My Daughter is a Half-Japanese Anime Girl
One of the themes I write about sometimes is the way Japan has achieved an amazing thing, a peaceful society with a strong focus on education and hard work, in which 80-90% of people somehow consider themselves to be part of the middle class, when asked. This is accomplished in part through a social mechanism in which people “pretend” that every Japanese is of 100% pure Yamato Japanese ancestry, despite the historical and biological reality that the gene pool contains plenty of Chinese, Korean, Mongolian, Russian, European and other blood. As you can imagine, there’s a lot of pressure to follow society’s rules and do what others around you are doing, which can feel oppressive to the average Japanese. One exception is haafu, or half Japanese, who are often granted permission to break the rules.
When I watched the Citrus yuri anime, I immediately liked the character Yuzu Aihara, a gyaru who makes a point of violating just about every social rule she can, wearing garish blonde hair to her strict high school and sporting a different school uniform from the other students. Yuzu reminded me of my half-American daughter, born in Japan but raised by me to speak English and appreciate the finer points of American culture, from Dr. Seuss to Scooby Doo to Pop Tarts. Like Yuzu, my daughter is “my pace,” meaning that she always does things her own way, like the main character of pretty much any anime. While taking a very strict driving test in Japan, she asked if she could wear her sunglasses and play music on the radio, which caused the instructor’s jaw to drop. She also had pierced ears from a young age, which made her the envy of all Japanese women, who aren’t allowed to get their ears pierced until the age of 20.
Although it wasn’t overtly stated that Yuzu from Citrus was half Japanese, I felt she must be based on the way she was not on the same wavelength with the other characters around her. And indeed, the manga describes Yuzu’s dead father as having “chestnut blond hair,” and Yuzu dyes her hair so she can look more like her father, so it seems that she is haafu after all. Which explains a lot about Yuzu’s uniqueness.
Who are your favorite half-Japanese anime characters?
J-List customers love the anime magazines that J-List stocks, like Megami Magazin, which comes with amazing posters for your wall, free! The best anime magazines all came in, from Megami to Hobby Japan to Yuri Hime. Browse them all now!