Database for Animation Studies


What Race Do They Represent and Does Mine Have Anything to Do with It? Perceived Racial Categories of Anime Characters

Is the intended race of anime characters distinguishable because of their facial features or are they too international' to tell? This study addressed this question empirically by comparing the intended racial categories of static frontal portraits of 341 anime characters randomly selected from anime produced between 1958 and 2005 with the perceptions of 1,046 raters. Results showed that, although the race of more than half of the anime characters was originally designed to be Asian and only a small fraction were intended to be Caucasian, many were perceived as Caucasian by the largely Caucasian raters. Response patterns also indicatedOwn Race Projection (ORP)', i.e. perceivers frequently perceived anime characters to be of their own racial group. Implications for anime's international dissemination are discussed.

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Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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