Can Americans Make Anime?

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 NEXT
 

Uh, animated cartoons? Yes. They've been doing it for, literally, years.

Big eye little girl pedo material? Not unless they want to go to jail.

NameIsRobertPaulson:

So, because Hentai exists... no Anime can have deeper cultural meaning or relevance?

I personally think Avatar can't have lasting meaning or relevance because Heavy Metal exists.

image
See how that works?

Based on the same logic you make fun of there can't be a proper movie because there are pornospoofs of EVERYTHING!

Point example: Dickman and Throbbin *guess which superheroe and his sidekick are spoofed here*

I've just finished watching The Last Airbender. It's Anime. If you just look at the art and animation style it certainly fits.

I'm not really sure why people would consider it to not be Anime unless they enjoyed it and had a negative association with anime.

I think it's interesting considering, that in Japan, "anime" already refers to every sort of animation, no matter where it comes from, so in Japan there would be no problem to use the term on Avatar, Samurai Jack and so on.
On the other hand, you were talking about the ingredients, and there definitely are major differences!
To begin with, Avatar draws ifluence/inspirationn from Chinese culture (which is not Japan, in fact, both cultures aren't always good to speak of one another). Even if you look at Samurai Jack, as his name kinda implies, he's about 50% Samurai and 50% American. Thouth they may look like Japanese animation and are inspired by far eastern culture, there's still a difference the more you look into it. So, if you'd want to distingiush them, it would be much more appropriate to do so by genre:

Scars Unseen:

Hell, it's only barely adequate to describe Japanese animations, because it's not like all anime are one genre. Your article doesn't even describe anime; it describes a subtype of anime known as shonen.

But, going further, as already mentioned by "Scars Unseen", sometimes it gets very difficult to put a very individual work (like the Avatar-Series is) into a genre-branch and that has a very good reason, because the more complex, more individual such a work gets, the more it moves away from regular genres (and often also away from national stereotypes), resulting in the work becoming more "live-like" and/or a special piece of art and the descriptions including several genre-terms or even creating new ones.

To break it down, considering the term "anime" lacks to properly describe anything more than an animated video work, you might want to use genres, or just describe it as an individual work.

For next week's shit storm: "What is moe?"

Anime and cartoon are interchangeable as far as im concerned and I quite like animation as a whole whatever you want to call it.

AC10:
For next week's shit storm: "What is Moe?"

image

Thats a good question luckily we have the expert here also bonus hes also an anime/cartoon/drawn/computer generated character so he can provide insight into that as well.

The term 'Anime' is nothing more than a way of distinguishing the American home-made cartoons from the Japanese. Regardless of which country inspired who to do cartoons in a certain style, there is a gigantic difference between American and Japanese cartoons, some random examples would be:
- 5 minute long intro's
- J-pop bands made especially to create a theme song
- more adult content (less problems in Japan with partial nudity, violence and blood)
- voice acting quality (Japanese voice actors are usually better trained and schooled)
- animation quality (Japan has higher quality benchmarks than America)
- less commercialization (most American shows are made purely for toy and other merchanise sales, Japanese anime tends to be more moderate in that regard)

Note that there are exceptions and I don't want anyone attacking me, because you think that, "Nolan North is the best voice actor evah".

That being said, I couldn't care less what the term 'Anime' stands for, I just watch either American or Japanese CARTOONS.

Wado Rhyu:
i must say NO the can't and the reason is simple.

the shows that are described are cartoons marketed at ppl of the age of roughly 5 to 12.
where as the anime is marketed at students between the age of 15 to 25.

Ha ha ha... No.

Anime is still heavily geared towards "Tweens"... The Japanese (and large parts of the world) just have differing attitudes towards what level of violence and inuendo is acceptable for 12 year olds.

Seriously, you think shows like Dragon Ball Z and Girls Bravo are intended for mature audiences?

Pearwood:
Whatever people say about anime being a Japanese word you can't argue that it isn't considered its own school of animation with a distinct style and common themes. If something non-Japanese has that style and those themes then anyone who doesn't use the word kawaii in regular conversation will call it anime.

They don't have to use "kawaii" in conversation. They have to use "shonen action series" in conversation, that is the name of the genre that Naruto, Bleach, and Avatar are all following with their art style and themes, and not "anime".

