How come there aren't any African anime characters?

It's like all the anime characters are blonde or red haired with white skin.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • ... Most anime characters are Asian ethnically. The culture just views pale skin as attractive so it shows up more often than not. Hair dye is also pretty readily available, and there is a tendency to use bright colours for hair as a stylistic choice rather than as any representation of realistic colour.

    As for black characters... most people who have spent time in Japan will admit the culture is pretty xenophobic. They sometimes idolise europeans or americans in an abstract sense, hence there being a token non-japanese in virtually every show, but less on the individual... I assume by 'africans' you mean black people, rather than people from the continent (who simply dont appear often because its a long way away, the same as south americans rarely appear on British tv). Black people just arnt something many Asians are exposed to... and some would argue require quite different colouring/animation techniques to look right. Still there are plenty of blacks as minor characters in anime, usually as American military personel (which sometimes has its own obvious, negative, conotations)... want a list?

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    • I once read somewhere on the internet about a black guy who went to live with his friend in japan. When he took the public bus a Japanese woman looked at him with suspicion and clutched her purse tight. She thought he was a thief just because he was black. I also saw something on the internet about how blacks are treated in China, Japan, and Korea. The Chinese guy smeared his face with chocolate and cracked jokes on blacks.

    • As I say. Xenophobic... and racist.
      Even sympathetic black characters tend to either be liars or be comically incompotent. Meh. The culture will grow out of it with exposure. Still it's not as bad as the racism has been in America in the recent past so give them a break.

Most Helpful Girl

  • A lot of the characters aren't actually white, their skin is pale but they're not white. Blonde and red hair is used to indicate interesting, important or quirky characters because that's unusual among Japanese people and it highlights which characters you're supposed to pay attention to.

    There are some black anime characters such as Ed from Cowboy Bebop, Garter from Panty and Stocking and a few of the characters from One Piece. I also think Integra from Hellsing was black even though she doesn't appear to be in the pictures alone but with others it's more noticeable, either way, she's described as having 'creamy brown skin'.

    I assume that the reason for so few black people is that either the animators find it difficult to show darker skin tones (though if we look at Garter, he is definitely dark skinned so they can't always use that excuse), or that as of July 2015 '98.5% of the population is ethnic Japanese, 0.5% Korean, 0.4% Chinese, others made up 0.6%.'

    When you think of how many races have to make up that remaining 0.6% and how that means not even 0.6% of the population of Japan is black, I assume the animators simply decide that there aren't enough people to appeal to and therefore don't include very much diversity.

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    • I think I heard integra is actually half Indian? I don't know where I got it from since my Helsing days were a long time ago but it's stuck pretty firmly in my mind :/

    • It's definitely possible. I just looked it up and found this:

      'There is a general assumption that Integra is not of full European descent. Her skin color is a creamy brown, darker than that of many other characters. In a flashback in the anime (Order 10: Master of Monster), there is a photograph of an infant Integra being held by a woman wearing a sari, suggesting that her mother might have been Indian or of Indian descent.'

      Thanks for letting me know! :)

What Guys Said 20

  • Well most anime is made in japan where they have fair skin and they make them too look like them. In terms of hair color dying your hair is really common there and they dye their hair to any color you can think of.

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    • You're wrong. They're actually made to look like white people. Naruto has blonde hair and blue eyes. You find me a japanese man like that right now

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    • @M_A_X Except for DBZ, Ninja Scroll, and the majority of characters in Naruto have Asian features except for a few. And like basically most movies and half the tv shows from the 80s and 90s all look clearly Asian.
      kotaku.com/.../whos-white-and-whos-japanese-in-anime-once-again-the-internet-compares

    • Have you guys heard that Yareli Albavera is secretly Ellie Goulding? And that Ms. Smith is secretly Katy Perry? Did you hear that Rodney is Isaac Slade? They will die and go to hell. God will punish them!

  • First, Anime characters aren't white- as in caucasian. But they are Asians.
    Second, who told you there aren't any African (or black) anime characters?
    I haven't watched many animes, but officer black in dragon ball is one important character. Plus, the entire cloud village from naruto seems to be black, their names sure don't sound Asian.

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    • No, actually a lot of anime characters are flat out white. They adore white people.

      Naruto has blonde hair and blue eyes.

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    • I once read somewhere on the internet about a black guy who went to live with his friend in japan. When he took the public bus a Japanese woman looked at him with suspicion and clutched her purse tight. She thought he was a thief just because he was black. I also saw something on the internet about how blacks are treated in China, Japan, and Korea. The Chinese guy smeared his face with chocolate and cracked jokes on blacks.

