Ghost In The Shell Poor Box Office Blamed On Criticisms Of Whitewashing
Ghost in the Shell - Scarlett Johansson
(Last Updated On: April 10, 2017)

Paramount Pictures executive Kyle Davies told CBC News recently that part of the reason Ghost in the Shell’s live-action 2017 release in theaters bombed domestically was due to the reviews centered around the casting of Scarlett Johansson.

Davies stated…

“We had hopes for better results domestically. I think the conversation regarding casting impacted the reviews. You’ve got a movie that is very important to the fanboys since it’s based on a Japanese anime movie. So you’re always trying to thread that needle between honoring the source material and make a movie for a mass audience. That’s challenging, but clearly the reviews didn’t help.”

According to Deadline Ghost in the Shell has managed $41.3 million in overseas grossing this past weekend, bringing the total to $92.8 million since opening to a rather poor showing in the U.S., of $18.6 million. Showing at only 327 cinemas in Japan, the movie actually grossed an impressive $3.2 million.

The movie seemed to have its biggest issues with attracting audiences in America, which is kind of ironic given that Scarlett Johansson was cast in order to bring recognition to the Ghost in the Shell movie.

Some people are claiming that Johansson’s supposed star-power didn’t help push ticket sales domestically, others blamed the media’s constant fascination with identity politics and the topic of whitewashing as having affected the audience’s willingness to see the movie.

Some people claimed that an Asian should have been cast to reach the Asian demographic, others claimed that Scarlett Johansson was fine in the lead role, but instead the biggest issue was that the movie was too dumbed-down compared to the themes covered in the original anime.

According to Northwest Asian Weekly, they recently reported that the MPAA has classed Asian Americans as the movie industry’s most frequented demographic, and they claim that the low turnout may have been in part to the controversy over casting.

Science Fiction claims that given the stats from the MPAA, the film’s messaging becomes “problematic” for Asians, writing…

“[…] when your movie says that a being that’s the best of human and the best of robotics happens to be a white body with an Asian mind. This is wrong on so many levels and we definitely don’t have time for the conversation about how Western beauty standards has caused some epic problems for the way that people of color (in this case, specifically Asians) view themselves and are viewed by society, so just know that this isn’t the best message for Sanders’ film to be sending after it was already in some hot water. I mean, if you’re really interested, just start looking into the popularity of skin-whitening lotions in Asia and you’ll only start to scratch the surface.”

Others have claimed that the whitewashing controversy didn’t have any effect on whether they were going to see the movie or not, but instead they chose not to see it because they felt it would be a bastardization of what the original anime and subsequent television series were like.

Regardless of the reasons behind the movie bombing in North America, it is true that in 2016 there’s been a significant increase in Asian Americans attendance at movies, which was previously dominated by Hispanic Americans.

Ironically enough, the issue of “whitewashing” was recently turned on its head to “Asian-washing” when some fans of Fullmetal Alchemist claimed that Square messed up in casting a Japanese man in the lead role, which was originally supposed to go toward a blonde-haired, blue-eyed German.

Some people are okay with the casting, others are not.

Given how disruptive identity politics have become in entertainment media, it will be interesting to see how well Fullmetal Alchemist is received domestically in Japan and internationally overseas.

I think most normal people will simply be glad when the term “identity politics” no longer has any application whatsoever to media entertainment.


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About

Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Heri Jayengsaksena

    Alien: Covenant (2017)
    https://film0305.blogspot.co.id/ The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape.

  • Gozu Tennoh

    I saw this the other day. It’s an ultra simplified mish-mash of the 1995 film and anime that doesnt make sense if you’re a fan. Definately not the way you treat an adaptation of the greatest anime of all time!

    A thing that particularly wound me up was that the soundtrack was pretty generic throughout but then they had the intro music from the 1995 film during the end credits, of all places.

  • DNA(splicer)

    Hollywood sucks at interpreting books, video games and anime/cartoons in real life platform.

    The cause is due to STUPID PRODUCERS who want to add a piece of themselves into the movie or a piece of their imagination.

    By doing this they screw up the original material. I’ve read and played some anime, books and video games that were turned into movies and the real life movies never came close or were so alien they could have been an alternate universe of the original material.

    Hollywood is after money, thus they will try to please everyone. The thing about pleasing everyone is you end up with a lot of people if not the majority of people pissed or unhappy. The wisest men on earth told us and throughout time keep telling us to STOP TRYING TO FUCKING PLEASE EVERYONE, yet the ELITE/RICH/POWERFUL are too dumb or don’t care and won’t listen.

    The only thing Hollywood can work with is with marvel and DC universe because the plot of these two genres are set in a multiverse, so they can make the shitiest DC/marvel movie and you can just chalk it up to being a parallel universe in the multiverse or a parallel time due to someone going through time and fucking shit up.

