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Pet Sins September 2005

Interracial couples in anime/manga

The blond girl fixation

Shion and Mokuren from Please Save My Earth Many fantasy anime feature the pairing of East Asian boy/blond girl - Dragonquest, Dragonball Z, Battle Arena Toshinden, Here and There, Then and Now, A Wind Named Amnesia, Metropolis, just to name a few. Even in stories where characters are not specifically designed as "East Asian" or "European" either by cultural characteristics or names - the "black haired, yellow/brown-skinned boy with pale haired, pale-skinned girl" pairing is a recurring theme.

The assumed superiority of the blonde seems to be a staple of the anime world. In Record of Lodoss War, a very white, blond and pale-eyed girl falls in love with the brown-skinned, black haired, dark-eyed hero. A red-head also becomes attracted to the hero, but he is oblivious to her. Unsurprisingly, the blonde gets the guy in the end. Please Save My Earth is the story of 7 scientists on the moon - 2 brown haired women, a blond woman, and 4 men. The blonde is the fiancee of the brown-skinned, black-haired hero, but this doesn't stop all the other men (except one) from falling in love with her. One of these men, despite being involved with one of the brown-haired ladies, is totally obsessed with the blonde. His steadfast brown-haired lover is doomed to play second fiddle to the blonde whom all the men worship.

Interracial couples of color

3x3 Eyes

In this manga-turned-anime, Japanese schoolboy Yakumo meets Pai, a Tibetan immortal who journeyed through China to Japan bearing a letter from Yakumo's father. Pai, who has the appearance of a teenage girl, is really two beings in one body. She oscillates between cheery airhead and cold, manipulative demon-slayer. When Yakumo is killed by Pai's over-protective spirit friend, Pai fuses her soul with his in order to bring him back life. The two are thus joined in life as well as in spirit - if Pai dies, Yakumo will have to follow. Yakumo had no say in this union, and finds the arrangement most dissatisfactory. But eventually, he falls in love with the girl he first thought of as "the country bumpkin." They journey to Hong Kong, where Chinese schoolgirl Mei Shin develops an unrequited crush onYakumo.

[The theme of finding love in an obligatory union is not uncommon in manga/anime. Ranma 1/2 is the story of how Ranma and Akane, parties to an arranged marriage contracted without their consent, eventually become attracted to each other. ]

Street Fighter

The Street Fighter manga portrays an attraction between the teenage Ryu and Chun Li (or rather, Chun Li has a one-sided crush on Ryu) This attraction is implied in the OVA.

Ura Katana Kami no Ki (The Latter Sword God Chronicles)

Ura Katana Kami no Ki is a 2-book series consisting of a number of short stories. One of the stories, Katana Kami no Ki (The Sword God Chronicles), has a protagonist of South Asian descent. A dark-skinned South Asian child washes up on the shores of Japan. He is found by Tsukitoshi, a swordsmith's disciple. Tsukitoshi's master takes in the foundling, and renames him Amaraku, the closest Japanese approximation to his original name Amaraka. Tsukitoshi and Amaraka grow up together and eventually become lovers.

Real-life Japanese attitudes towards interracial dating with other Asians is much less positive though. There are many tales of Japanese men breaking up with Chinese or Korean girlfriends due to parental pressure. The Japanese view of Chinese and Koreans as inferior go back many centuries. In old times, the term for a Chinese/Korean person was also used as the term for 'idiot'.