    • Racism occurs everywhere. EVERYWHERE.

  • Because anime is Japanese made for Japanese audiences and usually set in Japan.
    Hence the lack of Black people.

    Despite there being tons of "dark skinned" people in Anime they usually aren't strictly African, although the more contemporary themed Anime do have clearly African characters as well as Hispanic.
    It depends on the theme, an Anime set in feudal Japan is obviously not going to have Black people in it.
    And since Anime set in the west are rare, other ethnicities than Asian are also rare.

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  • You might say that but then who is this

    www.cartoonpics.net/.../ah_my_goddess_cute.jpg

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    • I once read somewhere on the internet about a black guy who went to live with his friend in japan. When he took the public bus a Japanese woman looked at him with suspicion and clutched her purse tight. She thought he was a thief just because he was black. I also saw something on the internet about how blacks are treated in China, Japan, and Korea. The Chinese guy smeared his face with chocolate and cracked jokes on blacks.

    • Xenophobia is nothing new in the far east.

  • There are some. Not very many. I often wonder why everybody looks white, myself. Cuz like, there's barely any white people in that country.

    But tenchi muyo, yu yu hakusho, afro samurai and a few others had some.

    If suggest watching afro samurai. Very very good and it stars Sam Jackson and Ron Pearlman along with a few other stars.

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    • Oh! And RZA does the music! It's phenomenal in my opinion.

  • Probably because most animes take place in Japan and there aren't many black people there.

    But black anime characters do exist. 'Dutch' from Black Lagoon is an example:
    img3.wikia.nocookie.net/.../Dutch_SG.jpg

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  • Afro Samurai
    Naruto has an entire village of mostly black people.

    Here's a list of 185 black anime characters

    http://www.colorq.org/petsins/2005/9/anime.aspx

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  • Hm, that's a good point. There should be. Not just Black I mean like, legit, African African.

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  • Well... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... It's from Japan.

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  • Because African is not a race. You should rephrase your question to "How come there aren't any Black anime characters?

    Anyone can be from Africa like myself who is born in Africa but im not black.

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    • Yes but over 90% of Africans are black

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    • You are from Africa yet you are this ignorant? lol.

    • Have you guys heard that Maame Efua is secretly Britney Spears? Her sister is Maame Rich and her mother is Minase. Her mother is secretly Taki Minase from Hentai Bible Black. They live in Ghana Tema Community 2.

  • Anime characters are Asian and Japanese can identify themselves with those characters. Anime is something Asian and they portray it as it should. They are proud people.

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  • Oh uhhhh, maybe because they're made in Japan?

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    • I once read somewhere on the internet about a black guy who went to live with his friend in japan. When he took the public bus a Japanese woman looked at him with suspicion and clutched her purse tight. She thought he was a thief just because he was black. I also saw something on the internet about how blacks are treated in China, Japan, and Korea. The Chinese guy smeared his face with chocolate and cracked jokes on blacks.

    • Yes, Asians are very racist in their home countries.

  • I think it might be because there aren't that many Africans in japan

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  • They aren't even Japanese in most cases.

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  • Perhaps you have a new idea that would sell!!

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  • Because Japanese people have never seen a black person.

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  • In Naruto Anime series killer bee (8 tails) and his family are black.

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  • There aren't many African people in japan... But i have seen a few African anime characters

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  • Because supposedly white is right. Meh we are all beautiful.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rywUS-ohqeE

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  • Anime characters are supposed to be ideal looking according to Japanese values.

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What Girls Said 4

  • Dunno. It's not part of the plot? Culture, maybe? Maybe the creators aren't really bound by the same cultural diversity clause as some other countries seem to be.
    The white skin is because they hold paler skin in higher esteem. The different color hair is just for aesthetics, and possibly to make certain characters more memorable (heard this from somewhere a while ago, not sure if it's 100% legit though).
    There are characters of color, just gotta look around. I wouldn't let it bother you too much. Just watch some Boondocks. xD

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  • Because anime was created by Japanese people and in Japanese beauty standards white skin is idealized and dark skin is demonized. So it's not surprising to see unattractive characters with dark skin or the character with dark skin being the villain. But every now and then there is a pretty character with dark skin that is a hero.

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    • You're an idiot if you think dark skin is demonized in Japan. You have no idea what Ganguro is

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    • I don't think anyone actually believes that blood type thing anymore than we believe in zodiac signs

    • @M_A_X yeah they're are people who do there have been articles of companies using it to screen possible employees.

  • Oh wow.. First time I think about this XD

    Look for Blaise zabini anime lol

    You're welcome

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  • I guess white ones are just more popular...

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