Artist, fashionista, and vice president of The Baby-Sitters Club, Claudia Kishi has amassed a major following of devoted fans since the first “Baby-Sitters Club” book hit shelves in 1986. A new short doc pays tribute to the trailblazing Japanese American character.
A trailer for the Netflix’s “The Claudia Kishi Club” sees some of her Asian American fans, all of whom are creatives, speaking out about what drew them to the character, who is described as being “unapologetic about who she was.”
“Usually the Asian character is the one you sort of feel like you have to be, whereas I feel like Claudia is the one everyone seems to want to be,” we’re told.
A comic artist adds, “Seeing someone like Claudia who was forging her own path helped me feel more connected to my own identity.”
Claudia helped young readers realize that “you can be a main character. You can have your own story. You can tell your own story however you want.”
“For many Asian American women (and other women of color), Claudia Kishi was the first time they saw themselves in popular media,” the short doc’s synopsis reads. “A main character in the best-selling ‘Baby-Sitters Club’ books, she was one of the only Asian Americans in 80s-90s popular culture. Not only was Claudia a rare Asian American protagonist, but she also defied stereotypical portrayals of Asian characters: she was creative, popular, and (gasp!) bad at school. For readers who craved seeing themselves in the media they consumed — not as exotic others or token sidekicks, but as fully realized human beings — Claudia was a revelation. As a blossoming artist, Claudia was a special role model for aspiring young creators — many of whom are now making groundbreaking work of their own. ‘The Claudia Kishi Club’ features a charismatic cast of Asian American artists and writers including Yumi Sakugawa, Sarah Kuhn, and Phil Yu. With nostalgic readings, personal recollections, and DIY-style stop motion collages, this film is a timely and unique exploration of the importance of representation in media.”
Directed by Sue Ding, “The Claudia Kishi Club” lands on Netflix July 10. Momona Tamada (“To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You”) plays Claudia in the streamer’s critically acclaimed “Baby-Sitters Club” reboot, which dropped July 3.