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#76 | Back to Top02-18-2017 04:07:34 AM

SaigonAlice
Juri Jeerer
Registered: 09-13-2016
Posts: 41

Re: Why are Anthy and Akio Indian? (or are they Indian?)

Giovanna wrote:

Yeah it's one of the few instances where I don't necessarily go with death of the author readings. Being steeped in Japanese culture before the advent of the 'global' culture...or even now...does heavily impact the use of stereotyping, for good and ill, in the show.

Like, if I were to write a story about fighting oppression (using a metaphorical oppressed class, like say the mutants in X-Men) I wouldn't want a bunch of  Alt-Right Pro-Gamer peeps interpret it as something that was about them. That'd drive me nuts. But I've heard it's what happened V for Vendetta and Fightclub, though don't know the films well enough to say.

Last edited by SaigonAlice (02-18-2017 04:09:36 AM)


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#77 | Back to Top02-18-2017 05:15:37 AM

Yasha
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From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Registered: 10-15-2006
Posts: 5954
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Re: Why are Anthy and Akio Indian? (or are they Indian?)

Yeah, Fight Club in particular was massively misinterpreted by idiots. It was actually a pretty scathing indictment of the kind of masculinity that needs violence to express itself, but as usual, people missed the point entirely. Tyler Durden was not supposed to be an aspirational figure.

As for V for Vendetta... that one's a bit more complicated. It sort of depends on what you're referring to-- if you're talking about Anon, there's a bunch of different facets to that. If you're talking about just the philosophy in general being misinterpreted, well, again. Idiots missing the point.


Getting back to the topic at hand, I think if the writers had wanted Akio and Anthy to be interpreted as Romani, they'd probably have tried to use and subvert the stereotypes they way they do everywhere else. And yeah, I think they probably would have had... varying degrees of success. But I'm guessing they knew that would probably be the case if they tried to explore Akio and Anthy's ethnicity at all, and so they left it intentionally vague beyond the visible stuff. And to be honest, I think that was the right move. From a writing/technical standpoint, unless it tied directly to the storyline somehow it wasn't important enough to explore. Romani myths/characteristics would have been easier to invoke and weave into the storyline, but it's still an added element that wouldn't necessarily serve the narrative.


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#78 | Back to Top02-21-2017 05:26:22 AM

SaigonAlice
Juri Jeerer
Registered: 09-13-2016
Posts: 41

Re: Why are Anthy and Akio Indian? (or are they Indian?)

Yasha wrote:

Yeah, Fight Club in particular was massively misinterpreted by idiots. It was actually a pretty scathing indictment of the kind of masculinity that needs violence to express itself, but as usual, people missed the point entirely. Tyler Durden was not supposed to be an aspirational figure.

As for V for Vendetta... that one's a bit more complicated. It sort of depends on what you're referring to-- if you're talking about Anon, there's a bunch of different facets to that. If you're talking about just the philosophy in general being misinterpreted, well, again. Idiots missing the point.

Interesting...lol. I should probably watch the films for myself but for the most part Yasha, I trust your judgement. etc-love

Yasha wrote:

Getting back to the topic at hand, I think if the writers had wanted Akio and Anthy to be interpreted as Romani, they'd probably have tried to use and subvert the stereotypes they way they do everywhere else. And yeah, I think they probably would have had... varying degrees of success. But I'm guessing they knew that would probably be the case if they tried to explore Akio and Anthy's ethnicity at all, and so they left it intentionally vague beyond the visible stuff. And to be honest, I think that was the right move. From a writing/technical standpoint, unless it tied directly to the storyline somehow it wasn't important enough to explore. Romani myths/characteristics would have been easier to invoke and weave into the storyline, but it's still an added element that wouldn't necessarily serve the narrative.

Well to be fair, it was Chiho Saito's idea to begin with to make Anthy and Akio Indian-esque looking. The rest of bePAPAS kind of just dealt with what they were given.

And speaking of Saito, look at this:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-14RKgddh5FU/WB53SypLdyI/AAAAAAEzQEE/ppU0g9iv4LE/w1900/MR-18833-295910-1.jpg
At it again with the subtly racist Indian = Exotic shenanigans! Granted the artwork is gorgeous, but it looks like Saito didn't make even a basic attempt at researching Hindu culture. See, men aren't supposed to wear Bindis - they're for women explicitly. They're meant as symbols of marriage and in the words of my Indian friend, as a "sign of ownership...kinda". Thematically it fits Anthy to wear a Bindi.

Now that I think about it, didn't Akio wear a Bindi? That doesn't even make sense in keeping with his character.  Saito really did bonkers.

Last edited by SaigonAlice (02-21-2017 05:28:21 AM)


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#79 | Back to Top02-21-2017 02:02:52 PM

Aelanie
Black Rosarian
Registered: 02-04-2009
Posts: 369

Re: Why are Anthy and Akio Indian? (or are they Indian?)

SaigonAlice wrote:

Well to be fair, it was Chiho Saito's idea to begin with to make Anthy and Akio Indian-esque looking. The rest of bePAPAS kind of just dealt with what they were given.

That's not the case. For the second time in this thread, though five years later (geez that's scary to think about), I quote from the Episode 39 commentary:

Chiyo Saito: Is the reason why Anthy's skin color is darker because you were thinking about the overseas audience?

Kunihiko Ikuhara: No, I really wasn't thinking that. I didn't put much though into it.

CS: Did you do it because you thought it'd be cool ["suteki"]?

KI: Cool, yes. I just did it because I thought it'd be cool.

CS: Cool as in cool when you see someone with a beauty mark on the center of their forehead?

KI: I saw it in your manga first.

CS: That's right! Thank you.

KI: Characters similar to Anthy appear in a couple of Ms. Saito's manga. I thought they were cool.

The original imagery for such a character may have arisen from Saito's manga, but Ikuhara was the one who wanted to use such designs for Utena, and it goes without saying that Saito had no direct - and very little indirect - control over the development and production of the anime.

As I also said at the time, Ikuhara states plainly that there is no deep and symbolic meaning behind this. Nor is there a problem with it being "unrealistic"; complaints of that nature in a show as surreal and otherworldly as Utena strike me as misguided, if not hypocritical. The world over, people borrow elements of other cultures and use them out of context to craft entertainment for their target audience. There is nothing wrong or malicious about this, it is simply taking interesting elements from many sources to make works more unique. I'd point out that Utena also borrows heavily from, and heavily misrepresents, aspects of European culture, but people seem more than willing to overlook that fact, if they even notice it at all - which is just as it should be.

Last edited by Aelanie (02-21-2017 02:10:08 PM)

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