What Is Anime? (And What Isn’t?)

Is anime defined by the country it comes from? Let’s lay all the cards on the table and try to end this debate once and for all!

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Categories: Аниме

49 Replies to “What Is Anime? (And What Isn’t?)”

  1. adding to basically "for the most part only popular shounen gets adapted to western media" as someone from a non English speaking Europese country (namely Belgium) you can add to that "only merchandise driven" because besides stuff like Beyblade, Pokemon and Yu Gi Oh (you know, the kind of shows that sell lots of toys to kids) the only anime i remember being dubbed to Dutch (you know, so 10 year old me had a clue what was going on) was Shaman King (which admittedly was kinda great), but only its first season (also the 4Kids version, because of course, but at least the opening was kickass)

    Naruto and DBZ aired here, but only in English, which most of their usual target audience didnt even properly understand at that age (i sure didnt) and One Piece first aired here 3 years ago or so (all of which really only aired the same 50-odd episodes on loop) and again, all in English, which i now speak just fine, but most of the shows usual target audience does not, meaning were essentially stuck with shivers Disney Channel and Nickelodeons subpar live action kid dramas as the best tv option (you thought Disney Channel was bad? try the Dutch dubs of their shows)

    forgive me for my rant, please go on and have a nice day =)

  2. for all the idiots debating out there, if you are brain steaming mind fudged abt whats the diffrence between cartoon and anime its fairly simple. simply go to google, go to images, type anime in one search and type cartoon in the other, press enter. see for urself!

  3. then how about shows like ulysses 31, first squad and the upcoming anime ova of ladybug? they are all collabs between japan and other countries and made by both western and japanese animators and writers and seem to cater to both audiences. a japanese friend of mine watched transformers g1 and ulysses 31 as a kid in japan for an example when i watched those shows as well in sweden.

    personally i generally tend to use the term "anime" as a broader term including these shows and cartoons and japanimation to differ them more on a national level.

  4. Some times it will backfire here in the US, Like what happen to Exosquad. A show aimed to be more Anime like story line but with more western animation. And in the first season they did this, until the head office at Universal decided that Exosquad was something they didn't want, and that kids would not understand it. So they fired the head of Universal Animation who also created Exosquad Jeff Segal and brought somebody that would say yes to everything they wanted in making more Land Before Time sequels. Now Exosquad went from a top rated show to no one even remembers what Exosquad was even about.

  5. I think your analysis of this whole debate I’ve been hearing in my life killed the last 1% of weeaboo that made me up. I don’t even think I’ll be annoyed anymore if someone I know is convinced on a piece of animation being labeled as a cartoon or anime.

  6. Japanese animators were originally inspired by western animation though. The reason that people like animu more is because they often have more adult themes. You can go dark, lewd or crude. Now, the west has the crude humor down, we just don't often follow the others.

    There are youtube videos of "what if Game of Thrones was an anime?" The west does have plenty of dark or serious stories, they just aren't animated. Hell, there's an official animu for 'Supernatural' that's even dubbed by the same actors sometimes.

    It's not that the west lacks the talent. You see plenty of talented animators online all the time. It's not that we lack the story telling. We have shows like Battle Star Galactica, Breaking Bad and Stranger Things. It's that we don't have the conviction to fund it. We don't have the conviction to air it. We don't trust it enough to get it out there. However, I have a feeling that'll change soon.

  7. Something that bugs me is when people seem to label any quality animation (CG animation aside) as anime. Anime is literally the Japanese word for animation. This is why I often call them Japanese cartoons, because to the Japanese, everything from Adventure Time to Archer is anime. Now, I'm personally glad that more and more western cartoons are able to follow mature themes without being pure comedy shows at heart. I love Adventure Time as well as My Hero Academia. I love animations from both sides, I just wish the west would do it more often. You always have great movies from Disney, Pixar, Dream Works and a few others, but even though they can give the heart, we still sometimes miss out on the soul of darker themes and exciting action. I'm not putting down anyone, I just wish that more western studios were willing to expand into animation as well.

  8. Is pizza not pizza because It's not made In Italy? Like any art form or art style, they all evolve, Anime evolves. The one quality that makes art immediately distinguishable in general and more specifically in terms of animation Is the artwork, the one quality that immediately makes 1980's cartoons distinguishable from other cartoons Is the artwork, the one quality that makes Disney's 3D animation films distinguishable from other cartoons Is the artwork, etc. Discerning whether something Is anime or not entirely based on location Is an effort that only protects the sanctity of anime mostly guided by personal taste and forgets It as an art style.

  9. Personally, I look at it from a purely artistic point of view, being an artist and all.

    To me "anime" is an artstyle/aesthetic developed in Japan, likewise how "cartoon" is an artstyle/aesthetic to me too. Both of them have their signatures, sometimes overlapping. Ask any art teacher what Anime is and they will explain to you (groaning). To me, even a lone picture drawn in anime style can be considered "anime", regardless of who made it.

