WISHFUL THINKING

Hiya AA, it's Hayaku back with another blog. Today, I will be talking about details or concepts I'd like to see in anime/manga more often. Since many things are greatly lacking in both medias. Now do keep in mind, this is an opinionated blog and could involve just about anything that comes to your mind. Therefore, please do not get triggered if your thought of said concept isn't listed in this blog. Okay! So, with that all out of the way, let's start.

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Biracial Couples

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Granted, there's been a few biracial lovebirds in anime/manga, yet compared to white couples, it's almost microscopic. It may only be me, but I am getting so tired of pure white twosomes. And yes, if you think about it from a hypothetical standpoint, the main reason is most likely due to a majority of anime/manga taking place in Japan. However, that does not mean the Asian country has no foreigners residing there. As a matter of fact, many people go on tour there because of the welcoming atmosphere and mesmerising attractions. So it triggers and agitates me to some extent that dark-skinned people are rarely seen with another individual romantically in anime/manga. A possible other reason why I wish this occurrence was more common is because I am a naturally sympathetic person. Meaning I think it would kind of feel borderline horrible watching anime as part of the dark-skinned race. Considering not only black people are scarce in anime/manga, but also biracial couples. Not going to lie, many of my friends here on AA are indeed dark-skinned. But a lot of the black people I know in real life take major offence after watching anime/manga because of the noticeable deficiency of a simple racial detail that is dark-skinned characters. Obviously the people I refer to didn't watch one anime and have this thought-no. Although, witnessing approximately 20 made them come to that conclusion. And quite frankly, I do believe it would be a low blow not seeing your own race or colour of people in a Japanese cartoon. Another reason why I think implementing biracial couples in such a massive media would be the impactful effect it could potentially have in society.

As much as it is controversial to say, racism is still quite apparent, despite it improving since the more olden days. Nevertheless, I feel if such things aren't considered when producing anything fictional like anime, manga, video games, and so forth, it can greatly imply the actual creators’ morals and perspectives of said factor or concept. That's the exact issue with such media. People will state they aren't sexist, racist and whatnot. But do they put those words into action? Rarely. And that is the biggest problem with anime/manga producers. If they aren't racist, why not insert dark-toned characters in a simple Japanese cartoon more regularly? Better yet, create a biracial couple for said anime/manga. You all reading this are probably thinking I am being over analytical. But frankly, I am just acting logical and down-to-earth. Albeit in a direct connotation. And not to become political and controversial, but with all of these points, taking initiative in more racial situations has got to change. Scenario: Someone at this very moment is making an anime. They're drawing up the characters and doing all the planning stuff. Without a doubt, he or she has not even briefly thought of a dark-skinned character or couple. Simply an Asian or white person. Which, to me just thinking about it, is highly upsetting. Before I finish this section and move on, I do apologise for making the sub-heading ‘biracial couples’ despite focusing on both dark-skinned personas and biracial couples as a whole. However, I wholeheartedly feel I had to mention it shortly. As I am a humanist, and one with strong morals of topics relating to it no less.

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Sexuality Variety

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We've all just previously found out from the last section that I am indeed a humanist. Plus a powerful believer in equality. That said, I greatly want more variety when it comes down to sexual orientation. You're probably going to say “read Yuri & Yaoi manga then, you numbskull”. And I don't mean it in that regard. Think about what I'm about to say carefully. How often do we see lesbian or homosexual characters, who aren't in a Yuri or Yaoi series? That's right. Truly think about that. I like how the creators have involved the LGBTQ+ concept in anime/manga. But we never actually see those kind of people outside of Yuri or Yaoi series. I would love it if a series’ protagonist had a gay or lesbian best friend-that’d be fantastic! And I know the LGBTQ+ is a touchy subject, and some people refuse to support the community. But like me, a majority of people are onboard with them. With that said, I believe others would also like to see this variety of sexuality become reality in non Yaoi or Yuri series. Heck, even if there was a lesbian or homosexual main protagonist I would legitimately be stoked. As a matter of fact, there are a major amount of bisexual people these days-even on AA! How awesome would it be for there to be a bisexual character in a sport anime/manga, and then flirt with the players who are practicing, which are both genders. Just thinking about that could theoretically open up such big opportunities of a hilarious comedy series. Not only would adding more sexualities be healthy in a political and morally way. Yet in an amusing sense too, it would be of enormous help.

Other possibilities for a comedy includes things like a 4-guy friendship group, with 3 straight guys and one asexual. And when hot girls walk past those 3 dudes get all you know excited, and the asexual dude is just there ignoring it and insulting his 3 mates when they get rejected. There is just so much anime/manga creators could accomplish if they were to introduce LGBTQ+ characters to normal series, and not exclusively Yaoi & Yuri. Like the ‘biracial couple’ section, I believe adding such characters part of the LGBTQ+ would show creators’ respect toward the community, and open many pathways for more diverse sexualities in future series, where the characters and main protagonist(s) aren't constantly straight orientated. Also, let's say there are two lesbian females who are introduced as girlfriends to one another, yet we never see anything too intimate happen between them. And regardless of them being lesbians, they have their own friendship group and socialise like anybody else. I know a few people reading this are not supportive of the LGBTQ+ and desire for me to move on to a different section. But being a humanist, I think this change has to materialise. It would have such a big positive impact in media as a whole, and would make us get one stop closer to equality in society-online and in real life. We must not forget as well, that the LGBTQ+ indeed watch anime and read manga. Therefore, putting yourself in their shoes would be somewhat awkward. Considering they’re likely tired of nothing but straight characters in non Yaoi & Yuri series. And it would be a nice change of pace to see more people of a sexuality they can actually relate and emphasise with.