I remember when they first debuted Avatar, and similarly when CN debuted the Murakami Teen Titans, and remember exactly how internet anime fans reacted.
It was not pleasant.
This is going to be an oddly specific, probably obscure reference, but in the manga "Dramacon" there's a scene where an American manga-ka is accosted by a young Narutard for not being Japanese. As she is a woman of color, he goes on to say "she's not even white".
That, by and large, was how the Gaia Online forums reacted to those shows when they first came out. Over time, however, many of those people eventually changed their tune.
Of course, that was back when Gaia still had hentai sites on their links page and it was still kind of "hip" to be into Naruto.
I know, right? They also had an online dating service, but that was before I joined.
It was like "Cyber" central over there!

Back to the topic: You'll find that attitude nearly everywhere. They're called "purists". They can be some of the most annoying fans in the world...

Can Americans make anime? No. I consider anime to be animation made in Japan.
Can Americans make good animation that looks like anime, but is not anime? Yes. I loved Avatar, and while I have my problems with Korra (which I am trying to get over because they are silly) they are still very good shows. Afro Samurai and Powerpuff Girls are also two very good shows.

I remember when I first started watching Avatar, I did what I usually do: went looking for the original voice work, the sub. It didn't take long for me to realize "Oh wait, there is no sub because this was done in english. Oh wait, this was done in english because it is not Japanese, it is American" and that really weirded me out. I mean, it looks like an anime. The story and characters are very anime-esque. Does that make it an anime? No. Does that mean it is automatically bad and sub-par? No.

To be fair, my idea of an anime--and what makes a good anime--are not normal.

Alterego-X:

They don't have to use "kawaii" in conversation. They have to use "shonen action series" in conversation, that is the name of the genre that Naruto, Bleach, and Avatar are all following with their art style and themes.

My point was you'd have to be pretty fucking otaku to write off all non-Japanese anime when it's such a varied medium with such an easily recognisable style. I can't think of an American anime off the top of my head that isn't action, probably because it's the easiest stepping stone from Western to Eastern styles.

The Human Torch:

- 5 minute long intro's
- J-pop bands made especially to create a theme song
- more adult content (less problems in Japan with partial nudity, violence and blood)
- voice acting quality (Japanese voice actors are usually better trained and schooled)
- animation quality (Japan has higher quality benchmarks than America)
- less commercialization (most American shows are made purely for toy and other merchanise sales, Japanese anime tends to be more moderate in that regard)

I can't disagree with what you're saying but I do think it's down to Japan being far more experienced when it comes to animation more than due to any cultural differences. As anime gets more popular the quality of the voice acting and the animation itself goes up since they can throw a bigger budget at it without much worry. As for tie-in merchandise, it's always going to be around. Pokemon's a huge example of that on the Japanese side.

We can make anime styled series, but we can't make straight up anime due to not being Japanese. /thread

This article is needless. The most one could hope to argue is what really constitutes 'anime style'. That in and of itself is widely varying, but can generally be summed up with a "I know it when I see it". I've heard Japanese people get somewhat offended when Americans "copy" their style[1], but aside from that I think trying to make a concrete distinction between anime and non-anime is fairly pointless. If you like the way it looks then you like the way it looks. Classification shouldn't really affect your preference in that regard.

[1] which seems silly to me, since it was Osamu Tezuka who 'copied' Disney in the first place

They sure can make Blackime.

Pearwood:

Alterego-X:

They don't have to use "kawaii" in conversation. They have to use "shonen action series" in conversation, that is the name of the genre that Naruto, Bleach, and Avatar are all following with their art style and themes.

My point was you'd have to be pretty fucking otaku to write off all non-Japanese anime when it's such a varied medium with such an easily recognisable style. I can't think of an American anime off the top of my head that isn't action, probably because it's the easiest stepping stone from Western to Eastern styles.

No, you don't have to be pretty fucking otaku "to write off" western animation, but you have to be to notice that your claims about it's "easily recognisable style" are not actually attributes of anime, but attributes of it's shonen action series subgenre.

"Anime" as a whole encompasses as many styles as western animation. Not just in narrative themes, but also in drawing styles. Identifying one random genre's western examples that you happen to be familiar with as "western anime", is narrowing down this varied medium.

Alterego-X:

"Anime" as a whole encompasses as many styles as western animation. Not just in narrative themes, but also in drawing styles. Identifying one random genre's western examples that you happen to be familiar with as "western anime", is narrowing down this varied medium.

When you're talking about things like this you've got to generalise to some extent. I don't think I'm being unfair to say there are common trends that are followed through many genres of anime. Mostly the way people are drawn and coloured and the music.

Alterego-X:

Pearwood:

Alterego-X:

They don't have to use "kawaii" in conversation. They have to use "shonen action series" in conversation, that is the name of the genre that Naruto, Bleach, and Avatar are all following with their art style and themes.