    Although for anime-inspired cartoons made for US audiences I like to use the term "amerime", I still prefer to label things how they look rather than by backgrounds — your average outside-observing joe won't spot the difference, and sometimes it's hella complex to draw the line.

    Avatar, Legend of Korra, Totally Spies, earliest Ben 10, RWBY etc. are evidently inspired by anime style enough to appear on some quizzes of "is that anime" (by your definition) and screwing some people over. Drawing in either of their styles would make some art teachers fume in "stop drawing anime" even if by your definition, they wouldn't be anime.

    But artists with dreams, take this one last tip from me: You probably don't wanna be a anime animator/mangaka in Japan. Industry is horribly underpaid, you're probably better off working on anime-inspired western cartoons. (that is before the SJWs crack on it and call it "cultural appropriation") Hey, some people will label them anime anyways! 🙂

  10. If the show is not made for Japanese by Japanese then it's NOT Anime. Anime has always been a domestic artform for a domestic market and has always been created with the innate imaginations of Japanese teams with the Japanese audience in mind,you have to understand that approximately 99% of Anime's income and success comes from within Japan and the other one percent from China, Korea and other countries eastasian countries, so this shit is made FOR a target audience and a specific culture in mind and it has to appeal to that audience otherwise the product won't sell and they won't get any money, you have to understand that anime is a business just like any form of business and that it has to meet the demand of it's consumers otherwise it'll run out of business. The Japanese culture*, *the Japanese audience and the Japanese creators are all main components of what made Anime what it is, you can't take one part of it to make a product and call it Anime..there is no half-assing in that it just doesn't work that way. Anime has always been and always will be by Japanese for Japanese . It's an indispensable part of the formula, that's it's identity. Ofcourse that doesn't mean that different people from different countries can't enjoy it aswell, but you have to remember that you were never a targeted audience to begin with.
    It's as stated by Hiryoyuki Imayushi and I quote: "We never really make Anime with America in mind, our intention is always to create anime for Japan with only Japanese audience in mind, but if people from other countries enjoy our works that's a plus".

  11. Lets make the waters even more murky by introducing Mark Crilley! He is midwest USA based, but writes and draws manga- If he didn't study in Japan, which I think he did- he still adheres to the japan style of storytelling as well as the art style. Which is why I feel anime should be categorized not so much on its art style, but by the direction, editing, and storytelling differences. Anime FEELS different than cartoons.

  12. When it comes to talking about what is and isn't anime, I like to use something I made up that I call the "actual-anime-rule." It helps distinguish cartoons from anime based not on their art style, but their animation style. It can also allow anime that don't use the average anime-esque style of animation (See Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children and that one gundam show that tried to be for kids) to be called “Anime” by the average anime community. Allow me to explain;
    Most Japanese cartoons use a style of animation that take a series of hand-drawn still images and then has them transfer from image to image simultaneously to look like movement. Of course, this can be hand-drawn or it can be 3-D. It’s a style I like to refer to as a “Frame-to-frame” style.
    The actual-anime-rule I have will take a show and check if it has that style, and if it doesn’t, it will check its country of origin. To use the rule, you take a show, and if it uses the frame-to-frame style, it’s anime. If not, then we check if it’s from Japan. If it is, then yes, still anime. Here’s some examples;
    Let’s look at Cowboy BeBop.
    Does it have the frame-to-frame style? Yep! It’s seen as anime right off the bat.

    Now, let’s look at Final Fantasy VII: advent children. I know we all hate it, but just bear with me for a second.
    Does it have the frame-to-frame sty- NO
    Well, does it come from Japan? …Yes, and thus we call it an anime despite being entirely 3D.

    And now, let’s take a look at Teen Titans. This is the part where it differs.
    Does it have the frame-to-frame style of animation? …Well, it doesn’t. It may have an anime art style, but it doesn’t have that same kind of animation.
    Well, does it come from Japan? Nope.
    Since Teen Titans doesn’t have the frame-to-frame animation and t’s not from the east, we simply call it a cartoon.

    Simply put, if it’s frame to frame, it’s anime. Not frame-to-frame but from japan, still anime. Neither, then it’s a cartoon. (It’s definitely anime if it follows the frame-to-frame style though, no matter what country it’s from, so we can count “Chronexia and the eight seals” that’s on that one bald Russian guy’s channel)

    I would love to see a YouTuber like Glass Reflection or Super Eyepatch wolf mention this in a video talking about the matter someday, and I would probably do it myself if I was dedicated to uploading content like theirs on my channel, but I don’t. At all.

  13. This is what i think, anime can be referred to all japanese animation regardless the art style, western cartoons with anime style, are western cartoons with anime influence, and all the types, regardless the country are animation.

  14. This entire video is arguing the semantics of whether you call something anime or cartoon in idle conversation, when at the very core of the issue; the absolute bottom line of the story… I don't give a flying shit what you call it. As long as whomever I'm talking to understands what I'm trying to say, I don't give a sweaty bag of monkey dick lint what word you use.

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