The Lunar New Year: (10) A more holistic weltanschauung

While some of us may be perverts, let me try (hopefully, in the next posts) to prove that we can also do a lot of things well in our lives.

I’m often glad whenever a novel or an anime series mentions the Philippines in either anime or literature (which are my favorite media). When the first episode of Black Lagoon mentioned Philippines (I think it was an island in Basilan, or something), I smiled. It doesn’t happen much.

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Doesn’t he look African-American in origin?

The same thing happened in Tripmaster Monkey. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I couldn’t help but return to the novel (and I think I will in the next few posts), because I have tried to read it closely with the purpose of writing the supererogatory paper well. I despised the novel for the most part due to its derivative writing and unoriginal story (the bildungsroman was perfected by J.D. Salinger [don’t you just love Holden?], and the stream-of-consciousness technique by Faulkner, thank you very much). I was still delighted whenever the Philippines or the Filipino was alluded to. (As much as I am ashamed by a lot of my countrymen, there are some exempla I admire: my teacher in literature is Professor Danton Remoto, and I am proud of being a Filipino just as he is.)

I’ve noted two instances of these in the novel: first was the use of a Filipino bowdlerization of the Chinese words for armpits, kee lee kee lee, or in local dialect, kili-kili. Second was the use of ‘manong’ as a respectful term when Kingston alluded to Carlos Bulosan (writer of America is in the Heart). While Tripmaster Monkey must be avoided at all costs, I appreciate Kingston’s attempt to prevent the novel from being Westerncentric.

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I sure would like to glomp her

I also appreciate some attempts of some anime to represent most (if not all) of the world’s races, not only the Caucasoid race. It can be seen in Bleach (yes, let the trolling begin) that Soi Fong is most obviously East Asian; Yoruichi seems to be Indian in origin; and Kaname Tousen is African-American. These attempts at representation may not have affected the plot greatly: after all, even if they were all Caucasian, Bleach would most probably still be Bleach, but the fact that an attempt has been made to dissuade ethnocentrism in even an anime series like this is a good start for a more holistic weltanschauung.

It’s just good to know that there are people who try to recognize the equality of the world’s races, for we are all human, even if we differ in race, color, or belief.

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13 Responses to “The Lunar New Year: (10) A more holistic weltanschauung”

  1. korosora Says:

    Aww. How nice. Let’s all hold hands and sing “Kumbaya.”
    I just remember Tenjo Tenge blatently saying to the black guy, “Your people have the largest muscles. Make that your strength.” or something like that. And its biologically true. lol.

    “Doesn’t he look African-American in origin?” Hahaha, that made me laugh.

  2. hayase Says:

    I actually talked about places in the Philippines being mentioned in Black Lagoon. I said then “If my ears were not fooling me, I heard Manila, Cebu, Zamboanga, Basilan, Negros being mentioned.”

    I think the subbers then couldn’t get it, though I’m not surprised nobody would be knowledgeable about those places. I laughed hard when one subber translated Zamboanga as “Three Precious Turns”. I never downloaded anything from that subber ever again. :p

    Link to my post: http://cuteproxy.wordpress.com/2006/07/16/in-review-black-lagoon/

  3. Michael Says:

    Haha, san boan ga? hahahaha WOW

    That is so funny.

  4. eipu Says:

    I was surprised and amused as well when Philippines was mentioned in a black lagoon arc. And like you, i couldn’t help smiling every time they mentioned a few of our provinces and cities. I even noted that the setting they used for the Philippines was pretty accurate. ^^ All the coconut trees and traditional houses in the background made me grin like an idiot.

  5. lolikitsune Says:

    >>slavery

    I love you Michael, keep making your absurd comparisons!!

  6. Michael Says:

    I see that you saw what I did there. 😀

  7. IKnight Says:

    The best thing about Soi Fon is her game-breaking power-thingummy (I forget what it’s called). Just the sort of thing you never give to your main character.

  8. Lelangir Says:

    I’m definitely not going at all mention Japanocentrism or Afro Samurai at all…

    And yes, in regards to the first comment, there is most obviously a biological, non-discursive, and wholly objective facet to the totally correct notion of “your people”.

  9. Baka-Raptor Says:

    I always saw Yoruichi as black (Indian Girls and Hot are mutually exclusive in my mind)

  10. Ryan A Says:

    This is nice. I enjoy the way series make an attempt at cultural blends, though I usually don’t notice it 🙂 Thinking about Lagoon and Bleach, it does bode well…. and thinking about Yoruichi mmmm, yummy kittaay;Soi Fon is a deeelish too.

  11. Michael Says:

    @IKnight

    Yes. 5.2 episodes, amirite?

    @Lelangir

    Yeah, there is a facet like that. Correct.

    @Baka-Raptor

    LOL

    @Ryan

    Yoruichi and Soi Fong need to have a relationship between themselves. Now. haha

  12. TheBigN Says:

    “I’m definitely not going at all mention Japanocentrism or Afro Samurai at all…”

    I was wondering if you were going to mention that, or if Mike was going to mention it in his post. 😛

    It is nice to see attempts at “racial variety”, conscious or not, in many things, with anime just being one of those things. :3

  13. jp_zer0 Says:

    Ha! I love how you irreverently use a word like Weltanschauung without warning.

    But I’m still waiting for a reference to Canada. Sucks to be me.

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