My point was you'd have to be pretty fucking otaku to write off all non-Japanese anime when it's such a varied medium with such an easily recognisable style. I can't think of an American anime off the top of my head that isn't action, probably because it's the easiest stepping stone from Western to Eastern styles.

No, you don't have to be pretty fucking otaku "to write off" western animation, but you have to be to notice that your claims about it's "easily recognisable style" are not actually attributes of anime, but attributes of it's shonen action series subgenre.

"Anime" as a whole encompasses as many styles as western animation. Not just in narrative themes, but also in drawing styles. Identifying one random genre's western examples that you happen to be familiar with as "western anime", is narrowing down this varied medium.

Anime looks like Anime. Watch Robot Carnival, Memories, Berserk, anything by Osamu Tezuka, anything by Studio Ghibli, Satoshi Kon's work, anything by Mad House, FLCL, Panty Stocking and Garterbelt, Boogiepop phantom, Mushi-shi, Gankutsuou, Kaiba, Kino's Journey, Animatrix, House of Five Leaves, Afro Samurai, Serial experiments lain, Beck, Hourou Musuko, Shin Chan (and similarly styled kindergarten anime), other Gainax series, Lucky Star, Ouran High school Host club, Nana, Anything based on a Clamp manga, etc. etc. They all look like "anime".

It's extremely rare that a series is so far removed from the stylistic conventions of anime that it's no longer recognizable as such. Even then, someone who knows animation can usually tell the difference (Cat's Soup or Cannon Fodder, for example). Shonen manga and anime are encompassed within these pervading conventions. Yes, there are obvious stylistic distinctions between series, but that doesn't somehow make identifying American series that emulate shonen series as "anime" styled unreasonable.

The Human Torch:
The term 'Anime' is nothing more than a way of distinguishing the American home-made cartoons from the Japanese. Regardless of which country inspired who to do cartoons in a certain style, there is a gigantic difference between American and Japanese cartoons, some random examples would be:
- 5 minute long intro's
- J-pop bands made especially to create a theme song
- more adult content (less problems in Japan with partial nudity, violence and blood)
- voice acting quality (Japanese voice actors are usually better trained and schooled)
- animation quality (Japan has higher quality benchmarks than America)
- less commercialization (most American shows are made purely for toy and other merchanise sales, Japanese anime tends to be more moderate in that regard)

Note that there are exceptions and I don't want anyone attacking me, because you think that, "Nolan North is the best voice actor evah".

That being said, I couldn't care less what the term 'Anime' stands for, I just watch either American or Japanese CARTOONS.

Excuse me while I laugh for a second....

Ok i am done, now I can nitpick/sperg on you points

5 minute long intros

2 minutes actually

- J-pop bands made especially to create a theme song

Only for shounen anime, otherwise usually their parent company who owns the record labels gets the song produced so they can sell the OST later and toss in a couple of concerts featuring the voice actresses.

- more adult content (less problems in Japan with partial nudity, violence and blood)

HBO will like a word with you. And what Japan does in their Cartoons is freaking small time. All that nudity and violence and blood pales in comparison to what HBO does or hell just SciFy with NBSG or SGU. The nudity is blue balls at best and is even more censored nowadays compared to American shows (well maybe not cartoons but we haven't tapped into that again yet). And Japanese violence and blood is paling in comparison to what we pump out nowadays, pun intended.

- voice acting quality (Japanese voice actors are usually better trained and schooled)

Point taken. But newer anime now just use newer talent. A lot of the older VAs are retiring and they are getting completely new people supported a couple of vets.

- animation quality (Japan has higher quality benchmarks than America)

CGI for flash isn't what I call an animation quality boost as so much they invest more into it.

- less commercialization (most American shows are made purely for toy and other merchanise sales, Japanese anime tends to be more moderate in that regard)

Uh, Gundam depends on not how popular the ratings are but how many model kits they dole out and Japan is even more blatant in terms of anime commercials. Even their late night stuff is bent on selling things like Albums and Light Novels and the coveted 1-2 episode blue ray DVDs. They literally rent out blocks for that purpose and toss in an OVA episode just so they can get some new sales.

And ANime in my opinion is no longer hip and now much more likely to offend someone and remind myself why people like Phil Fish is allowed to say Japanese Games suck.

Pearwood:

Alterego-X:

"Anime" as a whole encompasses as many styles as western animation. Not just in narrative themes, but also in drawing styles. Identifying one random genre's western examples that you happen to be familiar with as "western anime", is narrowing down this varied medium.

