I’m going to group all of these responses together since they’re related, so this will get pretty long. Please bear with me. These are all in response (I’m assuming) to this post from a couple of months ago.
1. Oda doesn’t make the anime.
True. In fact, in Oda’s art all of the Strawhats are the same colour.
Big whoop. You’re not helping your argument by pointing out that Oda’s always used the same marker for everyone’s skin tones. That doesn’t fix anything. Oda’s exclusion of POC is problematic. The anime is a huge part of the franchise, and just because Oda isn’t directly involved in it doesn’t mean it’s above criticism.
2. The anime is trying to fix the characters so they look more like the manga.
Well then I’m still waiting for them to change Robin’s eyes to brown. That seems like a pretty big flaw that needs fixing.
3. The comparisons come from before and after timeskip, when the colour palettes changed.
The colour palettes changed a few times before timeskip as well, actually, and the results weren’t nearly as dire. I’m also confused as to how this is a defence. The new colours didn’t just suddenly poof into existence and were unchangeable upon pain of death. THEY WERE DECIDED ON. The animation team CHOSE the new palette. The fact that they’re different colour palettes is the reason comparison is necessary.
4. One Piece has a lot more variety of skin colour than other series.
I’m assuming there was supposed to be a ‘used to’ in that sentence somewhere. Besides which, less problems is not no problems.
5. Robin was in the snow, Zoro was on an island of perpetual twilight, and Usopp was in a forest with a thick canopy (debatable actually, but if we’re going to do this we might as well go with it).
Now we’re getting into the meat of it. For those who are really that invested in denying that they are just brown, let’s explore this one scientifically. If the hypothesis is that Zoro, Robin and Usopp are all white with heavy tans (because heaven forbid that they’re not actually white), then Sanji, who spent his life indoors, only to spend two years running through rain, hail and shine should have a substantial tan. As well, Nami and Luffy were both exposed to a lot of sun. So by your logic they should be much browner. Here’s the comparisons, with the first shot taken at the beginning of their 2YL break, and the second one at their immediate return to Sabaody.
Huh, what do you know? It’s like the animators didn’t take their sun exposure into account at all. Since ittoryu-yai said it perfectly:
To insinuate that ethnic skin of certain anime characters is the way it is because of exposure to the sun, is pretty much insinuating that they were white at some point. They are only brown because of the sun. That, is in fact, a racist thought. Unintentional or not, that is a problematic and racist thought.
As for why Robin got it worse than Zoro and Usopp, yes, pale beauty standards for women. Robin is now the palest Strawhat. That was not done accidentally. The manga shows examples of this as well, in Vivi and Conis- both of who appear on covers beside men from the same location who are significantly darker than them.
The anime also has other examples of this that I would genuinely be intrigued to hear people come up with excuses for. I present to you, Inazuma and Prince Bellet.
These are the same character as a man and a woman. There is no other explanation for this other than the exclusion of POC women from beauty standards. That is racist, plain and simple. Both Oda and the animation team are guilty of it, so don’t even bother with the blame game.
And before someone jumps in with the ‘that’s just how it is in Japan’, that doesn’t make it any less problematic. If you are unable to realise that it IS a problem, then you have been indoctrinated by the media. Congratulations.