I’m not going to sit here and say people shouldn’t be offended and that they should just get over their feelings, I stated that I don’t get it because it just doesn’t make sense to me.
Very few characters in anime look like a Japanese person. It’s not a realist style of drawing. There’s a common technique designed to create a universal look. People see themselves in what are purposefully designed ethnically ambiguous characters. Ghost in the Shell is unique but it still falls within the same tradition of a universal presentation style.
I get why people like Constance Wu or whatever are upset about it. For them, that’s income lost on a role they (maybe) could have done.
On the consumer side of things, it just doesn’t make sense to me. Looking kind of like the people who make the media doesn’t give ownership of that media. ‘Asians’ in America don’t get to claim anime as their culture just because they have a similar skin tone to the people who make anime. It’s the same specious logic that leads white nationalists to claim Shakespeare, as if a smelly basement dweller crypto-Nazi in 2017 had something to do with the writing of Hamlet.
I just don’t see how ‘whitewashing’ is improved by ‘yellowwashing’ those same roles. Is there such animated discussion on Randall Park being a man of Korean origin playing a Taiwanese guy on Fresh Off The Boat? Was there such discussion when Will Yun Lee (Chinese-Korean) played a Japanese ninja in The Wolverine?