was some stereotypical things in Dragon Ball but its not a big deal and there's no actual ill intent behind it. It's just non-politically correct humor or generalizations and misconceptions, like associating all italians with pizza and russians with vodka.
Thank you. I hate the how overly politically correct we're expected to be these days, there are plenty of things that people think I should be offended by in Dragon Ball, but some of those stereotypes are key elements to my favorite characters.

(This is where I start to vent)

If people seriously feel the need to make a completely unoffensive, shelter-minded show they can make that boring show on their own. I'm sure there's a studio out there willing to produce it. Just don't go and try to change the past, shows like Dragon Ball are officially part of our history, and if you don't like that you'll just have to put up with it, just as most of us put up with WWII being one of the lowest points in our human history, but we don't try to change it. Revisionist history is part of our regression as a species, and that's exactly what people who get all up in arms about someones skin color or someone being gay or whatever it maybe over a fictional and obviously exaggerated portrayal of minorities (and in some cases majorities) that may offend the feeble minded.

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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by jrdemr » Fri May 15, 2015 6:03 pm

I'm mixed race and therefore, half of my entire family is black. I even have thick lips myself. And personally, I see no problem with any of these portrayals.

Like UpFromTheSkies said, the overwhelming majority of black people have thicker lips, so, it makes total sense to portray them with such lips. Just as it makes total sense to portray Asian people with a different kind of eyes and Indians with a darker skin tone. Doesn't mean any of that is racist.

As I see it, this portrayal is only an issue (to some) in English-speaking countries, where people can be overly sensitive to minority issues, and namely in the U.S., which has a long history of racial tensions, even to this very day.

Here in Europe, where we have extremely large African communities, even classic European comics series like Astérix and Tintin made use of what would be considered blackface in the US (with lips double or triple the thickness of Mr Popo's) and you don't hear people make so much as a passing comment regarding it. We all just think of it as a caricature, a humorous and exaggerated portrayal.

I even took up this issue with the black half of my family, just to dot the i's and cross the t's. Their answer? "Black people do have thicker lips, why would that be racist?"

Gaffer Tape best summed it up on the video Vegitofaxx linked to: it's something some older people have an issue with in the U.S. because of the aforementioned racial tensions and racist depictions; but fortunately, something that's becoming so far removed, the newer generations don't even see it.

(And yet we're still stuck with lipless Popo in the manga... :roll: )

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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by Eire » Fri May 15, 2015 6:38 pm

As I see it, this portrayal is only an issue (to some) in English-speaking countries, where people can be overly sensitive to minority issues, and namely in the U.S., which has a long history of racial tensions, even to this very day.
Make an experiment and try to draw Jew with large nose, wearing a gabardine and hosting an overpriced inn. Unless you are making a remake of "Fiddler on the Roof" I guarantee that some people will get very sensitive about it.

So yes, Europe do have fair share of cultural sensitivity, only a bit different in shape. It occurred to me that there's a parallel between "blackface" and "Jew" stereotypes- times where they were used in propaganda are still in living memory in the respective sides of The Pond.
When entertainment involving "blackface" crossed Atlantic it lost it's political context- Uncle Tom, Huckleberry Finn and Gone with the Wind here were just entertaining stories dealing with problems from faraway land. Plus lots of the people who never saw a person of another race subconsciously based their image on it. Thus blackface from Asia can be more "innocent" than from USA simply because they are not aware of the implications.
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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by rereboy » Fri May 15, 2015 8:13 pm

Eire wrote: Make an experiment and try to draw Jew with large nose, wearing a gabardine and hosting an overpriced inn. Unless you are making a remake of "Fiddler on the Roof" I guarantee that some people will get very sensitive about it.
Such a caricature would imply some dubious intent because it's not trying to be humorous anymore or be just stereotypical, it's trying to imply that jews, besides having large noses, are shady characters who are out to get you and your money, which implies more of an political caricature than a comical one. That's not really comparable to anything in Dragon Ball, not even the humorous stereotypical speech mannerisms of Killa in the american Dub.

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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by jrdemr » Sat May 16, 2015 4:23 am

rereboy wrote:
Eire wrote: Make an experiment and try to draw Jew with large nose, wearing a gabardine and hosting an overpriced inn. Unless you are making a remake of "Fiddler on the Roof" I guarantee that some people will get very sensitive about it.
Such a caricature would imply some dubious intent because it's not trying to be humorous anymore or be just stereotypical, it's trying to imply that Jews, besides having large noses, are shady characters who are out to get you and your money, which implies more of an political caricature than a comical one. That's not really comparable to anything in Dragon Ball, not even the humorous stereotypical speech mannerisms of Killa in the American Dub.
Exactly.

I didn't mean to say no-one in Europe gets offended by anything. It's still very much possible to offend, especially when it refers to Jewish people. The U.S. may have a history of racial tensions, but several countries in Europe have a history of antisemitism, and with WWII and the Holocaust on top, an example like yours is definitely bound to offend several people.

And obviously, there are also ways to objectively portray minorities in a racist/offensive matter anywhere in the world. All I meant was that the some people in the U.S. get easily offended by something that wouldn't even be worthy of mention anywhere else. There's a difference between something that was made to offend and a drawing that just emphasizes minorities' racial features.

