Anime

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For criticism see Criticism of Anime

Anime (アニメ?, taken from half of the Japanese pronunciation of "animation", pronounced [anime] About this sound listen in Japanese, but typically Template:PronEng or /ˈænɪmə/ in English) is currently synonym to "Japanese animation"[1], and is a form of superior animation to the Western one, available to all ages of audiences.

Anime dates from about 1917[2] and by the 1930s, it allowed artists to create any characters and settings for which shooting films set in Europe, America, or fantasy worlds that do not naturally involve Japan suffered the lack of Western-looking actors and was next to impossible to recreate.[3] This is yet another reason why it is considered even today superior to usual movies, only barely rivaled by 3D animation, which is still in the beginning compared with the techniques and complexity anime has gained throughout the decades.

Anime, in addition to manga (Japanese comics), is extremely popular in Japan and well known throughout the world and is considered a form of better animation, as well as an art form.[4] Series or movies can be released by television broadcast, directly to video, theatrically, as well as online.

Anime can be hand-drawn or computer animated. It is used in television series, films, video, video games, commercials, and internet-based releases[5], and has representatives in all genres, including fiction.

Relation with other fields

Anime is a medium, not a genre. It consists of various genres. Anime is known for its variety of genres and unique artistic style. Anime, unlike most American cartoons, are not strictly for children (although there is a lot of children's anime). Anime is also for both genders, with there being well defined shonen (boys) and shoujo (girls) genres. In the US, most translated anime tends to belong to the shonen genre, including titles like Tenchi Muyo, Gundam, Trigun, etc.

There is a wide range of quality in Anime. Unlike Disney's animation which tends to have very smooth and full body movement in their characters, the characters in anime tend to move only limited parts of the body, and often motion is achived by moving a fixed picture across the screen. The minimal movement reduces cost in production because one cel drawing can produce multiple frames by simply panning the camera. Such production techniques are also use in American TV cartoons such as The Simpsons.[6]

Manga

Anime is influenced by the drawing style of manga, as both anime and manga art styles influence each other, and also depends on the style of the artist as well. It is not always the case that mangaka are Japanese animators animating for an anime. In some cases, the character design is reflected upon the art style of the original mangaka. Some anime is produce before the manga, and some manga is produced before the anime. Whatever the character design and art style is selected for whichever is produced first, it seems that becomes the basis for what influences the production of the next anime or manga series, or anime based on the manga, or manga based on the anime.[7]

Western movies

Western movies (even animated ones) are mostly fitted more into reality than anime. Both have their appeal in their archetypal idealism, but while western art tries to fit those dreams into current/prognosed reality, anime creates a world around these archetypes. Or to say it more practically: some worlds of anime do not make scientific sense. Anime helps you only to learn about yourself and your fantasies, it does not suggest ways to apply them to your life.

The multitude of romance stories in which the hero has unlimited success with females, where every woman or girl is cute would be called pulp fiction if it weren't Japanese[5]. James Bond is a secret agent against the forces of communism and meglomaniacs - he may be supersmart and superlucky, but Lupan in comparison is out of this world. He is in open machine gun fire range all the time and never gets hit, he does have little mission except looking cool. "Science" fiction movies include such things as people shooting slow-firing rifles in US-civil-war-like rows from massive hovering spacecraft.

The innovativeness of anime lies not in the refitting of known appeal into a relevant setting, but to explore the appeal. Examples are: cute, cool, hot, massive, angry, evil/stupid, mysterious, philosophical and very few anime break from this. Some are parodies on exactly these stereotypes, such as Excel Saga white others are movies in the western sense, such as Mononoke Hime. The Otaku phenomenon is partly due to this surreality. Anime is a place where you are not bothered with the problems of the world.[8]

Expansion

Astro Boy, star of the long-running science fiction series Astro Boy. (1963-1966)

