Today I'm writing about Carole & Tuesday, one of the most interesting anime that I've seen in a while. It's Japanese creators try (and fail) to add their two cents to the serious conversations around race, xenophobia, immigration, and class. The worst thing about this failure is that they had a good chance to leave a positive impact on Black viewers that they reached with just the sheer number of Black (or rather, brown-skinned) characters they decided to draw into the anime. I, for one, would have been happier with lots of plain representation alone.
They just had to go and ruin it by trying to be "deep"--dabbling ineffectively in stereotypes, microaggressions, police brutality, symbolic cultural appropriation, the fetishization of Black pain, and gratuitous violence towards Black (and Brown) people.
WHY DO YOU ALL DRAW US IN HISTORICALLY OFFENSIVE & STEREOTYPICAL WAYS?
What am I saying here?
I'm saying that if these Asian creators have the audacity to conjure us up in their anime that they should at least do it CORRECTLY---hell, I'll settle for accurately!
Follow the history of portraying Black and African people in Little Black Sambo styles!
Apologists: If you wish to cite their ignorance (lack of exposure to and familiarity with Black people and their features) as the reason why they couldn't draw us accurately or respectfully, then I have the following questions for you: Did you know Google was free? They could have at least done a little research before they just started scribbling racist renditions of Black people!
And don't you people dare insinuate that they don't have the skill or the means to draw us well: I find it hard to believe that two-toned, thicker lips or monotoned (skin-matching) lips are too much for the mangaka etc. to handle! If they can draw slick-ass, smooth-ass shit for Psycho Pass, and if the Koreans can come up with the art for Noblesse, then they can draw us too. FOH. Honestly, what is this???
WHY DID YOU DRAW CHARACTERS IN OUR LIKENESSES AND MAKE THEM PEOPLE WHO INSPIRE FEAR?
In one of the earlier episodes, y'all have Carole & Tuesday trespass in Skip's pre-performance trailer area. When they notice they were trespassing, you introduce him (Skip) to us (the viewers) as a big, menacing fellow. Fear is written all over Tuesday's face (who, as usual, hides behind Carole). Y'all even have Carole looking "spooked" for no good reason. You make Skip's steps heavy as he approaches the girls from the shadows--
Did you all really have to entertain the big, scary, Black male (visibly, the "buck") stereotype? Did you have to go as far as you did with the Sambo microaggression (the lips)? You choose to draw a Black man in this burly ape-like way, and then you put him in a yellow (of all colors) jumpsuit? So...are you telling me that we aren't supposed to remember our racist conditioning (especially in the West) and fail to connect the concept of apes to bananas? Are you people really insulting our intelligence like that?
Look at his hair! Are those "dread" locks (locs) or braids? If they are braids, then why didn't y'all draw them all the way through? If a braid is on a white-skinned character (and I say white-skinned to be all-encompassing of whatever non-Black identity these characters hold since the Japanese like to draw themselves with Euro-centric features in anime--) y'all go out of your way to show us each twisted strand of the braid. But on a Black character? Braids (or locs) are reduced to crude shapes. Just look at what they've got going on Carole's (the Black girl) head!
Let's say that we like the locs. If we like them, the next question is: how come so many of the central Black characters (Carole, Ezekiel, Skip) have them?
Too lazy to draw anything else, huh?
By the way, what were y'all tryna say with Crystal (below)?
Would it have killed y'all to give Crystal Black hair? In this whole anime, ain't nobody have solid black hair except for 'Edna Mode' (aka Tao)! But every other living thing's hair was blonde.
(I know this is a tiny thing, but details matter guys. This is a weird trend that I've noticed in anime--they hardly ever let Black characters have normal Black features! They always gotta stupefy something!)
I mean, look at this character, who they called GGK:
Come on now.
This girl looks just like this alien emoji to the left.
Tell me I'm lying.
You know what? I'm not even gonna say anything else about her.
Anyway, y'all do all this this work to make Skip a burly, scary thing and then you make him sing in falsetto?
You can't tell me that y'all weren't using that to juxtapose how he looked on the outside to what was on inside. Ferocious vs. soft--masculine vs. feminine, etc. What the hell is wrong with y'all? How can you all choose to normalize visibility of Black people in your anime (a rare thing in an of itself) but then actively choose not to normalize building Black characters outside of the dusty stereotypes made up by White supremacists???
Why do you PERSIST in drawing Black people in these offensive ways? Why do you people INSIST on entertaining stereotypes to build Black (or Brown-skinned) storylines?
Why did you all arrange the anime to cue that the white-skinned characters like Tuesday and her mom should receive our sympathy when they really didn't need it (and arguably don't deserve it)? Tuesday (the White girl) was from an elite family on Mars. She was the child of a rich politician. She had ALL the means necessary to make her dreams come true. It's nobody's fault but her's (not even her stern mother's) that she never made her dreams come true before she ran away and met Carole (the Black girl). She's young, white, pretty, rich, and WELL-CONNECTED...what else did she have to do but insist, nay, ask--for what she wanted? Instead? She sat there twiddling her thumbs, LOLZZZ!!!!!
Why all the psychological and emotional attempts at manipulation?
In the first episode, she runs away from home (being inconsiderate and narcissistic, as colonizers tend to be) creating a potential scandal for her mother (who in the in the distasteful, feminist fashion of Hillary Clinton is an who is running for public office).
And so she arrives--
The blonde MC:
A girl named Tuesday, an iNnOcEnT (filthy rich) girl in a big city with nothing but her (high-tech) suitcase and a dReAm of sharing her "gift" with the wOrLd (wtf does that