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Racebending: Akira


I have no idea what Akira is about, just that it’s Japanese and involves motorcycles.  I don’t know what Akira is about and I probably never will as I don’t particularly care.  But. I do have a big, fat problem with the idea of casting white folks with Asian names in Manhattan. A name like “Tetsuo” coupled with a white face like Robert Pattinson?  Are they stupid?

Is it so hard to imagine that an Asian can pull off an Asian character in a movie with an Asian title?  We’re in North America. In terms of demographics, you name it, we got it.

To those of you who think Americans are white, Asians got here before Columbus ever did. Look at an East Asian face. Now look at an American (or “Amerindian,” if you will) face. Now look at a Western European face. Which faces are the most similar? Asians and Americans.

So.  All that said, what are some alternatives that could be considered?

  1. Open up auditions for Asians and Asian-Americans.  Talent can come from anywhere.  Believe it or not, there are Asians who can act as well as white people.
  2. Get legitimate Asian actors. Or at least part Asians who could reasonably have Asian names. The Koreans have Henney and Richard so I’m sure there are half-Japanese actors as well.
  3. Change the character names. If you’re going to use white faces, may as well use white names, right? In She’s The Man, they modernized everything and tweaked the plot, yet we all know it was based on an archaic Shakespeare play.
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