Anime has become commercially profitable in western countries as early commercially successful western adaptations of anime, such as Astro Boy, have revealed.[9] The phenomenal success of Nintendo's multi-billion dollar Pokémon franchise[10] was helped greatly by the spin-off anime series that, first broadcast in the late 1990s, is still running worldwide to this day. In doing so, anime has made significant impacts upon Western culture. Since the 19th century, many Westerners have expressed a particular interest towards Japan. Anime dramatically exposed more Westerners to the culture of Japan. Aside from anime, other facets of Japanese culture increased in popularity.[11] Worldwide, the number of people studying Japanese increased. In 1984, the Japanese Language Proficiency Test was devised to meet increasing demand.[12] Anime-influenced animation refers to non-Japanese works of animation that emulate the visual style of anime.[13] Most of these works are created by studios in the United States, Europe, and non-Japanese Asia; and they generally incorporate stylizations, methods, and gags described in anime physics, as in the case of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Often, production crews either are fans of anime or are required to view anime.[14] Some creators cite anime as a source of inspiration with their own series.[15][16] Furthermore, a French production team for Ōban Star-Racers moved to Flag of Tokyo Prefecture.svg Tokyo to collaborate with a Japanese production team from Hal Film Maker.[17] Critics and the general anime fanbase do not consider them as anime.[18]

  1. REDIRECT Template:Wikify sectionAnime conventions began to appear in the early 1990s, during the Anime boom, starting with Anime Expo, Animethon, Otakon, and JACON. Currently anime conventions are held annually in various cities across the Americas, Asia, and Europe.[19] Many attendees participate in cosplay, where they dress up as anime characters. Also, guests from Japan ranging from artists, directors, and music groups are invited. In addition to anime conventions, anime clubs have become prevalent in colleges, high schools, and community centers as a way to publicly exhibit anime as well as broadening Japanese cultural understanding.[20]

Anime is getting close to the point where it will cross an identity boundary. At the moment, anime is a specifically Japanese art-form. However, in the near future this will change because anime will cross a certain threshold of popularity, and it will, at that point, go from being a Japanese pop-culture phenomenon to an international pop-culture phenomenon. In certain places, this boundary may already have been crossed. The way this phenomenon will be recognized for certain will be when a non-Japanese anime-style production becomes an international pop-culture phenomenon, popular in Japan as well. It is only a matter of time before this occurs.

At its heart, anime is an art-form and, like any art-form, it is ridiculous to say that only certain nations can do it. Italians, Greeks and Romans were not the only true sculptors the world has ever seen, despite their prominence during ancient times and the Renaissance.So, though it may be correct, at this moment, to say that, 'so far, anime has only come out of Japan,' it is also good to understand that, especially given the rise in popularity of the art-form internationally, this way of things will soon change. It may be argued that, 'a haiku is not a true haiku unless it is written in Japanese.' It could be equally said that, 'a haiku is not a haiku unless it has the heart of a haiku.' And the heart of the art-form can be composed in any language.[21]

  1. REDIRECT Template:ContradictTemplate:Wikify section

Starting in the late 1990s, more and more works outside Japan are self-identifying as anime and manga due to being inspired by the styles prevalent within those media (although to call anime and manga "genres" is as spurious as calling Hollywood and Bollywood "genres" of film). While there are convenient names for Korean and Chinese comics (manhwa and manhua respectively), American manga-inspired works (amerimanga the use of which may be encouraged in such cases), and even American anime-inspired animation (amerime), not all these terms are widely used. Can the definition of anime be bended to include works with little to no Japanese involvement in the production like Totally Spies! or Samurai Jack?

On the other hand, self-identification is not the be-all, end-all of classification. It seems similar to remaking Manon des Sources in the Flag of California.svg California countryside without a single French cast or crewmember, and insisting it's still a French film or alternately, calling Kimba the White Lion a Disney film because it's inspired by Disney and has talking animals in it. The option to classify amerime and amerimanga as subsets of anime and manga is still open however.

Few outside a small set of very deluded people in the US considers any of the apery going on over there as manga. American comics have a long and worthy history, the sooner these people forget about trying to be Japanese and just go back to being creative and original, the better it'll be for them. But if people are inspired by manga, who's to prevent them from making comics. Even the Flag of the Philippines.svg Philippines has a perfectly valid term for native comics (komiks).

At the same time, there's plenty of apery going on in mainstream Western comics, much more of that oeuvre is DC/Marvel superhero-of-the-month than it is Elfquest or Preacher or Transmetropolitan (all related to Rob Liefeld). Pointing the blame squarely at amerimanga creators for the dearth of creativity in the American comic industry may be a bit oversimplified. The entire reason much of the work being passed off as "manga" is self-labeled that way is simply because manga sells.

