Japan has Splatoon 2 plushies made by Sanrio that include a whitewashed Marina

L Thammy

Spacenoid
Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,280
Gundam was awesome for this kinda stuff



Still one of my fav anime characters
Don't forget Karen Joshua, who is also clearly a few shades darker than the white and asian characters and very clearly not Japanese.




With Gundam, I think they do it because it logically follows. It's set in a future society where the old national lines have been broken down in favour of even greater globalization, and the organizations we're dealing with are above global, so it makes sense to have just European or Japanese characters.

As it turns out, Japanese people are totally capable of thinking of ethnicity beyond their own and handling it in a sensible way, should that be what they want to do.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,998
Is this real? Was Marina called “articulate” for real in-game? If so how the hell did that get a pass through localization!?
I haven't played the game or know the context of that image, but what it looks like to me is on-the-nose social commentary that isn't inappropriate.
 

L Thammy

Spacenoid
Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,280
Is this real? Was Marina called “articulate” for real in-game? If so how the hell did that get a pass through localization!?
I think it's supposed to be a parallel, like they're deliberately making fun of that kind of behaviour. In-game the logic is probably that she's being belittled because she's an Octoling.
 
Oct 25, 2017
716
Remnant
Is this real? Was Marina called “articulate” for real in-game? If so how the hell did that get a pass through localization!?
Actually in general captain cuttlefish is an old man, so he does also say some questionable dated things like how he doesn't see species too. But anyway yeah, the logic behind pearl and cuttlefishs reaction is that because she's an octoling. Which until the end of splatoon 1 were seen as awful beings.

That said seeing reactions in here I take it many didn't play the octo expansion.
 
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Oct 26, 2017
2,896
Yeah the chat logs are full of Cuttlefish doing a bad job trying not to be racist around Marina. That's not even the only time he says "I don't see species".
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,916
It's 100% intended, don't you see Marina reacting appropriately in her replies? That's the point and part of the theme of the expansion.
I did see that but it’s hard to understand the intent without the full context or having played the game. I’m still confused to be honest here but I’ll take your word that it’s handled well.
 
Oct 26, 2017
104
Some Nintendo apologists here handwaving the whitewashing. Oh that's Japan... it's Japan though. No, it's currently Nintendo.

Nintendo in the past 6 months had
1) this
2) issues with pairing apes with black characters in SMASH
3) issues with stereotyping Native Americans in SMASH
4) gives lip service regarding investigating Nintendo Russia CEO Yasha Haddaji (He got a formal warning) for his behaviour caught on stream.

Yeah... where is the outcry of people in the thread boycotting Nintendo (using the CD Projekt Red Twitter complaints as a comparison). Remember one of their social media handlers was sacked. Those tweets came from someone lower down with no real power while Nintendo gets the free pass when the higher ups are involved/approved of the 4 above issues. I'm not trying to downplay the hurt caused by the tweets made by CD Projekt Red in any way. Sacking was fair.
 
Nov 6, 2017
906
Actually in general captain cuttlefish is an old man, so he does also say some questionable dated things like how he doesn't see species too. But anyway yeah, the logic behind pearl and cuttlefishs reaction is that because she's an octoling. Which until the end of splatoon 1 were seen as awful beings.

That said seeing reactions in here I take it many didn't play the octo expansion.
Are these interactions translated from Japanese, or is that just part of the English localization. The verbage and commentary sounds very much like it came for someone at NoA. I'd be very impressed if the Japanese writing team was addressing these issues in game with that exchange.
 
Oct 31, 2017
233
Seems like Nintendo of Japan is still out of touch with the rest of the world, kind of a given thanks to homogeneous society.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,810
On top of not being representative of what the character looks like, both of them look weird and sunbleached. The color choices are bad just from an aesthetic level.
Isn’t she Japanese in the same way Lupita Nyongo is Mexican (yep, Lupita was born there)? Naomi hasn’t lived in Japan for decades and doesn’t even speak the language. Her father was Haitian as well.
Nyongo was born in Mexico to Kenyan parents, and lived there until she was one year old.

Osaka was born in Japan, her mother is Japanese and her dad is Haitian, and she lived there until she was three.

Make up your own mind from there about your feelings on ethnicity and nationality, I guess.
 
