Miko being Japanese.

Discussion in 'Transformers Robots In Disguise / Prime Discussion' started by Yoakem, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. Yoakem

    Yoakem Well-Known Member

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    When I first saw that she was Japanese, I admit I kind of groaned. I thought: great, token Japanese character. But now I realize she doesn't sound, act, or hardly even look it, and THAT is something that's a little strange to me. I was expecting her to mumble to herself in Japanese, or prefer writing in it, or maybe at least read and translate a letter from her parents, or SOMETHING.

    Part of me is thinking: Well, Jack and Raf are white, and you don't see them acting overly so, so why should Miko? But then I wonder what the point of making her Japanese is, if she's going to look/act/sound white, anyway? I figured something would be referenced once or twice (I thought maybe she would offer little tidbits about Japan, even though she seems to find it boring and prefers America), but it IS only the first season, so I guess there's still time.

    Does that sound really racist, or something? I didn't intend it to. :(  I'm not good at explaining myself. If anyone knows what I mean and agrees, and can explain it in a less offensive/stupid sounding way, have at it.
     
  2. LesterX

    LesterX Banned

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    No, I completely agree with you. I dont think the voice actor is even the right ethnicity and i Think THAT is kinda rascist.
     
  3. Yoakem

    Yoakem Well-Known Member

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    Oh, no, no, I want to make it perfectly clear that I'm not talking about THAT at all! And I disagree. I don't think it's racist in the least bit.

    George Takei (Sulu) is Japanese, and John Cho (who is Korean) played him in the 09 reboot, and I absolutely love them both in the role. Similarly, in the 07 TMNT movie, Ziyi Zhang (chinese) played Karai (a japanese character.)

    Hell, the guy who voices Cleveland on Family Guy is white.

    I have no issue with the woman who voices Miko, be she Japanese, Brazilian, Korean, or other. I just don't understand making her Japanese, when she looks/acts/sounds white. I thought by making her Japanese, they would at least tap into it a bit. But she's basically a "Jennifer" or an "Amanda" with an Asian name, IMO.
     
  4. Overlord Balder

    Overlord Balder Voices Slugslinger!

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    Well, in my opinion, you can't simply label a character because of their ethnicity, sure, sometimes is a big part of the character or something, but characters must be defined by their personality's traits and actions, ethnicity should work as a "extra" thing [same thing with sexes], unless it's really important to the story of the character.

    Exemplifying:

    - Jack doesn't "act white" in my opinion, he is merely a young boy with lacking social skills but with some brains and sanity, I've seen black people act like that, I've seen blue and red people act like that [granted, that might have some connection with that mushroom tea..]

    - Raf is a young, naive and smart boy with potential, again, lots of people are like that...

    - Miko is a young [damn, I'm feeling older..] girl with an unhealthy love for badassery in general [rock'n'roll, robots/monster smackdowns, e.t.c].
    I can't even COUNT the sheer amount of people that act like that.

    - Fowler is a tough-as-nails war-veteran patriot who is still trying to adapt to the rules of the Cybertronians.
    Y'know, that-charismatic-military-guy, we all met one in our lives.

    Neither acts "Japanase/White/Black" to me, their ethnicity is irrelevant in all three cases.
     
  5. Stryker055

    Stryker055 Josh Boyfriend

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    Miko's VA is Indonesian, I believe. I don't necessarily see anything racist about it or her portrayal (and certainly nothing of the sort would have been intended).
     
  6. Yoakem

    Yoakem Well-Known Member

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    You make a very good point, thanks for bringing that up. I didn’t mean to say that just BECAUSE she’s Japanese, she should look/act/sound a certain way. I was just expecting it to be more of a part of her personality, like you said. I just sometimes wish they’d make more references to her heritage, like, “back in Japan, we did this__” or “we call that __ in Japanese,” etc. Sometimes *I forget* that she's Japanese. Not that it matters, I guess, but I thought they might make an episode around it, or, yeah, like I said, make a few references. We really haven't seen or heard much of Miko's parents, her host parents, OR Raf's.

    I think I might have presented myself wrongly. I didn’t mean to suggest that anyone acts black, or white, or anything else. I’m just not that great at explaining myself.
     
  7. ThaConqueror

    ThaConqueror Rock! Robot Rock!

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    Is that a word? I get the gist of what you're saying (and I agree), but this word confuzzles me.
     
  8. Overlord Balder

    Overlord Balder Voices Slugslinger!

