The view on spirit beings in Avatar and Korra is an interesting interpretation, one that is based on a division between the human and spirit worlds. It isn’t uncommon for anime to use this spiritual division of worlds as the basis for which magical occurrences will begin. Bleach predicates most of its concept upon on the idea of a separate spirit world and human spirits turning into monsters call Hollows.
Anime-Style: Avatar the Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra
Antiracebending PostsI’m going to do a series of antiracebending journal entries in regard to The Last Airbender as well as clearing up unfortunate confusions with Avatar’s character designs.To start things off, here’s a wonderful documentary about yellowface with a large part of the documentary focusing on the pre-release to The Last Airbender.
Please watch this.Though The Last Airbender does not emloy yellowface, the act of using makeup and prosthetics to makes non-Asians look Asian, the documentary still exposes people’s casual acceptance of the practice.
It’s amazing that even some black people are okay with yellowface. “Makeup does wonders,” says one women.What the movie does emloy is the practice of racebending, changing a character’s ethnicity so that an actor of a different ethnicity, usually white, may play the character.
Such recent examples are the students in the movie 21, Goku in Dragonball: Evolution, the real historical figure Billy Sing from Australia, who was half white and Chinese, in
Suffice it to say, the most obvious of the reasons that AtLA and LoK come off as being anime-style is that the art is similar. Here are two sub-examples to help illustrate the point.
Anime-Style shows that aren’t made in Japan are a trend in American animation. Avatar the Last Airbender and its currently airing spin off series The Legend of Korra, look, feel, and act like anime shows. With the success of these shows, which are hailed within the general anime community, I hope to see more anime-style shows in coming years. There are several reasons that these AtLA (Avatar the Last Airbender) and LoK (The Legend of Korra) break away from the typical ‘American cartoon mold’, so here is the 5-point rundown.
Avatar: The Last Airbender’s Art StyleI thought I’d do these antiracending posts over a few days, but I have decided to just get them all out at once.First, apparently I trolled someone because I pointed out their eurocentricism in regard to them thinking Aang doesn’t look Asian.
If you read my last post, you can see how Japanese style character designs for Japanese characters aren’t white, or even ambiguous. So, I gave someone the short version of that some weeks ago and was accused of trolling: http://shinzo-x.
deviantart.com/art/Realistic-Aang-111411605?q=boost%3Apopular+realistic+Aang&qo=28.What?Okay, on to the main point of this post. In my last journal entry I talked about Japanese cartoon in general. For this entry, I’ll discuss specifically about Avatar: The Last Airbender’s design style.
Last month, I had the mistfortune and fortune to encounter a post by cruel_loverboy over at The Last Airbender’s IMDB board. I say “misfortune” because I had to read his ignorance towards Avatar’s art style and I say “fortune” b
Gothic DoodlesI’ve just posted four of my old gothic doodles that I used to do in high school. I’ll post some more in the upcoming days.It’s amazing how I took more chances with my drawings when I was younger.
I actually tackled full body shots and advanced poses. Nowadays, I’m just doodling floating heads.
More female lead characters, and stronger female characters have been seen in recent years in American animation, such as the trend in Disney to improve the independence and toughness of the Disney Princesses. However, magically powerful female characters have been popular in anime for much longer, in fact it is a running joke that Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon is only good for distracting the villain, giving pep-talks, and being the love interest. Anyway, given the anime influence it make sense that Avatar and Korra would have powerful female characters as well.
Old Teen Titans Art UploadedI looked through my Photobucket account today and I have Teen Titans art on it that I haven’t seen in about six years! We’ve switched computers a few times, so I don’t have the original files, but luckily Photobucket allows for downloads of images that are on one’s account.
I just downloaded everything and only put up a few decent images onto DeviantArt. Some of the quality is blurry and I can’t improve them since I don’t have the original files.These are from around 2003-2004, when I was really into Teen Titans that I drew some art.
I got out of drawing Teen Titans, but I didn’t get out of watching it. I watched the entire series all the way to the final episode, Things Change. I like to think that I got better as time passed, but I don’t know.
The oekaki images are from my time at TitansGo.net’s oekaki board. I used the username of Mangaka89 (back when I was a Japanophile for some reason; it means “comic artist,” which was what I wanted to be when I got older, and I still do actuall
Rather than having a villain who is clear-cut evil without really going into it, like a lot of American cartoons, AtLA and LoK have villains who wind up having understandable or even pitiable pasts which explain their misguided views. In anime its pretty common that one of the most beloved characters would be the villain.
Compared to iconic anime movie Howl’s Moving Castle by Miyazaki.
Finally Some ArtAfter having an account for a little over a week, I’ve finally uploaded some art. I took them with my camera, so the screen quality is bad. The actual quality of the drawings is a different story.
There may be some distortion with some of the images because of the angle that I took them.4:21 a.m.EDIT: It’s actually been one day short of two weeks since I signed up on DeviantArt. It’s also freaky how this entry was around the same time of day as my last.
