Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Akira Remake Is Not Racist

According to Madeline Ashby over at Tor.com, a remake of the cult anime hit, Akira, which is usually credited with starting the anime craze in the U.S., is in the works.  This time, it's a Hollywood film, and it's set in Neo-New York instead of Neo-Tokyo, and it's probably going to suck.

But I think I'll watch it anyway simply because Ashby is giving it the Shyamalan treatment:  that is, she's calling it racist because it's set in the U.S. and will (presumably) have a largely white cast, much the way people called M. Night Shyamalan a racist because he cast a small handful white actors in a movie adaptation of an American cartoon that had been full of American idiom and humor and starred a mostly white cast.  The hatred and name-calling directed at Shyamalan still mystify me.

Frankly, I never liked Akira to begin with.  It's an overrated, unintelligible, and hyperviolent movie based on a comic book that consists largely of repetitive fight scenes between unlovable characters.  But to call the American adaptation racist because it is set in America and stars Americans is so obnoxious to me that I'll probably give its creators money anyway.

In the comments following Ashby's article, a reader named Tevii attempts to answer:

now Im not happy about the changes being made either. But to say hollywood doesnt care about any race except white is absolutely ridiculous. How many characters have they changeds from white to black? Thats equally as racist as this nonsense.

Actually, no, that's not racist either. But never mind that. The answer from another reader named Distortionrock shows how weirdly the minds of racebaiters sometimes work:

Secondly, the original Karate Kid, Ralph Macchio wasn't white to begin with - he's Italian American.

Ah ha. So Italians aren't white. I wonder, if they cast the new Akira with Italians, would that make it okay?

I wonder what you have to do these days to not get accused of racism.
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