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    You're welcome.

    I see it now, and that is indeed a valid point.
    But I [personally] think that this wouldn't make much of a difference to her character, it would be cool to see her refering to Japan sometimes [as long as it doesn't go overboard by doing things like mentioning Japan once in every episode], but I don't think I miss that trait what-so-ever.

    But yes, point made.

    It's fine man, we all get wrapped up on our words sometimes.

    I mispoke, I'm Brazilian y'know, I sometimes get wrapped up.
    The sense of the phrase is "We can't label characters", I tried to make "Rotular" [Portuguese word for "label"] into english without realizing the word didn't exist. My bad.
     
  9. Yoakem

    Yoakem Well-Known Member

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    I've been waiting for this to be answered, and I'm getting antsy lol. It means to have a label or tag.
     
  10. Nachtsider

    Nachtsider Banned

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    Maybe this universe's Japan is just really, really Westernized.
     
  11. Jive Guru

    Jive Guru Professional Amateur

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    I'm sure they will touch more on this subject in the future. I can totally picture an episode where some energy signature is picked up in Japan and they Bridge over there, maybe even meet her parents and you see her act all "proper" which could be amusing. Like when she and Raf were attempting to lie to Optimus in Speed Metal.

    Also we need to see Chi-Chi and Ding-Dong.
     
  12. Stormrunner

    Stormrunner Cry for the Cat's Eye

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    Having roommates at University who were Japanese - she acts very similar to them. Wanting to get out in the world and be themselves instead of part of the Japanese society where they are encouraged to NOT be different.

    There is a reason cosplay is so big there when there are conventions.

    And yes, their society is changing, but it is still their culture and way of life. Which to some is very boring and they would rather not talk about it.
     
  13. Yoakem

    Yoakem Well-Known Member

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    I'd love to see that, lol. And yes, yes we do. Those are pretty cool names, haha.
     
  14. JazzMeister19

    JazzMeister19 Well-Known Member

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    I personally don't like the way in which Miko speaks. It does not sound anything like that of someone who is learning a language. She uses too much slang, speaks too fluently, and also she never really mentions or does anything like that of a foreign person. Being a Japanese language major, I really dislike how little being Japanese factors into her character. This whole side of her could have been dropped and it wouldn't effect her character in anyway, and not that there aren't strange Japanese people with weird tastes, but her personality combined with her way of speaking just makes her seem like any crazy American child and that just bothers me. She should have just been a girl with Japanese heritage instead of an exchange student. Why even bother making her an exchange student?
     
  15. ThaConqueror

    ThaConqueror Rock! Robot Rock!

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    And now I know! And knowing's half the banana. Or something like that.
     
  16. Yoakem

    Yoakem Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, well, I [kind of] have to disagree, here. I've had a few friends Japanese and Chinese friends who spoke English rather well, one or two even fluent. I also had one Chinese friend who spoke it rather poorly (she never took the time to practice, so even after living Stateside for 11 years, she was still very hard to understand). Maybe her parents speak it, and it's her second language, maybe she learned in school or had a private tutor. My one friend had a private tutor in English AND Chinese (and she was Chinese, living in China.) So the fleuncy thing doesn't really bother me.

    But I agree with the rest of what you said. Maybe the issue of her foreign exchange was a "dead mans switch" so to speak; if she was received badly, she could just "go back to Japan" when the school year was up, and we'd never hear from her again. Or maybe it will be used as a plot point later on.
     
  17. Anonybot

    Anonybot Active Member

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    Perhaps they're planning on doing something with it. I wouldn't see why not. In fact I would hedge a bet that she's an exchange student for a very specific reason.
     
  18. Overlord Balder

    Overlord Balder Voices Slugslinger!

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    You just made my day.:lolol 

    To be fair, there ARE foreign people who act more American-like than their own culture, Hell, I'm Brazilian and I go around quotiong American POP Culture automatically, My thoughts are in English instead of portuguese, and it's quite possible that I am more fluent speaking English than Portuguese.

    Then again, I'm quite a weird person.
     
  19. Jive Guru

    Jive Guru Professional Amateur

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    I think Miko is probably an American fangirl or something and has been wanting to go there forever, that's why she's so fluent in English and music and all that, because she's been maybe obsessing over it for a long time before she arrived.
     
  20. Kostya

    Kostya Destron

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    It's clear from her dialogue that Miko is a very westernized Asian. I think that's why she came to America, it seemed more like home to her than her own culture did.
     

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