When you're talking about things like this you've got to generalise to some extent. I don't think I'm being unfair to say there are common trends that are followed through many genres of anime. Mostly the way people are drawn and coloured and the music.

sometimes generalizing can't be helped since when you have enough genres theirs bound to be similar trends popping up now and again

Pearwood:

Alterego-X:

"Anime" as a whole encompasses as many styles as western animation. Not just in narrative themes, but also in drawing styles. Identifying one random genre's western examples that you happen to be familiar with as "western anime", is narrowing down this varied medium.

When you're talking about things like this you've got to generalise to some extent. I don't think I'm being unfair to say there are common trends that are followed through many genres of anime. Mostly the way people are drawn and coloured and the music.

Yes, you can talk about anime and western animation in generic terms, if you go deep enough. For example if we compare a traditional western cartoon to an Anime, we can talk about differences like how the cartoon puts more emphasis on character animation, lip synch, and facial expressions, while the anime focuses on background art, the lighting, and generally cinematically presenting the setting. O even about the differences between how a western and an eastern animation studio is organized, and how it influences the technical details.

So yes, in very, very broad terms, you could find ways in which Lucky Star, Death Note, and Hanasaku Iroha are all similar to each other.

But in THESE regards, even shows like Avatar are still pretty western, like pretty much all supposed "western anime". When people talk about how it looks like an anime, they aren't pointing out the underlying art philosophy, they are just recognizing that it looks like the handful of anime that they are familiar with (the ones that get western TV airings, that are mostly from the same subcategory).

Hmm... attempt at rational discussion about anime...

Be careful - the otaku don't like it when you play with their toys...

Alterego-X:

But in THESE regards, even shows like Avatar are still pretty western, like pretty much all supposed "western anime". When people talk about how it looks like an anime, they aren't pointing out the underlying art philosophy, they are just recognizing that it looks like the handful of anime that they are familiar with (the ones that get western TV airings, that are mostly from the same subcategory).

True but I said this before to someone else, America is very new to anime. It's not realistic to see Avatar as anime, it's a Western cartoon using rather heavy Eastern influence which I see as a step towards making anime. Avatar's done pretty well so it's only natural someone will realise anime is popular enough to be worth producing rather than just dubbing.

gyrobot:

- animation quality (Japan has higher quality benchmarks than America)

CGI for flash isn't what I call an animation quality boost as so much they invest more into it.

Most anime is animated so cheaply it actually astounds me that people would say that it's animated better. Especially TV anime, where if you know how to look for it, there are shortcuts all over the place.

gyrobot:

- less commercialization (most American shows are made purely for toy and other merchanise sales, Japanese anime tends to be more moderate in that regard)

Uh, Gundam depends on not how popular the ratings are but how many model kits they dole out and Japan is even more blatant in terms of anime commercials. Even their late night stuff is bent on selling things like Albums and Light Novels and the coveted 1-2 episode blue ray DVDs. They literally rent out blocks for that purpose and toss in an OVA episode just so they can get some new sales.

Gundam isn't the only one, it's especially bad in fan-favorites like Code Geass. At the end of that show is more about how many different model kits they could sell.

Pearwood:

True but I said this before to someone else, America is very new to anime. It's not realistic to see Avatar as anime, it's a Western cartoon using rather heavy Eastern influence which I see as a step towards making anime. Avatar's done pretty well so it's only natural someone will realise anime is popular enough to be worth producing rather than just dubbing.

I see some problems with this, first, Avatar and The Legend of Korra did well, not because of the anime influence, they did well because it was smart show with continuity that didn't talk down to children. It's not the only successful show to do this, and it certainly won't be the last.

animehermit:

gyrobot:

- animation quality (Japan has higher quality benchmarks than America)

CGI for flash isn't what I call an animation quality boost as so much they invest more into it.

Most anime is animated so cheaply it actually astounds me that people would say that it's animated better. Especially TV anime, where if you know how to look for it, there are shortcuts all over the place.

There's a reason why Japanese people are called the masters of limited animation. They know how to make something look good to the untrained eye on even a shoestring budget. That said, a lot of shows still look total shit, but sometimes the talent of the artists combined with clever techniques overshadows the limited budget (in my mind anyway).

animehermit:

I see some problems with this, first, Avatar and The Legend of Korra did well, not because of the anime influence, they did well because it was smart show with continuity that didn't talk down to children. It's not the only successful show to do this, and it certainly won't be the last.

Well that's purely my own opinion, whether or not it will happen is another matter. It's worth remembering all the people who grew up during the Pokemon craze and developed an interest in anime as a result - they'll be going into work soon.

axlryder:

There's a reason why Japanese people are called the masters of limited animation. They know how to make something look good to the untrained eye on even a shoestring budget. That said, a lot of shows still look total shit, but sometimes the talent of the artists combined with clever techniques overshadows the limited budget (in my mind anyway).