If indeed non-Japanese publishers have successfully co-opted terms like "manga" and "anime" to describe their own products, then we cannot forbid such uses. How we may feel about the issue is usually without relevance. Currently, manga and anime are still largely used to describe Japanese creations, and therefore it's better to use terms like "manga-inspired", but that may not be true for much longer. Megatokyo for example is often shelved in the Manga sections of bookstores these days, and whether we like it or not, we must pay attention to that public perception. On the other hand, this is limited to the US.

The reason that some comics like Megatokyo and Sorcerers and Secretaries are filed under manga is probably because of who publishes them[note 1] and probably the format they're published in.

Fans may identify manga or anime differently than the mainstream publishing or Wikipedia's views. For example, many people consider Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo to be manga, yet Sakai himself doesn't. Regarding the "death of creativity in American comics" in contrast with the expanded creativity in anime and manga, it's only true if you glance at the racks for five seconds and consider everything in the superhero genre to be automatically "uncreative". People can hate on Teen Titans the cartoon all they want, but the fact remains that, for better or for worse, anime and manga have made their mark on other cultures. The superiority of anime and manga is still often cited, and are set at odds with their non-Japanese equivalents.

Non-Japanese works that self-identify as "anime" tend to be the least worthy of being called "anime," while there are less pretentious works that intentionally or unintentionally fit better into the anime "style." In comparison with a Hollywood movie is that the studios are financed by a Hollywood company. Likewise, an objective rule of differentiation can be decided by whether a particular title has Japanese financing, in the sense that American animated shows exported to Japan is unlikely to be called "anime" in the discriminating US-English way, and that goes back to these shows being financed with American money. Likewise, the Disney shows that were made at the Disney Japan studio would not be "anime" even though a lot of famous Japanese animators worked there. To wit, Animated segment in Kill Bill or the animated work that is The Animatrix would be called collaborations.[22]

American audiences

Dragon Ball Z became an international success

Anime’s current popularity in the United States can best be described as a cultural cult hit. AnimeNation’s John Oppliger had this to say on the matter:

The support for anime among American anime fans is very strong. The availability of anime in America is truly impressive, especially within the anime fan community. Awareness of Japanese animation in America is at an all time high. Anime may seem like it's tremendously successful in America because it's high profile [...]

Evidently, the success of anime in America is very relative. American anime fans are very devoted. Through underground means hardcore American fans now have access to brand new Japanese anime before even many Japanese residents do. America's anime fan community is influential because it's affluent, intelligent, and motivated.[23]


The Japanese term otaku is used in America as a term for anime fans, more particularly the obsessive ones. The negative connotations associated with the word in Japan have also been lost in its American context, where it instead connotes the pride of the fans. Only in the recent decade or so has there been a more casual viewership outside the devoted otaku fan base, which can be attributed highly to technological advances. Also, shows like Pokémon and Dragon Ball Z provided a pivotal introduction of anime's conventions, animation methods, and Shinto influences to many American children.[24]

Anime fans

History

Anime began at the start of the 20th century, when Flag of Japan.svg Japanese filmmakers experimented with the animation techniques that were being explored in Flag of France.svg France, Flag of Germany.svg Germany, the Flag of the United States.svg United States, and Flag of Russia.svg Russia.[25] The oldest known anime in existence was screened in 1917 - a two minute clip of a samurai trying to test a new sword on his target, only to suffer defeat.[26]

A cell from the earliest known Anime short from 1917.

In the 1960s, manga artist and animator Osamu Tezuka adapted and simplified many Disney animation-techniques to reduce costs and to limit the number of frames in productions. He intended this as a temporary measure to allow him to produce material on a tight schedule with inexperienced animation-staff.

During the 1970s, there was a surge of growth in the popularity of manga—which were often later animated—especially those of Osamu Tezuka. His work and that of other pioneers in the field, inspired characteristics and genres that are fundamental elements of anime today. The giant robot genre (known as "Mecha" outside Japan), for instance, took shape under Tezuka, developed into the Super Robot genre under Go Nagai and others, and was revolutionized at the end of the decade by Yoshiyuki Tomino who developed the Real Robot genre. Robot anime like the Gundam and Macross series became instant classics in the 1980s, and the robot genre of anime is still one of the most common in Japan and worldwide today. In the 1980s, anime became more accepted in the mainstream in Japan (although less than manga), and experienced a boom in production. Following a few successful adaptations of anime in overseas markets in the 1980s, anime gained increased acceptance in those markets in the 1990s and even more in the 2000s.

