Video on Black Representation in Anime Posted By Guardian Newspaper

1 month ago 12

Eight-minute video entitled "Anime gets blackness wrong, this is how fans are fixing it."

The British newspaper The Guardian has posted the above 8-minute video on YouTube, entitled "Anime gets blackness wrong, this is how fans are fixing it." The video is produced and presented by Josh Toussaint-Strauss, with comments from other black fans, writers and critics.

On the video, Toussaint-Strauss says, "I'm definitely not here to cancel anime, but as a black fan, I am here to say enough with the racism."

The first half of the video is negative. It starts by citing racist depictions of blackness in anime, including Mr Popo in Dragon Ball Z, Blackluster in One Punch Man and the Afro-Russian Simon Brezhnev in Durarara!!

Coffee, a female character modelled on the actress Pam Grier in the "Mushroom Samba" episode of Cowboy Bebop, is described as being "unhelpfully reductive." Sister Krone in The Promised Neverland is said to lean on "the minstrel look" in American blackface media; "huge lips, bulging eyes."

More broadly, the video claims black representations in anime are influenced by the racist portrayals of blackness in American media over the decades, for example in American animation.

The video also comments on anti-black racism in anime fandom, including hateful comments against black cosplayers.

The discussion then moves on to positive comments. It is claimed that many anime protagonists must struggle against prejudicial treatment, such as Naruto. However, these heroes still persevere, which can resonate with black viewers.

At the end, LeSean Thomas, the black creator of Cannon Busters, is cited as one of a "small but growing number" of black people involved in the production of anime.

The American anthology magazine Saturday AM and the American art and animation studio Noir Caesar are also mentioned.

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