    If you go to watch a real life interpretation of an anime/book/video game think of it as an alternate universe so the plot happened in a different way but similar in some but not the same due to stupid producers and you will learn to just live with it.

    Ever heard of cannon vs non cannon.

    Anime, games, book =cannon

    Real life movies= non cannon due to stupid producers.

  • LurkerJK

    wait wait wait wait…. Johansson has … star power ?, since when ?

    She was shit in everything i ever saw her, she just fits well in leather suits (and to be honest ive seen a lot of better leather suit wearers)

  • Disqusted

    You can tell the asshole doesn’t really understand why it didn’t do well, and is blaming whoever he can. From what I’ve heard, the film has a lot of issues.

  • The media campaign against this movie specifically is the more likely reason it didn’t do so well, not necessarily because a white girl was cast as an ASSUMED Japanese character.

    • The media campaign against this movie specifically is the more likely reason it didn’t do so well, not necessarily because a white girl was cast as an ASSUMED Japanese character.

      Movie studios should start doing what Japanese game developers do and avoid the media. The media these days have proven to be nothing but roadblocks and arsehats. Alternative media seems fine, but mainstream media is nothing but cancer and it will kill your project before it even has legs to stand on.

      • That’s why the SNES/Genesis/PS1/Saturn/DC/PS2 eras were so good.

        Games developers, especially Western developers, just got on with developing the game in peace and occasionally holding a test location if they had the budget. The games media back then (which were magazines) actually liked and supported video games.

        Then the Internet went mainstream, social media was invented, mainstream games media licked Anita Sarkeesian’s anal ringpiece and all the whining, moaning cry-bullies came along.

        Developers have not had a break since.

  • Mr Snow

    Maybe it’s because ScarJo sided with actors calling Trump and his supporters evil fascists?

  • Michael P

    Not really a fan of anime but I’ve been paying attention to this and it sounds like a mediocre adaption of a classic that’s turned off a good chunk of the fans, whilst also remaining pointless for the uninitiated.

    Yeah the SJW’s are happy, they only won by default though. It’s just a shitty live adaption no one asked for.

    On “Asian women suffer under white beauty standards” L O Fucking L!

    There’s a case to be made for black women on this but asian women are some of the most sought after women in the world and the skin whitening shit is self imposed, porcelain skin being a preferred standard in Japan/China, well before the white man came along.

    • Disqusted

      I get the impression the SJWs are upset because of whitewashing. So the movie seems to have turned off most people.

    • RichardGristle

      Makes me think of the SJW victim totem. Asians are at the very bottom and I’ve always said that SJWs don’t give a flying 747 fuck about you if you’re Asian until they can use you for statistics or some kind of propaganda. Like some kind of pinch hitter for the “cause”. Then afterwards they get tossed back into storage.

      This is one of those times where they pretend to care about Asians – who of course they seem to forget about when topics such as crime or the wage gap are brought up.

  • Gorgon

    >You’ve got a movie that is very important to the fanboys since it’s based on a Japanese anime movie. So you’re always trying to thread that needle between honoring the source material and make a movie for a mass audience.

    How about putting actually talented people to the task, rather than a director of Snow White and the Huntsman and a writer of Transformers movies? Maybe you’d get a good movie that doesn’t suck and that people will actually go and see.

    I also sincerely think they are way overestimating the popularity of Scarlet Johannson, she alone won’t drag bad movies to the top.

    • Majority of her IMDB profile consists of ensemble-style movies. Her solo flicks — apart from Lucy — don’t seem to be big hits. I have no idea why they thought she was a box office draw.

      • Ghost

        I was happy with her casting. I REALLY want to bang her.

      • Phasmatis75

        Echo chamber I suspect.

  • AlecJ

    Also, it didnt help that Johansson is out flapping her gums about politics and becoming more annoying by the day.

    Anyone notice the more angry feminist she becomes, the more homely looking she seems to get. Its like rage fueled, left wing politics sucks the beauty out of every living thing….even Scarlett Johansson.

    And the movie is a typical studio attempt to split the baby between main stream and core fans of the genre. I heard it just isnt satisfying for either.

    • Michael P

      No big loss, bitch has a bad case of the herpes anyway.

      • AlecJ

        Bah! That made me laugh out loud…..Thx.

  • AlecJ

    Also, it didnt help that Johansson is out flapping her gums about politics and becoming more annoying by the day.

    Anyone notice the more angry feminist she becomes, the more homely looking she seems to get. Its like rage fueled, left wing politics sucks the beauty out of every living thing….even Scarlett Johansson.

    And the movie is a typical studio attempt to split the baby between main stream and core fans of the genre. I heard it just isnt satisfying for either.

  • Why watch some shitty, Hollywood live action version remake when you can just watch the awesome as fuck anime version from 1995, and be taken aback by Tanaka Atsuko’s sexy sexy voice?

    • MONAD

      Hollywood ruins just about every property they get their hands on.