Oct 29, 2017
1,297
UK
Yeah the chat logs are full of Cuttlefish doing a bad job trying not to be racist around Marina. That's not even the only time he says "I don't see species".
I always thought that because Octolings and Squids had been enemies, and Marina was an Octoling, he was saying that it doesn't matter what happened in the past. I. E. Hes not judging her because of her species. Or have I misinterpreted it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
716
Remnant
Are these interactions translated from Japanese, or is that just part of the English localization. The verbage and commentary sounds very much like it came for someone at NoA. I'd be very impressed if the Japanese writing team was addressing these issues in game with that exchange.
Very likely Noa. I keep hearing how apparently they mangle Pearl and Marinas dialogue.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,916
On top of not being representative of what the character looks like, both of them look weird and sunbleached. The color choices are bad just from an aesthetic level.

Nyongo was born in Mexico to Kenyan parents, and lived there until she was one year old.

Osaka was born in Japan, her mother is Japanese and her dad is Haitian, and she lived there until she was three.

Make up your own mind from there about your feelings on ethnicity and nationality, I guess.
You got to admit it’s pretty similar. The biggest difference is Osaka has a Japanese Mother but Osaka herself doesn’t even speak Japanese. She has the nationality but she has lived and trained her entire life since she’s been able to retain memories elsewhere.
 

Nemesis162

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,366
Brazil
It's not even just Japan. It's East Asia in general views white skin is seen as the highest form of beauty. From what I read it's because white skin was associated with the upper class who didn't work in the field and thus didn't tan. People in Asia don't really see it as a race thing but it's still shitty.
Yeah, I was reading about it after participating on this thread and it's definitely a thing from East Asia, which of course includes Japan. White people are viewed as some kind of model for beauty and all.

What.

*Googles*



Wow this is rather extreme, lol.
To be fair, they faced backlash over it and changed later on.

Some Nintendo apologists here handwaving the whitewashing. Oh that's Japan... it's Japan though. No, it's currently Nintendo.

Nintendo in the past 6 months had
1) this
2) issues with pairing apes with black characters in SMASH
3) issues with stereotyping Native Americans in SMASH
4) gives lip service regarding investigating Nintendo Russia CEO Yasha Haddaji (He got a formal warning) for his behaviour caught on stream.

Yeah... where is the outcry of people in the thread boycotting Nintendo (using the CD Projekt Red Twitter complaints as a comparison). Remember one of their social media handlers was sacked. Those tweets came from someone lower down with no real power while Nintendo gets the free pass when the higher ups are involved/approved of the 4 above issues. I'm not trying to downplay the hurt caused by the tweets made by CD Projekt Red in any way. Sacking was fair.
This can't be counted as Nintendo as it was made by Sanrio as a licensor. The second and third point are fair as they were made officially by Nintendo as a publisher. The last one has nothing to do with this.
 
Oct 26, 2017
2,896
I always thought that because Octolings and Squids had been enemies, and Marina was an Octoling, he was saying that it doesn't matter what happened in the past. I. E. Hes not judging her because of her species. Or have I misinterpreted it.
It's a parallel to "I don't see race", something said by someone professing to not be racist but also ignoring the ways that racism exists and perpetuates, including from the speaker. There are multiple instances in the chat logs where Cuttlefish says that exact line reflexively after being called out for saying something racist about Octarians.

"Articulate" in that context has some serious cultural history, but essentially is a racist backhanded compliment that simultaneously damns by faint praise (the ability to speak coherently isn't a thing that's singled out for praise normally) and implies comparison with and the expectation of a racist stereotype.
 
Feb 2, 2019
246
It's not even just Japan. It's East Asia in general views white skin is seen as the highest form of beauty. From what I read it's because white skin was associated with the upper class who didn't work in the field and thus didn't tan. People in Asia don't really see it as a race thing but it's still shitty.
Japan as a country has a problem with racism for a long time now, even toward white western people that you think they consider "high beauty". I've lived there for 6 months, not what I would call a good country for a foreigner or what they call a "gaijin" so casually.
 

Budi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,151
Finland
Kids get conditioned by white supremacist society that black people are lazy, criminals, and not good people so they take that racism in and project on to these dolls. Much like what youre doing.
It's absolutely crazy how so young kids can already be so influenced, especially kids who are POC so they don't pick it up at home from a racist family or something. The video you shared is heartbreaking to watch. I've seen the doll experiment before, but it's always just as sad to see.
 
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Oct 28, 2017
6,011
It's a parallel to "I don't see race", something said by someone professing to not be racist but also ignoring the ways that racism exists and perpetuates, including from the speaker. There are multiple instances in the chat logs where Cuttlefish says that exact line reflexively after being called out for saying something racist about Octarians.

