The Courtroom Special feat. Hippiefreak of Anime Tree Part 3 of 3: American Views on Asians

(Continued from Part 2)

Judge:  Hmmm that’s interesting.  In high school, no one I knew liked anime.  I wasn’t as big into it as I am now, but that’s because I have people to share my interest with.  Sharing culture is great as it promotes interest.  Hmmm anything else on this part? Otherwise, I think you’ve mentioned some aspect of part 3 a little: American perception of Asians.  Right off the bat, I know one thing I want to say is: HOLLYWOOD STOP DESTROYING ANIME!

Hippiefreak: Hollywood has ruined anime.  Look at Dragonball Z.  The way i remember Dragonball Z is one dude charging his power, episode ends, next episode other dude charges his power, and it repeats. How hard could it be to screw THAT up?

Do not want

Judge:  Haha.  I think part of the angst is casting Asian characters with white people.  I mean, I understand adapting something, but you wouldn’t cast a black dude to play JFK would you?

Hippiefreak: I can’t say anything big on Piccolo or his father’s part but yes, they should done something about that. They should have at least stayed to the roots right down to the casting.  It probably was for promotion.  A movie filled with Asians in America wouldn’t end up so well.

Judge:  Well I agree a cast with all Asians is less marketable in America unless it’s a kung fu or ninja film.  But that in itself is sad.  It’s like John Cho said, it’s so hard to get roles in Hollywood as an Asian since they have “pre-set” roles i.e. the kung fu ninja guy.  That’s why he loved playing Sulu in the Star Trek film.

Hippiefreak: That kinda relates to one of my points.  Everytime and I mean everytime an Asian man or women is shown in American movies or media, my parents take notice.  Hell, just last week Ishowed my parents and grandparents G.I.Joe.  They watched it for the Korean actor playing Storm Shadow.  They complained that they didn’t show him that much and stopped watching.  Once again just another ninja dude.  Same thing goes with Rain in Ninja Assassin. 

Judge:  Lee Byung-hyun!  He’s such a boss.

Hippiefreak:  I actually wanted his hairstyle for some time.

Judge:  Hahaha. Well I agree with your point. My dad mostly complains that Asians are portrayed as “weak, nerdy, or undesirable.”  It’s true that certain stereotypes are true; that can be said of any race.  But it doesn’t help when you actively promote those images for mainstream audiences.

Hippiefreak:  That’s why the average Asian is either portrayed as a nerd or kung fu master.  Kids use that as their background knowledge of Asian kids.

Judge:  Big time movie studios not only replace Asians with whites (like in Avatar…screw M. Night Shyamalan), but they often are cast in those stereotypes.

Do not want part 2

Hippiefreak: Doesn’t give me too much hope.  A lot of Marvel comics movies are being made now.  God knows if they will get ideas from anime/manga.

Judge:  Marvel teamed up with Madhouse to make those horrid Marvel anime.  Which reminds me of another thing: Asian superheroes.  Something we don’t see a lot of.

Hippiefreak: I haven’t watched any, but I just knew they would be bad.  Well in my opinion, America takes pride in their comics.  Stan Lee did one hell of a thing.

Judge:  Ok, fair point.

Hippiefreak:  But the bad thing is that people don’t seem to appreciate it that much.  Sure some people may see the Marvel films, but the comic readers are usually the older people.  Anime and manga cater to anyone in the Japanese demographic.

Judge:  I’m not so sure about that.  But anyways, DC recently had this little promotion going on…

Hippiefreak: Damn, what got up DC’s ass.  I kinda understand their feelings though; almost every one of their movies minus the Nolan Batman’s have been crap, especially Green Lantern.

Judge:  Haha oh yes.  My comic book writer (Silverwolf) hated that film.

Hippiefreak:  Anyways, Marvel seems to be doing fine.  Stan Lee even helped make Heroman.

Judge:  Oh yeah, Heroman.  Never watched it.

Hippiefreak:  Neither have I, but it exists.  I guess it was received ok.  The important thing is that it’s a start (for cross-cultural understanding).

Judge:  Well hopefully there will be a day where Americans can better understand Asian cultures.  Instead of viewing things through stereotypes, I hope America can understand we’re moar than Ninjas, and that we actually can do a ton of things besides being good at math and playing piano.  Right now, Jeremy Lin is doing a lot for us Asians.  This guy can ball, and I hope he can continue his stellar play.  Anyways, that’s it for this chat.  Hope everyone enjoyed it.  Until next time people!

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  1. There's kind of a repetitive cycle going on – there's no Asian-American movie star…and there can't be an Asian-American movie star until they start getting cast more in films. And I don't know that we're getting any closer. I see more Asian Americans in indie films, but it seems to me that, more and more, I'm noticing their absence in films. I don't have a problem with DBZ, but I did with "21," because those kids were Asian American in real life…come on! You couldn't just make a white man into a black man in a true story!

    Perhaps the increase of Asian American directors will help. Justin Lin…come on and do something!

  2. Thanks for the series! I enjoyed reading the posts.

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