    • Vrenna

      Exactly, there is absolutely no reason to watch the live action, the animated movie from 1995 is alsoso high quality that it still looks amazing even today.

    • Disqusted

      I like to watch Stand Alone Complex, although I don’t like Motoko’s voice in that. Or even Motoko.

  • Bamf

    “This is wrong on so many levels and we definitely don’t have time for the conversation…”

    If you don’t have time for the conversation, then shut up.

    • Mr.Towel

      It’s so fucking funny seeing these supposed “Asia Experts” complaining about how skin whitening creams is a western oppression when most of the Asia has been rolling over piles of rice dust powder through the millennia.

      • They had to find some way of including “muh feminism” into it. Otherwise they risk the slight chance of people forgetting about the Patriarchy and how women are slaves in chains in the West with no rights.

  • duder

    defenitly not cause it’s a serious dumbed down more akin to a transformer movie for those who can read than an actual Ghost in the Shell brainfuck.

  • Alistair

    Hmm whitewashing my arse, maybe just maybe if their were truly done a faithful version of the anima that shows a proper naked android then it can make all the difference.

    Besides the mention of “wider audiences” is a dead giveaway is what happening in games if you try to please to all censorship comes from that.

    So whitewash excuse won’t wash with me.

  • MONAD

    Oh, yes. It couldn’t be because the movie was shit. Typical modern Hollywood. Blaming everything else but the shit movie itself.

    Dear Hollywood,
    PLEASE STOP ATTEMPTING TO LIVE ACTION ANIME. IT DOESN’T FUCKING WORK.

    • Oh, yes. It couldn’t be because the movie was shit.

      Seems to be the case. But it’s tough to tell what people honestly thought about it. The dialogue/discussion surrounding this movie is so polarized. I might check the forum boards to try to get more honest feedback.

      Identity politics has literally clouded a lot of discussion surrounding basic communication for stuff like movies… SMH.

      • MONAD

        Honestly, I’m just sick of Hollywood thinking they can take a popular medium like Anime and translate it well to live action. While some movie’s inspiration might’ve come directly from Anime influence, any attempts to bring Anime into live action never work. Look at how shit Aeon Flux and Dragonball Evolution were.

        Some things should stay in its original format it was presented in. I’m sick of Hollywood live actioning Disney animated shit as well. It isn’t just live action Anime I dislike before anyone jumps on my case.

        • lol… I don’t think anyone is going to jump on your case. Hollywood doesn’t even know how to make good movies in the West anymore.

          However, the only live-action movie based on an anime that I really adored was Speedracer… and that was because the last 10 minutes or so were breathtakingly awesome. I don’t care what the critics say, but I actually thoroughly enjoyed that film.

          • MONAD

            Yeah. Speed Racer was one of the few that I can remember actually enjoying, because it was campy and didn’t take itself too seriously. While there were serious moments in it, it was too few and far between, ’cause of the camp factor.

          • Bea

            I love Speed Racer, own the DVD. If anyone ever brings up the ‘whitewashing’ I always say that that movie reflects the localized version of what we know as Speed Racer and not Mach GoGoGo.

          • Did people really accuse Speed Racer of whitewashing? (I never checked because I didn’t want something else I enjoyed ruined with that nonsense).

          • Bea

            I feel like it’s best not to answer then.

            But gonna power through. It’s one of those things mentioned in passing as an example of it while going on about the overall subject. They never really went into it like they do now.

          • Disqusted

            Oh yeah, I watched that and it was pretty good.

          • Mr Snow

            I LOVED SPEED RACER!

            I thought that movie was great, and it’s all but forgotten now, lol!

          • Oh awesome… that makes two of us!

        • Disqusted

          I’m sick of people in general who license something and don’t really understand/respect the source material. That’s why fans tend to do a better job.

          • Mr Snow

            From the trailers, it looked like they really were trying to stay faithful to the visual aspect of the original GitS

          • Disqusted

            Yeah, but I wouldn’t watch it just for the visuals. I know I didn’t like the weird steampunk stuff. I mean, I like some steampunk stuff elsewhere, but not in GITS.

      • Elilla Shadowheart

        Seems to be shit if the local theater turn-out was anything to do by. Seems there’s multiple problems, poor marketing, poor actor choices, poor writing and dialog as well. Then again it seems to be par for the course. Hollywood doesn’t seem to be able to touch something that’s good and not screw it up.

        FYI the first article quoted is CBC not CBS.

        • FYI the first article quoted is CBC not CBS.

          Whoops. I guess I got the Canadian Broadcasting Coprophilias mixed up with the Columbia Broadcasting Sh*ts.

          *Fixed.

          • Elilla Shadowheart

            It’s hard to tell the difference sometimes(and I live in Canada). They both push BS, and both start with crap.

