A Mangaka Highlights a Popular Yet Problematic Western Bias

Ancient Magus Bride art by Kore Yamazaki

I couldn’t help but smile today after reading an interview with the mangaka I saw at Crunchyroll Expo. My friend, the Otaku Journalist, spoke to The Ancient Magus Bride’s Kore Yamazaki about her rise to the top in a short period of time. It may be considered to be a basic interview, but there was one question I loved from Lauren that brings out a feeling that I’ve been trying to fight against since the start of the year.

The buildup starts when Lauren asks Yamazaki about her fans in the United States.

“Orsini: Here at Crunchyroll Expo, were you surprised to discover that Americans love your work?

Yamazaki: Since I started my manga, I was drawing for a solely Japanese audience. I couldn’t have imagined that my work would be accepted overseas. It makes me very happy.

Orsini: What has it been like to meet your American fans?

Yamazaki: It’s been kind of like a dream to meet overseas fans. Regardless of whether they’re American or Japanese, it’s always a very good feeling to meet your fans.”

Now here comes THE question and also THE answer.

“Orsini: Do American fans act any differently?

Yamazaki: Japanese fans tend to transmit both the good and the bad, both positive and negative feedback, when they’re talking about their favorite author. On the other hand, overseas fans tend to harp on the good points and not talk about what they don’t like. I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, or which is the better way to go about it, but in both cases it’s great to hear input from fans.”

I don’t think I recall an answer from a Japanese creator regarding overseas fans that really highlights the cultural differences in how people express emotions. Many social psychologists have highlighted how …continue reading