1990s

Eva Unit 02 crouching on a battle cruiser in Neon Genesis Evangelion

In 1995, Hideaki Anno wrote and directed the popular and acclaimed anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. This is believe to have started up a series giant robot shows with heavy plots. These include RahXephon, Brain Powerd, and Gasaraki. Another series of these are late night experimental TV shows. Starting with Serial Experiments Lain (1998) late night Japanese television became a forum for experimental anime with other shows following it such as Boogiepop Phantom (2000), Texhnolyze (2003) and Paranoia Agent (2004). Experimental anime films were also released in the 1990s, most notably Ghost in the Shell (1995), which alongside Megazone 23 (1985),[27] had a strong influence on The Matrix.[28][29][30]

The late 1990s also saw a brief revival of the Super Robot genre that was once popular in the 1960s and 1970s but had become rare due to the popularity of Real Robot shows such as the Gundam and Macross series in the 1980s and psychological Mecha shows such as Neon Genesis Evangelion in the 1990s. The revival of the Super Robot genre began with GaoGaiGar in 1997 in response to "post-Evangelion" trends, but there were very few popular Super Robot shows produced after this, until Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann in 2007.

Alongside its Super Robot counterpart, the Real Robot genre was also declining during the 1990s. Though several Gundam shows were produced during this decade, very few of them were successful. The only Gundam shows in the 1990s which managed an average television rating over 4% in Japan were Mobile Fighter G Gundam (1994) and New Mobile Report Gundam Wing (1995). It wasn't until Mobile Suit Gundam SEED in 2002 that the Real Robot genre regained its popularity.[31]

3D rendering was used in this scene of Princess Mononoke, the most expensive animated film at the time, costing $20 million

The 1990s also saw the popular video game series, Pokémon, spawn an anime television show lasting several seasons, a Broadway production, several anime movies, a trading card game, toys, and much more. Other 1990s anime series which gained international success were Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon; the success of these shows marked the beginning of the martial arts superhero genre and the magical girl genre respectively. In particular, Dragon Ball Z was dubbed into more than a dozen languages worldwide.

In 1997, Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke became the most expensive animated film up until that time, costing $20 million to produce. Miyazaki personally checked each of the 144,000 cels in the film,[32] and is estimated to have redrawn parts of 80,000 of them.[33]

The late 1990s also saw anime crossing the borders into live action, starting with Great Teacher Onizuka (1999). It continued well into the 2000s, with Hana Yori Dango (2005), Jigoku Shoujo (2006) and Nodame Cantabile among them.

2000s

An art movement started by Takashi Murakami that combined Japanese pop-culture with postmodern art called Superflat began around this time. Murakami asserts that the movement is an analysis of post-war Japanese culture through the eyes of the otaku subculture. His desire is also to get rid of the categories of 'high' and 'low' art making a flat continuum, hence the term 'superflat'. His art exhibitions are very popular and have an influence on some anime creators particularly those from Studio 4°C.

GN-001 Gundam Exia piloted by Setsuna F Seiei in Mobile Suit Gundam 00, the most popular anime among Newtype readers in April 2008

The "Evangelion-era" trend continued into the 2000s with Evangelion-inspired mecha anime such as RahXephon (2002) and Zegapain (2006) - RahXephon was also intended to help revive 1970s-style mecha designs. The experimental late night anime trend popularized by Serial Experiments Lain also continued into the 2000s with experimental anime such as Boogiepop Phantom (2000), Texhnolyze (2003), Paranoia Agent (2004) and Gantz (2004).

Lelouch Lamperouge as Zero in Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2, winner of Animation Kobe Television Award in 2008 [34]

The Real Robot genre (including the Gundam and Macross franchises), which had declined during the 1990s, was revived in 2002 with the success of shows such as Mobile Suit Gundam SEED (2002), Eureka Seven (2005), Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (2006), Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (2007), Macross Frontier (2008) and Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 (2008). The resurgence of Real Robot anime can be seen in a top 20 anime poll published in the April 2008 issue of Newtype magazine, where Japanese readers voted for Gundam 00 as the #1 top anime, alongside Code Geass at #2 and Gundam SEED at #9.[35]

Kamina in Gurren Lagann, awarded "best television production" and "best character design" at the Tokyo International Anime Fair in 2008

