respectorcist: (pepto)
[personal profile] respectorcist
I am working on a putting together a tumblr for dealing with examples of positive representative portrayals in fiction. No I am not putting this behind a cut or warning people not to read because it might not be relevant because I don't think it is unrelevant and see the selected character quote below.

Let's talk about Naruto and Killer Bee.


hail hail the gang's all here

Bee is a fictional character from the shounen manga series Naruto, a man, a ninja, in his early thirties, from the Lightning Country, one of the major five countries in Naruto's universe. The people of the Lightning Country, although they can have hair ranging from pale blond and red to black, are very predominately (but not completely), dark-skinned individuals, many with what are accepted to be Afro facial features. They all have their own individual personalities and power-sets, their own thoughts and beliefs. Bee himself is the adopted brother of the leader of that country's ninja village, and is extremely well-respected by the people there. Not because of his position. Because he's an amazing person. Because he is one of the most kind, perceptive and witty characters in the series.



Bee is introduced first as a mentor figure for Naruto, there both to train him physically to use his abilities and to train him to acknowledge his own flaws and work toward conquering them. Bee's whole goal is to make Naruto realize that he's a good person, with his own individual strengths and weaknesses to work around. He does this not by focusing on self-esteem, but on self-improvement.

Of course, this isn't to say that the character is a completely typecast Uncle Tom. Bee's got weaknesses of his own, like too much self-confidence, and the need to put his creativity before the feelings of others at times. We know these weaknesses because Bee is not just a side character. Bee is a secondary protagonist of the series. We get to see his backstory in detail, and he remains in-camera for hundreds of issues, contributing majorly to the plot of the series.

Kishimoto really cares about the character, and about fleshing him out and giving him equal status to the more conventionally asian-styled members of the main cast. Which doesn't come as a surprise. Kishimoto himself has stated that Bee is one of his two favorites, above even Naruto, the protag, himself.

I close this reflection with a bit of Bee himself, from chapter 544, as said to his adopted brother:

""Brother, I'm a big idiot as you said, and Naruto is as well, right dude? But the ones who accomplish things are the big idiots that don't care about how thick and strong the wall is."

Now let's bring it back down and talk about Darui for a couple seconds for entirely less cerebral reasons because I am also working on a bit about him but for now damn boy.



Thank you that is all.

Date: 2014-03-30 04:09 pm (UTC)
brontesaurus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] brontesaurus
One of the deals I made with myself about Darrow was (unless Corbie won out, which she didn't), I could only join if my first character was a character of color.

If this is something you're into, may I suggest the works of N. K. Jemisin and Nnedi Okorafor? Women of color writing non-Euro-centric fantasy.

Date: 2014-03-31 12:54 am (UTC)
brontesaurus: (Urahara)
From: [personal profile] brontesaurus
Okorafor's work is particularly awesome because she's a Nigerian-American woman writing fantasy based in Nigerian (specifically Igbo, but also usually with elements of Yoruba and Hausa) culture.

All of their work should be in eBook form, though I guess that depends on what service you're using. I know Kindle has all of them.

Oh! And another one--Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed. Fantasy set in the Middle East and the protagonist is a heavy-set guy in his sixties.

(I am trying not to see palette-swapped Chad in this gif.)

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respectorcist: (Default)
if anyone asks this is educational

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