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Pet Sins September 2005 Issue
Dark-skinned characters of Anime and Manga

Since the 1990s, Japanese exports of anime, manga and video games have rapidly risen. Young people worldwide are increasingly familiar with Japanese pop culture. Russian children wear Dragon Ball T-shirts and many major American cities host annual anime conventions. The fanbase of Japanese pop culture has become more ethnically diverse, and with that, there is an increasing awareness of the fact that people of color are largely absent in Japanese comic books and cartoons, while European-looking characters are the norm.

We explored some aspects of Japanese pop culture in previous issues Race and Sexual Identity in Japanimation and Race and gender in Japanese video games. In our current issue, we continue our exploration of Japanese pop culture by examining the instances in which dark-skinned characters of color do appear.