Main Humans Are White Discussion

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10:33:54 AM Mar 28th 2015
edited by beneficii
Why is this trope being applied to Japanese works that just have a few black guys in it? Are characters like Cloud, Tifa, Squall, and Rinoa (FF 8's character page references this trope) supposed to be white? How?

Also, the FF 8 character page wrongly identifies Raijin as black, when in reality he looks more like a darker-skinned Asian. His counterpart Fujin looks very Asian to me.

11:14:26 AM Mar 28th 2015
Trope misuse, basically.
10:22:24 AM Mar 29th 2015
edited by beneficii
Thanks for your comment. The reason many Westerners see characters in say, manga, anime, and Japanese video games, as white, is because they grew up in a culture where white is seen as the default, and Asian is seen as the other. In other words, for many Westerners to see a character as Asian, they must see distinct (and exaggerated) Asian features on a character.

In Japan, where these works were made, Japanese is seen as the default, while white is seen as the other. Many Japanese consumers see the characters as primarily appearing Japanese, unless a certain combination of distinct Caucasian features appear on a character (and, no, the character's eye or hair color would not necessarily designate them as one or the other).

10:27:23 AM Mar 29th 2015
edited by beneficii
Also, this article hashes things out pretty well, at least in regard to anime:


10:30:51 AM Jan 28th 2014
"White people" such a broad, america-centric and contradictory idea!
09:45:22 PM Oct 18th 2013
"Plus, if the story is based around a particular real world culture's legends and mythology (Greek, Viking, Japanese, whatever), it's to be expected that most of the cast will belong to that ethnicity (indeed, exceptions run the risk of being Black Vikings)."

This argument doesn't wash with me. This was the logic used by Neo-Nazis who were upset by Marvel casting Idris Elba in Thor. So many other kinds of liberties are taken in Western mythos-based shows and film; to single out race in order to ensure "realism" just seems like a rationalization.
12:39:26 AM Oct 19th 2013
edited by
Let's not fall into Hitler Ate Sugar, now.

I don't think I would use 'realism' as the goal when a creator decides to make a japanese culture and story look japanese. Or a nordic culture and story look nordic.
02:40:52 PM Apr 26th 2013
Das Rayciss
10:42:18 AM Sep 6th 2012
edited by gatotsu911
Can we add a clause to this trope specifying that it does not apply to settings that are specifically intended to be an analogue for ancient or medieval Europe (e.g. The Lord of the Rings, Final Fantasy Tactics)? If a fantasy setting is modeled after a real-world time and place in which the population would be primarily or exclusively white (or otherwise monoracial, e.g. feudal Japan), it is not purporting to represent all of humanity and thus does not qualify for this trope.
06:23:23 AM Sep 7th 2012
While I agree that it's a good explanation, wouldn't that mean deleting every fantasy example?
11:27:59 PM Oct 24th 2012
I don't know if that would disqualify them from the trope, but it would explain the usage of it.

However, Lord of the Rings isn't an example anyway. Some of the humans supporting Sauron are darker skinned in both the films and the books. Tolkein's been accused of racism for this reason.
10:52:02 PM Dec 23rd 2012
Given that there were actually quite a lot of non-white people in medieval Europe, I'd say it still applies to fantasy settings which are supposed to be based somewhat on it.
10:04:14 PM Sep 3rd 2012
Humans are white is politically correct. Everyone is not white and adding one Black, Mexican, Arab, Asian, or a Native American on a show where more likely than not, will be stereotyped or caricatured should have two, three, four, or even more characters portrayed as people, just as how the media acknowledges that there are different types of white people; instead, the media has just one, usually black person(of both genders) in an all white cast that is still stereotyped(black women more often then men) as a angry black person, as if black people( and other minorities) are a monolith group that fix in a box. The media understands that there are different types of white people. Why does it not understand that there are different types of Black, Mexican, Asian, Arab, and Native American people? If whites were stereotyped and caricatured in one way, it would be called political correctness. Why is it not called political correctness when Blacks, Mexicans, Asians, Arabs, and Native Americans are stereotyped in one certain way? It is politically correct, but it will not be called that by anyone and it should. Political correctness is not a one street where only minorities and liberals engage in it. Conservatives and whites engage in it as well, but I guess, according to society, it is fine when they do it.
10:45:46 AM Sep 6th 2012
It's cool that you're stereotyping "society" and "the media" while complaining about stereotypes brah
12:04:18 AM Dec 29th 2011
Removed this:

Because the trope is "in a setting where there are multiple species of intelligent life mixing freely, all the humans are white, except for possibly one token black person." Conan is set in an iron age society where it would not be unexpected for all the people in an area to be of the same race, all the intelligent characters are human, and as the example states, two of the leads (of which there are six, another of whom is Asian) are black.
07:23:38 AM Nov 16th 2011
Removed the following:

Sergeant Johnson of Halo fame is the sole black guy in the series, and a Magical Negro to boot.

It is hard to put into words just how wrong it is to describe Staff Sergeant Avery Johnson as a Magical Negro.
11:09:27 AM Jun 15th 2011
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