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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by dbboxkaifan » Sat May 16, 2015 5:35 am

jrdemr wrote:There's a difference between something that was made to offend and a drawing that just emphasizes minorities' racial features.
Sure there is but some people in US just straight up use the race card because it's somehow offensive to them. The show Black-ish made a really comical episode about the whole race card thingy but god damn this latest episode was full-on politics. If I wanted to watch politics I'd tune in for lame BBC airings. Although, I do hope the season finale episode is way better as I loved almost every single episode except this one (Junior is hilarious in nearly all eps).

Also, don't forget about the whiny mothers who'll complain about BrBa figures but are totally fine with CoD, BF, GTA and as such. It's such bs that doesn't make sense. This bitch can rot in hell for all I care.
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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by Sayo-chan » Sat May 16, 2015 5:57 am

Monkey King Vegeta wrote: I also wonder if DBZ had bad blood with other asians, we all know the Chinese hatred in manga nowadays, but was that Bruce Lee impersonator meant to look like such a joke?
More than likely. Toriyama has a bias towards Jackie, so I wouldn't put it past him to give Bruce (the superior man) the finger.
Most Dragon Ball fans are incapable of making a logically sound argument.

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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by jrdemr » Sat May 16, 2015 6:48 am

@dbboxkaifan: The thing that bothers me the most is that this happens specifically in the U.S.

Many countries do not have the manga/anime translated in their own language, so, they go to the English version, since it's a language widely known and studied all over the world. Unfortunately, some people in the U.S. tend to overreact to every little thing and bitch about it to everyone. And the worst part is many listen to them, so, the original gets censored or modified, which in turn makes anyone wanting to enjoy the unadulterated version, be them Americans or foreigners, unable to do so. All because of the dictatorial tendencies of some soccer moms and the inability of the people in charge at the localization companies to just ignore them.

They could have just done like other companies did with the DVD printings of the old Tom & Jerry cartoons and just put a disclaimer up front. Just because you don't agree with something, doesn't mean you have to go change it. But I guess since Dragon Ball is a foreign product, they don't feel as much need to be respectful and base all of their censorship on "cultural differences".
Sayo-chan wrote:More than likely. Toriyama has a bias towards Jackie, so I wouldn't put it past him to give Bruce (the superior man) the finger.
Not necessarily. Just because you like one better, doesn't mean you can't like the other.

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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by Sayo-chan » Sat May 16, 2015 6:58 am

jrdemr wrote:
Not necessarily. Just because you like one better, doesn't mean you can't like the other.
Last time I checked, Bruce Lee wasn't anti-American, involved in a multitude of different sex scandals, treating his kids like shit or supporting organizations that suppress the rights of Chinese denizens. As a fighter there's also no comparison.
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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by The Tori-bot » Sat May 16, 2015 7:31 am

Sayo-chan wrote:
Monkey King Vegeta wrote: I also wonder if DBZ had bad blood with other asians, we all know the Chinese hatred in manga nowadays, but was that Bruce Lee impersonator meant to look like such a joke?
More than likely. Toriyama has a bias towards Jackie, so I wouldn't put it past him to give Bruce (the superior man) the finger.
Ah, irony.
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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by Sayo-chan » Sat May 16, 2015 7:35 am

The Tori-bot wrote:
Sayo-chan wrote:
Monkey King Vegeta wrote: I also wonder if DBZ had bad blood with other asians, we all know the Chinese hatred in manga nowadays, but was that Bruce Lee impersonator meant to look like such a joke?
More than likely. Toriyama has a bias towards Jackie, so I wouldn't put it past him to give Bruce (the superior man) the finger.
Ah, irony.
How is that ironic? So coming to the conclusion someone is better than someone else both morally and as a fighter is becoming biased?
Bias:
prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.
I would love to see where my supposed prejudice is making the arguments that support my views unfair.
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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by The Tori-bot » Sat May 16, 2015 8:18 am

Sayo-chan wrote:How is that ironic? So coming to the conclusion someone is better than someone else both morally and as a fighter is becoming biased?
Well... pretty much. Maybe "bias" isn't the best word since it carries negative connotations, but in this context we're talking about opinion. In your opinion, Bruce Lee is better than Jackie Chan. That is not an objective fact. It is a popular opinion, to be sure, but opinion is what it is. Everyone has biases. Nothing wrong with thinking Lee is better than Chan. I was just pointing out that you were criticising Toriyama for being biased while doing the same thing in the very same sentence - especially when we have no proof that Toriyama even feels that way anyway.
Last edited by The Tori-bot on Sat May 16, 2015 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Toriyama's racial/ist character portrayals?

Post by rereboy » Sat May 16, 2015 8:20 am

Sayo-chan wrote: How is that ironic? So coming to the conclusion someone is better than someone else both morally and as a fighter is becoming biased?
Bias:
prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.
I would love to see where my supposed prejudice is making the arguments that support my views unfair.
You never met Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan, you just know some details that global media has presented to you, and you yet you seem to be sure of who is the better man personally and professionally, while pointing out bias regarding Toriyama. I would say that it is ironic.

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