      • Disqusted

        I’ve been reading lots of feedback everywhere and it’s pretty mixed. People of all kinds saying it’s not good/terrible, some people saying it was okay, some saying it was better/smarter than Hollywood’s usual. Some saying it tries to explain too much and doesn’t really respect the audience.

        I don’t recall hearing anyone say it was really good, just a few random people who said “it was good” but never said why. I think everyone said it looks nice visually.

        I also heard it tries to cram everything from all versions of GITS into one, and fails at it. I think people who saw GITS are generally saying it doesn’t follow the source material that well.

        Also saw someone say it felt like the film was intentionally changed to revolve around Scarlett Johannssen.

      • Phasmatis75

        An industry that pushes identity politics has no right to complain when it starts hurting their bottom line.

    • Cats736

      PLEASE STOP ATTEMPTING TO LIVE ACTION ANIME. IT DOESN’T FUCKING WORK.

      And video games.

      • Mr Snow

        Those Rurouni Kenshin movies were really good tho.

      • I don’t know about video games. The first Silent Hill was entertaining for what it was, and they at least seemed to capture the mood/atmosphere of the games.

        And after all this time I now actually really like that awful Super Mario Bros., film. It’s so bad it’s good. It’s absolutely nothing like Super Mario but it’s an awesome cyberpunk film. I have no idea what the movie would have been had it not been based on Super Mario, but it’s become one of my favorite bad movies of all time.

        • Phasmatis75

          As a Silent Hill movie it was horrible and a complete waste of the source material for another muh female power grand standing. As a movie it was: Mediocre, not scratching that horror itch, okay for an adventure flick, horrible for a mystery flick.

    • Ac3r0la

      its similar to the problem that video game movies have…you are taking away what made the medium great in the first place. for video game movies its the sense of control you have as the player being taken away and for this and other anime movies you take away the potential because lets face it, you can’t do in a live action movie what you can do in an animated movie. in anime, the possibilities are limitless while in “real life” you are limited by human capabilities(or lack there of) and current technology. I’m praying to every god/goddess I can think of that the No Game No Life movie is good. thank the gods its animated.

  • SevTheBear

    The trailer was nothing that made me excited. Looks like you average action flick.

    By the way, am I the only person on the planet that thinks that Scarlett Johansson is a boring actor and is overrated?

    • MONAD

      No. You’re not. I used to like her a long time ago, but then she started spouting Feminist talking points and I just stopped giving a shit. When actresses start waving the banner for Feminism, that’s when I stop caring.

      • SevTheBear

        Oh right and she shilled for Hillary with the rest of the cast from the Avengers as well I remember

    • Disqusted

      I’ve never liked her. She looks to me like a Chicago rich widow type character, the kind that seduces detectives investigating their suspicious activities. Maybe that’s just me.

      • I’ll be blatantly honest: I absolutely do not see the appeal of Scarlett Johansson. she’s not even that sexy. There, I said it.

        She has a completely bland personality and she can’t really act well or act with range. Actresses like Tilda Swinton, Lena Headey and Cate Blanchett just run circles around her.

        She’s a serviceable Black Widow but she’s hardly anything noteworthy in anything else she’s been in. I was more-so disappointed she was cast in the role because she has almost no charisma at all.

        • LurkerJK

          this, i dont find her sexy either

          There are a hundred other nameless actresses that are far sexier than her and would fit in that leather suit better than Johansson and she is so forgettable in the avenger movies that you could replace her and nobody would notice

          • SevTheBear

            I hear ya. most of them are bland and boring “pretty” girls that Hollywood thinks we wanna see. I like good looking women, but if the have a personality like a rock it ain’t worth it

        • Phasmatis75

          Allow me to be blatantly honest, most female actresses can’t act, period. They have virtually no believable range because they’ve never experienced any suffering or humanizing moments other than the most cringiest of first world problems.

          They’re bland, uninteresting, and generally serve to only kill the mood of the movie with their flawless makeup after 2 explosions, an overturning of their vehicle, and a treck through mud. Most of them have the same vapid expression on the face half the movie like they’re stoned on drugs or entirely unsure what to do.

          What’s sad is there is good female talent out there, not you’ll see it too often.

          • Allow me to be blatantly honest, most female actresses can’t act, period. They have virtually no believable range because they’ve never experienced any suffering or humanizing moments other than the most cringiest of first world problems.

            I definitely think this applies to a lot of Hollywood darlings.

            I think French actresses definitely show a lot more range, especially if you look at some of Monica Bellucci’s work, or Sophie Marceau (though it would probably be best to avoid her comedies). German actresses like Maria Schrader are also quite extraordinary in certain roles.

            I notice that in Hollywood flicks, though, you’re absolutely right about this here…

            They’re bland, uninteresting, and generally serve to only kill the mood of the movie with their flawless makeup

            It’s annoying and distracting. I remember having a conversation with someone about how in older films… especially during the late 60s and throughout the 70s, they had a lot of actors/actresses with “character”: Sigourney Weaver, Gena Rowlands and a young Jamie Lee Curtis come to mind.