Not every anime has martial arts, but a notable number do, and an asian, though not specifically Japanese style is shown in the ‘bending’ of the elements in AtLA and LoK. In this video we can clearly see the martial arts influence in the series:
Avatar: The Last Airbender’s Art Style by PUFFYsanjo, Aug 22, 2010, 1:12:24 AM Journals / Personal
Clearing Up Japanime DesignsAs a continuation of my antiracebending and anti-The LAst Aibender posts, this post will focus on the misinterpretation of the Japanese drawing style.So, people are pretty confused about the Japanese designs of animation and comics.
I find it pretty ethnocentric and offensive that westerners assume that the majority of these characters are white based on the sole reason that they have huge eyes and despite the many reasons that they are mostly Japanese.
I say mostly Japanese because Japan is a homogenous country so most of their characters in their stories will be Japanese. There are times when there will be non-Japanese in the stories, in which case it will be obvious that they are foreigners.
I actually have an interest in seeing foreigners portrayed in a Japanese drawing style (Digimon Adventure 02 and Digimon Tamers, anyone?).I’m quite active in the The Last Airbender board over at the Internet Movie Database.
I’ve written some lengthy posts about various topics, and I’ll
I thought I’d do these antiracending posts over a few days, but I have decided to just get them all out at once.First, apparently I trolled someone because I pointed out their eurocentricism in regard to them thinking Aang doesn’t look Asian.
If you read my last post, you can see how Japanese style character designs for Japanese characters aren’t white, or even ambiguous. So, I gave someone the short version of that some weeks ago and was accused of trolling: shinzo-x.
deviantart.com/art/Re….What?Okay, on to the main point of this post. In my last journal entry I talked about Japanese cartoon in general. For this entry, I’ll discuss specifically about Avatar: The Last Airbender’s design style.
Last month, I had the mistfortune and fortune to encounter a post by cruel_loverboy over at The Last Airbender’s IMDB board. I say “misfortune” because I had to read his ignorance towards Avatar’s art style and I say “fortune” because I got to get my thoughts out and let the show speak for itself.
I made a good post that I may point to for future reference.Avatar: The Last Airbender uses an art style which generally depicts the younger children with large eyes to express youth while the adults of the world have realistic eyes, more realistic than traditional Japanese cartoons.
I pointed this out in a thread to which cruel_loverboy said, “You talk about their eyes as though real asian children have large round eyes they grow out of.” Here is my post to cruel_loverboy:*************************(From www.
imdb.com/title/tt0938283/b….)I have no idea who milo is elbarto is, but I’ll reply anyway. “Inuits came across from asia originally so they are in fact of asian decent.”No duh. But apparently they don’t like being directly labeled as “Asian.
” “Most of the water tribe characters in avatar look nothing like the heavily ethnic looking inuit people.”Oh, so that’s why these images drawn by co-creator Bryan Konietzko exist! img.photobucket.com/albums/v17… img.
photobucket.com/albums/v17… And here are some Northern Tribe citizens. Yep, Nordic-looking. img.photobucket.com/albums/v17… img.photobucket.com/albums/v17… img.photobucket.com/albums/v17… img.photobucket.
com/albums/v17… Plus, not all Inuit look East Asian. All Inuit look different from the different “tribes.” They’re supposed to live in Siberia, Greenland, and Canada. There would be variations between them.
“A link to these interviews would be helpful”It’s not that difficult to use a search engine and type in “Avatar: The Last Airbender interview Asian.” But this is a good jumping off point: community.livejournal.
com/race… “All anime is ambiguous so as to appeal to a broader audience.”No. You must be Manoj in disguise. Read this if you want to learn the error of your ways: community.livejournal.com/race… “You talk about their eyes as though real asian children have large round eyes they grow out of.
“You talk about their eyes as if this isn’t a cartoon. Holy shit! What’s that? Azula, Zuko, and Mai, who already looked unambiguously Asian, had bigger eyes when they were younger? And I thought I made all of this up! Azula: piandao.
org/screencaps/ep27/ep… piandao.org/screencaps/ep23/ep… Zuko: piandao.org/screencaps/ep27/ep… piandao.org/screencaps/ep52/ep… Mai: piandao.org/screencaps/ep27/ep… piandao.org/screencaps/ep23/ep… In case you don’t get it by now, here are some more examples: Mai’s mother and her baby brother: piandao.
org/screencaps/ep23/ep… Ozai: iroh.org/screencaps/ep58/ep58-… iroh.org/screencaps/ep58/ep58-… Royal Family: piandao.org/screencaps/ep45/ep… Toph and her parents: piandao.org/screencaps/ep26/ep… piandao.
org/screencaps/ep26/ep… Airbender elders and Avatar Yangchen: piandao.org/screencaps/ep12/ep… iroh.org/screencaps/ep59/ep59-… Generally, the rule is the kids have large eyes for youth and the adults have realistic eyes.
