Anime and Stereotyping

I watch a lot of anime–for several reasons.  I don’t like the violence in most if not all current movies, and the violence in anime is either much less or certainly much less realistic.  Also, many anime deal with searching for identity and as I search for who I am, I find them fascinating.  And much of anime deals with champions of justice, near and dear to my heart.  Right now I’m watching Case Closed which has as its basic premise that a brilliant teenage detective is poisoned, but instead of being killed, he is changed into a 7 yr. old.  He now has to solve a variety of cases, in the style of Sherlock Holmes, but he gets absolutely no respect as a 7 yr. old.  He uses a series of inventions, including a voice modulator, so that he can solve the cases by pretending to be various other characters, adults of course.  It just made me think about how we all tend to “judge books by their covers,” most of the time unconsciously.  And now, with elections just around the corner, the negative stereotypes are being flagrantly shouted in various commercials.  Hate crimes are rising, and I think they are directly related to the inability to see individuals as just that, unique persons of value.  One politician stated that no gays or unmarried women should be allowed to teach–how blatant is that stereotyping, not to mention inaccurate and evil.  The fact that the majority of pedophiles are straight males seems to have escaped this person.   Our world is so divided now.  We are living in a fear driven culture where difference is treated as a problem, rather than as a source of rich and wonderful diversity.  So, as little Conan solves yet another case, I am reminded not to judge anyone by age, gender, class, job, whatever, but instead to realize we all are one, and each individual is part of the universe, deserving of respect.

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