so racism doesn’t only apply on Hollywood movies.

So when I read news that one of my favorite manga and anime, Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope or Apollon on the Slope) is going to be adapted into live-action movie in 2018, I nearly screamed in utterly joy.

But when I saw the cast list, I was so disappointed.

My favorite character in the series, Sentarou Kawabuchi, the big hafu boy with Rosario on his neck and undeniably awesome when playing drum, is played by a Nakagawa Taishi, who is not a hafu….

Well, things will be getting serious from this point.

For you who doesn’t know what hafu means and how important the hafu issue here on Sakamichi no Apollon‘s storyline, I will tell you.

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Sakamichi no Apollon is a story set in the 1960’s Japan, when hates over America and Christian is still overrated. Kaoru Nishimi, a transfer student from Yokosuka, meets with Ritsuko Mukae, a girl who later he crushes on, and Sentarou Kawabuchi, the one who will be his beloved best friend. Both Kaoru and Sentarou become friends after they engage in jazz, when Kaoru plays piano and Sentarou plays drums. To summarize, the story involves the power of jazzbros and sparks of teenage (but not ordinary teenage love stories, I assure you) love.

What is interesting with Sakamichi no Apollon is not only the author, Yuki Kodama, brought up about white and black jazz, she also included other issues, such as Christianity and hafu people during 60’s era. Sentarou is a hafu–a Japanese mixed race. In the story, Sentarou’s mother is Japanese, and his father is an unknown American sailor army. When the mother couldn’t bear the stigma of having affair with American, she left the newly-born Sentarou at Chruch’s door.

Sentarou’s life had been hard. He bullied at school, his friend said that he’s the descendant of devil (during and after WW II, America is considered as demon or devil by Japanese), his stepfather ignored him, and his step-grandmother despised him. But in the end, the harsh environment has made Sentarou a tough kid. He doesn’t hesitate to take up a fight to defend himself, he stands up strong even when people misjudge him as a delinquent, and finds joy when having session with Ritsuko’s father and Brother Jun, the charismatic senpai of Sentarou who lives next door.

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Sentarou’s principal which I like! cr. vesperaux@tumblr

Sakamichi no Apollon is a story of the beauty of Christianity and fighting over racism, and when the idea itself is wrongly delivered by the film staff, it becomes a nuisance. It seems not only me who’s kind of disturbed by the idea, because many Japanese netizen went on a rampage because Sentarou is not played by a hafu. The staff didn’t answer the critic, but only said, “We will make the cast as hafu as possible.” Duh…..

This is the fact that Japanese people are still glorifying over pure-blooded Japanese, and hafu is still the second class in Japanese society. Since they have announced the cast, I think it would be impossible to change the lineup cast. Now I just hope they won’t mess up with the bunkasai scene.

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cr. snowxhope@tumblr

or this scene:

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cr. naotarou@tumblr.com

or this:

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cr. mangastream@tumblr

or this:

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cr. symphonyofthieves@tumblr

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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3 thoughts on “so racism doesn’t only apply on Hollywood movies.

  1. Most adaptations can only disappoint, so I can only hope they stay faithful to the spirit of the anime. The beautiful setting, the jazz and the underlying tension of the 60s are wonderful pieces for live action.
    If you think this is bad, Thermae Romae, a manga about a Roman learning about japanese plumbing, had no romans on the film. It’s just all Japanese dudes on togas, and it’s pretty funny.

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    1. yes, I always love historical genre anime 🙂 Many of live actions are disappointing, but I like 20th Century Boys trilogy.
      maybe it’s a mistake if I and many poeple think that certain race should play exactly from the original manga (black marvel heroes should be played by black etc), but I see this phenomena in racism point of view. Things are not always good between “Japanese” people and hafu. For example, 2015 Miss Universe Japan is hafu, and many of Japanese people protested, saying she didn’t represent the Japanese just because she is a hafu. That’s what I call with racism. So, from my point of view, it’s a problem if a hafu, who is a second class people in Japan, is played by “Japanese”. I think in Thermae Romae, Lucius, who is a Roman, played by a Japanese is not a problem, considering there is no “racist” thing between Japanese and Roman.
      Well, it’s just my opinion. CMIIW 😉

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      1. I guess I understand if the casting is really just a racist move, but I don’t think it is. The adaptation will be released in Japan, and they wanted to target a certain demographic so you’d get an established actor. After all, this is still business. They spend money to gain money.
        Although, if the hafu hate is real, then there’d be negative press for the studio hiring a hafu instead of a true japanese, and wouldn’t that turn people off the product. In a business sense, getting someone established and recognizable is good way to build a show especially if the target audience isn’t that hung up on seeing a “secondary citizen” on their TV.
        But that’s just my opinion. If I’m going to spend money buying the rights to make a live adaptation and spend money to make a 60s set, then I’d make sure I see profit. If racism is involved, then I’d make sure my racist audience is pleased.
        It’s kinda like the one in Dr. Strange. They scrubbed out the Tibetan guy because their paying audience, the Chinese people, hates Tibet.

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