However, there are some children who have small eyes, but at the same time they are the same, or related to the same, race as those kids in their repective nations who have larger eyes. Fire Nation kids: img.
photobucket.com/albums/v17… img.photobucket.com/albums/v17… Are the larger eyed kids less Asian than the small eyed kids? No. It shows Asians have diversity, as much as that fact makes certain people implode.
Here is an in-show parody of one of the show’s DVD covers (a cover which already had the characters looking Asian). iroh.org/screencaps/ep57/ep57-… iroh.org/screencaps/ep57/ep57-… www.imdb.com/media/rm353223116… The parody is either a realistic interpretation of Aang, Katara, and Sokka, or it’s an interpretation of the Ember Players who play them, who look like this: iroh.
org/screencaps/ep57/ep57-… iroh.org/screencaps/ep57/ep57-… Either way, it shows that the Japanese cartoon-style eyes DON’T equal white or even ambiguous. Regarding the Avatar State, Aang’s eyes look different than when they are normal.
The Avatar State actually has the same Asian eye shape that his early design had. Just another piece of “Asian Aang” used in the show. i81.photobucket.com/albums/j22… piandao.org/scans/artbook/artb… piandao.
org/screencaps/pilot/p… www.imdb.com/media/rm476812032… piandao.org/screencaps/ep21/ep… (Aang’s normal eyes in the show) piandao.org/screencaps/ep21/ep… (Aang’s Avatar State eyes, still with the original Asian eye shape) And this may sound weird, but the big-eyed characters look more Asian with their eyes closed.
Aang looks just like his Air Nomad elders. piandao.org/screencaps/ep2/ep2… piandao.org/screencaps/ep39/ep…*************************I never got a reply back from him. Does that mean my points can’t be refuted? I mean, how can anyone argue with the show itself? Pictures speak louder than words.
Summary: The characters in Japanese cartoons don’t needs stereotypes to begin with. Characters can have huge eyes and still be Asian (specifically Japanese as is the frequent case). With Avatar: The Last Airbender, the adults are drawn realistically.
So how can Aang be white (based on just his eyes as the ignorant only focus on) but still be related to Avatar Yangchen?4:11 a.m.
Aang’s HairThis and my last post will focus mostly on Aang, who so many people see as white.I’ve come across some weird reasons that were used claim that Aang is white. The most bizarre reasons relate to his hair.
I’ve read an idiot’s comment on YouTube saying that Aang can’t be Asian because he has “nappy hair.” Another person outside of YouTube (I think it was IMDB) said that Aang has brown hair. One other person said that Aang has curly hair.
I believe all of these comments are about the first time that Aang grows hair in the series, when he was unconscious for a few weeks (http://piandao.org/screencaps/ep41/ep41-153.png).Okay, I’ll debunk this briefly, then I’ll paste a post that I made on IMDB.
First, Aang’s hair isn’t nappy nor is it curly. Those people made those comments based on one shot. The reality is, Aang’s hair grows longer, and it is spiky, like so many East and adjacent Asian hair when short.
Second, his hair isn’t as brown as that screenshot makes it look. Piandao.org’s screen
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I’m About To Be Banned From Racebending.com’s LJFor those of you who don’t know, Racebending.com is a Web site that was started to raise awareness of the Asian-erasure of the live action movie adaptation of the cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender.
After the release of the movie, the Web site now is focusing on generic representation of actors of color in the media, and also now specifically the movie adaptation of the book series The Hunger Games.
Racebending.com has a LiveJournal community. I am (for now) apart of it, and have been following the development of The Last Airbender movie for the past year. The movie producers decided to favor white actors as the heroes for the movie when the cartoon had fantasy Asian heroes.
Racebending.com, whose name is a term coined to mean the changing of a character’s race to another so that an actor of a different race (usually white) can then play that character, tried to talk to the movie producers about changing the cast, but since they weren’t going to, Racebending.
It’s been a whileIt’s been so long since I’ve really posted anything. I’ve checked into this account every now and then just to see if I received any comments on my work, but, of course, I haven’t. Oh, well.
I’ve actually stopped drawing for a while and just recently started again. Instead of whining about how I can’t draw, I’m going to take the time to better my abilities… even though I have been practicing for over ten years and I still suck.
Here’s The ClincherAh, the finale.Last, but not least: I have two points to bring up. I’ve been debating which point to use first in order to be dramatic and add that “punch.” I think it would be better to tell what some of the creators behind Avatar: The Last Airbender have to say about the characters’ ethnicities and end my “series” of posts with a final examination of the show’s art style.
First, the Track Team, who were behind the music for the show, had this to say in a recent interview:”Everyone is ethnic…Asian, but not from any specific Asian country. It was kind of like a non-descriptive ethnicity.
“http://www.ugo.com/tv/airbenders-global-soundtrack.THERE YOU HAVE IT FOLKS!In more detail, they were saying how they were talking with co-creator Bryan Konietzko before working on Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Bryan told them that the show was to be set in an alternate world, that the characters would be Asian, and about what they were looking for music-wise.Though I agree with what the Tr