The 1970s-style Super Robot genre revival started by GaoGaiGar (1997), continued into the 2000s, with several remakes of classic series such as Getter Robo and Dancougar as well as original properties created in the Super Robot mold like Godannar and Gurren Lagann. In particular, Gurren Lagann combined the genre with elements from 1980s Real Robot shows as well as 1990s "post-Evangelion" shows. Gurren Lagann received both the "best television production" and "best character design" awards from the Tokyo International Anime Fair in 2008.[36] This eventually culminated in the release of Shin Mazinger in 2009, a full-length revival of the first Super Robot series, Mazinger Z.

In addition to these experimental trends, the 2000s has also been characterized by the increase of the moe-style art and the bishoujo and bishonen character design. The presence and popularity of genres such as romance, harem and slice of life story has risen.

Anime based on eroge and visual novels increased in popularity in the 2000s, building on a trend started in the late 90s by such works as Sentimental Journey (1998) and To Heart (1999). Examples of such works include Green Green (2003), SHUFFLE! (2006), Kanon (2002 and 2006), Fate/Stay Night (2006), Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (2006), Ef: A Tale of Memories (2007) and True Tears (2008).

Many shows are being adapted from manga and light novels as well including popular titles such as Fullmetal Alchemist (2005), Rozen Maiden 2005, Aria the Animation (2005), Shakugan no Shana (2005), Pani Poni Dash! (2005), Death Note (2006), Mushishi (2006), Sola (2007), The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2006), Lucky Star (2007), Toradora! (2008-09) and K-ON! (2009). Nevertheless, original anime titles are still being created which reach success.

The 2000s also mark a trend of emphasis of the otaku subculture, however there have been more productions of late night anime for a non-otaku audience as well. The first concentrated effort came from Fuji TV's Noitamina block. The 30 minute late Thursday timeframe was created to showcase productions for young women of college age, a demographic that watches very little anime. The first production 'Honey and Clover' was a particular success, peaking at a 5% TV rating in Kantou, very strong for late night anime. The block has been running uninterrupted since April 2005 and has yielded many successful productions unique in the modern anime market.

The 2000s also saw the revival of high-budget feature-length anime films, such as Millennium Actress (2001), Appleseed (2001), Paprika (2006), and the most expensive of all being Steamboy (2004) which cost $26 million to produce.

In 2008, the Japanese government created the position of Anime Ambassador and appointed Doraemon as the first Anime Ambassador to promote anime worldwide in diplomacy.[38]

Internet boom

With the popularization of the internet and home computers, the spread (and sometimes distribution) of anime began to increase exponentially. With this new fans, new categorizations and adaptation methods, as well as people or groups of people engages in parodying, fansubbing or even fandubbing episodes.

Production

In comparison to American animation, the quality of animation to budget is much lower.[note 2] Even some inconspicuous western series such as Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century costs approximately a couple million US dollars per episode to produce, a lot higher than Japan production costs. However, Sony specifically said they spent much more money to revive Astro Boy, and the animation shows. Hayao Miyazaki said in an interview that he quit TV animation in the early 1980s because he couldn't muster enough budget to produce the quality animation he wanted.[39]

Visual characteristics

Anime is commonly referred to as an art form.[4] As a visual medium, it naturally places a large emphasis on visual styles. The styles can vary from artist to artist or by studio to studio. Some titles make extensive use of common stylization: FLCL, for example, is known for its wild, exaggerated stylization. In contrast, titles such as Only Yesterday or Jin-Roh take much more realistic approaches, featuring few stylistic exaggerations.

While different titles and different artists have their own artistic styles, many stylistic elements have become so common such that they are described as being definitive of anime in general. However, this does not mean that all modern anime share one strict, common art style. Many anime have a very different art style from what would commonly be called "anime style", yet fans still use the word "anime" to refer to these titles. Generally, the most common form of anime drawings are "exaggerated physical features such as large eyes, big hair and elongated limbs... and dramatically shaped speech bubbles, speed lines and onomatopoeic, exclamatory typography."[40]

The influences of Japanese calligraphy and Japanese painting also characterize linear qualities of the anime style. The round ink brush traditionally used for writing Kanji and for painting produces a stroke of widely varying thickness.

