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
angelxxuanFeatured By OwnerDec 10, 2012Student General Artist
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?
Its hard because that was the only episode put into the series
Basically think about it. They are living underground. Why can't they live on earth? Because earth is destroyed. The story basically represent if we should relive the memories of earth, when there is no earth to go back to.
Hmm. I rember panda cafe. Hare nochi guu is one, but I don't know if that really counts. Soo random and filled with video game references. Spring and Chaos, an anime movie. Watch some honey and clover.
Some, I remeber watching utawarerumono a long time ago! Gurren Laggan if that counts? Dokuro Chan (never again D. Or Kiba (not the one with the dogs, with amuil gaul) perhaps?
Some list of off the wall anime: [link] ( mainly want to finish this blog or most of it). [link]
This question kind of implies we got all our opinions about Japan from anime, instead of from the proper channel, Godzilla movies.
After watching 27 Japanese Godzilla movies, I can safely say that Japanese people are really good at evacuating. They do so in an unsurprised and orderly fashion. Also they don't really mind Americans so much, provided that said Americans are very helpful at fighting aliens, or turn out to be robots who can be reprogrammed to fight aliens. At any rate, they're very eager to accept either the US's or the UN's help when the chips are down. In fact, they seem to positively love the UN, possibly because it funds the Godzilla task force. Japan is also a very egalitarian society where females are not discriminated against, providing they are skilled in various high-level anti-Godzilla tactics, or are psychics who can talk to Godzilla and/or Mothra.
Whereas I do think watching a lot of anime affects the way one views Japan, I didn't mean to imply such a direct connection. I didn't know there were so many Japanese Godzilla movies, are they all produced by the Japanese themselves? If so, the love of the UN and the willingness to accept their help is surprising to me.
Before I write you an essay, here's your tl;dr [link] that pretty much says it all. It's taken straight from one of the more recent all-Japanese Godzilla movies, I think Godzilla vs. Megaguirus.
There are 28 Godzilla movies. 27 of them were made in Japan by Toho, and 1 of them, the infamous 'Godzilla 1998' was made in the US.
Several of the Japanese Godzilla movies made AFTER 1998 do poke fun at the American Godzilla movie specifically, but I think only because they thought the CG Godzilla itself was so lame.
Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) is the only actual Godzilla movie starring an American, but if we look outside movies specifically starring Godzilla, and into other monster movies also made by Toho, Dogora, Invasion of the Astro-Monster, Latitude Zero, and King Kong vs. MechaKong all have Caucasian American protagonists. Two of these even have a bit of an interracial love story.
In another Toho movie, Atragon, a former World War II Japanese naval officer refuses to give up on Japan's imperialistic dreams and starts a base on a secret island with the hopes of completing work on an advanced submarine and helping Japan resume its quest to take over the world. When Japan is attacked by the secret underwater kingdom Mu and their giant undersea dragon(ok, these movies are kind of stupid), a former admiral has to convince this guy to give up on imperial Japan and help the UN defeat the Mu threat. It's a sort of interesting movie from that standpoint.
I guess what I'm trying to say is I think there should be a difference between 'japanimation' (animation created in Japan) and 'japanimation-inspired animation' (animation that imitates anime style, but not made in Japan)
Oh yea. its because anime, manga have become more of marketing terms then a style persay. Its hard to say Japan inspired animations, because there are chinese manwha that really look the same quality as japan.
It especially gets nasty when workers in japan aren't japanese, but are working for an anime house. Like Micheal Arias, directed tekkonkinkreet, which is not anime style really, but the original story was done by a mangaka in japan.
Its pretty deep rooted the dicussion of anime vs western, where there is a different and yet there isn't. IF you pick up Imagine FX magazine issue of manga, it did talk about an article of what is manga and manga is just totally different then when Astro boy picked up. I think I heard that manga's kanji was change to mean a 1000 styles or something like that.
The only way to say its manga, is the process like the way japanese make manga instead of the western (in japan they voice act together where as US voice act seperate booths), listing the iconic things about manga like there is less narration in manga then american comics, and kind of live with the set differences.
But you can also say that manga has some traditions of japan, because there is alot of art history japan. Look at Tale of genji, its an early version of shoujo manga. Or Kabuki theather is the birth of Bishonen men, because they kicked out the women eventually and men took over the women's roles. Samurais and ninjas, well you get those anime.
Manga transform more to the comic paneling because of western importantion during WWII, but still retains some japanese. Anime doesn't really have much because its base on both manga and western importantions, especially disney. I found out even tezuka was testing alot of UPA styles (western style common to the jestons, etc) and that All anime is just animation to him. My teacher showed a documentary about him, and it was great to learn his side of the opinion on how he view his work. Ghibli also has good relationships with Disney, not only because Disney sells their works, but they shared their ideas to each other.
Anime is also just limited animation which I agree takes root in disney. Sakuga takes some from disney too.
I like anime, especially the more obscure stuff that people easily overlook, I work at anime conventions, but I'm not a weeb.
I know people who think Japan is the most amazing place in the world and think they will get excepted there are bloody well kidding themselves. The Japanese are incredibly xenophobic. There are people who were born there and have one parent not born in Japan can never be accepted as one of them. I would like to go, but I would never like to live there. The only way to survive there is to dislike the Japanese as much as they would dislike you because you are gaijin.
DWEntertainmentFeatured By OwnerDec 9, 2012Student Traditional Artist
I see anime the same way I see every other medium that's out there such as comics, cartoons, music, etc. For me, it's usually a bunch of generic crap that creates the stereotypes surrounding anime while also hiding the good anime because of all the bad ones. Also, like other mediums, when you do find a gem in the trash, it just blows your mind. Those are my thoughts about but sometimes I just can't stick with too much anime. There's just so much generic crap out there that it bores me.
As for Japan, it's one of the places that I really want to go to one day because I'm just one of those guys who loves to learn about other cultures.
I personally love anime, but maybe for a different reason than most. Western cartoons are cool too, but anime has a variety of mature plot lines that you won't find in Disney or WB stuff. Not to mention that eastern culture comes up with a huge array of ideas that you'll never find in western comics or shows. I guess I see it as a difference in creative stand points and a broadening of my mind into thinking outside of my own cultural box. So to me, it wouldn't matter if it comes from japan, just as long as it keeps its unique plot lines. Japan and anime are separate entities to me and yeah, I know they're innately linked, but that's not why I like anime. It's different. That's why I like it.
As for the art, I may just be drawn to it because I grew up with it, but I do think some anime/manga is extremely beautiful, and I have to give props to their creators at the very least. To me, anime is a respectable art form, but that's merely my opinion. Even though I'm a (mostly) anime artist, I still find other art forms like semi-realism to be far more impressive.
Japan and Anime are two totally different things. Just because something hails from somewhere does not mean they are bound to each other and impossible to see apart.
Like if you believe that US-Superhero-Comics and America is the same.
Japan is a weird contry, in my eyes. The history is gruesome, the tech-stuff fantastic, their way to see life and people horrible in my eyes.
Anime does reflect some of the facetes of Japan. But only a hand full. You can't say you know J when you never visited, since Anime does not really tell you anything about it. Yes, you might know what a Combini looks like, what they wear at school, how they transform into magical beings when saving the world from evil tentacle slime monsters...
But Japan itself... that will be a shock when you go there.
Strangely I just had a similar discussion with a friend and co worker at the comic con today. We both greatly dispice Weeaboos. Screaming Kawaiiii and desudesudesu through the room does not make you Japanese. It just puts every other fan into a bad light.
Japan, kinda like a country with almost everything I'd like to have Nice view also XD
animes, well they are a kind of entertainments. they reflects Japanese' thoughts and opinions, they show the progression of the global anime circle and they are the way many people choose to entertain themselves.
personally, I don't feel like caring about those who laugh at us--or I mean people who love Japanese stuffs. we proud of what we are and what we like, and I think others should just try watching some good ones first before judging us
also, if animes are that absurd, how could they make this many people addicted to them?
This is actually something that fascinates me: How do non-Japanese people connect to these 'absurd' (as some call it) anime that are loaded with Japanese culture (and are thus very different from their own culture)?
i think maybe because of the plot. Japanese animes have plots that, I don't know, kinda different from others'. like, 'cuz Japanese has kinda different way to think from other nationalities, so the feeling of the animes--the plot, the sets, the characters and the themes--is different (and I'd say it's unique )
plus Japan has a culture that is outstanding, and they use this to combine with their technology of producing animations so they become more interesting :3
Japan is mostly mostly awesome since that is where anime and alot of videogames come from. The problem is there is also a lot of screwed up things in japan. About anime, i love watching it but i would never go as far as become an otaku.
I don't care much for Japan, and the hardcore fans who think Japan is the best thing that has ever happened to the world really irritate me. But even if I'm not one of those 'otakus', I really love anime and manga.
There are great artists in those genres (my favorite being the guy who drew Death Note, Obata Takeshi. Another big fave is Yuki Kaori.) And even if there are many others who aren't great, at least they're 'passable', you know, the kind of artists you could find behind one-shots or really short mangas. I find it easier to find a manga than an american comic that is pleasing to my eyes. Many times I've turned comics down because of the overly exaggerated manliness in their drawings. Seriously, what's the need for Wolverine to have pubic hair on his arms?? ¬¬ Because of the same reason I can't read a comic featuring both The Punisher and Batman. But there are bad japanese artists too. Mayu Shinjo's works and whoever made One Piece hurt my eyes.
What I don't like that much is Japanese music. I don't know if it makes sense, but in general a perceive a certain style of singing among Jpop and Jrock singers, and I don't like it (yeah, I'm talking about the mainstream music). I do like their appearances, since I like androgynous guys, but the only japanese music I listen to is from anime's OSTs.
Another thing I like about anime is (at least where I live) many people like. I can't find many people who like the same music I like, or read the same books I do (or read at all D, but many people here like anime, and it's nice to find someone from your same fandom. I'd love to find someone who is a Poe fan though. ;(
Thanks for your clear story I like to think that most anime fans are like you; critical of Japanese culture, not just blindly loving everything that is associated with Japan. But I guess there are a lot of 'otakus' out there? Or maybe it's just a few of them giving the whole fandom a bad reputation.
Or maybe it's just a few of them giving the whole fandom a bad reputation. It's like that. There are otakus who aren't bad people, but those others 'otakus', I want to caress their eyeballs with a fork.
It's like the metal scene. We, the people who like metal, call ourselves metalheads. But there's this bunch of metalheads who call themselves 'true-metalheads'. Some of them really are people who appreciate music and accepts the likes and dislikes of other people. But many others are elitists who say they hold the true meaning of what's metal and what's not metal. Some of them even say Metallica isn't metal. Seriously? I don't like them much, but Metallica IS metal. -.- And because of those people, other metalheads who really fit the real meaning of 'true-m.' don't want to be called that.
Here, every year the local otaku community holds an annual anime-manga convention. The people who I hang out with in those conventions are ashamed of being called otaku. They don't want to be thrown into the same bag as the irritating 'otakus'. They (aaaand I guess you can include me there) really like anime and manga, but if someone asks they'll say "god no, I'm not otaku, I just love anime."
Japan is an okay country. I don't really care for it. Though I want to go to Tokyo one day just to see how messed up the culture is.
To me, anime is as important as movies, or literature, or music, or art. It's an art form. And I like most art forms. The only reason I specialize in anime is because it's an art form that is still in its infancy. It's easier to go through compared to literature and people won't try to force it down my throat like music. It's both entertainment and art to me.
Thanks for your input, you have interesting views and I agree with you that anime can be art. I guess fans of anime come in all forms and don't necessarily have a big interest in Japanese culture then.
Not all anime focus on Japan. It's got a vaster range than that. And that's why people who don't really have a thing for Japan can still get into anime. There are some that look like cartoons, others set in the West, and a few that use Western ideologies instead of Eastern ones.
If it were all about Japanese culture, I wouldn't really care about anime.
By the way, could you recommend some anime with more Eastern ideologies/themes to me? I'm especially interested in finding some Western fan art or fan fiction on these more Eastern anime that shows how Western fans make meaning of such Eastern themes; how they can relate to such anime and connect them to their own identity.
I've watched a few anime myself, but am not sure if they're suitable.. Maybe some Miyazaki films?
Maybe it also depends on the person. Not everyone is as open or interested in a culture that differs so much from their own.
Though in my opinion, hopefully these more Western types of anime will get people to slowly become more interested in the more Eastern ones and in Japanese culture. I'm all for globalization, or at least for cultures having more knowledge and understanding of each other.