            We don’t have many character actors these days, and most female starlets seem like they’re one failed blockbuster away from a meltdown, like Lindsay Lohan. I can see Jennifer Lawrence heading that way soon.

          • SevTheBear

            It’s a bit like China. At the Olympics in Beijing, they had a girl choir with all the “pretty” girls in the front who sang like a broken arm and the “less pretty” ones in the back who’s singing voices was WAY better. But not “pretty” enough to show on the big screen.

          • Phasmatis75

            I cannot speak for that stuff since I am no movie buff, but the best example of range I’ve recently experienced was in Nier Automata. Tried listening to the English cast and it was dull and lacking emotion. Listened to the Japanese language and I couldn’t understand what was being said without subtitles but you can hear the rises and falls in their acting. They conveyed emotion where the english cast did not.

            I remember a thread on 8chan where people were talking about their experiences with Hollywood. It’s essentially who you know or who you blow. A massive echo chamber that filters out any real talent. Rather sad really.

          • SevTheBear

            Indeed. There is a few hidden gems in the desert. But as always the army of doll faces with half the talent comes front and center. Or if you think the way of the feminists the brainless and dumb ones which comes in all looks and shapes.

          • Phasmatis75

            Owe they have talent if you know what I mean. Just not acting talent. They just have such a vapid expression on their face, which is bad since the camera always wants to focus on it so you can see the nervous or vapid look in their eyes.

          • SevTheBear

            Star Wars 7 comes to mind 😛 Holy hell is Rey bad

          • Phasmatis75

            Her toy sales were so bad they stopped selling her separately. What’s really sad about that movie is their most popular character was a no named Storm Trooper who yells traitor! When your most popular character doesn’t even have a name and only 5 minutes of screentime you’re writing sucks.

          • Too true.

            He was the Boba Fett of Episode VII.

          • SevTheBear

            Hehe yeah. Even Finn and Kylo Ren i more well known than Rey and Kylo sucks donkey balls as well. We all know why they went with a female lead. But it would have been nice if they had one who could act xD or maybe it’s as you said the shitty writing

          • Phasmatis75

            Most actresses can’t act period. This is why going with a female lead or heavy female roles is absolutely a bad idea. Sad good talent gets kicked out of the industry. Well and Abrams was directing. I call him the franchise killer, because that’s what he does. Ruins franchises for the older audiences then they just putter out.

          • SevTheBear

            Yet for some reason Hollywood love this guys :/

          • Phasmatis75

            Probably because he is a virtue signally piece of shit, but Disney learned the hard way when he essentially killed their money money maker with his politics. Yeah 7 made bank, then Rouge One made about a A billion (still bank) but the drop of a few billion is a sign the franchise will die fast. Then again I don’t think Disney cares if they make their money in the short term if they don’t have marketable franchises in the long term.

          • SevTheBear

            They milk it dry. They have so many movies they wanna with the name that the series will have lost it’s legacy before we know it.

          • Phasmatis75

            It’s like I was saying to my Star Wars loving friend (who hates the new stuff), the extended Universe was more or less complete. We don’t need to wonder what could have happened or if it would have been good without Disney. We have it done, it’s good (I’ve only read a bit here and there on it). We can just pretend Disney is just shitty high budgeted fan fiction.

          • SevTheBear

            Well if you can make a movies series about fast cars and explosions and sell the same game for over 10 years I guess anything can happen. But it will be interesting to see how far they pull this until they loss money on it

          • Phasmatis75

            They probably won’t lose money on the series for another couple years. It’ll take that long fore people to get sick of their SJW virtue signally anti white bs. Sadly people often choose instant gratification over long term happiness. This is why we can’t have nice things.

          • SevTheBear

            Blind leading the blind as they say

          • Phasmatis75

            Well the ones in charge are indifferent. It doesn’t impact their lives if the series fails in 10 years when they’re retired or working somewhere else.

      • SevTheBear

        Not to far off

    • Bea

      That’s what put me off from it. I’m in that camp of ‘You can’t compress the overall themes of GitS within a single movie.’ seeing they turned the Major’s focus to revenge I’m wondering why even bother? What makes it different than any other action/revenge flick?

      As for Scarlett Johansson she runs the risk of being stuck in typecast hell if she isn’t careful or doesn’t do better. I just looked at the trailer for GitS, Lucy, Avengers, Iron Man 2, Under the Skin, she makes the same boring emotionless face throughout all of them.

      I swear the shorter GitS and Lucy trailers merged on me somehow.

      • SevTheBear

        You nailed it

  • daniel_ream

    Ironically enough, the issue of “whitewashing” was recently turned on its head to “Asian-washing”

    When that bastard Kurosawa apologizes for yellow-washing King Lear and Hamlet, then I’ll care about this.

