Top 10 Xenophobic/Ignorant Attitudes Aimed Towards Japanese Media

Five cool points if you can name all three of these characters

I’ll give you a cookie if you can name all three characters and where they originated. 😛

The list is in no specific order. #5 may apply to other countries, as well. Also note that I’m against these opinions, not siding with them.

Children

10. Anime appeals only to children.

Understandable, given that the majority of daytime anime consists of Pokemon, Naruto, and all of that other crap that airs on CW4Kids.  Haters range from adults who don’t know better to ignorant teens who refer to anime as “those gay Asian cartoons”.

Minds are changed when they are exposed to some Elfen Lied, any Hayao Miyazaki film, and Samurai Champloo.

VIOLENCE

9. Anime has nothing but gore, sex, and nudity.

Usually happens when a soccer mom comes across fan-drawn hentai on the internet and thinks they’re authentic to the actual show. May stem from attempts (from the more crazy rabid anime fans) to change #10’s mindset of the masses by claiming that all anime are censored and are full of nudity and gore, along with tons and tons of sex. Wrong way to go!

When you think about it, it makes no sense why some people think like this when the majority of America already knows about Pokemon. Not surprisingly, it turns out that these people think Pokemon was a gore-fest in the original Japanese and contained tons of bestiality, rape, and underaged sex. Mmkay.

Visual novels

8. Visual novels = eroge

No no no no. Ace Attorney and CLANNAD are certainly not hentai games. Same with other visual novels downloaded online, etc.

Visual novels CAN be erotic games, but not all of them are.

Hair dye

7. Japanese people dye their hair to look white.

No idea how dying or highlighting one’s hair a different color makes a person a Caucasian-wannabe or is even exclusive to Japan, especially when a lot of the colors aren’t exclusively just blonde or red, but okay.

Manga Library

6. zomg lets ban these anime books from the library

Because adult-oriented books in the library are only limited to Japanese manga. Right.

J-Horror

5. Asian horror sucks. All they have are Asian girls with extremely long hair that cover their face!

As if J-Horror is limited to “visual scares” and onryo. I can say something similar to American  ghosts, zombies, and slasher films. Hockey masks? Slow and mindless decaying weirdos? Transparent human beings? Booooring.

As if.

Japanese horror usually focuses on the atmosphere rather than tons and tons of body horror. Although, if you’ve seen Ju-on, the original Japanese version of The Grudge, Kayako actually looks scarier than she does in the latter…

Big eyes and strange hair color

4. Anime characters are drawn with big eyes and have various hair colors because the Japanese see themselves as white.

Because white people have big eyes and their hair colors range from red, blue, orange, pink… wait, what?

This drawing technique in Japan is used to convey emotion and to tell the different characters apart. No self deprecation there, I assure you. -_-

Nana Mizuki is awesome

3. Japanese pop singers all have squeaky voices.

While it’s true that some Japanese girls have some very high pitched singing, this usually only applies to those teen idols that are supposed to be presented as cute.  A good majority of female Japanese singers sound perfectly normal.

Nana Mizuki pictured above for reference.

Hiro Mizuhima

2. Japanese/Asian dramas sure have a lot of pretty boys and men…

Can’t argue with that, but it depends on the show. But really, is America any better when it comes to shows aimed at teen girls?

Kamen Rider Gatack

1. zomg it’s a power ranger.

The poor fate of Japanese superheroes… and my pet peeve. This comes from the fact that most people don’t know what Power Rangers actually are (a multicolored team of spandex-wearing superheroes). This is understandable with Super Sentai, because the whole premise of Power Rangers is basically just splicing battle footage of sentai with new footage of American actors, along with a new story, much like the dub of the first Godzilla film.

btw, Kamen Rider’s Rider Punch inspired the Falcon Punch.

You have to be pretty half-baked if you think a Kamen Rider is a Power Ranger, though. My poorly-informed friend claimed that this masked hero looked like a Power Ranger simply because he had a helmet… with that logic, what the hell does Iron Man put on his head then? Of course, this is the same guy that claimed that Skull Man looked like a Power Ranger.

