How on target or off base is this video discussing Racism in Dragon Ball?

Discussion regarding the entirety of the franchise in a general (meta) sense, including such aspects as: production, trends, merchandise, fan culture, and more.

Moderators: Kanzenshuu Staff, General Help

User avatar
KBABZ
I Live Here
Posts: 4742
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:38 pm
Location: The tallest tower in West City

Re: How on target or off base is this video discussing Racism in Dragon Ball?

Post by KBABZ » Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:33 pm

JohnnyCashKami wrote:
Shaddy wrote:but still definitely a black man
Not necessarily, if we didn't know the backstory of this character then it could be assumed he's Arab/Asian rather than African. You know, there are a lot of dark-skinned/black color Indians but would you call them "black" or Indian? Who knows.
I mean to my eye he leans towards Bora, but keep in mind that Dragon Ball already has established Arab characters such as Nam, and abjectly Asian ones like Murasaki and characters like Chi-Chi who tend to wear asian clothing moreso than, say, Bulma and Launch.

User avatar
MasenkoHA
I Live Here
Posts: 2633
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:38 pm

Re: How on target or off base is this video discussing Racism in Dragon Ball?

Post by MasenkoHA » Sun Mar 03, 2019 1:45 pm

KBABZ wrote:, and abjectly Asian ones like Murasaki and characters like Chi-Chi who tend to wear asian clothing moreso than, say, Bulma and Launch.
Except for the ones who obviously are not like Nam, Officer Black, Uub, Bora and Upa etc most of the cast is suppose to be Japanese

User avatar
KBABZ
I Live Here
Posts: 4742
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:38 pm
Location: The tallest tower in West City

Re: How on target or off base is this video discussing Racism in Dragon Ball?

Post by KBABZ » Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:05 pm

MasenkoHA wrote:
KBABZ wrote:, and abjectly Asian ones like Murasaki and characters like Chi-Chi who tend to wear asian clothing moreso than, say, Bulma and Launch.
Except for the ones who obviously are not like Nam, Officer Black, Uub, Bora and Upa etc most of the cast is suppose to be Japanese
I mean, yeah, but the Earth in DB is uniquely multi-cultural as seen in the Red Ribbon Arc. What ethnicity is Suno supposed to be, for example? Inuit? What about Baba, or Colonel White? The blind orphan Buu meets? Japanese culture obviously permeates everything in Dragon Ball given what country it comes from, but I don't think the actual ethnicity of the characters is quite so cut-and-dry when they aren't given a clear stereotype. Would Goku be Chinese due to his connection to the Monkey King and the Mount Paoz location he grew up?

WittyUsername
I Live Here
Posts: 2783
Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:09 am
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: How on target or off base is this video discussing Racism in Dragon Ball?

Post by WittyUsername » Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:09 pm

I thought Nam was supposed to be Indian? What’s this about him being Arab?

Anyway, as far as discussions about racism in Dragon Ball are concerned, Mr. Popo is the most obvious thing to point out. There’s definitely no way of getting around the fact that everything about him, from his appearance, to his dialect, to his role as Kami’s servant, is reminiscent of a racist caricature. I remember back in 2010 when people were angry about the fact that the CW cut of Kai made Mr. Popo blue, but honestly, I can’t say I blame them for that. While the CW cut of Kai made all kinds of unnecessary edits, Mr. Popo being blue was probably one of the more justifiable ones. Granted, they didn’t exactly do a good job of making him look blue, but that’s probably down to the schedule being rushed.

As for the Super Saiyan thing, there was definitely nothing racist in mind with that. As others have pointed out, the whole thing about Super Saiyans being blond was basically just an excuse for Toriyama to not have to ink in Goku’s hair. I’m pretty sure it’s for that very reason that Goku and Gohan spent the entire 10 days leading up to the Cell Games as Super Saiyans.

Anyway, on the whole, I would agree that Dragon Ball definitely has some things about it that can be considered to be racially insensitive and problematic. Unfortunately, though, as far as I can tell, that seems to more or less reflect Japanese entertainment as a whole. Japan is a very homogeneous and, from what I understand, rather xenophobic culture, so it’s not exactly shocking that there’s a certain level of ignorance over there in regards to things like this. I’m not condemning Japanese culture, but the people who make manga, anime and video games over there are definitely not as mindful about being politically correct as the west has come to be.

User avatar
KBABZ
I Live Here
Posts: 4742
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:38 pm
Location: The tallest tower in West City

Re: How on target or off base is this video discussing Racism in Dragon Ball?

Post by KBABZ » Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:21 pm

WittyUsername wrote:I thought Nam was supposed to be Indian? What’s this about him being Arab?
Dammit, you're right! Made a gross generalization based on the turban and totally forgot about the entire rest of his character.
WittyUsername wrote:Anyway, as far as discussions about racism in Dragon Ball are concerned, Mr. Popo is the most obvious thing to point out. There’s definitely no way of getting around the fact that everything about him, from his appearance, to his dialect, to his role as Kami’s servant, is reminiscent of a racist caricature. I remember back in 2010 when people were angry about the fact that the CW cut of Kai made Mr. Popo blue, but honestly, I can’t say I blame them for that. While the CW cut of Kai made all kinds of unnecessary edits, Mr. Popo being blue was probably one of the more justifiable ones. Granted, they didn’t exactly do a good job of making him look blue, but that’s probably down to the schedule being rushed.
As a whole I don't really mind the censorship and adjustments done for The CW or Nickelodeon to suit their broadcasting standards, so long as the home release is free of censorship and represents the original product as it actually was. If the Blue Popo Other World Orbs version of the show is what we got on Blu-Ray, yeah I'd be annoyed!

User avatar
MasenkoHA
I Live Here
Posts: 2633
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:38 pm

Re: How on target or off base is this video discussing Racism in Dragon Ball?

Post by MasenkoHA » Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:27 pm

WittyUsername wrote:. While the CW cut of Kai made all kinds of unnecessary edits, Mr. Popo being blue was probably one of the more justifiable ones. Granted, they didn’t exactly do a good job of making him look blue, but that’s probably down to the schedule being rushed.

L.
.
Yeah of all the edits to bitch about Blue Popo being the biggest one people complained about seemed odd to me.

Like the breathing dead? Sparkles? Golden orb over Goku’s head? Vegeta no longer eating an alien cricket he murdered but some blue mushroom...thing he got from a tree. The mere fact that it had to be watered down from an already Y7 FV version Nicktoons.

But the one totally understandable, if annoying, bit of censorship is what got people in their jammies ruffled.

Post Reply