Mr. Popo's speech

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Doctor.
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Mr. Popo's speech

Post by Doctor. » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:15 am

Is there any particular reason he speaks the way he does? He's based on genies, but are genies generally associated with low intelligence in Japan (or anywhere else)? I would imagine he speaks that way to represent his age, but I don't really speak Japanese, so I'm not really sure if what he speaks is a sort-of 'ancient' Japanese dialect.

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Re: Mr. Popo's speech

Post by alakazam^ » Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:22 pm

We don't know the reason he talks like that but I'm afraid it's likely to be a stereotype. What I can tell you is that his broken speech pattern doesn't represent his age, unlike Kame Sennin's.

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Re: Mr. Popo's speech

Post by KBABZ » Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:43 pm

It is a stereotype unfortunately, and in terms of the story it's used to play into the same "face values" subversion used for Roshi, Korin and Kaio, similar to Yoda. That is, you wouldn't expect someone with speech even more crude than Goku's to be able to trounce him in a fight. In FUNi's dub at least the speech is more articulate, so the only thing playing into the subversion thing is the fact that he's overweight.

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Re: Mr. Popo's speech

Post by MyVisionity » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:29 pm

It's just racism towards Black/African-descended peoples, as far as I know. His appearance and speech pattern are both historical caricatures. I doubt the genie aspects have anything to do with the way he talks, but I cannot say for certain.

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Re: Mr. Popo's speech

Post by precita » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:07 pm

I doubt Toriyama ever met a dark skinned person in his life in the 80's or early 90's when writing Dragonball.

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Re: Mr. Popo's speech

Post by MyVisionity » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:48 pm

precita wrote:I doubt Toriyama ever met a dark skinned person in his life in the 80's or early 90's when writing Dragonball.
Sorry for not following, but I'm not exactly sure what you mean here.

Are you saying that Toriyama's lack of personal interaction with dark-skinned people helped contribute to the racist depiction of Popo's character?

If so, then I would agree to a certain extent, but then argue that it had less to do with Toriyama's own individual experience with Black people and more to do with the larger Japanese society and its perception of Blacks, and how Toriyama was undoubtedly shaped by it. As well as his general exposure to Western culture/media, with particular regards to race, et cetera.

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