Is Hetalia Axis Powers racist

Thread: Hetalia and Whitewashing

> As far as I know, not only fair-skinned people belong to the Asian cultural area, if you look at, for example, Thais, Vietnamese and some Chinese. The Japanese should therefore be well aware that the world is not only populated by milk-white people.

..... haha. That was good.
Of course, the Japanese know that outside of Japan there are also Asians with darker skins. The "dirty Filipinos" for example (who are likely to represent the largest group of illegal immigrants near Japan.) Filipino residents of Japan are likely to be the most miserably treated people in Japan, which is far behind the indigenous peoples of Japan, the families who are "dishonorable." "Work (or whose ancestors did that 100+ years ago, and who still have the appropriate surname), and the Koreans. And anyone who has ever dealt with Japanese society knows how modest the Japanese are in general with their minorities.

The Japanese draw what they know. And that's Japanese. Everything else has no place in the Japanese public. As a responsible draftsman, you could of course take this as an opportunity to draw attention to the misery - but manga is an entertainment industry in which ultimately no independent K√ľntsler works are created, but rather draftsmen with sometimes hammer-hard contracts are supposed to produce what the market demands . That varies from magazine to magazine and from Veralg to publisher, of course, but drawing BUYERS and CONSUMERS outside of the comfort zone in the broader public is simply not an option. If you violate the publisher's internal rules, the stuff will simply not be published, and if in doubt, you risk your employment. (Series that don't arrive are canceled in Japan ice cold. And Basta. A draftsman who owes something is thrown out. There are enough known cases, I don't even want to know the amount of unknown ones.)

A Japanese draftsman works in this environment. Much of Japanese society is very racist, but does not see this as a problem. Coupled with the Japanese social ideal of mass conformity ("being normal", in case of doubt at any price - just don't deviate, stand out or make yourself important), it takes considerably more self-reflection and courage to deal with such grievances.

So, a European or American fan illustrator works independently and freely, he only has to serve his own preferences in essence.

Yes, the draftsman could and should perhaps also draw "more real" and "more colorful".

But their role models are Japanese comics, which see what emerged at the end of a creative process in the racist Japanese society. All fair-skinned 'Japanese'. This style is what appeals to people. And that's simply because he speaks to them, and not because they are so racist that they explicitly look for something "white". (Please separate cause - effect and put in the right relation!)

The 0815 reader does not notice this, because his German environment also contains well over 90% white citizens. What he sees is not a representation that deviates greatly from the reality of his life.

That's why he won't question it by default. He's just thinking NOTHING about it. Especially not that the realistic depiction of an environment could be racist.

Ultimately: I still don't quite understand what your aim of the discussion is. The draughtsmen you "address" are all over the world, very few of them here in Germany. The Japanese Mangaka do not understand German, cannot even read this appeal (should it even be?). Your criticism won't get across to them.

German illustrators can worry about it, but I doubt that this very general conversation here will really touch anyone more deeply. If you know individual draftsmen or their pictures that bother you with whitewashing: Ask the draftsman whether they are aware of what they are doing and that it is a characteristic, or at least an effect, of racism.

I am aware of manifold ramified mechanisms of action. But I already have enough other construction sites in life that the fight against the unquestioned effects of racism is not a priority. Of course, a one-sided "white" pop culture (under) supports latent racist feelings in people.

In Germany, however, I don't see any real danger from the mere existence of individual media products that may be "whitewashed", since our pop culture also has enough non-"white" input that is also perceived as being equal. Black singers and artists from the USA (we have so few local ones ...) are style icons as well as white ones. In Germany, the bigger problem is probably dealing with Islam and Muslims, and that in our social perception women with headscarves are always victims of an oppressive society, which also marginalizes them into a role that some of them may also fulfill , but by no means all.

In short: yes, the problem you are talking about may exist. But I don't even like to judge whether it is a deliberate racism or simply a chain of coincidences.

For me, however, it is especially not a problem of the Hetalia fandom, which tends to be significantly more open-minded than many others, and ultimately not a problem that a forum discussion can somehow solve. Because the actions that could bring about a change take place elsewhere.