Japanese animated cartoons OR "They don't LOOK Japanese..."

Robotech/Macross has a black woman character.

As to the skin color, the Japanese themselves tend to have pretty fair skin (the Japanese also see fair skin as very desireable). I guess the big eyes just give them that “Caucasian” look.

I have also seen Japanese fashion magazines, and the models tend to have big round eyes (still almond shaped but much rounder than most Japanese I have seen). Another thing to remember is most anime is drawn for children. The big eyes allow for dramatic effects (when a dramatic moment comes up, watch the little white reflections in the eyes, they tend to “quiver”).

I have also seen an anime called “The Tale of Genji” which was based off of a novel written by a Japanese noble woman centuries ago (Murasaki Shikibu, IIRC). The characters in that anime all looked Japanese (almond eyes, and black hair). It’s not a very exciting film but it is interesting.

Any more answers? Or questions?

Fighting my own ignorance since 1957.

Note how the character of “Brock” in Pokémon has diagonal slits for eyes. Apparently he’s Asian, but “Ash” and “Misty” are not. (He also has darker skin.) On the other hand, all the main characters in Pokémon are more or less Japanese when the plot wants them to be.

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams

Beruang, maybe you can’t tell, but an anime fan can very easily peg what decade a piece of anime comes from.

A current fan favorite, Martian Successor Nadesico(sp?) plays to the fans by having its characters (the crew of a miltary spacecraft whose armament includes giant robots) regularly gather to watch a (made up) 1970’s giant robot anime show. They do an excellent job of parodying the types of shows prevelant in the 70’s.

The 90’s stylistic trend that pops immediately into my head is really spiky hair (Brock in Pokemon, several Dragonball characters, etc.). Big, clunky boots are also popular anime fashion now. Also, TV animators (in the US, too–oh wait, most of that is farmed out to Asia as well :)) have gotten much better at doing limited animation that doesn’t LOOK limited.

I get annoyed because my art style (see http://fuzzymelon.home.mindspring.com/dfahs ) is very anime/manga inspired and people often say, “Hey, that looks like Speed Racer”, when my intent is to be halfway across the japanese comics spectrum away from Speed Racer. In some ways, it’s an interesting study in pattern recoginition. What elements cause the naive viewer to see a similarity between my art and Speed Racer?

For a couple of movies in which the characters look more Japanese, try Akira or (My Neighbor) Totoro (But for goodness sake, don’t watch them back-to back–brain melt!)

John, I think Brock’s eyes are actually supposed to be closed all the time. As ridiculous as that sounds, in anime that supposedly points out a particularly wise person, or someone worthy of respect. Another character I’ve seen that has that characteristic was Mr. Fujisawa from El Hazard. As for Brock’s race, I have no idea what he’s supposed to be.

Also, the Dragonball series debuted in the early 80s (followed by Dragonball Z and Dragonball GT), so Toriyama’s character designs were thought up long before Pokemon’s. Toriyama is widely imitated, though.

Mr. Armageddon
“Just when you thought you had all the answers, I went and changed the questions!”–Roddy Piper

I always thought Mr Fugisawa in El Hazard had his eyes closed all the time because he’s hung over or drunk.

Brock? Very wise? He’s the biggest pop-culture skirt chaser since Ogg “When I’m not near the girl I love, I love the girl I’m near” the Leprechaun!

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams