To me, anime is just a work of animation created in Japan. Similar to Western cartoons, anime has a lot of variation in artistic style and genre. You have your typical action, comedy, drama, and horror shows/movies and a lot of times you'll find works that combine genres. Granted, anime has a lot of tropes that apply to it but then again the same may be said to all forms of animated works across the globe.
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. What does it mean to me? I find Japan to have a lot of cool technology, a rich history, and a pretty unique culture. I've only been to two cities there when I was younger, but I would love to visit Japan again and actually travel around as an adult.
Anime to me is amazing, but when you get down to it, it's just Japanese animation. Just how manga is strictly a Japanese comic. They have some defining characteristics and all that jazz, but that's all it really is. I also have a love for the culture of Japan. I admire it greatly, but I don't like how people have this view that anime and manga must be super popular there. There may be places where all those crazed fans get together, but it's not something the entire country is crazy for. There are people in Japan who frown upon it just as much as people in America. It all depends on where you go and who you meet.
I'm sure it's not necessarily people ridiculing these fans, it's more like some fans confuse their love of anime for a love of Japan without knowing anything about the country outside of the TV shows. It would be a little bit like obsessing over America for their cartoons and thinking we live like Phineas and Ferb. A little ridiculous, right?
To me, anime is a cartoon made in Japan. And Japan is a tiny island country populated mainly by Japanese people. Really, that's all there is to it. You may as well ask what cartoons and US mean to you.
First of all, Japan: I'm quite interested in this country as the culture is both very different to the Austrian one and rather attractive to me in its "exotic" elements. This doesn't mean that I agree with it fully but it never ceases to amaze me anyway. On one hand, there's the strict hierarchy that seems to be there for a life time, be it school, work or even family. While society pushes people to work a lot there are quite a few persons who manage to grow a creative mind even in this setting. Reading about mangaka's daily lifes for example is still very interesting to me. They describe how long they draw, how little time they can spend with their beloved ones but even now I find a new series every now and then that just blows my mind in the positive way. I tried to imitate that immense working morale at least a bit after I saw a certain artist (She's from China but grew up in a similar manner nonetheless.) draw so fast and yet so perfectly beautiful that I felt both like a fatal loser and like an enlightened person at the same moment. Overall, my opinion of Japan is quite splitted. Regarding politics for example I don't agree on many parts as far as I know but good Japanese art is what makes my life more colorful. I also like the Japanese language and learn it myself in a course. I don't use Japanese outside of these classes. It would be like telling a certain joke to someone who doesn't understand it (and you know they don't). It's just not cool.
Also, I love funny Japanese advertisements. ='D
Now, the other part... Simply put, even though there are generic and incredibly horrible ones, I love anime and manga. I love the different styles and genres. So it doesn't really matter in what mood I am, I can practically anytime find a new anime that will be what I'm looking for or even more. They also occupy the largest amount of entertainment media that I consume. Of course, it's not the only thing I do in my free time. There are other nice hobbies that one can have in life like... meeting friends, reading other stuff, sports... And even though I love drawing in manga style, from time to time I do other styles too. Well, I'd say that in order to keep love alive there needs to be distance at times.
If you've got more questions about this, don't hesitate to ask, I just don't want to make it unnecessarily longer. Especially since I should work a bit for university before going to bed. X'D
I have always been interested in learning new things from all sorts of cultures. when I learned about Japan it seemed normal to me, it was like what was missing from my life. I learned about their animation by accident, learned the culture first, and then learned the things I was watching was from there. I am a big time animation fan regardless of where it comes from, if it holds my interest I will watch it.
Most of my life. It what made me have alot of friends, and have art and a passion. I used to like mainstream like shonen, and stuff, but now Im into weird anime. Yet Im still willing to at least watch some of the mainstream like toriko, and Naruto. But when you get to indie like anime, there are less steryotypes present. You just got to dig deep and see jewels, like pale Cocoon, Tekkonkinkreet, 5cm Per Second, Summer Wars, Mushishi, Kunchu Buranko, Kaiba, etc. Of course there is ghibli too, but I consider that more mainstream.
For Japan, most anime won't describe japan perfectly as most anime is between already known people. There are different ways of speaking or politeness in japanese, and if you only learn through anime, you only learn the comminer's language. Like if you were would say that to an elder, they would consider it rude. Sometime they might describe a bit of japanese society. Japanese are pretty orderly people, and emphasis politeness (which is kind of in anime sometimes). I went to japan and its not USA. They got places for drunk people, the subway stations are quite and you can only hear the footsteps of the japanese, they walk on one side, their city is soo clean, people during christmas wear masks for the flu, when you order you are greeted with great politeness, etc. If your in tokyo, there are game slot machines everywhere, and toliets, even in the most remote part. So much useless technology, but it kind of useful. Like the toliet seats have bidet, and are heated. Some hotels will have antifog mirrors.
Also, its going to hard to get around a bit because no one we talked to, learned any english. Luckly my parents knew some chinese.
Frankly I miss japan actually, because I only went for a few weeks. I couldn't even explore outside of Tokyo.
I didn't really get Pale Cocoon. Maybe my IQ isn't grand enough to comprehend 21 minutes of whatever that was, but it did have somethings that were interesting. It's younger sister, Time of Eve, feels like a better anime to me. But I digress. My point is, can you explain Pale Cocoon to me?