    Japan is one of the most racist, xenophobic and ethnocentric societies on Earth. Foreigners of any ethnicity are routinely abused, insulted and harassed in ways that would make the average SJW swoon. And they don’t care about the casting. They’re quite flattered that we’re making a big Hollywood movie out of their stuff. This is a non-issue.

    • EroBotan

      you most likely never heard about islam lol

    • EroBotan

      oh one more thing, from some article that i read about the japanese’s reaction regarding this movie, all of them clearly stated that no one care about white people casted as major motoko. The one who complaints are mostly overseas fans.

      and i doubt japanese have the budget to hire skilled western actors for their movies. They’ll most likely go bankrupt if they do that .. maybe not if they hire B movies actors … but then the movie might flop … so in the end they still go bankrupt i think?

      • I remember Michael Biehn popped up in one of the Hong Kong flicks… it starred Sammo Hung, and Maggie Q had a role as a sniper. I think it was called Dragon Squad or something? Anyway, it’s true that recognizable Hollywood talent don’t oftentimes appear in Asian flicks.

        It was cool to see Michael Biehn in the film, though, because he’s one of my all-time favorites. He had a fairly significant role in the flick as a villain, too.

        But beyond that you’re right that it’s rare to see Westerners in Asian films.

        I do wonder why they don’t try to tap Danish or German actors for Japanese films? I remember they got Don Frye, the legendary MMA fighter, for a Godzilla flick, which was kind of weird… but he was super badass in that movie and he looked like a stereotypical buff-American from a Japanese manga come to life.

        • EroBotan

          Hey, I watched Final Wars too! Other godzilla movie like Godzilla vs king Ghidorah also features western actors too, i think this one has 3 of them.

          Jackie Chan also regularly has westerner in his movie, I think one of them also a part of his stunt team.

          the problem when it comes to movies like FMA/Attack on Titan is you will need tons of westerners, not just 1 or 2. I estimate 95% of the characters are westerners. And the scope is huge since it’s about war between nations meaning you need tons of people too to play as the grunt cannonfodder too.

          The other reason is probably language .. even famous japanese/chinese people tend to have trouble speaking english and in japanese case it often become a source of comedy for reality shows over there XD. From what i heard, most of western movies/games are dubbed to japanese in there. I’m guessing this is also the reason why they won’t hire german/danish. Getting a translator to help with 1-2 western actor is fine but if you need to translate for all of the actors then i guess it will be a nightmare for staff ^^;

          • Haven’t seen Godzilla vs King Ghidorah yet. Been hearing a lot about Ghidorah recently, so it must been entertaining? Might check it out.

            And yeah, you’re right, Jackie Chan has world-class martial artist and stuntman Bradley James Allan on the team that he works with often. They had a fantastic fight in Gorgeous.

            I’m guessing this is also the reason why they won’t hire german/danish. Getting a translator to help with 1-2 western actor is fine but if you need to translate for all of the actors then i guess it will be a nightmare for staff

            I guess so. Always seemed weird they wouldn’t just have a translator on set to tell the actor what they need to do or say or whatever, but I guess it’s just too much of a hassle for a live-action production.

          • EroBotan

            Godzilla vs King Ghidorah has amazing story with good plot twist. However most of the human vs human action scenes are pretty bad and there is quite a lot of them x__X … will be nice if they can reboot/remaster this story someday in the current technology.

            I remember Georgeous, very amazing and entertaining! Everyone (including the villains) are so nice there, it’s a fresh idea that you don’t see often !

        • Disqusted

          Japan used to (and probably still does) use famous Western actors for really silly commercials. You probably already knew that, though. Arnie’s V drink thing, Sylvestera Stallone’s Ito ham commercial, and Bill Murray in Lost in Translation advertising Suntory Times. I may have linked some of these before in the comments, but I don’t remember.

          Tommy Lee Jones also does a lot of commercials for that phone company Softbank, with the talking white dog. He plays an alien who became an Earth school teacher. He also does ads for Boss, a coffee beverage.

          There are a ton of YouTube videos of Japanese commercials. I recommend looking them up on YouTube, they’re all often amazing and/or hilarious. My favorite is Jean Reno as Doraemon:

          I think Jean Reno is pretty popular/well-known in Japan. He was in the old Godzilla movie, and also a French(?) film called “Wasabi” where he goes to Japan and kicks ass. Fun film. Also stars Ryoko Hirosue, a great Japanese actress. Here’s a link to the trailer:

          • Thanks for the reminder about Wasabi. I’ve never finished watching that film all the way through, only catching bits and pieces… was recently thinking about it after talking about Luc Besson.

      • Disqusted

        I think Japanese people would be more concerned about the movie sucking or not, which is really the more important issue. How they handle casting could be perceived as a sign of that.

        I mean, if they did try to cast a Japanese Motoko, that’d give you a good impression that they’re trying to be accurate, right? It could still be shit after that, of course.

