anime is just short for Japanese Animation, if you were to describe an anime style you would have to describe the person who designed your said anime like Miyazaki or Satoshi Kon... you'll want to start taking classes in traditional animation and figure drawing at some point if you're serious about anime.
Anime is a English word meaning a Japanese cartoon. Not all Japanese cartoons are drawn in the same style, however as there has been in the past an exchange of culture before, there still is one so sometimes the East and West exchange ideas of methodology and style of drawing.
Alternatively, Anime is a Japanese word describing any animated show. Sailor Moon is anime, the Amazing Spiderman is anime, Tintin is anime...
Also untrue. A lot of famous artist love anime. Notably, Murakami. Who's entire career is pretty much built of satires of it. The problem is not with liking anime. The problem is being an idiot and not being open to other ideas and not practicing your fundamentals. Some people think you can learn a style of art. No you can't. That comes with habitual practices. Learn to do the grape vine before you salsa.
If you want to learn how to draw anything involving the human form, the best thing to learn and understand would be realistic human anatomy Regardless of what style you're looking to improve in, understanding the human body and how it works will make it more reasonable to develop your own stylistic take, and better exaggerate the form without it looking like a technical error.
As for what classes you need to take, anything that teaches you cartooning and realism. Unless you are in japan, which offers specific courses on anime and manga, you are better off learning to draw correctly.
Unfortunately, this is something I'm willing to bet you don't want to hear.
Actually no, as a musician, classically trained in piano and violin, I can kind of relate. Being classically trained helps me with all my techno music just because of the fact that I know what I'm doing when it comes to playing on those instruments and what key signatures I want. So I totally want to take a traditional route of learning art and getting it right the first time.
Anime is a Japanese abbreviation of animation, so Japanese cartoons. So anime = cartooning. Cartooning are a deliberate simplification of reality for effect. Often but not always applied to areas where ideas need to be communicated in an economic way repeatedly. When you hear art teachers or others heave and frustrate over anime its more about the attitudes of some students that think they don't need to study the fundamentals because they draw "anime". So if this doesn't apply to you then just rock on and do your best!
I think the only reason people frown on it is for two reasons: (I hate to say it) it's not American-- or western, perhaps. I think there's this hidden, unspoken pride about having western-based things because cartoon style is fine, but anyway...
The second one would be that these artists/art schools see problems associated with the style, not the style itself but what comes out of it when people decide to make it their primary style. There's this assumption that it limits the mind (it doesn't, but you can say the 'fanbase' decides to let it be a limitation).
For example, anime doesn't have any 'weird' proportions or anatomy as compared to any other cartooning style. In fact, some manga styles actually stick to the 8 head height ideal proportions principle and animators must have learned anatomy and proportions in their years of schooling. It's just that a lot of people who are drawing in this style (non professionally) are not doing those things therefore making up that excuse... I've seen in a lot of anime and manga where there are elements of realism in panels, especially when it comes to the human face (which, okay, I'll admit tends to be not well proportioned in this style, same with cartooning). So basically, it's probably just the fanbase and the fact that it's not western.
I know a couple of people who can draw anime, it probably was one of the first things they began drawing but you probably wouldn't have expected that if you were to see their work.
Oh yeah, and to make you feel better, when I went to a convention some professional comic artists didn't mind the style when executed well, they just don't like when it's executed improperly.
i guess you should just take whatever the most basic classes are offered by the school and see how well that goes...
i call anime a "style" or "type" or "category" of art, it doesn't matter what word you use, as long as you understand that "anime" covers a wide range of styles yet at the same time, is distinguishable from other styles/categories/types of art. it's hard to describe what "anime art" looks like in words but you know it when you see it!
so what you have to do is find your own style that falls under the "anime" label. i don't know how long it will take you. some people really struggle with it. but eventually, you'll get there. you'll find your own way of drawing anime and you can practice hard and improve on your style. once that happens, you will feel totally comfortable drawing anime art.
and what i always say is, learn from all your favorite artists! (they don't even have to be professional) spend lots of time looking and finding lots of anime artists whose art you like. carefully study their art and what makes it so great. look at all the details. deviantart is filled with lots of great anime artists, or you could just read (professional) manga and take a good look at every panel, study closely.
i've never attended art school so i can't tell you much about it. but i can tell you that you can learn a lot by yourself as well, it's not just about which school you go to. i've seen so many great self-taught anime artists and i'm also self-taught. so sure, go to art school! but you don't have to completely depend on it. don't stress out about it
Since the other posters have described anime, I'll answer your later question.
I mostly draw anime, so I'll tell you that if you can, take a class in anatomy. Even though anime proportions are slightly off real life ones, it is still important to stay within the confines of possible human anatomy. Whether it's an art class or a bio class, it'll be worth your time. Besides that just take a few 101 type courses like drawing, painting, digital art if they have it. 101 courses will give you the basics you need to start expanding your knowledge and techniques. ^_^ really, you could skip the classes by studying real life and other artists shading, and color theory, but if you want to take classes, more power to you! Good luck!
lol alright thanks for your feedback. I think you were the only one who actually READ my post instead of spewing lol. Alright, i'll make sure to keep that in mind when i'm looking around. Thanks again!