Racism in Shonen Jump's Eyeshield 21?


Ghost of Animes
Controversy has been sparked by a volume (volume seven) of the American football manga Eyeshield 21 (a Shonen Jump manga published in the US by Viz Media) since it apparently contains what some readers claim to be a "racist" and "humiliating" depiction of black people.

Of course this is not the first time manga readers have been offended the stereotypical appearances of black characters in anime and manga, the most infamous of which is (the servant) Mr. Popo from Akira Toriyama's ever popular Dragonball (Z) series; eventually Viz had to edit the US release of the Dragonball manga themselves to reduce the size of Popo's lips.
It's a touchy subject, but sod it I'm going to jump in anyway!

The thing is I don't think this instance is meant in a derogatory way. Most Japanese are ignorant of many racial issues as they're an insular society with a low immigration number - and of course by saying that I could probably be branded a racist myself by generalising about Japan. :roll:

I'm not especially defending the picture as I can see how some may find it offensive, but there is a phrase regarding 'mountains out of molehills' springs to mind. If someone's insulted you through their own stupidity, then they're not worth taking seriously in my opinion... (though my opinion's probably not worth worth a damn as I'm white and probably wouldn't understand such matters :roll: keep them eyes rolling!)

Viz might have a problem on their hand if many people take exception to it though. They'd probably be better off censoring the work or having a disclaimer at the front of the book about it like Dark Horse did with the Astro Boy books.

(I don't think they have any laws regarding racism in Japan either, though I may be wrong on that one)

On a side note, I don't like this person's attitude discerning between 'us' (black people) and 'them' (white or 'Asian' as she phrases it). I think she needs to realise that a person's ethnic background shouldn't really define their personality or political standpoint. If that were the case, then perhaps surface appearence is indeed as important as we're led to believe. (which is damn ironic and moronic in equal measure all things considered)

Gah! I'm all angry now! :evil:
Why can't the Asians TAKE THEIR TIME drawing black people and DRAW A PRACTICE SKETCH first! GOODNESS you only draw him/he about two or three times in the manga, why not make them the best as they can be and not ugly on purpose!
Yare yare...

Well, I can see how some people could get upset, but to me it seems like they're overreacting somewhat.
I mean, take series like Beck, BKI or Samurai Champloo, all of them portrayed westerners in a poor light, but it didn't bother me at all... just seemed like the use of existing Japanese stereotypes to relate things better/get some cheap laughs from the target audience - Japanese people.
hontou ni na... yare yare

what about when non-asian draws eastern asians? dont tell me that they forgot the slit eyes and buck-tooth all of a sudeen....