Anime also tends to borrow many elements from manga including text in the background, and borrowing panel layouts from the manga as well. For example, an opening may employ manga panels to tell the story, or to dramatize a point for humorous effect. This is best demonstrated in the anime Kare Kano or the new 2009 series Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

Character design

Body proportions emulated in anime come from proportions of the human body. The height of the head is considered as the base unit of proportion. Head heights can vary as long as the remainder of the body remains proportional. Most anime characters are about seven to eight heads tall, and extreme heights are set around nine heads tall.[41]

Variations to proportion can be modded. Super deformed characters feature a non-proportionally small body compared to the head. Sometimes specific body parts, like legs, are shortened or elongated for added emphasis. Mostly super deformed characters are two to four heads tall. Some anime works like Crayon Shin-chan completely disregard these proportions. It is enough such that it resembles a Western cartoon. For exaggeration, certain body features are increased in proportion.[41]

A common approach is the large eyes style drawn on many anime and manga characters.

Anime characters may employ wide variety of facial expressions to denote moods and thoughts.[42] These techniques are often different in form than their counterparts in western animation.

A vein clearly seen on Edward Elrich from Fullmetal Alchemist.

There are a number of other stylistic elements are common to conventional anime as well but more often used in comedies. Characters that are shocked or surprised will perform a "face fault", in which they display an extremely exaggerated expression. Angry characters may exhibit a "vein" or "stressmark" effect, where lines representing bulging veins will appear on their forehead. Angry women will sometimes summon a mallet from nowhere and strike someone with it, leading to the concept of Hammerspace and the derived anime from cartoon physics. Male characters will develop a bloody nose around their female love interests (typically to indicate arousal, based on an old wives' tale).[43] Embarrassed characters either produce a massive sweat-drop (which has become one of the most widely recognized motifs of conventional anime) or produce a visibly red blush or set of parallel (sometimes squiggly) lines beneath the eyes, especially as a manifestation of repressed romantic feelings. Some anime, usually with political plots and other more serious subject matters, have abandoned the use of these techniques.

The representative styles of 1980s and 2000s anime art.
An example of the wide range of drawing styles anime can adopt.

Animation technique

Like all animation, the production processes of storyboarding, voice acting, character design, cel production and so on still apply. With improvements in computer technology, computer animation increased the efficiency of the whole production process.

Anime scenes place emphasis on achieving three-dimensional views. Backgrounds depict the scenes' atmosphere.[25] For example, anime often puts emphasis on changing seasons, as can be seen in numerous anime, such as Tenchi Muyo!. Sometimes actual settings have been duplicated into an anime. The backgrounds for the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya are based on various locations within the suburb of Nishinomiya, Hyogo, Japan.[44]

Camera angles, camera movement, and lighting play an important role in scenes. Directors often have the discretion of determining viewing angles for scenes, particularly regarding backgrounds. In addition, camera angles show perspective.[45] Directors can also choose camera effects within cinematography, such as panning, zooming, facial closeup, and panoramic.[46]

The large majority of anime is traditional animation, which better allows for the division of labour, pose to pose approach and checking of drawings before they are shot favoured by the industry.[47] Other mediums are mostly limited to independently-made short films,[48] examples of which are the silhouette and other cutout animation of Noburo Ofuji,[47][49] the stop motion puppet animation of Tadahito Mochinaga, Kihachirō Kawamoto[50] and Tomoyasu Murata[51] and the computer animation of Satoshi Tomioka[52] (most famously Usavich).[53]

Radical animators used completely different shortcuts to achieve different effects than most anime. While Astroboy and SAC are a lot more fluid in animation than most anime due to higher budgets, they still use many techniques that are common to anime (though far less than a standard show like Naruto). These examples deviated from the norm to illustrate show that anime isn't entirely unified in its style (which is a very common misconception). The level of deviation from the norm in regards to Astroboy and SAC.[54]

There are exceptions to Anime being 2D, such as Zoids, and also many games have anime. For example there was a 3D Sailor Moon game for dreamcast. Computer 3D has also been used in the rendering of 2D productions such as Heat Guy J. In the US it's used for South Park.

As for competition-based anime (which is really not a recognized genre of anime since it encompasses things like Japan! which is a cooking anime, which has it's own genre. Competitions happened in Dragonball Z as well. Competitions have happened in Martial Arts anime, Role Playing Anime, and sometimes Episode of the Week in various anime, like the classic have-to-insert Sport competition, or even Sports Anime, like Touch, which while is technically baseball anime, it doesn't really have much competition.