"Articulate" in that context has some serious cultural history, but essentially is a racist backhanded compliment that simultaneously damns by faint praise (the ability to speak coherently isn't a thing that's singled out for praise normally) and implies comparison with and the expectation of a racist stereotype.
Treehouse is super sharp with their modern localizations. You'll hear modern day slang and phrasing make its way into games they localize. Doesn't surprise me they would tackle this either.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,810
You got to admit it’s pretty similar. The biggest difference is Osaka has a Japanese Mother but Osaka herself doesn’t even speak Japanese. She has the nationality but she has lived and trained her entire life since she’s been able to retain memories elsewhere.
I don't see language ability as a prerequisite for ethnicity or nationality, and neither do the rules and laws that define these things. Where your parents are from is pretty important for defining your ethnicity and race, so yeah, that's the biggest difference. She's half Japanese, she was raised by a Japanese mother (who was born and raised in Japan) in a Japanese and Haitian household after she was born in Japan and lived there for three years. Her mom spoke to her in Japanese, so she can understand it, she just can't speak it, which is common for children of immigrants. You can say that it doesn't count, though that seems pretty arbitrary, but her ethnicity and nationality are –in addition to Haitian and American, respectively– Japanese.
 
Nov 6, 2017
906
Very likely Noa. I keep hearing how apparently they mangle Pearl and Marinas dialogue.
It's a parallel to "I don't see race", something said by someone professing to not be racist but also ignoring the ways that racism exists and perpetuates, including from the speaker. There are multiple instances in the chat logs where Cuttlefish says that exact line reflexively after being called out for saying something racist about Octarians.

"Articulate" in that context has some serious cultural history, but essentially is a racist backhanded compliment that simultaneously damns by faint praise (the ability to speak coherently isn't a thing that's singled out for praise normally) and implies comparison with and the expectation of a racist stereotype.
Treehouse is super sharp with their modern localizations. You'll hear modern day slang and phrasing make its way into games they localize. Doesn't surprise me they would tackle this either.
Just how much is NoA changing up these characters' dialogue?
 
Oct 26, 2017
5,454
Just how much is NoA changing up these characters' dialogue?
Localization on projects like this mean, in some cases, totally re-writing jokes or references to give a similar impression as the original for the new region. 8-4 Play is a podcast by one of the more high-profile firms that works frequently with Nintendo on localization. I don't think they worked on Splatoon, but if you're curious, that type of work comes up quite a bit in their more general game discussions.
 
Oct 28, 2017
6,011
Just how much is NoA changing up these characters' dialogue?
Normally it's faithful to the original idea but it's a localization, not a direct translation so things are changed for the appropriateness of the region it is going to be distributed in. It's not really just a NoA thing either. It's likely most games out of Japan have stuff entirely rewritten depending on the context being presented. Unless you're playing some uber Japanese inspired work, it's changed up to some degree.
 
Jan 22, 2018
15
Imma need a source for this, cause that doesnt look like Sam Okyere to me.
I did a lot of digging around, and I own up for the wrong info I said before. It was led to believe it was Sam, but in actual fact, its a guy called Joel Roberts. He did a few skits and stuff quite a few years ago I think.

Here is some links of the guy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDh19v02cr8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jA3fd74AVyQ

The original video seems to be deleted. So yeah, my bad.
In relation to all this though, I'm not sure what the context was... only thing I heard was the Korean guy said 'oh, you're here' and then the Iron Man mask comes off. Who knows.
 
Nov 6, 2017
906
Localization on projects like this mean, in some cases, totally re-writing jokes or references to give a similar impression as the original for the new region. 8-4 Play is a podcast by one of the more high-profile firms that works frequently with Nintendo on localization. I don't think they worked on Splatoon, but if you're curious, that type of work comes up quite a bit in their more general game discussions.
Normally it's faithful to the original idea but it's a localization, not a direct translation so things are changed for the appropriateness of the region it is going to be distributed in. It's not really just a NoA thing either. It's likely most games out of Japan have stuff entirely rewritten depending on the context being presented. Unless you're playing some uber Japanese inspired work, it's changed up to some degree.
I understand how localization can work. I believe a number of the splat completions likely used regionalized things like ketchup and mustard or burgers and hot dogs or whatever. That exchange with Cuttlefish read as a very American (or Western) exchange so I was pretty sure it didn't come from Japan. Does the original Japanese exchange have a similar racial faux pa, or is that an invention of the localization team?
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,243
I understand how localization can work. I believe a number of the splat completions likely used regionalized things like ketchup and mustard or burgers and hot dogs or whatever. That exchange with Cuttlefish read as a very American (or Western) exchange so I was pretty sure it didn't come from Japan. Does the original Japanese exchange have a similar racial faux pa, or is that an invention of the localization team?
Can’t speak to the translation, and I’m not sure whether you’re more concerned with the sanctity of the original Japanese dialogue or the game addressing it he Splatoon world’s form of racism, but ...