        • EroBotan

          from some articles that i read, the japanese’s respond in general are: amazing visual effect but shallow story.

          i agree that casting a japanese makoto can show whether they’re going to be faithful & respecting the source material .. or catering to the casuals.

    • MONAD

      “Japan is racist, Japan is xenophobic”. Again with this fucking bullshit. Stop.

      • Michael P

        So the stereotype is bullshit I take it?

        I’ve heard much of Japan’s supposed racism but I’ve only ever seen it in practice with elderly Japanese, the younger gens seem to give zero fucks about race.

        • Mr.Towel

          Real racism I’ve seen only in old people.

          Most of Japan’s “racism” could be more aptly called “xenophobia” or something like that (sad that after SJWs every phobia sounds like bs buzzwords). They don’t really care much about your genetics but more of what they represent, namely, culture. They don’t like any kind of foreign culture, even if its similar to theirs. I’ve seen even full born Japanese people, who were raised in a different country or just spent too much time abroad, getting “racist” flak for not being “Japanese enough”. I’ve seen a guy who spent 10 years studying abroad come back to japan and being scolded by his family for acting too western.

          Giving the state of current western culture, I can’t say I blame them.

          • Disqusted

            Sounds more like they’re proud of their culture or something. Or they’re concerned about conflicts/incompatibilities.

            I had a Singapore friend tell me, after visiting America, that “America seems so free compared to Singapore” because “in Singapore everyone just copies what everyone else is doing”.

            My impression of Japan is, everyone is expected to keep a low profile and not cause trouble. I’d imagine that people who act too Western (especially because Westerners tend to be very selfish/rude/inconsiderate/loud) would breach that and cause concerns.

            I’ve also seen some people say that Japanese who lived in the West are bringing SJW bullshit back to Japan with them. I’d be pissed about that too.

          • Mr.Towel

            I agree.

            If you had to define Japanese culture in one word, most of those word would be in the similar vein of “Restraint”, “Discipline”, “Introversion”. That’s what drive all of their behaviors in society, it’s what define their sense of beauty and conformity.

            One of the most interesting thing I’ve ever studied about japanese society was about how they treat their own counter-culture movements. Very loud subcultures inside their society, things like Heavy Metal, Gothic Lolitas, Bōsōzokus, Yakuza, Ganguro and so on. Movements that appear to go completely against the norm and against mainstream society. How do they tolerate it? How do they perceive that? How do they perceive their right to exist? Their right for expression?

            From what I’ve seen till now, they all tolerate and respect these completely disruptive movements as long as they show restraint and discipline on their longings.

            One example. Metalheads in Japan are somewhat allowed to dress they way then want as long as they dress appropriately when needed to. If they want to dress all baggy and black when they’re alone or having fun with their friends, they’re “allowed” (no nagging coming for them) to do so as long as they dress well for work and school. They’re allowed to make a mess of a show stadium, as long as they clean it themselves afterwards. Driving gangs are allowed to make a mess out of a parking lot, as long as they clean and fix everything they eventually break.

            I’ve seen one interview being done to the mother of a highschool girl who was a Gothic Lolita. They asked her and the girl’s grandfather why they allow their girl to dress like that? Isn’t that weird? Isn’t that rebellious? It’s just a phase of what? Their answer was “Yes, it’s weird, but she is so good around the house and at school, she deserves that”.

            I guess that’s whats lacking on most foreigners that come to Japan: they don’t show restraint or discipline ANYWHERE, in any part of their lives, they seem to be 100% in “slacking, enjoying myself” mode. They don’t have enough cred to just be themselves.

        • fnd

          The younger gens seem to give zero fucks about fucking as well, a worrying trend.

          • Michael P

            I’ve seen a few doco’s on the Japanese herbivores, some of them are even married and still prefer their 2D ladies!

            Part of me thinks they’re mental because the women over there are so damn cute but Western birthrates are also declining and the gender wars are probably playing a big part there too.

            We live in strange times.

        • Disqusted

          It’s extremely bullshit. There are a lot of lies floating around about Japan. The media, bloggers, YouTubers, etcetra mostly only report the most outrageous/bizarre shit about other countries. They do it to make people feel more patriotic/protective of their own country. And that’s why everyone has such skewed impressions of other countries. In reality, they are usually not that different or strange.

          Japan has a massive population, there will almost certainly be a few people who probably have some “racist” thoughts, but I’ve never met any of them, and I’ve met tons and tons of Japanese people. I remember reading that some elderly people were concerned about Westernization of Japanese culture/language, but that’s not really racist.

          Even I hate how often Japanese people use English words instead of Japanese words because it sounds cool to them. But that’s a common thing in all places. Like those people who get weird tattoos in other languages. I’m guilty of it myself, I like Japanese as a language. But I don’t mix Japanese and English because, quite frankly, I think it’s embarrassing to do so.

