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Where Fantastic Racism meets Urban Segregation. The Fantastic Ghetto is a place where an undesirable racial minority is rounded up inside to keep them out of the majority's line of sight.

Ghettoes are very much a case of Truth in Television: the term "Ghetto" originally referred to the district in City State Era Venice where the Jews were supposed to live. Then, there was that matter between 1939 and 1944... And as a form of racial segregation, ghettos still exist to this day, therefore the topic is usually approached with caution in fiction, usually from the Fantastic Racism angle. Ironically, it has been asserted that the original Jewish (bor)ghettos were privileges, designed to protect Jews from unfriendly Gentile citizens, provided by the local rulers, including walls and locked gates which were bitterly resented by the locals.

Not to be confused with Sci Fi Ghetto, where the genre gets this treatment by the literary establishment.

Examples of Fantastic Ghetto include:


Anime and Manga

  • In Birdy the Mighty, most Altans live in a slummy area of the city, called simply "the Altan district."
  • In the Holy Britannian Empire of the Code Geass universe, the "Concession" cities in the conquered "Area" colonies are usually split between the rich "Settlements" inhabited by Britannians, Honorary Britannians, and generally the rich and powerful, whilst the "Ghettos" are where the conquered "Numbers" (conquered subjects), terrorists, and other unsavoury groups are forced to reside. The Tokyo Concession in Area 11 (Japan) is the best example, being the setting for the majority of the series.
  • City of Kumersun in Spice and Wolf has an area surrounded by high wall, where live alchemists and other people, whose profession is considered “suspicious” by the Church. Dina is a local chronicler, collecting tales not yet censored by authorities and mediating in trade between inhabitants and outside world. She also happens to be a giant bird, who took on human shape like Holo.
  • Ceres in Ai no Kusabi.


Comics

  • In Strontium Dog, mutant populations in New Britain are not allowed to hold any jobs (apart from bounty hunting) or live amongst normal humans, instead living in their own trashed ghettos, the most prominent one located in Milton Keynes.
  • This shows up during Alan Moore's run on Wild CATS, when the team visits Khera, where it turns out the Kherubim-Daemonite war ended centuries ago everywhere except Earth. Khera is ruled by the wealthy and technologically advanced Kherubim while the planet's indigenous population, a race of Sizeshifters from which Maul descended, has been displaced into underground cities, and Daemonite civilians living on Khera are confined to a low-tech ghetto. Having one Daemonite ancestor is enough to get Voodoo, a Kherubim-human hybrid like her teammates, forced into the ghetto.
  • The X-Men family of books have given us multiple takes on the idea of a mutant ghetto, from concentration camps (Neverland), to reservations (the grounds of Xavier's school during the 198 series), to isolationist compounds (Utopia), to ethnic neighborhoods (Mutant Town/District X), to national "homelands" (Genosha).
  • Marvel Comics also has Attilan, where pretty much every Inhuman on Earth lived (until it moved to the moon), and Wundagore Mountain, home of a society of humanoid animals.
  • DC Comics has Gorilla City, a city in Africa populated by talking gorillas(!) and surrounded by a field that doesn't just keep humans out, it makes the city invisible!
  • Both Marvel and DC have had periods where their universe's version of Atlantis was destroyed, leaving Atlanteans as regufees living in various aquatic shanty towns.


Film - Animated

  • The plot of the first Shrek movie was basically driven by the local Evil Prince turning Shrek's swamp-home into a ghetto for fairy-tale creatures and the like, and Shrek objecting rather violently to this. (Not because he's got something about the ghettoization, mind--as long as it's not in HIS back yard.)


Film - Live Action


Literature

  • Several in New Crobuzon on "Perdido Street Station" for pretty much any non-human sentient species.
  • The Dipple on the planet Korwar in Andre Norton's science fiction stories. It was filled with war refugees no one wanted to deal with.
  • The Wild Cards novels have Jokertown, the only place where Jokers (the 9 percent of the people who contract the Wild Card Virus who don't die or become normal-looking superhumans) don't have to be self conscious about their disfiguring mutations.
  • Book The Orphans Tales has Shadukiam city, where magical beings are either locked in separated areas on outskirts (genies, one-legged) or forced to wear distinctive clothes (Yi). Local Mad Oracle (who actually pretends to be mad to scare off wealthy idiots) chose to reside in a shadow of shiny basilica, chained to dirty wall, because it’s where these in need appear. Citizens prefer to have them all where they can’t dirty their beautiful city.
  • In Harry Potter, there is a werewolf ghetto. In Half-Blood Prince, Lupin goes to tell them to Stop Being Stereotypical.


Tabletop Games

  • In Shadowrun, Orks and Trolls often get this treatment. Notable examples include Orkland in the Bay Area and Yomi Island in Japan. Also, the Seattle Underground.


Video Games

  • The Alienages in the Dragon Age universe are ghettos for the City Elves.
  • The Magical Ghetto in Dreamfall is where The Empire of Azadi keeps the non-human citizens of Marcuria permanently locked in. Azadi claim it's for their own protection. It doesn't stop them from scouring non-human's hauses in search of illegal goods and blocking supplies of medicines and food to the ghetto.
  • The tutorial campaign of Warcraft 3 starts in the Orc ghetto.
  • The Underground, the setting of Touhou Chireiden ~ Subterranean Animism, is where those youkai that were shunned and despised by their brethren went, including a spider that causes disease, two mind-readers with severe Power Incontinence (or at least very poor Mind Over Manners), and all of the oni (with the exception of Suika, who left). True to the nature of Touhou, the denizens not only willingly moved to the Underground but are far more content amongst fellow exiles than they were before.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, the city of Windhelm segregates Dark Elves into the Grey Quarter, since the government of the city isn't too big on non-Nords, and Dark Elves and Nords don't get along. And they still get better treatment than the Argonians, who are merely killed on sight.


Western Animation

  • On Futurama, mutants (except for Leela) are legally required to live in the sewers underground. This changes in the recent episode "The Mutants Are Revolting."
    • Also, after the Native Martians sold their entire planet's surface to humans they were required to live underground. This is resolved when they discover that they sold their land for a lot of money, allowing them to just buy a new planet.
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