The thing with entertainment and TV is – there’s always certain biases, and stereotypes that come along with the characters.
No entertainment medium can escape this fact. And anime is probably the most prone to it because it’s not just animated, but fictional as well.
It’s kinda like when you see an
But because of the animated nature and style of
In the case of
1. The ideal image of “beauty”
One thing that’s true in Japanese media, that’s also true in media around the world, is beauty standards and the ideals that come with that.
In the west, curvaceous women are the “standard” to an extent. But more so than that are models who are thin and fit a certain stereotype. Anything outside of these ideals is considered “unattractive”.
That image is portrayed a lot in western media, and even international media.
And in Japan, this is taken to an even greater extreme. Because the beauty standards in Japan come down to being thin and skinny.
Anything beyond that is considered fat, chubby, ugly and the kind of thing MOST don’t see as being beautiful.
Have you ever noticed when you’re watching
During the time when they’re fat or chubby, they’re nothing special in the plot or main story. And other characters don’t give a F about them (not really).
The same is true when you flip the gender roles, too. Notice how the “fat” or “chubby” guy is made fun of, and is essentially treated like a loser?
This ain’t the case with ALL chubby, fat
But in your average school, romance, supernatural, or a similar genre – male
They’re literally used to for the sake of “comedy” until they (if at all) lose weight and become “popular” with the girls.
That leads me to my NEXT point about skinny
2. Japanese culture and beauty standards
It’s a well-known fact that Japanese people are some of the healthiest on the planet. A lot of this stems from the Okinawan culture (which is ancient), and their unique ways of living.
This has crossed over into Japan itself. And you won’t find many Japanese people who aren’t conscious about their weight compared to MOST countries.
Japan has one of the lowest rates of obesity in the WORLD. And you’ll struggle to find a lot of Japanese people who are fat or obese.
In fact – the only time you’ll see a fat or obese person in Japan, is when it’s required for their profession. Sumo wrestling being an important profession that relies on WEIGHT, and having some “fat” to take part in it.
It’s a somewhat popular sport in Japan, so that’s the only time you’ll see Japanese people who you can consider “overweight” or anywhere close to it.
And it’s the only time it’s acceptable in Japanese culture.
Outside of circumstances like that, finding a fat, chubby or obese Japanese person is like finding a unicorn running down the motor way: you won’t see it.
It’s looked down upon to some degree. Though it’s more about perception and the lifestyles that are promoted over there.
Being of a certain weight is better for your overall health in general, and you’re live longer. Among other benefits like energy, self-esteem, youth and even more.
You might say it’s extreme or even questionable depending on how you look at it, but that’s what makes Japan’s “body” standards different.
You see this through the eyes of 100’s of different
3. Giving fans what they want
Let’s keep it real here: nobody wants to see fat, obese characters on-screen. Whether it’s an
It’s not politically correct to admit or even say that out loud, but it’s the brutal truth no matter which country you’re from.
Especially with Japanese culture.
This ain’t about me, it’s about society and the toxic ideals pushed by media.
It’s only when it makes sense for the plot, or there are side characters who “stand out” from the other characters that they’re fat or overweight.
The general consensus is
Sometimes it’s done in a way that’s exaggerated.
Even in the
Majin Buu on the other hand is an exception to the rule, because he’s a “monster” so nobody really cares. There’s nothing to relate to, physically.
4. Social pressure and “diet” culture
The social pressure in Japan is more extreme compared to countries like the UK, Europe, Jamaica, Australia, or similar countries.
“Skinny” is the STANDARD in Japan. And no more than slim.
It’s an accepted standard, if not rule that most Japanese wouldn’t dare breaking. Because of the ridicule that comes with it (just like any other country).
You see the effects of this in so many different
The same thing happens in the
Hibiki Sakura’s friend claims Sakura’s “put on some pounds”, and she freaks out about it. Assuming that it must be true that she “needs” to lose weight and shed some pounds.
This is social pressure at work, not logic or reason.
People are pressured into being a certain way based on what other people will think about them. Physically, mentally and socially.
This notion in Japan is stronger than some countries, and so – that’s portrayed in
What are your thoughts on
Do you relate to it?