          If Japanese people do hate foreigners, it’s because foreigners tend to be rude shits who cause trouble. Over the past few decades, I’ve often seen foreigners constantly being huge assholes in Japanese online games, cheating and breaking everything, demanding all Japanese speak English, disrespecting Japan, Japanese culture, Japanese people and causing havoc. They like to yell, “WE BOMBED YOU” and threaten to bomb Japan again.

          Here’s another example. There’s a “JET” program that has foreigners teach English in Japan. A few decades ago, there was an incident where a bunch of those teachers decided to get drunk and party in Japan’s most busy subway, during the most busiest time. They went around dumping alcohol on random Japanese people’s heads and breaking their cell phones. Obviously, this did not go down well.

          Can you blame some Japanese people for being afraid of foreigners? I wouldn’t.

          • Michael P

            “If Japanese people do hate foreigners, it’s because foreigners tend to be rude shits who cause trouble”

            I know that to be true….

            therehttp://www.ebaumsworld.com/videos/drunk-aussie-tourist-fights-japanese-garbage-man/81120235/

    • Uncle Joey

      Funny, I never got harassed there.
      Guess I’ve must been to a different Japan.

      • Disqusted

        Or you must have actually been to Japan, unlike most of the people criticizing Japan.

        A while back, YouTube recommended me a video of a girl complaining about why she doesn’t like Japan after staying there, and it was all these bullshit selfish reasons that didn’t really have anything to do with Japan.

        Japan isn’t a perfect country, of course. They’re still human. But almost all the bad things I’ve heard about Japan don’t really have anything to do with being a foreigner.

        I did see another YouTuber complain about how Japanese TV tried to force her to create a fake TV personality of herself for their show, but Japanese TV in general seem to be full of lying assholes. I’ve heard from Japanese friends that they don’t really trust their media much, because of past incidents where they got caught lying. Unlike people in the West, who seem to quickly forget about being lied to, over and over and over.

    • Disqusted

      Who the hell are you? The only people who say that shit about Japan don’t know any Japanese people, have never been to Japan, and know nothing about Japanese culture. Just because you watch bullshit videos on YouTube about Japan doesn’t mean you know what Japan is like.

      Oh yes, I have seen so many popular videos on YouTube, and even articles on news websites, that state “facts” about Japan which are COMPLETELY UTTERLY FALSE. Stuff like, “girls in Japanese schools don’t shave their legs because they must focus on studies”. I asked Japanese friends about that, and they said it’s bullshit.

      I haven’t been to Japan yet, but I’ve got plenty of Japanese friends/acquaintances and spend almost every day interacting with them. None of them are racist, xenophobic or ethnocentric. They are often impressed that I can speak Japanese so fluently despite never having been there. I’ve interacted with hundreds, possibly thousands of Japanese people, for a few decades now, and none of them have abused me for being a foreigner. Ever.

      Westerners just assume Japan is “racist” because they don’t react to those things the same way. I’ve seen Westerners in Japan bitch about being treated differently from regular Japanese people. In actuality, most Japanese treat foreigners differently specifically because they are concerned about trying to keep them happy. They know foreigners MAY be different, so they try to take that into consideration.

      That doesn’t happen in the West, because most people in the West don’t give a shit about how other people feel. They expect everyone to be treated the same, they expect everyone to feel the same way about everything. Reality doesn’t work like that. Expecting everyone to be the same as you is a surefire lead into eventual conflict.

      The fact is Japan has a massive population which is mostly full of Japanese people, who only speak Japanese and very little English. Of course foreigners and foreign culture will be fascinating to them, and so they react to it as such. They don’t have a good understanding of “race” in general. It doesn’t mean they “hate foreigners” or “exclude foreigners” or “hate foreign culture”. It’s also ridiculous to make blanket assumptions about Japanese people when there are so many of them.

      My experience is Japanese people are very enamored with foreigners, foreign culture. But they also expect foreigners in Japan to respect the locals, which is completely reasonable. They don’t expect foreigners to be able to communicate in Japanese (and are pleasantly surprised if they can), but some do worry that foreigners may be vastly different to the point that communication problems and conflicts arise. That is also completely reasonable.

      Here’s something about Japan I bet you don’t know. They incorporate all kinds of things from all sorts of cultures, and enjoy them all. They celebrate all kinds of religious/special holidays/events, because they love festivals and celebration. They don’t throw a fit over one religion possibly offending another, or one culture “appropriating” another, unlike the stupid West. They try to incorporate all the good things.

      In regards to the GITS Hollywood movie, I’ve been on Japanese streams where they talked about it and were not pleased. They said, “why aren’t they using the best GITS, SAC?” and I have also seen Japanese people talking about how horrible other adaptations are, and if I recall correctly, they’ve also talked about how Hollywood doesn’t respect the source material. So it is not a “non-issue”.

      Bottom line is, don’t talk about Japan or Japanese people when you don’t seem to know anything about them at all.