The Octo Expansion is about Octinga attempting to immigrate to Inkopolis, and overcoming a hostile plot against them and Inkopolis, culminating in a boss battle that features a Statie of Liberty-esque statue out in the water off the coast. The series hasn’t shied away from dealing with race relations/conflict before that, and the localised dialogue is indubitably true to the spirit of the game.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,916
I don't see language ability as a prerequisite for ethnicity or nationality, and neither do the rules and laws that define these things. Where your parents are from is pretty important for defining your ethnicity and race, so yeah, that's the biggest difference. She's half Japanese, she was raised by a Japanese mother (who was born and raised in Japan) in a Japanese and Haitian household after she was born in Japan and lived there for three years. Her mom spoke to her in Japanese, so she can understand it, she just can't speak it, which is common for children of immigrants. You can say that it doesn't count, though that seems pretty arbitrary, but her ethnicity and nationality are –in addition to Haitian and American, respectively– Japanese.
Ethnicity is a different thing I’m with you on that and the fact that language is not a prerequisite either but for me a person who has never lived in said country as long as said person can remember is an important part. Couple that with the fact that she doesn’t speak the language and that she received all her love of the sport and training in the foreign country where she’s lived since she was 3 and yeah, I’d say she’s almost as much Japanese as Lupita Nyongo is Mexican. Almost.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,030


Wow this is rather extreme, lol.
I remember watching that ad on YouTube like a week before it blew up during the Australian Open and thinking "Okay, I see Nishikori, but where is Osaka in this ad?"

And then I closed it after 20 seconds or so.
 
Nov 16, 2017
1,608
Japan as a country has a problem with racism for a long time now, even toward white western people that you think they consider "high beauty". I've lived there for 6 months, not what I would call a good country for a foreigner or what they call a "gaijin" so casually.
I didn’t say they considered western people “high beauty” I said they considered white skin that.
Don’t take “gaijin” so seriously, dude. Its not meant to be derogatory.
 

cucholix

Banned
Member
Oct 30, 2017
435
Maybe they thought the washed out plushie could be sell better to the japanese? I don’t see the problem offering a modified product if that is what your consumer demands.

It’s a bummer for Splatoon 2 enthusiasts, they should get a dark skinned Marina just like in the game.
 
Oct 27, 2017
70
there is some shitty excuses being made in this thread. They totally white washed her, squinting and saying 'at a distance if i spin around a bit she looks a tad darker than pearl plush' isnt really ok lol. Japan does this alot and its super sad. Marina is legit and they need to do her justice, even in crappy crane game plush form
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,965
Whats amazing is that she is still black right there in the miniature next to the plush, wow. Looking closer at in-person images actually, it does seem they used a more brown-ish colour than Pearl, so this seems like a combination of poor materials and them not giving a fuck, rather than making her intentionally whitewashed (which would explain their side-by-side of the white skinned plush and black skinned image). Still, Nintendo should probably have a "talk" with Hello Kitty about misrepresenting their character, but probably wont sadly.
 
Oct 28, 2017
917
You guys have probably never seen it but there's a kid's show called PJ Masks. One of the main characters Catboy is clearly brown skinned but when he puts his costume on - the form that's of course used for all the merchandising - his skin visibly changes colour. On some of the toys my daughter has, including a big plushie, his skin is whiter than mine. The reason why is obvious. It makes me angry.

Oh wow did not realize this. My daughter watches this and I just thought all the characters were white due to the merchandise.
 
Nov 10, 2017
1,264
Yeah the chat logs are full of Cuttlefish doing a bad job trying not to be racist around Marina. That's not even the only time he says "I don't see species".
While the specifics are likely 100% NoA I do wonder how much the theme of facing racism is in the original text. The Splatoon leads are much younger devs than Nintendo's average so they might be trying to put these ideas in there even in Japan?

Looking closer at in-person images actually, it does seem they used a more brown-ish colour than Pearl
Pearl is unusually pale even for the white skinned characters in the game, they might be using regular white skin for Marina and super pale for Pearl.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
6,107
Maybe they thought the washed out plushie could be sell better to the japanese? I don’t see the problem offering a modified product if that is what your consumer demands.
And you don't realize why this does more harm and doesn't help improve the situation at all? Please read your post again.