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Foreign Settings

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Definitely not intending to come off disrespectful, but I am a little over a majority of the anime/manga series taking place or being located in Japan. Even a Japanese blogger of Anime Amino has said it themselves! And I unconditionally concur. Wouldn't it even be slightly more interesting if a school setting was to take place in a unique country compared to usual? Let's say Russia. How special would it be to get some possible insight on how Russian schools operate! I at least think it’d be enjoyable to a degree. Perhaps you're thinking how the language of the anime/manga would play out then. Well, Code Geass had both the British speak English in the dub version, and then Japanese in the subbed version. With that said, the Russians wouldn't have to necessarily speak their language. Also, having more anime/manga in foreign settings to Japan could be quite beneficial. For starters, the viewers could gain insight on said country’s culture, and the people's speaking pattern, manner, and tone. There may even be inside jokes of the nation the anime/manga occurrs in if you think about it. Other details to keep in mind of the potential alterations anime/manga may have in a hypothetical sense is that along with the culture, the clothing would be somewhat divergent. Wouldn't it be kind of nice to not see teenagers in uniform? I certainly wouldn't mind, as just thinking about wearing such an attire again sounds depressing. On a side note, other minor situations happening of changing locations in anime/manga will allow us to see the kind of fast food restaurants of that said country and whatnot.

From personal experience, I always come across Star Bucks in Japan-based anime/manga series. However, that's beginning to become so common it's basically a cliché in animated things now-namely anime/manga. And so, if an anime/manga were to be established in America, we’d see McDonald’s, KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Walmart, and so forth. Not just plain Starbucks. Taking all of this into account, just imaging all of these hypothetical scenarios could and will do wonders for the anime/manga industry. Much cultural diversity, as well as many other little details. Although, there is another reason for wanting a change in this vicinity of anime/manga. And yes, I know what I'm about to say can be a controversial discussion and the answer varies depending on who you ask. But repetitivity is a major factor! If the creators keep subconsciously denying to produce more anime/manga outside of a Japanese setting, then I fear that it'll be going down the drain. Repetitivity is such a big issue in a large media. If video games all had similar plot and a setting, then no one is going to buy them anymore. That my friends is the exact controversy surrounding anime/manga is right now; huge lack in diversity! Sure, characters may be created differently. Yet the actual setting? No. So, I believe this massive industry is in turmoil if they can't make miniature changes like the setting of a few anime/manga. Plus, it would be rather entertaining in a cultural sense too. Because frankly, I am starting to feign interest in anime/manga as a whole ever since I've noticed this sad type of decline.

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Sports

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Now, let's shy away from the serious stuff and focus on a significantly light-hearted subject in contrast instead. I literally just looked up “soccer anime” and what's sorrowful is that only two results came up. So, let me get this straight. There's approximately 3000 anime out there, and out of that 3000, only 2 soccer anime exists. Well, there's a little more in actuality. But do you see the problem I'm trying to express? Sport anime as a whole is very scarce-moderate ones more accurately! Truthfully, I am not a sporty person like I was back in my childhood. But when it comes down to anime/manga, I can tolerate it and even like it to a grand extent. Therefore, it's greatly saddening that sport anime is so rare. Why do the common ones have to be school related? It's okay if it's school and sport, but just purely an educational environment? No thanks. Occasionally, and in some instances, what anime we watch or manga we read can reflect our emotional state at the time. Want a gut-wrenching series, that'll tug at the heartstrings? You've most likely been through a break up and need something to emphasise with for an emotional connection of some sort. Desire to cheer for materialised characters as you're in a good mood and need to let out your pent up energy? Sport anime is your ally here. Yet this is where the issue comes into play. The only sport anime/manga with a good reputation are Kuroko no Basuke, Haikyuu, Play Ball, Free, and Hajime no Ippo. Granted, that's a decent list of well-received sport series. But are there really any others existing that are really talked about from time to time? No, not really. What if your favourite genre was sport, and in the anime field too? How would you feel knowing critically acclaimed sport anime/manga is rare? Brutally, I, myself would not be pleased at all.

Before I continue, trigger warning upcoming in the next sentence. Perhaps this is the reason why many “losers” are into anime/manga exclusively. Are there rarely any muscle guys and extroverts never watching anime or reading manga due to the femininity revolving around it? Think about it. Sports is seen as a manly thing among men, and a lot of the time makes a girl tomboyish if they enjoy playing sports. So, is this the reason why there’s no type of those very social people into the fabrication? Barely any sport anime/manga for the guys, so they don't bother? Honestly, as far-fetched as it sounds, it is highly possible. Just bringing up this topic makes me want to do a petition as I am admittedly extremely curious. However this section would be pretty boring if I just conversed about masculinity regarding sport, and the sport anime/manga genre as a whole. Also, even though the sub-heading is ‘sports’ it isn't about the quantity of the sporting anime/manga. Did we forget the sub-heading is ‘sport’? Obviously it means sporting things altogether. So, what shall we discuss now? Of course, the small amount of certain sport anime/manga. As far as I'm concerned, all sports are decent. Not good enough that I'd like to play them in person. But to watch animated? Absolutely! Nevertheless, specific sports are more popular than others and rightfully so. Although, even if certain ones are liked better in comparison to others, that does not mean in any way that an unequal amount of each one in anime/manga is fair. For example, there's tons of basketball anime/manga. But hockey? You’d be delusional if you said yes. Furthermore, everything in the sporting area in anime/manga has to improve. For the sake of many fans’ enjoyment and genuinely good impressions on the industry.

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And we are done! I hope you all enjoyed it everyone, as I felt this was one of my best blogs in concept. Also, big thank you to my friend Eclipse for the marvellous TPL. Highly appreciate it, as they did it under such short notice as well. Lastly, tell me your thoughts about this blog in the comments below!