Even when using the lower budget (plus “morning anime”-like and less gritty) Kamen Rider shows on television as a comparison, it still hardly resembles Power Rangers aside from the characters transforming… some of which don’t “transform” at all, in fact. Henshin heroes are popular in Japan, especially when it comes to superheroes and anime, so that comparison is faulty. Spider-Man is much more Ranger-like in appearance compared to the armored Kamen Riders and the Green Goblin looks like Elgar from Power Rangers Turbo, yet people hardly mistake Spidey for a Power Ranger. Sailor Moon, which is actually inspired by sentai shows, is never used as a comparison either, at least in America.

Though, it seems that any fully-costumed individual is prone to the Power Rangers Accusation Syndrome, if they’re not exposed to America enough (i.e. they have no idea who it is).

Sometimes I see GARO being compared Power Rangers, despite it sporting high quality visual effects and the main character (Saejima Kouga) being a god damned demon hunter. He’s not even a superhero. It’s more like Devil May Cry meets KARAS. The hell?

11 thoughts on “Top 10 Xenophobic/Ignorant Attitudes Aimed Towards Japanese Media”

  1. The only opinion/preconception I somewhat agree with is nr. 3.
    The majority of female singers emit an incapacitating high pitch shriek. Like you said, it’s because they are supposed to be perceived as ‘cute’. Which implies that their perception of ‘cuteness’ is horribly warped. I prefer the more authentic (Japanese folk) music. Their pop and rock just doesn’t live up to what the rest of the world is churning out.

    Anyway, the last Japanese movie I saw which didn’t have a completely generic plot was Departures and two years and countless shitty movies have blown passed me since then. There’s absolutely no reason why a movie afficionado should have to stare himself blind at Japanese cinema. My point being: it’s certainly not ‘xenophobic’ to say that once you’ve seen the work of Kurosawa you can turn your back on Japanese cinema without regret, because there ‘ll solely be dissapointment in store.

  2. @Grimmer: Actually, the Japanese have some pretty good Indie music going on, you just have to try and find it. I also disagree that a majority of female Japanese singers have high pitched singing. I admit that a lot of them do, as you described, but I never really run into that kind of cutesy pop music unless I’m really looking for that kind of thing. 😛
    Then again, I was never really INTO the super mainstream stuff in America to begin with, I prefer punk rock and ska. It’s probably the same with Japan too, unless it’s really good…
    And eh, Japan’s animated films aren’t bad. Don’t watch much of the live action movies nowadays besides the kaiju, horror, and superhero films, so I wouldn’t know about the declining quality on those. 😛 I can say that Akira Kurosawa directed a lot of good movies before his death, though.

  3. @Yi: I hate that too, especially when anime with realistic-looking art styles have aired on Adult Swim before, and some ignorant folks out there still accuse me of watching kids shows (which I do, technically, but that’s not what all anime is made up of).

    Good thing they’re not the people I hang around with. 😛

  4. I haven’t seen Persona yet but the character design of your main banner is reminding me of them.

    Anyway, always like your top tens and pretty much agree with every point. I hate the fact how people generalize the fandom into hentai and kids stuff. I mean, at least know what you are talking about before forming an opinion! Btw, add in Sakomoto Maaya and Yui to the singers lists, who not only sound normal but awesome and can give any main stream singer a run for their money.

  5. @Kyokai: Close. They’re characters from Kamen Rider W drawn Persona-style. 😛
    Yui is one of my favorite Japanese singers and I was introduced to Maaya Sakomoto through CCS, so I love her too. <3

  6. @Troy (トロイ): Is the selection in your library bad or something? xD Or do you mean that you wished your library was like the one shown in the picture (tons and tons of manga)? 😛

  7. Squeeeee Phillip, Shotaro and Akiko loook ssssoooo cute there. 😀
    My friend would flip, she is a huge Masaki fan!

  8. I found the footage of the 3 idiots (akiko, phillip, shotaro….now where’s my cookie) on google and I screamed “Holy ****!! They turning W into an anime!!!!!”………………….

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