I suppose my point was that nobody really watches anime for the animation. I certainly don't.

Pearwood:

Alterego-X:

But in THESE regards, even shows like Avatar are still pretty western, like pretty much all supposed "western anime". When people talk about how it looks like an anime, they aren't pointing out the underlying art philosophy, they are just recognizing that it looks like the handful of anime that they are familiar with (the ones that get western TV airings, that are mostly from the same subcategory).

True but I said this before to someone else, America is very new to anime. It's not realistic to see Avatar as anime, it's a Western cartoon using rather heavy Eastern influence which I see as a step towards making anime. Avatar's done pretty well so it's only natural someone will realise anime is popular enough to be worth producing rather than just dubbing.

Why would Avatar's success mean that anime is popular? As I said, there *are* some general attributes of anime, but these are nothing like what the average viewer would even notice.

Avatar was popular because there is a market for shonen adventure stories with a character design that is somehow inspired by that genre's anime examples, not because the details of the Japanese animation techniques are popular on their own.

If they would have made a moe slice of life show, or a shoujo romantic drama instead, those would have flopped, because there is no western market for them, even if they are "anime style".

What western animators need is to start expanding their own genres, make something else than comedies. After that, they might appear entirely western, or imitate some animesqe elements here and there, or entirely adopt Japanese animation methods, that's entirely irrelevant to the western animation medium's future as far as most people will notice.

animehermit:

axlryder:

There's a reason why Japanese people are called the masters of limited animation. They know how to make something look good to the untrained eye on even a shoestring budget. That said, a lot of shows still look total shit, but sometimes the talent of the artists combined with clever techniques overshadows the limited budget (in my mind anyway).

I suppose my point was that nobody really watches anime for the animation. I certainly don't.

I don't doubt some people do. Some anime utilizes very cool looking animation techniques in spite of its budget. I feel like I don't see that as much anymore though. I just recently tried to watch Gunslinger Girl and Heroic age and both of them looked so bad I had to turn them off (though, it's not like the stories seemed like anything worth sitting through).

Your definition of 'anime' seems a bit inconsistent. At first you describe a typical Shounen style anime/manga and say that is what makes Legend of Korra anime then later on state the fact that anime is simply a shortening for animation used to describe animated works from Japan. The latter is the technically correct one and the former only describes a section of what most people would call anime. Anime is a broad, broad term used to describe a medium. One Piece and Princess Mononoke (look it up) are both anime. You will struggle to find anything but shallow similarities between these two works. Nice article though.

I've already said it before; So I'll say it again... NO.

It would be like French Saki or Japanese scotch or Irish champagne. You can copy the style, sense, structure, even the way it pulls emotion for the audience but it's STILL just a copy and not the genuine article.

That's a great article. Ever since Avatar came out (TLA), I've reconsidered my definition of anime and instead I have adopted the idea of the term "anime" meaning just... flamboyant animation, if that makes sense. And all the other things he mentioned (Story, characters, values, etc).

So I think it's about time we start using a new term: American anime.

Did O'Brien piss off some idiot Otakus and think that this article was needed to address an issue that is not even an issue? It's all a matter of labels and arguing over what is what useful. But over Anime it's cut and dry what it is. The argument over Bourbon is valid but not sound. He argues that Bourbon can be made anywhere and it won't be called bourbon. But let's be real about this, anytime something is imitated, it is never exactly the same.

When Manga and Anime began to emerge after World War II Osamu Tezuka made comics like Astro Boy and Metropolis. You look at the art style and can notice a clear western influence. Over time this Disney/American animation and drawing style evolved. The reasons are simple: culture and environment changes how and why a person draws, it changes their styles and makes them wonder "Well why do I have to give her such long legs, why not shorter?" In the end, a western style of drawing was given to Japan, and in over 50 years they transformed it into something of their own merit. It's not even recognized as American inspired, it is seen as Japan inspired.

So back to your Bourbon, you give the French Bourbon, let them do what they will with teh recipe for 50 years and it won't be Bourbon. Human beings don't tend to leave a recipe alone. Humans tend to push ahead and refine something to their own taste and perfection.

I love Avatar, but I hate the fact that every single Western cartoon is trying to look like Anime nowadays, even when it doesn't make sense. An example are the superhero cartoons. Remember, Amazing Spiderman and X-Men? They were great because they looked similar to the comics. But now we have Ultimate Spiderman and we had X-Men Evolution. Why do they do that if superhero's comics don't try to look like manga?

Personally, I find 'anime' is a label people often use to avoid saying that they are watching 'cartoons'.

Myself included, until a couple years ago.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here