What Anime is and does is use the rules of limited animation. That is cheats to make things appear they are moving more than they are. Even high tech anime such as Miyazaki productions still use principles of limited animation, like back of heads shots when talking. However, what classes anime from other limited productions, such a APA, is to how the limitation was adapted and taken to the next level as well as the purposeful integration of Japanese cinematic techniques, such as Kurozawa films, which can be seen with Samurai fights and any fight sequence, including Yu-Gi-Oh!, Takarazuka theater (gay and lesbian characters who cross dress), Noh Theater (the hollow sounds and background music used in Tenchi are prime example), movie film shots (such as up shots far away shots, building shots, panning shots, etc. adapted from French and German Film) and other more subtleties like treatment of line. The stylistic differences between American film that are consistent are the use of color (which is viewed differently in Japanese art) and the use of line which tends to vary more in thickness than western versions of animation. The various cheats that Japanese use and how they use them is actually what defines the medium. You can see this extended to even 3D games, and animation that uses 3D.

Production sizes of Japanese studios are greatly smaller. While an American Studio can have 3 teams per productions, 3 directors, Anime usually only has one director for the entire series, and one character designer. (An American team can have 3 directors or more.) A Japanese studio also works on a tighter budget. To a Japanese studio the amount of money an American production spends they only dream of.. and this is a high-end studio (deleting name om me if you are dying to know.), who makes clean and high-end productions. 100 people on a crew to Japanese is unheard of and highly wasteful. Many people multi-task: directors will draw, whereas an American director will not. That's what defines anime as a medium of expression. Not big eyes, or high voices, but how it's produced and the end result.[55]

Distribution

While anime had entered markets beyond Japan in the 1960s, it grew as a major cultural export during its market expansion during the 1980s and 1990s. The anime market for the United States alone is "worth approximately $4.35 billion, according to the Japan External Trade Organization".[56] Anime has also been a commercial success in Asia, Europe and Latin America, where anime has become even more mainstream than in the United States. For example, the Saint Seiya video game was released in Europe due to the popularity of the show even years after the series has been off-air.

Anime distribution companies handled the licensing and distribution of anime beyond Japan. Licensed anime is modified by distributors through dubbing into the language of the country and adding language subtitles to the Japanese language track. Using a similar global distribution pattern as Hollywood, the world is divided into five regions.

Some editing of cultural references may occur to better follow the references of the non-Japanese culture.[57] Certain companies may remove any objectionable content, complying with domestic law. This editing process was far more prevalent in the past (e.g. Robotech), but its use has declined because of the demand for anime in its original form. This "light touch" approach to localization has favored viewers formerly unfamiliar with anime. The use of such methods is evident by the success of Naruto and Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block, both of which employ obvious big and disturbing edits (see Editing of anime in American distribution).

With the advent of DVD, it was possible to include multiple language tracks into a simple product. This was not the case with VHS cassette, in which separate VHS media were used and with each VHS cassette priced the same as a single DVD. The "light touch" approach also applies to DVD releases as they often include both the dubbed audio and the original Japanese audio with subtitles, typically unedited. Anime edited for television is usually released on DVD "uncut", with all scenes intact.

TV networks regularly broadcast anime programming. In Japan, major national TV networks, such as TV Tokyo broadcast anime regularly. Smaller regional stations broadcast anime under the UHF. In the United States, cable TV channels such as Cartoon Network, Disney, Sci-Fi, and others dedicate some of their timeslots to anime. Some, such as the Anime Network and the FUNimation Channel, specifically show anime. Sony-based Animax and Disney's Jetix channel broadcast anime within many countries in the world. AnimeCentral solely broadcasts anime in the UK.

