As a child growing up in the suburbs, I wasn’t aware of social/racial prejudices when I was growing up. I wasn’t brought up to treat someone differently because of the way they looked ever. It wasn’t until my early teen-hood that I even noticed that I had a very racially mixed group of friends. However, the first time I really noticed Asian related media was when I started watching the cartoon Jackie Chan Adventures as a child.
Jackie Chan Adventures was a legit, and I mean legit show when I was growing up. I didn’t take into account that the show was focused around Asian characters all I was interested in was the action, and boy was there action. The cartoon takes place in San Francisco, California, originally thinking that it was in a made-up land. Although I wasn’t really paying attention to all the themes I do remember the show presented a very traditional Asian feel. From the music, to the characters, to the scenery, I can now see the various differences between Jackie Chan Adventures and any other show.
Getting back to the show, Jackie Chan (protagonist) is an archaeologist living with his uncle and his niece Jade. While you would think that Jackie would be discriminated against, he is actually recruited by a secret government agency called Section 13. Once recruited, he is given instruction to be on the search for talismans which give super-human power to whomever holds them. The antagonists, the Black Hand criminal organization is also after the talismans on their quest for power. The main plot of the cartoon series is the back and forth battles of finding the talismans, along with battling the Black Hands for possession of them.
After being in this class, it has become very easy to remember back on some of the stereotypes that the cartoon series supports. Some of them include the fact that everyone in the cartoon has mastered some form of martial art with even Jackie Chan’s young nice Jade being very proficient dismantling intimidating foes throughout the story. While the whole story is fictitious, I feel it did provide different sorts of stereotypes toward Asian/Asian-American people.