The Internet has played a significant role in the exposure of anime beyond Japan. Prior to the 1990s, anime had limited exposure beyond Japan's borders. Not at all coincidentally, as the popularity of the Internet grew, so did interest in anime. Much of the fandom of anime grew through the Internet. The combination of internet communities and increasing amounts of anime material, from video to images, helped spur the growth of fandom.[58] As the Internet gained more widespread use, Internet advertising revenues grew from 1.6 billion yen to over 180 billion yen between 1995 and 2005.[59]

A cross shaped explosion in the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Aspects

Symbolism

Because anime is highly influenced by ancient Japanese myths often deriving from the animistic nature worship of Shinto, most western audiences not accustomed to anime are wholly unfamiliar to these foreign texts and customs. For example, an average American viewing the live-action TV show Hercules will be no stranger to the Greek myths and legends it is based on, while the same person watching Tenchi Muyo might not understand that the pleated ropes wrapped around the "space trees" are influenced by the ancient legend of Amaterasu and Susano.[24]

The Western world abandoned their ancient pagan beliefs during the middle ages, whereas Shinto has remained relatively unchanged in modern Japanese culture. Because of this, Shinto has been able to provide over eight million deities and their surrounding folklore for anime creators to utilize. A Japanese audience is thus more aware of these Shinto influences since they have existed consistently throughout Japanese society. American media creators are often confined with the most popular or basic myths to draw upon, like Adam and Eve.[24] These cultural gaps limit anime's potential impact on its foreign audience, but as anime integrates into American pop-culture the newer generations will be more in tune with anime conventions and the ideals behind Shinto.

The reversal has also appeared since the '90s, for the Japanese creators to integrate what they understand of the most mainstream religion symbols from the Western World, including The Christian cross, Jesus references and other issues that seem "symbolic", as they know the Japanese public will probably not understand the issues, and as with the case of "engrish", will find it "cool", and also will not be worried about blaspheming a particular deity or symbolism from their own culture.

Some have made correlations between the "weirdness" and religious inaccuracies of some series, starting with Neon Genesis Evangelion and Suzumaya Haruhi and their successes with the public.[60]

Quality and popularity

If an anime is popular it doesn't denote by any means that it's sophisticated or complex, or that it should be in the same league as ones that are. For example, we wouldn't liken Dr. Seuss with Shakespeare, or imply they are the same caliber just because one may enjoy an equal or greater popularity than the other. Popular works are not always dusted with an aura of genius but at the same time, it is good to keep in mind that many popular works are good representative examples of anime as a whole. Naturally, the truly original works that may not always be as popular are extremely important, but making the distinction between what is more on the fringe versus what is more mainstream may prove important from some perspectives. Some people, especially Wikipedians, support the idea that recognition of original works which do not receive as much fan support should be given, while being placed in proper context.[61]

Misconceptions

There are common misconceptions among people who aren't very educated about anime in general. There are actually people that do recieve an incorrect message or assumption of what anime is supposed to be. A popular urban myth, which spread more through the anime fandom rather than anime unknowers, was that people believe anime is all about tentacle demons and the apparently willing meat puppets they enjoy, spurring from an even older fear that anime would be confused with hentai, as the pornographic industry expanded on all possible fronts, including western animation, anime and 3D animation. The truth is not all of anime is appropriate for children. while it's not all adult, either.[note 3] Nor is it all about clueless ditzes with magical powers who are meant to save the day with the power of love. Anime is a spectrum ruling over the same genres as the Western world sees in theaters.[60]

See also

Lists

Notes

  1. MT is under DC's manga imprint and S&S is published by Tokyopop
  2. There was also a more detailed article in AWN magazine that's about anime budgets, but the article is locked now and open to subscription only.
  3. Ghibli, being massively influenced by Miyazaki, and then the rights bought up by Disney, though still kid-friendly, is most likely going to bring up big issues, if you think about the movies too much.

References

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  3. "Do Manga Characters Look "White"?". http://web.archive.org/web/20060517194357sh_re_/www.matt-thorn.com/mangagaku/faceoftheother.html. Retrieved 2005-12-11. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Ask John: Do Japanese Viewers Treat Anime Shows as Fads?". Ask John. AnimeNation. 2006-04-07. http://www.animenation.net/blog/2006/04/07/ask-john-do-japanese-viewers-treat-anime-shows-as-fads/. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
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  6. Very old revision of Wikipedia's "Anime" article, probably even present in the original version of the article.
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  29. Joel Silver, interviewed in "Making The Matrix" featurette on The Matrix DVD.
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  31. All Gundam TV series ratings
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  35. Newtype April 2008 Issue Poll
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  61. Adapted from Wikipedia, published May 13, 2005 (archived link)
This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Anime.
The list of authors can be seen in the page history. The text of this Wikinfo article is available under the GNU Free Documentation License and the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.

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